"Tinnitus means you are too switched on"

“Tinnitus means you are too switched on. This is a whole body thing and not just an ear thing. Your whole central nervous system is in red-alert and tinnitus is just one of the many side effects of this whole body reaction.
Many people are told tinnitus comes from damage to the hair-cells in the cochlea – the part of the hearing apparatus that detects sound. This is not true. Damage to the hair cells causes deafness, not tinnitus. When you become deaf, you strain to hear more. It is the straining to hear more that can temporarily increase your sensitivity. An increase in sensitivity can temporarily make you more prone to tinnitus, not damage to the hair cells.” (JCH p.7)

So does this mean that all we need to do is to learn how to “switch off?” Could the effects of TRT be ascribed to a reduction in fight-or-flight overactivity?

Is it logical that if we can go from a state of “normalcy” into a state of anxiey and tinnitus, that we can go from a state of anxiety and tinnitus back into a state of normalcy? Is it at least a possibility that we can’t rule out offhand?

4 thoughts on “"Tinnitus means you are too switched on"

    1. Profile photo of dainisdainis Post author

      For many people, coffee and sugar aggravate tinnitus. Can you monitor your own experience? What happens if you drink loads of coffee with sugar? What happens 0-48 hrs after you do that? Do other things affect your tinnitus? What makes it better, and what makes it worse?

  1. Profile photo of julian cowan hilljulian cowan hill

    Yes we do need to learn to switch off. Tinnitus struggles to keep going when we achieve this.

    TRT, as far as I understand it, puts a controllable amount of sound into the ears which the nervous system gets used to – this means the nervous system registers it as non-threatening and habituates to it. Because this is manageable people’s tinnitus generally settles down and switch off more and more. The input is lowered and the hearing settles further, reducing the tinnitus and so on. This can be great for people who like to have a sense of control. If you are interested in this, you should contact a professional TRT therapist for details.

    All states are temporary. Of course we can move from anxiety back into well-being. If we create conditions that make us feel safe, calm, trusting, and comfortable, especially in relationship to someone else, then we generally move towards well-being.

    Why is is so strange to move from anxiety to well-being, when people accept that they can move from well-being into anxiety all the time? Its a two way street. Nothing is fixed.

    Coffee, tea, sugar, chocolate, salt, alcohol can sometimes aggravate tinnitus for some people, whereas for others they have no affect at all. As your reactivity returns to normal, and if you look after your diet and overall health, your tolerance should increase. I0 years ago I couldn’t drink coffee or wine without a reaction, now I have no problems at all. Let your body and your tinnitus tell you what suits you and what doesn’t.

    Sugar is a big no no. We have not evolved over millions of years to cope with collossal amounts of sugar in sweets, chocolate etc. According to Nancy Appleton in her excellent book “Lick the Sugar Habit,” giving up sugar causes our immune system to go up 16% within 24 hours! If you sit and take your pulse after eating sweets it goes up dramatically. This is due to a massive imbalance in the blood causing insulin to be secreted, and a stress response gets triggered alongside leading to increased adrenaline. Sugar interferes drastically with mineral metabolism, digestion, the heart and many many more highly unhealthy things. Beware giving up sugar too abruptly. Going cold turkey can be really unpleasant.

  2. Mike Matthews

    The things that you mention are all stimulants and affect the degree of excitation of the body. On a personal basis caffeine in whatever form gives me palpitations and a wierdly irregular heartbeat. It also stops me sleeping and was mandatory in the bad old days to stay awake when I was a junior hospital doctor working 108 hours a week (yes really).

    The article above is perfectly rational and correct.

    Dr Mike Matthews

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