I’m Losing It: Hearing a High-Pitched Chirping Noise — Is This Tinnitus or My Neighbor Making Noise?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Earbombazuke, Nov 3, 2020.

    1. Earbombazuke

      Earbombazuke Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi I’m Zach. I’m 31 and from New York. I live in an apartment complex that is a really old building from the 70s.

      I want your guys opinion here on what I might be hearing / not hearing as it has been causing me a great deal of stress lately and I almost lost my job over it.

      A couple weeks ago I began noticing that I was hearing a very high pitched chirping noise while in my apartment. I began listening to the walls to find the culprit and I’m still unsure what the frack is making this noise. It really starts standing out at night when the sun goes down and other noises stop. But I hear this high pitched chirping noise all day / night usually.It sounds like this fast paced chirping that sounds for 2 seconds then goes quiet for one or two. It varies in its pattern but audio stimulation in this way seems to have been pulling me straight out of deep dark 1-3 hour sleeps after 24-48 hours of no sleeping from this terrible awful sound.

      I have worn earplugs for years and it always puts me into a complete peaceful silence until about 2 weeks ago. It goes thru ear plugs, headphones, and everything I could jam up my ear to try to block out the noise. It’s actually worse with earplugs because that’s ALL I can hear.

      I was thinking it was my immediate shared wall neighbor with an old school small white rotating fan. Is it that and I am hearing it’s obnoxious fragmented chirping pitches when it oscillates...?

      I went to another location and slept when it was so bad I thought I was going to die from sleep deprivation but I still heard different types of high pitches there as well in the house.

      Do you think this is tinnitus?

      I would wake to surges of adrenaline like full blown panic attacks. I know fast paced high pitched noises can do this, especially if you aren’t fully aware you are being stimulated in that way 24/7. But I wasn’t sure that tinnitus could pull you out of sleep.

      I wasn’t keen on what I was hearing until I really started paying attention and listening to figure out why I felt like I was being Korean POW sleep tortured. I had my mother come over and she couldn’t pick it up but she is 20-30 years older than me and may not have as sharp hearing.

      So does anyone else have a similar experience to share or could this actually be my neighbor or some neighbor’s AC unit or something chirping?

      The audiologist checked me out and said everything is fine but I have an MRI coming up to check for a tumor in my ear. Kind of terrifying to think that would have to be cut out and I would lose my hearing.

      Edit: I went to listen again after typing this out and now it sounds like super erratic high pitched beeping noise like someone sending out a super fast Morse code. It’s 1:25am here.
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      If you heard it at another location, it is tinnitus.
      MRI can make tinnitus louder... I wouldn't do an MRI, unless I had a very good reason to do it.

      A lot of the time tinnitus begins to subside after 1-3 months. If it begins fading, it ought to continue to fade and within 1-3 years it will likely get to the "can hear a faint hiss only in quiet rooms" stage. So don't assume that you will be stuck with the sound you are hearing now.

      You will want to make sure that you don't hurt your ears during this period of vulnerability as your body is healing. You will want to avoid taking ototoxic drugs, avoid microsuction or syringing (performed when you need to clean wax out of your ears; a manual tool should be used), and not let your dental hygienist use an ultrasonic scaling tool on you (a manual tool should be used). For more details, see

      • Agree Agree x 3
    3. dan

      dan Member Hall of Fame

      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      It is not your neighbor, unfortunately, it is tinnitus. Sounds pretty mild though, so no worries.

      Just stop obsessing over it and don't go to very loud areas or be around loud machinery without earplugs.

      Get some NAC and Curcumin too.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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

      HI Zach,

      Welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear about the discomfort that you are going through at the moment. From what you have described in your post you might have tinnitus. Above, I have quoted a section of it that might indicate this is the case. Are you a regular user of headphones, earbuds or use a headset for computer games? Do you listen to loud music through speakers or in the car? Ever worked regularly in a noisy environment? Noise induced tinnitus is the most common cause of tinnitus and often headphones/earbuds are responsible. It probably wasn't such a good idea sleep with earplugs over the years, as blocking out external sound especially at night always the brain to focus on internal sounds within the body and it's possible for tinnitus to develop over time. Are you oversensitive to certain sounds?

      Try to avoid sleeping in a quiet room by using low level sound enrichment for the reasons I've explained above. More about sound sound enrichment is in the links below. For now I advise you not to use any form of headphones to listen to music even at low volume, until you find out the cause of the sounds you're hearing.

      Please click on the links below and read my posts.

      All the best

    5. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I'm really sorry Zach, that you are going through this. From what you wrote, you probably have tinnitus. If it was coming from an AC unit, you wouldn't hear it at other places, and lack of outside noises wouldn't make it louder.

      Just for the peace of your mind. Tumors in your ears are mainly acoustic neuroma and extremely rare, so chances are that you don't have tumor. Try not to worry about that. If you go and have an MRI, use ear protection, ear plugs correctly inserted.
    6. SillyMama

      SillyMama Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi, Zach,
      There is a small group of us here who commonly describe our tinnitus as chirping.
      When mine started, I described it as "soprano crickets on steroids." But it was intermittent, worse at some times, better at others.
      After 3 years of this, I'm convinced that mine is somatic and related to muscular tension in my jaw/neck, instead of originating in the brain like most other types of tinnitus.
      This doesn't mean we don't actually hear it... and when mine is really bad, I can barely walk straight!
      I don't think mine has actually waked me up, but I have waked up hearing it. Stress definitely makes it worse.
      There are a few things that have helped me a bit, and although I haven't figured out how to keep it away, I'm not giving up. I don't know if any of this describes you, but if it does, you're not the only one.
      Warm regards,
      Donna (aka SillyMama)

Share This Page