Tinnitus: Ringing in the Brain | Josef Rauschecker | TEDxCharlottesville


Translator: Tijana Mihajlović
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven I would like to talk with you
about a medical disorder that is incredibly common, and yet it gets often underestimated – misunderestimated, as one of our
former presidents would have said – (Laughter) in its impact on our psychology
and on the patients. The patients really suffer from it. And it’s very pervasive;
about 50 million Americans suffer from it. I bet many of you in the audience
will have friends or family that suffer from it. What I’m talking about tinnitus, the ringing in the ears. It’s often depicted in this painting
by Edvard Munch although we don’t know for sure
whether he actually had tinnitus himself. But the person in the painting
is sort of covering his or her ears, and it doesn’t help because the ringing
is actually generated in the brain. It’s not a real sound that is there
that a person hears; it’s a phantom sound. So we often talk about it
as ringing in the brain rather than ringing in the ears. And of those 50 million Americans
that suffer from it, about 10 million of them
really suffer very badly – they go to the extent that they have
depression and suicidal thoughts. I get emails every day from patients
that are asking, “Is there not a cure?” There is no cure,
unfortunately, at this point. And part of our research
is aiming for that, of course, that we’re trying to find ways
to help these patients. And I can play some examples for you, (High-pitched tone) of what that sounds like. This is just a pure tone
of a single frequency, relatively rare. Usually, tinnitus sounds
more like the next one. (Hissing sound) You can imagine how annoying that is if you hear that all the time
in one of your ears or both of your ears. You can’t turn it off,
you can’t run away from it; it’s always there. (Cricket sound) Sometimes, you get this more sophisticated
cricket sound that you hear. So, people suffer from it. There are groups that are more affected
or at risk than others. Musicians get it surprisingly often because they are exposed
to louder sounds than they realize. I once remember being
at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC., where we live, and went to a concert there, symphony concert by the National Symphony. They played Shostakovich’s War Symphony. Very loud, of course. One of the violinists
in the first or the second row was sitting right in front
of the trombones behind her. The trombone was sort of blowing
right into her ear and she was reflexively covering
her ears to protect herself. This is actually the right reaction;
you have to avoid loud noises in order to avoid
getting hair cell damage, and then hearing loss,
and ultimately tinnitus. So, loud noise exposure
is certainly one of the biggest risks. Then you take a group
like construction workers. If they don’t wear hearing protection,
that can be very risky. The group most at risk
are our war veterans, of course. They are constantly exposed
to artillery fire, to bombs, explosives and so on, you know. In addition – this is
a very important factor, which I want to stress
in this presentation – stress is a very important factor. So, it’s not just the loud noise exposure
that can give you tinnitus – it actually doesn’t always do that – but if it combines
with a stressful situation, this is the most likely scenario
where you end up getting tinnitus. So, our veterans are much more likely to come home
from the battlefield with tinnitus. In fact, the Veterans’ Administration,
if you look up the statistics, they show that tinnitus
is the most frequent cause for benefits paid to veterans. Hearing loss is the second
most frequent one. Tinnitus has often been compared
with other phantom sensations like phantom limb pain,
which you might have heard about. In this case, somebody misses a limb
because of an accident or an explosion that damaged his arm or her leg. And it’s a very similar thing. In this case again,
the brain is the cause for this. Even though the leg may be missing, the neurons in the brain
that represent the brain are still there and they are firing along. On occasions, the person
might get the impression that his leg is still there. And you can actually feel
pain in that leg. Animal experiments have shown – that’s shown on the right
of that slide here – that this is in fact what’s happening. In monkeys that have lost
a hand, for example, the hand representation
gets filled in with input from the face representation,
which is right next to it. Ramachandra and then
neuroscientists in California did studies on amputees, where he showed that if you touch
the face of an amputee, they actually feel their phantom hand,
in this case, more frequently than not. So, there’s a profound reorganization
going on in the brain, both in a phantom limb and in tinnitus, which is the equivalent
in the auditory domain. People have referred to this often
as maladaptive plasticity. Plasticity, by definition,
should be something good, right? We are learning: this is plasticity;
memory is kind of a form of plasticity, so we associate this
with an adaptive function. But in this case, is it really adaptive? I would think so. It’s not necessarily maladaptive,
because the brain has set out a plan how to deal with these
kinds of situations. So, if you have loud noise exposure, you kill some of your hair cells
in the inner ear, and they can’t be replaced;
they don’t grow back. So, what the brain does,
it kind of fills in that gap. Nature doesn’t like gaps. So, the gap is filled in with neurons that normally respond
to other frequencies, like on the left or right of that gap. Another example
is the blind spot in your eye. You all know we have
a blind spot in our retina where there are no photoreceptors, so the blood vessels
go in and out from there. The optic nerve goes in from there. We don’t see, but we
don’t notice that hole because with the same mechanism
the brain fills in that hole. And the same thing happens – We call this lesion-induced plasticity. The same thing happens in tinnitus. So, it is per se an adaptive mechanism. But it has an unintended side effect, this hyperactivity
that I’ve been talking about, that we can actually visualize
with fMRI, for example. And then, the next step is missing
in tinnitus patients. Normally, the brain is even more clever. It realizes there is this internal noise
being generated, so it puts its executive sentence in play and they would suppress that noise. So, most people actually
even after extensive loud noise exposure don’t get tinnitus. You might have hearing loss
but you don’t end up with tinnitus. You go to a loud noise concert,
for example, loud rock concert, and you have tinnitus maybe the next day,
but then it goes away after a few days. So, many people have
just temporary tinnitus which gets repaired by the brain;
there are mechanisms for that. But in those unfortunate people
where these mechanisms don’t work, they are the ones that are becoming
the chronic tinnitus patients. So, in the next few slides, I’ll show you the brain
and how it is organized, how it reacts to these events
and these situations. Here’s the brain as a whole, and you see the auditory cortex
somewhere in the middle there; it’s been exposed. This is just a drawing. You see the tonotopic map, how the different frequencies are laid out
along the auditory cortex. And you see how – Normally this is pretty regular. All the frequencies are equally spaced, but after you lose
that yellow region there, then the green
and the orange region move in, and they are the ones
that are overrepresented and give you the tinnitus noise,
the tinnitus signal. So, now we have a real picture. This is an old research scanner at NIH, where some of these techniques
have actually been established. Now you can do this with any MRI scanner that you’ve probably seen
and been in, yourself. And we can visualize the auditory cortex
in normal controls without tinnitus. You see a nice activation
in the auditory cortex. And in the patients
that constantly have tinnitus, this activation is doubled or tripled; it’s very significantly increased. So this is the physical realization
of what people actually perceive. But this is not the whole story. The rest of the talk
will try to convince you that tinnitus is not
just an auditory disorder; it is more than that. It has to do with the higher
brain functions in the frontal cortex, in the limbic system. If you think about it,
there’s a good reason to assume that it’s more than an auditory disorder, because not everyone, as I said,
ends up getting tinnitus, even if you have a hearing loss and have suffered from loud noise
exposures many times. A lot of people only have
intermittent tinnitus. If you’re like me,
you often have stressful situations, like a deadline that you have to meet. You’re working very hard,
you get less sleep during that period, and then your tinnitus suddenly appears. Even if you don’t have it normally, you might get tinnitus
in a situation like this. Then you submit the grant or the project
that you’ve been working on. You’re finished, you have a good feeling,
you get a good night’s sleep. Next day the tinnitus is gone. That shows you
that it’s not just auditory. There’s something regulatory
higher up in the brain that can normally take care of this. And there’s also comorbidity
with depression. If you feel bad and you have sort of a – if you’re sad or if you’re stressed out, then your tinnitus is much more likely
to come up and get worse. So, there’s clear comorbility
with these kinds of mechanisms which we refer to often
as the limbic system. So, on the left, the blue region
is the auditory system. Every sensory system
has its representation in the brain. And then, in the frontal cortex,
sort of in the front part of the brain, there’s this green system, which we often
refer to as the limbic system; it regulates our emotions. And it has some very well-defined
building blocks in there, which I’ll show you in a minute: ventral medial prefrontal cortex
and nucleus accumbets. They all play their role and they interact
with the sensory systems and are able like an operating system
in a way in a computer to emphasize or de-ephasize
what you hear, what you see, and sort of give you the actual percept,
experience of your daily lives. So, the upshot of all that is that tinnitus as a phantom sensation
depends on three things. First of all, in most cases
there is a peripheral auditory lesion; there’s no way around it. Some people say there is tinnitus
without hearing loss, but it’s very rare. It may happen sometimes with accidents. But in regular cases,
there’s a lesion there. And there’s central auditory organization,
as I’ve shown you, the fMRI, and then there’s this
non-auditory gating system, and the rest of the talk
is only about this. About 10 years ago,
we had a crucial finding. That was, again, a brain imaging study that we did in collaboration
with the German MIT. He just said
in the introduction, in Munich. And we found that in tinnitus patients there’s a very significant
shrinkage in one region. We call it a volume decrease because the MRIs determine
the volume of a part of the brain, of the brain tissue. And this was in the ventral medial
prefrontal cortex, which normally is there for the perception
of unpleasant sounds, say. There was a study before that showed
if we hear unpleasant sounds, the same region lights up. So, it makes sense
that this region was affected, but we didn’t know at the time
how crucial it was. Another finding that helped us
understand what was going on is that this region
in the ventral striatum in the basal ganglia,
right in the middle there – You see this red spot there.
This is called the nucleus accumbens. It’s a small center
that regulates our emotions. It’s often being called
the pleasure center. It’s actually involved
in giving you addictions and has all kinds of roles
in terms of emotional regulation. And surprisingly, this region
was highly hyperactive. This was increased in its activity
in tinnitus patients. A very significant effect, as you can see on the right
if you understand statistics. So, those two regions together form
an internal noise cancellation system. It’s what we figured. You’ve all had
noise cancellation headphones on the airplane. And what this does is it can’t make
this noise really go away; the noise is still there but the system adds
another form of noise to a signal. And that’s the negative form
of the original noise and that cancels out – there’s some noise
and therefore you don’t hear anything or you get sort of much milder effect. And that system normally,
with the red box there, inhibits the internal noise signal
and you don’t have tinnitus. But if that system is broken,
then you end up having tinnitus. So, here in a close-up, you see that the nucleus accumbens
is part of that evaluation system and the medial prefrontal cortex
does the volume control; it turns down the gain
when the nucleus accumbens tells it so. And then together,
this works or it doesn’t work. So, where do we go from here? We have hints from this last slide. You see the boxes on the right.
That’s dopamine and serotonin. These are two transmitters. They have to be high for you
to feel good and feel happy. If they are low, then you
get depression, for example, and you get tinnitus. So, this may be opening an avenue
for drug treatment in the long term. But there’s another form of treatment that we might be able
to use in the future. This is called Deep-Brain Stimulation, and it’s been established
for Parkinson’s disease and major depression. I’ll show you in a brief video a patient
that actually undergoes this treatment. It may be shocking for you at first, but it’s become routine in many disorders. The patient actually lies there awake.
She’s slightly sedated. She’s able to talk to the surgeon
and report her feelings. (Video) Mayberg: Does it have
any mental qualities to it or is it still mostly physical? Patient: Actually,
that time it kind of was – there was a lighterness of my mood that went with the lighterness
of my feeling. Voice-over: The transformation was dramatic:
a sudden remission from despair in a person who has spent years
in a nearly vegetative depression. Happiness felt like a possibility again. Josef Rauschecker:
So, I hope I’ve been able to tell you that we’re getting closer
to understanding what tinnitus is, and with these considerations
that I’ve just said, we may be able to ultimately find a cure, and I may be able to respond
to those emails that I’m getting and say, “Well, help is on the way. We’re not there yet,
but help is on the way, though. I’ll have something for you soon.” (Applause) Master of ceremonies:
Thank you, doctor Josef. One quick question for you
before you leave the stage. So, with the leaps and bounds
in brain research, what do you see as the impact
going forward for society? JR: Oh, I think it’s immeasurable. I think the impacts
for society are incredible because our brain is us, and we have to realize
that this is where we feel, where we dream, where we plan. So, the more we understand
about the brain, we understand about human beings
as such and about humanity. This is how I look at it. MC: Thank you. JR: And if we have
disorders like this one, which seem so intractable, you first have to understand the brain
and then we can maybe help people. So I think it has
a lot of deep impact for our society. MC: Well, thank you so much
for sharing your knowledge with us today. (Applause)

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. What about mentioning all the things you can do with tinnitus hearing aids like signia's ressounds and widex ? Problem with scientists is they are usually only interested in their own work.

  2. The ringing in my ears is so bad I daydream of putting a gun to my head. If I play mello music with my EarPods, I can redirect my brain to focus on the music. This technique makes it more bearable. Strangely I also have phonophobia so the earbuds cancel out sounds that make me anxious.

  3. It helps me to understand that tinnitus is organic in nature, a function of the brain, and related to outside stressors and hearing loss related to noise damage and age. I have literally been in a state of continual stress for almost two decades and one of my ways of dealing with it has always been listening to music–everything from loud rock to jazz to classical. Now I see these things are all interrelated. I just assumed I'd have to live with this the rest of my life. Perhaps there's hope…

  4. Marine vessels engine rooms are massively damaging. The heat often makes hearing protection more uncomfortable than the noise. The noise comes back later to haunt you with tinnitus.

  5. As someone who finds it impossible to gain anything like a foothold in a second language something never ceases to amaze me. People speaking about a very complex subject in a second language redefines the meaning of genius.

  6. mine is an effect from Meniere's Disease. I suspect that it will stop when i totally lose the hearing in my afflicted ear. Atm it is merely a minor nuisance. Google meniere's if you like

  7. I have tinnitus. Believe me this becomes ridiculous in morning when i wake up. Medicines are not healing. This headache is killing me. I am becoming psycho bcz of this sound.

  8. A psychiatrist helped me with this technique…..if a clock is ticking or background traffic noise there, our brain will switch off to it after a time…it can do the same with low level tinnitus, so don’t focus on it. Distract yourself and retrain your brain to do this. Merely believing in the truth of this helps it to start. Also, total silence as experienced in sound cancelling rooms in laboratories can drive people crazy. I’d rather have tinnitus than be totally deaf.

  9. We can spend BILLIONS sending rockets to space. But can't do nothing for this space between my ears. WTF WTF WTF

  10. We are looking for a solution of a problem, when we had the solution to avoid it to begin with ! to use "hearing protection " and teaching kids about it it is called educating for a better future, we all missed it cause we all took it for granted, our hearing that is.
    I have the tinnitus and thank God not so often the explosion in my head. in the beginning it was very unsettling, not that you get used to it, for it always catches me by surprise, but I no longer have a violet reaction, the first time it happened I was driving, and almost wrecked the car.
    No fun !

  11. I’ve lived with tinnitus for 27 years. After a severe ear infection when I was 19 the ringing started and never stopped since. I have been able to “tune” it out after a while. Sometimes weeks pass before I’m consciously aware of it. I hope you all have found ways to cope with tinnitus.

  12. I occasionally get the "tone". I can make it go away by pressing my finger into my ear then pulling it out suddenly. POP! The noise immediately fades away.

  13. When it kicks in for me its like having one ear drowned in water and the other not…sound is deadened but cetain low frequencys are super magnified…i can gear my breathing only along with super silence. Its just like the space sequence on 2001 a space oddessy…like im an astronout in a space suit. Low tones magnified 10 times..different pressures in both sides in my head..like there iw a war between the two hemispheres of my brain. Somebodys emmitting tones or frequencys to trigger it.of that im sure.

  14. I get it intermittently, a very high, continuous ring in one or both ears. It's always the same pitch. I think mine is dependent on the air pressure! I just try to stop listening to it and do something to take my mind off it.

  15. I have a brain noise that isn't centered in either of my ears, but seems to be inside the head. It's not hearing voices or anything like that. It's just a very high pitched hum and if I focus on it, especially in a quiet room, I can hear two distinct tones going at the same time. They don't sound like any of the tones he played. If I were to put it into words, it's like first tone he played, but many many steps higher in frequency. Sitting here right now and concentrating on it, the higher pitched sound seems to be coming from the upper-left portion of my head and the lower pitched sound seems to be to the right side of my head.

    I've had these tones going ever since I can remember and for the most part, they are pushed to the back of my consciousness and I don't even pay any attention to them. But anytime I stop and listen, it's there. This does not appear to affect my hearing at all. I can have the volume on my television in my bedroom set to 2 or 3 and still be able to hear it clearly.

    I very clearly know the meaning of the phrase, "The silence was deafening." In the wee hours of the morning, when it's dark in the bedroom and there are no cars on the street outside, these tones can be very loud if I pay attention to them. I guess I've just gotten very good at ignoring them. Maybe these sounds inside the head are quite normal and most people hear them and just ignore them, just like I do. I'm starting to wonder if it's possible to "hear" the electrical activity in your head. That would be the only thing I could think of for this.

    I don't know what I'd do if I listened for it and all of a sudden it wasn't there. Maybe I''ll have to wait until I'm six feet under to find out what true silence is.

  16. Tinnitus is internal, a chorus of high pitched signals, like electronic equipment that is faulty, this is what mine is like, not one tone, but a 'chord' of many pitches

  17. Excellent talk. There's more than the usual amount of information and explanation in this than the usual TED video, and I am thankful for it.

  18. I took herbal remedies called tinifix and it worked on me.
    Could be I had a different form but all I know is it's gone now. Or at least reduced to a level I don't notice anymore.

  19. TEDx Talks choose your speakers better than this please, first thumbs down ever from me here. Why is he out of breath anyway? Isn't the spot light obscuring his vision, why is he looking at that woman in the audience… Yes the one the cameraman noticed then the editing room cut too. Before talks coach speakers to have speakers etiquettes; no coughing, voice leveling, no raising hands to faces, no pounding their chests, stuff like that might not be a bad idea.

  20. The realization alone that one suffers from tinnitus can help to make it easier to deal with. Realization, understanding & acceptance. You can't get rid of it…

  21. What if tinnitus patients hear tinnitus even after death? You put a deceased patient into fMRI and there is total silence in the brain except one spot in the auditory cortex

  22. If the tinnitus is a pure tone, what if you play a pure tone of the same volume and 180 degrees phase shifted? Does it zero out and the patient stops hearing it?

  23. I have the hiss and I notice if I wear headphones even at very low volume it makes it worse. I stopped wearing earbuds and headphones and after about 9 months it had stopped completely and I didn't even realize it until someone had mentioned to me one day about their tinnitus and it was an OMG I couldn't remember the last time I had heard it. My buddy wanted me to listen to a song one day it was at a low volume on headphones and sure enough it started back up, NO MORE HEADPHONES FOR ME, EVER !!!

  24. Deep brain stimulations?
    That doesn't sound good.
    Help is on the way.
    We're just going to muck with your melon. Yikes!

  25. I've had tinnitus now for about 5 years.. It corresponded with some other symptoms/pain I began having around the same type.. But it's all been dismissed by most doctors I've had..

    It's gotten easier to deal with over time.. But some days it's really annoying.. I sleep with YouTube playing.. Sometimes it helps to have background noise to drown it out..

  26. Mine sounds like an old crtv going. 15khz to be exact. I'm lucky it's not what he demonstrated… a box fan drowns out the sound at night.

  27. building industry, joinery shops multiple machines opperating symultaniosly set up harmonic disonance punches through best earmuffs, only time I dont hear it is when Im asleep, and hopefully when I'm dead, all one can do is to habituate to it, I find volume directly related to my level of hydration alcohol definately out.

  28. I am a mild to medium tinnitus sufferer, but when my inner ear (primarily right ear) becomes clogged with wax it sounds like a loud tea kettle whistle.

    Fortunately, for me, after a good cleaning, it becomes manageable. I empathize with those who don’t have that option.

  29. My ringing is caused by Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and when I touch my ear, where the tubes are along the neck, I hear a whooshing noise, probably caused by inflammation, Hashis is autoimmune. Desperately seeking a cure

  30. Read Julian Cowan Hill's comment in the Comments section. He has described the process of tinnitus perfectly.

    I will add that intrusive tinnitus occurs after a prolonged period where thoughts or implied thoughts of "I am not being listened to" are persistent. When these thoughts occur, the fight or flight response is activated and the body physically reacts in the following way: All facial muscles are drawn towards the center of the face away from the ears. The tongue is pressed up to the roof of the mouth causing strain on the neck and jaw muscles. This physical reaction results in a contraction of the nervous system within the face, neck, outer, middle and inner ear.

    Within a period of 17 years with tinnitus, I experienced total silence for 48 hours after my body was involuntarily flooded with serotonin and dopamine. The best treatment for tinnitus is as Julian Hill describes in his comment. I will add: cognitive therapy that focuses on relieving stress caused by the thoughts as described above and their origin, a maintenance program of chiropractic adjustments especially neck adjustments to relieve pressure on nerves and any of the many relaxation therapies available today.

  31. I'd love the hissing tinnitus. mine is a high pitch electrical screech. About as loud as a loud tv. Unmaskable and louder than anything else around me.

  32. I've had ringing in my ears constantly for as long as I can remember. When I clinch my jaw or tighten the muscles in my jaw it gets louder. Im not sure what kind of tinnitus you call it.

  33. Mine was caused by Ativan and Valium prescribed for sleep. There's the background tinnitus and then there's the attacks of screaming tinnitus that hurts the eardrums. Not the worst thing that has happened to me.

  34. Tinnitus also effects a huge percentage of humans caused by Interdimensional Orbs ! They ring our minds , High Pitched . Do your own research . They are all over the World , even in your back yard . Set your camera ( not a SLR ) higher ISO , say 400, also try 800 , manual, Flash on high .Go out bush , in a clearing . Take a few photos first . Get someone out in front to clang the back of a shovel with a spanner , they will come ,take photos of the person, see what you get . they ring our minds. They are more intelligent than us! Try this when you have bad Tinnitus , relax ,feel and send love to them once you know what they are . They will back away . Don’t fear them . They know your thoughts .

  35. Interesting info but nothing that will ever benefit me. Too far out of my reach.
    Mine started and stayed in my left ear for 30 years. Now it's in both ears but still loudest in the left ear which went completely deaf about 10 yrs ago.
    About 34 yrs ago I was married to an extremely violent abusive alcoholic. In one instance I was beaten with an empty 16oz tall glass Pepsi bottle. The left side of my face was targeted, fracturing my eye socket, breaking my nose, and fractured my jaw near my ear. A short time after that is when the ringing, or piercing loud sound of a jet engine on a plane sounds like, had started. Ten yrs later, I went to an ear dr and was told my ear canal had been mangled years before and was trying to grow itself closed. At that point, it was too late and I was told I would eventually lose hearing in the left ear permanently. I lived with this maddening screaming noise in my head for 24 years, hoping that when I did lose my hearing it would stop. No such luck. I have zero hearing in my left ear and the hearing of an eighty yr old in my right ear but this deafening ringing in my ears never stops.
    I've started quietly humming to distract myself, I guess. Thankfully I gave up on the idea of having a meaningful relationship many years ago, so my humming distracts only me.
    Not all stories of tinnitus are like mine, but please know, it does happen. Best of luck to all who suffer.

  36. Okay, it's interesting that there's a stress and depression connection in the brain. I got tinnitus when I was very small, and it must have been from family stress and noise. I do have depression sometimes and it runs in the family. The good part is, having it as a little kid meant I learned to live with it easily. Now I know how important it is to improve brain chemistry.

  37. Had it for decades but it sometimes disappears completely for as much as 10 -12 hours & it is wonderful to feel at peace & to be able to fully function. Might be connected to my own circadian rhythm. However, I am wondering if noise cancelling headphones could provide an answer. I do realise that headphones cannot actually detect the particular noise being perceived in the brain but if, with assistance from a sound engineer to exactly duplicate the noise, which is then fed back through the ears as an inverse wave, it just might work.
    Who knows? Just an idea.

  38. I have had Tinnitus as far back as I can remember, When I was a little girl of about 4-5, I put my ear up to my dad's ear and asked him if he heard that. Then my hearing was checked all the time, I've passed every hearing test taken with more than flying colors, I'm 65 now, and surprised the tech who was monitoring me on my last test. I can hear the slightest of sounds even under the Tinnitus tone. It is constantly present and I'm so aware of it that I mentally monitor when it's louder, time of day, temperature, intensity and so on. It becomes louder when the barometric pressure is low, the lower the louder. As Mr. Rauschecker pointed out, after a loud concert or party, I focus more on music and people that I will focus more on them than the noise, but afterwards, send me to the asylum. The only time I'm not aware of the sound is when I'm sleeping, as soon as I waken though, there it is. Brilliant talk, very insightful.

  39. Thanks very much. I don't really have tinnitus, but I do have some sound sensitivity. My comment has to do with light. I just looked up the word for excessive sensitivity to light. The word is "photophobia". No the term does not mean fear of light. It means fear of the PAIN that light causes. I had cataracts, and was nearly blind. I had corrective surgery which was successful. But, light causes me pain. I wear a blindfold to sleep, sunglasses during the day, and I am most comfortable at night. Anyway, respect and sympathy to those with tinnitus. I think I can relate.

  40. Thanks for talking about the subject, which allows people to know that they aren't alone. I would love to experience the peace of total silence again, but I have learned to cope with the constant ringing.

  41. My "high frequency, low volume" little friend is very jealous of me having silence as another friend. So silence left me… probably forever.

  42. pulsed microwave radio frequencies have been known to cause tinnitus, with the increase of cell towers and 5G this will become a common occurrence. Because fast download speeds are more important than the health of the sheeple.

  43. I think that I have a possible cause/solution for this. But would need to talk with an expert like this guy about it

  44. I've had high pitched tinnitus since I was a silly 12 y/o kid who put their left ear up to a large speaker bc it was stimmy (am adhd). I'm 33 and desperate for relief from the constant maddening noise. 😥

  45. I have it in my left ear only. Have it 24 hours a day but sometimes (rarely) it lowers in volume. Have had it for years. Also have insomnia (perhaps because of the ringing?) I'd like to Van Gogh this thing. So it has a connection to the brain? Not sure I followed that. Will have to watch it again. I definitely think it could be stress related. I think since it showed up out of the blue maybe it will leave someday?

  46. I can’t even remember there ever being silence in my head. I suffered many ear infections, a busted left ear drum during an infection and chronic pan sinusitis among having multiple autoimmune disorders. To sleep I need either meditation music, or an app having multiple sounds for people having tinnitus, etc. If I’m weak or sick it is much louder. I tried to make believe that I have Tibetan meditation 🧘🏼‍♀️ singing bowels in my head .

  47. Firstly. Thank you for finally producing a video about tinnitus.
    I have had tinnitus for 19 years, l can even tell you, the exact time and date when l got this invisible disease. It isn't a day l celebrate with any relish.
    Tinnitus l call a '3 edged sword'. Firstly it is incurable, and has 35 different types. Secondly, it is a mental condition that can cause depression and suicidal thoughts. So, staying strong is essential. Thirdly, it is a financial nightmare. As, we who have it have to inform people we have it. These include, government departments, insurance agents, and other organisations, especially most importantly our employers.
    To combat 'Frederick', l use BIA 'Brain Intensive Activity' to distract it, and most importantly 'mindfulness' & music, especially classical & accidental.
    I don't take any medication for it, as it is a waste of time, as most of the mediation is addictive, and could cause even more issues down the line. I am aware that l will either have this for the rest of my days, or go deaf, this l understand fully. Plus l have had more 'Hours of the wolf', than l wish to remember.
    If you have this condition, you have my sympathy. If you don't, some advice:- treasure your aural connection to life, because l wouldn't wish this condition on anyone, at any time.
    Once again. Thank you for this posting. Most of the information of my ICM (Indirect Control Mechanism), (The human body), l was aware of. But, it was good to hear it from an expert in their field.
    Stay strong everyone. We will beat it some day. 🇬🇧

  48. I saw a comment about sleep and tinnitus I think that should definitely be checked out I took a nap earlier and didn't quite hear anything until a while later but I heard it and it was kind of frightening but hearing the sounds in this video it didn't sound like this but I had an extremely high pitched sound like ultra high pitched with music sounding faintly behind that.

  49. My personal sound is more like a soft humm with an ever so slight twang that has been dragging out for about 25 yrs. Im 49. When i focus on it i fall asleep very quickly.

  50. My right ear rings like a church bell due to exposure to loud noise. I wear earplugs all the time now. Carry them everywhere I go.

  51. Heavy chemotherapy, along with equally heavy radiation, has given me this constant torture. Most days I just accept it as the cost of not dying from sinus cancer. Other days, as similarly stated earlier, I long for the “sound” of pure silence…

  52. I get a tone. The tone seems to change pitch once in a while. I have had it as long as I can remember. I always have a radio or TV on in the background. My hearing aids actually help as it is not a real airborne sound. It has become a background soundtrack for my over active interior dialogue. It has affected how I learned; my propensity for multi sensory learning (read, listen and images all together). I avoid any experience that involves loud sounds.

  53. I am convinced my tinnitus is caused by stressful things happening in my life. Almost always it is better after a good night's sleep. But, a loud sound can trigger it too. I think that the loud sound is triggering my tinnitus through the "fight or flight" response when my brain is suddenly and unexpectedly stressed.
    Anyway, I also have a problem with repetitive behaviors. Like when a song in your brain just won't go away and you keep replaying the lyrics or jingle inside your head. Very annoying. I also tap my fingers repetitively. I find I do this subconsciously. Not wanting to but it has become such a habit that it consumes much of the "cognitive budget" that I have.
    The only relief I get is when I can calm my brain. Working on this part of it. Recently I have made some headway by consciously fighting the tendency I have to be hyper alert to my surroundings. Instead, I am learning to think about calm and serene things and realize I can't really do much about the awful things in the world. Not talking about being selfish, just being realistic about my own abilities. This attitude alone has helped me calm my "brainstorms".
    Passing on my own experiences in hopes they might help someone else…

  54. Have had Tinnitus for approx 30 yrs.
    Very loud all the time and sometimes
    under stress it ramps up louder. Both ears,
    never liked loud music, concerts.etc..
    My sounds are like the highest pitch on an organ.
    Neither ear in harmony. Very interesting comments
    here re Xanax, which I have used many year for sleep.
    White noise in bedroom is a must. Always thought this
    might have been from a Bells Paulsy like infection,
    1990. Very interesting re Xanax. Thanks.
    Now is the time to try CBD OIL!😛

  55. On the other hand what I have experienced is not just tinnitus but also some hyperactivity in brain., it feels like my brain is not at peace! I remember how my hearing used to be so clear before tinnitus and I don’t have a hearing loss as well. It feels like my life has turned upside down.It’s depressing but I am still living. Quality of life is effected but I am still there.

  56. Depression ? that's an AHA for me! But also, I don't get it unless and until it's being talked about……….so for me it's quite bearable in my everyday life.

  57. I suffer from chronic cluster headaches which I am certain started when my tinnitus did. They are both brain disorders and it seems to be about 2db louder on the headache side. I don’t hear it in my ears it it much deeper. A single tone of about 11khz. I find some binaural psychedelic beats can make it disappear during a session, I have been experimenting with that trying to stop headaches, until spring rains. 🍄

  58. People with Tinnitus or hyperacusis etc PLEASE BE AWARE OF POTENTIAL DISTURBING FREQUENCIES IN THIS VIDEO WITH NO WARNING! I do not recommend wearing headphones if you are a sufferer

  59. I’ve had it on and off since I was 14. It’s like an old friend to me. I don’t want to be cured. I’m lucky though because I don’t have it constantly.

  60. I have Tinnitus, an can get it to go away. When it returns it’s a warning to me, to finished with the physical activity (which evolves my shoulders neck) that I am doing for the day. Most recent tinnitus change was the hiss or roar that developed an lasted for 3 weeks. But it’s gone now as well, I really over did it with my neck. So how I get rid of this issue. I visit my cranial massage person an also the chiropractor. With the 2 working together easing up on cranial an muscle pressure. It will subside. This works for me. I have had a few concussions in the pass, one face, so lot of stiffness with facial an head bone plates. Tinnitus to me is now a warning, to stop what I’m doing or it will get worse. Full blown choir. You know. Take care.

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