3 Months Into Mild Tinnitus — Story for Newbies to Help Cope with Initial Panic and Depression

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by rmnkby, Mar 8, 2019.

    1. rmnkby

      rmnkby Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Dec-12, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I just wanted to share my progress in 3 months after my acoustic trauma (concert) that left me with mild tinnitus. This post mainly targets newbies, to help them cope with the initial panic and depression. Even mild tinnitus can get someone pretty depressed in the early days due to the power of the two key phrases: "permanent" and "no cure".

      First let me tell you about my current situation. After my trauma, I was left with two sounds: One is the pretty common super-high pitch "eee" sound. The other one is kind of a screeching sound, I was more concerned about the latter, as it is harder to ignore.

      Today at 3-month mark, I can say that the really high pitch sound hasn't improved much. The second sound, however, has subsided quite a bit, probably to 30% of what it was at 1-month mark. (Note that it's not 30% of day-1, it's 30% of the level on day-30).

      Today, I can sleep with silicone earplugs (I have been doing that for the last 10 years) and fall asleep in no-longer than before. When I think about tinnitus while trying to sleep, I can hear it very clearly, but as soon as I think about something else, it fades into the background and disappears. One minute later, if I think about it again, it's still there at the same loudness. Pretty significant actually, especially with the silicone earplugs, but my brain is already starting to do a good job of filtering it out, even though it has only been 3 months. That gives me great hope that I'll even forget that I have it in a couple years.

      I still use headphones (though no in-ear earphones, and no louder than 20-30% volume). I only use it in office, where I don't have an option to use speakers. There are people in this forum who will tell you "absolutely no headphones, no exceptions" but I feel like such extreme measures don't help dealing with this mentally. I really find it hard to believe that using headphones 1 hour a day at 20% volume can make your mild tinnitus worse. Like anything else, this is also not understood well enough, and there's no scientific data to back that you have to absolutely avoid headphones, even at low volume. This is my feeling on this. I recommend to take everyone's opinions with a grain of salt, decide on the level of risk that you're comfortable with, and at the end make up your own decision.

      I got ear molds (musicians ear plugs) and use them for concerts. Although, from now on I'm only going to concerts that have a reasonable volume, preferably quieter outdoor section, or outdoor festivals where the sounds dissipates into the air and doesn't have nearly as high of a SPL as an enclosed club. I avoid loud and small clubs completely. Considering I'm 36 years old, I've been to those places enough times already..

      So sum up, my mood has gone from constant panic and depression to "it'd be nice to not have this mild ringing, but oh well.."

      I have a few suggestions for the newbies:
      1- It's OK to be sad/depressed about it, spending all day on forums, panicking whether your life will ever be the same, etc. in the early days. Don't fight these feelings, just do what you gotta do and let these feelings dissipate. Trust that you'll eventually feel less and less sad about this. Just like fighting a cold virus, your body/brain will fight this sad feeling, and eventually get back to a normal state. That's just how incredible our body/brain is. It always does its thing to survive. Remember your first break-up? Do you feel nearly as sad as day-1? This is the same. Of course, if 6 months later you're still feeling as bad as day-1, you might need professional help. But don't expect to feel great and completely forget that you have tinnitus a few days/weeks after your trauma either. Give yourself time. Feel what you gotta feel.

      2- Don't worry that your new life will suck with all the new limitations. Think of this as a blessing: Most people get much worse tinnitus when they're older. That's maybe because those people didn't have tinnitus when they were younger and didn't get a chance to become experts on this like us. Thanks to our current condition making us experts, we will all take care of our ears in the best way possible for the rest of our lives. And maybe our ears will be in better shape when we're older than if we had never had this problem when we were younger.

      Trust that your brain is amazing, and as I explained above, just like fighting a flu virus, it will also fight this symptom and do its best to make it stop bothering you. You will also stop feeling sad, just like a joke stops being funny after a while, and continue living your lie with new limitations which will help maintain your health better for the long term.

      PS: Don't forget that there is always a chance for a cure as well, but I do not recommend completely relying on it to be OK with your condition. I believe most people with mild tinnitus can get to a state where they don't even care whether there's a cure or not, and that should be the goal.

      Good luck!
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