Does Hearing Loss Keep Getting Worse?

Discussion in 'Support' started by insane_inspiration, Oct 4, 2013.

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    1. insane_inspiration
      Inspired

      insane_inspiration Member Benefactor

      Location:
      India
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Hello, I'm generally asking this question, I don't have hearing loss, just wanted to know. My mother has hearing loss of about 20% in her right ear, and the doc says that's why she got the T. 3 years ago, when she took the audio test, it showed she had about 12% hearing loss. Recently, a few months ago, it showed 20%. Does it keep going on at a standard rate, or are there no such rule? I'm really curious. And also, does the T get worse with more hearing loss? I guess it does. That's why some docs recommend hearing aids, yes? If anybody here is suffering from tinnitus due to hearing loss, how much has your hearing reduced over the past years?
       
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    2. meeruf
      Badass

      meeruf Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Diving
      Hearing-loss does not always go along with tinnitus. Tinnitus is just a symptom with hearing-loss. That means not everyone with hearing-loss have tinnitus. My neighbor have a high-pitch hearing-loss, but no tinnitus. Lucky bastard. Everyone is different.

      Yes, hearing-loss get worse the older you get. But the tinnitus can stay the same. It's no definitive answer.

      Hearing-loss in relation to age:
      http://pages.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/~hill/papers/conc/images/presbycusis.jpg
       
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    3. cmurem

      cmurem Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/05/2012
      My hearing loss was stable for five months as i checked five times, once in a month but after 3 months when my t got worse and also began louder in my left ear which had been mild, I checked hearing again and loss was progressed. I think the culprits were loud music, alcohol and depression with tiredness.
       
    4. frohike
      Approved

      frohike Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I wonder how reliable are those predictions now that we know that age-related hearing loss has a genetic component: http://www.healthcanal.com/genetics...essive-Hearing-Loss-from-Noise-and-Aging.html

      I abused my hearing many times without consequences. Now that I have T, I’m afraid that acoustic trauma incidents could worsen my condition. As if T was a threshold beyond which you are more sensitive to hearing loss. Can’t say for sure.
       
    5. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      To what extent hearing loss creates or affect T is a debated area. How can someone KNOW that hearing loss generated T? There's no medical or scientific way. The loss of inner ear hair cells doesn't prove that you have T caused by hearing loss, it only proves that loss of inner ear hair cells creates a hearing loss. Same thing with damages to the cochlea. If you check 10.000 people that don't know if they have a hearing loss or not you would find many ppl. with hearing loss, if 145 of them have T then who got it because of their hearing loss? According to most ENT's everyone! The hearing loss could very well have been there years before any T occurred, also you can develop hearing loss "naturally" by age years after you got T. At the same time you could have been experiencing other life changing experiences that actually produced T.

      If your arm is hurting and you do an MRI scan you could potentially find heaps of causes for the pain, cause when you look at it closely you could have a plethora of damages that you never knew you had, still the doctors would probably choose one of them and conclude from there - this could lead to misinterpretation and wrong diagnosis. It happened to me. Same thing with stomach aches, if you do an ultrasound you could find kidney stones, but that could have been here already since 12 years back not causing any pain. The docs would however probably blame those findings. I have also experienced that scenario. You could always say that the kidney stones could be causing the pain NOW but still it's just a theory, especially if theres many other factors involved at the same time. In my case it was a bacteria infection, but every surgeon and radiologist drew red circles around the tiny kidney stones. overlooking the real cause that I had to chase down myself.

      So, if you arrive at the ENTs office saying you have severe T and the hearing tests show a hearing loss (could be even a minor one) he/she would jump to the conclusion that your hearing loss is the cause of you're T. I think 10 of 10 ENTs would do that in an instance, not bothering to investigate further about your stress levels, medication, head trauma, dentist records etc. As soon as you have a slight hearing loss it's case closed. I think this is very wrong.

      So can hearing loss get worse? Of course. Can it stay the same? Of course. Everyone gets less inner ear cells by age, same thing with eye sights, it degenerate by time, making it more difficult to see all the colors we used to be able to identify. Same with hearing, we loose the ability to identify frequencies by time and we "loose them". Wish I knew how many of those lost hair cell instances that created T. What seems more scientifically proven is that sudden acoustic trauma is a typical cause of T, but then we are actually talking about a brain disorder, a shock to the central nervous system, so there could be numerous chemical and electric reactions going on at the same time, not just hearing loss.

      Well insane_inspiration, that's my take on this. I have also wondered if my T will create more hearing loss or if my slight hearing loss will develop into a severe one by time - or even if this could increase the level of my T. I guess its only speculations as the answers could be complex. From what I've read so far T doesn't increase hearing loss in itself and for those who's hearing loss is increasing a hearing apparatus could be the answer.
       
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    6. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      Well people naturally begin to lose their hearing as they age, to which degree is all dependent on health and exposure to noise, genes, etc.

      There's no way to suggest for sure whether or not tinnitus perception would increase with continued hearing loss, but it could be possible that if someone lost their hearing gradually as they aged, their brain could adjust to these changes gradually and maybe that person wouldn't notice a change in their perception. However if someone with tinnitus was suddenly exposed to some sort of trauma that induced a rapid change in their hearing, it could be possible that their tinnitus perception could go all out of whack. There would be a million different factors involved.

      I did recently see a post on another forum where someone who was older said that while their hearing had decreased quite dramatically over the years, their perception of tinnitus remained consistent, so that's some good news at least!
       
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    7. Relic Hunter
      Cynical

      Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1990
      I am 62. I have moderate to severe high frez. hearing loss which is almost identical in both ears. Low frez. is within normal range..Audio tests have remained almost identical for the past 20 plus years.

      I had enough high frez. hearing loss to be having T at least 30 years ago but nothing and certainly 20 years ago but T was so mild it went unnoticed most of the time. It has been only within the past 4 years that T has worsened to the point of being a serious problem with no change in my audio tests.

      I believe that hearing loss can contribute to the onset of T. but there are other factors going on that trigger the onslaught. In my case a period of severe stress was the trigger.

      I wear custom fitted hearing aids part of the time..They are suppose to compensate only for my high frez. loss.
      I can virtually hear a pin drop across a room. I never heard this well when I was a kid and most people tell me the same who have similar aids. I do not think they do a thing for the T but the increase range of hearing I experience with the aids do help cover it up to some extent. They also do have a built in white nose on one channel which helps.
       
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    8. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      @Relic Hunter,

      When you say high.frez. hearing loss, do you know what frequency? Normal, young, healthy human ears can hear frequencies as low as 20Hz and as high as 20,000Hz. However conventional hearing tests cover only in the range of 250Hz to 8,000Hz, as most sounds of speech occur in this frequency range. I know that some audiologists have high-end test equipment that can cover as high as 22.000HZ.

      Also, how did you get assessed in context of stress related T? You write that your T is triggered by severe stress. I haven't met anyone in the traditional medicine industry that focus on stress in context of T - and that is almost amusingly bad cause they really should. I'm very curious to how people get T assessments cause it seems to me that it all depends on that persons background and approach. If your tested with an ENT it's almost always a one sided focus on hearing loss as a main cause of the T or H but as you explained you have had hearing loss for a long time before your T started. Do you experience a severe change in the character of T if you are able to remove stress from your life? Have your stress related T been going on for 4 years? And do you think your able to return to the way you were before if you can manage the stress levels?

      Thanks for sharing!
       
    9. Relic Hunter
      Cynical

      Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1990
      My hearing loss occurs mostly in the 4000 to 8000 HZ range. Really no loss in the low range or speech range. According to audiologist I have about 95 percent speech recognition.

      I have had hearing tests on a regular basis since about 1970 when I entered the military. I had about a 45 DB loss in high Frez. range upon leaving military but it went unnoticed by me and not mentioned by the government.. I never considered myself of having a hearing loss. As I aged and was exposed to noise this loss continued. I remember mild T years ago but ignored it unless I was in quiet place and it was located only in 1 ear even though hearing loss was almost identical in both ears.

      About 4 years ago I went thru a period of high stress unrelated to T at that time..The tinnitus worsened and started in the other ear during this period of high stress. I found out that the Veterans Adm. was giving a TRT program for Vets with T. I underwent a great deal of testing and it was determined that my T could have been the result of military service and my hearing loss there to.

      My local VA hospital has about 800 tinnitus patients. My Doctor there has done extensive research on tinnitus and its effect at least on Vets..He says in almost 100 percent of cases that tinnitus is in connection with PSTD..

      PTSD is most commonly related to combat but stress is stress and one does not have to have seen combat to have PTSD.

      I have eliminated as much of the stress in my life as possible but none of us can live a stress free life especially as we age and more health problems are forced upon us. Right now the T is my main source of stress. When the T is down the stress is down. It is a vicious cycle. The T causes stress and the stress causes T.

      I do not believe that I will ever return to my old T days. I believe that Tinnitus is mostly a "brain thing". It is set off by chemical, electrical or whatever processes in the brain and once started is almost impossible to stop. I do believe that if there is ever a cure, it will involve more of the brain than any connection with the mechanics of the ear itself.
       
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    10. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Thanks for sharing your story. It's quite amazing that ENT's are not able to connect stress and mental trauma with T. They are flock animals walking in the exact same footsteps. I think its interesting that T started in your other ear as well during that stress period, it emphasis what I suspect is a more common cause factor than the medical society like to think. I know that medical people working with military health science is far more open to this aspect as they witness so many soldiers coming back with severe T. Yes, the brain is firing electrical pulses from the auditory cortex at at mad rate caused by shock and trauma. Acoustic shock can produce those damages and stress hormones can produce chemicals that are damaging as well. Cortisol, adrenaline etc. I guess you've already heard that from your T doctor.

      Can I also ask you if you have hyperacusis and if you have felt sensations of electrical shock traveling trough your body every time some loud high pitched noise have occurred, or even just if you experience something you haven't been able to expect or control. Like a fast car passing, a kid jumping out of a corner, a dog running behind you, a women screaming all of a sudden etc. I'm talking about a very physical sensation that travels very fast, from the core of the stomach and spreading out in the body. Like electricity traveling trough your system.
       
    11. insane_inspiration
      Inspired

      insane_inspiration Member Benefactor

      Location:
      India
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Whoa! Thank you people, that is a LOT of great answers. @Per; your take on it was splendid! Really made sense. And @Relic Hunter I hope your T goes back to those normal levels. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

      My idea about hearing loss was that, once it starts occurring, it goes on decreasing at a stable rate every year. Now I realize that's totally untrue.
       
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    12. Relic Hunter
      Cynical

      Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1990
      I really do not have any form of hyperacusis. Most of the people I personally know who have T are vets. With over 800 at my local VA center this provides a great deal of data input. My Dr. there says that most people there have hyperacusis.

      I never have experienced any sensation of electrical shock in response to any sudden or unexpected event. I do get a sense of "fight or flight" as most people do when exposed to a sudden unexpected event. This is just our natural instinct of self preservation and releases massive amounts of adrenalin into our system.

      I was a fireman for many years and I know the felling one gets when suddenly exposed to a life threatening "fight or flight'" experience on a regular basis. The almost warm feeling you get as the adrenalin flows thru your body. Also remember the feeling of coming down off these adrenalin highs.

      My VA doctor says this is one of the first things one must do if they able to control tinnitus is to overcome this "fight or flight" reaction we have to it. There is no doubt in my mind that being in such a state and the constant release of adrenalin as well as the emotional aspects only worsens the tinnitus. Much easier said than done I know to just ignore tinnitus.

      I am sure there is a test to determine adrenalin levels in ones system. I plan on discussing this with my Dr. shortly. I would expect that most people who have T. have an above normal level of adrenalin due to the constant stress without any defect in their adrenalin gland. This may be one area that I have overlooked in my own personal fight against T. A lower adrenalin level might mean lower T..
       

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