Ringing Goes Away When I Listen to Tinnitus Frequency

Discussion in 'Support' started by Tanveer, May 7, 2013.

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    1. Tanveer

      Tanveer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Hi

      I was trying to find my tinnitus frequency by matching different frequencies. When I came across mine , after playing it for a few seconds, I couldnt hear my left ear ringing anymore. I tried it again and again, closed my ears to see if its not a mistake but it was happening. It was temporary and right now its been 20 mins since that , my ringing is really less.
      I wanted to know why this happening ? Is this a good sign ? If yes , what can be done using this to treat the ringing?
       
    2. daedalus

      daedalus Member

      Location:
      Brussels
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Yep, it is rather common. It is called residual inhibition. Around one third of tinnitus sufferers have that according to some studies. But you have it longer than most people which is a good thing for you. :)

      As far as i know you cannot expand this inhibition period trough training. But if you have a reduced sound after 20 minutes you are rather lucky. If you have enough of the tinnitus you can use your tune to get a few minutes of peace. It is appreciable. :)
       
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    3. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Yes, Daedalus is completely correct. I can do this for just a few seconds which I think is the most common time frame. It is nice to know that if this is possible even for a few seconds there may be a way in the future to figure out how to do this long term.
       
    4. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Tanveer -
      This could be great news, actually, because it could be you have a somatosound rather than tinnitus. Somatosounds are sometimes easily treatable.

      If we refer to THE BOOK, "Tinnitus Retraining Therapy", on page 11, Jastreboff and Hazell wrote about somatosounds. The outer hair cells can emit sounds, called "otoacoustic emissions", which are real sounds, as opposed to tinnitus sounds that are internal/nerve based. Since a real sound can be physically canceled by the same frequency, somatosounds can be canceled by listening to the same frequency. They also say that somatosounds can be treated sometimes by taking aspirin.

      Tinnitus can't be "canceled" by a similar frequency, because it's not a sound. (It's caused by a nerve tonotopically associated with a particular frequency on the cochlea). But outer hair cells can make sound. If you can hear interference beats with other frequencies (like "wah, wah"), then there's a good chance you have somatosounds caused by your outer hair cells.

      I can hear beats in my left ears whenever I go into our family room. This is something that bugs the hell out of me! It drives me crazy. I don't know if it's the force air or the TV or the lights, but every time I go in that room my ear starts going "wah, wah".
       
    5. Ellen

      Ellen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
      Tanveer, which program are you using to match?
       
    6. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
    7. Tanveer

      Tanveer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Hi
      I am not able to post the link as I dont have more than 3 posts on the website. But the sites name is tinnitool dot com.
      I was listening to the 8000 hz frequency. Thats when my tinnitus subsided for a while. I closed my ears completely but couldnt pick up the noise.
      But the link Markku is giving is much better as you can go through more frequencies.

      Please could someone tell me , is my tinnitus sound the sound I hear in my head or the sound I hear when I close my left ear? When I close my left ear, the sound gets quite amplified.

      @ Karl

      Somatosound , I have never heard of that . Its interesting. So how do i come to know if I have somatosound and not tinnitus? what do I do to know that?
      That day when I heard my frequency on the comp , I felt so great. Just so great. I do it sometimes but I feel scared that I may be harming my body's healing process by doing so. Maybe a stupid thought but T makes me paranoid sometimes.

      I really know how you feel when you the ringing drives you crazy. Its been really making me anxious to. For the last 17 months , I didnt care that I had tinnitus simply because the doctors said "we cant do anything about it.. it may go , it may not .. theres no cure" . I dont even remember having tinnitus in the last 17 months. Recently I just remembered I have this untreated problem. Its been really making me anxious. As the TRT states, we have to stop this vicious cycle , I am actually adding to it. I am trying so hard to not be bothered about it and mean while try to find ways of relief. But I just cant stop myself from going google and typing " tinnitus cure , tinnitus remedies, tinnitus success stories, tinnitus goes away after few years" . In short ,trying to get some hope even though I know theres not much out there to help.

      Recently I have started having chamomile tea with cinnamon. My tinnitus sound has changed from ringing to the sound of an alien space ship in the old science fiction movies. Its weird. Never seen this before.
      I am really hoping something works.!!! Till then gotta live with this alienship in my head.
       
    8. daedalus

      daedalus Member

      Location:
      Brussels
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      The tinnitus sounds is a pure neurological signal which happens in your head. I am pretty sure it has nothing to do with somatosounds. Somatosouds are real life sounds inside the body (like the wooshing blood flow in an artery) some people hear. They are very rare. If you had somatosounds you would not have a cancellation of your tinnitus after you ceased to play the tone.

      Residual inhibition is a neurological effect best explained by the phantom limb pain effect. I explain roughly the idea: You have neurons in your brain which "feel" the limb. They are connected via nerves to the limb. If the limb is amputated, the neurons in your brain do not get the usual neural signals from the severed limb. Sometimes, these brain neurons sleep or die afterwards but sometimes they become active in the absence of any signal.

      Some scientists have supposed that when deprived of their usual input they grow new connexions and pick up the activity of the nearby neurons and get exited permanently that way. If a "limb" neuron is overactive you feel the absent limb as if it were there, eventually even pain.

      With the auditory neurons it is the same thing. If the brain neurons connected to some hearing cells in your ear do not get anymore signal from the ear they become overactive and you perceive a phantom sound that doesn't exist in reality.

      If you restore that input by hearing the lost frequency at higher volume or sound very close to the hearing cells you have lost you restore the normal input and the brain neurons get quiet again. For a while. Usually people experience a residual inhibition of a few seconds. Yours lasts longer. Enjoy your luck !

      A propos your anxiety: this is normal. Every new tinnitus sufferer come trough a phase of preoccupation. After a while, you will pay less attention to it. Now, i can even relax and sleep without meds in spite of the loud tinnitus. It is normal to be anxious an search for solutions at the beginning. A useful strategy is to distract yourself by being active. Beware of what you will read on the net. Including support boards. Even m@r@n and his mother can and do dispense his personal science on the internet and most of what you will read is bull manure even if it make some sense. Plus there are many scammers preying on tinnitus sufferers and trying to sell them cures or useless self help or motivational books. There are everything for every taste, laser in the ears, ear candling, psychobabble, etc...

      I will also repeat what i posted in another thread:

      Sorry, long post.
       
    9. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Daedalus -
      What I am wrote about somatosounds is not the "whooshing of blood" phenomena, but otoacoustic emissions from the outer hair cells. Jastreboff and Hazell write about this and what they do about it. I'm not sure if it is rare or not. But sometimes people with buzzing OHC's are mistaken to have tinnitus. Healthy babies are born with buzzing OHC's, and people get buzzing OHC's sometimes from aspirin.

      I myself have listened to pure tones, but I haven't noticed a dramatic change like the one Tanveer describes. If he can hear "beats" with other frequencies, then it's a real sound in his OHC's. If he can't hear beats, then it's tinnitus. My left ear hears beats when I am around certain sounds, but my right ear doesn't. I originally got tinnitus in my right ear. A few months later my left ear got it.

      I've read a neural science medical book that agrees with what you say about tinnitus being the same as phantom limb syndrome. It's amazing how much knowledge medical researchers know about the brain. Unfortunately, the book doesn't say much more about tinnitus except the phantom limb analogy.

      I've pieced together my own theory: All nervous systems form a closed loop Stimulus -> Decision -> Response.
      • The "Stimulus" is the sound source absorbed at the cochlea.
      • The "Decision" maker is a group of brain organs, the superior olivary complex. Their function is to compare the loudness of the left and right ears, used to find the direction of a sound source
      • The "Response" is a signal on the efferent nerves back to the cochlea.
      I'm suggesting that the efferent nerve is too excited, being continuously driven by the superior olivary complex. I would think that listening to a pure tone would fix things, by balancing the system, but this didn't work for me. I have more theories on that, but I'll spare myself from bather on-and-on.
       
    10. daedalus

      daedalus Member

      Location:
      Brussels
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Hello Karl, :)

      Yes, it was clear in your posts that you were talking about otoacoustic emissions. But the definition of somatosound encompasses also the sound of blood flow. Some people hear their carotids because it comes too close to their inner ear for example. De Ridder used to treat this by inserting a teflon plate between the artery and the inner ear.

      I may have misread Tanveer's posts but i haven't seen him referencing to beats. And even if he heard beats that wouldn't certify they come form a mechanical sound interference. They could come from pulsatile blood flow.

      I am slightly off topic here but some authors say that blood flow somatosounds are always pulsatile. It is little known that it is not true: sometimes a diverticulum in a blood vessel can cause the blood flow to stop being laminar. It becomes turbulent and sometimes people hear these turbulences as a constant noise ! Excessively rare phenomenon anyway.

      Back to autoacoustic emissions, i know there are otoacoustic tests but i think they are just used to check if your outer hearing cells are ok. DPOAE : Distortion Product Otoacoustic Emissions they are called.

      I am not physician but i am pretty confident he is experiencing residual inhibition. Specialists like De Ridder were very handy to answer such kind of questions.

      EDIT: You weren't talking about binaural beats i suppose ?
       
    11. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Daedalus -
      Sorry, but I have to retract some of the things I said on this thread. You're right.

      I was just reading "Tinnitus Retraining Therapy", p.5, and Jastreboff and Hazell wrote the following:
      "Contrary to the masking of external sounds, it is possible to abolish the perception of tinnitus sounds by pure tones of a similar intensity regardless of thier frequency (Feldmann, 1971). This proves that 'masking' of tinnitus does not involve mechanical interaction of basilar membrane movements, does not depend on the critical band principle and, therefore, has to occur at a higher level within the auditory pathways. Consequently, the elimination of the perception of tinnitus by another sound should be labled suppression rather that 'masking', as is commonly used. Unfortunatley, Feldmann's fundamental discovery has been widely diregarded, resulting in focusing attention on masking rather than suppression and in producing tinnitus instruments tuned to the dominant perceived pitch of tinnitus."

      About "beating of tones", on p. 6, Jastreboff and Hazell wrote the following:
      "Cyclical fluctuation of loudness of perceived sound occurs when two pure tones that are very close in frequency are presented together. This phenomenon is called beating of tones, and the cyclical rate of the loudness change equals the difference of the two frequencies. This phenomena has not been achieved during attempts to produce beating with tonal tinnitus (percieved as being similar to a pure tone) and an externally applied pure tone."

      Then they go on to say what you say about residual inhibition:
      "The phenomenon of disappearance of tinnitus perception after exposure to loud sound was first described by Feldman (1971a). This effect can last for seconds, minutes or, very rarely, hours or days and was called residual inhibition. It cannot be explained by any changes in choclear function and has not been reported for external tones. It can, however, be easily explained by the rebound phenomenon."

      When I say that I can "hear beats" in my left ear, this usually happens when I walk by a train locomotive on my way to work: "Wah, wah, wah..." I also hear it it only in my left ear when I'm in our family room - for some puzzling reason. When I leave the room, it lasts a while, but then it goes away.
       

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