Long-Term Tinnitus Sufferer — It's Gotten Louder and Wider in Frequency Over the Last Years

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Fat Jon, Dec 14, 2021.

    1. Fat Jon

      Fat Jon Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hello, I have noticed my tinnitus getting louder and wider in frequency over the last few years.

      Not surprising I suppose, as I am fast approaching my 69th birthday. I remember noises like this in my youth when I was not well, but they faded as I recovered from whichever illness I had had.

      There is very little low frequency and lots of really high frequency noise, plus some in the mid-range which I would say is about the same as middle C on a piano. In reality it translates into the most horrendous chord ever devised in the history of music.

      I have to admit that I ignore it most of the time, but it appears very loud at night; although probably because there are no other sounds around. However, I couldn't say the tinnitus drives me mad, or keeps me awake because I have learned to live with it.

      Yes, I did listen to loud music when I was younger, and often using headphones. I'm not sure if there is a direct link, but I suspect this might have a lot to do with it.

      • Hug Hug x 5
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Headphones are one of the most common causes of tinnitus due to listening to audio at too high a volume. So you are correct, there is a a direct link to headphone use and tinnitus. Once a person develops tinnitus from using any type of headphones, this includes earbuds, headsets and AirPods, if they continue using them after they habituate to tinnitus, they risk making it worse even when listening to audio at low volume.

      When a person develops tinnitus from using headphones at too high a volume or from other forms of loud noise exposure, this is known as noise induced tinnitus. Oversensitivity to sound often (but not always) accompanies this type of tinnitus which is called hyperacusis. A person can have it mild, moderate or severe. This can also improve by itself over time however, sometimes professional treatment is required to treat the the oversensitivity to sound, otherwise it can become a long term problem.

      It is not unusual for noise induced tinnitus to recover by itself and this can take up to 18 months or longer from onset. As I have explained, if a person returns to using any type of headphones even at low volume, they risk the tinnitus becoming worse. If they are exposed to loud noise in the future, such as playing a loud musical instrument this can make the tinnitus worse. Wearing earplugs will not necessarily offer sufficient protection, as sound can pass through the head and transfer to the inner ear by bone conduction. This can spike the tinnitus which may not reduce to its previous baseline level, but instead increase it to a new permanent one.

      You have had noise induced tinnitus for quite some time. Since you have noticed a steady increase there are usually a few things that will make it worse.

      1. Using any type of headphones even at low volume. Playing a loud musical instrument or being exposed to other types of loud noise.

      2. It is important that you get your hearing checked at ENT. If you have significant hearing loss which you may not be aware of, this can make the tinnitus worse over time. As well as having a hearing test your ENT might suggest having an MRI, which can detect if there is an underlying medical problem within your auditory system that is causing the tinnitus to increase.

      3. Stress can also cause tinnitus to increase and needs to be managed. Talk with your doctor if you have any stress or anxiety. Some medications can cause tinnitus to increase which is something to consider.

      Try not to sleep in a quiet room at night. This can be achieved by using a sound machine by the bedside for low level sound enrichment. The idea is not to mask or cover up the tinnitus. More information about this is in the links below. Please go to my started threads and read the following posts: The Habituation Process, Tinnitus and The Negative Mindset, Acquiring a Positive Mindset.

      All the best,

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      • Like Like x 2
      • Helpful Helpful x 1

Share This Page