3 Questions (Hyperacusis, Antidepressants, Masking) re Tinnitus, Any Answers?

Discussion in 'Support' started by RichardG, Sep 24, 2015.

    1. RichardG

      RichardG Member

      Tinnitus Since:

      I have 3 qs re tinnitus. My tinnitus (high-pitched - only when I listen out for it) started back in May this year due to a very severe stressful period.

      I am aware that answers to these qs may be elusive. I am also aware that I am seeking reassurance. Perhaps a few other members of this forum are in the same boat (which feels like it is sinking!) as me...

      1. Does hyperacusis often come along following tinnitus?

      2. Do anti-anxiety and -depression medicines surpress tinnitus? (so when one comes off them, the tinnitus will be louder and more intrusive).

      3. Does masking (i.e. listening to a radio) delay habituation?

      Many thanks

    2. Cheza

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      1. No, not necessarily. Just don't overprotect your ears, allow normal sound stimuli and you should be okay. It's natural to feel like you have some degree of H, but that could also be psychological. With tinnitus, a person can become hypersensitive to noise, fearing that exposure will create more damage. For example, I plug my ears before the microwave beeps, because it seems super loud to me now, whereas it didn't before. I've always been sensitive to noise, but with regard to the microwave, I really don't know if it sounds louder or if I perceive it as louder because of my extra sensitivity caused by T and my natural desire to protect myself from noise.

      2. Doesn't suppress the tinnitus, but these drugs help reduce anxiety. Anxiety can increase the attention we pay to tinnitus. The more attention you pay to your tinnitus, the more intrusive it becomes. It's a vicious circle that can be alleviated by anxiety-reducing drugs. Be careful about your withdrawal schedule, and search for threads on these forums about whatever specific drug you're thinking of taking. A lot of folks here have posted excellent advice. I have never taken drugs for T, only supplements, but there are plenty of days I wish I had a Xanax just to calm myself down.

      3. Set the volume of masking at a level where you can barely hear your tinnitus above the masking, then go about your day. I think the jury is out whether it helps or hinders habituation. It's an individual thing. I personally don't mask, because to me it's just noise on top of noise. Other people can't live without it.

      Do whatever you can to distract yourself, take deep breaths if and when you become anxious, and be sure to read the Back To Silence thread by @I who love music https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/back-to-silence.7172/
    3. AUTHOR

      RichardG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      many many thanks for your response. did your tinnitus trigger from stress? If so, how long have you had it and how is it different to noise-induced tinnitus?

      I see you are from Oregon... I have fond memories of attending a grateful dead show there back in the early 9os. i am from the UK. I am relatively new to this tinnitus lark and am really finding it troublesome. i am scared out of my whits. my job invloves reading and writing and i feel i can't do any of these now. i have even given up exercise.
    4. suera

      suera Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Excellent answers by Cheza. I just want to add that I did have hyperacusis for the first 4 months of my tinnitus nightmare. It did subside while the tinnitus remains. I don't think it is rare for the hyperacusis to subside.
    5. LadyDi

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi, @RichardG : I also can't add much more to @Cheza's excellent answers. I will just echo what others here have said: it is not uncommon to have hyperacusis at the beginning. I did. For most, including me, it does subside. As Cheza said, don't overprotect your ears as it could hinder that outcome.

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