Mild Tinnitus — Any Chance It Will Heal?

Discussion in 'Support' started by MichaelMMM, Feb 13, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. MichaelMMM

      MichaelMMM Member

      Tinnitus Since:

      Last week I was at a bar, and a woman was shouting in my ear for around 10 seconds pretty loudly. I didn't think much of it until I went outside for a bit and noticed my ear was ringing slightly. I went home a little bit later, but when I woke up the next day, the ringing was still there. I immediately became scared that I had gotten permanent tinnitus, but I figured, calm down and give it a few days.

      Now it's been one week and it's still there. It changes in intensity (if I go into a noisy environment, it gets worse for a few hours) but is otherwise pretty mild - my uncle and my stepdad has bad tinnitus so I've heard about it before and would describe mine as pretty mild. Sometimes, it goes away completely, but only for a few seconds where I can't hear it even if I put my hand over my ear to isolate the sound.

      Also, the day after my ears began ringing, I had a mild fever and have been feeling a little lightheaded since. I went to the doctor who cleaned and examined my ears, found nothing and then told me he could do no more and that I had to see a specialist. So I booked a time with a specialist next week.

      Is there any chance that something like this heals on its own? I've been reading about it online and the chances look slim, but it's impossible to find any reliable answer as there are so many contradictory opinions about it. I think the initial damage was sound-induced but it's confusing because I also had a fever the following day, though that might be a completely different and trivial problem. I also hear a little worse than before and struggled with some sound distortion with sounds coming from behind me for a few days after it began, but that has stopped now.

      So I'm hoping to hear some stories/opinions? If it's not going to heal then I'd rather just know right away.

      • Funny Funny x 1
    2. glynis-harbron

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      It sounds like you could have a virus in your system and all being well your ears will settle down again soon..lots of love glynis
    3. Nick Pyzik

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      Hello Michael,

      When looking at the factors of your Tinnitus situation and how you explained beforehand what had happened, it's very likely you have noise-induced Tinnitus. Noise-Induced Tinnitus occurs when very loud sounds or in other words sound waves travel into your ear, through your Cochlea (the snail looking piece of your inner ear that holds thousands upon thousands of very tiny hair like cells that pick up frequencies from 20hz-20khz) and damaged your auditory nerves which are connected to these hair cells. Our hair cells are meant to withstand damage and something like someone talking loudly in your ear in a noisy environment will 95% of the time not cause hair cell (frequency) loss. Now a gun shot next to the ear, or standing right in front of a loud speaker for hours, or standing next to loud machinery for hours, that's a whole' nother story. BUT, what does happen is that since these sound waves are so strong because all the noise factors going on, the loud bar, the loud talking straight into your ear, this will cause the decibels of sound to most likely be doubled or even tripled in loudness.

      THEREFORE, what happens is these extremely loud sound waves cause the inner ear functions to do their job and as the waves of sound enter the cochlea, the hair cells are bent back and forth. The consistency and aggression of the sound will cause what's called excitotoxicity to happen. This reaction basically disconnects the neurons or "auditory nerve fibers" attached to several outer hair cells/inner hair cells in a fashionable order. A simple example of these nerves is that they are like the chords for a microphone that allow the mic to capture sound and then translate the information into a recording device/computer. If you unplug more than half the chords of this mic then you won't pick up as well recorded sounds and as clearly because the power is not as strong and well working as it was before.

      Same goes for the auditory nerve fibers. The more you lose, the harder it is to be able to pick up frequencies over one another. That's why the elderly still have trouble picking out sounds even with hearing aids on. You need a healthy amount of well functioning nerve fibers on each hair cell frequency to be able to clearly hear and process the sound waves being picked up by the hair cells. It's been studied and shown that you can lose up to 90% of your Cochlear Nerve Fibers and still be able to detect sound so it goes unnoticed in this medical world. It's also be studied that when we age we lose these original nerve functions and are replaced silently by nerves that don't work like the original. When these nerve fibers lose connection to their appropriate hair cell location IN LARGE QUANTITIES, a ringing sensation in the brain will begin and there is a chance for Hyperacusis to begin in time.

      A lot of people on this site disagree with me on my helpful insights discovered by the well researched work of other Professors. Some agree with me. It's up to you to decide on what's causing your Tinnitus and there are many theories about what could be causing but what I've just told you in not any sort of theory, it's researched material.

      In Summary:

      1) Loud Bar, loud talking straight into or very close to Ear(s) = Loud noise/Strong sound waves
      2) Loud noise causes hair cells in Cochlea to respond in a much more intense fashion.
      3) Aggressive movements of hair cells (Outer/Inner) cause Excitotoxicity of nerve fibers, nerves disconnect from hair cell location it responded to, will never reconnect, and in time will retract back to the brain cell it's apart of and will die in a few months to a year unless Neurotrophic Factors are expressed to keep the neurons alive.
      4) Disconnection of Afferent/Efferent Nerves I or II from hair cell(s) will cause ringing otherwise known as Tinnitus and even can bring upon Hyperacusis (sensitivity to sounds/especially with nerve fiber damage to Outer Hair Cells) until the brain adjusts it's gain to the level it is at presently.

      I apologize for this sounding kind of harsh but it's the sad hidden truth of what loud noise does to our hearing and I'm only trying to promote this information so we are more aware of the hidden damages that occur over time from noise.

      Hair Cells can be damaged easily too but they are not as susceptible to damage like the hidden mechanisms of the auditory nerve fibers and loud noise. I'd advise for you to get an Audiogram Test (which doesn't pick up damage to the nerve fibers) but just to see if you've lost any frequencies of the hair cells. You should also get an Oto-Acoustics Test which determine how well functioning your Outer Hair Cells are and you should get an Auditory Brain Response Test, which measures how well your ear to brain connection is.
    4. MichaelMMM

      MichaelMMM Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I was not even aware a viral infection could be the cause of this problem! I'll definetely ask my doctor about that.

      Thank you for this very educated response! It makes total sense, and I'll ask my doctor for those tests when I see him next week.

      In point 4, you mention sensitivity to sounds which was a big subject for me in the onset of the tinnitus - this has improved, but I still find loud sounds, especially from the TV, to be very bothersome. Are you saying my brain will adjust to these sounds and the sensitivity will go away? This is the worst part of it, I don't really notice the ringing that much when there are other sounds around, so if that was to improve it would really ease my load.

      And also, if tinnitus is connected to the nerves disconnecting from the hair cells, does it mean that tinnitus is always permanent? And if so, should I start wearing an earplug in the left ear whenever I go outside to prevent it from getting worse?
    5. Nick Pyzik

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      You're very welcome Michael. I assure you that what you've experienced is what they call hidden hearing loss in the medical world. It makes things so much more difficult since we can't view the cochlea or auditory nerve through the outside of a human let alone see these parts without extreme magnification. I can't even say that these tests you get done will show any damage to those areas but it's still best to get them done. An Audiogram test will be the best way to rule out mild/moderate/severe hearing loss.

      Yes, our brain adjusts to our hearing with whatever damage occurs. Your hearing threshold will not go back to what it was before but your brain will adjust to the sensitivity of your hearing. Here are two links talking about that.

      Hidden Hearing Loss & More -

      Brain Compensation -

      For your question on if Tinnitus is permanent. It's very hard to say if the ringing stays or goes. I can tell you that when the brain adjusts to this sound, it allows you to focus on the other frequencies your hair cells pick up and starts to block out the ringing. Noise-Induced tinnitus tends to disappear or lay more in the background after awhile. You don't have to wear earplugs everywhere you go now but I'd advise you to get a pair of even custom ear plugs and carry them on a keychain with your valuables. Next time you go to a concert wear ear protection and not just with the cheap foam earplugs you can buy anywhere. I'd invest in some well working dB lowering earplugs.

      Also, I'll leave you with this link here

    6. Atlantis

      Atlantis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild tinnitus won't bother you in a few months!

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