Tinnitus Sufferers Online Support Survey

I created a survey to help tinnitus sufferers discover possible common causes by answering the multiple choice questions at the end of this article.
Are there common causes of Tinnitus?
Are there common causes of Tinnitus? | Source

If you have ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus, you may find it helpful to review the questions in the survey below. In the process, you may become enlightened to a clue that may be causing your tinnitus.

I created this survey to help tinnitus sufferers anonymously share information about his or her experience. The results may help us see if there is anything we have in common.

Little is known about this ailment. Many doctors claim to understand it, and they just end up wasting everyone's time. I have had my share of craziness with going to doctors who can't be honest about their limited knowledge.

Although this may not be true for all doctors, I have found a pattern among those who were recommended to me. I find this is not beneficial to patients suffering from ringing in the ears.

How I Learned to Deal With My Tinnitus


My tinnitus started in 2005 and at first I could not deal with it. I thought to myself "How can I go on with this constant ringing?"

When I first realized that I no longer had any quiet times, it freaked me out and I couldn't imagine how I could live with it.

After a year or so it had become second nature for me, and I was able to deal with it. I simply got used to hearing a continuous ring as I go about my everyday affairs. I almost can ignore it.

I know this isn't the case for everyone, but I guess I had handled it well. I expect I will have it the rest of my life.

I think it probably made me even more creative because I keep myself occupied mentally in order to ignore the tinnitus. I do a lot of writing. I find that deep concentration helps keep my mind off the constant ringing.

There is no known cure at this time. If a cure is ever discovered, the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) would announce it.


There May Be Causes of Tinnitus Not Yet Known


I hope my survey at the end of this article will enlighten us to some common denominator that might shed some light on this whole thing. I have some of my own theories based on my own experience with my tinnitus.

In my opinion, my tinnitus seems to be some kind of feedback or crosstalk in my brain. It would be nice if I could discuss this when I see an ENT doctor.

Doctors seem to get frightened when I offer some kind of idea to experiment with that they don't understand.

I even had one doctor tell me I was bringing up too many unrelated ideas and he would have to discuss each one on a separate visit. I felt that he just wanted to have a reason to bill my insurance company several times, once for each visit.

That's no way to put it all together to try to find a connection between ailments. I feel a good doctor would have an interest in this. After all, they are clueless at the present. Wouldn't they want to be the first to discover the answers?

That kind of doctor must be out there, working on this. Somewhere. Maybe that doctor will find my survey results useful.

We know our own body more than anyone else since we live 24 hours a day in our own bodies. This may sound silly for me to say, but there is a meaning behind it...

Don't always trust what doctors tell you. If you feel a problem is coming from something else, give yourself credit for knowing better and try to find the right doctor to research the problem in the proper way.

Is it Possible That Tinnitus is Triggered by Something Else?

It may be possible that tinnitus is caused by a combination of ailments.
It may be possible that tinnitus is caused by a combination of ailments. | Source


I'm wondering if it's possible that tinnitus is caused by a combination of ailments where one thing triggers another. That is, where tinnitus is caused by some kind of interaction.

I never found a doctor who would entertain this idea, or have a desire to research it further.

I wonder if there could be some sort of connection with nerves causing crosstalk with the acoustic (auditory) nerve. I'll tell you why I'm thinking this:

Due to another unrelated issue, I was diagnosed with having three herniated discs in my cervical spine (That's the upper spine in the neck).

Therefore, I wonder if nerve compression in the neck can cause other nerves in the body to be irritated – triggering tinnitus.

With some Google research, I found that there are already some medical supporters of this idea. Some doctors do believe that tinnitus may be caused by feedback or crosstalk. However, there is no sufficient research to prove this.

There is so much more to acknowledge as possibilities, and medical doctors should be willing to research these potential relationships.

This brings me to the survey. As you answer the multiple-choice questions, you'll notice how propose various relationships to possible causes.

Tinnitus Survey of Possible Common Causes


The purpose of the following survey is to compile possible related causes of tinnitus and find a common thread that the scientific community can analyze further, after we accumulate a large-enough number of responses.

Your answers are private and are not linked back to you, so feel safe with answering honestly.

I hope the results will reveal something significant about possible common afflictions. I'm hoping a discovery of what can be done to control it may come from the results of this survey.

Some questions may seem strange and you may wonder why I asked some of the questions. I am trying to put together all possible things that sufferers may have in common. There is no special order to this list and I am sure I left out important items. If you know of one that should be added, please let me know in the comments.

Please note that the existence of these questions in now way implies any knowledge that these things are related to tinnitus. The purpose of this survey is simply to discover if there is a pattern here.

Multiple-Choice Survey of Tinnitus Sufferers

1.

Do you have a deviated septum?

  • Yes
  • No
  • No sure
See results without voting

2.

Did you ever have an attack of virtigo?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

3.

Do you let water run in your ears when you shower?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

4.

Do you have mercury teeth fillings?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

5.

Do you have Rosacea?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

6.

Where you diagnosed with a herniated disc in your cervical spine (neck)?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

7.

Do you have an Internet WiFi router in your home or where you work?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

8.

Do you live near high power electric wires?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

9.

Do you have Tourette?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

10.

Do you use artificial sweeteners?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

11.

Do you tend to blow your nose hard?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

12.

Have you ever had nosebleeds?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

13.

Did you ever stand near loud speakers in discos and clubs?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

14.

Have you ever gotten hit on the ears or any kind of sideways slam to the head?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

15.

Did you ever have Aphasia symptoms? Specifically, were you unable to speak for a short period? (see Aphasia in Wikipedia link below in resource list)

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know
See results without voting


Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.

Survey Analysis


I posted the results of this survey along with my analysis in another article. You can see that analysis here ►


Disclaimer:


I wrote this article and created the above survey in an effort to offer something of value to my fellow tinnitus sufferers. However, this is not intended to provide any medical advice.


© 2012 Glenn Stok

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Comments 15 comments

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Very thorough information here, Glenn. I know many people who have suffered from this and they tell me it "drives them crazy". Thanks for sharing. Rated Up/I/U


janderson99 profile image

janderson99 4 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

My tinnitus arose when I had a cold and the virus attacked the 'hair' cells in the left inner ear killed them all stone dead - completely lost hearing in that ear (stone deaf). Interestingly the specialist diagnosed the problem using a tuning fork! I have got used to the phantom ringing in the ears which comes and goes.


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Orlando, Florida

My husband has this problem. Like you, he tries to ignore it and has learned to live with it. Soft music or general white noise helps him sleep at night. Great hub, Glenn. Voted up and shared.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

Thank you to all of you for you kind comments and votes. I've been so busy the last few days completing this lengthy hub that I decided to take a day off from HubPages. But I did read all your replies and I am grateful for having such wonderful followers. I am sorry to hear that so many of you are suffering with tinnitus, or that you know someone who has it.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

This is a very thorough hub. The way tinnitus in dealt with medically in the USA seems quite different to how it is in the UK. In some ways we have less choice, but on the other hand if we go to NHS specialists they do have to be knowledgeable about the subject. I was referred by ENT for an MRI scan because of pulsatile tinnitus, and nothing showed up. I guess because of that I am low priority because I've been waiting about 6 months to visit a tinnitus clinic.

Like you I found the white noise didn't help, and like you I also find that getting absorbed in something else helps, as has finding ways to cope better with stress.

I'm pretty sure your theory about tinnitus being feedback or crosstalk in the brain actually has now got medical supporters. I read something about this recently, but can't remember what it was. I also read last week that the belief it's caused by irreparable damage to the the tiny hairs in the ears is wrong because these regrow.

I still hold out hope of a cure, at the same time as not letting it rule my life.

This is a very useful hub and it was interesting to read about your visits to various doctors. Thanks for reading my hub. (If you're interested, I also have a story on HP where the main character has tinnitus: New Year's Day.)


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

Melovy, Thanks for bringing to my attention that there are medical supporters of the feedback and crosstalk idea. I just did a search and found a number of sites discussing it, as well as one "gov" site that may have more unbiased opinions. I didn't read this yet but I'll have to follow up with it. But first I'm going to check out your hub you mentioned. Thanks for your comment and for your useful additions to this discussion.


Madoshi profile image

Madoshi 4 years ago from Belgium

Great hub. I actually have two tinnitus frequencies in my right ear. Strangely my left ear is completely fine. A high beep tone from going to a party without earbuds (which I remember deciding not to bring with ...). I also have like a morse-code windy sound is what I would describe it like, I got it from rocking out with my band using a 50watt guitar tube amp. It's super loud. Also my drummer pretty much smashes his drums like Dave Grohl. I got some custom made earplugs now but it's probably a bit too late, I never leave to events without them though! I've been listening to sleeping music at night ever since, I can still hear it but it's not as noticable. The sleeping music I listen to varies from sounds from the ocean, the rainforest, wind to bizarre psychedelic indian music ;) Anyway, do yourself a favour and get custom made earplugs if you haven't already. I'd choose losing 200$ over endless beeping sounds any day.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

Madoshi,

Sorry to hear about your tinnitus. You have noise induced tinnitus. I found from comparing notes with people that this seems to be a lower frequency, as you described. Being that is the case, the sleeping music works to cover it somewhat.

There is another form of tinnitus that no doctor seems to understand, and I call it a malfunction of the brain -- possibly from some kind of short circuit or internal feedback in the brain. That is a much higher frequency, and is the one I have. A sound machine does not cover it.

At least you have a solution for sleeping. But the damage had been done when you used the 50 watt amp.

I agree with you that in both our cases, protection from further damage is very important by using the proper earplugs. I also avoid loud places unless I'm prepared with earplugs.

Thanks for your input on this. Your experience is worthwhile for others to understand how easy it is to damage our hearing.


Madoshi profile image

Madoshi 4 years ago from Belgium

Yes definitely, I have been somewhat of a earbud prophet after it happened. People don't understand until after the damage has been done and it's easy to prevent (at least in case of noise induced tinnitus)!

Surely future medical understanding and technology will provide peace of ears. I certainly hope rather sooner than later. Until then, I agree it is wise to keep your mind and body active to distract from it.


Tinsky profile image

Tinsky 4 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

When I was a young child, my father complained of Tinnitus constantly describing it as the chirping of crickets constantly in his head. So when I began to experience it too the constant "ringing" that never really goes away I took it with a grain of salt. It has since become background sound. I don't notice it usually, not unless I want to hear it. I can hear it now, but it doesn't bother me anymore. I've had it since any early age (late teens / early 20's) and often wondered if it was hereditary and or perhaps the brain picking up on some sort of radio / sound frequency in the air or sounds that might be coming from the brain itself. Thanks for such an informative article and sharing your experience. I haven't always used wi-fi etc and have had this condition long before I even began using a computer.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

Tinsky,

The thought that radio waves might be affecting the brain neurologically and making it "create" these sounds itself, is one of my questions. That's why I put it in my survey as one of the questions.

Since your father had tinnitus, it obviously isn't WiFi, and the airways were not as full of radio signals as we have today - such as cellular, satellite GPS signals, etc. So I still don't rule it out, but it probably isn't that.

I have learned to live with my tinnitus such as you have, simply considering it background noise. That's a good way that you explained it.

Thanks for your sharing your comments about your experience.


shay-marie profile image

shay-marie 2 years ago from Southern California

I had always been told that my tinnitus was a direct result of my hearing loss. My doctor explained that it was feedback from dying nerve endings in my inner ear. They never were able to pinpoint what caused the hearing loss though.

If it helps at all, my tinnitus is a constant high pitched ringing . I've had it since I was 12 - I don't know what silence sounds like anymore either!


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

shay-marie - There are so many reasons for tinnitus that it's hard to determine what the cause is for any individual. The doctors could never figure it out in my case. My tinnitus is also high pitched like yours. It sounds like a distant tea kettle whistling. You were young to have it start at the age of 12. Do you know for sure that you have heading loss? Did your doctors determine which frequency range you are not hearing?


shay-marie profile image

shay-marie 2 years ago from Southern California

@glenn stok - My low-mid range hearing is normal, but it drops off at and after about 1500 Hz. I have problems hearing things like cell phones and high pitched alarms, as well as certain consonants (like "S" or "T'). It proves to be problem when I try to talk to listen to people in loud bars, restaurants, or anywhere with a lot of background noise. Hearing aids help a bit in those situations, but it's nowhere near normal.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY Author

shay-marie - Loud places such as bars and night clubs bother me. I actually feel pain in my ears under those conditions. It's best to stay away from places like that. It may be making your tinnitus worse. Your tinnitus may be at or around the 1500 Hz frequency. That may be blocking that range and you can't hear in that range due to the tinnitus. I'm speaking from my own experience. In my case it's not hearing loss, but rather, it's being blocked at one specific frequency where the tinnitus is. I hear fine for normal communication.

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