Hello, my name is Vincent and I've had tinnitus for three weeks after a loud gig where I've played the guitar. Feel free to skip the prologue if you're only interested in the symptoms I have. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I wrote it from the heart. Prologue: I will be turning 30 in a month and I've been reflecting what I've haven't done enough in my life and realized that I didn't play my guitar enough in my twenties because I've gave up on my dream of being a musician and went on to be a 3D artist because I couldn't mess around anymore which was actually my fathers opinion speaking through me, not my own. I saw some photos of my high school metal band and I got a full nostalgia blast and remembered how happy I was back then so I've decided to brush off the dust from my guitar and accept invitation from an old friend to play in a band. Not for the fans, but for me, because I enjoy it. So I had a gig three weeks ago and it was wonderful but I didn't wear any ear protection, usually I would put at least small balls of cotton wool. And it was really loud and we played for 2 hours, I was in front of a monitor that was so loud I couldn't hear my guitar coming from my amp behind me. And because of my insecurities as a guitar player I didn't ask for them to lower the damn monitor because I didn't want to end up being a wuss in front of my band mates and people who we played for. That's my biggest regret. So now I ended up with a tinnitus and a possibility that I might not be able to play again ever because it was more important to me to be accepted and validated by others than it was to state my needs. Learn from my mistake. The gig itself was wonderful and I couldn't be happier how it went down. I've fulfilled my dream of playing again and was really excited for the future. The Constant Phantom Noise: When I came home I've realized the noise in my ears was much more present than it usually is after a concert, I could barely hear what my girlfriend was saying to me over the noise in my ears. So I hoped it would just go away in a few days, I've talked with my fellow band members and they've all told me not to think about it, it will go away for sure since they have been exposed to loud music much more than me that there's no chance I will get chronic tinnitus. In the evening of the first day after the gig high pitched noises started to annoy me, even noises like when I would type keyboard or the sound of clicking the mouse. I couldn't tell whether I was just anxious that those noises could hurt my ears that were now healing from an acoustic shock trauma or it really bothered my ears. In the evening of the second day I've started feeling a sensation that my ears are a bit swollen so I've stayed at home during those days and consulted a ENT doctor who administered me to take small dose of prednisone for a few days with b complex vitamins. I've borrowed Ear Muffs from my drummer and would use it when there were some louder noises in the house. After a week I went out with friends and even with wearing ear muffs and taking into consideration not to go to a loud restaurant, I've even asked that the music would be lowered, I've realized my tinnitus went louder when I came back home and I've panicked. I went to another ENT doctor where I did audiometry and pulled a big piece of wax buildup out of my left ear. From what he told me my hearing wasn't damaged but he administered very large dose of prednisone to take for 15 days. My father who is a doctor told me that corticosteroids are not being administered anymore by the USA doctors for tinnitus because there were studies that showed it doesn't do much if anything at all. That dose of corticosteroids made me manically euphorical followed with muscle and joint pain, insomnia, nausea and intense hunger. Guess my nervous system is very sensitive. I've decided to gradually quit the corticosteroids therapy because with consultation with my father and another doctor who finished studies in the UK I've realized it doesn't help much but it's causing me side effects that weren't worth it. This week ( third week) I almost thought it went away so I was about my business making sure that I don't expose myself to more than 60-80 db but functioned as normal. Then when I've listened to some music which I listened to under 50 db the guitar in the song hit some high note that made my tinnitus louder, it's almost as the guitar hit the same or similar frequency of the tinnitus. Then I've realized that I should probably stop listening to music altogether before the ringing subsides. Then after talking to some woman who had a high-pitched voice my tinnitus worsened and when I went home I realized it's been the third week and it still hasn't went away, I panicked that I might have it permanently so I couldn't sleep because of it. I took 1 mg of clonazepam to calm me down. The worst was last night when I've tried to study in silence and I've became so self conscious of the constant ringing which was on a scale of 1 to 10 was around 5 or 6 but it was just tiresome after a while and I couldn't focus on what I was studying because of it. It worn me out and made me quite edgy and realizing this might be for life I went into flight or fight mode but I couldn't do either because it was following my around wherever I go like the monk's black creature from Sheridan Le Fanu's story "The Green Tea". I felt imprisoned but the prison was in my own head, the sense that I've taken for granted was now torturing me. It sounds like neverending metal axe sharpenig on a grinding wheel on a slow but constant speed. That being said I still can tune it out by not focusing on it when I am in an normal conversation environment around 60 db but I hear it quite good when I go to bed or I'm in silence. I'm afraid from the sound of my keyboard now, I'm wearing Ear Muffs when I type but when I wear Ear Muffs the tinnitus is even more present so it's a vicious circle. Clonazepam helped but I am edgy as hell because I don't know if this will pass or not, it seems so debilitating to live with this chronically and that my life is going to be very limited from now on. I feel imprisoned. I am going to yet another doctor on Monday that specializes in tinnitus to see what can I do about this. I feel very afraid and angry when I think that it might stay like this or get worse if I expose myself to a louder sound.