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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #1 

For several years I have noticed a slight irritation especially in my right ear. It feels more like a vibration than sharp pain. It only happens with certain frequency ranges - and I'm only really bothered by it when listening to music. Some types of music I can listen to at very high volume without noticing it, while some pitches cause this vibration. When this occurs there is also sometimes a slight sound that's not supposed to be there. In the beginning I noticed this sensation with high pitch sounds like snare drums at high volume. Then I began to notice it in certain vocal ranges. When i play a B on my keyboard in a high octave with the piano sound I notice the vibration, but if I change the sound and play the same note I don't notice it. Recently I feel the same vibration in the low bass range. Some days are worse than others and the frequencies that I react to seem to change a little day by day. 

When this started happening I was also experiencing slight tinnitus, but it no longer bothers me. Years ago I saw an audiologist about my tinnitus and the hearing test showed there was nothing wrong with my hearing - hearing loss wise. He noticed my bad posture right away and told me it might have something to do with it. I didn't have the courage to ask about the irritation i felt.

I don't know what caused this - and I've been nervous to have it checked out. I'm scared to accept that it's caused by hearing damage and that it might never go away. 

Recently I discovered that both my tinnitus and hyperacusis might be connected to my neck. In my teens I had very bad posture and sat in front of the computer 16 hours a day. When i tighten my neck muscles my ears beep way louder than normal. Also when I turn my head or tighten my neck I don't notice the vibration. I was listening to music the other day, turned the volume on my phone to max (something i never do) and while tightening my neck in a certain way the sensation is reduced quite severely.

Has anyone had or heard of anything similar?

I've worked up the courage to see an audiologist again and I hope maybe it can be resolved with physiotherapy or a chiropractor.

If it is indeed caused by ear damage do you think it could be improved with TRT, even though i only respond to certain sounds?

Also I just want to say I really respect you people who have severe hyperacusis and keep fighting. From browsing this forum I've only seen friendly and positive attitudes. My condition seems to be very mild compared to what some of you are experiencing, but it still affects me greatly. I think if my condition was severe I might let it break me completely. It was truly an inspiration to read some of the success stories.

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Posts: 107
Reply with quote  #2 
Lindmo, I fully understand the description that you speak of. I too could listen to music at one time at very normal to beefy levels and not hear such vibration, but when at lower levels, it verily came through, but only in my right ear.  Bass and most treble did not trigger the vibration and rattling, but STRONG mid-range frequencies did; very much so.  Today, with hyperacusis, it is still there, but louder and very aggravated.  Dr. Marsha Johnson, who used to frequent this board often in the past, gave a very, very likely explanation of what is occurring; actually she was quoting a paper from a letter or journal.  She was right/spot-on with her analysis of this auditory phenomenon.  Such sounds like the shower head in the bathroom, pouring bits of dry cat food in a bowl, listening to music or speech from a laptop with tiny, tiny speakers without bass or treble, just extreme mid-range and my "worst", pouring popcorn kernels into a microwavable bowl; that kills me, still.  More than likely, it is the stapedius or tensor tympani muscle & tendon malfunctioning and probably nothing to do with the outer ear or inner ear space, but middle ear, and probably nothing to do with the cochlea, auditory nerve or the higher parts of the brain that deals with intricate auditory processing and probably not the limbic system, which is spoken & discussed about here on this board, quite often.

It seems that this is a very "mechanical" type dysfunction.  Now, it could greatly annoy, irritate and depress us, for we are not able to enjoy certain works of music, certain everyday sounds and certain people's voices that fall into this range that "rattles around" these middle ear ossicles.  It has also been deliberated that such tympanic tensor issues are caused primarily by a condition known as "Misophonia" and although that might be viable, it is not particularly common.

I remember this "rattling & vibrating" started to happen to me, in my younger man days, in my 20's; now I am in my mid 50's.  Back then, I had "perfect" hearing, no tinnitus, no hyperacusis; nor phonophobia, misophonia or any kind of "sound-o-phobia"!

I strongly believe that there are many, many unknowns about the middle ear & inner ear spaces, because they are so very small and mostly encapsulated in bone & skull; hard to get in there with a pitch fork and clean up the mess, if I am allowed to be so droll to put it like that.

In closing, I hope that your neck issues resolve and as far as your final question,

"If it is indeed caused by ear damage do you think it could be improved with TRT, even though I only respond to certain sounds?"

That's a tough question, for some here say that hyperacusis is not ear damage at all, and that you would have a very good chance to respond to the protocols of TRT, however if a verified, well-experienced, well-respected & board certified Neuro-Otologist or Oto-Neurologist does find mechanical damages to the stapedius or tensor tympani, then I am under the idea that TRT would not have any effect in this particular situation.

A complete work-up with such an auditory specialist, I believe would be in good order.

Blessings to you,


Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for that elaborate post AnthonyO. What you're saying makes a lot of sense to me. I'm finding out more and more weird things about my sensitivity to sound. The sensation i get seems to vary a lot depending on what I'm doing. If I stand up from my keyboard I don't get the sensation at all, even if I turn the volume way up. Also if i do the valsalva maneuver I can basically put my ear inside the speaker and not notice any vibration. From day to day it feels like my condition changes a little, while some things about it stays the same.

Anyways I'm gonna try not to self-diagnose. Whatever the cause obsessing over it won't help.
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