Did You Change Your Hobbies Because of Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by David Ho, Jun 14, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. David Ho

      David Ho Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2015
      Hi all,

      My T started 6 weeks ago. I'm not here to tell you how bad it has been (that's in the introduce Yourself section) but I do consider it intrusive. It's not masked when driving in the car or by any office/street normal background noises, nor by TV/radio/nature sounds. I'm pretty sure there worse cases but for me it destroys my concentration because it's always there unless masking is applied (ear noise generators or headphones).
      Being an electronics engineer (mostly doing firmware for RF chips these days) I sit at a computer 8 hours long looking at schematics/RTL and coding. My hobbies have always revolved around tinkering/DIY and generally messing about with electronics/mechatronics projects. Last project was a tricopter and at the same time researching in the field of Control systems.
      Unfortunately this has all been put on hold since this nightmare started. I can't even concentrate at work much less have the bandwidth to pursue other projects at home. Just the daily routine of going to work and trying to get some sleep is a battle in itself.
      I realize that for some people these hobbies may seem narrow and too technical but it's what I really enjoy doing (apart from playing with my kids, travelling), so I would like to hear from people's experiences in terms of managing T and keeping their "techie" hobbies going (or not/changing, etc...).

      Tks,

      David
       
    2. tinnitussufferer
      Angry

      tinnitussufferer Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2004
      well why dont you put your elctrical skills to cure tinnitus? that can be your next project
       
    3. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I more or less stopped shooting guns as a result, that's about it. I still ride a motorcycle (with good earplugs).
       
    4. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I totally understand. What I do not understand is why the fact that you cannot concentrate at a 100% level means that you cannot concentrate at all. Do you really have to concentrate at a 100% level to function to a reasonably acceptable degree in the workplace? Do you really have to concentyate at a 100% level in order for you to enjoy your hobbies to some extent or other?

      Right. It's a battle. So what do you intend to do about it?

      Please understand. I do not in any way wish to appear harsh. I am just trying to get a handle on your reality - because right now your reality seems to me to be largely dependent on emotion-based thinking rather than on logic-based thinking. And from your background and interests, it seems to me that you are a very logic-based kind of fellow, yes?
       
    5. Mad maggot
      Breezy

      Mad maggot Member

      Location:
      New zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      He's only six weeks in. Give it a bit of time.
       
    6. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Seems to me that the earlier in the game you recognize cognitive distortions, the easier it is to challenge them. David is giving his tinnitus more control over his life than it deserves. He doesn't need to change his hobbies at all - and he really enjoys those hobbies.
       
    7. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Well, it used to consume my life too. Doesn't now, but hey, I was so trobolted up lol Anyway, I hope he gets better and the sooner Autifony gets out, the better our quality of lives will be. So are you excited for Autifony?
       
    8. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      No, I am not excited about Autifony. I would like to be excited about Autifony. Very much so. Think how many people could benefit from such a drug! But I have learned over my 20+ year tinnitus journey not to get excited about anything until it becomes a reality and stands the test of time. Too many Autifonys have come and gone over those twenty years for me to become any more than mildly curious about the next one ... or the next ... or the next after that. Saves me from disappointment.

      But none of this has to do with David and his hobbies - so let's try to keep to the subject at hand.
       
    9. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Well, considering Dr. Charles Large created trobalt, I think he knows what he's doing.
       
    10. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Danny, what you think and what I think are largely irrelevant in this regard. The indisputable fact of the matter is that as of this point in time there are no reliable and independently verifiable controlled studies in the juried scientific literature attesting to the efficacy of either drug in the treatment of tinnitus. And the other indisputable fact is that none of this has anything to do with David's hobbies.

      So again I ask you to try to keep to the topic of this thread.
       
    11. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      David's hobbies are affected directly by tinnitus, so he needs treatment options.
       
    12. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      And you consider Trobalt and Autifony to be viable and practical treatment options in 2015 for a person who has had tinnitus for six weeks?
       
    13. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      No and no. I was talking about Autifony as hope and as for treatments, I wasn't going to mention or utter trobalt for treatment for him. Why don't you dive in with TRT or CBT?
       
    14. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Because neither is indicated in David's case. What he needs at this point is a little time ... and the realization that he can continue to enjoy his hobbies in spite of his tinnitus. Which is the message I was trying to convey earlier.
       
    15. tinnitussufferer
      Angry

      tinnitussufferer Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2004
      if you used to enjoy hobbies which involve your hearing then tinnitus will make it hell. You wont enjoy it as much and even mild noise exposure could make it worse. Even TRT doesnt mitigate that fact. And of course it affects your concentration too. Actually come to think of it it pretty much affects everything you do.
       
    16. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      But to come to that point, he needs acceptance of his tinnitus, thus needs TRT, right?
       
    17. Uniqdzign
      Musical

      Uniqdzign Member

      Location:
      Spain
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/1973
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing instruments too loudly.
      David Hi,

      I strongly believe that to stop what you love and enjoy doing, be it your hobby and/or profession, will have an adverse effect on your life and thereby t.
      As a musician with t, both my past profession and my always passion, it has made certain aspects more difficult to enjoy - and in my case with the addition in recent years of hyperacusis. For me the most enjoyable part of playing - guitar - was live concerts. I have had specialised attenuator earplugs for many years to enable me to play live - but only occasionally. I have looked upon this as a musical "special treat", when I'm able to play live.
      However I can still enjoy making my own backing tracks, playing guitar at home either acoustically or lower volume electric guitar. Yes I have tinnitus throughout it all, and my stereo mixes and EQ levels may be a bit off, but I have observed that when I don't play, it comes more to the forefront.
      Worse of all is the feeling of disappointment at not being able to enjoy music.

      What have I done to help myself?
      I have excellent good quality flat EQ earphones. I use as little volume as necessary when using them.
      I practice with less amp volume, and for less time.
      I'm more selective about what music I spend my listening time on.
      I get a musician friend to check out my final mix and EQ.
      I've changed my diet, sleeping habits and added more exercise.
      Always have my earplugs with me for emergency louder than expected situations - whilst being aware of allowing certain levels of short term noise to be allowed so as not to contribute to me hyperacusis.

      So I guess to sum up, I would say "What can you DO to enable your hobby to continue?"
      I know my hobbies are not techie, but I also enjoy internet research on a wide range of subjects and I often use the 'smooth jazz' or similar channels, as background whilst I'm concentrating. After living with t for 43 years, I've also learnt that I actually enjoy 'silence' when I'm working and somehow include the t into this, rather than having the distraction of music.

      We are amazing adaptable creatures, as a techie David, how many creative ways might you think of for solving this challenge. I've only listed the above half dozen or so but I know I've used many more over the years.

      Best of luck with it!
       
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    18. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      No. What he needs is to get back to the hobbies that are so important to him. And he needs a little time.

      @Uniqdzign has it exactly right in the post directly above.
       
    19. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      You speak perfect English! Are you sure you re spanish? ;)
       
    20. David Ho

      David Ho Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2015
      tks @Dr. Nagler and @Danny Boy for the comments.
      I can concentrate it's just mind draining/exhausing with this freaking noise drilling in my head. I know it's all about acceptance, that I should stay calm, avoid distorted thoughts, crack some jokes at lunch time with the team (just be the same old same old), etc, but it's been a struggle.
      Let me ask you something @Dr. Nagler, with your current level of acceptance would you be able to get back into the operating theater? (just curious)

      Tks @Uniqdzign for the inspiring post. It's always invaluable to hear from veterans who are able to lead a normal, productive, enjoyable life.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    21. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      On a scale of 1-10 how much does tinnitus affect your life?

      Also, the same scale but how loud is it?
       
    22. Uniqdzign
      Musical

      Uniqdzign Member

      Location:
      Spain
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/1973
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing instruments too loudly.
      I never mentioned that I was Spanish! - I'm English . . . :cyclops:
      Thanks for the 'perfect English', I've spent many years as a professional speaker and writer on a variety of subjects, so hopefully it shows . . . :)
       
    23. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      It says you are from Spain.
       
    24. Uniqdzign
      Musical

      Uniqdzign Member

      Location:
      Spain
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/1973
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Playing instruments too loudly.
      Ah, if I'm right, that information comes from your 'Your Account - Settings - Personal Details - Location'. So actually it's where I'm located, not where I'm from . . . :cyclops:
       
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    25. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      if you used to enjoy hobbies which involve your hearing then tinnitus will make it hell. You wont enjoy it as much and even mild noise exposure could make it worse. Even TRT doesnt mitigate that fact. And of course it affects your concentration too. Actually come to think of it it pretty much affects everything you do.

      I recognize that each person's experience with tinnitus is unique. But the above is totally opposite of my experience.

      One my hobbies is making music. That certainly requires my ears. I was singing in two choral groups, one large and one small, when I had sudden onset tinnitus from barotrauma on a plane flight. For the first year (I have had T for two years), I had to drop out of the large group. I told myself it would not be forever, just needed to get my feet on the ground. Turns out, I discovered I really enjoyed singing much more than I realized with the small group, which is where I concentrated my time. I learned so much more about vocalization and the fine points of singing, thanks to a great director and more personal attention. Now I am back to singing with both groups. I appreciate the gift of making music with others more than I ever have.

      What hobbies have I given up due to tinnitus? Absolutely none. I also continue to work at the same job I have had for 37 years. It was hard in the beginning, because concentration is a factor. But last year, I had one of the best years in my career.

      How loud is my tinnitus? It dropped, following Neuromonics (or passage of time, who knows?) On my bad days, my loudness match is around 75-80 dB. It can be masked but is loud enough be heard over most everyday noise.

      How much does it bother me? Most days, pretty much a 0-2. Why? Because I made serious efforts to learn new skills that would help me shut down negative thinking, to bring peace into my life, to stay busy and grow and embrace my life as a gift -- and to acceptance tinnitus as a permanent chronic condition that I would learn how to live with.

      As @Uniqdzign says, we are amazingly adaptable creatures. Embrace the possibility that you will get better, @David Ho, as you probably will. But it really helps, in the beginning, to take active steps to make yourself better. It can happen.
       
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    26. Craggy 65
      Amazed

      Craggy 65 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Croydon
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Trauma
      That is almost the most positive post I,ve read on here.
       
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    27. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Well first of all, I have not "accepted" my tinnitus. I have largely habituated it, but I have not accepted it. Some might consider that distinction to be purely semantic, but to me it is crucial in that given the choice I would absolutely prefer not to have it at all.

      Now, as far as the operating room goes, if you refer to my Post #4 and @Uniqdzign's excellent Post #17, you will see that sometimes compromises need to be made in terms of concentration. That's what we were both suggesting that you do regarding your hobbies. For me, I'm sure that I would be able to concentrate well enough and long enough to do a routine breast biopsy, herniorrhaphy, or cholecystectomy. But my surgical practice largely involved lengthy complex demanding cancer operations - where a lapse in concentration might potentially result in disaster. So that's a different story altogether. Which brings us back to you and your hobbies. Your hobbies are very important to you - and since a lapse in concentration for you would not carry with it the devastating consequences that a lapse in concentration during a three-hour abdominoperineal resection or pancreaticoduodenectomy could potentially carry for me (and for the patient who has placed his or her life in my hands), I would encourage you to go back to doing what you obviously love doing ... even though you might not be able to concentrate at the 100% level.
       
    28. Xorthian
      Balanced

      Xorthian Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial 2012. Massive spike 4/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisey Lifestyle. Increase from infection.
      Out of curiosity.

      What were drugs that got into phase 2 of clinical trials for tinnitus? I cant find anything and i really tried and it looks like autifony is first real company that is on something.
       
    29. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      The honest truth of the matter is that I have not been following the clinical trials all that closely. My entire focus is directed towards what can be done today to bring meaningful lasting relief to tinnitus sufferers from a neurophysiological perspective rather than on what might possibly be accomplished at some yet-to-be-determined point in the future from a pharmacological one.

      I strongly support tinnitus research in the hopes that in the future somebody will come up with a way to predictably eliminate the tinnitus signal or at least appreciably mitigate its strength - but the operative word there is future. The folks I see in my clinic suffer terribly today ... and what somebody might develop in 2020, 2025, 2030, 2040, or beyond really isn't going to lessen that patient's burden within the next few months, which as a tinnitus clinician is where all my efforts are directed.
       
    30. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Well first of all, I have not "accepted" my tinnitus. I have largely habituated it, but I have not accepted it. Some might consider that distinction to be purely semantic, but to me it is crucial in that given the choice I would absolutely prefer not to have it at all.

      I don't want to diverge too much from the original topic, so I will be brief. I think the acceptance question is interesting. It is a term that means many things to different. "Acceptance" also is an key concept in cognitive behavioral therapy, and in some spiritual traditions.

      Anyway, to me, accepting that I have my tinnitus does not mean "hey, I am perfectly fine with having tinnitus and if given a choice, would take it." I also would prefer not to have it, and probably will feel that way until I die. If a treatment that is safe and effective comes along, I'll make a beeline for it. For me, acceptance means acknowledging: I have tinnitus. I very well may have it forever. I don't like it. But I can't control it. So I now must concentrate on proactively making the best life for myself possible with tinnitus. I must accept that its in my life, whether I like it or not. Accepting allows me to move forward into a more peaceful and life-affirming place.

      Just my two cents. Just want to be clear that acceptances does not mean, to me, I surrender. Which is why I don't think its helpful to do things like give up your hobbies or your job (unless its absolutely necessary).
       
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