I've Reached a Year with Tinnitus. Not Sure If This Is Habituation.

Discussion in 'Support' started by Kathi, Nov 5, 2014.

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    1. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      I live my life...I go to work everyday and I don't let T change my plans. I still have some bad days...but the reaction is mostly gone. I still get annoyed on loud days but I don't let it stop me. Is this habituation? I'm still aware of my T when I'm not busy but I don't panic...I just go on to the next thing I have to do. I do forget about T when I'm engaged and I do have quiet days but I think that's because my T cycles. I don't let T dictate what I eat or don't eat/drink--except for aspartame--which I think is poison to all. I still have to mask sometimes but mostly I don't. Is this as good as it gets? Am I now habituated? I don't know. I'm still remaining positive, I can live with it now.

      It's much better than it was and I'm able to live--go camping, exercise--work. In the beginning I could only force myself to work--now, it's not too bad. I've adjusted.
       
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    2. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      To me it seems that you'd be making a hasty conclusion to think that this is as good as your habituation will get. By your own admission, you've made great progress over the last year. And I don't see any reason to think that this is the "end" of your habituation.

      I would think that this would be like if someone wanted an exercise regimen to see how far they can run. At first it might be a struggle to even run a mile, and after a month, he might be able to run 4 miles with no problem... but wouldn't it be a little premature for him to say, "I've been making great progress and now I can run 4 miles. Is this the maximum I can train myself to run?" Just as the same with you, I think you're being premature when you think this is the maximum that you've habituated.

      Now that you're able to live life, and even hearing your tinnitus no longer makes you react, I would imagine the rest of your habituation will look like this: You've mentioned you still have bad days, and I would imagine those will continue to be further and further apart, to the point where a bad day is just an ordinary bad day... just as you've had bad days before tinnitus. Eventually I think you'll have a bad day for the sake of having a bad day, but not because of tinnitus. I also think you'll notice your tinnitus less and less. It might still be there, but right now, you might notice it 10 times a day, but eventually, it might only be once per day or even less.

      I think as your habituate, your progress will get slower, as you're nearing your goal. Sort of like losing weight: at first people tend to lose weight fairly easily, but as they get closer to their ideal weight, they have a lot more plateus and setbacks, but they still slowly but surely make it (if they don't give up that is).
       
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    3. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      I think you are progressing as good as you can. Habituation is a process and build up slowly over time. The last word is the key. As long as you don't T is a threat, then time will do the healing if slowly until T becomes just part of your being (if T doesn't go away miraculously). I think comparing to some of the T veterans, your progress in 1 year is quite admirable.
       
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    4. sandra72

      sandra72 Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      may 2014
      Today 7 months T. @Kathi you sound the same as me. There are days that i dont hear it and days when its there all day long. But i dont give in to it. I live my live as best i can en do the things i used to do before T. Somethimes its really
      annoying my and somethimes i dont dont care. I also thought is this the beginning of habituation? Dont really know. I sleep fine, thank god. I hope it only goes better and better in time.
       
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    5. PhilB

      PhilB Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Manchester, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      @Kathi, it sounds like you are doing OK. I'm at 11 months and my situation is similar to yours. The most important thing that I have realised is that the problem is not the T but how you react to it. We talk of good days and bad days but (for me, at least) the level of noise is always pretty much the same. The variation is in our degree of reaction and this depends on our mood and our level of stress. On weekdays, I spend all day in a busy office and I am normally stressed out by the time I get home. That can make to T seem very loud and instrusive. On days when I don't have to work, I am more relaxed and the T usually seems more manageable.

      Now that you have reached the 1 year mark, you have proved to yourself that you are able to live with the T and you are not going to let it dictate how you are going to live. That's really good progress. If you can lie in bed at night, hear the T but without being worried by it or letting it prevent you from getting a good nights sleep, than I think you are mostly habituated (maybe 75% at least). If you can sit in a silent room and read a book without being distracted by T, then maybe you have reached 90%. If you get to the point where you stop wishing for a cure (Autifony, AM-101 or whatever), then I think you have reached 100%. I guess I am at about 80% right now. I still avoid silence by keeping the radio on or playing CDs but I don't mind silence when I just want to sleep.
       
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    6. Sven
      Procrastinating

      Sven Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Sounds great. Congratulations. Just keep being careful with your hearing. I felt very habituated as well, but it has gotten worse a couple of times, bringing me back to square one.
       
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    7. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      Thank you all for your feedback. @MattK, I didn't say I think this is the end of my habituation--I asked if this is as good as it gets--because few people who are truly habituated share with us the end result of their habituation. Thank you for such a supportive and kind reply--it truly made me feel better--especially since I used to run marathons and remember when I started I never thought I'd be able to run 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 kilometers)!

      Thanks @billie48 --your support means a lot to me and you've been a role model for living with T.

      @sandra72--yes, we sound very similar--I sleep okay too and do forget my T when I'm busy. I also have very low days. I think you are definitely on the road to habituation. Seriously--you are making progress.

      @PhilB --thank you for such a supportive post. I can lie in bed and listen to my T and still go to sleep. I am awakened sometimes but I got back to sleep. I can't sit in a silent room to read for too long but I manage to concentrate okay at work in a quiet office. My T is worse during the work week because it is so quiet there. I have stopped looking for a cure--that was months ago when I realized my T is chronic.

      @Sven --thank you! Yes, I will be very careful to protect my hearing. I had a bad experience at a restaurant recently--the music was so loud you couldn't hear the person next to you. I put in my earplugs and ate my dinner very quickly!
       
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    8. DebS

      DebS Member

      Location:
      Ohio, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Kathi, I've also passed the year mark and find I'm in a similar place as you. Some days are pretty good, others are loud and annoying, but I'm better able to handle it. I still wish it would go away, but I don't use masking anymore and find I can work, read and sleep without too much trouble. I'm still very aware of the T, and I'm hoping that as time passes I'll habituate even more. I've had a lot of life changes in the past few months...I retired, sold my house, and am currently looking for a new home which is rather stressful. But I don't let the T interfere with what I want to do, and that seems to work for me.
       
    9. Marian27

      Marian27 Member

      Location:
      london, uk
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Hi
      Before my T started, I used to used earplugs every night, since I am a light sleeper and any noise disturbed my sleep, then, T started and obviously using earplugs at night for sleeping was impossible since it made it sound louder..

      after a while, few months, I did start using then again on and off, but sometimes it is not possible , it depends of the loudness of the T.
      To be honest with you, If I could used earplugs every night as before T, it would not be a problem for me. During the day doesn't bother me that much, I am busy with work, etc,etc,etc.. but at night is the problem, what do I do? if I don't use earplugs any noise is going to disturb my sleep, and if I use them..is hell..because the noise gets louder..

      sometimes I think it was actually the fact that I have used earplugs for years at night what brought my T, but I have spoken to my specialist about it and they say is unlikely the cause.

      If I had a deep sleep , like some people I know..tinnitus would not be a problem at all.

      anyone have this problems with earplugs at night?
       

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