When Ears Attack (weird hearing quirks)

I thought I’d start a topic on weird experiences with hearing, mostly to see if anyone else has experienced odd occurences when listening to music or just going about their life (or if it’s just me).

I ask due to two things I experience on a regular basis. The first Is what I describe as sudden-onset tinitus, which is like someone holding a tuning fork on my upper jawbone so I get a tone that starts then fades out over 30-60 seconds. I also have episodes where all the HF audio gets cut out in one ear (like someone’s rolling a low-pass filter down from 20kHz to ~2kHz) and then it slowly restores over ~5 minutes.

I also have another one when I yawn with IEMs in and the music I’m listening to drops in pitch (but not in speed) by a semitone or slightly more and then goes back to normal when I stop yawning.

I have had three concussions that I know of throughout my life which might go some way to explaining the above, but I was curious to see if anyone else experiences such sonic oddities. Apologies if this topic is inappropriate for any reason.

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I have a thing where one ear will suddenly go deaf for a few seconds and slowly restores within 15-30 seconds. Sometimes it’s the right ear, sometimes it’s the left. It only happens a few times a year and has been happening for decades. I asked an audiologist about it once and he just shrugged his shoulders. I did a hearing test and it was excellent.

I mean. That is fucked up. I will get a ringing once or twice a month usually when it is humid or after activity that stays for a few minutes and goes away. Had an inccident with ear wax where I was deaf for a whole day until I flushed it out. What a nightmare.

ALSO. I have yawned and all the sudden. My hearing improves DRASTICALLY to like 150% normal. Then no matter what I return to normal. But for a few minutes I am a golden-ears. My father who is losing his hearing claims that he also gets bursts of :clarity: when yawning so not sure what that is.


This also happens to me, once or twice a year max., maybe. Don’t know why either.

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Could be that yawning relaxes the muscles around your ear canal (whatever they are called) and equalizes the pressure temporarily improving hearing.

You have two muscles in your ears, one being the tensor tympani and the other being the stapedius muscle. Just like any other muscle, they can cramp up or fasciculate, which can cause interesting things such as what you and the OP described.


Fair point, I hadn’t considered that those could be cramping up. I’ve had those first two things happen off and on for most of my life, I could definitely attribute them to muscle cramps.

I had wondered if they were related to fluctuations of pressure in the organ of corti (Which as I understand it is the snail-like part in your cochlea with all the hair cells on it, but I’m not an audiologist.) Surely though unless you have a massive head trauma that organ is a sealed unit.

Also @ZeosPantera I totally agree.

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Coming soon: The Zeos yawning episode in which he compares DACs. :laughing:


I never thought of it as muscle cramps. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

As a rabid music lover and audiophile, it’s especially disconcerting to go deaf, even for a few seconds.


20 years ago I survived a significant ABI (think concussion on steroids) that put me in the hospital for 3 weeks. since then, my life is full of auditory oddities, including tinnitus. most of them are processing issues in the brain from the damage sustained, but it makes for interesting times. :smiley:

that comment about the ear muscles was good too…always forget about lil things like that, don’t we?

So I have some hearing loss and a constant buzz of tinnitus. This is pretty typical of redlegs, and I definitely had times when I forgot to throw in ear pro, didn’t have time to, or improvised when short PPE. Still my hearing is a lot better than a lot of guys I know.

Every once in a while my tinnitus’ apparent volume increases and drowns out everything else. I don’t know why and I find it annoying, especially in meetings when I am trying to listen to people or when gaming. I think my wife is more annoyed by this than I am.

Less frequent is when the volume of the world drops out and I can only hear the low volume ringing. I don’t know why this happens either, but this tends to be a more abnormal feeling condition.

Oh well, I just found this.
Or maybe I’m just temporary suffering from the “you played with the gain button too much on your amp” syndrome. :stuck_out_tongue:

Stress can Cause Hearing Loss

The fragile hair cells in the inner ear rely on a steady stream of blood to receive sufficient oxygen and other nutrients. However, stress disturbs blood circulation throughout the body. When your body responds to stress, the overproduction of adrenaline reduces blood flow to the ears, affecting hearing.

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Also, I believe I hear like, twice as much when I’m half asleep. When it’s like, 2 or 3AM. Don’t know if I’m alone, lol.

Well, crap. It’s winter here, and I’m sick. My ears and my throat hurts, and I don’t hear many of the frequencies. That’s weird when you have hifi stuff. Right now girl voices sound hollow, at higher volume I mostly hear some high frequency scratchy noise or whatever, and some electronic bass music sounds like it’s underwater. I also feel like I don’t hear much above 10 to 15khz.

Oh well, mandatory hifi break, because my ears are temporarily low-fi.
For now I can only look at stuff to buy, and graphs and measurements. :laughing:

Ah, yes. that’s the worst bit of having a cold. I can concur with your assessments of how audio sounds when one is sick like that.

Wouldn’t surprise me if I had some stress-induced hearing loss, I stress out about my job a lot.

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I have an ABI…I have all sorts of auditory malfunctions. it makes for interesting times! LoL!

I’ve not heard of an ABI…Auditory B-something Infection?

Acquired Brain Injury. since I survived, my brain has issues in processing a lot of sounds properly, mostly speech though.

Ah. My empathies. That sounds awful :frowning:

well…accident was 22 years ago and I’ve learned a lot of coping strategies. now, when an audio gremlin happens, I can usually laugh. :wink: