I’m Getting Bad Hyperacusis After Using Earbuds

Discussion in 'Support' started by monnhill, Mar 15, 2023.

    1. monnhill

      monnhill Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I had hyperacusis in the past but it disappeared.

      Now, after using earbuds for a month, I have really bad hyperacusis.

      It started this month with some high and low pitched sounds but now it alternates between an AM/FM radio station, musical tone, an old arcade game and a musical instrument. And it keeps alternating over and over.

      I also had a lot of anxiety at the end of February and I read that sometimes anxiety can trigger hyperacusis.

      I would like to know if other members here have had this problem.
       
    2. ajc

      ajc Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      Do you even know what hyperacusis is? Your description doesn't seem to be it.

      Maybe you meant reactive tinnitus or musical tinnitus?

      Do you get ear pain from external sounds? Or do external sounds seem louder than they really are to you?
       
    3. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Anxiety cannot trigger tinnitus or hyperacusis. I agree with @ajc, it seems like you might have reactive tinnitus, not hyperacusis.

      Stop using earbuds and headphones, period.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      monnhill

      monnhill Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Not sure what reactive tinnitus is. I had problems with hyperacusis in the past, making things appear louder and creating strange noises when I'm next to a fan. It disappeared, but now it is back this month really bad.
      Not really ear pain. It's just that I want my ears to be quiet around things that are creating noise, and my ears feel a little sore when I'm around things that are creating noise. I did not have this problem before.

      And things sound louder to me than they used to.
       
    5. Strawberryblonde
      Chowing

      Strawberryblonde Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1st mild (6/12/2015) mild-mod (3/5/2022)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HEADPHONES/TMJ/ETD/SINUSES/AMITRIPTYLINE one of them???
      Yep, sounds like reactive tinnitus and/or hyperacusis. Certain sounds come with extra added sounds like beeps, whistles and whatnot. Ditch the earbuds and protect your hearing from now on. It'll only get worse if you continue to use headphones/earbuds.
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      monnhill

      monnhill Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      What is reactive tinnitus? Can you explain?

      And why do the musical tone, an old arcade game and a musical instrument sound in my brain seem louder when I'm next to a fan? When the fan is off or on a low setting, I can still hear it a bit, but it is softer.
       
    7. momus

      momus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      antibiotics
      I'm not sure if anxiety can make it worse. We're all wired a little differently, and stress DOES cause medical problems. Some of them are quite severe, or even deadly.

      I agree w/ @AnthonyMcDonald. No more earbuds. Never, ever. That is just asking for trouble.

      If I have to be concerned about music or a movie bothering someone, I have a pair of ancient $10 KOSS headphones that I use. The foam has fallen off the ears and they fit very loosely, so that I still hear sounds around them. And I keep the volume way down. That is tricky today, because more than ever in the past, a movie will go from whisper quiet to grunge rock loud in a nano second w/o warning. But w/ these headphones, I can push them back away from my ears in a split second.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      monnhill

      monnhill Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      The reason I bring up anxiety is because in the past I had major anxiety and got hyperacusis around that time, and then the hyperacusis disappeared for a number of years. This time, the last days of February, I had major anxiety and got hyperacusis again.

      What is different about this time is that last time all noises, like fans, motors and running water sounded really strange and much louder. This time my hyperacusis is only reacting to this one fan in the house, not to any other sounds, even sounds that are louder.

      And the odd thing is when I’m by the fan, the fan noise is there, along with this strange sound that first was high and low pitched, but now is this really odd musical tone and musical instrument type of sound.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    9. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Firstly, about your anxiety - correlation does not imply causation.

      Secondly, (loudness) hyperacusis = noises too loud. Noxacusis/pain hyperacusis = burning/stabbing/lingering pain from noise.

      Reactive tinnitus = tinnitus, tones/volume of which change/increase/morph in relation to noise.

      Musical tinnitus = sounds like instruments, usually a subset of reactive tinnitus.
       
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    10. Audigo

      Audigo Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2023
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      It may be that studies have not yet been able to prove this, but my experience definitely says otherwise.

      My hyperacusis and tinnitus both developed during the most stressful time of my life and the hyperacusis really exploded after a heated argument.

      A friend of mine (60+) never had tinnitus or other problems with her ears. One day she found her son dead and has had incredibly loud tinnitus ever since.
       
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    11. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Unless it's studied as a sole cause of tinnitus, we cannot make any conclusions. Anecdotal evidence isn't enough.

      In my experience, poeple can surely be more susceptible to developing tinnitus under high stress, as the nervous system is under a lot of stress, however I don't believe it to be a root cause.

      For example - a person I know developed tinnitus after a concert during a very stressful exam season. It's certainly a possibility he wouldn't have developed chronic tinnitus after this particular concert if he wasn't under such extreme stress. As per Thanos Tzounopouloses research, people who develop chronic tinnitus have potassium channel dysfunction, failure of resurgence.

      People seem to forget that "normal" things they do, like listening to music (especially in headphones or earbuds too loudly to cope with stress), can lead to tinnitus appearing, AKA their Dorsal Cochlear Nuclear "glitching out", whereas a fully stress-free, healthy person might not develop tinnitus in a similar situation.
       
    12. Nick47

      Nick47 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral/noise
      @AnthonyMcDonald, how do you treat reactive tinnitus? Didn't you have this?
       
    13. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg dose of (anticholinergic) drug Promethazine
      If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.
       
    14. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Yeah, you see, "probably" isn't good enough in the world of science.
       
    15. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Time.
       
    16. Nick47

      Nick47 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral/noise
      "5-HT1A receptors are localized somatodendritically and open potassium channels, leading to decreased responsiveness to input." (Vergé and Calas, 2000; Monckton and McCormick, 2002).

      I've seen this cited a few times. There seems to be a lot of evidence that sub families of 5-HT1 are involved in hyperacusis and tinnitus. Possibly neuronal loss of these causes loss of gating.
       
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    17. DeanD

      DeanD Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild since 1982 - then Severe Oct 2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction (Oct 2022)
      I got my severe tinnitus when I was in the most happiest, most carefree time of my life. Happy as you could find someone. Not a single ounce of stress or negativity.

      So many consultants want to blame the onset on anxiety and stress.

      I had zero on the onset of mine.

      Not saying stress can't cause it (and looking at the Success Stories, statistically stress triggered tinnitus types go on to make the best recoveries) but it certainly isn't responsible or even a factor in every case.
       
    18. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg dose of (anticholinergic) drug Promethazine
      I'm sure you'll disagree, but the world of "science" is a pretty weird place in a lot of ways. It often can't see things that are literally staring it in the face. The world of science reminds me of the adage, the mind is a useful servant, but a very bad master.
       
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    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      monnhill

      monnhill Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      An update:

      I turned the fan off because it was making my musical tone problem louder each day. Now the musical tones have come down a bit in volume but are still there.

      However, now I’m getting rumbling noises and sound distortions when other things in the house make noise. And sometimes when a car drives by, it sounds really strange. And some other sounds in the house (including other fans) seem louder.

      Well the problem is that I thought my brain was just reacting to the fan. I had no idea the fan was making things worse every day and I needed time for my ears to heal.

      I still don’t know if I have an ear infection or if just having earbuds in the ear canals made it worse with the overexposure to noise.

      But not allowing my ears the time to rest and heal made everything worse.
       
    20. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Reading some of your previous posts @monnhill, suggests to me that you have noise-induced tinnitus with hyperacusis. Reactive tinnitus is not a known medical condition, although tinnitus can react to sound. This over reaction to sound usually affects people that have noise-induced tinnitus and can manifest itself in a variety of ways. I prefer to keep things simple because if one isn't careful, they can make their recovery much more difficult saying: I have tinnitus, reactive tinnitus, loudness hyperacusis, pain hyperacusis (noxacusis). It's as if a person wants to convey to others the dire straits they are in. There is no doubt the person is suffering, but I don't think it's a good idea to make the situation more complex than it already is, since tinnitus and, to some extent hyperacusis, is an integral part of one's mental and emotional wellbeing.

      Your tinnitus is reacting to sound because you also have hyperacusis. This was probably brought on by using headphones or earbuds as mentioned in your previous posts or subjecting your auditory system to overly loud sounds. Hyperacusis, like tinnitus, comes in different levels of severity and no two people will experience it the same. You have had noise-induced tinnitus for quite some time. If you don't want your symptoms to get worse, I suggest you stop listing to audio through headphones, earbuds, headset, AirPods, noise cancelling and bone conduction headphones even at low volume. Keep away from overly loud sounds through speakers.

      Go to my started threads and read: Will My Tinnitus Get worse? The Habituation Process, How to Habituate to Tinnitus, Can I Habituate to Variable Tinnitus. Hyperacusis, As I See It.

      All the best,
      Michael
       
    21. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Founder Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      With all due respect, Michael, this is, pardon my French, horseshit.

      If I had the "suicide disease", trigeminal neuralgia, would you gladly simplify it and put it under "headache" or "pain"?

      What do you even mean by "it's as if a person wants to convey to others the dire straits they are in"? Isn't that literally what is needed to be done in order not to get gaslighted by the medical community and, in this case, frankly, uninformed people like yourself?

      I appreciate you are trying to help, but I cannot wrap my head around why you are so against these (proper) classifications. There is no need for any simplifying here.
       
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    22. DaveFromChicago

      DaveFromChicago Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headcold/Flu
      My wife was a Surgical Tech in a major hospital for 32 years.

      The highest compliment from Upper Management that the Rank-And-File Staff could be given was the expression, "Strong Work."

      STRONG WORK, MARKKU.
       
    23. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Tinnitus and to some extent hypercusis is an integral part of a person's mental and emotional wellbeing. In my opinion, and health professionals that I regularly correspond with agree, that complicating tinnitus and hyperacusis can make recovery and the habituation process much more difficult or not at all. Please remember, these conditions affect the mind quite profoundly. I know this having lived with tinnitus for 26 years and having regularly corresponded and counseled people with this condition.

      I disagree with your use of the term proper classification in this instance. As I wrote in my posts last week, I have corresponded with people who are adamant and say they have: tinnitus, reactive tinnitus, hyperacusis, pain hyperacusis, phonophobia, misophonia and anything else they can through into the mix. When I have asked, have they been diagnosed by an ENT doctor or audiologist, I have been told no.

      I agree with Pawel Jastreboff, when he mentions in a video posted on this forum, that some people (not all) will go to every extent to convey to others that their situation/circumstances are so dire they are untreatable. I don't think this is a healthy way of thinking.

      I want to make it clear, I am not referring to people that are in distress and post on the suicidal thread about the distress they are in. After having tinnitus for 26 years and corresponding and counselling people with this terrible affliction known as tinnitus, I have learnt to have a good grasp when some people over embellish what they are going though. I hasten to add that I may not always be right but as I have said, I think it's best to try and keep things simple when talking about tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      I have been a member of this forum for many years and don't use any form of profanity during writing or communicating in person. I would have preferred you did not use it when corresponding with me, as I find it quite offensive.

      Good day,
      Michael
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      monnhill

      monnhill Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I think there is some anxiety at play here too because when I’m calm and relaxed, my it seems to get softer. The fact is that my ears needed time to heal and not doing that, it made things worse.

      So on top of the hyperacusis, anxiety does seem to play a role. I think I need to be in a quiet room and give my ears time to heal.

      Last time my hyperacusis improved when I gave it time and focused on other things. Then it started to away on its own. Now, because external noises are triggering it, I'm going to have to be very careful with noises.
       
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    25. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      As I have previously mentioned @monnhill, tinnitus and to some extent hyperacusis is an integral part of a person's mental and emotional wellbeing. This is the reason counselling can be so beneficial when someone is having difficulty coping with tinnitus and hyperacusis. In my opinion, good high quality counselling done with a therapist that lives with tinnitus can help to remove and dispel the negative thinking that is often attached to tinnitus and hyperacusis. Sometimes medication is also needed as well as sound therapy.

      Please take your time and read the threads that I have mentioned in my previous post to you. You may also find these helpful: Tinnitus and The Negative Mindset, Acquiring a Positive Mindset.

      I wish you well and take care,
      Michael
       
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    26. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      If you had "bad hypercusis" you would not be able to have any sound close to your ears, let alone earbuds... Someone with bad hyperacusis cannot go for a walk around traffic, and cannot go shopping for groceries without double hearing protection (earplugs plus earmuffs) and even wearing that, you would have pain.
       
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    27. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      Every aspect that concerns tinnitus, hypracusis and all the other terms is such complex and often multifaceted matter. With an unmeasurable amount of subjectivity to it. There are no certain answers, and every individual both react and perceives differently - no matter the level and intrusiveness because people are "connected" differently. Especially with tinnitus alone. There are many examples of this, and I know several myself.

      This isn't black and white, and probably never will be. However, I do agree, in any aspects of life (and conditions), that it's not a healthy way of thinking (ref. your quote Michael).

      That being said, sometimes things get so dark and close to impossible to cope with, which in turn makes it hard to turn things around for the better, that some may find it hard to see any light in the tunnel...
       
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    28. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I agree with everything you have said @MindOverMatter. I sensed the anxiety and stress @monnhill is under, having read some of his previous posts and his questioning about reactive tinnitus, hyperacusis and tinnitus. Keep things simple was my advice and I believe this is the right way in order to move forward and not to overcomplicate things. If one isn't careful, they can quickly become an insurmountable problem that can be difficult to overcome. This doesn't mean one shouldn't express the way tinnitus and hyperacusis makes them feel.

      I wish you well,
      Michael
       
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    29. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      What do you mean by this? The world of science doesn't have "maybes" and "probablys". Either it's bullshit, or it's not. Everything needs to be backed up by facts, not wishful thinking. Nothing is certain unless it has been studied and scrutinized.
       
    30. tpj
      Angry

      tpj Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      probably noise
      I glad you mentioned this and often, that's how many of us feel.
       
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