[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: hearing sudden distortion effect

Hello all,
I have a similar issue.  About 15 years ago I was using a circular saw for the first time (unprotected ears, big mistake).  When the saw hit the wood, it was very loud, and I felt a "pop" sensation inside my right ear.  Ever since, if I am in a situation with a loud noise (not surprisingly, exacerbated by my kids' screaming....) I have distortion in that ear and it also feels like my ear is trying to protect itself from the loud noise.  I have no other symptoms (tinnitus etc).  I've learned just to live with it, and of course carry ear plugs in every one of my bags!

On Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 4:21 PM, Miriam Kolar <kolar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Hi Jim,

Another anecdote that may be useful . . .

My father, a liturgical organist and music director, describes a similar problem in one ear (like a "distorted signal with reverberation") that was first triggered in his mid 60's during a loud choir rehearsal and persisted over many months . . . he says it correlated with a period of regular ibuprofen use, and so he now instead uses naproxen if he needs an NSAID, to avoid the aural distortion effect.


*. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *
Miriam A. Kolar, Ph.D.
Five College Associate
Weatherhead Fellow, School for Advanced Research (2016-2017)
Lead Investigator, Chavín de Huántar Archaeological Acoustics Project
mkolar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx / kolar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
*. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *. *

On 2016-10-02 09:17, Tom Brennan wrote:
Jim, I have this problem fairly frequently.  Have severe tinnitis and also
bilateral Meniere's.  Actually had to stop tuning pianos due to this dostortion
problem.  I find that it is far worse if my allergies are acting up at all.
I've not seen much written on this exact problem but believe it may have to do
with some endolymphatic hydrops.


Tom Brennan  KD5VIJ, CCC-A/SLP
web page http://titan.sfasu.edu/~g_brennantg/sonicpage.html

On Sat, 1 Oct 2016, James W. Beauchamp wrote:

Date: Sat, 01 Oct 2016 17:59:55 -0500
From: James W. Beauchamp <jwbeauch@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.EDU>
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: hearing sudden distortion effect

Dear List,

In 2009 I acquired chronic low-level high-frequency tinnitus.
Tests rhowed that it was at approximately 11 KHz 10 dB above
threshold. Most of the time I'm not concious of it and it doesn't
affect my enjoyment of music.

Friday night I attended an orchestra concert where they played
Beethoven's "Overture to 'Eqmont'", Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy",
and Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 12" in that order. I enjoyed it
all, but the last piece was especially loud, and near the end of
the last movement I suddenly experienced a loud distortion effect
on certain very loud notes. It had two attributes: 1) It was very
sudden, almost like an amplifier clipping; 2) I perceived the
sounds to be localized very close to my head, rather than coming
from the stage (I was seated about 20 rows from the stage.). The
effect was very disconcerting because it ruined the musical

This is the first time I've experienced this effect at an orchestra
concert. I remember experiencing something like this in 1978 when a
certain electronic piece by Xennakis was performed at the
International Computer Music Conference at Northwestern Univ. It was
played very loud, and I remember sounds were swirling around my head.
Others had the same experience. This was way before my tinnitus onset,
and I didn't mind it because it seemed like the strange localization
effect was just part of the piece.

Has anyone else experienced this effect? What is the effect called?
Is it related to tinnitus or is it a cause of tinnitus?

Thanks for your help on this question!


James W. Beauchamp
Research Professor
Professor Emeritus of Music and Electrical & Computer Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
email: jwbeauch@xxxxxxxxxxxx (also: jwbeauch@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxu)
WWW:  http://ems.music.uiuc.edu/beaucham