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Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

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Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

Oh yes, 7up is in the wars again lol.. this time my left ear (the right is ok - but read on) is suffering with:

  • High pitched ringing
  • Low pitched humming
  • Multi pitched humming (like water running through metal water pipes)
  • Hissing

I'm convinced that this is being caused by my wonderful HP XW6600 workstation... which I bought thinking it was just a super powerful PC lol. Anyhow several weeks back I noticed the low pitched hum and thought very little of it but its gradually got worse. The workstation measures around 45db on my phones sound meter app and thats half way between the workstation and my head so i'd imagine it to be slightly less at ear height (it also has 7 or 8 fans inside).

As murphys law would have it, I also suffer with excema in both ears which causes severe intense itching right down deep inside the ear - which is usually relieved by sticking a pen in and wiggling it around lol. I also suffer with wax problems down there and the scratching with the pen. This seems to have led to several ear infections over the years and eventually I got sent off to a ENT specialist to look at it. Obviously he advised me against the scratching technique to relieve my intense itching but didn't really have any other advice other than to apply steroid cream round the outside of the ear - which isn't going to work deep inside down by the ear drum. He also sucked out a ton of wax - which was actually seriously helpful except he said I couldn't have it done regularly which was disappointing. When I get these ear infections its only the left ear and it always spreads down to my jaw and forces my wisdom tooth (lower jaw) up slightly which makes closing my jaws difficult and it then forces the lower jaw sideways slightly.

 

With 4 different symptoms of tinnitus and an obvious fault further inside that affects the jaw, whats the odds of this being caused by the computer fan and relieving itself sometime soon? - I initially thought that if i scrapped the usage of the workstation it would pack up (untested until tonight - got out old but silent single core machine back out - will let you know) but the more i mull this over the more i find myself thinking that i might have too much internal ear problems to shake this off again (and i've got rid of other incurables previously with some really weird methods lol).

 

Anyone else have any getting-rid-of-tinnitus advice?

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36 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

Yep, I suffer with tinnitus, the squeal of the flyback transformer a CRT TV, a general off-tune radio hissing, and occasionally a low humming that drives me bonkers when trying to fall asleep, as for treatments, I have none, it's only really prevalent in a quiet room so having some background sound usually keeps it at bay...

MKSlinky
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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

Yes I do and have been suffering permanently since around the year 2000 when I eventually stopped going night clubbing. I remember back then the music (hard house) was so loud that when I came home during the early hours of the following morning my ears would be ringing very loud, sometimes it lasted days.

I also worked in an engineering environment for nearly 10 years with hydraulic presses, bench saws, grinders, drills and so on which resulted in partial hearing damage on one side. For me personally I do know the causes of my tinnitus, all of the above and playing too much loud music or watching movies on my surround sound with the volume cranked up.

My symptoms are very similar, I have a constant high pitched ringing sound which never goes away and this is often accompanied by what sounds like an angry Blackbird trying to scare a predator away from the nest. You do learn to live with it and I find I have different coping strategies. Most people who develop tinnitus never get rid of it. That said however you mentioned your wisdom teeth, are you sure you don't have an abscess under one of them? Might be worth a visit to your dentist and have an X-ray to be sure. As you probably know your ears, nose and throat are all connected and having an infection in your tooth or jaw could then spread into one or both ears so it's best not to leave it in the hope it goes away. Even a simple ear infection can damage the ear drum.

Repetitive sounds like computer power supplies and fans or even using an electric shaver daily can all have an impact on your hearing health. 

I learnt very recently that when a person experiences hearing damage such as that experienced by a tinnitus sufferer the brain develops a coping strategy, in reality what this means is that your brain turns up the volume on your hearing. This makes it difficult for the sufferer to pin point the direction of sound and worse still it makes it difficult to concentrate on only one voice in a noisy room. You might find that in a social environment you struggle to hold a proper conversation for that reason, I know I do. I find that in these situations I can hear all the conversations at the same time.

Thankfully there are one or two things that can help alleviate the symptoms but they really only mask them, they never go away. I notice tinnitus more at night time when I go to bed and so I now listen to either white noise or a recording of rainfall. I've downloaded several very good tracks which I've found especially useful. I have them on my iPod which I Ieave connected to a small speaker by my bed. I have the tracks on loop for the whole 8 hours so even if I wake up I'm not too distracted by it. Rain has a very calming effect on me and it certainly serves as a distraction from the constant annoying sounds associated with my tinnitus.

If you send me a PM I'm more than happy to upload some tracks to my OneDive account for you to download and try out, always happy to help a fellow sufferer. Wink

MKSlinky
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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

@twocvbloke

You beat me to it, obviously my rambling took too long to type out! BTW the same goes for you if you'd like to try out some gentle rainfall to listen too in bed, I have a windy track as well (no jokes) and being natural nature sounds it won't prevent you from falling asleep.

Also this goes for both of you.., a program has been developed for tinnitus sufferers available from the link below. I use the deluxe paid for version of this program myself during the daytime, I like to listen to the sounds of the countryside or a forest full of birds or just a good old crackling fire. If you visit this link look for the FREE version (3rd download down), it's worth a try!

Atmosphere Lite 

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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

@MKSlinky thanks for the offer, I will PM you in the morning (just off to bed in a few mins).

One thing I have noticed is that I've always had the high pitch ringing in quiet environments (I think most folk do) and it's never bothered me - infact (i'm a bit freaky) I kinda find the high pitch therapeutic lol. It's the other three sounds that have recently developed that cause me slight concern / mild annoyance. Today has been quite loud which is what concerns me. I'm trying not to get too frustrated with it as i'll notice it even more like that but i am a bit worried about it.

As for the wisdom tooth, it always starts off in the ear and gradually spreads down to the tooth / jaw so I don't think it's the tooth at fault or an abscess, I think it's just my rotten luck lol.

It's not really keeping me awake at night - I usually take around 10 minutes to doze off so thats not really changed but I am concerned that it could get worse..

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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

Oh I forgot to also mention that sometimes when I turn over in bed, the high pitch switches from my bad left ear to the right (when i turn to the right). If I turn back to the left it switches back again.

I know it will sound crazy but I could swear the sound literally travels through my head to reach the other side.

If anyone else has similar side switching comments i'd be interested!

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MKSlinky
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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

@7up

Hey there,

No..., most people don't have a high pitched ringing noise in quiet environments, what you're describing is classic symptoms of tinnitus, it effects probably all sufferers more in quiet environments. Like you mine also started as dull humming sound but believe me it can get much worse. At this precise moment I'm sat next to my noisy desktop computer with 4 fans running and my tinnitus is still the loudest noise in the room. 

I think it would be wrong of me to try an diagnose your condition myself, tinnitus can be caused by other factors not just exposure to loud noises, like I say hearing infections can also cause similar symptoms. Most doctors won't offer much help because despite many claims to the contrary there isn't yet an effective cure. If it were me I would ask to be referred to a hearing specialist, your hearing is a precious thing which is hard to live without. It might even be that you're experiencing mild hearing loss.

I never listened to the advice of my peers when i was younger, although only 52 now I'm certainly paying the price for that ignorance.

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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?


MKSlinky wrote:

@twocvbloke

You beat me to it, obviously my rambling took too long to type out! BTW the same goes for you if you'd like to try out some gentle rainfall to listen too in bed, I have a windy track as well (no jokes) and being natural nature sounds it won't prevent you from falling asleep.


 

I have to admit, I'm one of them people who find sounds like rain and wind annoying (mostly because it's already happening outdoors anyway!!), rain the worst one, dunno what it is about it, but the sound of rain gets on my nerves, probably cos I associate it with not being able to do outdoors stuff without feeling miserable while doing so, or just not going outside at all because of it... Sad

MKSlinky
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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

@twocvbloke

I think we all have our preferences, how about the gentle crash of waves on a sandy beach? I find that works wonders too! It's all about finding a sound you like hearing that you don't need to concentrate on, something that can wash over you. 

I'll add the link to those sound files here just in case anyone wants to try them. They're MP3 format and around 2 Hrs long each.

 

Relaxation Sounds - Tinnitus Mask

agedgopher
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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

I have had tinnitus for over 50 years. Each time I talk to doctors about it I am reminded that the perceived noises are not heard by the ear. They are, so I have repeatedly been told, due to a condition in the brain, which no-one really understands! I have given up trying to get my situation resolved and have learned techniques to ignore it.

I was diagnosed with severe hearing loss just over a year ago and when my hearing aids were supplied the level of the tinnitus did reduce. However it is now back to the levels that were present before the hearing aids were prescribed. So back to the learning to switch off the unwanted sounds.

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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

@7up

Do not go poking anything in your ears, as you know part of the inner ear is responsible for your balance, damage that and you will end up with a loss of balance ie a constant feeling of being sea sick.

Go back to the GP and stress that the problems you mentioned regarding your hearing is making you feel depressed and preventing you from getting on with your life so you want to be referred to a ENT (ear, nose & throat) Consultant.

Minivanman
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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

I was told not to poke anything in your ear smaller than your elbow!

As for those noises in the ear I doubt very much the doctor or ENT consultant can do anything about it because as already mentioned it is not always an 'ear' problem. Add to that NHS waiting times and you have another problem sorry to say.

I've had bad hearing since I was tiny. Deaf as the proverbial, told I was stupid, and ringings on and off. Not nice and I can sympathise with those who have problems with their hearing. The invisible affliction some call it.

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
beeceegee
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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

I have had tinnitus in my right ear for about 12 years now. Sudden onset, coinciding with equally sudden severe high & middle frequency hearing loss in that ear; ironic because the tinnitus I get is a constant high pitched whistling / hissing. I get very frustrated at the hearing tests because I lose the bleeps in the tinnitus. Cause thought to be vascular when I had it investigated. On the positive side my left ear is fine. Although it can get quite loud I don't find the tinnitus particularly annoying, I have pretty much trained myself to ignore it, and I can block out extraneous noises when trying to sleep simply by lying on my left side. 

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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

@Minivanman

You may well be correct that a ENT consultant can do nothing about the problem but is it not better to at least have it checked out ? @7up also mentioned eczema ? which caused itching in his ears resulting in poking things in there, at least a consultant might have some suggestions about that.

It costs nothing (at present) to see a consultant so what is there to lose apart from your time ?

Minivanman
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Re: Tinnitus - anyone here got it?

Half agree @gleneagles but I had in mind the overloaded resources of the NHS. As for time, maybe that ENT consultants time could be better spent when it comes to this sort of thing. Just saying.  

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.