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Strange hearing "problems"
Gainless
post Dec 26 2011, 22:26
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Hi everyone,

A few days ago I got myself an inflammation of the middle ear on both sides, which was the reason I rested my ears a bit for some time and of course went to the doctor. Yesterday, when I listened to some music again, I had a weird experience: Everything I turned on on my PC actually sounded too "high" for me like someone pitched it up. I thought that it were some issues with my soundcard at first, but it's the same when I listen through my Mp3-player. Maybe it's imagination, but everything sounds so off now, it's funny and scary at the same time. Did someone have a similar experience with infections of the ear and the impact on the hearing?

This post has been edited by Gainless: Dec 26 2011, 23:02
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slks
post Dec 27 2011, 01:28
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I've had that experience while under the influence of dissociative hallucinogens before, but in my case the pitch sounded lowered, not raised. It was also accompanied by a sort of "flanging" effect. It seems to be a fairly common effect with such drugs.

However, I've never heard of such things resulting from an ear infection! Are you sure things don't just sound muffled from wax or fluid buildup in the ears? Did you go under any sort of anesthesia at the doctor, perhaps?

It will be interesting to see if anyone knows anything about this... keep us posted.


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Woodinville
post Dec 27 2011, 02:56
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QUOTE (Gainless @ Dec 26 2011, 13:26) *
Hi everyone,

A few days ago I got myself an inflammation of the middle ear on both sides, which was the reason I rested my ears a bit for some time and of course went to the doctor. Yesterday, when I listened to some music again, I had a weird experience: Everything I turned on on my PC actually sounded too "high" for me like someone pitched it up. I thought that it were some issues with my soundcard at first, but it's the same when I listen through my Mp3-player. Maybe it's imagination, but everything sounds so off now, it's funny and scary at the same time. Did someone have a similar experience with infections of the ear and the impact on the hearing?



Hmmm, not a doctor, so can not comment on this, but I might suggest you visit an ENT and discuss this.


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Gumboot
post Dec 27 2011, 10:32
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I've heard of the complaint before, and I simply assumed that it was pollution or a change in pressure in the cochlea changing the speed of sound and consequently distributing frequencies along different nerves. I never took the time to think about it properly, though.

There are similar conditions where the same tone is registered as two different frequencies by each ear.
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Gainless
post Dec 27 2011, 16:40
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Thanks for the answers!
I've played a little bit around with some pitches now, and for me a lowered one around -0,5% sounds most natural for me at the moment. I'm pretty confused, though, because all of this is of course totally subjective and it's hard to tell what's imagination and what's not. All in all I think it's not as extreme as yesterday, my ears feel stronger and less sensitive, and music sounds more enjoyable at all. I should probably wait until everything is cured completely again.


QUOTE (slks @ Dec 27 2011, 01:28) *
I've had that experience while under the influence of dissociative hallucinogens before, but in my case the pitch sounded lowered, not raised. It was also accompanied by a sort of "flanging" effect. It seems to be a fairly common effect with such drugs.

However, I've never heard of such things resulting from an ear infection! Are you sure things don't just sound muffled from wax or fluid buildup in the ears? Did you go under any sort of anesthesia at the doctor, perhaps?

It will be interesting to see if anyone knows anything about this... keep us posted.


My ears got cleaned by the doctor , so it shouldn't be too heavily polluted. Aditionally I got some pain killers and antibiotics, but no anesthesia was done.
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pawelq
post Dec 27 2011, 17:45
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Sometimes it can even happen that the same sound is perceived as having different pitch in each ear...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplacusis


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astroidmist
post Apr 15 2012, 23:27
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EDIT: Please don't read too much or too little into this post. For what it's worth, by the time I finished this post I had forgotten your mentioning of the inner ear inflammation.

Yeah, I'd be concerned about this also...

I have also heard of some type of drug that causes people to hear things at a lower pitch. So by extrapolation, a drug that causes perceived pitches to by higher is not unsurprising. Since drugs work biochemically, and since the body works biochemically, there may other mechanisms/experiences/biophysics which result in the same or similar results. There may also be some psyche/psychological causes of this type of experience as well. I don't know much about the details of any of that.

Some of this could be a psychoneurological phenomenon. What I mean is that it seems like something related to functioning of the brain/nerves/nervous system as well as the related psyche/psychology of perception.

You may want to carefully consult with a neurologist. Be warned that a single CT "cat" scan exposes a person in a single dose to sum levels of radiation presently considered in the USA by the FDA to be a yearly maximum limit. You will want to study the details about this to get more accurate information if and BEFORE you get a CT "cat" scan or X-Ray of your brain. There are probably other safer means to study your brain to see if there is a biological danger. MRI scans I have been told are safe, however they tend to be extremely expensive and need to be scheduled in advance. Whatever you do, it's probably good to be wary of ending up as some kind of labrat test subject.

I don't mean to alarm you; I just think you may want to be warned. Whether the origin|etiology of your experience is psychological, neurological, physiological, toxicological, psychotropic or whatnot... what you're describing sounds like something strange enough to be wary of. I know of someone who had a set of similar experiences (such as hearing sounds backwards) and that person's health care environment classified the set of experiences as being "incidents of psychosis". YMMV (Your mileage may vary). So-called "psychotic experiences" can be caused by bioelectrical or biochemical exposures as well as by physical head trauma/concussion/brain damage, anoxia, or metabolic/homeostatic stress. Some say that some unusual experiences can even be a result of some peculiar psychological states.

Since it's your perception which is possibly at stake here, you may want or need to share details of your experiences with people whom you trust who would be available to help you if your changes in perception become a handicap or liability or hazard for yourself and/or others. Try to pay more attention to how your body and your mind are functioning. Be on the lookout for any and all types of strange behaviors or thoughts or sensations or experiences within yourself and perhaps in others around you.

Again, I don't mean to alarm you; I just think you may want to be warned. You would not be the first person to have experienced some strangeness like this.

This post has been edited by astroidmist: Apr 15 2012, 23:33


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AudioKitten
post Apr 16 2012, 00:41
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There could be any number of things happening within your ear. Maybe you have some minor cochlear damage from antibacterial agents ect... or maybe you just have some residual swelling in the middle ear. Either way, probably the best thing to do right now would be to listen to music and let yourself hear things but watch to make sure it's not too loud. Also, don't apply any kind of sound processing to your music, especially if you're listening to it for extended periods of time.

What you have to be aware of is that, especially following injury, the human nervous system is extremely plastic (read: malleable). If this is, in fact, a permanent change with regards to your ear then chances are very good that your auditory cortex and/or the rest of your brain will just restructure slightly to accommodate the change. It's nothing to worry about. However, like any piece of machinery, your brain needs the correct signal to calibrate against which means you need to give it some stimulation.

So, in summary, it's good to watch the volume for the time being because your ear is probably more sensitive due to the injury but you should never coddle an injured part of your body too much because it can cause improper neural restructuring.

Good luck!
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JJZolx
post Apr 16 2012, 00:53
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I think the OP wasn't yet over the ear infection and should have just waited a few days before bothering to post.
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