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Perforation of ear, distortion, sensitivity to loud sounds, please help...
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Perforation of ear, distortion, sensitivity to loud sounds, please help me.

Hello all, my name is Cory and I am 18. I am male and for some time now (past few years maybe) I have been experienceing some form of distortion and fuzziness in my left ear. When I hear a sound, it sounds fine up to a certain point, when my left ear just seems to distort (the way a speaker with too much volume distorts) and everything gets really fuzzy and sounds like it's buzzing. It's difficult to describe, and it has been irritating me for some time. I am purchasing a nice car audio sound system soon, and if there is a problem with my hearing, I would like it sorted out before so I can fully enjoy my stereo.

When I was younger, I understand I had quite a few ear infections. Does anyone have any ideas on what might be wrong with my left ear?  I would greatly appreciate any help on the matter. I take my hearing very very seriously, and I listen to music at very low volumes, and wear earplugs the entire time I am at work. (Construction/ job-site) Thank you all so very much.
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I have a slight problem as when people talk to me I cannot hear them and sometimes I hear the wrong thing, usually something that rhymes with what they are actually saying. Please help as i do not know what to do and am only 17 and am embarassd of asking them to repeat their sentence. Thank-you for your time and co-operation. Please reply soon
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I am 17 as well, and I experience similar situations frequently. I didn't want to say I was 17 as supposedly anyone under 18 posting will get deleted.

Anyone have any ideas?
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hello cory i have EXACTLY the same thing, im 20, its my left ear and no specialists ive been to can help. They've offered me an ear piece which plays white noise into my ear to drown the real thing out but i didnt take it, the best advice ive been given is to pop my ears but its not a great solution. I'm a drummer and i take it equally as seriously.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi I have also had the exact same problem now for about 5 years, im 25 now. I have not yet been able to find any type of cure for this problem.  Ive seen everything from ear specialists to acupuncture notthing so far has worked for me, and medically my ear is perfectly normal. Does anyone who has had this condition been able to find a cure or remedy for it??
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I`ve had the same problem my entire adult life.  Any music or sounds at a certain level become distorted like stic on a radio in my right ear.  No specialist has ever offered a solution and I think it might be part of a problem that keeps me from being focused and balanced in day to day life
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I have been going through the same thing as well. Im 20. As  a child I had a ton of ear infections and had 6 set of ear tubes in my ears. In March of this year I started getting ear infections once again.. and to this day its still here. I would hear the static noise as well... I cant hear people as well so I have to read thier lips. In order to hear the music clearly I actually have to turn it up very very loud. Which is not healthy but is the only way I can hear it. I suggest you get the device that tunes out the white noise because it really works.
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I suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome (fibromyalgia confirmed) alongwith which hyperacusis also started, for 3 and a half years. I tried every possible thing (ear-plugs,accupunture, and many things) to avoid the noise problem but my sound tolerance level reduced to 2 on the mark scale 1-10. Recently I attended a 3-day seminar of "Lightning Process" designed by Phil Parker in London. And within 3 days, with the help of Almighty God, I started to get miraculous changes and within a week, now I go out to the airports, large shopping malls, listen tv on very high volumes without wearing silicone ear plugs. I really want other people suffering from the same pain as I did, to contact them through their website www.lightningprocess.com. Read the success stories and achieve the same results.
I searched many things for years and years but nothing helped. I had musulo skeletal pain areas too but my ears have turned normal now.  I really suggest you to call them once and seek their advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
WOW!!!

Please excuse my excitement because I thought I was the only one with these issues. On Apr 20 I was injured in an explosion in Baghdad (you can read my other posts for more details). Basically, I suffered head (TBI) and ear injuries....I now have Eustachian Tube Dysfunction and Ear Tubes in both ears. I also have a ringing that never goes away..it has gotten worse lately and started to impact my life.

Now for the bad news. The Air Force has tested my ears twice and contends I have no hearing loss. It is very obvious to me that something is wrong (besides the ringing), because lots of times it seems like people are mumbling. I can't understand clearly what they are saying--the words seem jumbled to me. I had less difficulty with the "beep, beep, beep" hearing test(other than the beeps getting drowned out by the ringing ears)...but in real world situations it bothers me. I'm asking people to repeat themselves. Loud noises bother me. In a noisy restraunt, for example, it makes it rfeally difficult for me to follow a conversation--so I haven't really argued because I don't think a hearing aid aid would help--probably make it worse.

So that's my story. Sorry to be so long winded. I just thought I was the only one. It has really been depressing for me at times because I know something is wrong and yet the AF keeps telling me I'm fine--no hearing loss.

Nate
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i have had a very similar thing happening for about 4 years now. i'm almost 32 years old. can't think of any specific event that caused this fuzzy distortion in my LEFT ear. so weird!! everyone's affected ear is the left one...odd. for me, high frequencies really trigger it. sometimes i'll go quite a while without experiencing it. sometimes i can kind of control (with popping or manipulating it with my finger). i lost my insurance about a year & a half after it started, so i've never had it checked out. a bit relieved to har i'm not the only one, but....i want it to go away...for all of us, i'm a musician & i don't want any kind of sonic distractions, ya know?
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So weird.. Same problem here... in my LEFT ear..  
  I'm 35... been effecting me for probably 10 years..  seems to happen after a certain time period of noise at a certain volume.. for example listening to music in my car at 6-7 of 10 of volume for 15 minutes.. or at a football game and when the crowd  really starts roaring after a while it starts distorting/static'ing ... it's like my ear drum gets tired after a while and can't keep up... Also I've had a TMJ disorder and this seems to antagonize the issue... anyone else with TMJ issues? Where your lower jaw connects to your skull.. a little less than an inch in front of your ear.  Hopefully someone gets this figured out.. I've also been to ENT and audiologists and no one has a clue or ever even heard of it.. at least how we describe it.   Also other than when the static starts my hearing seems to be fine.
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I have the same problem! It's my right ear that get distorted and it's affecting my singing especially when i try to hit a high note! I've been in the band for 17 yrs..so it could be one of the reason why it's happening to my ear.Anybody,anyone who could help us??!!!!please....
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Hiya all here, I am 36 and I have this exact same thing in my right ear. Going to concerts, crowd clapping, even someone talking loud to me, my ear distorts like a speaker turned up too loud. I can hear quite well, but as soon as it gets loud or even when I speak loud in cases it distorts. I see no-one has had any luck finding out what is going on? It has come to a point of not being able to enjoy some things like concerts, sporting events.

I am going to see someone about it soon. A few years too late, but I thought I better!
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Avatar_m_tn
How many people are left or right handed and does your hand match the hearing loss? Just interested, because I have the same problem re the distortion, but in my right ear and I'm right handed. I notice the problem 'sometimes' in loud situations etc. But I *always* get it when speaking on a mobile phone, when I hold it to my right ear - and the other day I was just wondering if it is related to mobile phone use, because I have no problems with my left ear, and I never hold the phone to my left ear... just thoughts though, and not very scientific! Jon.
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I have had the same problem in my right ear for a few years now and cannot remember when it started! It is the worst when I am out at a bar where there is loud music and people trying to talk to me! I also have a bad problem with it when I am talking on the phone, especially after I have been out the night before!  I have now resorted to holding the phone to my left ear more!
I am right handed and it is in my right ear!
Lets hope someone finds out what it is soon!!!
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same here. .  im a musician as well, and have had the condition you all describe for years. first it was in the left only, but now sometimes i have effects in both ears.  sometimes there is a feeling of pressure associated which tends to vary in severity. I also can here crackling noises when i swallow, and in addition, with my jaw-when i open it all the way. in the past i had issues with my jaw locking/shifting popping and what not. i am very concerned, and as you all are im sure, very  anxious to defeat it.
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Hello , Im a 20 year old male, I play drums and have been playing for 14 years now and I have THE SAME EXACT THING IN MY EAR!! My left ear that is. I've had it for 5 years now. When i hear a cat cry, or lay down on my side my Left ear goes STATIC and sounds like a Blown Speaker. My DR. told me i have severe allergies and have Inflamed Sinus's. I hardly believe what he told me was right. I dont know what it is, but i would love to have it fixed!
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so amazing! cause i got the same problem like u!!!
i'm 22 & playing drums for years...my first tinitus was a few years ago,IT WAS HORRIBLE! and now when i'm talking with phone my right ear doesn't hear like the left one.plus i got a sensitivity too loud sound & really can't handle loud volume.my auricle is always red and painful with a fu**ing headache in sides of my head....i have sinusits too.
i visited so many ear nose throat drs,but their like SHEEPs.
i know it's all because of lisining to loud music and playing without ear plugs......
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I've got the same issue, and have been told by an Ear specialist that it's possibly damage to the hair cells in my cochlea (inner ear). When the damage occurred (headphones too loud in my case, and ringing for 2 days constantly afterwards) I damaged some of the cells.  The 'distortion' we experience is apparently the cells unable to function at certain tones or frequencies.  The cells that have been damaged can no longer function and that's why when they try to reproduce a sound they are appear to sound distorted.  

There is a test called an OAE(ottoacoustic emissions test) that can confirm whether you have this issue.

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I'm turning 18 this June and I have very similar conditions, so happy that I'm not all alone! Left Ear problem started due to hearing ear/headphones in 2005 and has been getting slightly bad until now (not  too terrible). Every-time anybody laughs hard/plays music too loud, the sounds start to distort and "crackle". If I were to describe the sound, it sounds very much like a radioactive detector. Fortunately, it subsides as soon as I don't hear the offending noise. I'm cautious with this condition, and more than anything I don't want tinnitus to occur as a result of "pushing" my ears to its limits. I've had a slight ticking noise, which could be described as somebody flicking their nails, only REALLY lightly. Drove me nuts and got me depressed for some time. Anyways, real happy to know i'm not the only one suffering from this condition, good luck with all you guys, and always keep praying!
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I have the same exact problem in my left ear and I have had it for more than 10 years (I'm 34).  I've been a musician my entire life and it has really bothered me - I have to play guitar with an ear plug in that ear.  I can't even stand to try and attempt to sing because it only gets worse with my jaw open.  I went to a few ear, nose and throat specialist and they couldn't figure out anything, one of them told me my ear was normal - but I know that isn't the case.  I can hear fine for a about 5-10 minutes depending on the volume and then it gets progressively worse as if the ear drum is getting "Tired".  I have also had ear infections while I was a child and I also had a bad wisdom tooth on that side, which I wonder hasn't somehow affected the sinus cavity.

I'm interested in hearing from anyone with similar problems who has found a "cure", or from any specialist who know what is going on - I've never been able to find an answer and this posting is the first I have ever found of something that I can relate to it - surprised to see so many others on here.  Please feel free to contact me at brian [at] stormchase [dot] com, I'm a storm chaser - had to give up any chance of a music career - grin.  Thanks, Brian
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I also get the distorted sounds in my left ear when the volume is too high.

I'm also a musician and while messing around in flstudio, I've been able to pinpoint the volume and type of sound that triggers the distortion. For me, a steady sine wave can be played continuously without the sound becoming distorted, even at high volume, but if the wave pattern changes, especially in a pulsing type of pattern, the sound becomes distorted and can get really crazy if I play around with different patterns. In fact, the more complicated the pattern, the worse the distortion seems to become and I can even start to feel pressure changes in my ear which makes it feel almost like there's water in my ear canal.

I've also noticed that it's worse for me when I'm lying down on my back, or on my left side, which makes me wonder about inner ear fluid. I've been to an ent who wasn't able to find anything wrong, but at least in my case, there is no doubt that SOMETHING is wrong. What it is, I don't know, but it sure as hell isn't my imagination.
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I'm 54 and had this distortion/sensitivity since childhood. It has been very limiting socially. To join in to a conversation in a group, with noise around me, is almost impossible. This has caused fatigue, insomnia, anxiety etc.
Certain sounds/pitch, and even my own voice distort my hearing. I done lots of research too, seen doctors, specialists, hearing tests etc.
Yeah it is so frustrating....even trying to describe it.. Could be head trauma, loud music/noise, medicine that is ototoxic. Tenseness in the head muscles, recruitment etc.You'd think with the medical advances something would help. hopefully help is just around the corner. Have seen no cure so far..Anxiety and sleep problems make it worse for sure...a vicious circle..Maybe we need to retrain our thinking/brain, as this is all powerful You are what you think you are. Maybe hypnosis. I've tried whitenoise,, pinknoise... Relaxation is prob good too..and yeah after a while the brain expects it I think....
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I think we should start a group.. it looks like we all have the same issue.. and obviously it's a very rare condition otherwise it would be known.  My doctor said it could have something to do with infections as a youngster.. which caused scar tissue in my eustacian tubes.. justin my left ear though.. give me some thoughts on domain names and search terms and I'll get a forum/website up for our condition.. it's a bloody annoying issue!.
    email me at  ***@****
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ok .. obviously my email won't show up in the post.. but private message me through the website ... also if I register a domain I'll post it in on this page.. so bookmark this thread
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good idea. I'll check back in for the domain if you decide to create one.
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I too was experiencing this problem.I read a book about reflexology. It talks about ear problems. They recommend massaging your ring finger and baby finger, which is associated with ear trouble. Also, you can massage those same spots on your feet, which is also associated with ear trouble! Do this 4 or 5 times, or until the problem subsides. It helped me!
Hopes it helps,let me know

Thanks
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Hi,

    It seems many of you are experiencing similar type of problems. Well this requires few things to be understood:

1. Buzzing in the ear with distortion of sounds, might be due to the presence of fluid in the middle ear (that is behind the ear drum). The fluid in the middle ear causes resistance for the ear drum to vibrate hence dampening the sounds. This accumulation of fluid might be a longstanding one which would have become like glue, hence causing hearing problems and resistant to any medicines.

2. In some young and old there may be a high frequency hearing loss because of which they can hear sounds, but cannot understand what they hear. This is due to damage to a certain group of hair cells in the cochlea of the inner ear. A high frequency hearing loss could be because of aging, listening to music with full volume and working in a noisy environment.

So the remedies for the first condition are to take steam inhalation 2-3 times/day and antihistaminics (Cetrizine/fexofenadine). If symptoms do not improve, get Tympanometry and Pure tone audiometry done.  After analyzing the report then further management can be planned, whether insertion of a ventilating tube is required or not.

For the second condition, a person requires a digitally programmed hearing aid to improve the hearing and reduce the distortion. Any more doubts you are always welcome.

regards
OHNS2010
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I am amazed at finding how many people who have posted here have the same problem as me. I have distortion in my right ear when listening to music over a certain volume. I did some tests and found the worst frequency is between 1 and 2 kHz, and I certainly detect a sensitivity to mid-range frequencies - I've described it as a sort of "mid-range sharpness". I also get crackling in the right ear sometimes, especially when listening to music in an automobile for some reason (something to do with air pressure?) but unlike the distortion this is relieved by pinching the nose and blowing, which makes me think that the problem is possibly due to some defect in the eustachian tube. My father had to have an operation on a blocked eustachian tube and his sister also has a problem with one of her eustachian tubes, so there may be something genetic going on here. I will try cetrizine/fexofenadine in case it is fluid in the middle ear. The only other possibility I suppose is damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. I used to listen to music quite loud on headphones. God knows what problems the Ipod generation will land up with!
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For fluid in the middle ear space (an effusion), the best conservative remedies are time and patience.  Unfortunately, researchers have tested medicines such as antihistamines and decongestants in their ability to positively effect the eustachian tube and have found that they don't work.  It is a common misconception that these will work (after all, it does seem rather intuitive).  While you don't likely expose yourself to risks in taking these medicines (they are generally well-tolerated), most physicians don't like to prescribe (what amounts to) a placebo.  At the minimum, the medicine will cost money!

In most people, the eustachian tube corrects itself in time -- either by reduction of mucosal inflammation and/or by improved action of the opening/closing mechanisms of the tube itself.  This can take weeks and even a few months.  If this fails (or if a patient is having severe symptoms and cannot wait), a tympanostomy tube can be placed.  This will temporarily replace the function of the eustachian tube and allow the middle ear to aerate/drain.  These tubes do come with their own set of risks and costs, so this is not a first-line intervention.

Good luck!
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just read you comment, and that is interesting.When I went for my hearing tests, they all said a hearing aid would be useless.Even though I have some high end hearing loss, my hearing is fine.  As a child I used to have lots of sinus infections as well, with the steam inhalations etc. On one xray in 1995 they said it showed up  an old sinus infection, which I suppose calcified, and but when I tried to explain to them what I suffered from, the specialist told me it would make no difference to my hearing if they cleaned it away, and that there were risks involved.  I had an ct scan or mri a few years ago, and they seemed fine but did not show my frontal sinuses.
Would this be worth looking into again?

Thanks,  
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I experience the same thing for about ten years . It happens when sounds reach a certain volume and is in my right ear. I am right handed. Pinching my nose and popping my ear helps for a very short time. I also have the fatigue effect described in a couple of the posts here. I had many ear infections as a child and recall one in particular where sounds were distorted. When I was a teen I went to a super jam where sammy hagar sheepdog(can't stand him) played a song with the chorus "Turn the music a little bit louder" and when he sang it the volume would go up. After awhile of that I felt pressure in my head and right ear and fluid began to leak from my ear. I went to the bathroom to get away from the noise and noticed that my face was red. The crackling didn't start till years later but I attribute it to that concert plus my ear infections and also some wax build up problems I had when I was younger.

I can't afford to go to an MD for this and I too sing and play some music, it is horrible to have this problem. I also have trouble hearing the conversations of soft spoken people. I am interested in herbal medicine and noticed a couple times when I felt the slightest hint of an earache that a few drops of thyme tincture in my ear will stop it. I might try using it on a regular basis for awhile and see if it helps the sound distortion. Also been reading up on the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric, perhaps I will tincture some and try that in case this is related to an inflammatory process.

BrnEyz, where at on your ring and pinky finger do you rub and what kind of motions do you use?

I would love to find something to help this. If I have any luck with thyme or turmeric or any other alternative therapy I will post it.
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Hey people. I have the same problem. Have had it for years, it *****. I am  a professional Dj... It *****. I found something in the store the other night that is helping me with the ringing and pain. Doesn't do much for the distortion, but the distortion doesn't hurt so I can deal with it. I have been wearing ear plugs for 2 and a half years almost all the time, they seems to help.  So  Ring Relief. I found it at wallgreens and it took away the pain and the most of the ringing almost immediately. Give it a try, hope it helps.

Dave

p.s. Anyone do drugs and have it get worse. Not to be an ***, but when I do drugs the distortion gets WAY worse. I guess I shouldn't do drugs.
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Just curious, but do any of you feel like an insect is stuck inside your ear with a "crkkrk-crkk cryk" like sound? Does the distortion come only at a certain volume, and go away when the noise subsides? Has your problem gotten slightly worse each time, e.g like the tolerance level lowered to a point where people laughing triggers it? Please respond to me if any of you feel the above mentioned, thanks!
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What OHNS2010 sounds about right as my doctor has had a look at my ears and can see fluid buildup behind the eardrum. He advised to pop my ears and use steam like OHNS2010  suggested, but so far hasn't worked...Mind you I didn't really try the steam thing...He has now gave me a Sinus spray which he said will help, but don't think it has
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HI folks

THIS IS  IMPORTANT

The distortion in your ears is simply due to ear damage.  There is no other explanation.  Now, whether this damage is permanent I cannot say...But read on..

I have a damaged left ear and experience the very same thing as many of you folks do.  I went to a number of so called hearing specialists and Doctors and all they were able to show was a slight dip in my left ear what is called the mid range frequencies.  This is very common and doesn't necessarily mean hearing damage, its just that one ear picks up more than another. But they couldn't explain why I heard distortion all the time (very irritating) and I got the sense from them that my problem wasnt important.  When I talked to the three ear specialist I came away each time feeling very dissatisfied. Something was wrong but I didn't know what it was..

The third hearing test I decided to keep a hold of the hearing test chart. Anyway, a few months later my sister started seeing this sound engineer who works for the BBC. I met him and we got talking about my distortion.  He asked to see my hearing chart.  He pointed out to me the chart was basically nonsense because it only measured up to 8000khz when we in fact can hear up to around 20,000khz. Having never seen a hearing test chart he was puzzled as to why the ear specialists would only measure hearing up to 8000khz.  He told me frequencies above 8000khz are very important. This is like the treble controls on your hifi, its the frequencies that allow you to hear the air of the sound, the stuff that makes sound sparkle.  Being a very helpful chap he suggested I go round to his place so he could do a test himself. He said he could probably pin point exactly where the damage was. I didnt really believe him but I had nothing to lose.

At his place he fired up his computer and launched a special audio editing programme which had good quality speakers attached to them. He then set in motion something called a sine wave.  He said he was going to sweep the frequencies from 20hz (very Low) right all the way up to 22,000khz (very high).    As he moved the cursor on his keyboard the sound started to raise in pitch from low to high. I could see the display changing frequencies. 500, 1000, all ok nothing happening, 3000, 5000, 7000, 8000, all OK...(bear in mind at 8000 that's where the specialists stop). He ramped up the frequency of the sine wave and OW  OUCH  8,400 khz the distortion started immediately. He travelled further up and again and it continued up to 9,800 where the distortion stopped.  I could still hear the sine wave pitch rising all the way up to 16,000khz meaning my hearing was fine except I had a range between 8,400 and 9,800 where my ear would be irritated by anything within that frequency range.  Not so bad you would think huh?  Considering the ear specialists tell us....and wait for it...we cannot hear above 8k (more on this later). But as my BBC pal pointed out something like simple like every day traffic noise  covers almost the entire sound spectrum from 30,hz to 20,000khz. Of course there are lots and lots of day to sounds that cover large areas of the spectrum. Speech, music, TV, you name it everything is in there meaning we can never escape from the noise that irritates our ears.

So I went back to the last ear specialist I saw and asked him about the chart. He explained that we cannot hear above 8k. I showed him a graph of the human hearing range and told him of my experience emphasising the point that I could clearly hear the frequencies well above 8,000khz an din fact it was double that all the way up to 16,000khz. Then the guy waffled on about nonsense and became very defensive suggesting the BBC sound engineer didnt know what he was talking about (Oh really!) Then he went on about what they refer to as the "useful hearing range" and eventually after I pressed him further he admitted that yes we can hear higher than 8,000khz but above 8k its not useful hearing and its just a waste of time really. (Utter nonsense of course)  This is why their archaic useless machines they use only test up to 8k.  So anyone with hearing damage above 8k...which actually means lots and lots of people would be told there is basically nothing wrong with them.

Another thing the BBC guy demonstrated was a piece of music.  He used an equaliser plug-in and slashed all the frequencies above 8,000khz and I can honestly say the music sounded very muffled and terrible. I couldn't hear the singers words, she sounded like she was singing in to a pillow ,and the guitars sounded..well not like guitars and the drums sounded like someone beating cardboard boxes. He was demonstrating to me how much above 8,000khz we hear and how important it is. He basically said the ear specialists are talking utter nonsense and if they dont test for hearing damage above 8k the whole industry is a sham, and hes right. Its like an eye specialist saying to you that there's nothing wrong with you if your nearly blind in one eye.

I then began to research the hearing loss industry and of course just as I suspected its an industry that prays on people to sell them hearing amplification aids.  Its all about the money, a lot of money! The industry hasn't changed or developed in any way for something like 60 years and that is just the way they want to keep it. You see to them the only range that matters, the idea they peddle is that frequencies between 2,000 and 5,000khz which is the range of the speaking human voice is all that matters. So...as you can imagine when people get older and their general hearing deteriorates  they need to hear their TV and every day conversations so what you will get is a booster that will simply amplify a limited range of  frequencies.

People like you or I absolutely don't need any frequencies boosted so the industry doesn't want to know us. Rather than admit their technology is from another century...and make no mistake about it the technology is very old, they would rather say there's nothing wrong with you and send you on your way.

The thing is as you will all know this discomfort really is very distracting to our every day lives. Some of you will also know it leads to tinnitus there by compounding the problem. Some of you have probably been told if there is any ear irritation to desensitise your self to it by basically blasting the ear with as many sounds as you can. Of course you will also have realised that this may have started Tinnitus...So be careful of this advice. But on the other hand you cannot hide away from all noise forever. Its case of do or die and I suspect that no matter what we do we cannot stop our ears from being further damaged over a period of time because that is exactly what will happen.

BUT, if the industry took frequencies above 8k seriously then we could get somewhere. Perhaps there could be some cure down the line that doesn't mean some way in the future cell replacement. But a cure for many types of hearing damage could be achieved if proper and well funded research went in to it  But the whole industry has far to much vested interest in keeping things just as they are. Dont you think its strange that after all these years, our technology etc there has been not one shred of development concerning hearing loss. What is practised today is essentially what was practised in Victorian times. Instead of ivory horns you would hold to your ear you now have an electronic device that amplifys sound. Amplification is at least 100 years old.

The ear industry needs to get its act together.  But that will never happens as long as we all continue to allow these so called specialists to continue peddling nonsense that we cannot hear above 8,000khz. They pray on our ignorance of sound and its associated frequencies.
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Hi I'm 21 and having the same bloody thing in my left ear distorted sounds and voices, my own voice even sounds distorted when I speak, im finding it hard to hold a conversation as its putting me off!! its only been apparent over the past week (hence the reason i'm looking into it) I'm really worried that this will be permanent and by reading your posts its looking that way!! Its happened once in the past after a night of loud music, but it went after 2 days so i brushed it off and didn't bother with the docs. This time it has come on its own accord and has been here for at least a week and isn't showing any signs of getting better, worse if anything..I am so worried but haven't been able to get myself to the docs (which sounds pointless anyway!!) I'm finding it comforting to know that its not just me..Ive been describing it to people as everything sounding slightly robotic (been getting a lot of strange looks!) but distorted definitely describes it. Its the same ear i used to get infections in as well. I just hope it doesn't get any worse and effect me being able to listen to music.

and rob7656 post is interesting..it just shows that there is a hell of a lot more that could be done, which could lead to some relief or at least it being recognised as a medical condition that quite clearly exists!
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I have the same thing.  Some days, a rack of pool balls breaking will fuzz in my left ear.  My girlfriends voice is perfect to irritate it..lol...wind coming in the window going down the road....Upper mid-range noises pierce me when they should be comfortable.  

  I have a very high quality sound setup in my car, 2 18 inch subs 2 midbass drivers, 2 6-1/2 inch mids and two tweeters,, all powered correctly and tuned well.  

   I can insert a 20hz to 20 Khz SINE SWEEP and there are no issues until upper midrange is playing.  

  NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT.  Remember that voice is rich in harmonic overtones, and that a voice singing high A, 880, produces 3520 hz overtones, and some others.  this note kills me.  

   Sometimes it is fine, but usually my ear begins to distort sound upon reaching a certain threshold of volume.  That threshold is variable dependant upon the frequency of the sound entering my LEFT EAR.  

  Harmonically rich content which produces clusters of frequencies will almost always cause the buzz, unless it is at a lOW LOW volume.  anyone else?
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Yep, seems exactly the same. The driving with the windows down and people talking is a sure way to get my left ear a buzzin.

The only possible difference is that I can trigger mine with the sine wave if I make a pulsing pattern. I don't think the higher frequency harmonics are necessary in my case, although I'd have to do a little more thorough testing to find out.
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Hey Zeusvi, has the fuzziness/crackling come on when things get loud and subsides right after or has your tolerance to noises lowered to a point where e.g people laughing triggers it? Just had a dinner/concert tonight and my left ear started fuzzing again towards the end of the show. Seems like the only solution is to cover my ears with ear plugs :(
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  I learned quite a bit about the ear and how it works through the online version of the Encyclopedia Britannica.  (link below).  Distorted sounds can be a few different problems and I hate declaring it a specific problem but I do have experience with one particular issue where your voice sounds distorted to your self and the issue is still making it's rounds to the ENT hearing about it...  Look up Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence.

Encyclopedia Britannica
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/175622/ear/65045/Transmission-of-sound-waves-through-the-outer-and-middle-ear?anchor=ref531888
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I stumbled upon this suggestion by someone in a hyperacusis forum and found it pretty interesting-http://www.chat-hyperacusis.net/post?id=2039163

Cracking-crackling-static sounds when provoked by noise can often come right from the middle ear space.

Ears damaged by disease or loud noise can develop slight shifts in position of the tiny bones, the muscles, or the eardrum, even....people in explosions or falls or whiplash injuries can develop the same middle ear conditions.

The distortion in the system is very like what happens when you tear a speaker paper, that covering that used to stick over the front face of speakers, and when it rips, there is an extra vibration in the sound quality that is annoying to music lovers!

Sometimes this can happen when the stapes footplate is rattly-loose in its little 'seat' in the bony part of the temporal face, its little plate-like part rests gently on another eardrum like structure, and it vibrates to send those waves of energy into the inner ear, filled with fluid.  If the footplate of the stapes is wiggly, then often sound, sometimes particular ones, will cause a real resonation-distortion.  Surgeons sometimes will try to fix that with adding mass to the footplate by packing the area a bit with diced up tissue from other parts of the ear! : (

Well it sounds awful, but it must work once ina  while as they will attempt it.

Very acute listeners pay more attention to this than others, more dull in their senses.  It is often diagnosed as a benign condition, i.e., not a progressive or serious threat to the health, more like a floater in your eye, generally not much for the doc to do there, just counsel you to ignore it!

Easy to say, hard to do.

Also this can result from a floppier eardrum if there has been any trauma or infection there, it can lose that stiffening middle layer of tissue and the two outer layers are very thin skin and then this can cause extra 'noise' in the system....

You are certainly not alone in this complaint, many people with tinn or hyperacusis will complain about that irritating distortion.  Sometimes it is best to use a small earplug on that side when you want to listen to music a bit louder.....cuts out that distortion, or try a musician's plug.  See if you can figure out if it is high or low sounds that set it off, then we can talk about more ideas.

-Marsha Johnson
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Hi, I have the same problem on my left ear and i'm very worried because my right ear is totally deaf since birth. I think the sound is distorted but the most weirdest part is, when ever I play a music, the piano part or guitar part is always out of tune. Maybe some can help me and post their comments as well if you have the same ear problem.

Thanks,
khanky
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Hi, I have the same problem on my left ear and i'm very worried because my right ear is totally deaf since birth. I think the sound is distorted but the most weirdest part is, when ever I play a music, the piano part or guitar part is always out of tune. Maybe some can help me and post their comments as well if you have the same ear problem.

Thanks,
khanky
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I have no health issue, never had an ear infection or anything. But I am a musician who is constantly around A LOT of music.

The fuzzy distortion happen about four years ago but I just brushed it off as a one time thing. Now I am 24 and my ears seem to be very sensitive around loud sounds. At certain points when I cant take the loud noise, I will get a fuzzy distortion in my LEFT ear. It happens very randomnly I would say, sometimes 0 times a month. And other times about 2 times a month. It all depends on the setting I am it.

I went to the doctor, they said everything looks fine, and my hearing is perfect. No wax or fluids. Then I stumbled upon this article.

I struggle because nobody has even a slight of an answer, or have never seem to heard of such a case. And I wont if I am worsening the situation by continuing with my music. And also if it can be fixed.

My e-mail is al.j.***@**** is anyone has any answers or knows anything that has helped them
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So glad I found this link!

I'm 23 (male) and my LEFT ear also distorts at certain volumes/pitches/frequencies.

I'm a musician (like a fair few on here seem to be) and whenever I'm practicing with a band my ear starts to distort.

Normal day-to-day life is completely fine, yet whenever I hear loud noises, in a club, at a gig - even singing at a football match! - it starts to fuzz.

Pleased I'm not the only one. I always guessed it must be a slightly loose bone in the ear canal that vibrates when. When my TV is turned up loudish the speakers start to ring/vibrate when certain notes/frequencies are being played. I suppose our ears are similar...  

I suppose a ear-plug is the only option when experiencing loud volumes... Sigh...
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Hi Holmesie, when did your problems start and have you experienced reduced sound tolerance?

Like you, I've always suspected a middle ear problem with this kind of thing. I tried to think of it as some form of sound induced tinnitus, but i've come to doubt it these past 2 years as the feeling feels like one of the bones in the ear are sort of "rattling", thus producing the distortion (all just theory of course)....

Every time this distortion of fuzzyness occurs, i've noticed that i'd be able to stop it a few seconds by simply plugging my left ear, though I found ear-plugs to be the best temporary solution

My sound tolerance has been getting worse each time the distortion occurs. First, I could do fine around loud places like concerts with the distortion occuring only at VERY loud pitches. A few months later and the distortion can be brought about by people simply raising their voice to a certain pitch/loudness.

My advice to people is, stay away from loud noises but don't come to a point where your wearing earplugs all the time. Doing this actually worsens the problem and may lead to another problem like hyperacusis.

Good luck to you all!
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Hey thanks all for these comments, it gave me some pointers as to what could be causing my sound distortion in my RIGHT ear.
For me it started 1 month ago after I got an infection from a tongue wound, I got some kind of bacteria and it gave me really bad headaches with pains all around my head, slightly after the doc fixed me with medication the distortion began on mainly high pitched tones.
But now I cant even drop a pen from a centimeter high or I get this thunder-crackling sound in the ear, its gotten worse and worse and 2 docs so far said its all perfectly normal and my hearing is just fine.
Pinching my right ear seems to take away the distortion for a few seconds, but thats just about the only thing that helps.
I sometimes feel like theres water in my ear(a kind of fullness) with rarely pains that could be describes as needle pricks.
Even clicking a key on the keyboard now seems to trigger it if I press hard enough.
Im really afraid im gonna have to live with this for the rest of my life since its already heavily impacting my life, sounds causing ear pain and light headaches.

25yo male, Belgium.
ps: docs seem useless, they seem to have no clue, searching on the net myself seems to be way more informative.
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I think the distortion may be getting worse. I was at the london marathon on sunday, and standing near people who were just laughing and cheering caused it to fuzz.

Very annoying. Not looking forward to a 2 hour practice session with the band now because of this.
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Wow, I can't believe so many people have this problem... It's actually really depressing though because so far no one has mentioned a solution and I was really hoping I wouldn't have to live with this pain for the rest of my life. My left ear has been clogged for over 3 now. While it doesn't bother me on a regular basis, whenever I go to a party with loud music or put the radio up, or if someone starts speaking really loudly, the sound becomes distorted in my left ear. It sounds like static on the radio or like I'm underwater or something. I too had several ear infections as a child. And I've been to doctors and they all say my hearing is perfect... Excellent... But this doesn't help me because I know there's obviously something wrong. So when I'm not around loud noises, everything is fine, but I'm still aware that my ear is clogged. It doesn't hurt, but it's like that clogged airplane feeling is always with me 24/7. And it's only in one ear!!!!! And it never goes away, not even when I open my mouth and do the jaw motion. The pressure in my ear is just too strong and refuses to "pop". Oh and whenever I get a cold, the clogged feeling tends to get worse since I'm all congested. I really hope there's a solution out there for us =\
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I have the same symptoms and also some extra ones on top... I have been doing A LOT of research since I have had a lot of trouble getting a hold of my ENT/his nurse to ask any questions and am now convinced that I have an inner ear infection/disorder  (vestibular migraines can also mimic this)

http://vestibular.org/vestibular-disorders/symptoms.php#Bal
http://www.thedizzylounge.com/symptoms.htm

I know you didn't say anything about dizziness/vertigo/nausea but I did not have any symptoms of this (after 4 months of other inner ear symptoms) but then 3 days ago after using the neti pot on my back sinuses (on the nurse's advice), the fullness in my ears actually seemed to increase and I had dizziness, some nausea and some slight vertigo for two hours afterwards and since then I have had some spells of the same.

I really really hope this helps someone, I know how scary/frustrating this whole thing can be. Oh also please note that vitamin B12 deficiency can mimic the symptoms of an inner ear disorder (and has led to long searches for answers for many people not knowing this) although I am not sure if B12 deficiency can also cause pressure/fullness in the ear (like I have)
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Hi everyone,
I am a 23 yr old male and have the same problem in my left ear, accompanied with slight ringing in my ears that gets worse after being exposed to loud noise. The static crackly thing is the most annoying though as it hasnt gone away now for a number of weeks, and definitely seems to occur at certain tones and loudness.

What i will say that may give some relief to you guys is that I had the exact same problem when I was 17, and at the time i was sure it was because of listening to my ipod too long and too loud, anyway the problem did end up going away completely and I have had no ear problems until now when the same problem has come back.
I had been listening to my ipod alot again and it did start when i yawned and was listening to the ipod up kinda loud.
I also am now heaps sensitive to loud environments which is annoying, I am hoping that it will correct itself like last time, from now on i swear i am going to take better care of my ears!
has anyone else had the problem in the past and then have it go away? I am wondering if it is because of another underlying problem, i also get a slight random ache in the problem ear that sometimes feels like its moving down toward my mouth - very strange.
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@Suz489 thats interesting about the B12 deficiency, i had an operation about 6 years ago for my Crohns where they took out a few centimetres of my intestine the part that soaks up B12! i can no longer take B12, say if took a whole bottle of B12 tables it would have absolutely no effect because there is nowhere to soak up the vitamins. I go for a blood text every year to check my B12 levels, supposedly the doc says there is no need to get B12 injections yet, but as you get older the B12 levels drop, so eventually the blood tests will show that and i will have to start getting injections once a year.
i wonder if it has effected it already though

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im 28 and the first time it happened was on 28th april, 2009 :D it was the night Pierre Bensusan was playing a gig, just him and a guitar and a few songs in when the crowd of 20-40 started clapping i heard the distortion, (IN MY LEFT EAR)  i thought it was strange that it would happen at such as small gig compared to the loud noise i would be exposed to at festivals or concerts. but maybe its because they are mostly outside?

it happens mostly when i am in the car, sometimes i feel the pressure before it goes distorted, it builds up for a few seconds, other times it just gets distored straight away.

when it happens the music im listening to sounds like its coming out of an old radio, or that thing where you talk through a tin can and a bit of string, or a foil crisp packet being crumpled up.

never had an ear infection, my hearing has always been slightly lower in my left ear, ever since i was born, i never noticed though but that just showed up on hearing tests.

this all got me fairly depressed the last while, because im worried it happened because i listened to music to loud or play my guitar to loud, yes another MUSICIAN HERE! like a lot of people here. For a few years we were practising in this tiny room and i had to stand right beside my amp which probably didnt help. I worked in a factory for 2-3 years also which we had to wear ear protection so i was getting worried until i checked on here and saw everybody else with the exact same problem.


the only solution i have found is to bring around a set of music ear plugs to concerts in case it happens, i much rather than than using a foam ear plug because i would just forget to bring those and i usually have music earplugs with me anyway

what i dont understand is i can have headphones on when im at home, the large headphones, have them on loud and it doesnt happen? same thing with my speakers, they are right in front of my but know distortion. then the other day when i was laughing with somebody it happened?!
it would be interesting to see if those noise cancelling ear plugs would help the problem for people, or if you could get somebody to hack them to start cancelling the noise when certain frequencies start...

all im worried about is that every time it happens it is damaging it even more, if someone told me it wasnt doing any damage i would easily just be able to ignore it.

well good luck to everybody, hopefully somebody will figure it out soon

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I have had this distortion for only a few weeks. Resturaunts, driving, etc are extrememly loud.

I haven't found a cure or treatment, but I have found what it is. This article describes it perfectly..

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Hearing_problems_reduced_tolerance_to_sound?open

Another diagnosis is Recruiting. This is where the normal hearing hairs are damaged, so it 'recruits' hairs normally not used by your brain. These hairs are the ones that pick up the distortion. You have actually always heard them, but at an early age your brain learned to switch them off.

Now that the normal hearing hairs have been damaged, your brain/ear or whatever, have recruited these hairs to do the same job.

I'm not a specialist, just a 30yr old carpenter.. but this 'reduced tollerance to sound' is driving me nuts!

I have been reffered to ent, but like you all, my hearing is fine.. Infact it's like super hearing - it's just all the things I dont want to hear. When i boil my kettle, it sounds like a jumbo jet going over the house.

As I said, I have no cure, but hope calling it something helps you all out. Sorry for the wall of text.

Murray
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Dude, your the closest person with nearly the exact symptoms as mine.

Anyways, i've been tracking the progress of my left ear for over a year now and sound tolerances have definitely lowered, even though i've stayed away from all headphones or loud places, the problem seems to be getting gradually worse on its own. I'm getting increasingly convinced that this problem may be lying with the middle ear bones, as i've observed that whenever the distortion happens, a pressure from my left eardrum develops just before distortion begins. Infact, I can guess the time it'll happen by just feeling that tense dull pressure.

It's not a feeling like "distortion inside your head" kinda thing (which if it was, i'd be more inclined to believe it really is tinnitus), but really a feeling that's happening at the base of the eardrum or somewhere in the middle ear. As most of us have gone to the doc only to be told our hearing is fine (mine was super :P), I suspect this is a problem that's relatively new and separate to INNER ear damage. Of course, i'm just speculating but i'm sure some of you might agree with me.  

I do hope someone with medical knowledge could help explain to us what might be happening and give good educated guesses, instead of brushing us off and suggesting it might be just tinnitus. It seems this is a problem that's getting increasingly common due to the many of us listening to our ipods for prolonged periods of time, so hope for the best guys and stay positive!
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Just thought id add a little "me too".

Im 25 and got the condition after a loud night at a club close to a speaker. Unfortunately 5 days later when things began to improve i went to an ENT to check if damage was done, he put a vaccuum in my ear to clear out the wax and bang, made it 3 times worse. Oh how i wish ENT's were called something other than specialists, maybe 'idiots' would be more appropriate.

It is all controlled by the brain, so i would think certain manipulations to auditory processing such as TRT or sound therapy may be able to improve the condition. I like the idea of hope, makes it easier to deal with ;) ...

I think the fact alot of people with the condition have great hearing thresholds may suggest it is infact a brain related processing problem, this is what we should all hope for, because it would mean it isnt permanent, and will improve over time as the brain adjusts.
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Just one curious thing I wanted to explore, did anyone of you take medication of sorts for something before your distortion began? I'm rather curious to explore possibilities of ototoxicity...
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Seriously glad I finally stumbled onto this page.  Have been looking for months for a group of people explaining the EXACT same problem I've had since this past December.  Totally out of the blue.  In my left ear and distorted sounds to loud noises.  I explained it once as Darth Vadar when I try to listen to my cell phone in that ear and the doctor looked at me crazy lol.  I've been to two ENTs who were no help whatsoever.  I even tried offering suggestions (could it be a pet allergy as I just got a cat that month? could it have something to do with the change in altitude when I went skiing that month?) and they shot down all my ideas.  The second one recommended a MRI or CT scan.  Who here has had that done and did it show anything?  
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Hey kat2233, I personally think there is no point in performing either CT scan or MRI as the ENT will probably be looking at some tumor involving the nerve between your ear and brain (which is unlikely they'll find anything, as I've done MRI myself to find nothing). If you hear perfectly fine - like most of us here - and had been audiogram tested, your ENT will most likely diagnose your condition as "auditory hallucinations" or some form of "objective tinnitus" (just my probable guess).  

You see, most ENT's haven't got a clue as to what's causing the distortion at certain volumes. I've been to 6 ENT's now and they all look at me with confused faces.

Some might try to explain that the little hairs (they send signals to the brain to be interpreted as sound) in your cochlea were damaged and when the damaged hairs are stimulated, the corrupted signals reach the brain and are processed as the distortion you and I are hearing.

Ok, fair enough. However, I have a problem with this...

Research has shown that if the little hairs (they're called stereo cilia) are damaged, hearing loss would usually result. The paradox is, you and I (and most of us here) will most probably have near-PERFECT hearing! It's confusing because most people with TINNITUS would likely have some hearing loss.  Most of us don't, yet we have this irritating distortion ----- so, what's causing the distortion?

I suggest you read these several articles and links; they are very helpful and may provide  insights to what's]causing our problems.  

http://members.tripod.com/lisa_mapes-ivil/stapedial_myoclonus/
http://www.chat-hyperacusis.net/post?id=2039163 ---- look at post #10
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tensor_tympani
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperacusis

Also, it'll be really helpful if you search these terms.
Objective Tinnitus
Hyperacusis
Tensor Tympani Syndrome
Idiopathic Stapedial Muscle Spasm

:)
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Thanks for the reply.  That tumor you are talking about is what scared me into thinking I should get the MRI.  Sometimes the internet can be very bad when you research something and get it into your head that that is definitely what you have lol.  But you are right, I went to an audiologist who said I had no hearing loss (or very minor if any).  So I guess that pretty much rules it out.
I've come across idiopathic stapedial muscle spasms before researching and that sounded most like it.  I'm beginning to feel like we just have to diagnose ourselves since ENTs have been very little help at all!  The whole idea about the hairs just sounds like they are reaching for any explanation they can think of.  It's hard to understand how the hairs could be damaged as most of us had this problem come out of blue, and again no hearing loss.  Very frustrating.
Thanks for the info, i'll definitely be doing more research on this.  Hopefully someone someday figures it out!

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Yes, I do really hope that someone would take a closer look at this, as this is getting more and more common.  

For the meantime, I highly suggest that you do some calming techniques or exercises and NOT stress about it, as I have. Stressing and thinking about it makes it much worse and your "threshold" or limit when it comes will gradually come down. I have heard of some people who have similar symptoms and it went away for them at one point because they were re-assured it wasn't something really threatening to their health - http://www.*****.***/***/ThreadSelectedControllerServlet?boardid=40&threadid=40565

If you want to go a little further, I suggest you seek a good Neuro-otologist. A neuro-otologist specializes only in the ears and is a sub specialist under ENT. I have yet to find a neuro-otologist myself, as I live in Malaysia and am a little strained on my options. Feel free to email me if anything comes up and I can direct you to a good online doctor- ***@****
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Same issue! Crackling popping in my left ear. Although I have had few ear infections and it's not loud noise but the pitch of the noise that bothers me. I was hoping for a solution not just others with the same problem.

In my experience (with other health issues)
specialists are of little help. I have ulcerative colitis and experience Cronin pain (which, if you read through related forums is very common) but according to my "specialist" is unheard of??? Regardless of the hundreds personal experiences.

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I have these same problems. My right ear feels like radio static, and some times I get a ringing in my ear. I was diagnosed with tinnitus. My ear sometimes feels clogged, and certain noises just make it crack n pop non stop until the noise goes away. I can't listen to someone on a phone, speaker, etc. I can' listen to my own brother talking without this.

The ENT specialist that I went to said it sounds like damage from loud noises. He said it will take about a year or more for it to go back to normal. I am not convinced this is the case though. It has really made my life miserable, and sometimes I cry because of it. I just want it to go away, and nobody understands how hard it is for me. I get dizzy sometimes, and I have even passed out. I was diagnosed with synope. I am getting an MRI test on my brain soon to see if it is a problem with my brain. Right now I have an event monitor hooked up to me to see if it's a heart problem. I lose my balance sometimes. I am not a doctor, but I think this is all happening because of my ear. I had a lot of ear infections when I was a kid. I had tubes put in, and one had to be surgically removed, because it didn't fall out on its own like it's supposed to. I am 18 years old, and this shouldn't be happening to me...
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Hey latexdrop, sorry to hear you are going through the same problem.  I understand the stress and unhappiness it makes you feel.  I'm 26 so not as young as you but still it's frustrating to already have to be dealing with problems like this.  Have you gotten your MRI results back?  I'm planning on getting one done at the beginning of the year but still have yet to hear anyone say that it showed anything.  I hope things get better for you, or at least find something more out.  It's been a year for me and nothing has changed unfortunately.
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I have the exact same problem! I'm 10 and when someone hummms at a certain pitch, my ear buzzes and it's very irritating
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I noticed this problem first when listening to classical piano. I absolutely agree with most of your major points and I don't really hold out much hope for my long awaited NHS ENT appt in December ! Orchestral music especially analogue with all that tonal richness is now a trial, and electric guitars nigh on unbearable ! Very distressing,
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Which ear do we all use our mobile phones with??? I have the same problem in my LEFT ear. A musician, even my own voice sometimes cause my left ear to distort. Just like when a speaker distorts if there is too much bass or too loud. It has gotten worse over the last 6 months.

Worried.

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I have had this problem for 16 years.  Not only do certain sounds cause a loud static sound in my right ear, but pain, as well.  Though I had many ear infections when I was younger and tubes, the pain didn't start until after the car accident in which I hit the left side of my head.  It has affected my life in a horrible way.  I have to plug my ear in church during the singing and even my own voice causes the static pain.  My kids laughing or yelling or even talking causes pain.  Talking to a person who has a certain pitch, etc...
I have been to ENTs, had an MRI, and hearing tests, but no one can find anything wrong.  It was a relief to find that other people have this problem and I'm not alone.  I would give anything to find a cure.
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I'm going to add a "me too" here. I've experienced the blown out speaker buzzing and crackling on and off for about a year or so. I'm in the the middle of an episode/ flare right now. Like so many others, it only comes at certain frequencies and mostly at louder sounds. It is really hard to talk on a phone (cell or landline) as it distorts pretty bad. My own talking with cause it to go off if I am talking loud (like if I'm in a crowd). It is in both my ears. I also experience the fullness. I also had many ear infections as a kid. Like those with Crohn's, I have an autoimmune disease (arthritis-ankylosing spodylitis) and am currently being tested for MS. I assumed my ear problems could be attributed to the arthritis. Perhaps inflammation in the middle ear? Perhaps a stiffening of the joints in the ear? I do not know and will not bother going to an ENT. I'm sure they will find my hearing to be fine...even slightly sensitive.
It is reassuring to find a group that has so many similar symptoms...I know I am not crazy. It really is a bother! It is really frustrating to have so many people present with such exact symptoms and have the specialists not know anything about it.
A few other facts for comparison:
-ear plugs do not help...the distortion feels like it is in the inside of my head so the vibration just goes through the ear plug
-I also have TMJ, but wear a NTI brace
-I do take medications for the arthritis such as an NSAID and muscle relaxer
-I do not listen to an ipod with headphones or listen to music cranked up, nor did it start after attending a concert
Good luck to us all and maybe together we can figure something out!

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Response from an audiologist specializing in hearing loss prevention:

Wow.  I eventually had to start skimming.  One quick initial note: Some people will randomly experience a sudden sensorineural hearing loss.  Out of the blue, your hearing drops, things sound distorted, etc.  If this happens IT IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY AND YOU NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR NOW.  No, your head won't explode if you don't....but immediate treatment (usually prednisone) can significantly increase the likelihood of recovery.

What most of you are describing is consistent with the effects of excessive sound exposure, usually called noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) or music induced hearing disorders (MIHD).  We don't have a cure for this.  However, you can work to keep it from getting worse by reducing the volume of your music, wearing hearing protection when you drum, go to loud events, whatever, don't smoke, eat healthy (particularly anti-oxidants), etc.  

Start getting your hearing monitored annually; that way, you can see if changes are sudden or gradual.  This doesn't have to be expensive; audiologists can perform something called "pure tone air conduction audiometry" alone, which is what is done to monitor for hearing loss in industry.  It'd be worthwhile to get a comprehensive hearing test first, but then monitor every year like you would with your teeth, so if something changes, you know and can respond in a timely fashion.

Unfortunately, in our culture, the high risk of noise induced hearing loss is virtually ignored, while the joys of amplifying your stereo to 11 are celebrated.  Some of us are working to change that.  But it's slow going, and meanwhile a lot of people are paying the price with early onset hearing loss.

Including me.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm going to throw a slight spanner in the works. I am a singer/musician and I have had simliar problems to alot of you
- Ear distortion at high sounds levels
-Ear fullness
-Popping, crackling
-My own voice setting off distortion

It has being going on for 2 years for me and i have worried about it being ear damage alongside the possibility of it never going away.

BUT, i actually think the problem is improving. Well, i know it has improved by 75% and with a new technique i am pushing towards total eradication (i hope) .
I'm not going to promise you will all have the same relief by following what i tell you but please try because i have experienced the depression that these symptoms bring and felt the frustration of no help from doctors.
So my simple remedy?

- EARDOC - These cheap machines have been slated all over the net, but trust me from experience they can help. When using it, don't just put it behind the ear, but move it about until you hear noise similiar to the distortion noise - you can actually feel sticky fluid deep in the ear moving - I used this for the last year and my symptoms have gradually got better - you will get relief after the first time you use it, but you do have to keep it up to progress

- Neti pot - Again people have slated these but my god it helped me. Do it just once and you will feel debris in you sinus's wanting to move. Keep it up and your symptoms will ihopefully mprove drastically

- Eardrops - rotate a mixture of caniston ear drops and garlic ear drops - you might not get immediate relief but by using the drops intermittantly over the course of a few weeks you will feel improvement.

It's a been a long road for me battling these symptoms that you have all described, but you have to keep trying different things. I had honestly accepted the fact i had damaged my ears and that i would have distortion all my life and now i would say I'm 85% towards complete errradication.

Don't dismiss my ideas, i have a few other tips and theories on what is causin this if anyone is interested (post on here and i will reply). It won't work for everyone but keep believing people, a cure is around the corner!!!!!!
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Wow, I have been plagued with this very same problem for almost 5 years and have not found any other sufferers until now. I'm disappointed that a solution hasn't been found, vbut glad to know I'm not alone.

- Had ear infections when I was 1 year old
- I am a lifelong musician (violin) of 37 years
- Left ear distorts at certain frequencies
- Hearing itself is fine
- My own voice sets off the distortion
- a sense of unrelievable pressure is associated

When it begins I can drop my jaw to clear it, and point my ear away from my violin, but then it comes back again. IT DRIVES ME NUTS!

It all began with me 6 years ago after I had a series of accidents that resulted in surgeries that resulted in prescriptions of hydrocodone and oxycontin. These drugs set it off, I know without a doubt. I vowed never to take pain pills ever again! When they would start to kick in, that fuzziness in my ear would also begin. These drugs carry dangerous potential for hearing loss that the medical industry has not widely recognized. Rush Limbaugh (and others) who were addicted to Oxycontin have lost their hearing and had to get cochlear implants. I cannot be absolutely positive the pain pills strarted the problem, but they DEFINITELY aggravated it. I told this to an ear doctor three years ago and he laughed at me like he thought I was trying to build a court case against them. That doc visit ticked me off so much. I would like to find a solution. If it gets worse, I don't know if I'll be able to continue with my music.

Glad to know you all are here. Please keep me posted...

***@****
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Hi all, just another person to add to this already extensive list of people suffering with this condition. I have and do suffer with sinus problems but never really had a problem with hearing. I work in a car garage and recently had a tyre beading pop (a normal thing is a loud bang) but on this occasion it hurt and I knew something wasnt quite right. Have certainly had a loud noise disturb my ear in the past and you get the buzzing noise temporarily associated with that but this time in my right ear and it hasnt gone away since. Ive been to the docs twice, the first time telling me to see how I got on as it should improve after a couple of weeks, then went back again after 1 year of fairly consistent symptoms and explained that, to which the doctor replied....see how you get on. I knew at this point I was alone :( I reguarly use olive oil drops to temporarily ease the discomfort which I would describe as a near on constant ringing and definitely sensitivity to loud noises. Im constantly wearing ear defenders at work now, almost to the point that it has become ridiculous as Im scared to take them off incase I get caught out with a loud noise I wasnt expecting and will then have a few days of louder than normal ringing. Ive been trying TRT (Tinnitus retraining therapy) recently and to be totally honest is fine while im listening to "pink noise" but as soon as I stop almost feels worse. The worst time for me and I should suspect most people is at night going to bed, this is when I really start to notice the noise, its horrible and driving me mad, I really wish there was a set in stone cure for this! The only thing that seems to work for me and being a recreational scuba diver I know the technique well is to "equalise" the pressure in my ears by pinching my nose and attempting to blow out of it. This does seem to almost move or dislodge something for some length of time and I am fairly free of symptoms for a while. Ive only posted on here to join this community and help add to the numbers so we know were not alone as most people I know around me dont empathise with what your going through I unfortunately havent found the master cure yet but I hope we do soon. Keep your chins up and lets try and make some progress ourselves and stop helping to fund the hearing specialists christmas funds lol. Good luck everyone!
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My son had this problem and really struggled in school because of it.  He was diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder and in the simplest form of explanation your two ears work at different levels and the noises arrive at your brain at different times (mini-milliseconds) but this can cause problems understanding, ringing and sensitivity to sound.  He went for therapy and basically had his ears "trained" to work together.  Many adults "acquire" this after accidents.  There are many books available for this but not a lot of doctor's out there to treat it.  Good luck!
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Aha,

I've this same problem of crackling noises in my right ear after prolong exposure to loud noise. Depending on the frequency of the noise, the irritation starts anywhere between a minute to a few minutes when the noise is constantly present.

How loud? Well, for me, when I'm at a car race track, it's really bad. But just hammer knocking onto a nail does the job too. And once it crackles for a bit, my right eye will start to tear from the irritation, and it's a little painful as well when it happens.

How I developed this problem? I'm 40 now, but back when I was 23 or so, I frequently went to the club. There was once it was pretty packed and I sat near a speaker (a large one at that) while the music was going full force and whalla....the rest is history....

Cure? Not found. My ear doc said it could be psychological. Ok, why do I tear from the irritation and why only one side? No, it's not psychological, but trying not to think about it when it happens helps, or quickly make an exit before the crackling gets worse works better.

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I have the same thing and doctors could never figure anything out.  It has always been my right ear, but just recently my left ear is starting too.  It's awful and only people that have it can understand.  I got used to my right ear doing it even though it still bothered me, but now my left ear.....it's not fun.  I have four kids and can't get away from the noise.:)  So my ears are always like that.  Some times are worse than others.  For about 2 days now, I've had pressure also and I want to keep trying to yawn to stop it, but the static is the same.  Also I've noticed with this that when I stand up, the blood pounds in my head and I can't hear anything hardly for a about 2 minutes.  I hope someone reading all our posts know what's going on.  It looks like with so many people having this that doctors would be able to figure it out.  
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I have the same thing and doctors could never figure anything out.  It has always been my right ear, but just recently my left ear is starting too.  It's awful and only people that have it can understand.  I got used to my right ear doing it even though it still bothered me, but now my left ear.....it's not fun.  I have four kids and can't get away from the noise.:)  So my ears are always like that.  Some times are worse than others.  For about 2 days now, I've had pressure also and I want to keep trying to yawn to stop it, but the static is the same.  Also I've noticed with this that when I stand up, the blood pounds in my head and I can't hear anything hardly for a about 2 minutes.  I hope someone reading all our posts know what's going on.  It looks like with so many people having this that doctors would be able to figure it out.  
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I agree. I experience the same thing and the psychological part is partially true, but for the most part I'm pretty sure the physical pain and the feeling it comes with is very real. How long have you had this problem and has it stayed benign all these years or got gradually worse (as in your tolerance threshold lowered)?
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Hey bro...just realized your from KL.......I'm from Kota Kinabalu!
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My dad, a singer, just started having distortions two weeks ago. If he plugs the left ear, which is the one affected, he can sing even the higher notes. Has anyone found out if this I temporary or if there is a treatment?  He is supposed to see an audiologist, and I have copied much of this forum information for her. Hope everyone can get some relief!  I am, too, a musician and can't imagine!  Please contact me at ***@**** if you have any suggestions.
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I joined up here to find other people discussing issues of their Otic distortion when stuff gets to loud. It seems that happens to the left ear more commonly that the right. I was dealing with and otitis media infection for about a month and a half. My doctor started me on decongestants then moved me to antibiotics when he decided it was an infection. While I was on the antibotics for the infection, I was experiencing a kind of Tinnitus where my ear was having a high pitched ringing noise usually louder at night. I got another doctors opinion and he said I had fungus in my ear so I decided to go to holistic store and they sold Me Wally's Ear Oil. I used it for about a week and it tamed my ear ringing down. The ringing has diminished but the thing is my hearing would distort when I cranked up the volume on the headphones,speakers or if there is any loud yelling or other  very loud noises. I believe in the beginning of the infection I had there was oozy discharge wich mad me assume my eardrum had perforated at the beginning of the infection. I'm just hoping that this distortion problem goes away after a while.
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Luckily your post didn't get deleted nor archived. I would have to say you're the President of this Otic distortion club. Btw I was wondering if you ever found a way to resolve your distortion so you can crank it up?
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Hey, (it is Murray641)

So thought I'd drop a wee update.. (please see previous post)

Went to doctors, refered to ENT 3 months later. Went to ENT, hearing test results showed a very slight dip in one ear.. Was told to come back in 3 months. Things had got very slightly better with the distorsion, but the tinitus had gotten worse.
Sent for an MRI scan, which showed nothing. 6 months on, and I hardly notice it now.. I have a slight hollow sound, and still can not tollorate loud noises (being a joiner - this can be a problem), but the prognosis is pressure damage - likely from my nail gun.

By the way - I used to smoke a lot of grass, I also was a headphones gamer.. And I like milk. Just trying to perhaps add to a common link.

My consultant never understood what was wrong until I described it as a Reduced Tolorance to Sound - thats when I got sent for the MRI - nothing to worry about btw.. So cheer up. If there is any further developements, I'll be sure to let you know
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Just read your post about worrying about it..

My consultant booked my MRI in mid Dec, and I went for it on the 29th Dec.. (yes.. Merry Christmas!)

I got my results the second week in January.

The time between - I was awake until 2-3am every night, listening to my ear (if thats poss!).. I was SO worried about it, my symtoms (symptoms) were getting worse.

The SAME day I got my results - that night, the tinitus had gone, and the distortion improved so much!

Today, a few months later I rarely notice any distortion. If I hear loud banging or noises - it goes right thru me, but I tend to were protection when I'm working in a noisy environment.

The BEST and only cure for me, was the reassurance of NOT having said brain tumor!! Get an MRI - INSIST on an MRI - if anything, to put your mind at rest!

Thanks  
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Did you try decongestants?  My dad is trying that now and thinks the ear is better. He still hears pitch distortions with loud music though. I think it has been going on about a month. He has been to an audiologist, then will see the ENT next month. Was the MRI just to check out everything or did you request it yourself?
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Could you have had an ear infection without knowing it? Not all ear infections have the obvious symptoms of Fever and Pain. I'm not quite sure how mine started. I wish I could go back to the point before it started and do something preventive but at least I don't have what I called the psudo-tinnitus anymore and I couldn't imagine having real tinnitus. I'm hoping otic distortions that are caused by ear infections clear up.
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How long have the optic distortions been going on?  My dad is going on a month almost. It seemed to be better, but loud music distorts still.
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The Otic Distortion has been going on for about a couple of months now. It occurs when someone yells near me or I yell or if music is loud. I had an ear infection that started about the middle of January and my doctor suggested decongestants first and it wasn't helping then after 3 weeks of useless decongestants he finally decided to put me on Augmentin 875mg. When I was put on that I had developed a ringing in my ear. How I describe the Otic distortion is that when I put the head phones on max it starts to sound crackly but when I have it at a moderate level. I have to call the ENT back to see if they can refer Me to an audiologist. It really ***** when one uses their hearing for pleasure and they come down with an infection that can screw things up.
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My ears have been ringing since 1991....  It really doesn't bother me that much at this point, so hang in there. I am a flute and piccolo player, so it kind of comes with the territory especially for piccolo. My dad is the one having distortions pitch wise which is very frustrating since he is a vocalist. I think he also just has some plain hearing loss...mostly from abuse from rehearsals, concerts, loud music in general. More research is neede on this!!  We are possibly going to try another audiologist who would be willing to look into the displacusis instead of just saying they are not familiar with it. I will pat if I find out anything else!
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I woke up with this.. has a slight hiss the night before, and then woke up the next day. Fell over, as I wasn't expecting it. My hearing was just like a blown speaker, with every noise distorted and crackling. I was working at heights that day, and was dizzy. So the doc put me on Serc (which is for meniere's disease - which I dont have. I stopped taking them after a few days.

The consultant at the ENT sent me for the MRI. He wanted to check for infection, tumor, or gunge in my middle ear.. None of which were there.

As I said, the distortion got better it's self. It's still there, but much less noticable. The tinitus got better the day I got my MRI results.

I was told my distortion was from pressure damage - but not ruled out stress. Tinitus and hearing issues are often not really their. Thats why ENT or any other doctor can't actually fix it.

Placeabo's work better than real medicine in most cases, as you BELIEVE it will work. Belief is a strong healer. Placebos have been known to fix heart disease!

Anyway - I feel for you all, as I thought there was no hope. I am happy with my life, and my problem - I don't really see it as a problem anymore.



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I also have TMJ on the same side as the ear that distorts. Are you currently being treated for TMJ? If so, what type of treatment, are you wearing a splint or did you get surgery? Any improvement?
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Wow, I can't believe so many people have this problem! I've been trying to find out information for years, but I just could not think how to describe my symptoms, so it took a while to find this page. I'm a singer, and since I was about 12 I have been getting this problem, and up until about 3 years ago it only ever happened when I hit big notes, so I have to assume it's my own voice that has caused it :) although lately anything can set it off, from putting forks in the drawer to laughing too loudly, but I don't mind that, it's when it disrupts my singing that I get upset-I find it impossible to stay in tune when it happens. Plugging my ear stops it, but I don't like singing like that. I think I'm just going to have to wear ear plugs and deal with it though-originally it was just in my right, now it's in my left a bit too.
It gets especially bad whenever I have a cold, anyone else get that? If I have a really bad cold, I have to go to the bathroom to blow my nose when I'm at work, because once I blow my nose I have to wait for the room to stop spinning, and I'd rather be in private :)
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Hi Everyone,

    I have the same exact hearing problem but I know it's caused by my jaw/TMJ. Certain frequencies would lead to a buzzing/static/distorted sound, and it's set off by loud sounds. When I first started having this problem, I thought it was due my cold bc I developed eustachian tube dysfunction, but it turned out to be my jaw!

    I know that it's caused by my jaw bc I've seen a few TMJ dentists and have worn a few different splints/night guards, and only wearing it for one night, my hearing changed. The first dentist I saw made me worse. The second dentist I saw improved my hearing by a lot for a month, BUT then he decided to increase my splint (making my jaw opened really wide), the distorted/static/buzzing sound came back again...that jerk =(

    I have also seen 10 ENT specialists prior to the dentists I 've seen, and not one of them knew what I was talking about. It was my chiropractor who mentioned that TMJ can cause a myriad a strange ear problems. I guess this is a new/rare TMJ symptom that hasn't been discovered by doctors yet.
     I also see that there are a few others who have posted on here also have jaw problems. Therefore,  I strongly suggest that you guys get your jaws checked. An MRI was what diagnosed me with TMJ. It showed that the disc completely slipped. Other symptoms I had was a lot of clicking when I eat/talk, and some ear pain. I hope this helps! Please KIT if you guys get diagnosed w/ TMJ and your results with treatment.
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Found some info for some of you who experience the "blown speaker" crackling. Feel free to email me for more info!

Idiopathic Stapedial Muscle Spasm-

[Idiopathic stapedial muscle spasm creates a rough, crackling, rumbling noise in the ear. External sounds, such as music tones, water faucets, and voices, are known to accentuate the spasms. Physical examination reveals a normal tympanic membrane with rhythmic contractions synchronous with the noise. History and physical examination are sufficient for diagnosis. The disease is usually self-limited and remits with time; reassurance is often sufficient. Recalcitrant cases may be treated by middle ear exploration with division of the stapedius and tensor tympani muscles. Although the operation abolishes the symptoms, it is rarely necessary.]
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Hey spenditos, I read your post about using the EarDoc and Neti Pot for your ear problems.  I went ahead and purchased an EarDoc online and have tried Neti Pot for a cold once before to no avail, but I'll give it a go again--and I've been using eardrops for a bit now.  You mentioned some other tips and theories you would provide upon request here on the forum, could you enlighten us please, we're all ears!  :)
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   Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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3118195_tn?1341973272
Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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3118195_tn?1341973272
Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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3118195_tn?1341973272
Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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3118195_tn?1341973272
Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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3118195_tn?1341973272
Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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Hi everyone, 19 year old here with the same problem in my right ear... only happens at certain frequencies. Doctors arent helping.... I had a few ear infections when i was younger from swimming. I was listening to my ipod a lot when I first noticed it about 8 months ago (though not at excessive volumes). its gotten slightly worse but still bearable. probably happens on about 25% of music which is annoying but bearable. aside from that, people talking louder etc. can set it off. blowing my ears sometimes helps. My life is not very stressful at all so I don't think thats it... I'll try to stay off caffiene and also to clean my sinus and see if that helps, thanks. Hopefully someone can find an effective way to cure this...
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I'm 24 and I've had this problem with my left ear for years. I just blew it off as a minor annoyance since it happened so rarely, but recently I've started to wonder if/how it was related to my frequent migraines. Yours is the first post that I've found that mentions this problem in conjunction with migraines. Thanks for the information!
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Can't believe this thread started on 2006 and there are no "success stories" :(

I suffer from the same problem with a very important difference which I'll mention in a minute.

-My left hear distorts the sound after it reaches a certain volume.

-It also happens when there is an ongoing sound and someone talks on top of it even if it is not that loud.

-No, I don't have problems hearing people speaking at low volume or... anything at low volume, Did the whole test thing and came up normal.

-Popping my hears is very difficult for me (have to blow really hard so it scares me) but it will help for about 10 seconds then it comes back.

-Pulling my hears back and down, up to a point (without using my hands, I can move my hears ) really helps but it is very difficult to find the right spot and impossible to hold for long.

-There is NO tinnitus or weird noises when everything is quiet

-it gets worst when I'm congested, but it doesn't go away if I take meds for that congestion.


This started probably at 18, I am now 30, I play guitar, and bass, and used to play sax and love music and this problem drove me away from taking it more seriously back in the day.

Yes I was exposed to loud music growing up but usually if it was for a long period of time I would use hear plugs.

Growing up rhinitis was very common, and I'm pretty allergic to dust and whatnot.


************************
The thing that differs from the other cases is that I used to have this on BOTH hears, I basically couldn't play guitar anymore, I couldn't hear myself.

I then had a stupid but very fortunate accident with a Q-tip, yes your momma was right, it happens.  I left it on my hear for a minute to pick up something, when my hand came back up looking for it, I missed and instead of grabbing it I bumped it in good, almost only the opposite tip was showing. it was very loud and shocking I even felt to the floor, but wasn't that painful. Went to the doctor, they just covered my hear and said that we could only wait and it would heal itself and hope for no hearing lost.

I didn't lost any hearing, I was lucky, but I was even more lucky when I noticed that  my "injured" hear was not distorting sounds any more.

************************

My right hear is perfect now, my left hear is worst than ever :(  I will go back to a doctor to see if I get some help, I would actually pay someone to pop a Q tip up my bad hear if it wasn't that dangerous
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Hi, i'm 20 and also have this issue in my left ear, and is quite bothersome. i think i see a pattern here. i read a lot of drummers have issues in the left ear as well. its because the frequencies of the snare and hi hat are coming in strong on your left side. the only thing that we can all do from here on out is prevent it from getting any worse, wear ear protection!! unless you want to be half deaf
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I've got the same problem here. It's unfortunate that no one has seemed to find a cure, or fix.

I am almost 21 and I've been experiencing this problem for about 2 or 3 years now. I am a pianist (and singer) and I can hardly play the piano by itself anymore, let alone sing along, without experiencing this distortion. It's getting quite and simply makes my practice time unbearable. Also, at a concert, the huge crowd cheering and clapping almost ALWAYS triggers it (not sure what frequency that noise can average out to) but surprisingly, the loud music doesn't trigger it as much.

I can try to describe it best as more of a physical problem in my left ear. It's like the hairs in my ear are loose, and vibrating together when certain frequencies enter my ear, causing a sound *like* distortion or fuzz. I feel like the sound itself isn't distorted, but rather an extra distortion-like noise is generated on top. I can physically feel a very light vibration as well sometimes. It only seems to happen when I play in the mid-high range of the piano, but I can play as loud as I want in the low range.

I read a post elsewhere that someone experiencing the problem grew out of it and has not experienced it for years, which brings some light to the situation, but in the meantime, it seems that mine is getting worse. Maybe someday these hairs will break or something and the distortion will stop.

(Of course, I am simply trying to physically represent the situation. I really don't know if it has to do with hairs, it could really be anything).
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi - I have just stumbled on this list after 15 years of suffering tinnitus and hyperacusis. I am also a drummer and guitarist and it was all set off by one loud gig when I was 42. I have managed to live with the tinnitus and get to sleep at night, I have musician's ear plugs at 25db and wear them anytime I am playing music, or going to gigs or even sometimes just walking down the street...I cannot bear to play drums without them as it hurts...just like when in a cafe and someone crashes the cups and saucers together! But in the past few years I have also experienced the crackling in my right ear at certain frequencies. It started at band practice but I also agree with many others on this list that someone laughing or clapping next to me can set it off...I just was playing guitar and noticed the G note on the top E string was the frequency that set it off...not sure what HZ that is....but I'm amazed that other people also describe it as like a broken speaker as that is exactly how I have tried to describe it to my ENT, who like all the others was not really interested and said it could be a 'floppy eardrum' but offered no solutiuons....also sometimes, like now, if I just scratch the right side of my head, it creates an echo crackle in my ear a split second later...weird....and finally like most others, my hearing is fine according to the audiologist!
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Avatar_m_tn
I've suffered progressive hearing loss due to a several sinus infections and several loud rock concerts. My last "big" sinus infection left me with tinitus in the left ear, but also made me really notice the distortion as well. I'm a guitar player and have a home studio, so I have been able to isolate the frequencies that cause the most trouble. Like many of you, I have gone to an audiologist and all they did was want to sell me a hearing aid for $3000.00.

An interesting thing I have discovered is that if I push on the little "nub" that is at the outside of my ear while I hear distortion, the distortion is lessened. I also notice if I over-extend my jaw, I can make my left ear pop, which also helps reduce distortion. This is just temporary though and it will come right back after a short amount of time. I'm curious to know if ANYONE has been to an audiologist that is prescribing anything other than a hearing aid... there definitely seems to be more going on here than meets the ear.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm 30 years old and I've been suffering from the same issue with my left ear for around 6 or 7 years. In college, I had a really bad ear infection in my left ear. I was in school for sound engineering at the time and decided to go see a doctor who told me my eardrum would most likely rupture as a result of the ear infection. My infection eventually subsided and my eardrum never did rupture, but, in the next few months, especially when wearing in-ear headphones, I started to notice my left ear would distort like a blown speaker when exposed to mid- and high-range frequency content at a certain sound level. I immediately went to an audiologist who could find nothing wrong and offered little in the way of a reasonable explanation.

My story is very much like the hundreds posted here and elsewhere. I suffered from an ear infection and now my eardrum distorts like a blown speaker when exposed to loud and harsh sounds. However, my training in audio and acoustics leads me believe that I know what happened and, unfortunately, there is no cure.

I believe that we literally have blown our eardrum just like you blow a speaker. Consider that within your speaker driver, a cone is mounted to a flexible surround that pushes in and out to create the compression and rarefaction waves that make up sound. When a speaker cone is pushed too hard and is forced out beyond it's limits, called over-excursion, you blow your speaker. At this point, although the driver itself isn't damaged and still produces sound at low levels, there is a noticeable distortion that occurs as the speaker is pushed to a certain sound level and as it tries to reproduce a certain frequency range. It is at this point that the driver is removed from the speaker cabinet and gets re-coned, meaning the damaged surround and cone are cut out and replaced.

As I mentioned, I've suffered from this problem for 6 or 7 years and, as a working sound engineer, I've noticed a few things about having a, "blown eardrum."

Mid-range sound, more specifically frequency content from about 1kHz to 6kHz, at a certain level tends to trigger the distortion. HOWEVER, I don't seem to notice the distortion all the time. It seems to come and go with variable severity based on a couple factors. My ear will distort earlier and more severely when I'm extremely tired (running on 3 or 4 hours of sleep) and, often, when I'm exposed to the cold for long periods of time (10-25 degrees).

I don't know if this helps anyone out there, but I wanted to at least tell my story. Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, im dean from uk.  29 and a semi professional rock singer of 10yrs (solo+bands).  I started noticing hearing 'dirrerences' about 5 years ago now.  I had two seperate hearing tests done at the time with both confirming i have apparently lost what you would expect average joe to have lost at 60yrs old.  I was mortified!  Took it on the chin as best i could and shot out of there.

Since i started having these problems i have increasingly been able to 'feel' my ears with something clearly not right with them, not just high end loss.  A trip or three to the doctor over the years have come back with no physical problems.  The last trip to the doc came back saying i had fluid behind the drum preventing things to work efficiently.  This sounded more promising as to finding a possible half-cure at least to my problems.  Unfortunately i was still not referred to an ENT specialist, instead was sent away and told to use the head over boiling water thing to work it loose and flush it all out.  Needless to say i wasn't convinced and can still feel my ears as if theres something going on inside.

My latest problems include, mild tinnitus / unable to equalise both ears properly especially noticeable travelling to and from gigs when climbing the mountains in the car / when my car alarm goes off sometimes both ears distort which is super-uncomfortable! / unable to hold a decent conversation with anything in the background / anxiety / unable to stick to routines / lack of concentration / raging ******* mad that they, as yet, don't seem to give a ****!

Surely theres some sort of proceedure which can help with fluid trapped behind the ear which i am convinced has been the problem all along!

I am going to book myself in again this week and demand a meeting with the ENT at least.  I'll let you know what happens.

For people interested, currently i use those high fidelity ear-plugs things (er20 i believe)  as much as i can when im not gigging.  I find some form of comfort in doing this.  Believe it or not it actually helps filter out some annoying background noise and in most cases you hear the things closest to you much clearer, in my case anyhow.  Being the singer tho, i simply cant use them live, as soon as my jaw moves it just confuses everything lol.
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Avatar_m_tn
Anyone find any solutions to this problem? I've had this same issue, and strangly as other posters, in my left ear only, I never notice the distortion or crackling noises unless in high decibel or extremely crowded loud environments, also, seemingly strange, I notice it when listening to headphones at a certain higher volume, but when I remove the headphone from my right ear the distortion leaves my left, as it the distortion is almost my ears tryin to equalize the noise that it's hearing to the other ears level, and causing distortion. Strange. Also, as other sufferers, I'm 21 and have been experiencing this for the last year or two. Have been told my hearing is fine by doctors, or that it's maybe just a temporary build up of trapped inner ear fluid. No solutions. Very annoying, please help!
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Avatar_m_tn
@DumboDoctor --- Find a good neuro-otologist. Most ENT docs won't know about the problem as it's still relatively still unknown. Look up to see my posts, I've posted a few theories,
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Avatar_m_tn
hey man ! I've been experiencing the exact same problems and I'm also a pianist and signer.. I was wondering how you were feeling today, almost a year after you've shared your story. ?
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Avatar_m_tn
hey man ! I've been experiencing the exact same problems.. I was wondering how you were feeling today, almost 2 year after you've shared your story. ?
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Avatar_m_tn
hey man ! I've been experiencing the exact same problems and I'm also a pianist and signer.. I was wondering how you were feeling today, almost a year after you've shared your story. ?
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Avatar_m_tn
I use to have this problem until recently, it is caused by ACID REFLEX.  Acid reflex isn't the initial cause, but it effects or triggers it.  If you have chronic acid reflex than you will get this every time you play loud music.

The cure for me was fresh ginger root (1/2 tsp.) and lemon tea once a day. I also take a teaspoon of baking soda with water ever once in a while.

If it works for you, you should notice a difference in 48hrs.
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Avatar_m_tn
Finding this site and fellow sufferers has been extremely helpful. I also have suffered from static/crackling when certain frequencies hit my left ear .

I went to the ENT specialist and like many of you, received a very positive hearing test. His explanation was that the ear muscles that hold the tiny bones were going into spasm at certain frequencies. He didn't offer any help other than to protect my ears.

Have any of you experimented with muscle relaxers (valium or flexoril) and determined if they help this condition? It would be good to prove/dis-prove my ENT's spasm theory.
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Avatar_m_tn
That's a great diagnosis! I've really taken an interest in that theory and that diagnosis seems very plausible (for me at least). I take anti-seizure medication (Carbamazepine) in combination with an anti-depressant (Mirtazapine), which both have some muscle relaxant properties and they have help me tremendously by increasing my "threshold" to certain frequencies. My doctor has prescribed me Diazepam (which is a pretty good muscle relaxant) and it's helped me a lot when the two former drugs aren't effective on some days. I don't take it that often as you could develop a tolerance to them after, rendering them less effective over time and an increase in dosage to keep their efficacy. I've been taking both Carbamazepine and Mirtazepine for 2 years now and they're still effective.You could ask your doctors about them. Hope to hear from ya, cheers!


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Avatar_m_tn
Tengo el problema desde hace un año, tengo 18 años y soy músico.. según los otorrinos y audiologos mi audición esta perfecta, es estresante pero lo soporto, para ensayar con mi banda e ir a conciertos uso unos tapones/atenuantes especiales que me mando a hacer el audiologo. También tomo un complemento de vitamina B1 B6 B12. Soy de Aregentina
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Avatar_f_tn
Hear I thought I was the only one. I get this loud fuzzy static sound in my left hear. Even distorted. And everything sounds muffled. I'm a musician so it really suck sometime when I'm focused on learning something new. But it's only happens in when something is very loud in certain keys. If something is in Bm or A or a flat and a sharp. I'm fine. But when I hear c f am and g.... Complete static. And it sound becomes very uncomfortable  .  At a low volume I'll be fine. But when something is loud. Even a movie. In those keys. It *****.... I went to a dr.... The dr looked at me like was crazy and said it was allergies... The meds he gave me never helped... I believe my ear is damaged from a number of things. Or just music really in different ways... Headphones..... Amps... Playing an electric guitar full blast with headphones... My head used to buzz for hours.....and my ear would ring... Being around drums ... Also I believe I use my left ear to Focus  harder. Perhaps it's more stressed. This has been going on for 3 years ...
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