Tinnitus Is Everywhere

Discussion in 'Support' started by CapedCrusader2, Feb 11, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. CapedCrusader2
      Inspired

      CapedCrusader2 Member

      Location:
      Pennsylvania, US
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress/Anxiety
      I'm starting to learn how common T is and somehow it's made my experience a bit easier. Since I've been going around talking about it I've learned that my aunt (not blood) has it since her teens, my grandma (not blood) had it since her 20s, my other grandma (blood) is completely deaf in one ear and hears it come and go, my mom claims her ears ring in a quiet room, my best friend says his ears ring "all the time" and another friend's dad has it. This is a shockingly large amount of people in my life who have this and I never knew. They don't even think about it until I start freaking out about mine. This gives me hope in many ways. This place has given me a lot of support that I am very thankful for, but I think the mindset around here is a little toxic sometimes... My real-life encounters with people with T have been much more "ehh, yeah i have it. Who cares?"
       
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    2. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Yup, I've had the same experience. I've also had multiple professionals tell me that there experience is, overall, people who have either existing problems with anxiety/depression, or a predisposition to obsessive rumination/anxiety, tend to struggle a lot more with tinnitus than people who are more easy going.

      I have at least one good friend who, as far as we can tell, hears more or less the same volume and pitch of tinnitus I do: 12-15khz like a CRT screen, loud enough to be heard in nearly all environments. However, he didn't even know there was a word for it, and has told me he spends essentially zero time thinking about it, except when I bring it up. His own fears about hearing have much more to do with hearing loss than tinnitus, and even at that he doesn't think about it much.

      When we're really suffering with this, it becomes easy to assume ours must be "worse" in terms of pure volume, than other people who say they have tinnitus and don't seem to suffer much -- but research efforts to confirm that, have been mixed to contrarian. Additionally, imaging studies have found brain tissue density correlates for both tinnitus distress and tinnitus volume in different parts of the brain. That implies that the degree to which tinnitus is "intrusive" may not actually directly correlate to the degree to which it is "loud".

      This is a somewhat controversial issue on here, and I have no interest in trying to evangelize this view in people who disagree with it; I just think it's interesting, from both a research perspective and a pragmatic "what can I do to decrease my distress" perspective.

      http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2014/817852/tab3/
      https://books.google.com/books?id=l...age&q=tinnitus distress volume insula&f=false
       
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    3. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      Never heard of this before, but it makes sense in an odd sort of way. Can you elaborate on this, please? Do you have a link that explains this phenomenon in layman's language?

      I would love to include this type of info in the book I'm writing about tinnitus, but need to keep it basic and simple, not too technical.
       
    4. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0067778

      Basically, they identified differences from healthy brains in one set of brain structures in people who had "loud" tinnitus, and differences in another set of brain structures in people who had "distressing" tinnitus. This doesn't mean that there might not be some link there; perhaps people with more distressed brains are also likelier to have louder brains. But, my takeaway from this and a couple other papers was that there isn't a 1-to-1 relationship there.

      And, that jives with my personal experience -- like I said, I know a couple people who have a similar "kind" of tinnitus to me, who have been far less distressed by it.
       
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    5. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      Thanks for the cogent summary. The article you linked to will require quite a bit of study, but I think I can find an image of the brain and correlate the areas as noted in the neuroimage (if that's what it is). Maybe something in there will explain why tinnitus which seems to be localized in the head rather than the ears causes more distress.

      I don't know anyone with my kind of tinnitus, except maybe some on this forum. All of the folks I personally know with tinnitus have a slight hum that they only hear when it's very quiet or they're feeling fatigued. I'm the only one with the oscillating metallic hissing and squealing, and also the only one whose tinnitus cycles between mild and severe. Wish I knew how to cope with it better.

      By the way, I can't resist the urge to pick on you just a little bit, seeing as how you're one of my favorite posters here. It's "jibe," not "jive." ;)
       
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    6. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Ooh dear. Well, I haven't taken an English class since high school, didn't need any of that for my degree :D
       
    7. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Maybe @linearb's jiving jibes with his jibing? Assuming that he both jives and jibes? ;)
       
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    8. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      That sounds about right. :LOL:
       
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    9. Tamika
      No Mood

      Tamika Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One loud indoor concert
      Same here. I can think of 9 people I now know have it. All are perfectly happy. I'm the only one struggling.
       
    10. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      Just curious, do you consider yourself to be more of a creative person, or more analytical?

      I ask that question because I've been reading about how people are more likely to be distressed by tinnitus if the pathway to processing their emotions is through the amygdala versus utilizing the prefrontal lobe of the brain. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151214145956.htm

      It's speculation on my part that creative folks are more likely to process emotions through the amygdala. Maybe that's why so many musicians develop tinnitus; that it isn't just the exposure to loud music, but it's also because of the way their brains are wired. :unsure:
       
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    11. Tamika
      No Mood

      Tamika Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One loud indoor concert
      I do have a very creative side, but if I had to put a weighting on it I'd have to say my analytical side is definitely way more dominant.
       
    12. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      Thanks for answering. I think I'm about fifty-fifty, but when it comes to my emotions, especially feelings of guilt, my analytical side diminishes in comparison.

      Hmm. I just did a quick research. "Specific activations were found for shame in the frontal lobe (medial and inferior frontal gyrus), and for guilt in the amygdala and insula."

      A recent thread on this forum mentioned that the insula is also implicated in the perception of and adjustment to tinnitus. I wonder if Catholics have a higher incidence of tinnitus distress. :eek:
       
    13. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I'm very analytical.

      I'm not sure what to make of that study, it's rather vague. Correlation does not imply causation. Though, I'm glad someone is looking into neurological differences in patients with tinnitus, It really does need more investigation.
       
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    14. Tamika
      No Mood

      Tamika Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One loud indoor concert
      I do think personality plays a big role for some of us that struggle. I'm sure it does for me. Only since getting T do I realise that I have an anxious personality type. I got through most of my life without any problem, but I recognise it now from when I had other major life issues in the past few years, but then the anxiety would eventually pass. This time it doesn't seem to be leaving. I think genetically on my mothers side there were anxiety issues. Also I had a very abusive and fearful childhood which no doubt is a contributing factor. Just add T and its the perfect storm.
       
    15. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      I think they're looking for some sort of common thread that might explain at least partially why tinnitus is so distressing to some but not to others, regardless of perceived volume and/or intrusiveness.

      This of course isn't the only study that's been done; it's just the first one I happened upon with a quick look online. There have been neuroimages with MRIs that indicate the parts of the brain that "light up" in response to emotional stimuli that are designed to elicit either a strong positive or negative reaction. Then they note which part of the brain is activated. What's interesting is that even though one may be predisposed to processing emotions through the pathway of the frontal lobe or the pathway of the amygdala, both those parts of the brain share neural connections.
       
    16. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      It could be distressing to some because the condition itself can get really bad, but not distressing to another because the condition itself can be very minor. Who knows right? Speculating about personality types is all just that, a bunch of speculation. Until you can measure tinnitus intensity objectively you can not even begin to evaluate the effects on one person vs the next. It's a complete waste of time.
       
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    17. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      Severe tinnitus can be measured objectively with neuroimaging studies, but that's not what Dr. Fatima Husain's studies are about. It's been clearly stated over and over on this forum by some members here with LOUD tinnitus that they are no longer distressed by it. There are a couple members with tinnitus so faint that they can only hear it when they are deliberately listening for it and yet drive themselves batsh*t crazy over it.

      At this point a cure for tinnitus is so far in the future, that our best chance of coping with it is to understand why some are distressed by it and others not. By understanding the mechanics of the difference, we might be able to learn how to reroute our emotional pathway from the emotional amygdala to the more analytical frontal lobe. This seems to be the basis for the Back To Silence method espoused by @I who love music. It may not be the cure we all want, but it's far from a complete waste of time.
       
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    18. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      I completely agree with you, we all Deal with this condition differently. The majority of people just crack on with life, unfortunately we are the minority who have a more difficult time with it. It's just how some of us are wired up.

      Personally I find I'm a perfectionist and I analyse things too much. I suspect that's my main problem and it boils down to how I process my thoughts. It's very easy to slip into a bad cognitive state if you're wired that way. We also have to realise that we are posting on a forum that mainly represents the sufferers. It's an extremely biased representation of how tinnitus affects people.
       
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    19. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      I agree. I think there's research that indicates that once neurons create a particular "highway of thought," they keep traveling down that highway. Those who are over analytical may tend to obsess about their tinnitus, trying to find a solution, thereby reinforcing that highway even further. A vicious cycle, so to speak. I guess that's why one of TRT's mandates is to stay off forums like this.

      True. But this is also the forum where we can find hope for a solution, and share what we've learned so far. If anything, reading about the severity of tinnitus that some of us have might convince someone with mild tinnitus to protect their hearing and/or reduce emotional stress in their life. Believe me, if I knew then what I know now, it's likely my tinnitus would not have turned into such a monster, and may not have occurred at all. C'est la vie.
       
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