Ever been somewhere and have ringing in the ears? All the time? Really? You don’t say. Well, what did your ear Dr. say? Hairs getting shorter? Old age(ing)? Referral to a medical specialist ($$$)?
Well, you came to the right place. There are reasons why Tinnitus will persecute you wherever you go, with minor exceptions, in our present landscape.
If you were to characterize that hum, would you call it high frequency, low frequency, low intensity, high intensity, all of these depending on where you are, and what you are doing?
Yes, they are all interrelated. But to understand, you need to grasp some technical stuff.
If you were to mention the audio range, some hot shot may well tell you: yeah, that’s 20 to 20,000, or so. Maybe. While technically that range is what we’re supposed to be able to appreciate, few older adults can really grasp its depth and breadth.
Long ago, when CRTs were in vogue (remember those boxy things we called “monitors”?), my son told me he heard a squeal from one of them _ from across the home. I jettisoned that one, bought another, and the irritation vanished. You see, those old monitors ha an internal oscillator at about 15,000 cycles per second / hertz / Hz. On approach to end-of-life, electronics can do strange things, like change in pitch, get loud(er), etc. My son could hear it. I could not.
More to the point, as we (yes you too) get old(er), and partly based on what loud stuff we’ve been listening to, we lose some or much of the higher frequency end. This is normal.
What we deal with normally is the lower end of that audio range. Typically slower than 5000 Hz. Normal voice conversation occupies frequencies from about 40 to 5000 or so Hz. When we get agitated, maybe a slight shift up in frequency, but generally only louder. Those frequencies are irregular and intermittent, because we do not have some guy stuck on the letter “O” and another stuck on the letter “P,” etc.
The letter “O” above.
The letter “E” above.
If you look at POTS (Plain Old Telephone System), it is customarily restricted from about 300 to 3500 or so Hz. This accommodates the normal speech patterns nicely, and is quite sufficient to recognize someone you know, within about 3 seconds or less. Talk about voice recognition. Fast forward about 100 years, move over to mobiles, and the frequency range is reduced and digitized to cram more of them in a limited wireless real estate, and you can hardly tell who some of those people are on the other end. But I digress. POTS wiring is simply covered in plastic, soon to be relevant.
Electric systems worldwide have centered on 50 or 60 Hz as a standard, mostly for interconnection. In the USA, power systems spanning 2000 miles or so can easily be interconnected, because the frequency control is very precise. The bulk power system is constrained to be alternating (continuously changing with respect to time), facilitated by transformers which allow the conversion of high voltages to low, or vice versa. Power utilities provide that supply voltage, we depend on so much, as close to 120 or 240 as possible, within about 3%, and as free of other frequencies as possible. After the power system enters out homes, our use of it causes it to acquire a variety of frequencies called Harmonics (echoes of the input frequency / Fundamental), that compromise the purity of that power to varying extent, based on how much current we are demanding in a non-linear (non-smooth) fashion. Those harmonics can easily permeate across the entire audio frequency range and beyond, but the strongest are those lower than about 5,000 Hz (the same region as normal voice conversation). That wiring is in most cases covered in plastic. A connection is emerging.
I visited a gentleman in a distant land who had extreme sensitivities. On arrival all his power was turned off. Yet he claimed (1) he still felt electrical irritation. I hooked myself up to a sensitive instrument (to not irritate the client), turned up the gain, and found a series of harmonics belonging to the power system, and being mostly slower than 5,000 Hz. Thinking this a bit odd, as all power was off, I hooked up the same sensitive instrument to the electrical system ground, and found the same signature. His electrical feed was brought to the home underground, so these harmonics were being produced by his neighbors. He also claimed (2) that the irritation was more intense in some rooms than others. Then I realized that depending on what room he was in, the number of power system wiring changed in number, depending on how close he was to the breaker panel (even when turned off), validating his complaint. He also claimed that (3) when his wife used the phone, he felt similar electrical irritation. Although the power system voltage (in N America) is about 120 VAC and the POTS line voltage is about 7 VDC when in use, the most relevant harmonics on the power system, and the voice frequencies on the POTS lines are about the same in frequency range and intensity. Are you starting to see the connection?
There is a video on YouTube
where men are dropped on top of energized power lines by a helicopter. They can survive because they are wearing a fully electrically conductive suit, a.k.a. Faraday suit, which fully eliminates the electric field components from their bodies. That is, every part of their body simultaneously experiences the same potential, and not feeling any difference, they feel nothing. Yet in our homes we do not wear such a suit. So is this really relevant?
A slight diversion to explain. There is an electrical device known as a Capacitor. it does wonderfully at storing a non-changing electric charge, we’ll call it DC. Because this capacitor consists of two electrically conductive plates, separated by an insulator, what appears on one plate does not appear on the other. However, introduce a changing voltage on one plate, we’ll call it AC, and the same appears on the other.
Based on the foregoing, because plastic wire insulation, gypsum wallboard / sheetrock, and flooring materials are similarly transparent to alternating signals, Electric fields will exist in every cubic inch of living space to varying extent. Because the electric field exposure across various parts of our bodies in a residential setting are of different intensity, and because they are alternating, what exposure we have externally, also occurs internally.
In a home we are surrounded by energized wiring, as in an electrified birdcage, where the cage consists of two enclosures, very close together, but not touching, so that exposure close to one wall may be increasingly positive, while exposure close to another is increasingly negative, at any moment in time, not to mention wiring in the floor, if there is any.
While frequencies associated with speech are constantly changing, those with the power system have an entirely different character. The spectra shown herein are not constant in amplitude or presence, as they occur with slowly changing amplitude (introducing seismic-related frequencies), and they occur as trains of frequencies on every bump of the alternating voltage, although not necessarily on the peaks as shown (for simplicity).
The level to which this energized wiring is compromised with harmonics, will to a large extent create the experience of Tinnitus.
The above experienced by a young lady being driven up the wall. This was sourced from fluorescent lighting. Notice the 60 Hz is there, at the extreme left on the bottom portion. While there is electrical “noise” throughout the spectrum, again note the strongest are below about 5000 Hz.
A man client is driving down the road at 70+ mph, and begins to experience a hot flash. He does the best he can to shed his coat and still maintain the trajectory of the 2000 lbs projectile he is maneuvering. On another day, he is sitting in a vehicle in a parking lot, with the engine off, and begins to perceive the same effect. No other vehicles, nor power lines, in sight. He turns off the radio and the stress quickly subsides. He then realizes that in both instances he was in a vehicle with speakers in the doors, and within a few inches of his leg.
A man client gets in his internal combustion vehicle, and within minutes of getting underway has intense tinnitus. He also is bathed in an alternating magnetic field, of similar frequency to land-based power systems, and complemented with broadband pulses and harmonics from everything electronic within the vehicle, and mostly (if from nothing else) from the high voltage ingition.
A man acquaintance gets in his hybrid vehicle, and relates how he enjoys driving around in almost stealth mode. Yet he also relates that when the internal combustion engine comes on to charge the batteries, he feels ill.
A woman client just sent me a letter from a Grecian PHD who relates that many new cars have a variety of high frequency EMFs. He goes on to relate many of the sources, and indicates sensitives are seeking pre-2000 vehicles to preclude these emissions’ exposure. He fails to advise that automotive voltage is 1/10 of N american residential settings (1/20 elsewhere), and is DC, making the emissions through this system of no report, except for those associated with the alternator and the main power feed from / to the battery which contain the pulsed content.
A man client wanted to wire his new car to eliminate Magnetic fields. The engine in the rear and the battery up front, the interconnecting cable directly under the driver caused fields of 100+ mG (milliGauss). A solution would have involved a $2000+ interconnecting coaxial cable.
A man acquaintance bought an old VW microbus, because the engine was in the rear. However, the battery was located below the front passenger seat, causing a whole-vehicle field of similar character to the above.
The above are victims to the alternating magnetic fields from various sources.
The interaction mechanisms between Electric and Magnetic fields and humans are worlds apart, yet their commonality is that we appear to not be well equipped to receive the same frequencies we hear as sound, as electromagnetic inputs. And in most cases the strongest contributors are slower than about 5000 Hz, what we are most sensitive to.
So whether we are in motion, or not, we still maintain an active internal electrochemical messaging and control mechanism using “action potentials.” Part of this is a very short path internal to our head, between the ears and that central grey blob. Nonetheless, if electrically-based signals (Electric, Magnetic, Seismic, Optical) can enter and possibly mimic or interfere with those messaging and control pathways, we can experience mental fog / confusion, pain, tinnitus, or in more extreme cases seizures, as some of the frequencies that can cause seizures may be associated with these electrical systems, depending on what combinations of them are in service.
So that tune in your head, that doesn’t want to go away, may be an indication of a much bigger problem than anyone wants to admit. Because then, they’d have to do something about it.
So if your spouse perceives the phenomenon and you don’t, consider yourself most fortunate, and consider that if you can identify and reduce the effect, you will both benefit, lest at some point you too become sensitive, and both of you languish in agony, not knowing what to do.
Share with someone you love.