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Tensor Tympani Muscle: Why Do You Hear A Rumbling Sound When You Close Your Eyes Too Hard?

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Channel: Science ABC
Categories: Biology   |   Psychology   |   Science  
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The tensor tympani muscle is a tiny muscle in the middle ear that helps dampens external sounds falling on the ear. The tensor tympani muscle originates from the Eustachian tube, which is also known as the auditory tube. From there, this muscle attaches to the malleus boneone of the three tiny bones located within the middle ear. This malleus bone looks like a little hammer, and the tensor tympani muscle attaches to the handle of this hammer.

Tensor Tympani muscle is the reason behind that rumbling sound some people hear between their ears when they shut their eyes really tightly. It is the sound of the tensor tympani muscle stretching. This muscle is also responsible for dampening the sound of our own chewing.

Although the tensor tympani muscle is good at dampening loud, gradual sounds, but it is not so effective in softening up loud, sudden noises, like a gunshot or an explosion. This muscle activates involuntarily, but some people can hear its rumbling sound between their ears by squinting hard.

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