Completely Recovered from My Hyperacusis and Chronic Ear Pain

Discussion in 'Support' started by yonkapin, Mar 28, 2016.

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    1. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      I don't post here anywhere as much as I used to, but just wanted to give an update on my situation and say that my hyperacusis is completely gone.

      Got tinnitus in 2012, and then made it worse (through barotrauma) mid way through 2013 and gave myself hyperacusis and chronic ear pain, also had other symptoms such as hearing distortion and tonic tensor tympani syndrome.

      Pain was mostly in my left ear and was basically there all the time and would be made a lot worse with any exposure to loud noise. Had to give up a lot of things and life was super difficult, especially for the first 12 months. I remember the pain being so bad that the whole left side of my face would hurt, especially along the jaw line and behind the ear. Would also experience some insane tinnitus spikes in my left ear. Also remember having a bunch of other symptoms, very similar to what I used to read about on here and other forums like hyperacusis chat (that place is grim) but they seemed to go away pretty quick.

      Basically my symptoms just started to get better over time. I'd say all my symptoms were quite severe from mid 2013 through to most of 2014. Towards the end of 2014 I noticed slight improvements but it was basically a roller coaster. I'd have good days, then bad days - or I'd be on a good streak and then expose myself to loud noise somehow and the pain would come back with a vengeance.

      Things really started to improve in 2015 and by the time it was June most of my symptoms had calmed down, didn't want to get too excited during any of this though because I was so used to expecting the pain to come back at some point.

      Anyway, fast forward to now and I've been pain free for months and my sound sensitivity is basically back to normal. I'm back to doing a lot of things I was avoiding before and even getting exposed to loud noises intermittently doesn't seem to trigger any pain in my left ear anymore. It's a huge relief because I basically reserved myself to expecting the hyperacusis was something I was going to have to just live with for the rest of my life.

      I still have crazy tinnitus, and tonic tympani syndrome (certain frequencies make my ears twitch and spasm, but it's not as bad as it used to be though) and that sucks but it's made a huge difference not having to worry about the constant pain or worried about some sound exposure setting me back weeks.

      I'm still careful with my hearing though and will always be. I wear custom ear plugs when I need to and I'm sensible about what I expose my ears, but I'm very much of the belief that you shouldn't over protect your hearing.

      Hopefully my situation continues to improve but I just wanted to give some of you this update because I know how much hyperacusis can affect you and how much it is truly a miserable experience that most other people will never understand. My friends and family were pretty good but it was hard for them to understand why it was so difficult for me to do "normal" things.

      So yeah, while it might seem like the end of the world right now - stay positive, be sensible with your hearing and just try to lead a generally healthy lifetime and hopefully things will improve sooner rather than later!
       
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    2. Sebastians

      Sebastians Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13/10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Guitars, loud girls and guns
      That's absolutely fabulous mate! Good to see one can recover from severe H given time and a positive mindset.
      Could you shed some light on the activities you are currently doing with and without earplugs?
      And did you treat your ears with gradual exposure to sounds or did you allow your ears to rest in relative silence after sudden noise exposure?
       
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    3. Reinier
      Not amused

      Reinier Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Explosion starting engine
      @yonkapin
      A post I can use right now. I had given up hope after almost a year of hyperacusis (without the pain), tinnitus and distorted hearing. I don't mind if it takes two or three years. It can still improve! That is important.
      Do you have hearing loss?
      Are you, young, middle aged or older?
      I am 56 so healing (if it is physical healing) could take longer than when one is 20 years of age.
      Especially the distorted hearing an hyperacusis are horrible. I don't like to talk any more because my voice sounds distorted in my most effected ear.
      Thanks for taking the effort posting this good news.
       
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    4. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      Cheers.

      So when my hyperacusis was at it's absolute worst, I gave up the gym, going to the movies, going to bars, and I would avoid anything really loud like using power tools, etc. It was a struggle to even walk through city streets. I also was studying and making music before the tinnitus and hyperacusis, when the hyperacusis kicked in I basically had to give that up for a long while too.

      I'm back doing all those things now. I'm at the gym 5 days a week now, and I've noticed my sound sensitivity has really improved because even the sound of idiots dropping heavy ass weights next to me doesn't seem to bother me anymore. And yeah, back to seeing movies, going to bars and I spent about 4 months renovating a house which meant having to expose myself to all sorts of noise: power tools, ripping stuff apart, etc. I just use ear plugs or ear muffs where necessary. Also back making music regularly. I use ear plugs at certain bars if they are loud, in certain movies if they are too much (depends on the movie and cinema really) and obviously muffs when using power tools. I don't use plugs to make music though, I'm just sensible with loudness and the time I spend exposed to moderately loud volume.

      I didn't really ever completely stay away from noise to give my ears a "complete" rest, but as I felt things slightly improving I would try to push myself and expose myself gradually to louder and louder noise to see how I would react.
       
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    5. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      I was 23 when I got tinnitus and then 24 when I got full blown hyperacusis. I definitely feel you with the hearing distortion, mine lasted a good 6 months initially and then it would come and go for about a year after that, my distortion would be best described as being high frequency distortion - sounds like showers, metal clangs, plastic bags, typing and clicking on keyboards seemed to be way loud and just sound plain nasty.

      Also I do have hearing loss at certain frequencies, nothing too bad though. Couple -10db notches around 4khz, one -15db notch at 12khz and I did have a -20db notch near 18-20khz but that's to be expected given how much I've blasted my ears with music. Once most people hit 18 and get going into their 20's, they're already losing bits of high frequency hearing, just depends how diligent you are at protecting it, but even then genetics can cause some tomfoolery.
       
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    6. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Glad to see you're doing better. From what I've heard hyperacusis tends to get better with time, but T does not.

      Is that Mark Hunt in your avatar?
       
    7. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      Thanks, and yep the one and only walk off KO king haha
       
    8. MidnightOilAudio
      Wishful

      MidnightOilAudio Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Way to go man. Happy for you.
       
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    9. japongus

      japongus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1998

      What do you mean by ''hyperacusis without the pain''?
       
    10. Reinier
      Not amused

      Reinier Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Explosion starting engine
      As far as I know intolerance to normal sound without the pain also falls under hyperacusis.
      As an example, I am not able to tolerate running water from the tap or taking a shower without earplugs.
      I do not experience pain after sound exposure.
       
    11. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      Damage to the auditory nerve fibers of our hearing abilities cause a change in ones hearing threshold. The more in-going (afferent) nerve fibers you have on each hair cell, the lower your hearing threshold will be, allowing you to hear much more clearly and loudly in the brain to where you can process frequencies very well. The less in-going nerve fibers you have and the more out-going nerve fibers you have which have been found to replace these lost nerve fibers, cause a shift in your hearing threshold and therefore you will not be able to "process" higher frequencies as the conversion of the sound wave between the inner ear and the brain will be drowned out by whichever sound wave contains a higher volume of dB. For example, if you have classical music playing in a speaker and next to it you have a whole construction crew working dismantling a building, the louder dB will be won by the group on the right and therefore your lower threshold will not allow you to process the softer and quieter sound waves of the classical music playing on a speaker to your left. Noises seem louder in the brain but they aren't painful unless you've first damaged these in-going nerve fibers and your brain has been introduced to this new change in the mechanisms of emotionally informational processing. These in-going nerve fibers are what control the brains "gain knob".

      Damage these in-going nerves and the brain will be caused to turn up it's "gain knob" thus causing pain from noise at first and after so many months of adapting to this new change in "hearing", you should not feel as much sensitivity and pain to noise, yet sounds will still become much louder and it will be harder for you to process sounds in noisy areas, hence older adults who use hearing aids to try and process sound better. Hearing aids only amplify sound waves into your inner ear which does not solve anything.

      Scroll down a bit on this website and it talks about hidden hearing loss, hyperacusis, nerve fiber loss, and hearing thresholds.

      http://hyperacusisfocus.org/innerear/
       
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    12. jeanoroid
      Yeehaw

      jeanoroid Member

      Location:
      Nashville
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / headphones
      Oh yes, I have that TTS or myoclonus or whatever the hell it's called. My ENT, who is supposedly a bight tinnitus guy didn't know what the hell I was on about when I explained that my left ear physically "thumps" when I run a bathroom fan or walk near a water cooler.
      That problem for the most part is gone now, but the T and H are always there..
       
    13. Anne_1994
      Curious

      Anne_1994 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I have hyperacusis, but slight tinnitus
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hyperacusis- ear syringing
      Hi there.I had blocked ears for a few weeks. I went to the nurse and she syringed them (no choice but to syringe them unfortunately, ears could not have been unblocked any other way ie- ear drops :( ) After syringing I noticed that a lot of sounds seemed louder and more piercing in my ears, especially when driving. Things such as doors opening, paper, crisp packet, turning on the gas cooker, setting down glasses or handling plates and more sounds are slightly uncomfortable. Even though I know people are talking it sounds a lot louder now. I looked this up and found that i must have hyperacusis, I've had H for two days now, hoping it gets better with time. Can anyone offer advice when it is ok to start going to a nightclub again, or if this sensitivity to sound will die down within the next few months?!! I'm 21 btw
       
    14. Hopeful1
      Depressed

      Hopeful1 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      @Anne_1994 If i were you i would not go to clubs ever again even with ear plugs( i got h and t even with musicians ear plugs).....it not worth risking lifetime of peace....i think there are lot many enjoyable things to do than clubbing....
       
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    15. Philip83
      Jaded

      Philip83 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Swede living in Austria
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma from loud moped (2001) Noise blast (2014)

      Good to hear! Did you ever do that Ketamine trip? :)
       
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    16. japongus

      japongus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1998

      I didn't see your response back when you did it, but the idea of hidden hearing loss being the kind of hearing loss that involves older people finding it hard to differentiate foreground signal from background signal, is mind-blowing to me given how I have no difficulty differentiating signal from background and in fact I find signal so much more painful than background. Almost as if I've had hidden hearing gain instead. Also I did a poll on hyperacusis sufferers facebook page and it seems my signal-predominent sound discomfort may be the majority's experience with hyperacusis.
       
    17. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      Haha, I actually did but was at a party. Would have no idea if it helped my tinnitus in anyway. I don't think I noticed any immediate effects, so we'll call it a bust. I'll give it another crack in the future.
       
    18. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      The strange thing I don't understand is for those who have this sensitivity to sounds for a very long period of time. How long have you had this going on for now? It makes sense to me that these (in going) nerve fibers are like cables for a microphone (being a selected hair cell frequency) on a stand. If you unplug (lose) some of these cables, not only will the microphone not pick up/process as much sound as clearly and loudly as it would with the extra cables giving it power, the sound that the microphone would be introduced to would be much louder since the extra cables aren't giving it the strength and power it needs to pick up such fine frequencies/sound.

      The sensory cells of our cochleas and the deep core of our inner ear is so incredibly small. It's insane that we can pick/process sound in such a way with these tiny little cells. But really, it's not just the sensory cells job to pick up sound. If you understand what I stated above, the nerve fibers that attach to these hair cells help us process sound and "hear" sound in a louder emotional manner. After being introduced to loud noise depending on the decibels of the noise or for how long this noise has been entering your cochlea, these nerve fibers can easily disconnect thus causing a ringing sensation after the effect. I would believe that it's the outer hair cells, those of much higher frequencies than the normal frequency range we can hear speech from, are the ones that cause "sensitivity to sound". For the brain to be able to "hear" higher frequencies, it needs plenty of Efferent nerve fibers on those locations. It makes sense that with noise introduction and loss of these fibers to the higher frequency hair cells, the brains gain will be affected. The remaining in-going nerve fibers could be connected to these higher frequency locations yet the brain has had to turn up its processing abilities with the loss of the original nerve fibers that were there with the remaining few.

      I had "hyperacusis" about 4-5 years ago and back in the fall when my hearing started to completely change. The hours I spent practicing and playing shows in my band and the hours I spent listening to music must of started to cause hidden hearing loss for me, but at the time everything still felt perfectly fine to me. I remember listening to a "Taking Back Sunday" song in my car "Spin". It was the first moment I noticed a strange pain like sensation right as the high noted guitar harmonics start off in the beginning of the song. Take a listen to the song and you'll understand what I mean with the guitar at the start. At the time, I had no idea what was going on and I just switched the song and continued on with my life. The second time I really felt pain from noise was when I was still going to school last fall after my hearing incidents had happened. The sounds that really hurt my ears were cupboards being shut or the screeches of the busses that picked up students and took them to different areas around the campus. This "hyperacusis" was much much worse than the first one. Over time though (months), this sensitivity vanished but I still had a huge change in my hearing threshold. I did not have "painful sensitivity" to noise but I couldn't handle loud sounds for a while.

      The thing is though, I look at everything that has happened to me and I always ask myself, how could everyone else be experiencing the same thing but yet they have completely different reasons for why these things are happening. Or they aren't experiencing the symptoms I'm experiencing now yet I had what they had before. I mean, we are all human. Besides our DNA, Genes, we are all structured in a similar way. What makes one human love sound/music much more than another? You have people who listen to music everyday and they can shred on the guitar, drums, bass, etc. You have another person who listens to music almost everyday too, but they have no idea how to keep a beat on the drums or play any sort of chord on a guitar? Could it be the reward one gets from music/sound that sets them apart from everyone else? How well they emotionally process sound? Why can some people (who were musicians when they were younger) with "Alzheimers" be given a guitar or be sat down on a piano and all of a sudden start playing a tune that they were associated with in the past and haven't revisited in years? Why does music seem to snap some people with Alzheimers, out of their trance and gets them moving again? Could it be the music......or could it be what was once there and has disappeared slowly and silently in their lifetime that allowed them to be rewarded with the rich quality sound of music. More and more I stop and tell myself that it's not just how we pick up sound, it's all how our brain is involved in the process. Hearing is much more than what we think it is. Informationally and emotionally.
       
    19. Stefan K

      Stefan K Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly Music/Power Tools
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    20. Kane Moffat
      Badass

      Kane Moffat Member

      Location:
      Glasgow, Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2015
    21. japongus

      japongus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Sorry, once again I missed it or forgot to respond. Why would these hairs be so important I don't get it? There have been reports both of failure and success on the subject of middle ear tenotomies as they relate to sound sensitivity. There are reports of success with round window reinforcement. Here's another believer in high pitched sound significance in the role of hyperacusis, Elder_1 in chat-hyperacusis, he says

      ''I am a scientist and acoustics is one area I have worked in. I am also highly medically trained although I am not a doctor. High frequency is very likely to affect hyperacusis, which I have. What very much seems to activate mine is what can be called "sharp edged" sounds. These are sounds with a very fast rise time in the initial portion of the waveform. It seems to be the very sudden onset of the sound wave that somehow activates the chochlear nerve inappropriately and seems likely that it produces a very high level of norepinephrine (NE) release as the large group of synapses in the brain are suddenly activated all at once.

      I suspect that enough NE is being produced that the normal re-uptake in the axon(s) is not taking place properly. Usually about 80% of the NE is nearly immediately re-absorbed via the norepinephrine transporter membrane into storage vesicles just inside the pro synapse axon. If this doesn't happen correctly then the NE will be left in the synapse and then diffuse into the vascular system. This will then accelerate the heart and alter blood pressure significantly. It then resembles the fight/flight response in high stress conditions.

      Obviously, high pitched (high frequency) sounds have a fast rise time.''


      So if I contrast his hypotheses with yours and mine. He thinks the fast rise time of a high pitched sound wave is what does it, so he's not talking about cochlea hairs in pitches too high to be spotted. He then goes on to put the blame on brain chemicals in line with the massive amounts of shrink-lit we have to put up with in this condition. Where have we all heard the expression ''fight/flight'' if not in the only doctors, ie audiologists, ie sound therapists and shrinks, that talk about this condition? Well he's drank their kool aid. And yet it can't, or maybe it can but that would be odd, be both yours and his explanation, and yet both his and your explanation are flung about by sound therapists to prove it's a brain thing. And your hypothesis and his aren't coherent with the people that had tenotomies and had their sound sensitivity solved. In his case it's not norepinephrine in some heart system because it's a middle ear muscle, and in your case it wouldn't be the high pitched lost hair cells because it would be the fast rise time of the high pitched external sound that would jolt the muscle and create a vibration, echo and discomfort.
       
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    22. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      Japongus,

      Thanks for giving a very reasonable explanation to what could be causing Hyperacusis. I can't give much of a response back to you because I don't know precisely how things work between the inner ear and the brain. I can't agree or disagree with what's been stated about NE. I wish I was able to work hands on with inner ear functions and between the inner ear and brain to learn more about it. More so how our brain processes sound. I also wasn't strictly referring to the sensory hair cells of the cochlea in my examples. It was meant to be more focused on the cochlear nerve fibers that make up the auditory nerve.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    23. Dilshaad

      Dilshaad Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection in ear
      Hello yonkapin

      I am dilshaad. Im suffering from tinnitus since two months. I got it due to antibiotics augmentin which was precribed due to otitis media an infection ib my ear. I would like to ask you do you work? Do you wear earplugs at work?

      Apart from not going to loud places did you take any medicine which you think could have helped to reduce the hyperacusis. Are you able to sleep at night with tinnitus? Or should you masked it with some background noise?

      Sorry for bothering with question. I live in Mauritius and ENT here seems to know only prescribing medicine. I went to 7 ENT but they gave no therapies apart medicine. I am worried i developed hyperacusis so quickly i mean just after two months of tinnitus.

      Please advise

      Kind regards
      Dlshaad
       

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