Here I Am — Tinnitus of Unknown Origin

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Yuuls, Dec 11, 2019.

    1. Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello everyone,

      I was very hesitant to be posting here as I am 3 weeks into this thing and am doing my best to habituate, but after lurking for these last few days decided to bite the bullet so here I am.

      I want to keep this as brief as possible, but I have a feeling it will get lengthy

      Age: 26

      Occupation: Cubicle dweller

      Sounds I hear: cicadas in both ears, occasional ringing in right ear that sounds like when someone plays music with wine glasses full of water, sometimes like a truck backing up. I also have the sensation of electricity (kinda like when you walk into a house and can sense the TV is on even if you don't hear it)
      Sometimes like a mosquito is dying in my ear
      Sometimes like a little bell (think of the people who stand outside the mall around Christmas time for donations dressed up as Santa with a bell)
      At it's worst, I have the cicadas, plus multiple tones of ringing in both ears.

      Medications/supplements currently taking: Melatonin (10G every night), Valerian Root (1 pill 3x a day for anxiety) Benadryl (occasionally replacing melatonin as frequent use gives me headaches), Glycerine supplement (also for anxiety)

      Flonase Spray 1x a day
      Purchased Claritin D which I've taken once but I think it made ringing worse

      Similarly to many on this forum, I love music and I believe it is that love that got me here in the first place.
      Never heard of wearing ear plugs to concerts, never heard of tinnitus before I developed it.

      Chain of events that I believe led to my development of tinnitus (besides the usual wear and tear such as bars, sports events, etc):

      Beginning of October - I am a frequent user of noise cancelling headphones due to VERY noisy upstairs neighbors. I would wear them 4-5 hours daily but at a relatively quiet volume. One Saturday I stayed home and watched movies - and probably used the headphones a bit too long because the next day my hearing was a bit muffled. I also went to the movie theater this day. Everything was fine the next day. No ringing.

      Concert on October 11th - was on the balcony so not on the floor by the speakers, felt fine.
      Had another one on the 15th - this was in a huge arena and I did notice my ears felt uncomfortable from the bass, but stupidly I stayed through the concert and figured it would also be fine. No ringing/hearing loss the next day.

      A few weeks after, I caught a really bad cold, but had plans to go to Austin, TX for Halloween which involved a relatively short flight. I've had 2 other experiences flying with a cold before (no fun) so this time I was prepared with Sudafed, Nasal Spray, and cough drops to prep myself for the pressure changes. Looking back I probably should have stayed home, but I was really excited about this trip with my friends. Of course throughout the weekend we did a bar crawl, went to lots of loud bars and I had no issues other than the cold itself, ears never rang. The cold was pretty damn bad at the end, but I had no issues clearing my ears after the flight back. This cold lingered for a week into November.

      About three weekends ago, I had a busy weekend where I went to a concert on a Friday night. It was at a tiny venue/no loud bass or anything like that and we stood in the very front but my ears never felt uncomfortable.

      Saturday night - had some water stuck in my ear after a shower. I did all the usual methods to get it out, jumping on my left foot, thinning out the cotton on a q-tip to try to alleviate the water. STUPIDLY I used a fan on my ear briefly to try to dry it out ( all of these methods I got from a forum where people frequently got swimmers ear) UGH, probably the dumbest things I've ever done to this day.
      Sunday night - spent a good amount of time in a dive bar, although I don't recall it being super noisy

      The following Wednesday, I am sitting at work with my head down looking at my phone, and I hear a loud WOOOSHHHH, and it was almost as if my ears popped and clogged up (kinda that sensation you get on planes) and got a bit of vertigo. I freaked out and went outside and called my mom. I don't recall if I got the ringing then and there, but I definitely noticed it that day.

      My mom was convinced it was either the water in my ear or just a side effect from the cold as my left ear felt very stuffed up for the next few days. About 8 days later, I began to panic so I made an appointment with an ENT (the Monday of thanksgiving week). Findings were - no water in the ear, no wax buildup, no infection and my hearing is perfect. He did notice some slight swelling in my left nostril and told me to get Flonase (which I did). He handed me some "reading to do" on my way out - 2 papers describing what Tinnitus was. He did not even bother going over it with me, just laughed it off and said 2 weeks is nothing, come see me if it gets worse.
      ($800 dollar appointment to see an ENT for less than 10 minutes, what a joke)

      I thought I had experienced anxiety and depression before, but boy was I wrong. Over that week, I was in a very very dark place. Of course I started reading Reddit/this forum and started freaking out, and started getting suicidal thoughts. I thought being home for Thanksgiving would make me feel better, but that Saturday night I had a panic attack after some fleeting Tinnitus. Felt a tiny bit better on Sunday.

      Monday after Thanksgiving was absolutely terrible. I had hardly gotten any sleep. It didn't help that my coworkers were discussing someone who had jumped in front of their train that morning (suicide). I was sitting at my desk, shaking from my anxiety, cried in the bathroom and my whole body was tensing up and I could not get warm, it was terrifying. I went home that day and slept all day. Could not eat anything for nearly 3 days. That Wednesday, I searched "tinnitus" on Twitter and DM'ed a bunch of people who tweeted about it to find out their experiences. This made me feel a ton better and I think I was almost in a manic state on Wednesday as I felt great/happy again.

      I am now writing this exactly a week out and can't say I am in a much better place. Ringing has stayed consistently loud, I think I have developed hyperacusis and I am still unable to sleep through the night without waking up at least 3 times. My anxiety has gotten a tiny bit better after doing a ton of research and finding out how many others live with this condition.

      I feel like as if a rug has been pulled out from underneath myself. I feel lost, hopeless, and very low. I can no longer go out to get a drink with my friends as bars/restaurants feel too loud. I have not listened to music/used headphones in the last 3 weeks. I have not had any alcohol as I feel my suicidal thoughts will get worse. I am not only stressing out myself, but my poor mother as well. I studied psychology in school, so I am well aware that depression and medications are nothing to play around with, and fear that this is the life I am facing and will end up alone and in a mental facility. I have been putting on a brave face at work, but I am slowly dying on the inside and already feel myself drifting from my friends.

      I had a rough year overall, and had a surgery done in July for which I was bed bound for three weeks. Prior to this surgery was months of being miserable, and being misdiagnosed by THREE doctors until I found one that could help me. Tons of $$ down the drain. A few weeks before getting the tinnitus, I was diagnosed with Achilles Tendinitis (couldn't wear closed heeled shoes for weeks from the pain) which brought on a ton of stress. I'm convinced all of this had a ton to do with my development of tinnitus as well. In general, I am not a very optimistic person, and have had a rough few years and now that I think about it have been anxious and mildly depressed for some time now.

      If you made it this far, I applaud you. Thank you for reading my story, and any advice/comments would be greatly appreciated. I've found much comfort in communicating with others who have this condition so hopefully this forum will bring me some peace as well.
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      You've had a hard year. Three weeks of tinnitus is nothing, remember that. In a year you might well be habituated.

      Do you use any sound therapy to chill yourself?
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Ross Lavigne
      Hurting

      Ross Lavigne Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2/10/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds or warm water in ear
      Man you sound pretty similar to me, I'm pretty sure mine started with water in my ear, sleeping is a bitch but hoping I can get some meds for that as well as using a sound app on my phone or something.

      I booked an appointment with my ENT but it's going to take forever, when I stress about my tinnitus a lot I develop breathing problems and suicidal thoughts too, but my brother has tinnitus too and he deals with it just fine.

      Since I only have it in my left ear (I think), I was thinking of getting one of those maskers and putting it in around night since that's definitely the worst for me.

      They also gave me a nasal spray but it didn't do much, not sure if I was using it right.

      Does yours get louder if you move your jaw?

      Did you get many replies from your Twitter DMs, I'm interested in that too since I only got tinnitus recently myself.
       
    4. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Lots of noise exposure from the multiple concerts, and plane rides. In addition, some folks have a problem with the noise cancelling headphones. In many cases, the tinnitus spike is delayed by several days, so being ok the next day is not really definitive.

      You sound more like a noise induced tinnitus than an unknown.

      Skip the concerts and bars, toss the headphones, and put the earplugs in for loud exposures. There is a good chance that this can be improved.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello,

      I am hoping to habituate but it has been so hard. Every day I wake up and feel as if it was all a bad dream but unfortunately this is reality.

      I do t use any noise therapy. I tired listening to white/pink noise but it was a bit irritating. I’m worried about developing that condition where you become afraid to go out completely due to noises
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown

      My ENT was such a waste of time. I’m still on the fence about maybe seeing another one but I just feel like they are going to tell me the same thing. What kind of nasal spray are you using?

      And I did get a good amount of replies on twitter! When I’m home from work I can try to summarize them for you.

      Do you have any noise sensitivity with your T at all?
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Definitely skipping concerts from here on ouhere. Bars will be hard to give up unfortunately. I haven’t used any headphones since I developed this condition

      For now, I’m hoping that the noise sensitivity improves. The ringing I can deal with better I think.
       
    8. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      @Yuuls

      Would not go to any noisy bars for the next 6 months. Try to find quieter ones if you must, without music. Eventually, you may be able to tolerate with ear plugs, bit would not push it until the tinnitus goes way down in volume.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      But today has been very rough. Suicidal thoughts are starting to creep back in and almost 4 weeks into this thing, the support I’ve been getting from my mom isn’t helping anymore.

      I am tired of stressing her out as there is nothing she can do. I am tired of thinking about the weeks prior to T when I was careless and wasn’t afraid of wearing headphones, was enjoying music and could happily go out with friends and grab a drink.

      I am tired of crawling into my bed immediately after coming home from work and browsing forums until it is finally time for the highlight of most of my days lately which has been sleep. My neck and back are starting to hurt, but I can’t bring myself to do anything else.

      I am tired of waking up, and the cycle beginning all over again.

      I just can’t see the light and how my life will EVER feel the same. When I got Tinnitus, I really thought I had hit rock bottom and it couldn’t get worse but the recent onset of sensitivity and fullness in my ear has convinced me otherwise. I feel like I am slowly driving myself mad.

      Once my parents are gone, I will have no one. I don’t have any cousins, siblings or a SO who will take care of me. At 26, I can’t even go on a date. I am afraid I will end up alone and cold on the streets. How did life take this terrible turn so fast?

      I feel as if I am made of thread, and every day I get unraveled more and more, and I am very afraid of what will happen when there is no more thread left.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    10. Michael B
      Supportive

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Diego, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stupidity
      You pretty much described my life in the beginning!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    11. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Can you describe your tinnitus for me please?
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello. It’s described in the body of my original post. I have various sounds in both ears. I’d say it’s moderate, I can hear it if I have a tv and white noise on my laptop playing.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    13. Cape crusader
      Cool

      Cape crusader Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/18/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction ear wax removal
      Have you asked your GP for meds? You’ll hear horror stories about benzos here but they do help. Just be careful and not become too dependent on them. My choice is Klonopin. It doesn’t stop the noise but really helps your reaction towards it.

      Check with you doctor first please.
       
    14. Carol27
      Thinking

      Carol27 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I am not sure.
      Hi! I also got tinnitus not so long ago. To be exact 1 month and 2 weeks. I am 19 years old and my tinnitus started at the worse time (the end of the semester in college). My tinnitus is also unknown at the moment as well, my doctors think it is stress even though I no longer feel stressed. I am not really exposed to loud noises besides in the train station and sometimes when I go to family parties. Since I have no hearing loss my doctors do not think my tinnitus is from loud noise. The first few weeks were the worse, I had 5 panic attacks that I even had to go to the emergency room because I couldn't breath. However, I have calmed down a bit. I still cry every now and then but I just want to let you know that you are not alone. We will fight through this and hopefully some day a cure will be made for us all. Just try to stay positive can come to this chat room so we can all give you positive feedback! :)
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    15. Davey
      Amazed

      Davey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/01/2000
      Can you modulate your tinnitus with your jaw, by clenching or moving the underjaw forward, while clenching? Maybe describe the last day before tinnitus came into your life, there are probably some clues in it.
       
    16. Carol27
      Thinking

      Carol27 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I am not sure.
      I mean when I move my jaw the ringing tends to change the rhythm of the noise as I move it but it does not stop it. For example if I open my mouth the ringing becomes louder. I can’t remember exactly what I did the day before I got tinnitus but by the looks of my pictures that I took I was home writing some papers for school. I got it on a Friday from what I remember and I do not have class on Friday or work so I usually don’t anything on Fridays besides catch up with my school work and rest.
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello,

      Things I have tried so far:

      Unsuccessfully:
      White noise/purple noise/brown noise, ALL THE NOISES, (on Spotify) fan noises, washing machine noises, jungle noises all tend to irritate me. Absolutely can't sleep with them on and on the bad tinnitus nights they don't drown it out at all

      Somewhat successfully:
      Sleeping with the TV on, with a show that doesn't get super bright (no cartoons for example) I've found HBO shows to be good (Succession, His Dark Materials, etc) also big fan of HGTV as there aren't any loud noises with most shows. Sleeping with the TV isn't healthy from us due to the light it emits, hence "somewhat successfully"

      When I was at my parent's over the holidays, I used a big fan they had and it made the room terribly cold. The white noise combined with a TV was good though. I bought my own fan today for my own apartment. I live in the Bay Area, California, so it tends to be chilly here but the nice thing about this fan is it specifically has a white noise setting, so less cold air and more noise.

      Link: https://www.target.com/p/honeywell-4-speed-slim-mini-tower-fan-black/-/A-16654881

      I also have a small JBL speaker:

      https://www.target.com/p/jbl-portab...5/-/A-78664175?preselect=76552684#lnk=sametab

      Currently have some John Coltrane going on it, with the fan, and it's very relaxing. Will try sleeping with them tonight.
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hmm,

      My ringing does get louder if I yawn or stretch, but I figured that didn't really have anything to do with it.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Moving my jaw does change the sound at all. I do want to see a dentist though for the following reason. I had braces as a teen. Teeth shifted because of an issue with my first molar. The adult one never came in, but the original one only grew in half sized (so there was about half of a tooth missing height wise) this made my teeth shift.

      I went through the process of getting an implant - took about 3 years. Year 1 - bone graft. Year 2 - screw for the implant. Year 3 - actual implant done. In that time, my teeth shifted more, mostly to me not wearing my retainer. I got a gap in between my two front teeth again, and some issues with my lateral incisors touching on the right side. I decided to get braces again at 24, which was problematic since this was in phase 2 of my implant process (the screw and measurements had already been accounted for) so my ortho said he was limited with how much my teeth could move. Long story short, get my braces, fix the gap, but the weird pressure from the incisors remains although it was better. He also shaved down my bottom incisor a bit to make it flatter (vertically) so it wouldn't really clash with the top one and would fall behind the top one more.

      About a year out now, and I think despite having a permanent retainer, my teeth shifted more somehow.
      I have a lot of discomfort on my right side from those incisors. The top one always feels pressure, and my gums are slightly swollen and red above that specific tooth (the one directly to the right of my main front tooth) and while my left bottom incisor comfortably sits behind my top one, on the right side they are almost clashing.

      With the onset of my Tinnitus, I think the stress has caused me to clench my teeth more. I've been bothered by the discomfort for a while now, but since getting Tinnitus it's been far more noticeable. I definitely want to see a dentist, but I highly doubt this is a cause as my symptoms seem to align more with ETD and damage from noise exposure.
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Carol, I am so sorry you are having to deal with this while being in college. I graduated not too long ago (about 3 years know) so I know how stressful that time may be especially with exams. What are you studying?

      I think stress can manifest in the body in different ways, and sometimes we may be feeling more stress than we believe we are. If anything that is what my tinnitus made me realize when I looked back on my last year.

      I too dealt with panic attacks, my most recent one being about a week ago or so. The worst one I had almost had me going to the emergency room as well, but at the moment I was able to wrap myself in a blanket and fall asleep as I knew that they would just give me a bunch of meds and send me on my way and it would do nothing for my Tinnitus, except leave me with a hefty bill.

      I hope you are doing good these days, and continue to see improvements with the coming weeks and months :)
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello,

      I do not have a GP at the moment as my old one retired and I just switched insurances (yay for turning 26 and the government kicking you off your parent's)

      I worry that if I go that route I will become dependent. I studied psychology in college and am well versed on meds so that is a route I do not want to take at the moment until I rule out all other options. I am not dismissive of them though, I do understand their place in society with helping people cope.
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Several weeks later and I still feel this way. I am almost wanting to move to a quieter city due to this. I specifically suffered through the high San Francisco rent costs to be close to music venues, bars, and the general hustle and bustle of the city. In a matter of weeks I have become almost afraid of noise, and there is no longer a point for me to live here if I'm going to live in fear every day and cannot enjoy the perks of the city.
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Yuuls
      Dreaming

      Yuuls Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I almost wish I could live in ignorance and have my old life back :( I guess it is what it is. I'll have to do some searching, I'm sure there are some hidden gems around the city. Sucks that all my favorite watering holes with cheap beer are usually blasting music
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    24. Shaz1
      Gloomy

      Shaz1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wellbutrin / Noise Exposure
      same, being in NYC

      My tinnitus onset 9 months ago due to medication, but I was foolish / didn’t know better (living in ignorance as you said) and kept about my regular daily life for the last 9 months
      It didn’t get any worse though, until I forgot earplugs at a recent wedding whose band was too loud and I was too dumb to leave (when I normally carry them) - I didn’t really look at this forum much before then

      Maybe it would’ve gotten better if I’d been more cautious, but maybe not, since it was medicine induced - who knows

      Taking a break now though, or at least earplugs for most bars
       

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