I have recently developed tinnitus in my right ear; high pitched whine accompanied by a feeling of intermittent stuffiness in that ear. I went to an ENT doc and had an audiologist work up. Turns out my hearing is still good, overall: some high frequency loss in the right ear but overall not bad.
I have read some of the other tinnitus threads on A'gon. I am feeling afraid right now that this ailment will "ruin" my enjoyment of this wonderful hobby.
I am interested in how others of you with tinnitus are doing with your audiophilia. Are you still able to take pleasure in listening to music on your systems?
Thanks. I guess I just need some encouragement.
I too suffer from an intermittent tinnitus in my left ear. It is a kind of a sound you would hear between FM stations. Not particularly high in frequency but in the upper midrange. I too, went to the ENT and after getting all kind of tests, it was determined I just have a mild high frequency loss above 8KHz in that ear. Below 8K is fine. My right ear is fine.
When listening to music, I would hear an increase in noise in my left ear and it did bother me for a while. The tinnitus now comes and goes and doesn't bother my listening to any significant degree. Some days it's gone, other days it's there. I was told salt intake, stress and anxiety would increase it. ENT says with time, you become accustom to the noise like anything else and it will, at some point, not be an issue. Mine bothered me for the first 6 months or so and now I don't notice it unless I specifically think about it.
Make sure though you protect those ears from now on out. Don't listen for any appreciable time over 85db.
You will definitely get used to it and be able to enjoy music. I developed tinnitus a couple of years ago as a result of taking Accutane. (the doctor never told me that it was a possible side effect) At first, it was really noticeable when I was or wasn't listening to music, but after a couple of months, my mind filtered it out, in the same way analog fans filter out groove noise and pops, and all was well. I don't have a severe case, but sitting here in a quiet room right now, it's easy to hear the high pitched ring. I was very worried about it as you are now, but I really think you will stop noticing it 90% of the time. Let us know how it is going for you.
My experience has been the same as Roxy. Best wishes.
I agree you will get used to it. I developed a constant high pitched whine in my right ear about 15 years ago resulting from a car accident, along with some high-frequency loss. Try to be patient and realize that like most you will probably learn to live with it without much effect on your quality of life. I was very upset then but now I almost never notice it-except right now as I write this!
Here's the main point, your hearing ability is still judged to be good. So you're still able to listen to and enjoy music. Just be careful and avoid loud listening levels at home.With really good audio components you don't need loud levels for enjoyment anyway.Get a good SET amp, they are engaging at even low and moderate sound levels (hint).

Actually, the cause of tinnitus has nothing to do with hearing, although is seems that way. This is a neurological condition. Do you have a history of silver amalgam fillings?
Shortly after I got involved in higher-end, I had my hearing tested because I thought there were issues. Yup. High frequencies on the left ear ain't what they used to be.

Someone suggested to me that left-side weakness was due to us, in our younger years, driving with the window rolled down. Interesting...

Fast forward: Both my wife and I have tinnitus, and we both love to listen to the music. It never really bothers us *while* we're listening. We have Magnepans, and they need a bit of oomph to really shine, so the music tends to occlude the tinnitus.

But, lying in bed in the morning after, we can tell that the ears have been 'disturbed.' The same is true if we drive our Prius, or worse, our pickup truck with fairly loud pipes. After only 1/2 hour in the car, things are ringing.

In short, no, it doesn't bother us while listening, only in the "quiet room", as Roxy54 says. Perhaps we might be missing something in the quieter music passages, but it's difficult to determine what you're NOT hearing due to the raised noise floor inside the head.
Thank you so much for your support! I know that there are far worse ailments in the world, and that "fear of not being able to enjoy my stereo" is a "first world problem" of the most blatant kind. But it's good to know that I can learn to live with this and still enjoy one of my greatest pleasures. I don't know what I'd do without music.
Charles1dad --
Yes, yes, yes, I thought of this already. And yes, I'm working on that SET. :-)
Manley Mahi's sold to a local friend. Manley Shrimp being serviced at a local shop - checked over, really - so I can put it up for sale. Still waffling between the various choices. It'll all come down to my budget. As you are the "Yoda of SET Amps" on Audiogon, I will notify you personally when I've made my decision. :-D
I wear ear plugs if I'm driving more than 30 minutes, keep cell phone away from my ears, don't have the TV up too loud. All of these things help my tinnitus.
I also use headphones more than I used to as they seem to keep the tinnitus at bay.
Tinnitus is a real bitch.
I've noticed that since I've stopped using earplugs when I sleep, I sometimes wake up with water in the ear canal.
I'm very afraid of ear infections so I immediately pop a Mucinex which dries things up nicely.

As for tinnitus, I've heard caffine and alcohol contribute to this condition.

Any young ear doctors worth a damn out there?
How 'bout a fix for us old guys?
I often wonder how musicians, rock and classical alike, cope with their daily exposure to high decibels. One would assume that they all have tinnitus to some degree.
I developed tinnitus about seven years ago, gets worse in the late autumn when barometric pressure starts fluctuating ahead of cold fronts. Like Roxy54 says, you learn to live with it and listen through it. Getting older with a healthy mental attitude means accepting that we can't do things at as high a level as we did when younger but still taking pleasure in doing them as well as we can. I can't lift as much weight in the weight room or run as fast as I did thirty years ago, but I still look forward to exercise every day. Same with listening to music in spite of tinnitus.
The audiologist told me that because this is a brain thing as much as an ear thing, the more you attend to it the more you train your brain to focus on it. So yoga, meditation and other mindfulness practices can be helpful.

Tinnitus is made worse by caffeine and alcohol... dammitall.

Timrhu mentioned driving with earplugs. Working past my aversion to most things Bose, I recently bought some Bose QuietComfort 20i noise-canceling headphones. They are, in a word, outstanding!

When driving (or on an airplane, or when the neighbors are mowing the lawn, etc...), you can plug these into an iPod, or else just activate them without listening to music.

The moment I hit the switch, I usually say, "Ahhhh...." You rarely realize how noisy the world is until you pop these in.

Over the long run, they can really save the ears, and I've noticed that engine noise and background sounds don't fire up the tinnitus nearly as badly.

Had I known that this technology would be so useful, I would have bought them much earlier.
Rebbi, just so.
Science is just now discovering that almost everything is just a brain thing.
Tinnitus tamer 4 .
I am a 76-year old audiophile and I still enjoy all the music I can get even with tinnitus AND hearing loss (I just turn the volume knob a bit more!). Like Roxy54 and Photon46 said, it's all about your mental attitude. I'm not bothered by it at all unless I think about it, which I normally don't. And, please, don't stop enjoying the grace of life.
I'm 79 and agree totally Vladamir. God Bless .
I blasted my ears playing in bands for decades (since around 1967), still work on my electric guitar chops likely a little too loudly because well designed tube amps are so satisfying, ride motorcycles, and get slightly overpaid to run sound at live jazz shows (just did a Fred Hersch show a couple of days ago...GREAT trio...one of the best ever maybe....see 'em). Although I use a full face helmet, I use earplugs if doing a longer distance ride as it's insane to ride a bike fast without hearing protection. Wind is really loud shit. My ears have been ringing forever and I suppose I'm simply used to it, but I can still mix shows and enjoy hifi...as hearing gets worse with age your brain compensates somehow, and things seem to sound fine...plenty of geezer sound professionals out there.
Very interesting! Has it worked for you?
I don't know a thing about it but the software to help sounds interesting and potentially plausible to me. Not much to loose to try I suppose.
For me, I usually don't notice it unless I think about it at which time it gets very loud. I haven't noticed it in days until I read this. I think you get used to it. It certainly won't hinder your enjoyment of the music.
I haven't read the other posts above, but here's my two cents:
A few years back I developed continuous tinnitus in both ears. I won't bore you or myself by explaining how. That doesn't matter anyway. From its inception I accepted the notion it most likely will never go away. I just ignore it at least 99.9% of the time. Aside from natural hearing loss based on aging, I do not feel the tinnitus has "ruined" my enjoyment of listening to music. So, do yourself a favor, like me and probably a number of others, just pay no mind to the tinnitus and continue to enjoy your music!
I just finished reading the posts above. Seems a lot of us are in the same boat, but we're doing just fine(I'm 71). Best of luck and continued wonderful enjoyment to all, including you too, Rebbi.

I have only just started the coarse , strange as I adjusted the levels etc as per user guide and did a ten minute session, when i took my headphones off a mass of earwax the size of a large pea dropped out from my right ear !
Andrewrona, Have you or anyone you know tried Tinnitus Tamer and found it effective?

I know you are trying to be helpful but the net is full of useless remedies. The fact that it only costs $35 may be a means to get more people to try it and then just forget about it if it doesn't work, because it's just $35.

I don't mean to be too cynical but I have some familiarity with the the unfortunate reality that there are a lot of dishonest people who have no qualms about separating worried people from their money with false hope.

I am not implying in any way that you are one of those people.
Andrewrona, I guess I was typing my post as you were posting yours. Please keep us informed as to how the Tamer works for you.
Rebbi, briefly, listening to classical music provides great relief from my extreme tinnitus. Listen deeply and you are in the music, and out of this world-where you're tinnitus resides.
My wife also has tinnitus. For what it's worth, she uses and recommends Rutin. It does not get rid of her tinnitus, but minimizes it significantly. I have never tried it.
Interesting thread. I've got a touch of something like tinnitus. Long hours staring at the computer monitor and or TV causes like a ringing in my ears, and not getting enough sleep also affects this. A couple of days away from viewing anything reduces or eliminates this. I don't listen at loud levels, certainly below 75db for the most part. I do have some hearing loss too.