Tinnitus and TINNITUS

Discussion in 'Support' started by Dr. Nagler, Oct 18, 2014.

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    1. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      In another thread @valeri wrote:

      "As I said before: There is tinnitus and there is TINNITUS!"

      ............

      I used to feel exactly the same way. In fact back in 1997 I gave a series of presentations in California discussing tinnitus and what I called "damn tinnitus."

      Turns out I was wrong.

      There's only tinnitus. What makes it damn tinnitus is how you react to it.

      Sure, there are lots of flavors of tinnitus - loud, soft, high-pitched, low-pitched, in the ears, in the head, constant, fluctuating, etc., etc.

      And sure, everybody with loud tinnitus would prefer that it were less loud. I get that. I really do.

      But the thing of it is, there are people with VERY LOUD tinnitus who are not affected by it at all. And there are people with very soft tinnitus who are largely incapacitated by it. And there are all sorts of combinations and permutations in between.

      Why? How can that be? It's because in the final analysis the primary determinant of tinnitus severity is not its loudness, its pitch, its timber, its location, or its pattern. The reality is that the primary determinant of tinnitus severity is how we react to our tinnitus. The problem with that reality is that we have no direct conscious control over our reaction to our tinnitus. We cannot make ourselves react less. If only we could!

      So as I see it - short of finding a cure for tinnitus (which is rightly the focus of tinnitus research), from a practical standpoint the very best thing a tinnitus sufferer can do for himself or herself is figure out an effective way to indirectly mitigate his or her reaction to his or her tinnitus.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    2. Ilija
      Breezy

      Ilija Member

      Location:
      Jagodina, Serbia
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud gig/year of loud headphone usage.
      I find this extremely true.
      I have soft Tinnitus which has a really good chance of going, isn't really reactive and generally only backround sound now.
      But 4 weeks ago it annoyed me greatly, I also have some sound sensitivity.
      But the thing is out of the blue 2 days ago it stopped while I was reading some horror stories (not Tinnitus lol) just paranormal stuff.
      After that I am no longer bothered by my Tinnitus, and my sound sensitivity has come down as soon as I stopped telling myself what bothers me.
      For instance I told you about my PC making my ears ring.
      Not anymore, it still produces a faint beeping sound I'm barely aware of, but as soon as I accepted the fact that my Tinnitus is not nearly as bad as I made myself believe, that it's not an life ending thing the way it is and so on, I'm for the first time in a long time happy and comfortable in my own home, no screaming beeps in my ears from PC or TV or anything else.
      All that stopped as soon as I stopped obsessing and thinking how bad it is.
       
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    3. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      I'm with Valeri,how she calls it out hundred percent ,if it was like having T and a switch to switching it off ,don't you think us with SEVERE. T would have by now flicked it.
      Let's see how long ,till maybe yours change ( and it can ) and your back here singing a different tune .
      Lucky old you I'd say ,if yours stay as it is LLIJA .You must have it really mild hey .
       
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    4. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      One thing to keep in mind is that not everyone who is in Lllija's spot has mild tinnitus. Some have severe tinnitus, like Dr. Nagler. I don't know if I would be considered severe or not, but I can hear my tinnitus almost over everything and it's at such a pitch that it is hard to mask. I'm not to the point where Dr. Nagler is, but I am getting better all the time.

      This all said, I still consider myself very lucky. Because I know tinnitus can be accompanied by things like hyperacusis, and that sounds like a beast worse than tinnitus.
       
    5. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      My point to T is when people on site write lighthearted as to their T ,like it's not to big a deal ,then other sufferers are struggling a heck of a lot more with there's Matt,and as you say they've got other things trying to cope with not only hissing ,ringing ,well you know how it goes .Not easy days for likes of us by a long shot .
      Look how long I've had it ,plus the extras along with it .So I'm not a happy bunny ,when someone's had it for a short time ,live with it length of time I've had it for ( walk in my shoes ) I'll be willing to swap places .
      Got to be more sensitive to others ,I do try to remember that ,so it takes a lot to wind me up but crappy day ,so far from happy
      You say your getting better that's good really is ,end of day Matt we all want peace and quiet .Best of wishes
       
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    6. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      I can feel that we are getting ourselves into another discussion here based on different opinions:)

      While I appreciate what dr Nagler said about people with loud t being ok with it, and some with soft t being debilitated, I think that loudness and pitch definitely play a huge role in ones reaction.

      I personally have days when this horrible drone is liveable and days when I'm totally suicidal, so, at least in my case, the above mentioned qualities of noise are "everything" to me.
      Also the unpredictability of this condition is something that can easily drive me up the wall.

      I don't doubt that there are people like dr Nagler (I personally met some) who just don't care, don't give rats about it at all, but I'm for sure not one of them and doubt I ever will be.
       
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    7. Ilija
      Breezy

      Ilija Member

      Location:
      Jagodina, Serbia
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud gig/year of loud headphone usage.
      Ok that's it.
      I'm done.
      I am never posting on this kind of topic again.
      Look it's all in the individual.
      I couldn't bare really loud intrusive Tinnitus.
      Some can't some cannot.
      There's really no point in discussing this.
      I'm fine with mine now as it is, your "let's see you sing the same tune if yours change" sentence is 1.) Stupid 2.) Rage filled 3.) I seriously can't believe you would say something like that to another human being whose condition your know all to well.
      I'm sorry you're having a bad day, everyone does, I had a bad 2 months but you never saw me being an angry prick telling people they would feel differently if this or that happened.
      Instead of mine getting worse it's getting better everyday, it's going to leave, and that'll be it.
      Best of luck buddy you seem to need it.
       
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    8. beemovie

      beemovie Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2013
      I think if you removed everyone off this board that had it "very soft" sounding as you say, like maybe only hearing it in a quiet room, you would have about 90% less people on this webboard.
       
      • Agree Agree x 6
    9. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Of course! That's exactly what the research I was talking about in the last paragraph of Post #1 in this thread was referring to.

      But until that research bears fruit, what tinnitus sufferers should be looking at (in my opinion) is how to indirectly mitigate their response to their tinnitus - so that even if it does not change in loudness, pitch, timbre, location, pattern, etc., it will become less severe by virtue of the fact that it results in their suffering less.

      As I see it, anyway.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    10. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      You may be right. But I suspect that people post on this board largely because their tinnitus causes them to suffer, regardless of how loud or soft it might be.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    11. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I agree. Loudness and pitch do play a role in reaction. But since research has not yet brought us to the day when we can predictably and lastingly mitigate loudness and pitch, all I am saying is that tinnitus sufferers might want to consider various approaches towards modifying their reaction to their tinnitus regardless of its loudness and pitch.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    12. beemovie

      beemovie Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2013
      I have to admit you are right. There is nothing else out there. So if it helps anyone I am for it. But I am a glass half empty person and it scares me to think that the same things were tried back in 1900 using a device called a vibrophone. It was to cure Tinnitus. Patients would put on the stethoscope and the instrument was tuned to match the ringing in their ears. So 114 years later we are still doing the same thing. But then again people still wear glasses.
       
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    13. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      Yes, but 114 years ago we didn't know we were to set the vibrophone at or just below the mixing point :LOL: I'd call it a TRT stone age hahahaha.
       
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    14. beemovie

      beemovie Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2013
      violin_quack5.jpg
       
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    15. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Things definitely progressed a lot;)
       
    16. beemovie

      beemovie Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2013
      Oh yes..alot. Instead of a wooden box connected to a stethoscope you have a plastic electronic box connected to ear buds. And you have the wiggles.
       
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    17. here2help

      here2help Member

      @Marlene and @Valerie, keep thinking "there is tinnitus and there is TINNITUS" and you will set yourself back by one to two years.

      You are equating having a hard time with tinnitus with the assumption that your hard time is because there is something special and more extreme about your tinnitus. There isn't. Everyone feels this way at first. Some of us continue to feel this way. Tinnitus doesn't hold a candle to our views on tinnitus. Consider the pain in @dan's recent posts masquerading as irony.

      There is nothing special about your tinnitus. You aren’t having a hard time because your tinnitus is special or more extreme, more severe, or less treatable than someone else’s tinnitus. You are having a hard time, in part, because you have convinced yourself your tinnitus is a special case.

      People who have gone from having a hard time with tinnitus to not feeling affected by tinnitus aren’t “lucky”, @Marlene. They aren’t doing fine because their tinnitus is “mild”. If someone once felt suicidal, desperate, or irremediably anxious, they aren’t lucky and their experience wasn’t mild. They went through something extreme and awful, and came out the other side and are fine. It is painful to read some of your views. You seem so intent on making judgments about what you view as the relative lack of severity of other people's tinnitus that you are unable to understand how some of them may point the way for people who are struggling, as you are.

      @Marlene, you wrote when people write in a lighthearted way about their T , it follows that other sufferers are struggling a heck of a lot more. Perhaps there is another way to look at it? Anyone who writes in a lighthearted way about tinnitus may have earned the right to do that.

      Is it possible the way you are thinking about tinnitus contributes to how much you struggle with tinnitus?

      Is is possible that other people, who have been to hell and back, arrived at a place you haven’t been to yet?

      As long as you believe there is something inimitable about your tinnitus and that your challenges with tinnitus are directly proportional to how special it is, I'm not sure how you can move from where you are now to a better place. You ask people to walk in your shoes. Many tinnitus sufferers have been there and have framed the sales receipt.

      @Valerie, you say that a person’s reaction to tinnitus has to do with its loudness and pitch. Loudness is relative. None of us has any idea how loud our tinnitus is compared to anyone else's. The extent of a person’s suffering with tinnitus has no relation to how loud it is, how soft it is, its pitch, it’s so-called reactivity, its lack of predictability, or whether it is continuous or discontinuous. If suffering from tinnitus could be equated with loudness and pitch, you would have a strong case. The fact is there are many people with tinnitus as loud as your own who do not suffer and many people with tinnitus much softer than your own who suffer as much as you do.

      I’m glad you have moments of respite from tinnitus, but to generalize about tinnitus severity by extrapolating from your experience will get you nowhere.

      @beemovie, I am sorry you believe 90% of the people on this website can only hear their tinnitus in a quiet room. Keep thinking like that and you will set yourself back by five to ten years.

      here2help
       
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    18. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      This is a bizarre statement...if my tinnitus were 50% lower, I would be suffering exactly 50% less. Or better yet, if there were no tinnitus at all, there would be ZERO reaction.

      The more severe the situation, the more severe the reaction...just plain common sense and also human nature. This isn't a complicated concept, I'm not sure where there is even a discussion.

      For example:

      When people with tinnitus get low days, they are considered good days (less reaction) when they have loud days, this is a bad thing (more reaction).

      I feel like I'm in the twilight zone here sometimes discussing things like this.
       
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    19. MichaelM
      Chatty

      MichaelM Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      mild since ´90 ´s. severe ->2013 on
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere´s Disease/acoustic trauma?
      How come there is no disagree-button here?
       
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    20. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Don't really agree with you!

      When I first got Tinnitus in 1990, it was what you would call mild, it took a few months to get used to this new sound in my life, it was not the major hurdle as I quickly found out!

      The problem was that I got a mild case of hyperacusis and I suddenly could not tolerate noise that was above the everyday volume of traffic, talking and everyday banging and clanging etc.

      My whole psychological demeanor changed as I began to get very paranoid about most louder sounds, continually asking my close family if that slamming door damaged my hearing or that loud motor bike etc. My paranoia was mostly that I did not want my Tinnitus getting worse!

      Remembering that I did not get any medical help whatsoever, all I was told by my ENT doctor was " your hearing is fine you will just have to get used to the noise"
      I started doing just that, getting used to it and over protecting my ears first with cotton wool and then with later introduced foam ear plugs.
      I was wearing earplugs a little at first, then it gradually increased to 24/7, yes, I even slept with them in, that was how mild I had T, my main problem was my paranoia about noise not the Tinnitus itself, I found that it was relatively easy to get used to, my deep psychological problem with noise was easy to mask with ear plugs but as I found later was only a band aid for a wound that was not healing and never would!

      Fast forward 24 years and through slight depression and a run in with ear suction I have Tinnitus that has increased in volume and has a slight tonal difference to what I had for the years before.
      Where as before when I wore earplugs during the day I could only hear my T if I listened for it , now it is loud and clear for me to hear in my truck and over most things during the day.
      Before, when I took my plugs out at home I could hardly hear my T and everyday noise masked it possibly because my T was exactly the same as the sound of silence was before I had T, now I hear it with plugs out and my right ear T is intermittent between really loud and loud!

      I cannot go out the door without ear plugs, normal sounds are too loud for me without plugs and plugged up my T is booming and fu##ing horrible.

      That was nearly 6 months ago and my T has shown no signs of going back to the levels that they once were and because of my dependence on ear plugs there is no way in hell I can "Take control and live a near normal life" not with this new level of T.

      I know from experience that there is tinnitus and then their is TINNITUS!

      Rich
       
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    21. here2help

      here2help Member

      @Telis, surely you can do better than to characterize the portion of my post you quoted as bizarre and not worth a discussion? The research on tinnitus sometimes belies "common sense".

      If a person's suffering had to do with how loud tinnitus is, or its pitch, then people with very low tinnitus would not suffer as much as those with louder tinnitus. But they do.

      here2help
       
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    22. Ray Seddon
      Amused

      Ray Seddon Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Western Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1985
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unprotected hearing damage - highpowered firearm, open-cab tractors...
      Me too Telis. For example, I don't know whether, when my T gets so loud that I can hear it OVER and ABOVE everything else, whether it is actually that loud. Or is it just me, reacting too much to it?
      <sighhh> all I can do is go back to my white noise machine - but I don't take any comfort in the fact that sometimes I have to increase the volume to get any respite at all. I've been doing this for so long it's like second nature now - (I know I wouldn't sleep without it) - but at the end of the day it means I'm (sort-of) coping in my own way.
       
    23. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      If your tinnitus were to double you would suffer more...anyone that says otherwise is delusional.

      I hope your T goes to ten times the volume it is now...not because I wish you any kind of suffering, more so because I think it is cool that you are super human and can control your reaction to anything. Circumstances don't matter just your reaction....straight up bad ass shit! Simply amazing!!!
       
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    24. here2help

      here2help Member

      @Rich, many people can hear their tinnitus in any loud setting, but tinnitus is not an issue for them.

      If a person's suffering had to do with how loud tinnitus is, or its pitch, then people with very loud tinnitus would necessarily suffer as much as you do. While some do, many do not.

      Is it possible that your dependence on hearing protection in normal settings has played a role in your experiencing your tinnitus as louder than it used to be? I hope you will consider that possibility and work with a professional to help you treat and overcome your strong belief that normal sound is too loud for you without using hearing protection.

      @tellis, at one time, my tinnitus seemed much louder than it had been at first. While it was a challenge for a little while, I didn't suffer remotely as much as I did as when I was first struggling with tinnitus. After some time passed, the volume of my tinnitus had no meaning to me and no impact. I no longer care what my tinnitus does. I can go for days without being aware of it regardless of how loud it is. When I am aware of it, in a little while my attention lands on something else. Once in a great while, I feel a bit irritated by it, but not for very long. It is no longer an issue for me, and yet it used to be an enormous one.

      The volume of my tinnitus hasn't changed a bit since those days, but where it once had an huge impact on me, now it has no impact at all. Just as there is nothing special about your tinnitus, there is nothing special about not being affected by tinnitus. In fact, it is the norm. Some people feel that way immediately. For others, it can take some time to get there. Some get there by their own lights, and others need a little help. Most get there over time.

      here2help
       
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    25. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Perhaps I haven't made myself as clear as I should of!

      I was wearing ear plugs for 20 odd years, day and night for a good 15 of those, my T did not change, it was mild and was not really an issue, the issue was my mental state towards noise and my paranoia.

      My strong belief? Umm No my dependence now on earplugs has nothing to do with belief anymore it has become a necessary dependence that no amount of professional therapy can help I would have to stop working, stay at home and very slowly wean my way off them which could take years and is impossible for me to do unless i could win lotto or put my life and my family on hold!

      maybe a re read of my earlier post might be in order!

      Rich
       
    26. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      If you can go for days without being aware of it...it is not loud or intrusive, it was all just you overreacting to it in the beginning.

      I have lost all my hearing from 9hz up (nothing at all) replaced with a lot of different noises, screeching, drilling, nails on a chalk board, noise deep in my brain bouncing around. All this and extreme pain all the time. But as you pointed out, it's just my reaction...none of that other stuff matters...it's all just me and my reaction..I must be weak! I just need to change my reaction and be a hero like you...right?
       
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    27. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      @here2help you should walk into a burn center and chat with people that have their flesh burned down to their bones...tell them you have seen people with sunburns suffer very very badly as well...and that a burn is burn...it's all just in the reaction...severity pffff...throw it out the window, its just your reaction!!! Tell them to stop screaming and present them with your logic...they will only set themselves back 5 to 10 years with their kind of thinking. Genius!! Maybe convince them it is their fault for suffering and to look at all the burn victims in the world, I'm sure 99% of people have been burned...some suffer some don't. It has nothing to do with the burn itself, it's all just your reaction...circumstances/details surrounding the burn just don't matter, ah just details, who needs em!! It's just the way you react! So smart!

      -yes this is a extreme example, but maybe this way you can see how insane your statements are.
       
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    28. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      T is such an individual condition. Reaction I believe is also so key to this.
      For example, someone with fluctuating t may feel better with t at its softer level than louder level.
      Someone with constant loud t may dream of t at a softer level.
      But someone with constant soft t may yearn for silence, and be just as distraught.
      Of course, in all cases, no t at all would be wonderful.
      But in all cases, t can be classified as severe and intrusive.
      Maybe understanding that controlling reaction, can in fact train the brain in time to ignore t, and in many cases adjust the perceived volume, well that seems to be something we can hold onto for now.
       
    29. Ilija
      Breezy

      Ilija Member

      Location:
      Jagodina, Serbia
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud gig/year of loud headphone usage.
      There is a bit of a discussion.
      I have mild Tinnitus, now to you that seems great but that's because you have yours the way you do.
      When I had mine I didn't think that guy has that that guy has that and so on.
      My "Mild" Tinnitus brought me [_]-this close to killing myself only 2 days after it had begun, now on the other hand if it had been louder maybe I would have done it.
      It all depends on a person, also human beings argue and discuss it's what we do.
      I'm just going to do the smart thing that I've always done and not care and only look at myself.
       
    30. beemovie

      beemovie Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2013
      Like I said before, most people are on this webboard because hear sounds almost 24/7. Not just because they are in a quiet room. The louder it is the more it is going to bother someone. I say that because I have what I call regular tinnitus and I also have reactive tinnitus so I also hear a attachment sound when I hear sounds. I hear the attachment even in my own voice, so to me I don't even sound the same to myself. I used to love to talk for hours on end. Now I hate talking. I can't run or jog anymore because it sounds like my head is going to explode because I have bad somatic tinnitus. When I chew it sounds like I am chewing on high pitched glass. But in your crazy upsidedown world of lala land, I am the same as someone that can only hear it in a quiet room.
       
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