Having Tinnitus as a Teenager — My Experiences

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by aoife, Aug 28, 2019.

    1. aoife

      aoife Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi,
      I’m 17 and I’ve had tinnitus for around 2 years now, and some threads on here have really comforted me in the hard times and have given me hope that some day my tinnitus will be cured so thanks for that :)
      Recently I’ve felt really inspired to write my own post to help other teenagers going through tinnitus and tell my story so here it goes!

      I was just about 15 when during the summer of 2017 I got tinnitus, and the thing that still upsets me the most now is that I have no idea how it started. I’m not a huge extrovert, I haven’t been to many discos or parties and I don’t listen to loud music so I had no clue how it started. I cried for days, hoping that when I woke up it would disappear but here I am two years later haha :)

      Those first few weeks were hard but in September of 2017 I felt confident enough that I could go to a teenage disco and my ears wouldn’t be affected. HUGE MISTAKE. That night I came home with ringing so loud I could barely hear the TV and I was so scared that it would be like that forever. Luckily, after somehow falling asleep I woke with the way quieter ringing I had before the disco and I knew that I could never risk going out again.
      The thought of that sucked as at the ages of 16 and 17 going out becomes such a huge thing in Ireland and I knew that I would never be able to happily experience something like that now or in the future in my 20s without worrying that I was damaging my ears. It still amazes me to think people go out to loud clubs without having to worry about their ears and come home and still be able to hear silence

      I never told anyone besides my family about my tinnitus because I was afraid of being laughed at or thought of as weird, which is ridiculous but even to this day none of my friends know and it’ll probably stay like that into the future because of that fear I can’t get over :(

      Anyways this year I got the opportunity to go to prom and of course all my friends
      wanted to go and for the first time in 2 years I decided to risk it again. I paid for the ticket and bought a dress so I knew there was no getting out of it. A few days before (Only a week ago now) I began to feel so nervous because I knew I could be making a huge mistake. I found earplugs at home and without thinking put them in my clutch ‘just in case’, thinking that I probably wouldn’t need them anyways as it was in a hotel and ‘the music wouldn’t be as loud’ as in a club. Huge mistake part 2!

      A few days ago I went to the prom. I got through dinner and pictures fine with the music playing at a bearable volume so I thought I would be fine, but then a band came in and within 2 minutes the music became so loud I honestly thought I was going to throw up with worry of damaging my ears. I knew that I was so lucky two years ago and that I wouldn’t have that same luck again as the music started at 10pm with the prom ending at 3am, which meant 5 hours of VERY loud music, and it was going on for way longer than the teenage disco. I pretended I felt sick (which wasn’t really a lie) and went to the bathroom and I suddenly remembered the earplugs. I put them in and covered them with my hair and my worries went away. I enjoyed the whole night without having to worry about my ears once and nobody saw my earplugs. They muted the music a lot but I was still able to hear my friends outside in the quieter open area which was perfect. I nearly cried of happiness when I came home and my ringing wasn’t any worse than the day before, and it’s been a few days now I feel fine :)

      This year is going to be the hardest year of my life so far, I have my final exams before college next June and this is the year of everyone going out to proper clubs, with my friends already deciding dates for us to go out, but I know as long as I have my earplugs I should fine :) Before, I thought wearing earplugs would look weird but really if it’s going to protect my ears who cares? I can still enjoy myself with earplugs the same way people without earplugs do! I still know my limits though, and if it becomes too much I will stop.

      On a positive note, tinnitus has made me realise so many things. Our ears are so important! People abuse them so much by going out every night and listening to loud music without giving a second thought to their ears and the long term effects it might have, even if they only have a slight ringing that night and it’s gone by next morning (which I’m very jealous about). I definitely think there should be talks in school for teenagers on their ears or somehow find a way for them to experience tinnitus for a day or two, to know what the rest of us are going through every day of our lives to give them a reality check, as I don’t think many people even know about tinnitus unless they have it, I hadn’t heard of it until I got it!

      Sorry if my post is too long, but this is the first time I’ve ever opened up to someone else besides my family about tinnitus and doing it on a website full of other people who experience what I have is comforting :) If there are any other teenagers on this website who have gone through similar experiences I would love to hear them!

      If you are going to take anything from this post, always have earplugs haha :)

      Thanks
       
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    2. Mila9828

      Mila9828 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accident/Screaming?
      Hey girl! Just wanted to tell you that I respect you a ton. I'm only a bit older than you (20 hehe), but hearing your experiences made me cry a bit. At your age I wanted to do everything; go to socials, prom, clubs, etc. I didn't have tinnitus at the time so I did. When I reflect back to those times, and thinking about how you're struggling with it at your age, it gives me strength to continue forward. I've only had tinnitus for about two months, and while I know that's still in the "possibility of going away frame", I have other issues such as balance problems and stuff from the acoustic shock I endured. I just want to give you all the support and remind you that there's still hope. I know it's been two years but my own dad has had it for 20 years and habituation is always possible. Please continue to try and live life as best as you can. :)
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      aoife

      aoife Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you so much! Your message really cheered me up and I may have cried too reading it haha! To know there’s someone else struggling like me is really comforting and I really hope everything goes well for you in the future and that you recover! :)
       
    4. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Thank goodness for bringing the earplugs to the prom! Hope this stays under control for you. Be sure to toss your headphones out, and be sure to avoid, or protect from any and all additional noise exposures (including everyday noise like the vacuum cleaner and lawn mower) as each one tends to have a worse effect over time, lasting longer, with louder T. For example, the other day I was outside doing some gardening that should have been quiet, and I had to put my earplugs in as my neighbor's gardening crew went to work multiple gas powered lawn tools.

      Also be aware that earplugs are definitely not fully protective against louder sounds, so don't get lulled into the situation of as long as you have earplugs you will be fine. There are plenty of stories around here of "Just one more rock concert" that ended in a T disaster of years of spikes, for example.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      aoife

      aoife Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for much for the advice! I haven’t used headphones since I got tinnitus 2 years ago and I definitely think that was the right choice! I also wear earplugs when hoovering so good to know I’m doing the right things :) Of course I will be very careful in the future and I know my first priority will always be my ears so I will take nights out and other possible loud events really seriously :)
       
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