Will it subside? Will it get worse?

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (Archived Answers)' started by Greg Clarke, Oct 14, 2014.

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    1. Greg Clarke

      Greg Clarke Member Benefactor

      Wicklow, Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Live Music
      Hi Dr. Nagler,

      I'll try keep this short. I've had tinnitus 8 years, I was always in bands etc. Since I noticed it first I've always done my best to protect my ears and would have considered the symptoms to be very mild, I can honestly say it never changed in pitch and tone over 8 years

      Around a month ago, my tinnitus got a lot louder. I've been the route of GP and ENT/Audiologist/MRI and they are satisfied there are no underlying conditions. The ENT was fairly knowledgeable about tinnitus and I was happy enough with his assessment. He seemed confident that this new level I'm hearing would subside over time. You've written yourself on more than one occasion on this forum that for most it does subside.

      So I guess I've two questions

      1. Do you stand over that statement that for some people, it can resolve/subside over time?

      2. If it doesn't subside, is it possible to expect another increase in volume in the future? i.e. should I worry about every bit of noise I'm going to be around from now on or should I take confidence in what the ENT said? I think on the whole I've coped well with the increase in volume but I do fear that it could happen again and find myself being worried by every day sounds, including the sound of my own kids and i'm afraid to listen to music at the moment!!

      Anyway, If you have an opinion on either of the above, I'd be grateful. I mentioned last time I asked a question that I think it's fantastic you've made yourself available to do this. If you're able to give the time to answer these queries please reccommend some worthy tinnitus research and I'll be sure to make a donation.

    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Yes, I do. You have had tinnitus for some eight years, so the chance that it will go away completely is not great - but it can still happen. However as far as the increase in volume goes? It's only been a month - so there's a very good chance that it will settle back down to its previous level. There's also a possibility that your brain's baseline will shift so that even though your tinnitus doesn't settle back down, you will no longer be aware of the increase. And then there's habituation, which most often happens totally on its own. So, sure, I stand by my statement. What I cannot do is predict exactly what will happen and when - because as I have said many times, the only predictable thing about tinnitus is its unpredictability.

      Hard to know what to expect (see last sentence above). But you've gone eight years without an increase, so I wouldn't conduct my life overly concerned about something that has happened only once in eight years. The sounds to try to avoid are those noise levels wherein you must raise your own voice in order to be heard by a person standing next to you. So if that's the case, cover your ears, use plugs, or leave. But as far as avoiding everyday sounds, music, etc. go, your auditory system needs such sounds. It thrives on such sounds. The detection, processing, and evaluation of such sounds are why you have an auditory system in the first place! Do not deprive your auditory system of its nourishment!

      Sure. There's a fellow named David Craig Muller who passed away a few weeks ago. I did not know him, but some other folks on the board did. Anyway, his family asked that those who are so moved make a donation to the American Tinnitus Association in his memory. So I think that would be a fine thing for you to do. It's what I did.

      All the best -

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
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