Tinnitus and Habituation — How Long Does It Take?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Jason E, Dec 9, 2018.

    1. Jason E

      Jason E Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Slap to right ear
      Hi everyone,

      So I've now been with tinnitus for nearly 2 months, I recently went to an audiologist here in Melbourne, Australia, Dineen Westcott Moore, I had a visit with Myriam Westcott and she was extremely knowledgeable and professional.

      I was told to mask the sound etc, masking doesn't really seem to be helpful to me to much of a degree.

      I was given a DVD to watch and that DVD basically told me not to worry about the tinnitus as doing so will increase the central gain of the tinnitus. So I set out for the last week to try and really not care about the tinnitus, with great difficulty of course but I remained as positive as I could, then boom this morning major spike for no reason.

      How long does it take to habituate, it was delivered as if it's such a simple process and it will just stop bothering you, I just am struggling to fathom how at this point.
      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      For many (possibly the majority), tinnitus fades within the first year or two. When tinnitus is quiet enough, habituation is a reasonable thing to expect.

      I remember reading somewhere that habituation takes around 18 months. I believe this might be a reasonable time for people whose tinnitus is at a moderate volume level. In any case, there is no universal answer. Everything depends on your tolerance to noise, and the volume and pitch of your tinnitus.

      Have you experienced any fading over the past month? Those spikes are normal and can be ignored. What about the global lows and the average volume? Have they decreased, by any chance?
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    3. AUTHOR
      Jason E

      Jason E Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Slap to right ear
      No fading in the past month, it's been the same since it happened unfortunately, but today seems a lot louder and higher pitched, very brain piercing. My tinnitus is one constant 13,500 Hz tone + mixed electrical signal tones right side of head.
      • Hug Hug x 1
    4. coffee_girl

      coffee_girl Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      All my life, but got worse 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced / Concert
      Habituation happens naturally depending on the person, for me it took around 6 months. My brain just got tired of being tired pretty much and it kinda forced itself to think about other things. That doesn't mean you won't have really difficult days though, i think that part will stay with you for the rest of your life.
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    5. Sleaford Mod

      Sleaford Mod Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I wouldn't say that habituation is a 'myth' or involves some kind of stoical, coping-through-gritted-teeth scenario.

      Just to be clear for any newbies who happen to read this post: habituation is a lived reality for the vast majority of those with tinnitus.

      But you won't find many of us posting here regularly because we've moved on.

      For obvious reasons, any online tinnitus forum will therefore not be representative of the wider tinnitus community. It will consist largely of disoriented newcomers and long term sufferers who have it loud and/or in tandem with some other, debilitating issue like hyperacusis or TTTS.

      Another tinnitus forum truism is that they tend to be fissiparous. And the fault lines are usually the same.

      On the one hand, there is resentment and jealousy of people like myself, who have loud tinnitus to which they have largely acclimatized.

      Then, on the part of the 'camp' to which I belong, there is a certain amount of incredulity directed at those who are still struggling.

      At least this is how it was when I used to haunt forums like this more regularly.

      And it's a shame, as I am willing to accept that there are those who have this condition louder than I do, and take their descriptions at face value. So if you have tried something like the Henry and Wilson protocol (which I flunked), or committed yourself so 8 weeks of MBCT as described in John Kabat-Zinn's book (that I 'passed' at the third attempt), and still got nowhere, then I commiserate.

      The fact that there is a significant constituency of sufferers for whom no psychological approach has proven to be effective only exemplifies just how much need there is for them to be taken seriously, and for a cure to be found, or at least for some kind of medication or audiological device to be invented that provides significant relief.

      But until that happens, the habituation therapies can provide that relief for many because the logical foundation on which they are founded makes sense: internal sounds to which one has no significant emotional reaction tend to fall below the level of conscious awareness, even when they are hogging most of the auditory landscape.

      I can attest to the truth of this based on my daily experience. In a few moments from now, I will lose awareness of my currently spiking tinnitus as I get absorbed in a work routine. Then, a few hours later, I'll notice it again and think to myself, 'How did I go for so long without noticing that cacophony?'

      This may seem paradoxical but that's how things turned out for me eventually.
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    6. Mathew Gould

      Mathew Gould Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck/Jaw misalignment
      I'm 2 years into having tinnitus.

      Although I've been doing neck exercises that might be helping my tinnitus (from neck and jaw issues) I seem to be habituating better.

      Is 2 years the magic period and if so, why? Do people keep habituating as time goes on past the 2 years?

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