What Percentage of Tinnitus Cases Are Permanent?

Discussion in 'Support' started by BrianW., Mar 7, 2020.

    1. BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi everyone,

      I've had tinnitus for about 1.5 weeks. It came on suddenly sitting in Central Park. It isn't awful, but it is a constant annoyance. It's like I just got back from a loud concert. It's a low, but bothersome ringing.

      I only have medicaid and the level of care that I will likely receive is marginal. I have been to an ENT and he cleaned out my left ear. I used to be in rock bands (loud). I also have neck vertebrae issues which had caused paresthesia in my left arm. I'm hoping that the neck issue can be fixed and is the cause of my tinnitus.

      Anyway, I'm wondering what are the odds? It's obvious that I have tinnitus and has dominated my thoughts over the past 1.5 weeks. I am worried. How many of these cases actually wind up being permanent?

      Is it a possibility that tinnitus could fade in months or years?

      Thanks in advance...
       
    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      There is a reasonable chance that within 1-3 years you will get to the "can hear it only in quiet rooms" stage. I'm afraid that that's as specific as it gets.
       
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    3. Sarah101

      Sarah101 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      TMJ
      I would second this. I would say other than that most cases are permanent
       
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    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @BrianW.

      Many people have difficulty coping with tinnitus in the early stages but with time it usually settles down, as the brain becomes more accustomed to it and no longer sees it as a threat. At the moment the tinnitus is a strange new anomaly and your emotions which are being affected by it are on high alert. I explain more about this in my post: New to tinnitus what to do, which you will find in the links below.

      It would help knowing what has caused the tinnitus and usually there are two possibly three things that are the most common. The first is exposure to loud noise, followed by an underlying medical condition within the auditory system and the third is stress. Other things can cause it that are mentioned in my article: Tinnitus, A Personal View, which I advise you to read in the link below.

      You mention that you used to play loud music in a rock band. Therefore, your tinnitus could be related to loud noise exposure over a long period of time and you might have some hearing loss too? Although you may not now play in a rock band, do you go to clubs, concerts where loud music is played? Are you a regular user of headphones or wear a headset? If the answer is yes to any of these questions then your tinnitus is likely to be noise induced. I suspect the tinnitus is noise induced but this is just an opinion not a fact and something that further investigations, at ENT will probably determine. Are you sensitive to sounds or find them overly irritating even painful at times?

      In the early stages of tinnitus the best treatment is usually to do nothing and allow your ears and auditory system to calm down. My advice is not to use headphones even at low volume but the choice is yours. If I were you I wouldn't attend places where overly loud sounds are present: clubs or concerts. Just give your ears time to settle down. It can be helpful to use low level sound enrichment during the day and at night. Therefore, it's a good idea to try and avoid being in quiet rooms and surroundings. Please do not try to mask or cover-up the tinnitus with sound as it's not usually possible. Much better to set sound enrichment slightly below the tinnitus. I cover this in more detail in my articles below. Please see your doctor if you're feeling anxious or stressed as tinnitus often makes people feel this way in the early stages.

      Please take your time and read my articles to absorb all the information and not skim through them.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/acquiring-a-positive-mindset.23969/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-the-negative-mindset.23705/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-habituation-process.20767/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-positivity-important.23150/
       
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    5. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, viral?
      I agree with Bill though I would add as it is very new there is a very real chance that it could subside in the short term. Particularly if this was brought on/aggravated something such as nutritional deficiency, stress, sleep, or a cold.

      Take care of yourself health wise (never a bad idea), try to relax and not obsess over it. Super easy right?
       
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    6. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      Any type of cause is permanent íf the cause itself is not treated, either by the body itself or by external intervention. This is both good and bad news.

      The good: in theory, every case is treatable with the proper diagnosis and medical knowledge.

      The bad:
      Both diagnosis and medical knowledge are limited. Diagnosis is poor, as T is not fully understood and no simple tool is available to find the cause: it's mostly trial and error right now. If hearing loss is the cause (which has no proper diagnosis tool either), then there is no possible cure, since we can't regenerate the cilia in the ear. At least right now.

      Now here is the bright side:
      Research is beginning to catch up. Multiple treatments are coming in with actual results. The effects are not always positive yet, but it is clear they're on to something. I suggest you check out the research section for more information about this.

      In the meantime, while waiting for treatment:
      I know it's hard to believe, and everyone's T is different, but one can often get used to their "version". I got my T almost one year ago, and it was quite severe in volume and had more than twelve sounds. These days I have six sounds left, which are low in volume during the day, and I usually don't notice them (unless I'm active on the forum here). I sleep 6-8 hours per night these days, without any masking: this was unthinkable half a year ago. I'd say I'm pretty much habituated to what I have right now. Sure, I'll still take a complete cure once one arises, but life is highly worth living again despite the noise.

      Give it time, and you should either heal or habituate while waiting for your cure.
       
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    7. hans799
      Mellow

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Hungary
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      As an active user of one of these treatments I can confirm that it works. It can also backfire, but it definitely does affect tinnitus. Which means we finally have real treatment options and new releases can be expected to speed up now that there's a basic mechanism established.

      This is a very new development, even just one year ago all we had were promises and snake oil. All those damaged ears of the 200 years since the Industrial Revolution had zero options... until now. You chose a fortunate time to get tinnitus, believe me. :)

      Guard your ears, it'll either fade, or you'll learn to live with it, and real help is almost here, too.
       
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    8. Eloy Resendez Jr
      Balanced

      Eloy Resendez Jr Member

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Minor hearing loss (twice)
      It’s good you recognize that it isn’t awful, in my opinion that’s a good sign considering your in the early stages of this. Most people on this site have moderate to severe Tinnitus. Mine was mild to moderate up until last December. First time it took me 6 months to a year to adapt and like most comments above around year 3 I hardly noticed it. Unfortunately I had a second round of mild hearing loss which now triggered a spike. My doc thinks I’ve got an autoimmune inner ear disease or possibly a virus that’s been hanging around in my body for a few years, non the less just glad I have an ent who is busting his tail to figure things out, most send you on your marry way with just gloom and doom. Hang in there hopefully yours does go away, if not just listen to people on this site who give you good advice. Trust me even I need motivation, I know I’ve done it before and I can do it again, but when in early stages of new “T” or even a spike, your emotions and mind can get the best of you. Good luck and God Bless!
       
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    9. ASilverLight
      In pain

      ASilverLight Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      That's the question.
      You're only 1.5 weeks in, which really isn't that long of a time. I know it feels like forever though, but remember that many people experience fading after months. As for your emotional response, you will likely eventually get to a point where it won't bother you as much. I'm a little over two months in myself with several tones, and it no longer gets as much of an emotional response out of me.

      My best advice is to give it time, and protect your ears well around loud noises. Read some success stories if you're very stressed, I find that they were very good to calm my nerves. Pay attention to what might make your tones louder/softer and be mindful of that as much as you can.

      And know that you're not alone! There's always someone here willing to talk if you need it. Hang in there!
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Hans and everyone,

      Thanks so much for responding. What treatment were you specifically referring to? I am interested in learning more. Thanks again.

      Also, do hearing aids help? My insurance (medicaid) is not great, but ironically, it covers hearing aids.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks Afro, I will try.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      That is my sincere hope. Thank you!
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks Eloy.
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Quick question: how did you verify that it was the neck and ETD causing the tinnitus? Could physical therapy for the neck help?

      I also have ETD (I think). Constant drainage. But I am more hopeful about getting my neck fixed and seeing if that isn't the problem.
       
    16. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @BrianW.

      When a person experiences tinnitus and also has acute sensitivity to sound that you speak of, it usually (but not always) indicates the individual has Hyperacusis. This can mean the tinnitus was caused by noise trauma to the auditory system, also known as Noise induced tinnitus.

      You may find my post: Hyperacusis, As I see it, in the link that I have given you helpful.

      I wish you well.
      Michael
       
    17. hans799
      Mellow

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Hungary
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      Lenire. Their website is www.lenire.com. There is an Experiences thread in the Treatments category here where you'll find posts from people who use it, and a Discussion thread which is probably the largest and most active thread on this forum.

      Please start with the Experiences thread first and form your own judgement based on actual testimonials. The Discussion thread can be an emotional rollercoaster to read. :)
       
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    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Michael,

      I was sensitive to sound (like other people on cell phones, airplanes, intrusive technology) long before the tinnitus set in. Is the noise sensitivity a precursor to tinnitus?

      I am in hell right now. The ringing is non stop. My sister gave me some old kolonopin and still no relief. Can't sleep.

      I am starting to realize the seriousness of this condition. I will not live this way. I am already thinking bad thoughts.
       
    19. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @BrianW.

      I am sorry to know that you are going through a difficult time at the moment and believe your tinnitus is caused by noise trauma, as a result of playing in a rock band for many years, or at least contributed to it. I know things are difficult for you now but try not to give up. The important thing is to try and lower your anxiety and stress which tinnitus can cause when it is severe. Please see your doctor, who may prescribe something to help reduce anxiety and stress so you don't focus on bad thoughts.

      Your over sensitivity to sound could have been a precursor to the full onset of tinnitus, as it's usually related to exposure to loud noise/sounds, which can make the auditory system become hypersensitive to sound. Thinking back 24 years ago before the full onset of my tinnitus due to using headphones at too high a volume. I remember I was very sensitive to sound but hadn't a clue at the time the cause of it. If I only knew then what I know now. Alas, I try not to dwell on the passed as this cannot be changed.

      As I have suggested Brian, please see your doctor and take things from there. When you are able to please read my articles in the links I have given you. Try to avoid quiet rooms and surroundings by using low level sound enrichment.

      Take care and hope you start to feel better soon.

      Michael
       
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    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks Michael. I have a fan on. Perhaps that is low level sound enrichment.
       
    21. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      A fan is better than nothing @BrianW. but it's not ideal. The reason being its level of sound cannot be adjusted like nature sounds from a dedicated sound machine. You can download nature sounds from YouTube to your mobile phone if you wish - Bluetooth the phone to an external speaker for increased quality of sound which will be better than from the phone's internal speaker. If you don't want to do this then buy a sound machine. I recommend Sound Oasis sound machines. Model S-650 is popular.

      The purpose of using sound enrichment is to set it at a level below the tinnitus or to create background sound without drawing attention to itself. A fan will often be competing with the tinnitus or masking it which is not the best thing to do.

      Michael
       
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    22. ASilverLight
      In pain

      ASilverLight Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      That's the question.
      ETD was diagnosed. I'm one of those people who gets colds all the time. I caught a bad one in September that never fully resolved and to this day is still dragging on. I wasn't able to take a single break to rest from onset of that cold until the start of this year... tinnitus came on right then. I've also had fluid buildup for a while now. Neck resulted from a fall. Suspected whiplash, but a physical therapist noted a lot of tension etc in my neck. Lots of normal range movements my neck refuses to do.

      In all honesty though, my tinnitus is the result of a lot of 'minor' factors that otherwise wouldn't have caused anything, yet all of these combined resulted in 4-10 different sounds. Not all are present all the time (and I can make them softer/louder with posture) and most are super somatic in nature.

      As for your other question, yes, if your tinnitus is caused by neck issues, then physical therapy can help. There are a few other members with similar experiences who have been able to get relief from physical therapy. If it isn't due to neck issues, then it likely won't have much of an effect, but everything is worth a try imo.
       
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    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I can't sleep. I went hard with alcohol the other night - something I hadn't done in years. This is awful.
       
    24. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      No one can predict how tinnitus will act. Only time will tell if it improves. You need to protect your ears as much as you can. Try to reduce your stress levels and gain support. Keep a journal, see what helps you out and what does not.
       
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    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I'm thinking about asking doc for Xanax.
       
    26. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      You could ask for Amitriptyline. It isn't addictive and it doesn't make one feel drowsy the next morning. It has even been used as a treatment for tinnitus. Like all potential tinnitus treatments (and like Xanax), a small minority of people who take Amitriptyline get permanent tinnitus spikes...
       
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    27. Jack V

      Jack V Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Something Wicked This Way Comes
      Since your onset was recent, I would first focus on treatments. During the acute phase, there's a kind of golden window during which certain treatments may be effective, but as time passes, they become less and less effective.

      For example, steroids - prednisone - oral or via intratympanic injection - can aid healing in the early days.

      I would therefore aggressively seek out time-sensitive treatments with an ENT ASAP!

      Good luck!
       
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    28. Harley

      Harley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      The rule of thumb is that the longer you have tinnitus, the more likely it is permanent.

      The general concensus seems to lean towards the 2 year mark.

      If it hasn't gone away by then, it most likely won't.
      Yours is still too early to tell.
       
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    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrianW.

      BrianW. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks a lot. This is the most promising scenario yet. Aside from prednisone, what are some of the other time sensitive treatments?

      FYI: I just rescheduled for an earlier appointment with my ENT. It's tomorrow now. I will ask him for a prednisone treatment. What else can I ask for?
       
    30. Jack V

      Jack V Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Something Wicked This Way Comes
      That's great!

      Prednisone for sure - oral (at a sufficient dose) with a taper seems to be fairly standard.

      Sometimes the ENT will use intratympanic injections directly into the ears instead of an oral regimen, or as salvage therapy (if the oral dose didn't do much but they still think an intratympanic injection might help).

      Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is another treatment that has been reported to increase the chances of a positive outcome, particularly if started early enough. There's a thread on it here (summary: mixed results among forum participants, and expensive).

      Some antidepressants such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline have also been helpful for some people - not simply as antidepressants but somehow mitigating the tinnitus itself.

      Serc (betahistine) is a drug repurposed from Meniere's disease. Although widely prescribed, not a lot of people seem to rave about appreciable benefits (a thread about it here too).
       
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