Tinnitus Q&A: Can tinnitus be too loud to habituate?

Glenn Education 2 Comments

Welcome to the first episode of my brand new Ask Me Anything about tinnitus video series where I will be answering your most pressing questions about tinnitus!

My name is Glenn Schweitzer, and I’m author of the book Rewiring Tinnitus. I also write a monthly tinnitus column at Healthyhearing.com, and for the last 8 years, I’ve worked with nearly 1000 tinnitus patients 1-on-1 from all over the world as a tinnitus coach, helping people to habituate as quickly as possible to find lasting relief from the ringing in their ears.

In today’s video, I will be answering an important question about tinnitus habituation: Can tinnitus be too loud to habituate?

In this video I discuss:

  • Habituation as a progression over time
  • The level of habituation where most patients feel like they got their life back
  • Can very loud tinnitus fade into the background of your awareness?
  • Actual vs perceived tinnitus volume
  • Can habituation lead to lower volume levels?

Want to work with me 1-on-1? Click here to apply for tinnitus coaching (I offer free 30-minute zoom consultation calls to everyone who applies)

Have a question you want me to answer in a future Q&A video? Leave a comment below or email me directly at glenn@rewiringtinnitus.com.

Comments 2

  1. Hi Glen, have you heard or got information on a theory I read recently regarding long term chronic pain and tinnitus? I have chronic back pain for over 30 years and since my tinnitus developed 7years ago I definitely have a connection that when my back pain is worse my tinnitus is louder?

    1. Post

      Hi John, great question! There is actually a TON of overlap between tinnitus and chronic pain, and when you have both, either one has the potential to flare up the other.

      In the case of chronic pain, it’s not just the acute sensory signal of pain that you are experiencing. It’s made worse by many things: the feeling of powerlessness to do anything to relieve the pain, the fear of more pain, and the fear that the pain will prevent you from living the life you want to live, to name a few. All true in the case of tinnitus as well. And just like with tinnitus, this causes a stress response that activates nervous system, and because the pain doesn’t just go away, it becomes a vicious cycle of fight or flight, leading to more pain. Pain activating the nervous system can make tinnitus louder as tinnitus suffering is directly tied to over-activation of the nervous system.

      But just like with tinnitus, you can become distracted from pain. You can also “habituate” to chronic pain and dramatically increase your quality of life. There is an excellent app called Curable (https://www.curablehealth.com/) that takes a VERY similar approach to chronic pain that I take to tinnitus. I recommend it to everyone with chronic pain as I have spoken to many people who have found great benefit from the app.

      This would be a good topic for a future video.

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