Back to Life Not Thinking About Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by RoeTaKa, Jun 3, 2019.

    1. RoeTaKa
      Creative

      RoeTaKa Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music/Somatic?
      I thought about posting a few times and stopped myself thinking I'd jinx myself or something. I'd like to think I know why my tinnitus gets worse and how I can stay like this until I bite the dust, but for all I know it might all come back even worse for some reason or another... so if you're ever in this position just try to enjoy yourself while it lasts!

      My left ear rings at a high pitch. In the start of 2017 it came all of a sudden one night as I went to bed and the next few months were absolutely miserable, it was loud and I hated it. I wasn't sure of the cause but since I write music and use headphones a lot I thought that might be the reason. I saw a doctor, had my hearing tested and also had an MRI -- none of these showed any sign. Then it went down to a level I hardly even noticed, I believe that was in part mostly due to my acceptance of it and being determined to get my life back on track (as well as just being healthier). I went through a two week spike in October of 2017 which I remember being annoying but didn't impact me very much, things went back to normal shortly after.

      Then last year it was particularly loud and piercing from about June up until maybe December. A bit before June I noticed in quiet rooms I'd hear a low deep humming sound which really used to bother me. I'd given up on thinking it was a spike towards the end of that year. I was also just in such a bad place mentally and was plagued with anxiety. But I believe things I were doing towards the end of that year helped.

      I started to see a physio hoping they would be able to help me out. Their service wasn't that valuable but the plan they gave me to stretch my neck I thought was starting to unwind some of the problem. Honestly if you're doing stretches or yoga or something make sure you're doing it right, it's so crucial to feel that stretch and pull on the muscle. I believe my tinnitus is mostly somatic and there could have also been issues with inflammation but I can't be sure of both. With inflammation in mind I took supplements and foods to help in that regard, they could have contributed to helping me but I again can't be sure.

      I supplemented with different vitamins and stuff, most of what you'll see mentioned if you search this forum. Nothing gave immediate or soon after relief. The only thing I felt improved my mood was 5-HTP (Hydroxytryptophan), I felt a spring in my step the day I took it but it might have been placebo for all I know. I sometimes thought CBD oil would help, sometimes a few drops of that under the tongue and a nice cup of green tea was pretty relaxing...but I'd still like to mask anyway (I masked with sounds a lot). I'm in the UK so the CBD oil I have is probably not super good (the best I tried was from lovecbd and provocan). I actually vape some CBD now here and there, I just kinda like it, even if it isn't doing much.

      I also want to say I didn't take any antidepressants. My family would tell me I should see a doctor and take them. My doctor said I should also do CBT but I know a lot about that, I've read a book on it, I honestly just knew it wouldn't have any effect on me. January this year I saw a doctor and said I'm just fed up of feeling like shit, just anxious, head/ear pressure, generally miserable. He prescribed me Sertraline. I told myself I wouldn't take it unless I was 100% convinced nothing else would help. I don't wanna suppress myself and feel numb, I'm a musician as well... my life is all about those emotions. I took that prescription and I've not taken any of it ever since.

      Alright so what was it that started making me feel better? I'm healthy, good blood pressure, blood results are pretty level, why did things start going back to normal? Maybe it was a combination of everything above that help but I really think the catalyst was just working out a lot. I already found comfort through the physio's stretches, I'd also bought a treadmill to walk on, but now I was more motivated to work out more. Jogging, weights, stuff that got my heart rate up. That also probably improved my posture overall, which is likely a big deal with somatic tinnitus. I believe the working out also really helped managing my serotonin and such, naturally just improving my mood the more I wanted to do it.

      My tinnitus right now... I'll tell you I'm one of the "95% it's gone" people. I know that doesn't satisfy some people on this forum. They'll say "you're not cured!". Well this all felt like a lot of hard work to get to this point, and I don't think about my tinnitus anymore. Only when it's really quiet but hey, I don't even really like total quiet anymore. I'm happy, sometimes I'll sit somewhere with the the faintest ambience around me and smile thinking "this is my peace". And another thing, if I'm in a room where I can hear my low tinnitus...my mind is pretty good at phasing that out now, that one used to bother the shit out of me.

      I believe I know why my tinnitus get worse like this now. With each account where it got bad, some time before it happened I was put through some tough emotional time. When it started, the first bad spike and then the shit show of last year, each time before those happened I was in a highly emotional state where things just got bad and really affected me... whether I knew it or not -- I know now.

      I rarely believe in instant cures. "Take this and you'll be fixed". Some things just take work, even if you hate it, it has to be done. But more than the work it takes to fix something I believe more in the prevention. My mental health is so valuable to me now, I live my life the way it makes me happy and I don't let the shit that plagues my mind get to me anymore. Working out and getting fit has made me more confident, this has really helped in that regard. I'm better at calming my anxious states. If something bad happens in my life I know that I must handle it better, lest I let my demons overcome me. Be in control, and just... be happy, be sad, but regulate yourself. Balance is so important in life.

      I hope this might be helpful to some, insightful to others. For some of us, our tinnitus might be caused by a different reason, something we can't control, so I hope the solutions come to us sooner or later. I think there's every chance I'll be back here some day because something will happen and I won't understand why, but through here and my perseverance I hope to keep learning and managing the problem. I wish everyone good luck in battling this demon.
       
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    2. MarkX

      MarkX Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Congrats. I’m so glad for you. Mine is somatic too and just started while watching TV. Not sure if it was due to stress.

      So did the volume of your tinnitus reduce by 95% or your perception of it? Does it still get louder when you move your neck or jaw?

      I started with a physio as well. Hope I get same results. Can you describe what exercises you did? I feel I have the same type of tinnitus as you.
       
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    3. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      Hi @RoeTaKa -- Thanks for sharing your story, and congratulations on your remarkable improvements! -- What you learned (above in quotes) is so important. I feel that finding a harmony within ourselves, and within our relationships is priceless. Though your tinnitus experience has obviously been extraorinarily challenging, I wonder if you're thinking now whether it was worth it all, if that's what it took to find your new found approach to mental health and living your life in a way that makes you happy.
       
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    4. KMc24

      KMc24 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Congratulations on your diminishing tinnitus. I've been dealing with tinnitus for 14 months. I have bad days and mild days as well. Like you I've taken to working out. I've been lifting weights for a year now, and started running about 6 weeks ago. I would have never thought about running prior to tinnitus. I'm taking supplements as well. Not sure if they help or not. My doctor also prescribed Sertraline too. I'm thinking about coming off of it as I don't like the numb feeling either. I'd like to get to the point where my tinntus is 95% gone as well. I truly believe exercise and eating right is the best medicine. Time is also a healer. Right now I'm in terrific shape, and stronger than ever at 44 years old. How long have you had tinnitus? And how long did it take you to get to the point where it's almost gone? That's truly amazing.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RoeTaKa
      Creative

      RoeTaKa Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music/Somatic?
      The volume definitely reduced. When it first started in 2017 it started as a loud tone, I'd say like...a 7/10 loudness. I'd have to have a fan near my ear and some rain noise from my speakers to not notice it. Last year it wasn't so much loudness when it was loud...it started off like a 5/10 but very sharp, a much sharper tone. Eventually it changed and would change in volume every couple of seconds...like WEEooooooWEEoooweeeOOOweeeEE (yes I am a grown man lol). It really got to me more for some reason.

      Both times my tinnitus reduced to a mild hiss. I'll only really hear it at night but honestly I'm so used to my small pillow speaker playing some garden ambience that I just enjoy listening to that as I sleep. I don't feel any need to stress about seeing if I can sleep without that but if I'm really tired I don't care about the hiss at all. I really feel like being strong of mind and being emotionally level is the key. It's hard though...tinnitus makes you have to be like a monk sometimes.

      But yes if I turn my head right as much as possible my tinnitus intensifies the most. My jaw does it, pushing on top of my head does it...but not as much. The physio I started with had me tilted my head each way using my hand to pressure it down to feel the stretch, pushing head towards the armpit, pushing my head down to the stomach and pushing my jaw back so you have that turkey neck thing going on. I know these have names but since I stopped seeing my physio I don't have access to my program. Anyway after doing those for a few weeks and extending the time of doing them, we move on to pilates, and I feel like this started to somewhat straighten my back out. Pilates are tough to do properly if you're not used to them and they really helped me get ready to do more running and other exercises.

      Thanks you. On the one hand I can tell you that yes, *my* tinnitus was strangely a kick up the butt in many ways and that dormant parts of me had to be activated to come out of the other side...and yes I feel like a stronger person for that. But some people go through some terrible shit...some people's tinnitus here is loud and the only hope is a cure, other people around the world with terrible things that completely destroy any future they hoped for. I'm lucky I can still see a future, I don't want to take that for granted. I really hope people get the relief that they deserve.

      I feel like I covered the times where I had tinnitus and when it went down. January 2017 was when it started, about 3 months of pure loud tone. Basically after my MRI was when I just started to accept this is life and that if it's gonna work then I need to change. I remember the day I found mynoise.net and tweaked one of their rain sounds to the tone of my tinnitus just right, I sat there for a while just hearing that rain completely mask my tinnitus. It was the first time I felt happy in months. I started a simple workout and got back to writing music. Perhaps my brain learned to not listen to the tone and eventually in my ignorant bliss everything came down. That's why I'm really advocating better mental health, I think for some people it's gonna be a good crutch.

      Then there was the spike in October 2017. I remember at the time I was working hard on an album and a game I was looking forward was coming out, I was just busy and it passed in around two weeks.

      The "spike" of last June was the most taxing. I had to really get into meditation, releasing muscle tension...I'd never done so much research into tinnitus before this. I started smoking again for 3 months and then quit because I knew in the long run it would just be worse. I committed to working out in October, physio in December and January...by the end of January I was doing better but it's difficult to recall. I think by the end of February was where I got to now. I sort of tapered exercise around February but in March up until now I've been working out nearly daily. I just feel strong now, anxiety has less of a grasp...whenever I feel it creep up on me now I just take a big breath and remind myself I'm already a winner.

      So that whole ordeal lasted 8-9 months but let's say if I ever go through this again the first thing I'll be thinking about is being mentally strong, keep my emotions in check and just ride the thing out until I'm not even thinking about it anymore.
       
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    6. MarkX

      MarkX Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      8-9 months to get to 95% almost gone is great. When you say 95% gone, you mean a total reduction in volume of 95% down? What do you hear now at 95% gone, white noise, do you still hear crickets? Or a very low high pitch sound? Also does it still intensify when you move your neck and jaw?

      Thank you for your responses, they are very helpful.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RoeTaKa
      Creative

      RoeTaKa Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music/Somatic?
      Yes the volume of my tinnitus lowered significantly. If I try try to listen out for it I hear a quiet high pitch, I can tell it's still a tone but it's flatter and subdued. I tend to have a small fan on near me at my desk since I like a small breeze on me anyways, but the sound of that is enough to not even notice it even if I look for it.

      Rotating my head hard to the right does intensify the sound. It pierces a little more and gets slightly louder. Jaw and some other movements do too but not anywhere near as much.

      If you believe your tinnitus is somatic there's probably a good chance things can improve, and if it does then don't slouch...stay fit, be good to your body as much as you can. I still think emotional well being and a strong mind are big roles in all this too, dwelling is a slow ride to hell.

      Edit - For the longest time I considered seeing a Chriopractor. I did a lot of research on this and nearly went several times. The stories I read were so mixed that I couldn't gamble on things potentially getting worse. I believe Chiropractors have their place but for tinnitus, I'm not sure. I'm glad I didn't see one now. Physio is a good step, there is so much to improve in the body when it comes to stretching and generally being more active on a day to day basis, it could make all the difference...since afterall that is what we should be doing, we're not made to sit around all day and ride on moving platforms etc.
       
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    8. MarkX

      MarkX Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yes mine's somatic and also not due to acoustic trauma. This gives me hope that it will get better. I’ll continue with the physiotherapy.
       
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