If a Tinnitus Sound Goes Away When You Plug Your Ears, Is It Actually Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Anthonyr, Sep 3, 2020.

    1. Anthonyr

      Anthonyr Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi, weird question. But. I have a new noise at the moment. If I plug my ears though. It completely goes away. I notice it also seems to respond to certain other sounds.

      The tinnitus that I have had long-term is constantly there and does not improve if I plug my ears. Just makes it feel much louder in fact.

      Is there a term or name for this?
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    2. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Is this a low frequency sound? This is considered tinnitus as well, but I'm sure that it has something physical to do with it. I had a low, washing machine with a hint of foghorn kinda sound 3 times in my life for 1-3 weeks, which stopped when I plugged my ear, covered my ear tightly or talk. Up until now it has always gone away, but I'm pretty sure that it'll come back in the future. Doctors weren't very keen on providing information about it, just got dismissed as regular tinnitus.

      Check out the "Weird MEM" thread or the thread dedicated to the low frequency tinnitus.
      Potential suspects are: MEM, some form of Meniere's, Hydrops, or something else...
    3. Kendra

      Kendra Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL/ Acoustic Trauma
      It’s still tinnitus. I’m not sure if there is a specific different name for it though.
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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

      I agree with the two members above that what you describe is still tinnitus. My advice is to stop plugging your ears, as it's possible to make your brain focus more on the tinnitus that you already have and other internal sounds throughout your body and amplify them and become permanently louder. This is the reason many Audiologists and Hearing Therapists advice tinnitus patients not to sleep in a quiet room and use low level sound enrichment.

      You have had tinnitus for quite a while. Although it reads on your Avatar cause of tinnitus unknown, this is rarely the case, as something usually causes it. The most common is exposure to loud noise. Hearing loss and an underlying medical problem within the auditory system can cause it too. If your tinnitus is noise induced, using headphones even at low volume can be responsible for developing a new sound. Using a headset or listening to loud music can do it too.

      If your tinnitus is caused by an underlying medical condition it would be a good idea to have some tests done at ENT.

      All the best
    5. Kirstystired

      Kirstystired Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I have this and been told it is still tinnitus but I've been told mine is either stress or hormone related.

      It's low frequency too and stops when i put an earplug in my ear, talk etc. The consultant told me to use sound enrichment and avoid quiet rooms.

      • Like Like x 1
    6. Jrblovsky

      Jrblovsky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Christmas 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NOISE/Menieres Who knows
      If you plug you ears and they do'nt ring, roar, or scream you my friend have no tinnitus. I would kill to be in your position.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. Laura Jean

      Laura Jean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I have been experiencing this also! Last several weeks my ‘usual’ low-buzz tinnitus has flared with very sharp high frequency tones interspersed on top. I’ve had this sometimes before over the years, but these are crazy louder now, to the point of keeping me from sleeping. I stick my thumb over my ear canal and press; and the sharp tones mute. Until of course I remove my thumb. I am wondering why the pressure seems to help?
    8. fuji

      fuji Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - maybe gaming headphones
      I have a similar issue to you. I have a low level rumbling noise in only my left ear and I don't hear it anymore when I plug it or if I turn my head upside down as if I was doing a handstand.

      I feel ours isn't the typical tinnitus? Mine started when I was playing computer games although I've always been conscious of volume - maybe it was still too loud? I don't know. I'm just praying it will go away on its own.
    9. Mags

      Mags Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Mid October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I have this too. It reacts to other sounds. It started over 3 weeks ago and it comes from my head and it can be quite loud but I can mask it completely with ear plugs. I hope it will pass!
    10. TheDanishGirl

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      I have a low frequency buzzing (besides my normal tinnitus) that kind of pulses, and can be stopped by pushing the tragus into the ear, and also sometimes by plugging with ear plugs. I am not sure it is tinnitus though... might be some TTTS.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. Jebbis

      Jebbis Member

      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      Hi, my tinnitus is a pure tone around 1700 Hz and also weirdly pulses, and I can turn it off by plugging my ear really tight with my tragus.

      Similar to yours.
    12. Jon R.

      Jon R. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 & then again in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1st tone 2001 ear plugs, 3 other tones 2021 Pfizer vaccine
      I have 3 types of tinnitus in my left ear. One of those, which is the most annoying, can be stopped by plugging my ear, but my ear has to be fully plugged otherwise the hum sneaks in. I actually think the noise is still there when I plug my ear BUT it is made so quiet it is drowned out by the others. I think the reason it sounds so loud until plugged is due to the ear canal amplifying the noise and feeling the noise as it is such a low frequency it vibrates my ear. The noise also stops when I shake my head, talk, or swallow.

      My other 2 tinnitus noises are VERY loud when plugged.
    13. Jim Vasilakis

      Jim Vasilakis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      I have that as well. The best way to describe it is low level fridge noise in my left ear. My ENT says that it's because my brain has been in high alert mode for months so that's why he hears that new sound. It goes away when I plug my ears!!!

      Is there any chance that it's hyperacusis?

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