After Habituating to Tinnitus, When Did You Feel Comfortable Going Out with Friends Again?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Yuuls, Dec 11, 2019.

    1. Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Those of you that were able to habituate, how long did it take you before you felt comfortable going out with friends again?

      I am already feeling like my entire social life is withering away as I am worried about being in loud settings. I had to leave a dinner with coworkers because the music in the restaurant was affecting my ears. I am really worried about the upcoming company Holiday party my work is having in a really loud location. Dating has also gone out the window, I am nowhere near emotionally stable right now to meet a stranger for a drink or two and will always worry about the noise levels although I am SO tired of being single.

      No more clubs, no more concerts, no more dive bars.

      Even if I am approaching the age where bars and clubs won't matter as much, I feel like I am going to have to miss out on so much in life due to this debilitating condition. Bachelorette trips/parties for friends, sporting events, birthday parties, weddings, etc, holiday parties. I am just picturing having kids and not being able to go to their dance recitals, sports games, or host any kind of birthday parties. Also I fear that I will never be able to develop a healthy relationship with any one, who is going to want to date a girl that can't even stand being in a restaurant or can't go see a movie.

      It's one thing to develop this condition when you are already married and have a support system in place. I do not mean to downplay the situations of those people as Tinnitus sucks no matter when you get it. I just hate how it had to happen to me at this point in my life where it was just starting to get fun.

      Anyone else in their 20's - 30's who is in the same boat?
      I am doing a bit better in the last few days, but the suicidal thoughts just keep creeping up, and I am afraid of stressing out my parents even more if I keep on relying on them to get me through this.
       
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    2. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild 2000-2018 sev 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      Just wear earplugs.
       
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    3. Michael B
      Supportive

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      I can't relate to being in my 20's or 30's but I can relate to what it's like to have tinnitus and function in this world. I'm an outgoing person who never let tinnitus stop me from doing what I enjoy. Admittedly, the early stages of this was difficult and it did slow me down a bit but as time went on, I reclaimed my life. The same will happen with you.
       
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    4. david c

      david c Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2012
      For me by far the most thing in habituating to my tinnitus was in drastically limiting loud noise exposure. What I found was that any loud noise exposure would simply make tinnitus worse and that in turn would make habituation more difficult. Ear plugs offer some protection - but don't rely on them too much - duration of exposure is as important as level of exposure. This may mean lifestyle changes - it needn't mean no social life but a social life no longer based around loud bars and clubs is important.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Do you wear earplugs every time you are in loud environments now?
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Did you experience Hyperacusis or any noise sensitivity at any point?
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I will look into getting some custom ones made. I just have the foam ones but I’ve found that they hurt my ears a bit as they are too big (even the soft for women’s ones)
      I also don’t want to overuse them and make my noise sensitivity even worse
       
    8. Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Do you have hyperacusis? It's really different for everyone.

      The loud intrusive tinnitus was tormenting for the first couple years for me (just look at my old posts), but I'm mostly habituated by now. The noise sensitivity/hyperacusis has not gone away unfortunately. Even if it might be safe, any place that is loud enough that you have to raise your voice to be able to be heard is very uncomfortable for me even with hearing plugs. I'd just rather not be in that environment and I have difficulties communicating in that environment. That makes most restaurants uncomfortable and most social events uncomfortable as well. Even a quiet room or private home with no music can get quite loud if it's packed with people that are excited. I'm in my 30's and it has had a big impact on my social life.

      The majority of people with tinnitus are just fine after some time and reasonable protection (earplugs in very loud areas), but hyperacusis can really complicate things. I see that you're new to tinnitus, a lot will change in the coming months/years. Like I said, most people even on this forum are able to return to their normal life with reasonable protection.
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      This is what I am fearing. When I originally saw my ENT, I was not experiencing any sensitivities to noise but now 3 weeks in they are starting to show a bit. Is yours diagnosed? How can I tell if I have it?

      His makes me SO afraid as the ringing I can see myself getting used to but not the sensitivity. I thought it couldn’t get much worse but as always I was wrong.
       
    10. Alue
      No Mood

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      It's really diagnosed based on symptoms. They can measure your loudness discomfort levels, but that's very subjective. Do you experience pain with loud noises or is it mostly just that they seem louder than normal to you?

      Things are likely to improve for you in time. Just protect your hearing in loud areas, but try not to go overboard with protection at the same time.
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I wouldn’t say it’s pain but a bit of discomfort, my left ear still feels stuffed up and the sound feels worse in that ear.

      I have noticed since I stopped wearing ear plugs to sleep I’ve been having more ear wax build up. Maybe it’s that?

      I also can’t tell if it’s anxiety and me seeking out a reaction to loud noises? Maybe my ears are just sensitive because they are adjusting to everything?

      I just feel like I’m noticing loud noises more, such as people crumpling up paper in the office, plates banging together, etc. I went to a restaurant the other day and the music felt a bit too loud and I had to leave, but leading up to that I also had the worrying thought on my mind
       
    12. aot
      Bookworm

      aot Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced, worsened due to noise expouse + flu.
      Sorry to hear about this issues, Yuuls. I'm having similar problems.

      It sounds to me that you hyperacusis. Have you been overprotecting?
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I haven

      I haven’t been wearing ear plugs at all but I also haven’t been in loud environments. I’ve just been going to work and then going home. My office isn’t too loud and I just watch TV on a low volume at home
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Are you also experiencing noise sensitivities? What kind of sounds do you have with your T?
       
    15. aot
      Bookworm

      aot Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced, worsened due to noise expouse + flu.
      Loud, high pitched noises. Almost like a radio I guess.

      And I'm not sure if my noise sensitivities are due to Hyperacusis, or my anxiety making me scared of stuff. I work at a movie theatre (currently looking for a job with less noise exposure) and my two nephews live with us, and they whine and scream constantly.

      I have to use ear plugs and masking regularly just to make it through the day. Thankfully my T is only in one ear.
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      That’s exactly how I feel about mine. My mom is convinced it will go away with time. I also briefly talked to someone on Twitter who mentioned her Hyperacusis went away and that it was all just mental for her. I definitely want to protect my hearing, but don’t want to over do it and further isolate myself.

      I work in an office at a computer, and there is enough sound during the day to drown out my T, but my left ear still feels a bit stuffed up.

      Also wanted to clarify on the ear feeling stuffed up, it pretty much feels that way all the time, not necessarily after a loud noise.
       
    17. Ctw
      Tired

      Ctw Member

      Location:
      CT
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      How long did it take? Does yours change? Spike?
       
    18. Mandalay
      Curious

      Mandalay Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi Yuuls,

      I guess I know what you mean and this is a very sensible subject to talk or write about.

      This is how I deal with it: Nobody knows that I still have (mild) tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      I'm not even sure if it is really hyperacusis or my perception, of course I pay more attention to loud sounds.

      Well, last weekend I was with friends at a concert, a band was playing.
      And I could not manage to stay there, I did not want to risk it. I was so scared.
      It felt so loud.

      So I ran outside and just said to my friends that its too crowded for me and too many people are smoking.

      I took a walk and was glad to be outside, and went back when the band had a break.
      So I knew I can still be a part of the event, I could chat with my friends and everything was fine.

      And nobody even realised or paid attention to the fact that I wasn"t really listening to the music.
      And: it's healthy to be scared of the sound, I could not stand it, even wearing custom made earplugs (25 dB).

      It's possible to find peace with the noise and music problem, you can always leave.

      Also it depends a lot on how loud it really is and how easy it is to escape it.

      Also I know some locations where the music really isn't that loud and restaurants with only chilling backround music, or no music at all.

      It depends on so many factors and if something is too much for me, I usually explain it in a different way.
      I don't talk about tinnitus, or hyperacusis, I say for example "I don't want to stay here close to the stage, because I'm stressed out" or "I had music enough for many days" or something like that.

      Nobody ever realises it, which makes it easy for me. I'm just treated like a very "normal" person.

      This is just how I deal with it, but maybe it helps. To me it feels better not to mention tinnitus or hyperacusis, because then everybody would just think something like: the poor tinnitus person has to leave!

      They would pay a lot more attention to the fact that I'm going outside and only coming back when the music stops.
      Acting like this makes it easy for me, I don't know if this is helping you.

      For example I also sometimes say "let's go here or there because I feel like having a calm location".
      It usually works, and if it doesn't, I'm leaving early.

      The more you try going to locations, the more you will know which one works for you.
       
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    19. Michael B
      Supportive

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      I have severe tinnitus on my left side so it took longer than expected. That said, my tinnitus is still severe but I've learned to live with it. It changes often, sometimes daily which is good. Some days are more manageable. Spikes for me doesn't translate to higher volume due to the severity as much as duration.
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      This is a very smart way of looking at it, thank you, I will have to try this out! At this point in my life I don't really feel emotionally ready to go out, hard to describe what I'm feeling but I don't even want to have "fun". Giving myself a maximum of 2 months to wallow and be sad (should be one month - but realistically it will be two, laying in bed and relaxing just feels right at the moment even though it's probably not helping me)

      How long have you had your hyperacusis if you don't mind me asking? Did it gradually get a bit better over time?
      Was it diagnosed at all by a doctor?
       
    21. david c

      david c Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2012
      I experienced hyperacusis and noise sensitivity when I first got tinnitus. These gradually decreased over the next few months as I took great care not to risk loud noise exposure. As you have only recently got tinnitus I expect that the same pattern may apply to you - don't risk loud noise exposure in the next few months and over time things should start to get better and you may begin to have a somewhat more active social life.
       
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    22. Mandalay
      Curious

      Mandalay Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi Yuuls,

      I live in Germany, and ENTs here don't diagnose hyperacusis. Many times it is ignored by them, they just tell not to protect the hearing in everyday life. And this is a very general statement because: what is everyday life?
      So when is it important to protect and when is it not?
      And they never really approach this subject. It feels like they don't know what to do anyways, so why bother?

      And yes, it improved a lot over the first months after the onset, and also the tinnitus improved a lot at that time (it was in 2001). So all these years I had mild to very mild tinnitus and hyperacusis. I simply could only not manage to go to the disco or concerts, sometimes I went, when it really wasn't that loud, but only with custom made earplugs (25 dB).
       
    23. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I wouldn't say I ever habituated but I returned to a pretty normal social life within a month.

      in fact, I became fanatical about going out, seeing people, doing things and sucking up every available minute of the day

      now i live in the woods and try to leave home only twice a week, but I'm pretty social when i do
       
    24. Ctw
      Tired

      Ctw Member

      Location:
      CT
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have a hard time with anxiety... I have it in my left ear as well... I don’t think it’s severe... a medium pitch hiss... but it causes intense anxiety and then I start to think I hear it in my right ear... I just don’t know what to do...
       
    25. Michael B
      Supportive

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earbuds
      I have it on my right side as well but thankfully not as bad. I wanted to say that 10 days into this I had an anxiety attack which I never had before (and none since) so I know what you must be going through to an extent. For me, at that moment, it was fear of the unknown. It's something I'll never forget.
       
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    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      How bad was your Hyperacusis and Tinnitus? Did you go out at all during that period?
       
    27. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I am approaching one month and feel worse and worse every day
       
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    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Do you have any tips on how not to drive yourself crazy over this? I feel like I am actively seeking out noises to give me a reaction. Perhaps it’s because my nervous system is so alert? I didn’t notice Hyperacusis nearly as much before I knew there was a term for it
       
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    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I also meant this on an emotional level.
      I am nowhere near stable enough to be drinking and seeing friends.
       
    30. Shaz1
      Gloomy

      Shaz1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wellbutrin / Noise Exposure
      For me, being with friends took my mind off of things. It’s when I’m alone that I most spiral into anxiety and depression about this. Everyone is different, but friends provide me with so much emotional joy (and distraction from my problems). I spent all weekend with my friends at a cabin this weekend - I brought earplugs for when they played music a bit loud (though it was just one Bluetooth speaker) or yelling from drinking games, but I barely thought about my tinnitus until I had to go to sleep at night.
       
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