From Darkness to Light, How I Recovered from Tinnitus & Hyperacusis

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by billie48, Jan 17, 2014.

    1. Pleasure_Paulie

      Pleasure_Paulie Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise or maybe... unicorns!
      This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. Thank you so much for writing all this. It is people like you that make our life possible. God Bless you mate, and thank you for giving back to our community. Words like these give us all strength.
       
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      I took longer than many recovering members as you can read about them in the success stories. I guess my prior history of anxiety and panic disorder plus PTSD prevented me from moving forward faster. My nerves caved in to T automatically most mornings when I woke up with loud T. The weakened and panic prone brain didn't give me a fair fighting chance as panic attacks set in without me even being fully awake and I had to reach for meds like Ativan and Prozac. I had pills of Ativan with me in my wallets all the time, wherever I went, as I almost had no control on panic attacks. Prozac helped moderate the reaction eventually and Ativan gave me the instant relief when needed. That was the state of mind I had back in the first 6 months or so. But positively, if a guy like me can recover and be positive about my future, don't count yourself short. Your good life will be back. Believe it. The body will heal itself slowly over time as it gets more used to the repeated stimulus of T sensation. But positivity will help the brain get to that stage faster.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Thank you for the kind words. I always said that if a person like me with anxiety and panic disorder and PTSD prior to T & H can habituate to T and live a good life again, have faith that you can too. Positivity will facilitate the process faster. Keep up the good faith that the end of the tunnel will be reached at some point. God bless.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Thank you for saying that. I am glad this story post can benefit you and others. The world is better place when people care about each other, even among strangers from all over the world. In that sense, the T support community is a light unto the world too if you take that positively. We are the world. We are the children. We are giving our time and care for each other, even during our time of suffering. How beautiful !!!
       
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    5. PollyClark
      English

      PollyClark Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      One week ago.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I suspect Beta Blockers and Xarelto
      Thank you . Joined group this evening.
      Your words have helped me a lot.
       
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    6. Diane62
      Blah

      Diane62 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Billie,
      Your post gives me hope. I'm new to T but not new to hearing problems. I lost the hearing in my left ear as a young child probably from mumps. In 2008 I had H with roaring in my ear. I had my hearing tested confirming H but no hearing loss. Initially I had to use ear plugs to block some of the external noise. Eventually it went away completely. Here I am 8 years later waking up from a ringing in my head like a distant fire alarm or cable car bells. I doesn't bother me much during the day but I cannot sleep at night. I am one of those people who need complete silence to sleep. Did you need to take medication for sleep? Last night I tried the white noise and even that was loud. It unbearably loud at night. Right now I am suffering from lack of sleep. I am hopeful reading the advice and success stories here.
       
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    7. newarrior

      newarrior Member

      Location:
      Bangkok
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concerts
      This is great ! I am almost 20 years in and I have been falling apart the last 5 years..Seeing Dr. Rohe soon
       
    8. Dominic1955
      Artistic

      Dominic1955 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Waverly, Pennsylvania
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/2/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic hearing loss
      @billie48 you are a great source of hope!
      Today it's been 4 months that I developed SSHL with severe T, I have been having days with minimal T! I had 4 days of almost no T but last 2?days T is loud and intrusive, is this comon with recovery ?
       
    9. KrissyXris
      Supportive

      KrissyXris Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Wow ! how I wish I could hug you right now ...thank u from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to go over your experience ...I so needed this tonight ! I'm in the early stages and struggling badly to cope ...but your story has given me hope ! Bless you @billie48
       
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    10. redleg103
      Inspired

      redleg103 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise?
      Totally agree with the Iraq veteran
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Thank you for your kind words. Hope that you are feeling better. You can PM me any time if needed and I will try my best to help and support you. Take good care. God bless.
       
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    12. muzi
      Alone

      muzi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      @bille48 how long did it take for you to reach the recovery stage? I am ryt where you were. chest pain and my heart feels like it will stop. I have seen a number of doctors and only to find that nothing is really wrong physically the issue is Anxiety and depression. I feel like giving up but I don't want to . I have a sister who needs me. I am teacher and very dedicated to my Job. my kids at school loves me and I feel bad because I am going through this hard road in my life .
       
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    13. kasjopejashe

      kasjopejashe Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acustic damage
      Thanx, it gives some hope.
       
    14. TinniTom
      No Mood

      TinniTom Member

      Location:
      Austria
      Tinnitus Since:
      1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      very loud disco night
      @billie48 Many, many thanks for this powerful, inspiring and helpful post and thank your very much for sharing your story with us. This was truly kind of a live safer for me! After living with severe tinnitus without any problems for about 20 years I felt into a deep hole a few months ago and I couldn't habituate again. I started focusing on it which makes T worse and then I also got hyperacusis. I thought I will never habituate again until I read your post which gave me the hope and confidence I needed. You are one of the heroes here on TinnitusTalk!

      Because there are so many people in the German forum which do not speak English I have translated it for them and posted it there. I hope this is OK for you?! I guess this will also help many other sufferers.

      All the best to you and all the other sufferers!
      TinniTom
       
    15. Candy

      Candy Member Benefactor Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unidentified
      Hi @TinniTom glad to hear you have habituated again, do you lead a normal life? Btw, would be great to hear any news from the German website, I know they're always very advanced and have one of the best healthcare systems.
       
    16. TinniTom
      No Mood

      TinniTom Member

      Location:
      Austria
      Tinnitus Since:
      1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      very loud disco night
      Hi @Candy ! Yes, I do live a normal life again. But this does not mean I do not have bad moments or bad days from time to time. I also can hear my very loud Tinnitus but I go on with things and try to live as I wouldn't have Tinnitus which allows me to forget T. I'm at the beginning phase of habituation and confident this will get better and the moments of forgetting T will become longer :)

      I'm sorry but I do not read the German Tinnitus research threads because I wont search for a Tinnitus cure. I think you can not habituate when searching for a cure and when you trying to do everything to quiet your Tinnitus. Of course this does not mean a cure will be found some day. And when this is the case be sure you will get this information, also on TinnitusTalk :)

      But I'm happy to help you with translations if there is anything you want read from a German website.

      All the best!
      TinniTom
       
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    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Hi muzi, my first year was a tough struggle requiring meds to help me survive. The second year was more stable but lots of setbacks but I persisted with my new approach of 'positivity', AAA attitude, and practicing 'finding joy amid the pain' as well as 'living life abundantly to bury T suffering (if any)', and the rest is history. The 3rd year, I began to tell the T bully to go to 'hell' instead of fearing it or bowing to its tyranny. It has lost out to my persistent effort and strategies. The time and frequency that the brain could fade out T got more and more. So finally at the 3rd year anniversary with my T journey, I wrote my success story. Hang in there. Don't rush yourself to get better. Focus on living and reclaiming your life, living abundantly regardless of T high or low and you will see improvement in due time. Take good care. God bless.
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Thank you for your kind words. I am glad to know that my story has helped you. Feel free to translate it to help others. My objective of writing the story has always been to help lift others from their suffering with T and having more people reading that in a different language will be great and hopefully some of them can feel better in their journey with T. God bless you and the German forum members.
       
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    19. RonnieCarzatto
      Cynical

      RonnieCarzatto Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 01 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mild head injury maybe... but who knows...
      Billie48 thank you for giving me hope. I'm an anxious person by nature and T hasn't helped. Your post has.
       
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    20. Tony Phylactou

      Tony Phylactou Member

      Location:
      Limassol
      Tinnitus Since:
      Low 20 years high sept 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cement factory noise lowT,then stress high T
      Thank you so much .This is bringing back hope to us.
       
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    21. Fabiola

      Fabiola Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      hi.. ive had tinntitus for the past 5 years now it was very bearable... until about a month ago.. its soooo high pitched uts beyond severe.. i dont go to concerts, shooting ranges, etc... and all of a sudden it just spiked..... i have no idea why?
      i have been under alot of emotional stress.. can stress be the culprit?

      my t is sooo unbearable it feels like i am going to die...
      ive gone to the ent and the hearing test even though w the severe t theres no hearing loss....
      is that a good or bad thing???
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Hi @Fabiola,

      There are many causes which can trigger or aggravate tinnitus, including but not limited to drug reaction or side-effects from ototoxic drugs, ear wax build-up, ear or Eustachian tube infection or ETD, ear drum injury, fluid build-up feeling pressured, TMJ, TTTS, high blood pressure or blood circulation problem, loud noise exposure, acoustic trauma/shock, head trauma & injury, neck injury or muscle problems, hearing loss, Meniere's, barotrauma from sudden change of air pressure such as flights, slapping of the ears, grief for the loss of loved ones, untreated sleep apnea, elevated stress, anxiety & panic disorder, etc.

      You mention emotional stress. Yes, definitely that one is on the list above and quite a frequent one to shoot T up to a new level. Hopefully you will find some ways to lessen the stress level. If you have no hearing loss, that is definitely a good thing. I have hearing loss in the high frequency and that may be the reason for my high pitch T. But hearing loss is not the only reason for high pitch T. Try to first do something to relax yourself such as going on vacation or do some leisure walk/exercise. Also try to mask the high pitch T so you won't be so anxious or fearful that will make T worse. T feeds on our negative emotions. So do your very best to stay calm and positive and let time help the body heal. If you can, try stay away from too much salt, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, MSG etc., and try to take some supplements such as Magnesium, Zinc, B12, NAC, etc. to see if they will help you. Take good care. God bless.
       
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    23. Fabiola

      Fabiola Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      Thank you so much Billie for your input :)
      I'm just confused as too why it went to a high pitch...
      I am doing my best to low my stress level so my body can heal... I just hope it goes down.. do you know if high pitch tinnitus always stays that high or if it goes down ?
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      @Fabiola
      One thing about tinnitus is that it is quite unpredictable and it can change tone or morph into different symptoms during the initial stage or when it go up another level. These are periods of instability that many of us are left scratching our heads as to why T does this and that and what can cause T to do this or that. We then tend to panic at every change that T goes through. That causes the brain to zoom in on T all the time, quite an unhealthy thing as this will cause us to pay too much attention to T, resulting in more intrusive tinnitus.

      Regarding high pitch T, many members do find their T tend to either fade back to baseline or that they eventually habituate to the new level. It is not something that will happen over night. You need to have patience with T. Play the smart game with it. It feeds on our negative emotions. So try your best to stay calm and stay positive. This will calm the nerves, which then in turn can help to tame T a bit. Hope I have answer your question. I don't have all the answers. Perhaps you can post your story and your questions on the main support forum where a much larger membership can read your post and hopefully share their insights.
       
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    25. andreus

      andreus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      withdrawal benzo
      Hello billie and others.
      I'm new on this forum and I'm French, so sorry if my pratice of english is not very good. I had first time a tinnitus after a music concert (Iggy Pop) 17 years ago and it almost vanished away after 3 monthes thanks of a therapist (energetician) or may be time. But in 2015, previous eyes problems (many flooaters) became worse and I had anxiety attacks during the night. So my stupid doctor gave me anxiolityques (Xanax) without telling me it should be taken with precaution and that it was a potential ototoxic medication. I slept so well with it. But after one year (may 2016), in my right ear, my tinnitus came back, following by Hyperacousia. I met many specialists for ears (some said they were specialists of tinnitus) and no one made a link with the medication. my T and H became worse because I went on with more anxiol. and I became so desesperate (suicide ideas) that I had to go two times (first time: 6 weeks; second time: 10 days this last summer and autumn) in psychiatric hospital; of course, doctors gave me more anxiol. with sleeping pills, antid and neurol. My wife discovered the link between my ears problems and all these medications and made me going out of the hospital in november 2016. I had stopped before neurol. and when I came back home, I quickly stopped sleeping pills and antid. (potentially ototoxic too) and I'm now in withdrawal of benzos (anxiol.). It's so hard, a nightmare; I am in the same situation as you were in the past. I can't work any more (I'm a teacher) and I stay in my room all day. The noise, high pitched is in my head and I can't bear any noise in the house or outside. But what is difficult in my situation is that tinnitus and H are worse every week because of the withdrawal cure. I'm completely desesperate, with suicidal ideas, even if my wife helps me. It's the firs timet I can read a story (yours) which gives me a bit of hope even if it's different (yours didn't became worse). Two weeks ago, I could eat in the kitchen with my children; now its impossible and if I go outside, I must wear ear plugs and an other protection ("casque de chantier"). I'm not living but surviving, hoping every morning I can reach the evening. I'm a very anxious character which doesn't help but this noise in the head is so terrific...
      andreus
       
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    26. Ambassador
      Cool

      Ambassador Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High frequency hearing loss and lifetime noise exposure
      Same thing happened to me and I believe it's a combination of stress which can disrupt sleep and over exposure to loud noise. I run a decibel app on my phone and you would be surprised how noisy the world we live in can be.

      I find the better I sleep the better the tinnitus is the following day.
       
    27. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      @billie48, I never replied in this thread and feel I need to. I have read your story many times in the past and everything you say is absolutely true, and it is something I have experienced myself first hand. Once we learn to stop fighting the noise, and accept it, the emotions that are directly responsible for making us feel anxious and depressed, back off.

      I've said this many times but some don't believe it, and assume we must have 'mild T' in order to overcome it. I think this instinct to fight it, or hold onto it, is what separates some from others. I think our personalities play a large role in this, and also louder T really is significantly harder to adjust to.

      I still believe, however, the many people who state they have loud T and have learned to live with it. This includes my own experience.

      Your story is an inspiration to all who read it.
       
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    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      @Ed209,
      Thank you Ed for the kind words. I am on vacation to the Orient right now and have not had access to Internet much so I miss some of the latest posts. I thank you for being such a great contributing member here helping a lot of people. I believe all of us have in some way contributed to helping struggling members, and have inspired others to soldier on with their tinnitus struggle. You are also an inspiration to me and I thank you for being so nice. Will connect with you and others more after my vacation here. I am enjoying life to the fullness regardless what T is doing as its tyranny over my life is over
       
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    29. shasta0863

      shasta0863 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2007
      Wow, great stuff guys.

      I've had tinnitus from one loud rave event since 18 (28 soon). The first 6 months was rough but I adapted, because it was mild. Fast-forward to 2 years ago, I awoke to a woodsaw outside my window which somehow in those 10-15 seconds of getting hit by it at probably 105db, combined with slamming the old loud windows I had in anger, did something to my already damaged ears to get worse, 4-5 days later when I awoke. Bad T (which is now reactive), hyperacusis and I still haven't adapted and it's been a struggle up and down from getting hit with noises or just random increases.

      I do not mask, or rarely do, which probably contributes to my anxiety, but I refuse to do so. I want natural sounds that are already around me to do it, so I'm not "consciously" masking, otherwise i feel like I lost. I sleep without anything as well.

      I do occasionally, and especially all last march, got to a point that 1) I didn't hear it as much during day and 2) The pitch was something I didn't have insane negative reaction to. Sadly, my ears have got worse again, from hours of vacuum cleaning with muffs on, swimming plugs pushing wax deep into my ear, or perhaps a haircell just died, I cannot tell. But I'm so intuned to what it sounds like, that the slightest change affects me.

      When you reach a good place, and you sit on your couch and watch t.v and it's not noticeable, whether because of the level AND/OR because of the pitch isn't bothersome, that is something amazing. How do you lose that, over and over, and continue forward? That is my problem. When the tone changes to higher pitch and you focus on it, get upset and can't stop that viscous cycle...I just don't know what to do myself.

      I start to question am I so damaged I can't go out anymore. I started in March going into starbucks without plugs and doing things without plugs if I was under say 90db with only occasional peaks of hitting 85-92. I start to wonder, do I have to stay home and be depressed again just to save my ears? Not go out. Do my ears just fluctuate and will for the end of time, or are they getting damaged. I can't come to terms of what is what, so I become negative and upset.

      It's a vicious thing I feel trapped about almost 2 years after another exposure made my original T worse. There seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. I don't even want silence, just a 20 or 30% reduction. Just a lower freq. tone that doesn't bother me. Just to sit on the couch with only the sound from a T.V and not consciously be hearing the Tinnitus because it's high pitch or acts more like a bell curve constantly with how the noise sounds, instead of a pure singular tone that doesn't change that makes it easier to fade in background and ignore.

      Just brutal this is, especially the extremely lack of medical research and care.
       
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    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Hi Anredus, I am just back from my vacation. Sorry I didn't have much time to go on Internet and replied to posts. I am no expert on medicines, especially on the use of drugs and on phasing them out. You seem to suffer from withdrawal symptoms when you suddenly stop using these drugs. My advise is that you need to phase the drugs out with the help of your doctors on a gradual basis. Perhaps you need to post the above on the main support forum where there are a much larger number of members who may be able to advise you on how to phase out Xanax and other drugs. Please also consult with counselors if you have strong suicidal thoughts. They are trained to support you and help you deal with crisis.

      I don't know if my H was much different from yours. It got better only after months and months of suffering from it. It didn't get well fast but after a year it subsided. Everybody's body chemistry is different so don't expect and compare with others on the time frame of recovery. Some will take longer than others. But overall, if you protect your ears from loud sounds but not the normal sounds, and if you give it enough time without extreme negative reaction to it, then it should improve over time. Be patient. You may be still suffering from withdrawal symptoms and so the body and your ears will take some time to settle down. Remember I suffered from anxiety and panic disorders plus PTSD for decades before the arrival of T & H. I didn't have the nerves nor mental strength to deal with all these at the same time. Yet I recovered after a few years. So don't lose heart and don't rush yourself as impatience will only add more stress and anxiety which can aggravate your T & H. Take good care. God bless.
       

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