5 Years of Tinnitus and I Started to Struggle

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by James1977, Jan 26, 2020.

    1. James1977
      No Mood

      James1977 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/19/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      IMAX Movie
      Hi,

      I experienced hearing trauma 5 years ago last week - January 19, 2015.

      For 20+ years I've used headphones / earbuds to drowned office noise and when mowing the lawn. I then migrated to headsets to have phone and conference calls. I am sure this abuse wore down my ears. On January 19, 2015, I decided that I had to see American Sniper. I'm not a big movie buff but the hype got me. I really enjoyed the movie, but upon leaving the IMAX, I noticed my head felt like it was in a drum. It was all I could do is go home and escape. The next couple days the full sound left and was replaced with a ringing in both ears. I didn't connect the dots until recently. Today, I truly regret walking into the theater that night.

      It was probably 30+ days before I could get into my GP to tell him about the ringing. He referred me to a ENT but it was out of network. I read many articles and forums saying tinnitus was incurable but possible to recover some if a steroid was taken "soon" enough. I was clearly too many days. Prednisone didn't help me. I decided not to pursue an ENT.

      For the next 2 months, I learned coping methods, talked to few about it, and little by little I adjusted to it. I just recently learned its call habituation. I would have a good ear days and not so good ear days. It was rare to have two bad days in a row. I still slept well, so if it was a *bad* day, I would look forward to sleep to see what the next day brought. I did this routine well for 5 years.

      This month allergies has gotten the best of me. It's caused me to blow my nose much more. It's caused my eardrums unneeded pressure and additional ringing. Last week, which was coincidentally my 5 year tinnitus anniversary, I spent the day at a camp with my daughter to help watch her due to her food allergies. The pollen from Oak trees this time of year is horrible where I live. I felt like my head was in a drum by the end of the day. All I wanted to do was leave, bath, and go to bed.

      I was hopeful that I'd wake up back in the old rhythm of acclimating, but it's not happened yet. Instead I'm back to as it was on day 1. I am constantly listening to it, scared and paranoid. If I try being rational, I am pretty confident my ears will calm back down but right now I'm not rational and trapped in a continual feedback loop. I feel like it's louder the previously but I don't know if that is *really* true.

      5 years ago the first article I found about tinnitus was from Dr. Nagler and his "Letter to a Tinnitus Sufferer" from back when he was the ATA chair. It helped me move on. I want to say thank you Dr. Nagler - what you do here is amazing. You truly lose yourself in the service of others. However, I am not sure how to move on again, granted it's only been a week or so. I have 3 beautiful kids that I could never leave (even though I've had some difficult thoughts about carrying this for the next 40+ years of my life). I do believe my kids are on their journey, and no matter my pain, I don't want to cause a hiccup on their path in getting there.

      The hardest part for me is the reactive tinnitus in my left ear - and by reactive I mean the way it's not just a high pitch hum but reacts to noise like my own speaking. The reactive part has been true for much of the past 5 years, but hasn't caused me pain like it has with this most recent spike. I'm hopeful it will settle down and I'll move on again.

      Like many posts I've read, my own effectiveness at work after having tinnitus was immediately reduced and hasn't ever truly recovered. I am just not able to focus the way I used to pre-tinnitus. In this latest bout, I have often thought that this might be my end to working or at least in the short term. I hope it doesn't go that route since that feels like a beginning of a path that could have catastrophic end. Lastly, speaking of that, I've read a lot, if not all, of Allan's posts. The news shook me to my core. It also let me know where this could end especially if one has an unforeseen event that takes them down a new spiral. My hope is to use this forum to learn the lessons from others.

      With that said, I don't plan to post too often because for me I need to be able to separate from tinnitus and not give it the time of day (Dr. Nagler). I worry about adopting new unpleasant thoughts. For example, learning that tinnitus doesn't shut off while you sleep was not true for me until reading *way* too much. This post is cathartic as its hard to discuss with people without tinnitus, even my own wife, as they can't appreciate the difficulty in submitting to the new normal. Thank you for letting me vent for a few minutes. May we all have silence one day.

      Best wishes to all that are suffering.
      James
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
      • Like Like x 1
    2. Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi James, I really do hope it gets better for you. I also have a young child so I understand how you feel. I've only been on this forum for a few days, but it has certainly helped in a cathartic sense. Thanks again for the ENT advice!
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      James1977
      No Mood

      James1977 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/19/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      IMAX Movie
      @Charburchar

      Absolutely! Proceed carefully. I messed up the last month and worsened my situation. I would say avoid using sound therapy as it was also a contributor. I am struggling these days with the fallout. TBH I would suggest you logoff, swap your headphones for earplugs, and get on with your life. This advice would've served me well 5 years ago as well as two months ago.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    4. Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for the advice James. Would you advise using earplugs daily? I.e. when outside, at work, etc. For now I've decided to quit working in a pub after covid-19 and find a job somewhere less noisy.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      James1977
      No Mood

      James1977 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/19/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      IMAX Movie
      I wouldn't necessarily overprotect because it can cause over sensitivity. If I could do it over, I'd pack ear buds with me, and use them when it's excessively noisy. Especially when doing things like mowing, using power equipment and hammering. I'd skip loud movies, clubs, bars and also not use a headset on my mobile phone. Try to use speaker phone when possible. However normal day to day stuff, even a busy street, is fine. Just stay clear of excessive noise. If it feels too loud pop in the plugs or leave. Download an app if you need to check the dB of an area.

      I am now dealing with a bad form of hyperacusis and loud tinnitus. If I can help you not go down my path, I will feel better. Just don't get comfortable, like I did, and stop protecting your ears.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    6. Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for this advice James, I appreciate it hugely. I wish you all the very best with your tinnitus and hyperacusis problems. Let's hope that research leads to a cure, sooner rather than later.
       
      • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

Loading...