Chronic Severe Tinnitus Getting Worse

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by object16, Sep 4, 2013.

    1. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      overuse of hearing protection, plus noise
      Hi, I am a 57 year old pathologist, and I used to use hearing protectors almost constantly while working, due to the noisy office printers, and I like to concentrate with quiet. Also I used to use hearing protection constantly while sleeping. This led to a severe hyperaccusis condition, that was getting quite bad by 1989 or so, and then just driving the automobile would now trigger tinnitus. I was admitted to hospital in 1992 due to unable to sleep due to tinnitus, and the low frequency rumbling of trains would spike the tinnitus, even though the rumbling was very quiet and barely noticeable to a normal person. They mis-diagnosed me with depression, and so I got hooked on amytriptiline for sleep, and with higher and higher doses 400-500mg, which is toxic, so I switched to cannabis, and that helped me for a while, but I was still using hearing protection at night, so my hyperaccusis and tinnitus was not being treated properly, so kept getting worse. Finally I got a visit from law enforcement, and they charged with narcotics, and i had to go to drug rehab. As a result of the constant noise in rehab, I lost about 30dB of hearing. The hyperaccusis cleared up, but I still had a moderate amount of tinnitus. They said nothing could be done for it, but since I tried to kill myself, they felt I was "agitated" and so put me on seroquel. As a result of seroquel, finally I could sleep, and function reasonably o.k. and get back to work. The problem occurred last year when I was playing the stereo too loud for about 30 minutes, and then 3 days later all of a sudden the tinnitus got screaming loud. That was one year ago. During the past year, it gradually eased up a bit, but then the muffler on my car broke, and tinnitus went beserk, and then a truck backfire also made it go beserk, and last week I had dental work to install crowns which means a lot of dental grinding, and the tinnitus went just insane. I use seroquel, mirtazapine, and doxylamine, and yesterday i went to emergency dept of hospital and the gave me 15mg of imovane. Even before I went to sleep last night it seemed like tinnitus was not as screaming loud, and after sleeping with the imovane, the tinnitus is just moderate, and I can still cope with living.

      Is this pretty normal? I am 57 and I want to keep working - what is the chance for me to keep working long-term?

      Due to my bad experience with noise, now at all times I use a Bose noise-cancellation headset, the kind of device used to kill aircraft noises with. I play an MP3 player through the Bose, with the sound of Restful Rain, in order to provide a low level of wide-bandwidth pink noise. I notice my hyperaccusis is kind of bad, and I always ask people to speak more quiet. I cannot tolerate noises like shopping carts clanging, motorcycles, bad muffler vehicles, loud trucks etc., so I just always wear the Bose during the day, except in the office where I have a white noise generator going all the time. At night time I have the Restful Rain CD playing contantly at a low level, just below the tinnitus, because I am trying to TRT treat the tinnitus with the rainfall pink noise. Is it o.k. to wear the Bose headset almost constantly, because I can't risk a sudden loud motorcycle or truck back-fire; this has caused me immense grief in the past. And no way can I possibly get any more dental work.

      Does this all sound pretty typical. I am so frightened that I lose my job or have to resign for medical reasons, and my family still needs me to provide support.

      thanks, I am really glad I found this forum. - yours truly, paul m.
       
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    2. Danny
      Fine

      Danny Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Near Toronto Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Hey fellow canuck< all normal. Hang tough, you will learn to cope, trust me, I myself found reading the book TRT retraining help ease some of my concerns. I to wear ear buds to block out my noise, I use crickets and cicadas to help ease my noise and anxiety levels, unfortunately not allowed to wear them at work but off duty I use them a lot when I need to. There is much support here at tinnitus talk, just read thru some of the articles.
      Good Luck
      Danny
       
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    3. James
      No Mood

      James Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      Pulsing 03/2013
      object16, I fight with my annoying Tinnitus every day. It almost seems worse lately. I’d rather I just ignore it. I couldn’t do what you do with the ear protection. I listen to a small radio in bed, till I fall asleep. Otherwise I listen to everything I can, but if too loud, move.
      I didn’t even think there was any treatment. My approach was to just get on with my life, and do everything I could, Party, work. Try to be engaged or involved with things, for my brain to block it out. It’s loud alright.

      You not alone, it seems like the only people that can understand this is ones who suffer too.
      That’s why this forum works. I hope you the best. Don't even think its getting worse.
       
    4. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      @object16 Are you seeing an audiologist? With tinnitus and hyperacusis, I would get professional treatment. You must find an audiologist who specializes in tinnitus treatment.

      With your hearing loss, an audiologist will probably fit you with a hearing aid that also offers chimes or white noise to use with TRT. WidexZen has a good model; so does Starkey's Xino Tinnitus. ReSound also has a hearing aid with tinnitus control features.

      Here's a link to Widex, Canada. There are more studies with this hearing aid than the other ones. But they are probably all equally effective. Please know that an audiologist will also use sound therapy to treat your hyperacusis:

      http://www.widex.ca/en/products/thewidexsound/zen/

      There is also a detailed discussion on hearing aids on TT. Here's the link:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hearing-aids.676/

      A tinnitus book I've found useful is The Tinnitus Treatment Toolbox. You can get it on Amazon.

      You might also be interested in cognitive behavioral therapy. It can be tailored specifically for tinnitus sufferers. There's lots of favorable research on this therapy. Here's a pubmed link to one of several studies:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23287811

      Good Luck! And do examine all the wonderful resources available on TT!! You are not alone.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      overuse of hearing protection, plus noise
      Hi, I have gone to the local audiologist who has a masters degree in it, and has done as much reading about it as she can. I keep in touch with Dhyan Cassie who is affiliated and gives lecture for the ATA, and the ATA support leaders, like Ken in Philadelphia, who has gone to all the top experts, and gives me moral support understanding encouragement. I tried the neuromonics device I year ago, and it was not working for me, so I had to return it. Gradually my tinnitus was getting better by using white noise generators etc but then a sudden noise from a broken exhaust in my car, and then a loud Harley Davidson, and now the dental crown grinding noise made it a whole lot worse, so I am looking at exit strategy etc.

      I talked to one internist who suggested Lyrica of gabapentin might give me a bit of help with sleeping, and the people who do my drug monitoring are familiar with it, so I might be able to give this a try, as a crutch to help me keep going ... I am already elibible for early retirement, but inactivity is bad for me, and if I put in one more year my pension and finances will be so much more better off. At that point I could consider some alternative pain medical sedative things that are controversial, but i just need some relief so i can sleep.

      I ordered a sound pillow, which might help me as well.
       
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    6. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      @object16 Glad you got the sound pillow! You know how important sleep is. There's much discussion on TT regarding drugs like gabapentin. I know some people do find relief, but for many others the side effects are worse than the noise. This is probably the best link to start your research on the board: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/medications-used-for-tinnitus.1179/

      Regarding hearing aids, I know your hearing loss is slight. My threshold is also 30db from 4000 hz through 6000 hz. But these frequencies are also the ones most responsible for tinnitus. Many studies on hearing aids argue that even those with mild hearing loss will experience improvement. For such people, like myself, it's not about amplifying the background noises to drown out the tinnitus. Rather, it's about stimulating the auditory cortex with the high frequency sounds it must be lacking. If hearing aid makers focused on tinnitus, they could perhaps develop a device that effectively suppresses the noise in most people. Just take the people with cochlear implants. The implants may be an effective tool for reducing or eliminating tinnitus. But they must be set for tinnitus relief--not to maximize hearing. This is why some people with cochlear implants say their tinnitus was not helped. It's all about the settings.

      Of course. I'd prefer a cure. But realistically the next few years won't yield anything groundbreaking--at least for people with chronic tinnitus. It's disgraceful that tinnitus receives such a small share of research monies. But that's a topic for another post.
       
    7. Relic Hunter
      Cynical

      Relic Hunter Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1990
      object16, I am new to the forum here but not new to the hell of T. I understand you pain and I have been down the same road. I have had T for years but it only worsened a few years ago. I am now 62 but believe it got worse due to stress and not age.

      I am retired. I do not know if I could work with this as it destroys by concentration..I use white noise hearing aid maskers, sound machines etc. I sleep with a fan running all year long. I do not have as much trouble sleeping as I once did but my sleep is never restful. I have some relief with drugs such as clonazepam which I took for several years but came off of this addictive drug a year ago. I have a lot of anxiety mostly due to the T and will be talking to my Dr. about going back on another anxiety drug..I am a FIRM believer that T. feeds off of stress so stress must be reduced.

      I have hearing aids with built in masker, also aids with just maskers..The maskers are the most help. I even wear them to bed on the bad days. Try aids that are fully programmable to your hearing loss. Most insurance co's will not cover aids so buy form a source that will allow at least a 60 day trial basis.

      I have tried just about everything and willing to try anything..What helps for one does nothing for another, so I hesitate to recommend or condemn anything.

      It is good to have a place as this to come and just talk..NO ONE except us who have T will ever understand. I know my family nor friends do and I am sure most people here will say the same.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      overuse of hearing protection, plus noise
      Thanks for the support Relic Hunter - guys like you help me to keep a positive attitude. My hearing has declined, but not to the point of hearing aid. This makes me more optimistic that I can work with what I've got, and if I can apply the correct re-training to my brain, then probably I'll be at the point where live is more pleasant, and I'm not thinking about where to get my nembutal etc. I let my dentist know that there can be no more drilling - he will do his best to keep my teeth intact, but if I need extractions/false teeth etc., that is far better than getting worse tinnitus.
       
    9. 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
      Hi @object16,

      Sorry to dig up this thread which was posted quite a few years ago. I'm just a bit intrigued by your journey, because I believe I'm in a similar boat. I've been protecting literally all hours of the day now for 9 months, and I've gotten some very bad sensitivity to sound and spikes to low level noise.

      Previously in your journey, you experienced the following;
      It seems you spiked to a lot of things. Would you say that this was a direct result of the hyperacusis that was brought on by over-protection?

      You also wrote;
      Do you think the sound enrichment in that environment improved your hyperacusis? Did it improve the aforementioned spiking too?

      Just curious.

      Wishing you well,
      Stacken
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    10. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      I never protected and my tinnitus spikes from the sheets moving on the bed. My tinnitus isn’t even noise induced! It was from Ménière’s and the Pfizer vaccine flared it beyond belief.
       
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    11. 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
      My understanding is that spiking can happen due to numerous things, be it hard damage, inflammation, over-protection or whatever.

      I'm just trying to make sense of my own progression by asking where cases looks similar.

      We may share symptoms, but I think how we ended up in this mess differs greatly, and is more important to understand how to deal with it.

      I know how distressing the spiking is, and I know you struggle. I sincerely wish you well, @Brian P.

      Stacken
       
    12. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      Thank you. It’s so strange we all share similar symptoms despite different causes. I had no hyperacusis/reactivity prior to vaccine.
       
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    13. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      @Stacken77, I guess you can’t even mask it because the noise spikes it, right?
       
    14. 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
      Correct. Haven't masked once in 9 months.

      It's very tough. While my baseline tinnitus is still "moderate", do know that I truly understand the extremely life limiting aspect of having tinnitus that spikes to low level sound.

      Wishing you well, man.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    15. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      Same with me. I was never able to make because of reactivity.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    16. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Masking can be annoying too as you’re just reminded of this crappy disease.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    17. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      Yes it makes me more agitated because I know why the noise is there.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      overuse of hearing protection, plus noise
      The sound enrichment in rehab did two things, reduce hyperacusis but also give me hearing loss. I constantly enrich the environment usually with either rainfall CD other quiet music on FLAC compressed to completely eliminate dynamics, you do that with Audacity. It is free online. Several years ago I gave a link to the cloud where my daughter posted it.
       
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    19. 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
      Did you at any point improve in your spiking? Does it spike for less reasons now, compared to that time?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    20. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media
      TFW, overenriched.
       
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    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      overuse of hearing protection, plus noise
      With rehab I went into withdrawal, and sleep deprivation acute psychosis, I ended up on Haloperidol in a lock down unit. The good part was constant ventilation sound which I knew would likely help.

      Unfortunately they were poor medical doctors, they never seen hyperacusis before, so they stupidly thought I had phobia to sound, and they treated me to excessive intermittent loud sound, but I had no choice because I am in professions and there was no other way to get back to work.

      Nevertheless I actually did reasonably ok, except I was on drug urine testing where you get checked for anything non prescribed. What happened was I was outside and there was a truck backfire, all the dogs in the neighborhood started barking, and that created a several month spike. Then a fire alarm went off where I work and I was trapped in the wrong part of the building. Then I had dental work with crown and high amplitude loud grinding noise from dental grinder gave me spike for months, cannot sleep, crying, etc. What was going on was I was getting more easily spiked, not recover to baseline, and then I got idiotic neighbors that modified their truck to be as loud as possible.

      I now entered low frequency hypersensitivity, more severe hyperacusis, more reactive tinnitus and generalized sound hypersensitivity. I could not verify the diagnosis because I live too far away from any expert but that's how it seemed to me.

      So I sold my house and moved, and always wear Bose QC25. Now wearing Bose all the time makes your generalized sound hypersensitivity worse so you're stuck almost wearing them permanently, but your trade off is you are much less likely to get a spike. Also the Bose is a milder hearing protection, so you don't screw your hearing up like I did 35 years ago, when nothing was known and I was wearing sponge foam hearing protection almost 24/7 which is why I put reason is overuse of hearing protection, but in reality in my university days I did go to pubs and come home feeling like cotton in my ears and I did a one month automotive tour of United States and Canada a lot of times with windows down and with the car being excessive noisy. Driving with windows down creates subsonic high amplitude turbulence, and during the trip I had three day episode of constant tinnitus.

      So I'm a very complex and severe case. If anything I'm a good resource because I gained plenty of knowledge, and have to cope now with tinnitus from hell, and how do I manage to do it. Again, you're not supposed to listen to music through headset if you've got tinnitus, but I had my daughter digitally modify the tracks by compression, so the music becomes safe and therapeutic, and my daughter also provided digitally modified rainfall CD to FLAC format, increase treble and cut bass, also therapeutic.

      I'm not an audiologist, but I am a pretty good medical subspecialist and they did teach us to think. Unfortunately in my younger days I was not aware of the dangers of "normal" noise such as firecrackers, jet aircraft takeoff, music sound pressure levels in pubs, driving older cars with no air conditioning so with windows down. Etc.

      I wish I had my life to live over and I even wish I had got adopted as an infant into a family equipped to raise children. I was in a dysfunctional family and child abuse, neglect, abandonment, that also contributed, or set the stage. Child abuse and trauma leads to addiction and when you have addiction your life is out of control and you may more frequently enter noisy places that you otherwise wouldn't.

      Your places of occupation are less favorable and you're expected to travel, and twin Otter aircraft are extremely noisy, travelling rough roads, is extremely noisy, when the automobile lacks suspension to soak road noise, I mean potholes cracks etc in northern Ontario, so in reality the die was already cast when I was born.

      I should add I played violin in symphony and conductor was idiot who played electronic metronome through loudspeakers plus I sat right in front of percussion plus conductor always emphasize to play loud, as much sound out of instrument as possible. So everything possible to go wrong. The only thing I didn't get was military service with bomb blasts and howitzers. Or hunting with rifles. Or lots of other things.

      I just had 65 birthday so I'm still alive, who knows how I pulled it off. How do I even manage to keep working. Just resilience and determination. Plus knowing your illness and being as smart as you can through education and knowledge and experience.
       
    22. 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 for the very detailed response.

      You sure have quite a lot of experience with this affliction.

      I'm still curious, because it seems you didn't address it; how's your reactive tinnitus now? Have you seen any improvements in it throughout your journey?

      All the best,
      Stacken
       
    23. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Do you live close to the train tracks?

      Is this what people call "infrasound", I mean, the train rumbling etc etc? Even if there is no perceptible noise, or a faint noise, there is still the vibration that it carries, bouncing on homes in the vicinity of train tracks, highways etc.
       
    24. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      You can listen to music or sound at home at a comfortable level for you, and you may try (as a test) to make a louder impact sound over the background sound (so the impact sound, its dynamic range is a bit "masked" by the background sound) and see how it goes...

      To be specific. If you are at the kitchen and have the radio on (speaker), you may grab a pot and set it on to the stove, and it will clank... this sound is masked by the radio, and it is easier to cope with it than dealing with a clank over silence (with no background sound).
       
      • Like Like x 1
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      overuse of hearing protection, plus noise
      It was bizarre. I would go out on my bicycle searching for the source of the low frequency and unable to find it. Yes it was a town with railway tracks and plenty of rail activity. My house was built on solid rock so I think the rock was conducting the low frequency. Obviously I had developed low frequency hypersensitivity, because I never noticed it before, and the reason I list overuse of hearing protection as a cause of my grief.
       
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      overuse of hearing protection, plus noise
      And btw thank you for resurrecting my thread, I love you guys, and I feel in very good company!

      Please do not hesitate to resurrect. I enjoy the company and it is interesting that I opened the thread age 57 and I just past my 65th birthday and despite everything, they all want me to keep working, and yes life is tough, I'm really astonished 8 years have gone by, I've accomplished a lot of positive good, I've helped people who needed help, I've been a positive influence on people, I've been an important part of my family.

      True enough it sucks to be ill, but humans do get sicknesses. I'm here for my son who is far more ill than me and will likely never work, my daughter has come down with a terminal illness, I'm here for her, my wife that stuck by me and followed me wherever I went, finally sees it was worthwhile, and, on this side of the grave, to quote that poem about Troy that Joe Biden read, written by Nobel prize winning poet.
       
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    27. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      overuse of hearing protection, plus noise
      I'm very cautious around any possible source of spike, my wife is very cautious to not clang any dishes and warns me is she using a kitchen blender, and people at work are very cautious to close the doors gently and do not allow door to slam. They also speak in a quiet voice, and if they start getting animated I give them a hand signal to quiet their voice down.

      Dentist is something I can't tolerate, so dentist uses low speed grinder instead of the high speed. Low speed is much quieter. One of my teeth dropped out, it was a crown. We are not replacing it because i wouldn't tolerate the noise of drilling for a dental implant. So I'm missing a front tooth. My supervisor says it makes me look badass. I can still speak fine, dictate fine, and eat fine. Lots of people missing one or more teeth. I just look after what I've got left.

      A month ago my wife accidentally slammed the car trunk lid, while I was in the car. It gave me a brief spike and unfortunately I had to push Clonazepam to suppress the spike. I'm currently tapering the Clonazepam down, and I'm in rebound insomnia.

      Welcome to my life.
       
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