Amplified/Distorted Background Noises/Phantom Sounds

Discussion in 'Support' started by Travis Carter, Jan 14, 2016.

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    1. Travis Carter

      Travis Carter Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      When I first noticed T about 2 months ago I initially was oversensitive to background noises like my refrigerator or furnace. Not in a sense that the noise was hurting my ears but I was constantly aware and distracted by those noises. Within a few days as the acute anxiety due to the ringing in my ears took over, this subsided.

      However, a couple of nights ago I noticed that I couldn't stop locking in to the noise produced by what I BELIEVE is the motor of my masking fan that I use to help me sleep at night.

      I turned the fan off only to hear a more faint "generator/motor" sound coming from my furnace, which I locked into as well. It sounded very similar in texture/pattern to the loud fan noise but not as loud. The fridge produces a similar sound from it's motor which I am also hyper aware of.

      Tonight I went for a run which previously would completely take my mind of the tinnitus. But this time, every time a pack of cars would pass me by, I THINK I would hear a phantom version of the generator/motor noise. And sometimes even when the cars weren't there. It wasn't a stark noise like my tinnitus, it's more like a made up noise like when you have a song stuck in your head.

      I was on a REALLY good path towards habituation but now I feel like I have literally created a new sound that I hear when anything with an engine is near or things get really loud.

      Also, running water started sounding different like I could hear the buzzing coming from the water leaving the faucet as opposed to just the water. Certain rain/waterfall soundtracks I listen to started producing crickets, beeps, and morse code type sounds that I cannot tell if they are really on the track, or created by me.

      I feel like my safety nets have been turned against me. Maskers, distractions, ambient noises, background noises ETC are now the object of my despair and cause the anxiety to spike!

      Note that when in a silent room with no generators near, I DO NOT hear the generator noise. Only the hissing which is my tinnitus.

      This is INSANE.

      Reactive tinnitus is when certain sounds amplify your existing ringing. I am wondering if the new issue I am facing is simply over sensitive hearing due to the anxiety and "Red alert" mode that my nervous system is in.

      Any advice?
       
    2. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      You appear to be developing Hyperacusis in one of its charming forms. This happened to me, my first indication was that I thought the car stereo had broken. Then I started hearing it in everything....road noise, light switches, computer keys...all sorts of crazy things, even the friction sound of drying my own skin was exaggerated and distorted at its peak.
       
    3. Dan H

      Dan H Member

      Location:
      Liverpool UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      This sounds similar to what I've developed. It started with a high pitched sound, but over the last few days I have started hearing a more low frequency tone that only accompanies certain other sounds, e.g. fridge noise, a car engine, a hand dryer etc. Even when I hear music, when certain tones are played I hear a strange humming noise over it. I'm finding it really hard to deal with.

      Also this week I appear to be getting imaginary smells as well which is also freaking me out. It's making me think that something really weird is happening in my brain and the thoughts of all this being permanent is very depressing.
       
    4. Travis Carter

      Travis Carter Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Thanks for the input.

      I think it's because we have been conditioning ourselves to focus more on background noise by checking for tinnitus constantly over a period of time. Not to mention the anxiety this all causes makes our nervous system go into and stay in red alert mode. Even if we have somewhat come to terms with tinnitus, our ears are still on the lookout for danger and every tiny noise that seems "off" is brought to our attention..

      I know this is the case for me because I do not have hearing loss which is usually what causes distortions.

      Dan, it's no surprise your sense of smell is also being effected. This just reinforces my belief that it's not just our hearing, but sense of smell and vision that is hyper aware when we have sensory disturbances like tinnitus because it all boils down to just one thing. WE ARE IN RED ALERT and must come down from that state by focusing on body based practices like yoga and cranial sacral therapy (look up Julian Cowan Hill on youtube). That's why before I noticed tinnitus I noticed eye floaters constantly. Once I "got used" to those it was the tinnitus. Now it's amplified background noise.

      I'm just putting all this under one umbrella which in my opinion is anxiety and a hyper aware nervous system. It's all the same shit and needs to be handled the same.
       
      • Useful Useful x 1
    5. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      How did you get T? Changes in hearing is almost always of sensorineural cause.
       
    6. Travis Carter

      Travis Carter Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      I literally got it by reading about it online one day and trying to see if I had it. No hearing loss whatsoever. My life has plummeted since.
       
    7. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      Seriously? You went looking? The usual pattern is for it to find you.
       
    8. Travis Carter

      Travis Carter Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      lol yep.. And for the first few days I didn't know if I had the ringing or not. I kept obsessing over it until I finally found it though.

      could have all been avoided had I just kept on with what I was doing when I read about it
       
    9. canyonero

      canyonero Member

      Location:
      Eastern US
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma?
      What inspired you to read about it? Did you really get T from accidentally stumbling upon an article about it? If so you have an anxiety disorder not T.

      FYI: Everyone has a little bit of T, this is why you can hear the ocean in a sea shell.
       
    10. AnxiousJon
      Magical

      AnxiousJon Member

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety, Insomnia, and a Fan at Night
      It is nice to hear someone talk about exactly what I've been experiencing off and on over the past month or so. Lately though as it has turned into a more broad-movement myoclonus though, it's more that the convulsions in my ear that sync-up with the rhythm of motors and things(more percussive instead of tonal now). Like, the neighbor lets his frieght truck that he uses for his business, running for like 40 min sometimes at 4am, so I wake up with his engine's idle in my ear all day.
       
    11. Dan H

      Dan H Member

      Location:
      Liverpool UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      I have literally just developed a new higher pitched tone in my left ear that only makes itself heard over other noises. It's like I'm actually developing a new tone every day at the moment, this is all very scary.
       
    12. Dan H

      Dan H Member

      Location:
      Liverpool UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Ok that particular tone went away after about an hour or so. I really hope that one doesn't come back, the other tones I've already got are enough!
       
    13. Travis Carter

      Travis Carter Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015

      I always from time to had heard a very faint buzzing in my hear for as long as I can remember when it's really quiet, but I would just move on and think nothing of it. It's true that it wasn't until I read about it that I started hearing it nonstop. Now it's loud and intrusive.

      The way that I heard about it was that I was researching ways to cope with eye floaters (I had been noticing my floaters and obsessing over them for some time) and I stumbled upon someone just talking about ear ringing.

      I honestly think it has to do with the Xanax I was taking (non prescription) every day for a couple months about 6 months ago. I was taking them to help get to sleep but to be honest I was never the type to get anxious before I started withdrawing from the anxiety medication.

      After a week of not being able to stop thinking or hearing the tinnitus I went into a generalized anxiety/panic disorder state.
       
    14. Where did you get "non-prescription" Xanax?
      How much did you take?
      How did you stop?
       
    15. AnxiousJon
      Magical

      AnxiousJon Member

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety, Insomnia, and a Fan at Night
      My ENT did tell me that anxiety disorders can cause the hearing of phantom sounds.
       
    16. Travis Carter

      Travis Carter Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      I got them off the street. I was taking 1-2 mg per day for 2 months. Hard stop cold turkey, no taper.. Any experience with these?
       
    17. No experience with benzos off the street. Unfortunately, one fairly common side effect of stopping benzos cold turkey is tinnitus. You might take look at http://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/ or venture over to benzobuddies.
       
    18. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      Scary, yet strangely informative. You unwittingly reprogrammed your hearing system. Sort of implies you could reprogram it back. It would be interesting to see how you went with TRT, and how long it took to have an impact (assuming it did).

      You weren't taking Xanax for long, so I wouldn't think its implicated, but who really knows? idiosyncratic reactions and all that...
       

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