Hello from New Member

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by torrid, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. Watch Hazel share good news about tinnitus
    1. torrid

      torrid Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 28, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I was sitting on the couch watching TV on Wednesday, March 28 when I started getting ringing in my ears. I haven't had a good night of sleep ever since. I'm probably going to remember that date the rest of my life.

      My allergies were pretty bad at the time, so I assumed it was something related to that. I also had pressure and movement/fluid in my ears. I was also under a lot of stress at work. I saw my primary care provider and my allergist, but they could offer no solution other than antihistamines.

      Desperate, I made an appointment with the first ENT I could find. The audiologist gave me a hearing test and said my hearing was fine. When the doctor found out I had nasal polyps, he became real interested in those even though he said they weren't the cause. I had to steer him back to the main reason I came, the ringing in my ears. He flat out said there was nothing he could do.

      I got a referral from my allergist and saw a second ENT a few weeks later. Another hearing test, and the audiologist said my hearing "was great". However, the doctor said the tinnitus could still be due to age-related high frequency hearing loss (mine seems to drop off somewhere above 12kHz, don't know how typical that is for age 50). We even discussed me potentially having eustachian tube dysfunction, but still he said there was nothing he could do.

      When this started, I was in a panic. I was not sleeping at all, and I was desperately afraid that it would be permanent. I had difficulty concentrating at work. I was not eating enough and rapidly dropped 15 lbs. I even started developing a nervous twitch in my leg.

      Over a few weeks, I learned to get some sleep with white noise going. The ceiling fan seems to work best for me. Still I get maybe 3-4 hours of actual sleep, wake up, then maybe 1-2 hours of very light sleep. I don't particularly feel like doing any of the activities I did before this happened. I'm just in a cycle of eat, work, trying to sleep, then try to get through the next day.

      I've been seeing a therapist, and that has helped a little bit. Still, I'm now three months in and starting to realize this is probably permanent. That has sent me into a new funk. My doctor started me on anti-depressants, but we'll see how that goes.

      I still want to think this is only temporary with all the issues I am having - allergies, ear pressure, stress, etc. However, I am probably deluding myself. The audiologist may have said my hearing was "fine" or "great", but that may have been in the context of not needing a hearing aid. The reality that this is probably here to stay is making it very hard for me to move forward.
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @torrid

      Please read the post below and click on the links at the bottom of the page afterwards.
      All the best

      New to tinnitus what to do?

      The onset of tinnitus can be difficult for a lot of people to cope with. It comes in many forms and intensities and no two people experience it the same. 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 also be caused by an underlying medical problem, build up of ear wax (cerumen). Jaw problems. Some medications and even irregular blood flow through the body causing Pulsatile tinnitus. One of the most common causes is exposure to loud noise or music that has been played at high levels that can affect the cochlea in the 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 noise. 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 nighttime 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 is 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 averse 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.

      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 Doctors 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 your ENT advises 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.

      I advise not to listen to audio through headphones even at low volume especially if the tinnitus was "noise induced" and keep away from loud sounds. By all means go out but anywhere that plays loud music then wearing noise-reducing earplugs, the type that has attenuation filters would be a good idea. 18 to 30 decibels reduction should suffice. While reducing external sound they will not impair sound quality.




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