I Prefer Being in Silence with My Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Pistolpete, Dec 26, 2022.

    1. Pistolpete

      Pistolpete Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      stress/anxiety/depression
      I have a high-pitched hiss in my left ear. It’s sometimes constant but often oscillating with sudden changes in pitch/intensity/volume (like a sensation of tiny zaps in my ear).

      I think the volume of my tinnitus is low/low-moderate - it’s rather the high pitch and these «zaps» that makes it almost impossible to mask. When in complete silence, I’m somewhat ok with it, not good, but I cope somehow. While external sound like a fan, dishwasher, white noise, wind etc. will make it seem much worse (and I don’t think my tinnitus is reactive, it’s the same level but other environmental sounds are kind of a reference to how bad it is).

      Right now I’m sitting in complete silence in my living room and I really can’t comprehend how it is possible that this sound in my left ear is something I can hear over almost everything. Then a car drives by outside and I’m horrified how «loud» my tinnitus is :(

      Anyone else experience something similar, where it seems to be all about the pitch, and you can cope much better in complete silence?
       
    2. Tweaker
      Transparent

      Tweaker Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I know what you mean. When it's really bad, it seems like it competes with other sounds and you just need to get somewhere quiet. I have multiple high pitches that are very loud.
       
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    3. tpj
      Torn

      tpj Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      probably noise
      Silence is hell but a preferable one compared to noise.
       
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    4. DimLeb

      DimLeb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic Cochleopathy or Maybe Loud Music
      I've got exactly what you described. A hissing in the left ear, like an air exhaust or sometimes cicadas, low to moderate volume. It has good and bad days. On bad days it kind of spreads, becomes more constant and a bit louder, while on good days it is more gentle and does short bursts.

      Thing is, like you describe, if I I'm in quiet or close my ears, it's tiny, almost non existent. But for some reason it manages to be audible in many occasions, even a bit outside. Thankfully it's a "soft" noise overall and I kind of habituated to it. I still can't decide if it reacts to noise or not, but it's probably the pitch of it that makes it peek through so easily.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Pistolpete

      Pistolpete Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      stress/anxiety/depression
      I hate those! The rare occasions where my tinnitus is not clear and present, these frequent short bursts are always there to tell me it hasn’t gone anywhere.
       
    6. momus

      momus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      antibiotics
      Might be tinnitus AND hyperacusis. I have both, and clattering of dinner plates will have me fleeing from a restaurant. Others have said the same thing w/ their tinnitus.
       
    7. ZFire
      Tired

      ZFire Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 (mild) & 04/2021 (severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity (2012) Unknown-likely noise induce (2021)
      I prefer to be in silence sometimes. This summer when I went hiking, it was mind blowing seeing my tinnitus compete with a roaring waterfall when I came across one along my trail. You would think a waterfall would be the perfect masking weapon, but nope. This reactivity I experience is triggered instantly by white noise and it will raise the loudness on some my tinnitus tones and match however loud the external sound is. It’s as if it were a competition between the two. And wearing protection doesn’t help at all.

      If I’m in silence or away from external sounds that trigger instant reactivity, these tones will go back down to baseline immediately. But my ‘baseline’ is nowhere near low lol. Maybe I’m being generous, but it might be on higher end of moderate in terms of severity. It’s really loud, but I don’t mind hearing it in silence now.

      With that said, I’m starting not to care about the reactivity. This past summer, I was surrounded by air conditioners and I let my tinnitus react to it. To my surprise, it can be ignored at times.

      It is what it is. I can’t run away from it. My refrigerator triggers the reactivity even. It’s just impossible to avoid. But sometimes, it feels good to take a break from the reactivity by retreating to somewhere quiet.
       
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    8. Mattv
      Busy

      Mattv Member

      Location:
      lincoln, MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      My tinnitus actually is better when I am at my off-grid cabin for a few days away from all stimulus. It’s incredibly quiet. I have always felt that stress was the cause of my tinnitus, and I suspect it's that way for many people.
       
    9. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member

      Location:
      Russia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You might have reactive tinnitus.
       
    10. UKBloke
      Caffeine

      UKBloke Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / family history
      This is an absolute mirror of my situation and perspective. It sounds to me like we're on quite a similar wavelength in terms of how we approach the day-to-day of living.

      I'd preface the following comment by saying, I have a real issue with the idea that tinnitus is predominantly a psychological condition warranting psychological treatment, however, there is undoubtedly a 'psychology' to how we deal with it.

      Having an arsenal of tools on-hand to work with each situation is I think incredibly important. It's also something that a person will just naturally develop over time, as their (hopefully healthy) new behaviour patterns form.

      My mindset to my own quite severe tinnitus and mild hyperacusis (with reactivity) has changed these past few years, which is a situation I never imagined having to deal with. But unlike the early days I no longer try and push the tinnitus aside. I also don't hope for silence, and I certainly don't try and run away from the noise because like you said, that's not possible. Instead, I've arrived at the understanding that tinnitus is going to be there whether I like it or not and it's just something I have to learn to live in parallel with.
       
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