So Many Questions: Tinnitus for 12 Days Now, Potentially Caused by Noise/Stress

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by MichaelP, Nov 15, 2019.

    1. MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      Hi everyone,

      I've had a ringing in my ears for 12 days now and whilst it doesn't seem to be comparatively that bad it's been driving me crazy at times and is producing all sorts of anxiety.

      I'm not entirely sure of the cause, but I feel like it might be somatic tinnitus created by muscle tension in my neck/jaw (although it could potentially be by loud noise exposure as well).

      I've listened to headphones a lot for years, but I believe mostly at a reasonable level? I'm generally pretty good at wearing earplugs at loud shows, although I remember one show where I didn't, possibly 5 months ago, where my ears were ringing very loud the next morning. Anyway, I first noticed the ringing the night of Monday 4th and I remember playing loud music on headphones for a little bit on the previous Saturday night, but not for a significant length of time (5mins most?) and then heading to a bar, which I imagine was noisy, but don't remember it to be anything out of the ordinary. I didn't notice any ringing the next morning, or evening or following morning (although I guess it could have been there at a low level and I didn't notice? I also listened to music on headphones on Sunday, but again at a reasonable volume (as far as I can remember, I always used to be disciplined at this, but maybe I've become unconsciously a bit lax....).

      Monday evening I played intense sport for an hour for the first time in a long time and at the end of it my neck was very stiff and I was doing all sorts of weird head movements to alleviate it, but just for like 30 seconds. I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary with my neck since, although saying that I have had extremely tight neck muscles (as well as shoulder, back, legs) pretty much my whole life, so normal for me is having tight muscles! I also remember experiencing some very mild jaw pain a couple of weeks ago, I believe from clenching my teeth, which I feel like I've been doing a fair bit more than usual, however, only experienced the fairly mild pain that one time. I have also been under a fair amount of stress (which this isn't helping with), although I have felt mildly stressed about various things for quite a long time.

      So, I guess it's possible it could be noise induced or somatic, or both? Any thoughts on this would be most appreciated!

      Oh, I also noticed that moving my jaw forward increases the intensity of the ring. I'm not sure if people
      with noise induced tinnitus get this as well (I also feel like I might have been able to do that in the past as well before I ever had noticeable tinnitus though??)?

      Also, the loudest ring seemed to go away after I'd been walking around for hours trying to get some fresh air yesterday, but gradually came back whilst I was lying in bed, I think at one point when I woke up I even heard it start! It really does sound like a cacophany of sound when it's completely silent though, even without the most annoying high-pitched ring. I am, however, focussing a lot more on the noises in my head at times like that, but drowning it out with music or other sounds the rest of the day. I have been playing music at night to sleep though, which I can deal with ok, I just have to turn it up a bit as the sounds in my head seem to be all over the place at that time.

      I don't know if anyone is going to read all of this as I've really gone on, but any comments on what I've said about what I think might be causing it and, in turn, any advice would be most appreciated.

      Oh, I should also add that I've been to the doctors and he looked in my ear and said there was no wax or infection, and I had a hearing test at an audiologist (only up to 4,000kHz) but she said my hearing was perfect. I did listen to tones on my computer up to 14,000kHz and seemed to be ok with them too. Not really sure where I can go from there with tests?

      Thank you for any help!!!
      Michael
       
    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...eone-else-who-has-tinnitus.26850/#post-307822
      This is very common.
      Hopefully your tinnitus will begin fading soon. The first three months are the hardest.
      It is a good sign that your tinnitus isn't relentlessly at the same level.

      I am not sure whether the cause of tinnitus has any impact on what activities it makes sense to avoid, now that you have tinnitus. Even if your tinnitus isn't the result of loud noise exposure, it is no longer wise to be exposed to loud noises.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      Thanks for the link, Bill, I've seen that post of yours before and it was very helpful.

      Is the jaw thing common whatever the cause of the tinnitus? I'm just trying to ascertain what the cause might be so I can tailor my reading to more relevant articles/posts.

      I definitely intend to avoid loud noise as much as I can, or, at the least, minimise the amount of time I'm around it whilst wearing high NNR earplugs. I'm pretty paranoid about any sound at the moment as it is!

      It's been pretty relentless today annoyingly, but whether that's because I've been largely static at home I don't know!

      Do you think if it was somatic tinnitus caused by muscle or jaw issues then I would still be as at risk to louder sounds?
       
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @MichaelP

      Your tinnitus has probably been present for quite some time, perhaps years at a very low to moderate level where your brain could comfortably dismiss it without any problems. Whilst there is nothing wrong with using headphones at a reasonable level, many people do not realize they are listening to audio through them at too high a volume. Based on what you have described in your post, I have seen written many times by people that have developed tinnitus due to headphone use and other forms of exposure to loud noise.

      Therefore, it is my belief your tinnitus is noise induced, caused by long term headphone use and possibly other forms of exposure to loud noise. My advice should you wish to follow it, is not to use headphones even at low volume and keep away from overly loud sounds. Please click on the links below and read my posts that you might find helpful.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/acquiring-a-positive-mindset.23969/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-the-negative-mindset.23705/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-habituation-process.20767/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-positivity-important.23150/
       
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    5. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I believe so. I have it too.
      If that were me, I would try to avoid louder sounds. But I confess that I don't know much about this topic. You might want to create a poll asking the people whose tinnitus got originally caused by muscle or jaw issues whether they have ever had a temporary or a permanent spike as a result of being exposed to a loud noise.
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      Hi Michael,

      Apologies for not replying to your post back when you first sent it. I imagine you're probably right, I think I was just hoping it wasn't that and was instead something that might be treatable, or would mean my hearing wasn't damaged. I think perhaps I noticed it first after playing sport on that Monday because exercise seems to temporarily increase the sound of my tinnitus (the sort of lower level frequencies as opposed to the high pitch ringing). I've read posts about impact exercises maybe being a problem, but I've noticed it after I did yoga recently as well (my first time ever and I was pretty exhausted from it!). Guess it must be stimulating something in my brain....

      Anyway, I guess I won't know for sure the cause, but I intend to buy some custom earplugs and take precautions if I'm out in a bar etc anyway. I still haven't worn headphones at all either, something which isn't the end of the world, but makes being out less enjoyable at times!

      Thanks for the links. I've read a lot of your posts on here already and there's some great information in them.

      I wonder if you could give me your opinion on how I've been carrying on...I generally play low level music at home; when out I haven't been wearing earplugs walking about, although have in a noisy bus/car; I haven't been to any bars/clubs/parties since, but intend to get some custom made earplugs for if I decide to go to them (I have no plans to go any gigs anytime soon, or maybe again depending on the band); and finally at night I've been playing bird/tree/chime sounds through a phone app called Sleepa on the lowest volume, which seems to help me sleep. Does this all sound reasonable?

      Being honest, my tinnitus isn't currently that bad, although it seems to be very changeable. The first week or so I had ringing in my left ear. That came and went a bit, and now it seems to be predominantly in my right ear. Sometimes it comes and goes and I think I've had silence or can hear a sort of quieter middle frequency sound in my head, but I don't like to pay it too much attention if I can... And occassionally I'll get a much more piercing sound in one of my ears that will die away after 2 or 3 seconds, which is pretty worrying. I guess I probably have mild phonophobia as well, although that's improved since I've been reading posts about it.

      I've lived in Brighton my whole life as well, but am currently the other side of the world in New Zealand until sometime about mid-next year, which hasn't made this much easier!

      Any advice/opinons would be great.
      Cheers.
       
    7. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      You sound like you principally have noise induced tinnitus. In many cases, the tinnitus spikes are delayed from the exposure by some days, which can make it more difficult to correlate. Lose the headphones as it may be exacerbating your symptoms. Also, avoid the bars which tend to be noisy. If you are in a noisy car or bus, you should wear hearing protection.

      It is good that your tinnitus is not too severe, and this would suggest there is a good chance this should improve.
       
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    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      No problem....

      My advice is not to buy custom earplugs as you are likely to use them too often which can cause more harm than good. You have said your tinnitus isn't that bad so give yourself time to adjust. You are new to tinnitus and therefore, it can take up to 12 to 18 months sometimes longer to fully habituate and sometimes a lot sooner as each person is different. The last thing you want to do is start avoiding everyday normal sounds and buying custom earplugs or using decibel meters. This reinforces negative thinking that you have a problem within your auditory system. Please read my posts again and pay special attention to Hyperacusis, As I see it.

      By all means use noise reducing earplugs but do so with prudence and try to avoid overuse.

      All the best
      Michael
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      I'm quite happy to be wrong, but I was under the impression that I do have something wrong with my auditory system? I know tinnitus is understood to be my brain boosting signals it's lost, but surely that's because there's been damage to the little hairs in my inner ear? I mean, technically my hearing is fine, but doesn't that damage mean I'm more susceptible to louder sounds? I thought that's the whole reason that people say not to use headphones, or not to attend concerts even with high NRR earplugs, because something in our auditory system has been weakened?

      In your post regarding hyperacusis you wrote:
      "If I am going to venues where I believe noise level could become loud then I have my earplugs with me. Night clubs, parties etc. I would always use them at the cinema although I haven’t been to one in years."

      These are predominantly the situations where I'm looking to wear earplugs, well, more bars and parties than night clubs, but being in a new town and not knowing a lot of people means that these are mostly the type of social events that come up and lately I've been missing out due to knowing how loud some of these things can get.
      I've also read a lot of positive comments regarding the efficacy of custom earplugs to attenuate noise, whilst still being able to hear people talking etc., that make me think it will be a worthwhile longterm investment. Plus, I wouldn't have to worry about spending time fitting them or knowing whether they were fitted correctly. Also, part of that decision is appearance based as I've seen how much more discrete the clear, custom moulded earplugs are when compared to generic ones.

      However, I fully take on board your points concerning overuse, and perhaps custom earplugs would make me feel predisposed to using them more often. This in part might be because I don't feel like I'm a great judge of what is or isn't too loud at the moment, as when you're more aware of sound (as I am currently) it makes everything seem louder.
      For example, a bus I took the other day sounded really loud when sitting right at the back nearer the engine, but it's something I imagine I would've never noticed otherwise. Would that have been too loud? Or I've been playing volleyball for 2 months in a large sports hall with three games being played consecutively that sounds incredibly loud now (people jumping about, calling, whistles being blown, wooden floors so it's echoey), when I had never noticed it at all previously. Would you say not to use earplugs in situations like this? I have no experience with a decibel meter, so I find it impossible to judge what sound level they might actually reach!

      I completely agree that negative thinking does not help me, and I had actually been feeling more positive until today when I read a lot of stories about how people's conditions haven't improved, when I was trying to search for information on these forums! I guess it's good to be aware of things though, even if it currently hasn't helped me to think positively.

      Thanks for helping.
      Michael
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      I'm not really sure if I've been exposed to any loud sounds since I first noticed it? I haven't been to a bar or party (or other loud event) since I first noticed the tinnitus and I think I used headphones once (quietly a few days after it first happened), but then I haven't used them at all since then. I went for a car journey that was 4 hours long, and wore earplugs some of the time when music was on the stereo, but if anything it had seemed quieter for at least 3 days after that. I mentioned in my previous post how volleyball has sounded really loud, although I haven't noticed any spikes in sound after that. Sometimes even doing dishes can create loud noises (although I haven't been wearing earplugs for this)! Sometimes I've just been at home all day (currently looking for work) and it's changed ear or I've had very short lived spikes of higher pitched sound (2-3 seconds). To me in a lot of instances it seems impossible to predict what might be causing the change in sound....or it's just doing it anyway regardless of any external stimulus

      Thanks for this. I certainly hope so, even if it appears to be a very unpredictable condition.
       
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @MichaelP

      You have written an interesting post and raised some important points. You are not wrong in wanting to use custom earplugs. My advice not to purchase them was because you said your tinnitus isn't that bad, therefore, noise reducing earplugs will suffice. However, you are correct that custom plugs will fit better. As long as you are careful not to overuse them as I have indicated then go ahead and buy them. Keep in mind that overuse or using them when it's not really necessary increases the risk of lowering the loudness threshold of the auditory system which can make it more sensitive to sound.

      I tend not to use the word damaged when the auditory system has been exposed to loud noise which causes the onset of tinnitus, with or without hyperacusis. I prefer to say it has been affected by noise trauma. The ear and auditory system are quite resilient and many people do make a good recovery in time and habituate as I have mentioned in my posts. In some cases specialist treatment is required but I don't think this will apply to you. Just give yourself time and use low level sound enrichment whenever possible and I advise using it at night.

      I wish you well.
      Michael

      PS: As long as a person is careful not to be overly exposed to loud sounds in the future and not using headphones even at low volume, noise induced tinnitus is unlikely to get worse. Some people with noise induced tinnitus use headphones and are not adversely affected. However, many people are. Therefore, it is up to the individual to decide for themselves whether to use them. I feel it's playing Russian roulette as the tinnitus only needs to spike once using headphones and usually this means the tinnitus increases to a higher and permanent level.
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      Hi @Michael Leigh

      What would you advise in terms of sound enrichment? I mentioned up the page how I've been using a phone app called 'Sleepa', which can combine many different nature (wind in trees, waves, birds...) and relaxation sounds (chimes, white/pink/brown noise....). I've been playing a combination of wind in trees, birds and chimes with some pretty low level pink noise (the audiologist I saw told me white noise is addictive(?) and if I play white/pink noise solely by itself it seems to make me hear the tinnitus more clearly (which isn't helpful for sleeping). I've been playing it at a level probably about the same volume as the tinnitus, or perhaps just below, which seems enough to mask it.

      Would you suggest something else, or as this is working to help me sleep do you think it is ok?

      Thanks for your other suggestions and advice.
       
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @MichaelP

      Nature sounds played at night by the bedside are considered the best type of sound enrichment for night time use, as they draw less attention to themselves unlike music which shouldn't be used. The sounds you have mentioned are quite suitable. However, played through phone I don't believe it is capable of supplying high-quality sound through its tiny speaker. If you have a docking station that it can plug into with external speakers or can blue-tooth it to an external speaker, would give sufficient high quality sound.

      Some people use white or pink noise and find these satisfactory. I do not agree with what your Audiologist has said, that white noise is addictive. Each person is different and therefore, some experimentation with sounds will be needed to find what is suitable for them. I use Oasis sound machines and believe they are the best for sound enrichment. They are specifically made for people with tinnitus although anyone can use them. I have three models: The best is the S-5000, which I have. S-650 is one of their most popular models and I usually recommend this. I also have the S-850 which is smaller than the other two models and has 18 onboard sounds. It is a very effective sound machine. Please click n the link below and read my post giving more information about these sound machines.

      The main purpose of using sound enrichment at night is to supply the brain and auditory system with sound enrichment while we sleep. It's purpose is not to assist in sleeping although it can help. The volume should be set below the tinnitus and never set at a level above or to mask the tinnitus so it can't be heard. More information in is the link below.

      As I have said the sound enrichment should not mask the tinnitus. The brain cannot habituate to tinnitus unless it can hear it. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks sometimes longer to get used to using sound enrichment at night. It takes time and cannot be rushed.

      You are in the very early stages of tinnitus and therefore, it takes time for the brain to get used to something that it wasn't previously aware of. Sleeping at night can cause a lot of problems for some people because of the presence of tinnitus. However, with time and patience a lot can be achieved and again, this is a process that can't be rushed. It takes time and each person will adapt to tinnitus differently. Some people may need night sedation to help them sleep. Other's use a bedtime beverage which there are many to do the same. We are all different so some experimentation is needed to find what is suitable for you.

      Hope this helps.
      All the best

      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/sound-machines-and-tinnitus.12072/
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      Hi @Michael Leigh

      I have a bluetooth speaker that reproduces a much wider frequency range than my phone. I'll try using that.

      Thanks for the info and recommendations of soundmachines, I'll take a look at them sometime soon.

      I see you've just responded to my question regarding this, which I was largely thinking about due to typing my previous reply to you and subsequently reading another post on a different thread where someone mentioned how they sat in silence listening to their tinnitus to become accustomed to it. I'll read your post and respond there.

      Will do! In the past I've been able to sleep through anything, listening to music at a decent level, on trains, flights, in a noisy room etc., but I think this is probably the most annoying sound I have had to deal with! Hopefully, I will adapt soon though, as you say.

      Thank you
      Michael
       
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    15. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      Keep in mind that your auditory system extends way further than just the ears. Input is also given by the skull (bone conduction), and problems with the jaw (TMJ) are well-known possible causes of tinnitus. Even neck injuries (my case) or spine trauma's can result in T: signals originating from certain nerves can be picked up and mis-interpreted by the brain as sound.

      It is the main reason there seems to be no one cure for this condition. There are no known similarities (yet?) in exact T symptoms concerning the cause. For example, if cricket sounds were always related to spine trauma and morse code always resulted from TMJ, diagnoses would be simple: but this is not the case. The human body is too complicated for us at this point to clearly understand T. The fact that everyone has a different body than the average person does not help either.

      If you can link a specific trauma or event occurring shortly before the onset your T, you might be able to determine its origin, thereby in some cases even treat and cure it. It does not have to be ear-related (and I wish ENT's would start mentioning this, although I understand they don't want to give false hope...)

      Of course, not every event is likely to be a cause, stubbing your toe is probably unrelated. In most cases, hearing loss is the key factor.
       
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    16. Mister Muso
      Busy

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I believe your tinnitus is primarily noise induced, with additional somatic behaviour possibly linked to your neck issues. Some doctors may tell you that your tinnitus is caused by your TMJ, whilst being dismissive of the noise factor. That is down to their bias, and does not mean you can safely expose yourself to the same noise levels as before.

      You will have to do what the rest of us are trying to do here, and that is to become the expert on your own tinnitus. There are many people here with a great deal more experience and learning than myself about what research information is available, and it seems there is a good chance of effective treatments like Lenire incoming available in the next few years.

      Good luck and try and stay away from noisy environments. You will get more used to the routines you need to get into, to protect yourself.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      Thanks for the info @Tybs . I haven't had any recent trauma or taken any medications lately that could've caused it.

      The only reason I thought it might be TMJ was due to my jaw tensing a lot more lately than it had been previously and on one occassion I specifically remember having specifically sore jaw because of it. I've always had incredibly stiff neck muscles which I thought might be affecting it. Plus I've been under quite a lot of stress lately, with bouts of depression. My tinnitus also ramps up when I push my jaw forward, although I think this might be common even with noise-induced tinnitus?

      I am starting to think that it is noise-based though, in part due to my constant use of headphones over the years, but especially as I was in (what I would class as) a fairly loud environment the other night, with high NRR earplugs and I had a spike the next day, which lasted two days (and still might be showing some milder affects now). I'm not sure if this would happen with other types of tinnitus?

      Do loud noises affect your tinnitus the same way they would for someone whose tinnitus was noise-induced?
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      Hi @Mister Muso

      I just saw your message after I replied to the previous one. Yeah, I believe you're right, especially based on my incident the other night, needless to say I'm kicking myself about it, despite, I thought, taking precautions and not going anywhere I would class as excessively loud. I guess my auditory system isn't ready for any sort of loud-ish environment at the moment. At least not without foam earplugs.

      Thank you for the advice. I, unfortunately, will be staying away from all noisier environments, at least for now. Not a particularly helpful thing to be doing in a new town!

      I have heard about Lenire, Neuromod, Susan Shore. I'm not sure if they are all different things or not though? I'll have to do some more reading myself, although I'm sure it'll become more noticeable if any of these are released with success! I read a comment earlier today though saying that Susan Shore's treatment only worked on Somatic Tinnitus, so I'm thinking that it might not even be useful for those with noise-induced tinnitus?

      Thanks
       
    19. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Tinnitus caused by an underlying medical condition within the auditory system or caused, by TMJ, is not usually affected by noise, in the same way that people with "noise induced" tinnitus are. One of the main reasons I believe is that their auditory system hasn't been exposed or traumatized by loud noise, so oversensitivity to sound is not present-nor do they usually have hyperacusis.

      From your description of using headphones often over the years, it is my belief you have noise induced tinnitus. Now, if you want to follow the advice I'm about to suggest you might prevent your tinnitus getting worse, the choice is yours. You are new to tinnitus and if you are not careful when around loud sounds as you have mentioned above, even when wearing earplugs, the tinnitus will not only spike, you risk it increasing to a new higher and permanent level.

      Michael
       
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    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      Thank you for this clarification.

      I actually thought I was being careful to be honest. We avoided many bars that I would call noisy and settled on a bar that had comparatively moderate noise, but nothing that seemed excessive. I wore high NRR earplugs the entire time, as I mentioned, and the majority of the evening was spent outside of the bar where it was even quieter. I guess, as I said in one of my previous posts, I really don't know how loud things actually are. I think I actually will buy a decibel meter just so I can familiarise myself with different sound levels.

      And I'm fully aware of how big of a mistake going there was now, but I thought based on the above that I mentioned, and the numerous other posts I'd read from other people who went to bars and wore lower rated NRR earplugs, that I was being careful. I guess not.

      I won't be going to any bars or events or anything any time soon though. I regret/have been scared enough by that one occasion.

      Please could you just confirm to me what I have been told about my auditory system possibly adapting over time and allowing me to go into those environments (with earplugs, of course)? I believe you said in one of your posts that you spent 30minutes on the pier in a 100dB environment? I can't imagine that could have been much different to the pub I was in (like I said though, I do need to try and educate myself on how loud things are (aside from reading those generic dB guides)).

      Thank you
      Michael
       
    21. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @MichaelP

      Thank you for providing me with additional information, as this helps me to advise on what I think is the best way forward for you. It reads on your Avatar that you have had tinnitus since 11/2019? If this is correct and as I suspect your tinnitus was caused using headphones over a long period of time. It also caused my tinnitus and many others in this forum. I have mentioned this because you may not be aware, but your tinnitus has probably been around for quite a while perhaps six months even longer but has remained at a low level where your brain was able to comfortably ignore it. This happens quite a lot and sounds during the day from whatever environment you're in would mask it so its presence would be harder to detect. However, with continued use of headphones the tinnitus gradually become louder until it reached a stage where your brain was no longer able to ignore it.

      This type of tinnitus better known as noise induced tinnitus, affects the auditory system and brain in a variety of ways and each person will be affected differently depending on how severe the tinnitus is. As is often the case with NIT, some oversensitivity to sound is present but again, depends on how severe it is? However, it is not unusual for a person to also experience some hyperacusis, which is what I believe you have going by what you have described with your tinnitus spiking.

      Things will improve but it will take time as you are new to tinnitus having just acquired it last month. It is good to go out and enjoy yourself with friends and at social gatherings you mention. Earplugs are good to use at such events but I advise caution. Since I suspect you have some oversensitivity to sound or hyperacusis your tinnitus may spike due to your auditory system being oversensitive and therefore, the environment you're in doesn't necessarily have to be loud, so don't rely or put too much trust on decibel meters with the thought that sounds below 70 decibels are completely safe, this is certainly not true for everyone. Twenty three years ago when I first got tinnitus with severe hyperacusis, I was unable to listen to my Audio system at a mere 40 decibels as my tinnitus spiked.

      I don't advise that you confine yourself to staying at home so by all means go out and enjoy yourself but be prudent and assess your situation and the surroundings that you're in. As I have said each person will be affected differently by tinnitus and when hyperacusis or some oversensitivity to the auditory system is present, it can make the situation more complex. You have the right attitude by wanting to get on go out and socialise and this is all good positive steps just take things slowly.

      When I wrote the post: Hyperacusis, As I see it, which you refer to me going on the Brighton Pier, in an environment where the sound levels were 100 decibels, is quite true. I wrote that post in December 2016 but I have had tinnitus since 1996. I had TRT treatment and my severe hyperacusis was completely cured in 2 years using white noise generators 10hrs a day. I was under the care of a Hearing Therapist for the duration. Even though I had a second noise trauma in 2008 which took me 4 years to habituate the hyperacusis did not return. This was one of the main reasons, I believe my tinnitus did not spike. As I mentioned in that post which is in the link below, the next morning my tinnitus was completely silent. I now have variable tinnitus which can be: completely silent, mild, moderate, severe and reach very severe levels, as a result from my 2nd noise trauma but the hyperacusis did not return and till this day, thankfully has remained the same.

      Please read the posts in the links that I have given you and use them as guidance. My advice is to never use headphones again even at low volume.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      I thought hyperacusis was when you experienced pain when hearing sounds? Day to day, prior to going to that bar, I hadn't really worn earplugs much at all and can't say I had any spikes, pain or other affects from sound. Then again, it's pretty difficult to tell whether sound is affecting you, or not, unless it presents itself as something more significant.

      It's definitely the case that I must have some sensitivity to sound though, as shown by the spike in that bar I wore earplugs in, when I never would've felt any affects in the past.

      I wouldn't say I'm being overcautious in most environments (I have been coping ok on busy-ish roads, shops, supermarkets, listening to music at a moderate volume without any problems and so on), but I won't be attending any bars/parties any time soon, even with earplugs. I'm clearly not ready for them and think I'd be too anxious to enjoy them at the moment anyway.

      I just hope the sensitivity I have currently dies down where it won't be such a hindrance on my life, even if attending concerts or something excessively loud is out of the question.

      I have read your posts, but will read them again more throughly, perhaps making notes as there is a lot of information there.

      Thanks again for your help.
      Michael
       
    23. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Pain is not always felt with hyperacusis and like tinnitus comes in different levels of severity. Again, each person is different. Do not assume because a certain place that you have attended where there are moderate to loud sounds present, and it hasn't affected you or spiked the tinnitus, that this is always going to be the case. Nothing more could be further from the truth. Your auditory system needs time to recover and this can take up to 2 years and also less. You may or may not need specialist help to achieve this only time will tell. As I have advised, do not push yourself or become inpatient, this is a slow process and must not be rushed.

      If possible print my articles and posts and refer to them often instead of reading them on a screen, especially not a phone. By taking the time to learn what is going on, you can apply my suggestions to what you're experiencing and this way, you will make steady and sustained improvement and will hopefully not backslide, because of haste and impatience as some people do.

      I wish you well.
      Michael
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      I intend to take it as slow as possible in order to recover. My recent scare has signalled to me that I'm not ready for some environments yet.

      I'm using a laptop and don't have a printer, but will look into printing them out.

      Thank you, Michael, for all your help.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    25. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI Michael,

      Please read posts written by @fishbone as he has a lot of tinnitus experience.....

      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      Will do @Michael Leigh

      I just looked and he's started 46 posts, but I'll definitely read ones that look relevant.

      Thank you
       
    27. foam

      foam Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hey Micheal, you'll be ok. I've had tinnitus for 5 months now. It gets better, I also blamed sound, jaw, neck... But in the end it doesn't work like that. It's not just one thing, it's all those things and at some point you reach the level where your brain can no longer keep you in the illusion of silence.
       
    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      Hi @foam

      Thank you, I hope so!

      What do you mean by this though?
       
    29. foam

      foam Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Well all your life your mind is filtering out sounds from blood vessels and nerves. At some point if you get a wonky enough jaw and a crooked enough neck it's just too much. Then you start hearing things, then you get anxious and it gets worse... It does calm down again with time. Sorting out your jaw and posture the best you can certainly will help. I'm not saying it'll go away completely, it might.. But after 5 months mine has reduced in volume a lot and it is no longer a MAJOR concern. The problem is once you _learn_ to hear something it's hard to completely forget how to do that but it'll end up something like eye floaters.. They bother you in certain circumstances, the rest of the time you don't see (notice) them.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelP

      MichaelP Member

      Location:
      New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown - Potentially noise/stress
      I sure hope so! Glad yours has reduced for you :)
       

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