Bluetooth Makes My Tinnitus Worse?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Methos1979, Mar 31, 2015.

    1. Methos1979
      Musical

      Methos1979 Member

      Location:
      Seacoast, NH
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1975
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Military
      New guy here and poking around. I've had tinnitus a very long time from being close up and personal to an explosion while serving in the Navy. Like most, it gets worse with blood pressure spikes from illness, eating salty foods, not getting enough exercise or sleep. It's very annoying but I've learned to live with it. I've also got a significant hearing loss in both ears and nerve deafness pretty bad but I get by. I don't let it get me down.

      I'm a musician and love music and listen to it all the time. I don't play it loud to protect what hearing I have left. I cannot use ear buds or anything that completely blocks my ear canals as they start to itch within a few minutes and it gets painful within 10 to 15 minutes. So usually I use on-ear cans (headphones) or speakers. I'm loving the digital streaming music and having so much variety at my disposal.

      I'm a techy type of guy. I love Bluetooth and have embraced that technology wholeheartedly. But I've seemed to notice that listening to anything via a Bluetooth signal seems to put my tinnitus into overdrive. I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this. Listening to non-Bluetooth does not do this. So it weirds me out a little that there is some sort of 'wireless' frequency that I can't hear but my ears is reacting to. One weird thing about me is I can hear very high frequencies that no one else can, not even little kids. I've had that my whole life as well.

      Anyway, just wondering if anyone else has noticed this phenomenon?
       
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    2. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I'd be very curious to know if you're able to pass a blinded test. Meaning, have someone else turning a BT device on or off, and see if you can tell whether or not it's on.

      I think the idea that EMFs might interact with our physiology in some way is fascinating, but I also think the idea that EMFs are direct tinnitus triggers is a little unlikely.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Methos1979
      Musical

      Methos1979 Member

      Location:
      Seacoast, NH
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1975
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Military
      I'm thinking the same thing. I wonder if it's just a 'reverse placebo effect' for want of a better term. I did a fair amount of Googling and searching here and found nothing which makes me think even more it might be just all in my mind.
       
    4. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      If you go too far down the rabbit hole of Google you can find a lot of people who think EMFs are hurting their health, and some of them even say they feel much better after going to extreme lengths to upend their lives and move miles and miles into the wilderness... but if there's anything to it, no one has ever been able to figure out what, despite some quasi-serious scientific inquiry.

      My own T generally gets much much much better within 24 hours of getting way out into the woods and away from all that stuff, but, I try not to read much into that besides "well there's one more thing to like about the woods"....
       
    5. Luca
      Amused

      Luca Member

      I don't think there is a connection. No living thing on earth can hear 2.4 GIGAhertz I think some animals can hear 50khz orso, not sure if this is even compare to hearing noise though.
       
    6. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      There is no connection. Your mind may trick you to think that there is, which is a so called 'nocebo' effect - the opposite of placebo effect.
       
    7. SarahR

      SarahR Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      I'm not discounting the possibility of Bluetooth being a potential factor, but have you thought of the fidelity of the headphones? Most Bluetooth headphones I've had have a much lower sound quality than wired alternatives.

      I've found that low quality music aggravates my tinnitus pretty bad, be it either by a low quality stream or bad quality speakers.

      My guess is this could relate to my ears/brain trying to overcompensate.

      Before I got tinnitus I would happily stream music on a low quality and couldn't tell, and the only reason I can determine quality now is whether my tinnitus peaks (with low quality) or fades to the background (high quality)
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Methos1979
      Musical

      Methos1979 Member

      Location:
      Seacoast, NH
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1975
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Military
      'Nocebo' - I like that!

      I doubt it's anything directly from the BT. I wonder thought if it's more from the recording they do today. Way back when fidelity was actually important, if you looked at a wave file of a song's recording you would see it has peaks and valleys. But if you look at today's wave forms they are mostly just all pegged to the max. I sometimes wonder if that doesn't cause much quicker ear fatigue and aggravation to the tinnitus than older music. I'll have to try some experimenting with that!
       
    9. givemevtec

      givemevtec Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      I have noticed this as well. It took me awhile to figure it out. I never had a problem with tinnitis but within the last year I purchased a bluetooth over the ear headset. I used it very infrequently because I already had a possible issue with Bluetooth in the past.

      Many years ago, I owned the Motorola S9 Bluetooth headset, then eventually bought the S10. This was the type of headset was in the ear with a band around the back of the neck. The Bluetooth transmitter was right at the back of the neck against the spine. I was getting pain in the back of my neck not ever thinking it had anything to do with the bluetooth. Over the course of 1 year it finally dawned on me that the pain usually occurred when I was using that headset. It's not like I would put the thing on and all of a sudden I would have pain. The pain would appear later in the day or the next day, so I wasn't quick to make the association. The pain would exist as i used it somewhat daily with some breaks. I stopped using it for a while to see if the pain went away, and it did. I would use it again, and the pain would come back. I stopped using that headset because it was so close to all the nerves in my spine. The thought was a little scary even if there was no actual harm being done. A few years later I started using bluetooth again but the dongle type so that I could attach any stereo headset and keep it away from my body or move it to different parts of my body if I wanted to.

      In an effort to preserve my hearing for the long term, I wanted to be able to listen to my headphones at an even lower volume so I started looking into noise cancelling headphones. Even in a quiet home there is background humming or noises that we don't really pay attention to but they are there and I tend to turn the volume up slightly to hear the details better. Liking the ability to be wireless over the course of two months I started using my wireless Bluetooth headset more frequently. I went on a mission to find the best noise cancelling Bluetooth headset and started buying different ones and using them several times a day. The original one I purchased over a year ago, the Phiaton ms 530 didn't have the sound quality I wanted and figured I'd get something better if I was going to use them more often. I purchased the Beats Studio wireless, then purchased the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless. I started noticing a much stronger constant ringing. I originally started thinking that it might have something to do with the noise cancelling Technology. As of now I do notice the tinnitus more in my right ear, which happens to be the same ear the Bluetooth transmitter is on. It became more apparent after a while. I have been very resistant to believing that is the cause but at this point I'd be stupid to ignore it. I am currently discontinuing the use of those headsets to see if the tinnitus goes away.

      There isn't much information on this yet. If you have a similar problem to what I have, then we are in the minority. They say it only affects about 3 to 6% of the population. other people may be having some sort of damage but it isn't manifesting as tinnitus. It doesn't necessarily have to do with frequencies of sound you can't hear but more towards the radiation that the bluetooth is giving off. You may also have issues with Wi-Fi, etcetera. Everybody is different and you have to figure out what is causing your problem or exacerbates it. Some people are allergic to peanuts. Some are not. It doesn't mean because a majority of the population doesn't have a problem with this, that the few that do are imagining it. If you notice a problem and found an association, then I would test it yourself. It's been a while since your original post. Have you come to any type of conclusion?
       
    10. fossie 32

      fossie 32 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      initially loud music concert
      Hi everyone, I have had intermittent mildish tinnitus for 40 years. It is aggravated by loud noises but then settles down within a day or two. However, recently it seems to be persistent and getting worse and annoying.

      About 2 months or so ago I got a set of Apple Bluetooth earbuds. I had not used Bluetooth ear devices before, so am suspicious they could be at least part of the problem. I don't have them up loud but do go to sleep with one in the left ear which is the problem one. Apart from that, I did mow the lawn with them in without the usual earmuffs to protect my ears a few weeks ago and did notice it was worse after that. I'm going to stop using the earbuds and use a protective earplug and let you know how it goes.
       
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @fossie 32.

      You have had noise-induced tinnitus for a long time. If you use headphones, earbuds or headsets even at low volumes, then you risk making the tinnitus worse as you have noticed. Sometimes a person will experience an increase in the tinnitus and it will reduce to its previous baseline level. However, with noise-induced tinnitus nothing is a certainty, so a person is literally playing Russian roulette with their health, if they use the devices I have mentioned or expose themselves to overly loud sounds.

      Some people with noise-induced tinnitus are not affected when using headphones but many are. The risk of making the tinnitus permanently worse is always there each time they use any type headphones or are exposed to overly loud sounds. When wearing earplugs, even custom moulded types, one still needs to be careful of loud sounds. Please click on the link below and read my post: Will My Tinnitus Get Worse?

      Michael

      Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
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    12. fossie 32

      fossie 32 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1980
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      initially loud music concert
      Thanks very much Michael.
       
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you @fossie 32. I hope the tinnitus improves for you soon.

      Take care,
      Michael
       
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