Acoustic Trauma — Tinnitus, Hyperacusis, Dysacusis, Hearing Loss

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Stoic turmoil, Mar 3, 2024.

    1. Stoic turmoil

      Stoic turmoil Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Dear members,

      I am a 49-year-old male from Austria.

      First of all, I would like to say that I appreciate your stories. Part of this horror is that nobody understands what we are going through. Even though I wish that this would not have happened to any of you, I find some relief in not being alone with this condition.

      I joined a low-budget car race in June last year. We had done that already several times, and noise had never been an issue, but that time I had a defect, and due to the adrenaline during the race, I did not recognize how loud the car was inside.

      Already on my way home, I felt that there was something off with my ears. The high frequencies were missing somehow. The next day, I had terrible tinnitus, and my hearing was dampened. As my dad was very sick at that time, and I had to go to different doctors with him, I postponed my own doctor's visit. I then got stabbing pain in my ears and a feeling that there was water in my ears.

      Ten days after the event, I saw my ENT. He diagnosed high-frequency hearing loss (30-40 dB) and said I should take Magnesium and use red light on my ears. That helped nothing, and I started to panic as it was impossible to sleep due to the now extreme tinnitus, which was a 10/10.

      Then I went to another ENT, who confirmed the hearing loss and prescribed steroids; a three-day high-dose course. On the second day, the tinnitus was completely gone, and my hearing was normal, but after two more days, it was much worse than before. I developed severe hyperacusis and dysacusis. I completely freaked out, which ended in a psychiatric clinic. Weeks after, two other doctors assumed that this was a side effect of the steroids.

      The hyperacusis was so severe that I could not walk by a street, drive my car, go to a supermarket, or sit in a restaurant. Even hearing the birds singing was so painful; it was almost unbearable.

      The next six months, I tried everything to get relief. CBT, acupuncture, massages, Ginkgo biloba, vitamins, Magnesium, TRT. Meanwhile, I had to step down from my job, as my managers thought I had tinnitus due to burnout, and I was not capable of doing my job. Nobody believed me that my problems were based on an acoustic trauma; they were convinced that I was suffering from burnout and depression due to stress. Of course, I was stressed, but they had already made their opinion. I had depression and strong suicidal thoughts during this time until the Christmas holidays. From then on, I dealt better with it.

      But now to my progress: Slowly, my hyperacusis got better and is now completely gone. In the beginning, I used noise-canceling earbuds, but they made everything worse. Step by step, I confronted myself with noise and succeeded with that strategy. I think also the white noise generators from the TRT helped. Together with the hyperacusis, the distorted hearing got better. I still suffer from hearing loss (I cannot hear certain high frequencies and silent sounds from any frequency - it seems to be a recruitment issue).

      Tinnitus is better, but still an issue. I hear it 24/7. I have to sleep with a headband with speakers where I listen to rain sounds. Without that, I wouldn't be able to sleep. When I am in a silent room, the room has no sound anymore. It is dead from a noise perspective. There is just that ringing. Somehow my life goes on again, but I am not able to listen to music anymore, as some frequencies are missing. That is bad, because I love music. I also love cars, but they are too noisy now. So much has changed in my life, but I am slowly improving.

      Last week, something weird happened. My tinnitus was still there, but there was no emotional reaction to it. It was so peaceful. That lasted two days, and then I was confronted with loud hammering, and the tinnitus was bad again. I think I was so overconfident when that peace came that I forgot to protect my ears properly, as I normally do. But now I know that inner peace is possible, and I am looking forward to the day when it will come back.

      If somebody has questions or advice for me, I am happy to receive your comments. I wish you all the best. Stay strong. You are not alone.

      Stoic turmoil
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    2. Jupiterman

      Jupiterman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden loud noise
      This is the most bizarre response to steroids I have ever heard!

      Your tinnitus was completely gone and your hearing was completely normal.

      Yet two days later it got much worse than before!

      Is it possible the steroids managed to save some of the dying hair cells and synapses but not to full functionality?
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Stoic turmoil,

      I am sorry to hear of the difficulties that you are going through with tinnitus. Noise-induced tinnitus usually gets better with time, so try to keep strong. I advise you to try and stop listening to audio through your headband as this could make your tinnitus worse and cause your hyperacusis to return too. It is better to place a sound machine by your bedside at night and set the volume slightly below your tinnitus, it is important that the sound enrichment doesn't mask the tinnitus.

      A lot of people that have noise-induced tinnitus, find it doesn't react favourably listening to audio through any type of headphones even at low volume. This includes earbuds, headsets, AirPods, noise-cancelling headphones, bone conduction headphones and wearing a headband with speakers fitted. Please type headphones in the search box at the top of this page and read the posts.

      Listening to audio through the devices I have mentioned, might be fine at first but things can change fast. This also applies long after a person has habituated to noise-induced tinnitus. It is best not to use any type of headphones even at low volume.

      Please go to my started threads and read the following posts: New to Tinnitus, What to Do? Tinnitus, A Personal View. The Habituation Process, How to Habituate to Tinnitus, Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? Hyperacusis, As I See It.

      All the best,
    4. Note

      Note Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing, microsuction
      Did you have an audiogram before and after taking the steroids?
    5. AUTHOR
      Stoic turmoil

      Stoic turmoil Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi @Jupiterman,

      You might be right. I heard that in different YouTube videos and from a German ENT and tinnitus expert on YouTube as well, that steroids have sometimes just a one day effect.

      Maybe I took them too late, who knows. But I remember that I completely freaked out when the tinnitus came back on day 3 of the steroids, so maybe this plays a role as well. I was running through my flat, shivering, crying, screaming, full of fear, just focusing on the sound in my ears. Maybe it would have been different if I had approached the issue more relaxed.
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