Any Help or Success Dealing with High Frequency (15 kHz+) Tinnitus Caused by Noise Exposure?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ZoteTheMighty, Mar 3, 2021.

    1. ZoteTheMighty

      ZoteTheMighty Member

      Location:
      NV, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Hello, I've been suffering from both tinnitus and hyperacusis since a noise exposure event in November 2019. The initial injury caused a tinnitus tone at 3900 Hz, which was later joined by another tone at 3600 Hz in May 2020 (they sometimes blend together and fluctuate like a siren, ugh). I can't say that I fully habituated to these sounds, but was coping pretty well using sound enrichment and masking techniques. I had also been using hearing aids since August as a treatment despite having only mild hearing loss in order to "fill in" the missing frequency range to provide stimulation and possibly help tolerance levels.

      However, a little over two months ago on Christmas Eve the ambient sound at our family dinner was apparently too much, especially with the hearing aids. Within an hour after the gathering my hyperacusis was noticeably worse and a new ultra-high tinnitus tone started to fade in around 15 kHz and has been present ever since.

      This totally threw me for a loop. I lost my job after building a 20+ year career as a software engineer. I can't complete basic tasks around the house. I was still dealing with insomnia that onset at the start of all this and this just made it worse. I can't even hear that high anymore, so it's impossible to mask. It's just so piercing and unnatural that nothing can help me cope with it. Combined with the constant feeling of pressure from the hyperacusis, my brain seems to interpret these two things together as a pain of sorts and I find it impossible to ignore. Like many here have, I have been going through a really dark time and have pretty much lost all hope. Prior to this I had at least found a way to cope, and even though I had not rediscovered any joy in life, I had hope that it could eventually come. I am totally broken now and see no way out of this.

      Has anybody successfully habituated to or learned some coping strategies for ultra high tinnitus that can't be masked? This seems like such a different beast from tinnitus sounds in the "normal" hearing range like I had before.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Simon85

      Simon85 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      @ZoteTheMighty sorry to hear this new sound has showed up.
      I’d say it’s still early days. Hopefully this new high pitched tone fades away in a few months.
      I get it. Dev work requires concentration and high pitched tinnitus doesn’t mix well. I’d try to get back on the horse even if it’s a lower level position. Work brings some form of distraction. Having too much time to think about tinnitus makes the situation worse in my opinion.

      My tinnitus isn’t as high pitched, so I’ll let others chime in on the best way to mask. Remember that you’re only two months into this new sound and things will get a lot easier. Hopefully it goes away.
       
    3. AliasM
      Depressed

      AliasM Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      Dec 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ? Autoimmune, daily headaches, Ibuprofin, BP meds, Virus?
      Mine is incredibly high pitched. I can't tell you the Hz because I watched a YouTube tinnitus clip to determine my sound and I spiked bad after listening to it for under 20 seconds. The spike lasted a week. I got to 10 kHz on the clip though and stopped, but mine was higher than that.

      I am 3 months in. Hating life, summoning death to come at me, and existing not living so needless to say I have not habituated. What I will say though is that these last 2 weeks I have been getting an intermittent low single tone ring on top of my usual ultra high pitch ring, chirp, hiss, crackle, glass breaking sounds. I hate the low tone ring SO much. I thought I hated high pitch but I would chose it over the low any day so I guess in that sense I have habituated to it.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I have had noise induced tinnitus for many years and habituated. I once had severe hyperacusis that was completely cured wearing white noise generators as part of TRT. When tinnitus is caused by hearing loss the fitting of hearing aid(s) can often help reduce it. However, they are not the correct devices for treating tinnitus or hyperacusis when a person doesn't have noticeable hearing loss and your post reflects this. I am not saying a person won't find any relief using hearing aids for tinnitus and hyperacusis, I am saying they are not the correct devices for treatment unless they are dual-purpose. These are hearing aids with white noise generator fitted. A person should be under the care of an Audiologist as counselling maybe required. I have addressed this issue on another thread and you will find it here:

      Hearing Aids | Page 33 | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum

      Your tinnitus and particularly the hyperacusis, needs to be treated and suggest you see an Audiologist, that is trained in tinnitus and hyperacusis management. One of the best treatments for hyperacusis is the wearing of white noise generators, they will also treat the tinnitus. Please click on the links below and read my post that I think will be of some help.

      All the best
      Michael

      Hyperacusis, As I See It | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      What Is TRT and When Should It Be Started? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    5. Rb86

      Rb86 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/31/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I have multiple sounds but my constant is actually 16,000 Hz. I've had it for about 2 years.

      That varies slightly during the weeks in volume. 90 percent of the time it's masked by the shower. A few weeks ago I woke up to a really bad spike and even the shower wouldn't mask it. I was really scared. A day later it lowered down. Developed yet another super high whistle during certain noises.

      What I think for you is this. Firstly, new sounds are really scary. After all the work of doing your best to get used to your tinnitus, it throws a new sound at you and it's a bitch. Totally unfair.

      I think your ears got hurt from that gathering of people and it was amplified by the hearing aids.

      Stop using them if it's possible, and give your ears time to rest.

      I remember at Thanksgiving wearing ear plugs. I don't care if I look stupid or rude. I know better. I don't leave home without them.

      I'm very sorry tinnitus is beating you up right now. But I think it will calm some.

      The two best places for me is outside and busy with whatever task, or in the tub zoned out on my phone.

      Don't beat yourself up and give yourself time. I get it. I really do.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZoteTheMighty

      ZoteTheMighty Member

      Location:
      NV, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      I sure hope it does, and I'm sure it will lessen to some extent like the other sounds have. I definitely want more than anything to get back to work, but I'm working my way up to just being able to take care of household chores right now. But I am getting my ability to focus back a little bit day by day. Once I can actually focus on a task for 6-8 hours a day again I'll certainly try to get back to work.
      Oh geez, that definitely sounds like a nightmare. I'm really sorry you are going through that! Try to hang in there... we all get through it somehow.
      Thank you, Michael! I've read through a lot of your posts here and you have contributed a ton to this community. I chose my audiologist because his website was the only one in town that even mentioned TRT or basically tinnitus at all. It seems to have just been something that he had put on his website though because he doesn't really seem to be that knowledgeable about it. The hearing aids he prescribed are the widex zen which were programmed both with pink and white noise generators as well as fractal audio programs. That is useful for when I'm away from home, but I've found that the audio quality for listening to pink noise is much better through my studio monitors than the hearing aids anyway when I'm at home.

      For the therapy portion, I was just referred to a standard psychologist but haven't found one who helps specifically with hearing issues. So for the most part my recovery has been self-directed. I do listen to pink noise and other sounds basically 24/7, and it definitely helped improve the hyperacusis over the first year. It's interesting, because I still perceive everything as being much louder than it should be, but my tolerances have greatly improved. I can now tolerate sounds up to about 80 dB, though it is dependent on the type of sound. The pressure sensation improved as well but never went away completely, and now it's worsened again after this new injury. My hearing loss is mild but measurable. In the standard test range up to 8 kHz, my threshold is at 10 dB across the board with the classic NIHL dip between 3 kHz-6 kHz where my threshold drops to 27 dB in the middle of that range. In the extended range, my hearing starts to drop off after 12 kHz and is gone by 15 kHz, which is about where this new tone is. Before my original injury in 2019, I could still hear well to about 16 kHz.

      @Rb86, thank you for support! Yeah, I have definitely gone through a few spikes that have been scary, but things did fortunately settle down. The two times including this one where a new sound appears are definitely hard to deal with. Like you said, you think you are getting a grip on things and then it just gets worse! It scares me that this condition is practically degenerative. I do carry earplugs with me everywhere just in case, and I definitely won't use hearing aids in a crowded environment again. I thought I was actually doing something therapeutic by being in a moderately loud environment to help with desensitization. I actually brought my dB meter with me and the ambient noise level was 75-80 dB so I thought it would be ok. I wasn't considering that the extra amplification from the hearing aids probably made it dangerous.
       
    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for your kind comments ZoteTheMighty. I wish you every success having treatment with your Audiologist and counselling. If you think I can be of any help in the future please ask.

      Take care
      Michael
       
    8. Peter61

      Peter61 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Don't despair man. It's all so recognizable, most of the people here have gone through the exact same thing. So, even though it may seem hard to understand, don't try to worry too much about it. The tinnitus will "settle" in a way that you can live with. Some days loud, some days quiet, but overall acceptable and bearable. Believe me, I've been there. I've had tinnitus since 2012.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZoteTheMighty

      ZoteTheMighty Member

      Location:
      NV, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Thanks, Peter! That's what I'm really hoping for. It happened with my other sounds, but those weren't nearly as piercing or distressing as this ultra high one. But yeah, I'm just trying to get through each day right now in the hopes that in the coming weeks it will become bearable.
       
    10. Rb86

      Rb86 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/31/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Not sure how accurate it is, but I have a sound meter app on my phone and my understanding is once you surpass 70 dB you need protection.

      I don't measure often though. If it's noisy, I wear ear plugs, even if it doesn't sound particularly loud or painful. I know better now.

      Some argue against overprotection, and I think there's some truth to that, especially regarding hyperacusis. But, there's more damage in not protecting. Play it safe.
       
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