Hi to everyone

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by sword&shield, Feb 27, 2013.

    1. sword&shield

      sword&shield Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hello to everyone. I'm glad I found this place because, despite my initial reluctance and fear of overthinking about the whole matter, I felt I ultimately needed some support from people who can likely understand what this all entails.

      My backstory is relatively simple and, at the same time, I guess its very bare and simplicistic nature amplifies my frightened state to terrible degrees. I'm 25 years old and my tinnitus started last december, all of a sudden, without any sort of previous acoustic trauma or any collateral problems that could have been associated to it. It just happened: one day I realized I was perceiving a constant phantom sound in my left ear, which can be best described as similar to static sound but very treble-tinted. It's a high-pitched buzz with occasional peaks, all panned to the left ear. It doesn't really feel like it's coming from the center of my head, it sounds pretty localized.

      Since that enigmatic moment this effect hasn't left me. It greatly varies during the day, going from a loud and noticeable volume (when I wake up early in the morning, or when there's complete silence) to moments of perceived absence. Lately, I've also realized some sort of sympathetic resonance has appeared on my right ear as well, even though its intensity is even lower and - another mystery here - it's a completely different sound. This other effect sounds more like a fixed tone, lower in both pitch and volume, with short pauses of 1-2 seconds each.

      I can certainly tell the intensity of my tinnitus is very faint, sort of a shrill whisper, but still, since it started it caused a great deal of worry and anxiety to my life. I'm terribly afraid of the possibility it might worsen over time. I'm terrified by its unknown cause and the fact it entirely escapes my control. I also work with music and my relationship with sound is very strong (I could be considered some sort of audiophile), even though in general I have always avoided loud listenings. Any musician knows how silence is vital to one's compositions, how it affects your concentration towards any sort of activity generally speaking. Right now I feel like I've been inexplicably robbed of the beauty of silence.

      Needless to say, I went to see more than a doctor, including a specialist (ENT) and audiologist for all the necessary exams. My hearing is apparently flawless.

      I don't know, I apologize for this mess of a first thread. I just needed to vent it out and perhaps hear some words of advice, trying not to feel as clueless as I do right now.

      Thanks in advance.
    2. sword&shield

      sword&shield Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I feel really lost right now. I've got flu with a bad cold right now and it seems to amplify my tinnitus in both ears.

      What a bad day.
    3. Markku

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

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Are you sure the hearing test measured frequencies above 8kHz, too? Measured pitch of tinnitus can easily be higher than that, and often hearing loss is seen at similar frequency than the tinnitus tone is at.

      Sometimes they also say that the hearing is "flawless", while the actual audiogram might show a tiny dip at some frequency. Did you get a printout of your results? I'm asking this only because it indeed is possible to have tinnitus without hearing loss, but very often at least some loss is measured.

      Well, maybe it doesn't matter, and the knowledge about the hearing loss would only be of benefit if it's under 10kHz, to which point there are hearing aids. (Hearing aids noticeably suppress tinnitus for some people).

      You are not the first one who gets tinnitus spontaneously with no apparent cause. It is truly mind-numbing why that can happen.

      The flu and cold of course makes it all way worse. Easily can double the perceived intensity. Hope you get better soon.

      I did personally feel somewhat like you. "Right now I feel like I've been inexplicably robbed of the beauty of silence."
      I had always protected my hearing and then a simple procedure like ear syringing triggers it. I do have more of a reason for my tinnitus than you apparently have, but still, who could have known.

      Nobody of us can 100% control our future, life is an uncertainty in and of itself. Usually tinnitus goes the other way around, it starts bad and alleviates later, either by habituation or physical "healing". I wouldn't worry too much about yours getting worse than it currently is, just continue following the good practices you've previously followed, protect your hearing, avoid ototoxic meds, etc.

      Even soft, not that loud tinnitus can be very bothersome, especially for people who've enjoyed or worked in (near) silent conditions. So I very well understand you are feeling anxious and worried that it'll get worse.

      I wish there was more advice I could give. I wish I could give you the serenity that it's going to be okay.
      I'm only going to tell you some statistics: about 1% of people afflicted by tinnitus are so seriously incapacitated it that they are barely managing daily life. You are very likely going to be in the 99%.

      It's always toughest in the beginning. Those people whose tinnitus get worse may go back to the beginning and the process of habituation starts anew, yet even the majority of them manages to habituate again and continue life.

      Hang in there and try to continue your daily activities, keep busy. At night use sound enrichment (www.simplynoise.com or www.mytinnitusmasking.com), if you want to avoid being bothered by the noise. I like natural sounds myself, others prefer white/pink/brown noise.

      You found a good place by joining us :)
      • Like Like x 1
    4. nills

      nills Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Hi man, the innitial stage of discovering Tinnitus is not easy ... but start reading the whole forum ... because your are in the innial stage there is alot of options for you. They are testing a drug called AM 101 wich has promising effects , there is also other things you could do. I am not the best advisor on what to do but I know alot of these things are possible in the first 6 months. Go after it! ...

      have faith mate ...
    5. Fish

      Fish Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2012
      Welcome to TT forums!

      Markku wrote a lot of excellent advice so there is not much left for me to add - just a thing to remember:

      do NOT let your ent doctor tell you that nothing can be done about your tinnitus and that you have to learn to live with it. You deserve medical tests especially that the cause of your tinnitus is unknown. You deserve to be told about the options available like medication, tinnitus retraining therapy, maskers, hearing aids etc.

      And don't forget - it gets a lot better over time. Stay strong :)
    6. sword&shield

      sword&shield Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Thank you all for the very kind words of encouragement and support.

      It really means a lot to receive such empathy for an issue that others can't perceive and most often misunderstand. Undeniably my symptoms are very moderate, but still it's something that frightens me due to the many reasons I have already pointed out: my passion and interest for music, the sudden nature of its appearance, the constantly vague outlook on possible remedies. All of these aspects add up and contribute to a general sensation of anxiety and cluelessness.

      To Fish: yes, I've been told that infamous quote twice already. Supposedly I'd have to endure and somehow forget about pursuing a cure, since tinnitus is a mystery. I believe that speaks at length about the arrogance about modern medicine, that masks its ever-present ignorance under the pretense of explaining and uncovering anything. Truthfully they know very little and the biggest issue is that some of these specialists do nothing to portray reality in a honest manner. They often know nothing about correct counseling and emotional advice, which would at least provide human comfort.

      I'll be seeing another specialist shortly, hoping not to hear the same words once again.

      To Markku: Thanks again for your very informative and encouraging advice. My audiogram was indeed limited to frequencies up to 8khz and I was interested in sampling my actual auditory ability above that threshold. Do you know if there are reliable online tests that I can attempt in the meanwhile? I have some very precise audio equipment (especially headphones) that would give a very accurate reproduction of such high frequencies.

      As far as the other points are concerned, I'm well aware that our daily experiences escape our rational control in so many ways. It is something that's always disturbed me but that I can ultimately accept these occurrences when dealing with our relationships with other people and the way our life unfolds in general.
      Tinnitus goes beyond that, at least from my standpoint: it just happened to strike one of the most important sensibilities that matter in my life. I'm grateful it is as moderate as it is, but how can one be calm and relaxed with something that all of a sudden, without any sort of warning, manages to compromise the one thing you've creatively nurtured since you were born?

      That said, I'm trying not to think about it. I keep composing, listening to music, reading, playing videogames and enjoying whatever I used to, before the onset of this damned buzzing. Even though when I go to sleep and I'm reminded that things do indeed escape our control, regardless of my young age I feel a bit lost inside.

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