Fifteen years with tinnitus yet seems to have no effect ... How?

Discussion in 'Support' started by carol kane, May 5, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      My friend served 22yrs in the Army and due to loud explosions he aquired Tinnitus, i never knew this as he has never mentioned it to me. After meeting up with him last week he asked me what was wrong as he thought i looked unwell, i told him i've got tinnitus and i'm not doing so well, i said you've never mentioned tinnitus, you never wear earplugs, you go to all functions weddings etc and you just live a normal life? he said you've got to just live with it, tune out of it, ignore it, i said don't you worry that it will get worse the fact that you don't ever wear earplugs and he simply said NO!! WHY can't i have the same out look towards it? his life certainly isn't over so why do i think mine is?
       
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    2. MaccyDee
      Anime

      MaccyDee Member

      Location:
      Kentucky
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Some just adapt faster. I'm sure he went through the same struggle at first, too, but outlook makes a huge difference. Half of the battle with Tinnitus is in the mind.
      Maybe he can help you in this struggle, too. :)
       
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    3. carlover
      English

      carlover Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1986
      Trust me mate ,depends how loud it is ...and thats that...I know because ive had it in the background and Ive had it like a crazy man playing his penny whistle as loud and hard as he can in my ear .... so dont think habituation means someone is mentally tougher than you ok buddy!!
       
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    4. lapidus

      lapidus Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Well, that kinda goes for me too I guess. T has never been a problem for me until recently, when I got H (no idea how or why). Then my T changed too. It still not really a problem compared to H but it's a bit louder and more new nosies. I've never told people that I have T, cause it has never really affected me. It could go years without me even thinking about that I had it. And it wasnt mild either, it was "regular".
       
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    5. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Carol... Yes, this is continually aggravating question for many of us tinnitus folks. How come "GI Joe" (no disrespect to your friend - I too had army buddies) can blow things up at mega volume, shoot guns till the cows come home, relax in a bar with music playing at body smashing levels, never wear earplugs, and indeed also have tinnitus from it all, but is "unfazed" by it???!!!
      The ringing or whatever, does not seem to bother him or so many others like him/or her. In fact the statistics tell us it's the norm for the condition. Most people "ignore" it or get used to it and carry on living their lives with no particular attention to noise levels, etc.

      Well to me, there is a really simple answer as I experienced exactly this attitude and ability for the 'first' volume level with my tinnitus. Yeah, I had the ringing, but it never spiked or got louder if I was at loud parties, or in the London Tube (which was even noisier back then), or at a concert, etc., etc. Yes I had tinnitus but once I adapted to it it was a non event and I never wore ear protection. Did not bother me at all.

      Then things changed with 'level two'. The volume got louder. [And I don't give a darn whether this is considered "perception" or "subjective" or "brain dancing"...the reality to me, was very clearly, that the volume level in my head was louder and more annoying. It was not just audible in very quiet places. I could hear it in any semi-quiet place and at about normal conversation level, but not if there was a lot of ambient background noise, etc.].

      So back the the story...With 'level two' I got a bit more cautious, as it was more difficult to adapt to than the initial volume and took a few years before I "forgot about it" more or less. However, I did notice that it would get louder if I was around loud music, or driving a tractor for long periods of time ploughing a field all day, and so on. Also, if a car back-fired near me I got a "spike" for a few minutes then it would settle back down to its 'level two'. I began to wear earmuffs if driving loud equipment, and earplugs if in a disco bar. Why? Well, simply because the louder ringing for days afterwards if I did not was somewhat annoying. However, as it always went back to baseline 'level two' I wasn't particularly concerned. Situation normal, I lived life pretty much as I wished.

      OK back to our "GI Joe" example... From many talks about this (e.g. my brother falls into this category, and a number of friends over the years), their tinnitus behaves pretty much like my 'level one' or perhaps like 'level two'. Thus it is pretty darn easy to just ignore it and accept it and adapt to it. Maybe, with age, some increased sensitivity to sound can start to develop, but a few beers can solve that. [My brother is 65 and now admits that he finds movies rather unbearable as it sort of "hurts", so he sticks some cotton in his ears].

      Ahaaaa...now we come to the rub! It "hurts"!!!

      We humans tend to not like things hurting for the most part. Whether it be physical, emotional, or "psychological". Avoidance is a pretty basic reaction if possible.

      Now let's jump to 'level three' and 'level four' of my tinnitus. "Hurt" takes on new meaning for internal brain-sound-nerve-perception-whatever experience. I'll skip the gory details. The essence is, that loud or even medium loud sound avoidance is essential. Even with hearing protection noise comes in through the bones in the skull, etc., etc. Habituation become a real challenge when spikes and mind-numbing internal volume become very, very common in everyday life. Protection is not feasible to catch every "zapping" sound outcome and yet try and keep 'open hearing' and some sort of life outside isolation at home active too.
      In short, life becomes "difficult"! Sound becomes something to be hyper vigilant of. Humans are unpredictable and noisy, so social life changes accordingly...For simplicity, lets just call this "reactive tinnitus" (hyperacusis is in there of course by this stage).

      So, back to your question: WHY can't i have the same out look towards it? his life certainly isn't over so why do i think mine is?

      Well, there is no simple answer as so many 'personal' factors are involved that I don't know about (and from the minimal info I see on your profile, you actually have not had tinnitus for that long, so TIME is on your side yet)...but this I do know. The potential for increased tinnitus damage is very real. The possibility for very, very life-altering (in a not good way) tinnitus is real. The likelihood of further tinnitus damage once one has tinnitus or has had it...is I think more likely than for those who never get it. (This is just a hunch not scientific fact as far as I know). The ability to habituate to very loud tinnitus is much more difficult than lower volume tinnitus (self evident), especially if the "hurt" level goes up (hyperacusis most likely, which can enter the picture).
      Thus, knowing this, it seems to me that one possible reason you can't just shine it off and be like your army friend, is that you are not being an idiot!!!
      Learning about your condition and knowing that for some people it CAN and DOES get worse is just a very, very useful thing to bear in mind. Not to be terrified by, or intimidated by, but to be sensible about. And yes, thinking about this all does most likely increase your "awareness" (perception) of your tinnitus, but initially, I don't think that is a bad thing! Awareness is good if it educates you to a point where you avoid a potential worsening of your condition and the "hurt" that can cause. Permanent hurt. Not good.

      So don't be too hard on yourself. In my opinion you are doing the right thing by gleaning what you can from this site (I sure wish I had this all those years ago!) and also trying the numerous methods to aid with adaption that might suit you. There are scads of great options discussed in detail. Yeah, and I include meds in there too if necessary.

      Just hang in there. Rant against the unfairness of it all occasionally as it IS unfair....but in time you may end up being like your friend and able to ignore your tinnitus completely. By then you will also probably know if you have "reactive tinnitus" aspects or not. If so with knowledge, and experience, and learning tricks and tips from this site, you may be able to avoid "level four"...and live happily ever after. I sure hope so.

      Take care, and all the best... Zimichael
       
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    6. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi Carol. I also think it is about loudness. Just met someone with a low hiss she can only here in quiet places. No big deal. She wondered why I have such a problem with it. It told her I can hear mine always and she agreed that is another category. As Zimchael (and also Dr. Nagler) say, it is more difficult habituating to this. But it is possible. So I hope for you and for me we will reach that state.
      Take care,
      Martin
       
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    7. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Just to clarify. What I have said is that it's more difficult to habituate to loud tinnitus if you try to do it on your own; however, success rates with TRT are the same regardless of loudness.

      Stephen Nagler
       
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    8. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      I must disagree with that statement. I have spoken to a TRT clinician 20 years in the business and she told me that "loud beehive" type tinnitus takes MUCH longer to habituate.
       
    9. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      So either she is wrong or I am wrong.

      I'm going by my clinical experience and by Dr. Jastreboff's clinical experience.

      And FWIW, as I recall you weren't all that impressed with the TRT clinician to whom you refer in your post above. I mean no disrespect, but why do you focus on the one or two things she said that fit into your view of things? You disagreed with most everything else she said to you, which is certainly your prerogative.

      Stephen Nagler
       
    10. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Thankgod, cause if my T ever sky rockets then TRT will be my bestfriend cause I know for a fact i wouldn't be able to do it alone.
       
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    11. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      Carol
      I, too, have a buddy that has T as do my mom and dad; after talking with them I found out there's is not loud (at all) -- it's not even close to mine. We can be in the same room together and compare when there's is masked out compared to when mine is masked out (I even let them try my hearing aids with white noise generators to verify the mask level) and their T is no where near mine.

      Many people have T; very few have 'stupid-loud' T. Why? I'll research that and get back to you in a hundred years :LOL:.

      I do know this; I just don't react to it anymore -- but it took me an entire year to get to that point (and I really didn't think I was going to make it, but I did). Furthermore, either I'm developing Alzheimer's or I've pushed my T so far to the back of the bus that I find myself absolutely forgetting that I even have T -- but don't tell anyone or I could be turned into the Tinnitus Protective Services (TPS) for T abuse in the form of gross neglect.

      I still hear it (loud and clear) but I just can't react to it anymore; as hard as it may seem right now, you will get there too.

      Mark :)
       
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    12. lapidus

      lapidus Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I've encountered a person on a swedish forum who claimed that his T was so loud that the only thing masking it, was if he stood just next to the train tracks while a train passed by. But he still didnt "hear" his T in his everyday life because of habituation. I guess that's what @Dr. Nagler mean by successfull habituation to intrusive T.
       
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    13. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Yes, @lapidus, what you describe is a consequence of habituation.

      Stephen Nagler
       
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    14. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Thank you for all your replies, gives me a little hope.x
       
    15. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
       
    16. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Thank you Zimichael, i will always protect my ears, i'm probably over protecting at the moment but i just wont take any risks.
       
    17. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      What about the risk of overprotecting? Some authorities feel very strongly that not only does overprotecting inhibit habituation, it also predisposes to hyperacusis.

      Stephen Nagler
       
    18. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      My personal experience seems to indicate that you are very correct. When I first got T some noises sounded louder to me, i.e., the television--but it was at its normal volume. Other noises were louder too. I decided to just ignore it as I knew the sounds were normal. I did not protect against them and within three months the sounds are normal to me again.
       
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    19. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Carol... Initially it is safer to over-protect than under-protect, especially at the beginning. Also read IWLM's ("I Who Love Music") very practical and time tested advice in many of his posts about what he does when "sensitized" or "spiked", etc.
      He's another one who does not just have "one level baseline tinnitus", which as I said, is easy street to adjust and habituate to in comparison. You have not made it clear which type you have - probably single level type, which is most common.

      So, in the end it boils down to common sense...If you feel frightened at first and feel safer protecting your ears, do so, as it will reduce anxiety - which does not help. However, as you discover how your tinnitus reacts or does not react, you will get confidence to do less and less protection and ultimately, if you have "non reactive" tinnitus, then you get to a place where you only need hearing protection in loud situations where almost anyone would start to get hearing damage.

      Take your time. Go at your own pace. In a few months you will have a much better idea of what is going on...That really is not too long in the big picture, and your future hearing and peace of mind is worth it.

      All the best, Zimichael
       
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    20. Leah

      Leah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chardon, Ohio USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Same for me.
       
    21. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Look my stories up and take heed!, You definitely can over protect your ears and believe me my regrets now are many!

      All Iv'e done is delay my habituation by 24 years.

      Only wear ear protection when necessary, if you have to raise your voice to be heard, wear them.

      Definitely follow what Leah and Kathi did
       
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    22. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Dr,Nagler i agree with what you've said, some people say that every day noise can't hurt you, and some people say it can? i'm very uneasy around noise i really don't want this tinnitus to get louder, and i know it can.
      I don't use ear plugs in the house, but i do wear them when i'm out and about as us humans are very noisy creatures indeed.
       
    23. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Thank you Zimichael, i know i'm plugging too much, but my nerves are torn to shreds when i'm out side of my home, noise is everywhere. I never use them at home, well only when i vacuum. I am going to try and use them less and less as time goes by.
       
    24. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Thank you carlover, what kind words.
       
    25. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Carol... I know there is maybe no need to add much as you get the picture I believe. Protection or no protection is a balancing act. Having knowledge of the implications of both (which this site and people's experiences so adequately give), is wise and helps you chart your own course without just emotions ruling the roost.
      If you are getting over anxious going out, you may want to consider looking at possible help with that aspect (counselling, anxiety meds, whatever) so that you can evaluate your "hearing aspect" more clearly. Basically, when out in public, if you are not getting spiked or higher tinnitus volumes that then slowly return to baseline once home, then you are probably OK to protect less. And ultimately the less protection the better the sooner the better. However, this can be tough to act on if you are flooded with anxiety as it will change your perception of the the tinnitus - hence my suggestion to address that.
      My rule of thumb is: If it "hurts", then you are pushing too fast or need to figure out what is going on, whether it be physical or emotional.
      As carlover so truly said, there is nothing macho you need to prove here.

      Take good care, Zimichael
       
    26. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Thank you for all your advice Zimichael, i am taking anxiety meds 10mg of prednisol twice a day and 20mg of citalopram once a day, it helps but does not cure. i know it will take time to build my confidence to use the plugs less and less, and friends like you help enormously, thanks again.
       
    27. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Carol...Those two meds are not exactly "anti anxiety". The first is an anti-inflammatory and the second an anti-depressant. Ummmm, yeah the latter could help with anxiety as part of the "mood spectrum" but it's not really the main deal for it to hit anxiety square on I believe. Maybe talk to your doc about the anxiety specifically, as indeed that seem to be quite an issue from what you said in your prior post.
      Best, Zimichael
       
    28. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      The first is a beta blocker and the leaflet did say used for anxiety, yes i will go back to my doctor and have a chat with him as my anxiety is sometimes off the chart, thanks Carol.
       
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    29. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Carol...Either I am confused, or the drug name you gave is not spelled correctly, or your doc is telling you something goofy. But with a name like "prednisol" you can pretty much bet that it is a "prednisone" drug. Here is the link to it a drugs.com: http://www.drugs.com/mtm/prednisol.html

      Prednisolone is a steroid medicine. It prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation.

      As you can see if you look through the info, it has nothing implying it is a beta blocker.

      So as of yet, I don't see what drug, or leaflet, or doc advice was implying that any of the two meds you listed help directly with anxiety - except the 'mood aspect' of the citalopram. (Maybe something else you are taking???)

      Maybe you should clear it up with your doc?!

      Best, Zimichael
       
    30. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      My mistake Zimichael, i do apologise the medication is called Propranolol oops!!
       

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