Inconsistent Tinnitus Volume and Tone Makes It Hard to Habituate

Discussion in 'Support' started by spcshpsrshngb, Sep 2, 2022.

    1. spcshpsrshngb

      spcshpsrshngb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      probably noise induced (concert)
      I'm about 2.5 months into unilateral low pitched tinnitus since a short drone concert.

      First few weeks were horrible, but eventually I had some times where the tinnitus felt lower than usual and didn't bother me at all for a few days, to the point where I thought I was done with it. But it kept coming back. Basically the pattern seem to be a few days of bliss (going as low as maybe 15% the usual perception level), then a few days of high tinnitus level and anxiety, then calm again, etc. I genuinely can't say if it's my reaction to it that is making this up and down pattern or if it's purely the volume of the tinnitus, maybe a mix of both? Sound level and tone really are changing frequently I feel.

      I should also add that on busy days, like taking a lot of transports and being in noisy environments overall, the tinnitus is very loud when I finally come back to a silent place in the evening (like 300% louder), but comes back to the baseline after a night of sleep. I can make it noticeably lower by putting my tinnitus ear against a pillow, which is convenient.

      Does this kind of tinnitus sound familiar to you? Does your tinnitus vary a lot too? How to habituate when your tinnitus is evolving though the days, making you want to check if frequently?
       
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    2. Joe Cuber
      Curious

      Joe Cuber Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      California, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      Mine is unilateral high-pitched and varies in volume and tone by the day. So some days it's pretty quiet and other days it's quite hissy. I consider it daily random. Sometimes I'll get two good days in a row, sometimes two bad in a row.

      I've heard others say their tinnitus has longer cycles, like 5-day cycles. There's a good thread started by @Luman called Intermittent Tinnitus that has some describing their variability.

      I find it hard to habituate to it since it comes and goes and also changes in quality and pitch. I've started wearing hearing aids recently since I have moderate hearing loss in the high frequencies, and they've actually helped because they provide sounds that my ears normally lack, which happens to be the frequencies that my tinnitus varies in. So the hearing aids in effect create a masking effect.

      I also listen to a lot of nature sounds on YouTube, which helps to further mask.

      For anxiety, I did a combination of meds, therapy, CBT/DBT training, and I started to apply the Back to Silence method. It helped me accept my condition and change my point of view, dropping my anxiety. I also do a lot of meditation.

      Hope that helps.
       
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi Spchpsrhngb.

      You have noise induced tinnitus, which is one of the most common causes of this condition. Typically it is caused by listening to audio at too high a volume through headphones, earbuds, AirPods, headsets, noise cancelling and bone conduction headphones without realizing it. Attending nightclubs or concerts can cause it too as you have mentioned on your profile.

      Other types of exposure to loud noise can cause noise induced tinnitus as well. Often but not always hyperacusis (oversensitivity to sound) accompanies the tinnitus. My post Hyperacusis, As I See It, in the link below goes into this in more detail.

      In the early stages of noise induced tinnitus, it is not uncommon for it to fluctuate as you have been experiencing. It will eventually settle down but for this to happen, it's important that you don't do anything to aggravate it as you risk making it worse. Therefore, I suggest that you don't listen to audio through any type of headphones as mentioned above even at low volume and keep away from nightclubs and concerts for at least three months or until the tinnitus settles down. Even then you still need to be careful of exposure to loud noise, as wearing noise reducing earplugs is no guarantee your tinnitus won't spike and could increase to a new permanent level.

      Please click on the link below and read my post: New to Tinnitus, What to Do?

      Go to my started threads and read: Tinnitus, a Personal View, The Habituation Process, How to Habituate to Tinnitus, Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? Tinnitus and The Negative Mindset, Acquiring a Positive Mindset, From Darkness Into Light.

      Print the above articles and refer to them often, this way you will absorb and retrain the information better than reading on your phone or computer screen. By referring to them they will reinforce positive thinking which is vitally important during and after the habituation process.

      Try to avoid quiet rooms and surroundings especially at night by using low level sound enrichment. More about this is explained in my posts.

      All the best,
      Michael

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Hyperacusis, As I See It | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    4. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      No offense but low pitched tinnitus is a different beast than the more common high pitched 'eee' (I have both).

      There is a chance it will not settle down, like Michael Leigh above says. For me, at least, it has been fluctuating since the start and it still is (as @Joe Cuber mentioned, and this is true for many).

      It's day by day, depending on how I slept, depending on environmental sounds (residual inhibition is a thing with low pitched tinnitus, sometimes it is gone for hours). The key to habituation in this case is not habituation in its purest form, it is: "do not compare".

      There was a period where it was constant and very loud, it's crazy but for me that was in fact easier to deal with than the sometimes off, sometimes on.

      After car rides especially, my buzz will be 10 times as loud. When there is the slightest humming in the background, it will be off (some good days). So no, chances are it will never "settle down" to a solid baseline, but even then you'll be able to live with it.
       
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