How Does One Habituate to Two Separate Tinnitus Sounds in Different Ears?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Forever hopeful, Jun 8, 2020.

    1. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      So some of you may know I am a repeat here. I had tinnitus in 2015 for about a year or so and it went away. Now I’m back. My tinnitus came back in the left ear about two months ago. Heard a low tone”eeeeeeeee” and some echo sounds like a seashell. The hearing test revealed some mild hearing loss at one low tone. My right ear was fine.

      Then about four weeks ago I started with a high-pitched ringing in both ears but I experience it more in my right ear. This is not easily masked unless I use a very high-pitched noise like crickets chirping.

      It has progressively gotten worse over the last three weeks to the point that I can hear it outside over other things, which I could not before.

      I am just feeling my anger and desperation and anxiety going through the roof. Can’t imagine how I have to cope with this for the rest of my life without tons of anti-anxiety meds. I had to go back on my antidepressant that I used in the past for anxiety just to try to keep my levels low even though I know I’m going to eventually gain more weight on it. The perpetual state of anxiety and adrenaline is driving me crazy. I get hungry I take two bites of something in my stomach turns. I’m trying desperately to work each day. I’m working from home due to COVID-19. It does provide a temporary distraction but I also do a lot of masking so I can focus. I am the breadwinner in the family. I have no choice.

      I have two kids and just trying to keep myself together for them but I just want to cry all the time. I just wanna hide in the safety of my bedroom with all my masking devices on. I don’t even want to go downstairs to the kitchen or down the hall to the bathroom, let alone go out. I know in theory I should be able to habituate but habituate to two separate noises? How does one do that?

      I am sure desperate...
       
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    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @Forever hopeful

      Habituation is a process and for each person it will be different. Sometimes specialist treatment is needed with an Audiologist because there are many factors involved. One's lifestyle, living and working arrangements and whether they have a family - all play a part in affecting the tinnitus due to stress. Therefore, it may not be so easy to achieve this by yourself. You are not new to tinnitus having it since 2015.

      Please click on the link below and read my post: The habituation process, where I explain in more detail.

      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-habituation-process.20767/
       
    3. Sevv

      Sevv Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12.04.2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      I'll keep my answer a bit short, so please excuse for that.

      I have read a couple success stories in which people have habituated to multiple sounds. David Letterman also has had two tinnitus sounds for at least 25 years and from how he described it it's at least moderate. So it's definitely possible. What most recommend (and I can attest to it) is to try to life your life as normal as possible (while avoiding loud noise) and eventually it will feel normal not to have silence anymore. Tinnitus becomes the new silence. If there's anything you still like doing, start with that, and go from there. It will take time (months) but eventually you'll feel better. I was suicidal on and off for the past 3 months after a worsening and since the past week I feel fairly normal again. I just keep myself busy with things I like. And things I don't like I start to enjoy (some basics of buddhism have helped me a lot).
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      @Michael Leigh

      Thank you. I read your link it was very very helpful. I’m feeling a little bit better this afternoon. I am hoping that the sound that I cannot usually mask, I will habituate to possibly sooner than the other sound. I try to keep my chin up but I keep losing perspective. When you had it and it went away you never dream it’s going to come back and be worse. Particularly when I took such good care of my hearing in the last five years. And it was never this loud. It is just the high pitched whine that won’t stop. Like a electrical static almost. It reminds me of when we were younger and used to go to concerts without ear protection and you have a threshold shift and you get that ringing/whine in your ears that would go away. That’s what it sounds like. I would hear it occasionally when I would yawn or move my jaw a certain way or if I was sick and my ears are blocked up but now I hear it all the time and it’s just worsened than over the last week for no reason. I am so tired of obsessing over this but it pervades all my thoughts. I keep thinking why is it getting worse? What have I done? Is this what it’s going to be like for the rest of my life? As I continue to lose hearing as I age is it just going to get worse and worse with different sounds.

      I did have a consult with Dr. Nagler and that was very helpful. He also referred me to an audiologist in Arizona with whom I have a consult the end of the month. I’m also looking for a therapist nearby if for no other reason than to have somebody to talk to, vent to and cry to. People in my life don’t understand. And I know three people personally who have tinnitus but they’re in a different place in their process and they’re not suffering.

      Well anyway thank you so much for your response.

      Best,

      Danielle
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      @Sevv. Thank you for your response. I appreciate it. Just had a total bawling fit. I ruined my 10 year old’s birthday. I feel like the worst mother.
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      Hi.

      I have a new experience with super high pitched tinnitus in my right ear that is very intrusive and seems to have worsened over the past few weeks (have had it a little over a month). I can now hear it outside and it is no longer easily masked. It fluctuates a lot but always seems to get worse as the day goes on. It is relatively quiet in the am but by mid afternoon my ear is screaming.

      It is driving me crazy. Anyone have this experience? Also, I can make the noise louder by yawning, moving my jaw forward and other movements. Could this be TMJ? I know I am a clencher and under a lot of stress. I had my hearing checked very recently and my right ear is totally fine. My jaw hurts and there is pain under the ear and sometimes in the ear or in front of the ear. The ear itself is fine per the ENT. And I talk all day long for a living so my jaw is always in motion.

      I cannot imagine ever habituating to this. I feel like my life is over and it is now just one big depressive day after another just trying to manage to work and get through the day. I have nothing to look forward to. No life at all.

      Thanks.
       
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    7. Sevv

      Sevv Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12.04.2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      Dear Forever
      It is not unusual that tinnitus can be modulated by moving the jaw or neck. We call this somatic component. It is relatively common. It's also normal that tinnitus fluctuates over the day. Mine is lowest when I'm still drowsy in the morning, or when I am highly distracted.

      Tinnitus is a source of stress and pain. If it is severe enough, then it can be debilitating on its own. However, often the bigger source of stress and pain is the reaction to it and the combination of tinnitus and reaction is what makes you reach a debilitating state. That is why people who are new to tinnitus are doing very badly, but over time most people with tinnitus are living relatively good/decent lives because they lose their reaction, even those who hear it all day because it's kinda loud.
      From my own opinion we react negatively (just talking about reaction) because we are used to silence and then lose it. This is the same kind of reaction when we lose a relative or a dear friend or go to live in a foreign country. We are confronted with a big change in life which makes us uneasy (which is natural, it's a consequence of our survival instinct). Now as we start to deal with the new situation, we become more at ease because most time we realise that it is not as bad as we initially thought. A similar process happens with tinnitus. From your description your tinnitus is probably in the moderate range, which is where most people still habituate.

      If you fear death, or crave for your old life or for silence, then I tell you that your reaction is normal. However these thoughts are not helpful. Like many of us, you can get to a point where tinnitus stops bothering you. And chances are good we get something to alleviate tinnitus in the coming years (not exactly tomorrow, but there is hope, even if the waiting sucks).
      It helps if you have some knowledge how to handle catastrophizing thoughts as it makes habituation easier. The key is acceptance that something bad might happen but you're still okay with it, and not just pushing bad thoughts away by distraction or suppression. It is uncomfortable, but it does lead to a better life. Mindfulness-based stress reduction, cognitive behavioural therapy or some basic buddhist teaching can help you to learn how to handle your thoughts.

      My own tinnitus is moderate, so I hear it all day, but I'm becoming less and less aware of it. I also have some hyperacusis in the high frequencies. So these are the things I had to accept (to give you an impression):
      - My intelligence and creativity are dumbed down.
      - I have less energy during the day (always just a tad groggy).
      - Sleep is a bit worse.
      - Ability to relax is worse (but still definitely possible).
      - Can't get a girlfriend because girls laughing makes my ears hurt and I risk a worsening.
      - Life is less crisp.
      - Many people don't understand your problem (tough one that I still struggle with now and then).
      - No bars, loud restaurants or gym (metal weights falling down are baaad).

      However:
      - I still enjoy my life.
      - Life is more meaningful because I learned a lot about life itself.
      - I think I am happier than before tinnitus because life seems more precious when you finally understand that life is transient and learn to enjoy being in the present moment.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      @Sevv

      Thank you so very much for your inspiring and thoughtful post. It means a lot to me that you took the time to respond. It is hard to find support for this, which Is sad because the more that I talk to people the more that I find that people have it. I was just talking to two friends recently and learned that they both have it. Although clearly milder than I do but that brings a total I’d 5 people I know personally what have it, so I think it’s so much more prevalent than people realize. Yet there seems to be so few resources to really help people navigate this. I found a therapist in New York who specializes in tinnitus but he charges $250 an hour. I had my consult with him - lovely guy but I just can’t afford to keep up treatment with him. There are no CBT therapist in my area that specialize in Tinnitus.I’m starting some sort of treatment with an audiologist who happens to be in Arizona all places and I am in Massachusetts via phone but at least he’s more economical.

      I am trying not to accept it but it is so hard.

      I pray my life will improve.

      Best.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      @Sevv,

      I have so wanted to add that I can’t imagine your intelligence has been compromised by your tinnitus, although I’m sure you might feel that way. You strike me as a very intelligent person.
       
    10. bobvann
      Vegged out

      bobvann Member

      Location:
      Inside the vortex
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud shit
      If it's simply mental wax on wax off, why are people throwing gobs of $$ to fly to Ireland? Why are some countries starting to add it to end of life criteria...?
       
    11. Sevv

      Sevv Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12.04.2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      Well, I would give all my money for a real cure, even if I have quality of life despite/with tinnitus. I will give Lenire a shot once it's available a bit more close to me. But until then there's nothing else than trying a psychological approach. Saying this, I would recommend @Forever hopeful to check for TMJ. It might be a contributing factor and it's a cause that can be remedied.
       
    12. bobvann
      Vegged out

      bobvann Member

      Location:
      Inside the vortex
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud shit
      Agreed if there is a medical issue suspected one should investigate it. Good for you for finding a balance.
       
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