More Questions / Concerns from a Newbie :(

Discussion in 'Support' started by 500_miles, May 13, 2015.

    1. 500_miles

      500_miles Member

      Tinnitus Since:

      I would immensely appreciate anyone's (and esp. @attheedgeofscience) input & advice.

      My tinnitus appeared during a head cold and concurring noise (poss. barotrauma) incident...

      1) Four weeks later, should I consider it permanent / chronic? What are the chances of ever experiencing complete silence again?

      2) Is it true that "healing" ears are more susceptible to further noise induced damage? An emergency alarm, a solid wood slamming door, a screaming child and a repeatedly honked car horn in very close proximity caused a spike in my tinnitus and muffled hearing and I am extremely worried...

      3) How long does it take for the damage to show up on audiological (ABR / OAE) tests? I've read that inner ear hair cells don't die immediately after being attacked. I have an appointment tomorrow that I need to know if I should postpone due to the above recent events.

      4) If my tinnitus is caused by hearing loss in the higher frequencies, will it show up on ABR / OAE tests? What is the range usually tested? I've had two inconclusive audiograms so far but they only went up to 8kHz.

      5) What are your thoughts on adaptive noise-reduction earplugs that automatically adjust to changing sound levels?

      6) Is there anything else I should know / take / do?

      Thank you all so much and I'm sorry I only have questions and not much else to contribute to this amazing forum (bless you @Markku).
    2. attheedgeofscience
      No Mood

      attheedgeofscience Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      38.2%...? 54.7%...? I don't think anyone can answer those questions. Window-of-opportunity for certain types of subjective tinnitus ends 48 hours after the initiation of symptoms of tinnitus. After that, it is wait-and-see. There may well be pharmacological treatments coming - and so the question is if you are basing your question on a treatment/no treatment in the future (re: "complete silence again"). Doctors such as professor Jeanmonod are the only experts who would have the competence to declare a patient's tinnitus chronic. This happens after one year or more after onset as well as attempts to have treated the condition. By the time patients show up at his clinic, the diagnosis will typically be "chronic and resistant tinnitus".

      Are there cases where tinnitus goes away after 4, 8, or 12 weeks after onset? Yes there are.
      Not sure if there is any literature on that (I don't believe there is). Personally, I believe tinnitus sufferers to be more susceptible to further damage (= risk of deterioration in loudness/pitch). A fallacy therefore - in my opinion - is that
      tinnitus sufferers tend to rely on the standard guidelines of noise exposure.

      There was a poll earlier on within a thread - and this is the current standing of the votes:


      So the consensus among members of this forum seems to be that folks with tinnitus are more prone to further damage.

      Just this evening, I was "saved" by my consistent use of earplugs whenever I am outside of my home (I never let my guard down). I was walking through an underground tunnel for pedestrians in order to cross a busy street. Inside the tunnel, some teenage kid thought it could be "funny" to try his fan horn (because of the acoustics inside the tunnel, no doubt). I was only two meters away from him when he decided to do it. Similar incident happened to me around x'mas time when a military grade fire-cracker went off some 10 meters away from me. I could feel the pressure wave of the air - that's how bad it was. In both cases, and with 33db earplugs, no harm was done.

      The following is a description of the recovery prognosis that takes place after an auditory insult:
      Audiological testing cannot diagnose tinnitus directly; it can only provide an indication. Definitions of hearing loss are not related to tinnitus but to the ability to detect speech (= 0-8 kHz range). So whether or not you have hearing loss is of little relevance (even though many healthcare professionals seem to think otherwise).

      Not sure about standards of ABR or OAE tests. Sorry. I believe these were developed to test hearing loss in infants. How much they are used in adult audiology, I actually do not know. I don't believe they are that common (for adults). And I also believe it varies a fair bit depending on the geographical location (as to how much they are used in adult audiology).

      I have no opinions on that. To be honest, I did not even know that existed. I use standard 33db NRR earplugs. Nothing else. And I remember to use them correctly too.

      Keep yourself updated on clinical trial developments, perhaps? It couldn't hurt.

    3. Vincent R

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hi @500_miles

      You seem to be in severe distress. I'll focus on the questions where I have something to contribute with.

      There are probably no way to know for sure, but if you're worried out of your mind anyway, the best option might be to protect yourself for the time being. Wear foam earplugs in situationens where you might get surprised by sudden loud noises. Make sure to insert them properly:


      Save foam earplugs, you might want to consider custom-made earplugs for musicians, active noise reduction headphones (like bose) and passive noise reduction headphones (like sennheiser). If you protect your ears too much, this might feed H, but in some cases this is perhaps better than being constantly scared of T getting aggravated. Decide for yourself.

      I'm not sure what you mean, but if you're talking about earplugs with electronics that cancel out surrounding sounds, I think they're wasted effort. I've read a study for hunters who wants the best protection, and normal hearing protection works just as fine or better than the fancy stuff, and may also be easier to use.

      If the stress, fear and anxiety caused by T gets too much to handle, there're applications of meditation techniques that works very well as a last resort. They're healthier than psychofarmaca, and I suspect they're also more effective. If you would reach that point of desperation, please feel free to PM me, and I'll do my best to guide you through the process.
    4. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      I think ateos was pretty thorough.

      Regarding ABR tests, there is research showing there is another mechanism of hearing loss that cannot be detected even with high frequency audiograms. They call it ''hidden hearing loss''. It is essentially damage to the neuronal pathways between the inner ear and the brain, which leads to a net decrease of neuronal input to the auditory cortex. This type of damage was previously believed to be secondary to cochlear inner hair cells destruction but it might not be exact. There is a possibility that your inner ear mechanoreceptors are still intact, and the nerve endings relaying to electrical signals to the brains are damaged/missing which could lead to hearing disorders even with normal audiograms.

      ABR for the diagnosis of tinnitus is not used in clinical settings, only for research at the moment. Altough you could probably get it done if you insisted on it. I'm not sure your average audiologist/ENT would agree to do such a test or even know how to interpret the results.

Share This Page

If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.