Poll: Do Your Ears Hear Differently?

Discussion in 'Support' started by mintblue, Dec 17, 2015.

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Do your ears hear differently?

  1. Yes

  2. No

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    1. mintblue
      Supportive

      mintblue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      Since the onset of my tinnitus I've become acutely aware of the differences and hearing capabilities of both my ears. I've had my hearing checked several times, never to find any significant hearing loss (all within 0 to 5 db) except for one notch of 15db at 18,000 hz in my left ear. I've noticed over time though that sounds in my right ears are different from my left.

      Right Ear: Bright, crisp, good "air" presence, less mid range. I favor this ear when I'm mixing down music.
      Left Ear: Duller, better mids, easier to understand speech. I favor this ear on the phone.

      And certain high pitch sounds kill my right ear, to the point of it feeling like someone has put a knife in my ear. I did test extraordinarily high in that ear at 20,000 hz (I could hear 15db below the normal threshold)

      Has anyone else experienced something similar? I feel like I've lost hearing in my left ear but tests say they're in great shape. My ENT suggested the shapes of our ears are different (and mine really are, I've seen the molds from my custom earplugs) and that we naturally hear sounds differently in both ears. I only remember from my teenage years, driving to school alone, that I felt music was a little bit louder on the right side of my car than the left and figured it was because no one was sitting in the passenger seat.

      Also my tinnitus tends to be much louder in my left ear, some days I don't even have tinnitus in my right ear anymore. I wonder if what I have is nerve damage and not actual hearing loss...
       
    2. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      @mintblue There's a good chance it's nerve damage and not hair cell damage. The nerves actually play a large role in how well you hear a frequency.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120605175256.htm

      I've been a very avid music listener, performer, and producer so I feel like I can connect with you on this. I had excellent hearing up to about a few months ago when I had two incidents that hurt my hearing. I realized I slowly over-time damaged the nerves in my ears from headphone usage and not always protecting my ears while playing live shows in the past years. I can still hear frequencies from about 100hz to 20,000khz but sounds are not in my head like they were a few months ago and before. Music sounds very dull to me, no timbre at all. I don't hear any reverb in songs anymore and every instrument just sounds bare.

      Check out this article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150713095145.htm
       
    3. mintblue
      Supportive

      mintblue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      Wow thanks for sharing that @Nick Pyzik that's exactly what it feels like in my left ear. Like I'm just perceiving the sound, it's not in my head anymore. And I'd say this is really more with higher frequencies than lower. I'm wondering if there's a way to restore proper nerve function in that ear...

      When I initially got tinnitus (both ears) and hyperacusis (mostly in the left ear), I remember things sounding very loud in the left ear, much more so than the right. Once I started listening to music at regular volumes again (not blaring but not super quiet) I actually remember being in the car one day and hearing my left ear all of a sudden go back to normal, like a connector had been plugged back in. So maybe hyperacusis caused nerve damage in my left ear but not hearing damage. Very interesting.
       
    4. Hariz Nonis
      Sleepy

      Hariz Nonis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      For me, my T is on the right ear. I feel like my left ear is a little bigger, even the ear canal as I put my fingers in to feel the size. When I used to listen to music using earphones, my left ear was better at hearing the sounds. My T is related to Eustachian Tube Dysfunction as the ENT said, but I feel that my left ear hearing more easily might play a part.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      @mintblue There has got to be a close relation between nerve damage and hyperacusis. I think hyperacusis begins when hair cells of a certain frequency lose most of their connections to the nerves that were associated with it (termed afferent and efferent). When the hair cells lose these nerve fibers, the sound that it picks up becomes very loud to the brain since the nerve or nerves still connected to the hair cell and to the brain are relying on the processing of the sound and didn't have the support of other nerves like before. This problem could be why sound sensitivities at certain high-mid-low frequencies become almost painful! I'm basically theorizing what hyperacusis could be but from every article I read, it seems like all signs point to this theory. The nerves in our ears contribute just as much as the hair cells and I would say WAY MORE than the hair cells in some cases. They are also SO much more susceptible to damage because of overstimulation from hair cells that cause the synapses to basically break off from the hair cells.

      I apologize about linking more articles but they are really informal and can do no wrong in helping you understand more about the amazing sense we've been given as human beings. I just wish I could of known about these things long before I started getting involved with music :(

      http://hyperacusisfocus.org/innerear/ - Check out the "Hidden Hearing Loss" section that talks about nerve fibers.

      http://acoustics.org/pressroom/httpdocs/159th/liberman.htm

      http://www.tinnitus.org.uk/tinnitus-and-hidden-hearing-loss

      http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/community/blogs/our-guest-blog/the-brains-defence-against-hidden-
      hearing-loss.aspx


      http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/0...anism-nerve-fiber-loss-discussed-asa-meeting/

      There are many more articles I can post but all signs point to nerve fibers being contributed to loud noise damage and Tinnitus.
       
    6. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
    7. mintblue
      Supportive

      mintblue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      @Nick Pyzik my hyperacusis actually didn't start until a few weeks/month after my tinnitus began. Because I was overprotecting my ears and reducing exposure to noise so much that my hearing threshold went up. I wish I could have realized at the time that blocking sound was a bad thing. But the hyperacusis did go away. And I've even had weeks of time where I haven't had tinnitus beyond what's considered a normal amount in a quiet room. I think this week I've just been extra stressed and so it reactivated.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. Hariz Nonis
      Sleepy

      Hariz Nonis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
    9. Song interpreter
      Creative

      Song interpreter Member

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Too much noise
      My left ear has lost some hearing. I answer the phone with my left ear so I can write with my right hand. I have to turn the volume up when I answer the phone at work. If something is loud or high pitched, I'm plugging my right ear immediately. That hurts! I'll get my left if I can do it without offense.
       

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