Has anything worked other than time?

Discussion in 'Support' started by MattK, Mar 21, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      I've seens a few people here say that time is the best healer for tinnitus... is this because it gets easier to cope with or because it eases up?

      Has anyone here had any success with any treatments at all? I don't mean the success stories where your tinnitus just spontaneously goes away for some unknown reason. But has anyone actually taken something and it actually had an effect? So far, it seems like most stories I have read are dead ends.

      Have any of you seen the documentary, "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead"? If you haven't, the gist is that the guy in the documentary goes on a 60 day juice fast and has actually gotten control over an autoimmune disease (forgot what it was called) that the medical community deemed incurable. It made me wonder if it would work with tinnitus. I know it seems like a long shot, but what do we really have to lose at this point, right?
       
    2. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
    3. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I think that the answer to that question has to do with what you expect to happen over time. And moreover whether or not there are any effective ways to enhance, facilitate, or induce that process.

      I am not trying to talk in riddles here. The effect of time on tinnitus and on tinnitus-related distress is more complex than it appears at first blush.

      In my opinion, anyway.

      Stephen Nagler
       
    4. Magpie
      Sporty

      Magpie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/1999
      I've seens a few people here say that time is the best healer for tinnitus... is this because it gets easier to cope with or because it eases up?

      I think that the anecdotal reports overwhelmingly suggest that as time passes you become less stressed and anxious about your tinnitus. Habituation occurs over a period of time and often it occurs without intervention. Some treatments might speed up or assist the process but I feel most people will get to a place where tinnitus doesn't control their lives. And there is tinnitus and tinnitus. Sometimes it changes and becomes quieter and sometimes it doesn't.

      Has anyone here had any success with any treatments at all? I don't mean the success stories where your tinnitus just spontaneously goes away for some unknown reason. But has anyone actually taken something and it actually had an effect? So far, it seems like most stories I have read are dead ends.

      Unfortunately most so called treatments for tinnitus are snake oil. There are some that claim to help you habituate but it's a case of doing your homework and separating the chaff from the hay. If you want my recommendation it would be CBT but I feel it's hard to find somebody that works with tinnitus patients even though the principles are the same.
       
    5. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      Often when people get cured of their illness, they disappear from the internet forums where they have been searching for help. Probably happens with T as well.
       
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    6. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Some are snake oil and some are not.

      I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent and highly motivated fellow. I did my homework and got nowhere. So I turned to TRT ... and it literally saved my life.

      I am personally aware of three individuals who struggled mightily with severe tinnitus for more than 20 years before starting TRT that induced and facilitated their habituation within another 12-18 months.

      I am not suggesting that every tinnitus sufferer should straight off run out to a TRT center. But the idea that habituation is merely "a case of doing your homework and separating the chaff from the hay" is, in my opinion, over-simplifying the matter.

      DISCLAIMER: I am a medical doctor. I am a former TRT patient. I have taken five TRT courses. I have attended another eight tinnitus courses where TRT was not the focus. I used to run a tinnitus center where TRT was the treatment protocol of choice where indicated. And I have conducted a number of TRT seminars for audiologists and ENTs. So I am hardly unbiased when it comes to TRT.

      Stephen Nagler
       
    7. Mpt

      Mpt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Time is great... habituation would be wonderful.. but 12-18 months isn't a luxury I have right now- I just started a new job, and my family is depending on me; this has to work out-- we have savings but not enough to live on indefinitely while I get my tinnitus under control--- I feel very depressed that I will have this sound with me for the rest of my life, but it seems like a new job coupled with the ever present ringing is presenting me with a herculean task-- I'm a very strong-willed guy and before tinnitus I have never had any issues with stress or depression--- what I'm saying is in the past I never would have doubted my ability to do this job come hell or highwater, but the tinnitus has put doubts in my mind that if things get so bad, i might not be able to cope-- I have never had any doubts about my relationship with my wife either-- tinnitus seems like the first thing to come along that could tear us apart because right now I'm not the same person I was, and I can't be there for her in the sameway-- if anyone has any thoughts regarding my situation, how to cope, etc I would appreciate it greatly... I feel like I'm in a fight for my life right now
       
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    8. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      @Mpt -

      I doubt very much that you would leave your wife if she were the one who was suffering. Indeed, I suspect that this is a challenge that you would want to face with her, right? So why is it that you are focusing on the possibility that it might "tear us apart" - when in fact it might bring you closer together??!! My wife was with me every step of the way with my intrusive tinnitus - and years later I was with her every step of the way with her invasive breast cancer. Marriage is about the bad as well as the good. So don't sell your wife - or yourself - short.

      Stephen Nagler
       
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    9. Mpt

      Mpt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Thanks Dr. Nagler,

      I guess the thing that I have a hard time with and what scares me is that "we cannott decide to react differently to tinnitus" because as you later state: we have little concious control over what we think about tinnitus-- so its not a question of will, and that is what bothers me the most because if it was a question of will I know that I love my myself and my wife enough to soldier and will myself through almost anything I have to for our family and future together-- but tinnitus is different and it scares me-- I've never had any phsychological pain/ doubt before and I know I am depressed and that is probably making the situation worse--- sorry for rambling but I guess my question is what can I do now if I can't decide to react differently- I know you said you were basically disabled when you first got tinnitus-- I have to do something now or I risk losing my life as I know it- I feel like im in an impossible situation
       
    10. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      @Mpt -

      First of all, please remember that this is an Internet board wherein you will find a lot of folks with a lot of opinions. My way of looking at things is but one of many.

      Also, please try not to "berry-pick" comments. It is true that overcoming tinnitus it is not a question of will, but the other part of that observation is that it is very much a question of strategy. So in my opinion your job right now is to collect information and then go about selecting an initial strategy that is right for you.

      And, of course, if you have not been evaluated by an ENT, you should go about doing that just to rule out the very rare causes of tinnitus that might require medical attention.

      But you're not. It only feels that way!

      Stephen Nagler
       
    11. Mpt

      Mpt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      thanks Dr. Nagler-- your words have helped

      I've looked into it-- I have ordered the TRT book and I believe TRT is the way to go for me, but its just not a pill, and its not quick-- and in reality a lot of my life can fall apart further before I am able to habituate to where I'm functioning as an employee, husband, etc like I was before

      I guess the best I can do until that time is throw myself into work while I'm here and try to be engaged as possible with my family while at home-- while its not a cure, and while its hard to do -- its better than any alternative actions I can think of at this time- and its something I can do
       
    12. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      What approaches have you considered other than TRT? I would hate to think that you made such an important decision based solely upon what you have read on this board. Especially if you are basing it on my admittedly biased observations!

      Moreover, even if you do ultimately decide to go with TRT, finding a knowledgeable and experienced TRT clinician is the key - not what you might read in a book. There is no such thing as "self-TRT."

      There's something else you can do. In fact you can do it with your family.

      See:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/terrible-week.3966/#post-37670

      Stephen Nagler
       
    13. Mpt

      Mpt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      any suggestions for a TRT clinician in the Detroit area?
       
    14. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      Mpt,

      I can relate. When my tinnitus set in and I ended up nearly having a panic attack. And up until then, I never experience anxiety before. Like you, I have a family to take care of. I also had thoughts that my wife would leave me. I would go to work, barely functioning because I was thinking of my tinnitus the entire time, feeling anxious, not able to eat for days, and then when I got home, I'd go straight to bed and sulk. On the weekends, it was even worse. It was like I had nothing to look forward to, not even the weekends.

      I was like that for the first 2.5 weeks or so when my tinnitus set in. It wasn't really until I dedicated my time to my faith as a Christian. I began to really read Philippians, and Paul speaks of being content in any situation he is in, whether he was rich or poor, hungry or filled, or what not, because he can do all things through Christ. It made me realize that I can be content in my suffering.

      I don't mean to use this as an opportunity to "shove" my faith on to you, but I bring this up because I think it would be an injustice on my part if I didn't honestly tell you how I learned to cope with it. Perhaps you'll find something else. But for me, it's no longer the end of the world as long as I focus on my faith in Jesus. Don't get me wrong, it still bothers me, and I wish it would go away. And I have bad moments still, but they are a lot more manageable. It used to be that whenever I heard my tinnitus, I'd get depressed or anxious. I no longer feel that way, but instead it's just more of an annoyance than anything else.

      Another thing you may find encouraging: my dad was in the military and he got tinnitus from hearing loss and he told me that it drove him absolutely crazy for a long time (he didn't tell me how long). But now he says he doesn't even notice it unless he thinks about it. And my dad (retired now) was one of the hardest working men I knew, and I did not even know he had tinnitus until I got mine and was talking to him about it. So you can provide for your family. In fact, you can get to a point where you will be "normal" again, and unless you tell someone you have tinnitus, they won't even know it.

      Hang in there, you will get through this. I'm not a strong willed person, and if I can begin to be "ok" with this, then I know you will. Like Dr. Nagler said, you do need to see a doctor though just to rule out any rare cases that yours is caused by something serious. But who knows? You may even go to a doctor and be told, "Aha! You have an earwax build up, and that's the problem" or something like that.
       
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    15. Beth
      Inspired

      Beth Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      quite a while...
      Mpt, I think you can decide to think differently about your tinnitus. It will probably be the hardest thing you will ever do but you must understand that you do actually have a choice when it comes to your reaction to tinnitus. You can become aware of the sound, start thinking about how loud it is, how it will ruin your life and how it will end your relationship with your wife OR you can become aware of your tinnitus and think that even though it is loud and annoying, it is just the perfectly normal safe sounds of your brain/blood flow/audio system at work and you know that eventually as you stop reacting strongly to the sound, your brain will stop perceiving the noise as a threat and will start to filter it out. You say you have no concious control over what you think.....think of a lemon.......could you do that? You CAN decide what to think but you go into auto pilot and start thinking the worst and get into a cycle of despair.

      I really should not be here because I started treatment just over a week ago and after quite a few years of having tinnitus that I felt was getting worse and had knocked the quality of my life from excellent to just about surviving, I have had the best week ever and all I have done (after several hours of one to one councelling) is stop reacting in the usual habitual way to the sound. When I want to go into meltdown and cry, fight against it, feel sorry for myself and withdraw from life's usual activities, I stay very much 'in the moment' (so that I don't go into automatic pilot panic mode) evaluate the noise, (is it really a threat to my safety?) think of a reason that it my be particularly distressing at the time, ( I didn't sleep very well, someone upset me, I started thinking negatively about things, I had a virus so that always makes it worse etc) and then get on with things and let the sound go. At first you will find it difficult (understatement) not to react but bit by bit, increase the time you spend not reacting and understand that it is your reaction, NOTHING ELSE, that is the only thing that is keeping it going and when you get rid of the reaction, you will eventually get rid of the perception. Do not indulge in analysis, trying to work out why you got it, is it louder, will it ever go etc etc because that is just drawing your attention to it you're feeding it. Live life as if you don't have it and know that if you do have it, you do NOT need to suffer from it and you do not need to hear it.

      In case you're thinking mine can't be that bad.....it is. I've considered suicide several times, have taken drugs to try to help me cope (no longer) and have spent thousands of pounds over the years and wished not to wake up every night when I go to bed. I was hospitalized for severe and dangerous weight loss and had the usual experience of our totally useless NHS system telling me there's nothing can be done, learn to live with it. So outdated, cruel and WRONG. There may not be a pill to take for a cure but when the noises are the perfectly normal safe sounds of the electrical activity in the brain, muscle clicking, blood flow through the ears due to tension (neck is the first thing to tighten when stressed) how could there be a 'cure' for what is a normal occurrence?!! It is always your reaction that needs to change. I disagree very, very strongly with the people that say tinnitus must become 'your friend' (yes, there are people who are stupid enough to make that comment) but I do believe that in a way we have to accept it because it is us that is making the noise internally and we always have made those noises but for some reason or other we have become aware of them (usually stress, anxiety, illness, accident, divorce, bereavement etc) and so we have to accept (NOT like it) that it is us making the noise, it is not a threat to our security, our brain will eventually re-evaluate it as non threatening and we will beable to filter it out; ie not hear it, and when we do, it will not be distressing so will soon go from our awareness again.

      I wish you well; you will be OK. It can take time but the sooner you can think differently about it, the sooner you'll be on the way to it not being a problem anymore. Don 't look for a cure, look for a change in attitude. Start by deciding that however bad you feel, you will do the activity you'd planned to do and take it small steps at a time. Progress is not linear, you will feel as if you're going backwards somedays but that's the way it is for everyone because you've reacted so strongly to it for some time that your brain is trying to keep you aware of the sound for your own safety. It is this process you have to override to start to improve.

      Well, that's my thoughts on it anyway. So much for keeping off the internet sites!!. I'll be in trouble when I next see my councellor but I just can't help posting when I see posts like yours because I know how desperate and hopeless I have felt over the years and this site is so good. Remember that the vast majority of people do not get to the state you (and I) got to so we don't hear of them as they quickly habituate and get on with life so people on here tend to be people like me who had a very strong phobic response and end up with it dominating their life. Bear that in mind when you're searching the internet because it can give you a (very false) idea that everyone suffers and has it for a long time. Know that that is not true and over time you will be OK. :huganimation:
       
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    16. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Dr. Paula Schwartz in Minneapolis. You see her once in person for evaluation and initial counseling. And the rest can be handled long distance.

      http://www.tinnitusclinicminnesota.com/

      Stephen Nagler
       
    17. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      "Don 't look for a cure, look for a change in attitude"

      An excellent point and advice @Beth !
       
    18. Magpie
      Sporty

      Magpie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/1999
      "Don 't look for a cure, look for a change in attitude"

      Unfortunately it's not that simple and it's sorta like saying don't be sad be happy. Look at it this way overcoming tinnitus is like being on a train and it takes awhile to get to your destination. While you are on the train you can sit there and hope or pray your tinnitus is going to get better or you can work on fixing it yourself with any of the tools available. I'm still on the train and doubt I will ever get to my ultimate destination which is where I don't give a stuff about tinnitus but I'm not anxious, stressed or depressed about my tinnitus as I once was and it doesn't stop me from doing anything now so the glass is 3/4 full.
       
    19. Beth
      Inspired

      Beth Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      quite a while...
      I agree it's not simple which is why in my post I said, 'It will probably be the hardest thing you will ever do' but if the noise is part of us then what choice do we have other than to change our attitude if we can't change the noise? Looking for a cure will just keep people focused on it and they're missing their life while waiting for some magic to happen. Far better IMO to learn to deal with what you have by changing your attitude to it.....don't let it control your life but get back in the driving seat. It will be the hardest thing most people have ever had to do but surely worth it if the outcome is a more accepting, happier life, away from the constant battle. I'm the eternal pessimist, can't even find a glass never mind get one half full, yet I've managed to change my attitude (very slowly) over time and I was an emotional mess for years. I know if someone with my level of anxiety and emotional problems can do it then anyone can. I just want to give people hope because there is plenty.
       
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    20. Djurov

      Djurov Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2014
      im only 23 years old, and i cought my tinnitus after a cold.
      It started with a bubbly sound in my ear and then vanished... shortly after i had tinnitus

      At this time i also suffered from high blood pressure 180/85-75, it might have been stress.. I worked 10hours of crazy hard hard work, without food or rest and would then continue to push me even further when i came home! As i am dedicated about my health i went to the gym, even though i felt like S--- This might have been the reason my bloodpressure was high
      I did also use some preworkout supplements, wich eventuelly might have been to much for me at that time.

      Nevertheless it came after a cold...
      But i can decrease my tinnitus with moving my shoulders, neck and head! So i pray to god that this one day will resolve and that i once again can be free.
       
    21. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      That's a very high BP. You need to get that down. Stress probably plays a big role in this. High BP can cause T in itself, so there's a good chance your T will go down, when you get your BP down. What's your heart beat / pulse when resting?
       
    22. Bobo

      Bobo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
      Great points by MattK, Beth and Stephen Nagler. I've been dealing with T over the past 14 months. It's been extremely difficult and I need to just let it go. I'm 55 and have never been depressed or anxious until T started. I try to stay "normal" but is there a certain point where you seek professional help?
       
    23. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Hang in ther, Mpt. Excellent posts from Dr. Nagler, Mattk & Beth. There isn't much to add to their comments except my own experience. Dr. Nagler is a medical doctor and I respect his advice a lot. His writing 'A letter to a tinnitus sufferer' has been the guiding light to my recovery.

      A few years ago, I went through absolutely awful suffering from loud & ultra high pitched T, as well as severe hyperacusis. Having been someone who had suffered on and off anxiety/panic disorders for decades before T & H, my nerve just had no chance against T & H. They literally opened the flood gate of hell of relentless anxiety and panic attacks on auto mode, daily, even hourly.

      You take the awful sensations of my screaming T, plus piercingly hurtful hyperacusis and add on top of that the terrible symptoms of anxiety attacks for days and weeks and months. That was a hell of a life I went through. I had to survive each long dark days with meds, Ativan, Prozac, sleeping pills... Many time I went to sleep not wishing to wake up to repeat the torture cycle again and again.

      Often, the tired and stressed out mind, seeing no way out of this 'hell', would dangle the big 'S' word in front of me. I was scared, nervously wrecked, depressed, sleepless and every thought about the future sent a chill through my spine. I thought I could never, never recover from this. I was influenced by many distorted thoughts (called cognitive distortions in CBT). So I believed in these thoughts which suggests I never could recover from this.

      But never say never. I am now back to living an enjoyable, productive and abundant life. T still rings, but my brain has hardened to this same repeated stimulus and it now can ignore the ringing. It fades T out of consciousness most of the time during the day even though T blasts away as loud and as high pitched like before most morning. I don't give a dime to T. Its tyranny over me and my life is over.

      So Mpt, your reaction to T as a new sufferer is quite normal for most people. Being so new to T, you are going through the terrible 1st phase of T suffering. Your brain is under traumatic reaction to this alien T. It is under control of the limbic system. Every thing looks much worse than it is, making it hard to cope. But don't lose heart. You won't feel this way all the time. Listen to Dr. Nagler and others, and read all the success stories here. There I posted my success story which contains my approach towards my family and how I turned my family into a ray of light during the total darkness of T. Be patient and give your body enough time. Learn from the T veterans and copy success. Try to be positive about the future as much as you can. If an anxiety/panic prone person like me can recover given time and a good approach, have hope that you can too. All the best and God speeds your recovery.
       
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    24. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Yes. Absolutely. But the only person who knows where that "certain point" is ... is you!

      Stephen Nagler
       
    25. Jeff M.
      Cowabunga

      Jeff M. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      La Jolla, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct. 2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      As usual, I totally agree with Billie!! His experience mirrors mine almost identically!! (and probably many others here!). Take heart and have hope MattK & mpt!! I wish you relief soon!!!
       
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    26. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Oh guys. I love Billie's and Stephen's posts.
      I can tell I have no longer panic attacks, but much anxiety and frustration is still there.
      Started working again, but things seem 10x harder than before.
      I hope my body/brain also gets "hardened" to this intrusive sound. What I nice statement. :)
      Interestingly the later the day is the better I can live with my T.
      Maybe I become more relaxed in the evening when things for the day are done.
      I still don't know how to live with such a sound in my head forever.
      Hopefully one day I can write my success story.
       
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    27. Jeff M.
      Cowabunga

      Jeff M. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      La Jolla, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct. 2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      @Martin69 , you will and I look forward to reading your success story!! (y) It WILL happen!! My T started in Oct 2012 and it took to Jan 2014 to habituate. For some people it happens sooner, some longer, but it happens!!

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/habituate.3120/

      Stay strong and hang on!! :)
       
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    28. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      Hi Jeff.
      Thank you very much for your support.
      It is really difficult. My T onset was caused by stress. It is high pitched and seldomly goes down a little bit.
      It is such a loud hissing like an old TV or railway tracks when the train has passed.
      Biggest issue is anxiety and high tension. This makes me most stress when being at work or doing daily activities.
      Luckily I can sleep (by support of Remeron), but every day is a challenge.
      Really hope I will reach the point of habituation. Indeed difficult to imagine how to get used to such a sound.
      Thanks again and best regards,
      Martin
       
    29. LeQuack
      Scared

      LeQuack Member Benefactor

      Location:
      United States of Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2005
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bad luck and bad genes
      And once you have a spike, all the past habituation is useless, you have to start again. It's like torture, only it's forever.
       
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    30. Beth
      Inspired

      Beth Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      quite a while...
      For MOST people that have tinnitus it is NOT for ever. Most people habituate over time. Many do it by themselves. Many use TRT. Many have other therapies such as CBT, mindfulness, hypnotherapy and craniosacral therapy. It may be that the tinnitus remains the same but over time most people get to the point where it does not bother them at all. I think it's important to put it in perspective and understand that people use this site because they are the tiny minority that are having difficulty habituating for one reason or another. They may have depression, anxiety or emotonal problems that make it harder for them to come to terms with it or they may still be stuck at the stage of thinking nothing more than an absolute cure will do, but let's not give people the impression that most people will have it 'forever' because IMO that is not true.
       
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