If Your Tinnitus Lost Its Intensity by 80 Percent, Would You Habituate Faster?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Telis, May 7, 2015.

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If your tinnitus intensity decreased by 80 percent, would you habituate faster?

  1. Yes

  2. Maybe

  3. No

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    1. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      For me personally if my T went down in intensity I think I would find it a lot easier to habituate, am I alone here? Some people here state that this would not make a difference at all? I'm not sure what to think, maybe it's just me?
       
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    2. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Maybe this can be turned into a poll? I guess I could have done that, oops.
       
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    3. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Mine is now and I can assure you my life is much better and liveable.
       
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    4. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Intensity plays a huge part. It makes a big difference.
      Especially when you're at an early stage. It probably starts being less important after a very long time.
      Today I'm having a very-very low day and I feel pretty great. Yesterday it was louder and I just didn't feel right.
       
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    5. James White
      Anime

      James White Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toulouse, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Maybe loud music. Not sure.
      I had very very mild T from the age 17 to 30 and i usually thought about it like 2 or 3 times a year... now it's everyday that i'm bored of hearing this stupid squeal
       
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    6. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Your not alone, I feel the same way, I have done it before when my T was mild, now it's almost impossible.
       
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    7. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      I'll settle for 30%!!!
       
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    8. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Q: If your T lost its intensity by 80 percent would you habituate faster?

      A: Yes. I would even go so far as to say that with 80% reduction, there would be no need to actually "habituate" because tinnitus in such a situation would not be a problem in the first place!
       
      • Agree Agree x 11
    9. Geo

      Geo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      Yes.........
       
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    10. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I totally agree with the above post.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    11. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Last week I had a milder day.
      I coached my team on the soccer field (I always have to be with co trainers since T onset).
      But I was distracted so much that I was unaware of T for maybe 10-15 minutes.
      Never happened before. So definitely volume plays a role.

      The master question is how long it takes for us with loud, high-pitched T to habituate and become unaware.
      And if this will happen at all.

      I know of some who took long, years.
      One guy on the yuku board just wrote it took him 5 years.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Right. Five years! But it happened for him.

      I actually met the fellow once - maybe four years ago. And he is totally legit. Indeed, when I met him, he was absolutely devastated - little more than a shell. I am going to take the liberty of copying his Yuku post below ...

      Hi,

      Starting in about Feb. 2010 i posted here a lot, mostly for help. I got bad-a s s tinnitus in January of 2010. You know, the you-can-hear-it-just-about-everywhere variety. In retrospect, it is more accurate to say that I got bad-a s s reaction to tinnitus in January 2010, but I'm not here to stir on debate. My tinntius sounded terrible to me--loud, variable, skreechy, screamy, sand papery, ringy. It moved around my head, and sometimes I got the dental-drill-in-the-middle-of-my-forehead sound. And even worse, I could feel it in my head. I wouldn't call it pain at all, but I would call it very uncomfortable. Of course much of this was caused by my body and mind's natural adverse reaction to tinnitus, conscious, subconscious and otherwise.

      I'd wake up in the middle of the night with a feeling of having a beehive stuck on my head. I'd think, "I'm disabled." I'd run to the bathroom and turn on the faucet full blast. At one point I had a noise machine in every room. I couldn't sit still in an office meeting. Well, I could, but it was terribly hard, because in the silence of the meeting room, even with some people talking, the tinnitus sounds would "gang up" on me. At work, I'd have to go outside, take walks.

      Due to my reaction to tinnitus, I was a full blown insomniac for about a year and a half to two years. And yes, I'm talking about the generally understood medical definition of secondary insomnia. This of course, made my suffering even worse. In fact, I'd say the insomnia was just about the worst part. Life was very rough. Recovery was slow, but recover I did. And today, it's not a factor anymore. Really, it's not. I can still hear it. In fact I hear it every night before I sleep, and every morning I wake up. I hear it here and there sometimes during the day. It's always there. But, I don't care anymore. It's just a small feature of my existence. But for a while, it was probably the most important thing in my life, or at least I made it one of the most important things in my life.

      So here's what I used at different times to get through the difficult times--valium, temazapam, xanax, Neuromonics (six month program and then occasional use of the machine for about 6-8 months more), CBT, and two Brookstone sound machines. I still use one of those machines in my bedroom at night. But sometimes I'll go a few months without it, and then use it again. I can't say I can take it or leave it. I'd rather have the machine on than not, at least when I'm thinking about it. But, mostly I don't think about it.

      You know what's weird? When I'd sleep on my left ear at night, I'd usually wake up with my ear against the pillow and the tinnitus wailing and ping-ponging in my head. So, for a while, I never slept on my left ear. But, over the four years that effect diminished, diminished even more, and then stopped. Now I can sleep on my left ear and wake up hours later with no weird bothersome reaction to whatever the tinnitus is doing in my head. But, I still have the exact same tinnitus. I just don't care so much about it anymore. I can't even remember the last time I had a so-called "spike" or wind-up or whatever. I can't remember the last time it interfered with anything I do during the day, or night.

      I go to concerts, I go to movies. I bring stock Etymotic musicians' earplus just in case anything gets uncomfortably loud. OK, at an indoor rock concert I'll have them in the whole time, but I was doing that before I got "terrible" tinnitus. (I think the onset of my tinnitus was due in part to medication, but that's another story I care not to re-live. It doesn't matter anymore. Truth be told, I think the onset of tinnitus in my case was due to a perfect storm of genetics, anxiety, inner ear damage due to meds, and maybe just bad luck.)

      To sum up, maybe you're suffering with tinnitus today, and you think there's no end in sight, and that you will suffer with tinnitus for the rest of your life. Well, take solace in the fact that you're most likely absolutely wrong about this. I certainly was.

      I don't know who hangs out here these days, but the folks I listened to (or at least tried to listen to) were Dr. Nagler (who actually took the time to visit me while he was in San Francisco, and convinced me to start on a course of treament with Dr. Malvina Levy (I think that's her first name) at the Hearing and Speech Center on Divisadero in San Francisco); Rob x 2, Jim Chinnis, Rob in Denver, Tasinda, and I'm sure there's more, but those were the main ones. If you remember helping me and I've left you out, it's probably because you owe me money. I kid.

      Consider all the positive and hopeful thoughts you can read on this board (and elsewhere) about what severe intrusive tinnitus is, what it is not, and how to recover from it. There was a time when these thoughts represented a state of being I wanted to have for myself, and because I did not, I wasn't always entirely certain these thoughts were true, or, more accurately, could be true for me. Well, they're all true for me now. Good luck, and trust in the fact that you will eventually get back to being the same flawed mess of a person you were before you ever got "bad" tinnitus. Har, har. thumbsup.gif

      So, I'm out. Good luck.​
       
    13. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Yes. Good to paste it here. Those stories help us.

      What I am asking myself is: If I do the same things (more or less) as before T onset, am I habituated?
      Because I do those more or less - still with some anxiety and depression.

      But I am looking forward to a time becoming unaware of my T most parts of the day, not caring about it anymore, doing everything I want and be lucky again. Don't know if this is reachable, but I hope so.
       
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    14. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      I added a poll to the thread - this might be our first poll ever to have only yes answers...

      Before last year (as someone is sure to ask; no, I am not aware why it got worse), I was doing considerably better with my tinnitus. At the time I remember thinking how nice it would be if I didn't hear it in this or that situation but, in retrospect, how lucky I was. Now masking it is a chore, in most cases not feasible. The louder high-pitched ringing is now a relentless "friend", one whom won't give me a break not during music, not when watching movies, not when eating at the local restaurant, not when driving a car. Shower is one of the few places where I get relief and nowadays it shows in my water bill.

      So, in summary, there is no doubt in my mind that an 80% decrease would bring immense relief for me - I feel habituation would be a walk in the park. I'd do a lot for a 30% decrease.

      I haven't lost all hope though, I am hoping to reach a place where I can deal better with this on a continuous basis until that large reduction is reality.

      :huganimation: This.
       
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    15. Mike82
      Wishful

      Mike82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      As awful a thing as this is to say Markku, I'm kind of relieved to say I'm not the only suffer from that kind of tinnitus at a relatively young age. I also think I had the "perfect storm" of "genetics, anxiety, inner ear damage due to meds, and maybe just bad luck."

      So now I have loud tinnitus. I think if I had an 80 per cent reduction in intensity/volume, I wouldn't think about it because it wouldn't bother me. It never used to.

      Now I just have to try not to let what I have bother me. Easier said than done!
       
    16. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Well, I can only answer in terms of the experiences of myself and others. So let me give you four examples ...

      I had no real background in the neurosciences - so when I was faced with this challenge back in 1994-5, I sought professional help in the form of TRT under the guidance of a very knowledgeable and experienced clinician.

      Cushbart (who wrote the Yuku post I copied to this thread) similarly had no background in the neurosciences - and when he was faced with this challenge, he sought professional help in the form of NTT under the guidance of a very knowledgeable and experienced clinician.

      Stoyan (one of the Yuku board admins) and @jchinnis both have extremely strong backgrounds in the neurosciences - and they were able to pull it off on their own.

      So there really isn't a set formula - but in my opinion an excellent place for everybody to start would be in making a serious effort to identifying and eliminating your Obstacles to Habituation.
       
    17. tinnitussufferer
      Angry

      tinnitussufferer Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2004
      TRT is based on the premise that regardless of how loud it is, you can habituate equally well. so by agreeing with him, you do realise that you are negating that dont you?
       
    18. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      If we are talking specifically about TRT, then loudness is indeed irrelevant to the habituation process. But it is my understanding we are not talking here specifically about TRT; rather, we are talking about habituation in general.
       
    19. tinnitussufferer
      Angry

      tinnitussufferer Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2004
      I dont see how it could be different depending on whether youre doing TRT or not! Either the loudness matters or it does not. You just said it does, yet TRT people say it doenst
       
    20. tinnitussufferer
      Angry

      tinnitussufferer Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2004
      I think loudness does matter. I think the duration matters too. For most of us, tinnitus will go on forever until we die. If we had even one day every week of silence i think it would give us great relief. It also matters that we cant do anything to help us get better. Its not like a cold, where you can get some rest, take plenty of fluids and so on to speed up your recovery. Tinnitus never gets better whether you take action or not. Tinnitus causes fear, anger, sadness, depression, headaches and annoyance. It is inescapable.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    21. carlover
      English

      carlover Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1986
      Im have to come in here.It seems to me on many forums if you cant/ dont habituate then your some sort of gutless woos

      I habituated for 20 years because it wasnt as loud as its been for the last 5 years ,plus without my aids the T gets louder and louder till it is completely intolerable and my ears start to hurt inside.
       
    22. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I have explained this phenomenon on a number of occasions. I will be happy to explain it yet again - but not if you are going to beat me up about it.

      There are two issues here.

      (1) Everybody with loud tinnitus would prefer it to be less loud. I sure know that I would. And in terms of habituation - the less loud the tinnitus, the more readily the process can be accomplished.

      (2) But we really do not have the luxury of controlling the loudness of our tinnitus to any meaningful extent. Our tinnitus is what it is!

      TRT is a protocol for facilitating the habituation of tinnitus, a protocol that involves sound therapy and counseling applied according to certain well-defined guidelines. And using that particular protocol, the success rates are the same regardless of how loud your tinnitus might be. Indeed that is precisely where the sound therapy component of TRT comes into play.
       
    23. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      From the little bit of TRT I learned on these boards, volume doesn't matter in the sense that habituation will be reached at the same success rate regardless of volume. But where volume comes into play is how fast someone may habituate. In other words, someone with low volume might habituate in 6 months while someone with high volume might do it in a year. But habituation is usually eventually reached.
       
    24. awbw8
      Balanced

      awbw8 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2013
      I didn't really feel like I could vote because if my T went down 80% I don't think I'd have to habituate. I feel like in order to habituate one must be annoyed/distressed with something in the first place. I don't think I would have been distressed by something 80% lower than what I have now to begin with - that's too close to gone.

      If it were 30%, 40%, 50%...(really anything 80% or under) lower, I think it would have taken me about the same amount of time in the beginning for me to habituate. I think I was more distressed by the presence of the noise at all in the beginning, not the level. I remember the first two days with the T I slept okay-ish, it was when I realized it wasn't going away that the panic, madness, sleeplessness, depression etc. set in, so it wasn't just the noise keeping me up and making me crazy, it was me reacting to it poorly. I know that's not how it is for everyone at all and am not trying to prove that, but that's how it was for me.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    25. marqualler
      Nerdy

      marqualler Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Minneapolis, MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / Mild Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      For me I *think* mine improved by 30-50% after it started (although there's really no way to definitively prove that) which I think made it easier to habituate to. I still have days where it "waxes and wanes" as @Kaelon has experienced (today is more of a "waxing" day as I have had some allergy-related congestion in the sinuses). And I share @awbw8's experience where the first few days of it were not very distressing--the distress just grew when it became apparent that the ringing was not going away.

      Until we have something that addresses loudness in a clinically proven pharmaceutical way, using this support board to help facilitate and maintain habituation is all we can do! (My opinion, at least.)
       
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    26. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Cushbart? I also spoke to him, and he told me his tinnitus actually decreased in volume and he was able to habituate it thereafter. Some people respond well to sound therapy, and he was one of them.
       
    27. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      You may be right, Matt. I don't know. I don't think it's ever been looked at.

      But in the final analysis that sort of thing really doesn't matter - because our tinnitus is what it is. If we had a way to predictably and lastingly turn down the volume, then likely we'd be having a different conversation entirely. But we don't! At least in 2015 we don't.
       
    28. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      I have to admit, that I'm a little puzzled then, too. Because I had always assumed what was meant was this:

      if you took 100 people with high volume tinnitus, then TRT will generally have a 80% success rate (or 80/100).

      But if you took 100 people with low volume tinnitus, then TRT will have a 80/100 success rate. In others words, the success rate would be unchanged. So in that sense I thought volume didn't play a role in TRT. I thought where it did play a role was how long it would take to reach habituation (which I find it a little mind-boggling that this hasn't been looked at... or perhaps the answer is so obvious that it doesn't need to be looked at). Basically the sample from the high volume would take longer than the low volume sample.

      But from what you're saying, this is not what you mean. So I must admit, I am confused as well. Volume has to play a role, though it might not be considered because there is nothing that can be done about it. But to say it doesn't matter is like saying a "spike" doesn't exist.
       
    29. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Ultimately, I prefer it to be decrease by 100% ;)
       
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    30. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Matt, maybe you are overthinking this ... or maybe I am underthinking it. Whatever. But here's how I see it ...

      Let's set the issue of habituation aside for just a minute, OK?

      100% of people with LOUD tinnitus would prefer it to be less loud. Now to be honest with you, I do not have a reliable and verifiable double-blind randomized prospective placebo controlled study published in a juried scientific journal to support that statement. I'm just going to go out on a limb and say it, OK? And if anybody disagrees with me, then whatever they're smoking, I want a hit. So I'll say it again: 100% of people with LOUD tinnitus would prefer it to be less loud.

      Now the reason they want it less loud is because louder tinnitus tends to be more bothersome than tinnitus that is less loud. I hope we can all agree on that as well.

      On the other hand, there are people with less loud tinnitus who are incredibly bothered by it. That you will just have to take my word on. Would they be more bothered if their tinnitus were louder? I suppose so - but that really hasn't been formally studied either.

      Now let's look at TRT for a minute. You don't do TRT unless you are really really bothered by your tinnitus. I mean, TRT is by and large a rather costly undertaking - you don't do it "just for kicks."

      So the people who choose to do TRT are those who are really really bothered by their tinnitus - regardless of how loud it might be. And the concept of being "bothered" by tinnitus all goes to reaction, which is what TRT is 100% about - reaction.

      OK. Whether you are really really bothered by very loud tinnitus or really really bothered by not-so-loud tinnitus, the success rates of TRT (i.e., becoming less and less bothered by your tinnitus regardless of how loud it is) are pretty much the same.

      Would TRT take less time to be successful if you had softer tinnitus that really really bothered you as opposed to louder tinnitus that really really bothered you? I suspect that the answer is no - because the sound therapy component of TRT is the great equalizer in that regard. But as I said earlier, I do not believe it has been studied.

      Should it be studied at all? Well that depends. How much money are you willing to divert from research for a cure to research that looks at whether people who have less loud tinnitus and are miserable take less time to succeed in TRT than people who have louder tinnitus and are miserable? For me, I personally wouldn't divert a dime from research for a cure. TRT, CBT, NTT, TAT, PTM, and the whole alphabet soup gamut have been studied enough as far as I'm concerned.

      That's how I see it, anyway.
       

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