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Tinnitus
#1
Tinnitus
Anyone here have it? If so, have you done anything to resolve it? 

I've had it now for as long as I can recall. That being maybe 30 yrs. or more. I have it in both ears and over the years, I've come to ignore it for the most part. 

I've gone online and did some extensive research. Some suggest it's a brain disorder, rather than an inner-ear issue. Some go as far to suggest it's a very serious brain disorder and should not be ignored. Some relate it to Alzheimer's. 

Over the years, I have spoken to audiologists. They all say it's incurable. There is no remedy, only some slight offerings to help reduce the awareness. 

I live in AZ. In Phoenix, there is a hearing clinic and I've seen their tv commercials often enough. As far as tv commercials go, it is a well-done one. 

As of yet, I haven't gone to the trouble to contact them. I don't want to be sold some kind of a special hearing aid or be steered towards ear drops and such medications. But, I am intrigued by their clinic. 

My Tinnitus consists of hissing and rushing sounds. I also get tones and they do change. My ears produce different sounds, so they are not the same. 

I thought I'd check here first and see if any of you have Tinnitus, and what if anything, you've done about it.
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#2
RE: Tinnitus
Yes, I've had it for almost a decade now.  It is ever-present, but I seem to have learned to ignore it.  It's worse when I'm under stress, lack sleep, and generally abuse my body by not eating good food.  For example, if I'm on the road and must eat prepared foods, those being filled with fats, salt, and sugar, I can expect to have my tinnitus exacerbated for a while.

I have done nothing about it.  There are many audiologists/hearing aid retailers who will do a free audiogram.  I mentioned my tinnitus, but got no other comment or advice.  From what little research I have done, there isn't much going on in the field because it's so common and it adversely impacts relatively few people. 

I suspect that it is a systems problem, and not entirely resident in the brain.  The auditory cortex is designed to make sense of signals from the ears.  It must be getting some stimulation for an otherwise correctly performing cortex to generate what you and I hear (we DO still hear music, conversations, and other natural sounds after all).

As I stated already, I just ignore mine.  If I want to hear it, I can...easily.  Otherwise it is completely innocuous because my mind dwells on other matters constantly.
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#3
RE: Tinnitus
It sounds as if you deal with yours the same way I deal with mine. I learned long ago to just ignore it. I do that so well, that I kind of worry that some day, for whatever reason, I won't be able to and then it will become a huge problem. 

I've never sought out any actual treatment for it, other than to ask some questions here and there. I do know that as I get older, my hearing isn't as good as it used to be. The Tinnitus doesn't help matters any either. 

Oh well, onward and upward.  Cool
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#4
RE: Tinnitus
I am also a member of this extinguished club. I have had tinnitus for nigh on 25 years and the AF would never diagnose it. VA said nice try, but it is not in your records. According to my ENT (who also suffers from it) mine is considered mechanical in the sense it was most likely caused by noise levels and vibration. Makes sense after flying airplanes for 20+ years and being around the flight line for another 10. When I first started flying we never really took ear protection seriously. Second assignment they were all over it and my ear plugs were custom poured - side benefit of wearing lightweight Plantronics headsets. Flying the herc we were noise reduction headsets and foam earplugs together. 

Most of mine is in my left ear and when I am having a really bad day, it sounds like TV static. Good days, I can ignore it. Every so often it will stop for about 30 secs and then come back. My ENT and I have had many discussions about it and treatment, and basically most if not all of the "cures" are snake oil. He did tell me there has been some research on negating it with other sounds along of the idea of how a stimulator works for pain. I haven't found the research on it yet.
Homer

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#5
RE: Tinnitus
I thought everyone had it.  As long as I can remember I've had it, haven't you?  At least 60 years.  My frequency is right at the horizontal sync frequency of the old tube type TVs.  And usually louder than most environments you get into.
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#6
RE: Tinnitus
For as long as I can recall, while riding motorcycles, I never used ear plugs of any type. Even with a helmet (which I always wore) the sound of the rushing air was quite loud. 

I then went into the military, and although ear plugs were issued / available, most everyone went w/o. The noise level inside a plane with it's doors wide open, is insanely loud. Jumping out of that plane and into the wild blue yonder is a couple of levels even higher, noise wise. 

Firing weapons also can contribute to substantial hearing damage if not using ear plugs. 

At this stage in my life, I doubt that I will seek out any professional advice. I just don't think that anything can be done to undo what has been done. Short of snake oils, home remedies, and some mystic satanic rituals deep in the jungles of S. America. 

I do know though, that my wallet would take a definite hit in the pursuit of said remedies.  Rolleyes
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#7
RE: Tinnitus
adding to the chorus. I've had loud ringing in my ears for as long as I can remember so I too don't know if it's abnormal or if it's what everyone experiences. I've mentioned it to various medical professionals over the years but nothing was ever offered beyond acknowledgement. always high pitched, years ago it was frequently staccato. now it seems to be a constant ringing, less annoying than staccato but louder than in the past. if I concentrate on it, it almost sounds like several tones (pitches? frequencies?) at once. I'm always conscious of it, although it's somehow relegated to background when focused on other things, but it's always there and all too often too loud to ignore completely. I haven't had my hearing tested in some time but past tests indicated generally acceptable hearing with some loss at the high end. it's hard to imagine the ringing itself doesn't make it more difficult to hear. I've certainly never heard as well as others in even mildly noisy environments, like a restaurant.
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#8
RE: Tinnitus
Nothing like reading about to make mine become noticeable. Other times are when the house is really quiet and I'm om the computer.
Like the rest I just try to ignor it .
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#9
RE: Tinnitus
Got it too, mostly in my left ear.

Audiologists have ways to help. They can tune random noise generators to the freq and amplitude of your tinnitus and the extra sounds can partially drown it out.

I got a hearing aid for my left ear last week, it helps, but it needs some explanation:

(my understanding: ) Tinnitus is related to hearing loss. When you lose hearing in certain frequencies your brain tries to make up for the missing sounds. Kind of the audio version of "phantom limb". You'd swear it's loud enough for someone else to hear, but it's, literally, all in your head.

Getting that hearing aid did a couple things: it did help restore my hearing in the frequency ranges I had been losing, but it also changed the way I perceive tinnitus. Because I now have filled in the missing sounds in my tinnitus range, the tinnitus has receded into the background. This lasts as long as I'm wearing the aid, and as long as I'm in an environment where those frequencies are present. In a quiet room I still have the same level of tinnitus I always had.

Tinnitus treatments are generally ways to cope. There can be help from noise generators, and there are a few apps you can download and listen to during the day. But tinnitus is permanent, all you can do is learn how to live with it or distract yourself so you don't notice it.

Notch therapy is interesting, but I haven't seen much about it. The idea is that music or white noise is filtered in such a way that the tinnitus frequencies are blanked out. That "notch" is silent, while the rest of the sounds are present. Your brain hears the other sounds and somehow fills in that gap, where the tinnitus is. I'm not sure how it's supposed to help, but apparently your brain adjusts to having a missing area and the tinnitus (which is the brain's way of filling in that missing info) is minimized.

I found an app that I like. It's made by the same manufacturer as my hearing aid - Widex. You can look on the Apple app store for Widex and "tinnitus management". It's free and runs on iPhones. It has about 10 or so different sounds, mostly random, but relaxing. Ocean waves on a beach, rustling leaves, bird and insect sounds, things like that. I *think* my aid can be programmed to generate those same sounds but they are programmed to attempt to cancel out or hide tinnitus frequencies. The app doesn't do that. Either way, it does offer a decent way to have some background noise that can help cover tinnitus for a while.
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#10
RE: Tinnitus
Reading this makes mine ring/hiss...  was told, too many hours as a Range safety officer (no noise protection in the day), and sitting under the rotors/engine of helicopters, combined with yrs in noisy Buffalo/Caribou driving the bus so you AB could evacuate a perfectly good plane..

Wife suggests I just galvanize mine before they rust away..  (tin)....   Oh well, provides an excuse when I tune out...

...  Philip
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