Why Do Some People Get Tinnitus and Others Don't?

Discussion in 'Support' started by seal, Oct 16, 2013.

    1. seal

      seal Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      I suffer from noise induced tinnitus from a concert (rarely went to clubs, concerts, etc. before). Friends went with me and none of them developed tinnitus afterwards.

      And lately I've been wondering, how come that so many people go out every weekend to loud gigs and clubs all night, listen to their iPods on full volume and don't have tinnitus?

      In your opinion, particularly with noise induced tinnitus, why do some people develop it from onetime events when others never experience tinnitus in their lives?
       
    2. erik
      Cool

      erik Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      That is one of the great mysteries of tinnitus and life. Just like why do up to 30% of deaf people have tinnitus? And why do some people with severe hearing loss have no tinnitus? I have no measurable hearing loss, yet I have tinnitus!

      We may never know the answers to these questions. Our bodies are so similar yet so different. Some people are more susceptible to certain conditions than others. Heart disease runs in my family. Cancer does not. However, the opposite may be true of your family.
       
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    3. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      I think part of this puzzle also is due to the fact that tinnitus involves the brain, the most complicated and mysterious organ in our bodies, as much as it does the ears.

      We know that genetics can play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, a devastating neurological condition where plaques and tangles develop within the brain and cause cell death. Yet no one knows exactly what triggers this process to begin. They have done studies on identical twins, with the exact same genetic makeup. One twin will develop Alzheimer's in his 60s while the other may come down with the disorder in his 80s -- or never.

      I do think some things pre-dispose us to tinnitus -- just as some things, like repeated blunt trauma to the head, does for Alzheimers's. It seems tinnitus is more likely to come to people who naturally are anxious, or who were going through a very stressful period when their exposure happened. But that's just my opinion.
       
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    4. Relic Hunter
      Cynical

      Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1990
      If we knew the answer to why some people get tinnitus and others don't we would be well on the way to finding a cure. True according to data that about 90 percent of people, myself included, have hearing loss. However there
      are people here on this forum with completely normal hearing who have tinnitus.

      I know people in my family with far greater hearing loss than I do but no tinnitus. If we could obtain data I believe that the great majority of people with hearing loss do not have tinnitus at all.

      I cannot find my source now but remembering reading one time that just about all people who have tinnitus have a TYPE A personality. In the end when a cure comes it will be more the functioning of the brain itself than the mechanics of the ear.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      seal

      seal Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      What do you mean by TYPE A personality?
       
    6. Relic Hunter
      Cynical

      Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1990
      TYPE A personalities are high strung and TYPE B are the more laid back easy going type. However I think this is just a very generalization of the types.

      A far better explanation of the types can be found on the web than I can try and explain here.

      I do believe that stress plays a great part in the onslaught of tinnitus. The greatest number of people in one group with tinnitus that I know are veterans. My local VA hospital has about 800 and these are all managed by one very good doctor. He told me that in almost all cases these people were also undergoing stress. In the case of the military this is often referred to as POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. It does not matter if this stress is combat related or not. The psychological and chemical process going on in the brain is the same regardless of the source of the stress.

      In my own case I had moderate to severe hearing loss for years with tinnitus so mild I had to listen for it. It was a period of extreme stress that turned up the volume.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      seal

      seal Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Thank you! Yes, I just read about A and B Personalities... never heard of it before. I'm definitely Type A, I have to admit.
      Anyways, what you are saying totally makes sense to me... btw if you find the source, I would love to see it.
       
    8. MT09
      Inspired

      MT09 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Prefer not to say.
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress induced.
      Wonderful question! Uncertainty; most important part in our life. You never know what's going to happen to you, and what happens to you, may never happen to another and it usually doesn't! It's a miracle how a 65 year old person could have a very complicated heart surgery done, and live for an extra 20 years with no problems whatsoever, and a 20 year old person who merely got a teeth pulled out gets the tinnitus and has to suffer throughout his life. Same goes with everything in life. There's always pain & gain for different people. You can put two people under same conditions, and yet see varied results. It's the effect of our lifestyle.

      When we talk about noise induced tinnitus, it's a common misconception IMO that people think they got it ONLY because of a one time gig. Some cases, yes, it might be due to a one time clubbing where the music was too loud and it damaged the ears and caused tinnitus. But usually, I don't think that's the case. I've seen so many people who frequently go to clubs, who work at construction sites constantly exposed to loud sounds, etc. Many don't have tinnitus or hearing loss. Of course, they will have some problems in the future. But in your case, you mention you got tinnitus due to a concert. Yes, that could be the reason. Alternatively, you may be unaware that you had been exposed to loud sounds when you were a kid. Looking back at all the years, I now feel that there were too many reasons my ears could have been damaged(my ears don't have any damage right now, I'm just saying that many situations existed). People bursting firecrackers, friends at school shouting in the ears as a prank, the teacher yelling standing right next to me, truck horn being honked when I was next to it, etc. While these come off as normal scenarios, these often do cause problems. We may not notice anything significant, but all these add up and cause problems.

      Just a few days ago, I saw a man hold his daughter, probably a year old, and was talking to her sweetly. He then starts snapping his fingers and she starts laughing. He continues doing that and he starts snapping near her ears. He then starts making some weird squeaking sound to make her happy. He's holding her up and making that sound right next to her ears! That's when I realized not everything in your hands. That poor kid could have hearing problems right then! When she grows up, she'll never know what happened. She'll be told she was born that way and there was a problem with her hearing since birth.

      And finally, hereditary. Lots of problems are hereditary. You're born that way, there's just nothing you can do about it. It depends on your luck I guess. I've seen people with so many problems and others with absolutely no problem. It's really bad when we compare those two extremes. But anyway, I've also observed that if one lives a comfortable life initially, life always gets you in the end. One either starts living with small problems throughout their life, or they enjoy their life first, and get something big in the end. Some exceptions do exist.

      Like you, I wonder how people have their iPods at high volume and yet manage without any problems. But I tell ya, they're gonna get it someday soon. Right now it's all fine. In future, there's gonna be some or the other problem associated with it. It's just the way it is, you've got nothing that can be done. Everything has it's ups and downs. Me, I just can't lay off of McDonald's delicious burgers. I've reduced a lot though, I visit McDonqle'w once in 2 months only. But I know very well that it's gonna affect me in future.

      Summing up everything, I mean to say that everyone gets some or the other problem in life. Those who don't, are extremely lucky! To each, their problem is usually the worst according to them. Us tinnitus sufferers sometimes think that having some other disease or disorder is better than living with a noise all the time. And people with those diseases think it's better to live with a sound than with a disease all day. One knows how it is only when they experience it. Life sure is weird! :rolleyes:
       
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    9. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      This definitely applies to me, I've always been the anxious type and my tinnitus got the better of me when my father was battling cancer, it was rough.

      I wish I had been alot smarter over the years though, I spent 8 years dancing for hours and hours in front of massive speaker stacks in very large clubs with no protection, then on top of that spent a lot of my time working on music composition, sound engineering, DJing and what not. It was ridiculous! I'm lucky my hearing is still really good (even up to 20 kHz) - it's just the tinnitus/hyperacusis (pain)/tensor tympani syndrome causing me grief now.
       
    10. Adaś
      Curious

      Adaś Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Switzerland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones, Stress, Rock concerts
      I am digging out this old thread as I am also interested in answering that! I think many of us do. I think if we get the answer to that question, we will likely solve the whole tinnitus mystery.

      How come so many people do NOT get tinnitus despite being exposed to loud noise and music? Why prevalence of tinnitus among (rock, metal, you name it) musicians is relatively low despite most of them being exposed to unsafe levels decibels?

      I strongly believe that there are some other important factors that play a role in activation of tinnitus symptoms. These could be genetic predisposition, stress, diet, etc. Anyone's aware of the studies / papers going into that direction?
       
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    11. Christiaan
      Vegged out

      Christiaan Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      The Hague, the Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bloody headphones in 2016,worsened in 2020
      Ey @Adaś. Genes can certainly play a role. Tinnitus & hyperacusis seems to be more prevalent in people on the autism spectrum, according to a research by Danesh, et al (2015). At least this partially explains why I am one of those unfortunate Aspies who have a severe case of tinnitus.

      Title:
      Tinnitus and hyperacusis in autism spectrum disorders with emphasis on high functioning individuals diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome

      Results:
      A total of 55 subjects diagnosed with AS were included in the analysis (15.5% response rate). Sixty-nine percent of all respondents (38/55) reported hyperacusis with an average HQ score of 20.7. Furthermore, 35% (19/55) reported perceiving tinnitus with average scores of 27 for the TRQ and 23 for the THI. Thirty-one percent (17/55) reported both hyperacusis and tinnitus. The prevalence of hyperacusis in the AS respondents remained relatively constant across age groups

      Conclusion:
      Hyperacusis and tinnitus are more prevalent in the ASD population subgroup diagnosed with AS under DSM-IV criteria than in the general public. Hyperacusis also appears to be more prevalent in the AS population than in the ASD population at large. Future research is warranted to provide insight into the possible correlation between tinnitus and hyperacusis symptoms and the abnormal social interactions observed in this group.

      Link:
      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0165587615003596
       
    12. Martinf
      Balanced

      Martinf Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      stress
      Some people are more vulnerable to loud sounds than others. Genetics plays a big role in this. We only know a little about tinnitus, it is not just the brain trying to compensate for the lost input, I know many people with perfect hearing, some of them can hear up to 18/19 kHz and they have tinnitus, while others have mild and moderate hearing loss with no tinnitus.

      In my case, my left ear hears much better than the right one, however my tinnitus is louder in left ear and quieter in right ear. It would make much more sense if it was the opposite. Why is this? Nobody knows.
       

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