Do I Have to Completely Change My Life/Profession?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by chrishoffmanphd, Apr 22, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. chrishoffmanphd
      Stressed

      chrishoffmanphd Member

      Location:
      MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cholesteatoma, Sound exposure
      Here's a bit about me and my story, I am a 24 yr old full time musician. I play probably 100-150 concerts a year, at which i always wear foam ear plugs and try to not stay in the main room other than when I am performing. Ive been playing loud music since I was around 14 and didn't mess with earplugs until I was 18-19. Also during those years I was attending weekly concerts also without ear plugs.

      I started to notice around 2008 that my ears would feel full a lot. I was always prone to ear infections as a child, so this was not the most alarming thing. As the years went on I definitely noticed it was worse and went to a few doctors and was told I was fine. i'm not sure when the ringing, or in my case a hissing with a slight tonal ring under it which changes in frequency and volume somewhat regularly after this last spike.

      Last year I had ruptured my ear drum, to me it is unknown how this happened. I was diagnosed with that two days before leaving for a 2 month tour so I was forced to deal with it during the time. Near the end of the tour I had developed really bad pulsatile tinnitus in my left ear, and some less serious ringing in my right. The PT cleared up in a few weeks (I assume it was allergy related) but it seemed the ringing was a bit more prominent. Finally going to see an ENT I was diagnosed with choleteatoma, he told me it was about an 8/10 as far as severity.

      I had the cholesteatoma removed. As a result of that my hearing started to slope from a 20db loss at 1k to 30db at 2k to 75db at 4k going up slightly to 70 at 8k. The ringing was definitely worse after the surgery but I think I was able to habituate to it easier thinking that it would lessen as it healed. I'm not sure if it did but habituation seemed to take over.

      Last month i completed my first tour since the surgery in December. I noticed about halfway through that the T seemed to be affecting me more. I came down with a cold around the same time and it was also allergy season, so I again chalked it up to that. Upon getting home though it doesn't seem to be better. Its made me really depressed and anxious, to the point where I can't tell which is causing the other. Im unsure if it was fear of the ringing getting worse that made me pay more attention and monitor it, or if it actually got worse. Sometimes ill listen to it and think its not bad but other times it'll bother me greatly even though I'm unsure if i can consciously perceive a change in volume.

      Looking into treatment options has been scary, it seems often times what works best is not good for people with high frequency hearing loss. I haven't really found anybody who can relate, and I'm unsure what to do
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. karine
      Confused

      karine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      december 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      either damage to ear or head trauma
      Hi, im also a musician with tinnitus. Mine is low and loud. Ive bee around music my whole life, and im not about to cange that. There is no cure for t, but the best thing you can do is change your lifestyle. I was really bad with anxiety because of my t. I was drinking to try and forget for a while. And doing other things. I stopped drinking and i dont smoke anymore. And anxiety is much better. I wouldnt stop the music, but maybe u could get better earplugs. Musician earplugs. If there is already damage dont want to make it worse. Also regular exercise is good medicine for anxiety. Its a difficult regime, but trust me, it makes the world of difference. I dont need medication for my anxiety anymore and the t is still there but it doesnt bother me anymore. Keep yourself busy is the main thing u have to do to help yourself. If u smoke pot (we are musicians lol) it does make t worse. I had to stop that too... I strongly encourage you to keep playing your music, as it is good for the soul. Id be lost without it. Im not saying being in concert with loud music is good, but if u wear the right earplugs, it shouldnt be a problem. Alcohol for me brings out my anxiety and made my t louder, so i cut it out. I dont miss it one bit either. Anyways, my heart goes out for u and as someone with similar problems, i do understand what youre going through. I hope this helps a bit.
      Take care.
       
    3. chrishoffmanphd
      Stressed

      chrishoffmanphd Member

      Location:
      MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cholesteatoma, Sound exposure
      @karine Thank you. Anxiety is definitely a prevalent factor here, over the last week I've made pretty big measures to cut out marijuana use (HEAVY daily use for the past 5 yrs), but am doing it slowly cause i believe there are definite withdrawal effects.

      I was wondering do you have any hearing loss? I think its particularly annoying me cause the noise I hear is in the frequencies I can't really pick up
       
    4. karine
      Confused

      karine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      december 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      either damage to ear or head trauma
      You're welcome. Its good youre cutting back on that, and its true, if u cut it out too fast, like any medication there is withdrawl. I used to be a heavy pot smoker myself also. But i had a puff when my t wasnt there and it came back roaring. So i quickly stopped it... It does make t worse. But cutting back slowly is the best way to stop. I do have some hearing loss, but my t doesnt change frequencies. Its always a low e flat (perfect pitch will do that to ya lol). And i have had bad ear infections in the past also. I guess in time it gets better. But for now my hearing is ok. I think a hearing aid would prob be more annoying than anything, making sounds louder and t more noticeable,..
       
    5. JohnnyMx
      Sunshine

      JohnnyMx Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Apr/2013
      Hi Chris,

      One of my favorite musicians, Eric Clapton, have tinnitus. And you know, he have never been stopped by that. Alot of musicians, from all ages, but that are currently playing music, have Tinnitus.

      Regards!
       
    6. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      Yup, the list of musicians with T is endless. Clapton, Dylan, Phil Collins, Chris Martin, Sting, Bono, Neil Young, Al Dimeola, Jeff Beck, John Densmore, etc., etc.

      It's not only a muscians, but a listeners nightmare!

      Sailboardman
       
    7. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      What instrument do you play? Styles of music? Length of gigs?
       
    8. chrishoffmanphd
      Stressed

      chrishoffmanphd Member

      Location:
      MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cholesteatoma, Sound exposure
      @SoulStation I play guitar, its rock music, but not the loudest form. We usually play anywhere from a half an hour to an hour.
       
    9. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      Just keep on going if it makes you happy. I am a guitarist as well. I gave up my rock gigs but still play soul/funk/jazz and acoustic stuff.
      I would definitely keep an eye on your hearing though. If you need another fulltime profressional to vent to I'm hear to talk.
       
    10. chrishoffmanphd
      Stressed

      chrishoffmanphd Member

      Location:
      MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cholesteatoma, Sound exposure
      @SoulStation It's hard to stop. I've worked at this my whole life. I don't want it to all be wasted time. Sometimes I can't tell if my T flares up or its all in my head. I'm supposed to go to europe next week for a month of shows and stressing pretty hard about it
       
    11. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      Trust me i understand . I gave up about 20,000 worth of work when I quit my club date band. (Wedding band) I say stay off of T sites and live your life. Go to europe and enjoy. You need to get some in ear monitors though.
       
    12. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      I agree! Live your live mate! Travel and enjoy life, as that time will seem much quicker that way and then bang a treatment which will lower your tinnitus!
       
    13. chrishoffmanphd
      Stressed

      chrishoffmanphd Member

      Location:
      MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cholesteatoma, Sound exposure
      Thank you. You're probably right.

      I read your story so I do trust you can relate. How have you been doing lately?

      Thanks. I'm gonna go into as optimistically as I can.
       
    14. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      I've been good. Not as afraid anymore. Starting to gig again. Playing with a FULL band Monday for the first time since October. Been producing some good stuff too. I'll share it on here when it comes out.
      You only live once.
      I am happy to help!
       
    15. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Enjoy yes, but atleast give your ears the best possible protection they can get when they need to .. and it would n`t hurt stopping the MJ cuse that tends to bring you inside the mind more and hear the T louder. Atleast it was for me like that.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    16. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      No problem mate! I hope you have a great journey! Enjoy.
       

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