Do I have tinnitus?

I recently seem to have a hissing sound in my ears with or without my hearing aids. It’s not loud and sometimes I don’t even hear it although I think it’s still there because it will get a little louder at times.

I have never had tinnitus, but wonder if this might be it? It’s just a constant level of hissing noise.

What do you think?

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Sounds like what I have had now for over 40 years 24/7/365. Winter and rainy days are worse. I sleep with a sound machine and hate being in a quiet environment

Entirely possible. Mine is a combination of constant pure tones but I know people describe all different varieties of tinnitus sounds.

Sounds like it. I find salt, msg or caffeine exacerbates it.

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What is this? I already use both salt and caffeine in abundance. :slight_smile:

Lately, my tinnitus seems to occur more sporadic. Less hard noises that keep me from sleeping.

However, nowadays I can hear sounds that happened through the day on repeat. It’s almost like auditory hallucination, but without the the reality component (, because I usually remember where&when the sound occurred.) It seems an adaptation from tinnitus as clear noise or tones to thinking you can hear music or sound just on the threshold of becoming clear: Like music from the neighbours. I think my brain also grew bored of the monotone noise and started generating more interesting sounds.

Yeah I find if I eat US cheese/corn snacks that are incredibly salty (I think they have more salt than salt itself…) and packed full of msg my ears ring louder for about half a day. I always have tinnitus 24/7 but it’s like the volume is turned up. I am still willing to accept the volume increase for the snacks though.

LOL. After 34 yrs of military service I hear a whole orchestra in my ears, 24/7. It’s definitely better with the aids in but never goes away totally. You just learn to push it to the back and concentrate on more important things.

MSG = monosodium glutamate

The tinnitus you’re experiencing sounds like musical tinnitus aka musical hallucination.

I experience the same. Repeating tones usually in a loop of 10 seconds or so. It appears to be mostly music from my childhood for whatever reason (Happy Birthday, children’s nursery rhymes, Christmas songs, U.S. national anthem, etc.)

I have the Jeopardy final answer soundtrack playing at the moment even though I barely ever watch the show and certainly haven’t watched it recently… :slight_smile:

It’s not always noticeable or on all the time. I have low-level steady-state tinnitus as well.

I’m 43 years old and started experiencing hearing loss and regular tinnitus at 24. The musical tinnitus kicked in around age 33.

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One thing that many people don’t consider,

and I have observed after much digging is that tinnitus can onset with life changes. Additional stressors, anxiety, worry, guilt, etc. can all bring on bouts of tinnitus.

We see a huge amount of people here at Shea for tinnitus, and when trying to figure out how and when it started, I often uncover something that has changed in the patient’s life that has caused them to be overly worried, anxious, or stressed which align with onset of tinnitus.


I have had several patients over the years report musical hallucinations. One lady heard constant Opera Music, in German. Weird.

My gosh, my tinnitus, hissing sound, started a couple months after my son died at the hands of his LVN. You mentioned additional stressors, I wondered if that was the cause.

Does it disappear in time with healing of stresses?

I will speak from my own experience…

if I get stressed, angry, anxious about something, my tinnitus is going constantly, and I have perfect hearing. When I am relaxed, no cares, no worries, no ringing.

There is a place in California, The Mindfulness Institute, run by a gal, Dr. Jennifer Gans, who teaches meditation for relief of stress, anxiety, and tinnitus. Look her up.

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I have to concentrate on anything but myself and my tinnitus to not hear it. Some thing I am crazy but my normal way is to go into my office shut the door, mute my hearing aids and read a good book. I concentrate on reading and I forget everything else by throwing myself into the action of the story

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Thank you. Didn’t know about anything that dealt with tinnitus and stress, great to know.

Oddly enough, I did some experimenting with it and I found out you can change the tune (, if it bothers me during the day.) I try to force a song in the same place/same sound that the song is going and I can displace it with another song. Switched from Moonlight Shadow to Bright Eyes. Unfortunately, it does make it more persistent. Still, if the radio is on at least I can sometimes change the station. :slight_smile: Took me half a day to switch from Bright Eyes to a Dutch song Kronenburger Park.

Thank God, I don’t have OCD, too! (Just read the info on the link to MH. Seems right on. (Also my initials, by-the-way, oddy enough!)

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My tinnitus is what I call white noise, but in truth when I explain it to others it is pink noise

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cjpines, ignore ignore ignore if it’s new and quiet. Don’t go out of your way to teach your brain to listen to it.

Eric is right on. Tinnitus fluctuatations are strongly connected to physical or psychological stressors.

Coffee doesn’t effect mine. Quitting coffee drives it way up. I’m sure it would subside in time again if I could make it through the caffeine withdrawal and stay caffeine-free for long enough. :laughing:

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But who would want to quit caffeine for that long??? :slight_smile:


Good answer. It’s louder when I awake in the morning. But calms down during the day if I wear my hearing aids.

Yes, I will ignore it, good suggestion, we don’t want to teach our brain to hear it.

Now, how can I teach my brain to hear better? Ha!

I did and it did not help. My tinnitus was still the same.