What do you hear when it's silent?

roncadillac

Member
*No, I'm not asking that in some introspective way nor wanting this to turn into some deep conversation. And no, this doesn't have anything to do with a quarantine or anything like that because it's been going on for years*

I literally mean: what do you hear when it's silent?

I've noticed this for a long time now (been playing drums for almost 20 years and playing music/instruments for about 22+ years in general) and was reminded of it this morning while sitting in my drum room that was completely silent at the time.

When it is silent I hear what could only be described as static in both ears. Like a radio that has no station but very quiet. In addition, I hear a soft high pitched tone.. almost like a bell but a continuous note with no ringing, a 'syntone' I believe is what it could be most closely described as. The longer I sit in silence the louder that 'tone' gets to the point that it will start to cause discomfort in my temples and almost feel like the insides of my ears are being gently squeezed. If my allergies are active that day it will quickly spread into my sinus cavities and nasal passage. I literally keep a talk radio station on 24/7 at home whenever I'm not watching TV or playing drums because it really starts to bother me.

Am I going deaf? Am I going crazy? Am I just a drummer with the beginnings of ear damage after two decades on the throne?

So, what do you hear when it's silent?
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Auditory hallucinations the first sign of major psychosis and you're fixing to cash in your. chips-Nah Just Kidding. Yep sounds like hearing loss and some tinnitus. Tinnitus can be torture at night when trying to sleep-I've had it so bad I'd just sit up and scream. I think because the higher frequency hair cells are first to get damaged you get high frequency ghost-like a ghost limb effect is my reckoning. I tune it out now-the positional vertigo gets me (there's an exercise to help reset otoliths in inner ear that helps). There is a auditory video that if you listen it makes the tinnitus go away-but it only lasted a few seconds when I tried. That would be an interesting poll for some music student-do you have hearing loss or tinnitus. But I'm the "Life of Pi" sort so I prefer to think you're crazy and going deaf-so I have some company. Welcome to the club partner. LOL
 

roncadillac

Member
Auditory hallucinations the first sign of major psychosis and you're fixing to cash in your. chips-Nah Just Kidding. Yep sounds like hearing loss and some tinnitus. Tinnitus can be torture at night when trying to sleep-I've had it so bad I'd just sit up and scream. I think because the higher frequency hair cells are first to get damaged you get high frequency ghost-like a ghost limb effect is my reckoning. I tune it out now-the positional vertigo gets me (there's an exercise to help reset otoliths in inner ear that helps). There is a auditory video that if you listen it makes the tinnitus go away-but it only lasted a few seconds when I tried. That would be an interesting poll for some music student-do you have hearing loss or tinnitus. But I'm the "Life of Pi" sort so I prefer to think you're crazy and going deaf-so I have some company. Welcome to the club partner. LOL
Haha, thanks for the response. I can tell we have similar mentality on life and humor lol.

I wouldn't be surprised if it is hearing damage. I spent many loud late nights hitting my drums way too hard in small concrete rooms as a dumb kid. I also wouldn't be surprised if I am going a bit crazy lol.

What's most... Interesting? Weird? About it is I'm 30 and I've been playing music in some capacity since I was single digits age wise so I honestly don't remember what my hearing was like before all this. Maybe it was always like this, I really don't remember. Well, if I'm not going crazy that mental loop certainly will get me there! :ROFLMAO:
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
that, my friend, is tinnitus. ive had it most of my whole life. and sadly, its permanant. white noise playing gently through earbud/earphones can help you through the night if it bothers you while sleeping.


cause ive had it since i was about 3/4, ive grown up with it so i dont know what its like without it, i think i'd get freaked out if it wasnt there!
 

blinky

Senior Member
I'm 55 and I have a constant high-pitch tone in my ears. I have some damage to my hearing around 4000hz and that's probably where the tinnitus comes from according to the audiologist. Been playing for 44 years and most of these I didn't wear any hearing protection.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
That sounds like classic tinnitus.

I have it, too. Interestingly, I almost never notice it, but if I listen for it, it's always there. And when there are certain quiet background noises (like a low fan) it can sound like people whispering or other types of sounds. Very weird.

Luckily, I seem to be able to tune it out for the most part.
 

roncadillac

Member
Thanks for the quick responses everyone! I kinda thought that's what it was so I feel better knowing I'm voluntarily destroying my hearing instead of involuntarily losing my mind :D
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
There are things that can help. Primarily things that can help circulation and healing in the right place e.g. Gingko Biloba.

If it's really bad and non reversible it can be possible phase it out. Search for "notch therapy."

Most common is solution for the average case is to just use sounds that you enjoy or find calming that block to it out.

Go see an audiologist. It's quite possible you can get help.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Sometimes at night I hear a low sound like a car engine idling, somewhere out to my left. A bit like a cat purring.
I had a serious ear infection around Christmas, lost some hearing in my left ear for a month or so, but have recovered now. The low rumbling tinnitus disappeared during that time, but has returned. Happens 3 or 4 nights per week. Worse if I’ve been laying around a lot during the day. Right now (10.45 pm) its quiet, which is nice.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I have it too. You know that ringing you get when they say someone is talking about you, it lasts about 30 seconds? I have that permanently. Some times it gets really loud and I wanna run a drill through my ears. It doesnt hurt, just makes me crazy.

The tv is on right now and I still hear it. It's not too noticable with enough sound distractions.
 

hawksmoor

Senior Member
I too have tinnitus. Had it as long as I can remember, before playing the drums even. I've learnt to live it with so I don't even know I have it half the time. Until you guys reminded me!
 

tfgretsch

Junior Member
Tinnitus IF it it it gets worse,can turn into Disabling Tinnitus , my mom had it very bad. there are new therapy's and medications for tinnitus. my mom did 80 % better only after she was put on an old type anti-depressent, after seeing a well known specialist in nyc. ? . you should go to a tinn. specialist,alot of the plain vannila ear dr's we went to ,denided tinn. was a real serious Problem ?? Hope this helps
 

hawksmoor

Senior Member
Since we've had the lockdown in the UK, I get woken up at the crack of dawn by birdsong, so my hearing can't be that bad. We have a loft extension. I woke up the other day to find a squrirel climbing in through the window like a thief in the night.
 

rebonn

Senior Member
I hear dead people.
Just kidding. Not yet anyway. Although I did hear my mom call my name after she died, Probably because she did that right before she died.
Anyway, I'm hearing a ring right now. Not terribly loud. Occasionally my hearing is replaced with a louder ring that only lasts maybe 10 or 15 seconds. I'm waiting for the day that comes and doesn't go away.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
When it's silent I definitely hear a ringing in my ears. Tinnitus. It's from years of playing the drums without any protection. I'm now 57 and it can be pretty noticeable at times. Otherwise, when it's silent what I'll notice most is the ambient sounds of wherever I am. So if I'm outside, I'll hear the birds, the sound of the wind in the trees, the sound of the rain hitting the ground, roof and leaves. In the winter, I'll notice a very different type of silence when the snow has fallen. There is nothing like becoming intensely aware of the sounds of nature that are all around us. When at the beach, there is nothing as calming as the sound of the waves crashing on the shore or the sounds of the water lapping at the rocks on a mountain lake. That's what I hear. All of that seems to drown out the tinnitus.
 
I can actually hear my eyeball move in my left ear and occasionally my heartbeat when I am laying in bed. it's been about 3 years or so since I first noticed it. it feels like my left ear is constantly clogged. if I yell loud enough my equilibrium gets thrown off and my head gets all scrambled for a second. I went to a couple of ENTs (all had different theories), took some tests, had an MRI and an MRA. these all cleared I things I didn't have, but couldn't tell what I have. there's a rare condition called SCDS, which I kinda feel like I have based on symptoms.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
Don't go crazy over it! I have had it for as long as i can remember. Mine is kind of like a nylon tip on a Skimitar, except it's endless.
It won't hurt you, may as well be friends with it. It will never leave you.
 
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