Correlation Between Tinnitus and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Discussion in 'Research News' started by sworthi245, Mar 16, 2013.

    1. sworthi245

      sworthi245 Member

      United States, Northwest Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      I found an interesting article associating tinnitus with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Read the article at the following link:

      This seems to coincide with the recent research with a focus on the association of T with hyperactivity of certain parts of the brain. PTSD also has the same issues in the brain. Maybe solutions and treatment for PTSD will point to some relief for T. I will research and post any related information that may be relevant. Your research results would be greatly appreciated.
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    2. Karen

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Here is another article on this topic:

      Since so many veterans are returning from service who have either PTSD, or tinnitus, or both, it seems hopeful that funds will be directed toward more research on this correlation.
    3. joejunior

      joejunior Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I would add that correlation doesnt necessarily mean causal link.

      And just look at non vets who have tinnitus, they have symptoms such as isolation, irritability, insomnia, severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person's day-to-day life.

      Guess what ? These are all also symptoms of PTSD.

      And the worse these symptoms of tinnitus are the more bothersome the tinnitus is.
      • Agree Agree x 2
    4. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I'm having problems finding the cause of my T. I feel I tick all the boxes like long term music listener with headphones, severe anxiety / mental pressure / stress, antibiotics, pain killers with Ibuprofen, scared from sudden sound from fire alarm going off unpredictably in my building etc. Since theres no way of actually identifying damage to the cochlea or loss of inner ear hair cells, it's almost impossible to get to know the main cause and it could be a mix of several causes. My hearing test went well and I have no severe hearing loss.

      Wish they could scan the head to see if I have those micro hair cells intact or not as I read that this is a classic ear damage and T cause. Confusing. PTSD is also complicated because it could be a plethora of reasons and it could be more than just that alone.
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    5. Relic Hunter

      Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Bumping this thread to the top. I am a vet. My local VA hospital is one of the largest in the country and has an intensive hearing clinic and a Tinnitus facility. My doctor says he has about 800 tinnitus patients. In almost all cases he said tinnitus patients experience some kind of PTSD.

      It is often thought by the general public that PTSD is something only related to military and thus combat experience. However it is of course not. Stress is stress. When a person experiences life threatening or any major stressful events in life these do not just go away. Surviving a plane crash or automobile wreck or the breakup of a marriage, or suffering and death of loved ones are all stress..I need tell no one that here.

      The military said I occurred substantial hearing loss during my tour of duty and this hearing loss "could just as likely be or not be" causing my tinnitus.

      This was during the Vietnam war. However if I had T at that time it was so mild it went unnoticed..My hearing continued to worsen but has remained stable for the past 20 plus years or so. The T worsened but remained only in 1 ear and was still really not bothersome.

      However about 4 years ago all hell broke loose as far as stress. Life caught up we me and so did the tinnitus. I should of been having what I have now some 40 years ago if T. was due only to hearing lose.

      Very few of us in life will escape it without developing some form of PTSD..I also believe that all of us have tinnitus. It lays dormant, just waiting for that right time and combination of brain chemistry to turn up the volume.
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    6. JohnK

      JohnK Member

      SF Bay Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/26/2015 (habituated) 5/13/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Doxycycline (2015) Otimize ear drops [neomycin] (2019)
      Have you gotten an otoacoustic emissions test done? I think that's the closest we have now to seeing how your hair cell health is doing.

      I learned that mine are apparently entirely healthy for my age (at least up to the frequencies they tested...:rolleyes: )
    7. Silvio Sabo

      Silvio Sabo Member Benefactor

      Gothenburg, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise - I think

      Back in the 20's and 30's they found a correlation between having a phone and lung cancer. How come, you might ask? Well as it turns out, back then having a phone was exclusive for people living in large cities where air pollution also exists. Did having a phone cause lung cancer? No, not really!

      A correlation doesn't have to mean anything. I'm guessing they get their PTSD from all the horrific things they've seen and experienced and they get their tinnitus from all the gun firing and explosions. It just so happens that they are exposed to loud noise as well as horrific scenes of violence and death at the same time which is why they find this correlation.

      Concert goers and musicians often have tinnitus. Do they suffer from PTSD? I don't think so. Well some might but I'm sure the vast majority doesn't.
    8. Dutchy
      Not worthy

      Dutchy Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neuronmodulation suggests noise induced?

      You're reversing his point,treatment for PTSD might reverse T as well.Hes not saying that when you have T that automatically means you have PTSD.It has neurons going wild sorta speak and T is more likely to occur within PTSD patients because of their oversensitive brain,people with anxiety in general are more prone to get T as well.They also do not have PTSD.

      Also PTSD is not only among veterans,that's an outdated notion,even a mother having complications at birth can develop PTSD in a very fast manner.
    9. Bob Ingraham

      Bob Ingraham Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I found this web site just this evening as I was searching the web for general information about tinnitus. About two to three weeks ago I started having long episodes of tinnitus. It seems to be triggered by "normal" urban sounds — traffic, power washers, sirens, etc. I've had brief episodes of tinnitus many times in my life since my later 20s or early 30s, but they've never been particularly bothersome. The last few weeks, however, the tinnitus has been very troubling. There have been a few of "quiet" periods of a few hours each, but the current one has been continuing for the 36 hours or so.

      I have a history of hyperacusis, which started around 2003. After having an ENT specialist diagnose it (following a "test" to see how much noise I could "tolerate" — and tell me that I'd have to learn to live with it), I managed to find an audiologist who told me that she absolutely could treat it, and she did. I wore "pink noise" generators for about two years, and came away with only occasional, very mild episodes of hyperacusis.

      What was most interesting to me was her theory that my hyperacusis resulted from my experiences with the U.S. Marines in Vietnam. I was there for only 37 days before I was seriously wounded, but during that time I experienced incredibly loud sounds of combat. On one occasion I was only a few metres away from a Marine who triggered a "bouncing betty" mine that blew both of his legs off. For long moments I assumed that the world had come to an end. And no one who has not been in combat can imagine how loud modern rifles and machine guns are, not to mention grenades and artillery. Then there were periods when we had to maintain strict silence for hours at a time in hopes that Viet Cong wouldn't become aware of our presence. As a result, the audiologist believed, it became impossible for me to differentiate the volume of sound — everything, even air conditioning sounds in large buildings or ordinary fans — were uncomfortably loud to me.

      Following my successful therapy, I applied for VA compensation for hyperacusis, but was turned down despite an eloquent letter from the audiologist. Subsequently, I was diagnosed with combat-related PTSD, which the VA accepted.

      I have an appointment in mid-November with the same audiologist. I'm hoping that she can offer some help for my current tinnitus, assuming that it continues.


      P.S. One fascinating detail about my hyperacusis, before it was diagnosed: A few times, when my wife said something to me, I would get an instant replay of her words, in a tiny but clear voice, in my left ear. That really freaked me out.
    10. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      I feel for the vets as all who are ill with T. We appear to have a gov. that doesnt see the storm of ill Americans with T and H. I was diagnosed with PTSD as well. Im not a vet. I was beaten like a drum as a young boy. Im running out of desire and fight. More and more pain. Im thinking of adipose cell therapy. Buy a year or two or three of better life. During that time work out get strong see what happens. Bless you all. Were brothers and sisters by default. Love.
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    11. lapidus

      lapidus Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      That sounds like diplacusis.
    12. BuzzyBee

      BuzzyBee Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      This is interesting. A therapist I spoke with believes EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing would work well for tinnitus. I was not quite in agreement because EMDR is mostly used for PTSD. But if "stress is stress" maybe there's something to EMDR as a therapy. Hmm.
    13. Lorac

      Lorac Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden profound hearing loss in left ear.
      EMDR is often used for PTSD but can also be used to treat chronic pain. I went to a Positive Behavioral Therapist who was also trained in EMDR. I think I benefited more from the Positive part of the Positive Behavior Therapy overall but we did employ the EMDR in a few sessions. We used it to address the pain I experience with T and H, not for the noise.
    14. Starthrower

      Starthrower Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Surgery
      EMDR treatments were not good for my PSTD. In fact my situation worsened after each session.

      Desensitization did not help with the trauma. And I had the intrusive tinnitus at the same time.

      Maybe it was the therapist not being well trained? I really did not want to find that answer by going through it again.
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    15. Bob Ingraham

      Bob Ingraham Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Interesting! I'd never heard of diplacusis, but the Wikipedia entry would seem to describe what I heard:

      "Diplacusis, also known as diplacusis binauralis or inter aural pitch difference (IPD) is a type of hearing disorder that is the perception of a single auditory stimulus as two separate sounds which may differ in pitch or in time."

      It happened to me only a few times, once or twice with my wife and a few times with female news anchors on TV. That was 12 or 13 years ago, and it never happened again.
    16. Bob Ingraham

      Bob Ingraham Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Regarding EMDR: I've experienced EMDR with two psychologists, one or two sessions with the first one, about 20 years ago, and continuing sessions over the past few years with another therapist. Neither tinnitus nor hyperacusis were problems at those times, but I was having very troubling flashbacks; as I mentioned, I was in Vietnam only 37 days, but in that time I experienced a dozen incidents (before I was wounded!) which haunted me for decades. As a result of EMDR, while the worst of those incidents are still clearly in my memory, they have taken on film-like qualities. Before EMDR, I recalled those incidents as an unwilling participant; following EMDR, when I recall those traumatic incidents it's as if I'm watching them as an observer, not as a participant. I haven't had a single flashback since my last EMDR session. Which isn't to say I now have fond memories of the Vietnam War!

      I should add that I have had good relationships with both of the therapists, each of whom have what seem to me to be outstanding credentials. I've also seen other therapists who were no more than mediocre, and a couple who were just plain unprofessional. It pays to shop around, if you can. In any event, I'm planning on making another appointment with my current therapist, partly to discuss my tinnitus (which, incidentally, has been much better for the last couple of days).
    17. Chezfreo

      Chezfreo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I’m a therapist. Don’t have significant
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      That’s interesting. There is currently a study being conducted by the University of Norwich to see whether EMDR can make a significant difference in the treatment of tinnitus. Trauma doesn’t have to be at the base of the condition. It will be very interesting to see the results which are due this year. I’ve effectively treated a couple of people for tinnitus now using EMDR and it makes sense that it reduces distress and enhances coping skills. Choosing the right EMDR therapist for you is very important as is appropriate training and experience. EMDR can be a highly effective PTSD treatment and I’ve witnessed many positive outcomes as a therapist. Like all things shop around and find what works best for you as it’s never a case of one size fits all.

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