Low Frequency Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Rachel Murray, Jul 17, 2014.

    1. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Mine is in the left almost exclusively. I say almost, because when it was active last year, for about a couple of days, it went into my right ear and then back to the left. But I don't think mine is of vascular origin, I think it's middle ear related.
       
    2. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Mine is definitely on the right side. Left side has a bit of static hissing, right side has a idling subwoofer set to max volume.

      I repeat (one of my most important "discoveries" / changes (?) since this started): I can sometimes (especially in the morning right after waking up) knock on my head / swallow / make any other 'internal' noise, to make the bzzzz subwoofer sound drop an octave into a more mechanical stalled engine brrrrr (I can almost hear the "rrr" whereas the bzzzz is more like a monotone)

      I recently went to Prof. De Ridder and when I told him this last fact he said: if you can do that to it, it really sounds like it's not 'simple' tinnitus from noise damage.

      @Maria Francesca, the study you linked is only for pulsatile ("particularly when the tinnitus corresponds with the pulse of patients.") tinnitus, correct? Mine does not follow my pulse at all, it's a constant bzzzz / brrrrr.
       
    3. Maria Francesca

      Maria Francesca Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      drug-induced peripheral neuropathy
      Hello, it is not clear, the paper says "A throbbing, rushing, or humming sound suggested a vascular etiology", so it seems to include non-pulsatile sound.
       
    4. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Low frequency crew, I just found the ideal masker for us.

      In the last month I have been trying everything, from expensive (€3000 EUR) hearing aids with white noise function, regular in-ear earphones all the way to bone conducting headphones.

      I must say - the bone conducting headphones (brand Aftershokz) are flippin' amazing... they sit on top of the ear and they produce a very deep bass sound that even vibrates. I have no clue how they are packing so much deep punch in such a small device.

      When I play a 80 Hz sine tone (the exact tone of my tinnitus) - it is completely masking my tinnitus:

      80 Hz Sine Tone Amplitude 1


      I can also play the Starship white noise one, that works too.

      Benefit of using bone conducting headphones vs in-ear earphones is obviously that you can still hear the people around you and your voice sounds normal as opposed to the way your voice sounds when you have in-ear earphones on (even eating sounds way too loud when you have in-ear earphones on).
       
    5. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
    6. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      I can't hear that tone. How can you hear something so low? I didn't think adult humans were capable of detecting 80 Hz sound.

      I also have low frequency rumbling/buzzing but definitely as higher frequency (like a car engine) and it kinda pulses. Luckily it's not 24/7 but it gets on my nerves big time when it's there, and I don't think it can be habituated to. My main tinnitus I can handle but the low rumbling which is like somebody put a vibrator in my ears (not as exciting as it sounds :D) drives me up the wall.
       
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    7. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      I have another (cheaper) version:

      [Amazon.com] Aftershokz OpenMove Wireless Bone Conduction Headphone Slate Grey

      In fact - my audiologist recommended them to me. At first she made me try the expensive hearing aids, but she said "since you really don't have too much hearing loss, you really shouldn't have to pay for the hearing aid portion of hearing aids... you only need white noise generators."

      It's really strange how these Aftershokz work. I don't hear anything when my girlfriend wears them, but when I put them on it's just very clear audio coming from them, even when nothing is inside your ear.

      The 80 Hz YouTube video I shared above does not even play well on my MacBook, because the bass is too low, but like I said above, the Aftershokz handles the bass so well it completely masks my low hum tinnitus.

      Obviously it's still weird that my brain tolerates the same noise coming from the Aftershokz way better than the noise coming from my own head, even though it sounds exactly the same :D

      Another reason why this saying is correct: it's not the noise that is keeping us down, but our reaction to the noise.
      Something I'm still working on accepting.
       
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    8. Maria Francesca

      Maria Francesca Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      drug-induced peripheral neuropathy
      Hello @Ben Winders,

      Good finding!

      Any effect once you turn them off? I mean like the drone increasing after a car ride.
       
    9. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      No - I reckon the car's vibrating/noise is many times more potent than what I'm sending through the Aftershokz, even if I'm wearing custom molded earplugs in the car.
      You mean you can't hear that tone when you play it on your MacBook? That's probably because your MacBook speakers can't really reproduce so much bass. The Aftershokz can - and it is indeed more like a vibrating than an actual sound (although every sound is vibration, of course).

      Habituating to it... we must. What other option do we have. It's definitely challenging, yes. Especially at night in a completely silent bedroom (I'm trying to sleep without white noise) it is sounding like a propeller plane from WW2 is stalled over our house. No clue yet if I'll ever be able to get used to it, but I'm definitely trying. Again - what's the alternative.
       
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    10. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      Ok, I see. I played the sound through PC speakers (not MacBook).

      Habituation as in "this doesn't give me any emotional reaction anymore" is not really a choice. It can't be forced. I am evidence of that.
       
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    11. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      This is just a scream into the void.

      I bump into more and more people who have low frequency tinnitus which can be stopped by covering the ear, plugging it with finger and so on. Why no one in the medical field seems to be interested in that this type of tinnitus is clearly different than "normal" tinnitus. I made a poll in the local tinnitus group and 15 % of the responders answered that their tinnitus also can be stopped by the above mentioned methods. Must mean something.
       
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    12. IanT

      IanT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello there,

      I've had high frequency tinnitus for many years, it's one of those things that I got used to quite quickly and now I hardly notice it at all.

      However last year I started having intermittent low frequency tinnitus in my left ear, like many others at first I attributed it to something external, I live near a port and had just assumed it was the sound of the Ferry every night.

      It starts out as a kind of morse code, but then turns into a loud humming - that's the worst kind for me personally, I can deal the with intermittent sound but when it's unbroken it's really hard for my mind to ignore.

      Since it started last year I've ruled out external noises (by driving to a quiet location and sitting in my car), also worked out the exact frequency for me which is 51hz

      As tends to be the case it's worse when I'm laying down, and more recently I've found it very loud when I wake up (which is several times during the night lately)

      I take some comfort in the posts here and that I'm not the only one, since nearly all the literature and support on and offline is weighted heavily towards high frequency sufferers.

      Personally speaking I find the low frequency affects me a lot more, is harder to ignore and yet has the least amount of recognition or support, the prevailing view seems to me to be "there's nothing we can do so just put on a recording of a babbling brook when you go to sleep and suck it up"

      Anyway, apologies for the rambling post but it was at least cathartic for me!
       
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    13. Maria Francesca

      Maria Francesca Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      drug-induced peripheral neuropathy
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    14. OnceUponaTime
      Wishful

      OnceUponaTime Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
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    15. Majom
      Inactive

      Majom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello fellow low drone folk.

      I have just joined the forum. I found this thread pretty quickly as it resonated (sorry about the pun) most closely with the head-noise I have been experiencing since 25th August this year. I can date it so precisely as I recorded this in my diary on that date:
      "Right NOW [7.33am], there is a very disturbing, HORRIBLE low frequency NOISE -- continuous, but kind of 'throb-thrumming' in and out. What the F*** IS it? It's hard to locate it." I could not focus on my writing and had to stop, and have not written much since then. I was writing poetry and some non-fiction prose as well as my diary for years up till them. Since that date, I have tried (and tried) but my focus is completely shot. I cannot read anything that requires more than about ten minutes of attention, nor can I meditate (either solo or guided), which I also did daily.

      I have been 'comfort/ emotional eating' (a rubbish 'treatment' I have sometimes resorted to when very stressed) and have gained a considerable amount of weight. My motivation to exercise has evaporated. I was an early riser (4.45am daily, and asleep by ), and by 5.00 was either doing a home weights or cardio workout, followed by 'mat work' then a walk. I have never struggled to exercise as I enjoy it. I love dancing too.

      I place a lot of importance on these daily healthy functional routines. They've been helping keep me healthy and buoyant, especially over these past 20 pandemic months. I am almost 60, and staying healthy has become even more important to me since a near-fatal pulmonary embolism when I was 51. I have worsening osteoarthritis in both feet and knees, which causes a lot of pain, but I would have even more pain if I wasn't so active. This has been borne out over these past 3 months of drastically reduced exercise.

      Now I struggle to even just get myself up before 9.00 and into the shower before 11.00am every day. I am losing so much sleep due to the evening, bed-time, and overnight worsening of the noise. I dread going to bed. I dread getting up.

      I know this goes without saying on a tinnitus forum, but this is driving me crazy. My anxiety is through the roof. I feel depressed, distressed, despairing. It's been three months of this. Feels like my nerves are being flayed inside and out. It has driven me to tears at least four times.

      With the help of my very understanding, supportive, loving husband, we investigated any and every possible external source of this (eg, the drainage treatment unit in our neighbour's garden, which also serves our house, the sewage treatment plant a 10-minute walk from here, the fridge-freezer, etc, etc) ... because I was convinced it was coming from outside somewhere. For a long time, I couldn't believe he couldn't hear the noise (at all), but then we got neighbours and friends to check too, and they couldn't hear anything either.

      At first, I thought I could only hear this at home (we moved to this rental house in a semi-rural area in mid-April), but then I spent a couple of nights in a city apartment, and I could hear a 'lite' version of it there, and could also hear it in our car when we sat in a quiet spot with the engine turned off, and in the audiologist's sound-proofed room when we went quiet when she was writing up notes.

      I saw a GP on 22nd October. He fast-tracked me to ENT (on the NHS) as he was concerned it may be pulsatile tinnitus and my family history of cardiovascular conditions is very serious. I was seen there on 10th November. The specialist did not think it was pulsatile tinnitus. He got a student nurse in attendance to hand me a leaflet about tinnitus and referred me to audiology for a hearing test, which I had two days later (12th November).

      I felt sure that my hearing was not reduced, and the hearing test showed that; in fact, it showed it was "very good for [my] age". The audiologist also used an instrument, which she placed in each ear, to test for eustachian tube dysfunction, and said there was no problem.

      I asked what the cause could be. She said she didn't know, (but) then went through the whole stress-fight/flight vicious circle spiel, and finished by saying 'my' tinnitus is "the hard to treat kind". I'd already read enough on-line and had started with attempts for self-management, so was hardly surprised at this statement. She said she would refer me to an audiologist who "knows more about tinnitus". I received an appointment letter yesterday for 10th December. I am trying to be hopeful about that!

      I have only managed to write such a long, detailed post by taking a couple of breaks, and with the 'masker' of the Starship Sleeping Quarters link that I found earlier this afternoon on this thread . . . so my sincere thanks for that, because it is probably about the best I have found to date, and I have tried LOTS. When I mute the sound on this, the 'generator throb-thrum head-drone' has built to its usual, by this time (8.28pm) medium-high intensity.

      Also, when I stick my fingers in my ears, as one or more of you have noted in this thread, it goes away. I told and demonstrated this, as I think it is significant, to both the ENT specialist and the audiologist, who passed no comment, but I will do so again at my next audiology consultation. Foam earplugs, my swimming earplugs, Blu-Tac, and the fancy noise-cancelling headphones my friend lent me don't work.

      I love music. I love silence, peace and quiet (especially for WRITING and READING). I love (most) sounds of nature. But I have never been a fan of fans, leaf-blowers, mowers, strimmers, any motorised vehicles . . . and mechanical 'stuff'. The irony is that I get some reduction and relief from this DIN in an urban setting, and from a 'starship' motor!

      From what I have read on-line, I know the earliest months are the worst for those with tinnitus. I am really struggling. I have not found it easy to write this, but the time came this evening for me to post, instead of just lurking, because I feel so alone and disconnected with this pig of a thing.

      If you have read this far, I thank you. I have gained much insight and some solace from reading posts on this forum since I found it a couple of weeks ago, and my gratitude and heart goes out to all of you who have been living with this.
       
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    16. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004/05
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      You will get better with time, especially given your timeframe with tinnitus.

      Drone tinnitus is by many, which is my personal experience too, closely connected to anxiety.

      If you manage to get out of your current fight or flight response, that would be a huge step for you to at least start feeling better.
       
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    17. Majom
      Inactive

      Majom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Many thanks for your kind, thoughtful response, MindOverMatter.

      I have also very recently found little films on YouTube by Jason Cowan Hill to help with relaxation, so I hope that practising those may help with the anxiety the tinnitus is producing.
       
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    18. OnceUponaTime
      Wishful

      OnceUponaTime Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I have often thought of this being the case.
       
    19. Maria Francesca

      Maria Francesca Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      drug-induced peripheral neuropathy
      Hello @Majom,

      I am sorry you got low drone.

      Me too, I have always enjoyed calm and silence, what a cruel destiny this insane sound.

      I have my theory about this sound.

      For many months I believed I had nerve damaged by antibiotic I took for a bronchitis- faringitis in March 2020. But after a lot of research, trials of drugs and supplements, I think, at least my low drone, is caused by a nerve excited by an adjacent inflamed vein. I say vein and not artery because low hum is not pulsatile.

      This could explain why low drone changes intensity with neck movements. Also, in my case, low drone and my other hissing tinnitus change with with barometric pressure.
      It is known that blood vessel contracts and expands with variations on barometric pressure. When they are inflamed, vessel walls thicken making more difficult the blood flow and lose elasticity, so the ability to adapt to external conditions.
       
    20. CykoJon

      CykoJon Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      If this can give you some relief, my tinnitus has very similar symptoms to yours and the first few months were horrible. I've had this for a little over 6 months now and I feel a lot better than I did the first few weeks. I still get shitty days from time to time but most of the time, it's really mild now. At this stage, I only really hear it in completely silent rooms.

      The real problem of tinnitus is the anxiety that comes with it which is created by the emotional reaction to the sound. So try to find a way to deal with that first and STOP trying to monitor it. It will NOT bring you relief especially since it's fluctuating. Also, remember that while tinnitus can sometimes go away completely, you should not wait for any time thresholds (ex. 6months, 1-2 years, etc.) because tinnitus can stick around for a long time... and maybe permanently. So, your best bet is to trust in the habituation process. I confronted the sound many times in a silent room to train my brain to let go of the anxious feeling and eventually I got bored of the sound. Anyway, don't give up, I assure you it will get better.
       
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    21. Della
      Creative

      Della Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Austin, Texas USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Hi @Majom, and welcome to the club no one ever wants to join. I'm so sorry, but I'm glad you've found your way to this forum. Chatting with people here was about the only thing that kept me sane through the first year or so of my severe low frequency T. As the others have said (and as you've read) you're in the worst of it now, but the more you can try to habituate the better. It's perfectly natural at first to be frightened, anxious and horrified. In your own head it's so LOUD and it's hard to believe no one else hears it. (It's always reminded me of those horror movies where terrible supernatural things are going on inside a lovely suburban house, but the neighbors are not aware.)

      As you're finding, among the hardest things to cope with are losing the very things you loved the most and that have defined you up to now. When my T became a bone-blasting low throbbing hum I was still a performing musician, I was dancing and going out a lot, and studying languages and traveling, but I also loved silence and nature and quiet reading. All of that was threatened, and it all stopped for a while. But I got it all back within that first year, by deciding that I could still enjoy those things in spite of the noise. Yes it's different, but all things change. I tried all kinds of things to help me adjust: I got hearing aids as I have some hearing loss, and I also carry 4 pairs of earplugs in my purse all the time (2 custom made sets and 2 store bought), I use the website mynoise.net for masking (mostly at night), and I have used medications for depression and anxiety. You'll find many ideas here for coping tools.

      Just know that everyone here understands what you're going through, and that you can and will get better.

      Take care,
      Della
       
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    22. Della
      Creative

      Della Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Austin, Texas USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Oh, I almost forgot ... for all you newer folks, there is a wonderful long thread by billie48 that has helped many many people here over the years. It's posted in Success Stories, and it's a success story not because the tinnitus and hyperacusis went away, but because billie48 was able to adjust to it and live a full life again. I recommend it. xoxo

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...w-i-recovered-from-tinnitus-hyperacusis.3148/
       
    23. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      I found a new YouTube video that (at the proper volume) cancels out my low hum completely.

      Thankfully it's a lot better (more melodic) than the spaceship YouTube I used to listen to:

      Equilibrar los chakras mientras duerme,...
       
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    24. Majom
      Inactive

      Majom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello Maria Francesca, Cykojon, Della, and Ben Winders.

      Many thanks for your warm welcomes, supportive messages and links.

      Ben, I am playing the 'Balance Chakras...' video you posted the link to, as I write here. Like you, having adjusted the volume to suit, I am finding it cancels out my pulsing low drone, so I can focus better on writing, without 'straining'. I think the 'Starship Sleeping Quarters' video will still serve me better for bedtime on the occasions where the intensity of the sound is, frankly, unbearable, as there is no pitch variation. I am still experimenting a lot with 'masking' for different purposes, and want to build a good, extensive 'maskers library', just to provide variety and interest of the examples that work best for me. I think my love of music helps a lot with this. Even in these early days (first three months) of learning what I can do to help, I sense that sound is going to play a big part for me. So -- thank you, Ben.

      Della ... "the club no one wants to join" ... how true, and so well put! Your words were very reassuring and encouraging for me to read at this early stage. Thank you for taking the time to write. I found it very interesting and heartening to read how much you benefited from being part of this forum throughout your first year or so of your very low frequency drone. Being a performing musician at the time must have made an extra layer of hell for you. Your interests are so similar to mine!

      Thank you also for the link to billie48's thread. I will read that. I am trying to keep my forum 'check-ins' to just every few days at the moment, because I have a tendency to go down rabbit-holes on-line (as I am a bit of a ferret with detail), then ... well, it's predictable ... two hours later and I'm still down there. I actually set a timer now for on-line activity!

      Cykojon ... your advice and information was also very valuable. YES, it is indeed the anxiety caused by the tinnitus that I am finding most difficult to deal with. My GP has prescribed a small amount of low-dosage tranquilisers, which I can take when the intensity gets to that very hard-to-bear stage. I could be wrong, as I am still at this initial 'early days' experimentation stage, but I think it wise to keep these to use ONLY for such times. I am hoping that some 'masking', like I mentioned above, might serve me well so I don't have to take the tranquilisers very often, as I do not want to build up a dependency. Tricky stuff, eh --- lots of trial and error and tweaking. Thank you for your sound advice.

      Maria Francesca ... thank you for your welcoming words and for sharing your theory about a nerve being aggravated by vein inflammation in your case. I wonder if anything can be done to help you with this? I may share this idea with the audiologist I will be seeing on 10th December.

      Well, Ben, I have come to the end of my post here and, thanks to the help of the new video link you posted, have been able to complete it in one go, maintaining my focus, and without taking little breaks! So this is on my 'Win List' for the day. Really, at this stage, I recognise that every gain is a big one.

      I know there are a lot of changes in perspective and proportion ahead --- not easy --- and some days will be better than other in this new 'tinnitus life'. I want to get to the stage where it is less of the centre and focus of my daily life, more in the background, and much less disruptive, but I know that will take time and I have a lot to learn.

      Gradually getting back to what I enjoy and to what keeps my equilibrium more stable, like you allude to, Della, would be great. I know there is no magic 'Here's your old life back ... all of it ... NOW ... just as it WAS'. As you say, "it's different, but all things change".

      You have all made me feel less alone. Thanks again, and I hope you are all well.
       
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