- Jul 30, 2019
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- Tinnitus Since:
Here’s my story:
- Cause of Tinnitus:
- Explanation in About You
In October of 2009 during my senior year of high school I first got T. I was standing in my quiet kitchen when all of a sudden I head a low “ooooooo” come out of no where in my left ear. Still don’t know the cause. Did the whole ENT/MRI/Clean out earwax shebang but they couldn’t find any problems and I was told to live with it. It was hard but I habituated pretty quickly because the sound was at such a low frequency that it could easily be covered by fans and other very low ambient noise. I would kill to only have this tone again.
Fast forward 8 years and I have my first worsening. I was sitting at my computer (January 31st 2017) when all of a sudden my left ear popped and left me with a chirpy hiss - I still don’t know a reason for this. In retrospect this sound is not the bad but it sent me down a horrible spiral. 3 weeks later a VERY loud pure tone at 1500hz jumped into my left ear as well. I’m not sure if the cause was the flu or the ambien I had been taking for the chirpy hiss (or a combination) but this was extremely hard to get used to.
I ended finding some masking and coping methods and 2 years pass and I’m functional again. Not happy, but functional. And then everything went to hell in late July of 2019 where I had a severe acoustic trauma that left me loud metallic sounding bells in both ears. It was a sudden onset too - my right ear popped loudly with the metallic bell sounds and although they settled a down a bit, it wasn’t by much. I had never imagined it could be this bad, the other sounds were hard to deal with but god these just go over everything. They are also highly reactive to the 1500hz tone when I play it from my phone to mask the sound in my left ear. I think some sort of feedback interference happened when the tone and music played at the same time and I damaged my synapses/nerve cells at this frequency. This sound is also reactive to my speech and will really ramp up if I’m crying or talking loudly.
I should mention I have a couple of other typewriter noises but they’re fairly easy to cover and I don’t hear them much.
So here I am, 27 and trying to cope. I have found some masking that works but it’s not very good and I can still hear the screeching bells over most things. I’m trying to hang in here like everyone else, waiting for the possible treatments but it’s getting harder each day. Especially when everything seems a decade out.
I’m going to go ahead and try stem cells and see if I can take the edge off. One can only hope, I think even a 25% reduction could help immensely. I just want to say that I wish I had been more understanding of people with severe tinnitus back when mine was mild. In fact, I didn’t even know that T could manifest in so many different ways and volume levels. If I ever am able to get back to mild T again I will do everything I can to help this community. We are often so overlooked and it breaks my heart. Thank you to anyone who read through all that, we’re all in this together.
Edit: after a subsequent acoustic truama in early November 2019 I have no developed severe reactive tinnitus and hearing distortion. I just can’t seem to dig myself out of this hole...holding out every day for a cure.