Ears Amplify Some Frequencies in Background Noise — Sounds Like Bees Buzzing

Discussion in 'Support' started by Ace, Aug 29, 2019.

    1. Ace
      Musical

      Ace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud jam session, of course on top of years of performance
      Hey y'all. Thank you so much for this forum. Y'all have helped me many times in the past but right now I'm going through it and I come use some insight. Please bear with me, I'll try to keep it brief as possible but I will provide at least some background.

      I've had chronic tinnitus in both ears for about 3.1 years after a loud jam session, and for a little over a year I've had some extended episodes where my ears become "reactive" to certain frequencies coming from background noise (cars/planes passing, fans, air vents...), in that those frequencies become amplified or my brain focuses on them in such a way that they seem more prominent than other frequencies coming from the same sources. I could describe that reaction as somewhat of a subtle electrical/mechanical humming with brief stutters that make it sound somewhat rumbly. At the most extreme end, I have another thread from a little over year ago where I had some hearing distortion at certain volumes in my right ear, though thankfully that subsided when I began easing up on my possible overuse of hearing protection.

      These past few days have been interesting though... Not in a good way. On Monday after breakfast and stuff, I went up to my room to sit at the computer and do handle some emails n stuff before heading to work. At that point I noticed what sounded like a bee buzzing inside my right ear at at around 523 Hz (F3 I think, and one semitone in either direction). I noticed that these frequencies were actually coming from highway traffic, which is very quiet as the highway is several blocks away from me, but that specific narrow frequency range was being boosted to prevalence especially in my right ear where this became a bee buzzing sensation. I have had this sensation before but VERY infrequently, usually maybe once upon waking up on some rare days, so I didn't think it would last long. When I went into town for work I didn't hear it at all, it was only when I was at home in a relatively quiet room, and noticed the traffic noises again. I want to be clear- the buzzing does not happen in silence, it is actually a product of outside sound being interpreted/boosted in a very specific way by my ear.

      Today though, this buzzing has been off the charts annoying and depressing. My right ear is buzzing to that same frequency range coming off of several kitchen appliances at my kitchen job, and it even buzzed off of a coworker's voice in the next room in one instance. My right ear is also back to amplifying other frequencies as well. But that 523Hz buzz really sounds like a bee in my ear, and it's the most sound disturbing of all.

      I'm holding onto the hope that things will settle down but things got worse today and it was much harder to manage or maintain a positive outlook. Just came home and cried into my pillow like a sad boy lol. I have a few theories as to why this is happening but honestly it's so hard to predict changes in my tinnitus or hearing disorders, things come and go with the seasons

      - I maaay have been back to using overusing hearing protection a bit too much during work, as I had a bit of a spike a month ago and swore my tinnitus got worse but the tinnitus baseline seems to have gone back to regular while my anxiety remains subtle but higher than in months prior. I do only use -9 dB filters though.

      - Out of random urge, I had my first coffee on Saturday for the first time in I believe over half a year (I literally don't remember my last cup). It was tasty, but now I wonder if this buzzing is perhaps related... A symptom of withdrawal? Seems doubtful but I believe I will continue to not drink coffee any more lol

      - I spent hours composing music for a client over the weekend, but I do not monitor at high volumes at all so I don't think that would pose a major problem.

      -I will admit, I have not been getting as much sleep as I should. Typically hit the bed around midnight and wake up around 6:50 AM. Tonight I will be sleeping early as I am emotionally and mentally drained.


      Thank you for taking the time to read this. Yes I always stop noticing my heightened reactivity to certain sounds a few weeks after onset, then sometimes it comes back for a day or a week then passes again like it was never there, but this experience is worse than usual so I'm a bit scared despite my hopefulness to be honest. If you have ever been in a similar position and found something that helped or found that this hyper reactivity went away on its own or became more tolerable, please advise.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ace
      Musical

      Ace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud jam session, of course on top of years of performance
      @Starthrower You are the only person I've seen so far that described the sensation of bees buzzing in your head in a thread about "reactive" tinnitus so I was hoping you could please take a moment to read what I wrote and tell me if my description is at all similar to your prior circumstances. Thank you.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ace
      Musical

      Ace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud jam session, of course on top of years of performance
      Maybe a mosquito noise would be a better descriptor.

      I had me a lovely and long sleep last on my right side so for the majority my right ear covered, thus not stimulated by any outside noise or traffic. This morning I was fine, albeit anxious and making sure to focus on anything EXCEPT for that frequency range for fear of hearing the buzz again. After breakfast and a few rounds of Splatoon (a great stress relief game from Nintendo), I stepped out on the porch and sipped my tea... I only got the buzz feeling a couple times, but it was brief despite all of the sound available for it to react to so I figured that's an improvement from the stress of work yesterday.

      But after a few hours into my work day, right ear buzzing kicked back into to unavoidable territory. I was definitely on the verge of a nervous breakdown -_-... I told my boss I had to schedule an audiologist appointment for Tuesday morning so I had to cut hours. At home now and my left ear is buzzing similarly... my right ear is now reacting to other frequencies as well. Maybe my brain is just looking too hard for specific frequencies in the background, but it's definitely causing a physical reaction. Now I hear it on my couch where I usually can relax and just play Splatoon. I cannot overstate how much I hate this. Will try sipping tea and meditating. Part of me suspects that my general mental state is playing a role.

      Maybe this is hyperacusis...
       
    4. boliston
      No Mood

      boliston Member

      Location:
      Taunton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      30th April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      My tinnitus is 'reactive' like this where some sounds create a high pitched noise in my ears - it is really annoying - my left ear seems to get more affected than my right ear regarding this 'reactive' noise, and the level of reactiveness seems to vary from day to day (worse if i have not slept well usually) - I have had tinnitus for 4 months and first noticed it after about 3 weeks.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ace
      Musical

      Ace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud jam session, of course on top of years of performance
      I had a few different bouts with high pitches. They would come and get bad for a bit then go away or fade from my focus, or seemingly go away. I hope the same happens for you and you will be able to relax.

      To be honest, the high pitches much less bothersome than the lower pitch I'm experiencing now, and the specific way that I'm experiencing it. It doesn't feel like it's a new sound being overlayed on top of my tinnitus... I really believe that in this case it is actually my brain amplifying sounds that don't need to be amplified.

      Last night falling asleep was much harder for a few hours, as I heard the buzz in my right ear react to traffic noise even though my right ear was on the pillow. Took a while for that to subside... Not sure if it was due to me not finding the right position on the pillow or what. Anyway, I was fine when I woke up but only for about a minute when

      Sitting in my chair and measuring with my phone, it seems the highway traffic here is less than or about 35db from here, but it still triggers the buzz in my right ear. Very little in my left ear but in my right it's really pronounced. Almost feels as if it is reverberating for a millisecond, but that may just be situational depending on the exact source of noise. Just trying to get all my thoughts down so that I can articulate this to the audiologist as clearly as possible.

      Thank goodness it is not affecting my perception of the music that I am mixing, at least not in any remarkable way... I'm not sure why this is. I generally monitor my music between 60db and 75db.

      @Michael Leigh If I may trouble you for a moment, I've seen your posts on somewhat similar (but not exactly the same) circumstances, and I wonder if you relate to any of this? I suspect I have loudness hyperacusis, but seemingly only in regards to a few isolated frequency ranges, though this range seems to be expanding a bit every day so I am reacting to more sounds, some of which seem more like a steady tone than a mosquito. I would not categorize my experience as particularly painful, but it is certainly distressing.
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It is no trouble @Ace and if I can help I will try.

      Your tinnitus was originally "Noise induced" and you have had this since 2016 along with hyperacusis. These symptoms I believe are becoming more pronounced and intrusive for mainly one reason, and that is due to "sound". As you have mentioned in your post, that you mix music at 60db to 75db. If you have never had any treatment for your tinnitus and have been mixing music and also using headphones since its onset, then you need to be more careful as the tinnitus and hyperacusis is likely to get worse.

      It doesn't matter what anyone says that providing you listen below 80db or 70db it won't affect your tinnitus, this is not necessarily the case. Once a person suffers "Noise exposure" they need to be more careful of sound. As I have mentioned, if you have never had any treatment with a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist that specialises in Tinnitus and hyperacusis treatment and management, or reduced your exposure to music to allow your auditory system to recover, then I suspect this is the reason you haven't habituated and your tinnitus is still problematic.

      Michael
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ace
      Musical

      Ace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud jam session, of course on top of years of performance
      Thanks @Michael Leigh - The thing is, I have not been using headphones for over a year and a half, and I do very much limit my exposure to sounds above 70db. Perhaps too much so- earplugs at work every day because I spend a couple hours a day in a walk-in refridgerator that hovers at around 72db (plus I use a tape gun that hits about 80db each time I use it although I only use it about ten or twenty times a day for less than a second.

      The main thing I was curious about was in your case - have you or any of the people you talked to had this type of reaction to background noise / sound and stuff? And if so has it improved?

      I'm sorry if it is a stupid question, I may not be thinking straight. Because of the way my auditory system is reacting it is very hard to find any room that I am comfortable sitting in for any extended period of time, because there is typically a vent or fan or kitchen appliance for my system to feed into, and outside there is traffic and everything going on out there. The car is still somewhat manageble but I feel like I'm on a tightrope here. Meditation, which has been helping me ignore tinnitus, is now hard as of this week as well.

      Sorry, I am venting. Thanks for your time
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Tinnitus can be very complex and no two people experience it the same. I believe your symptoms are caused by exposure to sound mainly the mixing of music. This is just my belief. I also think you should try my self help suggestions in my post: Hyperacusis, As I see it or you could see a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist as I have suggested. I mentioned headphones as many people still use them that have NIT. However, I still believe your problems are also a result of an over sensitive auditory system and needs to be treated.

      Michael
       
    9. Earing
      No Mood

      Earing Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Treated how? Is there more I can do?

      Since my tinnitus and hyperacusis I have worked at reducing my exposure to noise and protect my hearing. I stopped using headphones and earbuds. I take some recommended supplements. I am certainly way less sensitive and my tinnitus much less spikey. My thinking is like any other injury I should rest that part until it heals. I have damaged my hearing, so I will give it time to heal. It's been about 4 months. Nerves grow about 1mm a month so it can take a long time for damaged nerves to heal, if they are going to heal.
       
    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ace
      Musical

      Ace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud jam session, of course on top of years of performance
      I am coming back to say that while the hypersensitivity to certain frequencies is still there, I am in much better spirits about the whole thing after having a relaxing weekend to process what is happening instead of having to rush off to work while stressed not knowing what to do.

      I visited my old thread where I rediscovered a thread I cited back then as an inspiration for me to re-expose myself to sound as a means to successfully combat my previous bout with hearing distortion. It worked for me, and it's worth noting that the original poster of that thread has hearing damage but at this time would testify to a 95% resolution of their reactivity. Michael's threads have similar concepts discussed (Thank's Michael).
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...ctive-sound-sensitive-tinnitus-80-gone.28193/

      This week I feel better as I have been exposing myself to more sound and not overprotecting my hearing as much as I have. I even thought about cancelling my appointment with the UMD audiologist today, but thought it might be good for me to talk over everything with a professional (they treat tinnitus and hyperacusis patients at UMD) and she confirmed (in a more sciency way than I could reiterate) that the ear needs to recalibrate after getting used to sounds that have so often been filtered through plugs for a large portion of each work day and other social settings. It may take several weeks or more to improve my hypersensitivity but my attitude is very different today than it was last week, and I am optimistic.
       
    12. Phat Tuna

      Phat Tuna Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hygienist
      Hey there. I have the same reactive distorted tinnitus thing happening and also sound sensitivity at the moment (over a month now). What things specifically from the thread did you implement? Are you listening to pink noise? So are you saying your tinnitus is no longer reacting to certain sounds?

      I appreciate any feedback. Thank you.

      P.S. I am also a musician myself, but I just had to quit my band a few weeks ago due to this recent onset of reactive tinnitus and hyperacusis. It is encouraging to hear you still practice music in your life.
       
    13. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      Hi Tuna, did this resolve for you? (hoping it did!)
       
    14. weab00
      Gloomy

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Joe Dart's basement
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      some good mf music
      I’m having a similar problem with hearing distortions aka dysacusis and reactive tinnitus. I believe it is a symptom of hyperacusis. I originally got my tinnitus 1.5 years ago from cumulative over-exposure to loud headphones. However the distortions and reactivity have only really started in the past month. I too am a musician like others in this thread, so the distortions are quite distressing because it prevents me from listening to/enjoying music. After researching for hours on this forum, it seems that some people’s have gone away after 6-8 months and others’ have stayed. Some people have benefitted from pink noise and others have had their reactivity get worse.

      Although it could be a selection bias and maybe people whose distortions/H improved have stopped visiting TinnitusTalk.

      It seems the best we can do, until regenerative meds hopefully hit the market in a few years, is limit ourselves from sounds above 75 dB and ototoxic drugs, start an anti-inflammatory diet (hyperacusis is linked with chronic inflammation), and take magnesium and B12. Looks like I will have to shelve the dreams of being a musician until at least FX-322 and Otonomy/Pipeline/Hough. Maybe some home producing stuff on the keys and bass. I also hate the same cookie-cutter advice but it seems like it’s the best we’ve got for now :(
       
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    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ace
      Musical

      Ace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud jam session, of course on top of years of performance
      I want to apologize for not responding sooner. Truth be told I did not do anything with pink noise or anything. I incrementally reduced my reliance on hearing protection and kept myself busy with work. The issue persisted in varying degrees for maybe a month or more. I'm looking at a journal entry of mind from October 30th 2019 that states that the perception of the buzzing frequencies faded to the point where I only noticed them anywhere except for when I was in my quiet room listening to outside traffic, which is perhaps a little ironic given the nature of the issue I described, but desensitizing myself was definitely the key after all. It wasn't an easy month but I made it through and came out feeling significantly better.

      Here's a quote from my most recent thread (though the thread is about earwax extraction, Matchbox asked me how I was doing regarding this reactive/buzzing issue):
      So this is all becoming a pain in the arse again, but I think my approach to fixing it will be more-or-less the same. I'll give it about a month, maybe two, and I will also do better about reporting back. It's true I am guilty of being someone who mostly only visits this site when I'm facing hardship or if I am researching stuff like vaccines or dental work, but when I do I also remember how important it is to share this information.
       
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