11 Months Update — Leaps and Bounds

Discussion in 'Support' started by Mellow7, Dec 2, 2018.

    1. Mellow7

      Mellow7 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dear forum members,

      I would like to take this opportunity to give a small update about my personal circumstances.

      Tinnitus entered my life quite drastically in January, during exams no less and seeing as I have another exam period coming up, I thought this would be a good time to write about my experiences and partial recovery.

      If you read my posts from back then, you'll be able to see I wasn't in a good place at all. The tinnitus was quite volatile, in the early months especially in the negative sense and very unpredictable. Let me start by breaking the news to you: it hasn't gone away. But what has gone away is the hold it had over me the last few months.

      I'd like to give some advice, taking into account what worked for me:

      - In the early days, especially the unpredictability of the tinnitus was very scare to me. It felt as if I was losing my mind, the last tad bit of control I had over my life. I could not escape it by any means whatsoever. What helped me in this regard is keeping a diary: I chronicled the level of my tinnitus every day. I have about 3-4 tones shared between my two ears and my head ('head tinnitus'). So I would attribute a letter (A, B, C) to each of these tones and give it a number between 1-10, as well as describe how it had evolved during the day. This helped me tremendously because of the fact that I started seeing a pattern after a few weeks/months. I learned what to blame for certain (small-big) spikes and learned to avoid them. I feel like the brain is wired in a way to accentuate the negatives of the condition and to invalidate periods of it being better. As soon as you are able to discern the fact that there are also periods of it being better, you will feel much more in control once more.

      It is this aspect that delivered me the greatest emotional recovery. Call it habituation to a certain degree if you will, I'll just call it 'whatever works for me to keep going with my life'. It helped me relativise my condition greatly.

      - I learned to avoid swimming, showering while getting large amounts of water in my ears, etc. This has helped me prevent ear wax plugs, as well as have less of the feeling of 'full' ears.

      - Try to look out for what your triggers are. Especially foods are a very unknown factor in the tinnitus signal. This pretty much ties into keeping a diary. After a while you starting seeing links with events that happened shortly before a certain change or spike in tinnitus. For me it is dairy products. That doesn’t mean I never eat cheese anymore, but always in moderation. Try and find out what yours are.

      - Keep busy: don't sit around, wallow, dawdle and feel sorry for yourself. I do not mean to generalize of course. Some patients have tinnitus at extreme levels. While they may find a way eventually for themselves as well, I am giving this advice from the perspective of a person with (what I currently call) moderate tinnitus. Keeping myself occupied and setting goals for myself (especially on the front of careers and/or studies), is great therapy for the mind to deviate from the tinnitus signal. This is also something I felt I did wrong in the early days. I was doing the opposite. waiting until it would disappear so that I then could get along with my daily affairs. Sadly enough, that day rarely comes along for tinnitus sufferers, except for the happy few. So don't let yourself be caught in the same type passivity like I have.

      - Avoid loud places. I feel like this should be evident. Sadly enough it isn't. There seems to be a lot of misinformation. Even amongst specialist, but always try to feel out what you feel comfortable with. Do not push your boundaries, because it might cost you dearly. It pays off to always remain vigilant and keep protection (ear plugs; tailor made by preference) with you, that you can easily pop in as soon as you feel like things are becoming too loud for you. A lot of so called ‘specialist’ (audiologist in particular) will advise you to keep on living like you used to, but I personally feel like our auditory pathways aren’t quite what they used to. And while 80-90 dB sounds may not necessarily cause hearing damage, they may influence the tinnitus signal we perceive. Even if it settles for you afterwards, I would advise caution and especially after the initial onset habituation starts setting in and you feel complacent about the whole situation.

      Those are my few cents. I may give more updates as I go along, but that’s it for now. I hope I was able to help some of you guys.

      All the best and take care!
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    2. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Thank you for your positive update. The above quoted approach is something we always try to advice newer sufferers, to try to get back to living, however hard at first, to set some simple and easy goals so you can focus on it and get busy, just to get distracted from T. Given time, one will find that they can forget T for stretches. That will be the beginning of the turnaround. It is baby steps we are looking for. But as time goes by, things will get easier.

      I encourage you to write more positive updates, and if you like write a complete success story so it is there for other sufferers current and future to read up to learn from your approach. Take care. God bless.
      • Like Like x 2
    3. New Guy

      New Guy Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      Great tips @Mellow7. Those are some hard earned lessons as t is quite unsettling when you first get it. I recommend anyone reading to take heed to everything in the post especially the part about avoiding loud places. I wish I kept myself busier but it was a hard time for me.
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