Maybe a New Way to Diagnose Tinnitus for People Without Hearing Loss

Discussion in 'Support' started by Mic, Jul 9, 2015.

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    1. Mic
      Buzzed

      Mic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media / Ear infection
      Hi fellow T companions. Let me start my first post on this forum with speaking out my gratitude towards all of the people who maintain and support Tinnitus talk. This forum has been a great support for me in coping with this hell-like condition the past year. My T started with a simple ear infection in April 2014. Different doctors just send me home with the diagnoses bilateral T without measurable hearing loss and the advice to learn to cope with it. Since then this high squealing sound never left. The first months were a hell I went through and even don’t wish happen to an enemy, but eventually, like many of you can comprehend, you learn to cope with it.

      Even though I learned to cope with it, questions like what causes this condition and why is there still no remedy for this T-torture still crosses my mind. Blessed with an academic brain (but missed my calling by not becoming a scientist) I started to research the underlying mechanisms of the human hearing combining it with basic physics of sound.

      My simple theory about the cause of T is that neurons that regulate/measure the amplitude of incoming sound signals in the brain (not the cochlea) are dysregulated after a traumatic event (sound, infection or baro trauma). You can compare it with a faulty sound amplifier that amplifies the random electronic noise that normally must stay below the thresholds of the sound-to-noise ratio, but manifest itself as a phantom sound because of over stimulation. The fact that many T-sufferers hear a pure tone (a clear frequency) in combination with a hissing sound (random amplitude signals on all frequencies) was also an indication for me to come up with this theory.

      With this thought I began to experiment with listening to different sounds to find any abnormalities in my hearing capability (since my hearing test at the hospital had resulted in perfect hearing, max 10db loss). In an attempt to test my hearing on different frequencies I downloaded a signal generator app to my smartphone which can generate pure tone sound on different frequencies. Playing around (gradually increasing and decreasing the frequency on a normal volume) I noticed that the pure tone sound switched from my left to right ear on two frequency ranges (from 4800 Hz to 5300 Hz and 8800 Hz to 9300 Hz). It is a sensation that I can describe as a sound moving from left to right through the middle of my head without a ‘silent’ gap. Besides this also the sound seemed to be higher in volume in this two ranges (notice that I do not have H).

      So my question to all of you, who like me don’t have measurable hearing loss and are able and willing to try out the little experiment above, is:


      Do you also experience abnormalities in listening gradually to an increasing pure tone sound at a normal sound volume level (we don’t want to cause more T ;)?

      Unfortunately I don’t have much time to post as often to this forum as I would like to do because of a busy work schedule, but from time to time I will come back to share some thoughts with you guys and gals…

      Wish you all silent days in the near future,

      Mic
       
    2. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      I have no hearing loss, but I had hyperacusis. I managed to cure it though.
       
    3. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      This makes perfect sense and I have been saying this all along .

      You do have hearing loss but the measurements are too coarse to pick it up.
      4800 , 5300 etc are not measured , rather 4khz and then 6khz .

      It amazes me that an hearing test with the equivalent coarseness as an eyesight test with one large A and a smaller b is used to determine whether you have hearing loss , It might be sufficient for most purposes but not even close to state with certainty that people with T have no hearing loss and base any research on that.

      Its completely unreliable at best and indeed damaging to research at worst.

      Also , doing a sine sweep like you did will in fact reveal these losses.

      Hearing tests should be done like this ....Normal method and then the Sine sweep where the person would tag when he hears a drop. In fact you can hear the tone tilt to one side if they are played at same levels to both ears.VERY easy to spot, and would settle this "no hearing loss issue once and for all.

      I do not believe in the "no hearing loss theory" because , first off ,it makes no sense and second , there is nothing to prove it , hearing tests at least do nothing to prove it.

      I for one have a sharp drop at 3.1 khz , I am pretty good at 3 khz though. 100hz difference!
      And , my initial tone was indeed exactly 3.1 khz , massive correlation but would be missed by most doctors.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    4. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Hidden hearing loss, enough said. I can hear up to 17,000hz.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    5. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      That is pretty good for your age , means that in general your ears are in good health ;)
       
    6. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Yeah, that's something to be happy about I suppose lol
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      How could you have had such bad T when your hearing is so good? If you can hear outside sounds (or silence) to mask your T how bad can it be? I think that the reason your T is so low is that your hearing is so good, it has absolutely nothing to do with all the drugs you took.

      I can't hear much beyond 8khz, it's all masked by my T. If I could hear those outside sounds it would mean I wasn't hearing my T, just common sense.

      If you have no hearing loss up to 17khz you can't have bad T, it's impossible.
       
    8. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection

      I wish! Mine was so so loud and trust me, it must've been loud if my hearing was good. It's not like I took trobalt within 1 week. I took it after 4 months and even then I still had reactive tinnitus and that reactive tinnitus only went away after I took keppra and I never started keppra until the 6th month.
       
    9. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      Have you tried to see if hearing aids would help?
       
    10. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Looked into it a while back. I don't see how they would help me and neither did they. My hearing drops into nothing after 8khz, how many sounds do we hear at 8-12khz? Not a lot. Having H would also be a problem.

      My hearing goes down -60db by 10khz so I don't, not sure man. Not a lot can be done, maybe a noise generator to distract,not sure.
       
    11. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      I can hear up to 16 khz and I have reactive T, distorted hearing and H. Audiograms are not indicative of anything tinnitus related. I'm in the camp that believes T comes from neurological damage, not neccesarily damage the hearing mechanosensors.
       
    12. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      You're right in the sense that there aren't a lot of pure sine waves between 8-12 khz out there for us to hear. Nevertheless you'll find that adjusting the 8+ khz frequencies on an equalizers completely changes the resulting sound (sharper sounds, more ''bite'', cymbals become more prominent)
       
    13. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      How can you hear so well with the tinnitus noise? I have done a audiogram up to 16khz and could not really hear anything over my T in the upper range. Is your T very faint? Maybe you have just a small notch in your hearing?
       
    14. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yeah I agree but I'm talking about everyday sounds, not music.
       
    15. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      I don't know about notched. Using frequency sweeps there doesn't seem to be any drops. Only that it goes completly silent from 16 khz and onwards.

      My tinnitus isn't one giant eeeeeeee but a about dozen sounds such as crickets, bell chimes and so on, different in both ears. For the most part these are masked during the day. I have a hissing type of sound that requires damaging levels of sounds to mask.

      I also do not hear very well. I sometimes strain to understand speech with high background noise such as when everyone is talking at the same time in the restaurant. At this point the sound distortion takes over and everything is just a giant unintelligible garbled mess. I pick up a lot of sounds. Can't seem to make sense out of it.

      This is what ''hidden hearing loss'' is. Hearing loss in the brain, not the cochlea.
       
    16. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Ah ok. Interesting.
       
    17. Mic
      Buzzed

      Mic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media / Ear infection
      Have you also tried to test the frequency sweep on different volume levels. The sound shift I experience is strong on mid-level volume. It's also important to not sweep the frequency to fast.

      I believe the key to the solution of this T-hell lays in the analysis of small details. The question here is why you only hear a hissing and I hear a combination of peeeeep and hissing. In sound physics hissing is equal to random and erratic signals on all perceptible frequencies. When we translate this to the dynamics of a cochlea this probably means that the hair cells on a broad spectrum are damaged equally. If this theory is true, the combination of sounds I perceive means on the one hand that a broad spectrum is damaged (which results in hissing) and on the other hand that the damage is more on some areas of the cochlea (which results in the peeeep).

      This is also a very interesting piece of detail that probably has clues about the mechanics behind T. The human hearing is a complex network of connections with many hubs that process the information. In doing so they probably work together delivering each other feedback. Unfortunately I don't have a medical education to understand the fine details, but, for instance, the cochlear nucleus (with its dorsal cochlear nucleus part) is responsible for tasks like inhibition and discrimination of sound (signal-to-noise, the phenomena you describe). This mechanism (beautiful when correctly functioning) could turn in to the T-hell when disfunctioning.

      I think it's a combination. In your body not even one single organ can function on its own. They are symbiotic and need each other. This probably is the same for the hubs of the human hearing. They deliver each other feedback on a a two-way neural freeway. If this is true our challenge in stopping T is in finding the final station (hub) which is the last switch in generating the phantom sounds.

      P.S.: Could someone with more knowledge about medical science comment on my philosophical theory ;)
       
    18. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      I keep it as audibly low as possible. This is the test I'm using I do not know if it is too fast or not.

       
      • Like Like x 1
    19. Mic
      Buzzed

      Mic Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media / Ear infection
      In the contrary, it is probably to slow. If you have a smartphone you can download SignalGenerator (any android device) or Audio Function Generator (for ios/apple devices) to test it out. Both apps have a manual sweeper with which you can determine the speed yourself. (they are btw both free to download)
       
    20. vasil

      vasil Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2014
      Thanks for this one. So how much of this a man should hear? I lost it somewhere between 15 000-15 500.
       
    21. Rafael L

      Rafael L Member

      Location:
      Brazil
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headaches and panic attack
      I do not understand anything of T, but understand more audio, believe most listening a compound sound, Just add two different frequencies (EX: 10KHz and 11KHz) and you have a intermodulation, still suspect external frequencies may intermodulation with the frequency of T, sound interpretation would be different from a person without T.
      I do not know why know exact frequency of the T can help in healing?
       
    22. martin12

      martin12 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/13/2014
      I think there are various forms of Tinnitus. One Neurological and perhaps the other inner ear.

      It could in fact be "Brain Damage" of a sort that we all suffering from.
       

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