I Feel Like I'm Back to Square One

Discussion in 'Support' started by Christina, Sep 19, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Christina

      Christina Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/30/15
      Hi everyone.

      My hyperacusis is through the roof because one of my friend's kids popped a huge balloon yesterday and it sent my T into a frenzy. I haven't been able to be around normal sounds since and I am in so much ear pain. This is exactly what it was like first getting T. Even shutting a door was painful. I just can't go on like this anymore. I've given up my music because my hyperacusis is so bad and the violin is too high-pitched even with a mute and proper ear protection. I feel like I've given up on anything that gives me any enjoyment as I can't go out to loud bars and clubs because my ears are so sensitive and it feels like a sword is going through my ear drum. Believe me, I've tried earplugs, ear protection, and my T is so reactive---it gets worse no matter if I protect my ears or not. I don't usually wear ear protection unless it's really loud, but it still seems that nothing is getting any better.

      ENT's have not helped me at all. I saw a specialist a few months ago, and she told me there's nothing that I can do or take to get rid of this. Honestly, I feel like I keep running into the same brick wall, and I'm only 28.... I don't know how I'm supposed to live with this the rest of my life. I just don't want to be here anymore...please help :(
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Christina

      Hi Christina,
      I am sorry to hear that you are going through a lot of discomfort at the moment with hyperacusis. Please read the post below as I believe it will be of help to you.

      I used to have severe hyperacusis and it is now cured so I disagree with your ENT Doctor that says nothing can be done. Providing you can get the right treatment, which is mentioned in the post below, I believe your hyperacusis, will improve considerably. My hyperacusis was every bit as severe as yours. At one point, I had to ask people to please lower their voice when they were talking to me as it was too painful for my ears.

      There is also a link at the bottom of the page which will take you to a post that Answers to hyperacusis and habituation was taken from. There, you will find additional information on tinnitus which you may find helpful.
      I hope that you are able to get the help that you need because hyperacusis can be treated.
      All the best
      Michael

      Answers to hyperacusis and habituation

      Two questions often asked about tinnitus are: How long does it take to habituate? And how do I know if I have hyperacusis?

      Hyperacusis.

      One of the main causes of tinnitus is exposure to loud noise. Quite often though hyperacusis, (sensitivity to sounds) accompanies the condition. This is because the nerves in the auditory pathway have been subjected to noise trauma and thus become highly sensitized. Hyperacusis can be extremely painful. It can cause tinnitus to spike sometimes making it last for days until it settles down again. Within this time the person affected can be in a lot of discomfort.

      Music that was once pleasurable to listen to through a home music system or radio is now an ordeal so one prefers not to listen to it. The closing of doors, washing up of kitchen plates and cutlery is enough to send a person running for cover, as it can feel like a pneumatic drill is piercing through your ears and head. It can become such a problem a person is afraid to venture outside their home in fear of road traffic noise sparking an increase in their tinnitus due to their sensitivity to sound.

      One of the best ways to treat hyperacusis is by using “sound enrichment”. This can be achieved in many ways but I one of the best to wear white noise generators. Two should be worn to keep your auditory system in balance. The sound level of these devices must be adjusted correctly so as not to cause further irritation to a person’s auditory system, which can make the hyperacusis and tinnitus worse. It is best to always make sure their sound levels are set just below the tinnitus. Wngs are usually worn for up to ten hours a day. Two things are achieved over time.

      The hearing system is constantly subjected to low-level non-intrusive white noise, which will help to desensitize it. Secondly, they help the brain to focus less on the tinnitus and push it further into the background making it less noticeable. This form of treatment is also known as TRT.

      An alternative to wngs is to use a tabletop sound machine that plays nature sounds. This can be used for sound enrichment to help the healing process of hyperacusis. Again it is best to set the sound level just below the tinnitus. As previously explained sound machines can be very useful at night by the bedside and in the day used to fill in the background ambiance in room.

      Treating hyperacusis takes time as there is no quick fix and everyone will respond to treatment differently.
      Please bare in mind that a person with tinnitus and hyperacuisis, if the hyperacusis is left untreated sensitivity to sound will always remain a problem. In some cases hyperacusis can get better naturally without using sound enrichment but there is no guarantee.

      A word of caution. Some people use earplugs to help suppress external sounds because of their sensitivity to sound. Earplugs are available but should only be used when in noisy surroundings and not to suppress normal every day sounds, as doing so can prevent the healing process of hyperacusis.


      Habituating to Tinnitus.

      Habituating to tinnitus often seems shrouded in mystery for the more seriously affected people that are in distress and have had to seek help at ENT. It can be particularly difficult for people that are new to tinnitus to comprehend. How does one know when they have habituated to their T and more importantly what does this actually mean?

      The following doesn’t apply in every case of tinnitus for there are some people that have large fluctuations in their T and every day can be a different experience. This is one of the most severe forms of tinnitus and medications may be required to help cope with the condition. Habituating to this type of tinnitus is still possible to an extent but does present additional problems.

      To others I will say this: You’ll know when you have habituated to your T regardless of whatever treatment you are using via ENT etc as your brain will over time push it further into the background so it becomes less significant, in a similar way to the people that have mild tinnitus. Although your T may be present and on occasions it will spike, over time it will cease to be so much of a problem unless you deliberately focus on it and bring it to the forefront of your mind.

      Michael
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/an-introduction-to-tinnitus.12100/
       
    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
      @Christina ,
      These setbacks can soon have us on a downward spiral and emotions run high as we start to panic.
      I'm sure you will draw on the strength that you got through it before and will again in time.
      White noise generators and TRT and CBT will help you.
      Push hard to get the support you need and we are with you round the clock for support too.
      Stay strong ,lots of love glynis x
       
      • Useful Useful x 1
    4. Lorac

      Lorac Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden profound hearing loss in left ear.
      Hi Christina,
      I wish I could help you. I understand how hard it is to live like this. I had to give up music too, and I have to avoid loud bars as well. Medical doctors have not been helpful but a therapist did help me with coping. I hope that this is a temporary spike and you will be feel better again.
       
    5. Christina

      Christina Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/30/15
      My spikes aren't temporary, though. I find my tinnitus isn't something that I can really habituate to because it's always changing. It's been about a week or so and my tinnitus, while it isn't as loud as it was right after the balloon incident, is still worse than it was previously. It is very frustrating not to have a baseline with my tinnitus, because as soon as I get used to it being one volume, something else happens that makes it much worse than it was before. @Michael Leigh any advice for habituating to tinnitus that is constantly fluctuating? My T seems to be extremely reactive...which is what causes it to be very hard to grow accustomed to.

      I find that whenever I have a negative experience with my tinnitus, most people try to give me uplifting advice, which I certainly appreciate. But sometimes, it just isn't so. I don't find myself relating to a lot of these threads sometimes, because thinking positive is something I try everyday but honestly, it just hasn't worked all that well for me especially when my tinnitus is so unpredictable.
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Christina As I have previously said my tinnitus and hyperacusis was as severe as yours if not more. My tinnitus used to fluctuate considerably and still does but my hyperacusis is completely cured. If it helps: My ENT consultant and hearing therapist once told me, I had one of the most severe cases of tinnitus and hyperacusis in a patient they had seen.

      My consultant said she would never give up on treating me and she didn't, nor did my hearing therapist. My tinnitus got worse in 2008 and took 4 years for me to get my life back on track. I believe with the right treatment your tinnitus and hyperaucusis will improve but you need to be referred to a clinic/hospital ENT where TRT (Tinnitus retraining therapy) is practiced.

      The reactive tinnitus that you talk about is your sensitivity to sound known as Hyperacusis, which is causing your tinnitus to spike and fluctuate. You need the proper treatment that I've described in my opinion. Try not to sleep in a quiet room by using a sound machine by your bedside and set to play throughout the night until morning. Set the volume just below your tinnitus.
      Michael
       
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