Q. I hear a very faint sound when I close my right ear. What is that sound?

Answered by
Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 18, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

When I close my right ear, I hear a very faint sound. And when I open it, the sound goes away. What is that sound?



Welcome to

  • This is a normal phenomenon called shielding effect of the pinna. Surrounding noises do not interfere when the ear is shut, so sounds appear different.
  • This effect may be exaggerated in hearing loss also. So, get a pure tone audiometry done, to rule out any hearing loss.

Any further questions are always welcome.

For further queries consult an ENT otolaryngologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

I do not have hearing loss, I have already checked it. What is a shielding effect of the pinna mean? Is it tinnitus? I do not hear the sound when my ear is open, I hear it only in the mornings when my ear is shut, and it goes away later in the day.



Welcome back to

  • It is not tinnitus if it is only present when the pinna is pressed against the ear canal opening.
  • You try hearing with both ear canal open and then closed, the difference you will experience is the shielding effect.

For more information consult an ENT otolaryngologist online -->

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