Ask HN: Anyone else suffering from tinnitus?

68 points by absenceOfQuiet 2 months ago

I had awoken one morning 6 months ago and I noticed a high pitched sound seemingly from my right ear. Over the next few days it increased in intensity. Causing much disruption to my life. The doctors could not fix it. Hearing tests indicated no hearing loss. I recently had a cold where congestion in my right ear exacerbated the tinnitus a week ago just as I was "habituating" (as they say) to it.

I grew up in the generation with iPod's. So I'm wondering if I am now paying for it.

Tinnitus has disrupted my life significantly and impacted my sleep/focus two key things needed to do my job effectively as a a software engineer. I'm now on antidepressants and cannot go to sleep without a noise maker. I'm concerned about the future when/if I loose hearing in old age if I will be able to tolerate it.

Anyone else have this issue? Anyone know of any clinical trials that I could join?

abhinavm 2 months ago

I got tinnitus last year after the doctor misdiagnosed me and gave me a heavy dose of Azithromycin.

I've realised the following about what triggers and helps me -

1. Exercise: Regular exercise helps. When I regularly play tennis, go to the gym, or do yoga, the tinnitus increases right after the exercise, but is much lower throughout the day.

2. Stress and a proper schedule: If I drink more, eat garbage, or work during odd hours, my tinnitus increases. Instead of feeling bad about it, I use it as an early feedback mechanism to help me diagnose when my life is not in the right direction.

3. Weather: Tinnitus increases in the winters.

My aunt told me that regular yoga helped her mitigate her tinnitus symptoms too.

I felt quite sad and depressed during my early months of tinnitus, but over time I've tried using it as a motivator. If a slight ringing in my ears makes me feel so depressed, there are other things that could happen that could completely destroy my life. So I should remember that life is short, use the time I have left wisely, and do things that I've been putting off.

I've also tried using it as a feedback loop. If the ringing increases, there might be something wrong with my diet, daily routine, or stress. So it helps me recognise unhealthy patterns earlier.

  • BuckyBeaver 2 months ago

    It turns out that the COVID vaccines are apparently causing hearing loss and tinnitus.

    I valued my hearing very highly, protecting it at all times. I carry hearing plugs any time I go out. I won't even use a hammer without hearing protection. Then I suddenly suffered hearing loss and tinnitus. I immediately made an appointment with an ENT, who wanted to give me a bunch of steroids and call it a day. I can't take those, however, so he referred me to one of the top hearing clinics in the country.

    One of the first questions they asked was if I'd had a COVID vaccine recently. Yes, I had a second Pfizer booster. It turns out that hearing damage is a known side effect... but of course you don't find out about it until it's too late. This clinic had started seeing an influx of patients with sudden hearing loss after vaccinations, enough that they wrote a paper on it:

    And a vaccine researcher also got hit with it:

    Another one about trying to treat it:

    It's irresponsible as hell not to inform people about this risk, and also to claim that it's rare. The more-likely fact is that it's vastly under-reported, especially with people afraid of being "canceled" for speaking out. The benefits of that second booster were negligible, and the results disastrous and life-degrading. And now people are coming out of the woodwork saying, oh yeah, that's a "known thing." Well WTF then, LET IT BE KNOWN.

    • 6868686 2 months ago

      But do you read the articles you post?

      They conclude there is no link from current data.

      Using your logic you could blame any new reported medical condition on COVID.

      The reality is that with such a huge vaccine rollout all over the world, there should be data by now.

      There are also things that happened during the covid outbreak not related to the disease itself, such as more stress, people were in online meetings more, sharing workspaces at home which could have caused an increase in headphones usage, etc, etc.

      > that's a "known thing."

      Please show me the data! Because I looked and its not there.

      • BuckyBeaver a month ago

        Data current at the time that paper was written.

        And I didn't blame it on COVID.

        It's irresponsible to ignore the likelihood of under-reporting, not to mention the fear of being "canceled;" this was mentioned in the article about the vaccine researcher getting it.

    • cableshaft 2 months ago

      Just getting Covid-19 can lead to Tinnitus. I remember hearing of quite a few people reported getting it after being infected, before there even was a vaccine.

      In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic:

      "But on April 29, the American Academy of Audiology, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology issued a statement regarding the matter.

      The groups said that based on a recent study conducted by The University of Manchester and Manchester Biomedical Research Centre that was published in the International Journal of Audiology, scientists estimated that 7.6% of people infected with COVID-19 experienced hearing loss, 14.8% suffered from tinnitus and 7.2% reported vertigo. This study also conveyed that there is an urgent need for additional studies regarding the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the auditory system."[1]

      So just getting infected by Covid-19 might give you a ~15% chance of getting Tinnitus.

      I started having noticeable, permanent Tinnitus myself in September 2019. If it were a few months later I might have thought it was because of Covid-19, but it wasn't. It might have been a side effect to an antibiotic I took a while back (Cipro) that I had a bad reaction to (full body neuropathy after a single pill, lingering neuropathy off and on for a few years after) and some studies suggest could lead to Tinnitus, or because I had to wear headphones at work to block out noise at an open office (fuck open offices, I'll never RTO to those), or something else, hard to say. I got my hearing tested by an ENT doctor six months ago and I don't have any hearing loss, though.

      By the way, since you specifically said hearing loss in yours, at least according to this study[2], there's no increased risk of hearing loss following a Covid-19 vaccination.

      "Our data suggested no increased risk for SSNHL [sudden sensorineural hearing loss] following any COVID-19 vaccination. In particular, adjusted incidence rate ratios, with 95 percent confidence intervals (95% CI) for the BNT162b2 vaccine’s three doses were 0.8 (95% CI 0.6 to 1.0), 0.9 (95% CI 0.6 to 1.2), and 1.3 (95% CI 0.9 to 2.0). SARS-CoV-2 infection was not associated with an increased incidence of SSNHL either."

      Not saying it's impossible yours wasn't caused by the vaccine, but it seems like it's so incredibly rare and Tinnitus can have a bunch of causes (and effects a large number of people eventually) that it's more likely to be coincidence than not.

      Regardless of its origin, I'm sorry you're suffering from Tinnitus. I know firsthand that it sucks, and wish there were better treatments for it, because it gets damn annoying, and fucks with your concentration and ability to sleep at times. I hope at some point there's a breakthrough that lets there be some treatment (besides that stupid 'this one trick' on reddit and youtube of thwacking the back of your head with your fingers that relieves it very little for like 30 seconds that everyone keeps passing around as if it were a miracle cure).

      [1]: [2]:

      • daflip 2 months ago

        Can confirm, got covid in Dec 2020 and have it 24x7 every day since (-:

      • BuckyBeaver a month ago


        The auditory artifacts started before I ever had COVID, though. And the acute case didn't start during, or within months after COVID... it started after a booster.

Quequau 2 months ago

Yeah, I have Ménière's, so I also have tinnitus. An important part of my own habituation is that I quit paying attention to all pop science news about it, including upcoming treatments, prosthetics, and clinical trials.

If at some future time an actually effective treatment, prosthesis, or medication is developed, it will hardly be possible to hide from the news. Until that point knowing about all the things that were tried and didn't work doesn't really help me.

Also, hopefully this might help someone: For playing my ambient sounds on loop, I use an old first gen Raspberry Pi with a set of USB powered speakers running mpg123 (a command line audio app) which I edited into the RPi's rc.local script (run on boot) and yt-dlp (YouTube download and transcoding).

There are literally tens of thousands of different audio ambience tracks on services like Spotify and YouTube of every possible description. It's astounding really. So occasionally I ssh in to the RPi, grab some track off of YouTube, rip it to mp3, and then play it for a while. Otherwise it plays the same heavy surf track I've been listening to for over a decade. I know every moment of that track and there's something weirdly comforting to that.

Right now I am listening to "Rain on Tent" and on my laptop is some sort of upbeat morning Jazz cafe thing which is probably not entirely man made.

  • to1y 2 months ago

    What's the "heavy surf track" out of interest?

    • Quequau 2 months ago

      It's the one I ripped out of my Logitech Squeezebox Boom when the display finally died back in 2011 or so. It's less than 10 minutes long and is designed such that the point where the loop restarts is not noticeable.

    • l0ng1nu5 2 months ago

      Like hearing a track of a roaring beach being played through headphones.

prirun 2 months ago

Have had it for decades, caused by working in computer rooms with hard/raised flooring and loud power cabinet blowers and air handlers.

I manage it with these earplugs:

I sleep in them, mostly so noises like the furnace coming on or the cats getting rowdy outside my bedroom don't wake me up. But also wear them anytime the tinnitus is bothering me. Things like road noise while driving, fan noise, vacuum cleaners, etc seem to aggravate mine, and the earplugs generally help lower the high-frequency noise in our environment. I've gotten so used to them that sometimes I don't realize they're in my ears. For me, it seems the less noise I have to process, the less tinnitus bothers me. So I've never used things like noise generators to mask the high-pitched ringing.

I cut about 1/4" off the tip of these earplugs before using them. If I don't, they puff out in my ear and will make it sore if worn for long periods of time. I wash them with soap and water and use them for months at a time, so that one jar of plugs has lasted me almost 10 years.

  • cableshaft 2 months ago

    > For me, it seems the less noise I have to process, the less tinnitus bothers me.

    I'm the opposite. The less noise there is, the more noticeable the Tinnitus is, and harder to ignore.

    I've had the best luck just being outside (especially hiking in forests, but doesn't have to be), actually. Something about the natural ambiance seems to almost 'soothe' my ears, somehow. It can be more effective than a noise machine at times.

  • _fs 2 months ago

    I'm confused as to how earplugs help with Tinnitus. The sound is coming from within your ears. At least in my case, the external world has no significance in the volume of the tinnitus. In fact, cutting out noises makes Tinnitus more apparent. Something like a white noise machine helps marginally, as it gives the brain something else to focus on.

    • prirun 2 months ago

      Putting the earplugs in doesn't make tinnitus go away. But overstimulating my ears seems to aggravate tinnitus. For example, I worked for 9 months mixing my sister's CD, 6-8 hours/day. I liked the work, but there's no way I could do it for a career because it caused my ears to ring even more when I wasn't mixing. Earplugs give my ears a respite from high-frequency noise, which for me, over time, seems to calm down the tinnitus a bit; it lowers the volume if you will. It doesn't ever go away though.

    • garren 2 months ago

      I typically rely on keeping background noise going to drown out the tinnitus, but I’ve also found that earplugs can work.

      I don’t use them as much, but in my case, yeah, they’ll increase the volume of the tinnitus. In a weird way though, I’ve found that if that’s all you’re hearing then you can kind of get used to it and your mind starts to kind of drown out the noise. You can also meditate and focus on the tinnitus with the same effect, and there too the earplugs can help.

      I don’t tend to wear them for more than an hour or two since even the soft ear plugs seem to make my ear ache.

antigirl 2 months ago

I was like this once, i didn't go on antidepressants but i thought my world was over. Let me just tell you that this a small blip and you will learn to live with it. The intensity at which you hear it now will dampen by ten folds as time goes on. In some people it can also randomly disappear

What helped me -Sleeping with a fan / aircon / noise machine -Listening to music / coffee shop bg sounds during work -Not having many silent moments at home, having music on etc to distract myself

I always wear ear plugs at loud events like gigs etc, something I always should have done. You need to stop listening to it, to see if its gone or how high it is. Eventually your brain will zone it out.

also this is a crazy suggestion but moving to Asia also helps, there is always traffic, fans, aircons and beach sounds

  • 6868686 2 months ago

    Same here.

    Funnily enough, I started noticing mine more when I moved to a new Apple silicon macbook that didn't need the fan running full all-day.

    I was like "oh cool - I can have a silent workspace now", and I also disabled my Dyson fan's "constant air quality monitor" which spit our some constant decibels. Then when I was in silence, I realized I could notice it a lot. Maybe it's why I didn't notice it in the first place.

    > I always wear ear plugs at loud events like gigs

    It's kind of a blessing to experience it so you can be aware.

egberts1 2 months ago

Lifelong tinnitus here.

Doing all of the followings has helped me greatly:

* Brownian noise generator, as needed

* cold compress on forehead as needed

* avoidance of large number of Rx (ototoxic)

* no tobacco-derivatives

* no cannibus (did not discern between THC or CBD (sp?)

* no overeating

All those are very noticeable in form of tinnitus when violated. But it took a very long time to discover what works and what doesn't. Self-awareness of all those stimulus is required to identify and it gets easier once self-trained to recognize association between your own action and tinnitus. Most are identifiable within 30 minutes, some Rx takes 5-7 days to notice).

At age of 48, I lost 85% of hearing within 30 minutes of taking one dosage of Zyban (Wellbutrin-class) Rx. Filed a report with FDA. Warning sheet made no mention of this.

Cochlear implant helps a lot with reducing (built-in Brownian noise generator) as well as restoring my hearing to almost better than avg. human. But it took away my natural sound spectrum (think 32 distinctively-sieved equalizer bars, or crescendo sounds jumpy) in favor of huge dB increase.

Edit: am sedentary, my BMI is 29. Relatively stress-free (might explains less need for exercise there but do do notice Yoga helps a little).

Listened to music that has varied rhythms (Jazz, classical, low-bass beats) but that music selection has noticeably becomes no longer the requirement for tinnitus reduction once my list above were maintained. (Derivative of Brownian noise, panacea?). I now enjoy nearly all music variety (metal opera, anyone?)

aspirin is noticeable but preferred over Tylenol (liver protection). And a light social drinker.

Tinnitus is largely gone but every now and then some new act such as eating enjoyable jalapeño would bring it back with a vengeance or a nasty bout of Staph-B (high temperature).

I only wished I was told of all this ahead of time because life quality has improved greatly overall with not just better in terms of avoiding tinnitus-induced depression but oral communication has improved.

Ask your medical professional to add to your medical record the anti-Ototoxic list as part of your known allergies to avoid hearing loss (as well as tinnitus):

Good luck with your self-awareness training.

  • fazeirony 2 months ago

    Thank you so much for posting that link. Although tinnitus I seem to recall always being present, it was amplified exponentially a few years ago - when I was prescribed an Rx from that list (amitryptiline). My hearing, thankfully, is still good, but that list is pure gold now for me. Esp. considering I don't take any Rx normally (but I'm not against them...though my experience has been vastly tainted now).

    Unfortunately, a lot of things that worked for you to make it 'largely gone' hasn't worked for me - it is ever present in the background and then gets amplified. I don't have a cochlear implant though since my hearing is still good.

    Anyways, many many thanks for sharing your experiences and that link.

  • tomcam 2 months ago

    > At age of 48, I lost 85% of hearing within 30 minutes of taking one dosage of Zyban (Wellbutrin-class) Rx

    Devastating. So sorry to hear that.

  • garren 2 months ago

    Definitely agree on the weed. I tried a high THC tincture about two years ago and my tinnitus was practically screaming for a few hours. No fun. Not sure about CBD, not interested in finding out.

throwaway221208 2 months ago

I've had it with varying intensity for decades. Tried a lot of stuff, nothing helped. Until I did something against my neck tensions. I haven't been able to get rid of it completely, but when it gets worse, fighting the tensions usually helps. Going to the gym and strengthening my neck muscles also helped.

The theory is that the neurons handling neck pain are located really closely to the auditory neurons, so there might be some interference. I'm not sure how proven that theory is though. I guess that might also be the reason why some people think stress causes tinnitus - stress also (sometimes) causes tensions, so it might be an indirect causation. Personally, I never noticed any direct correlation between stress level and tinnitus. I tried taking a time out - didn't improve anything. It also did not get worse in stressful times as long as I took care of the neck tensions.

It took me quite a while to figure that out because I have a spectacularly bad body sensation. My girlfriend used to tell me how tens I was and I never noticed by myself. Once I took care of that the headaches that had also been plaguing me, vanished as well. So in hindsight I feel a bit stupid for not figuring that out sooner. :)

ManlyBread 2 months ago

At one time I noticed this being a problem and it didn't want to go away. I was dreading the thought of it becoming worse and worse as I age. Then I somehow realized that I am consuming far too much caffeine and alcohol and once I cut down on both it almost ceased to be an issue. Stress also played a factor and was linked to the caffeine/alcohol consumption.

dexterlagan 2 months ago

I developed a Tinnitus many years ago because of an SSRI. It bugged me for years until I found out about Bacopa. I started taking Bacopa every morning, and 3 weeks later my tinnitus was so low that I forgot it was there. Today I still have a bit left, but not nearly as bad as before. When it comes back, I take Bacopa again and within weeks it gets much better. Cheers

BaseballPhysics 2 months ago

Random aside: topics like this make me better understand the value of trigger warnings.

I've had tinnitus for as long as I can remember, but I typically don't notice it despite it being fairly loud.

Until, that is, I read the word "tinnitus"...

  • caruizdiaz 2 months ago

    Fully agree, but this is the first time in 18 months that I am able to read a thread about tinnitus without feeling any unease.

    I read every single comment, even the ones that shouldn't have been posted for their utter lack of empathy.

    • BaseballPhysics 2 months ago

      Heh, nice! That is honestly really great to hear! Err... no pun intended...

Waterluvian 2 months ago

I got tinnitus about six months ago after getting what we think was covid. I have lots of details if you have questions. But the comment I want to put out there for anyone suffering:

I thought about suicide almost daily after the first week. I couldn’t understand how one could live with this. As anyone who has it knows, it’s life altering. But a lot can change. I “habituated” to it and I think it got a bit better. Today I have to stop and listen for it to notice it. It’s also forced me to address other things: stress, sleep, diet. They all seem to play a factor.

0x0203 2 months ago

If you're looking for clinical trials and emerging hearing loss treatments currently being studied and tested, you might look into FX-322. [0] is an MIT article discussing this "regenerative therapy" drug and the company developing it. [1] is a currently active trial (not currently recruiting). [2] are all of the FX-322 trials listed by the NIH. You may have to do some additional digging to find their results, but from what I remember, results were potentially hopeful.

Also important to note that current studies on this are also not targeted at tinnitus, and depending on the cause of one's tinnitus, this type of therapy may very well do nothing to help. Something to maybe keep an eye on though, and maybe even talk to your medical professional should they conduct any additional trials.




uberduper 2 months ago

I lost all hearing in my right ear about 23 years ago, presumably due to a viral infection of the inner ear. This left me with severe tinnitus. It's not a background noise.. it's the only thing I "hear" from that ear. It took about 6 months for me to cope with it and probably a year before I generally stopped noticing it. At some point I started getting through most days without giving it a single thought. Anything that changes the pitch or volume/intensity will cause it to dominate my senses for a while. Sometimes it will just randomly skyrocket in intensity where it's overwhelming. I don't really know how to describe it other than "debilitating pain that doesn't hurt." Doctors told me caffeine and alcohol will make it worse. I guess that's probably true, but I consume quite a lot of caffeine and that doesn't seem to impact it. Alcohol in less than get drunk amounts is fine too. The big one is sleep deprivation. That'll mess me up every time.

Anyway, it sucks. You don't really have any choice but to get used to it and your brain should do that at some point. My recommendation is to accept it and stop trying to get rid of it or trying to find some hack to help manage it. Once you've gotten used to it and only suffer from periodic episodes, then start trying various tricks to push it back out of mind.

tluyben2 2 months ago

I have it badly yes. Since very long time, tried everything. I regularly go to the specialist to see if there are updates, but my version seems to be not fixable. It gets far (far!) worse when stressed or tired.

I had it since I was early 20s; it didn't get worse, but also not better. It's very annoying when counting on me hearing something in meetings (irl or via zoom/phone etc); there cannot be any background noise or I hear literally nothing but static. That's why I generally just tell people to chat/email; I prefer that anyway, but it's also a necessity when there is background noise (and let's face it, there is always that one person who has produces a strange amount of noise on Zoom), or has a broken headphone so it crackles through everything they say. Or they use that black conference 'thing' big companies have in the middle of the table which has the worst sound quality ever if you don't bend into it and shout.

Hope they can fix it for you! It sometimes makes me lonely in busy bars as I cannot understand what anyone is saying unless they scream their heads off into/close to my ear. Now that i'm a bit older, more people have hearing issues and are more sociable in helping out instead of thinking i'm just some introvert weirdo 'who does not want to call but only chat'.

  • stefandesu 2 months ago

    I never realized until I read your comment that my tinnitus must be the reason that I have trouble understanding people in certain situations. It's definitely not as bad as you are describing and it's less of a problem in my native language than with English, but it's definitely there.

    • tluyben2 2 months ago

      It is less a problem in my native language as well! I'm Dutch but I have spoken almost exclusively English for work the past 20 years and yet, in Dutch, I have far less issues. That's funny, until you said it, I never thought about that. At least not as it being any relation to this.

rendx 2 months ago

I've had it for almost 30 years, until about a year ago due to some crazy amount of stress it became so heavy that I finally did something about it. What ultimately helped and brought lasting relief were a few sessions with a cranial osteopathic therapist. Highly recommended!

  • cassianoleal 2 months ago

    Did you tell them it was for tinnitus, and is this a common thing they treat?

    Also, do you have to go back periodically or has it made it go away?

  • dplgk 2 months ago

    A what?

6868686 2 months ago

Was there anything else that happened around that time?

COVID? Falling asleep to loud headphones? Rock concerts? Do you blast music while you code? Change in ambient room noise?

How old are you?


I noticed an increase in volume of mine at the start of the year.

Was after a clubbing night with insanely loud music. From which I caught my first COVID case too.

I was guilty of blasting music while coding at night. Especially when having a few beers, I would increase the volume without noticing it.

Have also fallen asleep with headphones blasting music.

Mine is white noise and a minor electrical kind of thing. I completely understand how it can disrupt your life.

I'm glad it happened to me because now I take preventative measures when around loud music or at concerts. Otherwise I would never have known. When people think about damaging their hearing, they think its like a gradual thing they will notice, and will just mean they can't hear some frequencies. But I don't think people expect tinnitus.

People don't know. There needs to be more awareness. Rock concerts are way too loud without ear plugs.

For me, I habituated, and don't notice it anymore. It really is a psychological issue. Much with anything in life, the answer is to simply not think about it. And appreciate that it was always going to happen so there is no need for regrets.

kif 2 months ago

I've had what I believe to be "tinnitus" since I was a kid. It's not always a high pitched sound, I only get that sometimes, probably like when healthy people get it.

The kind of tinnitus I have is what I can only describe as the sound a plane makes mid-flight (at least the one you can hear from inside).

It doesn't really interfere with my life, but it can become annoying if I suddenly become aware of it.

agnija a month ago

I have tinnitus.For 23 years.

My hearing is no worse. It is actually very sensitive to noise. I need to use earplugs to be able to sleep. I am poor sleeper unfortunately, it could be the reason.

I got used to tinnitus. I think mindfulness meditation before bed could benefit you. I don't think there is much you can do, especially trying to fight it or think about it.

dansult 2 months ago

I got used to it to the point where I don't notice unless I'm in silence. If I am exposed to loud noise for a sustained period such as a bar, concert or otherwise it will be much more pronounced the following day. Sleeping without a fan or ambient noise is a non-starter which makes hotel stays which has quiet aircon or fans a challenge. Hope you find what works for you.

zimpenfish 2 months ago

Both ears for about, uh, 25 years (I went to a lot of un-earplugged gigs at university in small venues.)

The Neuromodulator from mynoise[1] sometimes alleviates it for a period of time, especially mixed with some coloured noises.

Other than that, there's apparently research indicating that notched audio (music with your tinnitus frequency removed) may help train your brain, e.g. [2].

Annoyingly mine seems to be a broad spectrum and/or my ability to recognise pitch is abysmal which means I've not been able to test this myself - but there's apps to do it for you.



UntitledNo4 2 months ago

I've had tinnitus since such a young age (probably genetic), that I don't remember myself without it. Mine usually doesn't bother me, I guess I'm just used to it (and also that it's not as bad.

Like other people here mentioned, I found that the best way to deal with it, when it does bother me, is to have another background sound that stops you from focusing on it.

I'd recommend trying to "listen" to Sleep, an 8.5 hour album by Max Richter written to be played while you sleep, although I also sometimes play it in the background during the day since it helps me switch off and focus on what I'm working on.

  • tigeroil 2 months ago

    I know it's ridiculous but I genuinely didn't realise I had tinnitus for so long, precisely because I've had it all my life and so just assumed that tinnitus must be something different. I genuinely can't imagine not having it.

    • UntitledNo4 2 months ago

      I didn't even know what tinnitus was until someone told me they have it and explained what it was. I assumed everybody hears those noises.

xtiansimon 2 months ago

Lol. I had a bout of what I would call tennitus this week after my neighbor borrowed $20 bucks from me.

I wear ear pods frequent while I work. They came to my door and asked to borrow some money. I was on hold with a vendor, so I ran to my wallet, gave them the money and pointed at my ear, saying I was on the phone. I closed the door and turned back to my office—then BAM. A high pitch whine in my ear. I pulled the pod out, and sure nuf, it was in my head.

I just decided to ignore it, and it ‘went away’.

Only reason I even gave it any thought was because a colleague of mine was said to have it, Mr. Rick Tharp. What a talent. He committed suicide twenty years ago. Supposedly because of his tennitus.

In my experience with it, it goes away.

Because of my heartbreak over loosing my friend, I wonder if tennitus is code for depression.

  • BuckyBeaver 2 months ago

    Have you had a COVID vaccine?

    After getting ours, my girlfriend and I both noticed (although we didn't mention it to each other at the time) occasional sudden random hearing suppression in one ear, accompanied by a high-pitched tone. This would immediately start fading away and be gone in a minute or two.

    After a second booster, I suddenly lost hearing in one ear and now suffer massive ringing. It turns out that this is a "known" thing that people just aren't talking (or warning) about until it's too late. It's a hideous destruction of people's lives.

    • shagie 2 months ago

      Do note that Covid itself also leads to tinnitus.

      Texas Roadhouse Founder Kent Taylor Dies After Struggle With 'Post-COVID' Symptoms

      > Texas Roadhouse restaurant founder and CEO Kent Taylor died by suicide last week at age 65 after what his family described as a "battle with post-Covid related symptoms, including severe tinnitus."

      As vaccines often stimulate a response similar to the disease, it should not be a significant surprise that it is possible to have similar problems - though to a lesser degree.

Zardoz84 2 months ago

I got a tinnitus like 6 months ago. It started with a cerumen plug that I developed on my left ear. When it was removed, a high pitch sound remained (on my case, sounds from all directions). It, only is annoying when I go to sleep. mainly because when I lie down on the bed, sometimes becomes more intense. I had a strong episode some weeks ago, where I need to take lorazepan to sleep. I think that was more strong, has I had a lot of pressure on my job (aka I was more stressed)...

I find very helpful using my phone to put some background noise (raining. noise from Some times, I use a Bluetooth sleeping ear plugs.

Actually I'm taking some (receted by my doctor) pills that looks that it's helping a bit, and doing some exercises to teach to my brain to ignore it.

spreeker 2 months ago

I've learned to shift my attention away from the tinnitus to "think" Oh the refrigerator turned on again and forget / not focus on the tinnitus anymore.

Tinnitus is very annoying and eats away energy it requires to pay extra attention to your health and mood and your attention. You might ALSO be very stressed and burnout and blame everything on tinnitus, eliminate other issues and stress factors

Since you do not seem to have a clear loud noise event in the days prior to the tinnitus look for other health issues like a old root canal treatment

I had to change my life to avoid all loud noises and events it's HARD but you get used to the limitations.

  • BuckyBeaver 2 months ago

    "look for other health issues"

    My money is on COVID vaccine, which is emerging as a known likely cause of hearing damage:

    I don't buy the "rare" BS, and it's time to take publications to task for declaring that something is rare without the scientific rigor necessary to make that claim. The far-more-likely truth is that it's wildly UNDER-REPORTED. I didn't find out about the connection until I was referred to a highly reputable clinic by my ENT, who never mentioned it. But to the clinic it was a known correlation. So... did they report it to some statistics-keeping organization on my behalf? Did my ENT? I doubt it.

    I reported it through VAERS, but if you consider all the hurdles I had to make it through to file that one report... you get a tiny minority of cases recorded. I had the time, money, and wherewithal to go to three doctors until I found one who knew what he was looking at. Then I was informed and motivated enough to make the report.

    I suspect this is a much bigger problem than is being admitted. Just like Cipro and its ilk destroying tendons for two decades before the FDA finally put a warning on it... and corticosteroids ruining people's vision by causing central serous retinopathy.

Ancalagon 2 months ago

I got mine right before COVID happened, so it wasn't that disease that caused it.

Its strange because I don't feel like I abused my ears relative to my peers: didn't use alcohol until I was in my twenties, hardly ever went to loud music shows. I did use my ipod growing up a lot as well but I was usually pretty careful about my ears and used lower volumes.

More than likely for me I think it was a combination of possibly motorcycle riding (despite wearing hearing protection I'd still sometimes come away from a ride with some ringing in my ears), and one incidence at a shooting range where my earmuffs weren't quite on, and - possibly most of all - I'm pretty sure my snoring contributed to it becoming permanent.

meltyness 2 months ago

Worn over-ear headphones alot? May want to get "ear lavage" from a doctor, they blow buildup of earwax out of your ears with a gentle stream of water. Cleared this right up for me, especially when putting pressure on either cheek, as when laying down.

ggm 2 months ago

Yes, your earphone and earbud usage may have a lot to do with this. But, so can hypertension, jaw clenching, antibiotic use and in my case, going to see the original "Who" line up (with Keith Moon) at the glasgow Apollo in the seventies.

There's an electrostimulation trial I believe. Non-nvasive

I recommend white/brown noise, natural sounds and CBT. Mine is a constant companion, made worse by being reminded about it gods curse you!

flippinburgers 2 months ago

Yes I do. Quite stupidly I went to too many all night/all day music festivals when I was in my early twenties and would hang out down by the stage. After one of the parties, I almost couldn't hear. It was as if I was submerged in a pool of water while trying to make out the sounds around me. Very weird.

Thankfully that passed and I can hear but the ensemble of differently pitched constant ringing ... can genuinely be a nightmare sometimes. As someone else stated, I cannot hear other people speak when there is background noise. I don't go to bars, concerts, or movies anymore (for almost two decades now). It sucks.

  • fatboy 2 months ago

    I find that wearing earplugs really helps with the background noise in bars thing. Counter-intuitively (for me) it makes it much easier for me to hear the person next to me.

    These ones I can wear all day comfortably:

    • zimpenfish 2 months ago

      My favourite kind (now) are the Leight Laser Lites - got introduced to them whilst working at a place with a datacentre and was soon borrowing* several pairs every time I went down to the basement.

      Cheap in bulk, which is handy because I need them to sleep.

heroiccocoa 2 months ago

Tinnitus seems like a solved issue for me.

Even a small amount of dirt cheap taurine supplementation completely cures it It also cures my anxiety and eye floaters. I wonder what's going on biochemically for it to have such a strong effect on me, or perhaps what nutrient is rate-limiting my endogenous taurine creation, but I'm happy enough having discovered a cure.

mharig 2 months ago

Have Tinnitus since near 40 years. Too much metal. Never bothered me, so I didn't seek cure, but I accidently found one: I once moved to a region with few people, all quite boring. So no concerts, no parties, I didn't listen to music for 2 or 3 months, had no TV, nor any other artificial sounds. And the Tinnitus disappeared completely. But when I started to listen music or watching TV or using my car again, the Tinnitus reappeared. I tried 3 or 4 times, and it was absolutely reproducible.

hasbot 2 months ago

I've had tinnitus for many years. Too much listening to Black Sabbath with headphones maybe? Anyway, it's mild and doesn't disrupt my life. I saw a documentary on tinnitus a bunch of years ago and saw that some people have it much much worse. So, I'm lucky. I used to be very careful about protecting my hearing - double up ear protection when shooting, or running a chainsaw; standard protection when mowing, woodworking, etc. But, I've lapsed a bit for some reason.

  • speedylight 2 months ago

    Did you lapse around the time you got tinnitus?

    • hasbot 2 months ago

      No. Maybe I wasn't clear - I was very careful with my hearing because I already had issues (i.e. tinnitus). I think the reason I lapsed is because I wasn't engaging in loud activities as much as I used to (e.g. shooting) and just kinda got out of the habit of ensuring I always had my ear plugs and muffs around.

TYPE_FASTER 2 months ago

I started hearing a similar sound recently. I don't know if the fact that I had been sitting in a loud open office layout for a year or two was related, or a coincidence. Like others here, I listened to a lot of loud music over the years, mostly using earbuds and headphones, with a few live shows. Also like others here, I've found the usual combination of (lack of) exercise/sleep/stress are factors, and I suspect age contributes as well.

roydivision 2 months ago

I've had tinnitus for the last 3-4 years. The noise seems to come from inside my head, not from my ears. I find fatigue has the biggest effect on it, the more tired I am the stronger the ringing. I suspect heavy fatigue brought it on in the first place.

I've gotten used to it now to the point where unless it's really strong I can more or less ignore it.

I can understand that some people find it distressing, but I've made my peace with it, it's now part of me.

bmj 2 months ago

I have a very mild case of it. I grew up in a generation that went to many, many live music shows without any sort of ear protection. I also spent many days in close quarters with other musicians playing very loud music.

Related: Nick Cave (Australian musician) and his own issues:

  • vidanay 2 months ago

    Exactly the same as me. I went to 1(00) too many arena rock concerts in the 80's and now pay the penalty.

mikeInAlaska 2 months ago

I had a fingernail infection that turned into cellulitis in December 2021. Doctors prescribed doxycycline and then bactrim when it failed to resolve. (This fixed the infection.) Shortly thereafter my ears started ringing 24/7 and it has not stopped in 2022 whatsoever. It turns out these drugs have a reputation for this. I think I would have rather amputated my finger. However, I would have required antibiotics for that also : )

Sytten 2 months ago

Similar situation, it stressed me a lot and I still don't sleep very well. In my case the intensity of it is influenced by posture. So more exercises, stretching, meditation and therapeutic massages (need to find someone good) helped a lot.

I didnt find that background sound helped me. I also had no hearing loss but got exposed to stressing noises during construction projects I do for fun (now I am always careful).

thepra 2 months ago

Long time mild/livable tinnitus holder. I just got used to it, even when I'm programming. And well aware that that sound will probably be the last sound I'll hear in this life.

What worked for me when programming or thinking intensively is getting used to headphones and background music always running, thus once trained to think clearly with noise then the job becomes more bearable.

rwl 2 months ago

I've had tinnitus for about two years. Like you, I just kind of noticed it upon waking up one day. I don't know what caused it but it seems to be related to stress, posture, and sleep position. I'm still figuring it out, but it doesn't bother me that much, so I've been kind of slow with it.

Earlier this year I came across this study with very promising results:

Sirh, Soo Ji, So Woon Sirh, Hah Yong Mun, and Heon Man Sirh. 2022. “Integrative Treatment for Tinnitus Combining Repeated Facial and Auriculotemporal Nerve Blocks With Stimulation of Auditory and Non-Auditory Nerves.” Frontiers in Neuroscience 16.

They found an acupuncture-based treatment which eliminates or significantly reduces tinnitus in more than 87% of cases (n=55). I'm hoping to be able to get this at some point. The study is out of South Korea though; it might be a while before the technique is available in the west.

FractalHQ 2 months ago

I just ignore it and let it fade out of my awareness. I forgot it’s even a thing (until now…)!

I’ve always had it bad because of my career as a musician / producer / audio engineer.

If I do happen to become aware of it for whatever reason, it rarely takes long for for it to drift into the background again.

bigbluedots 2 months ago

I have had fairly severe tinnitus since I played in bands some 25 years ago without hearing protection. Some days are worse than others, but generally the less I focus on it the less I notice it. For you I hope that it'll unexpectedly go away some day like it arrived.

GoToRO 2 months ago

I had a very short episode of that. It turns out it was my posture. Hunch forward posture strained some muscles behind my neck that are close to the ears. Probablly they pulled on some nerves in that area, causing the constant noise. It went away with massage and then gym.

eugenhotaj 2 months ago

I’ve likely had it all my life, but really started noticing about two years ago during the pandemic. Now I can’t unhear it. Went to a doctor a couple of times but nothing they tried really helped. Thankfully mine is not too bad and I’m mostly able to ignore it.

IdealTime 2 months ago

I had tinnitus for more than a decade but it didn’t bother me. The scary part was the constant muffled hearing. I used to cup my hand behind my ear a lot.

It was a side effect of an anti-anxiety drug which I no longer use.

badpun 2 months ago

I pretty much got habituated to mine. Took a couple years though. The noise generators greatly helped and I still use them - I suspect I would dehabituate if I were to spend a couple days in perfect silence.

frontman1988 2 months ago

Amazing how something affecting 10-15% of the population still has no cure.

caruizdiaz 2 months ago

I got mine 18 months ago this month. I'm still not sure what happened but a week prior to noticing it, I got the Covid vaccine (J&J), and I was also going through a very stressful period of my life. Either of those two things could have been the culprit.

Here are a few tips I learned to cope with it better:

- trust you will get over it. This part is the hardest at the beginning because we can't imagine our life without silence. We grieve for a loss, and we lost silence.

- stay away from the tinnitus forums. They can be very informative but are full of very negative people that will trigger your symptoms. You only see the people that first posted but never returned to inform they are feeling better. You will only read about the most terrifying period after the first symptom, but not about the impressive ability of our brains to adapt to new stimuli.

- all the tips I read here are valid and I tried them myself. I sticked with exercise the most which definitely helped, probably more with my stress levels and anxiety than with the tinnitus, but through controlling my mind I can manage it better.

- I have not yet reached the point where I don't notice it. I know it's still there but my brain now knows it's not a menace anymore and doesn't trigger my fight or flight response. You will reach this point too.

- I suffer from anxiety too, which at the beginning made everything worse. Tinnitus forced me to learn to control my mind better and ironically I can now control my anxiety better as well.

I wrote a post with more detail about my experience here [1]. Also, feel free to reach out if you have more private questions. My DMs on Twitter are open.


stuaxo 2 months ago

Yes. Tinnitus awareness group, told me to think of it as background noise - seemed, unhelpful, but when you accept that you stop concentrating on it and it goes away.

Hangovers and illness make it worse.

kbrackson 2 months ago

Yes. It's the 5g frequency..whenever I go camping away from 5g and don't have my hotspot on, goes away. Comes back as soon as it's in range for a few hours.

aaron_seattle 2 months ago

I had increasing tinnitus. Switching to bone conduction headphones really, really helped. Worth a try.

Only downside is they're not great for music (bass notes get muddled)

ankaAr 2 months ago

My boss, the last 6 months. They are still looking what is the cause. A friend of hun had the same for years, then suddenly gone.

zerr 2 months ago

Very rarely it comes and goes away after several seconds. Is there a chance that it won't go away someday? Any preventions?

  • IdealTime 2 months ago

    Find the cause.

    Mine was a side effect of an antianxiety/antidepressant drug—one of many side effects. It went away eventually but I had to stop taking that drug in order for that to happen.

totetsu 2 months ago

theres a video somewhere showing how to tap the back of your skull where it meets your neck. it gives temporary relief

DoreenMichele 2 months ago

Magnesium deficiency can promote this issue.

  • jasfi 2 months ago

    B6 (don't exceed 100mg/day) and zinc deficiency can also have an impact.

    Also, get enough sleep.

margiani 2 months ago

I have mild tinitus for 20+ years. I notice it mostly when I'm in silence. Background music usually helps.

krageon 2 months ago

I've had it all my life. You get used to it - and anyone that has tinnitus has no other choice AFAIK :)

darth_kuato 2 months ago

I have negative pressure in my right ear, which as a kid caused "fluttering" sounds occasionally, then would go away.

Suddenly about 7 years ago when going to bed, it turned into that high pitch ringing 24/7 like after a concert, and caused me to have severe anxiety, panic attacks depression and suicidal thoughts for weeks. When I began losing sleep, it got worse. I would wonder around during the day trying to piece together my brain and try to get back to "normal thinking" again. Eventually it moved to both ears and louder in the left. The only thing I could think of a cause was slipping on a patch of ice and I slammed the back of my head really hard into the ground.

I went to hearing specialists and there was minimal hearing loss. Then I read an article about a researcher who suffered from tinnitus, and at some point (unrelated) he had a mild stroke and when he recovered, miraculously his tinnitus completely disappeared. Based on this he began working on a theory that it's neurological in nature and nothing to do with hearing loss. He also subscribed to the idea that stress plays a part.

I've tried acupuncture and it sort of dulled it for a few days but it comes roaring back. I've done CBD and it really helped dull it, and CBD lowers your anxiety and helps you sleep better, which could be the culprit.

Also I haven't had covid, but after I took the vaccine, it exasperated my tinnitus for the last year or so and it's worse than I had it before. Lucky by now i trained myself not to panic anymore and my concentration is almost back to normal. Cannot sleep without a noise machine though. And never taking that shot again.

I'm also wondering with the advent of every person on the planet hunched over their computers, then hunched over their phones if compressing the back of the neck is a culprit. I've also read a few articles about tinnitus increasing since the rollout of 5G.

zzo38computer 2 months ago

I also have tinnitus (mainly in my left ear, but applies to both), since February of 2022. It also makes me to feel unbalanced sometimes, but I can still walk anyways.

The doctor made blood tests, blood pressure, and a few other things, and found nothing wrong.

Doctor told me to go to ENT specialist. The specialist tested my hearing, and examined my ears and nose and throat (he only examined my ears/nose/throat at my insistence), and found nothing wrong.

Because I also seemed to have a vision problem, I also went to optometrist, and they made vision test, eye pressure test, and visual field test; the only thing they found was blepharitis.

(At least, I did not have to pay for it.)

There may be side-effects of COVID-19 vaccine (which may have a long enough delay before it occurs, that it was not known at first), and I don't know if that is causing me to have tinnitus and headaches. Maybe it is because I have had too many booster shots of COVID-19 vaccine, so maybe it is overdose.

I will also read the other comments here.

Vanit 2 months ago

I have it but only notice when I get reminded, like by this thread :(

Gualdrapo 2 months ago

I woke up and forgot I have it until stumbled upon this post.

Have had it since I can remember, though two events have exhacerbated it a little: (1) one day at a metal concert I was playing drums and a big amplifier banged all out of a sudden while I was near it; and (2) the pandemic, not sure if when I had covid or the moderna/astra zeneca vaccines (had the AZ shot and got covid syntomps just a few days later).

TexanFeller 2 months ago

After the second dose of Moderna's covid vaccine I had mild tinnitus for a couple months. It came back at half strength after the third shot and eventually subsided. Tinnitus after the covid vaccines is a very common complaint. It's also said to occur frequently after natural covid infection, but I haven't had the pleasure of that yet.

mickelsen 2 months ago

Yes. My post is more focused on the allergen side of this, which seems to be my main trigger.

Had it in both ears but the right one is more sensible. It started back in 2020, then it took almost a year to come down. It came right after stopping Bupropion, where it seems I had a sort of sudden but delayed allergic reaction. I'm already sensible to dust mites and certain detergents, so this compounded a lot. Standard hearing test in the clinic days after the event showed no hearing loss.

What helped:

- The biggest one: a course of corticorsteroids (betamethasone) and chlorphenamine. In a week the tinnitus was gone, but it came back midly after this, which I solved with the next tips. BTW some people need strong steroid injections in their inner ear to keep it at bay! Fortunately this was not my case.

- Check your environment for triggers such as allergens, they worsen the drainage of water in the eustachian tubes, which you may feel as some water clogging your inner ear. I changed the laundry detergent, washed even the curtains with the new one too, put a HEPA filter running during the day. Wash your nose with a nasal rinse like Neilmed.

- Do you sleep on your right side? Try sleeping on the other one and see if you wake up with tinnitus. See if sleeping with nothing touching your ears makes you wake up better on the sensible side

- Reduce your headphones usage. Change the pads or switch pairs if the are the big ones, they get disgusting. Try other eartips if in-ear, keep them clean and moisture free. Lower the volume and take some time off them.

- White noise and modulation helps. This app is amazing and free: - there's also this artist called "Tinnitus Works" in Spotify which I know from his collab in another app, MyNoise. Nice stuff to mask the sound. The masking actually helps retraining your brain a bit to tone down the noise. Do NOT point loud noises even if 'white' directly to you, like a fan or portable aircon, this actually makes it worse.

- Less caffeine. Less stimulants. Check your blood pressure.

- Check for a TMJ disorder. Stay mindful of this, maybe use a nightguard, muscle relaxant + benzo course if needed. Same for the neck. Added face muscle stress is a known tinnitus trigger.

- I brush my teeth religiously, but had frequent tonsil stones. Removed the tonsils this year, it also contributed to less tinnitus frequency. The explanation seems to be that there's less pressure around this area.

- Sertraline, an SSRI did help with the catastrophic thoughts when I had tinnitus bouts, didn't have such a fatal outlook on my future which in turn reduced my attention to it. Anxiety and stress are also triggers, in my case probably because I started to stress my face muscles with the worry, but in some people it's purely psychogenic. All in all, this stuff helped, and 9 months was enough.

- Don't hang out on tinnitus forums. Yes, probably too late, I spent hours there too checking the Bupropion connection which is a saga on its own.

Now I only get a tinnitus episode like once a month, but even then it's very mild, almost unnoticeable and more likely because I screwed up, like listening to loud music for hours.

Hope this helps a bit, best of luck! Don't give up!

samsquire 2 months ago

Try saying

"I reject that"

With "that" referring to the tinnitus.

  • ChrisRR 2 months ago

    You: "I reject you tinnitus"

    Tinnitus: "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"

  • bigbluedots 2 months ago

    You can reject it all you like, it'll still be there

  • gisho 2 months ago

    And how is this a solution?