If My Tinnitus Doesn't Get Spikes from Loud Noise, Does It Mean It's Not Noise Induced?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Stanlex, May 4, 2021.

    1. Stanlex
      Wtf

      Stanlex Member

      Location:
      A world where everything sounds funny
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No reason
      Hi.

      As I lurk through the forum, I notice many of you co-sufferers say that sometimes or everytime you are confronted with loud noise, you get a spike. And many of you also say your tinnitus was caused by acoustic trauma or it was noise induced.

      However, I noticed that my tinnitus doesn't have this trait. Although, my tinnitus worsened two months ago and it has stayed since, I wouldn't call this a spike because I don't remember me being around loud noises back then. So it was rather spontaneous. And since then I never wear any headphones, and I try to protect my ears as much as I can. But, life is life and sometimes it is not possible to hide yourself from loud noises, especially when they come accidentally. For these two months, I have heard various loud noises, for example, a wrench fell from 1 meter on a metal rod, people sneezing and yelling, train braking, and so on. None of these loud noises did anything to my tinnitus.

      I don't want to jinx it, because I will be going to MRI soon and I am kinda terrified from posts here, but the fact is I have been to MRI twice in my life and never got any spike at all.

      So the question is, does that matter? It looks like my ears don't care about noise. Can that mean that my tinnitus is from something totally different unrelated to noise exposure? For example, something somatic?
       
    2. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      No it doesn't mean that. It could still be from noise, or from something else - the criteria you described alone is not determinative.
       
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I have read the first post that you submitted to this forum and noted that you used headphones at a low level when you already had tinnitus although it was mild. After using the headphones you noticed the tinnitus had increased. If your tinnitus wasn't originally noise induced, from the information you have given, it seems to have worsened due to headphone use and therefore, this is the reason you are experiencing spikes or instability in the tinnitus. I suspect you are making the situation worse by protecting your ears as much as you can, as mentioned in your post. This is the wrong thing to do and if you are overusing earplugs then I advise you to stop, as you will lower the loudness threshold of your auditory system and thus, it will become even more sensitive to sound.

      My post Hyperacusis, As I See It, explains the risks of overusing hearing protection and not to protect the ears as much as possible, especially from normal everyday sounds, as you will be making matters worse for yourself.

      Michael

      Hyperacusis, As I See It | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
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    4. LivingGhost371

      LivingGhost371 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      I've had this happen twice in the past few weeks.

      I'm dealing with a month long worsening in general. I think it is related to spring allergy season. Sleeping makes my nose really congested to the point I'm gagging in the morning (and sometimes have gagging fits during the day too).
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Stanlex
      Wtf

      Stanlex Member

      Location:
      A world where everything sounds funny
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No reason
      Thanks, Michael, for your opinion, but the fact is I have been getting weird fleeting tinnitus episodes few weeks prior to my headphone use and the onset. I haven't been getting them before. I am pretty sure the fleeting episodes were a prelude to the current tinnitus as they are very similar. Therefore the one-day headphone use might be just a coincidence. Also, first day of using them I didn't notice any change to my tinnitus. It started second day evening.

      My new tinnitus isn't similar to my old tinnitus by any way. My old tinnitus was mostly unilateral low pitched ringing. This, new tinnitus is a strange hissing that isn't even constant, It randomly fires every few seconds, and moves from ear to ear and is super high pitched. Again, it is very similar to the fleeting tinnitus I have been getting for few weeks prior to this tinnitus. And the fleeting tinnitus episodes started without a reason as I haven't been exposed to any loud noises when they started. And the fleeting tinnitus was weird in the way that my ear would feel full for 5 seconds and a hissing noise would play for 10 sec. Very similar to current state.

      Also, I doubt even my first tinnitus was caused by noise. At first, it was 95% unilateral, so it doesn't make sense. Although it is true that I have been using earbuds few years ago, but the thing is I have been using them no more than few weeks, because they broke. And also, I have been using them no more than 30 minutes per day. The volume was approximately at 50%.

      Here is also worth to mention that my brother uses headphones for years, and for many hours a day, and he doesn't have any tinnitus. However, he regularly exercises for years as well and doesn't report any problems with neck or c-spine.

      All my doctors highly doubt my current tinnitus is noise induced, rather all of them blame my cervical spine and neck. The fact is that this year my lifestyle was very bad as due to lockdowns, school and bad weather I have been at home sitting at my laptop all the time to the point my neck started to hurt.

      And to the earplugs. I don't use them. I also don't feel any discomfort or pain when I hear loud noises (well, I have always been a bit irritated at loud noises, but that is just my personality as I'm used to work in silent environments) so I don't have reason to wear them. Also, plugging them would make my tinnitus louder. By protecting my ears from loud noises I meant that I don't use any headphones anymore and I never attend any loud concerts (as before as well), and so on.

      Finally, I don't want to argue with you, despite all these things your opinion still might be true, but I really hope it won't :D. Because the idea of getting rid of tinnitus by exercising is way more romantic than just sitting depressed in dark room waiting to habituate. Also, I don't really think something like this is possible to habituate as this is not regular tinnitus, rather it is random loud firing of hiss that probably isn't completely random as I just haven't found out how it works yet.
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for the additional information Stanlex. No two people will experience tinnitus the same because we are all different. The reason you have tinnitus and your brother doesn't is just the way things are and that's life. Please know this, something usually causes tinnitus. I didn't say your tinnitus is noise induced but you mentioned that you noticed it increase after using headphones albeit a delayed response which is not unusual. Tinnitus can change for a variety of reasons and a person can develop multiple tones but they all amount to the same thing, tinnitus.

      I try to help people with tinnitus as I was once helped, it is certainly not to argue with anyone, although some people have tried to lure me into it.

      It is probably best for you to have more tests at ENT and with the doctors you mentioned in your post.

      I wish you well.
      Michael
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Stanlex
      Wtf

      Stanlex Member

      Location:
      A world where everything sounds funny
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No reason
      Well, I have been to 2 ENTs and 2 neuros. None of them mentioned or asked me about headphone use. And I explicitly asked one neuro if my tinnitus can be due to headphones or noise in general. She said that absolutely not unless I had been exposed to loud noises for years. Like if I worked in a loud factory or something.

      I am also surprised that even here on Tinnitus Talk you are only one I met who says even low volume can damage ears. I personally try to not believe this is true because it sounds kinda absurd, that one time headphone usage, with listening on 35 dB would do anything bad. Yet this happened and I am puzzled.

      Well, the truth might be somewhere in between in the way that there might be somatic element as well as acoustic element that contribute to my tinnitus. But I fear I will never know the truth.

      Also, I forgot to say another fact that I've foolishly also used the headphones on the third day, the day after I got the tinnitus thinking it was unrelated. But I didn't notice any spike after this.

      I know that you are way older than me and therefore much experienced in this. My tinnitus is not only loud but I also suffer from ear fullness, head pain and distortions/reactiveness.

      The tinnitus alone is very annoying and depressing, but the reactivity is what literally scares me. I hear lights, whistling from fans and water, and so on. I feel like the noises really exist but I hear them much louder than they really are. It's scary. Since you are experienced, could you tell me if at least this is temporary and how long till my ears heal, in case it is headphone induced (I refuse to say 'noise induced' because 35 dB isn't a 'noise').
       
    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for your kind comments. I do not wish to comment on this matter anymore because I have said all that I wanted to say.

      Take care and I wish you well.

      Michael
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Stanlex
      Wtf

      Stanlex Member

      Location:
      A world where everything sounds funny
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No reason
      Please don't take it as I question your opinions or so. You know, here in Central Europe where I live there is a strong belief amongst general population and doctors that tinnitus is mainly due to neck/cervical spine issues rather than noise trauma. Also there is very common to send people to physiotherapy afterwards. I have read an article in local news about one physiotherapist that said that for years of his practice there was only one patient whose tinnitus didn't changed at all after all PT sessions. Therefore, my ENT didn't even bother to give me a hearing loss test because he said I'm too young (19) and he doubts I have hearing loss at my age. However, it doesn't mean that your opinion is invalid. It still can be noise induced but local doctors don't have such experience about it because to be honest, it is super rare to have ears destroyed by one time silent listening to headphones like that.

      Also, I forgot one idea to add, for other lurkers here. Last year I had something like tinnitus but for eyes. I had vision problems. My eyes were always tired and tearful. I couldn't read without my eyes hurting. I also had skewed vision. Not relevant to this but the point is that I was as well worried and lurked many forums and other websites. Many of them said it's due to Multiple Sclerosis and I was super worried because it would mean it will be only worse. Later I went to MRI and they ruled it out. After some looong time, like 10 months, it went away. So this might be similar case when I worry about the worst (noise induced) and it could be just something somatic.
       
    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I have explained to you that I do not want to comment on this matter further because I sense you are in a difficult place at the moment. That is the reason I have advised that you consult with your doctors. Tinnitus can be very stressful and debilitating especially in the early stages which you are in. I stand by everything that I have told you because I believe I am right but I could also be wrong.

      Before I replied to your post, I took the time to read your previous posts starting with the first one. I take tinnitus very seriously and do not give advice on a whim. For this reason I stick to what I know and try to help people with noise induced tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      I hope you are able to get the help you need.
      Michael
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Stanlex
      Wtf

      Stanlex Member

      Location:
      A world where everything sounds funny
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No reason
      I would have one more question on you if you wouldn't mind. I see that you are a strong promoter of TRT. I don't have $3,000 for hearing aids, and I don't even have hearing loss. But what if I were to use my headphones and listen for several hours a day to white noise? Would that help or would that make it worse since my tinnitus worsened after using headphones on lowest volume?

      Also I need to note that my tinnitus isn't a classic one tone but instead it is very unstable, non-constant mess of hissing or buzzing. It goes up and down, it is similar to pulsatile tinnitus but it is not synced with heartbeat but it is just random bursts of hiss. I note that because I saw some pages relating to the sound therapy but they were talking only about tonal tinnitus, which isn't my case.
       
    12. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I will always try to help someone if I can and they ask for my help. However, you have undermined me on more than one occasion in your previous posts, and that is something I don't take kindly to.

      I say respectfully again that I do not wish to comment on this matter.
      Michael
       
    13. BigNick

      BigNick Member Podcast Patron

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Michael's opinions on headphones at low volume and tinnitus are unsubstantiated twaddle I'm afraid. You won't find a solitary credible person who concurs with him.

      Classic case of confirmation bias.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Stanlex
      Wtf

      Stanlex Member

      Location:
      A world where everything sounds funny
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No reason
      It is true that from many people who told me their opinion on my case, including doctors and people on Tinnitus Talk, he is the only one who says it might be from headphones. However, my tinnitus is not getting better even after several physiotherapy sessions and I am scared that it might not be somatic at all even when it looks like so. The only fact that goes against the headphone theory is that I've started getting fleeting tinnitus episodes very similar to my current tinnitus few weeks before the onset and the headphone use.

      I don't know what to think. Maybe the headphones are really just a coincidence, and it would happen no matter what. And if I didn't have used headphones and still got tinnitus, I would probably still search in my memory for loudest event that happened prior to onset (like what if a pen dropped on the floor, what if door shut due to wind etc.) and worry if it isn't noise induced as well. But I after the onset I got exposed to many everyday loud noises and it doesn't appear to make my tinnitus change so I don't know why it would have changed back then. Oh, I am so stressed, I wish it was somatic. There is a bunch of logical reason why it can be somatic, like I have forward head posture, scoliosis, loss of cervical spine lordosis, neck hurts, bad lifestyle, but even then it looks like my tinnitus is not somatic at all! But how can it be noise induced, makes me puzzled because back then I wasn't exposed to any super loud noise.
       
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