Tinnitus Loudness Scale?

Discussion in 'Support' started by OddV, Nov 17, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. OddV
      Assassinator

      OddV Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      I see people on here talking about their loudness all the time, using a scale of 0-5, 0-10, mild, moderate, severe, etc. It's tough to put a # against something that is subjective. The AM-101 trials require you to rate it on a scale of 0-10, so I created my own "criteria" so that I would have something objective to rate myself against during the 100 days.

      Not sure if this has been done before either here or elsewhere, but I thought I'd share my scale so that perhaps we could all get on the same page. I'm more than open to suggestions as I took comments from here to help create it.

      Mods, if this is inappropriate, please delete.

      TLoudnessScale.png
       
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    2. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Good chart.
      I would say I am on 8-9 (sometimes, but seldom on a 10). Can sometimes hear even in the shower.
      But I don't need any sound for sleeping. I sleep 8 hours without any problem, because this is relief from T.
       
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    3. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I am only speaking for myself, of course. However, being that you're open to suggestions, I'll comment without any criticism. You have "must use masking to sleep" for levels 7, 8 & 9. When my Tinnitus is in a "severe cycle" it is so loud that it is unmaskable. Or should I say anything that would be loud enough to mask it would be unbearable.

      I'm interested to learn how others feel about this.
       
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    4. OddV
      Assassinator

      OddV Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      So @Martin69 and @jimH, would you say then at level 9, change it to "masking does not help"?

      Or... instead of "sleep"...
      Level 7 - masking is occasionally needed for relief
      Level 8 - constant masking needed for relief
      Level 9 - T so loud, masking is ineffective for relief

      Would that work better?
       
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    5. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      @OddV

      Perhaps level 7 should be "moderate bordering on severe." However, I think that you should wait for a number of forum members to provide additional feedback before you change anything.
       
    6. Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      Mine was a 1 from 2006, jumped up to a 3 in September.

      Good work on the scale, will be interesting to see how everyone rates their volume level. I'd expect a lot on this site will be in around the 6/7 end of the scale.
       
    7. PhilB

      PhilB Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Manchester, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Perhaps there needs to be a separation between measurement of loudness and measurement of distress. Some people may have T which is loud enough to be heard over pretty much anything but which does not cause significant distress. In my own case, I do consider my T to be quite loud but it does not cause me any problems with sleep. I sleep without masking and I can listen to the sound of T without being particularly distressed by it.

      Loudness can be measured by how much environmental noise is required in order to mask the T. Distress may be related to loudness in some cases but is not necessarily related to loudness. Therefore, the two things should not be conflated into one. Still, I think your attempt to create a numerical scale for T loudness is a great idea.
       
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    8. RicoS
      Confused

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      Mine was a 9 now around 2 and 3 but I still use very soft masking (bird sounds) when going to sleep.
      I think masking with sleep does not matter on the scale. Some people like masking to go to sleep others just don't care.
      In a silent room my T is screaming, but when there is the slidest sound it is masked already so masking when going to sleep realy helps me.

      Also when mine was a 9 I used masking all day long otherwise I could not stand it. It would hurt my ears....make them feel warm and the noise just hurt. In a silentroom I got fullness feeling in my ears.

      The way it is now I can deal with it much easier.... guess it's habitation
       
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    9. Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      Great point @PhilB .

      I felt like a bit of a fraud posting that I rate mine as a 3 i.e. it would suggest in comparison to others here I've nothing to worry about, but considering I have a profound fear of it worsening that leads leads to a lot of distress for me so on certain days if I dwell on it I could be as distressed as someone that rates themselves a 6/7
       
    10. I would rate mine as a 6-7, but i don´t think that the "masking at night" has so much to do with the loudness of T. I think that i had to sleep with the sounds of fake rain even if i had 2-3.
       
    11. OddV
      Assassinator

      OddV Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Good point on splitting out distress... I tend to get mine confused sometimes... I'll work on updating later and presenting two scales.
       
    12. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
    13. marqualler
      Nerdy

      marqualler Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Minneapolis, MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / Mild Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      I like the scale @OddV--I'm an accountant by trade so anything that is this well organized and from a spreadsheet is pleasing to me!

      I guess mine is best rated between a 3-5 on this scale but it also depends on how stressed out I am feeling about it. Right now I am in my office which is very quiet and listening to music softly and I haven't "noticed" my T really all morning unless I specifically point it out. Whereas yesterday I was at a restaurant with a lot of friends and our children and feeling particularly distressed about it, and so I could perceive it, even though the actual environmental noise was a lot higher. The night before I had had somewhat fitful night of sleep whereas last night I slept like a baby. (And so did my baby, which helps. :))

      This past Saturday was my best T day since onset--and it started with a morning yoga class where the instructor used soft masking noises. I guess this lends a lot of credence to TRT and habituation--the less I stress out about it and go about my normal activities, the less the T bothers me. Whereas the more I focus on it, the more it bothers me.

      Still, I think it is useful to have a scale like this one to keep it subjective.
       
    14. sandra72

      sandra72 Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      may 2014
      On good days its a 2 and bad days its a 4-6. when i am stressed my t becomes worse.
       
    15. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK, Fareham
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      6.
       
    16. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Mine was sometimes above all of that. Mine was heard over everything including trains and sleeping was impossible...To the point where I had to live on sleeping tablets. Thankfully, I'm on tr0balt now and mine is a 5...Used to be around 8-10.
       
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    17. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      I would say mine pretty much ranges from a 3 to a 7, depending on the day. But I pretty much mask for sleep every night. Then again, I had trouble sleeping before tinnitus.

      But then again: I can hear my tinnitus all the time IF I listen for it. For me, a good day is I am so distracted (or so peaceful) that I can go for hours and suddenly realize... hmm, haven't noticed my tinnitus in awhile. But as soon as that thought comes, the tinnitus is there.

      Scales are interesting (and essential for clinical work), and I like this one. But scales always will be subjective, especially for T.
       
    18. DmanLamb

      DmanLamb Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      1994
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      30 years of Guitar Playing
      I would say mine is a 6.5 -7 (99%) of the time. Sometime an 8, when I am really dwelling on it. For twenty years mine was a 2-3. Looking back, I would do anything to get that back. Right now I am sitting in my quiet office and I would say I am only a 4. This, due to the Tinnitus maskers I am using on a 30 day trial from my Audiologist. Super Expensive though. Lots of relief with these, but still deciding if they are worth 3K.
       
    19. Dan Reagan
      Chicken

      Dan Reagan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Mine fluctuates daily from 5 to 7, the past few days it's been spiking to 7 a large portion of the day. I had 3 and 4 days before a bike tire explosion about a month ago. A recent head cold has seemed to aggravate it. I don't intentionally mask any more, and often can hear it over the noise of the shower.
       
    20. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      I'm at 8 judging by my iphone apps volume that doesn't mask it right now.
      It fluctuates so much from day to day that when T is below 5 I don't bother masking as its such a relief to not be unmaskable
      I've been at 10 and I sometimes shake a bit.
      But I'm not nearly as bothered by it as I was 3 months ago.
      Still sucks but I'm tired of my life sucking so much. I guess that's also habituation...
      Not sucking so much
       
    21. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      This scale is good but it would also depend on the pitch of the noise and distress of the sufferer.

      My drone was not 10 but I still had to mask all the time due to the nature of the round and severe distress.
      But now with this hiss and new ringing I would say it's still not 10 but it's hard to mask.
       
    22. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      That would be the most accurate.
      I am a 9 on your scale.
       
    23. john livingston
      Cool

      john livingston Member

      Location:
      Pinehurst NC
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1974
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      football contact
      @OddV I can hear my T over trains, planes and all things it doesn't matter the T rules. As for your 10 on your scale it feels life threatening but its not and seeking medical help seems useless for my situation. All that the docs have offered me are pills to settle my nerves, but I'm not going for the pill program as they seem to cause more harm than good. That's a great idea you have on making you a scale. Seems with T there is no one scales fits all even with the fact that we all hear different types of noises and different volumes. Keep up the good work!
       
    24. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      Today mine is so high ,both going full pelt .Hope as day goes on they will drop to my middling pitch ,better for me to handling ,so here I am anxiety up .least it's easier to get down ,than the low day ,no way will it come up .
      Anyone with low got a tip to getting it up .? Or does yours stay like mine all day when you get that bad day .? stays in the head those days .Husband says his is high today ,weather ? ? Low air pressure here .
       
    25. Asian

      Asian Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4 weeks
      On bestest days - 0
      On best days 1.5
      On better days 3
      On bad day 4
      On worst day 4.5

      I was on 7 maybe in the beginning but now mostly I am on 3 after 8 months..hang in there newbies..there is hope
       
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    26. grandfunk1

      grandfunk1 Member

      Whats a 1? You can only hear it with ears plugged?

      Whats a 5? You can always hear it or sometimes hear it?

      Whats a 10? As loud as a jet engine?

      Did I just answer my own question? Lol
       
    27. Ricky81
      Worried

      Ricky81 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 14, 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Assault/Contusion/Ear Infection
      I think it depends on the individual and how annoying their T is.

      I think if you can't hear it with normal day sounds like when working in office then it's less than 4? Unless you really concentrate to hear your T. I rate mine 3 or 4.

      I hear my T at night and in quite areas and I hate earplugs as they make my T seem louder. So at night I rate my T as a 6.
       
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    28. Rina
      Energetic

      Rina Member

      Location:
      florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Really don't know
      I don't know... In the morning after I wake up is really low then increases.. These past few days I barely hear during the day as I'm busy with my boys...I will give it a 5 and at night I will give it a 7-8 although some nights really does not bother me as much.. I play water streams sound with singing birds to sleep and I don't hear my T unless I try...and if I do is very low..I believe the volume changes depending on my emotional state..
       
    29. James P

      James P Member

      Location:
      Halifax, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (Club)
      I'll go for 3-4. I can hear it among the background noise if I look for it but not aware of it if I'm focused. white/pink noise alone doesn't work so well for me since mine has a couple irregular pattern tones that rapidly stop and go that stand out.

      I've got a second problem though were certain sounds like wind, fans, and parts of some music have a clear ringing tone and minor broken up quality, no matter thier volume. which gives me the same emotional response as tinnitus. But I don't know how to rate that.
       
    30. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I agree with Valeri. While the scale is a good base guide, if someone is severely distressed by their tinnitus, it will affect their reaction and how loud they perceive their tinnitus to be. There was a time I would have picked an 8-9 all the time but now (though it has not changed in loudness) I would say mine fluctuates between 2-6
       
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