The Tinnitus Experts

Discussion in 'Support' started by Michael Leigh, Oct 18, 2017.

    1. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      The Tinnitus experts

      I first got tinnitus twenty one years ago and with it severe hyperacusis. This was caused by listening to music through headphones at too high a volume, although at the time I wasn’t aware I was causing harm to my auditory system. I had TRT which required wearing two white noise generators for up to 10 hours a day and used a sound machine at night for sound enrichment. The treatment lasted two years and fortunately, the tinnitus reduced to a low manageable level and the hyperacusis, was completely cured and has remained so till this day.

      In 2008 my tinnitus increased severely and believe this was caused by a second noise trauma although I’m not completely sure. One evening I listening to some classical music through my HI-FI. Afterwards went to bed and the next morning woke with the tinnitus much more intrusive. This grew louder over the following days and weeks requiring me to return to ENT. I started TRT for the second time and it took four years for me to habituate.

      I have counselled people with tinnitus on the telephone, corresponded with them by email and at tinnitus forums. Many things can cause this condition and therefore do not consider myself a tinnitus expert. Neither am I medically qualified in this field but want to explore tinnitus when it was caused by “loud noise” and not an underlying medical condition and those we seek for help with it. The most common cause of tinnitus is loud noise exposure. It is frequently brought on by using headphones at high volume and regularly attending venues where high sound levels are easily reached. Clubs, concerts and even the cinema.

      I have mentioned the above as I wanted to convey my personal experience with “noise induced tinnitus” and the people that have contacted me for help with it. Anyone that has read my posts on headphone use and tinnitus, will know I am resolute in my belief, that those with noise induced tinnitus should not use headphones, earbuds, earphones or any type of headset to listen to audio even at low volume. Although some people with noise induced tinnitus use headphones and have no adverse effects, I believe there is always a risk of making the tinnitus spike resulting in it becoming louder and more intrusive. I have read many emails and posts from people regretting returning to headphone use after they have habituated and notice their tinnitus increased and will not reduce to its previous manageable level.

      I have every respect for ENT doctors and other health professionals that work in ENT that are committed to helping people with tinnitus to have a better quality of life. I was once told by an ENT doctor, he is a physician not a tinnitus expert. When there is no underlying medical problem causing the tinnitus, the patient is usually referred to a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist that specialises in the treatment and management of tinnitus. It is not unusual to find some of these health professionals, were either born with tinnitus or acquired it at some time in their life. They will usually have a level of understanding of tinnitus and be able to empathise with a patient in a way that ENT doctors can’t.


      Michael
       
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    2. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      @Taylorslay I can address the “favorite ear” — it’s the dominant ear. Just as we have a dominant hand and foot, we have a dominant ear and eye. Most people are right ear dominant. It may be linked to whether we are right or left-brain dominant: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/story/2159377/

      But our individual ears also process sounds differently: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/Left-and-Right-Ears-Not-Created-5480?RelNum=5480

      And one processes speech better than the other: http://blog.sascentre.com/en/test-ear-1

      If anyone is interested, there are online quizzes and studies to check which side you favor. Personally, I have also favored my right ear which compounds my hearing loss in that ear.

      There is actually quite a bit of data regarding this, so while they may not always be right — the experts are right regarding this.
       
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    3. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Doctors often try to use terms that make it easy for patients to understand (I hate that because I feel like I am educated enough that they could use the right words, but it is what it is, and I often restate what they say in more precise words to subtly suggest to them to move away from child speak), so when they say that the brain has a favorite ear, they are most likely trying to ELI5 the information about having a dominant ear.

      I thought most people understood this, so it's a bit surprising that such statements are used to disparage "real" professionals. They certainly aren't perfect, but if we target them over such simple things, we will be diluting our message concerning more important grievances with unnecessary noise and antagonism.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Just a shame some people do not practice what they preach....
       
    5. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      You’re absolutely correct regarding oversimplified explanations. I do the same as you and try to follow up with questions that will pull out more detailed information.

      I agree as well. Plus, the use of simplified terminology and explanations is not limited to ENTs. Many doctors do this yet they are still experts in their field.

      While some of our frustration is warranted, I think often our anger and disappointment should be directed at the message and not the messenger. No one wants to be told they have to live with a chronic condition.
       
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