Is This Hyperacusis?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Shellfront, May 23, 2018.

    1. Shellfront

      Shellfront Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Hey guys!

      This might be a long one, so please bare with me! Hopefully someone can shed a light on my situation and perhaps someone has experienced similar things. Really appreciate any thoughts and advice.

      I’m a music producer, but started out as a drummer when I was 11, which means a lot of loud sound exposure through the years. I didn’t really protect my ears very often, before I got tinnitus, from what I can remember. I’m now 30.

      I got tinnitus after mixing a track, 6 years ago. Every now and then the session would overload my computer, and the music would go up way loud for a second before it stopped. This happened repeatedly and I didn’t care much at the time. The next day I had tinnitus, but it didn’t stop me from going to work. The tinnitus is not much of an issue to me, and has never been.

      I kept working, young and carefree as I were, and a couple days later, in the middle of working on a production, I felt really dizzy and like I was in a dream-state “outside of my own body” and had to lay down on the floor. This sensation came back the next day in shorter periods and came back fully nighttime. Then it resolved and everything was alright for a couple years. I do remember having to cover my ears from screeching trains at some point during these years but that also went away.

      During the next 4-5 years I had heaps of sessions with people, worked really late nights, and didn’t have any problems.

      Then half a year ago, I started noticing I got really tired in sessions. Like exhausted after a few hours of sound exposure.

      I also noticed I would sometimes feel really “out of my body” and “in a dream-like state” while walking from my apartment in the mornings, or moving in general I guess.

      Then, one day, 5 months ago, when I was at a loud café, I got heart palpitations and had some sort of panic attack. With every breath my heart would make a run with two or three extra beats. I went to the hospital and spent the night there, they said I had nothing to worry about concerning my heart. This heart problem got better with time, but my anxiety and stress levels surely went up. I was working on a really stressful project at this time before this panic-attack, that required 16 hour-days of nonstop music for a couple of days. I still didn’t acknowledge that any of my problems could possibly be noise-related.

      After the heart-problem I wasn’t feeling all that well, and I was really anxious and thought it must be allergies or something causing the fatigue and “dreamlike” feelings. I did some allergy tests which came back nothing extreme. (I have noticed I have allergies to pollen though which can get quite annoying summer time.) I also lost a bit of interest in music around this time and cut down on work time.

      I had one more panick attack situation at the table around Christmas, where I had to get up and walk into my room and just rest, worrying about my heart and breathing. It was quite loud and bright at the table.

      Then I went abroad for two months, not working much at all. The feeling of being outside in a dreamlike state would haunt me from time to time, I never really felt “normal”, and this was on my mind, bothering me all the time. I had another panic attack-moment in a huge shopping mall, where I had to sit down and rest. I’ve always loved going to shopping malls and cafés before without ever experiencing these problems.

      Then I came back home, a month ago, and at one point I had a session with some friends and we turned up the music quite loud at the end of the day. This was six weeks ago.

      Three days later I felt a strong pressure in my temples. I was laying down on my couch at home typing on my computer, no music playing, and I remember doing some intense thinking at the time this happened. It seemed like noise made the pressure worse. The intensity of the pressure did calm down after some days and I didn’t feel it all the time, but the pressure would come back with sound exposure, especially with music and trebly sounds. I’ve had this now for six weeks and wondering if this could be the start of something? I’ve read that some people’s Hyperacusis started this way, with a burning sensation around the ears. Maybe this even is a form of Hyperacusis. For me the pressure sits above the ears close to the temples, sometimes one, sometimes both sides. Feels like a pressure, or a burning sensation that sometimes might move down the side of my face. And sometimes it’s in the back of my head and a few times on the top, and my head feels heavy a lot of these times. Sounds don’t appear louder, and I don’t seem to feel anything in my ears whatsoever, no pain and nothing like that. I haven’t tried, but I could probably turn up music quite loud without any pain, just with the feeling of pressure. Sometimes conversations will trigger this pressure too. I have noticed some increased activity in the tensor timpani muscle. It triggers much easier for me than for my wife (who doesn’t even feel it.) Maybe cause I’m so anxious at the moment. I’m even planning on quitting music all together, cause I don’t want this to get worse, which of course would be a huge life-changing decision for me.

      Might be worth mentioning that I had a sore wisdom teeth a few days before the pressure started, and I also got really run down from allergies a few days after the pressure first started. But I doubt that has anything to do with it, as it only seems to come with sound exposure, and those other things are now gone.

      Since all this happened I also feel sick in my throat and chest at times, from sound exposure I think, and I’ve noticed I get a bit nauseous around the fan in my kitchen and sometimes from tap water running. I haven’t thrown up, but it’s that kind of feeling. I’ve also woken up one or two times randomly every single night since this pressure-attack six weeks ago. Every single night, which has never happened before. I’ve never really had much head pressures/headaches throughout my life either until now.

      Other things I’ve noticed: looking at closed blinds with lights coming through them, and other similar, “multiple” patterns, feel really strange and it’s like these patterns stay in my eyesight a short while after no matter where I look. I’ve also noticed my sight might be slightly shaky, and sometimes I feel the sight is a very sharp and sometimes a bit blurry especially at distance. I noticed the other night that my vision definitely was blurry, or “grainy”, in a quite dimmed down room. I wear contacts and recently got my eyes re-checked for the correct strength.

      Going to the gym seems to really calm down my problems, and I can feel quite “normal” at the gym and sometimes shortly after. However, running for more than 20 minutes makes my head feel really heavy and spikes my tinnitus, so I don’t do that too often.

      I’ve forced myself to do some work since this all happened, and sit with really low volumes, but the tension/pressure/burning is so easily triggered from even low volume music it seems. And once it shows up, I need silence for a while for it to calm down. I also tried having one session with other people since all this, but I got really fatigued (even though I used -15dB earplugs.)

      It’s also worth mentioning that these past two years have been really stressful in general with stuff happening around the music. I’m a very introverted, shy and careful person and am always in my head, so slightest change in feelings or in my body I definitely am well aware of. Having conversations with people is quite a challenge for me (although I don’t think it comes across like that to others). I make sure to ask people questions so they can do most of the talking.

      This all has happened at the worst time, I’m just about to move in to a new studio and have bought heaps of expensive gear. My worrying is also causing strain on my marriage, but after really talking through this with my wife she is now more understanding.

      I use custom fit earplugs with -25dB reduction when I sit in cafés and when I’m in the subway, and I feel “safer” in them. I am however aware of the danger in overusing earplugs so I don’t wear them when I don’t need to. Sometimes I use earplugs when I sleep to really give my ears a break, but not every night though!

      I don’t take any medication, don’t do drugs, and I’ve stopped drinking coffee. Drinking alcohol seems to calm down the pressure problems, but I don’t drink much at all, perhaps once or twice a month. I’ve been to an ENT but they couldn’t do much for me. I’m gonna try and get an appointment with a neurologist and audiologist, in the meantime I thought I’d write here to see if anyone has experienced similar things, or have any idea of what it might be?
       
    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Shellfront

      Shellfront Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Anyone? :)
       

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