Beating Tinnitus and Hyperacusis

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by MickBr, Aug 30, 2018.

    1. MickBr

      MickBr Member

      Location:
      South Pacific
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      rifle fire
      I largely beat both conditions and thought I would list some of my strategies. This does not suite everyones situation but I recall when I first got them and was surfing for answers a couple of blogs made a difference for me. Guys who put me off the idea of doom, gloom and cure chasing very early in the piece. I can't recall these blogs now but wanted to do a short diatribe which may help others.

      Firstly I am a former soldier and international company owner. I got tinnitus 17 years ago in the army, very minor, but it suddenly got worse at the 12 year mark and I had to quit a lucrative international job. Then bang hyperacusis hits me 2 years later. I am able to work and run a business again, and just wanted to share some point which may help others.

      Tinnitus steps.

      • learnt to sleep with it first of all, firstly with masking noise, then in dead silence. I am a terrible sleeper too, I thought this is the worst possible thing to happen to a guy like me. Within a couple weeks I learnt to sleep(poorly) with it, in couple months I could doze in a chair again , then found myself falling asleep reading and forgetting to turn on my masking noises. Took a few months but I managed it. I actually developed better sleeping habits than I have ever had, I can lie down and shut myself off for the first time in my highstrung life( laughs) My tinnitus noises when I could be bothered hearing it is now are like my comforting sleep noises( crickets/squeals/hisses ) but I doze off to them.
      • Realised I could still carry out normal day to day functions. I stayed busy, did a bucket list of things I'd always wanted to do( insofar as noise allowed me). It felt like I was detached from life at first, but I just kept my feet moving day after day. Also I found myself forgetting I had it, surfing the internet I realised I could do 2-3 hours like when I was normal and time had just dissappeared. This eventually become more and more tasks, the days started to feel normal again.
      • No meds. Cold turkey. I don't want to give advice that can limit treatment options or cause harm to others but doctors I talked to with the condition said off the record in their opinion its worth giving a shot without sleeping meds or anti depressants.
      • Didn't chase cures. As painful as it was I accepted what was happening and tried to get used to the noise, rather than actively try and 'think it down' or cure it. In the end doing this was the far superior choice. I can forget my tinnitus for days or months now, can also deliberately tune into it( like I am doing now) then forget its there.
      • Attrition and random events taught me my tinnitus spiking was just a spike and not a permanent shift upwards. I was protecting my ears like crazy at first. Bu;t my car broke down and I had to walk in heavy traffic a couple miles, my town got hit by a hurricane( now that is noisy), I did heavy gym workouts, a street sweeper went past while I was helping an aged relative walk up the street( had nowhere to run ). Had to take an airflight for urgent medical reasons, survived that too. This was not a deliberate step, it just happened, really it is almost impossible to avoid noise in this world.
      • Getting back to some form of work took a large chunk out of the tinnitus. It was about 5 times less pay than I was used to, I went from international contracts to wiping butts in an aged care centre( my mom is a nurse and suggested it) but it was the best thing I ever did. I realised I had another weapon , distraction.
      • Using forums like this for general and necessary information, then perhaps staying away if you don't need them. No offence, a forum is a historical record of not just support but all the misery that has ever been spoken, frozen in perpetuity. A lot of people have a bad time with tinnitus, some it goes away, but a lot just get used to it- but you don't see them all posting here ever again, they don't need to In my opinion there are far more 'successes' therefore than the conversations here lead you to believe.
      • Handling setbacks. Ear infections which spike the tinnitus in particular., airflights, hearing loud noises, or randomly for some reason it just started bothering me again. The process was generally stress and panic( lol) try not to hear it actively( obviously fails), then give up after a few days and go about business, bang suddenly would stop bothering me again. You get better and better at this
      • Recongnzing the loudness of tinnitus is not the problem, its the focus. Log onto any major gun forum, guitar, army or pilots forum. Half of them have louder tinnitus than us, it just bothers them less or not it all. Most of them go about their occupations with tinnitus, they don't fear it like us either.
      • Stopped blaming myself. Most people conduct mildly risky behaviour in some way or another. We can't cover all the bases all the time. No one asks to get bad tinnitus regardless what they do to their hearing( or without hearing loss as the case may be). Getting tinnitus is also not a sign you failed. I beat myself up for ages, used to say what was the point of my sucesses if some guy pushing a cart is now in similar financial situation to me. One has nothing to do with the other. Give yourself a break.

      Hyperacusis

      Okay its tougher, but not in all ways, in a few ways it was a little easier. I am sure there are different types again so this may not apply to everyone. I will say at first it hammered me, got into different types of sounds, had me on the ropes. Funnily I found my steps to handling tinnitus and general mental toughness I developed from the condition helped a lot.

      1. No meds, again.
      2. Learnt to sleep. Some times different sounds were bugging me but generally I did not find this as bad as tinnitus to overpower.
      3. Got busy, insofar as I was able. I fought hyperacucis way more, tried to "hear things properly", was always testing its levels. Bad idea. Not something I could control at first, I had to learn how to passively ignore it while going about my business.
      4. Had a job interview, was so focussed on the interview I realised my hyperacusis had gone( totally) for almost a whole day. Aha says I, a useful weapon, concentrating on things.
      5. Ordered the complete box set of the sopranos and a lot of fatty food LOL. Watched them back to back, hyperacusis dropped back to much lower levels. Mind occupied and enjoying things works too. This was a breakthrough for me, I called them my "ok I quit" technique
      6. Used the tools of activity, positivity, going back to the quitting/bucket list( lol) as required.
      7. Realised hyperacusis differed from tinnitus for me in couple of major ways.
      A. More variable
      B. One benefit of the above was it could dissappear completely
      C More related to my current anxiety or emotional state at the time


      Tips for hyperacusis
      • Stay busy, realise there are still some things you can do, concentrate on them
      • Try and be happy. If someone were to offer you 1 million dollars and you still had hyperacusis, yes you would still be much happier :D If you can work, then getting a job promotion or making love to that beautiful women you were scared to ask out, will still taste good, and will make the condition less intrusive, may even kill the focus on it.
      • Use the variability to have your good days, take ground off the condition. From my own experience and that of those who's advice I took this is a condition that you can desenstise directly by normal activity.
      • Get good support. A doctor who believes you is a good step. Disability support, welfare whatever they call it. Don't be afraid to take a backward step, confide with the right people, get finances working again, start building your base.
      • Give yourself time to develope a toughness against sound sensivity.. At first the louder noises gave me a nasty start, adrenalin or even a tympanic tensing( eardrum tightens temporarly) but like most things your brain will be doing its best to get around these issues. Even when I had major attacks I found my physiological reaction to the noise had reduced. Funnily now I can hear a loud noise like a car backfire or balloon pop and I am the only guy in the room who doesn't flinch :)
      • Keep in mind you have the right to be beaten, but you dont have to be cowed all the time. Don't be afraid to use your strength and positivity on good days.Don't be afraid to say Hey universe, I'm back in the seat!"
      • Admit some days will knock you harder than others. I used to lie on my 'bad side' or worst side ear when I couldn't win and just watch old soaps with my mom. Or even revert to the quitting/bucket list(lol)You can't win them all.
      • Don;t despair from setbacks, I had a couple big ones, I thought it was gone, it returned hard at 12 month mark, no particular reason. Heartbreaking like a cancer relapse or a kidney transplant failing. I just went through the steps. Panic, fight( lose), try to actively passively ignore it( also lose lol), give up/(sopranos here we go again) and concentrated on doing what I was doing day to day( win).
      • Use the setbacks as a way to lose fear of setbacks. I was going a couple months keeping my focus off it but was wary about going back to noisy or stressful work. Once I got knocked down a couple more times I realised I had grown this inner strength to handle what was happening, Win or lose, I knew the game. A lot of the fear dropped away, and at that point the hyperacusis left for even longer periods of time, and I went back to work.

      My hearing is mostly normal now as of the last year. I will still get returns of it occasionally lasting an individual noise or day or two. I can now call them 'attacks', intimating more along the timeframes of people having an 'attack' of sciatica, or gout, not a long term episode

      For the record at no stage did I do any white noise or deliberate sound desenstisation. It was all just daily living based, doing what I could when I could. These are maybe other techniques than someone can look at, as well. And I don't want to sound glib about any of this. I worked really hard, I felt fear, despair, and hopelessness at times you feel you are looking down the barrel of a gun pointed the wrong way. And my story does not relate to everyone's situation. But if there even just a a couple of tips in there useful to others, I feel it was worth writing down.
       
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    2. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustical trauma
      you haven't posted in about 3 years,

      Just made this post to make suffering individuals feel bad for not having enough mental toughness.

      How did you manage to get rid of painful hyperacusis with no mention of sound therapy?
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MickBr

      MickBr Member

      Location:
      South Pacific
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      rifle fire
      You must be very depressed to accuse someone of that. Like saying on a cancer forum someone is just posting to hurt others because his cell counts are doing better. This sub forum is asking for any success stories and since they are scarce I felt it worth putting down my own. Sorry it gave you a negative response, but its the type of post I would have liked to hear 3-5 years ago myself.

      Not sure, I think exposure to daily sound and getting back into daily activities was my therapy.

      yes the reasons were also covered in my points. I am not sure too much time on forums like this with the focus on the conditions and depressive posts is the best idea for everyone long term.

      As such I wont't be posting again at this stage. I wish you good luck with your own situation friend. And everyone else.
       
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    4. Kelvin

      Kelvin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Work
      Thanks @MickBr...despite what others may feel or say I think positivity and distraction are major keys.
      You have confirmed this.
      I too have noticed that if your completely immersed in something ( Kylie Minogue for me...:cool: ) then you can go for many minutes even hours and not notice it.
      I find the H a little more annoying and still avoid cutlery and flushing toilets....much to wife annoyance. But hey she's not Kylie !!
      Thanks for taking the time to come back and I wish you continued success !
       
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    5. Vicki14
      Panicky

      Vicki14 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      @Contrast - I personally don’t think that this was @MickBr intention!!!! I personally found his read very helpful and thank you for coming back and sharing your story!! x
       
    6. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustical trauma
      they were never part of our community. They just join to make one post.
       
    7. AmericanJosh

      AmericanJosh Member

      Location:
      Wisconsin, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise exposure while doing work on home
      @Contrast - does that make his story any less true?
       
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    8. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustical trauma
      these threads are glorified and research is given less incentive.
       
    9. AmericanJosh

      AmericanJosh Member

      Location:
      Wisconsin, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise exposure while doing work on home
      I am not sure what you mean and how does that relate to the OPs story?
       
    10. Berik
      Rebellious

      Berik Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      You're relatively new into this nightmare we call T. I know several people who have it quite moderate and habituated. They would still prefer silence though, but they've grown accustomed. In the end, you will as well, just as I will. Not there yet, but we'll get there. And once that medicine comes, hallelujah!
       
    11. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustical trauma
      the tinnitus doesn't bother me, it's muffled hearing in my right ear and chronic facial pain(hyperacusis)
       
    12. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustical trauma
      oh well, i seriously don't belong on this forum because I complain far more about hearing loss then tinnitus, pay no attention to the evidence that says they are strongly intertwined just treat them as separate conditions.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=central+gain+tinnitus
       
    13. Berik
      Rebellious

      Berik Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      That sucks big-time indeed. I've been using fluticason for the pain for a year now, though that seems more etd related. Hope you notice improvement soon.
       
    14. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustical trauma
      the audiotory nerve doesn't repair it self, there is no therapuetic to directly target it coming anytime soon.
       
    15. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustical trauma
      the final end game is exceptance, that's why I'm suicidal.

      I already know the normies want me to give up things I care about and brainwash myself to wearing ear plugs everywhere as this progressively worsens.
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MickBr

      MickBr Member

      Location:
      South Pacific
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      rifle fire
      I just dropped in to say Hi again and that things are going well. I see some very unhappy folks cannot help making sure thread as unhappy as they are.

      Im not here to debate, but will stand us to say there is hope for a large percentage of people getting tinnitus. Coming from a military and shooting background there a vast number of people with worse tinnitus than me who do not consider themselves sufferers. Log onto any of the major gun forums and you have maybe 15000 out of 50000 members reporting some kind of tinnitus up to and including severe still shooting, flying, riding noisy bikes, playing in bands.

      Again this is not to suggest all tinnitus sufferers can do this, but just so the next sufferer who logs on here terrified, seeking answers, (with that feeling we all remember)can see at least an example that, even if they get stuck with that level of tinnitus it can be lived with and often forgotten, regardless of its intensity. In fact I believe this is the normative response, unlike ours.

      Someone said above 'I am not part of your community here' and someone else defended me. But that person is actually correct. I am not part of this community. And my suggestion is a lot of people coming to these forums for the first time scared , but then either losing their tinnitus or H or adjusting to it, have no reason to post more than a few times.

      This is actually good news.
       
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    17. Tony Phylactou

      Tony Phylactou Member

      Location:
      Limassol
      Tinnitus Since:
      Low 20 years high sept 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cement factory noise lowT,then stress high T
      You are a very brave and determined peson. Well done. This gives us all hope.
       
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