Low Bass-Like Hum, As If Something Was Vibrating Inside My Ear: Is This Tinnitus or Something Worse?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by pony, Oct 13, 2020.

    1. pony

      pony Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      So about 2 years ago I moved to a new city, without any ear issues at all. But gradually as time has progressed I've developed this low bass-like hum in my left ear, that actually feels like something inside is vibrating wildly. It's like I have a car idling inside my ear.

      Initially it wasn't that noticeable and it would only stick around for a week and then disappear for weeks or a month. Within the last 6 months it's been getting really bad, and has been around more often than not. Not only has it been "on" but it's been getting much much louder. This last week it had not gone away at all, it's the loudest it has ever been and I'm beginning to not be able to relax unless i have a fan on to block the noise.

      Some interesting things about my hum: It completely goes away when I say something, but then immediately comes back when I'm done. It seems worse when I just get out of the car after driving for a few minutes. It goes away if I plug the ear or put on ear protection. It seems to vanish when I have either a fan, or really any constant noise on in the background, but will return when the other noise is gone. It has a rhythm to it, but is not consistent and doesn't go with my heartbeat.

      I have been to a couple audiologists and to an ENT, and both say my ears look healthy and there's no hearing loss. The ENT said it was just early aging of my ear, which wasn't helpful at all. Based on what they said I just have to learn to live with it.

      I'm terrified at the prospect of having to deal with this forever, and am having some serious stress and anxiety about it. I don't know what to do about it or who to ask for help. It's been stopping me from doing the things I love like camping, because I can't be in a quiet environment or the hum takes over.

      Does this sound like tinnitus, or possible some other ear dysfunction?
       
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    2. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Steadily worsening since 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      This is a weird one, and it's something that some of us on the forum have experienced. I have this permanently now on a pretty low level, but about 6 times I've had these "attacks" that start instantly, where the sound is SO LOUD that if it becomes permanent, that would be the end of me.

      Fortunately, these attacks have subsided every time so far. And in general, what people with this type of tinnitus has reported is that it seems to come and go.

      Nobody really knows what this is I think. I've been meaning to ask the knowledgeable @Greg Sacramento about it because in my case at least, I think it has to be some kind of muscle spasm in the ear. If you read this Greg, it's a very low hum (distant idling truck/machinery) in one ear that unlike my usual tinnitus really sounds like it's IN that ear. I also have TTTS spasm in this ear and this ear only.

      The fact that it stops when we talk is the weirdest part.

      It's tinnitus because it produces a subjective sound. But DO NOT let doctors convince you of anything, because they won't know much about this most likely. Only having this sound but no hearing loss would, in my mind, indicate that this is not noise-induced tinnitus. Finding out the true cause won't be easy. Dealing with your stress/anxiety is the first thing to do, although I know it's not easy
       
    3. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @HeavyMantra With a hum, I could post a hundred study links where subject matter goes into many different directions.

      Some key thoughts for discussion of blood flow versus ear muscles:
      @pony and HeavyMantra - Blood flow to ear muscles even with if it doesn't go with heartbeat is possible with everything that you mention. One way to determine (cutting to the chase beyond endless medical study discussion) is were you saying to yourself - da da - da da da --- before hearing your actual hum for the first time?

      If you were repeating da, da to yourself, before ever hearing a hum, then it's pulsatile tinnitus. Age, circulation, blood pressure - brief periods where blood pressure increases would have involvement. This involvement could be simple or complex. Questions would be what is your age, do you abdominal pain - the aortic area or any vision/eye concerns?

      With brief moments of severe blood pressure hypertension, any atherosclerosis can be sent to the carotid arteries. Fibromuscular dysplasia can be a concern and this could associate to all your mentions with influence to ear muscles. If older than 60, aortic regurgitation when the aortic valve doesn't close completely can occur causing a hum. There's lots of possible vascular associations, but any atherosclerosis needs to be considered with being over age 40. For those under 40-50, humming may just be an ear association.

      If never a da da and no problems mentioned above - no hypertension/atherosclerosis, then it's probably ear muscles, an involved subject, where only the latest research has validity. I had posted the latest research studies on this - but I would need to locate them.
       
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    4. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Steadily worsening since 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I don't understand the part about "da da da"? Why would anyone but babies and russians say that? :)
      And what does it have to do with anything?

      So in my case according to what you wrote, mine would probably be ear muscle related. I've had constant involuntary spasms (right hand index finger, external anal sphincter) in my body for at least 12 years now, so it doesn't feel like a stretch to think that this could be yet another weird muscle spasm that comes and goes (the actual, palpable vibrating TTTS spasms). Though if the hum is related to the TTTS spasms, who knows. I think the spasms are TTTS but I'm not sure.

      Greg, let's say I took some muscle relaxants during one of my "attacks" and it stopped, would that point strongly to the hum being muscular/give me more clues to this? I guess most muscle relaxants also increase GABA and all that, so maybe that would makem it hard to draw conclusions.

      I think many people on the forum describing this type of hum (one ear, distant truck sounding, stops when speaking, stops when plugging ears for some) are well below 50-60.
       
    5. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      When a hum is heard, regardless of cause, there's often anxiety. Sensory awareness of a venous hum can happen with brain association before being heard. Processes within the nervous system control muscles as well as any input.

      Diastolic murmurs are not always pathologic, but a hum may be venous. Palpable vibrating TTTS spasms, may not be from a venous source. Is palpable TTTS spasming, your only concern as with having a hum, I don't know.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      pony

      pony Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      I'm 32, have no health issues, not overweight, don't have any chronic pain, and vision is good.

      I also have normal high pitched tinnitus, but that came within the last year and is in both ears.
       
    7. Backpacker

      Backpacker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
    8. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @HeavyMantra Remember me saying this in a conversation that we had several months ago. You had a few things going on that might pertain to this. "The eardrum has three bones behind it to sort out Morse-code sound. If the bones get stuck and the muscles that work with the bones, humming can also happen." Now with consideration to your mention of palpable vibrating TTTS spasms, I wonder a bit more.

      Just trying to be helpful as TTTS is not an area that I know much about. My few areas of knowledge from employment, research and personnel experience: Hypertension blood pressure that causes issues and these issues causing pulsatile tinnitus. Vein and artery disease. Diseases and conditions of the neck, mouth and jaw. Whiplash.
       
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    9. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      I placed this along with your complaints - history including morse code into a complexed medical data base. Narrowing down was bones that may cause muscle contractions. Most common places are right hand index finger - metacarpals - phalanges that weigh on muscles, bones behind eardrum that weigh on tensor tympani muscle (a mention by self above) and external anal sphincter muscles - spine.

      Conclusion that I got: Cause if all are bothersome is decreased concentration of calcium in the blood. May also be low vitamin D and magnesium and sometimes high B12. Dehydration may also accompany or be a reason.

      Medical data bases are not absolute.
       
    10. Foamearplugssuck
      Depressed

      Foamearplugssuck Member

      Location:
      new dorp new york
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/26/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Doing concert photography
      Just started to experience this last night. I usually have a very low/mild rumble in my right ear, but lately its sounded like I have a truck engine in my ear. It gets worse the closer I get to bedtime, so sleep is a nightmare.

      It seems to be connected to some neurological issues Ive been dealing with. Ive been tentatively diagnosed with vestibular migraines, and my episodes worsen at night, as I'm getting ready to sleep as well. The worse I feel, the louder the rumble.
       
    11. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @HeavyMantra

      I know that you are struggling with COVID-19 related new tones, but what happened with your engine idling sound? Could you get any closer to a solution?

      I have been struggling again with this. I tried to be not that concerned about it, because up until now it always, always went away. But now it's been going on in various levels for 3 months and today is probably the worst it's ever been, feels like my head is about to explode. If this stays, I'm gone.
       
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    12. Pulsing Ear
      Frustrated

      Pulsing Ear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I am having something like this that brought me here. I initially thought it was because of increasing my beta blocker dosage because it started 2 days after that. I dropped the dose down and after about 3 days it went away! Well, now about 1 week later it is back with a vengeance.

      Mine is a low frequency thumping sound, as opposed to the high pitch whine I normally hear from my tinnitus which I have suffered from for over 30 years. I'm used to the tinnitus, but this thumping is horrible. I can actually feel a vibration inside my ear like there is a bug in there crawling around.

      Bump, Bump, Bump. Right now it's going about 200 bpm or faster. It never goes along with my pulse so it's not my heartbeat. It sounds like it though. An ENT thought it might be MEM like I suspected. Middle Ear Myoclonus. When I saw the doctor it wasn't vibrating so he could not see. He had no suggestions for me, so the visit was a bust.

      Wondering if anyone has any ideas what I could try to get this to stop.
       
    13. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @Pulsing Ear, appears to be MEM as it has gone away.

      If tinnitus goes away, this is venous or objective tinnitus that can actually be heard by another person. Pulsatile tinnitus, depending on cause, can go away for a period of time, and use of a beta blocker could be reason. A beta blocker could also increase blood flow where pulsatile tinnitus is heard louder if pulsatile tinnitus is already present before use of a beta blocker. All beta blockers can cause tinnitus. I have read an article where a beta blocker increasing blood flow caused MEM with two - only 2 cases reported. Since you are using a beta blocker, then you may have some vascular concerns, but I would give more consideration to some maybes - not sure known mentions in this article.

      Middle ear muscle disorders: presentation, diagnosis and management | ENT & Audiology News (entandaudiologynews.com)

      Zygomatic Hand Pressure Technique

      A very simple, non-invasive treatment has been found that helps some people with irregular MEM. It involves lacing the fingers together and applying pressure from the palms over the zygomatic bones (cheekbones). A pressure of about two pounds is applied for 30 seconds or until the clicking stops. In two case reports, MEM was brought under control and episodes diminished.

      mem-cheekbone-treatment-300x172.jpg
       
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    14. Pulsing Ear
      Frustrated

      Pulsing Ear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Good article there. It seems to describe what is happening to me. A fluttering sound like wings, it sounds like someone is tapping on my eardrum.

      I tried the pressure on the zygomatic arch and it didn't really seem to work. Tonight around 7pm I took a 12-hour timed release pseudoephedrine and it seems to have banished the sound. It has been gone now for about 3 hours. Just a little bump sound every now and then, a single one. Mostly nothing.

      The whole beta blocker issue was what I blamed it on until the MEM came back about 1 week after I stopped taking the higher dose. I've been on the beta blocker Bisoprolol 10 mg/day now for about 4 years. I was on another beta blocker, Coreg CR, for about 8 years. Never had any issue then. I suspected increasing the dose from 10 mg Bisoprolol up to 15 mg did it, but it shouldn't still be bothering me a week after I stopped taking it. I'm wondering if it was just a coincidence that the MEM started in after increasing the beta blocker dose.

      I've also read that ACE inhibitors like Lisinopril can do it. I'm on just 5mg/day, but increased that to 10 mg a couple of days ago before this started in again. In the past I took 10mg/day for a year or more with no issues. It's all very strange.

      All of my problems certainly started after my heart attack that's for sure, I think because I am on so many meds now. I was in the ER on a Monday to get a cardiac cath done and then 2 days later on Wednesday the MEM, ear problem, started in. I can't imagine that the cardiac cath would be related in any way.

      Sorry if I hijacked the thread.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    15. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Steadily worsening since 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      It's all but gone and has been for months. I hear it some days if I plug my ears, but I have not had any of those impossibly loud "attacks" since late summer. I think it's either muscular, or a blood vessel that's pressing against my hearing nerve (I had an MRI 3 years ago that showed that a blood vessel doing this).

      The humming sound is the worst one I've experienced. I hope it doesn't come back, I too am starting to fear I'm rapidly approach a level of tinnitus that is impossible to live with.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    16. Deniseh

      Deniseh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly b12/folic acid deficiency and GERD
      Reading this thread with interest .

      I also have the ‘hum’ in my left ear, have had it since the beginning 17 months ago. I tend to find mine reacts to salt/sugar intake but not caffeine. Whenever I have physical exertion, then the hum changes to a revving sound going up and down. Blood pressure related maybe? Most of the time I can cope with it and sits in the background, mostly I hear it at night or if it spikes.

      Also whenever I lie down I can eliminate it altogether, sometimes by making sure my back/neck posture is straight and extended.

      Can anyone shed any light as to why this happens?

      I should also mention that the left side of my head feels the vibrations and sometimes I can feel not dizzy but lightheaded when lying down as well.
       
    17. Pulsing Ear
      Frustrated

      Pulsing Ear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Are these vibration sounds in sync with your heartbeat, or are they like mine and totally independent?
       
    18. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @Deniseh What you mention (everything) is typical of high blood sugar.
       
    19. Deniseh

      Deniseh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly b12/folic acid deficiency and GERD
      @Pulsing Ear

      Totally independent, sometimes it feels as if my head is vibrating as well.

      @Greg Sacramento

      That’s interesting, last time I got my glucose level tested (checked when I first got tinnitus) it was slightly raised but a 2nd test showed normal, however I did have low level B12 and this is what was put as the cause of my tinnitus along with LPR.
       
    20. Pulsing Ear
      Frustrated

      Pulsing Ear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Mine has come back now that the sun has gone down. Always comes on at night now. I was ok all day, but it comes on at night. It is quite fast now.
       
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    21. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Steadily worsening since 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      And just like that, it came back this morning.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    22. Pulsing Ear
      Frustrated

      Pulsing Ear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Mine was there when I fell asleep last night and still here this morning when I got up. About 1 hour later the vibrating stopped mostly. It's weird how the afternoons for me are ok. I'm sure at 6 pm it will be back again.

      I spoke with my father-in-law who is a retired neurologist. He said that nerves that get damaged can heal, but it takes time. So if a drug causes damage, it might take months for the problem to go away. So even if an oral medication you were taking that caused the issue is stopped, it might take a long time for the nerves to recuperate.

      I'm wondering if the imaging agent they used for my angiogram might have caused my new symptom. I'm trying to be patient and wait to see if this gets better. From what I see on here, it seems like doctors aren't much help to us anyhow.

      I may look for a neurotologist if this doesn't improve.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    23. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      TL;DR
      Don't you think that it may have something to do with anxiety?

      I hate that everything is blamed on stress, mental health and so on, so it absolutely possible that it has nothing to do with yours or maybe even mine, but I noticed that every time I got the low hum, something with university (which for me is a huge stressor) came up. Exam period, or I started to prepare for studies. Weirdly enough just before I got the low hum for the 4th time this September, I paid my tuition to the school with the uncertain feeling that it's futile, because I won't be able to get through my studies because of tinnitus. Had a horrible headache, awful screeching, cried a lot, next day, bamm, the low hum was back. Also, it is perhaps possible that crying can mess up something in the ears, or Eustachian Tube, so maybe that could be a trigger as well?Contrary to my theory there were periods in my life when I was seemingly much more stressed without the low hum. For example, my entire last year when UHF tinnitus made me a zombie and suicidal, but for a year, I didn't have it. I was so worried that it would come back, had a couple of false alarms.

      Yesterday it went away for a couple of hours in the morning, but crept its way back.
       
    24. HZO
      Wishful

      HZO Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/09/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      4 hours of loud in-earphones usage/loud motorcycle exhaust
      I have this too. I only have it at bedtime. And usually stops after a few minutes. It started a few weeks before the high-pitched tinnitus in both ears (inside my head).
       
    25. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Steadily worsening since 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Greg Sacramento

      I did an MRI of the head about 3 years ago. It showed an artery that was close to the hearing nerve on my right side, which is the same side I have the hum. Do you think my hum could be caused by this? The MRI was taken 2,5 years before the hum appeared, so things might possibly have worsened since then. I don't have any blood pressure issues as far as I know.

      Can an artery pressing against the hearing nerve be fixed?
       
    26. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      I am having SSHL and the deaf ear emits a low humming rumbling tinnitus. In SSHL support forum, many people mentioned getting a cochlear implant has greatly lowered their tinnitus. If it gets to that life and death decision, you may research on this more to see if it will help. If my deaf left ear is still not hearing that is one option I will likely explore.
       
    27. Mister Muso
      Creative

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Sounds similar to my hum. Not only does it stop temporarily when I talk, but also when another person in the room talks. Even audio books on my Amazon Echo speaker can give temporary relief until I get sleepy enough to fall asleep.
       
    28. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you, Billie.

      I think if it stays constant (Went into kind of a remission again a couple of days ago, fingers crossed it's gonna stay this way for a while at least), I'll consider severing the muscles first, then anything available.

      I'm so sorry that you are dealing with SSHL. Are you still on steroids? I hope you'll gain back your hearing.
       
    29. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      I am tapering on Prednisone but have just received an injection. I hope to gain some hearing back.
       
    30. Pulsing Ear
      Frustrated

      Pulsing Ear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I think problems usually occur when plaque builds up in that artery and causes turbulence when the blood is pushed through there. Part of the artery is narrowed down.

      Might have a Doppler study of your carotid arteries to see if there is any buildup narrowing it down.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
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