How I Finally Understood What Triggers Noise-Induced Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Discovery1, Feb 21, 2015.

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    1. Discovery1
      Balanced

      Discovery1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      I wanted to share all the scientific understanding I have collected in the last 6 months from spending countless hours looking for an answer and reading about a potential path to a true cure.

      For the first few weeks after having T I had a blocked sensation which felt like hearing loss. During the first few months the ringing was quite loud and sharp, and it would exacerbate with normal volume environments like restaurants or the music at the gym. Lately it seemed to have quieted down a bit and the sound itself is more dull although it is a high frequency tone, kind of a hissing type. I have performed audiometry testing up to 16kHz. The only thing they noticed was a 15 dB difference at 16kHz in my T ear compared to my non-T ear (which hears at 0 dB at 16kHz to this day!) I believe this is enough damage to explain the T.

      The months went by and I was eager to learn about a cure and how this all happens. And I read and read and read and it's not until I undestood what happens at a cellular level that it all became clear to me. It has even helped me understand my own T.
      Importantly, I want to clearly mention this : T is primarily a NERVE defect rather than a hair cell defect.

      - synapses between hair cells and nerve endings are the first area to get permanent damage. I believe this is EXACTLY where T prone people are having a problem. They are more likely to have damage to these synapses than most people.
      -this damage is cumulative over a lifetime and cannot fully regenerate (yes, every night out at the club adds up)
      -when these synapses are defective, the cell bodies of these nerves start to die very slowly within months to years, and less and less nerve fibers send signals to the brain.
      -these vulnerable parts of the nerve account for high thresholds of sound and also for background noise recognition
      -Low threshhold fibers can remain attached to hair cells after acoustic trauma and THAT'S why hearing SEEMS normal on the audiogram. In other words you can keep most or all your hair cells but they aren't innevated as much
      -When this loss of nerve connections happens, the brainstem senses the decrease of input and this is where T begins: The input of the nerves from the head and the neck comes in the equation and COMPENSATES for the loss of input from the ear. BUT the mechanism unfortunately tends to OVERCOMPENSATE and this overexcitation is relayed all the way to the brain where there is overexpression of some specific frequencies.
      -Important to note the difference between outer hair cells (OHC) and inner hair cells (IHC). The OHC work as sound amplifiers and work in groups of 3 cells, and 1 IHC works in conjunction with these 3 OHC. These OHC don't carry much innervation to the brain. The IHC on the other hand are highly innervated and receive the amplifications sent from the OHC and transmit the information to the brain making us able to hear sounds. I believe that when OHC damage occurs, hearing loss occurs, but when IHC damage occurs in addition to OHC damage (OHC damage happens first usually because they work actively, wheras IHC damage less often because they are more passive in function), then T occurs, so T indicates a more extensive damage to a region of the cochlea. This in my opinion may explain why some people have hearing loss but no T : They haven't affected their IHC but OHC are damaged. This also explains temporary T after a loud concert for example. The IHC have damaged synapses that are getting repaired and while this is happening, there is temporary loss of input to the brain.
      That's how it happens, in a nutshell.

      - If you are "lucky" and your damage is minimal, your continuous T can disappear or become intermittent, like what happened to some T cases I read about. Otherwise more damage is unlikely to completely disappear, until the treatemts are out!

      Now the cure is basically giving back the lost input to the auditory nerve so that the head and neck input gets more suppressed like it used to and the percep of T will disappear completely. I personally believe that fixing the problem within the cochlea will fix the problem in the brain, regardless of how long noise-induced T has been present.
      There are few approaches under way.

      The drug Autifony is in its trial phases but looks very promising at reducing T or maybe eliminating it. It is a Kv3 potassium-channel modulator in the auditory pathways, and has proven to abolish chronic tinnitus in mice. It looks like it will need another 3-4 years to be available since they need to complete Phase IIa, and Phase III on a larger sample scale, and then get it approved for the public.
      (http://www.autifonytherapeutics.com/publications/Turneretal2013-TRI_final.pdf)

      Also there is regeneration of the synapses shortly after acoustic trauma that cured partial hearing loss in mice within 2 weeks. This could be a cure within the weeks to months after damage, when minimal or no hair cell loss has occurred.
      The limitation with this treatment is that there is a time window. Once the cell bodies of the affected nerves die after months to years, there cannot be regeneration of more synapses.
      (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141020212308.htm)
      http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284159.php

      Last but not least gene therapy and stem cell therapy for hair cell and nerve cell regeneration. Basically regenerating the lost hair cells and connecting them to their nerve fibers. The holy grail and true cure.

      They have transplanted new nerve cells which reconnected with hair cells.
      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gerbils-regain-hearing-thanks-to-stem-cell-therapy/

      This article discusses the promising role of endogenous stem cells to regenerate the lost auditory nerve fibers in the inner ear.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4048968/

      They have also induced cells in the inner ear to become new hair cells.
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141222165437.htm

      Basically they now have discovered how to make new hair cells and connect them to a nerve. Great stuff.

      I also read about a case of a man with 3 year history of constant T, which was caused by some form of impigement on his cervical nerves in the neck area. This man was treated and his T was cured. This case, to me, shows that even long standing T (more than 1.5 years) can be cured as long as the source of damage is cured.
      (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24452662)

      My impression from this research is that we will first be able to suppress the sound of T with medication, and a few years later we will reverse the damage altogether with hair cell/nerve cell regeneration. Both are good news. So let's not forget that the sound of silence IS on it's way back...I would guess that in 5-7 years a great change will come!
      http://hearinghealthfoundation.org/cure_for_tinnitus
       
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    2. uncle vikin
      Musical

      uncle vikin Member

      Location:
      nashville tennessee
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Subjective tinnitus r ear cause ( unknown)
      Damage of audio signal by a number of suspect causes then lack of audio signal getting to a part of the brain that is normally designed to receive audio signal so the brain calls for signals through other channels not really setup to handle audio signals so they are hyper sensitive and do not function as natural channels .I suspect these new channels are somatic and this is the study of susan shore university of Michigan.This is why alot of people with T have Jaw and neck issues.The somatic pathways I believe are wired in some way through the limbic brain area so those of us that are really bothered by T the somatic channels are wired slightly diff.than someone that is not bothered by T as much.Thus the extra anxiety ect. Once the brain sorts it all out physically it's up to us to heal psychologically.About 1.5 years or less.After this prob. that is how it will be untill cure .
       
    3. uncle vikin
      Musical

      uncle vikin Member

      Location:
      nashville tennessee
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Subjective tinnitus r ear cause ( unknown)
      It is a nerve thing but also a brain thing started by a physical thing
       
    4. uncle vikin
      Musical

      uncle vikin Member

      Location:
      nashville tennessee
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Subjective tinnitus r ear cause ( unknown)
      They will have a handle on a good treatment or cure within 7 years.It will also help other diseases parkinsons ect.
       
    5. uncle vikin
      Musical

      uncle vikin Member

      Location:
      nashville tennessee
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Subjective tinnitus r ear cause ( unknown)
      Tinnitus will be the squeaky wheel that helps treat or cure alot of more serious disorders.So we are the squeaky wheels but nobody knows how serious T is unless they have it so we do know how serious it is as sufferers.The vets coming back from war are going to push funding .It will happen soon .Cure or a really good treatment or med.Within 7 years.
       
    6. Matt01

      Matt01 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      28/11/14
      Very interesting post. If all was accurate you would be a world authority on tinnitus!, as it's certainly more than my ENT seemed to know. In all seriousness, I think there is some good points here, but again we don't know completely if all of this is right. It's certainly plausible. Based on your view, do you feel HBOT helps early on as has been seen in some cases?

      I wonder if that also means that those of us who have the flickering semi-intermittent morse code type tinnitus have less damage. (I can hope)
       
    7. James P

      James P Member

      Location:
      Halifax, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (Club)
      In all my searching and reading since this all started, this sums up basically all I found too. Thought about hbot too but I just can't find the results to justify it.
       
    8. Discovery1
      Balanced

      Discovery1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      I must say these are not facts set in stone but they are supported by scientific evidence, and by my own experience.

      @uncle vikin : I agree with the somatic pathways being involved in generating T, I read an article about it too. And as you say in 7 years they are promising a real biological cure both for hearing loss and tinnitus. However from my undestanding the clinical trials will begin in about 7 years, which will require some patience on our part till the cure is available (4-5 years additional perhaps?)
      Scientists have shown nerve cell regeneration MANY YEARS before hair cell regeneration. If you think about it hair cell regeneration should recreate 3 rows of hair cells in the correct orientation, in an organized alignment. I wonder why the cure for tinnitus would necessarily be "on hold" until the cure for hearing loss is ready...Sure many people need both cures, but many would live perfectly happy lives if only T was cured out of the two...Sounds like a funding strategy is behind this to a certtain extent.

      @Matt01 : I haven't seen much scientific evidence regarding hbot in the ealy stages. I believe it can help but it's effects are palliative with non conclusive results in the literature.
      I do believe intemittent T reveals lesser damage (less synapses were lost from IHCs)

      Truth is they already have the cure ready, they are refining it and testing it, until human clinical trials can take place. At least Autifony seems to get some hopes up in the near future.
       
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    9. bwspot

      bwspot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/13/2014
      do you have link to this study?
       
    10. uncle vikin
      Musical

      uncle vikin Member

      Location:
      nashville tennessee
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Subjective tinnitus r ear cause ( unknown)
      No not good with links and computers ect. but if you google susan shore tinnitus university of Michigan you will find her.There is two videos where she explains her research one is short one is about 1 hr it is in depth alittle more.
       
    11. Matt01

      Matt01 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      28/11/14
      Not sure about classing HBOT as palliative. If the oxygen can repair the damage you talk about early on, this is maybe why some people do see improvements from HBOT inside the first few months?, even cured in some cases.
       
    12. Bertman
      No Mood

      Bertman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      concert
      Now I haven't seen any links on google pertaining to Frequency specific micro current (FSM)and tinnitus, so I'm not sure this will mean anything and I might be completely wrong, But to me it sounds like FSM could help with tinnitus through some sort of cell/nerve rejuvenation* if treated early on (I'm not sure how the cell life works, if they can "heal" once damaged, or if they die instantly etc). As you stated, T seems to be a nerve problem, due to damage from loud noise or many other factors. I have just done some reading and it appears that FSM can help people with chronic nerve pain so maybe it can help with other nerve conditions such as T as well.
      "Each cell has an ideal resonant frequency. When your body experiences any type of injury, trauma, stress or increased inflammation, the normal resonant frequency of that tissue is altered. The desired effect of FSM is to return the tissue back to its normal frequency." Maybe this can help the hair cell and nerves together to send more signals to the brain? Now I'm just rambling with incomplete thoughts but figured I'd share my mind.

      FYI I'm new to tinnitus and am basically trying to think of anything that can help while in the early stages
       

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