Could This Audiogram Result Explain My 3 kHz Tinnitus? I Need Advice

Discussion in 'Support' started by Eric N, Jan 30, 2013.

    1. Eric N

      Eric N Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal QC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012, 03/2016, 05/2017, 05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + 3 major increases via (shouting / MRI/ flu+Tylenol)
      Hi,

      This is a 3 month follow-up since I got tinnitus.

      So I finally went to see an audiologist and got a proper audiogram.

      The results show a slight variation around 3 kHz in both ears but still in normal range.

      6rlky0.jpg

      I also did an otoacoustic emissions test which showed the same result - at 3 kHz the detected echos are weaker.

      The audiologist can't tell if that is what caused the tinnitus but it seems like good evidence.

      It's unfortunate that I don't have an audiogram from before the tinnitus to compare, but could this be a normal variation or is this hearing loss?

      Doesn't noise usually cause a loss around 4 kHz? I am not sure what to make of this.

      I guess nothing can be done about this? If not, I am about ready to make peace with my tinnitus.
       
    2. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Eric-

      Yes, you have very minor loss at 3 kHz in both ears.

      You can check if your tinnitus is 3 kHz if you download the NCH Tone Generator. Set it on the sine wave function, then slide the frequency up until it matches your tinnitus. Like tuning a guitar.

      When I got tinnitus, it was in one ear. I determined that it was 4 kHz using the NCH Generator. I was amazed that my good ear could hear 4 kHz, but my tinnitus ear couldn't. Then I compared this to my audiogram, which showed loss at 4 kHz.

      That's usually how tinnitus starts, due to hearing loss at a particular frequency.
       
    3. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I'd agree with Karl that this shows a small hearing loss, mainly at 3 kHz. A minor hearing loss is all it takes for tinnitus though.

      You're right in that a typical noise-induced hearing loss tends to start at 4 kHz and frequencies above that. So, I don't know the answer to that one.

      In any case, you are better off making peace with it, there's not really that much else one can do :(
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Eric N

      Eric N Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal QC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012, 03/2016, 05/2017, 05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + 3 major increases via (shouting / MRI/ flu+Tylenol)
      Do you think it's the other way around? Could the tinnitus be masking the test sound? Because on my last test I had - two weeks prior - I got 5 dB at 3 kHz in the right ear and 20 dB at 3 kHz in the left ear but it was on a different machine.

      But since the otoacoustic emissions test said there was a reduction at 3 hHz, I will tend to believe this test is more accurate.

      If my mild-moderate tinnitus was caused because of this slight hearing loss, I feel sorry for those who have 50+ dB hearing loss, they have got to find a cure for this thing as almost everybody will have this kind of hearing loss with age if not from other factors.
       
    5. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      If the test involved answering "Can you hear this?", it can be pretty subjective. One slip of that button and your off.

      There's a test my audiologist did, where she put plugs in my ears and the computer made measurements. It confirmed the other test.

      I'm not sure what you mean by the "otoacoustic emmissions" test. They say the outer hair cells (OHC) make sounds, which is what an otoacoustic emmission is. Some people hear otoacoustic emmissions from the OHC's, but that's different than tinnitus and can be treated differently.
       
    6. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      The tinnitus can mask the tones I think, that's why they use a 'warble tone,' it's more detectable than a pure tone.

      I would put my faith in the OAE test.

      Yes, there's whole generations of iPod people coming up that will get it. Its just not had enough research until fairly recently (about 10 years).
       
    7. Sointu
      Sad

      Sointu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music festival
      Old thread but I decided to comment anyway because there are similarities in our audiograms. And my audiogram left me with many questions.

      I had an audiogram after noise induced tinnitus and I had minor loss at 3000 Hz. Otherwise my hearing was normal. I still have tinnitus after 3 weeks of noise trauma. ENT specialist said that minor loss at 3000 Hz doesn't have anything to do with the festival I went to and the festival didn't cause hearing loss because it would have shown in other frequencies. Those were my "best frequencies". He said that some days I could even have normal hearing in audiogram or something. He didn't see my loss at 3000 Hz as a problem.

      On the other hand, my audiologist said that those type of minor losses can trigger tinnitus and that made me worried. (I hadn't had tinnitus before noise trauma though). And I could have maybe difficulties to hear conversations so clearly if there is certain background noise. Umm, okay. But he also said that it was minor loss, and that I should not worry.

      I have been a bit confused after talking to them.

      I haven't had an audiogram before so I don't know when that minor loss at 3000 Hz has started. Obviously my latest noise trauma did not cause it.

      First after the audiogram I thought that there is nothing seriously wrong with my hearing, yay. Then I read about hidden hearing loss. I dunno if there is a thing like that. Then I also understood I only had a hearing test that tested frequencies below 8000 Hz. When I have done an online hearing test over 8000 Hz I have noticed that I don't hear any frequencies over 12000 Hz in my left ear that is affected the most (tinnitus). I hear 15000 Hz clearly in my right ear. Those online tests aren't really reliable though. I don't want to have another audiogram again soon because listening to those noises triggered a bit worse tinnitus temporarily and I want to protect my ears now and I am not even sure would the doctor send me to +8000 Hz audiogram.

      My tinnitus is mostly high pitched. There is a lower frequency sound too.
       
    8. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Why do you think the latest noise trauma did not cause it?

      Anyway, an audiogram with a loss up to 30 dB may fluctuate due to the pressure inside your ears, how blocked / unblocked is your nose, how's your throat in a particular day etc

      A pure tone audiogram cannot measure the quality of sound perceived either. This means you may hear a tone, but the actual timbre of the sound may be different from the genuine sound in that frequency. There is also people that can perceive a "vibration" when doing audiograms, a vibration to the very faint sound, and not only the tone, and that may be also lost over time.

      Hyperacusis can mean for some that there is increased central gain, this is, the brain turns up the volume in all frequencies, trying to find input for the missing frequencies (those where there is hearing loss, even very mild).
       
    9. Bartoli

      Bartoli Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009,worsened 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      How old are you?
       
    10. Damocles
      Sleepy

      Damocles Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cumulative Acoustic Trauma + Ear Infection
      How did @GlennS not end up in this thread?
       
    11. Sointu
      Sad

      Sointu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music festival
      Thank you for your response.

      I am sorry for my English btw.

      I don't know if the festival (that caused my noise trauma) caused that minor loss at 3000 Hz. Maybe it did? ENT specialist didn't think so. That's why I said that I believe my latest noise trauma did not cause it. After the audiogram the specialist said that the festival probably didn't cause hearing loss in my case. But I am not sure this specialist is right... He said hearing loss caused by festival/noise trauma would show in other frequencies. If I understood correctly.

      I experienced noise trauma, when I forgot earplugs, and was near the speakers at a festival for less than 10 minutes (I visit festivals really rarely, last time was many many years ago and that explains my stupidity why I forgot to use earplugs). I read that this particular festival has during recent years been more strict with decibels, but I have no idea how loud it was near the stage decibel wise. Being near the stage/speakers without earplugs was too much for my ears. It felt uncomfortable to listen to that music. I had to put my fingers in my ears and leave. I started to walk away from the stage, stood in the crowd a bit further for 10 minutes and walked away from that gig. And I believe that was the trigger of my tinnitus. After the gig all sounds felt muffled. I watched other gigs too but was really far away from the stage/speakers. I also went to buy earplugs after that one particular gig which reminded me how important they are. I have been more sensitive to sound maybe than the average person even though I haven't had tinnitus before. There were multiple people without earplugs but I just couldn't stand the volume of that music.

      After the festival I have experienced muffled hearing particularly in my left ear, fluctuating hyperacusis and tinnitus for three weeks in a row. Also music has sounded distorted and I have had reactive tinnitus. Last few days music has started to sound more normal in my ears, my hearing doesn't feel as muffled anymore. Any louder music bothers me though.

      Bartoli: I am 34.
       
    12. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      That's what the first ENT I visited in my life said, and then I got severe hyperacusis... I think what your ENT said is not right.
      To me it's clear. Those are very obvious signs of hearing damage produced by the concert and specially for being so close to the speakers. No matter what any doctor tells you, stay away from noise for a few months.

      Hearing takes a long time to settle and it is key that you avoid any damage that builds on the damage already done.
       
    13. Sointu
      Sad

      Sointu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music festival
      I am really sorry about your hyperacusis! Has it got any better?

      I also believe that the concert somehow damaged my hearing. Even though it doesn't show properly in audiogram.

      I tried to explain the muffled hearing to the doctor. Like something doesn't feel right. But the doctor said it is only a feeling, I don't have hearing loss. When I told about my reactive tinnitus symptoms, he said it sounds like hyperacusis. I am more sensitive to sounds than before. Some sounds seem to trigger worse tinnitus and some sounds sound weird, like somehow distorted. Like I hear high pitch eeeeee on top of some sounds. This symptom was worst in the first days after noise trauma, this symptom has got a bit better.

      Yes, I definitely have tried to avoid loud noises, headphones etc and am planning to do it for many months. First I used headphones to try to listen to white noise/nature sounds (to mask tinnitus) but decided to stop using them for a while.
       
    14. Sointu
      Sad

      Sointu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music festival
      I have wondered what does loud noise mean. The loudest noise I listen to is when I listen to music from a radio - it's on a low volume in a car or at home. Or when I have kept the air conditioner on. It was the only noise that masked my tinnitus so I was able to sleep (I was really sleep deprived after the first week when the tinnitus triggered insomnia) but have read that the masking sound shouldn't be as loud. The air conditioner machine is loud and I have been thinking it probably isn't good for my ears now. I have tried to mask my tinnitus with a sound from YouTube and get used to quieter masking noise during the night. The problem was the masking noises I had tried to listen to didn't mask high pitch noises but I finally have found some noises that mask it but are also neutral and I can sleep using them. Air conditioner white noise and pink noise seem to help.

      On the other hand, I have read that some people think constant masking of tinnitus is a bad idea.

      With my hyperacusis even normal sounds can sometimes feel too loud. Like driving on the highway, when someone closes a car door near me, when I go to eat at a restaurant/fast food place and there is a lot of people and music playing in the background. Music in stores etc.

      I have wondered if earplugs would be a good idea in that type of situation when my hyperacusis bothers me. The ENT specialist thought using them too much is a bad idea.
       
    15. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      My severe hyperacusis morphed into hearing loss plus tinnitus, which I did not have at the beginning, and still hyperacusis but not so bad. This process took years.

      Your doctor is plainly wrong. Hearing damage, noise damage, is cumulative. Be very careful with loud sounds!

      The muffled hearing is a classical symptom of noise induced hearing loss and hyperacusis. Any ENT should know this but some of them seem not to know...
      Those are all symptoms of bad hyperacusis. Closing a door, noise on highway... typical, usual symptoms.
       
    16. Sointu
      Sad

      Sointu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music festival
      What triggered your hyperacusis? Do you still have tinnitus? And I am sorry it has taken so many years to see improvement.

      Maybe doctors don't know everything and my visit wasn't very long lasting.

      I am going to be careful with loud sounds and am going to carry earplugs with me and if some sound feels too much, I am going to use them. I don't even want to go to loud places now when sounds of everyday life feel like this. As long as hyperacusis and tinnitus is like this, I will be avoiding loud places as much as I can. There has been days when the hyperacusis a bit better, and fluctuating. I hope this is a positive sign. The muffled hearing has been improving from the first week. The tinnitus has improved only a little bit or not at all in the left ear. I don't hear tinnitus as much in the right ear anymore. (Even though sometimes it is "switching places" for a moment).

      Today I talked with my friend and heard there was a speaker to the left side of us so that can be the reason why my left ear is more affected and why I hear tinnitus/my hearing has felt muffled mostly in my left ear.
       
    17. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      It was noise induced. Yes, I still have tinnitus, which is quite unpredictable too, mine fluctuates.
      If there is noise that could bother or damage anyone, earplugs will not be enough (they were not for me, and that's why my hearing condition changed over these years). If there is noise that is loud enough for a normal person to be annoyed or bothered, or that makes you raise your voice or yell, you have to get away, far, from the noise source.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
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