Hearing loss - low frequency-cfs related?

I was recently diagnosed with low frequency hearing loss which is the opposite of the typical type of hearing loss. I have trouble with men's voices and especially in noisy environments. I can't talk on the phone with any background noise (like the tv on). Its not really a volume thing so much as I just can't make out the words. They jumble together....

Although its a new diagnosis for me I have been having these problems for at least 10 years. I was wondering if its related to cfs at all?


Hi Amber

I don't know if there is a connection between LF hearing loss and CFS, but I wouldn't be surprised.

I just hopped in here to welcome you to the forums. :)
I got high pitch HL and tinnitus arround the same time as CFS, but I think it could well have been coincidental (too much 'drum and bass'). I think I was having trouble hearing conversations in noisy environments even before getting ill.

I've seen tinnitus mentioned as possibly linked to CFS a few times.

I've also seen a link between CFS and TMJ mentioned, and that can affect hearing.

I've not got any useful information for treatment or anything though I'm afraid.


Perth Australia/NC USA

Two or maybe three years ago I started hearing a high pitched but faint noise. It soon became very loud. It added to the concentration problems i was already having. It makes reading very difficult. I've had two hearing tests and they both show my hearing to be normal. I suspect it's related to what is causing my other symptoms.



I also developed this several years ago (after a virus). It was so faint I sometimes thought it was my imagination. As all other symptoms appeared this sound became louder - and at the same time I began to have trouble hearing conversation in restaurants, and just tuning out background noise in general. My hearing tests too, were normal (which seemed incredible to me). The noise now is quite significant, always there and is (seems) louder as I tire, and is horrible during a crash - very loud like a whole chorus of very high pitched locusts.

I haven't had my hearing tested for about 4-5 years now. It wouldn't surprise me at all to find that permanent or intermittent hearing loss is common in CFS. It's not something I've noticed many people mentioning though. Tinnitus is certainly common in CFS and FM.


Senior Member
Victoria, BC
Listening to CFS?

Hi, all; I developed significant high frequency hearing loss + tinnitus a year or so before I began developing cardiac symptoms (basically a stenotic calcified aortic valve) which was about two years before I developed CFS; this thread is beginning to make me think there may be connections here that I had not focused before. What if a virus started things up and then attacked my heart and then went quiescent for a while as I recovered from the valve surgery and then started up again, or got joined by another virus and....

All very intriguing. The interesting thing is that as I slowly seem to be improving on my revised diet and Rich methylation + Freddd's additions and, more recently, Artimisinin / Artesunate, my hearing is improving a bit, and the tinnitus is variable but diminishing. I do notice that it increases rapidly and steeply when I do the tiny bit of rowing that I allow myself these days--2-3 mins max--as if in response to the increased blood flow. Maybe the tinnitus has become an index of either the speed of blood flow, or the level of resistance as the blood flows through the tiny capillaries of the hearing system. Thanks for giving me more food for thought about the mysteries of this disease and all the symptoms that go with it!
Best, Chris


Still working on it all..
Melbourne, Australia
Signal to noise ratio...

This problem of finding it hard to differentiate between the signal, eg a conversation and the noise (background music, etc) does seem common.

Early on I didn't think that diet could play a part, but it certainly did for me. The dreaded gluten and fructose overload contributed. Greatly reducing it helped me significantly. I still have the problem, but it's no longer at a distressing level. Shopping centres used to shatter me, another thing that no longer bothers me now.
I do remember that phone calls in particular were very difficult too...very odd.


Senior Member
Dr Martin Pall reckons that Tinnitus is a symptom of CFS due to Nitric Oxide 'uncoupling' as outlined in his NO/ONOO cycle theory.


Int Tinnitus J. 2007;13(2):99-104.

The NO/ONOO- cycle as the etiological mechanism of tinnitus.
Pall ML, Bedient SA.

School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-4234, USA. martin_pall@wsu.edu

Peripheral tinnitus is a good candidate for inclusion under the NO/ONOO cycle etiological mechanism, fitting each of the five principles of this mechanism. Cases of tinnitus are initiated by at least 11 short-term stressors increasing nitric oxide or other cycle mechanisms. Such cycle elements as N-methyl-D-aspartate activity; oxidative stress; nitric oxide; peroxynitrite; vanilloid activity; NF-kappaB activity; and intracellular calcium levels are all reported to be elevated in tinnitus. Tinnitus is comorbid with some putative NO/ONOO- cycle diseases. Most important, multiple agents that down-regulate NO/ONOO- cycle biochemistry are reported to be helpful in the treatment of tinnitus and related diseases. Previous studies suggested that NO/ONOO cycle diseases may be best treated with complex combinations of agents predicted to lower NO/ONOO- cycle biochemistry, and such combinations may be helpful in tinnitus treatment. Other inner-ear-related defects, such as acute or progressive hearing loss, vertigo, and dizziness, may also be NO/ONOO cycle diseases.

PMID: 18229788 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Near Cognac, France
HI All

I also have tinnitus - dating from the first onset of illness in 1986 and find it impossible to follow conversations in crowded areas. I also have TMJ.

For those following the 'Are you amygdalised' thread - research has linked tinnitus to the amygdala - presumably as a result of an overly stimulated amydgdala boosting 'noise' over the signal.