Instant Relief Technique Made Things Worse

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Meritocrat, Mar 4, 2016.

    1. Meritocrat

      Meritocrat Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      headphones at high volume, only thing I can think of.
      Greetings all.

      About 10 days ago I realized I had morse code beeping discretely in my right ear, something I've intermittently experienced since 2012, no big deal I figured, I've long since gotten used to it and it always went away within a day.

      The next day I woke and realized the high-pitched CRT TV-type noise I've had forever (both ears) was suddenly more intense, at least that's how I subjectively perceived it. This made me wonder what was going on and then I realized that the likely culprit for this sudden, persistent onset of sound was likely the couple of months at the end of last year when I had been blasting music loudly through headphones. I know, I'm a fool for not actually researching this before, I can't stop kicking myself for it.

      Anyway, I did find it odd that T would suddenly appear like this well over a month after I'd last blasted the headphones (no acoustic trauma since, no ototoxic meds) but because what I was experiencing was very mild and not disrupting my sleep I didn't worry too much. Still, I kept reading about T and the various ways people try to relieve it.

      That eventually led me to a thread on reddit describing the finger-snapping instant relief technique I'm sure many of you are familiar with, where you cover your ears with your palms and snap your index fingers into the base of your skull, it gives some people a few moments of silence. I figured what the hell and tried it. Didn't work from what I could tell. I tried it again and again. I even tried a similar rhythmic ear-tapping method described further down in that same discussion. I basically spent a couple of minutes doing this.

      When I was done I realized there was now a new noise in my head, something approximating a higher-pitched test tone in both ears, tho stronger in left. That was 2 days ago and that noise is still there. Like the other 2 older noises its not very loud, I can't hear it during the day or when outside and its really only an issue when it comes to sleeping.

      That first night was a nightmare, I didn't sleep a wink, I just lay there tormented, cursing myself for having needlessly worsened my hitherto very tolerable T and contemplated the horrors that now potentially awaited me, I didn't even get out of bed or eat the next day, I was just so miserable and felt so hopeless, I'm sure you all know the feeling.

      However, last night was much better. I downloaded an ocean waves white noise FLAC and played it on a loop all night above my head. I struggled for a while but eventually somehow managed to relax and block out the new noise and fall asleep, repeatedly, eventually getting some well-needed rest. Upon waking I couldn't even detect the new tone, it was like it had been pushed into the background and only by actively seeking it out would I hear it again.

      During the day I'm surrounded by the humming and whirring of tv, fridge, computer, etc so its not a problem there, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not dreading bedtime tonight, what if last night was a fluke and I won't be able to sleep again? I'm a real mess if I don't get enough rest, the prospect of struggling like that potentially for the rest of my life is utterly terrifying.

      Anyways, what I'm wondering now is what does all this mean for me? Why is my T seemingly so easily altered? Namely, why was mere finger-snapping enough for a new tone to be introduced into my head? Why was I able to block it out last night with relative ease? Can I expect this to get better or worse? What can I do in the meantime? Are there better ways of masking available?

      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to the forum. When T is new or when it hits a new level, there is always a period of instability that it can morph into different forums. That is why it can trigger so much anxiety because of its unstable and unpredictable nature. Your best bet is to stay calm and positive that this will settle down to more stable pattern. Stress and anxiety are bad for T. So while the T bully wants you to be scare and anxious, you try to do the opposite as much as you can humanly.

      Since your tinnitus is so new and may be related to acoustic trauma, you may want to get your doctor/ENT to prescribe a course of prednisone or other corticosteroids. Members here often recommend new T patients to get this treatment as soon as possible. Here is a discussion thread on this treatment:

      Here are more masking options and I hope they can help you sleep better. Take care & God bless.
      - TT's audio player:
      - free sound generator ‘aire freshener’:
      - make your own rain sound:

      or search youtube with words like 'tinnitus masking sounds', 'white noise', 'rain sound' etc.

      And if you need DIY notched Acoustic Coordinated Reset Neuromodulation (ACRN):

      (please be careful and research the pro and con on ACRN before proceeding with caution)
    3. AUTHOR

      Meritocrat Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      headphones at high volume, only thing I can think of.

      Great news, the noise is almost gone now, I can barely detect it even in dead silence, think it might have something to do with me trying out what I think was ACRN last night, matched the frequency (3000 Hz) then found a suitable relief track on YouTube and played it several times throughout the evening.

      I noticed that whenever I played it the offending noise would disappear for about a minute or so and when it returned it was more fuzzy and fragmented, like it had been "damaged" in some way. I then theorized that because this particular T instance was only a couple days old it was still quite pliable and I just might be able to beat it down with repeated assaults.

      What happened next however was kind of bizarre:

      I finally managed to fall asleep at some point, think it was for 3 hours. But when I woke I had a LOUD ringing in both ears, unlike anything I have ever experienced, a high-pitch BEEEEEEEEEEEEP that just wouldn't stop, I freaked out as badly as you'd expect, waking to even worse tinnitus is the stuff of nightmares.

      But get this: the instant I started up my computer the ringing simply vanished, as if by magic. Namely, the gritty whirring of the fan apparently flipped the OFF switch in my brain and everything was well again. After about an hour I went to the most silent place in the house to check on my aforementioned T and lo and behold, it was at least 50% quieter and in pretty bad shape: fuzzy and disjointed and staggering a lot. Just a few minutes ago I checked again and its even less perceptible, definitely seems to be fading.

      I have no idea what happened here, just happy its turning out well, I have never been so terrified as I was this morning. I'm keeping my computer on indefinitely, the sound it makes seems to do me good for whatever reason and with it whirring away I should be able to get a good night's sleep again.

      Just hope I don't wake to that ghastly ringing again in the morning, I'd seriously have a heart attack.

      Thanks again and best of luck to everybody, nobody deserves to go through this.

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