Shaking Head Quickly Stops My Low-Frequency Tinnitus Hum — Is It from Anxiety?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Jon R., Jun 7, 2021.

    1. Jon R.

      Jon R. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 & then again in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1st tone 2001 ear plugs, 3 other tones 2021 Pfizer vaccine
      I have 2 tinnitus noises in the same ear, a hiss that turns in to a intense buzz in a quiet room, and a low frequency hum around 100 Hz or less that can be stopped when I shake my head (as though saying "no") rapidly or if a airplane flies overhead FAR in the distance, so far it is barely even heard but has the power to completely stop my hum, incredible.

      What confuses me is how intense this hum can be, for it to be stopped by just shaking my head, or something thousands of feet away in the air.

      Could this be anxiety? I ask because since I had the COVID-19 vaccine my tinnitus has gone berserk, and I wonder if this is just because I am paranoid about my ears and was worried the vaccine might spike it. Or is there some logical reason shaking my head quickly can completely stop this humming drone noise?
       
    2. nocticolor
      No Mood

      nocticolor Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Ben Winders is experiencing the same thing, I believe.

      I have the same noises you do, a static hiss that turns worse in silence, and a hum. No idea where either came from one year after the onset of my original ringing. I thought I could stop my hum by shaking my head, but it might just be the outside noise that comes with it that masks the hum, as it only works if the hum is low in volume.
       
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    3. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Can you also stop it by covering your ear tightly with your palm or plugging it with your finger? Do talking/being talked to, yawning, swallowing also make it stop?
       
    4. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Yeah - being talked to and shaking my head in a "no" manner stops my hum.

      Having a very low volume ventilation on during the day keeps my hum completely away. At night I keep a laptop on with VERY low volume humming noise and it keeps my hum away.

      Last time I heard my hum being REALLY loud was when I was in an AirBnb where there was no ventilation and I sat in TOTAL silence for an entire day. Then at night we took the car and after a minute's car ride the hum was very loud and it went away again after a minute (for me, when it is turned on by the car, it always starts to stutter after a minute and then it completely dies down).

      Keep in mind that I had an acoustic trauma, so I'm pretty sure it comes from there, but could also be physical damage as I may have hurt my ears sleeping on in-ear headphones, although I don't think that's the cause, I'm still more convinced I have damage in the low frequencies (as I listened to a fan noise app during sleep, at the time I did not think it was too loud, but I guess it was).

      TL;DR: For the moment I only hear my hum 1 minute after car rides, during the day I sit in my living room that has the ventilation noise (real low) and at night I keep white noise (real low) on and those two things keep the hum away. But yes, it can be very loud when it is fully humming (first month, 12 months ago, it was dreadful).

      I have researched many things, I have seen many specialists. Professor Dirk De Ridder gambles/guesses it may be a thing in my right ear that processes sound too slowly and he advised to try Tegretol; I have the prescription but haven't tried it yet. I'm saving it for when the hum is constant (I hope it never will be of course).

      Can it be anxiety? I don't think so to be honest - when it started I was fully relaxed and not worried about anything.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jon R.

      Jon R. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 & then again in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1st tone 2001 ear plugs, 3 other tones 2021 Pfizer vaccine
      Yes, but my ear canal has to be fully covered or plugged. I have put earplugs in before and if just a mm of gap is there then I can hear and feel the hum desperately trying to penetrate my ear. If I fully plug or cover my ear with zero gaps then yes it is stopped. Also yes, talking, swallowing also stops it. Sometimes I swallow multiple times in a row just to stop it for those few seconds. Also as mentioned if an airplane is flying overhead in the really far distance that you can barely know it is there, then the hum stops and when the plane gets further away the hum starts to stutter and then eventually comes back when the plane is fully gone. Cars and bikes sound a lot deeper than they should too.
       
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    6. star-affinity
      Wishful

      star-affinity Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1993, increase in 2020, then new in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure about the first. Too many beers? Music during sleep.
      I've been talking about it in other threads, but my hum started after a night of beer drinking (binge amount, but over the scope of about 8 hours time).

      I recognize the "no" shaking of the head stopping it temporarily and also a low frequency fan or external drone noise taking it "out of the head".

      I don't recommend doing it on a regulatory basis (might fatigue the ear), but I also noticed that I could press/pump the cartilage "lid" in front of the ear canal opening a couple of times on my left ear with my index finger, and then letting go (creating a vacuum) would stop the hum for a few seconds – then it slowly returned.

      I could also hear (almost feel) the bass of distant cars more than normal, but this has stopped being the case now. In fact, my hum is at a much lower volume since I got (a month and two weeks back) a new high pitched tinnitus (and some hearing loss at that) in my left ear. So it seems clear the hum was/is connected to the left ear in my case, despite the experience of it coming from the head, or back of the head.

      Weird stuff I've never heard of before. Please fantastic people of science and medical research – get a grip of all this and help us!
       
    7. sm20

      sm20 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 18, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      Shaking my head doesn't make a difference but like a lot of other people have said here, having noise constantly on in the background stops the low pitched noise completely.

      I only have it in my left ear. Only my right ear showed hearing loss on the audiogram but my high pitched tinnitus is also much worse in the left ear. I know my tinnitus is noise induced, but the low pitched one I'm much less sure of because it only started 3 months after my tinnitus and I started being very safe with noise after I got it.

      Does anyone else experience eye pain with their humming too? My left eye starts to feel like it has a bunch of pressure behind it whenever there's not enough background sound to keep the hum away.
       
    8. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Pretty sure the humming we (all?) have are rapid muscle spasms -- I have OVER analyzed my hum by confronting it in a very quiet room and feeding the ear with THE CORRECT (needs to be vibrating noise) outside noise makes the spasm less intense/subside because the ear is receiving noise. Sometimes I can just sit in a quiet room and the humming will start to stutter, yes, stutter, before completely stopping.
      Which 'regular' tinnitus does that?

      Also, starting up the car for 2 minutes can set it off from 0 to 100. Which regular tinnitus does that? Again: vibration of the car setting off the muscle spasms?

      Putting a finger or a custom made silicon (very snug) earplug also makes my hum stop. I'm pretty sure this doesn't happen with regular tinnitus. My electric buzz, for example, becomes more pronounced when I put those earplugs in and take all external noise away. Again, the buzz almost completely stops.

      TL;DR: Try custom-made silicon earplugs that are SUPER snug.
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jon R.

      Jon R. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 & then again in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1st tone 2001 ear plugs, 3 other tones 2021 Pfizer vaccine
      So my hum is STILL here after being re-activated since the jab in mid May. Normally when I have a cold it comes to life but then goes away again within 4 weeks, I am now on 3 months since it began again. It is SO frustrating because some days it is penetrating my ear so much I want to die, and other days it is fairly quiet, I can NEVER find the link. What makes things even more cruel is that if I use a low level fan to mask it, then my ear reacts and the new hiss I have goes berserk. This never happened in the previous off/on 15 years I have had this humming noise, I only got the hiss since the jab. So every time it would come to life before I would just mask it, now I can't due to the high pitch shrill hiss I get from the reaction to the fan. I am snookered as they say in the UK. I just want to be able to read or watch TV or chat to people without this hum that I actually feel in my ear, if I block it with an ear plug I then hear the massively loud shrill hiss so loudly I don't know which to prefer.
       
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    10. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      So... I am now sleeping in total silence (first time since 13 months) - I am even sleeping on the humming ear (right). Fan and cricket sounds stay off all night.

      Weird thing is that my hum stays low as well (it's still there).

      Bad thing is that in the morning pretty much every single sound triggers a loud head buzzing (as opposed to the ear buzzing we were talking about here). I can turn that head buzzing OFF by shaking my head or swallowing or doing something else "inside my head".

      Like if I'm watching a video on youtube with a shrill sound in it (not even loud), the loud head buzzing would fire up, until I shake my head. Even my girlfriend talking to me sets it off, or making noise with the bed sheets. Every single time it can be turned off by swallowing/shaking head/...

      This behavior doesn't occur throughout the day though, so I reckon it's just my ear coming out of hibernation (sleeping in silence all night) and being overly sensitive to every single noise.

      TL;DR: Have you tried sleeping in total silence? OK, you have to be able to allow the buzzing to be a part of your sleep, but I reckon it's better than sleeping with white noise all night.
       
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    11. OnceUponaTime
      Wishful

      OnceUponaTime Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I've had this hum since 2014 and no, I cannot sleep in total silence. The hum is so loud it immediately triggers a terrible headache. I sleep with a small air humidifier which emits a soft hum sound and this helps.
       
    12. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Don't get me wrong - I use maskers too, sometimes it's just too much (meaning: sick and tired of the noise).

      I found a new kind of YouTube video that completely eliminates my buzzing tinnitus (when played at very moderate volume).

      Equilibrar los chakras mientras duerme,...


      I guess it's cause it has a more or less constant low tone in the background that aligns with my buzz. Does that work for you too? On loud days it sometimes pops over this YouTube tho...)
       
    13. OnceUponaTime
      Wishful

      OnceUponaTime Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I will try it later tonight but music or TV has never masked this drone.
       
    14. Rafa blues

      Rafa blues Member

      Location:
      Spain
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music
      I'd say everyone who has a low drone (including myself) has it on the left ear.

      Anyone knows why?
       
    15. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I doubt this is true. My low drone was on the right ear.
       
    16. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I don't think everyone has it in the left ear. I do. I haven't really heard of bilateral drone though.
       
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    17. Frayact

      Frayact Member

      Location:
      Greensboro, NC
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I started hearing a typical high-pitched hissing in my head back in 1996. A few months later, a low-frequency hum was added to the mix. I eventually habituated to the higher frequency, but the humming completely changed my life for the worst. I could only sleep a few hours a night as it sounded like an electric current was vibrating in my ears. I went to more doctors that I can remember, had three MRIs, and multiple hearing tests. Everything came back normal. In fact, my hearing was above average. This particular form of tinnitus was definitely reactive. Listening to music, strumming my acoustic guitar, and even talking on the phone made it worse. It was like a sleeping giant that could easily be awoken. If I shook my head from side to side, the humming would stop as if it were being "interrupted." But as soon as my head was still, the beast would return. That made me think there was some kind of mechanical cause. But the doctors couldn't find the cause (which isn't uncommon). Masking never worked for me, in fact, it made it worse.

      The only thing that would temporarily relieve it was a kind of residual inhibition. Going to see a loud, live band while wearing ear plugs would "fool" my brain into believing that something had replaced the noise. I would have virtual silence for a couple of nights. But a few days later, it would come back in all its glory.

      This went on from 1996 to 1999. I had no quality of life because of the loud hum in my head. It was a living nightmare every day. My doctor strongly recommended an antidepressant as he could tell I was not doing well. In fact, there were a few times when I considered suicide. After having no success with various AD's, he put me on Effexor XR. Within a few weeks, the humming in my head started to fade away. Eventually it disappeared altogether. I had my life back. I could listen to music again without fear of a lingering noise afterward. I started writing music again on my guitar. I felt free and clear of the demon.

      This solace lasted about a year. Then, in September of 2000, it mysteriously returned one morning. I hoped it was only temporary, but it stuck around for a week and then a month. My doctor increased the dosage of the Effexor, but all that did was make me feel like a zombie with tinnitus. I decided to ween myself off of it.

      I tried other AD's, but none of them worked, not even on my depression, much less my tinnitus. But then in 2005, I learned of a new AD called Lexapro. A friend of mine had used it (he didn't have tinnitus), and had very good results. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a shot. To date, it's the only AD I've used that's made me feel like myself again. And the humming in my head has dissipated to the point where I no longer notice it. I still have relapses where the hum surfaces again (like it did last night) for no apparent reason. It will stick around for a couple of days and then fade away again. But being the anxious person that I am, I'm always convinced that the hum will NEVER go away again.

      I'm not suggesting that Lexapro is a cure for tinnitus. In fact, some people have said that AD's make their tinnitus worse. I've never had that happen. My depression also rises and falls, but I've had depression since I was a child. The success I had with Lexapro led me to believe that my tinnitus was psychological, some buried unresolved issue in my subconscious. But that's unlikely. I was in therapy for many years and exhumed plenty of buried crap.

      I haven't even been on this or any other tinnitus board in several years. I didn't want it to continue to be a part of my life or a distraction. But last night was the first time in several years that I had trouble falling asleep because of the humming. It felt like a cancer had returned after being in remission for five years.

      Thank you for reading this long post. I hope others can gain something from it.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    18. Benjaminbb

      Benjaminbb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely long term noise exposure, combined w pandemic stress
      Would love to hear more.

      How long did you have it? And how long has it been gone?

      Can I confirm it was a super low frequency and vibration like? (You can reference a 80 Hz tone on YouTube).
       
    19. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      It would show up sporadically for about 1-2 years. I haven't felt it in probably 3-4 years now.
      I'd say mine was even lower frequency than that.
       
    20. Benjaminbb

      Benjaminbb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely long term noise exposure, combined w pandemic stress
      Ok, this definitely puts you in the hum category and is great news!
       
    21. Gremmalin

      Gremmalin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Since childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Genetic
      Mine isn't in my ears. It's my BRAIN
       
    22. Moby

      Moby Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Covid?
      Wow! I've been scouring the internet looking for some information about this weird type of tinnitus I've been experiencing since having COVID-19 and you've described it exactly! It is a low hum that gets interrupted when I speak (or someone else speaks in a low tone) or I shake my head (fast), or by a low frequency external sound like an aeroplane flying overhead.

      I hadn't been able to find anything about it and so I'm very thankful to have come across some others experiencing this. It definitely seems to be worst when I'm at home - I think because we live in a quiet place.

      I have also had a high pitched tinnitus for years but it hasn't ever really bothered me compared with this one. Initially I couldn't tell if the low frequency hum was in my head or from an external source which was disconcerting. I've also got a really deviated septum which I'm going to have fixed later this year and so I don't know if there's any relationship with it.

      I also feel like my ears are a bit blocked and that the inside of my nose (under the bridge) seems to be quite sensitive to sound too at the moment which seems weird.

      I'm heading to the audiologist and so will let you know if I have any answers to share with you all. Not holding my breath.
       
    23. Chad West

      Chad West Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      The low frequency humming Ben Withers notes exactly describes my issue. It seems to be aggravated by vehicle noises specifically and goes away when people are speaking, the refrigerator is running, or if I’m out and about in town or at the beach. If I shake my head it goes away. I push down in my ear and I can feel it fluttering and depress the sound. It was much much worse 12 months ago though. Has anyone had any luck with treatments or diagnoses?

      My audiologist noted it seemed like it could be Tempor Tympani syndrome
       
    24. Chad West

      Chad West Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Sorry there’s a typo I can’t edit - should read Tensor Tympani syndrome
       
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