If Tinnitus Improves, Does It Mean the Hair Cells Are Getting Back to Normal?

Discussion in 'Support' started by MickV, Feb 5, 2018.

    1. MickV

      MickV Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Rock concert
      Or maybe the brain just found a way to heal the noise and overcome the abnormal noise of tinnitus? Or even both!
       
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    2. Michael B
      No Mood

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Diego
      Tinnitus Since:
      '11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      Good question! I'm guessing there are any number of reasons why tinnitus would either get better or at least seem better. While mine hasn't improved in the long run, I do have better days. I just don't know why?
       
    3. Tinniger

      Tinniger Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Uncertain, now very somatic, started with noise?
      Good question!
      It is not even clear whether the majority of tinnitus sufferers have hair cell damage...
       
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    4. Reinier
      Not amused

      Reinier Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Explosion starting engine
      My tinnitus is better than one year ago. No I have short times where the tinnitus is low level.
      I have tinnitus after noise damage. This damage (hair cell loss) is clearly reflected in my audiogram.
      If the tinnitus improved because of hair cells getting back to normal this should be noticeable in better hearing (audiogram). This is not happening.
       
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    5. sandra72

      sandra72 Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      may 2014
      It is a strenge thing. There a days when mine T is very low and there are days when i can hear it over everything. I have that days.
       
    6. JurgenG
      Approved

      JurgenG Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise exposure / headphone accident maybe?
      It does happen that the audiogram improves, even though this doesn't tell us much..
      Audiograms can vary for a lot of reasons, even your brain adapting.

      I think that haircells can recover if they are just bend, or at least I hope, too bad I didn't know this when I first had T..
       
    7. Reinier
      Not amused

      Reinier Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Explosion starting engine
      Perhaps that is because "bent" hair cells recover. I don't know. I heard something else too.
      Because after a while the inflammation of the cochlea and nerves settle down this can return some hearing. I believe that if after all the settling down (months) you are left with hearing damage (notch in audiogram) that this will never improve. Also when you tinnitus goes away.
       
    8. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles&machine guns, +30 years of loud clubs
      If you have T the T will cover some the frequencies on the audiogram so it may appear as hearing loss even though it's not

      My ent says he get many people with notches on the audiogram due to stress T which covers some frequencies but these people have perfect ears
       
    9. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      Tinnitus is very complex. A person's tinnitus can be caused by one thing, or by overlapping factors.

      I hope you're asking because your tinnitus is getting better, and you're wanting to know why. :)
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MickV

      MickV Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Rock concert
      I feel better but today I felt suddenly a high spike that I thought my brain is going to explode all of a sudden. Very scary!!! Up and downs with the feeling of T.... hurry up medical field we need you;-(
       
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    11. Gman
      No Mood

      Gman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic earwax drops, worsened by MDs (Muppet Doctors)
      Everyone alive has hair cell damage to a certain extent. It's call normal life - ageing. Hair cells can recover, yes. But like any cells in your body, some will die for whatever reason and hair cells aren't replaced as they are in birds. In other words, no matter what, you won't have all the hair cells you had when you were a foetus.
       
    12. Eliska
      Scared

      Eliska Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection
      I was thinking about this exact thing today. There are reports of people who gets better or their tinnitus fades to silence after noise damage (hair cell damage), infection (where bacterial/viral toxins damage hair cells) etc. Why is that? Why do they improve or their tinnitus completely fades away if hair cells don't regenerate?
       
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Damaged hair cells in the ear don't regenerate. However, many people that have tinnitus are able to live a fulfilling life doing most of the things they want to, because eventually the brain learns to habituate to the tinnitus. This process will be different for each person but usually this takes up to 18 months, sometimes longer, from the date of onset, with or without specialist treatment.

      It depends what has caused the tinnitus and therefore my comments above are related to noise induced tinnitus, which is one of the most common causes of the condition. This type of tinnitus will usually remain stable for many years after habituation has been reached. If the person has hyperacusis that hasn't improved by itself or successfully treated, then oversensitivity to sound can become a long-term problem. If a person subjects themselves to further loud noise or returns to using any type of headphones even at low volume, they risk making the tinnitus worse.

      Go to my started threads and read the following posts where habituation is explained in more detail: The Habituation Process, How to Habituate to Tinnitus, Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? Can I Habituate to Variable Tinnitus?

      Michael
       
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    14. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member

      Location:
      Russia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      The simple answer is no one knows.
       
    15. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      It's safe to assume that tinnitus severity is by no means a 1:1 correlation to present hair cell damage, there are likely many variables at play, the brain with its complex pathways being one of them, and hearing loss being another - and likely more.

      @AnthonyMcDonald is right however; nobody knows precisely why.
       
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    16. Jupiterman

      Jupiterman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden loud noise
      It could have something to do with the synapses that are attached to hair cells or the nerves that attach to the synapses?

      These could perhaps be healing/repairing?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    17. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      My ENT, who also has tinnitus, said that you should think of damaged hair cells as reeds in a pond. Bent but not broken. And it takes time for them to heal. This was her assessment after I developed tinnitus after acoustic trauma - loud rock concert w/o ear protection 7 years ago. I didn’t suffer any hearing loss but I did have tinnitus for about two years. It then healed.

      I suffered another acoustic trauma while wearing ear protection last week. I didn’t even think it was an acoustic trauma. Anyway, while I did develop high pitched fluctuating tinnitus on and off over the last 2 years, I feel it is worse and more consistent now in the past week. My left ear, which is usually the quieter of the two, is now going full force. It seems to be an even higher frequency than it was before. But not particularly louder. Just higher frequency which makes it far more noticeable and impossible to mask. It’s like I have 2 jet engines going off in my ear. I am praying that the reeds are just bent again.
       
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