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Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by JrDriver85, Sep 16, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. JrDriver85
      Fine

      JrDriver85 Member

      Location:
      Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      I recently stumbled upon this site when doing research for this new found "ringing" in my ears that I developed July 27 of this year.

      A little background on myself, I grew up hunting, mostly duck, quail and dove but spent most of my time skeet shooting. I always wore hearing protection while shooting skeet, the only times I can truly remember not was when I was far enough from other shooters to feel comfortable. I have gone to a limited amount of concerts in my life, probably less than 10 and have always sat in the back, as far as possible (I personally think the music sounds better and I can actually see everything). I have gone to my share of college/NFL football games through the years though but I have never left any event with pressure, fullness, muffledness or ringing in my ears.

      Now for the the story of July 27, I went out into a fairly open field with my wife to shoot my brand new handgun. I forgot my foam plugs but I figured I was only going to shoot about 2 clips and be done, 5 minutes total but little did I know how much could change in that about of time. My wife stood pretty far away and wasn't affected. After the first shot I felt my left ear pop, didn't think anything of it but continued to finish the 2 clips (40 shots) and go about my day. 3 hours later I noticed a muffled feeling in my left, ear sensitivity and then the ringing began.

      The first week I wasn't too worried to be honest, my dad, uncle, grandfather and roughly 10 of my friends have had ringing in their ears from anywhere to 2-3 weeks to 6-7 months and eventually went away. Around week 2 I developed a severe sinus infection, went to my GP and the Dr. gave me Amoxicillian and Prednisone to help with inflammation. I then go back for my 2 week followup, left ear still ringing, to which the GP diagnoses me with ETD and refers me to an ENT, 3 week wait...

      Finally made it to the ENT visit, many sleepless nights, long days and just outright exhaustion at this point. I have loss over 15 pounds at this point and obviously stress and anxiety are taking their toll. Upon arriving at the ENT office, I discuss what has happened with my Dr and his first response is "PERMANENT!" He then begins to run a few more tests, I take a hearing test up to 12 mhz and pass with flying colors, well above normal on everything. Dr then does a complete 180 and says "that in his 30 years of work that 3 other people had similar cases to mine, took them roughly 6-12 months to fully recover." He prescribed me really high dose of Prednisone for 10 days and something to help calm my nerves. Followup again in 3 weeks.

      I know it has only been 7 weeks at this point, my ENT seems extremely optimistic as well but should I be doing something else about the situation or will only time tell at this point. Sleeping has gotten a lot better since the meds, have considered Melatonin as well, I'm just not getting that deep sleep I use to get. Any words of encouragement, thoughts, advice, etc would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Sorry for the ramble.
       
    2. Hopeful
      Wishful

      Hopeful Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/13
      Dear JrDriver,

      First of all: You may have read this, heard this, been told this by several people and it is probably the hardest thing to do when you are new to tinnitus. I could not follow the advice, but I wish I had been able to: 'For all in the world - don't monitor you tinnitus too much. Don't stop doing things you used to (unless they are damaging for your ears - rule of thumb: 'if you have to raise your voice to be heard, wear earplugs') and finally don't think too much about the future implications. One thing is for sure: Things will improve. In one way or another.

      Then, secondly: That you have protected your ears and that you have not had temporary tinnitus and that you have 'normal' hearing gives you the better odds (remember that normal hearing does not necessarily mean no hearing loss, though). But I must emphasize again: 'Don't spend all your waking hours listening for it to go away'. Make yourself a rule like 'evaluate once daily' or similar.

      What you can do? Well, it is very individual what helps for people. Probably the best advice to give is to try to live healthy and avoid further damage to your ears to increase the healing probability. Normal level sounds will not damage your ears further! Then furthermore, there are tons of options that you can try early on - unfortunately none of this works for everyone. Try browsing the threads in the 'treatment' and 'alternative treatment' forums - there is a lot of good advice.

      For your sleeping problems: Magnesium helps many. As does sleeping pills. And sounds that you like when trying to sleep (quiet music, rain sounds etc.)

      As a final statement: I have meet several people after I got my tinnitus that have healed fully. The normal time frame is 6 months up to a year. So I will say it again. Don't spend that amount of time listening for it to go away.

      Good luck
       
      • Like Like x 2
    3. JrDriver85
      Fine

      JrDriver85 Member

      Location:
      Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      Thank you for your speedy reply and kind words. From everyone I spoke to prior to engaging in online searches, "STOP thinking about it!" was the number 1 response which is much harder to do than I would have ever imagined.

      I also started carrying ear plugs with me everywhere now, even to church since the band can at times get very loud. At this point other than trying to stay out of loud environments, taking the recommend medicines my doctor prescribed and I am just resting and relaxing as much as possible. I did postpone sleeping pills once I started taking what the doctor gave me, but he did also recommend Melatonin, but I haven't started that yet though.

      I know its only been 7 weeks, and maybe I'm jumping the gun or not giving it enough time, but it is definitively a challenging situation at times. Praying time and relaxation will be the great healer.

      Quick question, is it normal for the ringing to fluctuate throughout the day? High pitch, low, soft, loud, sometimes it seems completely gone. I also seem to be completely okay to regular noise some days and then the next it is just too much. Seems like some days are 1 day closer to recovery, then 3 days backwards (if that makes sense?). IT also seems like it is in both ears sometimes, then it isn't, completely confusing. I just don't want to make it worse or reduce my chances for recovery. Thank you!
       
    4. Hopeful
      Wishful

      Hopeful Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/13
      Yes, it's normal. Everything you describe is completely normal. Tinnitus comes in many forms and many (probably most people) people (including myself) experiences fluctuations. It's sometimes hard to tell what causes the fluctuations. A good advice is to just notice 'now it's bothering me' and 'now it's not bothering me' and try to be in as many of the latter situations as possible. I know it's really hard since the only thing you want is the sounds to just go completely away and sometimes it will be really tempting to just sit and listen to try and deciffer if the tinnitus is getting better. Don't do that. Just don't. Take this advice. Please. I know it is hard. I have been there.

      It is, indeed, a very challenging situation. To me it's the toughest thing I have ever had to deal with, but try to stay positive. You have to. Whatever happens with the tinnitus. And this may sound very cruel: If the tinnitus does not go away you have to live with it. The sooner you start to try not beeing bothered by the sounds, the sooner you will accept the situation. The more you stop doing things you like because of the tinnitus, the more you will associate the sounds with negative feelings.

      Try only to use the earplugs when necessary - otherwise you can develop hyperacusis (oversensitivity to sounds), which for many people is just as annoying as tinnitus.

      This beeing said, 7 weeks is a really short time on the tinnitus timeline. Many people recover. These stories are hard to find on the internet. Honestly, would you shout 'I recovered!' all over the internet if it happens? Well, please do. Until then, find the hope in these gathered stories: http://i.imgur.com/tyeDWRm.png.
       
    5. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      Welcome to the forums!

      Hopeful gave you great advice already, and he's also right about the fluctuations.

      The tinnitus survey is still open for answers, but currently the results indicate this:

      2LU3jwM.png
       
    6. JrDriver85
      Fine

      JrDriver85 Member

      Location:
      Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      Thank you Hopeful, you have been extremely helpful and encouraging. I truly appreciate it, sometimes just talking to other people that can actually relate helps the most, although I have been extremely blessed with people put into my path through this that have experienced tinnitus through their lives. Adding to the success stories that you posted I have a couple I'd like to add to it if I could that God has placed in my path in the last 6 weeks:

      Male - Mid 30's - While working for a well known paper company I went into a very a noisy part of the factory without hearing protection. Hearing protection then wasn't even really even considered or required. That night before bed I noticed both my ears had a high pitched ringing in them. It took them roughly 6-7 months to finally subside and stop ringing. I really only noticed them in quiet rooms and right before bed then and to be honest I was too busy providing for my family to even have time to worry about them.

      Male - Lower 30's - While hunting one afternoon I noticed a large grouping of wild pigs in a field. Before I knew it I had shot an entire clip from my AR15 without hearing protection. Shortly after the incident my friend told me "your right ear is bleeding" and then I noticed I could not hear anything from that ear at all. I had ruptured my ear drum, it took roughly 2-3 weeks to heal, I couldn't hear out of that ear for 4-6 weeks and the ringing finally went away 7-10 weeks later. I haven't had it checked but I know I sustained drastic hearing loss in my right ear.

      Male - Mid 40's - Normal Saturday morning of yard worked turned into much more. After working outside for most of the day (mowing, edging, weed-eating, blowing) I came in late that afternoon to take a shower and get ready for dinner. After dinner I noticed a high pitched ringing in my left ear, figured it would go away after a good nights rest, 7 weeks later it finally went away.

      Male - Mid 30's - While overseas in the army I was unfortunately to close to an IED bomb. Fortunate to be alive but that was just the beginning, my entire left ear was destroyed. I had to have my entire ear drum reconstructed, I couldn't hear anything out of that ear for months, couldn't sleep on that side but then the ringing started. After roughly a year, maybe a little longer it finally went away. Loss 40% of his hearing in that ear from the blast.

      Male - Mid 20's - I shot without hearing protection once about 30 years ago. It took my hearing 6 months to recover. Luckily no permanent hearing loss or ringing. I will NEVER make the same mistake again.

      Male - Mid 30's - Fall/Winter time means duck season. Went out with my friends for an all day hunting trip. I had never used hearing protection before and today wasn't any different. The ducks seemed to be everywhere this particular day. I bet I shot over 100+ shots from my 12 gauge. That night when I laid down to go to sleep I noticed both of my ears ringing and to top it off, at different pitches. Took my ears 4 months to recover, no ringing but a slight loss of hearing in my right ear.

      Male - Lower 20's - 40 years ago playing music in the garage as loud as possible was the thing to do. Add in the fact that when you are that age you think you are indestructible doesn't help either. One Saturday we practiced for what seemed like 10 hours straight. That night I went to go to sleep and I noticed a hissing sound in both my ears. I remember specifically telling my dad and he said "oh, it will go away eventually". 3-4 months later if finally went away.

      Female - Upper 40's - I have had stress/sinus related tinnitus that seems to come and go throughout my entire life. I didn't even know everyone else didn't get the ringing in their ears during colds until I went to the ENT a few years ago. Generally mine lasts anywhere from 1-2 months up to 3-6 months, and comes and goes.

      As you can see most of these are noise induced. All of these stories were from family members or very close friends and I had no clue they had experienced it until I brought up my situation. I feel like this kind of stuff happens more often than everyone really realizes but like you said, everyone just moves on and you never see/read the success stories because they are over it. I hope and pray that I can add mine to this list as well. I hope these stories help people, I know they help me when I am down, I just read them over and realize there is still time and hope. Only time will tell. God is the greatest healer!
       
      • Like Like x 2
    7. JrDriver85
      Fine

      JrDriver85 Member

      Location:
      Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      I hate to post another post right after my own post but I had a few things on my mind.

      First, it is hard to explain, but the moment when you first wake up in the morning and your body/brain is still not completely functioning but you are aware of things going on, I cannot hear my tinnitus at all. Last Saturday I laid in bed for over an hour reminiscing and enjoying the time with no ringing. Does anyone else experience this?

      Like I stated above my hearing test came back well above average up to the 12.5 mhz mark. My tinnitus is a very high pitched, almost mechanical sound and sometimes it is near impossible to mask. Anyone have any recommendations on some relief for high pitched ringing? The only thing I have found that helps me get to sleep is the White Noise app set on Frogs/Crickets/Fountain/Gravel Road mix but nothing helps during the day when I have those really high moments.

      My sound sensitivity seems to come and go almost at will. One minute I can be sitting my living room having a group conversation with no problems, 10 minutes later I need to leave and go outside because its too loud. Is it all mental at this point because I just can't imagine 5 people having a regular conversation being a problem? Does this get better with time?

      This may sound stupid but I have a radar detector in my car, when it does happen to go off it is a fairly high toned loud beep. Generally for 15-25 secs after it goes off I hear no ringing. This kind of stuff makes me realize how frustrating and unpredictable all of this is.

      Last question, I attend church and often times a band accompanies the songs we sing. I can tolerate most songs until a song with a lot of bass is played? Is it just the difference in sound waves? What is causing the discomfort from the bass but not the high tones from the people singing?

      I took the recommendation of people on this forum and bought some Etymotic Research ER20 Ear Plugs. Hopefully they are more concealed than what I am currently using and work better too. I know one thing, since my incident I have been telling everyone I know to watch their hearing, especially my friends who work in construction work. Thank you for all your help and helpful information. God bless!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. JrDriver85
      Fine

      JrDriver85 Member

      Location:
      Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      It's been a little over a week since I went to my ENT visit and I figured I'd give an update, if not only to just write down my thoughts. I finished my last course of high dose steroids this weekend so I am currently only taking medicine for anxiety and Melatonin to help me sleep. I did begin drinking a lot of Chamomile tea due to a head cold that I woke up Friday morning with which also seemed to simultaneously cause my right ear to begin ringing as loudly as my left. I honestly don't know if the cold caused the change or if the T is starting to take over both ears. I know I now have to sleep on my back or stomach which I've never done before so that will take some getting use too. Man what I would pay to sleep an entire night like I use too, I'm up and down at least 2-5 times a night now. I've only slept more than 5 hours straight once in the last 8 weeks. At first I thought it was discomfort waking me up, but the more I think about it the more I think I am anxious/excited to wake up and it not be there. (Too many stories of people waking up and it just being gone I guess, hoping I am the next).

      I do notice during the day long periods of times I do not even hear my T, but as as I get excited and think man, its been 2-3 hours I began to listen for it and sure enough I hear it. I wish I would stop. Haha.

      I go back for my follow up ENT visit in 2 weeks, I may suggest a hearing exam over the 12 mhz mark that they originally gave me. The thought of having this problem with well above average hearing is extremely frustrating and demoralizing. I guess I should be thankful my hearing is still good, double edge sword it seems. Just have to stay positive and hope the 6-12 month time frame given by the ENT for recovery is something to hope/aim for.
      I keep telling my wife "I just want to be normal again." but what really is normal??? Not completely letting this take over my life has been the hardest thing. Seems all decisions revolve around it, where to eat, what stores we shop in, which church service to attend, what road to walk down, what movies to rent, etc. Man, the small things we take for granted. At this point outside/outdoors and the shower are the only 2 places I can completely get away so I am thankful for that. I am scared to leave a high pitched sound on all night to fall asleep too at this point.

      Hope everyone the best and God Bless! Sending prayers for all.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. Sherri786
      Dreaming

      Sherri786 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Hello JrDriver thank you for your posts. Thank you for the encouraging posts about T getting better, gives me hope to go on ! Sorry to hear about your right ear ringing now too. I can so relate to your last paragraph ! T has taken over my life completely , what to eat, how to travel, where to go , how to sleep , not to get too depressed ! I was wondering if maybe the radar detector in your car is too loud for you ?

      If for long periods you don't hear your T, I think that's a good sign, that hopefully you'll recover.

      Best wishes , take care and keep us updated please, thank you.
       
    10. Sherri786
      Dreaming

      Sherri786 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Oh and it's worse for me in the morning when I wake up, it goes down somewhat after a long shower.
       
    11. JrDriver85
      Fine

      JrDriver85 Member

      Location:
      Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      Sherri786 - Thank you for your reply, was starting to think I overstepped my post limit or something. By the way, how did your T begin?

      My days have gotten much, much better in the last week. I just ignore it or concentrate on other noises in the area to completely eliminate it. Night time/sleep is a completely different story, I almost dread sleeping now. I don't know if other people feel like this in the beginning but if I could just get back to my regular sleep habits I think it would drastically help reduce/eliminate my T by letting my brain really heal but sleeping has become an event now. No caffeine at all during the day now, Chamomile tea 1 hour before bed, 30 minutes before bed Melatonin and anxiety meds and hope I am tired enough to fall asleep. Before T, I could fall asleep in 3 minutes no matter what I ate or what time it was.

      I am a very religious person so I am taking this time/trial to reaffirm my faith and learn patience, obedience and trust. God Bless!
       
    12. JrDriver85
      Fine

      JrDriver85 Member

      Location:
      Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      One other thing, should I try avoid listening to very soft white noise/music through ear buds or will that cause more problems? Thanks in advance.
       
    13. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      Shouldn't cause problems. Many people with tinnitus use ear buds/in ear monitors; it's all about the noise level and avoiding unnecessarily loud exposures to sound.
       
    14. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I listen using ear buds almost daily: Audio books when I walk, Trance type music when I work out. I just don't blast them. I keep them at a level where I can still hear outside noise. My T has not gotten worse. It has improved.
       
    15. Sherri786
      Dreaming

      Sherri786 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Hello JrDriver, thank you for your reply. My T started due to aspirin overdose ,at the same time I was going through a lot of stress. However in a month's time it was 99% healed for the whole month I took Gingko Biloba and zinc ( however now the Ginkgo spikes my T ) . Unfortunately after I was healed I had to travel a lot and got seated once in the very back of the plane where it was very loud , then I was in Montreal where the traffic was very loud and sigh the T came back with a vengeance :(

      For me Red chilli pepper, black pepper , salt , white sugar all spikes my T. I've been trying to eat very healthy and T has been calmer lots of steamed veges specially Brussel sprouts, for fruits I eat a banana every morning and blueberries.

      Actually now I look forward to bedtime as I get relief from this horrible T, I take 2 pills of magnesium chelate 125 mg each , and if the T is loud I take 3, an hour before bedtime with cup of camomile tea ( night blend ) 2 bags for one cup of tea. I was also taking Chinese herbal pills called " An Shen Bu Xin Wan " it's all natural and consists of 13
      Different herbs, it was prescribed by a Chinese acupuncturist/ naturopath, I ran out of it, I have to get some more.
      I used to keep the shower sound on, You tube video, now I sleep well just with an air purifier sound, unless my T has spiked then I need the video on too, but usually I'm asleep in minutes. And yes I also take 3 pills of Passion flower 3 times a day,helps keep the nerves calm. I've recently started taking a multi vitamin every morning too and I believe that's helping to keep the volume down , brand name is " nature's way" and it's called " alive ".

      About the ear buds I don't know as I've never used them, the above guys are probably right about it.

      And yep, I pray and hope and try to remain positive.

      Take care and best wishes.
       
    16. JrDriver85
      Fine

      JrDriver85 Member

      Location:
      Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      Last night was the first night in over 8 weeks that I truly had a good nights sleep. Not sure if general tiredness, or if the Melatonin aided but it was heaven for over 8 hours.

      When this all first started I was putting so many pills into my body the thought just makes me sick to think about now. Currently I am only taking a mutlivitamin, vitamin c, anxiety med and 1 Melatonin before bed.

      I know everyone says its gets better, and my wife keeps reminding me how far I have come but it hasn't been easy. I know there is no certainty with all of this, but I just have to take it 1 day at a time and be hopeful that my ENT is correct in assuming 6-12 months recovery. It at least makes me hopeful that the 3 prior cases he has had in the last 30 years fully recovered, funny how time is not only your friend for healing, but your enemy getting there. I think a complete test from an audiologist may be in my future.

      It's funny how when I am in places that mask my T completely like the shower, outdoors, or even standing by the frig that I can have complete comfort, but as soon as my head hits the pillow, none of those sounds help in any way. I will say that my grandmother who has had T off and on for over 14 years recommended listening to Mozart, I think that is what put me right to sleep last night. Maybe that can be of help for someone else.
       
    17. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Sounds like you are making good progress. Keep moving forward. It is slow but you are through what I believe to be the worst of it, the first 2 months.
       
    18. JrDriver85
      Fine

      JrDriver85 Member

      Location:
      Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      Thank you erik for the encouragement. I truly appreciate that. Everyone I talk to says your brain eventually tunes it out and it is only there if you listen for it, is that true for anyone on this forum?
       

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