Tinnitus Unexplained

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Sparrow, Sep 15, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Sparrow

      Sparrow Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08 May 2013
      Hello Everyone,

      I have been a bystander of this forum for a while maybe 3 years.

      Recently my tinnitus has been bothering me quite some and so I thought I would maybe get more involved with this forum because of it.

      First off though if someone could help me out with my ringing.
      I have had hearing loss in my left ear my whole life, due to tonsillitis when I was 2 and then high fever and infection. It is around 50DB in 1000 range 30 DB 500 and 30DB in 3500.

      I never ever realized that I had hearing loss ( I always knew ) But it was never apparent went my whole life living normally. Never had tinnitus either ( that I was aware of )

      Until I was 19 and starting taking MDMA and going to Trance parties here is South Africa spending about 8 hours a night infront of those speakers and playing very loud music in my car.
      Then going to a Bon Jovi concert, I remember my ears feeling stuffy and having a high pitched ring which I first thought was an electrical plug somewhere. I then proceeded to get my hearing tested etc and there was NO further hearing loss, its about 3 years from then and my tinnitus seems worse although my hearing is still the same there is no difference from when I was 2 years old ( I got it checked again about 2 months ago ) I still enjoy my parties but I have plugs and I also don't spend hours in front of the speakers.

      Anyway, so basically. Is it possible that because I have had no further hearing loss, that I always had the tinnitus and I never realized and once I did it got worse ? Also if that is not the case then why is my tinnitus getting worse now ? Or again is that just me stressing etc.
       
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    2. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Impossible to tell.
      Maybe you are fixating on your tinnitus (which hasn't changed) due to your worries about having or not having more hearing loss.
      The only solution would be trying to live your life as usual as possible for the next couple of months and avoid too much anxiety (and don't stuff your brain with too much MDMA).
       
    3. Sparrow

      Sparrow Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08 May 2013
      The audiologist that I spoke to said it is unlikely that I am "making" my tinnitus worse ( meaning it is in my head ) Which I found strange because most of the answers on here are people saying that stress and anxiety makes it worse etc.

      However even though she said that I wasn't the reason it was getting louder there was still no more hearing loss. My ENT specialist said, just ignore it. lol

      I find it so bizarre that this ringing is here after having hearing loss for so many years. The brain is such a strange thing.

      I don't take MDMA anymore. I do some pot some times, that makes my T go crazy.
       
    4. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Could still be "hidden" hearing loss. These kinds of hearing loss do not show up on a regular audiometric test. It is thought this type of hearing loss is common with noise damage as initial cause. The effect of this type of hearing loss is thought to produce increased difficulty of understanding speech in noisy situations, while you may still be able to discern pure audio tones in a silent environment like before. The audiometric test is therefore no good measurement for this type of hearing loss.

      In hidden hearing loss, the connections between the hair cells and neurons of the auditory nerve are broken or damaged. The hair cells itself are often left intact and only show damage in more severe scenarios.

      For more, you can Google "hidden hearing loss" or read an article I've included here: http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/wellbe...-you-have-it-heres-how-to-tell-11364001443130
       
    5. nimx

      nimx Member

      Several recent researches say that hearing loss alone is not sufficient (neither necessary sometime) to develop T, but there must be some "faulty" brain area, it could probably be limbic system or thalamus or who knows. For ex. I don't have hearing loss, never had T, at least I was not aware of it, but got it after an anxious period that ended in some panick attack (one of the causes for T is emotional disregulation, and if you search statistics or the forum I'm far from being the only one). In my case, maybe because of my particular T sub type, I managed to lower it and it's much better now than when it started, and believe me it was very severe at the beginning. So... all of this to say that what caused yours is hard to know, but don't fixate only on hearing loss, just rule out medical conditions and see if yours responds to any treatment-management.
      Also, seems like your audiologist is not really up to date, sure you can make your T much worse, indipendently from the cause, emotional response plays the major role in creating T suffering.
       
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    6. Sparrow

      Sparrow Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08 May 2013
      @nimx Interesting that you mention that, prior to being exposed to loud use during that time. I was going through a crisis in my life dealing with very hectic and anxiety and depression.

      I started doing lots of Vipassana which is a sub of meditation. At the time my T was great, I am going to try and start that practice in my life again and see what happens :)

      I am studying to become a Clinical Psychologist and so my ears are extremely important to me as I cannot sit in a room and be asking my patients to repeat themselves lol. I am only 23 though So maybe in 20 years time they will have the cure for hearing loss. It is more my hearing than the actually T that makes me concerned and when ever my T spikes I think maybe my hearing getting worse too.

      I do have 2 pairs of custom fitter plugs. Are these effective ? With regards to Parties and what not, or should I still be careful.

      @Vinnitus I will take a look thanks! Although in noisy situations I am fine. The damage done to my hears like I said was when I was 2. I also have read that young ears are very hardy compared to older ears and so the damage is slow and happens gradually.

      Its also interesting that T runs in my family. My Gran used to explain it like steam trains in her ears. My dad has had it for a very long time. Only mentioned it when I said I had it though. So T could possibly be genetically linked too.
       
    7. nimx

      nimx Member

      Well T, and more generally acoustic brain areas are strictly linked to limbic areas (and as a psychologist you know what that implies). Don't know if you ever had a panick attack, hope not :D but if you did, you probably noticed what a loud T you can hear in that moment! Most people reports the same, even if they don't have T. It's not that hard to immagine that a fault in those areas (whether it is mood or anxiety) can cause sensorial aberrations. I practice meditation too, it really helps to re-regulate and retrain the nervous system, sure it's not an easy and fast way, but I noticed great improvements in the long run both on T and trauma resolution.

      About fitter plugs, I'm sure someone else can answer you better than me, I don't use them outside, I just use them at home when my T spikes (rare but happens in stressfull periods, just to counteract the natural tendency to run from it, which usually makes mine worse. But I guess, specially if you have some kind of hearing loss, it is a good idea to use them in very loud places but, based on what I read (I read lot of scientific research), it is not a good idea to over protect ears, it can sensitize your hearing system, and sometime hyperacusis , phonophobia and louder T could result from that.
       
    8. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      There isn't a single scientific research mentioning anything like that.

      If you think otherwise please provide us with a link to one

      As for the op - the loss is probably above 8khz which they don't test but that's making your t louder
       
    9. nimx

      nimx Member


      Sure man , here it is : "Prolonged auditory deprivation (through ear-plug use) is associated with an increase in sensitivity to sound possibly through an adaptive plasticity process leading to centrally mediated increase in gain; opposite effects are seen with sound stimulation" (Formby et al., 2003)

      Also, in a general research on hearing adaptation level (where the research above is mentioned too) adaptation level : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3374480/ (2012)
      This last mentions researches about tinnitus sensitization too. Although, in my experience, I don't completely agree about this last point. Desensitization through gradual exposure (but they where prolly talking about overexposure due to overprotection) , if emotionally ready, can be very successfull.

      Also, this is my personal idea but I think I extrapolated it from some other research (if you need sources I will search): Hyperacusis is sometime treated succesfully with retraining to acoustic stimulation, which means that protecting in loud enviroments is good, non-sense OVERprotection is just an avoidance of the retraining itself. In my opinion, there are other bad sides from over protecting, if you wear earplugs long-term in social situations where earplugs aren't really needed, it interferes with your ability to discriminate speech, it is impeded, and this ability (meaningful sound discrimination) is half part of a good hearing. It's a bain ability, so you are putting it at rest instead of training and reinforcing it, btw not sure what this last could implie, I just think it's non sense, no gain at all.
       
    10. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      Ok thanks. Do you have the link or the text of the actual study on patients or was there one ?
      Because it all depends on what level of protection we are talking and for how long, as you mentioned in your post.

      And is the effect temporary or permanent ?

      My guess is , unless a study says otherwise , whatever increased sensitivity to sound was induced by overprotecting - and again , what does overprotecting mean in practice exactly ? - is only a temporary effect that will dissapear as soon or a short while after plugs are removed .

      Millions of people are using plugs in their bedrooms for 8 hours a day every night for better sleep and no one seem to suffer from increased permanent hyperacusis.
       
    11. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      The one study where they had people wear a silicone plug I one ear for 24/7 developed some T after a while but it was 100 reversible after the plugs have been removed
       
    12. HomeoHebbian
      Balanced

      HomeoHebbian Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Hyperacusis is sometime treated succesfully with retraining to acoustic stimulation, which means that protecting in loud enviroments is good, non-sense OVERprotection is just an avoidance of the retraining itself. In my opinion, there are other bad sides from over protecting, if you wear earplugs long-term in social situations where earplugs aren't really needed, it interferes with your ability to discriminate speech, it is impeded, and this ability (meaningful sound discrimination) is half part of a good hearing. It's a bain ability, so you are putting it at rest instead of training and reinforcing it, btw not sure what this last could implie, I just think it's non sense, no gain at all.[/QUOTE]

      Yes, that's the basic paradox.

      -Protecting your ears from exposure to loud noise is a good thing. It protects against noise-induced hair cell death and nerve fiber loss that underlies 'hidden hearing loss'. Lesson learned - You should wear hearing protection.
      -Wearing ear plugs for extended periods of time can cause the brain's 'central amplifier' to get turned way up. It can actually induce tinnitus and make symptoms of hyperacusis much worse. Lesson learned - you shouldn't wear hearing protection unnecessarily.

      Seek the middle ground.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    13. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      @HomeoHebbian
      Yes but whatever happens in the brain in terms of "amplifier effect" is only temporary - there isn't any risk of causing permanent or irreversible effects.

      That's why we don't have reports of people using plugs during sleep waking up with irreversible Hyperacusis...

      The study we had on wearing plugs 24/7 - and again no ones does this in the real world - shows that it was 100% reversible

      That's why we don't have warnings on plugs package saying that " Wearing plugs for extended time in quiet environment may cause irreversible brain effects"..


      Most of the people here would not give T any second though if it was a 100% reversible phenomenon. These forums would not even exist if it was the case..

      So why even risk a permanent, irreversible increased T due to noise causing permanent, irreversible inner ear damage from some loud noise, noise that you did not see coming as you had no plugs/muffs on before it was too late - ... because you just wanted to avoid a 100% reversible brain amplifier effect ?
       
      Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
    14. HomeoHebbian
      Balanced

      HomeoHebbian Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Yes, all great points.

      Wearing earplugs for an extended period of time imitates - in some ways - the reduced signal going from the ear to the brain for someone with chronic hearing loss. The brain's amplifier reacts by cranking up the gain on the reduced input. The increased 'brain gain' helps us become sensitive to fainter sounds that initially can't be heard. But, at some point, the gain gets turned up so high that it begins to incur these terrible perceptual side effects.

      Take the earplugs out and the amplifier can turn itself down. Things go back to normal.

      Not so with tinnitus because, just as you said, there isn't any earplug to remove. That leaves three options:

      1) Boost the signal going into brain. This approach banks on the idea that the brain's amplifier will turn down after the signal going into the auditory nerve has been improved through NT-3 treatment, hair cell regeneration etc. (though it's important to acknowledge that an amplifier that has been cranked up for 12 years might be harder to turn down than a short-term earplug study). Masking fits into this category. Masking is basically the inverse of an earplug. Temporarily turn UP the signal into the nerve to turn the amplifier down. But take it away and the amplifier usually returns to its former resting state.

      2) Turn down the Brain Gain to fix the pathological activity in the brain without trying to fix the ear. This latter approach is what MicroTransponder is after with their vagus nerve stimulation trial. What Autifony is after with their potassium channel modulators. And what other groups are after through direct brain stimulation, auditory training etc.

      3) Forget the catastrophic balance that has been reached between the ear and the central auditory processing centers of the brain. Focus instead on reducing the secondary psychological effects (anxiety, insomnia, depression) and developing skills to reduce the conscious invasiveness of tinnitus. This is what mindfulness, coping etc. are after.
       
    15. nimx

      nimx Member

      I'm more of the idea that your point 3, at least in some case, can also be your point 2. If tinnitus is due to emotional distress I found that "coping" is in a sense similar to a cure. Especially about mindfulness that, as well known, can change electrical and communication activity in and between some brain areas. I'm sure my T didn't just change in perception-volume, but also in quality. From several sounds, ringing, rattling, metallic, all of them very loud (could hear them in daytime) with time it went to a distant "puff". Yet, when stressed some sound comes back and gets louder. So taking care of fears and anxiety actually make T almost go away.
       

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