It’s Still There, but My Life Is Amazing 14 Months Later

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Gerbit, Jun 13, 2018.

    1. Gerbit

      Gerbit Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Hello everyone! I hope you are having a fantastic day!

      So about 14 months ago, on April 20, 2017, I had an ear infection in my right ear and got tinnitus. I think I had a little bit before during the night, but this made much more apparent- combinations of hissing and ringing at multiple pitches, and a really annoying intermittent ringing in my right ear.

      This really screwed my life up for about 4 months. I’m in school and thankfully summer was right around the corner. Everyday I struggled, listening to it all the time and just waiting for it to stop. I would get maybe 2 or 3 hours of sleep a night, and I was anxious all the time. Any loud noises would make me go into a spiral of anxiety. (Fun fact! My hearing is completely normal!) I really depended on my family that summer to get through. School came around (I’m in college) and fall semester came by. I was still a good bit bothered by the ringing. But, I got more sleep. I was able to get a full 8 hours of sleep, as I got used to it. However, I would still plug my ears every couple of hours to see if had changed or not, and if I heard an unusual tone I would get anxious again. Thankfully, the fall semester went by pretty good actually schoolwork wise. I slowly became more adjusted to it. By the time Christmas break rolled around, I began to get really used to it, and I didn’t worry about it too much, even when I could hear it (it’s a somewhat mild form so I mostly hear it in settings under 50 decibels or so). Spring semester came, and the ringing in my ears didn’t bother me much at all anymore. I could get to sleep just fine, and I wouldn’t wake up at all because of it. My life essentially went back to what it was before this all started! I would occasionally get anxious about the ears around loud events (I’m a musician and so I am around loud events- But I use earplugs at most to all musical events), but overall it just became “background noise” both physically and literally. I have gone to plenty of movies since then- I just wear earplugs and headphones and I’m just fine- no louder than talking. I am also using earplugs at any loud events just to protect my ears for the future.

      This summer has been great, and the tinnitus is really not much of a concern at all. I rarely even think about it, and sometimes I surprise myself by remembering it is even there. I can even sleep with earplugs at night! (College dorms can get noisy and so I use earplugs- kind of a wierd thing that I am used to tinnitus but not to people talking!!!...)

      For those of you wondering about noise levels, loud noises, if it decreases at all, and if drugs do anything, here’s the information: it actually hasn’t gotten any louder since about last May. No loud noises have ever made it any worse (I always make sure to wear appropriate heating protection when it’s loud enough to have to yell to make yourself heard) . No drugs or remedies I have tried for it have worked, but at the same time no drugs have ever made it worse. It may have gotten slightly softer, at least the intermittent noises; but overall it’s avout the same, and it’s intensity and sounds can change depending on the time and day. Maybe some day it will go away, but honestly and gratefully at this point I actually don’t mind too much either way :)

      My life is awesome now! I hope this story really helps bring some positivity into people’s lives with tinnitus- I know that it can be very psychologically painful at first dealing with the constant ringing in your ear, and the knowledge that it may never stop or get worse. But for me, it has just become part of my life, one that rarely bothers me at all anymore. Therefore, I think it’s a success. If you have any questions at all, feel free to respond to this thread. I’ll be on here occasionally to check in.

      All of you have a blessed day/night! Keep up being strong and living our your lives to the best you can be!
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    2. Egg

      Egg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (Concert)

      I am very happy for you and it's good to hear you positivity.
      I have been having Tinnitus for almost two weeks now after a loud concert. I think years of using earphones and power tools may have led up to this point. Anyway I am a student much like you and am currently at a stage where I worry every single day if it will go away or not. Mostly I am worried about fall semester coming along. I used to study in quite settings like the libraries often and I am afraid the tinnitus will decrease my ability to concentrate and grades. I know this may sound silly but it's really important to me since I have an academic based scholarship in a private university (and I assume you know how affordable those are in the states otherwise) and my GPA dropping may mean that I can't attend anymore.

      So its good to hear the stories of students and hear that they haven't been struggling academically. Have you found that you had to change some habits or had a difficult time at the beginning and had to readjust to new study methods?

      I also wanted to ask how loud your tinnitus was. I think mine fluctuates a little bit but generally I can't really hear it right now at the office I am interning at because there is a loud-ish ventilation system. I also can't hear it at a park and most outdoor settings. It only seems crazy loud when I go to bed and when I wake up and in small quite spaces like elevators and also sometimes cars. I am in a constant dilemma between seeking further treatment (more cortizoids or HBOT) and just waiting for it to quiet down and for habituation to kick in.

      Anyway again, I am so happy to hear you are doing well! I hope I can share the positive story in the future!

      Also just an irrelevant fun fact : apparently Charles Darwin had pretty severe tinnitus and he still managed to lay the whole foundation of everything in biology so I think if he managed to get over it and focus on other things so can I.

      Well you obviously already are there but just putting it out there.
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    3. AUTHOR

      Gerbit Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Hey Egg!

      I guess I’ll start from the top:

      For study methods, I really actually didn’t change much at all. I like it quiet when I study, or soft music, so I didn’t like blast music or anything to make myself distracted from the homework. I would say for now until you get used to it perhaps try to find an area that has some fans running/noises in order to distract at least some from the tinnitus, if you can work well in a slightly louder area. I did indeed have a harder time focusing at the beginning, as I would try to do homework but then the ears would be like “haha time to distract you!”, but usually I would try to just get myself engaged in the homework.

      I go to a private college myself, so I know the struggle of funding and all that :)

      For loudness, I think I would say we have about the same level, or mine might be a little quieter. I definitely can’t hear it in most outside settings or around laces with like fans or other general noises. Sitting in bed with a small water heater thing running I can hear it but it’s not too loud. I use earplugs at night, and it can get kinda loud then but I’m used to it now. The intermittent ringing noise was the one that mostly kept me up at night before- strangely it’s not there during the day, and I actually haven’t really checked to see if it’s still there at night.

      Are you able to get enough sleep with it? I think melatonin and some relaxation techniques would be good if sleep is hard.

      As for therapies, go ahead and try them if you really want to. There shouldn’t be any harm if you’re doing the HBOT thing. Steroids you could also try, just be cautious of any side effects (jitteryness perhaps), and make sure to get a prescription for it. The methods could work, or they may not work. From my browsing on this site back a year ago there is really no consensus on if any method works or not. My guess would be to try it if you have the funds. Otherwise, wait another couple weeks/a month and see how it goes, unless you are really disabled by this. If it’s only been two weeks, there is a chance it could settle down (obviously for me it didnt but it has for other people on this site in several months...)

      That’s interesting about Darwin! I’m a biology major so that’s something that’s quite cool.

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