I am a 49 year old male who has had a very low volume tinnitus for at least 4 years, but it was never too bothersome. However, last month I noticed that the volume of the ringing had increased in both ears. Thinking (hoping) it was due to excess cerumen in my ear canals, I went to an ENT, confirmed that there was excess, and had them both cleaned. The next day, the excess ringing had all but subsided. I was happy. But then the following day, the excess ringing returned along with hyperacusis. Hyperacusis is not something I had experienced before. I contacted my ENT again and told him about this and also mentioned that I heard clicking in my ears when I swallowed. Maybe I had clogged Eustachian tubes? His advice was to get a hearing test done by an audiologist, which I did. The results were depressing. I'm not sure how long this has been the case, but the test revealed that in the higher frequencies, my hearing is challenged at normal decibels. At the lowest end of the test, through and slightly above the speaking frequencies, I am fine. But after my ENT saw the test results, he said it reflected hearing affected by loud noises. What I'm struggling with now, maybe even more so than the increased volume of the tinnitus and hyperacusis, is the fact that I may have unwittingly done this to myself by listening to music in my car too loudly. Or maybe I ignored the side effects of playing the music too loudly. I'm sharing this story because I am having a difficult time coming to grasp with what I may have done to myself. Have I damaged my own hearing? Now leaving less room for loss as the years go by? Maybe this can be a learning experience for others too.