A new passenger on the tinnitus train

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Lark, Feb 3, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Lark
      Musical

      Lark Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      It all began for me 3 months ago. I woke up from a terrible nightmare; panicked and sweating. Once I gathered my wits (and also accidentally waking my wife), I asked "do you hear that high pitched ringing?" Nope, she said and drifted back to sleep. At the time I shrugged it off and went back to sleep as well. However, from that point forward, the noise has not left me.

      I describe it like the high pitch whistle of teapot down the hall or around the far corner of some imaginary kitchen. Going off on the stove without anyone to pick it up. It has been continual, unrelenting and without hesitation since the beginning.

      I've done the standard routine trying to uncover the cause. I went and saw a PA, which sent me to have blood work done (was normal), and a CT scan (normal). I went to an audiologist for a hearing test. I came back with very slight hearing lost in the left ear, but other than that, normal as well for someone in their late thirties. Tomorrow we have a lovely MRI with and without contrast to check for acoustic neuroma. I do believe the noise is in both ears, but honestly, it is a little difficult for me to judge. May be slightly louder in the left. We went over a history of anxiety (I've had panic attacks in the past) and was prescribed .25mg Xanax (alprazolam) once a day as needed (this was roughly 4 months ago). However, I only take half a pill when I feel out of sorts (1-4 times a week) and that usually does the trick. We went over my history of using headphones at night. My wife watches TV; I hook into my laptop and watch my own shows with a set of headphones, somewhere between 1-4 hours a night. That has been my routine for some 6-8 years now. I never considered the volume settings to be loud, but it is chronic exposure to noise. Since the tinnitus I've almost completely stopped using headphones at night. I've tried to think of anything else that may have led to my tinnitus. I'm still clueless to what is exactly causing it. I've tried to think of anything and everything - anything from the Xanax (I did notice it seemed to increase the 1/2 to 1 day after taking it), to the change in shampoo I was using (nope, that wasn't it, but who really knows until you experiment?).

      So the search continues. While locating the exact cause may not solve the tinnitus, I would feel I have a better understanding of what is happening to me.

      Am I doing okay? Some days/weeks are better than others. I'm still struggling to adapt to this unwanted change in my life. I have a set of pillow speakers to try and mask in the evening. I have a new docking station in my office for my iphone to try and mask it while I work. Even under these conditions, I can still easily hear it if I try. The best relief has been running water. Taking a shower almost completely masks the noise, which is great. I worry that it won't go away- or that it may get worse. I'm told to try and not think about it as that makes it worse. I try distractions. However, knowing its there makes it hard not to think about it or notice it. I haven't mastered this zen quite yet.

      I guess I'll know more soon. The results should be back by the end of the week. After that , I'll need to consider my next move. In the meantime I thought I'd take a moment here to introduce myself into a community of people who are or have been through the similar experience. Some of you for most of your life. I find the best support comes from others who truly know what you're going through and can honestly relate. Many of you have been through various trial and error techniques to figure out what works best for you. I'm only starting. However, I'm still hopeful that one day I'll find a way to pick up that imaginary tea kettle.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Lark
      Musical

      Lark Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      MRI went fine this morning. I got to listen to my Jane's Addiction CD while things were banging around me.(y) They also provided me with a CD of the scans to review on my own. I should know the results in the next couple days.
       
    3. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Lark, and welcome!

      I'm glad you've had the MRI done, and hope the results are negative. I had the same test (MRI/MRA with contrast), and they didn't find anything unusual. Will be interested to hear your results, if you care to share them.

      Can you think of anything else unusual that you've done recently, that might have caused the tinnitus? Are you taking any additional medications? It was a blood pressure drug that caused mine to get very bad very suddenly. Drugs can have many side effects, depending on the person. Although they say that Xanax can help your tinnitus, it's possible that it may have caused (or increased) your tinnitus, in your particular case.

      Glad you've joined us, and wish you a quiet afternoon/evening!

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
    4. Lark
      Musical

      Lark Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks Karen-
      Nope, no other medications here, only the Xanax which I take in small doses every couple days or so.

      Weirdly, after the MRI I also noticed that I was slightly more sensitive to loud noises (go figure, lol). I first noticed after I came home in the evening (several hours later) and started playing the piano. It's not too significant, but it noticed my threshold/tolerance for loud(er) noises seems to have changed. Moderate level noises are still okay. I'm hoping that's temporary. I would be interested in knowing if others noticed a sensitivity shift after being in a loud MRI.

      I did also want to ask - I've noticed at times my ears hurting; I mean, actually almost an "exhausted" or stressed pain within them from the ringing all day. This fluctuates, sometimes several times during the course of the day. Sometimes they hurt noticeably (slightly more than an annoyance, but definitely there) and at other points during the day they're just fine. I've already had the canals checked and a CT scan that was normal. Though I'm still waiting on the MRI results. This is also unusual for me as typically my ears don't hurt. It's also slightly more of an issue in my left versus my right, which matches my tinnitus.

      Anybody else notice that the ringing causes their ears to hurt from time to time?
       
    5. James Brown
      Sporty

      James Brown Member

      Location:
      Portugal
      Tinnitus Since:
      09-1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposition
      Hello...i am new here and i will tell my "T story "later, but i suffer from T since 1998...16 long years...
      About the piano ,what you are noticing is (H)yperacusia, maybe in a low level...when i began suffering of this, i first notice some problems with piano and crowd noises on TV ,when watching soccer games or playing soccer games on PS3...i like music a lot and back then, when i heard some piano solo CD´s i felt some uncomfortable "pain"...you are experiencing the first days of T...hope you get better or you will become an "expert" like me , not that i want to...

      Ps:I love music and i have more than 3000 CD´s ,but now i am very limited to listen to it, not because of T ,but because of H. When my H was low i could listen to music.T was a problem, but was OK to listen to music ,now with H in a bigger level ,i have to wait some good days to enjoy any music....i just watch movies at home at medium level and avoid go to the movies...even go to crowded shopping could be a big problem..

      Some advise :avoid to hurt more your ears...protect yourself from high noises....T is bad ,but you can handle it , H is superbad and will really mess with your life...
       
    6. Lark
      Musical

      Lark Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks James - luckily the H appears to have been mostly temporary from the MRI procedure. It has worn off almost completely over the last several weeks. I only experience issues with significantly louder than normal levels. Luckily this has allowed me to get back to my playing.

      Tinnitus still constant - though I'm now in the phase of trying to figure out activities and diet elements appear to increase or decrease it. I recently found out when I am off my standard daily vitamin it goes up significantly. I've been playing with my diet more. I haven't found changing salt intake to influence it nor drinking tea at moderate levels. I'm now introducing a once-a-morning coffee back into the routine to see what happens. Trial and error, slow and methodical experimenting at work :) I exercise regularly - running or lifting weights (depending on the day) too. It hasn't seemed to have an impact on T, but I feel better.
       
    7. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      @Lark, did you use hearing protection during your MRI ?
       
    8. Lark
      Musical

      Lark Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Hey Dan - Yes, but only the generic earplugs they give you. If I had thought enough ahead, I would have bought a nicer pair for that ordeal.
       

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