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Low hum frequency tinnitus
Old 5th March 2019
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Low hum frequency tinnitus

For a while I have been experiencing a low rumbling hum in my right ear off and on which sounds like a truck in the distance with its engines running or the sound from a gas boiler or the sound from a distant oil refinery.

Since recently I have been experiencing this sound more often and it has been made worse and more louder after listening to music on headphones. I am really freaking out because I suffer from an anxiety disorder and panic disorder and this is making it worse.

I believe this is tinnitus. However, the strange thing is that the sound disappears when I cover my ears with my hands or finger or if I shake my head.
Old 8th March 2019
  #2
SKS
Here for the gear
 

I suffer from an anxiety disorder and tinnitus. The onset stage was really horrible - I feel for you. It's a scary thing! I basically 'heard' it one day and that was that. I took 6 months off work (as a full time producer / engineer) hoping it would heal. I instead slowly habituated - you're going to read about that a lot, and it's a bitterly hard pill to swallow but it is true.

A year on I am in a much better place. As silly as it sounds, be thankful you only have the low hum. I drove myself crazy finding all the different tones that were present. I have both high and low frequencies that are constant, but they are sounds in my head, not my ears.

Don't be afraid of it. It sucks but you will learn to adapt and overcome and appreciate sound just as much as you always did. Good luck!
Old 8th March 2019
  #3
SKS
Here for the gear
 

I should also ad - when I was first going constant panic and searching the internet for answers, I came across a 10 year old thread on gearslutz about mixing with tinnitus. I read a reply that made me laugh about how naive the poster seemed because they 'played loud music all the time without protection and don't have it'.

Turns out it was an old post of mine
Old 8th March 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by SKS View Post
I should also ad - when I was first going constant panic and searching the internet for answers, I came across a 10 year old thread on gearslutz about mixing with tinnitus. I read a reply that made me laugh about how naive the poster seemed because they 'played loud music all the time without protection and don't have it'.

Turns out it was an old post of mine
Now this was funny. Sadly. Ive been through hyperacusis, 2 years no music. Slowly worked my way back, luckily tinnitus subsided after the headphone incident.

For Op i would suggest leaving the headphones for good and try to incorporate nearfield speakers into your work/listening flow. They are much better tolerated. Nothing is directly pumping into the air canal.

I try to keep my ears as fresh as possible by wearing -10db earplugs when driving on highways or airplanes. Kids birthdays lol. Important not to overprotect but no need to waste my delicate haircells inside innerear for some nonsense.

Plenty of rest nightly, Magnesium, Zink and N-acetyl-Cystein(NAC), might look into taurine as well when feeling ear tiredness or even better, beforehand stressful session/situation. As theres no panacea to ear problems i believe the little things will go along way right now. All the best!
Old 8th March 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post
For a while I have been experiencing a low rumbling hum in my right ear off and on which sounds like a truck in the distance with its engines running or the sound from a gas boiler or the sound from a distant oil refinery.

Since recently I have been experiencing this sound more often and it has been made worse and more louder after listening to music on headphones. I am really freaking out because I suffer from an anxiety disorder and panic disorder and this is making it worse.

I believe this is tinnitus. However, the strange thing is that the sound disappears when I cover my ears with my hands or finger or if I shake my head.
Could be an acoustic neuroma. Go and see and ENT immediately.
Old 8th March 2019
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Could be an acoustic neuroma. Go and see and ENT immediately.
I know you are trying to help and it could be a possibility but reading this has triggered a full blown panic attack which I didn’t need.

I looked up Dr Google and dizziness is part of the symptom of acoustic neuroma which I do experience but I put the dizziness and light headedness down to plain anxiety.
Old 8th March 2019
  #7
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post
I know you are trying to help and it could be a possibility but reading this has triggered a full blown panic attack which I didn’t need.


If you don't want answers, don't ask.


Me: Hey doc - I am here b/c my foot hurts. Go easy on me, as full blown panic attacks are triggered rather easily.

Doc: Let's have a look.... Hmmmm.... were you playing outside in the snow recently?

Me: Yes, yesterday.

Doc: Well, seems like frostbite. We'll have to cut your foot off.

Me: I TOLD YOU TO GO EASY ON ME.... NOW I AM HAVING A PANIC ATTACK AND IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT
Old 8th March 2019
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post


If you don't want answers, don't ask.


Me: Hey doc - I am here b/c my foot hurts. Go easy on me, as full blown panic attacks are triggered rather easily.

Doc: Let's have a look.... Hmmmm.... were you playing outside in the snow recently?

Me: Yes, yesterday.

Doc: Well, seems like frostbite. We'll have to cut your foot off.

Me: I TOLD YOU TO GO EASY ON ME.... NOW I AM HAVING A PANIC ATTACK AND IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT
I never even said it was your fault. All you needed to say if you had to reply to my post was to just see a doctor. All I am saying is that I am a sensitive human being suffering from hypochondria and it’s best to get confirmation instead of what ifs from forum members.

I never asked. I was only wondering if anyone else suffered from what I have described and what they did to cure it. Maybe if I suffer from anxiety and depression I’m best not known if it’s bad news.

As for your last quote, I was expecting a more sensible reply from you considering you are into film music just like myself. Sadly you forward yourself as someone insensitive.
Old 8th March 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Apologies if I seemed insensitive; I did not mean to be. Although you are far from death's doorstep, this is a potential very serious issue (in the long run), and I feel that it is a person's duty and responsibility to try and help a fellow human being when possible. And that's all I was trying to do. Help a fellow human being. I certainly was not trying to make you feel worse, nor more worried, nor anything - simply to trying to get you to go to the doctor. If I say:

Go to the doctor

v.

Could be an acoustic neuroma, go to the doctor

- which one is more likely to get someone - who I do not know - to go? The latter, of course.

And I understand you didn't ask specifically for help, but if you post something like this on an internet forum, you gotta know that the chances are pretty darn likely that someone is going to offer advice and try to help. Ok, you would have been better off if I just told you to go the doctor. But how am I to know that? Yes, you said, I suffer from an anxiety disorder and panic disorder , but how am I - a total stranger - supposed to know where to draw the line with how I answer? There is no way I can.

I wish you the best of luck with your issue.
Old 9th March 2019
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post
For a while I have been experiencing a low rumbling hum in my right ear off and on which sounds like a truck in the distance with its engines running or the sound from a gas boiler or the sound from a distant oil refinery.

Since recently I have been experiencing this sound more often and it has been made worse and more louder after listening to music on headphones. I am really freaking out because I suffer from an anxiety disorder and panic disorder and this is making it worse.

I believe this is tinnitus. However, the strange thing is that the sound disappears when I cover my ears with my hands or finger or if I shake my head.
I have tinnitus.
Yours sounds like a medical problem.
That could be serious.

SEE A DOCTOR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Old 9th March 2019
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post
I know you are trying to help and it could be a possibility but reading this has triggered a full blown panic attack which I didn’t need.

I looked up Dr Google and dizziness is part of the symptom of acoustic neuroma which I do experience but I put the dizziness and light headedness down to plain anxiety.

You REALLY NEED A TEAM OF DOCTORS.

Fix that panic attack problem.
And get the problem with your ear fixed too.
Old 9th March 2019
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post
I never even said it was your fault. All you needed to say if you had to reply to my post was to just see a doctor. All I am saying is that I am a sensitive human being suffering from hypochondria and it’s best to get confirmation instead of what ifs from forum members.

I never asked. I was only wondering if anyone else suffered from what I have described and what they did to cure it. Maybe if I suffer from anxiety and depression I’m best not known if it’s bad news.

As for your last quote, I was expecting a more sensible reply from you considering you are into film music just like myself. Sadly you forward yourself as someone insensitive.
If you also have hypochondria then you also need a shrink as well as docs for depression anxiety panic attacks as well as your ear.

Either you choose to fix your problems or you can choose to ignore them and just worry about them until something really bad happens.

GO SEE A DOCTOR , SEE SEVERAL, GET YOUR PROBLEMS FIXED!!
Old 9th March 2019
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe sixpak View Post
If you also have hypochondria then you also need a shrink as well as docs for depression anxiety panic attacks as well as your ear.

Either you choose to fix your problems or you can choose to ignore them and just worry about them until something really bad happens.

GO SEE A DOCTOR , SEE SEVERAL, GET YOUR PROBLEMS FIXED!!
I’m already seeing a shrink about my anxiety and panic disorder problems and doing meditation every morning. I was only interested if anyone else suffered the same tinnitus symptoms as myself when I created this thread.

I have mention the tinnitus problem with my doctor but he doesn’t seem concerned or interested and he tells me tinnitus cannot he cured as it is something you have to live with and accept.
Old 9th March 2019
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post
I’m already seeing a shrink about my anxiety and panic disorder problems and doing meditation every morning. I was only interested if anyone else suffered the same tinnitus symptoms as myself when I created this thread.

I have mention the tinnitus problem with my doctor but he doesn’t seem concerned or interested and he tells me tinnitus cannot he cured as it is something you have to live with and accept.
If you truly have tinnitus you doc is still FOS.

True you can not CURE it but you can make it a lot better.

White noise ear plugs is what my wifes doctor prescribed. It worked.

Some sources say to use noise at the frequency of your tinnitus.
I presume that would work better if you measured to find the frequency instead of using wide band white noise.

Your description suggests that you have other issues that could be serious. Do NOT tell the doctor your diagnosis eg tinnitus. Tell your NEW doctor the SYMPTOMS and let him decide if it is serious and what it is.
Old 5th April 2019
  #15
There is a recurring low frequency hum rumbling in my left ear chronically. It's there as I type this. Last week, I went to an ear, nose & throat specialist, who said, in essence, "Get used to it." It's the inner ear muscle(s) clenching to withstand the onslaught of loud sound.

At band rehearsal last night I said, "Turn it up! Drown this hum."
Old 5th April 2019
  #16
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9xSound View Post
There is a recurring low frequency hum rumbling in my left ear chronically. It's there as I type this. Last week, I went to an ear, nose & throat specialist, who said, in essence, "Get used to it." It's the inner ear muscle(s) clenching to withstand the onslaught of loud sound.

At band rehearsal last night I said, "Turn it up! Drown this hum."
Doctors are idiots, "get used to it".... what a moron he is.
Old 5th April 2019
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
Doctors are idiots, "get used to it".... what a moron he is.
Indeed. I could write a lengthy book about the subject. But his message was essentially that there aren't any effective treatments for such conditions. Whatever the case, I don't believe that the rumbling in my ear has anything to do with overexposure to loud music. Yes, I've had some infrequent exposure now and then. But even in my band, I've tried to avoid being exposed to uncomfortably loud sound for prolonged periods of time. I don't know. Now that I think about it, my ears have rung for hours after a few of our gigs. Well... I wouldn't trade the experience. Gigging is the reason I play. So who knows? For the record, I did not tell 'em to turn it up the other night. But I thought about it! I mean, if it can't be cured, what's the diff?
Old 19th April 2019
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

To the OP: you could be me 20 years ago. Anxiety, plus onset of low rumbling tinnitus in my left ear.

What has happened in the 20 years since? I've continued to make music, and my mixes have got considerably better in that time. I continued to play live, but I took better care of my ears. Is my tinnitus worse? It's very hard to tell, since concentrating on it is guaranteed to make it much louder. I've had many periods where I haven't even thought about it, then I seem to go through a cycle of worrying about it, and it brings it back again. My audiograms over the years are remarkably consistent, which is probably the only objective measure of how it affects my ability to hear and mix (and I have no hearing loss that isn't consistent with age).

What I'm trying to do, maybe in a clumsy way, is to reassure you. I was really, really anxious when it first came on, but I've really got used to it. I still worry every time I mix a long project that I'm knackering my ears, but I thought exactly the same thing 20 years ago and nothing has changed since that time! So your journey is really about building your mental resilience, and little else.

I actually suspect that my low rumbling tinnitus is related to high blood pressure, or persistent allergies. I always have slightly blocked ears and sinuses, which may be a mild hayfever type symptom. The sort of thing that doctors tell you to go away and stop worrying about. I have a twin brother who claims not to have tinnitus, but we had a fascinating conversation recently where he said "if I'm in a quiet room I hear stuff, but that's not tinnitus". So I think my own worry about it makes it worse.

I only have one concrete tip: give up alcohol completely. That is the single best thing I did for my anxiety.
Old 19th April 2019
  #19
Village Idiot
 
Labs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmuzz View Post
I have been experiencing a low rumbling hum in my right ear .....

However, the strange thing is that the sound disappears when I cover my ears with my hands or finger or if I shake my head.
Your symptoms are identical to something I had some problems with recently. I was also confused about the absence of sound when pressing my palm against my ear or shaking my head.

I google-self-diagnosised as well, and thought i had a ruptured eardrum, but a trip to the doctor revealed I simply had fluid standing agains the eardrum, even though I had no cold or running nose symptoms.

Equalize pressure thoroughly in the ears (holding your nose and blowing) every half hour throughout the day (really give it a go the first few times, to the point of getting dizzy - youll see why when you do), and spray nose morning/evening with salt water.

You do not have tinitus, if covering your ear makes it go away. It will be the pressure youre applying from the outside, rather than the blocking of sound, that makes it go away, if you have what I had.

Gustav

Last edited by Labs; 20th April 2019 at 06:36 AM..
Old 24th April 2019
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for the replies and advise.

I gave up drinking over 4 years ago after suffering my first panic attack and now I only drink the occasional pint of Guinness or glass of white wine once in a while so the low rumbling tinnitus isn’t alcohol related.

I’ve noticed that the low rumbling sound gets temporarily louder after listening to music on headphones especially when using in-ear or on the ear headphones. I don’t seem to have that problem much when using Over the ear headphones.

The low rumbling tinnitus seems to come and go now and I only hear it if I focus on it. I went to my audiologist and she tested my hearing and I have normal hearing. My audiologist told me that people who suffer anxiety disorders have more problems with tinnitus because that’s what anxious brains do.
Old 2nd May 2019
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Sounds like great progress. Hang in there.

Sounds similar to my own trajectory actually. My tinnitus is very loud in quiet rooms, but very small volume background noises make it go away completely, so it is unnoticable practically everywhere else.

In fact, my anxiety over tinnitus made me start taking much better care of my ears from my early 20s, which has probably saved me from actual hearing loss.

I now have to fly around the world for work 2-3 times a year, and I've noticed that the first week after getting back gives me much louder tinnitus (and higher anxiety). This could be several things though. Jetlag has been associated with higher tinnitus apparently (and higher anxiety), or the anxiety could be the problem in itself. Or it could be that I watch TV for much of the flight with noise cancelling headphones on which, although not deafeningly loud, may aggravate the tinnitus. Who knows.
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