Reactive Tinnitus — Removal of Reactivity. Is It Possible?

Discussion in 'Support' started by osoba, Jan 16, 2018.

    1. osoba

      osoba Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Petrol Chainsaw
      Looks like I have reactive tinnitus.

      Is it possible to remove the reactivity from my tinnitus?
      What are the methods for this?
       
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    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I protected my ears from moderate noises (e.g., vacuum cleaner, blender, etc.). I also made sure to watch movies at medium volume (to ensure that I don't end up with hyperacusis). Eventually my tinnitus stopped being as reactive.

      You need to give it time. In 3-6 months, there is a good chance that your tinnitus will be less reactive.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      osoba

      osoba Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Petrol Chainsaw
      Ok, but are there any methods to desensitize reactivity? What would a doctor suggest?
       
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    4. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      The only thing that comes to mind is listening to TV at ever increasing volume. Here, you have a way to measure volume, and you can also measure the time that you spend watching TV at different volumes. You can try to gradually increase both... That ought to train your ears to be exposed to noise.
       
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    5. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      A doctor would likely suggest TRT and using sound therapy. It seems that for now, reactive tinnitus is treated similar to hyperacusis.
      TV was awful for me early on and still can be. There is just something about the fake quality of the sound that bothers my ears. I have also noticed my tinnitus is louder if I watch TV, maybe because I strain to understand what the characters are saying. TV shows and movies often have music mixed with dialogue, that can be difficult for someone with hearing loss or reactive tinnitus.
       
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    6. Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
    7. Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      Do you still have reactive tinnitus? If so, did it stay same, get better or worse over time?
       
    8. Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      Is there any real scientific evidence that reactive tinnitus gets better over 3-6 months from onset, or is this something people with good intentions like to repeat in order to be comforting? Is there really a timeline for tinnitus improvement of any sort?
       
    9. Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      This is what I would like to know and what is timeline. Tinnitus community & some 'experts' claim you can improve reactive tinnitus by starting at low volumes when listening to devices you can control and slowly over time incrementally increase volume. I haven't seen the scientific data for that however, so not sure if it's just a theory being spread online. The other thing which the 'experts' claim is that you should not become phonophobic because that will only make matters worse.
       
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    10. Drachen
      Tired

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; likely noise-induced
      There isn't whole lot of scientific data on this subject, and by that I mean tinnitus as a whole. If you want to go even deeper and consider things like hyperacusis, noxacusis, dysacusis, and reactivity, it gets even worse. This is yet another big challenge when it comes to dealing with this symptom.

      We all appreciate the value and integrity of properly executed scientific research. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be much interest (read: money) in this area. You might think of the anecdotal help here on the forum as the blind leading the blind, but it's often either that or find your own path in the dark.
       
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    11. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      To see some studies regarding the outlook for tinnitus, see this thread.

      You will want to see all of the pages of that thread. I recall there was a study where people were asked about the state of their tinnitus after two years.

      I have been reading this forum almost every day for 46 months now. I have a good memory. I have been interested in what one can expect as time goes on. My "neural network" came up with a summary of what I've learned. For many people tinnitus begins fading sometime during the first 1-2 months. Nevertheless, the first 3-6 months or so are the worst. If one's tinnitus begins fading, it ought to continue to fade. Most people feel much better after about 2-3 years: Those whose tinnitus has been fading get to the "can hear it only in quiet rooms" stage, and many of those whose tinnitus is relentlessly at the same level report feeling better due to habituation that begins to set in at around that time.
       
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    12. Keith Handy
      Ape-like

      Keith Handy Member

      Location:
      Rochester, NY, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress + sleep deprivation + noise
      Do we, as a community, have any educated guesses as to what causes reactivity? How does incoming ambient sound translate to increase of the noise, or sudden silence (sometimes) translate to a drop in the noise? What is happening under the hood?

      In audio engineering, this would be considered an envelope follower, with faster or slower attack and decay times. What part of our biology is behaving as the envelope follower here?
       
    13. DRobi

      DRobi Member

      Location:
      Saint Petersburg, Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Presbycusis
      That's a damn good question, and one that I don't think medical sciences has a clue about. I have been to three audiologists and two ENT's, and none of them are able to even speculate why some tinnitus is "constant" and not-reactive, while other tinnitus responds in various ways to ambient sound. My tinnitus actually varies from reactive to non-reactive on a day to day basis, which is even more inexplicable. Yesterday, my tinnitus was in it's non-reactive mode and traffic noise did nothing to it. However, today it was reactive, and the sounds of driving on the highway just made the hissing/ringing just ramp up even louder.

      I would love to hear an intelligent hypothesis on reactive vs. non-reactive tinnitus from someone learned on this forum, because the so called experts I have paid to help me provide nothing.
       
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    14. BriKap

      BriKap Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for this thread. It's very supportive to hear that I am not alone with this reactive tinnitus. Learned so much about it from being on Tinnitus Talk. It's given me some hope.
       
    15. Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      It's confusing that's for sure. What you're describing is what I see people referring to as a spike in their tinnitus. The duration of the spike varies in time & usually lasts as long as the exposure to the external noise causing it to spike or in some cases it can last for longer time even up to a couple days. My right ear is highly reactive to most sounds where the external noise which don't have to be loud at all creates swirly whistle type sound which lasts same length of time as the external noise causing it or I can get a spike lasting for hours longer than the external noise. Also the louder I make the volume on my TV the louder my right ear tinnitus gets where it competes with it making it impossible for me to mask my tinnitus with my right ear.
       
    16. Marcuso22

      Marcuso22 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud prolonged exposure to alarm system
      That's the million dollar question. The auditory system becomes like a hamster wheel where a light wind can cause the wheel to move. The auditory system has become so weak & fragile due to extensive damage that external noises creates a perceptible different and/or louder tinnitus sound. The auditory system has lost its control function (like a broken tuning button or dimmer light switch) to properly interpret & respond normally to the external sound. Likely a neurological injured component to this.
       
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    17. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I only had severe sensitivity and mild reactivity for a while, maybe during the first 2 years after onset/worsening. After that the reactivity faded, but the sensitivity stayed pretty bad the whole time I lived in a noisy city. Earplugs everywhere.

      Since moving to a very quiet part of the countryside 4 years ago, my sensitivity has fallen back into the normal range, and I'm able to do a number of things (with hearing protection) that would not have seemed possible 10 years ago, chainsaw work and stuff.
       
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    18. boliston
      No Mood

      boliston Member

      Location:
      Taunton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      30th April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      My tinnitus was super reactive for the first few months and it was hell in places with certain high pitched noises like supermarkets, coffee shops etc - I'm almost coming up to 2 year mark now and it's really just 'regular' tinnitus now rather than reactive.
       
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    19. Nitro192

      Nitro192 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anti Depressants/Stress/Medications/Infection Not sure which
      This comforts me to hear actually as the reactivity to sound is easily the most distressing thing at the moment. I feel like the tone I am hearing was an existing tone that I had for awhile but recently (two weeks ago) I used over the ear headphones and ever since it has been reactive which has really done a number on my stress levels. I have talked to quite a few people who say the reactiveness went away by protecting their ears and being patient, but they did say it took awhile. Thanks for your reply.

      And if anyone else here has any updates or insights, feel free to share as I feel we are a small minority group when it comes to this specific flavor. Cheers.
       
    20. Sash
      Doubtful

      Sash Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      cleaning out wax
      I have had reactive tinnitus for 18 months now and it’s still there. I am trying to expose my ears more to sound but had a major setback last week due to someone shouting. I think I need to protect my ears more by wearing earplugs.
       
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    21. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Did you see any improvement whatsoever during those 18 months? And just how reactive was/is the tinnitus? Which sounds trigger it?

      I'm unfortunately in a tough spot where almost any sound causes my tinnitus to react, luckily it almost always returns to baseline. The weird thing is that my tinnitus is noise induced, but the reactivity came about by either overprotection or antihistamines, so it can't be a result of further cochlear damage.

      Weird conditions...
       
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    22. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      9 months and my PC fans still set off my ringing, or rather, my PC fans sound like ringing/tones are mixed into the actual noise :(
       
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    23. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Wouldn't that be considered as sound distortions?

      I remember early in my onset, my PC fan would be interpreted as a pure tone by my ears, likewise the shower, that would cause a bunch of weird pure tones overlaying the base noise. That did pass, but now, such sounds causes spikes in volume which can hang on for hours.
       
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    24. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      I guess its both - it sounds fucked up in the moment and then leaves lingering elevated tinnitus.
       
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    25. Athens

      Athens Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/27/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      How is your tinnitus now? Have you experienced any improvement?
       
    26. Yoshi
      Wishful

      Yoshi Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earphones, Bus Braking, Burping (air enters ear canal)
      God, every song on the playlist (damn Christmas songs) causes my tinnitus to react loudly now. Just a year ago it was only the sounds of cars, fans, and certain songs that caused it to react. Taking NAC, but not helping much I feel.
       
    27. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      Maybe change the name of the playlist from "damn Christmas songs" (⩺︷⩹) to "nice Christmas songs" (^ ω ^) and there won't be a problem(?)
       
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    28. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You have had noise induced tinnitus for quite a while. The reason it is so oversensitive to sound is because your hyperacusis hasn't improved or has become worse over time. If you have been using any type of headphones even at low volume or being around loud sounds, it's a possible cause for the increase in your sensitivity to sound.

      I think you may need more than self help to improve your condition. If you are able to see an audiologist that specialises in tinnitus and hyperacusis management then I advise you to do so. Whilst I believe tinnitus can react to sound my opinion on reactive tinnitus, is that no such thing exists - or is not a recognised medical condition. It is all related to hyperacusis which often accompanies noise induced tinnitus and can manifest itself in different levels of severity. When a person first develops these conditions there are a few things that can happen.

      The tinnitus and hyperacusis can improve by themselves over time without seeking professional help. This can take up to 18 months sometimes longer. The tinnitus can improve to the point a person successfully habituates to it. However, the hyperacusis might not. If this happens spikes in the tinnitus and having oversensitivity to sound can become a long term problem. The longer this continues the more difficult it becomes to treat. It is not just the oversensitivity to sound that is the issue but the psychological impact it has on a person's mental and emotional wellbeing. For this reason counselling with someone that specialises in tinnitus and hyperacusis, is usually required along with sound therapy using white noise generators.

      Take care,
      Michael

      The Complexities of Tinnitus and Hyperacusis | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    29. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      I would avoid all Christmas songs with sleigh bells. I can imagine that making anyone's tinnitus react.
       
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    30. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      My reactivity is about the same at 16 months. It has had ups and downs but its not in a permanently better place. I have rarely left my house, so noise is not an issue. A remote job, delivery food and drugs, weights and a peloton are keeping my health okay-ish.
       
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