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MarkHEFUA

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 

Hi everyone,

Hope you don't mind me posting this on here.

We are a small group of researchers from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research in Southampton. We have been contacted by some members of the public who have reported symptoms (such as, pain in the ears, tinnitus, and headaches) when listening to very high-pitched sounds (such as those generated by pest scarers, ‘Mosquito’ anti-Loitering devices aimed at teenagers, and sensors in public buildings). There is currently little research on whether or not there is a link between very high-pitched sound and the symptoms reported (see: https://sites.google.com/site/hefua2). We are keen to hear from more people who have experienced symptoms when listening to very high-pitched sounds. If you have experienced symptoms, we’d be very interested to hear from you via email: SoundHealth@soton.ac.uk

We have also set up a public Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/249882768679771/?pnref=story

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Aplomado

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Posts: 711
Reply with quote  #2 
High pitched sounds are more difficult for hyperacusis patients to deal with, that is for sure... if I remember correctly, the hair cells the report high pitched sounds are closer to the ear opening than the others.
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Elder_1

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Reply with quote  #3 
I am a scientist and acoustics is one area I have worked in. I am also highly medically trained although I am not a doctor. High frequency is very likely to affect hyperacusis, which I have. What very much seems to activate mine is what can be called "sharp edged" sounds. These are sounds with a very fast rise time in the initial portion of the waveform. It seems to be the very sudden onset of the sound wave that somehow activates the chochlear nerve inappropriately and seems likely that it produces a very high level of norepinephrine (NE) release as the large group of synapses in the brain are suddenly activated all at once.

I suspect that enough NE is being produced that the normal re-uptake in the axon(s) is not taking place properly. Usually about 80% of the NE is nearly immediately re-absorbed via the norepinephrine transporter membrane into storage vesicles just inside the pro synapse axon. If this doesn't happen correctly then the NE will be left in the synapse and then diffuse into the vascular system. This will then accelerate the heart and alter blood pressure significantly. It then resembles the fight/flight response in high stress conditions.

Obviously, high pitched (high frequency) sounds have a fast rise time.

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margarittia

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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi  Mark - I think it is great you have found you way here - and  I for one welcome your work-

Most  scientists  in this  field  are now confident that  the ear plugs do NOT  work on our ears  because it is the HIGH PITCH  that causes  most pain  and sets the ears off..ear  plugs cannot stop High  Pitch .

I can tell now what  exhaust systems in the  House have the highest Pitch as my ears  are now reacting to those -

The Male  pigeon's coo  drives me Nut's - the  police siren -  like every one  I could go  on and on -  I hope the people on the site   get behind you - as   you are so On the Ball - with the HIGH  PITCH NOISE -  we will all benefit from your  work eventually  -

good Luck  -   and " may the force be with you"



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fellfromthesun

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Posts: 34
Reply with quote  #5 
I agree with Elder 1 on "sharp-edged" sounds. As a musician, I call them high attack sounds, where you get the bulk of the energy at the instant the sound is created by striking something For most people with hyperacusis, the things that seem to cause the most problems are in the treble range, primarily the 2k - 10k range. Thus dishes clanking, electronic beeps, knife chopping, glass on glass, metal on metal ... All these sorts of things become problematic, stress-inducing at best, brutal pain-inducing at worst.

The things you are describing --like anti-loitering tones -- are extremely high-pitched (20k or higher, no?) and constant. A lot of hyperacusis people also suffer from tinnitus and/or hearing loss, and may not be able to hear sounds this high very well, or possibly not hear them at all. Even in the general population, the ability to hear sounds that high decreases with age, so they say, but I know I could atill hear 20k at age 50 until tinnitus blocked it out.

It seems the point of those anti-loitering devices is to cause a sound that annoys people, thus it wouldn't surprise me if long-term exposure leads to headaches and other problems due to accumulated ear stress. Constant sounds that high in the spectrum are unnatural,
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MarkHEFUA

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you very much everybody for your responses, they're very much appreciated.

I'd be really interested to know if any of you have any other symptoms when listening to very high pitched sounds, in addition to your hyperacusis?

It sounds likes high-frequency sounds being particularly troublesome is fairly common, which fits with my personal experience and also many of the reports I have received.

It's interesting to hear about sounds with very fast onsets as well. As fellfromthesun points out, these sounds can create a phenomenon known as 'spectral splatter', where the sound energy at the onset spreads across a range of frequencies, including high frequencies. This spread of energy often results in a significant increase in the total energy in the sound at the onset, and so it makes sense that this would cause issues.

fellfromthesun, the anti-loitering devices and other similar devices often produce intense sounds at frequencies 15-18 kHz, as well as some other intense sounds above 20 kHz. We've had a few reports of people really disliking these and going out of their way to avoid them.

Thanks again for the responses.
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fellfromthesun

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Posts: 34
Reply with quote  #7 
15-20k is definitely audible to adults. I did a lot of work in the studio on EQ, and high end boost around 12 or 16 or 20 K is quite common in music to give a little more sparkle to a track, and you can definitely hear the effect of just a db or two added. I was hearing that loud and clear well into my 40s, and as a musician if anything I was battering my ears with loud sounds more than most people. I don't see how they are marketing those devices as a sound that only teenagers can hear. It may not be as immediately audible to adults, but their ears are definitely picking it up.
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janeygirl

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Posts: 143
Reply with quote  #8 
screaming children, high pitched sounds like that are counter to surviving with hyperacusis. Even now that I am healed from Hyperacusis thanks to TRT, I can listen to this and it doesn't send me up the wall like it used to but I have to say it's not the most pleasant sound. I personally think parents need to start teaching their kids some manners, even in the public. We walk in a park near a playground and the parents there are very polite and respectful. However, the local mall has an indoor playground for kids and I can take it now but let's just say that I'd rather not!
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Paulbe

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Posts: 176
Reply with quote  #9 
'However, the local mall has an indoor playground for kids and I can take it now but let's just say that I'd rather not!'

You don't need to have hyperacusis for that to be a nightmare.

(Interesting.  hyperacusis isn't in my spellchecker but Beyoncé is.  Seems to summarize the state of play quite well).
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jirimenzel

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Posts: 183
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elder_1
I am a scientist and acoustics is one area I have worked in. I am also highly medically trained although I am not a doctor. High frequency is very likely to affect hyperacusis, which I have. What very much seems to activate mine is what can be called "sharp edged" sounds. These are sounds with a very fast rise time in the initial portion of the waveform. It seems to be the very sudden onset of the sound wave that somehow activates the chochlear nerve inappropriately and seems likely that it produces a very high level of norepinephrine (NE) release as the large group of synapses in the brain are suddenly activated all at once.

I suspect that enough NE is being produced that the normal re-uptake in the axon(s) is not taking place properly. Usually about 80% of the NE is nearly immediately re-absorbed via the norepinephrine transporter membrane into storage vesicles just inside the pro synapse axon. If this doesn't happen correctly then the NE will be left in the synapse and then diffuse into the vascular system. This will then accelerate the heart and alter blood pressure significantly. It then resembles the fight/flight response in high stress conditions.

Obviously, high pitched (high frequency) sounds have a fast rise time.


I also have sudden sound syndrome or whatever it should be called. The thing is I feel it, its a muscle movement, a muscle pain, a muscle moving inside a cave I hear it like that sometimes when the external sound is sufficiently sharp and quiet to allow the internal sound to be heard. You tense your leg you'll feel the tensing but not so much the tensed leg. Why not talk about this possible middle ear muscle movement instead of simultaneous activation of norepinephrine?
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degen

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #11 
High-pitched sounds make my middle ear muscles tense or sometimes even spasm. It feels like a trigger point in any other muscle and follows a similar pattern of inappropriate activation and recovery (or lack thereof).
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