Almost Habituated to Noise-Induced Tinnitus After 6 Months

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Anna17, Sep 28, 2020.

    1. Anna17

      Anna17 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Reading other people’s stories on Tinnitus Talk has brought me a lot of comfort and hope since my tinnitus started 6 months ago. So I wanted to share my experience in case it helps others, especially people who are still in the early days...

      About me / my tinnitus:

      - I’m 31 years old, in good health, not on any medication, not stressed, good diet etc.

      - Tinnitus started randomly one night in February after a night at the cinema – it was the film 1917, so quite loud / a lot of explosions, but unlikely to trigger tinnitus on its own and could just be a coincidence. I believe it was brought on by listening to music too loudly through headphones for years…

      - Tinnitus is in both ears, high-pitched (I would describe as a hiss) – from reading other people’s stories, I think mine is mild/moderate, not severe. I had a few hearing tests and all came back good/normal.

      My experience:

      - Month 1

      The first few weeks/month were extremely difficult – I was tuned into my tinnitus 24/7, thought about it constantly. I felt really down about it and scared that I would have to live like this for the rest of my life. I also blamed myself for not protecting my ears from loud music all these years. I fixated on finding answers/cures, took lots of supplements, kept a tinnitus diary every day and tried to mask it during the day with birdsong etc. Luckily it didn’t affect my sleep – I feel very fortunate about this as I know this is a common issue for others. The fact that my tinnitus started just before lockdown here in the UK made it particularly difficult as I spent most of my time at home in a quiet environment – though in hindsight I think this may have helped me adjust/habituate to it faster.


      - Month 2

      This is when I turned a corner – I decided to be more positive and stop giving it so much attention. I gave up on the tinnitus diary, supplements etc. and started to go for longer stretches of time without noticing it.


      - Month 3-5

      Gradually I became less and less aware of it. Many days I'll only hear it about 20-30% of my day (vs. 90% at the start). I still have some bad days where it’s much more noticeable, but even when I hear it now it doesn’t bother me. The most I feel is that it’s a slight annoyance, but it doesn’t upset me at all.


      - Now (after 6-7 months)

      My tinnitus is still there but I’ve learnt to accept it and adjust to it. In the early days I would have been disappointed to read a story that said this (I only wanted to hear that it completely disappeared) but honestly, getting to the point of not caring / not being upset, is as good as it being gone. It doesn’t stop me enjoying life in the slightest and I'm completely back to my happy self (something I didn’t think would be possible). Unlike the early days when I’d hear it all the time, I have days now when I'm barely aware of it even at home in a quiet room, and never hear it when I’m out or busy. So I suppose I’m almost habituated… and I believe it will only continue to get better and who knows, maybe one day I’ll stop hearing it altogether!

      So it is a very positive story! Yes I still have tinnitus but its MUCH less bothersome and I am living a full and happy life! So if you’re in the early days, hang in there and keep focusing on the positive stories, it just takes time.

      My top tips for people in the early days:

      - STOP googling tinnitus and searching for answers to questions like ‘will it ever go away’, ‘can tinnitus go away after 1 week/2 weeks’ etc. - Read what you need to online, but focus on the positive stories and then take a break from it. Remember that a lot of the information online about tinnitus is negative and outdated.

      - STOP fixating on finding a magic solution / cure – there may be things that help, and one day there may be an easy 'off' button. For many people it also does disappear on its own. But in the meantime, manage your expectations and instead focus on your mental state / being positive which I found to be much more productive/healing. There's definitely a mental connection to tinnitus.

      - DISTRACT yourself – go out, see friends, watch TV, listen to music (at a reasonable level, and from speakers rather than headphones ideally!), let each day come and try not to monitor your tinnitus from hour to hour. Accept that sometimes it will bother you more than others, but know that a good day will come again.

      - BE PATIENT – it takes time to feel better, but know that you will and remember it’s not linear (one step forward and two steps back is so true with tinnitus.)

      You can do this!
       
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    2. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      It sounds like the volume went down for you - that's still awesome! It could go away in time but even if it doesn't, as you said, it's a non-issue!
       
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    3. DesFox

      DesFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Dec 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Excessive noise exposure
      Hey. It is great to read about your progress. I recently posted my story as well and can only confirm what you have written. I think I am at a similar stage to you after 10 months, it took me longer to get there. I am 42 so probably the level of damage to my ears was greater as well as the "healing" slower. The only hurdle I struggle to get over is the anxiety that it may come back stronger. I started going out more regularly recently and obviously land in noisier environments (nothing crazy loud, but in restaurants etc you will always have chatter). I always carry earplugs now and have not noticed any negative impact on my tinnitus after a dinner out. Still the day after I always monitor the level of tinnitus. I know I shouldn't, I have to work on that. I actually started thinking that since for the last 10 months I cut out loud noises (with the lock-downs this was easy) my ears have become more sensitive to noise? I guess I will never know. However I think that slowly introducing some louder sounds may also be part of habituation.
       
    4. n_li808
      Irritated

      n_li808 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      aug 20, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      most likely from acoustic shock/trauma
      Hey glad you don’t notice it anymore! Did your tinnitus volume decrease at all? Or any tone changes throughout those times?
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Anna17

      Anna17 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      I just read your story and sounds like you’ve made great progress and at a similar stage to me. I know exactly what you mean – I used to be paranoid about being in noisy environments and over-analyse my tinnitus after any kind of exposure. I carry earplugs on my key chain but found I never actually use them; it just gives me reassurance that they’re there if I need them.

      But recently I’ve become much more relaxed about it – I am sensible i.e. I don’t blare music through my headphones like I used to, but I’m no longer scared of every day occasional loud noises. Our ears are designed to cope with reasonable levels of noise and the ENT told me to carry on as normal. You’ll be fine in a restaurant.

      The only thing I’ve still not done is go back to the cinema (since mine started after the cinema I’m more wary of this) but I’m sure I will eventually! From reading other people’s stories it seems uncommon for tinnitus to get massively worse – it tends to get better, so try not to overthink it.

      Good luck, hope it continues to improve!
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Anna17

      Anna17 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Thanks! I still notice it occasionally of course, but much less than I used to. It’s difficult to say… I think it has decreased in volume a bit yes. Sometimes I lie in bed at night and it seems much quieter than it used to. I still have some days where the volume is back to where it was in the early days, but I have more quieter days now. The tone hasn’t changed at all. The main difference is that my reaction to it has changed – I find it much easier to tune it out now and it doesn't upset me any more :)
       
    7. Bill Arsenault

      Bill Arsenault Member

      Location:
      Boston.
      Tinnitus Since:
      Permanent and intrusive since 2017.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication / Noise Over Exposure
      I guess there’s no good age to get tinnitus-
      But I often sympathize with and wonder how well various age groups deal with this insanity.

      Anyway-
      Glad to see you are handling this all so well at 30.
      Your post is amazing-
      Thanks for sharing.

      Best wishes and
      Keep Kicking Ass.
       
    8. Vassili
      Wishful

      Vassili Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced
      I am very happy for you, Anna. I had my concussion a year ago and only now I can say that I got my life back. Not all of it but 90% for sure. I hear my tinnitus only in quiet bathroom and experience mild headache almost daily but I can live with it and almost not be affected by it. I still hope that someday all my symptoms will vanish.

      Have a great day! (y)
       
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    9. Tessie

      Tessie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3 weeks
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Shock
      Thank you for sharing Anna, I'm definitely in the early feeling scary phase. You have given me hope!
       
    10. Fields
      Busy

      Fields Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma
      Another 31-year-old reporting in. Great to hear you've made so much progress over those past 6 months!

      I'm 6 months in now myself, without much improvement tinnitus-wise. However, my anxiety and hyperacusis have gotten much better.

      Similarly to you, I gave up on supplements rather quickly - save for magnesium. It helps me calm down a bit before bed, which is nice.

      I'm not expecting it to ever go away, but once the hyperacusis is gone, hopefully my Tinnitus will improve a bit, too. :)

      I'm actually getting an MRI soon, but I'm not expecting much. My ENT simply wants to make sure I don't have an acoustic neuroma.
       
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Fields

      You and most of the people on this thread are in the early stages of noise induced tinnitus. This type of tinnitus usually improves over time even when hyperacusis is present. It is important not to make your symptoms worse so I advise not to use any kind of headphones even at low volume. Please click on the links below and read my posts.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
       
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    12. Fields
      Busy

      Fields Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma
      Hi Michael, thanks for the friendly advice.

      I've actually read many of your posts throughout the forum and have already done away with my headphones because of them. :)

      I think it's really great that you're keeping an eye out for new members of this forum, so thanks again!
       
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thanks for your kind comments @Fields I'm sure your tinnitus will improve just take things easy....:)
       

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