Poll: Clarifying the Characteristics of Spikes: In Search of the Mechanism

Discussion in 'Support' started by MattS, Aug 21, 2019.

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Clarifying the Characteristics of Spikes: In Search of the Mechanism

  1. 99% of the time my spikes last 2 days or less, and always return to the same baseline

  2. 99% of the time my spikes last 2 days or less, but lead to a gradually increasing baseline

  3. My spikes often last longer than 2 days, but always return to the same baseline

  4. My spikes often last longer than 2 days, and lead to a gradually increasing baseline

  5. My spikes haven't gone away, and have led to a clear long-term baseline increase

  6. I have never experienced a tinnitus spike

Results are only viewable after voting.
    1. MattS
      Studious

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      I'm trying to take a really scientific approach to characterizing spikes, to separate fear mongering and worry from actual facts about the nature of spikes. Help further our knowledge base by completing the poll, which may get us closer to understanding what spikes are all about, and how dangerous they are.

      -Matt
       
    2. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      I think the answer is more complex. My tinnitus spike depends on the noise exposure. When the alarm clock went off in my ear, or the air horn blew on the semi truck, those spikes were loud, and lasted for over 2 weeks.

      On the other hand, if I go into a deep sleep in front of the TV set, even at a lower volume, I wake up with ear fullness, and a tinnitus spike, although it only lasts a day or so, and goes back to baseline quickly. These irritate my ears, but would surmise do not cause further real damage. I have learned that when I want to nap in front of the TV to wear my musician earplugs to avoid this.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MattS
      Studious

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      Agreed Doc - there's no exact one size fits all here, some spikes are more serious than others, and *some* spikes aren't actually spikes, they're new baselines.

      But I think that many of us live in a certain amount of fear that were going to make our tinnitus worse by exposing ourselves to even normal every day noises. And those fears gain further credence when the every day sounds lead to spikes, or ear fullness, or whatever other symptom people experience. I know I feel the anxiety myself when I go to a coffee shop, or get in the car, or consider mowing the lawn - I worry that exposure to these 80ish db sounds are going to cause some irrevocable damage.

      But are they? If they are, then I'll want to live in that fear, to keep wearing my plugs everywhere, to do everything in my power to ensure I don't aggravate the system.

      But if they're not indication of actual damage, if they're simply indication that I suffer from irritable aural syndrome (IAS), then I'll want to drop this extreme protection and get back to actually living my life. Not that I'm not living it now, but you know what I mean.

      Anyway, I know I'm not the only one with these concerns, because half of the posts in this forum are some form of "Big spike from going to a movie - have I done more damage?". So let's see if we can't figure it out. Are these everyday spikes anything to worry about? Or just something to tolerate?
       
    4. John Mahan

      John Mahan Member

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      How do you magically insert your musician earplugs to block out the TV at the onset of sleep for a brief nap?
      You must have some level of freakish mind control to do that. Most people fall asleep involuntarily.
      Btw, mine does the exact same thing. It can spike if I fall asleep watching TV.

      Would love to understand the mechanism why this is so common. The brain processing the sound as we sleep maybe one reason....which differs of course from brain waves of processing sound when we are awake.

      If you abate your spikes with ear blockers, this would speak to this 'theory'. And as a corollary….many use sound masking to fall asleep....but there is little data to suggest this helps tinnitus level when waking up. I believe one of Matt's poll's suggests this to be the case.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MattS
      Studious

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      Yes - though it suggests no harm either, which sort of goes against the "brain processes sound while we sleep differently, and it can aggravate tinnitus" theory. So I'm not sure. Maybe has to do with the type of sound? Or the stage of sleep one ends up in during naps? Something more complex is going on.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MattS
      Studious

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      So far this poll is pretty informative (though would be nice to get more than 8 respondents).
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. Shera
      Bookworm

      Shera Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/9/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      head trama caused TMJ/neck problems
      I did answer
      99% of the time my spikes last 2 days or less, and always return to the same baseline.

      Though last year in October train breaks entered my life and didn't taper out until June of this year. That's been my only anomaly.
       
    8. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      @John Mahan

      No magic to inserting the earplugs. When I work overnight, I take a nap in the afternoon in front of the TV to help me sleep.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MattS
      Studious

      MattS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Power Tools
      So far 93% of people say their spikes always come back down to baseline.

      93%. Always.

      That's pretty telling. Strongly suggests that spikes are a mere annoyance, and not an indication that you've done any further damage to your system.

      Does that mean that one should traipse all around the world, through bars and concerts and raves, without a care? Obviously not.

      But it also means that one should not lock themselves in their house, avoid social situations, and wear double protection in 75 dB environments.

      Do we have sensitive ears? Yes.
      Is it a disability of sorts? Yes.
      Should we let that disability dictate our lives? Hell no.

      Be smart people.
      But go live your life.

      -Matt
       
    10. Mal58

      Mal58 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise? Headphones?
      How do you define a spike?

      At the moment, four hours after awakening, my Tinnitus is a bit louder than it has been over the last few weeks. (Though, as I said in my last post, I didn't notice the Tinnitus on awakening like I usually do... calm before storm?) It was also loud last night, after a day of more than average noise stress... though not high noise trauma... kid's screaming in the street and a hearing test were the worst... but I managed to sleep, so is that a spike, or a bump?
       

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