Any Advice for a 16-Year-Old Guitarist? Tinnitus for 2 Months Now

Discussion in 'Support' started by kinnawack, Oct 13, 2021.

    1. kinnawack

      kinnawack Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi. I'm 16 and have a continuous ringing in my left ear that developed about 2 months ago.

      I'm a guitarist and although I'm not usually exposed to any loud noises for a prolonged period of time it still persists.

      I have no idea if it's permanent. I was told that it is uncommon at my age to have long-lasting tinnitus. It's pretty depressing tbh and leaves me restless, I can't relax.

      Does anyone have any advice or something to keep me going because the thought of having this for life really gets me down.

      Cheers.
       
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    2. LukeYoung
      Stressed

      LukeYoung Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud Concert - Noise Exposure
      Hey, sorry to hear about your recent bout with tinnitus. It sucks to have it at 16, but your brain will learn to block it out. You still get a mix of good and bad days. You will need to be careful from now on. No headphones until you are very sure and can limit them. No concerts, loud cinema etc.

      Try masking with white noise sounds. Fans have always worked for me, as I always had one on even before tinnitus.
       
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    3. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      What's the dB level of white noise measured on your phone that you need to mask this so you don't hear it in a room? If less than 25-30, you're in the mild category and this might clear up on it's own over the year.

      I know you don't think so, but you really can get used to it and things will turn around over the next few months, even if it doesn't go away. I talk regularly to a guy that got noise damage and his did, in fact, go completely away over a year. It went from always there to not.

      Lots of people swear by NAC, Ginkgo biloba and Magnesium (not oxide) to help. Could always try those out. There's some evidence those actually help. It's probably better even if it does nothing so you think you're doing something ;)

      Do you have hearing loss in the left ear?
      If you did you should aggressively pursue more diagnostics (more than 10 dB difference than the right ear or your last test).

      A good old blood screening for the typical (TSH, vitamins, minerals, CBC etc) is also a good idea. For all you know this is an easy fix.

      For now? Good old pink noise if you can't hear it while that's quietly on. You will be ok even if it decides to be your freeloading roommate for a while. But, consider this a stern warning (it can become an actual monster). Headphones as you will shortly hear from people is also a terrible idea unless you have a acoustic neuroma (see "hearing loss above", treatable too, but way more serious). Also watch out for ototoxic drugs.

      The "original" rings of noise induced trauma I got... from very intense sound... have mostly become inaudible except in a library over a year. I don't really know why, I just have theories. The answer remains. Time & vigilance over "damaging" sounds +70 dB. It originally blared like a siren as if I were in front of a honking car that never stopped. Mine worsened from unforeseen other variables and risks I took in sound and treatments. Given you are younger, whatever caused it you'll likely bounce back from too. I wouldn't recommend any medications either unless you woke up deaf in that ear.

      If it keeps getting louder, is really low pitched (so not ringing or static) or you lose hearing, get an ENT to take you seriously, and get a hearing test. They won't lift a finger for you until that's done.
       
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    4. Vincent R
      Caffeine

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hi Kinnawack,

      I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I developed tinnitus when I was 35, which is fairly late in life when much lies behind you. Getting tinnitus as a 16-year-old must be genuinely terrible.

      Speaking from 7 years of tinnitus experience, I have both good and bad news for you.

      The good one isthat you will probably get used to the symptoms and they might even quiet down a bit over time.

      The bad one is that tinnitus can get worse and likely will unless you take precautions. Simply put, you will have to start protecting your ears from here on out.

      That means preferable avoiding loud events entirely (concerts, clubbing, firework shows, gun shooting) and wearing ear plugs on events that are moderately loud (going to the bar). Foam earplugs will do the trick, but you need to learn to insert them properly. Google instructions. I think it will be difficult for you to keep playing guitar.

      (Some tinnitus sufferers even wear earplugs in everyday life to protect against surprise incidents like fire alarms, but there are different opinions if one should really go that far. If you end up doing that, custom made are better than foam earplugs, because they allow you to hear what people say, so they are less of a handicap in social situations.)

      You're going to have to adjust to your tinnitus situation, and doing so at your young age will be particularly difficult. But that's the way it is.
       
    5. Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Location:
      Midwest, United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/25/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisy van?
      Hello @Matchbox .

      I’ve read your initial posts and I’m curious about any theories you may have why you’re very intense tinnitus became inaudible over the course of a year. My tinnitus still seems loud and I’m almost 12 weeks in.

      Thanks,
      Mark
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kinnawack

      kinnawack Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I don't believe I have any hearing loss in my left ear. I noticed that I had developed tinnitus in the midst of my 3rd COVID-19 lockdown (I live in New Zealand) whilst watching Game of Thrones which seem to be some weird circumstances. I'm somewhat of a introverted 16 year old and have only been to one party and concert in my life so I don't think not going to those will affect me. I almost never use headphones when watching YouTube or Netflix however I do use them when I game. The thought of hearing loss has always petrified me so I have always been wary of volume levels. Does this mean I'm going to have to stop gaming? Is there also any such thing as a easy fix with tinnitus it was my belief that is was just one of those things where you prepare for the worst, so in that case you can only get good news.

      I've also noticed that if I press on a certain place in my ear it completely goes away. Don't know if that's just the usual though :thankyousign:
       
    7. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      Yes that is a bit unusual.

      Like I said, could be something very small. Whereabouts are you pressing?
      Regardless, that even moreso gives me the feels you're mild and will improve.

      You really "don't know" if you have hearing loss until you do otoacoustic emissions or a good hearing test with bone conduction to compare with the past (or if there's any dips). My right ear has an air bone gap and unless I really checked I wouldn't have known why it's a tiny bit quieter on that side (like 10-20%).
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kinnawack

      kinnawack Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I press around the tragus area and the ringing completely stops. That's very interesting about the hearing tests and also thank you so much for your help. It's really getting my head wrapped around it and helping me consider my options.

      Many Thanks :)
       
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    9. LukeYoung
      Stressed

      LukeYoung Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud Concert - Noise Exposure
      12 weeks isn't much in the grand scheme of it all.

      After maybe 6 months, my tinnitus settled a bit (or I got used to it more). But in the first year you should see a fair bit of improvement and adjustment.
       
    10. LukeYoung
      Stressed

      LukeYoung Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud Concert - Noise Exposure
      Pierce your tragus ;)

      Haha nah I am not too sure that would help..

      Very interesting though.
       
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    11. Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Location:
      Midwest, United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/25/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisy van?
      It sounds promising that by pressing your tragus you can stop your tinnitus.
      Thanks for responding to my post. I’m frustrated that the tinnitus is still moderately loud in my left ear. Hasn’t seem to have decreased at all since onset three months ago. I’m not a expecting full recovery, but it would be nice to see a downward trend, no matter how shallow.

      Thanks,
      Mark
       
    12. LukeYoung
      Stressed

      LukeYoung Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud Concert - Noise Exposure
      I have faith it will reduce a bit for you.
       
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    13. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      First of all, I am so very sorry that you’re suffering from this. 16 years old is too young.

      Second, get yourself to a doctor and get your hearing tested and make sure that you don’t have any wax buildup or anything going on that is impacting your hearing.

      You have been given a lot of good advice around learning to live with tinnitus and managing it. And it’s true the majority of people habituate to it and live full lives. However, you’ve only had it for two months. It does not become chronic until after you’ve had it for over a year so there is hope that it will go away. Talk to your doctor about any medication you may have taken or any changes that you’ve had. Also, the fact that your tinnitus is in one ear only as a little concerning. Most people experience tinnitus in both ears and unilateral tinnitus is usually something that you should be talking to a doctor about.

      Please go to the doctor.

      Best of luck.
       
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