Hey guys. I'm 28 and have been reading this forum on and off since I got tinnitus. Around July last year I woke up with loud ringing in my ear around an 8. Not totally sure why, I'd been on a loud night out but had also jammed an earbud (q tip) too far into my ear the previous day. My theory is I damaged the eardrum with the earbud and then later on in a very loud pub did the worst thing and stood next to a speaker.... Anyway after a day the ringing had gone, like loads of other nights out. What became clear was I had Lost my hearing in that ear - the left one (down to 20%) which lasted for about a month until I the ringing returned. My hearing improved in that ear but after multiple hearing tests I have permanent lost around 30% of my hearing) Since all this, I did the standard stuff - - panic (I'm naturally a concerned person with health stuff) - mask the hell out of it - felt depressed that the consistent whine - the volume was always between 6-10 - was never going to leave Your reaction to tinnitus has a massive effect. Whenever I was stressed it increased dramatically. Around 6 weeks after I had this, I went on a lads holiday in the US for 2 weeks. It didn't go but it taught me that if you distract yourself it can go into the background. Unfortunately when I returned my long term girlfriends father was admitted to hospital and after 4 weeks passed away. This caused my tinnitus to rocket again as it was an awful time. Since then, very slowly, it has been improving. The tone has shifted to a white noise, almost subtle electrical sound. Volume is around 0-3 and only ever gets to a 4/5 if I've been to a loud play and quickly calms after that. Things that have helped me: - don't mask it when you sleep. To begin with that is hell, but over time being in silence with it is be best way to help your brain adjust and get used to it. I always had noises in the quiet as everyone does, but although louder now, I react as I used to it. Genuinely the best thing I did getting rid of the fan/nature sounds - ice pack your ear when it spikes. I read somewhere that cold can help calm the auditory nerve. Who knows whether this is true - all I know is that it helps calm mine down. Maybe it's distracting. - accept that it's there. It might not ever go, but that's fine with me now. I would never had said that when it started. - don't use headphones. I was a regular user at work, I haven't used them since July - give your ears a rest. I have been out to clubs a few times and own musicians ear plugs. I go to pubs etc regularly and it's fine, I'll have a mini spike (up to 3/4 in volume) but that'll be it. Generally I've been careful of loud places. Life adjustments, obviously I'm still pretty young so like going out etc, but I value my hearing and mental happiness over a random night. Your perception will change and it will fade. I never thought that would happen and at one point felt completely broken. It seemed impossible. I'm back to myself and have learned to deal with it. It's not perfect but then neither are my knees, that doesn't ruin my life and neither does a buzzing noise Keep your heads up!