The Difference Between Stable vs Variable Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Hazel, Jan 7, 2018.


Is your tinnitus?

  1. Mostly stable in volume/type/pitch

  2. Tends to fluctuate throughout the day/week/month

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    1. Hazel

      Hazel Director Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      the Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      one-sided hearing loss (of unknown origin)
      Hi there, one of the things that surprised me in reading many of your experiences is that a lot of you seem to experience great fluctuations in your tinnitus, with changes in volume/type/pitch on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.

      I've had tinnitus for three months now and so far it's been stable. It may seem louder or quieter at times, but I believe that's more a matter of perception than any actual change in the tinnitus itself. For instance, it seems much louder when I'm anxious but that could just be because I'm focusing my attention on the sound.

      Anyway, I was just wondering whether anyone knows why some people get stable tinnitus and other people get variable tinnitus? And have any of you experienced both at different periods?
      • Good Question Good Question x 2
      • Like Like x 1
    2. Cheza

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      Tinnitus loves attention. The more often you can distract yourself by turning your attention elsewhere and becoming immersed in something, the more likely it is that your tinnitus will recede into the background. It's like the old saying, "Energy flows where attention goes."

      Good question. I don't think there's any specific reason. In the first six to eight months, my T was stable in the sense that it was very loud and very intrusive, but I had a lot of different sounds. After using ACRN, it began to lessen, and the sound sort of settled into a high-pitched hiss, or cicadas, sometimes a soft whistle, and I began to get mild days. After more than a year with ACRN, I began to experience days of total quiet. Now it's stable in the sense that there's sort of a pattern and the sound is kind of an oscillating hiss. Much easier to deal with than, say, the dentist's drill noise.

      ACRN is explained on the DIY Acoustic Coordinated Reset Neuromodulation thread in TT.
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    3. Tinniger

      Tinniger Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      increasingly uncertain, maybe noise, maybe somatic ?
      Very interesting questions!

      In my case, there is a clear difference between better and worse days, and this is certainly not "just" perception.
    4. Elinor
      No Mood

      Elinor Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure and barotrauma
      What if the initial tinnitus stays the same but you get additional temporary sounds with variable intensity throughout the week?
    5. Makrohn

      Makrohn Member Benefactor Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss - Explosion - Stress
      Thats how my T is like.
      I have 2-3 additional sounds fluctuating on a daily basis.
    6. Michael B
      No Mood

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      I have both, stable & variable, in each ear. Not only that, but I have greater hearing loss (in the high frequencies) in my stable ear than my variable ear. Considering it's a brain thing, it makes no sense.
    7. illegalmonkey77

      illegalmonkey77 Member

      New Hampshire
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely due to fluid in ears, and then it just stuck around.
      I'd say I'm stable. The perceived volume definitely changes based on my attention to it, or maybe something I ate, which leads to the "good day/bad day" kind of cycle. Overall the tone is pretty much always the same.
    8. Localboy

      Localboy Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      hearing loss from concerts, hunting, tools, and accident
      I'm stable most of the time.
    9. TuxedoCat
      No Mood

      TuxedoCat Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      high frequency hearing loss
      I have asked 2 different ENTs and 2 audiologists why my tinnitus is variable, both in volume and sound. The replies have been: 1) it just depends on what your brain is doing that day (ENT#1), 2) we don't have a good answer for that (ENT #2), 3) yes, can be variable (Audiologist #1), 4) that's not unusual (Audiologist #2) .

      When pressed for more explanation, the ENTs and first audiologist deflected attention away from the question. To her credit, Audiologist #2 actually checked with a colleague that sees tinnitus patients daily at one of the Veteran Administration Hospitals. But, audiologists treat the hearing pathway only as far as the cochlea, so don't expect much in the way of neurology from them.

      For the most part, I detect that there is a "canned speech" that healthcare professionals have about tinnitus. Once they deliver "the speech" they have nothing more to say, because they don't know any more. My primary care physician didn't even know "the speech", she asked me what causes tinnitus. Her reply to any question about tinnitus is "I'm not a tinnitus expert." Once I asked her to refer me to an expert. Her reply was that she didn't know of one.

      When I asked questions after "the speech", ENT#2 actually said to me- what I just told you is enough for most people- and then went on to suggest I consider seeing Pawel Jastrebof (who is 12 hours away by car if in fact he still sees patients), or look into CBT locally. Audiologist #1 told me flat out "learn to live with it" and also suggested Jastrebof and CBT. I found out later that Audiologist #1 used to work in ENT #2's office, which explained the similar response.

      I developed tinnitus about 1 year ago. I live in a Southern US with a medical school and large university hospital, things may be different elsewhere.

      • Agree Agree x 1
    10. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      There are more reasons for tinnitus to fluctuate than for a headache which numbers over a thousand. Forward neck bending, posture, hormones, chemical imbalance, blood sugar, blood pressure, circulation, blood flow, stress, anxiety, hypertension, gut problems, congestion, being over tired, eye strain, dehydration, ear fluid imbalance, medications, other physical (pain) and disease interaction, etc.

      Many reasons for fluctuation are the same as to why some without tinnitus get headaches. Many without tinnitus don't get headaches from forward head bending, but many with tinnitus do.
    11. gmpknick

      gmpknick Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      I actually just posted the same kind of question...I've had T since mid March and now it's almost mid Aug...mine seems to hae really tappered down as to what it was back in the spring...I don't know why, ??..I do seem to notice it when a little more anxious about stuff..we may have the same type of T??
    12. coffee_girl

      coffee_girl Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      All my life, but got worse 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced / Concert
      Mine has been the same in the last 2 years minus the first few months of getting might increase with coffee and exercise but i dunno if it really increases or i am just perceiving an increase...either has become a familiar sound.

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