"Hearing Distortion" "Recruitment" "Reactive Tinnitus"

Discussion in 'Support' started by SilverSpiral, Jan 6, 2017.

    1. SilverSpiral
      Sad

      SilverSpiral Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ACOUSTIC TRAUMA
      So following a noise induced situation, I have felt heavyness in the most affected ear, and constant tinnitus in both ears, 3 tones in the most effected ear, 1 tone in the other. 2 of the tones in the most affected ear being unmaskable.

      However beyond the constant tinnitus, which is somewhat reactive to external sound (raising in volume after showering or walking outside by a street), The most disturbing symptom I experience is distortion of hearing or what I have recently heard of being called "recruitment". It means that at certain frequencies when I hear outside sound, instead of hearing the actual sound, I hear a modulated puretone/sinewave, people who are less audio intensive may describe it as hearing a whistle over/within external sounds.

      It is horrible, fridges, showers, distant traffic, rain, and most devestatingly, music all produce this horrible whistling sound at certain frequencies. For me its around 2k, 4k, and 6k. It sounds perhaps similar to microphone feedback. It is really horrible.

      How many others experience this and please, does anybody have links that reference this sort of occurance? I am really trying to come to terms with it.

      I have basically habituated to the constant T tones I hear. I have significant hyperacusis, especially in my bad ear, but hearing this crap over sound in general is definitely the most psychologically damaging part, and is in my opinion completely restistant to habituation.

      Does anybody know exactly what this is? Any scientific explanation of what it is? Does it respond well to LLLT?
       
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    2. Reinier
      Not amused

      Reinier Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Explosion starting engine
      I experience sound distortion too. I am not sure of it is recruitment. I think recruitment sounds different than the distortion I hear.
      What you describe sounds like reactive tinnitus. I can not be sure because this is not what I experience.

      I believe there are some examples of what recruitment sounds like on the internet.
      Did you listen to examples of recruitment and compare these with what you experience?

      What I hear is crackling sound in high to mid frequencies when levels get to moderate sound levels (70 dB?).
      I do not experience this distortion at low sound levels.
      Can be compared to broken speaker.

      What I remember from listening to recruitment in these examples on the internet that it is less "aggressive" than what I experience. No crackling.

      I understand that with recruitment you do hear the actual frequencies that are effected. When sound levels go up neighbouring hair cell regions start "assisting" the effected hair cell regions. This you probably already read on the internet. You mentioned you do not hear the actual sound. Just a modulated sound.

      I also understand that recruitment is quite rare.

      PS: I started LLLT approximately 6 months ago. So far no change at all.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      SilverSpiral
      Sad

      SilverSpiral Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ACOUSTIC TRAUMA
      I hear these distortions at any level of sound, in fact it is most prominent at low levels, compared to higher levels, for instance, listening to a song at very very low level, i will practically only hear the distortion or recruitment, I will hear "whistles" or more specifically modulated sine waves at the affected frequencies, much louder than the actual source audio, as I raise the volume, I will hear more of the source sound, but still will certainly always hear the distortion at the frequencies I speak of. In general I have avoided all sounds, and certainly music at any level above a quiet talking range probably well below what you speak of 70db, so I don't know how it transfers to the higher decibel range. I have not specifically listened to any online demonstrations of this phenomenon that you speak of. Any links would be appreciated.

      In general, any sound I can hear two of my constant T tones over, and any sound in general, will produce these resonant tones at ~1 or 2 k, 4k and 6k, no matter how quiet they are. Makes masking completely redundant, as it not only shows up 2 of my constant T tones, but shows up these horrible resonant sounds as well. The rattling sound you speak of is not something I have experienced. But my hearing makes listening to music at any, absolutely any, volume completely unsatisfying. Hearing these resonant tones or "whistling" or "modulated sine waves" or "pure tones" at certain frequencies, always significantly louder than the source sound, make music completely disgusting, and everyday white noise sources such as showering, refrigerators, cars driving by in the distance, or being in a car, completely annoying.

      I'm not exactly sure what I am experiencing, whether it is part of "recruitment" "reactive tinnitus" or just "hearing distortion" I'm hoping that this thread or hearing others experience makes me understand more of what is going on. The sounds I hear in external sounds is very similar to the tinnitus tones, but not the same as the constant tinnitus I hear (3 tones in 1 ear, 1 tone in 1 ear) I fear that with age, or further noise exposure, these areas of distortion I hear will become constant tones...and then I'll practically have an orchestra blasting my ears 24/7. And I can hardly live as is... what a reality.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      SilverSpiral
      Sad

      SilverSpiral Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ACOUSTIC TRAUMA
      Does anybody have any links to medical research which may explain or indicate the reason for this phenomenon I know @Tom Cnyc and @3ri0w and @VRZ78 have described similar things. Not sure if they have the same. Interestingly @Michael Leigh has said he has experienced "all of the symptoms you have and more" in pm, yet he claims he can hear music with all it's splendor and more, and has "above average" hearing despite suffering T and H...not sure how works, as I certainly can no longer hear music in all it's "splendor", and that's more than anything what I wish to do.
       
    5. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      At the moment I am listening Joseph Haydn's: Cello Concerto in D Major no 2 Allegro on my HI-FI and it sounds beautiful. I can hear all the subtle nuances. The cello is placed centre between the speakers and the rest of the orchestra placed neatly around in the sound stage. Please listen to this piece on YouTube.
      Mischa Maisky - Haydn - Cello Concerto No 2 in...


      As you know I'm a HI-FI enthusiast and I know you know about audio equipment. I use: Tube/Valve amplifier, Parallel Single Ended. ProAc D28 speakers, connected with Chord Signature speaker cables. Mains power conditioning: Nordost Quatum QX4 x2. CD player: Marantz SA11S3. Chord Mains screened cables. Chord Indigo Interconnect cables. I use Atacama equipment supports.

      With the right treatment or with time, I believe your auditory system will return to normal as mine has done but it will take time. I had TRT treatment for 2 years and the tinnitus reduced to a very low level. The hyperacusis was very severe and it was completely cured. Even though my tinnitus increased in 2008, the hyperacusis did not return. The tinnitus now varies from, silent to severe but I habituated and learned to live with it.
      Michael
       
    6. VRZ78

      VRZ78 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral Infection
      Nothing so far....
      I hope to start LLLT before the end of the month
       
    7. Capricornus
      Inspired

      Capricornus Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Many people on this forum experience or have experienced this phenomena that you describe (myself included). I started to notice it about 3 weeks after onset - I was playing pink noise and it sounded absolutely horrible. The more I listened the more distorted the sound would get (not the sound itself but the "phenomena" would increase up to a point where i couldn't hear the pink noise anymore). I even became nauseous after a while... My problem was/is static sounds (I don't have any problem with music). My guess it that this is due to sound sensitivity not recruitment (that is something else, and you can read about it online). Some may call it reactive T but for me RT is "kindling" or "winding up" tinnitus - T that is aggravated by noise.

      Fortunately this sound sensitivity has improved over time, with a couple of setbacks ofc... By improved I mean that it seems to be fading. The "phenomena" is not as prominent as it used to be.

      Don't sit in the quiet. You need to train your ears to hear sounds so that they can figure out what is missing and "restore" themselves. Maybe listen to some music on low volume???? I know you wrote that music sounds wrong too, but if there are sounds that you can tolerate to some extent use them to start with (stand up comedy, nature sounds??? whatever that works for you).
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    8. VRZ78

      VRZ78 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral Infection
      If the phenomena increased while you were listening to the sound, what sound did you listen to to make it fade ?
       
    9. RandomAccess10
      Torn

      RandomAccess10 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Carbon Monoxide poisoning
      Do you think brain plasticity can restore and overcome the negative effects of recruitment? When I listen to music it sounds like it's being played through a TINNY loudspeaker.... I'm guessing the high frequency loss has caused all paths to centre on a specific high frequency region....much like silverspiral, like a resonance, surely the brain knows this isn't right?
       
    10. Capricornus
      Inspired

      Capricornus Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @VRZ78 Since white noise, pink noise etc made my ears go crazy I simply stopped torturing myself with that kind of sounds and started to listen to music instead, on low volume ofc. Also I'm not trying to give my sound sensitivity any attention.

      I do go back to pink noise/white noise sometimes just to compare and see if I have made improvements, and I have!
       
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    11. RandomAccess10
      Torn

      RandomAccess10 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Carbon Monoxide poisoning
      How does music sound to you @Capricornus in a bit more detail..thanks
       
    12. Capricornus
      Inspired

      Capricornus Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @RandomAccess10 Music sounds the same as before onset, and always has. No details to add. Sorry to hear about your symptoms, but it's still early for you.
       
    13. Capricornus
      Inspired

      Capricornus Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      • Like Like x 1
    14. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      It went away for me. In solo piano music Eb notes in the upper register would create a mic feedback sound. It ruined one of my fav "relaxation" artists - George Winston - at the time. To be honest I still don't listen to those albums but it doesn't bother me anymore.

      It's perhaps not too surprising the note choice considering my guitar was tuned to Eb for about 15 years and I used to love to stand in front of a full stack Mesa triple rectifier and let rip in high school.

      Recruitment is something else - it's when someone can't hear something, and then with just a tiny increase they hear it loudly.... Like a grandpa that seems to be ignoring you and then tells you to stop screaming when he finally hears you.

      I was told by my CBT who specializes in hearing cases that reactivity is usually linked to acute hyperacusis. For me, he was right - when my H faded so did those symptoms. I also used to hear voices on speakerphones like Charlie Brown teachers or like I had just Done a balloon at a lot party.

      As most who pay attention to my posts know, I believe in protecting my hearing moreso than sound enrichment/TRT. Wearing low level earplugs when I'm out and about was very helpful in my ears getting he rest they need to get past the acute phase.

      My tinnitus has faded tremendously, yet still has an impact on my life. As a musician/ producer I can't help but focus on modulations in a soundscape. I'm confident it will continue to improve.
       
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    15. Reinier
      Not amused

      Reinier Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Explosion starting engine
      This is the first link I opened after a search:
       
    16. Foncky
      Tired

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music. Balloon. Genes.
      Do you have any gear recommandation for me ? I'd like to listen to music again (at low level), but everything sounds awful with what I have (cheap computer 4.1 system and cheap 5.1 home-theater system.

      I'd like to find 2 good speakers for my computer.
       
    17. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      These sound absolutely incredible and are a fantastic price. Comparable to high end Mackie's. Balanced output. Self powered.

      http://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...OU2C1bdaIsro69lBaoD96aKZLnFd75aDRAaAvKn8P8HAQ

      For an interface you really can't do better than this for price. Anything with comparable stats is $700 plus. Also it has analog drivers so the sound is really warm and not clinical sounding. Much better for rock / fusion / jazz / classical than units in price range.

      http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UR44

      this is the same thing with less ins / outs if you're only using it for playback and aren't doing any multi-tracking.

      http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/UR12

      The beauty of getting studio monitors is they're meant to sound crisp at low volume. Also, the music sounds as it was engineered to sound, rather than how your stereo colors it.
       
    18. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      this is the exact setup I use for my living room, with the addition of a Pioneer DJ mixer - which also has analog drivers and Pioneers awesome EQ pots which can cut frequencies to -10 decibels. (great for late night bass removal to not piss off the neighbors
       
    19. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Foncky
      HI Foncky,
      My computer tower unit is in another room. I use a TV as an external monitor that has internal speakers. I don’t use this for serious listening, as the sound quality isn’t good enough for my needs. I wish I were able to recommend speakers for your computer set up but I’m unable to.

      As an Audiophile, I can tell you sound quality starts with the source component. If your computer hardware isn’t good enough, connecting high quality speakers to it will not work, as the speakers will show up the limitations of the source. In this case it would be your “computer’s internal sound card”. I am only saying this because you said your set up is cheap, I mean no disrespect. There is a rule of thumb that applies to audio. If the source component isn’t good enough. This can be: CD player or turntable. No matter how good the amplifier or speakers are that you attach to it the sound quality can never be retrieved.

      Once you listen to a good quality 2 channel (stereo) HI-FI system you will never want to listen to music through a computer again or any home theatre system regardless of price. Home theatre systems have their place, for watching movies and TV shows but they are not what Audiophiles use for serious listening.

      A good quality HI-FI system will give you the illusion, that the musicians are in your listening room, and will create a three dimensional sound stage: giving you depth, width and height to the sound. You will be able to pick out where the drummer, guitarist, saxophonist and keyboard players are in the sound stage.

      The speakers will completely disappear in front of you. As you look at them all you will hear is the music. If the HI-Fi system is good enough, you will feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and you’ll feel goose bumps along your arms and down your legs. I’m not kidding! Audiophiles calls this synergy or audio nirvana. The music will take on a purity and ethereal quality that is beyond belief. When you close your eyes you’ll become lost in the music and be transported to another place, metaphorically speaking.

      If you want to experience what I’m talking about, then book a demonstration at a specialist HI-FI shop in your location, they should be there. Carry along your favourite CDs. If you have vinyl records carry them along too. Vinyl sounds better than CDs. Most Audiophiles use turntables and they can cost many thousands of £/euros. I warn you though, once you experience what I’m telling you, you will be hooked for life, if you are a true music lover.

      Michael
       
    20. 3ri0w

      3ri0w Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012, H 2016, 12/2018(?)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noises, ringing came back 12/2018 after 1year of silent
      I have to mention one thing. I bought LSR305 and I am not sure if LSR308 has the same problem though. It's about the class-D amplifier, it hisses real bad! And since I have this distortion/whistling sound that reacts bad to hissing...:( and because of the hyperacusis I can't listen to music loud enough to mask the hissing lol..
       
    21. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      are you referring to there being some minor "noise" when there is no music playing?

      I agree with @Michael Leigh on the vinyl comment. AIFF and WAV files are damn close though. Better if your vinyl is dusty.
       
    22. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Drugs barotrauma
      Funny people with tinnitus talking about high end audio gear. I can't tell the difference between a 200 dollar set of speakers playing a shit MP3 vs full spectrum sound source on a high end setup. My tinnitus is too loud and intrusive with higher frequency hearing either gone or masked by a huge mix of tinnitus sounds interfering with the external sound source. ALL I HEAR is tinnitus at certain frequencies when I listen to music, not the music. Yeah, I have a high end setup, it's completely useless to me now that I have severe T. I can listen to audio tracks on my shit TV speakers, all sounds the same sound to me.

      Hilarious how one post, these people have debilitating tinnitus, and the next, they are listening to crystal clear audio and fine precision with their healthy auditory systems. So many bull shit lies here, I guess that's the way it goes online.
       
      • Agree Agree x 4
    23. 3ri0w

      3ri0w Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012, H 2016, 12/2018(?)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noises, ringing came back 12/2018 after 1year of silent
      Yea minor :p still annoying though..How long did it take for this distortion thing to go away for you? Has been 2 months for me and it's still there
       
    24. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      Most speakers do that man, especially at $450 a pair.

      It's hard to say when it happened. My symptoms that have gotten better became intermittent first, and then just become less frequent. I'd say other than this random week I felt great in June (posted here another it a bit) I didn't et much better for like 4 months. It's been a slow, uphill Sisyphus like battle since but im getting there.
       
    25. Foncky
      Tired

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music. Balloon. Genes.
      Thank you, I'll look into that. Crisp at low volume, I like that, even if my hearing is not crisp at all... Maybe I could start to enjoy music a bit again.
       
    26. Foncky
      Tired

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music. Balloon. Genes.
      Thank you. My computer unit is quite good, I could add a better sound card and better speakers, but when I think about it, you're right, the problem lies in the source. MP3 or Spotify and the likes are so compressed, I can't possibly enjoy those sources now that my ears are in such a bad shape.

      I'm not ready to ask a demo in a shop (they like it loud, right ?), but I'll seriously consider a real HI-FI system and buy CDs again... That's the least I can do to maybe listen to music again.

      I once knew the feelings you describe well. I'm not sure to get that back though... Maybe one day.
       
    27. Foncky
      Tired

      Foncky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music. Balloon. Genes.
      Maybe the bullshit comes from you this time. Sorry. Nothing hilarious.

      I have loud intrusive and unmaskable T, unbearable H and huge hearing loss. My auditory system is ruined, just like yours I guess.

      It's not that I don't enjoy music. It's that I haven't been able to listen to it for a year now. This can't go on. Music was important for me, it was more than just something I liked, it was a part of me and of a part of what makes me who I am and who I want to be.

      I have to try to listen to music again. Not to enjoy it for now, just to listen to it without pain and frustration. Emotions will come back later I hope.

      The first thing I can do is to try a HI-FI system that will provide an amazing quality at a very low volume. Once I have that, I'll be able to monitor my progress. The gear won't be the one to blame for sure.

      All I hear is my T too, don't worry. You're not the only one with a severe beast, even if you often seem to think so. Do I have to quit music or films forever ? Certainly not. I'm not giving up yet. Yes, the listening will never be perfect again. I just want to feel something again one day. I don't mind if T is all over the place, as long as I feel something. Emotions, without the pain.

      You're always angry. I am too, very often. This will never do us any good.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    28. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      That Steinberg sound card will provide you with great quality for quite cheap. Good drivers and sampling rate are everything.
       
    29. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Foncky.
      Many years ago when I first got tinnitus and hyperacusis, they were very severe and I couldn't listen to my HI-FI for a long time. Music sounded distorted and wrong just as you have mentioned - it wasn't pleasurable at all. However, in time and with my treatment which is TRT (sorry to keep mentioning it) I improved and was able to resume listening again. Music was and still is a very important part of my life. When my tinnitus increased to very severe levels in 2008, the hyperacusis did not return. I couldn't get much pleasure out of listening to my HI-FI so didn't bother. I bought a Bose Wavecd system. Anyone that has heard a Bose wave system will know of its outstanding quality. Comparable t a HI-Fi in quality but a smaller version.

      My tinnitus can be completely silent, mild, moderate and also severe. At the moment it is mild and I'm listening to an opera on my HI-FI and my tinnitus doesn't stop me enjoying the music for a moment. The same applies if the tinnitus is moderate, doesn't bother me. When my tinnitus is severe it's a little more difficult, so I'd rather not bother to listen to music on the HI-FI. My valve amplifer also known as a tube amp, needs around an one hour to heat up before it starts to sing. Most Audiophiles will tell you this - especially those that listen to classical music and prefer class A amplifiers as they give less distortion.

      I agree with you. Wait until your ears are right then book a Dem at a specialist HI-FI shop and you'll be able to appreciate what a good HI-FI system can do. I believe your ears will get better and suggest that you start using sound enrichment and see a hearing therapist about your hearing loss.

      By the way, a specialist HI-FI shop doesn't have to play their music loud. If the HI-FI is good enough, low to moderate sound levels are quite statisfactory. Loud music sounds raucous and is often unecessary.
      If you want the best sounding amplifer then go for a valve/tube amplifer. They give a warmth and depth to the sound with a smoothness in the high frequencies that no solid state amplifer can match in my opinon.

      Best of luck
      Michael
       
    30. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Drugs barotrauma
      Great, if your T isn't impeding, and your hearing is okay, I'm sure you can enjoy some nice clean sounding music. Good luck.
       

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