Is There Really Nothing to Be Done After an Acoustic Trauma?

Discussion in 'Support' started by shasta0863, Oct 4, 2016.

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    1. shasta0863

      shasta0863 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2007
      I've had T since 18 (27 now) and it got worse last year from a short exposure to a wood saw. Clearly, my ears are damaged badly. No hearing loss detectable so it's probably hidden or above 8k.

      I've struggled for over a year, had noise make it worse, then got better, than worse a little bit and stayed, things around 100db or 105db type of stuff.

      But, 5 days ago I bumped into my wood mat which was rolled up and sitting vertical against wall. It fell and made a sound so loud I couldn't believe it. Only a second of sound, but it was loud (114db I recorded it with meter later 2 times with muffs on) since my T was worse. After it happened I stayed home but next day and following days I wen't out and swam laps, which probably wasn't good (especially since a large jumbo jet went over my head at 1400 feet yesterday which was loud) idea.

      My T was even worse yesterday after swimming and today just as bad. My ears are louder and I can't believe I just have to sit here and hope for the best. I've tried going back on NAC, Magnesium chelate, taking camu camu for vit. C, tumeric for antiinflammatory properties and a B complex, but I this is all placebo I think and I only do it just to do something.

      I think my ears are so damaged and are so sensitive to loud noises that it can't take much anymore. It only took a simple 10 seconds of wood saw outside my window a year ago to make my mild T worse...so I guess it's not unfathomable to think 114db even at a measly one second won't cause worsening.

      I just can't believe there's nothing to do but wait. Is there truly nothing one can do after a trauma where there is REAL noticeable change, not anxiety...no, real change...there's nothing? Although my ears weren't great before I was able to get by and the sound and pitch were at a place I could almost...accept. Now, because of a loud trauma suddenly...it's gone. I'm sure 5 days isn't a whole lot of time, but every day you want to kill yourself and just angry and bitter makes it seem a lifetime....I just can't believe there's nothing out there to maybe assist with any type of healing no matter how small after a trauma.
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @shasta0863
      You have had tinnitus a long time but it doesn't seem like your sensitivity to sound has been treated? Are you able to get to a ENT Dr in your area for some tests? I suspect you have hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound) Read the post below and if anything sounds familiar that you have been experiencing then try and get to ENT for some help.
      Best of luck
      Michael

      Hyperacusis.

      Two questions often asked about tinnitus are: How long does it take to habituate? How do I know if I have hyperacusis?

      One of the main causes of tinnitus is exposure to loud noise. Quite often though hyperacusis, (sensitivity to sounds) accompanies the condition. This is because the nerves in the auditory pathway have been subjected to noise trauma and thus become highly sensitised. Hyperacusis can be extremely painful. It can cause tinnitus to spike sometimes making it last for days until it settles down again. Within this time the person affected can be in a lot of discomfort.

      Music that was once pleasurable to listen to through a home music system or radio is now an ordeal so one prefers not to listen to it. The closing of doors, washing up of kitchen plates and cutlery is enough to send a person running for cover, as it can feel like a pneumatic drill is piercing through your ears and head. It can become such a problem a person is afraid to venture outside their home in fear of road traffic noise sparking an increase in their tinnitus due to their sensitivity to sound.

      One of the best ways to treat hyperacusis is by using “sound enrichment”. This can be achieved in many ways but I one of the best to wear white noise generators. Two should be worn to keep your auditory system in balance. The sound level of these devices must be adjusted correctly so as not to cause further irritation to a person’s auditory system, which can make the hyperacusis and tinnitus worse. It is best to always make sure their sound levels are set just below the tinnitus. Wngs are usually worn for up to ten hours a day. Two things are achieved over time.

      The hearing system is constantly subjected to low-level non-intrusive white noise, which will help to desensitise it. Secondly, they help the brain to focus less on the tinnitus and push it further into the background making it less noticeable. This form of treatment is also known as TRT.

      An alternative to wngs is to use a tabletop sound machine that plays nature sounds. This can be used for sound enrichment to help the healing process of hyperacusis. Again it is best to set the sound level just below the tinnitus. As previously explained sound machines can be very useful at night by the bedside and in the day used to fill in the background ambiance in room.

      Treating hyperacusis takes time as there is no quick fix and everyone will respond to treatment differently.
      Please bare in mind that a person with tinnitus and hyperacuisis, if the hyperacusis is left untreated sensitivity to sound will always remain a problem. In some cases hyperacusis can get better naturally without using sound enrichment but there is no guarantee.

      A word of caution. Some people use earplugs to help suppress external sounds because of their sensitivity to sound. Earplugs are available but should only be used when in noisy surroundings and not to suppress normal every day sounds, as doing so can prevent the healing process of hyperacusis.


      Habituating to Tinnitus.

      Habituating to tinnitus often seems shrouded in mystery for the more seriously affected people that are in distress and have had to seek help at ENT. It can be particularly difficult for people that are new to tinnitus to comprehend. How does one know when they have habituated to their tinnitus and more importantly what does this actually mean?

      The following doesn’t apply in every case of tinnitus for there are some people that have large fluctuations in their tinnitus and every day can be a different experience. This is one of the most severe forms of tinnitus and medications may be required to help cope with the condition. Habituating to this type of tinnitus is still possible to an extent but does present additional problems.


      To others I will say this: You’ll know when you have habituated to your tinnitus regardless of whatever treatment you are using via ENT etc as your brain will over time push it further into the background so it becomes less significant, in a similar way to the people that have mild tinnitus. Although your tinnitus may be present and on occasions it will spike, over time it will cease to be so much of a problem unless you deliberately focus on it and bring it to the forefront of your mind.

      Michael
       
    3. shasta0863

      shasta0863 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2007
      I had a say, mild case before last years worsening of T. You're correct I haven't done anything about it, haven't wanted to because all I cared about was my T going down to last years level which I am accepting will never occur.

      I wasn't aware Hyperacusis could make T worse, or spike for days, though. I got tested last year after the initial trauma with a sound sensitivity test, which hurt my ear after he got to a level I found immensely uncomfortable which he said was "normal", which I doubt...as I struggled with car doors for a long time shutting, can't handle plates hitting a counter too much as it seems absurdly loud ( I struggle with high pitch noises) and so on. I was getting better just naturally with noises before this 114db incident last week, but high pitch noises I still cannot handle if they're in 90db range, dishes clanging and so on. But I do typically listen to things, shows, movies, occasionally music from desktop speakers which maybe output around 60db so i'm not sure if that's the same thing as your articles attempt to keep the ears used to noise.

      My problem is, this 114db even for a second makes me believe my ears are damage even further because in my view, some peoples ears are so bad genetically and/or so damage, even slight exposure to very loud can damage hair cells or neural transmitters ect. I believe I'm in this boat, because my original T at 18 was from one musical elecontrinc festival..just one, where I got a Temp. threshold shift and T. Although it stayed same until I hit 26 years, little trauma's over teh years and then finally the wood saw worsened it, which proves my ears are indeed damaged badly.

      I've never been hit with something this loud that I can recall, maybe jets and motorcycles, stuff maybe capping at 105db or tad more, but 114 is insanely loud and makes it hard to fathom it's just hyperacusis causing it's increase, but who knows. I guess I can't tell if its damage/perm. or hyperacusis induced until time go by, which is the scary part, as I can't believe there isn't anything one can do to perhaps help the healing process.

      I don't see how one can tell if it's hyperacusis induced from loud noise, especially when it's 114db which to me, is beyond loud and not healthy for ears already damaged...even though it lasted perhaps a full 1 second.
       
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @shasta0863
      As I've already mentioned in my post. If your sensitivity to sound has never been treated then you will always have a problem with your tinnitus spiking and can last for days. I don't think your ears are damaged in the way that you think. TRT (tinnitus retraining therapy) involves counselling and wearing white noise generators. It is an expensive treatment lasting up to 2 years. I had it and it cured my sensitivity to sound. My hyperacusis was so bad I had to ask people to lower their voice when talking to me. I'm completely cured.

      I am not saying that you should go the TRT route but you could try introducing sound therapy at night as I've said in my post, to help desensitize your ears (auditory system). As you know you shouldn't be around sounds that are 114db that's far too loud.

      Think about my suggestion on introducing sound therapy at night, and I hope that you are not listening to audio through headphones, as that's a recipe for disaster but I'm sure you know that.
      Best of luck
      Michael

      PS: many people that have tinnitus caused by loud noise exposure end up with hyperaucsis. Like tinnitus, hyperacusis can be: mild, moderate, or severe. In extreme cases, if left untreated it can develop into phonophobia, which is a fear of sound.
       
    5. shasta0863

      shasta0863 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2007
      Thanks for the reply. I haven't had an expert treat it, I just sort of adjusted through out the year. I was better than last year, handling doors closing and noises I generally disliked, but still not great. It's really a specific issue, not all noises, but high freq. ones like silverware and dishes clanging. Perhaps professional help like you, is the way...but I'm hard pressed now because my T is so high. I also have reactive T, even typing on keyboard if I listen carefully spikes my T for split second, not sure how that plays into it if at all.

      I'm just fearful that the quick burst of 114 into my ears has damaged me and can't believe there's nothing out there to facilitate any type of healing I guess. If 10 seconds of a woodsaw outside my window gave my worsening of T a year ago, I fear 114 will do just the same, even if it was a second of noise.

      I don't use headhpones but desktop speakers, but do is just listening to movies, shows, documenataies and interviews ect. the same thing as the sound thearpy you're talking about? Does it matter what it is, if not, I think over last year I've been doing that with listening to the above for hours a day.
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I didn't quite follow you. Are you saying that you listen to movies through headphones? If so, then I advise that you don't even at low volume. From your description on high pitch sounds that grate against your ears, silverware cutlery etc. Remember what I first said about my post? If anything sound familiar. Well, I think you have hyperacusis and it is treatable. If I were you I'd buy a table top sound machine and use it by your bedside. I have mentioned sound machines quite a lot in this forum and people must be getting sick of reading about it. However, it is does help in many ways for tinnitus and hyperacusis. If you want to know more click on the link below.
      Michael
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/sound-machines-and-tinnitus.12072/
       
    7. shasta0863

      shasta0863 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2007
      No, I mean I use speakers and have been for years...wondering if that is sound enrichment as you say. Movies, shows, speeches, ect., through speakers outputting around talking voice levels, 60db...isn't that the same as sound enrichment? I don't mask my T, never did with Mild T since everyday stuff masked it and I got used to it at night. After it got worse last year, I still didn't out of stubborness. Don't want the T to beat me, so tried to get used to it and wait for it to go down hopefully.

      Are you saying this sound enrichment needs to occurs constantly for hours?
       
    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @shasta0863
      Listening to audio through speakers in the way that you are doing is a form of sound enrichment. But I would advise using a sound machine at night, or you could try downloading some nature sounds onto your cell phone and see how you get on. Sound enrichment should be used at night by anyone that has tinnitus. In your case having tinnitus with hyperacuis I think it's a must. Be aware, sound enrichment at night takes time to get used to. Set the sound level slightly below your tinnitus.

      The idea is not to have the sound level too high so that it's drawing attention to itself. Nature sound or white noise are usually the best as they don't draw the brain's attention like music does.
      If you are able to see an ENT specialist, hearing therapist/ Audiologist that and discuss with them about treating your hyperacusis I think that would be the best.
      I have to go but wish you well in whatever you decide to do.
      Michael
       
    9. Jomo

      Jomo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      9/4/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      going for a rim shot on the snare drum.
      I was prescribed predisone by my ENT...although i had side effects from it and had to stop after a day, my hyperacusis went away in my left ear...see if they can prescribe you this but be careful with it...it made me very jumpy and gave me insomnia.
       
    10. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      There is probably some great advice here but if worst comes to worst check out the AM-101 drug.
       

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