Tinnitus in head or ears?: Hi folks... - British Tinnitus ...

British Tinnitus Association

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Tinnitus in head or ears?

Shellipops profile image

Hi folks,

Out of curiosity....is your tinnitus in you head or ear / ear(s). Mine started in my left ear for about 1 day then moved to my head...it seems to radiate from the base of my neck. Ive since discovered my hubby has it in his right ear, it comes and goes but is in one ear only. 3 folk at work also have it but again only in 1 ear....does that generally mean theirs is an ear thing and mine a brain thing. Just wondering. On a plus Im 6 months in and last week has probably been the best week Ive had....its still there but its just a wee bit easier to say "stuff it" and mean it.


13 Replies

Hi S, my T is extremely loudly and constantly in my head. To me it sounds as if the whole room is full if noise. I u derstand this is bilateral tinnitus, having it in both ears!

I'm glad you are starting to feel improvements, I hope this continues for you.

Take care, C

Shellipops profile image
Shellipops in reply to Curlew

Thanks Curlew,

Im sorry to hear yours is bothering you so much...it really can be an all consuming condition sometimes. Im only just realising how widespread and debilitating it is. With this in mind Im amazed there is so little exposure / research about it. Has yours always been as loud?....how do you cope with it being so loud? Initially I was terrified of it...will it get worse?.....how will I carry on etc...I feel Im now getting to know my "head lodger" and am accepting it more. I tried to imagine silence last night and freaked at the thought of it ?? as it wasnt familiar. It really is a roller coaster ride....but trying to stay positive. Hope you find some peace soon x


Hi S,

Mine started 15 months ago whilst taking a course of antibiotics. Initially I was absolutely floored and I'm not a whimp😂My poor husband didn't know what had happened to me, I couldn't eat, lost nearly 2 stone, really thought my life was ruined. After about 3 months I made the conscious decision to get my life back and started to do the things I normally do. After this although my T is always there I started to have less intrusive times and found it easier to cope with. Recently I had been having a good run and feeling very positive, but the last 2 weeks have been terrible!

The difference now is though, that I do not feel the terrible panic that I did initially. I now live my life exactly as before almost.

I know the habituation theory is that eventually you don't hear your T as it recedes into the background. I think this has its limits though according to how bad your T is.

It certainly is a complex condition !

There is no doubt keeping busy has been my best medicine😊

Shellipops profile image
Shellipops in reply to Curlew

Yes I am aiming for 70 per cent, daily, not bothered by it. Anything above is a bonus. I can ignore it if Im really busy or concentrating on something...the more I can do that the more my brain is forced to ignore it so maybe eventually it will get the hint. I cant ever imagine totally blocking it out but am happy to learn to live with it. My ENT wont entertain anyone with bilateral sound and no other symptoms as presumeably its up to us to "sort" our brain out. Its certainly easier 6 months on but I fully expect ups and downs. Im looking into mindfulness and CBT also as this may help long term with getting back on track following the inevitable downs....and I agree it is a V complicated condition. Good luck and hope you can get yourself on an even keel again soon x

The answer = Head.

I’m Totally Deaf, no ear drums, no Cochlears, no nerves, no air cells, no bones, all I have is skingraft filling from inner ears to outer ear canal.

So it’s the brain sending Phantom noises.


Shellipops profile image
Shellipops in reply to MRDeaf

Yes, it would appear to be the case.

Hi, I have it in both ears but when under stress it seems to be in the head.different noise in both ears.left ear a strong hiss sound and a tonal noise in right ear.i have it now six months and think it came from impacted wax.i also have hyperacusis which I had sorted before I went on holidays 3 weeks ago but since I returned home I have had spike in tinnitus in left ear and hyperacusis has now returned with avengence. I'm going off my head.


I dont think stress helps our condition at all. If your tinnitus has peaked you will be stressed and agitated thereby possibly having a knock on effect to everything else.....I tend to think if I can get to and maintain a " good state" once, I can do it again. Dont lose hope your hyperacausis will lower again. A calm mind is our goal and the more we each get to know our own individual conditions can only help to take some of the fear away. Its a daily battle but we have support on tap from folks on here to get through it...

Mind feels sometimes in my ears and sometimes in my head.

NicBTA profile image

Hi Shellipops

The consensus in the research community is that tinnitus is generated in the head. However, as the hearing part of the brain is expecting sound to come via one ear or the other, it processes the tinnitus sound (sometimes) as coming from the ears! Weird things, brains... (but the processing power is why we see things the right way up, when the laws of optics have images hitting the backs of our eyes upside down!)

Best wishes


Shellipops profile image
Shellipops in reply to NicBTA

Thanks For that,

I may be missing something but I wondered if there was a reason my GP / NHS (in my area anyway) dont onward refer anyone with bilateral sound and no other symptoms....my GP states outright he couldnt refer me as it was in my head....since got balance issues so got referred that way....strange.

Mine was in my ear but sounds like my head to

Hi, I often hear it in my head, its always in my ears and sometimes, particularly in my left ear I get a mechanical sound however, your 'stuff it' response is the way to go. For me that was the turning point, when I stopped fighting against it . Acceptance can really help. I hope you continue to have good days,

Best wishes, Poi

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