2 Year Tinnitus Anniversary Today — Habituated

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Gopher93, Jun 28, 2020.

    1. Gopher93

      Gopher93 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      Newly registered and first time post. Today, my two anniversary of getting tinnitus from a loud concert (worse in left ear... kind of a scrambled signal/distant bells ringing as opposed to a tone). I relied on this forum a lot in the first few months and thank you all for sharing. I thought I would share my two year experience with tinnitus.

      The first month or so I kept waiting for it to go away and then months 2 and 3 were very traumatic when I realized it may never go. I had emotional problems and it affected me big time, I had to build my life back one step at a time over the course of several months from when I hit bottom.

      I read here a few times that it takes about a year to habituate. I would agree with that timeline because in the first year it does get better month by month, but I would probably say that it took me 18 months before I had no panic-related issues with it, and about 2 years to fully habituate to where I am now, which I think is in the category of pretty much fully habituated, i.e., "not giving a shit" about it and living normally, and no more PTSD about the fateful concert, and realizing if I hear louder ringing (sometimes when I wake up from a nap that tends to happen) that it's a temporary phenomenon and not new damage or a sign of worsening.

      I only hope that I can help people who are new to T realize that there is hope and as much as it sucks, you are not alone and others have been there and fought hard to make it through the rough timeline to habituation. You can do it! The best advice I got was just to take one day at a time and get through what you need to do today.

      One last topic I'd like to comment on is the challenge of getting back to normal in terms of relationship with sound in the environment. At first, I believe I had serious hyperacusis and found so many things like the sound of a TV or maybe someone listening to a video clip on a phone, very irritating (I'll call it "irritation factor") and I was panicked if a fire truck went by and would not listen to music on headphones or go back to a concert (I'll call it "fear of more damage factor"). Use your own best judgment and gather all the information you can to help you with these issues - but for me, I believe these things are psychological more than something physical going on in the ear. The irritation factor has faded slowly for me on the same timeline to habituation. The fear of more damage factor I think I got better for me much faster. After a little while I stopped living my life worried that there were cochlear cells hanging in the balance between life and death depending on how careful I continued to be. I live my life now with perspective that what could damage my ears now is the same that could have damaged my ears at any time prior to this. So for example I have no problem listening to music with headphones (I use Beats Studio) and had no problem going back to concerts pre-COVID19 with proper protection (I use Earpeace plugs, which are great, if I had them in 2018 I would probably not be in this situation. My wife had Earpeace plugs at the same concert and she is fine.)

      Stay strong friends! Much love and support.
       
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    2. Renee W

      Renee W Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      @Gopher93

      Thanks for your story. Has the tinnitus loudness stayed at the same level or improved throughout the 2 years?
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Gopher93

      Gopher93 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert

      Honestly Renee, I think the baseline is about exactly the same as it was at the beginning. Not better, not worse, but on the bright side I think there are fewer flare-ups and less fluctuation than there was early on.
       
    4. Steph1710
      Old hag

      Steph1710 Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antibiotics - I think
      Hi @Gopher93

      So great to read your story. I'm so happy you're able to live your life again. :)

      I needed a post like yours right now. I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself. I'm two months into developing T and I managed to pick myself up and get on with things pretty good after my initial panic at onset.

      However, a few days ago I had a moment of fleeting tinnitus that never fully went back to baseline and is now louder than when I first developed it.

      So I suppose my question is - did you ever experience any spikes/fluctuations? And did they settle down after a while?

      Kind regards

      Steph
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Gopher93

      Gopher93 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      Steph I recall seeing a number of people on these boards refer to the first few months as the "dark days" and unfortunately I believe that is true. The first few months are really hard because you are dealing with something new and scary. I won't sugarcoat it - the first few months are really tough and you have to take it one day at a time. If you are like me, you are on a daily march to habituation. Unfortunately that may take longer than we want it to take. And yes the spikes and fluctuations were present in the first few months and maybe even in the first six months. They may still come around but I don't notice them or psychologically I am able to ignore them and know that they are temporary. I got my tinnitus from a traumatic event so I have been able to come to terms with the fact that the damage is done and I need to protect my hearing from new traumatic events. Hope that helps but I know everyone is different.
       
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    6. Steph1710
      Old hag

      Steph1710 Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antibiotics - I think
      @Gopher93

      Thank you so much for replying. Your message means a lot right now. I was well on the way to habituation but then this spike which came out of nowhere has knocked me on my butt. I think right now I'm just trying to find out whether spikes are temporary. I've had little spikes in the two months since my onset of tinnitus, but this one is horrific.

      Anyway, I know I've already said it, but I'm truly glad you've got to the place you are now with your tinnitus.
      May it long continue. :)
       
    7. Faithful_Ash

      Faithful_Ash Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
       
    8. CAgirl

      CAgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      3 M80 Firecrackers
      Thank you for this post. I am two weeks in from an acoustic trauma and I instantly developed unmaskable tinnitus. I can hear it over everything, nothing drowns it out. I knew the difference because I have had very maskable “tonal” tinnitus in my opposite ear for 15 years. This noise I can never get away from. It’s a hissing/electricity noise.

      I’m also suffering PTSD from it because it was my neighbors who set off M80s and I had no warning. I endured 3 of them before running to the car. Of course, I’m also living with the regret of being in my backyard that night and not running to the car after only 1 blast. We were moving and were in backyard packing boxes.

      I guess my question is, is/was yours the “unmaskable” type like I’m describing?

      Either way, so glad you’re doing better.

       
    9. Hotspur2931

      Hotspur2931 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/flu
      @Gopher93

      Thanks for your story! I'm at the 16 or 19 month mark depending on how I count it. I don't have panic issues any more really, but I deal with varying levels of anxiety and low mood on and off. I find it hard to imagine that in 6 months or so I could achieve habituation.

      So I'm just wondering if you could a) elaborate on how you are defining habituation? Are you able to be in quiet rooms? Are you able to go for a day or more without thinking about it? and b) explain the process of going from "just not panicking" to habituated in only 6 months?

      I feel like I've improved a lot in my first year or so but I still worry a lot about whether I'm still making progress and if I can expect further improvement.
       
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