Tinnitus and Anxiety Do Not Always Co-Exist - Study

Discussion in 'Research News' started by erik, Oct 10, 2013.

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    1. erik

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Tinnitus is a common condition that causes a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears. Tinnitus can develop suddenly with no apparent cause, or can be the result of being exposed to a loud noise. Tinnitus can also occur after repeated injuries or chronic noise exposure. Regardless of the cause, tinnitus appears to affect more than just hearing.

      More at link below

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    2. Relic Hunter

      Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      An interesting article. I suffered with depression for years before the onslaught of T. I have spent time in a mental hospital. Depression is a hell in its on accord.

      When my tinnitus worsened several years ago I was at that time depressed and under a great deal of stress due to other problems. I will always be convinced that my "brain chemistry" at the time was the underlying factor that jump started my tinnitus to the level it is today.

      I believe I have stated this before here but will again. My local VA hospital has about 800 tinnitus patients . In almost all cases the Doctor says they are experiencing some form of severe stress. There has to be a connection.

      Today my T is at its high mark. I experience some anxiety when these highs occur but mostly the depression. I feel like a rat in a cage with no where to run. I can usually handle the depression and anxiety. Its the panic that I fear. When it comes I must force it back or I know it will kill me.
    3. Owch

      Owch Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Thanks for the link, but the write-up is awful and totally mis-states some of the conclusions
      Er, shouldn't that be the other way around? I think we can stop reading there.

      Here is the link to the actual study, and if you skip the stats it is perfectly readable:

      The actual conclusions are as follows:
      On a totally unrelated point... I noticed that the introduction to the study includes the following quote:
      It's not the first time that I've seen studies that feel they need to justify why (almost apologise for!) they are doing research into something as 'unimportant' as tinnitus... rather poor that this situation still exists. I totally blame ENT's for this situation and for not communicating our misery and suffering properly (or actually giving a damn about it in the first place!).
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    4. gary

      gary Member Benefactor

      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      Very interesting Erik, I can share from experience, having had panic attacks long before I got T

      With the panic attacks, the very first physical symptom I felt was a buzzing fullness in both of my ears, then the heart pounding, feeling of impending doom, a feeling of isolation etc.

      I have not had a panic attack in years, but I will never forget that first sign in my ears. Today my T is very similar to the noise I heard with the onset of a panic attack. I strongly believe anxious people are more likely to get T rather than T cause chronic (panic attack) anxiety. I am not saying people with T don't get anxious afterwars, but I believe most people with chronic anxiety are more prone to get T in the first place. The reasons for panic attacks? I won't even go there.

      A highly agitated state is not the same as chronic anxiety.

      The irony of my T (as stated above) is that I have not had one signal panic attack at all since I got T. Go figure.
      Was I under stress, I did have a 4X open heart bypass 3 months earlier, but felt fine mentally and psychically.
      Before the bypass a few years earlier I had a foot of my colon taken out due to cancer, again, afterwards I felt fine mentally and psychically.

      I am not trying to prove a point here, just my own personal observations and feelings.

      One more thing, As bad as T is, given the choice between panic attacks and tinnitus, I would take tinnitus any day of the week.....
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    5. Bruce Australia

      Bruce Australia Member

      Victoria, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      Relic Hunter - I agree. A long job hunt, a sick wife, a crap job, long-term depression, a binge or two, some loud music, I think started my T in early 2012 and it's gotten steadily worse. I'd love to press re-set. Along the same lines, by any chance has anyone ever heard of electroshock therapy helping? From some things I've read, it may be electrical impulses related and is sure sounds like electricity in my head. Please respond, anyone. Thanks.
    6. Miss lavender

      Miss lavender Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hey Bruce Australia, I am from Victoria as well. Do you recommend any tinnitus specialists in the area. I am on a waiting list to go to the Ear and Eye hospital in East Melbourne. I understand that there are very good specialists at this hospital. Will let you know how I go.
    7. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      @Miss lavender: I can highly recommend: http://www.dineenwestcottmoore.com.au/ - I saw Dr. Ross Dineen and he was tremendous, very understanding and spent a good couple hours with me going through my symptoms, ideas and theories I had, ways to cope, etc. He's probably the best medical professional I've ever had to deal with. Myriam Westcott also works there who has done a bunch of published research on hyperacusis and tonic tensor tympani syndrome. Another member here marcp went there recently and also had a similar experience. Only problem is that they are a bit pricey, but well worth it.
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    8. Carlo

      Carlo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      For months before the onset I was through a very stressfull period, I believe that stress and anxiety played their role, "clearing the ground" for T (a virus? damages to the auditory complex by stress-related hormons?).
    9. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      There is evidence and a theory that a phenomena called excitotoxicity can kill cells, including neurons and the fine hair cells in your inner ear. As the word suggests, excitotoxicity is the toxic effect of the mix of neural transmitters and hormones that your body can release in a highly agitated, excited state. From what I've read, it is something that is far from fully understood, and may prove someday to be a red herring (bunk).

      There have been cases of people losing there hearing entirely as a result of emotional stress. The ENT I saw said he had a elderly patient that happened to when her husband died. I have a friend who lost hearing in one ear while enduring a major loss. I think it is entirely feasible that anxiety can bring on tinnitus. I almost hate to say that for fear that some people who are already suffering from the anxiety of T becoming more anxious by worrying that their anxiety will make their T worse, or will lose their hearing. So I want to emphasize that this is primarily a theory, not fully proven. I nonetheless think it is wise to not let oneself simmer in an anxious state so severe that you are having trouble coping and thinking. That is not healthy no matter the situation. Seek the help of a doctor or therapist if you find yourself in that state for an extended time. Don't suffer with it. If medications are offered, be mindful medications that have a reputation for causing T since some anti-anxiety meds have list T as a potential side effect. Discuss those things with a good doctor before prescriptions are offered. It would be nice if things were cut and dried and we knew enough to keep from provoking T with medications, but evidently we are not smart enough to guarantee that.
    10. 2014winner

      2014winner Member

      upstate New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      otitis media with permanent hearing loss
      I don't want that to happen to any of us.
      What are the hormones, and can their presence in our bodies be measured? Taking alprazolam for the T may be helpful, but it can make one feel somewhat tired.

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