Can You Habituate to Hyperacusis?

Discussion in 'Support' started by GaryTH, Sep 28, 2020.

    1. GaryTH
      Panicky

      GaryTH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise exposure, stress, NSAIDS, eabuds, shingles vaccine
      It seems that most of the posts about people successfully habituating have to do with tinnitus only.

      Are there folks who have fully habituated with both hyperacusis and tinnitus or even just hyperacusis?

      It would seem to me that one would have to become desensitized to hyperacusis before any habituation takes place, or am I wrong?
       
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    2. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      I would not say I habituated. I just took the hits of severe hyperacusis during many years and in the end I lost some hearing.

      Most of the time I kept living as normally as I could. Over time I was able to travel by plane, car etc, go to quiet restaurants and stuff like that. When my hyperacusis was severe I was pretty much homebound most of the time.
       
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    3. weab00
      Gloomy

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      nunya
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      some good mf music
      Sorry to hear that man. I feel hopeless reading the general consensus on hyperacusis that your ears are permanently weakened and damaged. Feels like I'm doomed to spend the rest of my life in my room or the quietest fringes of society.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GaryTH
      Panicky

      GaryTH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise exposure, stress, NSAIDS, eabuds, shingles vaccine
      I know in my case, my hyperacusis fluctuates during certain times. One of them is after running. Endorphins make me feel more normal and the hyperacusis tones down. Fewer high frequencies bother me and sounds don't seem as loud. I can listen to my car radio at a higher volume without it making my ears flutter and the sound distorting, etc.

      The other time is after a hot shower. Normally even the squeaking of floorboards I walk over bother me, as does the sound of the shower water hitting the tile, toilet flushes, etc. But after a 10 minute very hot shower, the sounds don't bother me for about an hour.

      I'm not sure what this means. I watched the presidential debate on a friend's iPad. At first the sound was grating on my ears, and it even made one of my ears flutter. But the volume was only at 50% so I decided to tolerate it and weirdly, my tolerance increased. By the end of the debate, it wasn't bothering almost at all. It's like my ears got used to it. I believe I may have some psychological aspects to my hyperacusis and maybe phonophobia as well.

      Don't give up, as many have had their noise induced (hearing loss) hyperacusis resolve completely or greatly reduced through sound desensitization, TRT, etc. You might read an experience on here that may help you.

      Good luck brother.
       
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    5. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      My hyperacusis has improved greatly in the last year. I no longer fear leaving the house. Pots and pans in the kitchen can still be a problem, but I'm hopeful.
       
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    6. weab00
      Gloomy

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      nunya
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      some good mf music
      Thanks for the support man. I'm considering buying a $400 pair of in-ear sound generators to try out noise therapy. Hyperacusis has been the worst thing to ever happen to me because I love listening to and making music. And to add insult to injury, I developed visual snow syndrome :/
       
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    7. TSmith28

      TSmith28 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Electric guitar via amp
      I feel your pain...literally! Listening to music (live and recorded) over the years surely damaged my ears and playing guitar for 20+ years hasn't helped. In fact my H started recently after a night of playing my electric guitar with high gain (at low volume) and stupidly sitting right in front of the amp. My right ear has been hurting and sensitive to high pitched noise since that day. Despite all the advice to the contrary from fellow H sufferers, I'm not willing to give up guitar. My goal is to find a happy medium whereby I can safely play either acoustic or electric with clean tone (no more gain for me) with earplugs. Hope that's possible!
       
    8. weab00
      Gloomy

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      nunya
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      some good mf music
      I agree, people tell me to find a new passion, but they don't understand what's it like to be impassioned by music. My hope is that regenerative treatments like FX-322 and OTO-413 will live up to the hype and I'll be able to live out my dream of being a musician... someday...
       
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    9. Orions Pain
      Sad

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      It depends on the type of hyperacusis that you have. Mild “loudness” hyperacusis type of hyperacusis where you’re just sensitive to things like dishes being put away tends to resolve with time. This is the most common type of hyperacusis it seems, at least on this board

      Once you get into any sort of pain, trigeminal nerve involvement or middle ear involvement where you’re experiencing TTTS and things like that it’s a bit more complex.

      I don’t think habituation can be applied to hyperacusis. With tinnitus it works because the whole idea is your brain sees the sound as non-threatening. With hyperacusis, if you’re experiencing pain I don’t think you can ever truly habituate to that (to both pain or things like TTTS). In my opinion habituation and desensitization are very different things and you can’t really become “desensitized to hyperacusis”, but you can become desensitized to sound. Loudness hyperacusis tends to responds well to desensitization.
       
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    10. Matthew Piecora
      Batty

      Matthew Piecora Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      7/1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      From what I have learned from my visits to ear specialists is that if you can correct what is causing Hyperacusis it will go away. So for me I have a triple fusion in my neck and I have been super tense due to my sisters health, covid, work stressors and the rest of the mélange of life along with grinding my teeth has caused my T and Hyperacusis. They believe if I can strengthen my neck and destress I will be rid of the hyperacusis along with the Tinnitus. What I have been doing is wearing an ear plug for parts of the day when I don't need to have great hearing and than taking the plug out when I am home. I work in music/audio so I am stuck forcing myself to habituate. Basically habituate or.. or nothing else. Basically I am gonna keep doing what I am doing but add a lot more exercise and stay hopeful.
       
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    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Matthew Perrotta

      Sorry to know of the stress and discomfort that you are going through and hope your symptoms improve. One of the main causes of hyperacusis is exposure to loud noise and typically, it's associated with the onset of noise induced tinnitus. Hyperacusis can improve by itself over a period of time but if it doesn't professional help may need to be sought, by seeing an Audiologist that specialises in tinnitus and hyperacusis management and treatment. Counselling may be required too.

      A person can habituate to tinnitus but if the hyperacusis is still present and does not improve naturally or with treatment, it can become a long term problem by manifesting itself as tinnitus spikes and oversensitivity to sound. Hyperacusis at a low level can be tolerable but not ideal for it is treatment that is needed. Therefore, habituating to hyperacusis is somewhat different to habituating tinnitus. One of the best self help methods for treating hyperacusis and also tinnitus is not to use headphones even at low volume, when the cause is noise induced tinnitus. As you work in music and audio, I believe these can present problems for you especially if you are using headphones, earbuds or using studio monitors near-field. Even listening at low to moderate levels of music/audio for long durations, because it is your work may make the healing process of hyperacusis difficult, and if you're not careful might make the condition worse.

      Sorry to sound so sobering but the belief some people with tinnitus and hyperacusis have, that they can continue playing in a band or doing studio work monitoring and mixing audio as a profession for long durations, which doesn't necessarily have to be loud will cause no harm is not true. I know there are people that work in the music business with tinnitus and have no problems but each person is different. Please be under no illusion the risk is always there that these conditions can get worse. Sadly many find this out when the tinnitus, hyperacusis or both reach a point they find them debilitating. My reason for replying to your post is just to make you aware and others reading this thread, that tinnitus and hyperacusis are not easy so be careful.

      Please click on the links below that you might find helpful.

      I wish you well.
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-complexities-of-tinnitus-and-hyperacusis.25733/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/what-is-severe-debilitating-tinnitus.35032/


       
    12. Croaker
      Haunting

      Croaker Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019 T, 04/2020 H
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones/Car Alarm/Immune Response?
      Whatever you all do, be careful with “forcing” a recovery. You cannot will yourself to suddenly not have hyperacusis. It’s a physical problem with a physical solution and if you say “F it I’m just gonna deal with it starting right now” you will probably pay for that. Of course, I myself have experienced variation in my sensitivity from my mental state. So I’m not saying you should hide in your room until we have a cure. Just be careful. I see a lot of posts on here saying “yeah I’ve had this for 3 years and I wear plugs sometimes but I keep getting setbacks from walking next to a busy street! It was only for 2 minutes what the heck man!” You can’t negotiate with the disease, it doesn’t care that you really need to work or that you wore plugs for half the day so you deserve to not have a setback from the random noise that just happened.
       
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    13. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      That happens to me too, and I don't know the reason. My guess would be better blood flow? However, my ENT said that the micro-circulation of blood in the inner ear does not react very well to stuff like Betaserc or other medication to improve bood circulation, and I am not sure if the changes we experience in our hearing after exercise can be due to better circulation.

      Actually if we put things in perspective, a young person, without diabetes, without smoking or drinking, without any obvious blood circulation issues, should not have a problem with this related specifically to the inner ear.. would be so strange... but hyperacusis is strange and I experience the benefit of exercise and warm showers too.

      However, the benefits of exercise do not outweigh (for me) the damage that can be caused by being "hit" by loud sound while doing exercise (for instance, an accidental sound from a power tool around or stuff like that).
       
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    14. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Very wise words. One has to do things, but balancing the risks very well, and this is a tough exercise to do.
       
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    15. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      As for music, if hyperacusis turns into some hearing loss (like it happened to me over the years), it is harder to tell one instrument from another in a song, as sounds tend to merge, specially high pitched sounds, because normally people tend to lose hearing before in the higher frequencies.

      So for instance if you listened to Mötley Crue (I chose this group because Vince Neil has such a high pitched voice), you wont hear the lead singer's voice distinctively against the background. The idea here is that the voice is layered opposite the other instruments...

      Or regarding Latin music, let's say you play Juan Luis Guerra (also high pitched nasal voice), and try to listen to the fast rhythms behind the song, the beat etc When my ears were fine, I could isolate every instrument in the song and focus on that part (apparently this is not very common either) but now I am just at a loss. If you want to make the test yourself, listen for instance to the song "Ojalá que llueva café" and try to focus on the beat at the background, which is very fast and there should be several instruments there... for me I just cant do it anymore, but with fine ears you should be able to follow the rhythm and tell out every instrument.
       
    16. weab00
      Gloomy

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      nunya
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      some good mf music
      Shit man that sucks, sorry to hear about your hearing loss. Being passionate about music with hyperacusis is very challenging indeed. I hope I manage to heal enough within a year to at least perceive music without distortions and pain.
       
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    17. Athens

      Athens Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/27/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello. How long did you have hyperacusis before you experienced the improvement that you reference?
       
    18. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I started improving by around 6 months. From onset in May 2019, I was able to go for a quiet meal out with a couple of friends by Christmas, using earplugs. I've had further improvements over the following 6 months, but no more since then. Life is still difficult, just not the extreme torture where even my own voice affected my ears.
       
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    19. Athens

      Athens Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/27/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have had it since September of 2020. I am able to engage in a lot of activities, but I have limitations. My issues seem reactive so my ears are very sensitive to even normal, everyday noise like the faucet running, the crinkling of a paper bag, etc. If my sleep stabilized over a long period of time, I think that I might see some improvement. The tinnitus seems to be increasing along with the hyperacusis. I am 56 and I know that some people have taken years to see improvement.
       
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    20. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      @Athens, I'm 56 as well. My tinnitus is noise-induced.

      Amitriptyline - plus a new mattress - have helped my sleep and my symptoms.

      What have you tried?
       
    21. Athens

      Athens Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/27/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Clonazepam (I am down to just .5 mg), Zolpidem (I am down to 5 mg), and 5 mg of Melatonin. I have been taking these medications for many months and have probably developed tolerance. My sleep is better in many respects than when I first developed tinnitus, but I still have some tough nights. I have tried Mirtazapine and Trazodone in low doses for sleep but they were not effective. I have heard that some people have taken Amitriptyline for sleep.

      How long have you experienced hyperacusis?
       
    22. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Since around June 2019. I got permanent severe tinnitus the previous month and the hyperacusis developed some weeks later. Have had varying episodes of tinnitus and distorted sounds since the mid-90s when I was either playing or attending around 60 gigs a year. Started my earplug usage during that time but it's been too little too late.

      I have accepted that truly good sleep is a thing of the past. 5-6 hours a night is a good night. All part of the new normal.

      I do believe that tolerance for sleep medication can decrease its effectiveness. Mostly now I rely on herbal sleeping aids like Valerian, Passion Flower and Hip Strobile, with an over-the-counter sleeping aid like Diphenhydramine one or two nights per week.
       
    23. Athens

      Athens Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/27/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Are you also taking Amitriptyline for your sleep?

      I played live music for decades without protection. It is interesting that some older people have played live music far longer than I have without adequate protection but have not experienced any tinnitus or hyperacusis.
       
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    24. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I haven't taken Amitriptyline since 2020. The main reason I took it was for my sleep, which it did help, and I hoped it would also help my tinnitus and hyperacusis, which it did. I've not taken it since 2020 though because of the side effects. Search for "Amitriptyline" in my posts to find out more.

      I would still recommend it for someone who is desperate for sleep and whose tinnitus is not brought on by any medication or chemical cause. Some people have reported a worsening of their tinnitus whilst on Amitriptyline, but it's difficult to say whether this is causation or correlation. It certainly helped me and a couple of mornings I didn't hear any tinnitus at all for several hours. The main benefit was helping my hyperacusis to ease off from an 8 or 9 to around a 7, and then later on it eased to around a 6 out of 10 - still life-altering but manageable with care.
       
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    25. Athens

      Athens Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/27/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Do you recall the dosage that you took of Amitriptyline?
       
    26. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      It was a very low dose. 20 mg which I reduced quite quickly to 10 mg just because of the side effects. I still seemed to get the same benefits.

      I've heard of people being prescribed anything from 50 mg to 120 mg which is the case if the patient's anxiety or sleep deprivation is more severe.

      Also some patients find Nortriptyline to be a more manageable alternative. I haven't tried that one myself.

      When I came off it I tapered down to 5 mg for a few weeks, then after that for a while I was just using the crumbs from trying to cut half a 10 mg pill again, just to get my system used to managing without it. I also started using herbal sleep remedies at the same time.
       
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