I really need some words or advice

Discussion in 'Support' started by Palaceplayers, Feb 24, 2013.

    1. Palaceplayers

      Palaceplayers Member

      I'm sorry this became a long post, but I am currently in a very dark spot and I desperatly need some words from anyone with experience/professional knowlegde about this. If you do, I would be very grateful if you continiued reading.

      I'm a 20 year old man currently studying and working on a hostpital. I was born with reduced hearing on my left ear, which I've allways been told was neurological, but two years ago I was told it might be mechanical. For the last 3 years there has also been something weird about my left ear: short sharp sounds like high pitched drums in some pop tracks, or the sound of stacking plates induces a blowing sensation in my ear. It sounds like someone blowing air in my ear. Sometimes even me talking loud makes induces the same. Sometimes I can get the same sensation just from touching near my ear. 3 years ago my doctor told me it was serous otitis after testing with a pitchfork, but other doctors haven't bothered testing it and doesn't seem to care.

      I've had a very weak tinnitus for a few years, not bothering me at all as I didn't think of it. However 3 weeks ago I was going to pick up a patient from a helicopter. I didn't have ear protection, and the noise was very loud. I managed to protect both my ears with my fingers for the most of the time, but for maybe 30-45 sec my left ear was exposed. I've allways been very afraid of tinnitus, so immidietly afterwards I started listening for ringing in my ears, being afraid I might had destroyed my ears. And I've been doing the same for the last 3 weeks. I constantly think of it, and I check for ringing in my ears mentally the whole day. Now, after 3 weeks I have concluded there is indeed a ringing in my ear. It's not tonal, but more like noise. When I am out with people I don't hear it, but when I am home, it's there.

      I am very afraid, and I am having some kind of panic reaction right now. Two days ago I had a panic attack with uncontrollable crying for 30 minutes. I also had an insane pulse and I couldn't feel my hands or feet.

      I managed to get a doctors appointment. He said I should calm down, as tinnitus like this could subside after 2-3 months. I want to believe him, but somehow I think this is just him trying to calm me down. He also took a hearing test, showing that my hearing was identical to what it was before the helicopter accident. He also did a tympanometry showing a "flat curve within the box" on my left ear. I don't know what that means, but I think he said something like my Stepdius reflex was damaged.

      My main problem is the tinnitus. All I want in the world is to this to return to normal. The ringing is in my left ear, the ear with all the other problems. The sound isn't really that loud, and actually when I am entering an quiet room, I can barely hear it for the first few minutes. After that it gets louder and louder. When I wake up, it's mainly low pitched, but after a while it gets more and more high pitched. Before the helicopter accident I experienced tonal tinnitus that occasionally came and lasted for a few seconds before it got away. Like I said, I also had some low level tinnitus that I didn't care for.

      Don't know if it is relevant, but my ear and the whole left side of my head hirts a little still. The first 4 days after the accident were the most painful, folowed by 10 days without pain and then the last few days there has been some pain.

      Again, sorry for a very long post. Put I am kinda having a very rough time at the moment, and I just need some professional input on this to help me cope with the situation. What are my chances of this fixing itself withing the next few months? Could the tinnitus be related to my other left tear problems?
    2. DezDog

      DezDog Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hey PP,

      Some points that resonate with me:

      > "been very afraid of tinnitus, so immidietly afterwards I started listening for ringing in my ears"
      > The sound isn't really that loud, and actually when I am entering an quiet room, I can barely hear it for the first few minutes. After that it gets louder and louder
      > When I wake up, it's mainly low pitched, but after a while it gets more and more high pitched

      Apart from anything else that might be going on, I think a large part of this is that you've scared yourself.

      You're thinking, "no s**t, sherlock".

      If you've never considered this aspect before, then should understand you've possibly set up a cycle of anxiety about tinnitus that is causing you to listen for it, find it, worry about it, and keep on listening for it. It goes around and around. Your brain is fantastic at tuning out what doesn't matter, and helping you focus on what scares you. My favourite thing to ask people is "when did you last consider what it feels like between your right foot's big toe, and the one next to it?" Quite possibly now you've thought about it, you can feel it. It might take a while before you forget about it. You forget about it because you have no fears related to that area.

      So, how about if you could convince yourself that you have no fears related to the sound in your ears? You'd hear it, think about it for a second, then be distracted by other events in your day, or whatever.

      How do you forget about something that causes you to break out in cold sweat upon waking (if you were lucky enough to sleep), that makes you want to cry daily? You start small. It's about distraction and attitude. And possibly medication. I must not forget about this part.

      The attitude is "f*** you. I am having my life back, thanks very much." If you stopped doing things recently because of the fear, find a way to start reclaiming those things. This gives you a feeling of being the one in control , and not the victim. This isn't easy. Maybe you stopped listening to music on your iPod. Well, spend 5 minutes listening to classical music. Quietly. Make a list of those things, and make a plan. We could help you with the plan.

      The distraction comes partly from the attitude, but you may need to assist. One crazy thing I did just to get a few seconds relief from thinking about it, was learn to count in spanish, and then to count backwards. Out loud. This was mentally absorbing to the point I stopped thinking about it. This is extreme. You can do things like reading, research on the computer (non-T related). This might seem counter-intuitive at this stage, but try to note when you've discovered you're not thinking about your noise. This is positive reinforcement of a good thing, and you can recall these mental check-ins later to reassure yourself that it is possible. The more you do it, the more you are dismantling the anxiety apparatus you've been building up in the last few weeks. These are some of the basic approaches for CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).

      Finally, medication. I like to think I did all that just as I wrote it, but I had also started a course of antidepressants (Prozac). You may need a helping hand to take the wind out of that apparatus. If you can relax just a bit, all that other stuff we just discussed can become dominant and give you back control.

      The stuff I've written about is what I've learned from first-hand experience, and reading tinnitus support forums, and talking to my doctor. I am not a doctor though. I'm a highly-strung, anxious software developer.

      I hope some of this helps


      PS Did you know you can *always* see your nose?
      • Like Like x 1
    3. calin

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      Good advice dezdog!

      I have been fortunate that the T has diminished significantly enough that I can "habituate" or ignore it .... except when I am here or just before bed when all is quiet. I listen to a cd on a loop to distract focusing on the T.

      If I ever get caught up in the "noise" and become highly anxious, I take a wee bit of lorazepam. All better!

      If one is already a hypertensive and/or stressed out person, the T just adds to the anxiety. Practicing calming measures of the body /mind will help lower the threshold. I used to meditate and other mind /thinking reducing measures, but that has been hindered with the NOISE! haha... bummer for me as I got great benefits from it - ie. lowering blood pressure etc. However after a year of this nonsense with the T, it is low enough (and sometimes not even there) I can do a bit of those measures here and there.

      As much as I am reluctant to take any kind of prescription drug these days. I do resort to lorazepam. I got off the ototoxic drug that I believe gave me T (beta blockers for high blood pressure) . Of course I am not fooling myself as the BP drug prescribed was due to stress and life style behaviors that contributed to high BP. I self corrected much of the stressors and life style negatives.

      Palaceplayers, my best wishes go to you for some sort of recovery and or ease with your conditions.
    4. ruben ruiz

      ruben ruiz Member

      Tucson, AZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I believe it was meds and stress
      Listen to music and music for tinnitus as much as possible. Takes your mind away.
      God bless.

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