How to Cope the First Few Months with Tinnitus — Suggestions Appreciated

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by LindaS, Apr 28, 2020.

    1. LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      Hello everyone

      My name is Linda. My tinnitus started a few weeks ago as a high pitch in my left ear. Not sure what caused it.

      I did use earbuds for a few months when I couldn't sleep and frequently I would fall asleep with ear buds in.

      I did wean my self off recently (before the tinnitus started... maybe too late?) The physician I saw last Friday thinks the tinnitus is caused by hearing loss. I have a hearing test tomorrow so we will see.

      This past Saturday I was shocked to find out that bacon frying in the pan was deafening! I feel like I am going insane. I am having panic attacks, not eating, not sleeping and the thought of living with this the rest of my life... I don't know if I will be able to cope. I am scared.

      I checked out some posts before signing up and I read that the first few months are the hardest. How do you get through them? Is it possible to go on and actually enjoy life or does one just survive? My hats off to everyone here... I'm really glad you are here and that I can be with you.
       
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    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I found Amitriptyline helped me sleep, wasn't addictive and didn't make me feel drowsy in the morning.

      Having said this, whether or not it's a good drug to take is a complicated question.

      Large doses of Amitriptyline (50-100 mg, as opposed of the normal 10 mg that one uses to help one to fall asleep) has been used as a Treatment for tinnitus.
      https://www.researchgate.net/profil...e_Tinnitus/links/5502051c0cf24cee39fb28c8.pdf

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079612307660245

      Just like most potential tinnitus treatments, Amitriptyline can Cause tinnitus (or make tinnitus worse) for a very small fraction of the people who take it:
      https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269881107082126

      During the first few months after the onset of my tinnitus (back when I haven't been aware about any of the above) I had been taking Amitriptilyne to help me sleep and I ended up feeling good about the experience.

      Many people on this forum have had a similar experience with this drug.

      You can tell yourself that there is still a chance that your tinnitus will begin to fade in a couple of months. If it does, chances are that eventually you will get to the "can hear it only in quiet rooms" stage. If what you are hearing now is going to be there only temporarily, it ought to be easier to handle.
       
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    3. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Most likely, you have noise induced tinnitus from the earbuds, and now associated hyperacusis. You need to stop using the earbuds, and having them running while you were asleep is a contributing cause.

      If you avoid all noise exposure for months, this will most likely get better. I sleep with earplugs in to avoid the noise exposure while asleep that is particularly irritating to my ears.

      It took me about 18 months, but things are much better for me these days.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      Hi Bill

      Really appreciate you taking the time to offer a suggestion.

      Was on Amitriptyline for a while to help me sleep when I was going through a really tough time last year (caregiving for elderly mother, elderly mother- in-law, new health issues for me... etc.....

      They left me feeling spaced out in the morning. Nonetheless, I took them. A few months ago I was able to get off them and was sleeping pretty good.

      Started them a couple of days ago to help me sleep with this T & H but not helping now. Took two last night. Did not sleep at all. Feel zombie like.

      Not quite sure yet how to navigate this site (I'm techno as in Tech....No!) I finally realized that I could put a word in the search box and it would bring up threads associated with that word. Made my day. I will continue to take Amitriptyline (maybe at a higher dose) for now because they still take a wee bit of an edge off my anxiety level and check threads regarding sleep.

      Now, I hope that this reply ends up where it should be.

      PS Is there a manual for navigating this site? What are trophies for etc?
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      Thanks Digital Doc. Will definitely stay away from earbuds and protect ears. Thanks for the suggestion.
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @LindaS

      Do you listen to music through headphones or earbuds often? If you do this is probably the cause of the tinnitus. Exposure to loud noise is the most common cause of tinnitus and typically caused by headphones or going to places where loud music is present: clubs, concerts etc. Hearing loss can cause tinnitus too amongst other things. Please click on the links below and read my posts that you might find helpful. I advise that you don't use headphones, earbuds or headset even at low volumes.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      Thank you Michael. I will check out the posts.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      Hello Bill Bauer

      After rereading my reply to you I want to apologize. I thought it sounded like I was discounting what you were saying about Amitriptyline. I have seen on several posts that it has been helpful for number of people.

      Amitriptyline did help me through a rough period. I was disappointed that they were not helping me now. Also, when I responded to you I hadn't slept all night. I did increase the dosage last night (3 x 10 mg) and was finally able to get a few hours sleep.
      Have found out what trophies are. Now just need to figure out how to send them.

      Wishing you a great day.
       
    9. Anxinnitus
      Spaced

      Anxinnitus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Valsalva Left Ear / Ototoxic Right
      Hi LindaS,

      I am on month 3 of my Tinnitus. It began after I performed the Valsalva Maneuver and my left ear "popped". No perforation or any damage that the ENT could see without looking beyond the eardrum. Probably Barotrauma.

      My Tinnitus is continous high pitched that rides a roller coaster of high and low volumes throughout the day.

      What I find that helps my paralzying anxiety about this new ringing are some basic comforts along with CBT videos about tinnitus on YouTube. They help allot if you can stay focused on watching them.

      I also gentley sniff some Lavender Oil and meditate for 20 minutes (twice a day) (helps my stress ALLOT) which actually does allow me to hear my Tinnitus less. Stress is the hardest part, because it can spike T or make it worse. But I stress about T! How can we not? It is possible and only your mind can make it happen, just like your mind got you all the way up until this point in your life through the decisions you've made. Bad and good go together, its all a bunch of learning either way. Only you didnt ask for this, neither did I!

      I get stuck in the "what ifs" all day long and I have been traumatized to now fear all possible outcomes and sounds I hear.

      To combat this, CBT courses on YouTube an Doctor Videos about Tinnitus as well help tremendously. Also Melatonin for sleep works well. I take 6mg with lots of water and also use a warm compress against my ear at night. Crickets on my phone and fan on at night as well. I also take long walks outside with no thoughts, just observation. The exercise for both mind and body helps also ALLOT! Thinking while walking is counterproductive I find.

      I have been to the top ENT Surgeon at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville and he believes the Tinnitus will subside with time, time and more time. I am so ready to fix it everyday I wake up, that I am missing everday by wishing it away.

      It takes courage to get up, pep talk yourself into living for the day and realizing the noise is not a threat. It is a paper Tiger and not a real Tiger. The past will never reutrn to us and we cannot leap into the future. Take it minute by minute if you have to.

      Research the crap out of Tinnitus and what it is (from actual Doctor and research videos). This is your fight, so invest in it, do not lay in wait is my best advice.

      I am only 3 months in, but I will not give the rest of my life up for this noise. If the noise is here for the rest of my life, bring it on, I will not dwindle into a ball of emotions anymore than I have already. The rest of my body takes care of me and that gives me comfort.

      Being scared is normal. But we are always conforming to new normals in our life, we just dont realize the slow trends of normal we acclimate ourselves to every year that passes (and we dont have many years to let pass) These normals however, are usually not as sudden as a new high pitched ringing in our ears.

      So keep up your mental stamina, your T is here, right now, whether you do nothing else with your day but listen to it sing or not. The rest of your body is ready to do what you've always done.

      Do it for the rest of yourself. The days are going to go by anyway and time will almost certainly mean your T will reduce in volume given you protect your ears. If it stays the same after 6 months, you will have had 6 months of habituation under your belt and your brain will literally notice it less anyway.

      We are apart of nature, we are secondary to our automatic bodily functions, our minds are just along for the ride. At least we are on the ride. Many well wishes to you, keep me updated please! :)
       
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    10. pinkrose16
      Sweet tooth

      pinkrose16 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      TMJ
      Hi Linda,

      You're right. The first few months are the hardest. Your brain is still adjusting so that is when it causes the most anxiety. Definitely stop using headphones/earbuds and avoid loud noises if possible. Aside from that, the best advice is to just stay distracted and focus on what you love and are grateful for. It's actually such a common disorder and the vast majority of people are able to live with it :p Just be safe and stay positve. Over time you will not be bothered by it.
       
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    11. pinkrose16
      Sweet tooth

      pinkrose16 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      TMJ
      I also tell myself this! I have found that affirming to myself that the Tinnitus won't harm me and that I'm safe and okay helps a lot. I'll use the tiger analogy now too
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      Hello Anxinnitus

      Thank you for taking the time to respond to my query and for all the helpful information. I will try some of the things you mentioned.
      I admire you for the way you are handling this. What a great attitude! :thankyousign:
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      Hello pinkrose16

      Thank you for your words of support. I am very grateful for the wonderful people here on Tinnitus Talk.
      Not sure if I could have coped initially.... and continue to cope..... without everyone here.
       
    14. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Not really. If you select text in someone's message by clicking on the first letter and dragging your mouse across the text, the text "quote" will pop up and you can quote that text by clicking that "Quote" text link.

      The search box is all you need...

      When you reply, you will want to type "@" and Then type their name. As you type their username, the site will suggest their username to you, and you will want to click on that suggestion. If you do that, the person will get notified of your reply. I apologize for missing both of your posts directed to me.
      There was no need to apologize. I found your post to be informative. It turns out that for some people Amitriptyline is less effective than I thought. I was under the impression that it helps everyone, because I couldn't remember anyone sharing that it didn't help them.
      You just need to click the icons (i.e., "like", "ligh tbulb" for "informative", etc.) underneath the post you want to react to, without making a comment. Those are the main "trophies".
      You are most welcome.

      Have you experienced any fading/improvement?
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      @Bill Bauer

      Hi Bill

      Thank you for asking if I have experienced any fading/improvement. Actually, I think I have.
      I do know that I don't (for the most part) have the gut wrenching panic and very dark thoughts I had in the beginning.
      The noise seems to have become (for the most part) a lower pitch and the volume seems lower at times.
      It still seems to get louder in late afternoon into the evening but I've had one or two days where it didn't.
      I don't want to jinx myself, but it has been better for the past four days (pitch frequency and loudness).

      I just got hearing aids for the first time and have worn them the last three days. They also have the Zen program which I used yesterday for a while. I up the Amitriptyline as needed to help me sleep.
      They are only 10mg each so sometimes, it's two, three, or four depending on how bad it is or how desperately I need sleep.

      I had a virtual meeting with an ENT and he is concerned that my left ear (tinnitus ear) is significantly worse than the right ear. He wants me to have an MRI when Covid restrictions are lifted to rule out a tumor as being the cause. I'm thinking though that it can't be a tumor if my tinnitus is actually improving. Anyway, will have to wait and see.

      Thanks for all the navigation tips! Hope all is well with you. Look forward to chatting with you again.
       
    16. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Wonderful!! This means that unless you harm your ears again, eventually you ought to get to the "can hear it only in quiet rooms" stage.
      The lower the pitch and the quieter it gets, the easier it will get to habituate and to avoid the dark thoughts.
      These fluctuations are normal. What happens on any given day isn't important. What matters is the monthly trend and the global low.
      Only have an MRI if you believe that not having an MRI is life threatening. MRI can cause a permanent spike in tinnitus. I know at least four people who got a permanent spike after having an MRI. I don't know the probability of it happening (hopefully it is low), but the risk is definitely there.
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      @Bill Bauer

      I will definitely think long and hard about having an MRI.

      I think my T & H may have been caused by accumulated noise trauma.
      The ENT said I have a notch in my audiogram.
      Do you think it could still fade to the point of only hearing it in a quiet room (I hear it all the time over everything) or is that just for people who had one acute noise trauma?
       
    18. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Have you experienced any improvement/fading compared to how it was a month ago? If not, try to protect your ears from even the moderate noises (e.g., vacuum cleaner, lawn mower) and hopefully the fading will begin within 2 months of you adopting that policy. If you notice fading, it ought to continue to fade and unless you inadvertently hurt your ears again you ought to get to that "quiet room" stage.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      @ Bill Bauer

      Thank you for the hope.

      Wasn't sure if it could happen to me with hearing loss. Thought it could happen only to people who do not have hearing loss.

      I am definitely trying to protect my ears as much as possible. Maybe too much now and that may not be good for the hyperacusis. I have been trying to learn as much as I can about tinnitus and now plan to learn as much about hyperacusis. I have experienced fading in the last month but also spikes.

      I'm going to read your posts and learn more about you. I really appreciated your post to me when I first joined and was really scared.
      Thank you for what you do on this forum.

      Not sure what part of the world you are in. So wishing you a good morning/afternoon/evening/night.:)
       

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