Dear all, I figured today would be a good today to ''show my face'' on this forum. I have been suffering from tinnitus from the age of 17. It all started with a high pitch ringing that I first noticed when I was doing my homework on the computer. I panicked. I had definitely been to loud parties a few times and I recognised the ringing from the times I'd been to a party. It took me months to come to terms with the fact that I would have to deal with this sound for the rest of my life, but soon I became unaware of it. Throughout my twenties, I still had the ringing, but most of the time it didn't bother me too much. It became a background noise and certainly didn't keep me up at night. Sometimes though, after a loud event (with earplugs), a long car journey or a cold, the ringing would get louder for a couple of days or weeks, after which it would go back to its usual level. And then... just before I turned 30, I decided that it was time to celebrate my 20s with a night out with colleagues. I love to dance, so we went to a lounge with a DJ. I put my earplugs in, my noise cancelling head phones over the top, and danced, away from the speakers. I was in there for four hours and felt I was now ready to turn 30. The following day, my T was at its usual levels. Things were going pretty well in life, both at work and at home. I was keeping fit by cycling to work and had recently taken up swimming. And then, exactly one week after the night out, I went swimming and put my head under water. That night I felt some water in my ear, but didn't give it any thought, dried it, and went to sleep. The following morning I woke up with a strange noise in my left noise. This was on July 15th. It was an irregular semi-low tone. It sounded something like this: eeeee-uuuuu-eeee-uuuu. (Just to give you an idea). I didn't give it too much thought as I'd had strange sounds before and they had always gone. This one though, seemed more persistent. In fact, it became louder and I started hearing it during the day. Strangely enough, it was in the ear that had water in after swimming. After a week or so, I started hearing 'cracking' noises in my right ear. I started worrying and went to an ENT specialist, who told me I had tinnitus (something I had known for 13 years, but fine) and he gave me a leaflet. He suggested I should see someone to learn how to deal with it. OK. So now starts the drama. The noises continues to get worse and I could now feel pressure in my ears, they were popping and I felt little pains in them too. I went to another ENT specialist and was sent home for the second time. He told me my ear drums looked perfectly normal and that there was no sign of infection. I then decided to get away from it all and on August 9th, I went to stay with my parents in France for a week. The night I arrived my T was terrible. The following morning I was tired and scared, and ended up going to a French doctor. She told me I had slight redness in my ears, and prescribed me Prednisolone 20MG and Cefpodoxime 100MG (they do love antibiotics in France!). I took my first dose that same evening and woke up in the middle of the night with much lower volume T. But one day later it was worse again and I stopped taking the antibiotics as I feared they would make things worse. Anyway... things continued to get worse since that trip and the strange thing is, the sounds of T kept (and sometimes still keep!) changing. The high pitch ringing, however, was (and still is) always there. The flights to and from France were terribly loud (small plane:-/) and despite wearing my ear plugs, I felt my ears were definitely affected by it. I also had terrible pain in my right ear after the flight for a day or so. This story is getting wayyyy to detailed for you guys, so a little fast forward!! In the meantime, I've had a CT scan, hearing test was fine (slight ''dip'') in one of the tones, but otherwise fine. Blood work came back perfect, expect for an allergic reaction to dust mites. I was prescribed Avamys nose spray, later Rhinocort nose spray and Desloratadine Sandoz tablets. But of course, after reading a lot of scary stuff about how antihistamines can also make T worse, I stopped using all of it after two days. I've tried just about every supplement I could get my hands on, but nothing seems to have brought any form of relief so far. Well it's now October 3rd and my life has taking a drastic turn. I practically stopped sleeping, the high pitch ringing is unmaskable, I've lost a lot of weight and can no longer work. I keep thinking back of what might have caused this new outbreak, but can only think of: - The night out (I've read on this forum that the T can have its onset days or weeks later). - A mysterious undetectable infection after putting my head under water. I'm not taking any medication at the moment, which I think might have to be the next step. Of course my biggest, biggest fear is to make things worse by taking them. I you don't mind, I would like to ask you a few questions: - Do you recognise this ''later onset'' tinnitus after a loud event which started with one new sound and has left me with about 4 sounds in each ear? Why would it continue to worsen weeks and weeks after? - Do you think there might be a link with the dust mite allergy or is that wishful thinking? And would it be OK for me to take the antihistamines? My ears still click and pop. - Do you have any experience with sleep deprivation literally making T louder or worse? - Do you have any advice for me with regards to which medications to take (calmants/sleep medication)? I've tried Melantonine but unfortunately it doesn't work. When I lie awake the T just gets louder and louder, and if I wait long enough, even new sounds appear. - I find it interesting that the Prednisone I took in France seemed to have an effect on my T, do you think it might be worth finishing a course? Or could this also make things worse? Any experience with this? - Any luck with Betahistine? For now, my plan is: - I am looking into the possibility of trying hyperbaric oxygen therapy. - I have started drinking An Shen Bu Xin Wan tea tonight, a Chinese herb used to treat palpitations and insomnia. - Trying to get some sleep........ somehow. Right now I just feel incredibly desperate and have little to no hope that things will ever improve. I'm 3 months in now and from what I read it could be too late for actual reduction in T levels as a result of acoustic trauma. But I thought I'd ask for your advice and maybe take you on board of my ''journey''! Thanks so much for reading.