Autophony literally means “hearing oneself” or “hearing one’s voice”. Also known as tympanonophony, it is the experience of hearing one’s voice as significantly louder than usual. It may also be an uncommon perception of one’s body noises such as breathing, heartbeat, eye-movement, or chewing. Some individuals with autophony hear ringing, buzzing, or whistling sounds on one or both ears. Autophony may be a symptom of middle or inner ear diseases.
For instance, the ear canal could have been blocked by compacted ear wax which causes the sound vibrations to bounce back toward the ear drum. People who are suffering from anorexia nervosa may also experience autophony since rapid weight loss may reduce the size of the Ostman fat pad which is responsible for closing and protecting the Eustachian tube in the middle ear, thus diminishing the pad’s function.