Had It Since Last Wednesday

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Chandler Lewis, May 7, 2014.

    1. Chandler Lewis

      Chandler Lewis Member

      Dallas, TX
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hey there, my name is Chandler and I'm 19 years old. I started experiencing a mild ringing in my left ear on Wednesday, April 30th. The ringing started in my right ear as well 2 days later. It is very mild, so with some anxiety and stress control, I should be able to live with it very easily, but it has still been rough up to this point. I have yet to see an ENT, but I have an appointment scheduled for next Thursday (the earliest he could get me in).

      I do experience correlations to more than one of the possible underlying causes. I am an aspiring musician who tends to listen to and play music much too loudly in the spirit of experiencing it as much as possible. I am a big Kansas City Chiefs fan and as such travel to KC once a year to attend a game at the loudest stadium in the world, Arrowhead Stadium (reaches dBs of 130-140), and I do this without ear protection. This may have come back to bite me, and I will always wear ear protection from now on. The other possible causes that I have are stiff neck, grinding my teeth at night, and pretty substantial stress/anxiety problems. I have a very tight, stiff neck and back and I read that the neck can cause tinnitus, I also noticed that when I massage my neck the ringing sometimes subsides. I grind my teeth at night, and I know that this can cause jaw problems which could cause tinnitus. I also have a ton of social anxiety and generally a large amount of stress that I tend to close off and box in.

      I am hopeful that by treating these underlying causes, the tinnitus will be eliminated. However, if it is permanent, I am determined to not let it affect my quality of life in any way. I have a couple of questions regarding this:

      1. With proper ear protection, will I still be safe going to the cinema?

      2. With proper ear protection, will I still be safe making my yearly trip to Arrowhead Stadium? I have a huge sentimental connection to this place.

      3. What would you recommend as coping mechanisms for not only the ringing, but the stress/anxiety in relation to the ringing?

      4. Is tinnitus guaranteed to gradually worsen over the span of my life?

      Thank you for taking the time to read this intro, and as do with any challenge, I look forward to winning whatever battle lies ahead of me.
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Karen

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Chandler, and welcome! Glad you've joined us; this is a great group, and we all are very supportive of one another.

      To answer your questions.

      1. Yes, you will still be safe going to the cinema, as long as you remember to bring high-quality earplugs with you! I've found that the trailers are much louder, in most cases, than the main feature. Be sure to wear earplugs, and you will be fine.

      2. I think you will be safe going to the stadium, as long as you bring along high-quality earplugs. If the noise gets too loud, you can always walk outside for a few minutes, until the worst of the noise subsides.

      3. For coping, the best things I've found have been fairly simple: Distraction (doing what you would normally do, and what you love to do) is important. Get on with your life, and don't concentrate on the tinnitus. Also, exercise helps, and some sort of anti-anxiety medication or supplement can be helpful. I myself did not want to use anti-anxiety prescription meds, and I found that these supplements helped: Magnesium, holy basil, pharmaGABA, reishi mushrooms. Also, for sleep, you might try melatonin, SleepyTime tea, or chamomile tea. I've also used valerian root for sleep, on an occasional basis.

      4. No, for most of us, tinnitus does NOT worsen over the span of our lifetimes. I've had tinnitus myself for over 20 years, and mine only worsened because of a blood pressure drug. After that, it has not worsened, but stayed the same. I think most people would say the same thing.

      We're glad you joined us, and I wish you a calm evening!

      Best wishes,
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    3. citigirl13

      citigirl13 Member

      North Yorkshire, England
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hiya. Sorry to hear that you have T. Thankfully it sounds like it is quite low and you could cope with. By reading your story it sounds like that it could be something to do with your neck since when you massage it sometimes it goes away. Perhaps try to deal with that e.g. get massages, do yoga, try to relax your muscles. I am no expert so I would talk to your GP or preferably an ENT.

      In regards to your questions:

      1. Yes, provided you wear earplugs you should be fine going to the cinema.

      2. Again, yes I think so, though this sounds like a loud event so PLEASE make sure you wear the correct protection. Do some research to get the best earplugs.

      3. Tinnitus (T) is as much a mental ailment as a physical one. There is a chance it could disappear, but what I would do is:

      a) Make sure you get enough sleep. This might mean you have to use sounds at night to mask the noise, or distract yourself e.g. while trying to sleep try to count the number of characters in a television series; or even tablets if needed. Sleep helps our body recover, so if there is a physical problem getting enough sleep should help you recover faster.

      b) Try to distract yourself as much as possible e.g. see friends (though try to avoid loud places, and perhaps take plugs), buy some books if reading is your thing, visit family, watch some films. Basically go about life as you usually would.

      c) See an ENT to make sure your ears are fine physically. If you are concerned that you T could be caused by another reasons try to see a specialist to sort out your neck etc.

      d) Keep healthy. Exercise and eat well. This will help your body recover if there is a physical problem.

      4. Not necessarily. T is linked with hearing loss so as long as you protect your ears hopefully it shouldn't be a problem. For some people it gets worse, for some people it stays the same. There is a statistic that states that for 80% people T either gets better or subsides completely in the first year. It could get better. There was someone who had T for 16 years and it disappeared. You don't know. Just be sensible with your noise level. To be honest that might mean stopping some activities, such as going to clubs. You should be aware that plugs don't ALWAYS protect you. Unfortunately some people have learnt that the hard way. Just be smart and judge for yourself.

      Another piece of advice: even if your T does disappear (hopefully) I would still wear earplugs during loud events/cinema trips/concerts etc. For some people T goes away and then comes back because they haven't been smart. If it goes consider it as a warning. I know your T does not seemed to be caused by loud music etc, but even so, I would be safe.

      Good luck and let us know how you get on!
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    4. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      @citigirl13 Great post with great advice.

      Chandler, listen to these wise hands.
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