What Exactly Is a Tinnitus Spike?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Tom Cnyc, Jun 18, 2016.

    1. Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      Hey all, I'm kind of new here / to this in general. I've read a lot - and I'm somewhat confused as to what a "spike" actually is. Contextually it seems to mean different things to different people, and since this is a subjective health issue - I'm curious what everyone thinks.

      How long do spikes last? At what point is it no longer a spike and just "baseline"?
       
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    2. Cityjohn
      Inspired

      Cityjohn Member

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      5:10 PM 03/02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Scombroid food poisoning.
      A spike to me lasts anywhere from a day to a week.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Tom Cnyc

      Tom Cnyc Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Warehouse event after years of enjoying music.
      Yeah but what is it? Is it when it gets twice as loud? When you can hear it over masking?

      Sorry if this is a stupid question. I'm asking because I have some intermittent symptoms. Do I have mild tinnitus and these are spikes? Or do I just have days with tinnitus and days without?
       
    4. Cityjohn
      Inspired

      Cityjohn Member

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      5:10 PM 03/02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Scombroid food poisoning.
      Oh right... I think most people consider a spike to be a temporary increase in volume, I do. There's also a thread around here somewhere with a poll on if people have varying levels of tinnitus or a rather constant volume.
       
    5. Sven
      Tired

      Sven Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      A temporary increase in volume. My experience is that these "spikes" are imagined. That is, caused by worry more than anything else.
       
    6. Owen
      Disappointed

      Owen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear. Inflammatory allergic reaction/AIED
      To me it is an increase in perceived amplitude over the typical level. In my case, they can last anywhere from around 30 minutes to a day. I think I would be very worried if it lasted more than 24 hours. It is quite difficult for me to categorise though as the pitch and nature of the sound change regularly for me anyway.
       
    7. Steve
      Creative

      Steve Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Sheffield, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      I've had spikes that lasted for a couple of months, I've also had them for a day or so. It's one of those things that will probably vary from person to person.

      Usually there is a reason for them - loud noise, ear infection, muscular tension, poor quality sleep etc - but not always.
       
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    8. Tinniger

      Tinniger Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      increasingly uncertain, maybe noise, maybe somatic ?
      Very good question!

      I would like to add: Why do we never read about spikes in scientific tinnitus publications?
       
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    9. RAA

      RAA Member

      Location:
      Denmark/UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi all.

      Found this thread and rather than start a new one, is there anymore input into explaining exactly what a tinnitus spike is?

      I assume you know when you get a spike, i.e it's due to some new loud sound/trauma? In other words a spike cannot just come from nowhere and suddenly without any specific cause that raises your tinnitus?

      Just interested. My tinnitus has progressively got better over the last year, going from a 7/10 to 1/10 now - I will probably (hopefully) write a success story soon but before I do I'm just trying to understand how a spike works as I am not sure if I have suffered one since onset. Trying to work out if this is normal or just I have been lucky etc.

      Thanks all.
       
    10. Simon85

      Simon85 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      Glad to hear you’ve had such a material reduction in volume. I’m sure others will be able to expand on this, but there are several things that can cause spikes / temporary volume increases for me.

      One is exposure to loud noise - what is considered loud and able to cause spikes will vary depending on a persons sound sensitivity. Everyday sounds can cause spikes for some.

      Another is stress and work will spike me every now and then. I’ve seen people frame tinnitus as their stress barometer and a sign that they need to relax.

      Certain sugary or salty foods spike some people, but this doesn’t seem to have an impact for me. Medications is another. Anything that can cause tinnitus can also make it spike. Unfortunately it looks like spikes can hang around for a long time. People then naturally start to worry that the increased volume is their new baseline (permanent spike).
       
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