Constant low rumble in my husband's ears?

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Please help.  My husband has been hearing a constant low rumble in his ears for the last week or so, mostly at night.  At first I thought it was a noise from outside, but I don't know anymore.  It's driving him insane, which in turn is driving ME insane.  Does anyone have any idea what it might be?  Should he see an ENT or a psychiatrist?  I don't even know where to start....

Thanks in advance!

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there. Same symtoms as me. I went to gp turns out its glue ear. Small bubles behind eardrum. C

    Can start through blocked sinus and eustacion tubes that

    run between inner ear and nose.

    Gave me a little baloon attached to a nozzle

    which is placed against nostrils and blow down to

    inflate baloon. Helps clear the tubes. In bad cases a

    grommet might need to be inserted to drain inner ear.

    Hope this helps. Bj hogg

    • Posted

      Okay, since you have this problem, was it a constant noise?  He only seems to hear it at night, and not constantly even then.  Also, he cannot tell if it's only in his ear or if it's coming from an outside source, but I can't hear it (this is not totally crazy, since he has much better hearing than me most of the time).  Is that normal?  I'm sorry, I am so anxious about this, and scared that he's hearing an actual sound that will never go away.  If that's the case, we'll have to sell the house we just bought because he's going literally insane.  He can't focus on anything when he's hearing the noise.  I just really hope this is a fixable problem.  I think I just need some reassurance, until we can get him into a doctor.

  • Posted

    Hi definitely not a pscyhiatrist!!!. Either see the GP to check for wax and fluid behind the ear drum, or see an audiologist for a hearing test who can assess wax also. It also be tinnitus so the audiologist can help assess it.
    • Posted

      In all honesty, I'm going to need a psychiatrist soon.  He's constantly on edge about this noise, which is putting me constantly on edge.  He's not convinced it's only in his ear, but I can't hear it.  Also, he can still hear it with headphones in, and in all areas of the house.  I'm so worried that this isn't fixable, and it's making me so anxious that I can barely eat.

  • Posted

    Thanks so much for the advice! I'm getting him an appointment with the GP this week, and I guess we'll go from there. You've set my mind at ease a bit, at least.

  • Posted

    It's definitely not his brain causing the sound!! Does he feel his hearing has got worse since the rummbling? Is it in his head, one or both ears? Does something make the symptoms of discomfort or rumbling worse/louder/softer or go away? Is it constant or intermittent? Can he describe it to me anymore than "rumbling?" Tinnitus is something that most people only notice at night because it is quiet. During the day they are often surrounded by noise, so it's not so noticeable. At night if he is having problems sleeping he should open a window to let sound in, play the radio softly, have the tv on in his bedroom or get a pillow speaker that connects to a sound source that plays different sounds to cover the tinnitus. If it has only happened recently then it is most likely wax or fluid behind his ear drum/s causing a dip in part of his hearing which then allows him to hear the tinnitus. People think tinnitus is just a ringing noise, but it can be so many different noises. Is he suffering dizziness, nausea, ear ache or a fullness in his ear/s? I have had tinnitus my whole life and it doesn't bother me at all. I hear it mainly at night or in quiet and on days where I am unwell. It doesn't mean anything. People worry that it is caused by a problem with the brain or a tumour. It virtually never is. Billions of people have tinnitus and it is mostly due to hearing loss caused by noise, age, genetic factors, wax or fluid in the middle ear. If he has experienced sudden hearing loss, he should see the doctor immediately, but this is rarely the cause of tinnitus. Once he knows the tinnitus is not due to something serious, he will learn not to worry or focus on it as much. If it's caused by an ear infection or wax then it will go as quickly as it came. Because it's new, his brain keeps focusing on it and trying to work out what the problem is and how to get rid of it. If you don't see it as a problem as with the sound of the ocean or a running stream, then you don't pay attention to it. Like a ticking clock, at times you notice the sound and it drives you bananas, other times you don't hear it at all. The brain just switches off. Either way, I can guarantee you that it is not serious. If it was it would be constant and usually accompanied by some other severe symptoms. x

    • Posted

      Honestly, I don't think he will ever get used to this, no matter what the cause.  He's fixated on it, to the point where he can't concentrate on anything else.  Every once in a while he hears it during the day, and sometimes it's all day.  He says it sounds like there is a truck idleing outside our house.  He can hear it in pretty much every room, and it's sometimes louder than others, but doesn't change volume from room to room.  I can't hear it, so it has to be his ears, right?  He went to the Urgent Care on Friday because he wanted something to at least help him sleep, but they wouldn't give him anything, and the NP he saw said his ears look fine, but they have a weird turn in the tube so she can't see everything.  He now has an appointment with a GP and an ENT on Thursday, but until then, he's in tears sometimes because it's driving him crazy.  I don't know what to do to help him.  I'm so worried that this won't be fixable.

    • Posted

      And see a maxillary surgeon and have him examined for tmj. They make a mouth splint and about two weeks later it calms down if that is related. The jaw gets inflammed and presses the eustatiin tube. I think you can even ask the ent about it but the maxillary doctor custom makes the mouth splint if needed. Doesnt mean its a complete fix all the time depends on the person and their clenching. Tmj is hard to correct..your asleep when you clench or grind. I use a mouth splint. Its soft and fitted. But it does help. And desktop fan to mask some of the sound.   Anxiety makes this all worse for him. Good luck.
  • Posted

    Just an update, in case anyone is having this problem. After seeing an audiologist, and being treated for a sinus infection, the sound had not yet gone away. So we emailed the audiologist to give him an update and he scheduled my husband for a full tinnitus evaluation. Since he was having so much anxiety surrounding this noise, the audiologist put him on 0.25 mg of Xanax twice daily to prep for the evaluation. He said this would help make it easier to do the evaluation without my husband being so worked up. The tinnitus has gone away almost completely due to the Xanax. The audiologist said that happens sometimes because Xanax calms the nerves in your ears that can be causing the tinnitus. So, if you're having trouble with head noise, ask about a low dose of Xanax. I can't believe how much of a difference it has made!

  • Posted

    Before you go crazy... I had this problem at my previous house. Trust me. It's the house. I could also hear such a sound. Mostly at night but from every room. Try this: shut off the main power to the house. Did the sound go away? If not are there any neighbours who may hav pumps running? Swimming pool filters, ventilation fans, and name it. If you only hear it at home you can bet it's comming from your home. Ask your neighbours to entertain the notion and ask them to shut off power and see if the sound disappears. For me the culprit was a water pump which was used in the hot water radiator system. That explained why I heard it in every room. I discovered it during a power failure.  Men seem to hear low frequencies better than women. My wife couldn't hear it either. Hope this helps!  

    • Posted

      How can you say "trust me, its the house" when you have absolutely no idea whats causing it.  Just because that was the cause of yours, doesn't mean its the same for everyone else.  You shouldn't give medical advice unless you are a doctor.

    • Posted

      Hi daniel. It's obvious that this was an anecdote and not medical advice. I didn't recommend a drug or treatment, just a simple test for someone who is obviously suffering like I was. Sorry if you are frustrated by my wording 'trust me'. Perhaps you shouldn't trust anyone in this world, and just critisize everyone who breathes instead.

  • Posted

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  • Posted

    Hi there. I joined this site just now so I could reply to you. I'm from Nevada. I realize this is an old question now and you may not be following it anymore. I just wanted to reach out to support you. I have the same exact low rumbling in my head that you've described. I got smacked in the head 8 years ago and at first everything sounded like I was under water. It faded away so I thought it was gone. But then the rumbling began. At first, only at night. I thought it was my neighbors working on their car. It really did sound like it was coming from outside as I had never heard such a noise coming from me. But after a few weeks of it, I started noticing that I could make it stop briefly by swallowing or flexing a muscle in my ear. Sometimes when it was driving me especially crazy, I would actually hit the side of my head to try to make it stop. I felt like I was going crazy. I started hearing it during the day too. Thought I was losing my hearing but I went to the doctor and he said my hearing was perfect. I figured out that the only way to make it stop is to break it up with other noises. That's why I don't hear it as much during the day. Because I'm busy. But noises also cause it. The biggest causes of my noise are other low rumbling sounds such as people walking heavily, planes flying, cars driving, music in the distance with lots of bass tones, etc. So the only good news I can provide is that it does get easier to handle and I'm sure with money, there could be a way to fix it. The bad news, at least for me, is that I have no money and I've been stuck with this for nearly ten years. But I'm used to it now. I wear ear plugs at night so distant sounds don't trigger it as much. I hope you guys are hanging in there. <3

    • Posted

      I know this is 7 months old but this is me all over , I'm worried and scared , I'm off to see ENT in 3 weeks , it's driving me nuts , doctor has put me on Endep to see if it helps .i also have sinus feelings sometimes and ears sometimes feel blocked deep  down in the tube .im thinking I may need to listen to soft music at night to help me sleep 

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