Has Anyone Here Had Their Tinnitus Increase Then Habituate Again?

Discussion in 'Support' started by mick1987, Jan 3, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      This is the problem for me, had mild tinnitus for 14 months, felt bad at the start then forgot about it, recovered, was happy again. Now it has increased 3 months ago where it sounds louder and sharper I can't get over it changing so much, I keep dwelling on the fact that I had mild tinnitus for over a year and now it is worse, in time will I habituate to this new level and stop comparing how much better it was before October last year? I had all the milestones with my tinnitus first time round 3 months, 6 months, one year anniversary etc now I feel lost that it is not the tinnitus I used to know. I wish I had this new level of tinnitus from the start, so I wouldn't feel like this.
       
    2. EdnaLegume
      Cheeky

      EdnaLegume Member

      Location:
      Maryland
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/1999
      my ringing tinnitus started in Nov of 2011. I don't recall how long it took to habituate but eventually I quit noticing it completely. It would 'come round again' when I started drinking caffeine (which exacerbates my anxiety) but would go back to being unnoticed once again when things settled. Recently, however, my anxiety levels have gone off the charts, taking my T volume with it. I decided I have far more things to worry about than a "noise in my head" and simply put my mind to not caring about the T. Every day I tell myself over and over "it's just a noise"; "it can't hurt me"; " it's no different than the other daily noises I hear over and over"; "it's just the sounds of my brain working properly"... etc. I continually tell myself things that make T 'no big deal'.

      It's been roughly 4 weeks now and I'm finally getting to a point where I really am not bothered by the T. Of course there are moments when the sound is all I think about and my anxiety starts to get the better of me. In cases like that I will try masking, although I prefer not to mask, I feel masking delays habituation. On the other hand, the anxiety is worse so a little masking comes in handy. I've also opted to wear my earbuds with white noise (violet actually) playing low in loud places, like the grocery store. If nothing else so I won't further worry about the loud noises causing more damage. I believe my T is caused by TMJ/anxiety and not hearing loss or damage but no sense adding fuel to the fire.

      One other thing I do daily is spend time in a quiet room, doing something. Like folding laundry, or reading, etc. Not for long, 10-15 minutes tops, but just long enough so that I'm forced to live with the noise and accept it. For me, this takes away the shock value of T when I am in a quiet place so that it isn't constantly thrown into the forefront of my mind. I prefer to do this rather than constantly worry with avoiding quiet places.

      I also affectionately refer to my T as my own little crowd continually applauding and cheering my awesomeness.

      I've also had pulsitile tinnitus since 1999. That was pure torture initially but I got through it. Oddly I find some slight comfort in it now, as it is the beat of my heart. Easy way to make sure I'm still alive.
       
    3. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks Edna, I guess if I got used to it once I will again. I don't mask either, I believe I should hear it all the time so my brain can get used to it, when I had mild tinnitus I would avoid quiet rooms all day so I wouldn't hear it, forget about it then freak out when I went to bed, from then on I trained myself to sit in quiet rooms all the time and it worked. Now it is louder I still do the same, including bed time, at the start of this increase I couldn't sit in a quiet room it was to overwhelming, now I can sit in quiet places and I'm reasonably fine, I just hate that it is so different to my tinnitus before, a lot more annoying, hopefully I will keep improving little by little.
       
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    4. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Mick...Yes, it seems like most of us habituate. However it depends on how loud it finally gets to be perhaps. I have had three major jumps up if I don't count the original start when I was a kid. These later three have bothered me a great deal and changed my way of life...at first.

      In 1980 I was helping demolish an old barn and came out of it with very much louder tinnitus that did not go away. I went through the whole anxiety freak out, but I was still pretty young (30) and had support. I've got pictures of me digging in the fields of our little 'back-to-the-land' farm (quiet out there) in the Missouri Ozarks, with big red earmuffs on! If I hit a rock - of which there were plenty - it would hurt and the ringing would spike. So it was pretty bad.
      However, by the lat 80's I was in the thick of a very, very high profile lifestyle with major parties, corporate schmoozing and all. I was OK with the tinnitus by then BUT did protect if was around very loud sound or driving a tractor, etc.

      In 2006 I got the worst though...Tinnitus AND hyperacusis c/o antibiotics. THAT was a whole new ball game and I thought I would never get my life back as even had to wear earplugs in my quiet Volvo driving on the freeway! It was really insane. (Ha ha...I was sort of insane. A mess, as I had given up almost everything and become a hermit).

      But guess what, even though it seemed impossible (and I was 62 for Pete's sake!) I was dancing "Gangnam Style" in our local College modern dance show in November 2012. Somehow it had all calmed down enough to allow me to once again travel, and do some of the things I loved most...But the young dancers were great. They really protected me and made sure they didn't shout in the Green Room, and so on. When the audience clapped I just stuck my fingers in my ears! I didn't care - hard to dance with plugs in!. So yes, I got the best parts of my life back.

      Then lost it again a few weeks later, as got a third ramp up in volume that I did not even know was happening! (Read my post on volume x exposure time x meds/drugs). I was on a very low dose anti-fungal at the time as had a mild recurrence of gut issues from way back, and am sure I would have got away with those sound levels if not on the drug, even if at super low dose. Sigh!!!

      So, now I have to start all over again. But it's gets harder as you get older...so a lot of people on this site have youth on their side. It works wonders. Hang in there!

      best, Zimichael
       
    5. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Thanks Michael, you have certainly had a lot to put up with tinnitus wise in your life, it must get really trying for the constant setbacks all these years. When I got tinnitus from extreme fire alarm exposure I thought it would take the same sort of very loud noise to increase it, it would stay the same if I didn't act recklessly around loud noise, but no all it took was a car hood slamming shut to increase it, I have to habituate to this new level all over again. I think it will be impossible to forget about tinnitus and live a normal life if it increases every couple of years, I thought once you habituate once you would be okay but I realise you only habituate to the level you have at the time.
       
    6. Smoogle
      Wishful

      Smoogle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Is it odd that I seem to have exactly the opposite problem, Mick?

      I almost can't stand not being in a quiet environment. My T actually doesn't sound too terrible in quiet (assuming it's not spiking). But it feels like a chore for me to even sit through a TV show, since my T will ramp up over it, and actually seems to get louder around moderate noise.

      If my T's pitch/intensity ever dropped to the point where I could mask it with anything but a shower/faucet consistently, I think I wouldn't hesistate to mask the pants off of it... before my "incident", the sound of my own footsteps were usually enough to mask my T the first several hours of the day. Major difference for me now. :oops:
       
    7. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Sorry to hear that smoogle, it is very odd that your tinnitus ramps up over noise, reactive tinnitus maybe? I know for example if I go the bed my tinnitus starts out loud, then a few minutes in the quiet it does mellow slightly, hopefully like you said before, it lowered once maybe it will again? I myself since new years day have been getting alcohol withdrawal and my tinnitus tone seems sharper, higher pitched, most likely due to my hyperactive brain rebounding to the depressant affect of alcohol. I think this month is going to be rubbish.
       
    8. Smoogle
      Wishful

      Smoogle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Yeah, my T has always been reactive to some degree (I could always hear it barely squeezing past my computer fan, and even before it would blend in with the TV maybe 50% of the time), but it's just gone out the wazoo recently.

      Keep up the good fight going sober, buddy. I'm sure your T will return to baseline once you've bit the bullet with it. Who knows, you might even find it lower afterwards. :LOL:
       
    9. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      *(Hey thanks Smoogle for the comment on vari-wacky tinnitus stories - Yeah I have lots more of all stripes. If I get into one of my non sleep modes I may well pass at least some of my time, doing a series!).

      Mick...This tinnitus stuff is a real pain, for as you can see it fiddles and faddles all over the place with numerous people getting different reactions to sound. I have both of what you seem to have and Smoogle's ability to generate more of the darn ringing if around sound that is 'constant' for any/some length of time. Now, what I mean by that, is sound that is a bit too loud and/or lasts a bit too long, or is "harsh" in some way (that I don't even realize often until too late). Lots of ambiguity in there, but I think you know what I mean.
      Hey, all I have to do is see a Dodge Ram in a parking lot and I'm on high alert. Those things starting up near me will for sure give me a tinnitus jab/spike...I hate those vehicles. They are so "thakka-thakka" loud even after they have fried me with the starter.
      Basically though I have to protect from loud or prolonged sound no matter what the source, as yes, it seems once I got the hyperacusis add-on app. the days of just having 'ringing' but being OK around most sound levels went out the window. I guess it is a lifelong thing now for sure...for me anyhow. Thank God I had a good run though, as I'm nearer the finish line than the starting line...Ha ha.
      Incidentally, the "Big Silence" of the high Sierra's actually seems to 'absorb' a lot of my tinnitus. That famous "ringing silence" that John Muir or some poet that talked about. Also the only time I don't hear my ringing above all other sound is by a waterfall or running the bath. So yeah, I have a CD with crickets and water in a stream playing at night on repeat. But it's not a necessity for sleep, just comforting as it does not mask it or it would have to be too loud.

      Here I go, writing too much again...Anyway, hope this helps. Just protect and adapt and not over-protect. I guess???!!!

      best, Zimichael
       
    10. mick1987
      No Mood

      mick1987 Member

      Location:
      UK (England)
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      That's all we can do Michael, what other choice have we got? I tell you something though, I don't want to live my life around tinnitus, of course protect my ears from loud environments, but I can't stop unexpected loud noises happening, I know there are going to be many many loud noise exposures in the future, I'm only 26!. I don't want tinnitus to causeme to have a sheltered life, scared of noise, what soft of life would that be? To hell with tinnitus, iI have to let tinnitus do it's thing while I do mine.

      Thanks for your encouragement smoogle, again why let tinnitus drive me to the drink, wrecking my health etc, it would be nice if it did lower if I stay off the booze but I am pretty certain alcohol doesn't affect the level at all.
       
    11. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Location:
      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      Yes I habituated then it got worse. Im having a hell of a time getting used to this round. The anxiety is a bit much. I keep trying to stay off the lorazapam yet some nights Im just suffering. I went a whole month without daytime benzo.
      Now im battling. Is it good to battle or take the med?
       
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      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    12. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      I take 1 mg a day of lorazapam and have been tapering down from 2 mg for 8 months. I say just take it if it helps but try to ween down VERY slow.
       
    13. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      We've had a few people who had habituated then got louder/developed new tones, and had to habituate again. So, no fear, it is possible!! One member just did this recently, her name is @ampumpkin. Try PMing her. Her tinnitus got much louder after antibiotic usage. And, she noted, that loudness increase remained. But she still habituated anyway! For her, it took about as long to habituate the second time as it did the first. But, I believe, that was only six months. I think you need at least that long, maybe up to eighteen months or a two years.

      As hard as this is, it's critical that you remain optimistic. Being optimistic is so important for habituation. Too often we get so caught up in the volume (myself included) that we focus on our tinnitus. And this focus makes habituation very difficult.

      Here are some of her posts to cheer you. She was in pain, but is no more! :)

      You can find more under her profile under her posts. But I'd PM her. She's very nice! :)

      Are you masking? Masking is so important for all tinnitus sufferers. I noticed you wanted to do TRT, but it was too costly. I understand. But did you know you can get the TRT maskers for about $1K at Walmart (or Costco?). (There is a phone number on the site you can call for sales information.) Maybe you can use the maskers along with CBT therapy, which you can do yourself. I'm doing daily mediation on www.headspace.com. And I wear in-ear maskers when I'm very loud. It takes the edge off. Below is the link to TRT in-ear maskers.

      Go down to the end of the page. They have three different models. I think they start at $1K, but I'd probably go with the Tranquil II, for they appear more customizable. But the Tranquil I would still work and they are the "go to" maskers for audiologist doing TRT. (I believe.)

      I'd definitely try these for your tinnitus. And, if you like CBT, a good book is

      And you could try to meditate. It really does help and is a lot easier if you go to headspace.com, where they start you off with just 10 minutes a day. (The first week is free then it's very cheap to join.) Personally, I'd hit my tinnitus with all three: 1) in-ear maskers, 2) CBT, and 3) meditation.

      About benzos, they do help a lot of people. But getting off of them is the problem. SoulStation has good advice about tapering off very slowly. A fast taper will increase your tinnitus.

      Instead of benzos, I took 3 mg, melatonin, nightly to sleep. You need to buy the sustained release version or else you'll wake up in a few hours after they've worn off. I now only have to take 300 mcg. But that's after a few years. If you do take melatonin, talk to people about combing it with other drugs. You need to be cautious with melatonin and anti depressants, for example. I imagine taking them with benzos could be problematic. But, again, you need to talk to people who've done this and, of course, discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist.

      And make sure you have soothing masking sounds when you sleep. I use water sounds. I like the app Relax Melodies very much. I use waterfalls. When I first got tinnitus, I used the thunderstorm and wind sounds. But, whatever you use, make sure it just covers you noise and is relaxing.


      They have several versions, but I like the original one. I play it from my smartphone, but I plug it into my Bose speaker for a nice sound.

      I wish you the best, but I know you'll get better. :) You will habituate again. Your brain knows how to do it. You just need to give it some help learning how to ignore you noise again.

      take care,

      jazz
       
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    14. ampumpkin
      Amused

      ampumpkin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 12/2007 Increase: 04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2007: Meds(Antidepressant) 2014: Meds(Antibiotics)
      thank you for tagging me @jazz :)

      @ruben ruiz don't hesitate to contact me and tell me your story !!
       
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