Do you think your inner ear is drasticly weakened and more vulnerable forever by tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Per, Dec 8, 2013.

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Do you think your inner ear is drasticly weakened and more vulnerable forever by T?

Poll closed Jan 5, 2014.
  1. Yes, but only with hearing loss

    2 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. We will never know

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  4. I think other factors like age and genetics decides

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. It is totally irellevant to me

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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    1. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      I'm not talking about more vulnerable as in living in an increasingly noisy world (that's been covered in prior posts) but because we now have T in our lives. If you already have a slight, a moderate, or a severe hearing loss, will that itself represent a larger chance of getting even more damages to the structures of the inner ear? We can't get T on top of T after all. So is it anything to this theory? And for those who have T without any hearing loss, will the T create a lowered threshold for physical damage and hearing loss when exposed to noise? When I have asked my audiologists about this she couldn't provide any answers, neither could the two ENT's I asked either, but that's no surprise. They just shrugged their shoulders. I've been living in the believe that I'm more vulnerable to all things sound related now cause of my condition, but perhaps its just because all noise appears to be so much louder, I don't really know for sure if that noise IS more dangerous to me now than prior to T. It's weird how emotions can directly affect the reaction patterns. Have any of you heard advice like "if you expose yourself to just ONE more loud sound now your hearing is going out the window for good."? I read about DJ's with T and hearing loss that continued to work for years without any increase in T. I know that in some cases the T appears louder the greater the hearing loss, cause as we all know T is more noticeable in silence. But does having T decrease the anatomy of the inner ear? If not then the vulnerability theory shouldn't be true?

      If sound can create acoustic trauma and if T&H is basically a trauma related condition (noise, stress, impact etc) do you think it leaves the auditory system weakened and more fragile? Even if the cause isn't noise related? Due to multiple surgeries I've had some interesting conversations with arthroscopy surgeons about healing processes and in some cases a physical trauma or breakage can make that body part become stronger afterwards. With H there is something called TTTS which is a type of protecting mechanism for the tensor tympani muscle, it contracts when exposed to sounds that exceeds the threshold level. Is it plausible to believe that the ear is protecting itself even more after T or could it be even more fragile after T?
       
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    2. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Per, in my opinion, 100% yes I do believe you ears are weakened and prone to more damage. Take my example, I got tinnitus from a fire alarm last year, 2 minute exposure in a very small space (packed shed), it was that loud that my eardrums were beating like to heartbeats in my head, I thought they were going to explode it was that loud. I got stuffy blocked full ears which is temporary threshold shift (hearing damage), followed by this tinnitus I have had for 15 months now.

      Now you would think it would take the same sort of noise for my ears to get temporary threshold shift again (blocked ears) and increased tinnitus, well it happened again 8 weeks ago, this time it didn't take ear splitting, ear drum exploding noise like last time, all it took was me slamming shut a car bonnet/hood! Got the blocked ears again that lasted a week, and my tinnitus increased a lot ever since, I am without doubt all it takes is everyday loud noise to increase tinnitus, that is why I wear earplugs every time I leave my house now, all I thought would increase my tinnitus before was going to a super loud concert, club etc. it makes sense that if your inner ears are damaged previously from noise that your threshold is lowered.
       
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    3. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      @mick1987,

      Thanks for your input. It's by sharing stories like this we learn. By sharing experiences we can conclude and see things more clearly, cause as I write in my post the medical field doesn't know what to say about this topic. At least not the ones I've spoken to. Its another aspect to this and that's knowing the cause of the T. If you are 100% percent in knowledge like you are then it's easier to define the damage, if the cause is just undefined then we can't really know WHAT will make things worse if anything at all. Say mental trauma, stress, medication etc. I once spoke to a therapist in somatic T / stress based T, she said (they are always women for some reason) that medication is never the cause of T - never. Others say theres a series of drugs that can create an onset of T. So, if we follow the first therapist taking any medication wont create a worsening of T, if we listen to the latter ANY medication could make our condition even worse. This is a huge dilemma. You know by experience what increases your T and from that you also know that your inner ear is weakened to a point where it's more fragile and much more vulnerable to even more damage. That's an important observation.

      But do you also think that the power of mental fear could contribute to a lower threshold? Would be interesting to read your toughs on that. Could it be that we subconsciously are weakening the physiological anatomy system in the inner ear and/or the auditory cortex system by sending it messages like: "this thing will create havoc to my T and destroy my inner ear even more." Or does this thought reflex have an opposite effect, namely protecting the ears and ourselves against exposures that is truly not good for us. Also, even if the threshold is lowered, does it necessary mean that the inner ear anatomy is more vulnerable? Or is it just a lower threshold that creates discomfort. I've read a lot of neurology theories that firmly states that we should avoid plugging our ears all the time cause it creates a foundation for even more threshold problems, thus creating a fragile environment in our ear anatomy. At the same time we are experiencing discomfort and fear when we expose ourselves to noisy stuff, this generates uncertainty for me cause it's hard to gas and break simultaneously. Meaning protecting and exposing in a balanced manner.
       
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    4. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      @Per http://discovermagazine.com/2010/oct/26-ringing-in-the-ears-goes-much-deeper#.UuTultL8Ls0
      Probably you have already read this. This article states that CBT actualy lowers the activity of the neurons in the brain, therefore it could be that by being scared all the time it will actually make it worse. My grandfather suffers from Parkinson's and his doctor always says that he must not worry and be calm and relax because stress can and probably will make it worse. Could be same for T.
      I have also thought that maybe in some cases without any prior acoustic trauma it could be that the T actually starts in the brain and has nothing to do with the inner ear whatsoever. That is just a theory of course.
       
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    5. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      @Stina,

      I haven't read that article before, thanks for sharing. There are several like it. It does actually strengthen my personal theories to a great extent, I've always believed that T is more a brain disorder than anything else. The article and the articles referred to in the article, also suggests that hearing loss doesn't have to be the crucial aspect of the condition at all, although people have both T and hearing loss. This is where it gets diverse and people pull in all directions, they don't seem to agree that hearing loss and T can exist without hearing loss being the the main instigator. The neuroscientist approach is that the brain is being the center of it all so to speak, just as it is with so much else in our system. The traditional med. is more occupied with traditional hearing loss damage in conjunction with T. It's more clinical. This circle seems to be going on all over, but as discussed before here on TT the answer may lay in the center of these issues.

      I also agree that anxiousness and nervousness CAN enhance T, but that goes for almost any condition known to man. T within itself can also enhance anxiousness. It's a full duplex effect. Some T therapists have an exclusive psychosomatic approach to this, where T is classified as an illness based on disturbance of the central nervous system. Meaning if you can heal yourself from all the tensity problems you will also get rid of T (and also H) I have always believed that the auditory cortex, the central nervous system and the hyperactivity of the neurons in the auditory cortex to be key players in the condition. I do wish I could also get some visual references in order to help include or exclude any anatomic disorders in the inner ear, just as we do with muscle and joint issues. Surgeons don't go around saying you have a torn labrum without visual proof from a MRI scan or two (been there many times). At least they would check it via arthroscopy to get visual references and prof of condition. In case of the inner ear they can't do either. We're all stuck with theories and assumptions.
       
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    6. Stina
      Psychedelic

      Stina Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tartu
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      If the article states the neurological activity in different parts of brain I dont understand why they dont have trained acupuncturists who know excactly how to stimulate these areas at the same time. It should be doable.
       
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    7. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      I had a chat with an Osteopath a couple of weeks ago because I'm in a postoperative period again now (had several orthopedic surgeries), he said that many of his patients are also dealing with T. He went on to say that many of them felt improvement in terms of T after being treated for other things at his clinic. I don't know if that was sales talk of course, but stuff like Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy and acupuncture like you suggest, should carry some potential. Stimulation is a key element it seems.

      I have faith in brain surgery, the article mentioned that as well in conjunction with stroke patients. People with epilepsy, stroke etc are benefiting greatly from brain surgery, so why can't we? The auditory cortex is after all very similar to the brain section that is disturbed with those patients. Electrical stimulation works for them, and if the theories on T is scientifically correct (hyperactive neurons in the auditory cortex) then similar procedures should be effective to settle the neuron activity that's known to create phantom noises, aka T.
       
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