Q. What could be the sound that we hear during silence?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 26, 2019

Hello doctor,

When we are in silence, we always hear some sound. I know we are not in a vacuum, so some external sound will always be audible house noises, etc.? Hope this is not tinnitus. Even sensory deprivation of ear causes body noises and hallucinations, read in places that are created as 0 dB anechoic chamber.



Welcome to

This is not tinnitus. Tinnitus would be heard easily, trouble you, and you would not have to search for it specifically. Tinnitus would be heard even in an environment with some sound not sufficient to mask tinnitus. It may interfere with your daily activities. And yes, in an external 0 dB environment, one may normally hear sounds of his body like of blood flow, heartbeats, respiratory sounds, etc. So, this is quite normal. Hallucinations are different thing. It hears sounds, seeing objects and human which are not there and real, usually to trouble you, harm you. I hope this helps you and get back if you have any doubts.

Thank you doctor,

I understood. Sometimes when we concentrate in dark or white surface, we see some dots playing around. I was told that it is our brain filling up spaces (phosphene or neural noise) and is hallucinations. I thought if for ears also the same thing is applicable. But I believe when no external source present, it is our bodily noises that fill up our ear or external sounds. I guess when we are sensory deprived, it causes us to hallucinate (eyes closed or no noise).



Welcome back to

Seeing dots or listening to some noise whenever we are a calm environment is a normal phenomenon for our body. Those dots are also due to fluid movements in our eyes called vitreous. Also, the source of noise is our body only. But, here in both cases, these are existing. Now, hallucinations are a pathological process where you see or hear which are non-existant. Like seeing snake or humans which are not there or hearing sounds like someone is muttering and planning conspiracy, abusing but it is virtual. So, you will experience things which are not simultaneously experienced by others.

Thank you doctor,

Are those dots because of neural noise (seen in the complete dark also)? But I understood in any case hallucination is different.



Welcome back to

Yes, it is a neural noise, another thing which contributes to it is a movement of fluid within one eye. Even in so-called complete dark, there is some light present which may get refracted to visible light. So, it is normal such a thing, and it is a result of multiple factors.

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