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Old 04-27-2006, 06:45 PM   #1
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Please help my wife...

My wife is having a problem with her left ear which two different doctors and an ear specialist have said does not exist, or cannot find the problem. Ever since we moved from California to Texas, my wife has been hearing a very low-pitched rumbling or humming sound coming from her left ear.

Headphones or earplugs don't really change the sound or eliminate it, unless it is one of the times where the sound seems to be really low - but it varys in duration and tone. Sometimes it is louder than others, and sometimes it lasts longer than others. She hears it more when she is by herself, and when appliances, fans, etc are not turned on and she is trying to concentrate. She can also at times feel some sort of vibration - not necessarily right in her ear itself but almost like a kid's distant car stereo thumping. Sometimes the vibration/noise is constant and sometimes intermitant, like "morse code" (according to her).

Now allow me to give a bit of background and what we have tried to do to fix the problem. I am active duty military and deployed to Afghanistan. Within the last few years my wife has lived in New York, Arizona, California and now Texas (near Austin) and never heard this sound before.

I deployed very shortly after coming to Texas, leaving my wife alone in the apartment (she is going back for her BA degree and therefore does not work). I called her one day, and she was in a complete state of despair. She was crying because she couldn't sleep or concentrate on her school work. She said that for weeks (ever since I left) there was a constant rumbling sound that she could not shake or get away from while inside the apartment. She hears it elsewhere, but few and far between (probably because there aren't many quiet places left on earth anymore)...for example, during a test at school, or the library.

When we first moved into that apartment here in Texas, all was good. But the second day of moving another couple moved into the apartment above us. They were white trash, and the woman had no job and played her music at all times (we had to complain on many occasions). So my wife spent countless times hearing the noise, and "sneaking" upstairs to put her ear to the door, but not being able to hear the noise - all the time thinking someone was playing music (as I described the rumbling sound). So she called the apartment complex to have them come but they couldn't hear the noise and couldn't tell her where it was coming from. Since she was in such a state of despair, not being able to sleep, etc, she moved, just a month after we had moved in.

Fast forward two weeks, and my wife was crying that she made a mistake again because she hears the SAME EXACT noise in the new apartment and has just spent time moving only to repeat the same exact problem.

By this point, I am starting to worry as well because we are so far apart I can't be there with her, and so I figured maybe it is one of our appliances or TV of some sort. So I had my wife unplug literally everything in the house, from the fridge to the computer to see if that eliminated the problem, but it didn't.

I suggested it might be something with her hearing but still she had not seen a doctor. I thought not that my wife was going nuts of course, but possibly she was just having a hard time adjusting to being alone while I was gone - later disproven as I sit here typing to you from Texas (I am on mid-tour leave), where she is hearing the sound right now (if she turns off the fan and TV). Also she heard it in the bathroom of our hotel room when we went to Las Vegas last weekend. Understand that my wife must really be disturbed by this sound because she now sleeps with a fan on or some sort of background noise, which she never did before (she always had to have it PERFECTLY quiet).

She has since visited the doctors and has yet another appointment tommorrow with an ear specialist, who is probably going to say the same thing the last one did - that there is nothing he/she can do because everything seems to be alright. She even has had a CT scan done, which came back negative with any problems at all.

I did some research on Google and about the main two things that have come up with my search results are Tinitis and Tao Hum. The Tinitis is absolutely out of the question because my wife never hears anything remotely high pitched. Only low pitched, to the point of thinking it is bass from a stereo system at times.

This is what I found on Tinnitus:

Quote:
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the medical term for the perception of sound in one or both ears or in the head when no external sound is present. It is often referred to as "ringing in the ears," although some people hear hissing, roaring, whistling, chirping, or clicking. Tinnitus can be intermittent or constant-with single or multiple tones-and its perceived volume can range from subtle to shattering.
Quote:
The word comes from Latin and means "to tinkle or to ring like a bell."
I read those definitions to my wife without telling her the diagnosis and her answer was clear and immediate: "Abolsutely not that, whatever it is. Mine sounds like a humming, vibrating or rumbling."

The Taos thing sounds exactly like her problem:

Quote:
The 'Taos Hum' is a low-pitched sound heard in numerous places worldwide, especially in the USA, UK, and northern europe. It is usually heard only in quiet environments. The low hum - between 30 and 80 Hz on the frequency scale - is often described as sounding like a distant diesel engine idling in the distance. Since it has proven indetectable by microphones or VLF antennae, its source and nature remains a mystery. Not everyone can hear the low-pitched hum, and those who do say that it seems artificial in nature - and is driving them crazy.

In 1977, a British newspaper received nearly 800 letters from people complaining of loss of sleep, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, anxiety, irritability, deteriorating health, inability to read or study because of the incessant hum.
The problem is it seems like it is described or scoffed at and that the people who hear seem to be thought as UFO watchers - or the equivalent. And so that bothers me because my wife is as sound in the head as you can possibly think...and she hadn't the foggiest idea what the Taos Hum was, and if you knew her - was no way she would stumble upon it on the internet (she is a bit computer un-savy), so it is absolutely out of the question that she is just making it up.

PLEASE help me, my wife is having a really hard time and we have about 2 1/2 years left here, and I don't want her to go crazy.

 
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:50 AM   #2
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sammi2 HB Usersammi2 HB Usersammi2 HB User
Re: Please help my wife...

That is the way my tinnitus started several years ago. I have it in both ears now & I get different pitch sounds in each ear at different times. Good luck to her!

Last edited by moderator2; 05-02-2006 at 09:20 AM.

 
Old 05-21-2006, 04:42 AM   #3
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Magtom HB User
Re: Please help my wife...

Feel very sorry for your wife and hope by now she has found a solution. I have the same thing and have been suffering with it since Sept 05. It can make you crazy if you let your mind dwell on it too much. Best thing is to surround yourself with low noise during the day and to have a fan running at night so you hear the fan and not the noise. It may be that it will go away on it's own. Sure its connected to the ears and maybe the sounds of blood thru the arteries. If the ears are blocked in any way these sounds would be accentuated. Let me know if you found a solution

 
Old 05-21-2006, 07:15 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2006
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selfadvocate HB User
Re: Please help my wife...

It's very difficult when you have a health issue that no one can put a diagnosis to. She needs to be persistent until someone responsible is compassionate enough to understand and label her condition as something. Only then can she move forward to deal with the issue, with or without treatment. The taos hum thing is interesting. She should print that info to bring to her physician. ANY other symptoms or signs should be brought forward as well.

Good luck.

 
Old 05-30-2006, 03:49 PM   #5
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stephaniecook HB User
Re: Please help my wife...

Oh my goodness! Sorry I don't have a solution for you....yet, but I am seeking one. I have exactly the same problem as your wife, mine is the right ear. It started for me Monday night (now Wed morning) and is exactly as you describe - a low, intermitant but usually constant humming sound, mostly detectable when I'm by myself, in a quiet area or trying to concentrate. I hear it coupled with a ringing noise when I'm trying to sleep. It is as if there is a motor running in a garage next door, or a diesal truck idling down the road.

Was she ever exposed, recently, to an extremely loud shocking noise? My stupid ******* phone, when the battery runs out, gives off this immense noise before it turns off, and I have had it close to my ear twice in the last few months when this has happened. This noise gave me a fright because it was so loud in my ear, I wondered at the time whether I did any nerve damage.

Can you ask your wife one thing, something that I don't usually speak about because people don't believe me. Is she able to somehow move something in her ears, as if to lessen the intensity of a loud noise like a truck going past? I have been able to do this since day one with my ears, it's as if I am flexing some sort of muscle or doing something with my ear drums to decrease the intensity without having to physically block my ears. The action of doing this, whatever I'm doing, doesn't change the volume but more so the intensity of the noise entering my ear.

I have read a few messages about this low humming ear problem and it seems that doctors in the US aren't too helpful. I have an excellent doctor (I live in Sydney) who I will book in for an appointment today. I will let you know the outcome.

Tell your wife she's not alone.
Cheers.

 
Old 10-19-2006, 09:05 AM   #6
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cmv817 HB User
Re: Please help my wife...

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephaniecook
Oh my goodness! Sorry I don't have a solution for you....yet, but I am seeking one. I have exactly the same problem as your wife, mine is the right ear. It started for me Monday night (now Wed morning) and is exactly as you describe - a low, intermitant but usually constant humming sound, mostly detectable when I'm by myself, in a quiet area or trying to concentrate. I hear it coupled with a ringing noise when I'm trying to sleep. It is as if there is a motor running in a garage next door, or a diesal truck idling down the road.

Was she ever exposed, recently, to an extremely loud shocking noise? My stupid ******* phone, when the battery runs out, gives off this immense noise before it turns off, and I have had it close to my ear twice in the last few months when this has happened. This noise gave me a fright because it was so loud in my ear, I wondered at the time whether I did any nerve damage.

Can you ask your wife one thing, something that I don't usually speak about because people don't believe me. Is she able to somehow move something in her ears, as if to lessen the intensity of a loud noise like a truck going past? I have been able to do this since day one with my ears, it's as if I am flexing some sort of muscle or doing something with my ear drums to decrease the intensity without having to physically block my ears. The action of doing this, whatever I'm doing, doesn't change the volume but more so the intensity of the noise entering my ear.

I have read a few messages about this low humming ear problem and it seems that doctors in the US aren't too helpful. I have an excellent doctor (I live in Sydney) who I will book in for an appointment today. I will let you know the outcome.

Tell your wife she's not alone.
Cheers.

 
Old 10-19-2006, 05:32 PM   #7
lib lib is offline
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Re: Please help my wife...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matth3w
My wife is having a problem with her left ear which two different doctors and an ear specialist have said does not exist, or cannot find the problem. Ever since we moved from California to Texas, my wife has been hearing a very low-pitched rumbling or humming sound coming from her left ear.

Headphones or earplugs don't really change the sound or eliminate it, unless it is one of the times where the sound seems to be really low - but it varys in duration and tone. Sometimes it is louder than others, and sometimes it lasts longer than others. She hears it more when she is by herself, and when appliances, fans, etc are not turned on and she is trying to concentrate. She can also at times feel some sort of vibration - not necessarily right in her ear itself but almost like a kid's distant car stereo thumping. Sometimes the vibration/noise is constant and sometimes intermitant, like "morse code" (according to her).

Now allow me to give a bit of background and what we have tried to do to fix the problem. I am active duty military and deployed to Afghanistan. Within the last few years my wife has lived in New York, Arizona, California and now Texas (near Austin) and never heard this sound before.

I deployed very shortly after coming to Texas, leaving my wife alone in the apartment (she is going back for her BA degree and therefore does not work). I called her one day, and she was in a complete state of despair. She was crying because she couldn't sleep or concentrate on her school work. She said that for weeks (ever since I left) there was a constant rumbling sound that she could not shake or get away from while inside the apartment. She hears it elsewhere, but few and far between (probably because there aren't many quiet places left on earth anymore)...for example, during a test at school, or the library.

When we first moved into that apartment here in Texas, all was good. But the second day of moving another couple moved into the apartment above us. They were white trash, and the woman had no job and played her music at all times (we had to complain on many occasions). So my wife spent countless times hearing the noise, and "sneaking" upstairs to put her ear to the door, but not being able to hear the noise - all the time thinking someone was playing music (as I described the rumbling sound). So she called the apartment complex to have them come but they couldn't hear the noise and couldn't tell her where it was coming from. Since she was in such a state of despair, not being able to sleep, etc, she moved, just a month after we had moved in.

Fast forward two weeks, and my wife was crying that she made a mistake again because she hears the SAME EXACT noise in the new apartment and has just spent time moving only to repeat the same exact problem.

By this point, I am starting to worry as well because we are so far apart I can't be there with her, and so I figured maybe it is one of our appliances or TV of some sort. So I had my wife unplug literally everything in the house, from the fridge to the computer to see if that eliminated the problem, but it didn't.

I suggested it might be something with her hearing but still she had not seen a doctor. I thought not that my wife was going nuts of course, but possibly she was just having a hard time adjusting to being alone while I was gone - later disproven as I sit here typing to you from Texas (I am on mid-tour leave), where she is hearing the sound right now (if she turns off the fan and TV). Also she heard it in the bathroom of our hotel room when we went to Las Vegas last weekend. Understand that my wife must really be disturbed by this sound because she now sleeps with a fan on or some sort of background noise, which she never did before (she always had to have it PERFECTLY quiet).

She has since visited the doctors and has yet another appointment tommorrow with an ear specialist, who is probably going to say the same thing the last one did - that there is nothing he/she can do because everything seems to be alright. She even has had a CT scan done, which came back negative with any problems at all.

I did some research on Google and about the main two things that have come up with my search results are Tinitis and Tao Hum. The Tinitis is absolutely out of the question because my wife never hears anything remotely high pitched. Only low pitched, to the point of thinking it is bass from a stereo system at times.

This is what I found on Tinnitus:




I read those definitions to my wife without telling her the diagnosis and her answer was clear and immediate: "Abolsutely not that, whatever it is. Mine sounds like a humming, vibrating or rumbling."

The Taos thing sounds exactly like her problem:



The problem is it seems like it is described or scoffed at and that the people who hear seem to be thought as UFO watchers - or the equivalent. And so that bothers me because my wife is as sound in the head as you can possibly think...and she hadn't the foggiest idea what the Taos Hum was, and if you knew her - was no way she would stumble upon it on the internet (she is a bit computer un-savy), so it is absolutely out of the question that she is just making it up.

PLEASE help me, my wife is having a really hard time and we have about 2 1/2 years left here, and I don't want her to go crazy.
not sure if your still around, but this sounds like a spasm of the middle ear muscles.....been there done that...its horrible and can present in many ways.....finding a doc that is knows anything....even harder....look up tensor tympani syndrome and stapedial myoclonus along with middle ear myoclonus......it can be a variety of any of the symptoms...

 
Old 10-23-2006, 09:37 AM   #8
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Re: Please help my wife...

I so feel for your wife, I develped a ringing in both my ears two years ago and it's still here, though some day's are better than others, I am currently on my 4th straight day of ringing. I have been to two ENT Doctors and Neurologist and an Oral Surgeon, all they say is I have Tinnitus learn to live with it. NOT easy to do. easier to say! They do not have this. I am currently seeking someone in my area to do acupuncture, I even had TMJ surgery hoping that would help. Tired all kinds of medications uncluding valum. Nothing. So if anyone out there has something there's several of us out here that would appreciate your help. I find it very nerve racking, the noise just won't go away. Patients are low and there's no concentration, I really do not understand how you can be told to learn to live with this. how??
Good Luck.

 
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