A Bad Habit of Using Cotton Buds/Q-Tips to Remove Earwax Led Me to Getting Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by adam1987, Jan 11, 2021.

    1. adam1987

      adam1987 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi all,

      I guess I am a bit of a denier. I’ve had tinnitus probably for 4/5 years which I expect was caused by earwax. I had a bad habit of using cotton buds/q tips and one day felt a clicking and popping in my ear. I knew in my head I shouldn’t be self clearing ear wax as it could cause problems, so when I had ear issues I convinced myself it couldn’t be fixed, told myself the damage was already done and continually talked myself out of getting help as I was ashamed because of how it happened. Fast forward a few years and I developed tinnitus which was manageable but over the last few months has gotten worse and worse. I have a constant roaring but don’t feel like I have any hearing loss.

      I have 2 young children and their loud noises make things worse, they cause flutters in my ears and they go burning red. I think I have also developed hyperacusis as a result. I have to use a headset at work for Skype calls which gives a full ache and makes things worse. Social situations are tough now and I get flare ups from them.

      The worst part of all of this is that have boxed it all up, convinced myself it’ll all get better so have never had the courage to tell anyone about it. I’ve been to the doctors and had my ears syringed but that’s all my wife knows.

      With 2 young children, an expensive mortgage and a job I need to hold down I feel I have let so many people down and I worry I’m going to lose everything.

      I need support, help and advice from people that understand. Do I have any hope for the future??

      Thanks for reading.
    2. Pierce Wolf

      Pierce Wolf Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nail gun charge going off outside the gun near my right ear
      Hey man, first of all I know exactly what you are feeling and be thankful you got it when you did and not much earlier like me, 19 years old!

      I want to first tell you that the hyperacusis distortions (flutters) will be the hardest part of all of it. I find that earplugs seem to be the best thing for this but only in noisy environments that cause it to hurt and distort. Other than that I wouldn’t use them for quiet environments for it will just isolate the tinnitus. for quiet settings I’d turn on a fan at a low enough speed that it doesn’t effect the hyperacusis and try to get very used to the situation. I do this in my bedroom, I have my computer and tv both in there and I still can listen to them on low volume but only with the fan on all the time. The fan helps mask the tinnitus a lot. My bedroom has kinda become my safe haven from this. In there I don’t use earplugs at all but places I need to use them include: work, shopping, car rides, the beach, when it’s windy, when cooking, and even at the dinner table.

      Talk to the people you are around often and tell them that they must keep their voices down or it will physically hurt you. It will take them a while to remember but just keep reminding and they will come around. Also I’d try to somewhat soundproof your house especially if you have hardwood or tile floors. Buy rugs, acoustic foam, and even hang blankets on the walls. Echoey hallways and staircases especially!

      For your sanity and emotional well-being my best advice is to simply try to accept this as the new norm and also put the idea in your head that even if it doesn’t get better or even gets worse that you still can handle it. For really bad times do not turn to drugs of any kind. Stay away from marijuana especially. Tobacco too. Magic mushrooms can be hit or miss so I’d only try them if you are in a really really good mood. Alcohol on the other hand... is a god send. It’s literally the 1 substance i have found to actually make it better and a lot less noticeable. Just be careful to not overdo it. I drink about 3 or 4 shots every 3 or 4 days. I try to save it for when it’s bad.

      I would not recommend therapy or counseling but that may just be me. I tried and they simply just do not understand how weirdly dibilitating this all is and end up giving false hope that only punishes you later if you believe them. I feel that going to therapy over this kind of thing would be like going to therapy over losing a finger. Doesn’t exactly make sense.

      You may also find that listening to music is just gross now. The distortions from speakers can be the most noticeable. What I recommend here is to find music that has very little in the high tones and a lot in the lows. I do this by listening to death metal that has low vocals and jazz that doesn’t have female singers or trumpets. Some people say chiptune music works well but I can’t stand it.

      keep in mind I’ve only had this for 2 months and I truly am finding ways around all of the symptoms. Even the distortion. This is as much a mental condition as it is a physical one. If you can get up and start to do things, you will start to ignore the bad feelings towards it. That doesn’t mean I don’t have complete panic attack breakdowns sometimes where I fall on the floor crying my eyes out wishing for it to go away, asking why in the hell I had to get it to begin with, and begging for my old life back.

      Hang in there! It will get easier! Even if it doesn’t get better, you are not alone and you have a friend in me.
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