Does Reactive Tinnitus Stop Reacting?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Karam, Oct 19, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Karam

      Karam Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      22/07/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've read a few posts saying that reactivity decreases with time, I would be cured if this happens because my tinnitus is mild but when exposed to normal sounds it gets louder.

      Is it true that reactivity goes or decreases with time or do I have to live with this?
       
    2. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I had sound sensitivity when I first had T. It went away after being exposed to sound gradually. But my T still reacts to music and it makes me mad. I can't listen to any type of masking noise or music without my T trying to compete with it.
       
    3. Karam

      Karam Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      22/07/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Kazue i too had many bouts and relapses of sound sensitivity (which is worse than tinnitus) but eventually it goes away after desensitising your ears but reactive tinnitus is another thing and more annoying when reacting to sounds
       
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Kazue Are you doing anything that could be causing your tinnitus to react? Reactive tinnitus is in my opinion hyperacusis. Do you listen to audio through headphones or attend venues where loud music is played?
      Michael
       
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    5. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Karam You need to use sound enrichment to desenstize your ears. I believe your ears are senstive due to hyperacusis.
      Michael
       
    6. Karam

      Karam Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      22/07/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Michael Leigh i am aware of this, By using sound enrichment do you mean avoid silence and listen to nature sounds at night?
      Also michael please could you inform me went to use hearing protection, as i go to school where there is loud corridors, classrooms and alarm bells. Do you avdice protection in such circumstances?
       
    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Karam I will explain briefly as I'm only using a tablet at the moment and not my computer which has a large keyboard. If you click on my profile picture and choose started threads, there are many of my articles which explain the importance of using sound enrichment, hyperacusis and how to treat it.

      If you listen to audio through headphones then I advise you not to even at low volumes. If your ears are senstive to sound at school, in my opinion this is a clear indication of hyperacusis. If hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound) isn't treated you will always have problems with your tinnitus spiking or being sensitive. I advise you to listen to sound enrichment at night using a sound machine but keep the volume low, below your tinnitus. Over time this will help to desensitize your ears. When you come home from school, try and use sound enrichment, this can be music playing in the background at low level but try not to make it masked your tinnitus.

      A lot of people that have reactive tinnitus (or hyperacusis) is because they are not treating the condition. Some people still continue using headphones and don't believe they are making their sensitivity to sound worse.
      You could try using noise-reducing earplugs at school for a while, but don't make a habit of using them all day. Noise-reducing earplugs are not FOAM earplugs.
      Michael
       
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    8. Karam

      Karam Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      22/07/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Michael Leigh thank you very much for the informative reply, I believe i have a mild form of hyperacusis. However in school its not the sensitivity that bothers me its the fact that i dont know when to protect, therefore I end up over protecting, making the problem worse. I will protect in loud environments, thank you for the info
       
    9. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Karam If your ears hurt or you feel irritation when you hear particular sounds then this could be an indication that you're ears are sensitive. Use sound enrichment in the manner that I've suggested and don't listen to audio through headphones even at low level. I believe in time you will see improvement.
      All the best
      Michael
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    10. Karam

      Karam Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      22/07/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
    11. Starthrower

      Starthrower Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Surgery
      Hi Michael and Karam,

      Michael what is your opinion for Karam to use a noise cancelling headset without music? I found in the early stages using my bose only for protection from loud places worked well. I could still hear the sounds but the protection stopped the usual ear sensitivity. I preferred that to ear plugs which seemed to make my tinnitus seem louder.

      Karam wrote although his tinnitus is mild the noise factor makes it increase.

      Karam glad you are going to school! When you find what works the best for your situation you will do just fine.
       
    12. Karam

      Karam Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      22/07/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Starthrower yes seems like a good idea, and going to school is my only option for my age ,although it makes the tinnitus healing process harder due to loud noise
       
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Starthrower
      This is just my opinion Starhrower.
      When someone has tinnitus and it is intrusive like many of the people that visit tinnitustalk, especially if it was caused by loud noise (and they have hyperacusis) then they have to be careful of being around loud sounds, and not listening to music through headphones of any description and take special care, when visiting clubs or concerts where loud music is being played, even when they are wearing earplugs.

      Unfortunately, some people don’t realize the risks they take and listen to music through headphones and attend places where loud music is played and think earplugs will protect them all of the time. Sadly, I don’t think anything is one hundred percent certain so we need to be very careful and protect our ears.
      I don’t think Karam should wear noise-cancelling headset. I think noise-reducing earplugs are ok to use but only temporary. If I were Karam I would use sound enrichment whenever possible to desensitise the hyperacusis, which I think, is affecting him.

      Michael
       
    14. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Starthrower @Karam

      Tinnitus, earplugs and nightclubs.


      Someone that has tinnitus I believe they should try and live a normal life as they possibly can. This includes going out to clubs, concerts and other venues of entertainment where music is played if they wish to. For some, tinnitus can be difficult to live with without putting further restrictions on their life. However, I also believe taking the necessary precautions is absolutely vital, in preventing noise trauma to the inner ear, which could make the tinnitus louder and more intrusive.

      Unfortunately, in some instances a person can be left in a hit or a miss situation, as there is no way of knowing if they have put themselves in harms way until after enjoying a night out, find their tinnitus has become louder and more intrusive over the coming days. One hopes this will be a temporary spike but there is no guarantee this new level of intensity won’t become permanent and could require a visit to ENT. Sorry to sound so sobering but these are the facts as I see it.

      One way of protecting yourself from inner ear damage is to wear noise-reducing earplugs when going to nightclubs or concerts. They will reduce external sounds, in this case music and fortunately won’t impair sound quality, which is so important to most people attending these venues. The earplugs are available in various degrees of attenuation from as little as 9 decibels right up to 25 and even higher. If money is no object, one can buy custom moulded earplugs with the full knowledge they are getting the best ear protection that they can afford.

      A word of caution to anyone that might not be in the know. I believe no level of ear protection is one hundred percent safe; so one still needs to be careful when attending nightclubs and concerts and not get carried away in thinking, wearing earplugs is completely safe so anything goes and you can stand next to the speakers all night or right up near to the stage where the music is booming out. Some people might not be aware, if music is loud enough it can still be transferred to the inner ear and reach the cochlear and cause damage via the Mastoid bone. This is a hard piece of bone behind each ear. It is honeycombed and has air pockets within it. Please don’t think that it’s only midrange and high frequencies that can cause harm. Low bass frequencies, which cause vibrations, will do the same.

      Go out and enjoy yourself and have fun but at the same time be prudent and respect your hearing.
      Michael

      PS: further reading is available at:
      https://www.britannica.com/science/ear/Transmission-of-sound-by-bone-conduction
       
    15. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Nope. I don't listen to music anymore through headphones. I only use them to watch movies occasionally. I do live my life and go to the cinema sometimes. I always wear earplugs and headphones though. I haven't been to any venues lately.
       
    16. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Kazue The fact that you use headphones even with earplugs makes me suspect this is causing your sensitivity to sound. If you are not careful, in my opinion your symptoms will get worse.
      Sorry to sound so sobering, but when someone has tinnitus they're taking a risk listening to audio through headphones even with earplugs. When tinnitus spikes and it doesn't calm down the usual cause is SOUND.
      All the best
      Michael
       
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    17. Jomo

      Jomo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      9/4/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      going for a rim shot on the snare drum.
      Karam i give you a ton of cred man...T and still going to skool. Dont give up.

      @Michael Leigh

      Mike I thought you might find this amusing...i saw an audiologist on friday...he suffers from T as well and got it from listening to headphones when he was young...he looked to be in his 40s so he probably had it for quite some time....due to the fact that he was a long time sufferer and an audiologist i picked his brain....he actually told me it was ok to wear headphones as long as the volume was low. Said he does so even till this day. I totally disagreed but i couldn't believe that someone who is supposedly very knowledgeable and a sufferer would say that. I am getting custom fitted musician ear plugs in 2 weeks....should those be ok to just wear as a noise reducing ear plug?
       
    18. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Jomo I did find your post a amusing. Your Audiologist is not being smart but it's his choice as long as you know better. Custom earplugs are fine but remember, if sound is loud enough it can still reach the inner ear via the Mastoid bone as I mentioned in my post above: Tinnitus nightclubs and earplugs, so be careful. Once the tinnitus gets worse it's harder to get it to settle back down. Go out and enjoy yourself but remember what it has taken and all that you've been through to reach where you are, so be careful.
      Best of luck
      Michael
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    19. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Oh no, I use noise cancelling headphones without the music playing. I spent nearly $300 on those headphones and they're not going to waste. I wear them for slight hearing protection, not music. I use foam earplugs and am investing in some nice musician earplugs. Not to sound rude or anything but what's the difference from listening to white noise in your sleep and listening to music? Either way, your ears are still receiving sound. Noise is still noise, especially if it's set below the level of your T. This question is not out of rudeness but out of curiosity.
       
    20. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Why is this bad advise? Keep the headphones low, it's the same as any other noise period. Unless someone has a valid reason headphones are bad ? Never any reason given is there? People running around with advise and no explanations is typical here. You do realize that you have a volume control on the headphones and you don't have to blast them right?
       
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    21. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Kazue You carry on and take care...
      Michael
       
    22. Karam

      Karam Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      22/07/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Michael Leigh so your saying spikes from loud noise is permanent? Im going through one right now
       
    23. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Karam

      No, I am not saying spikes from loud noise is always permanent. My opinion on spikes in tinnitus and spikes from loud noise is this:

      When a person first develops tinnitus and it was caused by loud noise they have to be careful in future. Tinnitus can and does spike for many people but after a while it returns to baseline or into its normal rhythm. The danger is, when some people habituate it is easy to forget and return to their old lifestyle of attending clubs, concerts, the cinema and listening to music through headphones.

      A person with tinnitus can and should attend clubs, concerts and the cinema if they want to providing they use such things as noise reducing earplugs to protect themselves. However, nothing is one hundred percent safe. In many instances people will get a warning. If they visit the places I've mentioned and their tinnitus spikes because of loud noise/sounds the tinnitus will usually return to baseline. Some people do not pay attention to this warning and continue to subject their ears to loud sounds and think it's still perfectly safe because they are wearing earplugs. In this instance the tinnitus might spike again and this time it might become permanent. I am saying might because nothing is for certain. In my opinion a person with tinnitus needs to follow the warnings their auditory system and tinnitus is telling them.

      Regarding headphones. Many people have contacted me after they have habituated to tinnitus and returned to using headphones and listened to music through them at low volume. All them have noticed an increase in their tinnitus. Some of them noticed their tinnitus spiked but carried on listening to music through headphones and then the tinnitus increased to a higher and permanent level.

      People that do not listen will eventually feel, because tinnitus is very unforgiving. It is fine when some people are telling others what they want to hear: "carry on listening to music through headphones because life is for living". However, if your tinnitus increases you will be the one that will be in the suffering! I have read many posts in tinnitus talk and other tinnitus forums, where people had habituated and their tinnitus was low. They returned to listening to music through headphones (some say low level) and playing computer games wearing them and now they are full of regret because their tinnitus has increased and they are in distress.

      Just because a person habituates to their tinnitus doesn't mean they can forget everything and carry on recklessly. You can of course do this, but the end result is often returning to ENT for help and forums like tinnitus talk for support because you cannot cope.

      Michael
       
      • Winner Winner x 1
    24. Karam

      Karam Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      22/07/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
    25. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @karum you are welcome
      Michael
       
    26. Owen
      Disappointed

      Owen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear. Inflammatory allergic reaction/AIED
      @Karam

      Mine used to absolutely scream from just normal, everyday sounds - in fact, the first tinnitus I ever had was purely reactive, I had no continual tinnitus once the reactivity had settled. I could be in a silent room all day and I would be tinnitus free, but put me in an office, watching a film at home, or walking around outside and it would absolutely scream for 30 minutes to 1 hour afterwards (and we're not talking loud environments, probably no more than 75dBspl). Fortunately, this has improved massively over time. I still have semi-continual tinnitus, but the fact it is no longer significantly reactive has removed a lot of the paranoia I had of sound.
       
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    27. Karam

      Karam Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      22/07/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Owen thx this gives me hope
       
    28. Jason C

      Jason C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29 May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Burgler Alarm
      How long did it take for this too improve and how did your tinnitus start??
       
    29. Owen
      Disappointed

      Owen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear. Inflammatory allergic reaction/AIED
      I'll try and keep it short, but to make some sense of it, it needs a bit of background.

      My tinnitus was caused by a prescription drug allergy. Not ototoxicity in the true sense, but effectively, I had systemic allergic symptoms to Levothyroxine which included typical allergic symptoms such as itching, hives, watery eyes etc., but also mouth ulcers, dry mouth, muscle twitches, fluctuating blood pressure, migraines with loss of vision etc. and of course tinnitus (although this didn't start for quite some while after the other symptoms). The tinnitus was further exacerbated because all the inflammation resulted in ETD as well. I was in and out of hospital for months without a diagnosis other than some strange auto-immune disease as a probable cause, but equally told repeatedly that it could not be connected to the Levothyroxine I had started 6 weeks before all this first began. Eventually, after nearly 2 years, I made the call myself to stop taking it in place of a substitute that is not listed on the MIMS in the UK.

      Following this, within 3-6 months of stopping it, almost all the other symptoms gradually disappeared. Sadly tinnitus was not amongst them and in fact became a hundred fold worse to start with. It sounded like I had a jet engine taking off inside my head.

      Eventually, now 16 months since I stopped taking it, I still have tinnitus, but it is not so severe as it was and all the other symptoms have improved or gone completely (unrelated huh!). I have not had a single migraine and my allergies have settled a lot. I still have ETD as my right ear regularly clogs up throughout the day and especially at night - when lying down to sleep and I always wake in the morning to a lot of squelchy noises in that ear if I yawn or hiccup or similar.

      The reactivity isn't totally gone, but being in an office is not enough to set it off. I'm still very cautious with my hearing and wear ear defenders when vacuuming or anything of a similar amplitude.

      I still need a TV on in the background to fall asleep, but I think a lot of this is to do with my brain seeking out some sort of noise all the time and without some sort of background noise, it keeps amplifying the tinnitus I do have.

      Equally however, I do have moments - quite regularly - when the tinnitus disappears - and I mean totally. These periods of silence have been getting longer and longer. Sometimes, lasting several hours at a time. However, I still have flare-ups for no apparent reason that can be very intrusive and distressing - in some ways, the huge amount of variance I have makes it worse for me to cope as I can be on a real high, tinnitus free, busy and engaged and suddenly, out of the blue, my hearing is at it again and it knocks me right back down.

      I still remain optimistic that it will continue to improve. Whether or not it will go completely is another matter, but I have no reason to believe otherwise. If I think about things daily, then it never gets better, but if I work in 3 month blocks, then every block has yielded an improvement over the last.

      It is now close to 2.5 years since the initial onset of tinnitus.
       
    30. NancyL
      Fine

      NancyL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oakland CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/19/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Workplace noise
      I have been getting complacent after finding a protocol that helped me manage my T: almost daily aerobic exercise + AudioNotch.com playlist of notched sound, also almost daily.

      Then last Friday I joined a group of friends to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch (rock musical) after dinner together. OMG what a mistake. (Great show, don't get me wrong, but unbelievably, damagingly loud.)

      I was wearing my custom earplugs, believe me. We were sitting up in the mezzanine level in the theater, so pretty much in the middle of the space, from an auditory perspective.

      I was tired, as it was a Friday night after a long week. I was being super careful by wearing the protection. I didn't actually take out my phone to measure the sound volume, but now I wish I had - because it was horrific. My T has been moderate to loud since then, though it has responded to aerobic exercise and I have listened to AudioNotch sound at a low level daily since.

      I know - or believe - that with persistent exercise especially I'll be able to reduce the volume again to a low level. But it was a sobering reminder that I cannot allow myself to be caught out like that, even for a social setting that I would normally enjoy a lot.

      Not sure how I will find out the max decibel level of Broadway shows in the future - I would hate to think that I could no longer see any. I'll be calling the box office for any show I consider though.

      Be careful out there, is all I can say.
       

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