High Frequency (>4 kHz) Gaps in Hearing

Discussion in 'Support' started by SimonRK, Oct 8, 2021.

    1. SimonRK
      Dumb

      SimonRK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Worsened 7/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud earbuds
      I've been playing around with an online tone generator and realized some things about my hearing.

      Pretty sure I can't hear above 15.4 kHz (using high quality speakers at a safe volume), which seems pretty bad at 25 years old.

      When doing a frequency sweep from 1-8 kHz using speakers instead of headphones, I have A LOT of narrow dips in hearing above 4 kHz, where the tone disappears or is low and distorted (unless I up the volume) for a few (maybe around 10-30?) Hz. The gaps occur at different frequencies in each ear, so that listening with both ears at the same time makes it sound like the tone is jumping from ear to ear.

      When I went to the ENT for tinnitus in 2017, I knew it was because I had abused my ears with earbuds, but it's kind of scary to listen to the damage this way. Good thing I've been very careful about protecting my ears since then despite being told my pure-tone audiogram was within the "normal range".

      Does anyone else with noise damage have a similar experience, where frequency sweeps lose their "smooth" quality above 4 kHz when played slowly?

      I have started to realize that I have problems following conversations, especially in noise, and that it's not normal to need subtitles for every show I watch. Maybe it's time to get my hearing tested professionally again to see if something has changed, although I suspect hearing aids would not be of any use since I hear most pure tones clearly.
       
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    2. Tau
      In pain

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      I have a similar thing with small dips, the pure tone crackles a bit in those cases. One at 7.4 kHz and one at around 16 kHz. Pure tone audiogram fine, but I have nerve damage (cochlear synaptopathy) and I can't hear complex high notes in music very well. My left ear hears up to and including 16 kHz, my right ear - up to 18 kHz.

      Be careful to not increase the volume too much with that tone generator, this is how I injured myself (16 kHz pure tone at 110 dB).
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      SimonRK
      Dumb

      SimonRK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Worsened 7/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud earbuds
      Thanks for the reply. I read some of your posts, you seem to be in a lot of pain and I hope your situation improves.

      You have only two dips? I have more than I can count, so my ears must be pretty effed up. My audiogram from back then was also all in the 10-20 dB range, ouch. Somehow with all that damage my tinnitus is nowhere near as bad as many people here with nice audiograms, and I've been able to live with it pretty well for the last four years. I can hear it most of the time throughout the day, over the TV etc., but I think that's because of the high frequency and not the volume.

      Only just now starting to realize I have hearing troubles. Probably got a lot of nerve/synapse damage as well since it's noise exposure. My dad has the same kind of tinnitus and the same hearing troubles, and he soldiers on without complaining. That keeps me going for now.
       
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    4. Tau
      In pain

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      Stay strong - I'm hoping regenerative medicine can help us. What kind of hearing trouble are you experiencing?

      I too can hear my tinnitus noises over almost anything as they're ultra-high frequency. My lowest dip in my audiogram is about 10 dB, and that includes frequencies up to 16 kHz. Yet here I am... I actually have confirmed nerve damage (abnormal ABR results).

      No one in my family has hearing problems. My parents are over 65 and have no trouble hearing in noise and their audiograms are within normal range... *Sigh*
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      SimonRK
      Dumb

      SimonRK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Worsened 7/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud earbuds
      My problems are with understanding speech, in noise especially but also in quiet conditions. I hope hearing aids will help me when I become completely unable to understand speech at 40 (y).

      I'm a bit doubtful about regenerative medicine, but of course it's nice to have hope. I don't think it's going to happen for decades, and despite what some people around here say, I think many or most of the detached spiral ganglion neurons will be dead or not function at that point if the damage is caused by noise. But hopefully it can help future generations within the therapeutic window.

      In case anyone's interested, I scoured the forum and found two people describing the same hearing issues as me when doing sine sweeps, @Tempest and @ChiGuy:
      I found Tempest's comment about being deaf to some frequencies when turning his head in a certain direction relative to the speaker especially interesting, as I experience the same thing with several frequencies when plugging the other ear. Maybe more volume is needed to activate hair cells in damaged areas, and there is less volume when the sound is coming from the front? Who knows.
       
    6. Tau
      In pain

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      I experience a similar thing, it might be a volume threshold as you said. I also experience this with my hyperacusis where some things beep at me if I turn my head, like my fridge.
       
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