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Why Do I Hear White Noise When It's Quiet? Understanding Auditory Phenomena

Jan 23, 2024

As you lay in bed during a quiet night or sit in a library, you may notice a faint, continuous buzzing sound known as white noise. This sound is not always external – it can actually be created by our own auditory systems. The human ear is a complex organ designed to pick up a wide range of frequencies and sounds, and it's not uncommon for its activity to create random, unidentifiable noises in the absence of external sound stimuli. This physiological noise can manifest as white noise, tinnitus, or other soft sounds depending on individual sensitivities. Some factors that can contribute to hearing white noise include earwax buildup, medication side effects, damaged hair cells within the ear, age-related hearing loss, and exposure to loud sounds. To seek relief, it's important to identify the potential underlying cause and consult a professional. In the meantime, white noise machines and gentle ambient sounds can be effective in masking the noise and promoting relaxation.

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