Thread: tinnitus
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      12-11-2011, 07:44 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Blayne View Post
Actually I got a question, my doctor said that over a long period of time that it is possible for it to slowly go away. Is this true? Also, I believe I got it from a gun shot, as my ear was kind of deaf for the whole day after the gun shot. Though the next day it was perfectly fine, and for about a week or so after it was perfectly fine. Then I was just sitting at my desk, and it started ringing. No one can figure that out, as should it not be instant after the trauma occurred.

Thanks a lot

(Just did some thinking on this, and would it be correct to say that since there was a delay in my case, it would be more than likely that my condition is being caused from the brain?)
It is very possible that you suffered a high-frequency hearing loss from the gun shot. The timeline you describe is actually pretty typical in that the hearing loss is usually not instantaneous. The hair cells often deteriorate over a fairly rapid timecourse after a major insult like a loud gunshot near an unprotected ear. It is only when the hair cells fall below a certain threshold (in terms of absolute numbers) that the hearing loss itself becomes easily apparent on audiograms. Chances are that if you have an audiogram done, there will be a steep fall off in the higher frequencies although the lower frequencies are, likely, unaffected given the mechanism of injury.

After an insult to the cochlea, a "permanent threshold shift" can occur ie at certain frequencies your hearing threshold permanently worsens. It is only after this occurs that tinnitus often becomes apparent. The exact mechanism for the tinnitus is not entirely known but is likely secondary to false "signals" being generated along the auditory pathway ie either by the remaining hair cells or in the brainstem.

In some cases, if the tinnitus is bad enough, correcting the high frequency hearing loss with a hearing aid will fix the tinnitus.

Hope this helps.