Hello Everyone...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Brendan H, Nov 6, 2016.

    1. Brendan H
      No Mood

      Brendan H Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      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.
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Ambassador

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Brendan H
      Many things can cause tinitus. However, with it is accompanied with hyperaucis and there is no underlining medical problems causing the tinnitus, loud noise is usually the cause. Please read the post below and click on the link at the bottom of the page for more advice.
      Best of luck

      New to tinnitus and what to do

      The onset of loud intrusive tinnitus can be very traumatic for most people. I use the words loud and intrusive, because tinnitus comes in many forms and intensities. When it is mild, moderate or occasionally heard in quiet surroundings it is usually not too bothersome and a person can go about their daily affairs quite happily and unperturbed by this anomaly. This type of tinnitus usually comes on gradually and in some cases it’s associated with hearing loss, as we get older and the usual treatment is the wearing of hearing aid/s.

      Tinnitus can be caused by other things: an underlining medical problem, build up of ear wax (cerumen). Jaw problems. Some medications and even irregular blood flow through the body causing Pulsatile tinnitus. There are a plethora of other conditions that can be responsible. However, the most common cause is exposure to loud noise or music that has been played at high levels causing some damage to the cochlear in the inner ear.

      This type of tinnitus can be loud, intrusive and very debilitating. Often leaving a person at a loss and not knowing which way to turn to escape the nightmare that has suddenly come upon them. Your Dr has probably told you, it’s tinnitus and nothing can be done, you’ll just have to learn to live with it. I remember those words as if it were yesterday resonating through my mind and thinking, live with this for the rest of my life, impossible. So I fully understand how difficult it can be for someone new to this condition to take this in and believe it to be factual.

      If you are having difficulty sleeping you might have been advised to try a night time sedation or an ant-depressant to help cope with the stress and anxiety that often accompanies tinnitus. These medications can be helpful especially in the early stages and they don’t have to be taken long term, so it’s something to consider. They can act as a safety net so you don’t become too down.

      A referral to ENT will usually be recommended. In the mean time try to keep occupied with something you like doing, as it helps to distract the brain from focusing on the tinnitus. Avoiding quiet rooms during the day by playing low level non intrusive music such as classical in the background can be helpful.

      At night a sound machine placed by the bedside playing nature sounds or listening to favourite mp3 tracks or Cds are good. Keeping the volume just below the tinnitus is ideal and set to play throughout the night until morning. It takes time to get used to sound therapy so please stay with it. Whilst in a deep sleep it supplies the brain and auditory system with sound enrichment. Over time the tinnitus is pushed further into the background helping to make its perception less noticeable during waking hours.

      In the early stages of tinnitus, if one chooses not to use sound enrichment sleeping can sometimes be difficult and there’s also the chance of the tinnitus becoming more intrusive as sleeping in a quiet room can allow the brain to increase it’s own background activity. In doing so it will also increase the tinnitus making it more intrusive during waking hours.

      There is a tendency for newbies to try and cure their tinnitus which is quite understandable. There are many remedies, treatments and concoctions out there. Some affordable others quite expensive. I am not adverse to trying to help myself but want to say, there are charlatans and con artists eager to relieve someone in distress of their money so please be careful. Even tried and tested treatments I wouldn’t recommend a person try until they have been seen at ENT. Often a person after been seen at ENT is advised to wait a while.

      The reason being. Many people habituate to tinnitus within six months sometimes a little longer and it has been known to go away. The ear is a very delicate organ and many Drs prefer to wait before investigating further and then suggesting a treatment. If other problems are experienced such as: pain in the ears, deafness, dizziness or balance problems this is of more concern and a person will usually been seen quicker.

      It is best to have a word with your GP if you’re feeling stressed or depressed in any way, as previously mentioned there are treatments available. Leaving things alone until ENT advise you of the next step is the best thing to do in my opinion. Don’t try to fix anything or throw large sums of money at treatments that you have no way of knowing whether you’ll get any relief.

      It is not advisable to listen to audio through headphones even at low volume and keep away from loud sounds. By all means go out but anywhere that plays loud music then wear noise reducing earplugs.
      Take things slowly and one day at a time. Read some of the positivity threads and ask other members for advice. Many people eventually habituate to their tinnitus and go on to lead a happy and fulfilling life even though it may take a little time.

      • Winner Winner x 1
    3. Brendan H
      No Mood

      Brendan H Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Thanks for the information, Michael. I may be in denial, but I'm going to forge on in trying to get off of high blood pressure medications I take, alleviate my TMJ that has worsened over the last month, cut back on the insane pace at work, and protect my ears from any loud noises in hopes that it will at least return to the volume where it was only a month ago. I may be being overly optimistic when I recall that the increase in volume happened right around the time I heard a very loud crack in my jaw when I yawned one day and during peak stress levels at work and that's contributing to it. Not sure. I fear though that due to the accompanying hyperacusis it is indeed my own doing in listening to loud music, although not to a point where it hurt, but at a volume great enough to have caught up with me. If so, that's a tough one that I'm going to need to deal with.
    4. MikeL1972

      MikeL1972 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi Brendan:

      Welcome to the site!

      You may want to consider going to an oral surgeon to see what they have to say. At the very least, they can offer you an x-ray.
    5. Brendan H
      No Mood

      Brendan H Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Thanks, Mike. That's a good idea. I visited my dentist and he wants me to wear a night guard for 2 weeks to see if there's any improvement in the TMJ. If not, we were going to try a different design. However, he said he's heard of TMJ causing or exasperating tinnitus, but has never seen it.

      I should have noted in my intro that the diagnosis of hyperacusis is a self diagnosis. I've read that sensitivity to sounds that accompany tinnitus isn't necessarily hyperacusis. I shouldn't be diagnosing myself...

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