Getting rid of Tinnitus (if possible)

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g.a.harry
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Getting rid of Tinnitus (if possible)

Post by g.a.harry » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:59 pm

I wasn't sure where to post this, so I figure here is as good a place as any.

I have tinnitus. It's not terrible most of the time, but when it gets going it drives me f'in bananas. I know for a fact that I have done damage to my left ear, which is of course the one with the clearest tone. I also presume to know that there're at least a few people on here who also have an avant-garde band playing in their heads 24/7.

Has anybody had any success with the various and likely spurious remedies that are supposed to help? I have booked an appointment with an audiologist, but I'm interested to hear from other people. Even doctors can be wrong sometimes...

My concern is less the condition itself than the possibility of it's being degenerative. This is something that as you can imagine really freaks me out. Deaf by ringing would be the worst way to go.

Thanks in advance.

..w..

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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:23 pm

I get bouts of it sometimes.

I read up on it, and have a book on it too. I'll try to post the name of the book tomorrow, after I find it.

In my case the most irritating cause is stress. So, I am learning to stress less.

I ingest 500 mg of N-A-C, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine as it seems to help in healing.

Also, when it gets bad, I avoid the following :

Acetaminophen. Caffeine. Sugar. Salt. Air pollutants like pollen / smog / etc. which by increasing the pressure of the sinuses, in my case do increase the possibility of the noise getting louder.

There are many resources on the web, the best one I found is :

http://www.ata.org/

The Tinnitus Association. they are a good place to get more info.

Cheers
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A.David.MacKinnon
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:29 pm

I get it on and off sometimes. Nothing terrible, just annoying when I'm lying in bed.
Exercise and getting enough sleep help a bunch (and solve so many other issues I don't have enough room to list them all).

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Post by CurtZHP » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:43 am

Wonderfriend, I could have very well written your post almost word for word.

I have similar issues. Not really bad, but when there's nothing else to listen to, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

I'm also planning on going to see an audiologist about it. I've heard that one thing to avoid is ibuprofen, since it raises your blood pressure and the increased pressure aggravates it. So does caffeine. On top of that, I have a history of sinus problems which doesn't exactly help.

I've been tempted to look into some of the "cures" I hear about from time to time, but most of them sound like snake oil.

I think talking to an audiologist is the best way to go.
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Studiodawg
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Post by Studiodawg » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:57 am

I don't know why this helps, but when my ears start ringing "loudly" I put my fingers in my ears and within seconds the tinnitus aggrevation subsides. Your mileage may vary...

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Post by CurtZHP » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:24 am

Studiodawg wrote:I don't know why this helps, but when my ears start ringing "loudly" I put my fingers in my ears and within seconds the tinnitus aggrevation subsides. Your mileage may vary...

That's not tinnitus. That's your wife!

:lol:
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niccolo gallio
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Post by niccolo gallio » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:44 am

Well, I used to suffer from tinnitus when I was doing live sound by night quite often for a living. I would come back home and lay in bed listening to a chorus of high pitched tones, I live in the countryside, very veery quiet place, and the quietness made it worse.
As previous posters mentioned diminishing/quitting with alcohol and "drugs" may help.
Also, and this may sound like blasphemy, try to limit or diminish your exposure to loud sounds, that helped me a lot. I don't do live sound so often now and when I do I try to wear earplugs during the actual concert part once I'm positive everything is going fine.
I feel for you and wish you all the best.

And no, it's not going to last forever, believe me.
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Bryantx512
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Post by Bryantx512 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:04 am

Actually Niccolo, your statement about it not lasting forever is not 100% correct. When the "hairs" in the ear that pickup vibrations are permanently damaged due to excessively loud noise, the tinnitus is permanent.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:50 am

i've heard/read that taking ginko bilboa can help. and as mentioned, sleep/exercise/avoiding caffeine....that last one is tough, you pick your battles i suppose.

it does seem to come and go...if you're working a ton it will likely be more apparent...a few days off can really help. and just be really careful with your ears, wear plugs anytime you're around anything loud....this includes real life, not just the studio. you couldn't get me to walk around with ipod earbuds in if you paid me.

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niccolo gallio
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Post by niccolo gallio » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:39 pm

Bryantx512 wrote:Actually Niccolo, your statement about it not lasting forever is not 100% correct. When the "hairs" in the ear that pickup vibrations are permanently damaged due to excessively loud noise, the tinnitus is permanent.
You're right, but the OP's description of his own tinnitus flavor looked like the one I had: not really impairing but highly frustrating.
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Post by alf » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:28 pm

tinitus therapy with My Music Center hardware
With circuit bent instruments of the My Music Center hardware family the bitstream DAC signal gets audible as a high whistling beep of fixed pitch when the clock frequency is turned down a few octaves.

Although when played very loud this beep may cause tinitus, I made the experience that particularly these tones can be also well used to re-adjust my ears after a tinitus attack. For this tweak the clock frequency until the bitstream beep frequency matches the tinitus whistling you actually hear in your ear. Then play in a quiet environment alternatingly short notes and pauses and differently muffle the speakers with your hand; listen to the sound form different directions (slowly turn your head). This helps to train the hearing processor fields of your brain to learn to distinguish between tone and silence again on the disturbed frequency.

(As first aid for an acute arising tinitus, inhale and exhale rapidly a few times and thoroughly massage the ear rim from top to bottom and up again on the affected side to increase the blood flow inside the ear.)
This is from this site:

http://weltenschule.de/TableHooters/

This page specifically:

http://weltenschule.de/TableHooters/MyMusicCenter.html

I swear he talks more about it somewhere else on the site, but it might be buried in another keyboard description. He's a weirdo, but in a good way and the idea is intriguing, though I don't have tinnitus so couldn't test it.

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Brett Siler
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Post by Brett Siler » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:12 pm

Some nature remedies for tinnitus. This site is great, it's really helped me out when Ive been sick.

http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/tinnitus.html

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Post by g.a.harry » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:42 am

niccolo gallio wrote:Well, I used to suffer from tinnitus when I was doing live sound by night quite often for a living. I would come back home and lay in bed listening to a chorus of high pitched tones, I live in the countryside, very veery quiet place, and the quietness made it worse.
As previous posters mentioned diminishing/quitting with alcohol and "drugs" may help.
Also, and this may sound like blasphemy, try to limit or diminish your exposure to loud sounds, that helped me a lot. I don't do live sound so often now and when I do I try to wear earplugs during the actual concert part once I'm positive everything is going fine.
I feel for you and wish you all the best.

And no, it's not going to last forever, believe me.
I was a live guy too (until about 6 months ago when I got me an editing gig) and that was always my thing, earplugs. The tinnitus kicked in when I was in audio school three years ago, and in stead of eating for a month I went and got a pair of musician's plugs quick as you please. I wear them almost every day still, on the bus/subway, at bars, in the car, at shows, etc. My 'mentor' used to give me shit for wearing them during a show because apparently it looked bad, but I was always of the opinion that being an idiot looks much worse. It's frightening just how loud a JCM half-stack can get. Add that to drums, bass, and cranked vocals and you're looking at a sustained dB level of at least 110 for up to 45 minutes at a minimum 3 times a night (sometimes as many as 10, if a +19 ran back to back with an all ages in the afternoon). Even the low points were still up around 85-90 (drunk people are incredibly noisy). Not wear earplugs? You must be joking.

Anyway, that's kind of the reason it's bothering me so much now. It was actually less bad then than it is now. But that may be a relative perception thing. However, since I stopped working clubs, the tinnitus has yet to begin to fade. Hence the current freakout. I had a mild ear infection a month ago. As you can imagine, it was rather painful, and made me pay rather more mental attention to the state of my ear than I probably should, i.e. worrying about going deaf, trying to figure out if it was getting better, &tc. So I think this current bout of T may be a psychosomatic result of that. That's what I'm hoping anyway.

Thanks , by the way, for all the links guys. My appointment with the audiologist is for next week, but I'll have a look through and see if I can find something that might work. I too have heard (pun?) good things about Ginko Beloba. I'll try that first.

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The Tallman 916
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Make like a Mormon

Post by The Tallman 916 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:26 pm

Here's a great podcast with Kathy Peck of H.E.A.R http://ryancanestro.com/hrs/hrs.098.mp3 on hearing issues and musicians which has a good rundown on tinnitus.

In short, tinnitus happens when your ears get messed up and the brain misses the information it used to get and starts to generate noise. If you got it, you get to keep it. What can help is sleep, no caffeine, booze, cigarettes, 420, and, among other things, giving your ears a 5 minute break every hour. If you do all of that, you're ready to hang with observant Mormons.

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Post by g.a.harry » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:32 am

Thanks. I'll give it a listen on my way home from work.

To be honest, the prospect of giving up caffeieieieine and alcheehol isn't all that daunting. For a very long time I'd been a big drinker and depended on coffee for mental functionality, particularly when hungover. It's one of the perils of going from college/university straight into live work, all of the predilections you develop while at school are bolstered and encouraged by the situation you work in. Basically, being around drunk people all night does nothing but make you want to drink, so you do. And until recently I'd been keeping up the lifestyle in spite of the fact that I wasn't doing the work anymore.

And maybe it's just that I'm starting to get old, but I don't want to do it any more. There really is nothing worse than eq-ing close miked cymbals with a eye-watering, gut-rumbling hangover. Actually, I take that back, there is nothing worse in the world than trying to take a poorly recorded voice-over and make it sound like it's actually a human being speaking. Plus, I've got a plethora of personal weekend projects that I've been putting off because most saturday and sunday afternoons my body is usually fully devoted to repairing itself from the night before.

And then there's the vast amounts of money I've spent on both the cause and cure.

Long story short. If it helps my ears, helps my work, and helps me feel better I'm pretty much OK with it.

The smokes though, that's gonna be a tough one...

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