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AnthonyO

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, my name is Anthony and am new to this great network of friends. Long & complicated story; abridged version, whole plight began about a year ago, August 2013 with just some tympanic membrane flutter in the right ear, contracted hyperacusis & tinnitus in late November 2013...and have been on this road, ever since.  I have read many, many posts on the network, which have educated me quite a bit, but this is the first time I have written. Bless you all.

Up to the current...I finally started the TRT Program for Hyperacusis July 1st, 2013 using Audifon Wearable Sound Generators prescribed to me by an audiologist in Los Angeles, CA. This is approx my 7th week with the WSGs. Broadband noise is programmed into the WSGs, opposed to Pink Noise or White Noise, for the audiologist felt Broadband noise is best.

Almost 2 weeks ago, I started having some very unusual effects in my hearing. All I can ascribe it to, is sounding like a "Deafening Type Of Silence" or "Muting" when in a somewhat quiet room, like when walking into a small bathroom and then closing the door. It's like my ears (hearing) is "overly straining" to hear sound, when there is only a little to be had. Almost like, my ears will only hear & process sound of a certain loudness or input threshold and if incoming sound does not reach that input threshold limit, I hear this very uncomfortable & "deafening sound of silence", pounding through my ears. Quite uncomfortable & distressing, to say the least. I spoke to the audiologist about it, asking if we can perhaps adjust the Broadband Noise in WSGs or move over to Pink Noise, but his suggestion was to not to.

I can go on to explain this odd & discomforting experience, but I wanted to put this out onto the board asap to see what folks think of this. I am really looking to hear from folks like ROB, JOHN LOUD DB and many others who may have had an experience such as this.  I have a hunch that this phenomenon is the result from the WSGs and my hearing trying to either over-compensate or over-adjust to the generators. Over the past week, it has been worsening, even lying in bed, with a portable sound machine playing nature sounds, this "Deafening" experience is louder than the sound machine.  For now, I believe it's best for me to hold off on using the WSGs until I find a proper solution.

Much thanks all for your thoughts...

--- Anthony O.
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AnthonyO

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I have found a little bit more information that I'd like to use here. 'Temporary Threshold Shift' is what I may be experiencing right now...I just don't know.  Does anyone have any advise or thoughts?

When I started with the WSGs 7 weeks ago, in the evening I would remove them.  Later, when I would lie in bed, with the windows open, I could no doubt hear everything outside in great detail, due to hyperacusis.  Now, 7 weeks later, I could no longer hear hardly anything outside my window in the dead of night, because of this "Deafening Sound Of Silence" that has taken over.  May this be what is referred to as 'Temporary Threshold Shift' (hopefully not Permanent).

I wear Audifon Over-the-Ear Wearable Sound Generators, that have a 4 level sound volume adjustment. The TRT Clinician said to go ahead and use the 'loudest' position, which to me, was still pleasant, non-intrusive and not very loud at all.  I've read on this board that using the 'softest' volume is not that good and may increase tinnitus.

Then, about two weeks ago, I noticed that I started hearing a sort of 'deafness' to all soft sounds; could no longer hear me even rubbing my fingers together at arms length.  I mentioned this to my clinician, he said not to worry, it's just temporary.  But my question remains, how long is 'temporary'?  I feel quite distraught with this overwhelming feeling of 'deafness' for normally soft intensity sounds, even like writing. I am not sure just why my hearing threshold has changed, but it surely has indeed.

Since I have had hyperacusis, since November of last year, I am so very careful not to be around "loud" sounds that would increase my symptoms, I believe I have done well, yet at the same time, like my TRT Clinician requests for me to do, is be around "everyday normal sounds" to build back up tolerance, slowly but surely.  I take long walks and ride my beach cruiser bike. So, all in all, I have not gone to any concerts, loud restaurants or anything to warrant having a 'Temporary Threshold Shift' occur, in order to put my ears (hearing) into protection mode.

Any thoughts would be welcome.

Anthony O.

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pmn100

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Reply with quote  #3 
How long are you wearing them for each day?  And how is your tinnitus when not wearing the ear gens compared to how it was?  If your tinnitus is also quieter, are the ear gens not doing what they're suppose to?  Lowing the central gain in your hearing system.  Is it possible you couldn't hear these soft sounds before your hyperacusis?
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AnthonyO

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks so much for your reply! (I was wondering if anyone was out there, since this was my first post...)

I was wearing them for about 8 to 10 hours a day, the clinician said, no less that 6, no need for anymore than 10. I guess I'm about right in the middle. Tinnitus is much quieter when not wearing them; alot of reactive tinnitus when wearing them, ESPECIALLY when driving higher speeds on freeways, very high tinnitus.

I understand what you man that, the WSG are supposed to be lowering the central gain in my auditory's hearing system, this is true, but the sensation I am "hearing", is NOTHING likened to the way it was before hyperacusis, that's for sure.  Now, with this supposed "Threshold Shift", I can longer hear soft sounds or low volumed sounds, could barely hear my fingertips ruffling together just an arms length away...this was a little test I now do from time to time...with hyperacusis full bore, I can hear my fingers ruffling super-sonic...now, it's super-muffled and almost indistinguishable. Possibly I couldn't hear these soft sounds before your hyperacusis, you ask? ...oh no...could totally still hear them, clear as day.

Another tid-bit of this occurrence...just now...finished taking shower...as soon as I turned off shower, the bathroom started to have this overall "deafening type of silence" to it...something that I know NEVER happened, before or during hyperacusis.  Another example...when I got home last night, parked my truck in the carport, turned off the ignition, stayed in the cab, right away within seconds, my baseline hearing "shifted" from normal (what can be considered normal, with hyperacusis) to that "central deafening effect" where I can nothing but a very loud internal "nothing" noise coming over my hearing. Almost like one would turn up a stereo system in your house without playingback ANY sound or audio...you would hear nothing but a loud hiss coming out of your speakers...that is what I am hearing, instead it's a very high, dull hiss...like a generator sound, that's way off in the background. i know it's not a tinnitus-type sound, but a "very-high-sound-of-nothing" sound...where any & all soft & low intensity sounds can no way, break through, so i might hear them.

Strange as the day is to the night...but this is what has been happening to me, for almost 2 weeks.  I really don't know if the hair-cells in the cochlea are dying off (deafness)...or it's just a weird central audio processing effect going on in the brain, and will in time, alleviate. (my hope & prayer)

Thank you...

Further thoughts?

Anthony O.

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PMN100 said,

How long are you wearing them for each day?  And how is your tinnitus when not wearing the ear gens compared to how it was?  If your tinnitus is also quieter, are the ear gens not doing what they're suppose to?  Lowing the central gain in your hearing system.  Is it possible you couldn't hear these soft sounds before your hyperacusis?
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phacker

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Reply with quote  #5 
Anthony,
   
From what you are describing is your H & T is better as the brain turned down the volume, but the volume was turned down too much and you can not hear soft sounds.  Have you had a recent hearing test to determine if the issues is with all frequencies?   Do you have any problem hearing men's or women's voices?   
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Neil58

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Reply with quote  #6 
I think you are way overdoing it in my opinion. Using the sound generarors that much right off the bat, you are. bombarding your ears with sound and your body is reacting tell you to backoff. You have to start small and slowly increase the amount of time that you use them. My audiologist said that after a year most people would have worked up to 3-4 hrs a day. I am struggling to work up to much less than that.
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pmn100

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Reply with quote  #7 
So its a similar effect to when you come out of a nightclub, an overall deafness?  If that's the case, I'd agree you're perhaps using them too much.  My theory is ears react to prolonged exposure to sound in the same way they react to short but loud exposure.  We know hearing can be damaged (and I'm not saying yours are damaged) not simply just by the decibel level of a noise, but also the length of time we are exposed to the noise.  140db for 1 second can damage the ear, but so can 90db over 8 hours, but not 90db for 5 minutes.

So my theory is prolonged exposure with your ear gens for that length of time is probably giving similar effects of being in a noisy bar for a couple of hours and you're experiencing similar threshold shifts.  So perhaps start reducing the duration you're using them, or give yourself periods of rest inbetween.  Do this for about a week and see if things feel better.  But I don't want to give advice counter to what your therapist is giving.
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AnthonyO

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thank you phacker, Neil58 & pmn100.  I am thinking you are all so correct in your theories, but since the sound being emitted from the generators is, obviously, so low in comparison to let's say a nightclub, sportsbar or concert (which I have been to NONE lately) I would never have thought that the broadband sound coming from the generators would even remotely cause the Threshold Shift, because it's so low in decibels...my mis-conception.

pmn100 stated, "m
y theory is ears react to prolonged exposure to sound in the same way they react to short but loud exposure.  We know hearing can be damaged (and I'm not saying yours are damaged) not simply just by the decibel level of a noise, but also the length of time we are exposed to the noise." So at this point I know I need to take a rest from them, I just don't know why my clinician said that about 6 hours if fine to begin with. Perhaps I am way overdoing it. My God, I really & sincerely hope I didn't do lasting damage to my hearing by permanently damaging the cochlear hair cells, that would be devastating.

phaker asked, "from what you are describing is your H & T is better as the brain turned down the volume, but the volume was turned down too much and you can not hear soft sounds.  Have you had a recent hearing test to determine if the issues is with all frequencies? Do you have any problem hearing men's or women's voices?"  Well, women's voices are still very shrill and men's voices are still loud at times...as I am still having problems with overall loudness, it's just that I cannot hear very well in quiet rooms and in my bathroom, it's almost like a "deafening silence" arises when I shut the doors. I have an appointment coming up soon to take a Threshold Shifting test.

So I guess the question I have now, as I feel somewhat in peril, do you all think I did irreparable damage to the ear's hair cells, or it's just the brain going into 'protection mode' and it will relax it's self in time???

Thank you in advance for you replies & thoughts...

--- Anthony
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pmn100

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Reply with quote  #9 
No.  They're not loud enough for that, but enough to cause these threshold shifts you're experiencing.  Similar experience to me the other day.  I went to a bar for 3 hours with moderate noise around me (75-80db) all the time.  I got home and in silence my tinnitus was gone, and I could hear less than I usually do, which isn't much because I have hearing loss.  After a couple of hours, the tinnitus crept back.  My hearing had shifted its sensitivity down in response to the constant noise of the bar, then shifted back up again after a couple of hours in my quiet room.

TBH I quite like the deafening silence.  Preferable to the constant ringing.
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phacker

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Reply with quote  #10 
Anthony,

Just for your information, I have been doing TRT for about 5 months and I am in the 3 1/2 hour range per day. I did 5 hours one day by mistake as I forgot the NG's were in my ears and I did get a minor setback.  I have Cat #4 H.  When I do increase the time, I only do it at a 15 minute clip. 
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AnthonyO

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thank you all for such incredible input...truly thank you all. I am only one day old to this forum of specially-hearted people...and even though hyperacusis is probably a welcomed guest to any one of us...some things in life...beit friend or foe...bring special folks together in thoughts.

Thank you phaker for your input. Glad to know that are taking it "slow'n'go" in your thearpy, I only wish I would've known in advance, that the regiment you're taking, is probably the best & most expedient.  Can you tell me a little bit more of your hyperacusis experience phaker...where you were...and where you are today? I wish for you the VERY best in improvement and an eventual 100% return of your hearing!

I'm just going to wait a few days, perhaps up to a week, to let my brain cool down and shift back to normal, or near normal, and start a-fresh my TRT Therapy...unless, of course, someone has a better and more keen advise for me...?

Anthony O.
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phacker

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi Anthony,

I am going to give you the short version. My H & T is from sound exposure.  I have had H and T long term, but I was able to lead a normal life until about 7 months ago when I jumped from Cat#1 or Cat#2 H to Cat#4.  

When Cat#4 started, I also got reactive T at the same time. Before I started TRT, I was having a difficult time living in my own home as the sound of the shower, dishes, my own voice, talking on the phone over 5 minutes, my own footsteps were all causing me some pain, discomfort and my T would also react to some of these sounds. My life changed overnight with the jump to Cat #4 H as I did not want to leave the house.

I started TRT about 5 months ago using a static type of white noise with ear level NGs as I found this was the easiest sound for me to tolerate.  I started doing TRT at a low volume and about 2 hours a day as any more than two hours would make my condition worse and I would have more ear pain.  When I started TRT, I had to use a heating pad on my ears after each sound secession to help with the ear pain.  I made a lot of improvement the first 6 weeks of TRT as I could tolerate the sounds in my own house and I did not need the heating pad any longer after the TRT secession. I still could not handle the sound outside of the house as sounds over 75 db were giving me a lot of trouble and would often give me a minor setback. Over the next 3 months I had increased the volume of the NG a little and had work up to about 3 1/2 hours a day, but I did not make any more improvement.  

Two three ago I had made a little improvement as the impact sounds were not as troublesome.  This improvement lasted about 5 days until I got hit with the sound of a loud car horn in a parking lot going to the store and I got a setback where some of the sounds in my own house were now troublesome again. I was really upset as it took me over 3 months to make any improvement and I lose it all in 5 seconds of sound exposure. I had to take a week break from TRT.  When I restarted TRT,  I could only do 2 hours and I had to start building time again.  I am now back to 3 hours a day and the sounds in my own house are OK again.  

My biggest challenge is when to use ear protection, so I do not get a setback and when to not to use ear protection, so I can move forward with my sound tolerance.

PH






 
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