High-Pitched Computer Sounds Irritating Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by weab00, Nov 10, 2020.

    1. weab00
      Alone

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      depression-ville
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise, whiplash; 08/20 H
      I have hyperacusis and as a result my tinnitus is very reactive. I've noticed that if I use my custom built PC for more than an hour I get these weird whirring sounds for the next 10 minutes in my head. I'm pretty sure it's the high pitched squeal of the electronics that is causing spiking and pain, but I'm not sure what to do about it.
       
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    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      If your computer uses a hard drive that rotates and not one that is Solid-State, this is the cause of your problem. It will be made worse if the fan within the PC base unit is noisy. Five years ago I started a thread on this subject the link is below. The solution was to place my computer base unit in separate room and use a wireless keyboard, mouse and external monitor. I had the same problem when using a laptop fitted with an internal hard-disc that spins. I couldn't use it as my tinnitus would increase. I no-longer have this problem as I now use a laptop with solid-state hard drive, and PC tower unit fitted with SSHD and uses a very low noise fan.

      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/computers-and-tinnitus.12059/page-2#post-558047
       
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    3. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      In addition to Michael's suggestions, I would politely request more info about your computer.

      I plan on building a custom computer whenever I get disability. If I am still here.

      I would build a "quiet" computer. Several modern power supplies have 'silent' fans. They either turn off if not stressed or the fan rotates slowly and relatively quietly. Research and be aware of some complaints of coil whine for some.

      Storage drives of SSDs won't make any sound and same for NVMe drives. Some research into case fans should offer some options from expensive Noctuas to cheaper brands. I think a bigger case allows for more options in terms of reducing noise. Many video cards offer fan options or 'silent modes' but stressing cards might increase fan speeds but usually cards aren't too noisy. Something to keep in mind though.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      weab00
      Alone

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      depression-ville
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise, whiplash; 08/20 H
      Here is my build. This really sucks because I don't have enough money or space to buy new parts or move the tower to another room. I'll probably just use earmuffs with it.
       
    5. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I tried earmuffs and they don't work as the noise will pass through your head by boneconduction. This can be a very frustrating problem. Even my Hearing Therapist didn't believe me at first that computer noise can affect tinnitus - when other tinnitus patients mentioned they had problems with computer noise she believed me. Your only solution is to place the computer base unit in another room or better by a computer with a solid-state hard drive and low noise internal fan. If you use a laptop with a rotating hard drive you'll probably find the same problem.

      Sorry to sound so sobering but if you continue using your computer in the same room the tinnitus is likely to get worse.

      Michael

      PS: Change your hard drive to solid-state and possibly get a quieter internal fan.
       
    6. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      That's unfortunate.

      I agree with Michael that it's probably the HDD noise but it could be a combination of HDD and fans making the noise bothering you depending on what fans you use.

      I think it's probably likely that certain parts would bother someone with hyperacusis and/or reactive tinnitus. We are more sensitive to certain noises and frequencies?

      I suspect a SSD instead of the HDD would help. $80 approx. for 1TB ones. You could try tech buy&sell sites like those on Reddit or preferably, your local ones.

      For fans, Be Quiet Silent Wings 3, Arctic F12-120 and maybe Cougar Vortex fans (some say it's a decent compromise to Noctuas). I know you said you don't have the $ to upgrade or switch parts but I think ear muffs might get uncomfortable if worn too long? You could look into borrowing the $ or selling something?
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      weab00
      Alone

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      depression-ville
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise, whiplash; 08/20 H
      Yeah, I have an external SSD attached and have a spare one on hand. Would it compromise performance to just use those instead of the HDD? I'm doing lots of gaming on my computer. Does the graphics card make noise as well? I definitely can invest in Noctua fans if they're quiet enough. But buying all new peripherals and giving up my nice mechanical keyboard would be too pricy. Thanks.
       
    8. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      SSDs are always faster than HDDs. Usually less capacity though because GB/$ is usually more expensive. SSDs have no moving parts so it's way more preferable for someone who has tinnitus.

      Case fans can vary widely in terms of noise. Also, consider the speed settings you may have set and static pressure/air flow. Some fans have better static pressure values and can push more air at lower speeds than others because of adequate static pressure. You don't necessarily need Noctuas and they are pretty expensive.

      If you give me an idea of the SSDs you have (candidates to replace the SSD) and the current fan setup, I could suggest something and approximate cost? Also, consider putting the HDD in an external enclosure and only run it when accessing it (i.e. loading a game or storing games there and copying one to a SSD when needed).
       
    9. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I had this problem when my tinnitus got progressively worse in 2008 after my second noise trauma. I have to thank two electronic engineers who suffer from tinnitus and advised me to place my computer base unit in another room. Many people including those that have tinnitus thought I was talking absolute rubbish. However, the more I researched this the more people I found with tinnitus that were affected by computer noise. The only solution I found was placing the computer base-unit in another room.

      My laptop computer is fitted with a SSHD and I can use it for hours no problem. My PC desktop base unit has SSHD very quiet fan, and is just 3ft away from me and no problems at all. This would have been impossible if it used a 7200 rotating hard drive as my tinnitus would gradually get worse and worse making it unbearable.

      Michael
       
    10. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      Yeah, I can believe it. I sold off or parted off my desktop. It was old and didn't have a SSD.

      It's difficult to find a quiet laptop but if yours is quiet, that's good. You can use SSDs but laptops aren't as versatile. One needs to know about the design of the fans and if you game on laptops, it can get loud.

      It's best to ask owners of the laptop you are interested in regarding noise if shopping for one. People might have different ideas of what is tolerable but a tinnitus sufferer is probably wanting one that is pretty silent when using web browsers, YouTube etc. They probably aren't using 'gaming' laptops.
       
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @PeteJ

      Very true. As I mentioned on my thread in the link above. I use a fairly inexpensive laptop for word processing only. It is a LincPlus 13.3 screen completely silent. Uses a SSHD but no fan. It suits my needs just for writing and is not a power computer like my much larger desktop PC with SSHD and very quiet fan. This computer is quite high-spec as I wanted something substantial that's hopefully going to last and I'm very pleased with it. I have burned a lot of my CD collection to the SSHD also backed up on an external drive.

      I have mentioned I'm an Audiophile. My CD player Marantz SA11S3, has an on-board Digital to analogue converter. The CD player is connected to the computer via USB. The CDs have been copied as WAV files and out-put to my CD-player at 192khz 24bit studio quality and the sound is very good comparable to CD.

      Michael
       
    12. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      Do you think it's okay to listen to music and video games sounds on computer? I recently made a friend who invites me to watch various videos and play games. But, I don't know how safe the volume level is.

      I think there's a few people on here who are audiophiles and gamers who have tinnitus. Sometimes, I ask for the sound to be turned down and I think my friend is thinking 'MORE?!???' or 'Lower still?!?" The irony is my friend says they have tinnitus also.

      When I watch TV at home, I swear my ear starts hurting if my volume is too high. A combination of things, subtitles weren't working and in movies or shows, it's often quiet and then something happens with a sudden loud sound! I generally use subtitles though and go to great lengths to fix a subtitles problem when it occurs. Else, I have to turn the volume up a tad and it's very frustrating and nerve-wracking to determine an acceptable volume level when these things can happen.

      My tinnitus always seems to worsen in the evening so 9/10 to 10/10 or 11/10 makes it difficult to determine if loud video games or TV sound bothers me or if it's just my tinnitus getting extra bad at night.

      There's not much difference but 9/10 to 10/10 or 11/10 severity 'is still bad/worse.'

      Sorry to ramble on.
       
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Reading your post it seems that you are able to cope with tinnitus but find hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound) troublesome and this can happen when hyperacusis for whatever reason hasn't been cured, either naturally over time or being under the care of an Audiologist for treatment, to help with desensitization of the auditory system so it becomes left sensitive to sound. The usual treatment for this is using white noise generators and usually with counselling is required. I don't know of any other method to treat hyperacusis or oversensitivity to sound.
      It must be annoying to be affected in this way and sorry to hear that you have to read subtitles when watching TV as the sound hurts your ears. Believe me I know what it feels like as I once had hyperacusis so severe, during conversation with anyone I had to ask can they please lower their voice as my ears hurt so much.

      If you find the sound uncomfortable when watching videos, listening to music on the computer, then lower the volume. When at your friend's house ask for the volume to be lowered or politely explain your reasons for leaving that way he hopefully won't be offended. You have to put your health first.

      Michael
       
    14. PeteJ
      Depressed

      PeteJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma?
      I don't think I am coping. I think tinnitus is worse than hyperacusis. At least, for me. My hyperacusis was a lot worse than now after onset. I would get severe ear pain that would last for days or even weeks. Noises like something cracking inside my apartment would happen often.

      Tinnitus drastically fluctuated for three months then an acoustic trauma seemed to be the cause of it permanently worsening it. It's always loud now and it seems to spike at times although I don't know if it's accurate to call it a spike. It just seems more intense, more haywire... louder... I don't know how to explain it. :-(

      There's no audiologists that help with this that I know of. Audiologists are not covered by public insurance anyway and Doctors/ENTs say they can't do anything. Sirens and street noise irritate me and I suspect they aggravate my tinnitus as much as they might contribute to ear pain.

      I have dark thoughts all the time and it's difficult to focus on my posts here or even read others'. I used to play tinnitus apps on my smartphone at night but now it's useless. Instead, I use a fan and even that is only a tool to distract even a bit, from the loud tinnitus. That's probably why sleeping or trying to sleep is the most difficult task. Although, nothing really is a helpful distraction. I don't think you care to read anymore so that's all.
       
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    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      weab00
      Alone

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      depression-ville
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise, whiplash; 08/20 H
      Samsung T7 Portable 500 GB External SSD
      Samsung 830 Series 2.5" 128 GB SSD
      Corsair Crystal 460X RGB ATX with 3 SP120 RGB LED fans

      I'm not great with handling hardware, how would I put the HDD in an external enclosure and only run it when necessary? And do you personally plan on using only SSDs? I'm playing games like Skyrim and running emulators like Dolphin, which can sometimes be intensive.
      Have you tried a sound equalizer? I think there is some software like Equalizer APO and download the Peace interface for it. I think there is also a way to toggle with it at a hardware level with a sound card.
      Wait, so is your PC in the same room as you with SSD/quiet fans, or is it in another room with Bluetooth peripherals? No irritation from the power supply?
       
    16. lightning
      Amused

      lightning Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Severe tinnitus since Dec 30 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise exposure
      I have a very similar build. The fan on the stock ryzen coolers is really annoying sounding. I bet if you replaced that with a better cooler, you'd be good.

      Unless it's the GPU noise that's bothering you. Those can make all sorts of weird squealing sounds at times.

      I keep my PC pretty far from my desk actually. I use 10' cables and a USB splitter so that I can keep it in a corner of my living room. That keeps the noise away from me, lets me connect it to the TV if I want, and keeps it in a safe spot away from my daughter.

      However, I really doubt listening to your PC noises will make your T permanently worse.
       
    17. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You have given some good advice to weab00 but because your computer is placed at a far distance and you are in the same room, please don't think PC noises won't make tinnitus worse. Reading those words brings back a lot of memories from people that have tinnitus and said I'm talking a lot of rubbish. After my 2nd Noise trauma in 2008 my tinnitus changed drastically. After 2 years of TRT for the second time, the tinnitus improved by not like the first time I had it back in 1996. I asked my ENT doctor for her opinion on my condition. She said and I quote: You are the second worst tinnitus patient that I have met in all my years of practicing Audiovestibular medicine, But I will never give up on treating you.

      Tinnitus is a very complex condition and no two people will experience it the same. My ears/tinnitus become ultra sensitive to PC noise, I am not talking about hyperacusis which was completely cured after wearing white noise generators for 2 years back in 1996 as part of TRT. My ENT doctor and Hearing Therapist said, they rarely see people with my type of tinnitus. It has huge fluctuations in intensity. It can be completely silent, mild, moderate, severe, and very severe. It took 4 years to habituate to this for the second time in my 10 years of experience with tinnitus at the time. In total, I have now had tinnitus 24 years and still learning about this condition from the many people I correspond with.
      My new PC was built to order and have had it for about 3 months. I explained over the phone to the technician at Chillblast, who have won many PC builder awards here in the UK: I have tinnitus and very sensitive to PC noise from the Hard drive and fan - I explained I had to place my previous PC in another room. He suggested a Solid-State hard drive and said he'll fit the quietest fan they currently have.

      Yes, this computer is now in the same room just 3ft distance from me. It is very quiet and have no problems with it at all! This would have been impossible to do with a PC base unit that has a Hard drive that spins and a noisy fan even if it was 10ft from me, as my tinnitus would increase until it's unbearable and don't want to go back to those dark days again. If you can, get your Internal hard drive changed to Solid-State and a very quiet fan fitted- this is the only way to prevent your tinnitus getting worse, if you are ultra sensitive to PC noise as I am. Only you can know this. The other option is placing it in another room and using: wireless keyboard, mouse and external monitor such as a TV.

      Best of luck
      Michael

      PS: I had to stop using my laptop because it had a Hard drive that spins and a fan. My tinnitus would ramp up and become unbearable for days. My new laptop has a SSHD uses no fan and is completely silent, I am writing this post using it - this would have been near impossible to do with my 2 other laptops that use spinning hard drives and internal fans.
       
    18. lightning
      Amused

      lightning Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Severe tinnitus since Dec 30 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise exposure
      Michael, we can't live in a vacuum with no sound. There's no evidence that indicates some quiet humming or buzzing from a computer will make your T worse. The fact that you have T is not evidence that the noises from a computer makes T worse. Don't you still listen to music with speakers? Why do you think that is OK but hearing a computer, which is likely quieter, be worse? I'm around computers all day long and my T hasn't gotten worse since its onset (beyond temporary fluctuation due to ETD and an ear infection). My anecdotal evidence is just as valid as yours.

      I know you're just trying to help people, but your rationale in this case just doesn't make any sense.
       
    19. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Very sorry to read of the difficulties that you are going through with tinnitus. I just hope it improves with time.
      Take care

      Michael
       
    20. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Respectively @lightning you have no clue what Weab00 or I are talking about because if you did then you wouldn't write your post. I know what Weaboo is talking about it has nothing to do with actual noise as such, it is to do with the Ultra oversensitivity to sound that some people with Noise induced tinnitus experience. I realise you have noise induced tinnitus. However, you obviously do not suffer from the Ultra oversensitivity to sound from a PC that Weaboo, I and others experience. It is very real believe me. I am not talking about buzzing and normal everyday sounds. This ultra oversensitivity is very high pitched and somehow irritates some people with noise induced tinnitus making the condition increase and in some cases worse if there is continued exposure.

      Michael

      PS: I am an avid Audiophile, please read my post in off topic: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/does-your-hi-fi-system-sing.43121/ My Hearing Therapist was a non believer to ultra oversensitivity to PC sound and she was born with tinnitus. When other tinnitus patients mentioned to her they are affected by PC noise only then did she believe me. I have researched this for years and know ultra sensitivity to PC noise is real and the only way to overcome it, is for people that are affected, is to use a PC that has a SSHD and very quiet fan or place the PC in another room if it uses a conventional spinning hard drive and noisy fan.
       
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