High Pitched Tinnitus that Changes Pitch with Breathing and Muscle Movements?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Crake, Jun 2, 2015.

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    1. Crake

      Crake Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Is this common? Last month I suddenly starting hearing a non-stop very high pitching tone, somewhere between 14khz and 17khz. Like a CRT television right next to my head. I've recently noticed the slight pitch change is synchronized with my breathing. In fact, if I use or clench any muscle, from my jaw to my foot, it changes the pitch of my tinnitus. Sometimes I can hear my heartbeat but not always. Is this typical? Does anyone know what can cause this sort of tinnitus?

      If anyone's interested in the full story:

      There's another lower tone that appears occasionally, seemingly when I'm under more intense stress or depression, which I've had a lot of lately, and am working on reducing. But that tone seems to be gone 90% of the time now.

      Things that make my tinnitus quieter: standing up instead of sitting or lying down, less stress/depression, getting more sleep, showers, and playing the exact tone on my phone makes it disappear almost completely for 5-1o seconds.

      Things that don't seem to have any effect: Various foods/diets, drinks, vitamin supplements, noise exposure.

      When It started I had ear pressure/pain feelings but the doctors didn't see anything wrong and found no sign of infection. I've had an on and off cough and headaches since it started, though the headaches are only very slight now. And a few times I saw moving bright stars in my eyes while sitting. I've had insomnia after 5 hours of sleep every night and lately I've had muscle pains everywhere like my neck, back, jaw, foot, knee, etc. as well as occasional tingles/sharp skin pains everywhere. I've had the skin tingles and stars a few months previous to the tinnitus and I assume they are stress related.

      The doctors I've seen have found extremely slight hearing loss below 8k, mostly around 2k, and far better high pitched hearing than most people my age (32), and I had no recent noise trauma at all, a vitamin D deficiency that I've now been taking supplements for for two months, and slightly low ferritin levels (indicative of iron defficiency) that have not yet affected my blood iron levels or blood cell count (so no anemia). And a current allergy response to mold (alternaria). All other blood tests normal, chest x-ray and brain mri were normal. I had shingles on my face 5 years ago but had no ear or hearing related symptoms.

      Thanks for reading!
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    2. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Tinnitus that is able to be modulated with jaw or facial movement is generally characterized as somatic tinnitus. Somantic means body. Here is a more detailed definition: (reference: http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/hearing/tinnitus.htm)

      Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 11.51.15 PM.png

      And here is a research article on it:


      In general, most people with tinnitus have a somatic component, but it's debatable if they somatic tinnitus since the latter is more amenable to treatments that seek to rectify whatever body part (jaw or neck) is causing it. For example, some people with tinnitus find that chiropractic adjustments reduces their noise. Other people report some relief from somatic tinnitus with physical therapy or certain yoga positions.

      If you consistently hear your heartbeat with your tinnitus, then you might have pulsatile tinnitus along with general tinnitus (caused by hearing damage or aging with no somatic element) or somatic tinnitus.

      Here is a reference to pulsatile tinnitus:


      Pressure in your ear suggests some type of middle ear dysfunction, most likely eustachian tube related. Do you have allergies? If you have eustachian tube dysfunction and allergies, the latter will cause pressure in your middle ear. Allergy drugs can remedy this, though I've had better luck with short term nasal steroids, like Flonase. This is because traditional allergy medicines, though decreasing my ear discomfort, will spike my tinnitus. Nasal steroids will not increase your tinnitus noise, but they should only be taken for the shortest amount of time. Long term, steroids are not good for you--even nasal steroids, which are safer than ones taken internally like prednisone.

      Hope this helps.

      If I were you, I'd start today with masking sounds--like rainwater, etc., and keep them on all day and night for a few months. A recent research article suggested that people who exposed themselves to constant masking sounds had a greater likelihood of the tinnitus resolving by itself.


      The article addresses noise-induced tinnitus. But I'd try it for any type of tinnitus since it won't harm you and may help it disappear within a few months.

      Regarding having only slight hearing loss, that is not uncommon. Tinnitus is believed to be associated with cochlear damage--usually in the form of hearing loss. But not all damage is ascertainable through traditional methods, especially an audiogram. The latter is a crude measure of hearing anyway and will probably be adjusted and expanded over the next several years.

      Good luck!
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    3. giuseppe

      giuseppe Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I have been having similar tinnitus from 2007. I can assure that it began after spending nightly hours at computer and under pressure because I had to finish a software. After that period, a very high frequency tinnitus appeared. No one, neither doctors or specialists, known what do to. Someone told me that maybe it was an ear virus or a tumor.
      Recently, another phenomenon added to the high frequency tinnitus. A low frequency one modulated by my heart rate.
      Does anyone knows which sounds therapy is better in my case?
    4. Karen

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug

      Do you mean what kind of sound therapy would mask it best? You might try water sounds; those work best for me, and are the most soothing.

      Do you know if you have any hearing loss, along with the tinnitus? Maybe an increase in hearing loss could be what is causing the new low-frequency tone.

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