5 Months In and Now Doing Fine

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Bob63, Apr 20, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Bob63

      Bob63 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Hi,

      I found one of the worst things I could do for my mental state in the early stages was to log onto this form and read through stories from people that were clearly having a very tough time. I wondered why there weren’t more positive postings. In the case of this forum I think the main reason is that when a lot of people recover, they just can’t be bothered to post.

      I got T & H from playing drums with a very loud metal band in early November last year. So I’m well into my 5th month. I still have it but it has improved to the point where now I don’t notice it most of the time.

      The hyperacusis was the scariest part for me. In the early going I could never tell what was going to trigger it, resulting in a relapse of T wiping out prior improvements and making it seem that some major lifestyle changes would be required if I were going to get better. I was avoiding all types of noise; wearing ear plugs or safety muffs around the house when vacuuming or running any appliances. Even driving required ear plugs. The weirdest thing was that for some types of noise, no amount of hearing protection or attenuation would work. The result was always fluttering, whooshing ears, and then an increase in the T level that would persist for up to 5 or 6 days. It was very disheartening.

      I believe hyperacusis is a protection mechanism emanating from some primitive part of the brain in response to fear of sound. A subconscious fear created by the aural trauma. It is not necessarily related to the intensity or noise level. I’m quite sure of this since I attenuated certain sounds via ear protection down to a level (<65db) that would have in no way been harmful but still experienced the negative reaction and accompanying spike in T. On the other hand I do think you want to avoid loud environments for a few months after onset of T&H. I think a rough benchmark is if you need to raise your voice to carry on a conversation, you should probably minimize your exposure.

      My hyperacusis got markedly better at about the 4 month mark. I’m now going back into noisy restaurants and bars without hearing protection. It does occasionally still result in raising the T levels but I’m convinced no long term change in lifestyle will be necessary. I’ve even resumed playing drums with my jazz quartet, though I am wearing musician’s plugs for that. And as previously mentioned, the tinnitus is still present but it no longer bothers me.

      Here are the things that have helped me:

      - The biggest improvement for me has resulted from taking an SSRI called Cipralex. Initially, I viewed taking an anti-depressant very negatively but I can honestly say it was a great decision. One of the things I was having an issue with was OCD-type constant checking to see if the T was still there and whether it was improving. This drug has effectively curbed that behavior and has allowed me to habituate. It started being effective after being on it for 3 or 4 weeks. I probably feel better now than I have in years, though I still have tinnitus.

      - Many of the recommended devices – masking sounds (pink noise) at night, getting rest, avoiding stress applied. I bought the Sound Pillow and run it off of my Android. I have Jet Audio on my Android which works well for playing the same downloaded noise track over & over with absolutely no pause in between.

      - I found out when I went to visit an ENT for that the hearing test in the audio-booth seemed to improve my T. It seemed to be the exercise of intently focusing my hearing on tones of ever decreasing intensity. So I downloaded the pure tones of varying intensities from an audio test. The process of listening to these would result in 10-20 seconds of silence when I removed the headphones. Even when the T was raging at its worst I could count on this a couple of times a day. I do understand this to be purely subjective and have heard that the opposite effect can occur for some people.

      - The shower had virtually the same effect for me. I think it was just the most effective sound mask and the benefit resulted from not actually being able to hear the T for a relatively long period.

      - Meditation & controlled breathing helped me a lot since my T level seemed very much related to my stress level. I took a meditation class and practiced on my own several days a week.

      - Conversation helped a lot. Just the act of talking out loud.

      - In the early days I had a lot of trouble sleeping – to the point where I could not remain in bed and took to walking around the neighborhood at 4 in the morning. Clonazepam was very helpful for sleeping. It also alleviated anxiety on a couple of occasions during the day. Be careful if you do take Clonazepam for an extended period (several months). You will need to taper the dosage to stop. I avoided taking more than .25 mg (half a pill) at a time for that reason. To quit, I went down to .125 mg for a couple of weeks before coming off completely. In any case it helped me immensely and I still take it occasionally.

      - If you can avert your focus from the tinnitus, it will decrease. At times when lying in bed at night with the T raging, I would mentally play 18 holes on my favorite course. The effect was dramatic.

      - I think it’s important to try not to over-emphasize the negative impact; not to over react. I think you want to acknowledge it, but tell yourself that you can deal with it. That it’s not really bothering you too much (even if it is). Your internal conversation needs to be as positive as you can manage.


      Other observations:

      - The only food that might have had any impact on my T was salt. But I’m not certain of that. Otherwise nothing.

      - I was very anxious about flying. I thought the noise from the plane could lead to a major worsening of my tinnitus, especially since some low-level noises would trigger it. I used ear plugs and noise-cancelling headphones while flying and there was no impact.

      - Caffeine had no effect on my T. Nor did alcohol. Though I did stop drinking for several months. (Incidentally I also quit smoking cigarettes – after smoking for 38 years).


      So if you recently acquired tinnitus and or hyperacusis, I think there’s a very good chance it will go away completely after a few months. If not, don’t be overwhelmed that you are permanently stuck in the situation you are currently in, take heart that it will certainly get a lot better (with or without drugs). In my case, I think the 1st 2 months with T&H were some of the lowest times in my life. But now 3 months further on, I’ve largely habituated to the T and I feel great. I hope you are able to use some of the things that helped me.
       
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    2. TeresaD
      Fine

      TeresaD Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Bob63,

      You have no idea how thankful I am to read your post. I have had T for years but it's always been something I had no problem coping with. A few weeks ago it got a lot worse and I started having symptoms that I know (now) is H! It took me awhile to find this forum but I'm so glad I did just to know that I'm not crazy! I have an appointment on Friday with a neurotologist but, unfortunately from what I've read, I don't think there's much he'll be able to do for me. I'm just hopeful that, like you, it'll go away in time. The whooshing, full feeling in my ears is the worst thing, since there's really no way to mask it because it's IN my ear/head. And everythings SO LOUD! The AC, my husband's voice, my dogs barking, toilet flushing...AGH!!!! And my T feels like a have a jet engine in my ears! So high pitched it hurts! Just wondering, did you ever notice a change with the weather? Seems like when the pressure is low, it's worse. Anyway, thanks again for giving me some hope. And I'm very happy that yours went away and you took the time to come back and post. If mine goes away, I'll make sure and do the same. Cheers!
       
    3. Paul82
      Balanced

      Paul82 Member

      Location:
      Kent UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sinus Infection / Stress
      Great post Bob! Glad to read your story! :)
       
    4. Sara_Bond
      Cool

      Sara_Bond Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      28.10.2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Hey @Bob63, thank y0u for posting this hopeful msg. I have H&T too at the same time than you. It seems that today it's still difficult for me habituating to T worsened by (but I got some improvements with H and I remain confident). I'm feeling completely depressed now, and I was wondering if I soulf take some AD to help me cope with this (like you, i view this very negatively9. I took an appointement for next week for that, and have time to think about it.

      Anyway thank you for posting, it gives heart to ppl who still suffer.:)



      Hey @TeresaD, I also notice this with the weather and I'm pretty sure the pressure has some effect.
       
    5. TeresaD
      Fine

      TeresaD Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi @Sara_Bond
      Well, I thought the weather did but today is sunny and beautiful out and my T and H are just horrible! I had a good day yesterday and thought maybe I had turned a corner but, nope! I'm also thinking about AD!!! I don't know how to cope with this.
       
    6. Sara_Bond
      Cool

      Sara_Bond Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      28.10.2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      @TeresaD

      I know it's so difficult. I een not feeling myself, but pushing to try to not be in a despair. I do hope I will get to happiness with or without all this s*%6.
       
    7. TeresaD
      Fine

      TeresaD Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Sara_Bond hoping you're doing better. I've been improving these last couple days so feeling pretty hopeful but not wanting to get too excited.
       
    8. i.m
      Anime

      i.m Member

      Location:
      The "Lack of English" Land: Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      For me: Aspartame Poisoning. For Ent: L: TMJD / R: Dunno
      I am in your situation too, because anti-depressants are ototoxycs and obviously I have fear they could making my "damaged" ear worse or damaging the "healthy" ear. Yes, it is a rare event, but I am quite scared :S
       
    9. Sara_Bond
      Cool

      Sara_Bond Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      28.10.2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Hi @TeresaD

      Glad you're doing better. In my case not that much, but today feels better cause I'm home with family, and helps me to stay positive.
      You said you were coping for years with Tinnitus. Did you have mild T?
       
    10. Ludwig
      Aggressive

      Ludwig Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      17 february 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma


      Since February 17 I suffer from tinnitus, after a concert (acoustic trauma). A hissing sound in my left hear or in my head.

      For a month, I went into a depression. Think about suicide was the only thing that gave me relief but during this period I read plus 53 studies completely and some others partially (174 in total), I talked to many people and read more than 300 posts (on Facebook and on forums, for example tinnitus talk) and pathogenesis of many stories, but there is a lot confusion and lack of clarity. I wrote to Susan Shore, to dr. Rauschecker, to dr. Tzounopoulos, to Bettina Stubinski (aural team, of AM101) and the Mulders researcher. So I tried to get an idea about the genesis of tinnitus putting together the data. What I understood is that there could be different causes, but the effect is the same for everyone: an ''alarm signal'' that remains active. But why do many people have different signs and sounds at different intensities (I read pretty much everything from those who have a whistle, to those who train, who buzzing, rustling/hiss like me, or whatever)? May it be similar to when the clutch of a car is triggered and doesn't stop? Shouldn't we all hear the same sound? I know it is a difficult problem and I'm certainly not a scientist.
      No doctor can tell me why this happens. If it is caused by a coclear damage with a certain signal depending on the lost frequency, for a nerve damage, brain damage or ... but I say: why?
      I study philosophy. Philosophy can't help me in this difficult moment but, thanks to philosophy, I go on asking myself some questions (without answer), it seems legit, doesn't it? Why does this happen?
      Personally, I have a hearing loss of 35db at 8000Hz due to an acoustic trauma and I struggle to hear even the 7000 and the 10000Hz. Tinnitus really bothers me, it's a constant hiss followed by hisses and boos of about 20db or more. If I move my neck to the right or to the left, the sound becomes more high and it happens the same if I clench their teeth. The review I gave you have a lot of information.
      I tried corticosteroids (after acoustic trauma), hyperbaric room for 8 days (!!), Citicoline, tricortin, acetylcarnitine, Bromazepam, Clonazepam, duloxetine (ssri), nimodipine with ginko biloba supplements or vitamins, but nothing worked.
      Two weeks before I had tinnitus, I went to my doctor for a dermatitis.

      Joking with him, I said: "This issue is not important, be anything but not a tinnitus!" (I knew what it was, it was a nightmare for me since before, but I did not know how to prevent it, I just knew it was a huge problem and I was afraid of it). Good. Two weeks later, just after a concert, here: tinnitus. The nightmare came true. At the same time, my parents, in an attempt to help me -because I was hopeless- understood what tinnitus was. I asked my father, "But, don’t you ever hear anything? Have you ever heard noise or sounds in your ears? ". My father sat in a quiet room, focused on sounds and told me he heard a little whistle in his ear, but he never cared about that before and thought he had nothing!

      Since then, my father has a tinnitus which is stronger than mine.

      By then, two months went by for both of us. He was told that he had tinnitus due to a change in blood pressure. In my case, it was an acoustic trauma. Isn’t it strange? And now…my mother! She begun hearing whistles in her ears, luckily only temporarily (I hope she will not get tinnitus). But how can it be possible? I start thinking that tinnitus could be present at an unconscious level in many people. Or are all coincidences? Incredible.

      Now are almost three months. But T still there and I'm afraid about T and future. I am also play drum but for now i have stop it.
      Damn... i hate this life. I hope that somebody find a solution or that i learn to copy with it.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    11. TeresaD
      Fine

      TeresaD Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Sara_Bond
      I'm glad you are with family, that always makes everything better! I've been living away from mine for almost a year now and will return in June. I can't wait! To answer your question, yes, my T has always been mild. Then last year I hurt my neck during a fall and my T spiked and with it came the Hyperacusis. I went to ENT and neurologist with all my tests coming back normal. Then I started physical therapy and the therapist told me my neck was "a mess." 2 months later, my H was gone and my T was back down to mild. A few months ago I tried some simple Pilates exercises. A couple days later, all my symptoms returned!! The worse is the Humming/full sensation in my ears, like I have to pop them constantly but popping them does nothing. The H was horrible! Walked around with noise cancelling headphones which, of course, made me very aware of my T which sounded like jet engines in my ears. I was very depressed and anxious. Went to Neurotologist and he said I may have Hydrops and gave me Medrol. Didn't help! I recently had to fly and when we were descending, I popped my ears really hard. It has seemed to help!! The T is still very loud but that humming/fullness is better and the H is manageable. I'm hoping it will go away again like the last time. It's really something to live with this. Not one doctor that I've been to seems to have any clue as to what this is and it just leaves you with such a feeling of despair. I'm praying for all of us!!
       

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