I Am Falling Apart — Please Help

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Joshua, Mar 28, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Joshua

      Joshua Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows?
      I am sure this is the same plea for help as everyone has already seen. I am freaking out. I just started having the ringing in one ear a week ago and it is driving me crazy. I feel like everything I have is threatened. I am still relatively young, 43, with two small kids at home whom I love dearly, a good job, amazingly supportive wife. I'm afraid of how I will be able to work - I travel a lot - but I've been getting panic attacks whenever I am by myself, just on the daily commute to work. Still getting tests done - MRI coming up next week. I will scan other posts for advice but I am hoping beyond hope that this either becomes easier to deal with over time, or that the tinnitus will recede at some point. Still, any words of wisdom will be appreciated. How do I cope? How do I make myself stay positive? How do I learn to not notice it?
      More practical questions:
      -Anyone know a good ENT in the Washington DC area?
      -Any good practical advice for coping over long distance travel?
      -Wouldn't listening to tonal therapies through earphones damage my hearing? I found a bit of comfort from tonal therapies on youtube - 10 hours of waterfalls or white noise - but I don't want to cause more damage to my ears.
       
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    2. Raindance74
      Yeehaw

      Raindance74 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2010
      Search Yelp! for a trust worthy ENT in D.C.
      Make sure you get an audiology exam that day to see if you have hearing loss.
      Do you fly on planes? Are you scared of flying? Heighted anxiety will get better.
      Ask for an injectionof predisone in the ear during your visit.
      Chances are you'll recover and never come back to this website again.
       
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    3. Joshua

      Joshua Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows?
      Thank you. Yes, I do fly and my next trip is in April. scared to death. I can't relax.
       
    4. Cymro41
      Gloomy

      Cymro41 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Hi Joshua. I can't offer any help on finding an ENT in your area because I'm from Wales in UK...!! But I sympathise completely with your experience. I too have been suffering for around 8 years and lately the high pitched hissing is getting worse. I have been to the Tinnitus Clinic here in UK and will soon be receiving Desensitisation sound therapy which hopefully will help. Stay strong friend.
       
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    5. James Brown
      Sporty

      James Brown Member

      Location:
      Portugal
      Tinnitus Since:
      09-1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposition
      Calm down my friend... Just protect you ears if you have to travel to plains walking on the runway. If you go through a tunnel there's no need. I do long travels like Portugal to Brazil, about eleven hours, and its perfectly bearable. I have T and H, so don't worry too much. Use ear plugs if you have to pass near plain reactors or plains preparing to take off. I have T for almost 20 years and I've done more than 60 plain trips on the last 10.
       
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    6. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months
      For safety check 2 ENT, vitamin complex +vitamin b12 (they can check it also in blood) one need to know maybe eustachian tube is stuck if you had cold, magnesium and zink or just whole set of minerals if you are afraid, but magnesium is just for nerves and b complex + b12.

      It is not unlimitless money to ask it to one acupuncture treatment, if it does not get better there is they give corticosteroid pills for inflammation if they found one, if not there is High pressure oksigen chambers i don't know how much they cost.

      vitamins, minerals, are crucial + omega 3
       
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    7. RB2014
      Confused

      RB2014 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014 became noticable
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loss of hearing and then stress and anxiety
      I know its hard, but you have to calm down. The panic attacks only make things worst. Panic attacks set off louder tinnitus and the stress could lead to H which will make the tinnitus even louder. Its a vicious cycle that gets started when you first get this. If you dont calm down its just gets worst and worst. If you cant calm down on your own, clonazepam is what helped me with the panic attacks initially.
      It does get better for most people over time. It is only loud now, because it is something you are not used to and you are focusing all your attention on it. Its my 4th month now fighting this and I went from thinking it was the end of the world to coping with the ringing. Every day that goes by it gets quieter and quieter. I have my good and bad days though just like everyone hear. I was not able to calm myself down on my own, but ended up on the prescription medicine route to cope.
      If you feel you can beat this without the meds, then go for it, if not then thats ok too. I'm 41 and just like you felt like my life was going great until I got this. Right now I am calmed down and able to cope with this.
      Even after my 4th month, I'm not sure I would be up for some long distance travel. You are going to need time to get over this. Again, your initial reaction over this is what is going to determine how long it takes to get better.
       
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    8. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Joshua,

      I agree with what the others have said, about remaining calm (easier said than done!). You could try taking a natural supplement first, before you try a prescription drug. Holy basil is a calming supplement; I used it when my tinnitus first started. It is more subtle than a drug, however, so you may find that you need clonazepam for a while first.
      Another calming supplement is pharmaGABA. Again, it is more subtle, but it does really work.

      Also, I am currently taking NAC (N-acetylcistene). It is a supplement that protects your ears from any further damage, and now that I've been taking it for awhile, it seems to have a calming effect on my tinnitus, too. I take two 600-mg capsules per day (NOW brand).

      I wish you well, and hope you find some things that will work for you.

      Take care, and very best wishes,
      Karen
       
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    9. sonic123

      sonic123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      I've had tinnitus for 16 years (I'm 43 now) and I'm ok, I'm still all here, and pretty sane :) I can even laugh about it.

      When it first kicked in, I was extremely desperate and anxious, depressed, stressed, to get back to my previous state. Then, a few years later, I hit rock bottom about it again, just to become habituated again. I've never seen anyone about it (goodness knows why), but have noticed that diet can definitely worsen it - anything that makes mucus in the tubes or stresses the body e.g. caffein (but everyone's different). Low weather pressure worsens it for me. Stress makes it worse. My kids shrieking makes it worse!! lol!! Focusing on it makes it worse obviously. Ear wax... which is produced in greater quantities when exposed to louder sounds, apparently.

      I worry a lot more about hearing loss due to my activities (I'm a musician), than I do about tinnitus (though they are associated often). It's been with me so long....

      Check out the number of famous people who have tinnitus and what they do about it, you might get some inspiration from that, find your own coping strategy.

      Something that's helped me a lot, when it's got bad/very loud, is to focus on my own breathing.

      best wishes
       
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    10. Joshua

      Joshua Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows?
      Thank you all. I know the panic needs to end. I had an attack just now and my wife let me cry it out for the better part of an hour. I feel shaky but better. I have prescription meds, Xanax and lexapro, but I just started the lexapro so it still hasn't taken effect. Took half a Xanax and now I'm calm. I understand cognitively that it will get better or at least tolerable but the newness of it is frightening. Hearing your words of advice and encouragement is helpful.
       
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    11. Joshua

      Joshua Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows?
      Ok, one other question, the tinnitus ear feels stuffy and maybe a little painful. Common?
       
    12. RB2014
      Confused

      RB2014 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014 became noticable
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loss of hearing and then stress and anxiety
      I would go see an ENT and have them look at your ear if you havent already. Tinnitus comes in many different shapes and sizes and it can be as a result of many things. Did you have a recent cold/sinus infection? Maybe fluid in that ear? Maybe it just feels like that since you notice the ringing only in that ear? Remember the ringing is in our heads and not our ears.
      The lexapro will take 2-3 weeks to feel affects, but every day you will notice feeling better and better. Of course you will have good days and bad days, but every day you start to feel better whether you notice it or not. Take the Xanax as you see fit. Whatever you do, dont let yourself panic. If you panic, I would take one right away or try any of the relaxation techniques that work for you. It was weeks of panicking that gave me H and you dont want H and T. Maybe you have H already and don't realize it?
      For me, I'm really not sure if all the stuff I did really helped.
      Getting a handle on the situation is what is letting me have more quiet days than not. I started with just the anit-anxiety(like your Xanax) first hoping I could make it all go away, but in the end all I did was prolong my ringing for an extra 3 months. Now that I am on the anti-depressant, I'm starting to get better faster. Its been 2.5 weeks, but its getting quieter and quieter as the days go on.
       
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    13. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months
      Is it left ear? Painful can be inflammation. Anyway i said to you natural supplements.

      If you have inflammation well deal with it fast. A friend said after 4th months you will like use to it, but you are not in 4th and if you have chance to get examined and do LLLT treatment, corticosteroids treatment and HBTO treatment then you don't have to suffer maybe until resto of your life, or you can wait until tinnitus take root and then try to accept it.


      the longer you wait to vanish the bigger chance he will be your life companion and get worse in time, but you will get use to suffer. go to ent, check all possibility, dont just wait, in worse case speak with a doctor and ask about prednisone corticosteroids could they help, do you maybe have some inner inflammation and vitamins and mineral.

      HONESTLY I AM MORE FOR STOP AND FIX NOW, THEN WAIT 4 MONTHS AND GET USED TO IF UNTIL REST OF YOUR LIFE.


      my frend done 21 HBTO and got fixed, fuckin swedes never told me i waited 3 months and then it was late. my personal expirience. my ent said just get use to it, there is no help. but he lied he should have better told me look for better doctor, i wish i trey him from 7th floor.
       
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    14. marqualler
      Nerdy

      marqualler Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Minneapolis, MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / Mild Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      Hi Joshua, yes this is very common. I'm about 5 months ahead of you and doing much better with some time to adjust to it. I also have a little one at home and another one on the ways so I know what you mean about feeling scared about the future. I would recommend reading Letter to a Tinnitus Sufferer and stay close to your family and know that things will very likely get better.

      I wish you the very best!

      Mark
       
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    15. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      I agree. The feeling of fullness and the deep aching pain are pretty common when tinnitus is new. I had that feeling of fullness for quite awhile when mine first started, and now it is totally gone.

      I'm glad you have the Xanax and the Lexapro, and that your wife is very understanding of your condition.

      Things really will get better. It will just take some time.

      Best wishes and hugs,
      Karen
       
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    16. marqualler
      Nerdy

      marqualler Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Minneapolis, MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / Mild Noise Induced Hearing Loss
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    17. Joshua

      Joshua Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows?
      Thank you all again. i appreciate your advice and warmth.
       
    18. Ricky81
      Worried

      Ricky81 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 14, 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Assault/Contusion/Ear Infection
      If you will be flying, make sure you wear ear plugs.. or buy bose noise cancelling headphones or even other brand noise cancelling headphones.
       
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    19. Joshua

      Joshua Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows?
      Good advice, I'll check them out.
       
    20. rhiannon67
      Worried

      rhiannon67 Member

      Location:
      Northwest
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/15/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not yet known
      I am in your same boat...similar symptoms....just 4 years older, with a young son and wonderful husband....just had my MRI last week and am now awaiting results. This is the scariest part for me. My brain goes nonstop about possible causes because I've got a medical/healthcare background, my father died of brain cancer 30 years ago (he was only 52), and my brother in law just got dx with Acoustic Neuroma for similar symptoms!
       
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    21. Joshua

      Joshua Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows?
      you have my sympathy, Rhiannon67, and I hope you feel better soon.

      Today was my first day without a panic attack. It's only now at night that the T is bothering me but I'm listening to waterfall sounds and took half a Xanax to help get me to sleep. I'm concerned about becoming addicted but I'm most terrified now about how to deal with the night.

      How do you all deal with the night? How do you get to sleep?
       
    22. rhiannon67
      Worried

      rhiannon67 Member

      Location:
      Northwest
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/15/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not yet known
      Thank you. I wish you luck with your MRI and hope we both have negative results...or at least nothing scary.

      I used to sleep with earplugs, but now with the T, I can't use them because it makes it worse. I do sleep with white noise machines, which help. In fact, there is always some sort of background noise around me, whether it's white noise, fans, or music.

      Nights are the worst when I'm alone after my 7yo has gone to bed and my husband is away (most of the time as he is an airline pilot). Sometimes I just sleep upright in an easy chair, which is less disconcerting for me than laying down in bed.

      I'm very nervous tonight because I know I will be finding out my results in the next few days....afraid to leave the house even. I have a few valium left but want to keep those for real emergencies.
       
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    23. NavsPH
      Lurking

      NavsPH Member

      Location:
      Philippines
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds
      Sleeping is very difficult during the early stage due to anxiety. Right now your in panic mode. Try to be calm and relax and try not to be anxious about anything. I know it easier said than done, but will be able to do it. Read some of the success stories in the thread and search for the Topic Back to Silence and the suggestions. maybe then your anxiety will be lowered to some level to help you sleep. Sorry for my english. God bless.
       
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    24. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
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    25. Joshua

      Joshua Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows?
      I share your anxiety. I wish you luck. I'm also nervous, I should go back to work today but I'm not sure whether I'm up to it. The masking + half xanax helped me get to sleep but then my boy woke me up at around 2:00 and I've been up since then. He's getting a cold so now I'm concerned about also being sick while still in a panic mode.

      Sleep will continue to be a challenge, just because my boy tends to come to our bed in the middle of the night, nearly every night. Before the T started I'd just fall back to sleep or not wake up at all; now, it keeps me up. The masking doesn't help and I can't take a sleep aid or else I won't wake up in time for work. I don't know how long it will take me to habituate so this is a concern. The fact that I got a full night's sleep the night before contributed to my feeling much better yesterday.

      I will probably go to work but keep my bottle of xanax ready in case of panic attack; i will also not be shy about taking a nap in the middle of the day, if i need to. So far it's when I'm by myself that it hits, on the commute to work or in my office. I took the last Friday off and was following my wife around like a puppy the past few days. Being with my family and friends has been my greatest comfort, so far. But I need to go back into the real world in a couple of hours.

      Thanks again to all of you for your kindness.
       
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    26. HalloweenScreamQueen
      Cheerful

      HalloweenScreamQueen Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC US
      Tinnitus Since:
      I was about 12 YO
      Hi Joshua, I hope that your ENT is able to find out what's happening and that s/he can help you. In regard to flying, I highly recommend the Bose noise cancelling headphones. They help with my T as well as provide some great acoustics. I have problems with clearing my ears when flying, so always wear foam ear plugs. I have pretty large ear canals, so prefer the ones that don't taper, but either will work well. You can find them at CVS, any of the big box stores, or even on Amazon. Don't be concerned if, when you wear them, your T sounds louder, it's just because most of the ambient noise is blocked. :)

      GW has some great ENTs. You can also check out the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at www.entnet.org. Believe it or not, I used to work for them!

      I've had T since puberty, with no known cause. Believe me, if it's here to stay, you CAN get used to it. Stay hydrated, eat a healthy diet, and find something new that you enjoy. Exercise helps, a lot! Keep us posted on your progress. Cheers! Kelly.
       
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    27. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Listening to tonal therapies will not harm hearing. Try audible or ebooks on stress, well being--did great for me. Freak out stage is the normal part of T. It goes down after a while. T cannot harm you. T is not a disease. It's just a symptom of something that has changed in your body. It can be hearing loss but also may be something else. That is what the MRI is for. It is tough to stay positive in the negativity of the grasp of tinnitus. Come up with a few mantras that you can repeat to yourself throughout the day. You will be ok. It takes time.

      No condition really gets better overnight. Some take a few days, some take a few weeks, some longer. I felt the worst my 1st month, then steadily things improved. When I look back I can see the dark hole I was in. It took a while but I climbed out and moved forward. It is still behind me now and I don't want to fall back into it. So I don't. I do everything I can to remain positive and move ahead. You are in the hole and steadily climbing to the top. You will get there in time.
       
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    28. Joshua

      Joshua Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows?
      Good advice, thank you. Today was my first day without panic. I feel closer to normal than I have all week. Needed half a Xanax for the MRI but otherwise I could have done without it. I'm trying to put a lot of what Ive read in the forums to practice. So today I'm feeling a lot more confident. Still really hard, lots of highs and lows, but I will beat this thing one way or another.
       
    29. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Highs and lows are part of this experience. We all went thru them and in some cases still going through them. Practice makes perfect and it gets easier in time. We feel your pains and share your journey.
       
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    30. HalloweenScreamQueen
      Cheerful

      HalloweenScreamQueen Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC US
      Tinnitus Since:
      I was about 12 YO
      When I was about 12 or 13, I first noticed my T. I would wake up in the middle of the night when the house was quiet and think that someone was in my room... It was absolutely terrifying. I never told my parents, got no help, and just toughed it out. Believe me, it does get easier!
       
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