Can You Habituate to Reactive Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by CarloZ, Oct 14, 2015.

    1. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I've just now began to use my a -15 dB high fidelity ear plug in my right ear in the daytime. We'll see it works out.

      It's almost like I've forgotten how many things produce sound; even the door hinges makes a little squeal. Kinda beautiful really. :love:
       
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    2. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      Just remember, none of those everyday sounds can do you any harm with those earplugs in.

      With the 15 dB filters, you're covered for pretty much everything inside your home.

      Outside your home, I would admit, they're quite useless (well, in a city environment anyway).
       
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    3. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I don't think I will ever set foot in a city without double protection as long as I live, even if I'll look like a dork lol.
       
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    4. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Have you, at any point in time, suffered a hyperacusis setback, @Damocles? Like, after a certain episode of exposure, the tolerance would drop a little further? Or did you at one point simply get hyperacusis and it remained on a baseline level until it started to improve?
       
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    5. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      Hey @Stacken77 mate,

      Fortunately, I have to date, not experienced any noise exposure that has reset my hyperacusis to it's original severity, or chipped away at the improvement I've made.

      My severe hyperacusis began a day or two after the onset of my severe tinnitus.

      I remember three days after lying in bed not sleeping and having to stay up watching strange Chinese films, I had finally used up all the resources in my apartment and had to go shopping.

      I had never heard of hyperacusis in my life, and as I was walking down my street to the shop that morning, an aeroplane flew over. The noise was like nothing I had ever heard before. I almost died. That was it, my introduction to the nightmare that was hyperacusis. Everything I had ever known, turned up in volume x10.

      So yes, I lived with it at this awful baseline level for many years, and then it started to improve, as you say.

      I had, as you know, began wearing ear muffs at home, and this was giving me frequent ear infections and I guess, maintaining the hyperacusis at it's then severe level.

      It was the advice on support forums I kept reading, and then my Mum, who kept encouraging me to try not wearing the ear muffs that convinced me to finally try day to day living, without resorting to them for comfort.

      I also, as you know, have had a couple of permanent spikes in my tinnitus since the onset in 2009, but none of them ever affected my hyperacusis, by some stroke of luck; just gave me a new and worse level of tinnitus I had to habituate to.

      TL;DR: My hyperacusis has never gotten worse since the onset of my severe tinnitus and hyperacusis in 2009, and has only improved since I stopped using hearing protection at home, around 2013-2014.
       
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    6. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      How bad is your hearing loss?
       
    7. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      I have no idea, @Brian P, I haven't taken a hearing test since 2010, and even then I can't remember what the results I was given were.

      I simply put no weight in audiograms.

      I remember that last time I went for one, when the audiologist was checking my ears with the otoscope, she pushed a clump of wax further down my ear canal, which suddenly made everything muffled in that ear.

      She then conducted the hearing test. When it ended she said "you have slight hearing loss in your [x] ear", and I was like, "yeah, I think that might be the piece of wax you shoved further in there earlier..."

      So negating results from audiograms, I'll just add that my hearing is pretty amazing, and I can still hear things that no one else in my family can (conversations and phone calls through walls etc.). Nothing like when I was younger, when my hearing was super-human, but still close.
       
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    8. ZFire
      Bored

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011 (mild) & 04/2021 (severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity (2012) Unknown-likely noise induce (2021)
      Man, this part hits home with me and I can so relate to this. I somewhat knew about H before all this, but I only thought it was pain related only. I had no idea it can come in many other sophisticated forms. For me it started with an idle truck whose engine felt much louder than it should. Then walking near a street light and hearing the electricity from it buzzing more cruelly. Finally a nearby a plane passes by and I’m completely bewildered to what I just heard. Trying to live normally, but you realize something is really wrong with the noise perception around you. I started to panic right after...
       
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    9. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      How do you hear anything over the tinnitus? I’ve lost the ability to hear not from hearing loss but due to the loudness covering up things.
       
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    10. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      There is no scientific evidence that TRT does anything, except drain your wallet. Even the audiologist who specializes in tinnitus told me to steer clear.
       
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    11. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      My tinnitus (even at its worst) has never interfered with my interpretation of sound, except when I listen to music.

      About 90% of the music I used to listen to is now unlistenable to me, as it just causes my tinnitus to go crazy and compete with the instruments.
       
    12. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      @Damocles has the tinnitus backed off some over the years?
       
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    13. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      That's a really good question @Brian P, and the answer is: I think it has.

      It was really bad in 2009, and I feel like over time it started settling, until the MRI in 2015, and then it shot up to severe again.

      I believe since then, either the tinnitus has gone down somewhat, or, my brain has just found a way to tune it out more.

      You see, I can't be absolutely certain, but when I suffer spikes (which I still do) they feel severe; and it's like I'm right back to where I was, before I habituated.

      So that's either an indicator that my tinnitus is still severe, but my brain is doing a good job of keeping me from being aware of the fact (unless I screw around with it's balancing act), or, my tinnitus has literally gone down since my last serious noise trauma, and spikes I'm having are just reminding me of severe tinnitus days.
       
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    14. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      With me, the tinnitus was mild, very mild until the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and Klonopin made it severe with suicide level reactivity. I have Ménière’s disease and my tinnitus would go from mild to i would say the upper end of moderate before a vertigo attack, then return to its baseline low level. That being said I’m no noise Virgin, so I’m not sure if that played a role in the tinnitus?
       
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    15. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      I know you're suffering a lot at the moment @Brian P, but I truly believe that if you give it time, your tinnitus and/or your brain's ability to reduce it's affect, will improve.

      Both of the notable permanent spikes I suffered in 2009 and 2015 felt like the end of the road, but I didn't want to die, so I just did everything and anything I could to take my mind off the noise.

      Pretty much spent the majority of the last 13 years doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. It's when you're in this period of immense suffering that you've kind of just got to say f*ck it, and just put yourself first.

      Again, take your mind off it with whatever it is that works for you. For me it was video games, books and chat room arguments. Yep, chat room arguments. And the pettier they were, the better they were, because then I'd come away even more frustrated and the tinnitus would be way off at the back of my mind.

      Same with the video games (chat rooms were basically just video games made up of text in reality), played so much I could have gone "pro". Although all my games are dead now, and all the kids are playing VALORWATCH or some sh*t like that.
       
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    16. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Thank you so much for the answer @Damocles.

      As you know, I believe I suffered a setback in my hyperacusis after a 2 hour conversation in March. I didn't understand the centrality of my sensitivity to sound, and only used an ear plug in my TTTS-affected ear, leaving the other completely unprotected. And I guess the combined bad acoustics and repeated slams of kitchen doors tripped it over the edge and made the tolerances drop further. This was the time before I had my custom molds; had I had them, I'd most likely have mitigated that setback.
      I also speculate that the reason I haven't recovered to the previous tolerances is because of the hearing protection. I think the brain can get overwhelmed and drop the tolerance, and maintain bad tolerances by the use of (pretty much 24/7) hearing protection. I've built a theory for hyperacusis around that which I may share at one point.

      Anyway, all the best to you mate,
      Stacken
       
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    17. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      I have 8 different sounds. My tinnitus spikes to the bed sheets. The baseline tinnitus is loud, the spikes are insane. I walk around trembling all day. I don’t know how one can live like this. It needs to stop. No sleep in ten months. Been in psych hospital 3 times. Tried to end it twice already and was sickened but not good enough. I’m in such pain effects and it doesn’t stop. You know what I mean.
       
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    18. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      Hyperacusis is funny because I don’t really have loudness hyperacusis but every minute sound spikes the tinnitus.
       
    19. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      Mate, I'm so sorry to hear this. What a complete load of sh*t you're living through. No one should have to experience this.

      And while this could be the most annoying thing you've read all month, in your particular case, I can only imagine things getting better. You are truly at the bottom; probably at the lowest point a tinnitus sufferer can reach. Which is exactly why it's worth hanging on at this point.

      You're 10 months into this nightmare, and seeing no light at the end of the tunnel. But believe me, quite a lot of us have been at this place and despite all the odds stacked against us, managed to come back from it.

      I personally would really like if you didn't make another suicide attempt, simply because you seem like such a cool and switched on guy, and I f*cking love your realism/pessimism (except in the case of your tinnitus improving).

      I hate to see the world lose such intelligent people as yourself (and some others that I have seen posting in the Suicidal Thread).
       
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    20. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      I appreciate you @Damocles. Believe me I don’t want to die but I absolutely can’t live like this. I don’t know how long it will take if I ever improve. I have so many things stacked against me. I never thought I would ever be a member of something called Tinnitus Talk, let alone be one of the worst off in the suicidal thread. It is truly surreal.

      I am staying with my parents since I was released from the psych hospital and got off benzodiazepines. They wouldn’t release me by myself because I’m in such bad shape. My parents are the only reason I’m still above ground, just barely.

      If I have another failed attempt they will likely institutionalize me, which with all the noise will kill me. Even my psychiatrist disowned me, because she didn’t want the responsibility. I just need the pain to end and cannot have a failed attempt. I loved life, but no longer can bear it.
       
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    21. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      I hear you @Brian P.

      At my worst, my tinnitus was really bad, but I'll admit yours sounds worse than mine ever was; so I'm not going to bullsh*t you that I've been through your thing.

      All I can say is: mine was bad, and I'm so f*cking stable now it's some kind of a miracle. I didn't shower for 5 years; I couldn't stand in front of a boiling kettle; I couldn't have a conversation with one person without suffering a spike, all because of my tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      And now I can stand in front of a boiling kettle doing the washing up without hearing protection on; and have 5 showers a day if I feel like it; and after that sit at my desk and do 7 hours of boring as f*ck study about 19th century London with zero anxiety or trouble concentrating. How in the world of sh*t I got here, I don't even know, but I'm doing it, and there was never any light at the end of the tunnel I can assure you, I just lived day to day and it happened.

      Anyway, like I said, you're a smart guy @Brian P, so the last thing I want to do is patronise you. But I just want you to have something more you can weigh up in your decision making regarding the future.

      Whatever you do, I can tell you're a f*cking cool guy.
       
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    22. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      @Damocles, thanks. I’m in a similar position. I just was so overwhelmed filling out disability paperwork I started to cry. All I did all day was paperwork and now I can’t concentrate. I use earmuffs in the shower and I still spike. I can’t talk to friends on the phone or in person. I’m just like you were.
       
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    23. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I'm so sorry @Brian P.

      You know I'm in a similar position, so I know exactly how it feels. I think we should cling on to hope. If I understand it correctly, you really got to this point through Benzos? I believe I got here through severe sound deprivation for months. I think both of those things have messed up our brains, but I don't think this is permanent damage, I think things can turn around for both of us! It would be different if we would have sustained a severe acoustic trauma with hearing loss and no hope of recovery.

      Hang in there buddy!
      Stacken
       
    24. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Hands down one of the most spectacular things I've ever read in my life. It's almost unbelievable you lost most of your freedom, to later regain it. I'm literally tearing up as I type this. You give me hope to f**ing go on.

      Thank you!!
       
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    25. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      Can you tell me about your 2 permanent spikes?
       
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    26. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      I had undiagnosed Ménière’s for years. Never went to see a doctor. I had mild tinnitus since late 2017. Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine ramped it up like crazy. ENT put me on prednisone and Klonopin and that was the mail on the coffin. Tapering off of Klonopin ruined my ears even more.

      @Damocles almost gives me hope to go on, but I’m a naturally pessimistic or realistic person and I see how people are suffering here and it doesn’t make me feel good.
       
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    27. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis
      Love you @Stacken77 mate. You're a legend, and I can't wait for the day you're living free of your severe hyperacusis and reactivity.
      I lived with mild tinnitus that started getting worse around my late teens from frequent noise exposure, concerts and use of headphones, between 2002 and 2009.

      In 2009 I went to a concert (with earplugs in) and developed an ear infection 2 days later.

      That ear infection turned my then low-moderate tinnitus into severe tinnitus that I struggled to cope with for 6 years (between 2009 and 2015) but seemed to be stabilising.

      I then had a health scare in 2015, which turned out to be caused by the insane amount of anxiety and adrenaline I was living with on a daily basis, throughout the years prior.

      As a result I was required to have an MRI done.

      MRI tech provided me with the shittiest pair of plastic ear flaps you could ever imagine being called "ear defenders", and those along with my crappy decaying silicon moulds with 20 dB filters, provided zero protection from what felt like having my head between two cars sounding their horns for 20 minutes.

      Needless to say, my tinnitus shot back into the stratosphere after that, and I had to re-habituate all over again.

      Strangely enough, second time was easier, because I got the all clear on the rest of my health, and it was kind of nice knowing I wasn't going to die.
       
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    28. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      Damn MRIs. I had an MRI in March with only earplugs and was fine. Noise trauma doesn’t seem to permanently spike me luckily. That includes having a horn alarm go off while my head was under the hood. I thought I was done but it didn’t do any lasting damage surprisingly.
       
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    29. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      Are you going to take a leave of absence from work to take care of your health?
       
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    30. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      It's been some rough times in the department with others who's on sick leave, and what we do are very critical, peoples lives depend on it, so I have a hard time going on sick leave now since I feel responsibility. Last week came a saving decision though; that we can work from home until February, so that will be amazing. I have found a way to handle my hyperacusis now, and my hope is that I'll get noticeably better in the coming months.

      I know I've had my priorities wrong. I should have gone on sick leave much earlier, but my job which I love depended on my presence. I just had, and still have a hope, that I can turn this around without it impacting this opportunity.
       
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