Help Appreciated Please: Hi I am new to... - British Tinnitus ...

British Tinnitus Association
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Help Appreciated Please

SI_Blue
SI_Blue

Hi I am new to the site and would appreciate some help please. In 2013 I gave up Deejaying as I noticed I was having 4000 hertz pitched spikes during the day that would last 10 seconds or so before my hearing resumed to normal with no sounds whatsoever. I went for an hearing test and was told I had age related hearing loss but nothing serious. I stopped playing music and returned for another test a year later with no change in loss.

Since that time I have continued to have daily spikes maybe 4 or 5 a day that again last no longer than a few seconds before my hearing returns to normal with no indication of background tinnitus.

I became unwell with wellness issues in 2016 and was given antidepressants that caused me more problems than they were solving.

Eventually last year I agreed to take 15mg of Mirtazapine and Diazipam. I have been on this until 3 weeks ago when my psychiatrist insisted I up my dose of Mirtazapine to 30mg.

19 days after the increase I woke up one morning with an high pitched 4000 hertz tone in my head. I went to hospital and they said no wax blockages in my ears and told me to make an appointment with my doctor.

I saw my doctor this week and I said I had never suffered this before and the only common denominator was my increase in Mirtazapine. I asked for assurances that if I continued the Mirtazapine at the higher dose I would not be increasing my chances of Ototoxic permanent damage. He was not prepared to put his name to my concerns and as now referred me to ENT Specialist.

I spoke to Psychiatrist and she told me to reduce the dose and eventually taper off which I find concerning as that seems like admission to Ototoxic possibility.

I reduced my dose anyway before speaking to doctor etc, so I have now reduced my dose down to 15mg for the last 5 nights and this high pitched sound as not once stopped since it started and it's driving me to insanity.

My question is, I can this be a spike that is none sound related and will it calm down, or am I possibly damaged for life. Even though this sound is unrelenting I have also heard my usual daily spikes on top of this sound that like usual last only a few seconds which is frightening me even more, that this could be permanent.

Any advice is truly appreciated.

9 Replies
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Hidden
Hidden

HI Sl_Blue

As you know your tinnitus spikes were caused by exposure to loud sound from deejaying, so you were right give it up. The continuing spikes that you are having could be brought on by the medication that you are taking due to an underlying problem within your auditory system which is the tinnitus.

However, if you are still exposing your ears to loud sounds, this could be playing music at home, in the car or using headphones which I believe is a definite NO, for people with noise induced tinnitus, this is the likely cause of your tinnitus spikes. Please be aware, if it is exposure to loud sounds and using headphones that is causing your spikes. If you continue they are likely to become worse which will most probably result in increased prolonged tinnitus. Sorry to sound so sobering but "loud noise/sounds" and tinnitus, especially "noise induced" tinnitus do not go well together.

If you are using headphones then I strongly advise you not to use them even at low volume. If you are listening to loud music at home then I advise you to turn down the volume. If you are going to clubs or concerts, it would be a good idea to stay away from these venues for a while. Perhaps a couple of months. When you resume then use "noise reducing" earplugs that have filters. 18 to 30 decibels attenuation should suffice.

Please read my post below that you might find helpful: Are spikes from loud noise permanent?

All the best

Michael

Are spikes from loud noise permanent?

Someone recently asked me, whether a spike in tinnitus caused by loud noise would be permanent? I don’t think there is a definitive answer, because tinnitus is a complex condition and if hyperacusis is also present it can complicate matters further. Some people habituate to tinnitus but their hyperacusis hasn’t fully cured and this can cause tinnitus to spike.

When a person first develops tinnitus and it was caused by loud noise they have to be careful in future. Tinnitus can and does spike for many people and this is not necessarily caused by loud noise or sounds. After a while it usually returns to baseline or into its normal rhythm.

Danger can present itself after a person habituates and the tinnitus has reduced to mild or moderate levels for most of the time. If one isn’t careful, it can be easy to forget and slip back into the old lifestyle of: listening to music through headphones. Attending clubs, concerts and the cinema where sound levels can be quite high.

I believe a person with tinnitus should attend clubs, concerts and the cinema if they want to, providing they use noise-reducing earplugs to protect themselves. However, one should remember that nothing is one hundred percent safe.

My advice is to stay clear of large standing floor speakers and if you’re at a concert don’t go to near the front stage where the music is likely to be booming out at high sound levels. In many instances people will get a warning when visiting these places. If the decibel levels are too high their tinnitus might spike. Usually the tinnitus will return to baseline. However, some people do not pay attention to these warnings and continue to subject their ears to loud sounds and think they are perfectly safe because they are wearing earplugs. Under these circumstances the tinnitus might spike again and this time it might become permanent.

I am saying might because nothing is for certain. In my opinion a person with tinnitus needs to follow the warnings their auditory system and tinnitus is telling them.

Regarding headphones. Many people have contacted me after they have habituated to tinnitus and returned to using headphones and listened to music through them at low volume. All of them have noticed an increase in their tinnitus. Some of them noticed their tinnitus spiked but carried on listening to music through headphones and then the tinnitus increased to a higher and more permanent level. It must be said that some people with tinnitus use headphones and have no adverse effects and that is perfectly fine.

My opinion on this is, anyone that has tinnitus that was originally caused by "loud noise" shouldn’t listen to any type of audio through headphones even at low level.

It saddens to say, if a person doesn’t heed the warning signs their auditory system and tinnitus is telling them, then they might regret it, because tinnitus is very unforgiving. It is fine when some people are telling others what they want to hear: "listen to music through headphones because life is for living". “Go to the club as often as possible you’re safe with earplugs.

If your tinnitus increases you will be the one that will be in the suffering.

I have read many posts where people had habituated and the tinnitus is low. They

returned to listening to music through headphones and clubbing during the week and weekends. Some are now regretting this because their tinnitus has increased and they are in distress. Just because a person habituates doesn't mean they can forget everything and carry on in some instances recklessly.

You can of course do this but my advice is to do things in moderation and not to excess, because the end result is often returning to ENT for help and visiting tinnitus forums because you are unable to cope.

SI_Blue
SI_Blue
in reply to Hidden

Thank you for your reply Michael it's much appreciated.

I do not really listen to music anymore and my life at home is normally without background noise, I love peace and quiet. And my favourite place is the countryside. All places with less noise than usual.

I tried to mask the noise with low headphone light Soundwaves and quickly realised that might be a bad idea.

The problem I have is because I like no noise at home the high pitch is so intrusive right now and stressing me out.

Since the spike I have noticed loud noises from traffic are louder etc.

I have some ACS Pro hearing protectors that I had specially designed for me when the problem originally started but because I stopped playing music almost instantly I have rarely had to use them.

Should I use them at any point right now? I don't go in bars, clubs, concerts etc.

Regards

NicBTA
NicBTAAdministrator
in reply to SI_Blue

Hello and welcome to the British Tinnitus Association forum. Do feel free to ask any questions, I hope that you find this a helpful and supportive place to help you manage your tinnitus.

We have some resources that you might like to check out in addition to our home here:

tinnitus.org.uk

takeontinnitus.co.uk

And our site about music and sound plugem.co.uk

Helpline 0800 018 0527 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm) (outside the UK you can call +44 (0)114 250 9922)

Spikes do generally resolve. And although Michael's experience with headphones hasn't been great, most people with tinnitus can use them, as long as they are careful about the length of time they are used, and the volumes used.

Warmest wishes

Nic (BTA Communications Manager and Forum Administrator)

SI_Blue
SI_Blue
in reply to NicBTA

Thank you NicBTA

I contacted you via phone on Tuesday and registered on your sites also. I guess when you have a major spike for the first time it's only natural to freek out. Especially with no common denominator apart from an increase in Medication.

The 4000 hertz sound range I am hearing is unrelenting, i just hope I am lucky and this will end.

Many thanks

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to SI_Blue

HI Blue,

One of the worst things for tinnitus is silence particularly at night. I advise you not to use your earplugs unnecessarily because if you do, it will result in lowing the loudness threshold of your auditory system. This will make your ears more sensitive to sound.

I get the feeling you also have hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound) this often accompanies tinnitus and comes in different levels of severity. Please click on the links below and read my post: Hyperacusis, as I see it. . Start using sound enrichment during the day and using a sound machine at night by your bedside would be a good idea in my opinion.

Michael

healthunlocked.com/bta/post....

PS: I have written an article on tinnitus (Tinnitus, A Personal View) that covers most aspects of the condition. From when a patient first sees their ENT doctor for a consultation. Tests and treatments are covered including hyperacusis. If you would like a copy of this document, please send me a private message with you email address. Please do not post it in the main forum.

All the best

Michael

SI_Blue
SI_Blue
in reply to Hidden

Cheers Michael

Just read it, I am not sure what I can say, I hate noise like people eating, doors being closed or slammed etc.

I have a neighbours that in my opinion don't know how to use a door handle correctly or the mechanisms of how it is very easy to close a door without the slamming noise. I also have the problem of constant doors being closed which irritates me. I can count the amount of times the door as been closed in an hour and if that is constant like about once every ten minutes I find it excessive and wonder why on earth someone feels the need to be in and out of doors repetitively.

Maybe that is more irritable neighbours or my issues. I've moved 4 times since 2010 and found the noise from neighbours on each occasion to be excessive. So I am not sure what to make of it all. They could be just noisy people and my expectations are just too much as I am considerate and close doors correctly without slamming them etc.

I most definitely have some form of Misophonia that's for sure. But maybe that's because I am conscious of the noise I make in every aspect of my life.

Helicopters, motorbikes startle me outside the home or large trucks. Apart from that I am ok.

I think all the above is why I know I never suffered background tinnitus before last week because I love my peace and would most definitely have noticed it before now.

Thank you for the information you have provided it is very informative.

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to SI_Blue

HI Blue,

Thanks for your kind comments and the additional information you have provided. If it's possible you need to try and address your intolerance to sound. One way of doing this is to use sound enrichment during the day and try to stop wanting to be around silence, as it's not good for tinnitus. It sounds as if you do have some hyperacusis, possibly a little phonophobia and misophonia. I think you have done some research of your own on these conditions. Please click on the link below and read my post: complexities with tinnitus and hyperacusis, that you might find helpful.

Best of luck

Michael

healthunlocked.com/bta/post...

SI_Blue
SI_Blue
in reply to Hidden

Michael

Thanks once again for the information provided.

I can pinpoint around the year 2010 when I had noisy neighbours that lead me to rent my home out and move out. The neighbours were eventually told to find somewhere else to live as other people complained too.

I made the mistake of moving into 3 different apartment blocks that only caused me more misery. I had a lot going on with deaths etc and was my slow decline into Depression and Anxiety. I obviously at that time did not know what was happening.

With a stressful job I eventually moved back into my own home to find one of my neighbours was rather noisy in my opinion, screaming at a naughty child half the time and people charging around all the time. I just could get no sanctuary after coming home from a very stressful job.

August 2016 saw me eventually hit breaking point and became very unwell. Antidepressants given to me caused more distress and exasserbated my problems so I refused to take them after it made my mild depression more severe.

Last year I agreed to take a small dose of Mirtazapine 15mg and 20mg of Diazipam a day, which I have now reduced to 5mg a day. I just wanted peace and quiet and would often take off to Snowdonia and the Lake District.

I was getting better but not enough and that is why my meds were increased 3 weeks ago.

It's obvious I unfortunately have issues with sound, but for my Tinnitus to spike for no obvious reason leads me to believe the spike must be the increase as in all the time I have had tinnitus my spikes lasted no longer than 10 seconds a few times a day before normal hearing resumed.

I am now 6 days into reducing my meds back down to 15mg. I stopped the increased dose within 2 days of hearing the spike so I just really hope this will be short lived due to no noise exposure.

I am being sent to ENT Specialist so I hope that is a positive outcome.

When you like living in peace and now that what I love is causing me distress as it exposes the spike I do not know which way to turn.

Anxiety is an issue anyway so it's even harder not to worry. What I have found is, what you try to ignore becomes impossible. I have tried to sit in silence with the noise to try to make friends and it just gets louder. Unfortunately Diazipam eases the problem a little but I've gone back up to 10mg which is a big step backwards as I was on my way to reducing it even further.

Anyway I really appreciate your time for replying to me as I now feel more isolated than ever. Depression & Anxiety alone is enough to deal with but I must admit it more Anxiety than Depression since December.

Regards

Hidden
Hidden
in reply to SI_Blue

I hope things improve soon for you blue,

Take care and all the best

Michael

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