Does Reactive Tinnitus Only Appear with Hyperacusis?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Orions Pain, Nov 23, 2020.


Do you have reactive tinnitus?

  1. Yes, and ALSO hyperacusis

  2. Yes, but NO hyperacusis

  3. No, I don't have reactive tinnitus

  4. Other (describe in comments)

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    1. Orions Pain

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A series of unfortunate events
      Do you have reactive tinnitus? Whether it's accompanied by hyperacusis or not, please share your experience!

      Is there anyone here that has absolutely no ear pain, and no sort of sensitivities (normal things sounding too loud, sensitive to certain frequencies and so on) but have tinnitus that grows louder with external noises?

      For example, if I turn on a fan it’s like the noise gets louder and goes right over it. Same with our heater and so on. It’s not reactive in a sense that it only appears with noise. I have constant, fairly severe tinnitus but it has gotten even more difficult to mask because it just gets louder with any external noise .

      How many of you guys have “just” tinnitus (no hyperacusis at all) but it’s also extremely reactive in that absolutely nothing masks it?
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    2. Ava Lugo

      Ava Lugo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anyone on here that doesn't have reactive tinnitus is absolutely blessed... well in that way. It's much much easier to habituate to constant tinnitus that doesn't react to sound. Me personally I wouldn't be on here if I didn't have reactive tinnitus.

      To answer your question, I don't really get ear pain or headaches from noise or loudness hyperacusis but i do think the tinnitus is too loud and intrusive if i stay in a grocery store for more than 30 minutes.
      • Hug Hug x 1
    3. weab00

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise, whiplash; 08/20 H
      Reactive tinnitus exists and anyone telling you otherwise is being highly pedantic. If your tinnitus gets louder in reaction to noise, it's reactive. That's literally the definition of reactive.
      • Agree Agree x 3
    4. ASilverLight
      In pain

      ASilverLight Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise, stress and a neck injury.
      My tinnitus competes and spikes to random noise, both soft and loud (and randomly because the same sound doesn't always cause it to get louder) however I have no noise sensitivity* or pain.

      * There's always been noises I dislike but cause no pain or sound louder etc. Just a sensory issue.
      • Hug Hug x 1
    5. lapidus

      lapidus Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Well, I have severe noxacusis (and loudness hyperacusis too) which came on gradually in late 2013/early 2014. Before that I had "normal" tinnitus which I was 200% habituated to. My tinnitus has changed a lot during these last years. It fluctuates a lot from day to day and on some days it's extremely reactive and is totally impossible to habituate to. My noxacusis pain manifests in sharp stabbing pain in direct response to sounds and also in violent middle ear muscle spasms.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. lymebite
      Vegged out

      lymebite Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I have severe noxacusis (sound causes ear pain).

      Sound also causes my tinnitus to increase temporarily, it usually will reset to baseline overnight after increasing in reaction to sound.
      • Like Like x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
    7. Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I have reactive tinnitus and hyperacusis. I have bilateral tinnitus, but my reactivity seems to be only noticeable in my right ear. Anyone else with this experience?

      EDIT: My tinnitus is normally more pronounced in my right ear anyway. I’d say 2 points higher on a 1-10 scale than the left in general.
      • Hug Hug x 1
    8. Doug Robison

      Doug Robison Member

      Saint Petersburg, Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly noise induced
      I am responding to the OP. I'm not exactly sure what I have, so maybe someone can help me classify my symptoms:
      • I have a continuous high frequency hissing tinnitus sound. Some days it is louder than others, but it definitely reacts immediately to sound, especially high pitched sound, where I notice the hissing getting louder in response to whatever ambient sound triggers it. But then it seems to back right down to the previous starting point when the ambient noise ceases.
      • I can't really tell if my background tinnitus loudness goes up or down after days where I have been exposed to more noise. I have not really detected a pattern.
      • Many "normal" sounds seem too loud to me, but not painfully so. I have never had any ear "pain" and I can tolerate clanking plates, traffic noise, grocery stores, etc. without serious discomfort. I hardly ever protect my ears when I am in normal settings. But daily life seems noisier before the onset of my symptoms 3 months ago.
      So, I would call this having reactive tinnitus with mild hyperacusis. But I can also see the point made by Michael Leigh that reactive tinnitus is a subcomponent of hyperacusis. I have wondered if the "reactivity" of my tinnitus would recede or disappear if I could effectively "treat" my hyperacusis, or it just resolves naturally. I have seen many posts where folks say they had reactive tinnitus, but the reactivity declined over time.

      The sad reality of this situation is that doctors and audiologists really know nothing about these distinctions; and data on the treatment effectiveness of TRT and similar approaches are ambiguous at best. TRT takes 2 years to complete, and yet the data show that most people naturally habituate after 2 years anyway. So while this is an interesting academic question, I'm not sure there is any practical advantage to knowing what particular variety of tinnitus and/or hyperacusis that we have.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. 100Hz

      100Hz Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I've got reactive tinnitus and noxacusis in both ears @Orions Pain. Much worse in the left, hardly noticeable in the right but it is there.

      Both ears tinnitus sometimes reduces to a very manageable level but once triggered by noise, the tinnitus reacts and spikes and the pain also spikes along side it. Then both tinnitus and pain calm down again over time together.
    10. Liam_Cairns

      Liam_Cairns Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Originally loud Music and was worsened by Micro-suction
      There is this really stupid myth perpetuated on this website about how reactive tinnitus is hyperacusis, and the dude that spreads it has 0 scientific basis for this so called "theory" of his and yet it is preached like fact.

      If there is anything I have learned about this condition is that everyone's tinnitus is kinda unique in its own way and how it presents can vary widely from person to person.

      So I think it is entirely possible to have reactive tinnitus but no hyperacusis.
    11. bill 112

      bill 112 Member

      Republic Of Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Yes and no, honestly it can be quite bizarre.

      My tinnitus reacts to sound the moment I wake up but then goes quieter the more sound I’m around, I think the term for that is residual inhibition but correct me if I’m wrong so naturally the more sound I’m around to a limit the better my tinnitus feels but then the hyperacusis becomes unhappy and flares up (noxacusis in my case) but that too then settles down with the aid of a painkiller and the more sound I’m around (again within a limit) until bedtime. Tinnitus is usually super quiet at this point and then when I wake up it’s absolutely screaming. Rinse and repeat for the last nearly 5 years.

      It’s very hard to predict what way it’s going to go sometimes and a random setback can genuinely occur out of nowhere. I could go for a drive through the mountains (super quiet modern car), get home, be perfectly fine with some mild pain, rest and be perfectly fine where as other days I could go for a walk and hear distant traffic noise and return to a setback with extreme reactive tinnitus that lasts days/weeks or months.

      It’s honestly that random.
    12. Pierce Wolf

      Pierce Wolf Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nail gun charge going off outside the gun near my right ear
      I have tinnitus and hyperacusis in only right ear from high pitched explosion. The pain is normally more bothersome than the ring for the ring is easy enough to mask with a fan, music, or a TV. It is reactive however, if I go play my drum kit with no hearing protection, the ring will be all I can hear after, super loud and super annoying. Interestingly enough my hyperacusis pain doesn’t get much worse it’s kinda always just gnawing at me no matter what I do. If I hear a really sudden loud noise however it will cause brief spikes of pain but they do not last. My incident only happened 3 and a half weeks ago so I may still be healing and getting used to my injury in certain ways.

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