Headphones-Induced Tinnitus Made Worse by Another Acoustic Trauma

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Aloman278, Oct 12, 2022.

    1. Aloman278

      Aloman278 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hey everyone, nice to meet you all. I originally got tinnitus in May 2021 from loud music and sounds using headphones. After that experience, I never used headphones again. From May 2021, my tinnitus has been stable for the most part with no major spikes that last multiple days, weeks or months. During the last couple of months with tinnitus, I was able to see Top Gun 2 and go to a festival (with earplugs) and not have a noticeable change. I also take the bus to school and my tinnitus does not spike when on the street. I have been very used to my tinnitus until now...

      However, last Thursday I was talking to my cousin on Teams and he shared, using screen share, some video that had a very loud and a high-pitched scream. I was on my phone so I tried to exit the meeting, but I still heard the noise and tensed up. I thought the exposure would go away after bed, but I awoke in the middle of the night to an even louder and high-pitched sound.

      It has almost been a week since the exposure and I really hope it is temporary but I am losing hope. I haven't been sleeping well and there isn't any indication that it'll go down. Any support or positive thoughts would really help me during this time.

      I never imagined that my tinnitus would spike like this after it has been good for so long...
       
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    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Aloman278.

      I am sorry to hear about the increase in your tinnitus after a long period it has been stable. You are not to blame because you didn't know of the risks involved with this type of tinnitus which is noise induced.

      Many people can successfully habituate to noise induced tinnitus with or without hyperacusis. However, a person can habituate to tinnitus but still have spikes. Spikes are an indication that hyperacusis is present within the auditory system or the person has some oversensitivity to sound caused by the noise trauma.

      If the hyperacusis or oversensitivity to sound don't improve by themselves, or they are not treated with sound therapy, ideally using white noise generators, you may require counselling with an audiologist trained in tinnitus and hyperacusis management. In most cases (but not all) there is the risk of the tinnitus increasing at some time due to being exposed to sound, that may not necessarily have to be loud. The risk increases if the person listens to audio through headphones even at low volume. This includes earbuds, AirPods, headsets, noise cancelling and bone conduction headphones.

      If a person fully habituates to noise induced tinnitus and has no signs of hyperacusis or oversensitivity to sound within their auditory system, they still need to be careful when exposed to loud sounds. This doesn't mean to be wearing noise reducing earplugs 24/7, or to be petrified that their tinnitus will be made worse because a police siren is heard in close proximity. It does mean when going to places such as night clubs, cinema, concert not to put trust in noise reducing earplugs no matter how good they are, even custom moulded types. The reason is because, if external sound is loud enough, it will pass through the head and transfer to the inner ear by bone conduction and spike the tinnitus. The spike could increase the tinnitus to a new permanent level.

      Some people that have habituated to noise induced tinnitus, think that is perfectly safe to listen to audio through any type of headphones as long as the volume is kept low. This is not necessarily true. I have corresponded and counselled many people over the years with this type of tinnitus. In the majority of cases when this type of tinnitus increases after habituation of more than a year, the reason is caused by listening to audio through headphones, earbuds, headsets, noise cancelling or bone conduction headphones. It can also be caused by exposure to other types of loud sounds even when wearing earplugs.

      Please go to my started threads and read: Hyperacusis, As I See It, Tinnitus, a Personal View, Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? Tinnitus and the Negative Mindset, Acquiring a Positive Mindset. Please click on the link below and read my post: Can I Habituate to Variable Tinnitus?

      Hope you start to feel better soon.

      All the best,
      Michael

      Can I Habituate to Variable Tinnitus? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Aloman278

      Aloman278 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thank you for the kind words and information Michael. For the past couple of days I haven't been sleeping well, but I have hope that this spike won't be permanent. The main things driving me are that I wasn't using headphones and the fact that it hasn't been a week since the exposure.

      Wishing for a miracle.
       
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It is good that you haven't been using headphones @Aloman278.

      As I mentioned in my previous post, the most common cause for noise induced tinnitus to spike or increase to a new permanent level is the result of exposure to sound. I have covered this at length in my post: Can I Habituate to Variable Tinnitus? If you are able to print it and the other posts mentioned, I advise you to do so. That way you will absorb and retrain the information better than reading on your phone or computer screen.

      All the best,
      Michael
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Aloman278

      Aloman278 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Even though the spike has gone down a bit, I have a hissing sound within both of the ears. Will that go away in time? It's only been a week since the exposure.
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It is good news that the spike has reduced a bit @Aloman278.

      We are all different, so I cannot say for certain how your tinnitus is going to behave in the weeks and months ahead. My advice is to follow the suggestions in my posts if you want to try self-help. This requires using low level sound enrichment whenever possible and particularly at night, to help desensitize your auditory system, because I suspect remnants of hyperacusis are still present within your auditory system or it has some oversensitivity to sound. This needs to be treated so you don't get another spike.

      As I have previously mentioned, spikes are an indication that hyperacusis or some oversensitivity to sound is present in the auditory system. See how you get on and give it time. If your oversensitivity to sound hasn't significantly improved after 3 months, I suggest seeing an audiologist that specialises in tinnitus and hyperacusis management. This is just my advice but ultimately, it's your choice whatever you choose to do.

      I advise that you keep away from places where loud music is played and don't put your trust in noise reducing earplugs, if external sound is loud enough, it can pass through the head and transfer to the inner and spike the tinnitus, which can increase it to a new permanent level.

      Be patient and hopefully things will improve.

      Best of luck,
      Michael
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Aloman278

      Aloman278 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      The spike has gone down a bit but it is still noticeably different. The trauma that caused the spike was a high pitched scream. It hasn't been 2 weeks yet but I'm losing the hope that this spike is temporary. Most spikes that I had before lasted a week maximum, but this is persisting close to 2 weeks. I really don't know what to do.
       
    8. 10Kcd

      10Kcd Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hi @Aloman278 - I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with a scary spike. I recognize that it's easy for me to say this, yet it seems likely that you're spike continue to reduce in intensity, hopefully all the way back to your original baseline (or, in an even more ideal world, out of your perception altogether :)

      If I were in your position and really concerned, I'd probably try to schedule a visit to a specialist, even though it's not clear that doing so would necessarily help or clarify things - I just know that sometimes, getting a trained professional's opinion helps me get out of my own head.

      One thing that I and many members have found useful for the symptom you're describing is supplementing with NAC. I might try that, along with getting good rest and drinking plenty of water to keep your system hydrated and running smoothly. There will be infinite other supplement recommendations on this forum, and I wouldn't argue with any of them, as each individual is so different - I'm just offering something that I've found helpful.

      I hope to hear an update from you soon about how your tinnitus has returned to an unintrusive baseline!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I understand your concerns, but you need to give the healing process plenty of time because 2 weeks is not long enough.

      If you have printed my posts as I have advised you to do, by taking your time to read them will help allay any fears or doubts you may have about the tinnitus, because you will understand what's going on. This will lower anxiety and stress. If you are feeling stressed talk to your doctor.

      I wish you well,
      Michael
       
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