Two-Second ”Warped Chirp” in Ear While Listening to Music at Night — Then New High-Pitched Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by star-affinity, May 22, 2021.

    1. 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.
      Hi,

      I'm curious if anyone can tell if they recognize what happened to my ear about three weeks ago.

      I was listening to music while sleeping in order to mask my two old tinnitus sounds – my phone in speaker mode about a feet (30 cm) away from my head – no loud volume, measured as occasionally peaking at 47 dB but mostly staying at 35 db average. I think the volume was even lower – I don't remember exactly at what volume I had it, but it was definitely not more than the above measurements.

      This was something I had been doing in a similar way and volume for months without problems, but I did start to feel some ”ear fullness” and heard some ”whooshing” in my left ear. This is why I decided to put some toilet paper in my left ear to dampen things a little. This worked fine for one night, but the next night I woke up after two hours after falling asleep to my ear doing this ”warped chirp” thing for about two seconds and directly after that a high pitched hiss started in my ear. Is this something anyone else has experienced or heard of? I'm wondering exactly what happened when that ”chirp” to place in my ear – was it the hair cells and/or synapses zoning out? o_O

      Really scary thing to experience and also at such a low sound volume – even with some paper tucked in the ear. But I guess with fatigued ears a low volume can cause problems as long as the exposure continues long enough. :unsure: :(
       
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    2. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      If you had been doing this for months before without any consequences, it could have been a coincidence or something delayed from other noise exposure. Do you have any hyperacusis?

      As I see it; as I've developed hyperacusis due to extreme overprotection, I've had new tones pop in from seemingly innocent noise exposure, not to mention bad spikes, both temporary and permanent. My tinnitus has become highly volatile due to it. Could it be that the "signature" of the phone sound (i.e. tinny/lower quality?) could have irritated any existing hyperacusis and in turn caused the tinnitus to change? Just my speculation.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      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.
      Thanks for your input!

      I just know that my ears felt ”normal” (with no hyperacusis) until that week where my ears started to feel ”full”. On Sunday night to Monday I did use headphones while playing a computer game for several hours (no loud volume, but still) and then went to bed playing music all night that I normally did. Maybe that's what made my ears start to fell ”full” on Tuesday – not enough rest for the ears. I think I one of the nights during that week I actually used headphones during the night, because I felt there was so many sounds in my head I wanted to mask.

      I also did work from home that week and my entire family was around some of the days (two kids) so it was more noise around me than there usually is when I'm in the studio/office.

      The more I think about it I really do feel like an idiot not understanding that my ears was saying they needed a break. I could have at least set at timer on the music on the phone so it would stop playing once I've fallen asleep.

      So, maybe like you say it's a combo of things that triggered this which previously fine for months.

      Still curious if anyone know what it is that happened to me – it was such a concrete ”happening” (that two second warped chirp) for turning on that high pitched tinnitus.

      I didn’t really have hyperacusis before or during that week of the onset of my high pitched tinnitus, but I feel I do now since that high pitched tinnitus started in my left ear. Not that I’ve had hyperacusis before, but it’s like I ”feel” the sounds in my ear and not just hear them. I can't listen to music for too long even at low volume. It also sometimes feels like there’s something crawling in my ear, and sometimes it’s aching a little.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      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.
      Now, since it was confirmed in an audiogram a few days after onset (about one and a half months ago now) that I have some hearing loss in high frequencies (I'm guessing the same ones as where I have my high pitched tinnitus) it seems to be ”by the ENT book” to do an MRI of the ear, just in case the hearing loss might have another reason than acoustic trauma.

      Questions:

      1. Do you think it's OK to do this MRI scan of the ear with my current condition with proper hearing protection? I do think I have a little hyperacusis, but I think it has gotten a better than it was a couple of weeks ago. At the same time I can't really listening to low volume music for long (nor sounds) that are near the frequency of my tinnitus, since it gives a slight piercing feeling in the ear. But I don't know if that's because of hyperacusis or simply that music and sounds near the frequencies of my tinnitus becomes ”too much”.

      2. Is there a difference between short, high volume acoustic trauma and long term, low volume acoustic trauma? I guess not, but would be interesting to know if it is my hair cells and/or the synapses that are damaged. The audiogram I did indicate that I have some hearing loss and I can confirm this myself, since cymbals and tambourines in songs I know sounds a little different compared to before the trauma. Still wondering if it's really possible to damages the hear cells with such a low volume I was playing music at – definitely not peaking at more than 50 dBA and since I understand the synapses (nerve fibre?) are more sensitive than hair cells, maybe it's the synapses I've damaged? Difficult to tell, perhaps.

      3. What do you think of COVID-19 vaccination and my acoustic trauma (most likely) tinnitus? About to take my first shot. Should be OK, right?

      Thanks in advance for any input!
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      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 basically have three tinnitus sounds going on, but let’s focus on the one that affects me the most and more or less my entire day being awake.

      This relatively low in volume (maybe 3 or 4 out of 10) but still quite piercing high pitched “electric sizzle” in my left ear sounds pretty much like the electric hiss that can be heard close to the charging station when charging an electric car. Every now and then during the day it also oscillates up in pitch for half a second and then goes back to baseline.

      It was triggered about 7 months ago now when I was listening to music while sleeping (sweeping synth and piano) via my phone in speaker mode next to my pillow at night to mask my two other tinnitus sounds – no loud volume and I even had some toilet paper in my left ear. The reason for the paper was that I since a couple of days before started to feel ear fullness and a low frequency humming in that ear, and it was my right ear that I wanted to mask. In hindsight I feel I should have skipped music at night totally for a couple days or or at least SET A SLEEP TIMER so the music stops after and hour or so!

      Anyway, what happened was that two hours after falling asleep to the music that night (right ear on the pillow, left ear with toilet paper tucked in pointing up) with the phone next to the pillow playing at a measured 35 to 55 dB, I wake up and heard my left ear doing this ”warped chirp” that lasts for a couple of seconds and then fades out into the high pitched hissing tinnitus sound I’ve been dealing in that ear ever since.

      I stopped having music on at night and a couple of days later the ear fullness I was experiencing was better.

      I visited two ENT doctors who couldn’t see anything abnormal in my ears and I had an MRI scan done (with good ear protection) and nothing special found there either.

      Except for the high pitch, sometimes oscillating tinnitus sound I also have these conditions in my left ear:
      • Some confirmed hearing loss (audiogram) especially between 4000 to 8000 Hz on the left ear. Most certain it was triggered in conjunction with the tinnitus onset, since I can also hear cymbals and hi-hats in songs I know now have a more ”dull” and ”flat” character than before onset. :(
      • Hyperacysis (much better now – was quite bad the first couple of months).
      • A ”crawling” and sometimes itching feeling in the ear as if the ear drum is moving (maybe it is?) or something.
      • Since about a month back I sometimes also hear/feel a ”clicking” kind of sound a couple of times in the ear. But seems less common this last week.
      The only thing that is really better since onset is my reaction to all this, which of course was horrible in the beginning – I had to be away from work for two weeks.

      Now, I’m wondering if any of you have any ideas what it was that happened with my ear?

      I think I fatigued my ear ”over the edge” that week before onset, not with loud sounds, but with long terms sounds (I can see a pattern that week on why it likely became too much).

      But did I ruin my hair cells or is it ”just” the synapses that got tilted? Does my attached audiogram mean that I’ve also managed to damage my hair cells even if no loud volume was involved? Or can you have an audiogram like mine with just damaged synapses?

      I’m curious if you think any of my symptoms will get better with time (I'm 43 now) or if this is what I have to live with until I die or a cure comes along.

      Would be nice if at least the crawling sensation in the ear got away – now it is as if I can both hear and ”feel” the ear and hear the tinnitus and it’s really giving me a hard time to habituate to it.

      Thanks in advance for any help!

      Audiogram.jpg
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      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.
      It's now been one year since I got my latest and really only debilitating tinnitus – my other two sounds (a hum in the head and a bit irregular tone in the right ear) are "just" annoying in certain (quiet) situations/environments.

      Like when going to sleep, which is why I had music playing during night (phone in speaker mode), which I got used to and almost got addicted to – I expected it to be there. But did I set a timer? No, I let it play all night long. This is likely (in combination with other things that week of onset) what eventually triggered the tinnitus in my left ear – waking up at night I could hear the onset; a two second ”warped chirp” in my right ear (stereocilia zoning out?) that then faded into a high-pitched hiss/sizzle. ”Noooooo!” I said out loud and immediately turned off the music that was playing. I’ve never had so much angst. It was clear to me that what has happened likely wouldn’t go away in the first place. :(

      Had to take sick leave from work for two weeks, could barely sleep since I was lying awake blaming myself for not setting a timer on the music.

      I think I “overloaded” my cochlea with long term sound that in short term would have been no problem at all, but that week it became too much in conjunction of what my ear was exposed to during the days. Seems I fatigued and damaged some outer hair cells since an audiogram done a few days later showed some hearing-loss between 4,000 - 8,000 Hz that I’m certain wasn’t there before. After resting my ears a few days (no music during the night) and then listening to songs that I remember how they sounded before the onset, there wasn’t the same detail in high-hats, cymbals and tambourines as before. I cried a lot.

      Anyway, my symptoms has since then been more or less the same since onset one year ago:
      • Hyperacusis that was quite bad the first months, but that got better after maybe 6 months or so. Still more sensitive to sound at frequencies that (I’m assuming) are close to my tinnitus and the (most likely) damaged hair cells.

      • Most often a “crawling” sensation in the ear. A slight, more or less constant feeling of “ear fullness” as if I can feel the tinnitus doing its thing, almost as if the tinnitus reveres the sound sensation back out to the ear drum, if that makes sense. Like a slight, constant itchy sensation in the ear.

      • Occasional oscillation up in pitch of the tinnitus sound (really irritating).

      • Occasional “burning” sensation in the ear, as if a slight inflammation is going on. Are the contents of the cochlea even capable of sensing pain? :dunno:
      Do you think at least the crawling, burning and itching sensation will go away with time? Really what it is that's causing those sensations. I feel there are so many more things than just the tinnitus sound going on in my left ear, which really makes it difficult to cope. :(

      I so hope OTO-313 will help in my case if it hits the market (sounds like it might). And hopefully it will also help for people who had tinnitus of ”cochlear origin” for more than a year. :nailbiting:
       
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