Are Spikes from Loud Noise Permanent?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Michael Leigh, Oct 20, 2016.

    1. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Are spikes from loud noise permanent?

      Someone recently asked me, whether a spike in tinnitus caused by loud noise would be permanent? I don’t think there is a definitive answer, because tinnitus is a complex condition and if hyperacusis is also present it can complicate matters further. Some people habituate to tinnitus but their hyperacusis hasn’t fully cured and this can cause tinnitus to spike.

      When a person first develops tinnitus and it was caused by loud noise they have to be careful in future. Tinnitus can and does spike for many people and this is not necessarily caused by loud noise or sounds. After a while it usually returns to baseline or into its normal rhythm. Danger can present itself after a person habituates and the tinnitus has reduced to mild or moderate levels for most of the time. If one isn’t careful, it can be easy to forget and slip back into the old lifestyle of: listening to music through headphones. Attending clubs, concerts and the cinema where sound levels can be quite high.

      I believe a person with tinnitus should attend clubs, concerts and the cinema if they want to, providing they use noise-reducing earplugs to protect themselves. However, one should remember that nothing is one hundred percent safe. My advice is to stay clear of large standing floor speakers and if you’re at a concert don’t go to near the front stage where the music is likely to be booming out at high sound levels.

      In many instances people will get a warning when visiting these places. If the decibel levels are too high their tinnitus might spike. Usually the tinnitus will return to baseline. However, some people do not pay attention to these warnings and continue to subject their ears to loud sounds and think they are perfectly safe because they are wearing earplugs. Under these circumstances the tinnitus might spike again and this time it might become permanent. I am saying might because nothing is for certain. In my opinion a person with tinnitus needs to follow the warnings their auditory system and tinnitus is telling them.

      Regarding headphones. Many people have contacted me after they have habituated to tinnitus and returned to using headphones and listened to music through them at low volume. All of them have noticed an increase in their tinnitus. Some of them noticed their tinnitus spiked but carried on listening to music through headphones and then the tinnitus increased to a higher and more permanent level. It must be said that some people with tinnitus use headphones and have no adverse effects and that is perfectly fine. My opinion on this is, anyone that has tinnitus shouldn’t listen to any type of audio through headphones even at low level.

      It saddens to say, if a person doesn’t heed the warning signs their auditory system and tinnitus is telling them, then they will eventually feel because tinnitus is very unforgiving. It is fine when some people are telling others what they want to hear: "listen to music through headphones because life is for living".Go to the club as often as possible you’re safe with earplugs. If your tinnitus increases you will be the one that will be in the suffering.

      I have read many posts in tinnitus talk, where people had habituated and the tinnitus is low. They returned to listening to music through headphones and clubbing during the week and weekends. Some are now regretting this because their tinnitus has increased and they are in distress. Just because a person habituates doesn't mean they can forget everything and carry on in some instances recklessly. You can of course do this but my advice is to do things in moderation and not to excess, because the end result is often returning to ENT for help and visiting tinnitus forums because you are unable to cope.

      Michael
       
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    2. Pleasure_Paulie

      Pleasure_Paulie Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise or maybe... unicorns!
      Great post - a voice of logical reason! Thanks for your contribution :)

      Use tinnitus as a warming signal that something has gone wrong in your auditory system. Play it safe, be smart and don't forget to carry ear protection with you wherever you go - I carry 2 sets of earplugs on my keyring.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Pleasure_Paulie Thanks for your kind words they are much apprecitated. I like the fact that you carry 2 sets of earplugs on your keyring, a smart thing to do!
       
    4. Tim Hogan
      Suicidal

      Tim Hogan Member

      Location:
      UK, England
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/Flu (Minor) >>> Botched Acoustic Reflex Test (Severe)
      yes 100% im living proof.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
    6. Tinniger

      Tinniger Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure, maybe noise (MRI, smoke detector alarm) + somatic??
      I also have better and worse days. And adopted the term "spike" for it.
      However, the term tinnitus spike does not appear to exist in scientific literature. Is this an invention of internet forums?
       
    7. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      Nice catch. Reactive tinnitus apparently does not exist because it is an invention of internet forums, too. At least according to the author. Oddly anyone who has it says it exists.
       
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    8. Jason37

      Jason37 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gunshot
      What about placing the headphones "over" your ears. I watch movies at night with them sitting on the back side of my ears. I hear the just fine even at a low level
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Since you have noise induced tinnitus @Jason37 I don't recommend using any kind of headphones even at low volume. However, it is your choice. Some people with NIT are not affected by headphone use and others are. There are plenty posts in this forum from people having Noise induced tinnitus, resumed using headphones and regretted it. People whose tinnitus wasn't caused by loud noise exposure, are not so much at risk of making it worse using headphones, but I still advise caution.

      The choice is yours. Just remember, if your tinnitus gets worse it is unlikely to return to its previous level and could be more difficult to cope with.
      Sorry to sound so sobering.

      Michael
       
    10. Jason37

      Jason37 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gunshot
      they are not "in" my ear, only wedged behind them.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      It doesn't matter whether they are in your ear or over them. You are playing with fire. I hope and pray you do not get tinnitus the right way, for if you do then you will l know, what loud intrusive tinnitus can do to a person. It is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

      You have been warned.
      I wish you well
      Michael
       
      Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
    12. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      I am unsure how this would be different than wearing wearable WNGs.

      Regarding whether your tinnitus is noise induced, that actually does not matter in terms of future damage. Ear hair cells damaged by ototoxic medications are just as susceptible to noise damage as those with tinnitus from acoustic trauma and vice versa.

      And apologies for Michael claiming you do not have the right kind of tinnitus, as if one cause of tinnitus is superior. He is making assumptions about the volume of your tinnitus and that is not very welcoming on a support forum.
       
    13. Tinniger

      Tinniger Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure, maybe noise (MRI, smoke detector alarm) + somatic??
      The problem with the term spike is that it seems to be used for every temporary worsening of symptoms, whether it is 10 minutes, 10 hours, 10 days, 10 weeks or 10 months. That spoils the concept then...
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      As long as the tinnitus reduces to baseline it doesn't really matter. The problem is the anxiety and fear that people associate with the spike and this can prolong it. Most spikes (not all) are caused by hyperacusis which many people get (not all) because of exposure to loud noise. If the hyperacusis is not cured or at least treated and improves, spikes will often remain a problem.

      Michael
       
    15. Burnsie

      Burnsie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04.2015
      So, how do you go about doing that last bit?
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      You have to reinforce positive thinking and this will reduce stress and lower the tinnitus over time. You also need to use sound enrichment in a manner that is suitable for you. You may also need medication to help with stress levels. All three take time, patience and diligence if you want to be successful. It took me 4 years to habituate to tinnitus for the 2nd time. It can be done.

      To reinforce positive thinking I advise people to regularly read my articles on positivity. It is no good to read them once and forget them. They should be printed and kept in a folder for regular reading. They are a form of counselling. Also, go to the "positivity thread" and print members posts that you find inspiring. Again, they should be read often to help reinforce positive thinking.

      I also recommend deep relaxation therapy and do this at least 3 times a week 30 mins sessions. This helps reduce stress. Please click on the link below and read my article. To do relaxation therapy can cost absolutely nothing financially just 30mins of your time 3 to 4 times a week.

      Use sound enrichment as I've mentioned above in a manner that you find suitable and particularly at night. Quiet rooms and surroundings are to be avoided at all cost. Sound enrichment shouldn't be played loud. Classical music playing in the background during the day is ideal but not for night time use.

      Acquiring a positive mindset

      A few people have contacted me and asked what do they need to do to be more positive, as they are finding it difficult even though they try not to think negatively when their tinnitus is intrusive. Others are wondering will they improve to the point where the tinnitus will remain low or go away completely and never be heard? Some are worried they might never habituate and this is causing some concern.

      The habituation process can be complex and each person’s journey through it will be unique to them. Most people do habituate and are able to carry on and lead a fulfilling life doing everything that they want to. However, it seems some people find this hard to believe and I understand this having habituated to tinnitus twice. On both occasions it required patience, determination and the belief that I would improve even at those times when I felt that I was at my lowest ebb.

      Tinnitus can affect our emotions significantly and one must try to remember that. Anything that we can do to bring calm and relaxation into our life will usually have a beneficial effect and make it less intrusive. The opposite is true the more stressed we become as the noise will appear to be louder and more noticeable. Those new to tinnitus sometimes find this particularly difficult and if hyperacusis is present it can add to the dilemma. The whole process can became overwhelming at times but my advice, is to take things slowly and not to push too hard as this will put additional pressure on yourself that you really don’t need it. Whenever difficult times arrive, try accentuating the positive things in your life and focusing on them as this will help maintain your resolve.

      For a moment think of the brain as a computer and our thoughts are the software that helps to drive it to enable it to do certain tasks. If the software is not running smoothly and unfettered the computer will not operate correctly. Similarly, if our thoughts are constantly taken up with negative thinking this can eventually have a detrimental effect on our well-being. I am not suggesting never to feel negative about your tinnitus I am saying, try not to allow negativity to become all consuming. Again, this isn’t easy especially in the early stages of tinnitus and takes time to learn but don’t believe that it is unobtainable as this will instill negative thinking.

      How many times have you come up against a problem that you have been unable to find a solution to? Given the chance to mull things over for a while or after a good night sleep can often be beneficial. By the next day as if by a miracle, you have discovered an answer or made the right decision about something of importance. I believe this happens because the mind is calm and less stressed. I have heard writers and people that work in the arts, say their best ideas and inspirations comes to them when they feel this way. It’s as if the mind energy is able to expand and reach outwards tapping into some unknown source in the universe. I prefer to be more realistic and see it as when we are calm and relaxed, we are able to think more clearly and positively. Life will usually become easier and less problematic which has to be a good thing.

      Whatever type of tinnitus you have, by this I mean the level of intrusiveness. Being able to think positively will have a beneficial effect by making its perception lower and the habituation process easier. Bringing positivity into your life takes time and isn’t achieved overnight. To start this process of acquiring a more positive mindset, I suggest practicing deep relaxation and muscle exercises. When done regularly the benefits will soon be realized and you will surprise yourself at what you will be able to achieve. This form of therapy is often mentioned in tinnitus books to help people with the condition. Likewise Yoga and CBT Mindfulness classes can be helpful.

      Deep relaxation and muscles exercises cost nothing to learn providing you can spare up to thirty minutes of your time: three, four or five days per week. Just go to Youtube where there are many relaxation videos to choose and download and some come with narration, so you’ll be guided through the exercises from beginning to end. Once you become proficient at it you will be able to relax at will any time of the day.

      Please click on the links at the bottom of the page and print the articles and refer to them regularly. There is also a link that will take you to YouTube, and will give information on relaxation therapy.

      Michael

      Progressive Muscle Relaxation For Management...

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/positivity-and-tinnitus.12060/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/staying-positive-with-tinnitus.12069/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-positivity-important.23150/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-the-negative-mindset.23705/
       
    17. Burnsie

      Burnsie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04.2015
      Wow. I hope you didn't type all that out!!

      But thanks for the information, it was gratefully received.

      I note that you said "habituating for a second time". I think this is where I am.... T 2.5 year ago was forgotten... probably too much (wasn't a protective of my ears as I should have done!!) And so now I've got a slightly more intrusive T (even though I don't think it's got louder or changed pitch) but I now hear it in places I never had before.

      I'm not too much of a stress head, which is good. My "new" t makes masking harder, but it is what it is. It's not as bad as many on here...
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I hope to receive my cheque in the mail..:p
       
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    19. Burnsie

      Burnsie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04.2015
      Yeah, okay.... Write your address in full here....

      Or put your bank account details on and I'll send it across......
       
      • Hug Hug x 1

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