Low Frequency Tinnitus

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

    1. JLH

      JLH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I returned from an ~8 hour flight on Saturday and had ~2 days without the hum. The 8 days I was travelling I spent a lot of time outside and similarly didn't hear the hum for most of the trip. I travel somewhat frequently for work and have always been surprised that when I land and get to my hotel, I wouldn't hear the hum (only to come back within a day or so of returning home). For a while I thought the issue was my house (allergies?) until reading some of the posts on this forum and realizing the common theme was noise exposure.

      I'd be curious what you have found is most effective at keeping the hum suppressed. Obviously you can't take an 8 hour flight or 3 hour car ride every couple of days and I'd like to keep any prolonged noise exposure to <70 dB (I'd find it hard to think I'm doing damage if the volume level is less than 70 dB).

      I've recently started sleeping with a very low frequency (and fairly low volume) masking sound which does a decent job of masking my hum but I'm not sure it's providing any suppression effect the next day. I suppose I could try increasing the volume to 50-60 dB to replicate what Ben did, but I may try something similar at my desk during the day first. Have you found something that works well for you?
       
    2. Benjaminbb

      Benjaminbb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely long term noise exposure, combined w pandemic stress
      I haven’t tried anything to keep it suppressed in the way you suggest mainly because its wavering intensity changes what is required to surprise it. For me it’s quite manageable when it’s low, 35 dB may suppress it - then there will be times where it’s on for a week non-stop every time there isn’t 50 dB around me.

      I guess in some sense it “spikes.”

      When it isn’t spiking, sitting at a cafe, going to a bar once or twice a week, air conditioner during the day will keep it fairly low/off.

      If it’s spiking, sometimes one of the bigger events in my list message will trigger it to drop back down, i.e. going to a bar (with earplugs), or a long flight.

      When it comes to your suggestion, i.e. playing a sound <70 dB for 6+ hours a day, I’m not sure if that is super safe. Only because a few people’s suggestion is that kind of longer term exposure can be what causes this type of tinnitus in the first place, as well as other people with hearing damage and high frequency tinnitus seemingly affected by 70 dB. I’m not sure if I agree when it comes to low frequency tinnitus. Nobody has experimented with that besides Ben Winders who has disappeared. Mine has got worse and is in both ears now.

      Until we work out the etiology and cause we can’t really say if it works the same way as normal tinnitus. After reading 20 research papers I’m almost certain it occurs from a similar system to spontaneous otoacoustic emissions or is at least related to outer hair cells and their amplification. I’ll post on this when I’m certain and have put together all the research.
       
    3. JLH

      JLH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've similarly found that when it isn't 'spiking', noise levels at or above 35 dB can mask the hum. I'm still trying to figure out what inhibits the hum to the point where I don't hear it in <35 dB settings for hours or days afterwards - planes have had that impact most consistently, restaurants or long car rides are hit or miss.

      Have you looked into Tonic Tensor Tympany Syndrome? My understanding is that the tensor tympani muscle contracts when talking, swallowing or being exposed to loud noises. I've read people on this forum say their hum briefly stops when talking or swallowing - is it possible the inhibition for hours/days is because the muscle stays tightened for an extended period of time post-noise exposure (which may have the effect of suppressing the hum)?

      Any insights you can share from your research would be great.

      Do you wear earplugs whenever you go to a bar or restaurant (or is there a dB above which you'll wear protection)? Have you found loud noises makes your hum worse?
       
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