Jonathan Hazell replies to your emails: October 2006
so much for your site.
quick question: Your offices and Dr.Jastreboff ,in Atlanta, perform exactly the same tests and therapy for hyperacusis correct?
and I wrote every word of the book together so there is no disagreement on TRT
There is a difference in style and emphasis, but his results and ours are the same.
Many people have been to both clinics!
You will be very welcome to visit Jacqui Sheldrake in London
We worked together for about 30 years
The tinnitus I have is pulsatile, but vascular problems have been ruled out (MRI & CT scan). I can't afford TRT but have considered acquiring a WSG.'Acquiring' not a good idea. Wrong fitting and wrong use / single instrument are not recommended. Use sound enrichment 24/7 but avoid masking
What I am wondering is whether or not the habituation will apply both to the tinnitus and the pulsation sound. Or does the pulsatile factor have to be treated differently? Would be most grateful for your reply.
That is exactly what the site and the book says! Habitation applies to ANY sound whether generated by the brain, the body or the external environment.
At 13:36 03/09/2006, you wrote:
Im a younger one (27) that I got Tinnitus in a concert 3 months ago. Its low only ear it in silence rooms but it bother me a lot.. I only 10dB hearing loss on 3500mhz. in th ear afected with tinnitus (only right ear)
- can it will go away? how much time it can be?
- do you think in a few years wa have a cure? how many years?
is no short cut to learning about
tinnitus - download the 'demo' with illustrations and
listen carefully. Only then will you understand that the problem is your
REACTION to an essentially normal phenomenon, rather
than irreversible damage (many people's wrong thinking)
Then you will be able to understand the answer to your questions
1) yes it can
2) there is never going to be a quick fix.
10dB is not a hearing loss it is within normal limits
I'm just a young french PhD student, implicated in the scientific research, aware of your huge work in the field of hearing disorders. I've read many issues from your team and on the tinnitus retraining therapy initiated by Pr. Pawel Jastrebof. You've said that : "TRT, the treatment developed by P.J., has already proved to be the most effective and most widely practiced tinnitus treatment worldwide." I'm not agree with this assertion. There's no effective treatment at all in France. I'm not speaking about minor tinnitus or from the decreased sound tolerance in the lack of hearing loss; but from physically central tinnitus pain, associated with subtotal hearing loss, following sudden or post-traumatic deafness. There's no and never habituation at all with the tinnitus pain. I took part to a research project last week based on repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the cortical hearing BA 41-42 area, following the work of Tobias kleinjung in 2004. It could be qualified as moderate torment as many aspects of the TRT for lowers sufferers seems to be. It was totally unsuccessful after 5 sessions of one hour each. Do you really think it's easy to think, sleep, learn, and to write a neuroscientific thesis with such a tremendous, central and continuous pain, ridicrously named tinnitus ?
Dear Sir or Madam,
first, let me say thank you for your wonderful and helpful webpage! The webpage
is great in setting fears about tinnitus at rest. If audiologist had said to me
that tinnitus is just normal, I guess I would have never developed fears about tinnitus.
I developed tinnitus and a mild form of hyperacusis about three months ago. The
past year I had regularly worn ear plugs. Moreover, almost three weeks before
the occurrence of tinnitus and hyperacusis I had always worn ear plugs (yes,
nearly 24 hours a day) because there was a construction site near my house and
in the night I was so noise sensitive that I could not sleep without earplugs.
The last months I stopped using earplugs. Now my tinnitus almost stopped and
hyperacusis stopped as well; it is only that in very very quiet rooms I hear a
very slight noise in one of my ears (but I guess that is normal according to
Heller/Bergmann). Your webpage has helped me a lot in learning what hearing
actually is about and that there is no ideal of silence (difficult to learn for
My question is: could it be that the hyperacusis and tinnitus evolved because I
resorted to earplugs and wore them nearly 24 hours a day?
I've read all your stuff on TRT. Very interesting. When busy i don't hear my T at all. I have one question though. I'm soon to begin Hypnotherapy and have just started your advice on sound enrichment. It certainly helps with sleep. I practice CBT for a more positive outlook which also helps but i have two points.
1. Why do we have spikes in our T. I had two days when the T was so very quiet then today a big jump. Strange. No changes in my lifestyle etc.
2. As we have little in the way of TRT up hear in Durham, if i wanted to begin to use TRT by going to your clinic in London, how do i go about this? I can't travel down each day obviously. How many appointments would i need, costs etc?
And when could i start.#right now
I do hear many negatives on web sites but try to ignore them. My scientific brain believs the theorys of TRT. I can't hear the fridge so why hear the T.
Dear Jacqui and Jonathon,
I appreciate that you are getting loads of questions and so I really
appreciate you taking the time to read this.
I have not had tinnitus for very long (6 weeks approx) but I am finding
it very distressing. I believe the cause of the tinnitus to be muscle
tension brought on by a long period of stress and anxiety. There seems
to be a correlation between when my neck pops or cracks and the severity
of the sounds I hear. The trouble I am having is that the sounds I hear
are hardly ever the same two days running (possibly depending on how
tense I am!). It jumps from ear to ear and sometimes it feels like it
fills up my head completely! I just wondered how TRT would work when
it's not just one 'level' of tinnitus I would have to get accustomed
to? And is there anything I should be doing to try and 'level out' my
tinnitus? Hope these questions make sense.
Type, quality, variation in tinnitus is
The only thing that counts is your understanding
of the Jastreboff model, and you REACTION.
Almost nobody has totally 'steady state tinnitus'
Working on this will resolve everything
Other stress / reactive issues are almost universal
You are therefore a classic case! - TRT is the solution
I wrote to you back in March as I was suffering from tinnitus and hyperacusis. Having received help from your replies to my question and information from your website, I felt very relieved and with the hope that my tinnitus could be reduced, I learnt to live with it and actually began to like the noise.
#best possible state!#
I think it must have reduced, and it is not very loud anyway, but it reduced nevertheless, since I could not hear the noise with a window open, but I could before. I found that it was due to the optimism from your website and sound therapy.
However, after a few months I am finding it troublesome again, and it is making me feel the distress I felt before. It also seems to be louder. Is it likely that this is a relapse, which can be resolved by learning to get used to the noise again? In other words, I am reacting badly to it again so I am hearing it louder. In addition, what can I expect from treatment in your centres? Should I expect less reaction to the tinnitus or an actual reduction (which I understand to be due to less reaction to it).
Densensitisation works with wide band noise,
the upper frequencies of which are never
very pronounced due to poor transduction to the
People are usually more sensitive to high
frequency sounds, but it works just the same.
It is not a 'frequency effect' but a 'volume
turning down' effect on the whole auditory system.
You need to do some more work on 'how the
auditory system works' - I suggest the 'demo' download
just a question regarding tinnitus source strength.
On your website I found an information that according your measurements the tinnitus source is always very quiet,
even hard to measure with sensitive equipment.
According my experience the subjective tinnitus loudness is measured by comparing your subjective loudness of tinnitus with tones from a headset in a sound - proofed room, therefore you can get subjective tinnitus loudness - for example 40dB, the loudness is always different for particular person.....so how do you know the tinnitus sound is always a quiet sound /I saw it's 5-15dB somewhere/, how did you get this result? You probably use another method, or.....?
At 11:33 01/03/2006, you wrote:
Hello Mr Hazell
You have been kind enough to answer a couple of emails of mine in the past. Your help was and is highly appreciated.
I am a 34 year old musician. I have had tinnitus since I was 16 and - though its gotten louder and louder and louder since then - its rarely been a problem for me. I have read the website and not only do I agree but find that I have lived by much of what is said most of my life. I've always told people that tinnitus wasn't a problem - it just depended where you put your focus - on the tinnitus or on the world outside. I have had three bouts of hyperacusis beginning in 2001 - just come out / coming out of the third one. Along with advice you have given me in the past about it, I realize that A) It is infact a phobia / obsession thing for me and a symptom (rather than , as I first believed, cause) of depression. You worry and obsess and feel powerless and then when you finally start to let go of that (on a deeper level), what a surprise that it goes away.
Some very quick background to my question. I had a hugely lifechanging December with about 4 very big changes in my life that called on patterns and fears I've held to for 15-20 years and were major breakthroughs for me. And then my first child was born a few days before 2006 - an extremely joyous but slightly overwhelming event. My hyperacusis started a couple of days before her birth and I'm now coming out of that now, as I said. I should also add that I have gotten a stream of small illness after illness (food poisoning, fever, 2 head colds). My point is that I usually don't get sick often and I think that my body is reacting to the big emotional time I've been through. Plus, of course, I've been focused on my ears cause of the hyperacusis.
I got a head cold 4 or 5 days ago which involved blowing of nose and pressure changes in ears. Suddenly I got a really loud low (as opposed to my usual high) ringing really loudly it totally freaked me out. It disapeared (or rather went back down to its normal level - I'm sure the sound is probably there all the time it was just the volume that changed). But the ringing in my right ear now is immense. I have several 'notes' in my head all the time most of which I don't usually notice but my right ear includes a high frequency that is kind of noticeable constantly. Usually it doesn't bother me but its vicious right now.
As well, I have been getting pressure or blocked feeling in either ear at various times. Kind of like my ears feel thick. And I THINK my hearing is slightly slightly dampened although to be honest I can hear everything fine as usual but since I'm freaking out I get paranoid about that too. All of this could totally be the head cold. I am still a bit stuffed up though not as much as before but I suspect that my ears could be stuffed. That would certainly make sense of these symptoms and would be in keeping with my experiences in the past.
Is there anyway of knowing if that is the case or if my Tinnitus has decided to get a bit grumpy? I hope that doesn't sound like a stupid question - I am trying to educate myself more on all of this.
A couple of other questions. I have tried to find the information on this on the website and I just can't. Maybe its there and I just keep missing it. Basically my tinnitus reacts to some sounds - like for the duration of certain sounds the tinnitus gets louder and dies back down the millisecond the sound stops. If I put the telephone to my right ear (and right ear only) I can hear the person fine but along with their voice I hear my high freq tinnitus flare up and go back down to normal level with every word and pause. What is this about? I would really love to understand it. Also would TRT deal with this as well?
#Have another look at the questions and answers from last year (below)
Its more of the same. You haven't yet got to the bottom of filters and how they
affect our perception of sound. When you hear the filters at work, (that's tinnitus),
don't be surprised they are complex. unpredictable and related to
sound experiences. Of course TRT deals with all T regardless of
characteristics. Listen to the 'demo' download with illustrations.#
Lastly - as I said, I've had tinnitus since I was 16. It has since then gotten louder and louder. Being a musician is this just something I will have to deal with? I've read a letter you replied to saying that loud noise wouldn't make tinnitus worse as such. I'm on board with everything the Jastreboff theory is saying. But I don't understand why tinnitus is worse after exposure to loud music (or 'disco tinnitus') and whether or not continued exposure spells worse and worse tinnitus in the long term. You know I'm 34 now and my music's just starting to get somewhere. I am singer and its very difficult to sing with ear plugs and still be able to hear everything well enough - though to be fair I've yet to try musician's earplugs. Blatantly its scarey.
Sorry, one other thing. Why are most medical practicioners so (insert swear word here) dismissive of TRT?! It seems so many places (and I'm talking websites but from medical institutions that really should know better) are practically ignoring it. And yet they offer no alternative hopes. It baffles me and reading through some of these people's letters angers me - they are practically being driven to phobia-Disneyland.
My total apologies for this letter being so long. I am hoping to be able to buy the book ASAP. In the meantime, your advice would be gratefully received.
I hope its alright to write to you as a follow up to the email you replied to about two weeks ago.
I am a 33 year old musician and I had asked you about my hearing sensitivity which I had a bout of three years ago but had gone away completely when I stopped obsessing about it and recently started again (after again worrying about my hearing). As it goes, the less I worry about my hypersensitivity, the better it seems to be. I strongly believe - as you suggested - that it is a phobic / worry thing for me.
But, funnily enough, my tinnitus has become much much worse (even though it doesn't usually bother me, even though its loud). I know that this is at least partly (if not completely) due to me living in my ears (if you know what I mean) at the moment. But I do have a couple of questions I would greatly appreciate you considering. I am trying to study the model but to the best of my ability I could not find the information on the site (though I will be buying a copy of the book as soon as I can).
I've been feeling something of a block in my right ear which I think must be a wax build up. My voice has also sounded louder in that ear (as if I had water in it from swimming). The ringing (and at some points sensitivity) sometimes seems more pronounced in that ear. I can hear absolutely fine though. The rational person in me says this must be wax (and in fact the 'block' feeling has all but gone now), but the nuerotic musician in me wonders if these symptoms could be further hyperacusis?
Also wanted to ask you about "reactive tinnitus". By which I mean that for the exact duration of some sounds, I am noticing my ringing increasing in volume (which stops the millisecond the noise stops). Is this a well known condition? Does TRT also deal with this? Obviously I am scared about this getting in the way of my making music.
I am sorry to bother you again. It is of immense help to be able to email these questions to you. I believe once I move on from worrying about this (conciously and subconciously) I will get back to normal life (like last time). Information and understanding is the only way that will happen. Thank you again,
Go to earlier letters