May 21, 2018307 views

Tinnitus

Hey guys, so I've been getting some ringing in my ears when I use use my IEMs at any volume for music and my speakers on a medium to loud volume. Weirdly it doesnt ring when I use my iems for phone calls only music. Its been happening for a few weeks now. I think it might be getting a little better but it hasn't stopped.

Do any of you suffer from this too? If so can you still listen to music? Have you had to do anything different because of it? Can you still use headphones? Are open backed easier on your ears than closed back? Does it ever stop? I don't know what to do.
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A possible reason why you don't hear the ringing when you take a phone call over your IEMs is that there might be a subtle hum coming from the phone that's cancelling out the pitch in your ear. My wife got tinnitus from a car accident and it goes away whenever we're near the ocean. The sound of the waves perfectly masks the ringing she has.

I'm in my mid 40's and I have close to perfect hearing despite having done enough things that I should have paid for. I have close to perfect hearing, yet I'm always the one who's asking my wife about dialogue in movies and asking people to repeat themselves. Despite her tinnitus, my wife appears to be able to understand garbled speech better than I can. Comprehending sound isn't all just about the hearing itself.
hyperlinked
That's interesting. I didn't know it was possible to find a tone that cancels it out. I wonder if it works like active noise canceling headphones.

When I was younger I never used to pay attention to lyrics in songs I just listened to it as a whole and picked songs based on the overall sound. I wonder if that has anything to do with not hearing dialog so well. Or maybe I just have always had bad audio equipment that turns the bass up to 11 so I couldn't decern what the words were.

I also have been wondering if I have had tinitus for a long time because I've always heard a very quiet hissing when there is absolutely no sound in a room. I just thought it was the sound of the blood rushing through my head or something.
Jeff-D
Some of the sound you're hearing could very well be coming from your electronics and even the electrical lines in your house. The noise they make is very faint and most people middle aged or older have lost their ability to hear some of those pitches, but it's there. Go drive up into the hills and hike a mile into the forest. If you still hear that ringing then, it's probably tinnitus.
I think I've had it since I was 16. That was my first summer job and I was working at an outdoor concert pavillion. The first time I can remember my ears being blown out was after a Black Sabbath concert and my hearing was noticeably dulled for a few hours afterward. Then there was my time in the Navy. I worked on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, and the compartment my bunk was in was under the flight deck. I was exposed to constant onslaughts of loud sounds. Even with constant use of hearing protection my exit physical showed a definite loss in hearing.

The ringing I hear is intermittent. I'm hearing it now as a matter of fact, but over time I've learned to just tune it out. Sometimes it is a while before I even notice that I'm hearing it. The odd thing is that it can start up in an environment that is dead quiet. Like late at night when everyone else is asleep in bed and I'm reading. I would definitely seek out some treatment or advice from an audiologist, but you will probably be able to train your brain to just tune it out. It has never been particularly bothersome for me personally but that's just me, and it is intermittent.

All is not lost. My last hearing exam showed that my hearing was still very good for my age and circumstances. My wife, on the other hand, has trouble distinguishing dialogue from tv and movies imparted over a fairly high end home theater setup. It is an exercise in patience just to get through a movie or tv show with her. Constant rewinds or "what was that?" If there is any background noise at all you have to be within a few feet of her for her to hear what you are saying. She has not had nearly the amount of exposure I've had. With her it is probably genetic. Her dad....He's famous for "Huh? what was that."

Sounds like you are fairly young, not yet 30. I'll estimate that I'm probably twice your age so you've got time to make adjustments and/or get used to your condition through training of the brain. The human body and mind are an amazing thing and it can adapt to almost anything.
sucram65
Its good to hear that it isn't so bad. I am 23 so your right about the age. I don't notice it when I am on long phone calls with my earphones any more and it was bothering me a lot during them at first. I am hopeful that with time I won't notice it with music either.

Try turning the subtitles on when you watch movies with the wife. I have trouble with dialog when I first start watching a show and am not used to the actors voices yet. Subtitles always help me a lot.
I've had constant hissing and intermittent ringing since my teens. I have about 20% hearing loss from years of drumming/car audio/shooting. Interestingly, I’ve blown out the highs in my left ear and the lows in my right, so between them I can hear most tones decently. Rubbing your fingers together and switching sides will show you if you’re missing a pitch or if your balance is off like me. I’ve considered having mine mapped by an audiologist and getting a headphone custom tuned for it.

Some things that help me are using the “reddit tinnitus cure” for a few minutes relief. I’ll often use it before, during, and after a listening session to reduce the ringing temporarily; although, it does little for the hiss. I never exceed talking level listening on volume and limit myself to 1 hour listening sessions for safety. IEMs seem to exacerbate the ringing for me. Whenever I get a loud ringing, I take time off, sometimes even a few days. Resist the temptation to plug your ears and let them heal naturally in a quiet environment. I’ve found that soft natural sounds help drown out the ring and hiss. If you want treatment, check out “notch” therapy. Apparently, you can train your brain to ignore certain tones after enough exposure.
Firstly, Jeff (you can call me “Ev,” it’s short for Everett), I’d like to commend you for seeking more info... trying is the only way to get anywhere. Second, I’m an enthusiast, not a doctor, damnit! (Star Trek joke) I’ve picked up a little info along the way, and I’m more than happy to share, but that’s no substitute for seeking a real professional.

As TiffanyPoodleslide said, there are different causes of Tinnitus, including nerve or blood pressure changes. Some people’s tinnitus is from blood rushing through their ears, some is partial loss of the fine hairs inside the cochlea, other times it’s bone or nerve damage. In some cases, its even possible that the ear can produce a noise audible to an outside observer!

You can’t (FWIR) get a cure from a shot of medicine in the arm, but there are treatments. Many of them are pshychology based... you said you hear it more when you focus on it, many treatments involve practicing trying to each the brain to shut it out. Diet and exercise can also make a difference, and sleep, which is nice because these are all pretty simple changes. Sometimes surgery helps.

Personally, my family has a history of hearing loss (my mother, and her father), so I’ve been extremely careful and shy of loud noises. Of course, I may/probably still will have some hearing loss anyway, just as I inherited my grandfather’s receding hairline. My first experience with a ringing sound in my ears was after buying a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 880. I got as far as testing them with a handful of songs (I have a test playlist of like 8-10 songs that have been pretty consistent over the years, and I didn’t even play all of those) when I started hearing a quiet but high-pitched ieeeeeeeeee sound, and I immediately took the headphones off and layed in a quiet place till the sound went away. Took about half an hour. Next thing I did was issue a return with Amazon, haha! So, I have an issue with sensitivity to certain high frequency noises.

You also asked if it’s still possible to enjoy music. Well, you still want to use good listening practices and not compensate by turning up the volume to unsafe levels, and know that it’s good to give your ears a rest every once in awhile instead of straight music marathoning, but yes totally music is still enjoyable. I can discern lyrics better with headphones than speakers, little nuances in the music, and most importantly feel a swell of emotion. I still (greatly) appreciate what my HD 800 and HDV 820 give me over my HD 650 played straight from my iPad, and I definitely needed time to learn how to be a more discerning listener.

Just pay attention, stop doing things that feel wrong or irritate, and love your body... it is the greatest instrument you will ever own.
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I have not looked into surround sound stuff yet. I have heard a little about it and I think id really like it because I always enjoy when I hear a noise and feel like I can actually locate it with my ears. I want to get a set of cans that is especially good for imaging and sound stage eventually. But before I do I wanna decide of I like planar or dynamic better as well as what tyoe of sound signature I prefer. Also I can't forget about trying out tubes eventually. I have s lot to look forward to.
Jeff-D
Good Day Jeff-D!

Fun times ahead! Do you have a game console or media streamer with an optical output? Best start to dippin your toes into the DSP pool is with a Turtle Beach DSS or DSS2 off of eBay... you can usually Find them for around $25, sometimes less. I’ve had both, still have the DSS2 because it has more tweaking options (and yes, it does support full Dolby 7.1 decoding). I hook it up to my PS4 frequently!

Some headphones play more realistically with DSPs than others, but all of them can differentiate between the speaker positions pretty well. In my experience, anyway.
I've had tinnitus since I was a child. I have it in just one ear but I was 23 yo before I recognized there was a name for it. All my life I have slept with a box-fan running to help me sleep. It produces just enough white noise to keep me from focusing on Quasimodo.
In the years since, my exploration for a solution has turned up na-da.

I can identify what exacerbates it for me though: Advil, caffeine, stress, loud music, lack of sleep & alcohol. The one thing that will drive me nearly insane is when I focus on it for more than a minute or so.

It's always there but sometimes it's much "louder" than at others.

So, as an audio enthusiast, I can tell you what works for me:
- Open back headphones (No ANC headphones, closed-back, or IEMs)
- Never more than 3 minutes of loud music, although I can listen for 3 hours at average volume
- Avoid all of the things I listed that exacerbate it
- And lastly, under no circumstances ever get married

My tinnitus frequency is about 9kHz and I check it occasionally for changes but I know I will always need a box-fan running so I can sleep.
KC-130
Thank you for sharing. Its helpful to hear what a pro thinks about how to deal with it. I know what you mean about it gets bad when you focus on it. I feel like it actuailly gets louder the more I listen for it. I'm glad to hear that you can still enjoy music with it and I hope I will have similar results with openbacked headphones. Especially because I bought the 6XX before this started and I was worried that I wont be able to enjoy them.

I feel like turning the fan on makes it worse for me because it gets louder then what ever I listen to. So for example if I turn the fan speed up the ringing just gets louder in proportion with the fans sound increase.
KC-130
Lol, never get married? I’m guessing because of the stress and sleep factors? My lady definitely gets my hackles up from time to time, but fortunately she doesn’t yell at me or exacerbate tinnitus. Despite an atonal singing voice, she’s a keeper! But to each their own, nothing wrong with being single!

I’m more worried about shrieking kids XD
I personally recommend seeking the services of an Ear-Nose-Throat practitioner and Audiologist.
The first step in treating any disorder is getting a handle on the etiology of the condition, as in what the actual cause is for it, which then gives a direction for treatment of said disorder.
There are several causes for tinnitus and treating the wrong variant will not lead to a fix.

Like, if your tinnitus is nerve based, but you're treating it as a blood pressure issue,(yes, blood pressure changes and blood flow in the circulation of the ear and cranium can cause tinnitus), then you won't get a solution.

Once it's been figured as to cause, then a course of intervention can be decided, which will likely involve audiology.
Some versions of tinnitus are trickier than others.

So go see a practitioner, get a diagnosis, then get better.
Just waiting or experimenting or just trying to ignore it and continue activities that may actually exacerbate your problem will only make it a longer go of getting better.
If untreated, resolvable variants can become permanent.


best wishes and hope you get fixed up pronto!
TiffanyPoodleslide
Thanks for the advice I think I will go see an ent.
how high is the volume when you listen
DingusyDingus
Doesn't matter how quiet IEMs always seems to make them ring eventually. Just faster when louder. Speakers on the other hand are a lot easier to listen to with our ringing.
Jeff-D
hmmm, interesting. I would try to steer clear of using your EIMs for now, just because of how close they are to your ear drums. Worst case scenario, you take a break from listening for a little bit, and see if that helps.
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