For All You Habituated Tinnitus Veterans

Discussion in 'Support' started by Sailboardman, Jan 18, 2015.

    1. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      Here's some questions for all you habituated veterans, that my help us newbies.

      1-Do you hear your tinnitus when in a quiet room or location? And does it bother you still, or do you have peace?

      2-Can you watch TV or listen to music without tinnitus intruding all the time?

      3-When you crossed the line from non-habituation to habituation, was it sudden or was it subtle? Or did you even notice the change?

      4-How long did it take to become habituated? Did your tinnitus just fade into the background and that was that?

      5-What % of your life, did you really get back?
       
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    2. Valery

      Valery Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/01/1990
      1. Can still notice tinnitus when it's totally quiet, but it doesn't give me the anxiety it once did.
      2. TV, radio, music no problem.
      3. Habituation was gradual. Tinnitus nearly drove me insane initially!
      4. Months. Though I don't think tinnitus fades, I think your attention to it fades.
      5. I would say that MOST (99%) of the time I don't notice tinnitus anymore, only when very quiet or I'm thinking about it (like now!). The biggest change in my life due to tinnitus is that I rarely have it totally quiet around me now. Have to have TV, radio or music playing, even softly, especially when I'm going to sleep. I miss being able to experience silence, but consider it a small price to pay for the relative peace I have now.

      I would just add that I do think stress and anxiety can make tinnitus worse. Habituation is really just accepting the fact that you have tinnitus and trying to move on. Try to keep your mind busy with other things as much as possible, to get it off of tinnitus. One day you will realize that you haven't noticed your tinnitus as much, and then it will start getting better.
       
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    3. Jesse Pinkman
      Badass

      Jesse Pinkman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Another question of interest I would add is: How bad, loud was your tinnitus before you habituated?
       
    4. Carlo
      Balanced

      Carlo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      Ok, I am not a veteran. Anyway:
      1- Yes. Doesn't bother me anymore.
      2- Yes. I prefer watch TV wearing headphones (at low volume, helped me a lot).
      3- Gradually. I stopped checking obsessively tinnitus.
      4- I'd say around 6-8 months.
      5- 99 %. 1% is related to being careful taking not ototoxic medicines, protecting ears in loud places.
       
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    5. Carlo
      Balanced

      Carlo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2013
      The same.
       
    6. RicoS
      Alienated

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      1-Do you hear your tinnitus when in a quiet room or location? And does it bother you still, or do you have peace?
      Still hear it... and I do not care anymore.

      2-Can you watch TV or listen to music without tinnitus intruding all the time?
      Yes no problem at all.

      3-When you crossed the line from non-habituation to habituation, was it sudden or was it subtle? Or did you even notice the change?
      It was sudden... just one day my brain said... enough of this and after that it got better and better.

      4-How long did it take to become habituated? Did your tinnitus just fade into the background and that was that?
      1.3 Years and still getting better.

      5-What % of your life, did you really get back?
      Not much at the moment still got an anxiety problem that stayed. I think it had build up with tinnitus and other issues. I'm working on that now, but tinnitus really does not bother me anymore.

      6-How bad, loud was your tinnitus before you habituated?

      Could hear it over everything and my ears hurt like hell. They felt full, dull, you name it... on the loudness scale it was 9/10... after a while I thought it became less , but now I know it did not... when I stick my fingers in my ears it's still the same noise, but when I do not do that I hardly hear it because my mind seems not to care about it anymore. One thing that helped me was stop putting my fingers in my ears and stop coming here to often and go on with everyday life. I stopped talking about it to everybody otherwise I could not forget it. Somebody asked here how long you do not think about your tinnitus. I do not think about it anymore... only when I visit this site , but other than that not much. I don't want to give it energy otherwise it will become louder. But this goes for all thing that disturb you, The more thought you give it the harder it is to forget it. Even my hyperacusis became less... I still have it though, but I do not think about it to much...when I cannot stand a sound I just do not care anymore and walk away from it but do not react as a caged monkey anymore.

      I did not became a happier person from all of it... but more of a realist. First I planned everything... now I live day by day... but I have a nice family that gives me energy so life ain't all that bad ;-)
       
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    7. MikeA
      Musical

      MikeA Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      1-Do you hear your tinnitus when in a quiet room or location? And does it bother you still, or do you have peace?
      Yes. Faucet masks, but I hear it now over a small floor heater with fan plus television. Not bothering me much these days. Probably contributes to a more stressful existence, but there are other thing in past and present which intrude into 'peace'.

      2-Can you watch TV or listen to music without tinnitus intruding all the time?
      I often don't think about tinnitus at these and other times. Sometimes it will intrude. When it does I acknowledge that I've noticed it, and then move on. Similar to suggestions on how to deal with distractions during meditation.

      3-When you crossed the line from non-habituation to habituation, was it sudden or was it subtle? Or did you even notice the change?
      Gradual over a period of several months after a spike up early last year. I'd guess sudden is rare.

      4-How long did it take to become habituated? Did your tinnitus just fade into the background and that was that?
      For 20 years rarely thought about it, except to put in earplugs. After an annoying several weeks early last year with insomnia, upset, etc, the loudness seemed to fade much and I readjusted. Took about 4-5 months to feel somewhat normal again (~7.5 hours sleep).

      5-What % of your life, did you really get back?
      As a percent, hard to say. Much more than I'd expected. Let's say a 'statistically significant' proportion w/ better sleep; ability to concentrate; lower anxiety; sense of perspective.

      6-How bad, loud was your tinnitus before you habituated?
      Prior to spike, a 1-2 on 1-10 scale. Following first onset many years ago it took several months to adjust. For recent spike it seemed like a 6-7, noticeable sitting right next to a loud whirling white noise maker. But that sound lasted only a few weeks as sleep improved and anxiety lessened.
       
    8. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      (Simulating RicoS' reply format above)

      1-Do you hear your tinnitus when in a quiet room or location? And does it bother you still, or do you have peace?
      Still hear it but it will be faded out of consciousness when I do something else like reading something. Yes, don't give a dime when I hear it though.

      2-Can you watch TV or listen to music without tinnitus intruding all the time?
      Yes no problem at all.

      3-When you crossed the line from non-habituation to habituation, was it sudden or was it subtle? Or did you even notice the change?
      It was gradual, with many setbacks and ups & downs. Any time I learn to use a new skill/approach or hit a light bulb in thinking, I made leaps in improvement, like learning acceptance, willing to peacefully co-exist with T, learning the approach of 'finding joy amid the pain', the need to focus & live the moment positively instead of the future, learning CBT concept of cognitive distortions and how to counter them, learning to apply the analogy with people working with loud jobs, learning mindfulness meditation, etc.

      4-How long did it take to become habituated? Did your tinnitus just fade into the background and that was that?

      2 Years+ and then tinnitus just faded into the background when I am not paying attention to tinnitus or be mentioned of tinnitus like being here. Support for me can bring tinnitus back to focus and I can hear it screaming and resonating in my whole head as I am typing. But I just don't care about it and it will fade out of consciousness once I am watching the NFL playoff games, LOL.

      5-What % of your life, did you really get back?

      99.9% or more, I can do anything I used to do and enjoy and tinnitus makes me treasure the joy of redoing those things more. I don't know if there is anything 100% with tinnitus, lol, but tinnitus makes me aware that bad things can hit you and cripple your life in a short time, so I do try to travel more since tinnitus (like Aaron) and treasure the time with family and love ones.

      6. How loud was your tinnitus before you habituated?
      It is an ultra high pitch dog whistle with such condensed energy like a laser beam in a night sky. It can cut through anything and it can still be heard above jet noise, river rapids etc recently. I won't say mine is the most severe form, but when I played a video matching my dog whistle tinnitus to my family, they all screamed instantly, cover their ears and ran away, LOL. This tinnitus (and hyperacusis too) used to overwhelm me and turn me into a mess but no longer. My brain is now hardened to this high pitch scream and it just won't react as if it is accepted as part of my being. Time, acceptance and positivity perhaps have rewired the neural path way somehow.
       
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    9. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      Sailboardman
      Good questions.

      I can hear my tinnitus over everything almost all the time; but that doesn't mean I pay attention to it. In fact, when I'm busy doing just about anything my tinnitus doesn't really register with me. When in a quiet room I can easily make the common error of paying attention to it; but even then it doesn't really bother me that much

      Yes, I can do anything I want and it no longer intrudes (and by 'intrude' I mean how it affects my focus, mood, etc.)

      Relatively sudden; in other words I had basically habituated but I didn't realize it until about a week or two had gone by.

      It took me most of a year to habituate -- no, tinnitus (at least my tinnitus) will never fade into the background; although I get quiet days (thank God)

      100% (with common sense adjustments); I do anything I want to, anytime I want to but I pay attention to my ears


      I gather (or derive) from your questions you are asking about the nature of habituation; it is simply the point you reach when you no longer react to your tinnitus. Once in that state, you can do pretty much anything you want to do (protecting your ears, of course) and tinnitus no longer affects your mood or steals your focus. For instance, I still run with ear buds on but not excessively loud, I play racquetball with ear plugs in, etc.

      Oddly enough, I habituated shortly after a really bad (long) spike. I guess I just got sick of reacting to it and, frankly, bored of the whole topic and I stopped reacting to it. It was not so much a choice (singularly), but a choice available to me at a certain time in the process -- and I chose to no longer react.

      Of course, the idea of tinnitus still bugs me (I'll never like it) but tinnitus is no longer the boss of me.

      Mark
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      Thanks mark. Yes I'm trying to habituate to my tinnitus. It's going on 9 months and I still have difficulties accepting it. It still controls me and not the other way around. I do understand it's a long process but want to get there faster, with knowledge from you veterans.

      Thanks for your response!

      Sailboardman
       
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    11. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
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    12. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I don't claim to be 100% habituated, but I call myself a definite veteran of this condition, haha.

      Of course I hear it if I think about it. When I'm doing well and am managing my stress/health, I don't actually think about it very much; I spend a lot of time sitting in very quiet rooms reading and working and stuff like that. I definitely have awareness of it float in and out of my consciousness, but on some level that's not very much different than being aware of hunger, or that my toes are slightly too cold, or any other homeostatic quirk.
      I watch a reasonable amount of TV and play video games; overall my awareness of my tinnitus will flit through my mind sometimes, but once again this is similar to any other distracting thought (again, barring times of severe anxiety/depression, which predate my tinnitus by a decade).
      I go through cycles of anxiety/sleep disruption/etc. When my mental health is overall impaired, then tinnitus is much more challenging than when I'm in a good state of mind. As before, I don't attribute that anxiety to tinnitus per se, as my history with challenging anxiety states is very long indeed.
      I would say that it fades in and out of my background awareness, again, based on how well I am managing my stress (and how much distress I'm in as a result of other, unrelated medical problems).
      That's sort of hard to put a number on. I don't go to industrial rock concerts, get staggeringly drunk or consume recreational stimulants harder than caffeine anymore, and that's all dumb stuff I did a a fair amount of in my teens/20s. Tinnitus was the thing that put a hard stop to a lot of that, but, some of it is also growing up.

      In terms of things that matter to me now, I'd say 80% or more. I don't really go to concerts anymore, but I go for hikes and go to work and hang out with my wife and friends and have lots of hobbies. I ride a motorcycle.
       
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    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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

      I have had tinnitus for 20 years and habituated to it twice. The first time I habituated my tinnitus reduced to a level that I rarely heard it. In 2008 my tinnitus increased to insurmountable levels that fluctuated in intensity from: silent, mild, moderate, severe and extremely severe. It took me 4 years to habituate for the 2nd time. For two of those years I was on a TRT programme. It was the 2nd time I had this treatment. It helped but wasn’t as successful as the first time I had it.

      When my tinnitus is silent it I am not bothered when in a silent room but still use sound enrichment, using a sound machine during the day and also at night. When my tinnitus is mild or moderate it doesn’t bother me when I’m in a silent room but prefer to use some sort of sound enrichment but making sure I can always hear my tinnitus above it. I can watch television without any problems when my tinnitus is mild, moderate. When it is severe it’s more difficult but in most cases possible. Habituation the first and second time happened gradually and I think for most people this is the case.

      My tinnitus from 2008 –2010 reached such very severe levels. At times I felt life wasn’t worth living. I asked my ENT consultant to be candid with me about my condition as I felt I wasn’t improving anymore with the TRT programme I was on but it had helped. She said I was the 2nd worst patient that she had treated in all her years of being an Audiovestibular physician. However, she said that she would never give up on treating me and stuck to her word. I had been prescribed clonazepam but was advised to only take it when my tinnitus was severe. I was also advised of its addictive nature.

      My tinnitus still fluctuates from: silent, mild, moderate and severe. It no longer reaches extreme severe levels that would last for many days. I take clonazepam only when necessary and can’t remember the last time I took it but have it here just in case. I feel I’ve got 100% of my life back because I can do everything that I want to.

      When my tinnitus is severe I can’t read a book but I remember a time I was unable to read for 2 years and felt miserable. Couldn’t go out and socialise so I’m thankful to be where I am at the moment. I look at what I am able do with my tinnitus and not at what I can’t. Tinnitus can be a very severe and debilitating condition there is no doubt about that. It took be 4 years to habituate the 2nd time but I never gave up and remained focused for I believed things would get better and they did.

      Michael
      You might find my recently post helpful: The habituation process : https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-habituation-process.20767/
       
    14. Frédéric

      Frédéric Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Marseille, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/19/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Associations between Traumatic Brain Injury and Tinnitus Severity among U.S. Military Veterans

      Background: Tinnitus, the sensation of ringing or buzzing in the ear, is the most prevalent disability among U.S. military Veterans. The impact of tinnitus on daily functioning can vary from mild to very severe. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is strongly associated with tinnitus. The objective of this work was to examine the association between TBI diagnosis and tinnitus severity in Veterans.

      Methods: A national sample of 1,800 Veterans diagnosed with tinnitus, stratified by age and TBI diagnosis (yes/no), received a multimodal (mail/internet) survey. Tinnitus severity (none/mild, moderate, severe, very severe) was measured using the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI), a validated measure. We used inverse probability weights to account for sample stratification in analyses. We examined differences in tinnitus severity by TBI status.

      Results: A total of 891 surveys were completed. A larger proportion of Veterans with a TBI diagnosis, compared to Veterans without a TBI diagnosis, reported very severe tinnitus (34.1%; 95%CI: 32.1-36.0 and 17.8%; 95%CI: 15.8-19.7, respectively). However, a slightly smaller proportion of Veterans with a TBI diagnosis, compared to without a TBI diagnosis, reported severe tinnitus (26.9%; 95%CI: 25.0-28.7 and 29.5%; 95%CI: 27.2-31.9).

      Conclusion: These findings suggest that Veterans with TBI may experience more severe tinnitus or be more negatively impacted by tinnitus in their daily lives than those without TBI. The VA healthcare system has the potential to integrate tinnitus management services into the care received by Veterans with TBI.

      Source: https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/publichealthpdx/2020/Posters/12/
       
    15. PhoenixAcademy

      PhoenixAcademy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise?
      1-Do you hear your tinnitus when in a quiet room or location? And does it bother you still, or do you have peace?

      Most of the time, but on rare occasions, no.

      2-Can you watch TV or listen to music without tinnitus intruding all the time?

      Sometimes.

      3-When you crossed the line from non-habituation to habituation, was it sudden or was it subtle? Or did you even notice the change?

      I'd consider myself 'habituated' I that means I can mostly live my life and use my faculty of thought to be productive while experiencing periods of happiness.

      4-How long did it take to become habituated? Did your tinnitus just fade into the background and that was that?

      About a year, but my tinnitus also started becoming less intrusive and has quite down.

      5-What % of your life, did you really get back?

      80-85%... ?
       
    16. mrbrightside614

      mrbrightside614 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      NE Ohio, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I hate to hijack this, but do any of you veterans still need medication to get to sleep? How is your overall sleep quality now? How many hours would you say you average.

      I’m with you @Sailboardman. 9 months and still suffering horribly, probably because there is less hope for me now in terms of it going away.
       
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