Mysterious noise causes health problems, discomfort for elderly homeowner

Mysterious noise causes health problems, discomfort for elderly homeowner

  • By Lena Khzouz @LenaKhzouz1 on Twitter
  • Nov 30, 2016

You hear a constant buzzing, vibrating noise in the background. You try to block it out, but you can’t because the sounds change. It’s making it hard for you to sleep. It wakes up your dog. It’s literally given you a nosebleed, made you sick to your stomach, and regularly gives you headaches.

So what is the noise? And what do you do about it?

For now, no one knows for sure.

Lena Reed, 76, of Sterling Heights has been desperately searching for the answers to those questions, pleading with anyone who can help her solve the mystery – to no avail.

Even if she did know the answers, she’s unsure what she can do about it.

With certainty, you can rule out the possibility that the noise is due to a health-related issue because others hear the noise as well.

Reed moved into her home in the 15 Mile and Dodge Park area about two years ago. She hears the noise more than some others do. Some visitors who enter her home do not hear it, while others do.

If you enter her home, you might think that you hear a typical hum of a refrigerator. But it’s not. And that’s considered relatively quiet for that particular sound that she has been hearing.

Her daughter and son-in-law, who live in the 17 Mile, Van Dyke and Dodge Park area, hear it in their home and in Reed’s home as well. They have become so accustomed to the noise that they recognize it instantly.

Lena Reed, specifically, is usually unable to tune it out, especially when the noise changes. It doesn’t matter if the television is on. She still hears it. While she’s sleeping, she hears it. At times, it’s become loud enough to make furniture vibrate.

Knowing she can’t go on living like this and knowing that she can’t afford to move, Reed has been asking everyone for help to solve this mystery.

“I hear it all the time,” Reed said.

It used to be on a schedule, but now it becomes louder at about 6 a.m. and goes on and on until about 10 p.m. It never stops, she said. It just gets quieter at night.

But still, it’s there – always.

She said she can’t sleep at night and has to wake up to take aspirin. And as she does, she is dizzy due to the humming noise that has been in her head constantly for a year.

One might wonder if the noise is traffic-related, but she doesn’t think so.

“When I go outside, I welcome that noise. I even welcome the noise of the fire engines,” Reed said. “You listen to this for 24 hours for a year and see how you feel.

“I might get maybe a half-hour break once in a while.”

And then it comes back on.

“It’s almost like an appliance in the house,” she said.

If a refrigerator is humming constantly, you might be able to tune it out. But as soon as it makes a different noise, you hear it. And then you hear the normal humming when it settles down. This is what Lena Reed says she has been experiencing. She can’t tune it out.

“I know it sounds crazy, but I have to get help,” she said. “I can’t move out. I can’t afford it.

“I don’t know what to do. I just don’t. I am at wits’ end.”

While noises on the road are one idea for the source of the sound, someone else suggested to her that maybe the sound was coming from something overhead in the air, like electrical lines, perhaps. That’s unclear.

What was believed to be the most likely culprit is a Macomb County-owned sewer interceptor near City Hall.

However, that equipment is several blocks away from her home – and it is 40 feet underground. It also would not make that noise because gravity creates the flow through the pipe.

Whatever the noise is, Lena Reed has learned through talking with people that it began about four years ago.

Reed has asked neighbors on either side of her, but they said they don’t hear it.

While some people hear it and others don’t when they are on her property, Reed says she knows she’s not the only one who is disturbed by it.

Her dog, Buddy, hears it at night, wakes up, and wakes her, further contributing to her headaches and dizziness due to irregular sleep.

“It’s not me, because if my dog hears it, then it’s here,” she said. “I can’t stay here, not like this. I just can’t. But yet I can’t move out because I can’t afford it.”

She said she has become a nervous wreck and is living on aspirin.

“There has to be someone who can help me,” she said.

(If you live in the area and are experiencing similar problems, tell us about your experiences or offer suggestions by visiting and clicking on the link to this story or sending email to


Mysterious noise could be due to smart meter

In the Sunday, Dec. 4 issue of The Source on the front page, ‘Mysterious noise causes health problems, discomfort for homeowner.” After reading that article, the first thing that came to my mind was similar issues with smart meters that were forced upon us by our electric company, and there was supposed to be a referendum of some kind with our City Council to look into these issues and it was completely ignored. … I would suggest that that lady have someone with qualifications to look at the smart meters which vibrate at all different hours of the day and night, and I hope this helps.

— Sterling Heights


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