Will My Tinnitus Get Worse?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Michael Leigh, Dec 17, 2020.

    1. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Will my tinnitus get worse?

      I visit a number of tinnitus groups and correspond with people by email and telephone. Three questions are often asked: When will a cure be found, will I habituate, and will my tinnitus get worse?

      On my started threads there are posts on habituation and how to achieve it. We are all different so the process will not be the same for everyone. Some people have a lot of difficulty acquiring it for various reasons. I have addressed the issue of when will a cure be found for tinnitus. It is just my opinion and not absolute and ask that all my posts are viewed as such. They are based on personal experience and gathering information during correspondence with people affected by this condition. It has been a learning curve and also enlightening when certain topics and questions keep occurring, one in particular: Will my tinnitus get worse? It is natural to ask this question because tinnitus can be very distressing.

      The way a lot of people acquire tinnitus broadly fits into four main categories: an underlying medical condition within the auditory system, noise induced, medication or some sort of injury particularly to the head. It can also appear for no apparent reason. Again, these are examples as there are probably others. When tinnitus is caused by an underlying medical condition, medication or injury, I think it's best to seek the advice of a doctor and also one that specialises in ENT as this is their area of expertise.

      Tinnitus that is noise induced will usually improve with time and once habituation is achieved, remains this way for many years. For this to happen there are a few things to keep in mind. Hyperacusis often accompanies noise induced tinnitus and comes in various degrees of severity. It can improve by itself without specialist treatment that I've mentioned in my thread: Hyperacusis, As I See It. If hyperacusis doesn't improve naturally or specialist treatment is not sought, then it can become a problem and cause the tinnitus to spike even though a person has habituated.

      Reactive tinnitus is something that I don't believe in and have given my reasons. When a person habituates to noise induced tinnitus which can take up to two years from onset, with our without specialist treatment, hyperacusis is no longer a problem. Please be aware you are never completely out of the woods and need to be careful. Some people are lulled into a belief, because their tinnitus is low, they can attend clubs, concerts where loud music is played as wearing earplugs they will be completely safe – unfortunately this is not necessarily true as external sound, when too loud can pass through the head/skull and transfer to the inner ear by bone conduction and spike the tinnitus. It might reduce to its previous manageable level but can also increase to a new permanent one.

      The use of headphones, earbuds, and headsets are often discussed in tinnitus forums. Many people having habituated to noise induced tinnitus return to using these devices and their tinnitus increases. It may not immediately but the risk is always there that the tinnitus could steadily increase using them even at low volume. Some people are not adversely affected by these products so the choice rests with the individual on whether to use them.

      Considering how severe and debilitating tinnitus can be, my advice is to be careful of being around loud sounds and not to use headphones, earbuds or headsets even at low volumes.

      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 2
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. DRobi

      DRobi Member

      Location:
      Saint Petersburg, Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Presbycusis
      Michael: Your post does not address tinnitus caused by age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis. I am 66 and had a sudden onset of tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      Subsequently, I was determined to have high frequency hearing loss, not directly related to noise exposure. Not sure what my prognosis will be for tinnitus worsening. I am very much avoiding exposure to new loud noises.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @DRobi

      Thank you for your comments Doug. My post is written to address tinnitus caused by exposure to loud noise, with or without hyperacusis.

      Presbycusis is age related hearing loss, in your case tinnitus and hyperacusis also accompany it and there could be various reasons for this. Therefore, your hearing loss with tinnitus comes under the category of an "underlying medical problem within the auditory system". I have said in my post this needs the intervention of an ENT doctor because this is a specialist area. At some point, you may also need a referral to an Audiologist for hearing aid(s) Your Audiologist may also discuss with you treatment for tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      You are correct, high frequency hearing loss with or without tinnitus is not always a result of exposure to loud noise.

      I hope you are able to get the help that you need.

      All the best
      Michael
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    4. candytree82

      candytree82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cephalcoele & Mucus Retention Cyst- Possbily, still testing
      The worsening tinnitus is definitely a fear I have. I have read all of your posts, and often come back to them when I need to reassure myself that “this too will pass”. I have been using OTO - a Tinnitus CBT/ Sound Therapy app and I purchased the full plan. It seems to be very helpful and allows me to play it whenever/wherever I need. I have trashed all my headphones. Even if my tinnitus heals fully, I will not use in-ear headphones ever again, and will limit the over ears (currently I use none and it’s all on speaker).

      Would you be willing to give me additional advice? I am not sure if my tinnitus is noise induced or medically induced but I would like advice on how to move forward in navigating this situation. Your advice I have read so far has been so helpful. Thank you!

      All the best.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for your kind comments candytree82. Good to hear that you have stopped using headphones even though your tinnitus might not be noise induced. You are reading my posts the way I intended and that is referring to them often. This helps to reinforce positivity which is something that takes time to acquire, so well done. It is good to hear that you are finding the Tinnitus CBT sound therapy app helpful.

      Please feel free to ask any questions and I will try to help.

      All the best,
      Michael
       
    6. DaveFromChicago

      DaveFromChicago Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headcold/Flu
      To Michael Leigh:

      You frequently state that "Tinnitus that is noise induced will usually improve with time and once habituation is achieved, remains this way for many years."

      I can state emphatically that this has not been the case with me.

      Has this been empirically verifiable through some sort of clinically administered testing, or is this just based on your subjective, anecdotally received commentaries?

      The very sobering fact (and I so wish that this were not true) is that such a comment has been contradicted by too-many-to-remember posters on this forum.

      Doesn't tinnitus that is noise induced almost always involve tissue damage to the cilia and/or aural nerve?

      How can you be so sure that such compromised organs will remain in absolutely the same state without further degeneration?

      Especially when, in my case, aging involves the inevitable degeneration of such already undermined organs.

      What, in fact, is there within the body that remains in a perpetual stasis? Does your blood pressure? Or your rate of heart beat? Or your cholesterol level? Or, in fact, anything?

      Specifically, how can habituation have any bearing whatsoever on the possible further degeneration of such tissues and hence the worsening of tinnitus?

      Are you suggesting that just having a positive outlook will somehow improve the performance of these anatomically compromised organs?

      My ENT Doctor said that from the Flu I might have a virus lodged somewhere in my inner ear, and at times it can be dormant (with low tinnitus volume) or active (with high volume).

      Given such fluctuations, how can habituation possibly influence what a viral particle does or does not do?
       
    7. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Short answer: it means most will habituate and not get worse if they protect themselves... but yeah I got a tad worse too.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      When I submitted: Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? to this forum, I made a mistake and submitted an earlier draft which should have read differently. When I realized my mistake the time had elapsed for me to edit it.

      Please do not alert me again, as I have no wish to correspond with you. I visit this forum to help people if possible and to not engage in arguments.

      Goodbye and I wish you well.
      Michael
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Well said Wrfortiscue.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. DaveFromChicago

      DaveFromChicago Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headcold/Flu
      To Wrfortiscue:

      I cannot believe in your simplistic, sophomoric interpretation of my comments.

      I sometimes ask myself why I bother in an effort to be as articulate and reasoned as I can when I receive a response like this.

      Such an unfortunate response will not prevent me in the slightest from asking legitimate, scientifically oriented questions whenever I feel the need for clarification.

      Did it ever occur to either you or Michael Leigh that others on this Forum might have the same concerns and questions regarding such masses of orotund, confused rhetoric?
       
    11. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I meant most, not all lol. I understand some have it severe enough that nothing will help. Hopefully I understood what you were trying to say.
       
Loading...

Share This Page