Low Frequency Tinnitus

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

    1. Username2153

      Username2153 Member

      Location:
      Milwaukee WI
      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      Wow, thanks for the information. I suffer from a buzzing/vibration tinnitus that's easily irritated by low frequencies, like surround sound speakers. Higher frequencies I can stand a LOT better.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    2. Benjaminbb

      Benjaminbb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely long term noise exposure, combined w pandemic stress
      Yes, I haven't really had to deal with it for 95% of the last 3 months.

      It started with a trip where I spent most of the time outside for 10 days, then when I got back I went out about once a week and the air conditioner was running in the distance for 5 hours a day. That's the only thing I can think that kept it suppressed or inhibited. To be clear, it doesn't appear in silence.

      Fits with my theory that the longer it's suppressed, the harder it's to come back.

      It came back after a night where I was at a friend's house and a girl was screaming all night, it came along with pain but was gone again in a few days.

      Although I have had that bass amplification thing probably 20% of the time, where a car driving past outside sounds strange and louder. Seems to happen if I tire my ears or overstimulate them with music.

      It's really hard to tell if I'm just experiencing temporary suppression during the summer or if it's actually disappeared for the most part.

      Arguably I'm not doing anything too dangerous by going out with earplugs and you wouldn't expect a flight or night out to suppress it for a week or two.

      Hopefully, its intensity has simply tapered off even temporarily. I'll be able to tell once the air conditioner is no longer needed for so much of the day. I'll keep you updated if that seems to be the case. My hum was 'on' most of the last 6 months before that so it could be a good sign that we can get large breaks from this.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    3. Benjaminbb

      Benjaminbb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely long term noise exposure, combined w pandemic stress
      Do you have a reason as to why this could be?

      Long-term exposure to loud noise or bass?

      Did it come on suddenly for you?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    4. Mark Crawford

      Mark Crawford Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I recently joined this club, unfortunately.

      This post might be long and messy, which applies to my situation in general, so sorry about that.

      Symptoms I have:
      • Low frequency pure tone tinnitus, definitely under 100 Hz.
      • It disappears (not masked, disappears) when external sound volume reaches some volume. Lower frequency sounds make the tinnitus disappear more effectively/earlier.
      • After an external sound that made the tinnitus disappear stops, it takes half a second or so for the tinnitus to start again.
      • The tinnitus will sometimes come and go during conversation, reappearing during gaps between words or sentences.
      • The tinnitus can disappear for longer periods of time (minutes to hours) following a period of prolonged exposure to safe sound levels, for example a car trip or a shower.
      • Shaking my head, like many have experienced, makes it disappear for half a second similarly to how external sounds do.
      • If I bend down to pick something up, the tinnitus might get louder for like half a second.
      • When I wake up it's sometimes not as loud as it usually is, but the second I sit up in my bed it gets worse.
      Other things I've noticed which might not be related:
      • I've experienced light dizziness since a few days after the onset. Additionally I have some nystagmus, where my eyes will kind of "vibrate" quickly back and forth for a split second. Never had that before and it only happens once or twice a day.
      • It feels like I've got some pressure inside my head, mostly noticeable behind my eyes/nose, neck, and top of my head.
      • I had two separate days last week where my tensor tympani muscle in my right ear was spasming every other second. TTTS?
      Since my onset happened quite recently, I can remember what I did during the day:
      1. It was a normal day until later in the evening.
      2. I went to lie in bed for a bit so I could do some relaxation exercises and some listening exercises (I had mild tinnitus prior to this). The relaxation exercise involves tensing and releasing muscle groups in my arms, shoulders, face, and neck. The listening exercises involve just listening to soundscapes to take focus away from the tinnitus. I was doing the listening exercise using some wireless earbuds, with NC off (more about this later). Toward the end of the listening exercise I got some unusually severe fleeting tinnitus, which subsided after a minute or two.
      3. Following that I felt fine and normal, though later in the day I ended up being quite stressed and anxious about some dental work I had scheduled for the day after.
      4. When going to bed that day, I heard some low frequency rumbling which sounded like some road work outside, though when I went outside I heard nothing. After that I thought it must be something from the person living above me. The noise seemingly went away when using ear plugs, in addition to the sound seeming louder in some places in the apartment than others, which frankly still leads me to think the sound in question was external, though I could be mistaken.
      5. After lying in bed hearing the sound for a couple of hours not being able to sleep I ended up driving elsewhere, though when I got there I could still hear the sound, and it's remained since then.
      If anything I did that day caused it, I would assume it was the few minutes where I was stressing out about the dental work the next day. It's also worth noting I had an MRI scan done 3 days prior, which of course involves some loud sounds, including low frequency ones. I was obviously wearing earplugs and the noise never got that uncomfortable, even with some mild hyperacusis.

      I mentioned above that I was going to mention noise cancellation (NC) on my earbuds. Well over a year ago when I bought the earbuds, I tried them out for maybe 30 minutes. The day afterwards my hearing had gone all wonky; external lower frequency sounds were boosted, and it was hard to hear where sounds came from. It sounded like sounds came from inside my head as opposed to externally. The situation fixed itself the day after and my ears were fine. I would assume that whatever caused that to happen is somewhat related to this low frequency tinnitus issue, and it's interesting (though anecdotal) how NC seemed to have triggered it in my case.

      I don't check this forum often, so I might not immediately respond to quotes here. I have an ENT appointment soon.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    5. Username2153

      Username2153 Member

      Location:
      Milwaukee WI
      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      Yes, all was well until I attended a concert but I didn't go very close to any speakers. I think my ears are just intolerant compared to others. Very deep bass from the concert likely damaged them.
       
    6. Della
      Creative

      Della Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Austin, Texas USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      @Mark Crawford, just a hello and welcome from another long-suffering member of the club. Hang in there, and I hope you have a good visit with your ENT.

      Best wishes,
      Della
       
    7. Benjaminbb

      Benjaminbb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely long term noise exposure, combined w pandemic stress
      Very interesting with the fleeting tinnitus - mine started from a tail end of a fleeting tinnitus episode too. I was having these long loud bouts of fleeting tinnitus for a few months before all my symptoms started coming on. I had never had it like that in my life before. Like 70 dB or more and would take 30 minutes to fade. Always a different pitch.

      On the day the hum started I had a 1 kHz fleeting tinnitus which is pretty low for fleeting tinnitus, it warped around in pitch then the soft hum started instantly after.

      Then on/off loud hum started later. Pain 5 months later.

      Re: noise cancelling. That’s also quite interesting. Were you possibly just listening to something with a lot of bass?
       
    8. Mark Crawford

      Mark Crawford Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Yeah I also had more than normal amounts of fleeting tinnitus preceding the onset of this low frequency tinnitus.

      And no, I don't think the noise cancellation situation was caused by a lot of bass, it happened a couple of times and both times after using noise cancelling earbuds. I also have a pair of noise cancelling headphones and it never happened with those, which is weird. If my current situation is related to too much bass then that would likely be because of the MRI scan that I had, which had some quite loud low frequency noise which earplugs obviously don't protect as well against. I'm not sure if that's related though as this happened like 3 days later.

      What kind of pain do you have? Just normal ear pain? Or like pressure/fullness too?
       
    9. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Steadily worsening since 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Reading through this thread again. It’s insane how specific some of these symptoms are, like it stopping and starting rapidly when talking or when other sounds of moderate level are heard. Exactly like mine to an eerie degree. Mine came in these insanely loud attacks though, like someone pushed a button. Because of the extreme loudness I could confirm that it was gone when vocalizing, not just masked.

      My loud hum “attacks” have been completely gone for... I want to say a year? At least the loud ones where I had to instantly take a low dose of Mirtazapine to even begin to cope with or sleep through. The lower level of more prolonged hum is also gone since 6 months, or at least from my consciousness. I’d like to think this can give you hope. I never thought I would catch a break with my tinnitus, and with my normal tinnitus I have not...

      When I had these “attacks” it honestly felt like this is something completely different from my normal tinnitus. I thought it must have to do with middle ear muscle spasms or ETD issues, but I saw some very interesting suggestions on other mechanisms in this thread.

      I have asked many ENTs and PhD audiologists about this. None of them seem to think this would be different from normal tinnitus, except one who suggested vascular loops as a cause. That would not create a humming sound such as this though she said.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    10. Benjaminbb

      Benjaminbb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely long term noise exposure, combined w pandemic stress
      In the ear that has the worse bass hum, i get sensitive to low or loud sounds.

      If I make music louder for a while (above 70 dB) or use headphones for music, it can come on as a delayed pain which aches. Which is different to my other ear, which is sudden and fades quick more like regular hyperacusis.

      It's quite hard to pinpoint the bass ear pain as it fades in and out. Sometimes the hum and pain seem completely unrelated, i.e. I can have pain without hum and hum without pain, so truly I do not know if they're directly correlated.

      I don't really have any fullness on the bass ear. It does feel funny when it hurts but not that same as full blown fullness people get where it feels blocked or wet.
       
    11. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Just something I'm doing at night that may help other people.

      Sleep on your arm (see image below for illustration).

      I'll explain (bear with me as it is a bit hard to explain and it sounds a bit loco but it works).

      Most people with low frequency tinnitus can stop the humming by putting a finger in their humming ear. This is because of the noise the finger makes against the ear canal.

      This can be duplicated by putting your bad ear (assuming you only have one humming ear) on your arm, but it has to be on the inside of the arm - the part that has the tendons and the veins pumping the blood.

      The veins pumping the blood will also cause an extra noise that suppresses the humming.

      Important to note is that just laying on your arm at rest is not enough. There needs to be tension on the tendons for them to make the noise (just like finger in ear works, but 'dead' earplug in ear does not work), so what I do is put my thumb underneath my middle finger so it gets "stuck" there.

      This part is the hardest to explain as it only needs a bit of 'tension' to produce noise, and this can be done while trying to catch your sleep (it does not need much concentration or muscle to keep the thumb in the locked position, you'll have to see what works for you here).

      That tension is enough for the tendons to produce a constant sound that suppress (most days) my hum.

      You'll have to tweak your 'settings' a bit to see what works for you, but I like this better than having a white noise machine on.

      I hope this helps someone - if only one person.

      567739c86e510a6f3a75df79_630211048.jpg
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    12. Moby

      Moby Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Covid?
      Thanks for the tip Ben - nice idea! I'm going to give it a go.

      I've got exactly the same type of tinnitus that everyone has described - low hum, turns off with other bassy sounds or when talking and shaking my head etc. - and would love to get to the bottom of it. I have recently felt a sensation of vibration throughout my body and so I'm doing some further investigations into some of the things I hope it's not being caused by, like Parkinson's and MS.

      But I was just wondering if anybody else has either whacko wisdom teeth and / or a very deviated septum? I first noticed my hum come on when I had COVID-19 and I'm wondering whether it might have caused inflammation of the nerves around my sinuses / wisdom teeth (which go right up into my sinuses) and then has continued to play havoc since. Just throwing out theories! Does this fit for anyone else's experience?

      Deviated Septum.JPG

      Wisdom Teeth.JPG
       
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