Fear of Going Deaf Taking Over My Life

Discussion in 'Support' started by serendipity1996, Oct 10, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      Hi,

      I posted here a few weeks ago but since then my worry has reached breaking point. Unlike many people on this forum, my tinnitus is very very mild, I would say it's 'barely there' however my ears, in particular my left one constantly feel full of air. Anyway, I am guessing that the damage I do have has been noise-induced. I am 20 right now and when I think back over the past 10 years or so I have used headphones a lot and sometimes for prolonged periods to listen to music. I don't think I ever made a conscious decision to blast my music but tbh there were times (probably a lot) where I would end up turning up the volume after getting used to it but I would never go out and purposefully blast tunes to the max but it was probably above 85db anyway... I have also been out clubbing a fair bit since coming to university two years ago and have experienced the usual ringing in my ears after a night out but it would always go away. Nonetheless, I am still extremely paranoid and anxious about my hearing - I may not have irritating debilitating tinnitus but I am worried that the damage will creep up on me in years to come. It's got to the point where I dread the future and feel very depressed and constantly have suicidal thoughts because of this.

      I was reading an article the other day and this sentence sent me into a spiral of anxiety:
      "Hearing specialists say the cases they're seeing now may be only the start of trouble for this generation because accumulated noise damage develops slowly and insidiously. A 15-year-old who regularly cranks the volume on his player for hours at a time may not experience any noticeable problems until he or she is in their mid- to late-20s."

      I have this gut feeling that I have irreparably damaged my hearing and I am at the end of my tether. I spend my days lying in bed because I'm too depressed to do anything. I'm so scared of being deaf by the time I am 30 which is still relatively young but my life would be over. I can't live my life with this horrendous anxiety any longer. Is my worry overblown? I feel like I've really latched on to that doom-laden article excerpt. I don't know if the issue lies more with my anxiety or my actual ears but I feel I have no hope for the future and it's killing me. :(
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Jason C

      Jason C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29 May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Burgler Alarm
      I think a lot of what you are experiencing is anxiety, if your t is very mild then you are lucky. Take a break from noise, stay away from clubs and bars for a few months and don't crank the volume on the music.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    3. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Hearing can fluctuate with tinnitus but no reason for worsening hearing as long as you keep away from loud sounds with out ear protection.
      CBT for anxiety will help you.
      Stay positive and grab happiness and fun times to keep your mood up ....lots of love glynis
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      Sounds mostly like anxiety and depression. I think you should go to the ENT and get your ears checked. If he says everything is fie then I think you should work on the depression. Eat right, drink plenty of water, take a vitamin, and /or fish oil.
       
    5. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      Yeah, I agree. I do struggle a lot with anxiety, especially health anxiety so I tend to catastrophise everything. I should probably ban myself from googling too - too often I end up reading these horrific articles about how we will be "generation deaf" which ends up making me feel incredibly depressed. I even think that I've "messed up my life irrevocably" and fear that I will be that 15 year old who doesn't have any problems until 10-15 years later and bam starts to go deaf. I'm looking into counselling at the moment to help me with my anxiety and depression.
       
    6. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I'm planning on ditching the headphones and staying away from clubs. I definitely think I need some sort of therapy...the anxiety is eating away at me. My friends repeatedly assure me that it's unlikely I will go deaf or become hard of hearing which helps for maybe about 10 minutes then I simply go back to worrying again. Even on this forum I see people who have suffered from tinnitus as a result of noise exposure but they don't seem to be going deaf.
       
    7. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Yeah, I'm terrified of going deaf too. I have otosclerosis, so I'm likely going to have hearing problems for the rest of my life. All I can say is be good to your ears, and everything else for that matter, and you'll put the odds in your favour.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      I have found that exercise, sunshine, and a healthy diet can really help depression. Also, sleeping in bed a lot causes depression. However, I know exactly how you feel because I have anxiety and depression issues too. I actually have to take medication for it right now and am trying to ween off a benzodiazepine. I never should have taken that long term. I think a combo between good counseling and brain health can really make a huge difference. I might add though that it needs to be GOOD counseling and a lot of counselors in my past weren't.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      Does your tinnitus play a role in your anxiety and depression? I'm abroad on exchange for a year at a university and I know my host university offers counselling so will definitely see about that. Otherwise I would look into therapy but would prefer to find something english-speaking. (I am in Berlin for the year). I need to change my habits and get out and about because right now the only thing that I feel would compel me to actually go out and seize the day would be if there were sudden news that a meteor is projected to strike the earth in 10 years wiping us all out. I would actually welcome that as twisted as it sounds.
       
    10. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. Jason C

      Jason C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29 May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Burgler Alarm
      Well, I was at the gym tonight and one of the guys there said that he was told by a university
      Lecturer that a meteor is projected to hit the earth in 10 years and we will all be wiped out!!

      Get out there and seize the day fella :)
       
    12. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      lol. thanks for the chuckle. there is actually a meteor projected to come quite close to earth in 10 years time...... might be lucky to see a few shooting stars from the stones it throws into our atmosphere
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    13. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      Yes, the tinnitus have played a big role in my depression but I had depression before. I actually have several things that have messed up my life the past 3 years:

      mild bipolar II
      benzo tolerance
      tinnitus
      sedation due to benzo use

      I had all kinds of problems last year as I tried to cut my dose of klonopin in half. I was able to make it for a few weeks after months and months of effort. However, then I started having huge problems due to tinnitus and having breakdowns. Fortunately for me, I was familiar with depression and kept going on believing I would find a way to get better. About 9 months ago I started taking Lamictal which has helped me tremendously with lessening my klonopin use. I am not as tired or depressed overall. I also found that the klonopin often makes me depressed, more anxious, and have louder tinnitus, which is the exact opposite of what it did in the beginning. I am having windows right now due to either klonopin withdrawal, tinnitus volume increases, or mild bipolar...I am not really sure what. However, yesterday I had my masker on most of the day and tuned it out. When I thought about it, I just told myself no big deal, its not a threat, I will tune it out again and I did. The less I perceive it as a threat, the more I tune it out. Will it bother me again? Probably, but the hope is that once I reduce my klonopin more, I will have less and less times when it does. Don't worry about going deaf. They make hearing aids now that can really help. I tended to be just like you several years ago worrying about lots of things, but now I am able to accept so many things and my fear is way, way less. For me, it was a medication, thoughts of acceptance of what has happened or might could happen, and the grace of God. Hope you get better soon. Hang in there!
       
    14. Zorro!
      Wtf

      Zorro! Member

      You're 20 years old. Most of the shit you're worrying about now will never amount to anything. It's the stuff you don't see coming that will hammer you. But that's life. We learn to cope. In time you will find a way to cope and, hopefully, thrive.

      BTW, the Latin origin of the word "cope" means "a blow". Congrats, you suffered a blow. There's plenty more where that came from you will discover as you get older. But if you use this current traumatic event to learn how to cope then you will be better armed to deal with what comes at you down the road. You can start with ditching the headphones and then learn some relaxation exercises and meditation techniques to help you with the anxiety. You will be better for it, trust me.
       
    15. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      Wow, I'm glad you're in a better place now and are getting on with living....I know that's what I should be doing. My friends all say it's unlikely I will go deaf or become hard of hearing at a young age but no amount of reassurance from them is enough. To be honest, if I go deaf then surely a large number of young people will considering we live in such a noisy society and everyone seems to be plugged in to earphones. I just hope that if I do suffer reduced hearing that by the time I am well and truly into middle-age (in 20-30 years or so) they will have found a cure to restore noise induced hearing loss....although I'm not sure if that is wishful thinking. It's the uncertainty that kills me....I know none of this may happen and I may be wasting energy worrying as a result, but there IS a chance and my mind is catastrophising that.
       
    16. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      I know this might sound like it makes no sense but I think your "mind is playing tricks on you" in the sense that your brain isn't functioning well. Have you ever wondered why there are people that aren't afraid of anything and then people that are afraid of almost everything? A lot of it has to do with genetics, hormones, brain chemistry, etc. I think if you can get hormones right or your brain operating better you will be able to handle all these thoughts and make them SO much easier to deal with. Then you should be able to work through them much quicker and they should fade. You will have much more energy and motivation too :) I would suggest if you can afford it to go get some hormone and/or micro-nutrient testing.
       
    17. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      Just to say, in any case I think I will be staying away from clubs/headphones from now on. Headphones I will try to cut out permanently...as for clubs, well, it pains me to stop going because I am a big techno/house fan but honestly it wouldn't be worth the insane paranoia in the days afterwards. Maybe I am catastrophising as well...it's obviously not that difficult to cause damage to your hearing but I feel like a lot of the cases of moderate/severe hearing loss you see as a result of noise-induced damage are cases of like 30 years exposure etc etc and if you get into good habits now at a young age then surely the future will be alright? Like at 20 if I stop going to clubs and using headphones. I also think there is a genetic element too, some people's ears will simply be able to withstand more than others'. Just trying to think about things a bit more rationally.
       
    18. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I definitely think my brain is more wired to worry. I have always tended to ruminate but to be honest I've been struggling on and off with my mental health over the past two years with anxiety, depression, body dysmorphic disorder, and lately health anxiety so I am extremely worried about my ears. There is barely any tinnitus but my ears, especially my left one, feel really clogged and have felt this way for months. It always seems to be more acute after listening to music so I'm not sure if it's some form of noise-induced damage or it could be an ear wax blockage. I'm hoping it's the latter because I can't remember the last time I cleaned out my ears and I have been prone to ear wax build-up in the past. Also, I have been using earplugs lately so perhaps that is causing the wax to become impacted deep inside the ear canal.
       
    19. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    20. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      I think your ruminating is the issue here and that is what is causing the problem. I remember going to a counselor and he told me I had a "chemical imbalance" and I needed to go see a psychiatrist to get medication. Well, after disagreeing with him I later agreed that something was wrong so I got on SSRI's. That stopped a lot of the ruminating but caused apathy and a couple other problems. I think it was defiantly the wrong kind of medication for me although it seems to help some people. I don't know if I have a "chemical imbalance" but I do know that there is something physical about me ruminating on things. It is way easier for me to handle things since I have got on Lamictal and that is with having unmaskable T. I don't want you to think that you have to take drugs but maybe if you took some supplements or vitamins and exercised it might help. I'm sure it will bother me again but the past few days have been good and often I have been able to tune it out. :)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    21. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I definitely think there is a large mental aspect at play here. I see where you're coming from. I feel like there is something physical about this too - like the part of my brain that deals with anxiety and stressful situations won't switch off or needs constant stimulus so something chemical is wrong. Yeah, I think medication can be very individual, you find out what works for you best eventually. Perhaps that would help me avoid catastrophising because at the moment my brain is screaming 'You're an idiot and will go deaf before your 30th birthday and you've thrown away any chance to enjoy life." It's an awful feeling
       
    22. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      So...feeling a lot better. My mum put me in touch with one of her friends who is a teacher of the deaf so pretty knowledgeable about this subject and she was saying that it's highly unlikely that you will lose your hearing. She was saying realistically you'd have to be exposed to loud noise consistently for years, decades even for it to really take a toll on your hearing and that even, say, bagpipers or drillers who've been exposed for decades and decades only start to get noticeable hearing loss in their fifties. Yeah, there are occasions when I probably blasted it too loudly but who hasn't to be honest (not advocating that though). She said she went to a lot of concerts in her twenties and came out with ringing ears and her ears haven't suffered long term. I've never been to a concert or festival and although I have spent a lot of time playing music through headphones it definitely wasn't 24/7 and never on the go.

      Some people will be more susceptible to damage than others i guess that's just how it goes but I feel a lot better having spoken to a "voice of reason" because the internet can be so alarmist. Perhaps I will pay a small price and begin to lose hearing say in my sixties but to be honest that is forty years in the future and I imagine technology will have advanced significantly in that time. Kinda hoping that someone else reads this if you're worried and it reassures you - don't let yourselves get bogged down reading alarmist internet articles! And I am only 20 - the fact that I recognise the importance now of taking care of my ears hopefully means my hearing will last me for a while yet!
       
    23. Jason C

      Jason C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29 May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Burgler Alarm
      Unless you actually have noise induced tinnitus now then really you dont need to worry about going to clubs or listening too your music on headphones. Obviously keep the volume at a reasonable level.
      My ears were perfect up until I had noise exposure from an alarm this year. Now I have slight hearing loss but redicilous T that just rides over all other sounds.
      I had been to clubs, noisy bars, restaurants and never had any issues with ringing in the ears, I seen guns n roses during 2010 without hearing protection and my hearing was flat for a week but no ringing and it came back perfectly within the week. Now I can't sit in a restaurant for more than an hour without my ears going mad and T goes threw the roof.
      Even with these issues I don't think I'm going deaf. I just know my hearing will never be the same and that kills me. I can't even enjoy a movie anymore. Music just sounds busted. I didnt even use headphone much but
      Now and then I enjoyed plugging in my skull
      Candys into my phone and enjoying my fav tune for 10 mins. (Really miss things like that) :(

      These are real hearing problems. I don't think the issues you are experiencing are more than health anxiety which I have had for many years myself, never anything wrong with
      me apart from anxiety which is a problem in itself but I could deal with it. It's almost like I enjoyed worrying about things lol

      This is very different for me though. It's very real and it's never going away. Well I can make it go away if it gets really bad but that will also be the end.

      I think you, just like the old me needs to relax more.


      Good luck :)
       
    24. Zeneth
      Hurting

      Zeneth Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Very Unknown At This Point.... most likely loud sound?
      I'm going through the same thing, the ear pressure, mild T, anxiety of it getting worse, ears popping, etc
       
    25. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      Thank you! Well, I'm not really sure what brought on my tinnitus but I think it was noise-induced but it has never got worse over the years. The thing that I am annoyed at myself for is that I don't actually know how loud I listened to my music because on my laptop (which I primarily use if I am listening to music) I have a tendency to constantly be adjusting the volume so sometimes I would get it up quite high without realising it was that loud if that makes sense. And so now I'm freaking out about all the times I did that. But I never listened whilst on the go. And if I take precautions from now on I should hopefully be alright. I have owned a walkman, an ipod, and obviously a laptop for the past ten years but haven't listened to music every day for those years so I really think it must take sustained exposure to cause hearing loss like needing a hearing aid in your thirties.
      I'm sorry to hear that your tinnitus is so bad :( That sucks to hear.
      I definitely think my issue is fuelled by health anxiety and I have been in a depressive slump all because of this, wishing I could be 'normal' but hopefully I will be fine. :)
       
    26. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      The anxiety is so bad ugh. And not knowing whether your ears feel like that because of anxiety or not. Sucks
       
    27. Jason C

      Jason C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29 May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Burgler Alarm
      Lol if you are listening too music on your laptop and can turn up the music then I very much doubt you have noise induced tinnitus. If I put the headphones on the t screams and my ears hurt. Music sounds broken even over speakers for me.
      Also and I don't mean to "alarm" you but it dosent take years to suffer hearing loss or tinnitus, A one time extremely loud event can cause life long hearing problems. I was exposed to an extremely powerful alarm for about 10 minutes and it is this event that caused my acoustic trauma, hearing loss, tinnitus, vestibular issues (balance) and destroyed my life as I knew it. 10 minutes and my live has been ruined. As for needing hearing aids that is something else, I can still hear perfectly well, just everything sounds different, music sounds broken but voices I can hear crystal clear thankfully even in a noisy restaurant with everything else sounding broken I can hear a voice perfectly on the other side of the resturant! One thing I have learnt about hearing is that it isn't just about losing volume and needing a hearing aid, most things are too loud for me, music is broken and distorted, tinnitus obviously and affected balance. Look after your ears, literally they are even more important than your eyes.
      So basically, the music is fine if you can't hear outside noise around your music when you listen on headphones then it's too loud. Just be careful and take rests.
      Education you gain from being on here can only be a good thing, it will make you aware of the danger of noise and your hearing should last a lifetime.
       
    28. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I don't know I mean it flares up when it's noisy sometimes but it's quite low level. That sounds horrendous. :(

      Yeah, no I realise that sometimes a one-off extremely loud event can trigger tinnitus but I was just referring to cumulative hearing damage, like if your hearing starts deteriorating much earlier than it should I'm guessing it would generally be due to extensive over-exposure idk. Like I'm guessing my using headphones through my teenage years will probably not be that big of an issue, like it won't cause me to need a hearing aid at 40 I doubt. Maybe if I continued to blast my ears then yeah that would be a possibility. I mean I can't predict the future just trying to think about my case rationally.
      Your conditions sounds really bad, I feel for you. Looking forward, the best I can do is just avoid loud venues etc, I can't anticipate every loud noise as your situation demonstrates but yeah :(
       
    29. Jason C

      Jason C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29 May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Burgler Alarm
      Well, it's pretty simple, take it easy on the headphones or if you have tinnitus maybe forget about them for good. Wear noise reduction plugs to loud venues and stay away from crazy loud alarms.
       
    30. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      So I went to the doctor and was told 'both of your ears are totally clogged with wax' so he removed it and that seems to have relieved a lot of the clogged/fluidy symptoms I was experiencing. Still have very mild tinnitus but feel a bit more at ease now. I hadn't cleaned my ears out in ages (months or even a year) so it was pretty grim haha.
       
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