Hypersensitivity to Very High-Pitched Sounds: What's Happening to Me?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Lizards, Jul 11, 2020.

    1. Lizards

      Lizards Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hey everybody,

      Frequent lurker here. Up until now, I've spent most of my time in the success stories section because I'd rather have false hope than no hope. The reason I'm making this account and thread is because I haven't found any experiences similar to mine, and I'm hoping someone can help me figure out what's going on with my ears.

      I got tinnitus after a 45-minute car ride listening to louder than average music. I've been in loud bands for the better part of the last decade, and going to shows for even longer than that. My only real prior experience with prolonged tinnitus came from attending a punk show without ear plugs, after which my ears rang for three days. From that point on, I made sure to wear earplugs any time I went to a show. However, I rarely wore them when jamming with my bands.

      When this all first started, my tinnitus was through the roof. I could hear it over a room fan blasting on high while sitting right in front of it. It's going down gradually, and I'm confident it's not habituation because I use several different metrics to compare the volume too (going on nature walks, listening to rain sounds, the fan, etc.) I can't even hear it wearing earplugs in the bathroom with the ceiling fan going. I've seen the most significant change within the last two weeks. It's gone from the regular pitched ringing to a less discernible fuzzy type tone. Every day feels a little better. Imagine a chart of exponential decay.

      But about a month in, I did something stupid. I was watching a video about how Star Wars lightsaber sounds were made, and I couldn't hear the low "whooshing" tones that were being made. I turned the volume up and leaned in closer to my laptop speakers, and could only make out a faint high pitched noise. But after turning off the video, that high pitched squealing was sort of imprinted in my hearing. This went away after a few hours, and the next day my tinnitus was completely gone. It was incredible. However, slowly over the course of the day, it came back, more high pitched and louder than ever. I could hear it over everything. The next two weeks were hell; random spikes, high pitched, just terrible. Eventually the tinnitus went back down in tone, and the spikes stopped. But now since then, I've noticed an incredibly heightened sensitivity to high pitched sounds. And I mean really high pitched. Like the tone that plays at the end of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The kind of tone most people over 25 shouldn't hear (I'm 27 and can still hear it, but I chalk that up to years of ear training.)

      Even as the tinnitus has dissipated, I'm still hypersensitive to these high pitched tones. It's gotten to the point that I'm hearing them in places I never heard them before. For awhile, the ringing of a phone had this bizarre high pitch laid over it, but that's gone away. A vacuum cleaner now emits the high pitched whine. The TV does it to an extent. Sometimes I'll hear it coming from my car. Even my microwave has a high pitched overtone. I feel like this is going away, but it's hard to tell.

      I know that my tinnitus is reactive to a degree, and I wear earplugs when I go to stores or crowded places now. I also have mild hyperacusis which falls in the range of a snare drum, but I've acclimated to this by listening to music that rarely uses a snare (mostly reggae.) But again, even as the hyperacusis and tinnitus are calming down, I still have this bizarre sensitivity to these high pitched sounds.

      I'm familiar with the concept of recruitment and TTTS, but it doesn't feel like it meets any of those qualifications. TTTS usually dissipates within a few days. It's not recruitment because I don't have any hearing loss beneath 16kHz, and my word recognition skills are fine. I can't find any answers online and nobody has made a post similar to this before. Does anyone have any idea of what this is, or when/if it will stop?
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Thuan

      Thuan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      I also have some days where my tinnitus seem like it's gone but in reality it's still there when I go to quiet room, ie restroom, at night with windows all closed, and etc. There's other days where it's really loud and I can ear it over automobile background noise. Sometimes there's reason, such as having headaches, stress, allergies. Other times, who the effing god knows.

      Right now, I'm having those bad days. Yesterday it was really quiet. Even when sleeping, it was quiet. But today is depressingly loud for no reason.

      I hope you're just having those bad days or weeks and I hope your tinnitus will go back to baseline. I've accepted the fact that tinnitus is staying for life. There are days where I have hope when it's so quiet but it just brings me back down when I get tinnitus spike episodes.

      Bottom line, tinnitus volume can vary by days or weeks.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. AUTHOR

      Lizards Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I felt like I was so close. Around the start of the month, my ringing began taking on the characteristics of a hissing noise. From what I've read around the web, that's a good indicator of tinnitus going away. I couldn't hear it over the fan when I had my earplugs in. I got so excited, thinking about all the things I'll be able to do again. But slowly over the last week or so, I've felt the ring coming back.

      This morning I woke up and it was audible over my room fan, which hasn't been a thing since mid-June.

      The only thing that changed about my lifestyle was I started lifting weights again, but I guess I'm done doing that now.

      I'm still holding out hope that it'll go back down again soon and that this is just a longer-than-average spike.

      I'm three months in, I thought this would be over by now. I keep pushing back the date, thinking "oh this will be over my may" to "oh maybe mid-June" and now I don't know anymore. I can't believe 45 minutes of loud music would do this to me.
      • Hug Hug x 1

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