Just Had a Spike of Hyperacusis — Would CBT Help Me?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Rosa_D_123, Dec 21, 2021.

    1. Rosa_D_123

      Rosa_D_123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown officially but suspect noise-induced
      Hi, I'm a college student who has had tinnitus since September.

      I recently went to an ENT about my tinnitus and the hearing loss I thought I had. I went to the consultation expecting a diagnosis of tinnitus (which I got) and low frequency hearing loss. I was right for the first (no surprises there) but my hearing test came back that I had little to no hearing loss. He said that, while I had a bit more trouble at lower frequencies, I had no real 'hearing loss' which was a real positive for me as I had expected to at least get the diagnosis of some hearing loss. He said that my hearing was actually on the upper end of the spectrum. This confused as 80% of people with tinnitus experience some form of hearing loss. This started to make a little more sense to me today though.

      It is important to add that I have taken to wearing foam earplugs all day everyday since I got tinnitus, with the intent to protect my ears as much as possible. I have also become a bit of a recluse (which I'm trying to get past). Thinking back, this is likely why hyperacusis was less of an issue. Don't get me wrong, some days, even me talking can cause my ears to pulse at every syllable, but the earplugs made it less prominent most of the time. I informed the ENT of this, although I probably should have better communicated the severity of it, and he said it was likely nothing to worry about as he could not see any physical damage to my ear canal or eardrum.

      Today, however, I didn't wear my earplugs as I usually would, and my ears at the end of the day felt like they had some kind of stinging solution inside of them. While I was talking to my mother on the way out of the clinic I had 'super hearing.' I'm starting to realise that this may be something of a curse. I want to see the ENT again but it cost over 200 the last time. He said he'd book me in for a session of CBT. I'm wondering, if I brought up my concerns of hyperacusis to them, would they be able to help me? I know it is considered a treatment so I thought it may save me another ENT visit but I'm not sure.
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      CBT doesn’t treat tinnitus. It’s psychotherapy to help you deal with it better.
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      A lot of people with noise induced tinnitus don't have any hearing loss and if they do, it's usually slight not enough to warrant the use of hearing aids.
      Please stop wearing foam earplugs all the time as you are doing yourself more harm than good. You will potentially lower the loudness threshold of your auditory system which will make it more sensitive to sound making your hyperacusis worse. Start using low level sound enrichment especially at night using a sound machine by the bedside. This will help to treat the tinnitus and hyperacusis. Please click on the link below and read my post: Hyperacusis, As I See It.

      You probably have noise induced tinnitus which is one of the most common causes of the condition. Hyperacusis often (but not always) accompanies it. If you have been a regular user of headphones, earbuds, headsets or AirPods, then any of these devices caused the tinnitus because you have probably been listening to audio at too high a volume without realizing it. My advice is not to use them again even at low volume.
      Noise induced tinnitus usually improves with time and this can take up to 18 months sometimes longer from onset. CBT or TRT can help many people manage tinnitus better. Using white noise generators will help to treat the hyperacusis that you have. However, you may not need CBT or TRT at the moment because you are new to tinnitus, and therefore I don't recommend you start CBT at the moment.

      @Brian P is entitled to his opinion but I don't fully agree with what he has said about CBT not treating tinnitus.

      Tinnitus is mostly mental. By this I mean it's an integral part of our mental and emotional wellbeing and cannot be separated from it. When CBT, TRT or counselling is administered by a trained therapist that preferably has tinnitus - through talk therapy with the patient, they help remove and dispel the negative thinking that is often attached to tinnitus. Over time the patient learns to no longer see the tinnitus as a threat and eventually habituates to it. This takes time and is not a quick fix. I don't recommend you start CBT or TRT until you have had tinnitus for at least 6 months.

      Please click on the link below and read my post: What Is TRT and When Should It Be Started? It also covers CBT. Please go to my started threads and read my posts: New to Tinnitus, What to Do, The Habituation Process, Tinnitus, A Personal View.

      All the best,

      Hyperacusis, As I See It | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      What Is TRT and When Should It Be Started? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1

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