20 Years of Tinnitus and It Has Recently Hit a New Threshold

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Lee Davis, Jan 8, 2015.

    1. Lee Davis

      Lee Davis Member

      Los Angeles, Ca
      Tinnitus Since:
      I first went to an ENT/audiologist when I was 15 for tinnitus. I think back then it was the punk rock shows and playing electric guitar at home that caused it. Since then I've learned to live with it. It's been manageable. I've used white noise solutions for sleeping and worn earplugs at concerts and the like since my late teens. Over the last couple of years, in spite of making an effort to protect myself from loud noise, it's gotten worse, but still what I would consider an annoyance rather than seriously impacting my life. That is, until a couple of weeks ago after a trip to the firing range on a busy day with my friend for an hour or so of shooting some AR15 type rifles.

      I wore these custom molded earplugs that I got recently, which I thought were pretty good, but were not nearly enough for what I endured on that day. I tossed and turned all night that night and I could feel that I had done some real damage. I never imagined the ringing could be as loud as it is now. I hear it over everything, people talking, busy roads, music, the fans in my bedroom that previously masked it well at night. Obviously, this has been really tough to deal with and I am searching for answers and help, which has brought me here. I've already done some lurking over the past couple of days and I'm giving this thing a whirl as I'm typing this :http://generalfuzz.net/acrn/.

      Not sure what the next step should be, but it seems like I should at least head to an ENT and audiologist again to have my hearing checked. I actually visited an ENT about tinnitus a couple years ago and his audiologist was out, but he was convinced the tinnitus was related to my bruxism, jaw clenching while I slept. Maybe that's tied into the eustachian tube thing, but it just seems unlikely given the correlation with loud noise exposure and the increased severity of my tinnitus...
      • Hug Hug x 2
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    2. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Sorry about your recent increase!

      Yes, many people say this site has helped them. I've never been successful at the site because I can't match my most annoying sound--a dog whistle. Now, if you have pure tonal tinnitus, you'll probably will benefit.

      How long has it been since your noise exposure? Perhaps, it is not too late to try either a round of oral steroids or an intratympanic steroid injection. With noise exposure, it's important to shut down the inflammation, for that is what damages your hair cells.

      The supplement NAC is supposed to be otoprotective by reducing free radicals, which are generated after noise damage. Here is a link to NAC for more information.

      Of course, the site has many excellent suggestions to help you. Chances are you're experiencing a temporary spike, and you'll revert back to baseline. As annoying as your noise is, try not to focus on it. I would play masking sounds to keep my mind off the noise.

      Take care and welcome to Tinnitus Talk! :)
    3. Yan

      Yan Member

      Los Angeles, CA, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Good day to you, Davis.
      Ugh, I am kind of going through the same. I recently had a sinus infection. I feel better in terms of condition, but noticed that a week ago my T worsened and what mostly scary - it spread onto my good ear. My theory that infection somehow affected my T situation. Now, something I haven't experienced for more than a decade came back. I am trying not to panic. This forum is really helping me in terms of emotional relief.
      You are not alone. Know that. In our everyday life we might not have supporters, but here - people understand!

      By the way, I am also from Los Angeles but all ENTs I came across here are from Jurassic Park and all just keep telling me to "get used to it". What is your experience with local ENTs?

      What gives me hope is this thread: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/inner-ear-hair-cell-regeneration-—-maybe-we-can-know-more.3131/

      Because of this I discovered that there might be somewhat solution: LLLT. People mostly talk about Dr. Wilden in Ibiza and another doctor in Norway, but somebody mentioned Florida, US based one: Dr. David Rindge. http://cooperativemedicine.com/david-rindge/

      It is not cheap, but I have a feeling that this might be a legitimate treatment. I am going to contact him soon and considering actually travelling to Florida. Heck, I am even ready for Europe and China, if necessary.

      As for now, what temporary helps me is rushing my blood flow. I went to Pharmacy (Rite Aid) and got myself B-6, B-12 vitamins. I went to gym (again) and run for 30-40 mins on a treadmill daily. I use steam inhalator (sold at Rite Aid) and sit with it under blanket daily for 15-20 mins while massaging ears, nose and cheeks, where eustachian tubes are. Right after that I ask my wife to massage my neck and back of my head. Drinking coffee.

      I found that rushing blood flow helps me. Very very little, but helps. Maybe it's just mental, but hey. Try it, maybe it'll help you, too.
    4. Mike82

      Mike82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I hear you (badly), Lee. It was punk rock shows that did me in too. Although embarrassingly in my case, I'm not even a musician!

      And Yan, even though my regular GP is a good guy, when I went to see him about Tinnitus, he didn't seem to have the first idea how to help. He prescribed me antibiotics for a "possible middle-ear infection" but certainly didn't seem concerned that my Tinnitus had spiked so dramatically in recent days.
    5. AUTHOR
      Lee Davis

      Lee Davis Member

      Los Angeles, Ca
      Tinnitus Since:
      Interesting point, Jazz. I had assumed the damage was pretty done instantly to the hair cells. I haven't heard before that it could be inflamation that is continuing to cause damage. It has been just over a week and a half I believe since I was exposed to that noise. It's true that over the last couple of decades, I have had spikes before from any number of things, mostly muisc related, and that it does seem to go back to baseline in the weeks and months following. The current level of volume of my tinnitus is something new to me, however, it has just never been nearly this loud before, so I'm fearful that it will not back to manageable/baseline again.

      The steroidal solution sounds interesting, I suppose I would have to ask for this specifically from the doc? Would an ENT prescribe this stuff? I've always understood steroids to actually contribute towards inflammation generally. I have been focused on lowering cellular inflammation for a few years now via a diet low in sugars, no gluten, very little grains, etc.

      @Yan, I have only seen one ENT about this so far in Santa Monica about two years ago. He's the guy who had theorized that it was caused by night clenching/bruxism. Who knows., he may be right, but that's a lot like tinnitus in that there is no cure for that either. I just use a bite guard at night to keep my teeth from getting destroyed. I'm going to have to look through my provider list and make some calls to find this guy again though, I'll let you know when I do. I would go back just to use his audiologist because I'm curious to know what my actual hearing is like. As far as this doctor in melbourne, I was just there last week! I'm from Vero Beach, Fl. which just south of there, wish I would have known about this guy then. That's why I was shooting these guns int he first place, don't ever get the op to do that stuff here in California.
    6. James Brown

      James Brown Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09-1998 2013(worst)2018 (T+H)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposition-noise trauma-siren
      I know how you feel. I had a manageable T for 15 years, until a balloon blew close to my ear. The second that happened I knew the damage was done. Now my T can be heard over everything and it's reactive,so even the noise of a car motor can, when driving becomes annoying. For 2 years I am trying to cope with it. It never will go back to what it was, so the solution is to carry on. There is no other way.
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