ENT Promised My Tinnitus Has a 90-95% Chance of Stopping within 6 Weeks — False Hope?

Discussion in 'Support' started by HopefulPatient, Jan 12, 2020.

    1. HopefulPatient

      HopefulPatient Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Firework
      I am 24 and just recently got tinnitus. On New Year’s Eve this year I was at a friends party and someone there threw a Mortar firework into the bonfire one minute after I had sat near it. I am by far, the luckiest person when it comes to being unlucky. My left ear was perpendicular to the fire and I’m guessing the explosion was ~6 feet away. My ear went completely deaf for 20 minutes and it took about a day for my hearing to completely recover, a few days for full feeling to leave, and some ear pains and soreness for about a week.

      Today marked the 11th day of my tinnitus and I am writing as of 1 AM as it is bothering me from sleeping. I went to my ENT on Monday the 6th and he said my ear drums look extremely healthy and measured my hearing up to I believe 10 kHz. My hearing was really good according to him and it looked as I had suffered no hearing loss, hearing frequencies 4 kHz to 10 kHz were just barely not as good as the lower frequencies, I believe an increase in 5-10 dB was needed for me to hear them and they were at the same dB level from 4 kHz all the way to 10 kHz. He told me this meant I had experienced only a temporary threshold shift and gave me a ~90-95% chance that the ringing will stop within 6 weeks. I asked if he had patients before in similar circumstances (acoustic trauma with no hearing loss) and he said yes and that a majority of them in my situation had their tinnitus stop.

      I am not one to question expertise primarily in the medical field but I have searched the forum and many seem to have longer term if not permanent affliction from acoustic trauma. Does this seem accurate or is my ENT maybe giving me false hope? I am hopeful still that it will stop ringing.

      I would greatly appreciate any input or advice.
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @HopefulPatient

      I and other members of this forum know what you are going through. The onset of tinnitus can be daunting and in some instances a little frightening for some people. It is not unusual for it to interfere with a person's sleep but with time this usually improves. Please click on the links below and read my posts. Take your time and read them slowly to absorb all the information.

      Your ENT doctor is not necessarily giving you false hope. He is a physician that specialises in medical conditions that affect the Ear, Nose and Throat and will endeavour to treat them medically or surgically. However, he is not a tinnitus specialist. He has probably seen many patients affected by tinnitus but his main purpose, is to treat underlying medical conditions within the auditory system that is causing the tinnitus and there are quite a few.

      The sudden burst of the firework has caused you to develop noise induced tinnitus and it's likely, this will reduce or completely go away in time. To give yourself the best chance of this happening, I advise you not to listen to music through headphones even at low volume and do not use a headset to play computer games. Even if your doctor says or anyone else tells you, it's okay to use headphones as long as the volume is kept low. I strongly advise you not to use them.

      As I have mentioned above please click on the links below and read my posts. Try not to sleep in a quiet room by using sound enrichment. More about this is explained in the links.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
      • Like Like x 2
    3. Gman
      No Mood

      Gman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic earwax drops, worsened by MDs (Muppet Doctors)
      @HopefulPatient It would also be wise to stay away from loud places such as concerts, nightclubs and the like for some time. It's too early to say if it's permanent, but you can be proactive and protect your ears. Give them as much chance to recover as possible.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      HopefulPatient

      HopefulPatient Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Firework
      So I’m surmising that because I have no significant hearing loss it greatly improves my odds that this will only be temporary? I guess I am really wondering if people who had acoustic trauma induced tinnitus had it go away or not, I haven’t been able to find too much info about it and most has been from people who had it permanently. I assume my ENT is probably right as he has 20 years experience but I don’t want to hold onto hope it’ll go away for it not to, I would rather just learn to cope with it.

      I appreciate the links posted and I will most definitely try to keep my ear protected from any loud noises for time to come.
       
    5. Hotspur2931

      Hotspur2931 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/flu
      Loads of people get better after acoustic trauma. Don't let the "6 weeks" stress you out either. It's easy to panic if you start approaching the predicted deadline and don't see improvement. Some people recover after 6 months or a year or so. Hopefully it won't take that long for you, but just know that there isn't a time limit. The absolute best thing to do is go all out trying to make the best of your current situation. Keep yourself busy and distracted and happy as much as possible. These will make things easier for you, as well as honestly making it much more likely that you'll recover. It's natural to be scared but the worst thing you can do is obsess about it. Don't go into quiet rooms and listen for it. Really don't.

      Sleeping will get easier. For now, do what you need to to distract yourself from the sound enough to drift off. There are all sorts of sounds on YouTube – jungle sounds, wave sounds, rain, fire etc etc. Keep searching until you find one that is relaxing and doesn't annoy you! There are also various apps – I use one called Atmosphere where you can mix all sorts of environmental sounds.

      Anyway, there are lots and lots of stories on the Success Stories thread about people recovering fully from acoustic trauma. Please do whatever you need to to manage your symptoms and then crack on with your life. DO NOT hang around on here reading scary stories. You don't need to and it can make things a lot worse and blow the whole thing out of proportion.

      Xxx
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    6. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      You are experiencing an acoustic trauma. It is important to avoid further damage, and give a chance for things to calm down. Therefore, avoid loud sounds, including bars, clubs, airplane travel, vacuum, hair dryer, etc. Get some comfortable ear plugs for the loud areas you can't avoid.

      6 weeks sounds kind of quick. Your tinnitus should go down in volume during that time, but it can take more like 6 to 12 months for the tinnitus to fade back into the background.

      Also be aware, that you remain at risk for this to recur, potentially worse each time, so it is important to avoid further noise exposures.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Angela Riffe
      Mellow

      Angela Riffe Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I really hope your tinnitus clears up and it very well may. However, I think anyone offering you a high level of certainty that it will 100% clear up (especially in a short, specific timeframe) is giving you at least some false hope. No one can see what damage might have been done to your inner ear cells, what decibel volume you were exposed to, duration, etc. That is the very frustrating thing about this condition is the uncertainty that comes with it. One thing that is more certain is that your mind will begin to help you adjust, even if your body doesn't significantly improve. This will likely happen quicker than your T improving. Another certainty is that modern medicine is actively working on medications to regrow inner ear cells.

      Also, maybe overstepping here, but probably best to avoid party situations with those same friends or friends of friends for awhile. What they did was extremely irresponsible. When/if your tinnitus clears up, you are at a much greater risk of developing it permanently/worsening you have additional loud sound exposures. So please use extra caution in loud sound environments moving forward. A part of using extra caution is letting your friends know your health limitations and having them respect that moving forward. Please take care of yourself and advocate for your health needs if you need to.

      Dont be shy about leaning on this group if you need support. If your tinnitus reduces in volume, please let us know! Best of luck to you!!
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      HopefulPatient

      HopefulPatient Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Firework
      How exactly does the ear recover? I read that the noise is caused by the hair cells ‘dying’ from over exposure, if this is the cause then how would it be possible for the ringing to stop?

      I’ma also finding it hard to cope emotionally sometimes. It’s been 12 days now, I keep going through serious mood swings about this as it just doesn’t seem fair that I have to face this because some unknown person lobbed a firework in front of me within one minute of sitting down... one minute I am very hopeful that it will go away and the next I’m thinking about what happened and how unjust this situation is, that it’s been almost two weeks now and it may be permanent and that I will never be able to enjoy things in life I used to at such a young age. I’m scared to go out with friends to bars, hockey and football games, concerts, even to loud restaurants and it’s because one person whose identity I don’t even know caused this harm to me.
       
    9. Mathew Gould

      Mathew Gould Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck/Jaw misalignment
      It's a firework and its meant to be loud, but not too loud to do damage. My point being it's probably better that a firework went off instead of being at a loud concert for 2 hours 10 feet away from the speaker. You have a good chance of recovery, just protect you're ears from here on out and know the do's and don'ts of tinnitus.
       
    10. Mathew Gould

      Mathew Gould Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck/Jaw misalignment
      Someone should break this person's legs haha. What a d-bag for throwing a firework into a fire. Talk about the look at me look at me generation.
       
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Please do not start overusing earplugs as you risk lowing the loudness threshold of your auditory system. Used correctly earplugs can be helpful but must not be overused. My advice is not to use headphones even at low volume.

      All the best
      Michael
       
    12. Mathew Gould

      Mathew Gould Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck/Jaw misalignment
      Are headphones bad for tinnitus if your tinnitus is not noise induced?
       
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      If the tinnitus isn't noise induced then I don't think a person using headphones is put at so much risk of it becoming worse. However, I still advise caution. To be honest, why anyone with tinnitus especially if it is intrusive, whether noise induced or not and chooses to use headphones, is beyond me. Tinnitus can be a very debilitating condition and anyone that has tinnitus and uses headphones, even at low volume, I believe they are putting themselves at risk and I just don't think it is worth it.

      Some people with noise induced tinnitus use headphones and they have no problem, but the risk of the tinnitus getting worse is always there. This may not happen immediately. Many people have contacted me after years of habituation and used headphones and found their tinnitus has increased.

      Michael
       
    14. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild 2000-2018 sev 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      Some people may be affected by headphone use... I never use headphones for music, so casual listeners could be damaging themselves.

      With my hyperacusis if I walk around with earplugs my tinnitus screams at me an I feel isolated. People talk to me and I can hardly hear them over my tinnitus. If I wear earbuds people leave me alone and I am protected against an unforeseen loud noise (I’m speaking of the earbuds with a flange, soft rubber... not silly Apple AirPods). I’ll listen to nothing or masking noise.

      My job has erratic sleep periods, a lot of travel, constant headphone use... I’m screwed. Lol
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    15. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Michael Leigh
      May I ask you a somewhat personal question? You say don't overuse earplugs. I'm trying my best to find the fine line between over and underusing hearing protection. You live in the UK, right? I don't recall whether in Bristol or Brighton. But in a smaller town, don't you? I would like to ask, if you go to London and commute, using the underground, being on the streets, do you use earplugs? I live in a capital of a smaller, Eastern European country, and it's pretty loud here. Probably not NYC or London loud, but loud. I use earplugs whenever I go outside of my place, but it's getting more and more uncomfortable and I'm equally scared of worsening due to noise exposure or a potential ear infection from using the plugs as well. Thank you.
       
    16. Hotspur2931

      Hotspur2931 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/flu
      There's lots of evidence to show that T perception isn't related to hair cells alone. It's more of a brain thing than anything else. For example, in people with hearing loss they are effectively straining more to listen out for sounds, and in doing so they start hearing their own internal sounds. Once they get used to their new hearing status they can often filter those internal sounds into the background again. Your brain has had a bit of a shock and it will take a while to settle. There are people with total deafness who have no tinnitus, and people with perfect hearing who do have it. So it's not purely an ear thing, or even an ear thing at all. Traumatic events like a loud firework can bring tinnitus into our awareness, but it can also disappear from our awareness as well. This is why it's important to get on with your life and not worry.

      You will definitely be able to enjoy things in your life again. This is just the fear talking, I promise you. If you're worried about noise, then get some earplugs, but most people tend to think that normal sounds like restaurant noise shouldn't be a problem. Maybe take it easy for a bit, while your ears recover, but please don't think your life is over because it really isn't. I suggest you plan some social activities for yourself right now, to take your mind off things. It doesn't have to be something noisy. Maybe a board games night, or a coffee date, or meet up with some friends and go for a walk. Get out of your head and go have fun. Even if nothing feels fun right now just go and do it anyway.

      The unfairness/injustice is a tough one. Just remember that everyone is dealt a few rough cards in life, sometimes more. You can't control what happens to you - you just have to play the hand you are dealt. Bargaining and anger are normal parts of any big life event - eventually you will reach a place of acceptance. Trust in the process.

      You are very very early on. There is every chance that this could completely resolve for you. And however long it takes, as times goes on you will get better and better at coping. It's going to be ok.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    17. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @Kriszti

      Thank you for your question which I will try to answer.

      I live in Brighton and moved here in 2014. I was born and bred in London and got tinnitus 24 years ago. The majority of my time that I have had tinnitus I lived in London. If you read my posts and there are many, you will see when I first got tinnitus in 1996, it was severe with very severe hyperacusis. I never had the Internet back then and found my ears incredibly sensitive to the point during conversation with anyone, had to politely ask them to please lower their voice as my ears were in pain.

      I started TRT in late 1996 which required wearing two white noise generators and having tinnitus counselling with a Hearing Therapist. The hyperacusis was completely cured in two years using the WNGs and the tinnitus reduced to a level I rarely heard it. I had a 2nd noise trauma in 2008. If you click on the link below you can read my post: My experience with tinnitus, which covers the period from 2008 to 2012 which is to date the most difficult period of my life with tinnitus. It took 4 years for me to habituate for the second time.

      To your question regarding sensitivity to sound and using earplugs. It reads on your Avatar, cause of tinnitus unknown? Something usually causes the onset of tinnitus and the most common cause is exposure to loud sounds. Typically, it is headphone use or listening to music at high volume levels at clubs or concerts etc. Working in a noisy environment can cause it too.

      When tinnitus is accompanied by oversensitivity to sound it usually indicates the cause was an Acoustic trauma also known as Noise induced tinnitus. Therefore, I suspect this could be the reason for your oversensitivity to sound. It important that you have tests at ENT to determine whether there is an underlying medical condition within your auditory system that has caused your tinnitus and oversensitivity to sound. If no underlying medical cause can be found, then you probably have Noise induced tinnitus. In this case you should be referred to a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist that practices tinnitus and hyperacusis treatment and management. This is what usually happens to tinnitus patients in the UK. Whether the same applies to other countries I do not know. However, from what I have read in this forum and learned from people that have contacted me from abroad, who have noise induced tinnitus. They are seen by an ENT doctor and not referred to Hearing Therapist or Audiologist for Tinnitus and Hyperacusis treatment.

      ENT doctors treat underlying medical conditions within the auditory system that is causing the tinnitus. They do not treat tinnitus as this is not the area of expertise. Therefore, when the tinnitus is noise induced with or without hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound) the patient should be referred to Audiology to see either a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist as mentioned above.

      Oversensitivity to sound or hyperacusis needs to be treated as using earplugs is not the answer. If a person has noise induced tinnitus and habituates to it, they may still be oversensitive to sound, meaning they have hyperacusis. Sometimes this can improve by itself without treatment. If it doesn't and treatment isn't sought then oversensitivity to sound can become a long term problem.

      Please click on the links below and read my posts: Hyperacusis, As I see it and The complexities of Tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      Hope this helps.
      Michael

      PS: When I was in London I regularly travelled on the underground and had no need to wear earplugs. When I'm out and about in Brighton and regularly go to London and I don't wear earplugs. I wear them when using electric power tools. When mowing the lawn with my petrol lawn mower and grass strimmer I use ear defenders.

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/my-experience-with-tinnitus.12076/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-complexities-of-tinnitus-and-hyperacusis.25733/
       
    18. david c

      david c Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2012
      On this point I'd just like to make the point that I have now started to use earplugs on the London underground. There's actually quite a lot of evidence that noise levels on some of the lines is worryingly loud - which has also been my own experience. This is particularly true on the Victoria line. See source below:

      https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2019/08/12/londons-tube-is-worryingly-noisy
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    19. Angela Riffe
      Mellow

      Angela Riffe Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      @HopefulPatient

      Your situation of how you got your tinnitus is very similar to mine (essentially a loud explosion from strangers who should have known better). I'm 31, so not quiet as young as you, but I've gone through quite similar feelings to yours about irresponsible strangers affecting my life. Let me PM you and talk to you more about my emotional journey dealing and hopefully it can help you.

      In short, the loudness of my tinnitus has gotten some better since my acoustic trauma 4 months ago. When it first happened, I was in a deep emotional crises for about 2 months. Not to trivialize, but to normalize, what you are going through is a very normal reaction. Over time, I feel like my tinnitus is much easier to cope with and affects my life less and less besides taking care at loud events. I didn't image that my feelings today were possible a few months ago. There is so much certainty for your mind healing, even if there is a bit less certainty (could very well still happen) around your body healing.

      I will PM you later. Take care and be kind and gentle with yourself.
       
      • Like Like x 3
    20. Angela Riffe
      Mellow

      Angela Riffe Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Damage to the cilia is a combination of intensity (decibel volume) and duration. Unfortunately the danger in explosions, gun shots, etc. is that because they can be so loud, they can damage your ears much quicker than a concert.
       
    21. Angela Riffe
      Mellow

      Angela Riffe Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    22. Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      9 weeks and going strong.
       
    23. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Let's just say that there is a good chance that it will begin fading after 2-4 months, so that after 1-3 years it could get to the "can hear it only in quiet rooms" stage.
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      HopefulPatient

      HopefulPatient Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Firework
      Sorry for the lack of updates. I took the advice I read on the forum to stop reading about it hence my absence. It’s been 38 days now and I still have the persistent ringing. There was a night however I went to bed and did not hear any ringing, maybe it was just crickets so I presumed it to be silence about three weeks ago and then about a week ago I had the same “silence” for maybe two hours. I’ve pretty much given up hope of it stopping at this point and am just hoping the tinnitus doesn’t get worse and that somehow a cure is eventually developed. I will come back and post to update if anything significant happens. Still holding out that maybe it’ll get better and hoping the same for everyone else suffering with this condition!
       
      • Like Like x 2
    25. Angela Riffe
      Mellow

      Angela Riffe Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi @HopefulPatient

      I'm so glad to hear that you are feeling more emotionally settled. I've read that hearing silence (even briefly) at an early stage is a good sign of eventual recovery. I also think that taking it as it comes and not looking too far into the future is the best approach.

      I'm almost at 5 months and my tinnitus has continued to get some better since it started with one acoustic trauma.

      Best of luck to you. Please reach out again if you need anything. And thanks for making a post if you notice any significant changes.
       
    26. Alex Matyjasek
      Not amused

      Alex Matyjasek Member

      Location:
      Spain
      Tinnitus Since:
      8 September 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress? Who knows...
      They said exactly the same to me and here I am... You will most likely get a lot better. Patience and don´t wait for it to stop, because it will probably not. Take as it comes and chances are you will live happily again. Good luck!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    27. mrbrightside614

      mrbrightside614 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      NE Ohio, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      That’s already significant progress. I haven’t had more than 2-3 moments of silence (usually early morning) since getting tinnitus 6.5 months ago. Chin up!
       
    28. Eloy Resendez Jr
      Balanced

      Eloy Resendez Jr Member

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Minor hearing loss (twice)
      @HopefulPatient and @Angela Riffe....yes please continue to post success even if minor. @Angela Riffe I had some additional minor hearing loss right around the same time you posted yours and I appreciate your post because we’re kinda in sync with our progress, I may be a little behind you, but this thing gets better at a snail pace. I’ve had tinnitus since 2015, but back in December had another minor drop due to an AIED, and kinda feels like I’m starting all over again. Your post remind me of what I had to do 4 years ago and what I’ve got to do again. Good luck to you both and God bless!
       
      • Like Like x 1

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