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Eartones?

Discussion in 'Acoustics' started by nelmr, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. nelmr

    nelmr Active Member

    Anybody get these? I probably have one every month or two or so. Hard to say. Sometimes a long time goes by without them, sometimes, I get them more often. It's kind of random. But nevertheless, pretty infrequent.

    I found this (click hear to download MP3)online which pretty much nails the sound I'm talking about. It isn't the same as tinnitus, which I also have (in the form of a very low level hiss - not enough to really bother me unless its aggravated).
     
  2. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Tinnitus.

    Yes, I have it, constantly. It is generally a whistling sound, very high pitch, but it doesn't not distract from listening to music or other things, yet. I once spent many hours identifying the exact frequencies of the ringing, but it wasn't useful to know that, other than they were all well over 5kHz.

    On very rare ocassions I will get lower, midrange and upper bass ringing in my ear, like a sine wave at 300Hz, or so, but it rarely lasts more than 20 to 30 minutes and it doesn't cause much of a problem.

    Unlike some, I have never experienced headaches from the tinnitus in my ears, nor do I have a hearing problem except when it suits me at home (what's that dear? I didn't hear you.). The tinnitus always gets louder when I drink more than a couple of servings or my stress levels get very high. Sometimes the ringing will get worse when I am sick with a fever or after a hard workout. But, in general, it isn't much of a problem for me.

    Low level hiss is not the same thing. That is just hearing loss from aging. Tinnitus is specifically ringing in the form of high pitched tones ringing in your ears most, if not all, of the time.
     
  3. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    Yeah, I've got some tinnitus too, sounds exactly as Flint describes. I only notice it if it's otherwise dead quiet.
     
  4. -B-

    -B- Well-Known Member

    Mine are ringing right now...usually are in a quiet room.
     
  5. nelmr

    nelmr Active Member

    By low level hiss I mean low in volume not frequency. The hiss is a constant high frequency hiss kind of like pink noise from 10-15khz, with maybe around 13-14khz being more prominent. A whistle is kind of similar I guess, but calling what I have ringing is not (doesn't pulsate).

    But I wasn't talking primarily about that. The short-term sine wave you describe was more what I was talking about (as the link demonstrates).
     
  6. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Strange! I guess hearing loss affects everyone differently. I played drums without earplugs for at least an hour (usually more) just about every day from when I was 9 years old until I was 25. I didn't even try to start protecting my ears until I was 18, and even then it was only for raw skill training (not musicality training) when I wore earplugs. I've had mild ringing, specifically a couple of dozen high pitched sine waves all above 8kHz. I don't hear any hiss, like pink noise, at all. I hear clearly recognizable pitches all the time, 24 hours a day, which get louder when I am tired, buzzed, or stressed. That is what I have been told by my ENT doctor is Tinnitus.

    From time to time I get a lower pitch single frequency tone for several seconds to several minutes. It is rare and it always freaks me out a little.

    The sample in your file doesn't sound like what I hear in that I don't hear any hiss, just the single tone ringing out. In my case it is dozens of tones. When I fire a gun without hearing protection, I hear a single pitch for about 20 minutes.
     
  7. PaulyT

    PaulyT Behind the Curtain Staff Member Administrator Moderator Superstar

    Wow, that's eerie, same here - some sort of tone in the ~800Hz range that starts suddenly and slowly fades away, though for me usually gone within ~30s or so. I don't know where I got this ear damage, as I never went to rock concerts or anything like that as a kid, and only played classical piano. Maybe from mowing lawns with my old walkman with those crappy completely non-isolating foam-covered headphones blasting away so I could hear it over the mower? :scared-yipes: Not like I did that every day.
     
  8. nelmr

    nelmr Active Member

    "Tinnitus is the ringing, buzzing, crackling, or hissing sound heard inside one or both ears. Sufferers of tinnitus can experience a wide variety of noise, the severity of which ranges from minor annoyance to debilitating pain." - http://healing.about.com/cs/conditions/a/tinnitus.htm

    I'm not sure what caused mine. I'm not that old (late 20s). But I did have bad ear infections as a kid to the point of having tubes put in my ears. My ears are also fairly sensitive (meaning my threshold of pain is fairly low as firework displays hurt for example). I really try to remain balanced in my volume levels with HT stuff too. I've had the tinnitus as long as I can remember.

    The only loud stuff I've been exposed to is like PaulyT, lawn mowing as a kid/teen in the spring to fall 2x a week sometimes with cheap headphones and a walk man. I also remember going to a tractor pull once as a kid and it really hurt my ears. Once I went to a concert (comedy). Outside that, things like driving on the expressway with the windows down, and HT stuff is about it for loud noises. This is why I wonder about the ear infections/tubes.

    Usually it's not a big deal and I can only hear it in a quite room (i.e. <50dB or so) or unless I specifically listen for it at around 60-65dB environmental settings. Above that point and the environmental noise overcomes it.
     
  9. nelmr

    nelmr Active Member

    The hiss in that sample file, which I didn't make, isn't quite what I hear either (it isn't that loud as well). I was referring to the tone only in that file. The hiss was there because when that type of tone "turns on" usually hearing mutes a bit in the ear (like earplugs are put in while the tone happens). I get both the muting effect and the couple-hundred hertz sine tone for 10-30 seconds or so. This is rare for me too.

    The persistent "hiss" I have is unrelated.
     
  10. malsackj

    malsackj Well-Known Member

    One thing we have not heard on this discussion is that an Ear infection could cause the problems. An Ear infection when we were possibly to young to tell the parents that we were hurting?
     
  11. Kazaam

    Kazaam Well-Known Member

    I've had a constant yet fairly mild ringing in my ears for about 10 years now. I was fine one moment. Then the next moment all heck broke loose. When it first hit it was a very loud ringing , plus my balance was temporarily screwed up. Maybe up to a half hour until things subsided? Then my balance returned to normal and the loudness level of the ringing gradually became softer. I still have it. But like Flint, I can also still hear the entire frequency range that is considered normal for a person of my age. Or at least I could when I had it tested years ago.

    Prior to that I had the short, infrequent seemingly random "eartones" as long as I can remember.

    Probably from the time I was quite young. I still get them on top of my constant ringing. They start soft and get really loud and then fade away. They sound about the same as that sound file nelmr linked to in his first post, but I don't get the static noise with it; I just have the ringing. It's a curious phenomenon, but seems fairly normal to me.
     

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