Jumping in with My Story — Is Habituation the Road to Tinnitus Fading Away?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Twonks, Jan 8, 2020.

    1. Twonks

      Twonks Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi. Gonna keep it somewhat short since I'm typing from my phone, but feel free to ask questions.

      First got in in 2008 from a show. Loud and intrusive ringing and hiss. ENT said ears fine and hearing great. Typical tinnitus death spiral everyone is familiar with. I got to a point where I accepted it wasn't going anywhere some months down the road. Started doing exactly what I did before getting it. Started having those good days that people talk about, still was annoyed by tinnitus. Kept busy and went out and had fun. Moved a few months later. Still getting bugged now an then, but it didn't really bug me much. A few months later, I realized, or felt like it was so much lower. I stopped monitoring it months ago, so I didn't give it much thought, as I was already kind of done having a reaction to it. Life was already back to normal so it being gone wasn't a huge deal.

      Fine for years, then accidental sounds exposure made me go back to square one. Repeat tinnitus hell spiral. Once again, after months in the rut, I just said fuck it and did as much as I could to have fun and live like before. Got used to it again and bored of the sound, and about 1.5 years after, it seems lower, I couldn't hear it over the tv, but absolutely could on both onsets.

      06/2016: I guess stress did it this time. Arguably worse than the first two times. Two months and one day I got to the point where I just stopped fighting it and made myself continue living my life. Very soon after, like just a few weeks, tinnitus seemed low again. Forgot before the Fall.

      4th bout summer 2018: family death, financial stress, noticed my tinnitus one night and just locked on it. After a few days, was loud as fuck. Repeat a few weeks/months of doom and gloom and I accepted I'd probably have it forever. Stopped hoping it would disappear. Got on with life again and made myself stop monitoring it. Was quiet by end of September. As of the beginning of last month, I was laying down in my room with nothing on, even a fan, and I could barely hear it with my head on the pillow.

      Had a bad allergy reaction a few days after Christmas and and had a long weird fleeting tinnitus episode one night while reading. Suddenly got focused on it and wondered if it was louder or I had just forgotten about it for the longest time. Fast forward a to 3 days and I was a wreck. Had barely eaten since, bowel water, cant sleep for more than an hour a day. Wondering again if those other times I dealt with it were just dream, but I feel like each time I had a bout of it, I would get to a point where I would realize all the internet searching and focusing on it were having more of an impact on me than the tinnitus itself. Each time I got out of it, I remember having a moment where I refused to go on this site, stopped hoping for a cure, and just carried on despite it. I'm focusing on relaxing myself. Had a full body message yesterday and afterward it was screaming, but I didn't really care. Had multiple moments today where I wasn't thinking about it at all. Still haven't broke my tinnitus research addiction yet, and will stick around for a bit, but some time down the road, I'm going to disappear and stop looking shit up here.

      I wonder if habituation is the actual road to tinnitus fading away. Anyone have any input? Do you think the people on here that refuse habituation and are on here constantly are keeping themselves locked in on it and preventing them from getting better? Even the good moderators who are here helping people? Have any of them taken a long break from the site and seen any difference, either reduction in their tinnitus volume or their reaction to it? Looking forward to hearing from you!!
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    2. Autumnly

      Autumnly Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I’d say no. Habituation is usually described as the brain tuning out the tinnitus not as the tinnitus actually getting quieter. Also, it’s important to remember that this process of tuning out the tinnitus simply doesn’t work for everyone.
      What do you mean by ‘refuse habituation’? Are there people who don’t even give themselves a genuine chance to see if they could learn to cope better or people who would benefit from spending less time on sites like TT? Of course. Are there millions of people who have tried everything they could but are still negatively affected? Absolutely.
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    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Habituation can be complex it can also be very simple and quick for some people to achieve. Proof of this is to mention to a relative, friend or work colleague that you have tinnitus and you will likely be told the following:
      I get that but just ignore it”. “At night it bothers me but once asleep I’m fine. “Mine plays a tune, at first it was strange now I’m used to it". And so the story goes on.

      No two people will experience habituation the same. When a person habituates to tinnitus it means they are able to live with it or in other words they are able to accept it. For some people it can reduce to a very low level where it is only heard in a quiet environment. Others may have it mild but the brain is able to tune it out as unimportant but this doesn't mean they will not hear it. To understand this process in more detail, please click on the links below and read my posts. Please be aware, some people may not be able to habituate and this can be for a variety of reasons which will be mentioned below.

      All the best

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    4. o.ner

      o.ner Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1998 , 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music..?
      I have similar experiences. Had it for many years. If I couldn`t sleep, it was never because of tinnitus, But sometimes I was puzzled about how much noise there was (is) in my head. So the ringing was there, but it was tuned out. That is habituation for me.

      Same goes if you have a nap in the afternoon. When you wake up, the ringing might feel worse. I think that is because the brain need to go in to "habituation mode" again, and after some minutes you feel better.

      Well, my tinnitus has recently gotten worse, and the fact that I am constantly thinking about it does not help. It seems that there is a volume/Pitch change, and until recently tinnitus was not on my mind at all. Now its 100% there.

      But I am no in despair. I focus on the positive in life, and maybe it will take a long time to get better. But i am positive, and I will definitely learn from this.

      Hope that things will improve for you too.
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    5. JohnAdams

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Be specific about what you mean by "fading away". That is phrase that is used very ambiguously. It gives the impression that the actual noise will go away or reduce in volume. When you dig, you see that it is describing a process in which it is claimed that the tinnitus perception go from the forefront of your conscious awareness to the back and then you won't really even notice it. I believe that is garbage.
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    6. Deniseh

      Deniseh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly b12/folic acid deficiency and GERD
      Tinnitus is a very individual experience for example what I find loud and severe you might find moderate or vice versa. IMHO I think your state of mind contributes a lot to your perception of tinnitus and how you deal with it as well ie good sleep tends to lead to lower volumes ( for me anyway).

      I also agree that if it is continually at the forefront of your mind then you will have a harder time ‘habituating’ to it.

      I am naturally a very anxious person so when I first got it I panicked/ felt sick, all the usual stuff, whereas, as you said, when you tell others you get ‘oh I’ve got that but it doesn’t bother me’. I’ve found out at least
      7 people I’ve known for years have it but I never knew, one being my husband (had it since he was young) and also my dear father who dies 3 years ago and had it since he was 13 and again I didn’t know.

      With the best of intentions we are all on a quest to find our cause when sometimes the best thing is to get on with your life......just my opinion

      Hope everyone has a great day :p
    7. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Like many say, T is a very individual thing. Dealing with it I think is a lot like those who live with chronic pain. It's just a fact that some people can tolerate "pain" better than others. With Tinnitus, no matter how you describe it, nobody truly knows what is going on inside your head but you. I guess you can get one of these sound apps on your phone and find the sound that best matches what is in your head, but its still not the same. I think the best way to describe "habituation" with Tinnitus in the most brief manner, is...."I just don't care anymore". Meaning,.. yea, its there, but Im not going to allow it to rule my life anymore. I....just...dont....care. But again, thats me, not you. Tolerance, attitude, and time, go a long way towards habituating.
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