Fairly New to Tinnitus & Looking for Advice/Encouragement

Discussion in 'Support' started by amillar1993, Sep 27, 2019.

    1. amillar1993

      amillar1993 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Looking for any advice/encouragement. I'll try to keep the context as brief as I can...

      August 11th - noticed higher pitched 'eee' ringing in ears, only mild, and only pressing ears in. Seemed to be worse in the right but I think thats because at the time of discovery I had a fan blowing and a small fume extractor fan to the left of me, so I noticed it in the right. In hindsight and since I've sat in the same place with the fans on I think the noise I was actually hearing was from the fume extractor. I just happened to press into my ears and find the noise then. It may well have been around for a bit longer but the only thing I can think of that would have been a trigger is...

      ...noise exposure the week before (band rehearsal with no plugs, first rehearsal with a band we were trying to form, haven't been in a band for 5 years so I haven't been pummelling my ears weekly or anything). but I'd also...

      - been trying a veggie diet for a few weeks that I've since stopped, wasn't doing it very well and could have possible been deficient in something (I've been supplementing with iron, zinc, multivitamin and omega 3) as I was pretty pale/feeling run down because I was cutting calories on top of this.
      - been coming out of a long period of additional freelance work and side-business work on top of my full time job, a lot of caffeine-fuelled nights spent working until 1am, a lot of unnecessary stress I was bringing on myself.
      - been adding in a lot of long bike rides/cardio on top of my 5-day a week weight training, which contributed to my feeling of being rundown/lack of energy.

      Spent 3 weeks basically ignoring it, it also wasn't really bothering me at all, I'd check on it every now and then by pressing my ears and realising it was still there. Continued band rehearsal with freshly bought ear plugs, once a week. Was still using headphones etc (I've never really used them loud anyway, and I knew what tinnitus was but I was literally just ignoring it, wasn't researching anything or browsing this forum) tinnitus didn't get worse, stayed the same.

      4th (beginning of September) week I got really strong hits of anxiety and panic attacks because it'd lasted longer than expected. Was also noticing mild hyperacusis in my right ear, not from everyday noises, but from things like my infant daughter screeching or plates crashing together. To be honest this may have always been around as I've always had good and somewhat sensitive hearing, I was probably just not paying any attention to it before. I also think my constant focus on my right ear being 'the bad one' could have contributed.

      Saw GP, who has referred me to an ENT, but with the NHS I know how long referrals take from previous knee problems. Letter came through and that's now booked for 7th November.

      Decided to pay to go to a private ENT (7th Sept), he did a hearing & pressure test to check for a burst ear drum. No apparent hearing loss (above average for a 25 year old apparently) and no obvious signs of trauma. Said it would only be temporary because of how mild it is etc, explained he'd dealt with lots of people back in the 90s that were in close proximity to an IRA bomb and they had similar symptoms for a good few months. Worth noting at this point I'm also very aware of all noises around me, including super high-pitched ones from electrical devices etc. So hearing seems to be in check as far as I can tell, I've certainly not noticed a difference between pre and post T.

      He prescribed betahistine as something that could possible help. Was only about 12 days worth, didn't really seem to do much and I haven't sought a further prescription. I did notice during this time an increase in ear fullness, heat in/around my ears and a couple of 10-15 second spikes of fleeting T that came with more pronounced fullness. I also had episodes of what felt like my eardrum twitching by itself (not sound related). Still going to go to the NHS appt in Nov to see if they want to do more in-depth assessment, which I'd like them to do if I'm honest.

      Which brings me to the last 3/4 weeks...

      I've completely stopped the band stuff since 31st August and haven't used headphones for around 3 weeks. My gym isn't usually loud but I'm going to start wearing plugs there as a couple guys can get a bit 'slammy' with the weights.

      I've had a couple of very bad days, not from the tinnitus getting any worse, but my own stress/anxiety of it being permanent (i.e i'm not even hearing it and I'm freaking out about when I'm next going to be in silence).

      H seems to have improved over the last week, it'll still flare up but definitely less sensitive. Its helped to realise that my tinnitus is basically completely symmetrical. Along with this improvement in hyperacusis I've had no more episodes of fleeting tinnitus or extreme fullness. Fullness still comes and goes but seems to be MUCH milder, I also had a bit of a cold that I've just got over so I think it could maybe just have been a sinus thing/generally feeling stuffy for a few days.

      Tinnitus doesn't seem to have gotten any worse. If I'm in a silent room I can usually mask it by breathing heavily or humming. Which I think has made me a little on-edge/twitchy but I'm attempting to distract myself whenever I find myself in a quiet environment. I think a few people have seen their tinnitus disappear this way (it may have just been temp anyway but still).

      I'm unsure of the dB level my tinnitus is at, but for context, the buzz of a fridge or our baby bottle prep machine is enough to drown it out, A fan at night etc. Pretty mild I'd say...although I'd be lying if I said it isn't what I think/worry about almost constantly.

      Obviously its only been a few weeks since taking these precautions so I'm not expecting miracles in this kind of time scale. And I've got earplugs on a keychain so they're always with me if I'm out of the house should I need them.

      A few things I've noticed, not sure if it means anything or if anyone can offer an explanation for:

      • Strong tension headaches and neck pain/stiffness. I would maybe put this down to the stress/anxiety it's been causing. Because it definitely seems to get worse with that, although everything does still feel pretty bunched up even when I'm calm.
      • I seem to get pressure in my head/ears when laying down, this also seems to make the tinnitus a bit worse, I went to an osteopath to look at my neck pains and as he was doing some neck/head work with me laying on the table I seemed to notice it more. Though granted it was a silent room and he did have his hands around my ears...
      • Since the improvements mentioned above, I've had a dull ache and mild stabbing pains in both ears (mostly right) that come and go, nothing extreme, just a bit of mild discomfort. Seems random and not linked to sounds etc.
      • Similar to the point above but a tickling/light itching sensation that feels like its 'in' my ear.
      • I've noticed if I press around my top of my neck/under my ear area on my right side I can make my eardrum flutter, can't do this on the left side.
      My assumption for a lot of the above and the symptoms in the week before are due to stress and fixating on the issue. Like I mentioned, the 3 weeks before I was basically acting normally, not even thinking about it and things were MUCH better, despite being closer to the onset of it. The day I noticed it I basically shrugged it off and carried on working.

      That ended up being a lot longer than I thought it would be :cautious:

      Just generally looking for any advice, and particularly any success stories from people that have been in a similar situation (ie noise-induced mild tinnitus that didn't start at high volume and drop, but that began mild and the experiences over the coming months)...though I think maybe this forum is the wrong place to be asking since I guess many people that have this and recover don't bother to come back. :p

      The optimist in me (which doesn't come out very often) thinks that because of how mild it is it'll hopefully be on of those 6-months-and-done cases, especially as some have recovered from worse. Obviously I don't plan on doing anything to aggravate it in the meantime, got a flight from the UK to California in January but hoping things will have improved a bit by then...
    2. Violet1982

      Violet1982 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I had something similar, and thought it was stress related which I think it could have contributed. I think it was actually a virus though that attackā€™s the inner or middle ear. There were others in my area with similar symptoms. Some more severe than others. I had the itching, neck stiffness and also inflammation and ear pain and sensitivity to noise. It took several months and was a very slow process but I am finally improving, tinnitus included! Keep your chin up, tell yourself you have this for now, get rest and take care of yourself. I believe it will clear up in time.
      • Like Like x 1
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    3. Phat Tuna

      Phat Tuna Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Yes take a long hiatus from the band stuff to give yourself a chance to heal. I had to do the same. And don't worry about flying. Just bring either noise cancelling headphones or ear muffs and you will be fine.

      Wear hearing protection in noisy environments like restaurants. It sounds like you do have some hyperacusis. If you ever go to an audiologist, avoid doing an LDL test. They gave me once which was too loud and erased all my progress.

      Try a professional massage to release some tension in your neck.

      You are in early stages and sounds like you have made some progress. I think as long as you avoid very loud situations for next 6 month . You will be fine.

      Also, only let your hygienist do manual cleanings to your teeth. No power tools. Ever. Not for cleaning.

      Yes . Most ppl here are still suffering, but some do have good advice to help prevent you from becoming like them. I wish I had come here sooner I could have prevented making my tinnitus much worse. But don't stay too long because it is indeed depressing in these forums.
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    4. Phat Tuna

      Phat Tuna Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I know it's hard. I know your concerns are real and terrifying. But try not to worry. It sounds like your T is very mild. Mine used to be the same. And i laugh now at how stressed I was about it when it was so easy to mask.

      That said, at this stage, you still need to be careful about reaggravating it. In my experience, hyperacusis is extremely easy to aggravate. So yeah for next 6 months, no band stuff, no concerts, ect... I've also started wearing earplugs whenever I am around a dog. Cuz you never know when they will find the need to bark. I dont around my dog because he is well trained, but other dogs you never know what will set them off.

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