New Strategy Really Worked For My Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by ClassicalPiano, Apr 5, 2020.

    1. ClassicalPiano

      ClassicalPiano Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music
      Hello everyone,

      I'd like to start by saying I have a little less time than I had initially planned to make this post, so I hope you will bear with me.

      I believe in my experience with tinnitus I have come across something that I think may be very helpful to others experiencing it, as this method has been with me.

      I don't have any science to back up my ideas here beyond my own personal success, which is essentially eliminating, in a very short period of time, my newly intrusive tinnitus.

      A little bit of background:

      I am a musician who plays classical concert piano.

      Over the years I've had experience with minor tinnitus that I have always been able to clear up either by listening to the details in the tinnitus sounds themselves, or occasionally using a relief sound (crickets, waves, etc.)

      Recently I began working on a piece of music that is much louder and more consistently so than my general music.

      About a week ago I practiced the loudest section for an extend period of time (~45m), probably 95dB + or -

      I believe I suffered an acoustic shock from this experience. My ears began to hurt, I had a slight headache, and I developed moderate hyperacusis, as well as a general feeling of physical weakness, the kind you get after having been through a physical trauma.

      I decided to take the next few days off from piano and do something about the volume of my piano. A few days after this although the hyperacusis had diminished and my ears seemed better physically, I had my first experience with *intrusive* tinnitus.

      Loud, aggressive, and extremely unpleasant buzzing in my ears. Could no longer hear air vents, significant physical stress response, so on and so forth. I'm sure many of you are unfortunately familiar with this terrible experience.

      Now to cut to the chase, and the method I used, to return now, ~1-intensive-week later, to near complete silence.

      In short, over the years during my minor bouts of tinnitus, I have developed my view of it more as the scrambling of your hearing, as opposed to its destruction. This perspective is what has allowed me to clear up the minor tinnitus I've had (in my view, note I didn't say "mask"). By listening to actual sounds in the areas of your tinnitus, or specifics parts of the tinnitus, such as the buzz, or the pitch, or the cricketing, I have always been able to clear it away and no longer hear the noise.

      Unfortunately.

      This trauma has been my first experience with intrusive, or "major" tinnitus. My usual method did not work nearly well enough and I was concerned I would have this noise for the rest of my life.


      Then the good news came, and now for the big idea.

      If (according to my personal hypothesis), tinnitus is caused by the scrambling of your hearing, by sounds your brain is unable to process, either from busy places, unnatural listening environments, excess volume, or their combination, and you can retrain your hearing by listening to and resynchronizing to sounds and frequencies similar to that which jumbled your hearing, in the frequency range where it was damaged, then if you can isolate what it was that actually gave you your tinnitus, especially in major cases, and re-input those sounds (listen to them), this time in a way that allowed your brain to process it appropriately and healthily (not too loud and/or with focus) then, maybe you can eliminate the intrusive tinnitus.

      Now, when I had this idea I was about 3 days into the intrusive tinnitus life. I had been trying with the relief sounds and so on and had had very little success. Luckily, I knew exactly which part of my piano piece had given me my issue, and I had gotten -25 dB earplugs that I had begun using to play with.

      Short story is it worked, and it worked amazingly well.

      After my first play through of that section, with the earplugs in, listening to and processing the sounds I had been unable to even really hear due to volume, I experienced a lot of weird brain sensations (like minor headache type feelings, but not really unpleasant) and the intrusive loud aspect of my tinnitus was almost immediately reduced by around 70%.

      I've been working on this the past 3 or so days. I had hoped it would just immediately disappear but its taken a little more time. It is worst at night and in the morning, but I am happy to report that this morning it was nearly an inaudible hiss. So quiet it was almost frustrating (haha) because as I try to target the specifics aspects of the tinnitus that are presenting themselves and clear them up.

      I was planning on writing this when it was all the way gone, but since its been a while off work now and I intend to get back to it, I have had to settle for 93% gone.

      As I said I have no science to back up my ideas here, just my own experience. Perhaps there are neurological scans that completely demolish my "resynchronization" hypothesis and it really is just "masking", but pending such and even regardless, this perspective has worked amazingly well for me, and perhaps I think it could for others.

      I will now share a few of the practices I used in this process as it has been largely active and focused as opposed to passive. I hope that this strategy works for other people.

      Firstly the main and most important thing in my opinion is getting as close as you can to what sound or sounds gave you your tinnitus. For me this was easy as I have the piano, piece, performer, and room that generated mine, whereas if you worked in a metal shop for 40 years that might be trickier, however I would imagine the closer you can get the better. A recording of a jackhammer if that's what got you, I imagine better than an ocean wave.

      Secondly and speaking of which, in my experience it appears that tinnitus seems to be removed in waves, and over time. The biggest jump I experienced was when I first went back and listened to the piece again with the -25 dB earplugs in, but after this I worked through the specific sounds my ears seemed to be having trouble with. Frequencies coming from the left hand that were more bass-y, showing up in my left ear. A hum in my right ear coming from the uppermost notes my right hand was playing. A buzz shared by both ears, though mainly in the right, that came from a hum of overtones generated by everything together. Essentially, working through all the different parts and textures of the sound that bombarded my ears and brain initially and gave me the tinnitus when the music was too loud to even process, processing them and fixing the desynchronization they caused, one by one, bit by bit.

      While working through the different parts and layers of sounds in my ears I noticed different sensations in different physical locations in my ears. Pressure changes, opening up, popping, crackling, and so on.

      I have used some relief sounds as well in this process to supplement, although it has been primarily playing and listening to the sounds from the section of the piece of music that has done the most to eliminate the tinnitus. As far as sounds generally go however, I believe higher quality = better and more effective for hearing.

      It seems to me the more detail and nuance your ears pick up and your brain comprehends the better and faster the resynchronizations can happen.

      Lastly I should say, I have no hearing damage, at least according to a reasonably high quality iPhone hearing test app (best I could do in COVID-19 times).
      Perhaps if you do that could limit some of the reconnecting your hearing to reality, if you no longer have the hearing in certain frequency ranges, but I can't speak to this aspect. Fingers crossed for you however.

      On top of this method I employed many of the strategies from Heather3546 (https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...-by-step-description-how-i-got-over-it.39884/)
      I highly recommend them, especially the noticing where in your body the tinnitus triggers and your stress response to them.


      This has been my experience. I hope it is helpful for anyone who is experiencing tinnitus or knows someone who is. It really is a terrible thing for anyone to have to deal with and I reiterate my sincere hope that this can do good for some or god willing all of you. My thoughts, prayers, and well wishes to everyone. I hope this helps some.

      Stay safe and healthy in these times.
       
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    2. mrbrightside614

      mrbrightside614 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      NE Ohio, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      This is really interesting and the second time someone in (mostly) remission has had success with “reclaiming” the scrambled frequency. Unfortunately I can’t reclaim the frequency from an airbag blast, so I’ll have to settle for natural fading. Kudos to you for figuring out what worked man.
       
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