Have I Developed (Permanent) Reactive Tinnitus & Hyperacusis from Exposure to Security Alarm?

Discussion in 'Support' started by NBH, May 31, 2021.

    1. NBH

      NBH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello everyone.

      I'm twenty six years old, and for most of my life, I could recall hearing a faint "eeee" whenever I was in a quiet room, but it never really bothered me. I always assumed it was what everybody else heard in complete silence.

      Fast forward to Sunday, May 16th (just over two weeks ago); I was exposed to an ear-piercing security alarm (it was tripped by one of my parents on accident). A few days later, I began to notice that the ringing in my ears had become more audible. I did some research and discovered that I had tinnitus, and sank into a deep depression that I'm still struggling with.

      For what it's worth, I've actually been exposed to this same alarm on numerous occasions before (the security terminal indicates that it's been tripped nineteen times since we had it installed last May), and I can't recall my tinnitus worsening after any prior incident, but I digress.

      Over the last several days, I've noticed a couple of things:

      The first is that my tinnitus seems to become louder in direct response to certain noises (running water, car engines, leaf blowers) and immediately dies down once the sound is absent. In addition, certain musical instruments have a "tinny" sound to them, and some musical pitches are completely obscured by a sudden high-pitched ringing (as it were apart of the composition itself, although this seems to occur more often with low quality speakers).

      The second thing I've noticed is that I've developed an increased sensitivity to sound. I find myself reacting to sudden noises with a heightened sense of awareness that I didn't have before, and a few noises (like a very loud sound through a phone speaker) are legitimately painful to listen to.

      Looking back, I can recall having many of these symptoms after I got my ears cleaned at the doctor's office years ago, but they seemed to subside after a few days.

      With all of that being said, would it appear that I have developed reactive tinnitus and hyperacusis as a result of loud noise exposure? And if so, is there any hope that I might recover from these conditions in the coming months?

      Thank you for your time.
       
    2. Chris S.

      Chris S. Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud sound; Pfizer vaccine
      It is still very early to tell if your spike is a new reality or not. At least from my experience, it takes several (4-5) days for spikes induced by loud noises to subside. Hopefully, in a few days your tinnitus increase will abate and that may also change the pitch back to normal.

      What you are describing sounds like hyperacusis (which I also have to a certain extent) - reactive tinnitus is another name for it that we use on this forum. Many sounds (not loud enough to do damage) make me uncomfortable. I also get muffled hearing for a time from some.

      My word of warning - be very careful from now on around medications and supplements. If your tinnitus has become elevated, medications/supplements, rather than loud noises, are what may make it even more elevated. I am sorry if this sounds scary - but please check the following list for any common medications that you know or take.
       

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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      NBH

      NBH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I actually started taking Prozac (fluoxetine) for my obsessive compulsive disorder at the beginning of May. I began with a daily dose of 10 mg for two weeks, then increased my dosage to 20 mg on May 14th; roughly four to five days before I started to notice my symptoms.

      With that being said, I don't necessarily believe the medication is the culprit since I took it for several years before with no issues.

      On another note; are reactive tinnitus and hyperacusis one and the same? I assumed they were different conditions.
       
    4. Chris S.

      Chris S. Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud sound; Pfizer vaccine
      You will find some members here arguing this issue a lot - but, they are generally regarded as the same thing by many who post here. Or, some say - reactive tinnitus is in fact "ordinary" tinnitus + hyperacusis.

      In my case, I have a tinnitus that reacts to the environment - what I eat, what I hear, how I sleep, etc. I also have mild hyperacusis that is mostly the result of using earplugs often when I am out.

      Unfortunately, tinnitus is not a forgiving condition. Medications that previously did not affect you may worsen a newly developed tinnitus. That being said, however, I've been on SSRIs before (still take Mirtazapine, in fact) and know that getting off those is not easy at all. Prozac and Mirtazapine are both on the list of drugs that are ototoxic. That being said, before a single Aspirin pill made my tinnitus quite bad, it had been mild for nearly a year, during which time I was taking regularly Mirtazapine. So - perhaps Prozac is not responsible for your tinnitus spike. Be especially careful with antibiotics, including antibiotic ointments. As far as I know, only Augmentin and Amoxicillin are regarded as generally safe among the more frequently prescribed antibiotics. I had the bad luck of applying a Bacitracin/Neomycin sulfate ointment on a burn wound for nearly two weeks. I am still dealing with the tinnitus spike that it caused.
       
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    5. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      SSRIs might not be inherently toxic but they can put your brain into a less forgiving tinnitus state.

      Serotonin does play a role in the hippocampus and then the gating system. So messing with that might sway your tinnitus threshold, allowing a signal to pass and potentiate that shouldn't.

      I took an SSRI briefly, seemed to actually help a lot. Coming off of it made me spike hard. There's definitely something going on.

      Lowest dose for shortest time is always a good rule of thumb with mind altering drugs. Ironically, for me, that might include coffee.
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      NBH

      NBH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I won't be able to see my doctor for the next two months, but I'll be sure to ask them about the medication during my next appointment in early August.

      In the meantime, have there been any reports of people recovering from reactive tinnitus/hyperacusis induced by loud noise exposure?

      I'm nearly three weeks into my condition, and I can't say I've noticed any improvements so far (although my stress levels, sleeping patterns, and appetite have improved considerably).
       
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    7. danielthor

      danielthor Member

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      A bunch. Try looking through the threads of “reactive tinnitus”. I’m currently going through them and taking screenshots.

      Are you still dealing with it?
       
    8. Tau
      Worried

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      Yes, people do recover, just protect your ears: no headphones (or extremely low volume, but some people swear by not using headphones at all - look into that), no loud venues (or protective earplugs in those). Try to get enough sleep.

      I could not manage my anxiety and made my condition much worse.
       
    9. Stacken77
      Cowabunga

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise(likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I'm also aware of the fact that quite a few actually recover. Would you mind somehow sharing those screenshots somewhere later? Would be nice to maintain the hope for better days.
       
    10. Tau
      Worried

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      On a side note, has anyone heard of people with hidden hearing loss improving? That would be a great motivator for me.
       
    11. Stacken77
      Cowabunga

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise(likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I have a hard time believing hearing loss overall can improve once the damage is done, but tinnitus and hyperacusis in its many shapes and form seems to improve for a lot of people with time, loads of time. While tinnitus may be a symptom of peripheral damage, it ultimately is a issue of the brain, and the brain can adapt and change with time, both ways.
       
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    12. Tau
      Worried

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      That's what I am thinking, unlucky for me.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      NBH

      NBH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      My baseline tinnitus is more or less the same, but my sound sensitivity seems to have improved a bit as I find myself experiencing less discomfort in the presence of certain noise levels.

      One thing I forgot to mention is that feelings of aural fullness in both ears subsided after one week following onset (although I still experience some mild pain in my left ear from time to time).

      I should also note that I may be suffering from sound distortions resulting from dysacusis rather than reactive tinnitus/hyperacusis as the phantom noises that accompany certain sounds immediately die down once the sound is absent (they also sound quite different from my baseline tinnitus).

      With all that being said, I'm doing much better today than I was five weeks ago.
       
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