Hello, My Name Is Sarah — and I Have Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Purple Parrot, Jan 5, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      Hello all,

      I've been lurking on this board for a few weeks. I've read some kooky stuff, some terrifying stuff, some stuff that's been very informative and likely some misinformation to boot. I thought it was time I signed up and introduced myself.

      My name is Sarah and I'm 27 years old. I've had ringing ears (noticeably) for about the last month. Since tinnitus has arrived in my consciousness, things have been rather hellish (to say the least).

      By way of background to the tinnitus: I'd been extremely stressed over the last couple of months with various life stressors. And then - in the midst of this stress, I read something in a medical transcript I had requested (concerning myself) about a condition called otosclerosis (it transpires that this condition had been incorrectly noted down by a previous doctor - I don't have otosclerosis). At the time though (before I realised I didn't have this condition) I panicked and decided to look into symptoms - tinnitus being one of them. I listened. That's when I first noticed the ringing in my ears. After that, I couldn't un-notice the ringing and I got myself into a giant spiral of anxiety and despair about it!

      I Googled "tinnitus" to read about it. There was no known cure for it (according to the internet). I became so panicked and so desperate that later that night, I wound up in an emergency department of our local hospital. I checked myself in, as I didn't feel that I could safely be by myself - that's how bad things were in my mind. I've suffered from claustrophobia for most of my life and not being able to get away from this ringing noise made me feel like I was trapped.

      Tinnitus really did and does play into all of my worst and most horrifying fears. While sitting in the emergency department, I really felt like there was no way to go on. After about 5 hours of waiting, I saw a medical doctor and he gave me some tablets of lorazepam (aka Atvian). I took one and checked out. I've found that taking half a tablet of lorazepam calmed me down immensely, and just knowing I had these on hand to help me when I was panicking & desperate has been a real help in the last few weeks.

      In recent times, the extreme panic I was experiencing has subsided (mostly), but I am still suffering from high levels of anxiety and a fair bit of depression too. Just wishing desperately that it would go away and yearning for days of silence - wondering what I did to bring this on. The noise is omnipresent. I've found it difficult to sleep, even with "masking" sounds - I can still hear the constant ringing & it bothers me immensely. But when I compare my situation to those first few days, I guess there has been some improvement. I've heard about and read about habituation and that gives me hope that maybe things will keep improving. Still, this is tough - one of the toughest things I've been through.

      I don't know if there is any one cause for my tinnitus, or if there are several. I don't know if it came on recently (as I mentioned, I've been extremely stressed out and have a history of anxiety/depression), or whether I've had it a while and only just noticed it when I decided to listen for it. As a kid, I had glue ear and have had grommets put in. I've never had an ear infection in my adult life. As a teenager and in my early 20s, I went to a lot of rock gigs and played in bands. Having said that, I wore earplugs nearly all of the time I played gigs/attended gigs. I have always found the noise levels at rock concerts pretty intolerable without ear plugs - and I always enjoyed the music more with earplugs. The other thing is that for the last couple of years at work, I've listened to over ear headphones for several hours on several days a week and also, I would sometimes listen to my headphones at the gym, while on the treadmill. I don't think the volume was unreasonable for the most part...

      I've since had an ordinary hearing test at an audiologist's office and my hearing is within the normal range. My ear drums are moving normally and the ear pressure is normal. I'm unsure as to whether I have any hearing loss in higher frequencies (I have read this isn't picked up by ordinary audiologist testing) - I guess it's possible. The audiologist said that the three most common causes of tinnitus are hearing loss, exposure to loud noise and stress. I suppose my tinnitus could have been caused any of those three things, but I'm not sure which.

      Ultimately, I may never know what caused it. I've beaten myself up and blamed myself for it quite a bit over the last few weeks - thoughts such as: I shouldn't have gone to so many gigs...maybe I didn't use the ear plugs as instructed? I'm an idiot for listening to music at work! If I wasn't such a stress head then this wouldn't be a problem! Ultimately, none of this has helped me whatsoever. Trying to figure out the originating cause and beating oneself up about it is not something I would recommend!! It's not constructive and it makes you feel really awful. Still, at times it can be hard to avoid.

      I will say that I'm really grateful for this forum as a source of information and support. I look forward to talking with some of you on here.

      Sarah.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    2. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Welcome to the forum Sarah. You are right that sometimes, it is a bit hard to determine exactly what caused our T. It is often exhaustive to try to find the cause of T and ending up tip toeing around T for fear of inflaming T. So it is better to move on and learn what we can do to improve.

      I don't have a clue too what caused my T. It could be a combination of things. But my ultra high pitch dog whistle T and severe hyperacusis turned me into a mess and it was a dark, dark period of my life. Like you, I found I need to use some meds, Ativan, Prozac, and sleeping pills to survive each long, dark day. I never thought I could survive my condition. But today I am back to normal and living an absolutely enjoyable life. There are some good strategies and pointers I used to help me turn around. For brevity, here is my experience and success story over T & H. I wish you well. Take good care & God bless.

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...w-i-recovered-from-tinnitus-hyperacusis.3148/
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    3. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      Thanks so much.

      It's so nice to hear from people who are living normal lives and especially people who found it extremely tough at first (as I am currently).

      Interestingly, since I started getting tinnitus, I confided in some friends and family about my condition (by way of explanation of my being a nervous wreck). Since having these conversations, I have found out that my Dad, my Stepdad, my Mother in Law and a very close friend of mine all also have tinnitus! It's interesting that I never knew of their respective conditions. I guess it just doesn't bother them enough for it to be worth mentioning for them. Dad says he has had it for 30 years!!! That's longer than I've been alive for, lol. He forgets about it until someone mention tinnitus and he thinks "oh yes, I have that". Dad's was caused by playing drums professionally and being in loud engineering workshops. Not sure about the others...

      I later made a post on Facebook asking if anyone had it and got about 5 replies from Facebook friends, 4 of which were along the lines of "yes, but I almost never notice it" or "it varies but you do get used to it".

      Seems to be a pretty common affliction and most people don't seem too worried about it!
       
    4. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Hi Sarah,

      Your perception of the sound will definitely change over time, even if the sound does not.

      Just yesterday I was sitting in a quiet room, when I got a sudden and severe increase in the ringing in my bad ear. It used to be that every time this happened, I would instantly be consumed with anxiety, and be unable to think about anything else. Yesterday I thought about the sound spike for exactly as long as it took me to say "well, that's pretty fucking annoying" to myself, and then I was back to what I had been doing before. There was literally no anxiety associated with the thought. This would have been unthinkable to me a couple years ago.
       
      • Like Like x 2
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    5. liquefact
      Balanced

      liquefact Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Seattle, WA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/25/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Indoor Rock Concert
      This is unfortunately the wonders of human brain which can make anything you imagine real. You search for something and if it is not there, your brain creates it. See how wonderful it is? !!!

      Sorry to read your story. This is exactly why i stopped talking to someone who does not have T about my condition with the fear of invoking T on him/her.

      I've personally met people who have T for 40, 20, 15 years and they're having a successful and healthy life if not perfect. And most of them are having severe T. Our lives being over is bullshit, living a normal life is perfectly possible, though it may take some time to adapt.

      Take care.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Sometimes, by knowing that others around you are having T and yet it doesn't affect their normal life can actually help one change the way he/she reacts to T. Sometimes, it can be very dramatic as if a light switch is on, and people then embark on a different attitude or reaction to T. Here is Jade's success story. She said she was suffering very badly to her very loud T, something which can be heard over most sounds, even over the 800-tonne trucks she was driving. That lasted until she checked around her colleagues and found that over 70% of them were having T. Yet none suffered or reacted as bad as she did to T. So with that, she began to change her approach/reaction and she manages to turn her suffering around. Here is her story:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/6-months-tinnitus-still-going-strong-but-so-am-i.3226/
       
    7. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      I read that. Very interesting. It is helpful knowing other people with tinnitus, I think - because it's beneficial to see that they're getting along okay notwithstanding the constant ringing in their ears!

      I've noticed it's been better over the last few days - I've been doing yoga pretty much every day. I find that relaxing so I think it's good for tinnitus.

      I find that the ringing is most pronounced when I'm lying down in bed. It isn't even necessarily a "quiet room" thing - even when there is other stuff going on (e.g. my partner playing Nintendo with the sound on) I can hear it more prominently when I lie down. Any insights into why this might be?
       
    8. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
    9. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      That is very interesting - thank you for your informative posts!
       
    10. Ricardo1991
      Fine

      Ricardo1991 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Signs seem to point to head/ neck injury!
      Since I started my journey, I've met plenty of real life people who have tinnitus and they all told me to stop obsessing and it will just be a whatever type thing. I guess hanging around this forum isn't helping me! Lol
      Hope you're good.
      Ricardo
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. Rintintin
      Frantic

      Rintintin Member

      Location:
      East Coast
      Tinnitus Since:
      Sept 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music and head injury
      Hi, Sarah, sorry to hear about what you're going through. My T is also louder when I lay down in bed. Frustrating, since I enjoy laying down. I mainly got mine from listening to loud music. My guess is that would be the main cause of your T. So please be careful about loud noise exposure.

      Ativan can be nice but those sorts of pills are addictive. I would try to move onto some herbal remedies for stress. People like vitamin B pills, Holy Basil, Lemon Balm and Kava. You could experiment around with those and see what works, and then switch over to avoid the Ativan.

      Best of luck to you,

      Rintintin
       
    12. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Hello Sarah!
      i relate to you, A LOT...
      firs of all i been to alot of gigs, ive always been a very social person been to gigs, party, festivals, punk rock shows..
      and listening to loud music at work too, but to be honest, we are not the only ones doing that and most of them have not and will not develop tinnitus.

      what i find quite interesting and relatable is that for a few months i had 2 incredible and bad diagnosis concerning my healthy, one doctor told me i was about had and stroke and i was taking to ER and nothing was happening with my heart, i became super afraid about my healthy my anxiety was above the roof, then a few months later i was having "pee" problems and i was peeing a little blood, a doctor told me i was having problems with my kidneys and it was a permanent thing....I WAS shitting in my pants when he told me that, weeks later the pee problem solved, it was just and infection, this two episodes put me in high anxiety mode, i was literally checking my pulse every 5 minuts, on top of that i broke up with ex, and i havent been able to manage that situation pretty well, and had to quit my job...
      So lets just say i went under a LOT of stress...then one day i went to bed and i woke up with this...
      im not saying that it wasnt because of all the noise i been exposed to, but anxiety, depression was way too strong that anything before t came, just like your case...
       
    13. Nonna
      Barefooter

      Nonna Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/17/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Allergies
      Don't lay flat use lots of pillows. I read through google on a meniers site, sleeping flat can cause meniere's disease. :cry: probably not very true, but after t I'll probly never lay flat again.
       
    14. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      Thanks guys for the supportive messages. My tinnitus is far more manageable these days, thankfully. A lot of the time I don't hear it at all...

      Unfortunately my anxiety has gotten quite bad recently and the tinnitus has reared its ugly head again! Not too panicked about it this time as I know it will eventually pipe down.
       
    15. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      Went to cranio osteopath yesterday and did some pranayama practice and butyeko breathing exercises.

      Woke up this morning and it had disappeared again, phew. :)
       
    16. Sarah Russett

      Sarah Russett Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      unknown
      you are able to tune it out a lot of the time or you listen and it's gone?
       
    17. bill 112
      Studious

      bill 112 Member

      Location:
      Republic Of Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Pieces of this really hit home with me especially the part where you listened for it and then developed T.Mine started similarly to yours,I randomly panicked that I might get a ear infection one night,why I don't know.The following day my left ear went full then the right followed soon after.The fullness remained for weeks and after numerous visits to the doctor and ENTS I was labelled a mystery.One night my grandmother was visiting when I told her about the fullness in my ears not going away when she replied"well at least your not like your uncle Seamus who has Tinnitus"
      I asked what it was and she replied it's a ringing in your ears that doesn't go away.It was like an omen of what was to come because no more than 20 minutes after she told me about tinnitus I stopped our conversation as I thought our fridge was leaking somewhere as I could hear a strange hissing sound coming from it.I asked people in the room if they could hear it and they all told me they couldn't.It was at this moment I covered my ears and realised it was coming from me!Panic naturally set in straight away and after many visits to the ENT department I was realised and diagnosed with"idiopathic bilateral tinnitus"
      I literally questioned my sanity for months after the whole ordeal,the doctors were convinced I'd mentally given myself this affliction and to be honest I had to agree with them!I panicked over nothing and then all these symptoms just presented themselves.Needless to say I decided to forget the whole ordeal and try to move on,and yes my T 100% disappeared.That was until a noisy night out(with hearing protection)when my T had returned and stayed for good this time.It has worsened twice since then thanks to heartless assholes being fucking idiots with noise!my T was brought on by some paranoid notion that I something was wrong with my ear and been worsened by noise since then.A part of me wonders was they're actually something wrong with my ears in the beginning but just so happened to occur as I thought about my ears?I guess I'll never know.
       
    18. Sarah Russett

      Sarah Russett Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      unknown
      Same kind of. I went to a really loud concert and my ears were ringing after, but I did not know one could get permanent T from that since |I never really listened to loud music. The concert made be uncomfortable, but \i just didn't know. I thought hearing loss was all I was up against, but as I know now is bs. Anyway, the ringing faded and I didn't noticed anything for two days afterwards. Maybe the crickets in the summer masked it I don't know. But then one day a few days after I remembered reading about a musician with T, just randomly. And all of a sudden I could hear it. And my life as I knew went down the drain. I FREAKED OUT and haven't stopped 8 months later. It's sickening and horrific. But I must have real damage because it's more in one ear, which was the ear I wasn't plugging at the concert. :(
       
    19. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      In this journey of mine, I have found that panic and anxiety make tinnitus worse. Much, much worse... in many people (myself included) panic/anxiety/depression are a trigger for hearing tinnitus. Because you are in a state of "fight or flight" or "red alert", your ears listen out too acutely and start tuning in to the sound of your own circulation and neural activity. If you deliberately try to tune in to the sound of your own brain, you might just hear it...(then find it hard to ignore)...

      Regularly partaking in activities which are "body based" and going to therapy to work through issues helps your system settle and will help the tinnitus symptoms ease off. You will feel happier and more relaxed too, therefore better able to cope.
       

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