Firecracker Pop Started My Journey with Tinnitus and Hyperacusis

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by 10Kcd, Sep 17, 2022.

    1. 10Kcd

      10Kcd Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hi all, I've been getting a ton of support by reading threads on this site for the past three of months, and have finally taken the plunge and set up an account to introduce myself.

      An acoustic trauma - specifically, a close range firecracker pop to my left ear while in Spain this summer - started my journey with tinnitus and hyperacusis. From constant screeching in my ear to running water that sounded like amplified breaking glass to robotic voices everywhere, those early days thrust me into the depths of despair, confusion and suicidal ideation that so many of you know well.

      The primary purpose of my trip to Spain was to walk a weeklong piece of the Camino de Santiago with an old friend. I started that walk just a few days after my acoustic trauma, and while I would not recommend suffering through the combination of auditory/psychological distress and the physical rigor of 20-30 km days on the Camino, it did provide a unique level of crisis that allowed me to step into some ego shedding and spiritual opening.

      After my time on the Camino, I returned to the US, though rather than going straight home, I spent several more weeks traveling to visit friends and family. Throughout my travels, I received a lot of emotional support, and was also able to see an audiologist, who basically told me that my hearing was still pretty good - not exactly a comfort, since I was still feeling quite catastrophic about my condition, but one less thing to worry about.

      I have since returned home and resumed my regular work and family life. Somehow, amazingly, I'm just living. Over the past three months, it's clear that I'm on a path of healing, even though my tinnitus continues to be constant and intrusive (especially the spikes that are caused by auditory input). I'm not sure it's fair to continue to say that I suffer from hyperacusis - it's mild enough that I've begun referring to it as sound sensitivity. I'm grateful for the positive improvements, even though I would definitely like all of my auditory issues to go away.

      Grieving the loss of silence, holding the uncertainty about whether I'll ever return to beloved activities like singing in a band or taking long runs while listening to podcasts through earbuds, and managing my "half empty" habit of mind when the tinnitus is loud are some of my new everyday struggles.

      My intention for being in this community is simply to give and receive support. I'm also interested in what others have tried on their paths through the challenges of living with tinnitus and hyperacusis. Personally, I've experimented with mindfulness practices, basic TRT practices, white noise generators, supplements, antidepressants and the Safe & Sound protocol. Speaking only for myself, I have a suspicion that time and natural healing are probably as powerful as anything else I've tried. Nevertheless, I am constantly asking what more I can do.

      As I sign off on this introduction, I want to thank all of you from whom I've derived support over these past three months. I've appreciated the super-positive voices, the nerdy-specific descriptions, and the stories of horror and woe - all of them have helped me feel less alone, and I hope that I can return the favor in the future!
       
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    2. Joe Cuber
      Curious

      Joe Cuber Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      California, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      Hey there @10Kcd, it sounds like you tried a good many things on your path to healing. I like how you prioritized seeing your friends and family before getting back to your regular living.

      I agree, time and natural healing can be solid remedies for some. I suspect they're helping me too. I've tried a lot on your list... antidepressants, supplements, noise generators (I prefer nature sounds like crickets and rain), and I've taken a long group course in CBT/DBT. Another thing I've focused on is good sleep hygiene, meditation, healthy diet, and lots of exercise. Oh and hearing aids because I have hearing loss.

      I'm not familiar with the Safe and Sound protocol, I'll have to look that up.

      I'm happy to swap notes on what we've tried, feel free to hit me up. There's also a lot to learn from everyone here, which I see you already have. Cheers.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      10Kcd

      10Kcd Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Thanks for the response, @Joe Cuber.

      I see you've also had a relatively recent tinnitus onset - it's nice to know the new-ish club members, even though none of us want to be in the club!

      Safe & Sound works with ANS & Limbic trauma responses. It's basically a series of music listening sessions at super-low volumes, and something about the way it's engineered and panned talks to your brain in a way that promotes healing. That's my best layperson's description.

      I had a connection that was able to help me bypass the high price tag, otherwise I probably wouldn't have tried it. For your case, it might help with the "huge amount of stress" but maybe not so much with your gradual hearing loss.
       
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    4. Joe Cuber
      Curious

      Joe Cuber Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      California, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      @10Kcd - Yup, we're a club of begrudging members. Thanks for the info about Safe & Sound. I went down a bit of a rabbit hole watching videos about it.

      Polyvagal theory is interesting. I'll continue to learn about it.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      10Kcd

      10Kcd Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Yes @Joe Cuber - the rabbit holes that might have healing at the bottom are so tempting!

      BTW I forgot to mention that I noticed a small and temporary reduction in my sound sensitivity after my first 5-day course of Safe & Sound. It was mildly encouraging even though it didn't persist, and the friend who put me onto the protocol recommended that I try again in a month. I wouldn't describe it as any sort of miracle, but it's a relatively simple and relaxing way to maybe heal a bit.
       
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    6. Joe Cuber
      Curious

      Joe Cuber Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      California, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      Every bit counts @10Kcd :) One thing that's been working for me sometimes is laying on my bad ear. For some reason, my tinnitus dies down for the day sometimes when I do that for about 30 minutes. Not sure why it does that and why it doesn't work more often :p
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      10Kcd

      10Kcd Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Thanks, @Joe Cuber - my tinnitus seems to do the opposite when I lie down on my bad ear, or at least I perceive it more acutely. But then, for that reason, I haven't given it much time...

      Seems like something worth trying of these nights.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      10Kcd

      10Kcd Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hi all,

      I'm three months out from an acoustic trauma to my left ear. Initially, I had debilitating hyperacusis and screeching tinnitus, but thankfully, the sensitivity has reduced quite a bit, and the ringing, while having increased in frequency (10 to 14 kHz), has generally decreased in volume (when I'm not in a lot of noise).

      The most disconcerting symptom right now is what I would describe as a "rattling" sound in my left ear when I am in certain acoustic settings. For example, the rattling happens when I'm outside and there is wind blowing past my ear, or when I sing or hum at certain frequencies - particularly if I have my ear plugged. It doesn't hurt - I just really don't like it.

      I'm wondering whether bone conduction might be a factor here, or whether it's related to cochlear damage/high frequency hearing loss (I've only had my hearing tested up to 8 Hz, and it's mostly ok)... or perhaps it's something else I'm not thinking of.

      Has anyone else experienced this type of rattling sensation, particularly as a symptom of acoustic trauma?

      If so, have you been able to treat it, and/or has it just gone away after a while?

      Thanks in advance for any insight or advice you have to offer!
       
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