Can Permanent Tinnitus Due to Loud Music Be Treated?

Discussion in 'Support' started by mtobler, Jul 3, 2013.

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    1. mtobler

      mtobler Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      Hi Everyone,

      About a year ago I bought a pair of Beat'z by Dr Dre which ultimately caused permanent tinnitus in my left ear. Admittedly I only have myself to blame for this. So far I've had the tinnitus for 7 months and it's extremely annoying when I'm trying to fall asleep and also in the early mornings when I want to continue on sleeping. I have not seen a Dr. about this yet although maybe I should consult Dr. Dre and get a good referral.
      My Question: Is there really any point seeing an ENT when you have permanent tinnitus due loud music ? Is there anything they can actually do to improve the ringing in my ear?
       
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    2. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      The quick answers to your questions are yes and maybe.

      So far nothing has come to the forefront as a sure cure for tinnitus. ENTs typically are not all that great of help, but occassionally you'll find one that may steer you towards something worthwhile. At the very least an ENT can give you some peace of mind that you don't have something more serious going on, or that you don't have something that can be quickly addressed (like an ear wax plug). I know you stated that you got T from using ear buds probably at a high volume, but weird things can happen. A guy I work with developed T from using ear buds, but it wasn't from hearing damage. Evidently the buds had a cellophane/plastic coating on them that came off in his ear. He did not realize it. When he went to the ENT, the doctor pulled the plastic out and his T went away.

      If you read the many topics here in the Treatments and Alternative Treatments and Research sections you'll find a lot of ideas, some of which have helped people. Different strokes for different folks though;some things work for one person but not another. A couple of things that may still be options for you are hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) or steroids. Both of these treatments are for recent onset acute tinnitus. They may help restore life to damaged hair cells in your inner ear. The effectiveness of these treatments diminish as more time passes since onset. I think 6 months is generally considered the limit, but there are cases where people have benefitted after longer periods. There are a few FDA approved treatments for tinnitus - one is neuromodulation which this forum discusses quite a bit. There are a few neuromodulation devices that have FDA approval, and sufferers have benefited from them, but the talk here is that the effectiveness is not as great as the manufacturers claim. Many people find some relief with alternative therapies, but complete elimination of the bothersome noise is rare. You'll find a great deal of info on many different therapies on the pages here.

      It would probably be worth your while to see an ENT and at least have a hearing test done to see if you have had a hearing loss. The odds are you have, but it may not show up on a garden variety hearing test which only goes up to 8 kHz. Humans can actually hear frequencies as high as 20 kHz, so to really see if hearing loss corresponds with your T you should have a high freq hearing test which typically would go up to 15 kHz. Your ENT may or may not accomodate your request for a high freq test. If not, you could try seeing an audiologist on your own. There are also a couple of websites where you can supposedly test your own hearing. I have not tried them. In addition, you might want to find the frequency of your tinnitus. If it is a reasonably pure single tone you can go to the Audio Notch web site and use the tool they have for that purpose (http://www.audionotch.com/app/tune/). There are a few other sites that have similar tools. Typically your tinnitus frequency will coincide with your hearing loss frequency. Sometimes an ENT or audiologist will administer tests to find your T freq.

      If you have a significant hearing loss, then hearing aids are a good alternative for dealing with T, but of course I don't think anyone looks forward to hearing aids unless they really need them. Various masking sounds and nueromodulation tones can be added to hearing aids as well.

      Read the info in this forum; there really is a lot of good info here. I think you'll find something helpful.
       
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    3. mtobler

      mtobler Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      Hi Mick,

      Thanks for your lengthy and extremely informative reply ! From what you have outlined I definitely think it can't hurt to get a medical diagnosis in order to rule out something ridiculous like a plastic coating from an ear-bud or something minor such as years of accumulated earwax. To be honest I am a little complexed because sometimes I don't notice the ringing at all and then other times it's extremely noticeable. Do you by any chance know if ENT's can actually see damage to the eardrum such as with a microscopic camera ?
       
    4. frohike
      Approved

      frohike Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      If your hearing is damaged because of acoustic trauma, the damage will be in the hair cells of the cochlea. That kind of damage is best detected with a simple hearing test, otherwise it would require surgery and an electronic microscope to actually see it.

      The eardrum can be examined by any doctor with a otoscope. If there is a hole, inflammation, infection, or a foreign body, he will be able to see it. If the hole is too small to be seen, it will heal on its own. This is an unexpensive procedure. Same as a hearing test or cleaning wax.

      The ringing changes through the day and through the years. It can be affected by sleep, stress, food, and noise. Just keep yourself below 85db noise and you'll be fine.

      Sometimes you may even hear a louder ring for less than 10 seconds. This is called “Transient Spontaneous Tinnitus”, I get this now and then, I used to worry it could be permanent, but it seems to be a common condition even on healthy people. If it lasts more than 5 minutes, it's called “Prolonged Spontaneous Tinnitus” and it also goes away on its own.
       
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    5. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      mtobler,

      I don't have anything to add to what frohike said.

      I will add something to my earlier reply though. If you are in the US, it is unlikely that an ENT will ever recommend HBOT (probably because it is not approved by the FDA for that purpose), but it doesn't hurt to ask. You can find hyperbaric chambers at hospitals, but they typically charge ungodly fees, and because it is not FDA approved treatment for tinnitus, very few, if any, insurance plans would cover such treatment. And of course, you would still need a doctors order. HBOT is commonly used in the US for treatment of infections, hard to heal wounds/ulcers common to diabetics, and decrompression sickness (the bends). One of the members on this forum ( @Goofy ) found a hyperbaric chamber run by a non-profit organization in Ohio with affordable fees. The name of the place is Sara's Garden (http://www.sarasgarden.org/).

      I'm not saying HBOT is the right thing for you, but in case you choose to look into it I wanted to make sure you were better informed.

      mick
       
    6. Goofy
      Goofy

      Goofy Member

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013

      I was around the 3month mark when I started. I did three weeks total and it seemed to help at first but then was back to the same after a couple weeks. I don't know if more treatments would have helped or not.
       
    7. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      The ENT that diagnosed my T was also a surgeon, he told me that there's no way of getting any visual proof of hearing loss. Not with surgery or scanning. It's too hidden by thick bone and tissue he said, so I guess the microscopic images of inner ear hair cells are done with dead people. I hope I understood him correctly but asked numerous times cause I was so surprised by it. He just kept repeating that theres no safe way of actually getting into the inner ear with instruments by surgery, MRI scanning of the head don't create any results either he said.

      Perhaps this is why so many are misplaced in their T category? I don't know my own T cause, I just have to guess and try to reason. Could be anything because I tick almost every box.
       
    8. frohike
      Approved

      frohike Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      You are both right, watching the cells is only done on dead people. Sorry if this confused you. The hearing test is not going to tell you if Tinnitus is the symptom or a cause of hearing loss. That is, if your cells are dead or if your cells are OK and your hearing loss is due to Tinnitus interfering with external sound. If anything, if your Tinnitus stopped for while, you could do a hearing test and see if your hearing still works.

      In any case, this is a protocol to diagnose and treat Tinnitus patients: http://www.tinnitusresearch.org/en/projects/flowchart_en.php Note that MRI is on the diagram, but not to measure your hearing. For example, in case of acoustic trauma, it is used to discard a very small chance (3,000 cases/year in the US) of acoustic neuroma (a tumor on the nerve tissue).
       
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    9. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD

      Yes, this is a useful chart!:) Perhaps, it should included it in the knowledge base or at least referenced in it. I wonder how many US ENTs are aware of the flowchart--let alone the TRI? My guess is not many. Despite all the research into understanding the various tinnitus etiologies and analyzing potential treatment modalities, I believe most ENTs find the disease uninteresting--to be polite. Though ENTs will readily give MRI's to rule out more unusual causes of tinnitus like acoustic neuromas, they generally seem to be uninterested in the disease or its sufferers. Perhaps, this is an unwritten philosophy of medical school: that which I cannot cure I do not care about!

      I don't want to be negative. I respect the medical profession, and I know that some care deeply. They are among the physicians involved in research--along with a cadre of other medical specialists and Ph.D.s. But my experiences with three ENTs, two of which hold academic posts, has left me less than sanguine. I am, however, quite optimistic that tinnitus will be--if not cured--then at least rendered a non issue for most people within perhaps five years. Of course, we all want a cure; but that will probably take longer given the current state of research and time it takes to get treatments to market.
       
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    10. Piper
      Loved

      Piper Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 2013
      Its definatley worth seeing ENT, they may do an MRI scan , they did with me and it showed a benign tumour leaning on a nerve to the ear, although they do say that the tinnitus was probably due to playing in bands for years.
       
    11. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Seeing an ENT early after noise exposure may be the difference between developing tinnitus or not. ENTs should offer you some type of steriod--either oral or injected into your eardrum--to help with the inflammation. Reducing the inflammation limits the damage done by the trauma--whether it be loud music, scuba diving, etc. Besides steroids, NMDA antagonists--which reduce hyperactivity in the cochlear--are a new class being developed and are given through ear injections, utilizing the round window membrane.

      Since you are about seven months into your injury, I don't believe steroids would help at this point--but you could still see an ENT (or two) and ask about them. Perhaps, you could find an ENT that will enroll you in AM 101's upcoming clinical trial in August. It's possible that you could still get some relief.

      See http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01803646?term=auris medical&rank=4 for information on Auris Medical's upcoming trial.

      I would still try to do something. You never know. One member of TT, Fish, did AM 101's trial, even though his trauma was greater than six months and he got some relief. See https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-whole-truth-about-my-t-and-how-i-treated-it.696/
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    12. Ross Dyer

      Ross Dyer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2 days ago
      I was able to cure mine all by myself

      I went for years in pain and then for 1 month I drank a bottle of Coca Cola every morning and night and it went away!!!!
       
      • Creative Creative x 1
    13. jeannie
      Stressed

      jeannie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced, Ear Infection, Medication... Who knows?
      So do you have tinnitus Ross?
       
    14. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      I would not recommend coke as it will keep you awake and a big sugar rush that can trigger a spike.
      A hot milky drink at night would be a better option..lots of love glynis
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    15. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
    16. Geoffreybillaro4

      Geoffreybillaro4 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      When a loud noise hits (speaking, horns, things dropping) my tinnitus goes off for a day or so. It then calms.

      Has anyone tried wearing earplugs all day to protect the ears?
       
    17. noahv

      noahv Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      George Clinton and P-Funk
    18. Mahr
      Tired

      Mahr Member Benefactor

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown, probably hair cell damage
      No, and I won't. Shutting out all the noise would let my T peak. I need some noises if only to get some distraction of the T
       

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