Getting Louder or Just Anxiety?

Discussion in 'Support' started by lanaturner21, Jan 15, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. lanaturner21

      lanaturner21 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      I've had T for almost 4 years. I'm only 19. My guess is I got it from listening to music too loudly with headphones. I always sleep with a fan on and honestly for a long time it hadn't bothered me much at all. I wouldn't think about it and really wouldn't hear it because I tried my best to avoid being in situations where everything was silent (I avoid loud environments too, but I tried to always have a soft background noise). But maybe 3 weeks ago I started noticing it again after my final exams in college. I made the mistake of letting it stress me out and now I'm back in that vicious cycle of always listening for it. I used to be able to lay on the couch without a fan on and not hear it and stuff but now I do. That soft high pitched buzzing noise. It seems to fill my head.
      My fear is it's gotten louder. But I can't actually tell if it's that or if I just made the mistake of focusing on it and letting it give me anxiety again because now it's on my mind almost 24/7. I know when you listen for it and get stressed out about it, it makes everything worse. What do you all think? I was habituated basically but all that progress is gone. Has it gotten louder or is it just my anxiety making me hyper-focused on it which makes it appear more intrusive even though it hasn't changed?
      My other fear is that because I'm so young it will only get worse and worse and I'll just have to live with it. Does it usually get worse or better? :(
       
    2. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      lanaturner21,
      It sounds like the exams triggered your tinnitus and now focusing on it again.

      You have done really well coping with tinnitus and I am sure you will habituate again soon.
      Try not so focus on your tinnitus and carry on using your fan or natural sounds .
      You can download natural sounds and also TT have some on the forums too.

      keep posting for support ,
      Lots of love glynis
       
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    3. daniel1111
      Shitfaced

      daniel1111 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced, repeated exposure with loud headphones.
      Hi Lana,

      How did you feel doing your exams? It sounds like a stressful time, and that can definitely spike tinnitus.

      It's hard to say if that's the case or of it's actually got louder. People do also get spikes now and then for a number of reasons, or unknown at times. I see a lot of people talking about temporary spikes and not many talking about permanent increases after so long.

      I hope it's just temporary for you. I don't know if you should go to see a doctor or ENT about it, I guess someone else will chime in on whether that seems necessary, but if it was me I would try to stay positive and believe that it's just a spike or that I would habiuate again.

      If there's anything that you like to do which can take your mind off of it even just a bit, now would be a good time. Keep the stress and anxiety away as much as you can and hopefully you'll be back to yourself soon.
       
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    4. Bart
      Balanced

      Bart Member

      Location:
      Antwerp
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/06/2014
      Hello Lana,

      I am in the same situation as you, I had habituated very well to my tinnitus to the point it was almost non-existent and did not bother me most of the time.

      But about 2 weeks ago it suddenly got more intrusive and louder after a couple of weeks of stress and anxiety combined with medication use, I often wonder if it is louder or if I just focus on it again like you said, it is hard to tell.

      I had a couple of good days since than but overall it seems louder, or the pitch has changed, something is different.

      My ENT has looked at my ears and did not see anything unusual and my audiogram has not changed so he thinks it is just a setback and will come back down again in time, I can only hope...
       
    5. AnxiousJon
      Magical

      AnxiousJon Member

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety, Insomnia, and a Fan at Night
      For many people with moderate tinnitus it comes and goes. Some don't have tinnitus at all, then for weeks at a time they will have it. Some people always have some tinnitus to some degree, but it gets worse(we call these "spikes"), (aparently)randomly, because of stress and anxiety, taking stimulants or medications that they react to, or loud noises. With loud noises or some medications, increase of tinnitus can be permanent. As I understand it, the random increases, and reactions to stimulants or stress tend to be temporary increases.
      Fans work for many people, but my condition (hyper-acusis and tinnitus which changed to myoclonus of the middle ear) was first caused by a fan. Fan's produce alot of harsh noise. I recommend music(without sub-woofer and quiet); I also recommend having a system which turns off some time after you fall alseep; I believe giving your ear a break is good(not crucial but I still recommend it). Lowering your anxiety and not obsessing will perhaps help your condition return to baseline, but it may take weeks, and there isn't anything obsessing acomplishes to lower your tinnitus anyway.
       
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    6. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Is that Trobalt related?
       
    7. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      From the reading I have done I'm fairly convinced that focusing on tinnitus can actually make it louder (as in, increased synchronous activity in the auditory cortex). How you deal with that is another issue; it's the old "don't think of an elephant!" problem.
       
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    8. Mand b

      Mand b Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/10
      Hi Iana firstly well done for managing your T for so long maybe you being so young helped and having so much to focus on. I am 27 and first had T around 2010 which was so mild I did not require any support because I still lived normally I basically hardly heard it. Anyway during and after pregnancy made me experience T that I never knew was possible, this went on mostly at an intrusive level for 18 months I did however have some quieter days and I don't know what happened but one day it just stopped for 2 whole years I had no problems I never heard it I could even sleep with no sound if I wanted. The only time I recall hearing it slightly is if I had a cold or when I went to audiology in those sound proof rooms but in general I never heard it ever in those 2 years. I went through so much anxiety in those 2 years unrelated to T and never once did it flare up, strange huh? I had panic attacks, feeling unwell, racing heart and some stress, all those symptoms you would expect to flare T up but it never. T is a random thing I don't understand it. I have been through worse things in those 2 years and nothing and now it decides to flare up. I am having a tough time with it. My only advice is to remain positive you have the tendancy to habituate so hopefully you will again. Theres no time limit but it can still happen. If you think of myself going 18 months until i finally got back to normal life then anything is possible. But to answer your question I believe a spike can last months yeh it can get quieter in those times but to get back to habituation stages it could take a little longer. Stay strong there has to be better days ahead again :) x
       
    9. Bart
      Balanced

      Bart Member

      Location:
      Antwerp
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/06/2014
      No Valeri, Trobalt was months ago, the medication I am talking about here are antibiotics (Doxycycline).

      But it is probably just a setback cause by stress/anxiety.
       
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    10. Anthony13
      Sleepy

      Anthony13 Member

      Location:
      West London, England
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Lana, you have mostly answered the questions in your post already, you just need some reassurance.

      In response to your last sentence...Why should your tinnitus get worse? You obviously look after your hearing now, and choose your environments carefully. So you will continue to become more resilient, and the tinnitus will fade away from you in due course. It becomes as big as we choose to make it!
      What makes it worse for us is our fear and continuous focus on it. You say it seems louder, well the T signal itself never changes, and in reality it is hardly audible. But when we show interest in any little change or nuance regarding our T, that's when we get into bother. The brain is aware of all this unhealthy interest in the T, and decides to tune in for a better listen, hence making the sound more prominent. What do you tend to do if you are searching through Radio stations, and the transmission is a bit unclear? You tune in until you can hear the station clearly. That is what the brain does when you show all this interest in your tinnitus.

      All the fear and tension is all linked through our central nervous system. And tinnitus feeds on fears and our anxieties.
      To all intents and purposes it does sound louder with the increased perception kicking in. But it will dampen down again for you.
      Try to let go, and be safe in the knowledge that it won't harm you. Once you start to let go, and treat your T with indifference, it will release its grip on you. That's the nature of it.
      Remember that it is probably just unresolved anxiety keeping you on edge. Look after yourself and keep smiling!
      Use this as a mantra. It works for me...


      AWARENESS IS THE AMPLIFIER
       
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    11. lanaturner21

      lanaturner21 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012

      Thank you so much. That was really helpful to hear as I'm still stressed out by it and allowing myself to get frustrated. I was doing so so well with it, but after my final exams it took hold of me again. I hadn't been exposed to any new and loud sounds so I'm assuming it's just my anxiety. I keep listening for it and plugging my ears and allowing it to consume my thoughts. I feel very sad all over again and frustrated to be stuck with this condition at such a young age, especially since I'm past the point of hope that it could ever go away. The only thing that keeps me somewhat sane is the idea that a cure is within the next 10 years or that my T has a cause that isn't damage that I'll soon find and remedy. For now, I'll settle with habituating back to the way I had. I used to be able to read in my room without the fan or any noise makers on and not hear it. I would love to have that again, but for now I am very scared and upset. :( Again, I really appreciate your response and sorry for my long one in return, just venting a little I suppose.
       
    12. lanaturner21

      lanaturner21 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012

      I think (I'm praying) that I allowed myself to hear it and be stressed out again. After exams, I didn't have as much to focus on because I got some down time. So I started listening for it and becoming upset by it which has amplified it. I appreciate your response and hopefully I will be able to go back to the way it has been for a long time now. When my mind is distracted I don't hear it really, so I think going back to school may be really good for me so I have other things to occupy my mind.
       
    13. lanaturner21

      lanaturner21 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      Thank you so much. That's awesome that you got to have two years of *near* silence! That makes me hopeful. I haven't taken any new medications or been exposed to new loud noises, in this case I think my focusing on it has made my perception of it worse. This has become a vicious cycle because the more I focus the louder it seems and the louder it seems the more stressed out I get (and so on). I wish you luck and hope that your T starts going down again soon. We've all got this :)
       
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    14. Mand b

      Mand b Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/10
      Iana just to add when I first had it come on bad during and after pregnancy I was obssessed by it I literally googled it all the time, went on forums it was all I focused on. I didn't even allow myself to go out and have fun ie cinema or meals in fear of making it worse and feeling terrible for it. But those thoughts must of made it worse and maybe thats why I suffered so long because I obssessed over it. I do try to maintain a normal life now not always socialising but even just getting out of bed or going to the shop is better than what I would do before by sitting in bed searching the net. So my advice is to try have other things to focus on and don't fall in the habit of thinking I will google it every day like I did. The forum is great for support but I found back then part of my recovery was to step back from the forum for a bit to allow my brain to not always focus on the word T. I am sadly falling back in to that trap but I know if/when I do habituate again I will have to do the same again because my personality type I tend to over think and read to much in to something so me keep coming on the forum I would never be able to forget T for a second lol. But thats just me x
       
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    15. Mand b

      Mand b Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/10
      But in these hard times I do fully believe in using the forums. I mean when you get to a good place maybe less reading about it. Just wanted to make sure I hadn't came across bad from my last post. I really hope yours settles to and mine also seems louder when I tune in to it. We will get there we have to keep going x
       

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