I Have a Theory on the Origins of My Tinnitus — Can Someone Help Me?

Discussion in 'Support' started by U001, Dec 1, 2021.

    1. U001

      U001 Member

      Location:
      Abyss
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      I’ve had bilateral chronic tinnitus with no hearing loss for … I think more than a decade. I used to hang on this forum in the early days.

      After being told by professionals that there was no cure and they didn’t really know what caused this type of tinnitus, I did my best to move on.

      Recently I got diagnosed with Autism and the occupational therapist I dealt with has introduced me to the sensory processing disorder concept.

      After researching that for a while, I was wondering if the following was possible (theory):

      - My tinnitus coincide with the rise of smartphones.

      - Since having a BlackBerry in the early days, I’ve been using headphones intensively, circa 4-8 hours per day - while working as a software developer and while running.

      - When I use headphones, the sound is perceived “inside” my head.

      - If tinnitus arises from hearing loss, the lack of audio input, would it be possible that tinnitus could arise from a lack of sound “inside the head” that the brain would have adapted to from listening to sound perceived “inside” my head?

      Basically, hearing loss from removing the sound perceived to be coming from inside the head. Once the headphones are off my head, no possible sound in nature can feel like it’s coming from inside my head and then my brain / auditory centre would compensate with white noise / tinnitus.

      For the veterans here, did anyone else come up with that exact theory? If yes, can you point me to the article / thread? I couldn’t find any.

      Cheers.
       
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      U001

      U001 Member

      Location:
      Abyss
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Anyone?
       
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    3. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Tinnitus is like the reverse of hearing loss. People with hearing loss are more prone to tinnitus.

      I had severe hyperacusis WITHOUT tinnitus and then as a result of hyperacusis got hearing loss and tinnitus appeared. So in my case tinnitus is a consequence of hearing loss, the other side of that coin...
       
    4. Fleegle
      Curious

      Fleegle Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Headphones or earphones? The kind... Were they on-ear or in-ear headphones?
       
    5. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      Interesting. It makes sense, I have no idea if it works that way but it kind of makes sense.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      U001

      U001 Member

      Location:
      Abyss
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Had both types. Headphones for work, earphones for exercise.
       
    7. SB1981

      SB1981 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multifactorial
      Cochlear synaptopathy and high frequency hearing loss are more likely candidates. Neither shows up on a standard audiogram. Did you have your hearing tested all the way up to 16 kHz-20 kHz (depending on the test)? I also have no appreciable loss in the standard audiogram up to 8 kHz. My real losses are in the 14-16 kHz range and some at 18 kHz. They do ABR’s to test for cochlear synaptopathy and I don’t know how much of a real standard for the condition that test even is.
       
    8. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      At your age it’s impossible to hear up to 20 kHz. Even 16 kHz is pushing it WNL.
       
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    9. SB1981

      SB1981 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multifactorial
      78624-F5-F-46-D2-4-C9-B-A52-F-9-CAEF089169-E.jpg

      Ok, that’s not what my audiogram from close to two years ago says, shrug. I was 38 at the time.
       
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    10. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      That’s a big dip at 16 kHz bilaterally. Mine looks like yours but dips to -20 dB at 16 kHz.

      How high-pitched is your tinnitus? Mine was about 3 kHz before Klonopin. Now it is like 10-12 kHz. Debilitating.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      U001

      U001 Member

      Location:
      Abyss
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Thanks for your input, I’ll look into synaptopathy.

      The OT said I had Auditory Processing Disorder and that often tinnitus overlaps as a comorbidity. However that says nothing about causality.

      Yes all those frequencies were tested and I’m very sensitive in the high ones. So much so that these days I sometimes have to wear “Calmer by Flare” earplugs thingy to passively cut those high frequencies. But that stuff is a band aid, it’s not a resolution nor a causal explanation.

      I’m convinced that in my case, this has nothing to do with hearing loss from the ear itself.
       
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    12. SB1981

      SB1981 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multifactorial
      I'm not certain of the exact pitch of my tinnitus. I've never tried to check it with test tones since many people on here have said they aggravated or even permanently worsened their tinnitus doing that. It's definitely nowhere near 16 kHz though. However, it has changed lots over the course of time.

      In the beginning it was mainly crickets and pretty loud 7/10. After a little over a year it settled to a pure tone, probably around 3-5 kHz and slowly went down to 3-5/10 fluctuating constantly (I have no cookie bite on my audiogram though). Then it began to drop more to where it currently is at 1-3/10 fluctuating regularly, but not as constant as before. Now it's higher pitched probably closer to 8 kHz, but the main tone can sometimes even recede and all I'm left with is static and an oscillating finger rubbing a wine glass tone sometimes that originally popped up after a trash compactor incident.

      If I take a medication that spikes it or something though then all bets are off, my left ear that's normally just hiss develops a main pure tone with a slightly different pitch than my right and both ears pick up multiple extra tones.

      Nowadays my hyperacusis/noxacusis is my main issue.
       
    13. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      Yes mine is very, very loud now since tapering Klonopin, and originally from the Pfizer vaccine. I have about 7 tones right now and it’s killing me.

      I’m happy yours settled down.

      My hyperacusis is off the charts. Even rustling the sheets in bed causes a spike. It’s insanity. Before this I had mild tinnitus I never even heard during the day. At night sometimes I would hear a hiss. I would say my tinnitus was a 1 then. Now it’s a 9.

      How are you managing the hyperacusis?
       
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    14. SB1981

      SB1981 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multifactorial
      I was managing really well up until the beginning of November. I only wore hearing protection at home if my kids were going really crazy or to do things like run the vacuum. Thankfully my landlord does the mowing. In public I was only wearing it if I went to little festivals (not music, like Greek festival downtown) or to walk the road when I had to drop my car off for maintenance or something.

      Then I went to a record store at the beginning of this month and everything changed. They weren't playing music when I walked in. After a few minutes the guy started playing music and it seemed somewhat loud to me. I checked it with my phone dB meter and it was 65 dB. I've tested it against a good SPL meter before so I was confident it was pretty accurate. I have handled those levels recently no problem. However, the store had bad acoustics, the record was worn and very crackly poppy, the stereo was poor quality, just all around crappy audio.

      I was there about 15 minutes. An hour after I left had jaw pain, burning, tingling pretty bad. Then got pretty bad rawness ear fatigue feeling that I hadn't had at all in a long time and since then it has got progressively worse. I'm wearing earplugs lots of places in public again. Symptoms are fluctuating wildly right now. One day I'll feel optimistic like ok with time I'll come out of this then the next it's pretty bad and I feel slightly suicidal again.

      I'm sorry the Klonopin and vaccine have you in a bad way. My 2nd dose of Pfizer set me back for about 2 months, but not to this level. It was more so just loudness sensitivity and some occasional pain throughout the day. Still anytime things get worse I go back to a dark place again. Hopefully with time the vaccine worsening will fade. Mine went away completely and I actually improved beyond where I was when I had the setback.
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      U001

      U001 Member

      Location:
      Abyss
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      I had double jabs of Pfizer without issues. The only thing that ever lowered - not cured - the tinnitus was one week “hardcore keto” experiment where I ate only bacon and water. Unfortunately that’s unsustainable for me and to be honest it looked more like modulation than resolution.
       
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    16. SB1981

      SB1981 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multifactorial
      Diet mostly seems to have no effect on my tinnitus as far as I've been able to tell. Caffeine ramps it up sometimes, but only if I drink quite a few cups of coffee or sodas in a day, which I don't do often.

      Tru Niagen and Melatonin both lower my tinnitus so I take them daily. Astaxanthin makes my ears feel great, like a nice warm tingly feeling and seem to have less pain and ETD issues, but spikes my tinnitus pretty bad for several days if I take it for 3-4 days. Then the spike takes a couple days to go away completely. Acetyl L Carnitine helps with my mood and reaction to my tinnitus, but has the same effect of spiking my tinnitus and taking several days to resolve once I stop it.
       
    17. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      That’s encouraging about the vaccine. I’m amazed about how bad the hyperacusis got. I never had this previously. Funny thing is I bought an old car and got blasted by the horn alarm I had no idea it had with my head under the hood. I thought my life had ended, but no spike. At the end of the day this is a horror show.
       
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    18. SB1981

      SB1981 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multifactorial
      Hi,

      I know it’s been awhile since you posted this and the really I’m just offering a subject to look into, but I came across it the other day and recalled this thread.

      Sound Lateralization:

      “When sounds are presented by headphones, the sounds sound as if they originate within the head. Localizing sounds within the head is called lateralization”

      Since your focus was on some kind of auditory input of this type leading your brain to compensate I just thought maybe if you weren’t familiar with this lateralization concept it could give you an avenue to research and see if you were able to flesh out your theory further.

      Hope that helps.
       
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