Reactive Tinnitus or What is it exactly?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Brett Bolzenthal, Jan 7, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Brett Bolzenthal

      Brett Bolzenthal Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/24/2013
      Hi,

      So I'm going on a little over a month now, and while I was very sensitive to some sounds like running water and even feeling like my head was shaking from some sounds. Some things have improved in that area, but my tinnitus changes in sound and gets worse when around certain sounds. Like the TV will make the T ring loudly at times and I'll get a headache in the back of my head. Trying to mask it seems to set it off more too. For me being in a quieter spot keeps it down to a lower more tolerating sound at the moment.

      With Hyperacusis with the ENT thinks I may have a small case of this that came on from a FLU like Virus and Fever. My hearing is in normal range.

      Does Pink Noise or anything else help the Tinnitus adjust so it won't react to environmental sounds?

      Also, I had read that some medications were being tested a while back that work with GABA in rats but couldn't get past Brain Barrier. I do know that it I take Lorazepam when I am building in anxiety or T is really bad from noises, seems to reduce the impact of T and it's reactions. Has anyone come across Kavinace gaba for tinnitus relief? or Elderflower Herb or Elderflower Tea for Tinnitus? These are supposed to work on GABA but without side effects that Benzos have.

      Lastly, I had read that Ultrasound Vibrations to the base of the skull had shown very positive results in 2013, but no new reports. Anyone heard more on this?
       
    2. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      You are in the early stages where the tinnitus and hyperacusis has your brain and limbic system on high alert. Meaning that something is different in your body, something new is going on and seemingly every little thing sets it off. Because you have these changes in the brain and they are closely tied to your limbic system, you react to everything and every sound. It takes a while to get to the point where things settle down some but it does happen in time. I had hyperacusis for about 8-12 months. But it was much worst during the first couple, then it started to get better on its own.

      Pink noise is supposed help with the hyperacusis. I never tried it. Lorzaepam/Ativan can help calm the nerves, the stress and anxiety because it slows down the hyperactivity and most of all your reaction to everything. I took it for a short while. I tried about 100 different things and most didn't help much if at all. I did and still do drink a lot of calming teas however.

      Staying away for overly busy, loud, noisy environments is good however don't totally cut yourself off from everything. You need to be exposed to everyday normal sounds to let your brain know everything is ok and so the hyperacusis does not get worse. In time, your brain and hearing will adjust, even if these everyday normal sounds seem to loud for a while - basically don't isolate or overprotect.

      I am not sure about the ultrasound vibrations. These research reports come out and the follow-up can take some time. There are a lot of things in the pipeline, more than every before. I am confident something will pan out in the near future. Stay strong and keep up the fight.
       
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    3. Brett Bolzenthal

      Brett Bolzenthal Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/24/2013
      I appreciate the detailed information. It's very helpful and encouraging. The Doctor and ENT still want to put me on Prednisone and Flonaise Nasal Steroid. I already deal with Anxiety and Panic attacks so my wife won't even let me touch the Prednisone. Not sure I would want to anyway.

      I sure hope I can get back to watching TV without the amplified effects again soon. I like the Movies, Sports, and surround sounds.

      The other thing that is probably the same or worse on the T is when I am driving. Since I am in the USA, we drive on the left side of the vehicle which just happens to be the ear that has the trouble. Something with the fan going and the speed at which the car is traveling that creates a pressure next to the window that drives it crazy. I try going with an without an ear plug depending on how much I can tolerate it. Music does seem to override, but I pay for it later with a headache in the back of my head then at times.

      Have you noticed anything like this driving?
       
    4. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Yes I had driving issues for a while and they were really bad at the time. Driving made my T blare. I couldn't even turn on the radio as it made my hyperacusis worse. I don't think I listened to radio for 3 straight months.

      I also had anxiety and panic issues. Best thing I did for myself was try different ways to lessen them. I tried acupuncture (calmed me but only temporary), but CBT counseling for 18 weeks really helped me address why I was having anxiety and how to challenge the negative thinking associated with it. I think the quality of counseling can vary greatly, I was fortunate to get someone who was really helpful.
       
    5. Magpie
      Sporty

      Magpie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/1999
      Interesting that you mentioned the tv and driving Brett. I had difficulty with the tv and especially with softly spoken voices. Even turning up the volume made little difference and I subsequently found out that I had experienced some hearing loss in the lower frequencies which sort of explained it. I also found at times my tinnitus was overwhelming to the point that watching tv was almost impossible. Sometimes I felt like the tv ramped up my tinnitus. I suspect that it may have had something to do with concentration. The T signal was louder and more invasive than tv and it was a barrier to me being able to enjoy anything. Over a long period of time I gradually found it easier to watch tv and the frustration of hearing my tinnitus subsided. I imagine the sheer frustration slowly diminished.
      Regarding driving well I still have difficulty on occasions as my T seems to be much louder. I tried opening the window but sometimes it made it worse. In the end I basically accepted that I would have difficulty at times so it is what it is. Much of our problem concerns our emotions and our thought process. As Erik mentioned CBT can help sort out any distortions which should lower anxiety and stress.
       
    6. peter1974
      Balanced

      peter1974 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Do you find that your T goes away with quite spaces?. Mine is agitated by sound also. but according to people on the forum, T should be present without external noise. My doctor missed a hole in my ear drum. So I am hoping that when it heals the T goes away...
       
    7. Brett Bolzenthal

      Brett Bolzenthal Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/24/2013
      I do find that if I am in a quiet spot or have 2 ear plugs in (even though the left ear is the one that has the sounds) I can get to the point where I can barely notice or hear the T. I'll look into the CBT. I am still hoping/ praying since this came on with a virus/ flu it will go away in time. Patience is tough, especially as noted with the agitation of sound. So far the only thing the ENT or Doctor found is fluid behind the ear drug, and inflamation.
       
    8. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      @Brett Bolzenthal : you are still pretty early in this. There is a chance it will go away or reduce in time. Maybe the inflammation is the cause or a contributor it it. T is definitely a test in patience and inner strength
       
    9. Carlo
      Balanced

      Carlo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      Brett,
      the effects of prednisone can be well balanced taking low doses of benzos. I learned to watch TV wearing headphones - low volume, and for me it works. Abot driving the car, I noticed something like you did, so I force myself to use ear plug.
       
    10. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Great posts, Erik. Your situation is very similar to mine. I have ultra high pitch tinnitus and piercingly hurtful hyperacusis. It was started a few years back and I was totally devastated by the experience. Like you I had anxiety and panic issues prior to tinnitus & hyperacusis. In my case, the new alien sensation of tinnitus ringing plus the glassy, piercingly hurtful hyperacusis literally opened the flood gate of 'hell' of anxiety and panic attacks on auto mode, from the moment the loud ringing woke me up. The brain didn't even give me a fighting chance as it caved into panic before I was even fully awake & conscious enough to reason myself out of a panic attack. I had to survive on Ativan & Prozac just to make it through the day. What a dark, dark period of my life. Thanks heaven I am back to normal and drug free today. Tinnitus is not an end game as it seems to suggest by our distorted thinking. It is livable and beatable.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    11. peter1974
      Balanced

      peter1974 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      My hyperacusis pasted once I just forced my self too normal sounds for a few days.

      @Brett Bolzenthal Seems you have quite similar situation as me. Mine came on just after I had my ear syringed. I know I have some hole in my eardrum somewhere due to doctors pressure test with Otoscope. But I am a little worried that even the hole heals I will be left with reactive tinnitus. Been almost 4 weeks now and the healing process is sloooooooow. ;(
       
    12. Brett Bolzenthal

      Brett Bolzenthal Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/24/2013
      I pray that we can all experience a breakthrough and tremendous healing. Waking up this morning, I couldn't hear it or didn't recognize it for a little while. Most times when it is present it is almost like a pulsing sound and not steady at about 12500 hz to 13500 hz somewhere in there it seems. As I have played around with the Google custom sound notches. I know I had hoped it would be gone in days or just a few weeks, but apparently if there is healing it takes longer than outside the body that's for sure. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and feedback.
       
    13. Vegas Robb
      Alone

      Vegas Robb Member

      Location:
      Las Vegas Nevada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/26/13
      Eric.ibe had t for two monthes due to ciprofloxican ..when I'm around the tv or in restaurants it gets more active.do you think this will pass
       
    14. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      My t reacts to white noise sounds. Unmaskable. A motorized low buzzing t, it gets louder with/competes against all static environmental sounds such as traffic, running water, fans ... the list is endless. Everything ends up sounding the same pitch and fluctuating in volume depending on how loud the environmental sound is. I am now 4 months from onset (induced by local anesthetic). Does anybody have t that reacts in this way? I am still hoping my t will reduce with time. But if not, how is it possible to habituate to t like this?
       
    15. Micky
      Dancing

      Micky Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      10 / 2000
      Hey Lisa .. I was the same as you with reactive tinnitus but over time it slowly healed itself .. And yours will too.. I think its your brain on high alert .. My tinnitus would increase in volume until it was louder than the noises that caused it to react .. But gradually with time it stopped reacting.. And yours will too.. Its all tied in with stress.. Anxiety.. With your brain and senses on red alert.. You will get better.. Micky
       
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    16. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks so much, @Micky
      I do notice that it only reacts to static sounds around the same frequency range as the t.
      But it does not react to changing pitches like music or talking, or static pitches in a different frequency range.
      So strange.
      I really hope it fades with time.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    17. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      Yes I have the exact same reactive tinnitus in one ear, it's like a loud hissing that gets louder with background sounds or white noise. Unfortunately for me it's gotten worse, louder and more obtrusive, in the last two years. Before that it was more or less constant, I could hear it but was easy to put in the background.

      It may be just me but I think ever since I started the current job two years ago it slowly got worse, the server computers and the portable air conditioning unit that are in the office are buzzing 24/7 and even though it's not loud by any standard I think my tinnitus doesn't like it.
       
    18. avt007

      avt007 Member

      Location:
      Vancouver
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Lisa, stress and anxiety do have an effect on my T. Mine also reacts to background noise.I fly a great deal, and the constant roar would cause my T to get much worse for a few hours after the flight. I bought a set of Bose noise cancelling headsets, and they are the best thing ever.

      However you can't wear the all the time. Reduce your exposure to noise, wear earplugs, and try to keep your mind busy with other things. Focusing on the T makes it seem worse, for me the key is to push into the background by keeping busy with other things.

      My T was caused by long term exposure to background noise, so it may be different than yours, but try through experimenting to see what the triggers are for you, and what works best to prevent it.

      I'm 12 years into my T, and I have learned to live with it.
       
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    19. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Mine is like that, too, especially when I try to watch television. It has not gotten worse over the last 3 1/2 years; in fact, it may have improved slightly, as I have habituated to it. Mine is a steady hissing sound that becomes more intense whenever it reacts to something that is close in pitch to the tinnitus. The only thing I've found effective when this happens is to wear an earplug in that ear (my right ear).
       
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    20. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thank you, All. @Micky and @LeQuack
      Do you know the reason for onset of your t?
      Cheers.
       
    21. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks @Karen
      What was the reason for your t onset?
       
    22. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      @Lisa88,

      Well, about 25 years ago, it was caused by loud sound exposure. I got used to the tinnitus over the years, and it was mild/not intrusive.

      Then, about 3 1/2 years ago, it got very bad when I took a blood pressure drug. That's when the reactive tinnitus started; I also have pulsatile tinnitus in that ear (right ear), that began after taking the blood pressure drug. I no longer take blood pressure drugs, but my tinnitus remains.
       
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    23. peter1974
      Balanced

      peter1974 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Mines got slightly better over time. It does not react to traffic as much. Normally it totally silent when I get up.
       
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    24. Magpie
      Sporty

      Magpie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/1999
      Lisa88 wrote:
      My t reacts to white noise sounds. Unmaskable. A motorized low buzzing t, it gets louder with/competes against all static environmental sounds such as traffic, running water, fans ... the list is endless. Everything ends up sounding the same pitch and fluctuating in volume depending on how loud the environmental sound is. I am now 4 months from onset (induced by local anesthetic). Does anybody have t that reacts in this way? I am still hoping my t will reduce with time. But if not, how is it possible to habituate to t like this?


      My T also reacted to white noise. It developed a new tone and it became louder. I had to stop the white noise as it was just to distressing. I'm not sure I have reactive T but white noise certainly had an affect.
       
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    25. peter1974
      Balanced

      peter1974 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Anyone tried antihistamines? My doctor was saying they have had good experiences with patients with antihistamines. I have tried nasal sprays that shrink the nasal passage and help clear the nasal cavity's. Not sure they help that much. But sometimes it alleviates the hissing.
       
    26. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      Mine seems to be getting worse by the day. Up until a few days ago it would stay pretty silent when sleeping with a quiet radio. But now it's changed, it's loud even in complete silence and it only gets louder with even the quietest of sounds. And just a year ago I was doing fine, not even paying much attention to tinnitus. But that all ended.

      I just feel like my life is coming to an untimely end. I've arranged for a vacation but I don't think I can work anymore, can't concentrate and white noise seems to aggravate my tinnitus. And now I can't even sleep anymore. :(

      What can I do when I can't do anything? Is my life really over?
       

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