British Tinnitus Association
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Is it possible the house or the area we live affect Tinnitus in some way ?

I've recently moved into a new flat in a nice quite part of the Scottish borders and my Tinnitus has got worse, I don't no why, since I don't easily get stressed even when moving into a new area as many people find moving house very stressful, I take it in my stride. In my old flat I was doing fine coping with Tinnitus but now its loud and I cannot put my finger on why it should be ? The humming noise in my right ear is dreadful in the middle of the night: the Tinnitus in my left ear is lower than before ? I don't really know if the humming noise is Tinnitus or Hyperacusis ? I wonder do some of you guys classify a humming noise as Tinnitus ? My understanding of Tinnitus is of bells or siren type noises in the ear or at the top of the head. Could a humming or buzzing noise not be Tinnitus or have I got this wrong ?

Furthermore, I sometimes go and visit relatives and stay overnight in their homes and find my Tinnitus and humming noise levels barely audible and sleep-well. I sometimes think if these noises originate from my head why do change when I stay elsewhere ? The only connection I can make is background noise is different depending where you move to. I've moved into a quiet area and that's hardly conducive to internal Tinnitus which logically should sound louder. I wish I had not moved now. Any tips on what this humming noise really is I'd greatly appreciate any info. I'm familiar with the bell like quality of Tinnitus.

many thanks !

10 Replies

Hi blaze53. Any noise that you can hear that doesn't have an external source is tinnitus. A humming sound is pretty common. I have a mixture of a high pitched whistle and a low hum - a little like a beehive. I'm sure your right in that your tinnitus seems worse at night as you have moved into a quieter area with less ambient noise. You would benefit from sound enrichment at night. This involves playing typically nature sounds like rain, the sea or even an electric fan during the night. Many people swear by Oasis sound machines or there are plenty of free apps you can try for your phone. Two good ones on the Google Play store are "White Noise" by TMSOFT or "Relax Melodies" by Ipnos Software.



Johnjop. Thanks for your reply, I do have the Oasis sound machine which I play most nights before bed and " The Stream" is my favourite sound. To the point, like you, my humming noise is low pitched along side classic Tinnitus. But, just today, I made a discovery which casts doubts on the source of the humming. In the new area I've moved to there is a small supermarket type shop only two minutes walk from where I live which has 4 large fans on the outside of the building connected to a row of fridges inside the store full of frozen foods. Yes, you've guessed it " there is a loud humming noise coming from them identical to that I'm hearing in my head a night time ? Anyway, on my way out of the shop I walked round to the back of the complex where the fans were and to a short cut back to my flat, I walked slowly to find out how far I could get for the noise not to be heard and to my surprise I could still hear the hum faintly at the main entrance to my block of flats ! I went upstairs and could still hear it faintly inside my flat.

If, as I now suspect, the noise from the mini supermarket fans is the source of the humming it cannot be of Tinnitus origin. Having said that, I do, like you, have two different sounds yet the Tinnitus doesn't trouble me even when loud but the humming noise I still have difficulty getting familiar with.

Anyway, many thanks for your reply, your so right about the sound generator, I wouldn't be without mine. Brilliant.

best Wishes.


Hi, it depends on the fact that you changed your home and your brain interpreted that event as a possible threat for you Tinnitus indipendentely by the surrounding noise. It happens to me every time I change a Hotel because I travel a lot for my job and all time I come in a new room the Tinnitus seems louder. What changes It is simply your perception. Don't worry It will pass as soon as you expect.

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Interesting point ! I guess your right about the brain interpretation on unfamiliar surroundings. However last year my wife and I rented Holiday cottage for 7 days by the coast and incredibly both my Tinnitus and the hum in my left ear completely went silent ? I was absolutely delighted since the two months previous I'd been through Hell and all the way back round again with early Tinnitus and this awful, haunting, humming racket in my head and ears. Unfortunately, when we got back home it all started up again. I think its too deeply embedded in my soul I'm lumbered with it, as they say. You are right about the perception of it when moving around. And I agree it will soon pass, as you say.

Thanks for your interest.


Hi blaze

Had T for three years and it is worse at night for me like others, BUT same as you there is something that's interfering with my dodgy hearing at home,I have not found the source, I to have walked round to the local shops and even drove to a local business park, but not been able to find out where this drone come humming sound is coming from, there's an airport about a mile away, I put it down to that.

I go away in the caravan for weekends away and I'm afraid unless it's a coincidence I can still hear noises in the area, it is driving me up the f--k-- wall.

Thanks Gary


You can have buzzing and humming noises. My own tinnitus tends to be a hissing noise, but I know that when I have been to a loud concert, or I have a cold, I also get other sounds like whistling and buzzing and my tinnitus is much louder. I often have the radio, or music on during the day and I listen to the radio at night through headphones, so I don't wake my husband at night. I have had tinnitus since I was 7, I'm now 45, you learn to tune it out a bit, but it doesn't go away for me.

Along with your tinnitus, you can sometimes have a sensitivity to certain kinds of noise for example: vacuum cleaners, hairdryers, or power tools. Because the Borders can be quite a quiet area, maybe the sounds of the fans at the nearby shop are more obvious than they would be in a larger city like Edinburgh, where even at night there would be a fair bit of ambient noise.


Hi blaze, my tinnitus is a constant ringing/whistling on the right side of my head/ear and occassional i get clicking sounds which in a funny kind of way is not so bad as it breaks up the ringing/whistling sounds. Ive had it for nearly two years now and in the beginning it was hell but nowadays I cope with it much better just by getting on and doing normal everyday life stuff and just try to ignore it as best as i can. Some days its louder than others and other days its barely audible and Ive yet to fathom out why this happens but i cherish those days.

I use sound machine at night set on rain and also use cherry juice or occassionally i take 1.5mgs of melatonin to help me sleep. Melatonin is the body's natural drug to help us go to sleep and i do wonder if you're lacking in this, getting off to sleep is harder. Though ive never been tested for this so it could just be the placebo effect but if it works then so be it.

I have also started taking 50mgs of b 12 as read somewhere that its been observed that some people with tinnitus are lacking in b12. Its suppose to lower the sound of your tinnitus. I have noticed its got quieter so maybe some truth in it but guess you should really check with your GP before taking health supplements.

I too have noticed that when i visit my sister who lives in a village that my tinnitus quietens down considerably and have often wondered if its because im away from mobile phone masts and the electric pylons we have where i live. And so theres less interference. Of course it just could be Im more relaxed but can't work out why i can't be like that when im at home.

Sounds like it's had the opposite effect for you though and maybe its these fans that are affecting your tinnitus. I hope that once you've adjusted to your new surroundings you're T will settle down.

I also wear a hearing aide with built in masking sounds. It does sometimes help but not always so only wear it when T is quieter as that seems to prolong the quieter period.

This tinnitus is such a mysterious thing and seems to have no logic in the way it behaves, if you can learn to deal with it in whatever shape or form works best for you then thats half the battle it seems.

Lesley x

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Sorry for the late reply Lesley X . You say you use a sound machine to help you to sleep. I do too, I've only recently discovered that if I leave the sound machine on "sleep mode " it is more effective than putting the timer ON. I just leave my machine on all night on " White noise " setting. I don't put the pillow speakers under my pillow as this actually appears to amplify the Tinnitus; instead , I put the tiny speakers beside my pillow on a low sound. This works ! You mention about B 12 vitamin, I tried this too but found no difference. However, I do find there is a connection between my digestive system and Tinnitus: if I eat a meal to close to bedtime I find my is Tinnitus louder; to try to remedy this I have started to take good bacteria tablets from my local health shop and find this helps.

Anyway Best Wishes to you and thanks for your reply, to my first comment.Sorry the reply was so late.

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My boyfriend says he has suffered from tinnitus "for years," ever since he's lived in his house. He has owned this house since 1985. I moved in with him 4 years ago and had never experienced tinnitus in my life and it began happening to me once I moved in with him. I hear it constantly and it is really horrible. There's no apparent external source (we've looked) so I think the only remedy is to relocate.


Hi there I live in a Pub built like an old mansion and my T is all over the place mate. In my small living room it’s really loud but when I walk into other rooms it’s not so bad. So maybe it’s something to do with this just something to think about cheers good luck.


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