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allancurran

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 #1 

I saw your posts on FB last night and I recalled your name from many years ago when forums where more popular than FB.  I’m hoping perhaps you can offer me some advice.

I’ve had Tinnitus for 25 years now – original started following an ear operation [insertion of grommits] followed by an ear infection treated with gentamicin drops.  After the usual depths of despair; I eventually habituated and got on with life.  10 years later I developed TMJ in my left jaw, which introduced the most horrendous noise.  Again, the depths of despair BUT this noise went away after 4 months or so.

I have louder days; normal days and the odd quite day.  Over the past year I have been learning to play piano, mainly a digital [so I could lower or raise the sound level] but recently purchased an upright acoustic which at its max can reach 85 decibels.  But I’m an amateur player.

Two weeks ago I played it, stupidly left out my musicians ear plugs and the following morning woke up with my predominant noise much louder and also bell tinkling shimmering sound in the opposite ear.  These noises have persisted at varying levels throughout the day – very troublesome at night.  Suffice to say I’m back at the pits of despair – poor sleep; feeling anxious; worrying; smoking cigars heavily.

What’s your experience with noise induced spikes?  Do they tend to settle or fade or remain the same?  I’m really miffed as I wasn’t playing that long; playing like an amateur and I’ve been exposed to loud sound before then with no issues – concerts/cinema etc

I know you cant answer what are my chances of it settling down but what’s your experience?  How do I get myself back to that inner place where I’m at peace with my tinnitus. Please?

Dr. Nagler

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 #2 
Hello Allan -

Thank you for your inquiry.

My experience with noise-induced spikes is that they almost always settle back down - or (in the worse case) you accommodate to a new normal. From what you describe above, there is simply no way that your playing the piano resulted in any actual auditory damage - so I suspect you'll be just fine given a bit of time. And meanwhile be sure not to make the mistake of trying to "give your ears a rest" by seeking silence. Silence is very stressful for the auditory system, which exists - after all - to seek sound!

If you really want to help yourself, though, the very best thing you can do is stay the hell away from those FB tinnitus groups you refer to above and, even worse, the Tinnitus Talk website.

All the best -

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
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No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
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David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
allancurran

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 #3 

Thank you for the kind  response Dr Nagler, its is much appreciated.

I too don't believe I've done any auditory damage; I've been in noisier situations [clubs/bars] it just seems to have over excited my tinnitus so instead of a milion nerve fibres or neurons whistling their high pitched tune its now 10 million of them instead.

I guess in terms of time to settle I guess it could be weeks to several months?

Thanks & best regards

 

Allan

Dr. Nagler

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 #4 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan
Thank you for the kind  response Dr Nagler, its is much appreciated.

Not a problem. Glad to help.

Quote:
I too don't believe I've done any auditory damage; I've been in noisier situations [clubs/bars] it just seems to have over excited my tinnitus so instead of a milion nerve fibres or neurons whistling their high pitched tune its now 10 million of them instead.

That may be how it seems, but while the pathways involved in tinnitus loudness are complex, "noise-induced spikes" in the setting you describe are not likely due to the mechanism you suggest above.

Quote:
I guess in terms of time to settle I guess it could be weeks to several months?

Best not to put a calendar on it.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.


__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
allancurran

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 #5 
Thank you  - I will let you know if an when it settles down to  more manageable level.
Dr. Nagler

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 #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan
I will let you know if an when it settles down to  more manageable level.

That would be fine.

But I would much prefer if you would let me know when you come to the realization that you do not need to manage your tinnitus at all in order to overcome it. Trying to manage tinnitus is like trying to chase Jello in a swimming pool. I mean, why bother??!! The trick in overcoming tinnitus does not lie in trying to manage it. The trick in overcoming tinnitus lies in getting to the point where you don't care!

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
allancurran

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 #7 

Hi Dr Nagler

I appreciate what your saying - I have been to the point of not caring for quite some time before and know how good it feels.  I think waking up to hearing my T much louder anda secondary noise really unsettled and panicked me [the thought that piano playing the previous night had caused it].

Which leads me to another question - I've read that spikes that come on hours after a loud event are less likely to settle down than spikes that occur immediately after a noise event.

For example my son was annoying me [as teenagers do] and I slammed a tablemat [a solid one] down on the kitchen table and the noise reverberated around the kitchen and caused a new noise to come on, which I became instantly aware of but I put it to the back of my mind and tried to forget about it and it disappeared - but I dont know how long it took because I just plodded on.

However I'm coming into my third week with this seemingly increased original noise.

Is there any truth in this internet rumour - that spikes from noise that 'kick in' hours afterwards are less likely to settle down?

Thanks again

Allan

 

 

Dr. Nagler

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 #8 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan
I have been to the point of not caring for quite some time before and know how good it feels.

Seems to me from reading your posts that the primary reason you did not care was because your tinnitus was not loud. The idea is to get to a place where you do not care regardless of the volume of your tinnitus.

 

Quote:
Which leads me to another question - I've read that spikes that come on hours after a loud event are less likely to settle down than spikes that occur immediately after a noise event.

For example my son was annoying me [as teenagers do] and I slammed a tablemat [a solid one] down on the kitchen table and the noise reverberated around the kitchen and caused a new noise to come on, which I became instantly aware of but I put it to the back of my mind and tried to forget about it and it disappeared - but I dont know how long it took because I just plodded on.

However I'm coming into my third week with this seemingly increased original noise.

Is there any truth in this internet rumour - that spikes from noise that 'kick in' hours afterwards are less likely to settle down?


No, there is no truth to it at all.

Why in the world would you believe anything you read on the Internet about tinnitus in the first place? 95% of it is absolute garbage. Some of it might be well-intended, but it is garbage nonetheless. And even though a post might make good sense, that does not make it good information! Of course, the folks who write that stuff will probably tell you that 95% of what I have to say about tinnitus is absolute garbage. So I guess that sort of puts you in a bit of a quandary, doesn't it? :-)

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.


__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
allancurran

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Posts: 11
 #9 

I hear what you're saying Dr Nagley- I've been down this road before with other health issues - searching the internet for clues/success stories/treatments and possible cures and its a road to depression and anxiety.  Thankfully I'm aware of its trap and the spiral it leads to. I think I am slipping into a depression about it as you are right, its not so much that I have tinnitus that bothers me, its the fact that its became more intense, which makes it feel more louder and intrusive. 

Couple that with the not knowing if it will settle back down or this is my new baseline then its a rich destructive mix but I am putting my faith in your belief that most of the time they settle down in time, time being an unknown factor.

In terms of what you say is online about T - I'm assuming you mean forums etc? I've read some websites - news website and what appear to be research websites that state tinnitus research has come on leaps and bounds in recent years;studies on fish and birds and there's been a shift from more towards neurology and some scientists are predicting a potential cure by 2020.

What are your views on this?

 

Thank you

 

Dr. Nagler

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 #10 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan
I am putting my faith in your belief that most of the time they settle down in time, time being an unknown factor.

I would much prefer that you assume it will not settle down at all.

Look, if you hope that it will settle down, then each morning when you wake up and discover that it has not settled down, then you will start the day out disappointed. But if you assume it will not settle down, then each morning when you wake up, you will start the day out exactly as planned. And if one day it does settle down (as will probably be the case), then you can be thrilled to have been wrong in your initial assumption. I don't know about you, but I see no reason to be disappointed any more than is absolutely necessary. So why not conduct your life assuming that your tinnitus is what it is ... and move on from there!

Quote:
In terms of what you say is online about T - I'm assuming you mean forums etc? I've read some websites - news website and what appear to be research websites that state tinnitus research has come on leaps and bounds in recent years;studies on fish and birds and there's been a shift from more towards neurology and some scientists are predicting a potential cure by 2020.

Right. And I recall back in 1994 when I first developed tinnitus that some (highly regarded) scientists were predicting a potential cure by 2000. So I hope you will allow me to be just a tad skeptical in regards to the search for a cure.

Quote:
What are your views on this?

I assume that there will never be a cure. In fact, I no longer even think in those terms. And if I'm wrong, well it won't be the first time I've been wrong about something. I mean, if my belief that there will someday be a cure had any predictive value whatsoever, then - sure - I'd believe that someday there will be a cure. But what I believe in that regard doesn't mean jack spit. So I assume there will never be a cure.

Of course, I contribute to tinnitus research - because I'd like to be wrong. But beyond that, I just don't give it a second thought.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.


__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
allancurran

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Posts: 11
 #11 

Thanks Dr Nagler - you have a very unique way of putting things but I understand the psychology of it. 

I have had times in my life where I actually considered T my friend and that had I not have got it certain other things would not have happened.  I also think when I last encountered your name on another forum some 10 - 12 years ago I resigned myself to the fact that there wouldnt be a cure, at least not in my lifetime and gave up looking and just got on with living [and existing at times] and getting worked up about other random nonsense.  But if a cure comes along it'll be nothing but a bonus.

Thanks again.

 

Allan - UK

Dr. Nagler

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 #12 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan
Thanks Dr Nagler - you have a very unique way of putting things but I understand the psychology of it.

Actually, I sort of think I have it right, at least as far as tinnitus goes. But who knows?

Quote:
I have had times in my life where I actually considered T my friend ...

Whoa there. Wait just a minute. I don't know about you, but I have never ever considered tinnitus to be my friend. Not even for a moment! I am at best ambivalent about it. But my friend? Uggh.

Anyway, this is a Q&A board and not a discussion site - so on that note, I will simply wish you well.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

 


__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
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Dr. Nagler's Tinnitus Corner is provided for education and information only. It is not intended for the purpose of providing medical care and should in no way substitute for appropriate in-person consultations with qualified healthcare professionals. By using this site, participants agree to hold Dr. Nagler and Atlanta Tinnitus Consultants, LLC harmless with respect to any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage arising from following the postings herein.