Friend's Noise-Induced Tinnitus Went Away Completely After 2 Years

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Ehren M, Mar 21, 2021.

    1. Ehren M
      Nerdy

      Ehren M Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/24/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Despite a hunger for indicators that noise-induced tinnitus can go away, reading the stories on Tinnitus Talk describing how someone's friend's tinnitus went away has left me feeling a bit desperate.

      But now I have one of those stories to share, which I just heard from a musician friend of mine when I told him of my current struggle with tinnitus. I'm happy about this story because this friend of mine is not one to lie or exaggerate, and because ever since I've known him he has worn earplugs when we play music together -- suggesting to me that he is now careful to protect his ears because he knows the consequences that might occur if he does not.

      The story goes: a few years ago, he was jamming with a few friends and the drummer was very heavy-handed on the cymbals. His tinnitus arose after the jam, and lasted for about 2 years. He has now reportedly been free of tinnitus for a number of years. Apparently his tinnitus eventually became something that occurred sporadically until it finally went away completely.

      I'll just note that he tends to be very health-minded, eats plenty of fresh veggies, exercises regularly, meditates frequently, and keeps busy with things that he loves.

      Hopefully we are all so lucky to have this go away completely eventually.
       
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    2. Vassili
      Caffeine

      Vassili Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced
      Thank you for sharing your friend's story. Totally made my evening better. (y)
       
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    3. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      My noise induced tinnitus went away after 2 years as well. It definitely can happen.

      I am back here because I suffered some mild SNHL in my left ear and it came back but I am managing.
       
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    4. Matchbox

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      What did it sound like?

      Two years? Mine just sounds constantly the same day after day unless I take big bad meds.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ehren M
      Nerdy

      Ehren M Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/24/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      @Forever hopeful, I'm also curious to know what yours sounded like, what caused it, and whether it disappeared abruptly or gradually.

      Thanks for sharing your success, and I hope your current bout resolves more quickly this time.
       
    6. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      Mine changed a lot. It was bilateral and came on about two days after a very loud AC/DC concert. Knowing what I know now, I am horrified that I went to any concert without earplugs but particularly AC/DC. But I, like many others, was very uneducated about the potential damage I could be doing to my hearing. Believe me none of us wore earplugs to a concert.

      When I first noticed it, it sounded like a ring. You know, like a pure tone ring. Then as time went on it changed to the sound of a light saber in my ears. So I think it really vacillated between those two sounds. And I was a hot mess. I was so devastated. Particularly when I started researching tinnitus. But I was relieved to discover that I did not have any hearing loss. So I remained hopeful. I also went on an antidepressant to help me manage my anxiety, and I think that helped me cope a lot.

      In terms of timing, honestly, people have asked me this a lot and it’s a difficult one for me to answer. It’s not like I woke up one day and was like “oh my ears aren’t ringing anymore”. I feel like as time went on I just kind of got bored with trying to cover it up all the time. Sound machines, sound pillows etc. So I know I slowly stopped using the sound machine and stopped using the sound pillow. I don’t even think I made a conscious effort to do it. It just sort of evolved as I was bothered less and less by the tinnitus. And I was someone who carried a sound machine around with me at the office so that whatever room I was in I would have it. Overtime it just occurred to me that I didn’t hear it anymore.

      So I think I was tinnitus free for at least three years. Then this happened. You can imagine my devastation. Particularly since I got musicians earplugs and have been so careful with my ears since I first got tinnitus. I remember crying in my ENT‘s office saying I did everything right. How could this happen?

      I don’t have any expectation at all that my tinnitus will resolve because it is due to SNHL and it is not coming back.

      If yours is noise induced and you don’t have any hearing loss, I have lots of hope that it will resolve for you.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ehren M
      Nerdy

      Ehren M Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/24/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      @Forever hopeful, thank you so much for sharing your story. It's comforting to know the details and that you, like me, have had a hard time emotionally with tinnitus. I had a similar shift in tone to what you described (from pure tone to cranial light-saber battles). The tinnitus sounds remain reactive to surrounding sound, but perhaps a little less-so than when this started for me about 2 months ago. I've read a number of studies that suggest that tinnitus recovery is very possible even when it is associated with noticeable SNHL, for example:

      Characteristics and Spontaneous Recovery of Tinnitus Related to Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

      Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss; Prognostic Factors

      ...so it seems worth it to remain hopeful in your case. I will remain hopeful for you, at any rate.

      I hail from a family of musicians and avid concert-goers... we're from Detroit... we can't help it :) I can sympathize when you say that no-one seems to think about wearing earplugs at concerts. Well, at least now we can warn others and hopefully save them from this experience. But some days are really difficult, and it's so hard to keep my thoughts about tinnitus from spiraling out of control. Anecdotes like yours are effective medicine for me during the hardest days, so thank you again. I wish you well.
       
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    8. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      Thank you so much for sharing the article. I was not aware that there could be spontaneous tinnitus recovery with ISSNHL.

      Interestingly, I first experienced hearing loss the end of April, 2020. I was tipped off that something was wrong because I heard an echo in my left ear. Now I describe it as an echo but it’s probably more like a seashell echo / low roar. So I went to the ENT and I had a hearing test a week later. Of course, this is the middle of COVID-19 lockdown. Result of the audiogram was that one frequency decreased from around 10 dB to 30 dB. I had a short stint on steroids because my ENT is very conservative. I did not retest my hearing. But the tinnitus never went away. I got used to it and it didn’t bother me so much after several months of freaking out. And then just before Valentine’s Day, I heard more of a distinct pure tone ring in my ear and that was my tip off that something else was wrong. I was able to get in right away got a hearing test and the frequency at 30 dB was now down to 35 dB and another frequency had gone from 10 dB to 25 dB. I then got a much longer prescription for steroids. I retested and the frequency that had dropped to 25 dB was back up to 10 dB. But the one that’s actually in the mild loss range remained at 35 dB.

      I think the ring is a little quieter, but the roar is still there. I hate the ring thing. I hate, hate, hate the pure tone ring.

      What really gets me is that my hearing loss is soooo mild. My 2 ENTs and my Otologist said that for all intents and purposes, I have really, really good hearing in that ear still. However, for me, the slightest change in hearing and my tinnitus got worse. I am terrified for what the future will bring in terms tinnitus. One thing my ENT assured me of is that as I continue to age I will continue to lose hearing, as that is a normal part of aging and happens to pretty much everybody. So does that mean that I’m just going to end up with bilateral screaming loud tinnitus that just worsens year after year after year?

      I asked my otologist if there was any relationship between the level of hearing loss and how bad one’s tinnitus is.

      He said that there is no correlation between how you perform on your audiogram and how loud you experience your tinnitus to be. I’m not sure I believe him.
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ehren M
      Nerdy

      Ehren M Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/24/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      That consideration of whether the tinnitus gets louder as hearing naturally degrades is something I've thought about a fair bit lately. My stepfather told me he had bad tinnitus for about a year before it mellowed into a background noise he only notices in quiet places. Doesn't bother him now. And then I wonder about my father and grandfather, who were infantrymen in Vietnam and World War II, respectively, and both saw a lot of direct battle. I've read there was little to no consideration of hearing protection in either of those wars. Given that tinnitus is one of the primary combat-related disabilities, I can't believe that they didn't suffer from it and hearing loss, but they somehow found a way to continue living their lives fairly fearlessly (if maybe a bit recklessly).

      My ENT recently told me that she has seen information that makes her believe that our ear's hair cells can spring back from damage, but that it takes quite a long time. Hopefully some combination of that innate regeneration, and drugs like FX-322 or OTO-313/OTO-314 or some other technology emerges soon to give us all a break. With research on such therapeutics and support for that research on the rise, it seems like there is good reason to expect real solutions to these problems before too long.
       
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    10. Vassili
      Caffeine

      Vassili Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced
      I am at the same phase. First year was very hard. Now after 17 months tinnitus "mellowed into a background noise I only notice in quiet places" (c). I dream about a day when I can start sleeping without masking. Only with a clock would be good enough for me. I hope after 2 years I will reach that phase. For me it would be almost like being tinnitus free again. :rolleyes:
       
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Tinnitus should not be masked. By this I mean covered up by another sound so it can't be heard. If you do this it will make it harder for your brain to habituate to the tinnitus. At night place a sound machine by the bedside. Nature sounds are much better than a clicking clock and set the sound below the tinnitus so it's not drawing attention to itself. Once you get used to using sound enrichment you will be unaware that it is there. You should always use sound enrichment especially at night. If you stop using it there is a risk of the tinnitus becoming louder even after you habituate. Silent rooms are one of the worst things for anyone that has tinnitus especially when it is noise induced, as it allows the brain to increase its background activity and over time there is a risk of the tinnitus increasing.
       
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    12. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      My otologist started our appointment off by telling me that everybody who has hearing loss and tinnitus. I looked dead straight into his eyes and said surely that’s not true. My dad has occupational hearing loss of my mother has a hearing loss and neither one of them have tinnitus. He just grimaced at me.

      Thing about what your ENT said, I guess the critical question is when are hair cells just damaged versus death? Sensory neural hearing loss they can’t always just be dead because people regain hearing after the use of Prednisone for example. So I guess it’s an interesting question to ponder. I was told by a physician who is the tinnitus expert that we lose .5% of our hair cells every year we age. That of course would be cell death.

      I know there are many who have tinnitus and they do find a way to live full, happy lives and it doesn’t bother them even though they may experience it as being very loud and intrusive. My husband, for example, has bilateral tinnitus. Pure tone ring. He has had it since high school. He had it worse in college after multiple concussions playing football and lacrosse. He can hear it over everything including the TV. He normally doesn’t notice it at all and can be in a perfectly quiet room. He only notices it a lot more lately because of me.

      A friend of a friend of mine had a brain tumor removed. They knew that she was going to end up with violent tinnitus in one ear. They called it the suicide ring. They offered her Gabapentin after the surgery but she refused. She is like the most amazing person; she runs marathons and is raising three kids. Managing better than I did on my best day prior to tinnitus. And I have to wonder how people do that. What I’ve noticed from reading posts on this site is that most people who come here and tell their stories acknowledge challenges with anxiety in particular, separate and distinct from tinnitus. Perhaps there’s a true neurological correlation between having generalized anxiety and related conditions like OCD and those who don’t in terms of how people experience tinnitus and cope. I know that when my anxiety is under better control, I am in a much better place to manage my tinnitus.
       
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    13. Vassili
      Caffeine

      Vassili Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced
      No, no. I never cover up my tinnitus completely. I just give my brain a chance to focus on something else. I actually use sound enrichment just like you've written in your post. I like how over time the volume of my tinnitus went down and how the volume of my sound enrichment went down with it and I continue to lower the volume I think every 4-6 months. I also have a clock in my room but it does not bother me. It mixes good with my sound enrichment. I've actually reached a point when I can be in a silent room and don't have an unpleasant headache with increased tinnitus but still I'm not comfortable to do that yet. So yeah, I always have some noise in the background.
       
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    14. Momme

      Momme Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise?
      Can I safely use laptop or iPad to listen to natural sounds from YouTube?
       
    15. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      For most people with noise induced tinnitus, as mentioned on your avatar, listening to natural sounds on a laptop or iPad will be fine. However, you have not mentioned the reasons? If you intend to use these devices to play sound enrichment at night as mentioned in my post to Vassili, I do not recommend it. Instead use a table top sound machine and suggest buying the model S-650 from Oasis, although any brand of sound machine will suffice.

      Listening to music or natural sounds while using the laptop or iPad should be safe, providing the volume isn't too loud.
       
    16. twa
      Fine

      twa Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      I've read many stories of people improving with time, even in impossible situations. I'm doing everything I can to help the healing process by doing the AIP diet and protocol. I'm also taking vitamins and minerals. I think mild to moderate exercise is an undervalued component to healing from increasing blood flow to helping to eliminate free radicals in the system.

      Health and healing :)
      twa
       
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    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ehren M
      Nerdy

      Ehren M Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/24/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      That's wonderful it's fading for you. Man that makes me happy to hear, especially since both of our symptoms are noise-induced. I agree that having it fade to a point that it doesn't disrupt life would be about as good as it gets. Honestly, if tinnitus goes away I'll probably have some other concern fill my head in place of where there could be golden silence and peace. In an ideal world, I'd be a Zen monk and let myself experience true silence :p Hell, maybe that's what I'll do once I recover from this...
       
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    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ehren M
      Nerdy

      Ehren M Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/24/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      So, this post is equal parts (1) success-story-of-my-own, (2) recommendation-for-a-disgusting-smoothie, and (3) question for anyone here that might have recovered from their tinnitus:

      The ear fullness, mild hyperacusis, and muffled sensation that was occurring worst in my ear that has tinnitus the worst have gone away and stayed that way for the past month. This past week, I've had some relatively quiet days, though the tinnitus is always "there" if I look for it and more often than not I don't have to look for it to notice it.

      I made a Turmeric + Ginger smoothie after a spike two weeks ago and it really helped to bring the volume down. I began doing that every morning, and I now add black pepper, because why the hell not I guess... and truly this seems to be doing good things for my symptoms so far.

      Has anyone whose tinnitus has gone away also experienced these other symptoms subside prior to their tinnitus going away? Is this "a good sign"? Do you have a crystal ball from which you could please produce a favorable prognosis for me? @Bill Bauer I'm lookin' at you in particular because your "success story" posts have on numerous occasions kept me from letting despair get the better of me.

      Cheers~
       
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