- Nov 15, 2019
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- Tinnitus Since:
- T 2010 / IT 2015 / VIT 2019
I currently suffer from "reactive " Bilateral Atonal Intrusive Tinnitus.
- Cause of Tinnitus:
- Noise exposure / Head trauma
In brief, I have had noise induced Tinnitus since 2010...after years of excessive noise exposure (army, motorcycle riding and general exposure to loud environments...or what I would otherwise describe as living) my initial Tinnitus was triggered after going out in a night club. A year later, in 2011 following a flight, I suffered a SSHL in my right ear which brought on an Intrusive Tonal Tinnitus. I was treated promptly with Prednisone and completely recovered after five days of treatment leaving me my previous base line Atonal Tinnitus.
After my initial Tinnitus onset I consulted a local ENT who showed no empathy, told me that there was no cure and that I had to live with it...and sent me on my way. Even though difficult to deal with at the beginning I did as much research as I could and ultimately worked on a personalised habituation/noise masking strategy (TRT/CBT influenced). I never stopped to work and continued my regular activities whilst protecting myself as much as possible. After quite a while I became accustomed to my T and it faded in the background.
My first T noise level was only perceived indoors in quiet environments which made things more acceptable and workable. Unfortunately my Tinnitus level has increased three folds over the last decade, two times further to dentist/hygienist consultations (again managed, even though a very difficult initial phase as I was hearing my T indoors/outdoors and difficult to mask). As I did initially I continued to work and continued my regular activities. I had a more difficult time then the first time around but worked on myself by keeping as busy as possible whilst using my initial strategy. After an extended time I was, once again, able to regain control and get accustomed to it.
In hindsight, during these two phases, I most probably overprotected whilst also overexposing my ears to low white noise...Even though not officially diagnosed I most probably also suffered from"winding up" and "kindling" Tinnitus over the last decade. To make things more interesting I also suffered a concussion in 2018 which led to another T spike...which, luckily, receded after a few weeks.
Unfortunately the situation turned for the worse in September 2019 after a succession of motorcycle rides which I undertook with custom made earplugs. I had not ridden for a decade but, ironically, had habituated so well to my various forms of T that I felt confident enough to restart to ride. I nevertheless stayed disciplined and would not ride more than two hours in a row with a minimum of two week interval between rides. On my last two outings I felt my T increase during the rides themselves but didn’t act as I didn’t feel any physical pain (I always had in the past before a permanent flare up) and thought this was only going to be temporary...over three months later the noise level has not receded and here I am today...
At this stage the noise level is still unbearable and gradually increases to peak at night. I currently take sleeping pills and have noise generators all over the place including three in my bedroom. My left ear with "reactive" T constantly spikes around two hours after I fall asleep...I then wake up and take some more sleeping pills to be able to continue the night...
My current situation is depriving me from any consistent sleep and making it very difficult for me to function. I have not managed more than 2 to 4 hours in a row per night since the onset of this new flare up.
After 10 years of having this debilitating condition I consider(ed) myself experienced in Tinnitus management. I had never had to resort to medical assistance or any sort of medication in the past. I have unfortunately have now reached a level where I can no longer resolve this on my own...
At this stage I have stopped working and am still trying to find the best management solution. I am still hopeful and hanging in there...the reason being that, even tough always initially very difficult, I have always been able to habituate...
Is this a challenge too far ??? Time will tell...stay tuned...
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