How to Come to Terms with Going Deaf at 20?

Discussion in 'Support' started by serendipity1996, Oct 27, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      Hi everyone,

      Recently I have been in a very bad place in fact I recently left a psychiatric hospital because I was considered a danger to myself. Well, my story starts at 15. That was when I first got permanent ringing in my ears - at the time it was faint and mild and didn't really bother me but I went along to my doctor anyway who said it was an inflamed eustachian tube and prescribed me a nasal spray. It didn't go away but it wasn't really bothering me so for the next five years I continued to listen to music through headphones and since going to university have been to nightclubs. My tinnitus never got any worse however over the past few years my ears developed a crackling sensation when I yawned and slowly started to feel a bit clogged. Again, I stupidly ignored these signs of damage and just assumed my ears naturally felt a bit funny - I wasn't noticing any problems with my hearing. However, this summer around 6 weeks ago I started to notice that I was having trouble with background noise, I was having to strain to hear. Then I started to experience hyperacusis and noticed that everyday noises like music in the background was starting to sound a bit garbled. I think I have experienced a permanent threshold shift as I am struggling to hear soft noises that I used to be able to hear. My brain feels really sluggish.

      I have had an audiogram and my hearing comes up as perfectly normal but I know they are damaged. I read about hidden hearing loss recently and have all the symptons. I feel like I am hearing but not processing...I feel like I am hearing in black and white.

      It's now hit me that oh crap I am losing my hearing and I am 20 years old...it has absolutely devastated me and I was recently discharged from hospital as I have been considering suicide. Most of all, I can't livw with myself knowing that I messed up my hearing - I ignored all the warning signs and was an idiot child. It is absolutely terrifying...my life is effectively over. Your twenties are supposed to be the best years of your life...instead I will have to be a hermit and avoid any futher noise exposure...who knows where I will be in five years time.

      I have been to so many doctors and they all say my hearing is fine it is anxiety. I have had my ears checked for wax or ETD and they are fine. I am tired of everyone telling me it is all in my head. I am so young and I have messed up my life. Somebody please sorry I am so desperate please gelp me.
       
    2. KS97

      KS97 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Mid September 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      My ears crackle when I yawn and I've had T for about 5 weeks what could this be a sign of that I should look into I'm 19 years old
       
    3. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Welcome to Tinnitus Talk.
      I'm glad to hear you got hospital support and hope on going support.

      Please try not to worry over your hearing or beat yourself up wondering if you caused your ear problems as a heavy cold could give you the same outcome.
      With tinnitus you can get hearing fluctuations and maybe what you are going through and anxiety on top worrying.
      My son had his ear bones out age 7 and had hearing reduction but now 21 and has a fantastic job and has epilepsy.
      Don't worry about your future as you will be thinking of it by how you are feeling now and that will all change as your life does.
      Don't put no presure on yourself and go at your own pace building up your confidence and learning to enjoy life again.
      Just do what you can to protect your ears now and think of all the other people who put their hearing in danger who don't know about tinnitus and you have the knowledge now to use protection when needed.

      You have come along way so well done and we are here around the clock to support you and make some friends as we do understand.....lots of love glynis
       
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    4. Candy

      Candy Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unidentified
      Crackling is generally due to fluid in the middle ear after colds, allergies.
      Please don't worry, people have had tinnitus for years without losing their hearing. Try to identify your anxious thoughts and challenge them. x
       
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    5. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      The doctors have checked my ears and told me there is no fluid or congestion and have had no colds or allergies recently :( Just trying to stay strong for now
       
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    6. Jkph75

      Jkph75 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/27/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Most of our hearing takes place in our brains. Your dr's are right. There is nothing wrong with your ears. It is in your best interest to accept this. Your anxiety is interfering with the way that your brain is interpreting the sound. The more you are anxious the worse your hearing will seem, especially if that is what you are focusing on. You are not going deaf.
       
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    7. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I would like to believe this but can this really explain the hyperacusis, the clogged feeling in my ears, the tinnitus that I have had for the past five years? I'm not so sure...:(
       
    8. Jkph75

      Jkph75 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/27/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yes it can. Even the clogged ear feeling can be from nerves triggered by anxiety. It is possible that you have something minor wrong with your ears that anxiety is amplifying, but you are absolutely not going deaf.
       
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    9. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      Man, since the onset of my tinnitus past February i have had the crackling in my ears all the time,
      all the time im not sure if it has something to do fluid.
       
    10. Candy

      Candy Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unidentified
      Crackling is either fluid or ETD generally...t sounds different. Even if your ear pressure tests ok, doesn't mean you can't have chronic ETD on some level. Have had ETD for ages, yet it doesn't get picked up through the pressure test. I know that closing the shower door in the cubicle for most people doesn't cause cause ear blockage yet it does for me, hence tubes not working properly, probably due to anatomy or a bad infection I had years ago, where my ear never felt it unblocked 100% ever since. That is the ear where I hear the t mostly. Funnily enough about 18 years ago after my infection went to central London for a private test as ear wasn't unblocking properly. They couldn't pick anything up, I got used to it eventually, it was slightly fuller that the other one even when it had popped properly.

      Now there are some connections between tension in the ears and anxiety too, I have read that but haven't done much research.
       
    11. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I would so like to believe this but Idk why these symptoms built up at times when I was generally happy like a year or two ago I noticed these but just thought it was a funny feeling in my ear I stupidly didn't connect these symptons with damage. I am not like the people here - I continued to abuse my ears for five years after first acquiring noise induced tinnitus rather than protecting them as soon as I first got it. :( I can't even hear everyday sounds like buzzers and even with medication like Valium my hearing is stilll awful. :(
       
    12. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      What everybody wrote here OP. It isn't your hearing. You may have tinnitus which many would agree both its onset and sustenance are partly based upon your anxiety. Anxiety is your opponent you need to vanquish. You need to focus on that. You do this by learning about yourself. You may need help of a therapist...not a T therapist but rather a therapist to work through your anxiety. Anxiety is many times heredity. It runs in families. It runs in my family for example on my Mother's side. Nobody chooses their parents or their brain chemistry. Some people are afraid of their own shadow and some are into extreme activities where all they want to do is take risk...and every flavor in between. A bell curve. If you feel anxious all the time, you need to address that. As I read this forum, I often think this is more a forum about anxiety disorder than tinnitus. I believe more than anecdotally that anxiety is many times is a precursor to tinnitus...perhaps most of the time it is such a common theme here.

      So you have perfect hearing with tinnitus and a full life ahead. Seek help for your anxiety. Some just learning about cause and effect can get to a calmer place. Others need to take medication everyday. Some get by taking say a Benzo when they have to face something stressful that they aren't comfortable with. We aren't all the same and have different needs.

      Will share a quick anecdote. Years ago, I started to really struggle with my anxiety. I was out of college and a bit older than you at the time. I didn't contract tinnitus until much later in life btw. I am a gregarious guy who worked in a technical field and so my employers always wanted me to be front and center giving presentations. So not only did I have a lot of technical metrics to meet in my job but I had to give a lot of speeches and I was pretty freaked out about everything and I felt I was going off the rails a bit. My mother's side anxiety was kicking in essentially. So I sought help from a psychiatrist.
      I am not the kind of guy to go to a therapist FWIW, but this felt bigger than me and I wasn't reeling my anxiety in and if anything it was getting worse. I admitted I had a problem essentially. I had my first anxiety attack in my twenties when one of my best friends died of a rare disease. We were the same. It could have been me but it wasn't. My shrink who I only saw for about 6 months...mostly in the end to say hello :) was a brilliant little Jewish guy and I loved the guy right off the bat for his towering intellect. A wise sage basically. I told him I thought I had a charmed life but I felt overwhelmed by anxiety in particular when I had to give speeches to upper management of not only my company but other companies....sometimes very large rooms full of people and I felt overwhelmed with pressure and I like to do things well. He listened and smiled. When we dug into my past he asked about my family and anxiety and I told him yes, others within my family struggled with it and some in fact were on medication which helped. I asked him when he had to give a speech in front of 100 other PhD's or MD's, is he anxious? He laughed and said, yup, I pretty much always am. He went to tell me, he popped an Ativan when he had to get up and make a big speech. I was pretty shocked. Here is this brilliant guy that thoroughly understood behavioral cause and effect who couldn't calm his mind when having to give a big speech.

      People aren't perfect OP. I ended up emulating my psychiatrist and if I felt overwhelmed by the moment, I would pop an Ativan to tweak my brain chemistry to bring me down to how I typically felt which was happy Same guy, a very small pill and different outlook. Had I been born differently, a guy who craved the limelight and couldn't wait to get up on stage and perform, I wouldn't need a pill. But I wouldn't be as smart technically as I am either. Each of us are unique OP.

      Find your center and kick your anxiety to the curb so you can enjoy life is my advice OP. Lots of good books on the subject or you can see somebody like I did years ago to set me on a better path. Life is largely a journey of discovery about self.
      Embrace the journey.
       
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    13. Candy

      Candy Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unidentified
      Your self critical voice is very strong and you need to deal with this, otherwise you will be continually ruminating. You are blaming yourself for not protecting your ears, why did't you do it? There must have been a logical reason? This thought is keeping you stuck and making things worse on top of your physical symptoms.
       
    14. Candy

      Candy Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unidentified
      @stophiss - great post just popped up...critical voice and alarmist voice sit together in this case...can hear my therapist saying this :)
       
    15. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      Very insightful Candy and in fact hear the same thing in other threads as well. Guilt and self loathing for not protecting their ears...ignoring warning signs and admonitions from others.

      I have never met anybody who has led a perfect life. In fact, if we tried, we would each die of boredom. :)
      I believe acceptance of things like T start with forgiveness and acceptance of self and others.
       
    16. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I forgot to mention this but I have also been noticing that my cognitive function has gone down, I struggle a lot with my memory and for example following movie storylines is difficult for me - my memory definitely is not as sharp as it once was and I feel like I am in a brain fog most of the time. I also have quite pronounced visual snow at night. I also wonder if this could be connected with my use of drugs in the past - LSD, ecstasy, and other psychedelics. Furthermore, over the past two years my sleep hypgiene has seriously gone downhill - I get to bed at about 2-3am every night and haven't exercised in ages. I don't know if this is relevant but even recently when I was listening to music with headphones (which I have now ditched) I found I was still hearing everything crisply and clearly through headphones...if my hearing were truly damaged then maybe that sound would be garbled?
       
    17. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      In contrast to what you say is diminution in cognitive function, your writing lucidity is above normal as you nicely articulate your challenges. You have a lot going on Serendipity and as laypeople on a website forum, we are pretty limited as to what advise to provide. Prior drug usage has unknown consequences to your current health. Common knowledge however how sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on health. So trying to pursue a better life balance of sleep, healthy eating and exercise is a boost to all of our well being. I believe your good hearing is relevant and congrats.
      When was the last time you have a complete physical? If you have symptoms that transcend hearing loss and/or tinnitus, consider seeing a GP for overall testing including complete blood panel as a baseline.
      We all wish you well.
       
    18. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I've always been able to articulate myself fairly well in writing but I feel I am very slow to grasp new concepts these days and my short term memory is very poor. I have never had a complete physical but I was recently admitted to a psychiatric hospital (and discharged yesterday) where I had the opportunity to discuss my symptoms with a team of doctors.
       
    19. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      I'm so glad to hear you had hospital support and a team of doctors to support you.
      Well done with your progress and been able to get discharged and hope still some back up in place if need it.
      I have had great support through a hard time and met a amazing young lady who said how much she will miss me and I was so glad to have had her in my life and the support she gave me and going out for a coffee and chat ....lot of love glynis
       
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    20. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I will have further meetings with them and also am due to undergo a speech discrimination test soon....by the way, do you know if it's common to experience depersonlisation/derealisation as a result of hearing loss? I had that a few months ago after taking some mind-altering substances and having a pretty rough comedown and perhaps there is a connection there? Honestly I wish they would just hurry up and find a cure for hearing loss already....I get that the ear is SUCH a complex organ but if we had started pouring money and resources into this decades ago surely we would be getting somewhere by now. I mean, we sent a man to the moon 50 years ago and developed the atomic bomb. I have really been struggling recently with suicidal ideation and my mental health and am expecting to start on a course of anti-depressants soon (Mirtazapine). I also wonder if there is some sort of link between hearing loss/tinnitus and anxiety in general...I have always been a very highly strung person, even as a child I was very 'sensitive' so perhaps my brain was somehow always more susceptible to developing these disorders.
       
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    21. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Tinnitus and depression and medication can cause derealisation and depersonalisation and anxiety and hearing loss stress and anxiety adjusting to lifes changes as you can just loose your grip on life for a while but you come through it with support.
      The Mertazapine AD is a good AD with less chance of making tinnitus worse.
      I take sleeping tablets for sleep but the doctor has told me if my sleep pattern does not come back soon after coming off amitryptaline for 12 years that causes sedation and my brain now after 12 years on it won't let me fall asleep with tinnitus too will need to come off the sleeping tablets and try a 15mg -30mg Mirtazapine or 10-20 mg amitryptaline for sleep.
      I really don't want to go down another AD route as take venlafaxine and ok on it apart from sleeping but Mirtazapine is used a lot from mental health hospitals with great results and less chance of tinnitus and does help sleep unlike the one I'm on that can keep you awake.....lots of love glynis
       
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    22. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I hope my hearing loss is a result of anxiety....can I just ask, obviously it seems to be different for everyone but when I first got tinnitus when I was 15 I didn't have any other of the symptoms I come across on here...it's only been after around 4-5 years with tinnitus that I have actually started to notice hyperacusis, distortion. My ears would get slightly muffled and feel a bit irritated before but is it strange that I didn't develop hyperacusis earlier back when I first acquired T? And I would say it's only really been in the past 4 months or so that I have noticed any actual hearing deficits.
       
    23. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Hyperacusis can start anytime and more after a spike or around loud sounds or ear infections and over use of earplugs around every day sounds but it does get better.
      If it gets to bad then treatment with TRT and wearing white noise generators can sort it out over time....
      Lots of love glynis
       
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    24. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/19/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      If it makes you feel better, I'm the 15 year old you. I am 15 years old right at time moment. Sucks that I have T at a young age but I basically begged for it. I put my ear near a subwoofer once. Stupid and ignorant. I occasionally listen to music in headphones and I still go to noisy places. My T is pretty mild though. I can only hear it when I want to, which is when I go to bed. All this partying is going to catch up with me just like that music did. I'm going to be deaf by the time I'm 40-50 and I'm fine with that. It's okay if you have to say "Huh" or "What" a few times. Just fill in the gaps when someone's talking or repeat it over to clarify. Anxiety can definitely cause brain fog which then causes you not to hear someone properly. Which makes you think you're dead, which leads into a spiral of anxiety.
       
    25. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I definitely think there may be a combination of things at play here. It sucks to get T at 15 but at least you've done the sensible thing and found forums like this one so you know to protect your ears from now on. I would probably be fine with being moderately deaf at 40-50, I suspected that I would probably have done enough damage to cause premature hearing loss like maybe at 50 but the fact that it's suddenly unfolding at 20 is freaking me out so much. I wouldn't care about going deaf at 50 because technology will be so advanced by then and this part of my life will be over. But I am literally 20 and have the best years of my life ahead and so much to experience. I can't even watch TV without feeling like I am straining to hear. And it's only in the past 3 months or so that I have really noticed these symptoms unravelling....I have been at university for the past two years and have noticed no problems with my hearing, although my ears would crackle a bit and feel a little bit clogged but not enough for me to notice any hearing deficiencies...but now it's just like holy crap what have I done. It's not only my hearing, I feel like I'm sort of spaced out and dizzy, I have a lot of visual snow at night. Maybe it's something to do with the fact that in June I had a massive panic attack following a drugs experience (MDMA and LSD) and then felt depersonalised for a month or so afterwards and since then I feel my anxiety levels have definitely heightened both consciously and subconsciously. Maybe it is because I am focusing on my ears so much...but I'm not sure. The worst feeling is this head pressure...it feels like my brain is tight and straining all the time because of myhearing loss even when I am not actively listening to people. Just hate this feeling.

      Everything feels so unfair too. My best friend first got T at 8 after blasting a toy gun in his ear, listened to music with headphones through his teenage years, played in an orchestra, DJs and goes to way more music events and club nights than I do at university and doesn't experience any other symptoms or loss of hearing only T. I am only speculating here...but perhaps susceptibility to these things also has to do with your brain chemistry and natural disposition....like he is the most chilled out person ever whereas I am a neurotic mess.
       
    26. serendipity1996

      serendipity1996 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but suspect noise-induced
      I'm just worried because I'm not like the people here - I didn't get T and then start being sensible from that moment onwards. I abused my years for 5 more years after getting T, so it's probably damage upon damage. :(
       
    27. volsung37

      volsung37 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Don't put too much trust in future cures. Back in the 70s and 80s they thought we'd be flying around with jetpacks now, baldness would be cured and we'd be living to 120.
      I'm 54 and I wouldn't be ok with hearing loss. Its bad enough to have tinnitus.
       
    28. Jkph75

      Jkph75 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/27/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I'm sure there are plenty of people here who have done the same. If you had major damage to your ears it would show on a hearing test. I understand why you are scared, but there is no reason to logically conclude that because you have tinnitus you will go deaf. You also have to remember that there is an enormous gap between 2 normal hearing ears and total deafness.
       

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