Hello Everyone

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Michelle.E, Jan 5, 2015.

    1. Michelle.E

      Michelle.E Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi everyone,

      I am in grad school to be a librarian (I'm 24), so my life is every bit as quite as you might imagine. 4 weeks ago today I just went to a Christmas party and the horrible ringing has not gone away yet. These past few weeks have been so distressing. Noise drives me crazy, the sound of someone putting dishes away, or talking in a regular volume just sound so loud and make me cringe. Even after doing regular activities like going to the grocery store I find I have a plugged feeling in my ears and I fear it is just going to make things worse.

      I have been to several different doctors who have all just told me that it will go away and gave me a prescription for Ativan to help with the anxiety and sleeplessness - but I finally have an upcoming appointment with an ENT for an audiogram.

      I feel so distressed and helpless and have been isolating myself from everyone for the past several weeks, both because I am afraid of noise and because I just so damn depressed because of the ringing. I don't understand why my friends, who are routinely exposed to much greater noise than me were not impacted! And they have such a hard time understanding why I have been so distressed over some ringing (one told me to not say anything to anyone because I just sound like I am complaining over nothing).

      This past week I have been trying very hard to not focus on the ringing, hoping that diverting my attention will help things recover (before I would just sit at home all day and kept looking for the ringing noise, or placing my finger over my ear to look for the noise). Does anyone have any strategies to deal with the ringing that I could use? My partner has also had a difficult few weeks because I am so distressed and constantly depressed... It has been very challenging for our relationship... Has anyone dealt with this and found anything that helped?

      Also with my ENT appointment approaching, I want to be prepared with some good questions, or even treatment options that I can suggest if you have any insight. I know I packed a lot into this post but overall, I would also love to hear thoughts on anything I have described, and honestly.... I am really just hoping to hear that someone thinks it could go away.
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. attheedgeofscience
      No Mood

      attheedgeofscience Member Podcast Patron Mighty Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Resolved since 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (medication, head injury)
      Sounds as if you have developed hyperacusis (along with tinnitus).

      Based on what you describe, it sounds as if you suffered an acoustic trauma (= the x'mas party). Tinnitus which persists beyond 48 hours after noise exposure is a cause for concern. A same day visit with an ENT is recommended in those circumstances as there are one or two options which can be pursued during the early stages (the so-called window of opportunity).

      Since it is now four weeks ago, your ENT's objective will almost certainly be different from yours. Your focus is to get rid of the ringing; the ENT's (primary) focus is to ensure there is not a serious underlying cause behind your tinnitus (which there isn't, obviously). So in a sense, these types of ENT visits are often over before they even begun (which is why patients often leave somewhat disappointed). You will most likely receive a hearing evaluation, tympanometry test, and a visual inspection of your eardrum. Abnormalities may be found, but probably not.

      Depending on your location, you may wish to try to enroll in one of the current or future clinical trials (AM-101, OTO-311, AUT-63). If so, you should probably consider it before your visit and make sure that you get the necessary documentation from your ENT required for any of those trials (ie. the "right" diagnosis). So I would mention that specifically with the ENT.

      This is one of the mysteries of tinnitus/life. I don't know the answer, but perhaps some of us are more susceptible to injury due to childhood ear infections, other diseases, or head trauma. Some of us may have been born with slight congenital hearing loss that goes un-noticed. Or perhaps it is just bad luck. I don't know.

      For sleeping, Melatonin 6mg, ½-hour before bedtime is helpful and can be used long-term without the side-effects of real sleep aids.

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