How I'm Dealing with My Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by kenbo776, May 12, 2019.

    1. kenbo776

      kenbo776 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      hearing loss...loud machinery over long period of time
      About a 2 years ago, I went thru a very bad period of depression. One of my friends at work died from a heart attack 3 weeks after he retired. My cat, who I had for 12 years, passed away. I could feel depression creeping up on me a bit more everyday. Then I started to get symptoms of tinnitus... went to hearing specialist. Yep, I had it. My life was looking pretty crappy at that point. Now, I never felt suicidal as far as I know, but I sure didn't want to live with this for the next 20-30 years (based on my age, 60 ).

      So I was told by MD (who had tinnitus himself) that there was not much I could do except learn to live with it, not really what I wanted to hear! I did have some severe hearing loss, mostly in right ear, which he said could be some of the reason. I also have been working in a light industrial environment for the last 28 years, although the noise level was not where OSHA required hearing protection, I should have used it, as it was a constant machine noise. Shooting firearms might have been an issue also, but I always used double hearing protection when I did that (small foam plugs and over the ear muffs.)

      I can remember driving home from work and just crying out to God that I could not live this way. Even remember banging my head on steering wheel trying to make the noise go away. So because of my depression I did get started on some meds. First one I was given was awful, my mood would go from ok to sad every 15 minutes. Then was prescribed Sertraline, a generic form of Zoloft. That went much better, after a few weeks my moods began to stabilize. My tinnitus was still there, but it didn't bother me as much and my stress level dropped which I believe helps keep the noise level more manageable.

      Went to see a counseler, provided by my work for up to 5 visits. She helped me get thru a lot of things, like keeping in mind what I had to look forward to in my life, etc. friends, family, job going well, planning on moving out of state and buying my own place finally.

      The tinnitus is very much there, I can hear it 24/7. But I can get involved in things, and I am not noticing it for longer periods of time. At night I use a noise generator program on my phone, going thru a small Bluetooth speaker. Found that "brown " noise is the best for sleeping, and covers some of the tinnitus I hear at night when its quiet.

      Does the tinnitus still bother me? Oh yes! I hate it... but hope to get my brain trained to ignore it more and more.

      BTW, almost no one I talk to has any idea what tinnitus is, or how bad it can be. But finding out that several people close to me have had it for years. Oh, and I am off the Sertraline now, have moved out of state, own my own place, mobile home, but it's mine! Have two cats, one from before and a new one I adopted from local shelter... Meeting lot of new people here. Was difficult first few weeks not having any friends close by, but making new ones now. I just have to keep in mind all the good things in my life, and not get bogged down with the negative stuff.
      • Hug Hug x 5
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    2. winstona

      winstona Member

      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise exposure and excessive ear irrigation
      Thanos for sharing your story kenbo776 and welcome to the forum. It’s great to hear that you are doing great with habituation.
    3. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Warm welcome to the forum. Your above quote pretty much sums it for me too. It is positivity which has saved me from getting worse. At some point in our struggle with T, when life is filled with negative emotions, perhaps we should re-evaluate our response approach to make it more positive. The more positive we are, the more calm and composed we will be, and the less stress and anxiety too. This will help hold off the limbic nervous system and make T much more manageable. Very nice post. Perhaps consider to write a success story for all new members to read. Every positive story counts. Thanks again for posting this. Take care. God bless.
      • Helpful Helpful x 1

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