Hearing Aid Induced Hum

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Pod Man, Apr 29, 2022.

    1. Pod Man

      Pod Man Member

      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High frequency hearing loss
      Hello everyone.

      I have high frequency hearing loss and high frequency tinnitus, probably caused by a combination of being a drummer in my youth, working in a high fan noise environment (even with protection) and just plain old aging.

      I also have tight jaws from clenching.

      My tinnitus, which really came on stronger in the Summer of '21, increases when I move my jaw left to right. The pitch stays the same, but the intensity increases.

      But, to add to this, something else happened about a week ago, maybe you can give me some perspective on it...

      I use hearing aids, Oticon More 1's, not just during the day but also when lying down to sleep. I use the ReSound app with timer to play music or rain sounds. I keep the level just below that of my tinnitus and set the timer for 30 minutes or so. By the time the sound stops I'm usually fast asleep.

      But about a week ago I blew it. My tinnitus was fairly screaming at bedtime, so I used ambient music from YouTube instead: Some 528 Hz DNA healing stuff. It will knock you out in minutes!

      The next thing I remember is waking up over 5 hours later! I panicked, as the music was still playing and it sounded full in the quiet of the night. When I pulled my hearing aids out, my head was filled with a low hum, like a bonggggg, around 100 Hz or so. It faded somewhat in 20 minutes or so, so I coaxed myself back to sleep... with no sounds or music.

      It's been over a week and that low hum is still present. It tends to come and go, and its amplitude varies.

      Devastated, I did some testing of my hearing aids. I taped the ha transmitter to a good known sound pressure level meter's microphone at zero distance. Then I clenched my hand over this assembly and played the same 528 Hz music I played that night, at both the same volume level and at my phone's maximum volume.

      The SPL readings I got were: 68-70 dB for the volume I used that night, 70-72 dB for the next click higher and a maximum of 77 dB with the phone turned up all the way, which I don't come close to when using my hearing aids.

      My questions are:

      Can you do damage even at lower SPL's using buds or hearing aids? And might this low hum fade in time, much as an echo fades?

      My audiologist thought it strange that what I described would cause sustained tinnitus, so maybe something else is going on, like head/neck or the Lexapro I started a few weeks earlier.

      Please offer what input you can, as I am now an official Double Tinnitus (hi and lo) recipient.

    2. Pitseleh

      Pitseleh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:

      There's still this whole mystery around tinnitus: why people get some new frequencies doing specific things when others don't while doing the exact same things, we don't know. So you probably won't get any answer that fits your exact situation.

      Just to quickly share my experience, among many other tones, I also have a low hum (around 270 Hz), which, I must say, is the most annoying compared to all the rest (pure high tones, static, electric, crickets, etc.) so I empathize. I got mine after a brain MRI testing, so I was able to put a starting date on this hum, just like you are able to point out a specific moment when it started.

      I must say knowing when it started won't help solve the problem, but it can help you prevent from potentially damaging further.

      As to "can you damage at lower SPL"? Of course, you can. There are two factors inducing noise damage: dB levels and time of exposure. The thing is, most people understand "time of exposure" as "consecutive exposure", but it's not just that. It's the total time of exposure your ears get throughout the years. Maybe your ears just didn't like having this low hum for hours straight.

      Or maybe it just has nothing to do with it and it's just bad luck, or Lexapro, or just... life? See where I try to get to?

      Try and get great sleep in the upcoming days, avoid caffeine, alcohol, reduce/quit smoking if you can. Isolation is a bad idea as your brain will focus on the frequency and it is the best way to make it stay. Just try and do more things than you usually do in your daily life. Do all the best to keep busy, this will help your brain detach from the sound and help brain plasticity.

      I, like you, and so many others here, tend to try and get an explanation, go over the details in a nearly obsessional pattern. The truth is: apart from acoustic blast / head injury trauma, we have no idea why a new tinnitus pops up and if it will stay or not :)
      But more important: accept there's, in most cases, just time (days/weeks/months/years for some) and good care of your hearing AND nervous system that will do the trick :)
    3. AUTHOR
      Pod Man

      Pod Man Member

      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High frequency hearing loss
      Thank you, Pitseleh.

      Great information. I am currently in a real low place dealing with this new, additional sound. I feel it came on because of my carelessness. I just hope it fades away in time. My high frequency hiss isn't going anywhere though. Maybe it's time to check out. Or, maybe not quite yet...
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