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When there is no noise around you, is your hearing completely black?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Just want to get an idea of what is normal with hearing if there is no environmental noise.  I'm aware of tinitus, and curious if normally everyone has at least a mild case of tinnitus.  Is your hearing pitch black when no noise is around?

post #2 of 3
Well, first of all, the only place there could be "no environmental noise" might be in an isolation tank, or in a vacuum (where you would also be dead!)

What we believe is "no noise" is simply sound below the threshold we can hear. There are small changes in sound pressure continually hitting our eardrums.

In addition, the bones & nerve endings inside our ears can transmit sound even without air pressure hitting our eardrum.

Finally, even without all of the above, your brain can still fool you into believing you hear sounds that your ears have not actually transmitted.

In any case, I'm the wrong guy to tell you how "black" the quiescent sound level typically is - I have tinnitus and live every day in a buzzing bee hive of varying intensity. redface.gif
post #3 of 3

At low enough environmental noise you might hear your own heart beating, especially when you have one ear against a pillow. I can hear that at around 4am in December or January when I'm staying up in the mountains for a weekend (when and where I don't need the A/C or fan but I'm still wearing socks). Then again, during that time of the year I'm very likely to have had steaks with a side dish of crispy, sauteed random pork bits (chopped face and ears, belly strips, liver, with onions and chili peppers) and lots of beer, plus a few cigars, so my heart's beating a lot harder (walking up a mountain slope, even on a paved street, is still tiring when it's a 65deg incline, even if it's cold and I don't sweat).


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 6/30/14 at 8:31pm
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