Hearing high-pitched tone
by mattsesar, Jul 20, 2007
Hey everyone. Here's my problem:

When everything is quiet, like when I'm alone or ready to fall asleep, I start hearing this high-pitched tone. It's not something that anyone else can hear because I think it's coming from inside my head. I used to think that my mind was just making it up, but I've been hearing it for many, many years now and while I've become somewhat used to it, I'd like to get rid of it if possible.

Anyone know what's going on?
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Member Comments (6)
by Nancy T, Jul 23, 2007
Many people can hear some kind of "noise" in their ear when it's very quiet, especially if you are paying attention to it. It doesn't mean anything.

You should only worry about it if you hear it specifically in one ear only, or if you have any suspicion of hearing loss (not hearing on the phone out of one ear, other people seem to mumble all the time, you need the TV up higher than family members, etc.). In that case you should see an audiologist or ENT, but otherwise just ignore the tone. If it's disturbing your sleep, try a white-noise machine. Some people with tinnitus (ear noise) are helped by a mild dose of a benzo (it makes you pay less attention to the "noise"), but if it's not interfering with your life, you don't need to do anything about it. More info on tinnitus at the American Tinnitus Association Web site.

Nancy T.
by Nic B, Jul 23, 2007
I wouldn't just ignore a ringing in your ear. It could be caused by quite a few things some people are sensitive to electronic equipment starting up or the heat in your home turning on, but there may be another cause. If you begin to have the ringing also known as tinnitus in one ear and headaches see and ENT doc immediately. My own father ignored persistent headaches and the ringing in his ear only to find out he has a brain tumor called an Acoustic Neuroma. His can not be surgically removed due to its size and location but has caused many problems in his life and much pain even after radiation to stop the tumors growth. Never ignore something that bothers you and dont let your pride get in the way of seeing a doctor. If you have insurance there is def. no reason why you shouldnt go.
by Nancy T, Jul 23, 2007
I agree that ringing in ONE ear should NOT be ignored. One-sided tinnitus can indeed possibly be an acoustic neuroma (although these are rare). And if any symptom, including ringing, is causing a problem in your life, you should see a doctor about it.

My point was just that many, if not most, normal people with nothing wrong can hear some kind of ear noise when it's very quiet and if they are "listening" for it.

If the noise WORSENS you should also see a doctor.

by ellem66, Oct 13, 2008
I have heard a low sound almost every night and sometimes during the day, especially when my windows are closed.  I also hear this noise in bed at night when I'm visiting friends or relatives.  After some time I figured out the sound it audible because the city or town noises that mask it are gone, or greatly diminished.  I think it's from electric sounds in the atmosphere, or from generators.
It used to really upset me until I realized that I was stuck with it and got a white noise machine to mask it.  The low sound has a rhythm which is what disturbs me, and the white noise masking it is steady, so I can sleep.
by Anxious_doll, Oct 25, 2011
This post is quite old so I'm not sure if anyone will see this but I too have the same problem, not ringing but more like a constant ongoing tone from the head. I too believe that it's my brain playing tricks on me from electrical appliances around the home and outside. I'm guessing that my mind has mimicked this and I'm allowing it to bother me. My anxiety is what's making it worse for me cos I'm paying it too much attention and thinking that I'm going crazy when actually I'm not. I've been like this for 5 days now. I'm 26, 27 next month. I have no hearing loss, ears are just full of wax. My doctor gave me diazepam to help with the anxiety and I was also given some other tablets by the doctor to help with my dizziness but I've decided that I'm not gonna take them and go through it naturally cos I honestly believe well I'm hoping that it's just a psychological thing that I'm going through and I need to just try and relax and control myself. I'm thinking about it way too much and it's making me very upset and I can't concentrate properly. I can't stop shaking. Haven't sleep properly. Things feel soo surreal, almost like a dream state. I feel like my life has changed and I've lost the old me :(
by Bob1954also, Sep 19, 2013
Interesting, that if you cup your hand over your ear, it'll sound like a seashell.
Maybe that will help in curing it. I've got that ringing in my left ear for about 5 years now, night and day. After cupping my hand over it it has quieted down now, significantly. Sometimes I think i'm just missing the high-frequency message.