It's Always Been This Way for Me — Tinnitus Since I Can Remember

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by LeighO, Dec 26, 2021.

    1. LeighO

      LeighO Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1974
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      As long as I can remember (I'm in my 50s) I've had the eeeeeeeeeeeeee/ngggggggggggggg going on bilaterally. It feels like it comes from within my head. I honestly didn't even recognize I "had tinnitus" until I started learning about it. I just thought everyone had this background noise.

      Likely my tinnitus originates from a bunch of ear infections I had as a child that then resulted in me getting tubes in my ears, which perforate the eardrum in order to drain fluid from the Eustachian tubes. However I can't be absolutely sure this is the source. I have been to live shows that were loud but there was no moment where I realized the noise was louder. It's just always been there for me.

      I am a scientist by profession but I am a passionate audio-nut audiophile with tubes, vinyl, nice speakers, a dedicated listening room with acoustic treatments, etc. I ***love*** the quiet despite the background head-noise. So I think by never assuming it was anything out of normal, my tinnitus is there screaming away but it's just there. I joke to myself that my brain runs a bit hot, and the tinnitus is evidence of that. I also joke to myself that as long as I have tinnitus, I know I'm alive haha (trying to put a positive spin on it). For sure if I really focus on it it can bum me out, but then I just forget about it.

      One more thing that may be related or not to the source of my tinnitus. I get these regular "zingers" where all of the sudden it fires up (I think people call them spikes). Sometimes this spike is also associated with temporary high frequency hearing loss in the same ear. A few years ago "the curtain dropped" and suddenly my tinnitus spiked and it was as if someone stuffed cotton in my left ear. In the past this has sometimes been the result of congestion so I tried Sudafed but - nope. It persisted for days and I wen to the audiologist who verified the hearing loss. I got an MRI and nothing obvious showed up. Thankfully after a week or so it just cleared up... I think it was gradual. But I get these danged zingers all of the time and every time I get one I think, ugh, I hope the curtain lifts quickly....

      So anyway because none of us can crawl inside the head of other people... I certainly can't assume my own approach (just living with it) is reasonable for someone else, but I guess all I'll say is I don't consider myself a victim of anything but... life. I have other things wrong with me involving my senses (cross eyed, colorblind) and I have just always accepted these things and just focused on living life. That sounds corny but it's working for me.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Winner Winner x 1
    2. 2noist

      2noist Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      I like your attitude!
      These are SBUTTs (Spontaneous Brief Unilateral Tapering Tinnitus). They happen in one ear only, usually last for a few seconds up to a couple of minutes. Sometimes they can get stuck for a bit longer. SBUTTs are VERY COMMON. Even people without chronic tinnitus can get them but people with tinnitus seem to get them more... looks like so.

      But when people talk about spikes, they refer to something that lasts longer (hours, days, weeks, months...) and often happens in both ears (not always of course).
       
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @LeighO

      Although it reads on your profile cause of tinnitus unknown, something is usually responsible for its onset. The fact that you are a self confessed audiophile like myself, and probably listen to music a lot through headphones as your Avatar might suggest, it's headphones that were probably the original cause of the tinnitus and if you are still using them, even at low volume there is a risk the tinnitus could get worse. Sorry to sound so sobering.

      Exposure to loud noise is the most common cause of tinnitus and typically, it is listening to audio through any type of headphones including earbuds at too high a volume without realizing it.

      You have had tinnitus a long time and seem to be managing it well which is good. Usually I advise anyone with noise induced tinnitus, not to use headphones even at low volume. All I will say, try keep the volume low as possible when using your headphones.

      I also use tube amplification, 300b Parallel Single-ended driving ProAc speakers, in a listening room that is acoustically treated.

      All the best
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LeighO

      LeighO Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1974
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hey @Michael Leigh, nice to meet you. Maybe it wasn't clear but no, I've definitely had it since before I put on my first set of headphones. I've always been careful about stuff like that even as a teenager when the first Walkman came out. I really think it goes back to that ear surgery from when I was 4 or 5. Like I said, I have always had it - I am pretty sure I would have noticed if one day suddenly my ears started ringing. However it is indeed possible that I was exposed to a loud sound that I can't remember, but I've always thought that kind of event was more related to hearing loss. My hearing is "average" for someone my age.

      @2noist, I had no idea my 'zingers' had a name haha. It's good to know they are common - I've always wondered about that.

      My attitude is just that it's always been there. I am a squishy organic being and I figure there's gonna be weirdness. I have things "wrong" with me and I just live with them. I am a very obsessive person (kind of required to do the kind of work I do haha) and I know if I turn my obsession onto something the rabbit hole can go very deep. So I just figure, this was the hand I was dealt and move on. That's just my attitude. Obviously that isn't gonna work for everyone! And I have my bad days like everyone else. I guess I am kind of ambivalent to my tinnitus. I doubt I'll be very active here, but I just wanted to say hi and say yeah I'm in the club... obviously if a pill came out I'd give it a shot but that's about it.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @LeighO,

      It is nice to meet you too. Thanks for the clarification about your tinnitus. I still advise caution when using headphones, as they don't go well with tinnitus, even though yours may not be noise induced. Keep enjoying your music.

      Take care,
      Michael
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LeighO

      LeighO Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1974
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yeah thanks. I rarely use headphones despite my avatar (those are old ratty ham radio headphones). I used to use nice in-ear earbuds for the bus ride in to work but didn't really like them much. I hear you about being careful with headphones, it's way too easy to play stuff too loud.

      @Michael Leigh, I just reread your post, I have ProAc Tablette Anniversary speakers and a big fat subwoofer in the corner. I have one of Steve Deckert's lovely tube amps that I will never replace (just the tubes haha). You are certainly a man of taste haha :)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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

      ProAc make some wonderful speakers. I was tempted to upgrade to the Anniversaries but decided to stay with the Tablette Reference 8 Signatures. I don't use a subwoofer as I believe it changes the character of the main speakers but each to their own. I have two systems the other features the ProAc D28s. Please click on the link below and read my post: Does your system sing? Musical tastes are classical and opera along with some jazz fusion, Bob James, Lee Ritenour and Michael Franks.

      Take care
      Michael

      Does Your Hi-Fi System Sing? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
Loading...

Share This Page