Learning to Live with Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Sue, Jul 9, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Sue
      Tired

      Sue Member

      Location:
      NJ United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2013
      Hi my name is Sue and in May, 2013 I woke up to ringing in my right ear and hearing loss. As the day progressed I had full blown vertigo with it. I didn't understand what was going on and thought once the vertigo went away so would the hearing loss and tinnitus. A little over 2 months later, still have the ringing and hearing loss. I saw an ENT immediately and have had the MRI and CT scan and was told a "virus" caused the hearing loss. I am learning to live with both but the problem I am having is short term memory loss, confusion and seem to not be able to multi-task any longer. Things at work take me double the time, I can read something but cannot really process it. Does anyone else have this with their T? If so, what can I do to try to get back to normal. I am 45, married and the mother of 3 active boys and I just can't do what I used to and it is frustrating I just want to cry.
       
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    2. Robert Fahey

      Robert Fahey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan, 2012
      MRI showed nothing amiss?
      Could anxiety/depression be compromising your abilities lately?
       
    3. Sue
      Tired

      Sue Member

      Location:
      NJ United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2013
      MRI/CT scan clear. I don't think the anxiety is affecting the memory, confusion, but can't say for sure since I have never had this before. I feel off if it makes any sense. I get my words confused, have a hard time explaining myself. I never had these issues before. I have my game face on and am trying my best not to let it negatively affect me. I have been doing a lot of reading on this board to see what helps and what doesn't so I can give it a shot.
       
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    4. Robert Fahey

      Robert Fahey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan, 2012
      Anxiety/depression mimic other things and fool you. I suspect you've got a touch of both. You need to treat them and get your head screwed back on ASAP. Don't fear meds if a counselor suggests them. They can nudge your T to the back burner just enough.
       
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    5. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Sue,

      To answer your question about the memory loss, inability to multitask, to read and process information, etc., I know what that's like. I've had severe tinnitus for over three years now, and when mine first started, I had many of those same problems. Part of it might have been severe anxiety, due to the fear and stress of the tinnitus, and part of it is the result of the tinnitus/hearing loss/vertigo.

      If you've been checked out and there is nothing else wrong, it may get better with time. I know that mine has improved considerably in those 3 years since it began. I'm now back to reading novels again, my vertigo is basically gone, and my tinnitus has gotten quieter. I still have the hearing loss (right ear), but it is much less bothersome than it was in the beginning.

      The main things to do right now would be to try to get some sleep (I know how hard that can be!) by taking prescription or natural sleep aids, and perhaps to try an anti-anxiety drug, or natural supplement that helps you to calm down. Everything will look better when you begin to sleep more normally again.

      You can also try using sound therapy (there are some good masking sounds available on this forum), and also try distraction to help you cope from day to day. It may take a little time, but you will gradually see some improvement.

      I wish you the best, and please come here to vent at any time. We understand, and are here to support one another! Best wishes for a calm evening,
      Karen
       
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    6. Sue
      Tired

      Sue Member

      Location:
      NJ United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2013
      Karen,

      Thank you! It makes me feel better to know I am not crazy! All these tests that don't show anything drives me nuts. People don't understand what I am going through no matter how much I try to explain I'm trying to learn how to accept all these changes but it's very hard. This is a big adjustment for my husband and kids to get used to as well. How did you deal with the hearing loss? Going out to eat in a loud crowded room makes me crazy, food shopping, etc takes me forever to get done now. I hate saying "what did you say". I'm hoping with time the T will calm down, the hearing loss I can live with, the T is what makes me want to jump out of my skin!

      Sue
       
    7. Robert Fahey

      Robert Fahey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan, 2012
      Remember, folk like Karen and I are veterans who began equally shaken and lost. You feel handicapped, damaged, defective etc. All nonsense. There is no disease here. Just a new flaw and related short-term anxiety about it.
       
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    8. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      @Sue,

      Yes, as Robert says, we are veterans of this, and we do understand what you're going through right now. If you can find things that work to distract you and calm you (anti-anxiety drugs or natural supplements), you will find that things begin to look better with time, as your mind and body adjust to the changes.

      One thing you might consider for the hearing loss is to look into hearing aids. There are other people on this forum (Karl comes to mind) who have found that a hearing aid really helps them, both with the tinnitus and the hearing loss. You could make an appointment with an audiologist; sometimes the audiologists seem to understand our tinnitus condition better than the ENT's! It's worth a try, and you might find a combination hearing aid/masker that works for you.

      Good luck, and keep us posted on how you're doing!! We care!
       
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    9. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      Sue,

      I'm not a doctor, but I think you can feel assured that the things you are experiencing with the onset of your tinniuts are not atypical. It will take time, but the odds are very much in your favor that your ability to function as you did before T, will return The hearing loss is about the only thing that you cannot expect to return to normal, but the anxiety, and concentration issues will get better if they are related to T.

      I would, however, speak to your internist or a neurologist about the one issue you mentioned regarding getting your words confused and having difficulty explaining yourself. I certainly don't want to scare you, but depending on the severity of those symptoms, they could be symptoms of a mini-stroke. Almost everyone over the age of 40 begins to have mini-strokes - the vast majority of which are inconsequential. Occassionaly, a mini stroke can effect an area of the brain that can cause such symptoms. Because of neural plasicity, people recover from such events pretty easily. The biggest reason to discuss it with a doctor though is that perhaps there could be something systemic going on that should be addressed to make sure something more severe does not happen.

      Take care and I hope you return to normal quickly.

      mick
       
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    10. Jade
      Lucky

      Jade Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sunshine Coast, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/07/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Genetics, Beats by Dre, Work
      Karen,

      I LOVE YOUR POST immensely!
      What a light in my T tunnel you have given me, thank you just what I needed this morning (y)
      Have had T full on for the last 5 days and its getting so overwhelming for me and I am just about to board a plane home from work early to get it looked at ( and diagnosed) as I am not sleeping and that combined with my anxiety are really doing a number on me, I feel like I'm having a meltdown...... however reading your post makes me feel like there is some hope out there that this T might get better or subside,

      Thank you and have a great day!
       
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    11. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, @Jade,

      I'm very glad that I was able to help in some small way! It seems that, for most folks, tinnitus does get better with time. I know it's hard to believe right now, and I certainly can relate to what you're going through. The noise level alone can drive you bonkers, not to mention the anxiety it creates!!

      If you can find something that works for you to help you sleep, things will begin to look a lot brighter soon. Lack of sleep seems to make the tinnitus worse (at least it does for me), so maybe your doctor can suggest something to help with sleep.

      Take care, and keep me posted on how you're doing!

      Smiles,
      Karen
       
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    12. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Dear Sue:
      As I think others have mentioned here: I think you need a complete neurological workup, if you havent had one already, beyond the routine CTs and MRIs. Are you seeing a neurologist? Or did the ENT order the scans? As Mick said, the word confusion issue makes this worth looking into.

      And our T developed about the same time... so we can travel this road together.
      Blessings
       
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    13. Sue
      Tired

      Sue Member

      Location:
      NJ United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2013
      Thank you everyone for your input. I am seeing a neuro and had an EEG and need to have a MRA. I'm hoping and think everything will be negative for any type of stroke. I'm a fast paced person so maybe my words are faster then my brain at the moment. I can say from this site and all the ways to help cope I started melatonin to sleep which has helped and last night was the 1st night since this journey began that the loudness of the T was less. I was ecstatic when I told my husband I couldn't believe what I was experiencing. I'm hoping that I will have more good days then bad once my brain adjusts to all these changes. Thank you all again for you input and words of wisdom.
       
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    14. Robert Fahey

      Robert Fahey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan, 2012
      You control the volume knob, and even the power button. When you stop worrying, it stops nagging.
       
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    15. Samsara

      Samsara Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      No offense but according to what you have under your name you have only had Tinnitus since 2012 so you hardly as a veteran do you? The way you seem to trivialise someones suffering in a number of posts is eerily familiar of the asinine tone of that idiot Dr Stephen Nagler and his brain dead zombie followers.
       
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    16. Samsara

      Samsara Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      This post is even stranger I mean who has the volume or power button to their Tinnitus and stress levels? if it was this easy then everything in life would simply be judge 'hey don't worry it's all fine' and everything would be easily solved. Since life doesn't work this way for the majority such advice is not helpful to say the least and trivialises peoples suffering in a 'blame the victim' mentality. Not exactly helpful IMHO.
       
    17. Robert Fahey

      Robert Fahey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan, 2012
      For anyone who has overcome the anxiety and gone back to normal life despite tinnitus -- and there are many of us -- my statement will ring true, no pun intended.

      * "You control the volume knob": The intensity drops quite a bit when you no longer worry about it, so your attitude makes it either malignant or benign.
      * "You control the power button": It vanishes from the radar completely when you turn your attention to daily life per normal and don't think about it, so you can indeed shut it off just as you shut off annoying music in a department store.

      And regarding my veteran status, a short war is still a war, and victory is still victory.
       
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    18. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      The MRA should tell you a lot. By the way, I also am the survivor of a stroke following an aneurysm rupture.
      Wishing you more good days like the one you just had.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    19. Samsara

      Samsara Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013

      I'm sorry but I don't agree with this at all. People can't just 'not worry' about something because they choose to it's not as simple as that. Everyone's Tinnitus is different as well. Some can have just a single sound in one ear that they can only hear in quiet times while others can have multiple tones in both ears that are so loud they can hear it over anything. Some have noises where they report they can feel their whole head vibrate while others say they forget they even have tinnitus because it's not very noticeable.

      I think those people who can still hear their tinnitus screaming whilst at a loud club don't report it vanishing completely when they suddenly turn their attention to daily life just like you say. They can't seem to just shut it off and some have had it many years more than you Robert. I think you are massively oversimplifying something very complex and highly individualised. You are in reality imposing this blame the victim mentality where tinnitus is basically some tiny little inconvenience and people can choose to quite easily make it a non issue in their lives if they want to. It's not and never was that simple for the majority.

      I do not wish to have an argument over this but I must point out I don't really appreciate you downplaying people's suffering and putting the blame on them for not magically getting over this thing themselves which is essentially what your comments imply. This condition is not a simple as you are trying to make out. This is not a simple mind over matter issue for most but maybe it is for those with very quiet tinnitus perhaps. Tinnitus noises are not the same for everybody and the volume and type matter a great deal.
       
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    20. Robert Fahey

      Robert Fahey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan, 2012
      This site has a ratio of 99 percent commiseration to 1 percent inspiration. Do you agree?
       
    21. Davekyn
      Tired

      Davekyn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/1/2012
      No offense, but whilst I understand the concept on how controlling ones anxiety level can very much effect the T level, I also find such a statement often used by those well intending, to be somewhat minimizing and or seemingly dismissive; none the less I see a point in there all the same. :)

      As per my intro, I suffer from anxiety. I have had it most of my life and well and truly before I suffered Tinnitus. Despite its impact on the noise in my head, there are a lot of other things about my health, that contribute to how both my body and mind are effected.

      It's far from a switch, and will take some effort before I get to such a stage that I am sure exists for some.

      I am interested in the comment about mini strokes.
       
    22. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
    23. Davekyn
      Tired

      Davekyn Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/1/2012
      Thanks Mick. I'm just curious about the effects which seem similar to other restricting conditions that cause lack of Oxygen. Having a read now. Thank You.
       
    24. Samsara

      Samsara Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013

      No I don't,

      nor do I agree with plucking up random statistics out of thin air. I just don't appreciate you trivialising people's suffering and essentially blaming them for somehow not fixing themselves because of their own inadequacies. You are oversimplifying this whole thing through your own limited experience (You have only had it since 2012). If you had Tinnitus so loud that it couldn't be masked and hyperacusis so bad that most sounds are traumatic to your auditory system I doubt you would be saying things like, it's just a new flaw and you have a little short term anxiety about it and Tinnitus vanishes completely when you turn your attention back to daily life and don't think about it just like shutting off annoying music in a department store.

      Frankly I find such a dismissal and oversimplification of people's suffering quite insulting. Anyway I have no wish to continue this exchange but I hope I have made it clear your type of advice is not particularly appreciated by all judging by the people who liked my original comment and Davekyns response to you also.
       
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    25. Danny
      Fine

      Danny Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Near Toronto Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      lol
       
    26. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      I must agree with Samsara on this. T is very individual and when we accept that we must also understand that treatment responses are very different. That's just the way it is. Loud constant severe T is NOT loud and constant just because the sufferer haven't stopped thinking about it. :(
       
    27. John Winchell
      Barefooter

      John Winchell Member

      Location:
      Redding/Sacramento CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
      Unfortunately the only cure for loud constant T like I have is probably learning to habituate to it. I find it inspiring to read of others victories in this war. The path there will be different for all of us, but eventually I have accepted that I will probably be hearing this noise the rest of my life, so the only hope is to learn to detach and not think about it.

      BTW Sue, I, too, have issues with concentration. Not real memory loss, they are all in there, but sometimes hard to put my finger on a specific memory, like a name, because of the buzzing in my head (I hope). Drives me crazy.
       
    28. talkingear

      talkingear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/1983
      I agree, I don't think you can just turn off the buzzing or ringing because you want to. When I am outside or busy doing something I can ignore it. Right now I hear it clearly and it pulsates with my blood pressure. However, it does not go away completely when I do deep breathing for relaxation. Everyone's experience is different but it sure is helpful to read what others are trying and then I'll know what to try- or that there are a few things I can try because my family doctor never broached the subject but I'll bring it up again in this year's wellness exam.
       
    29. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Nice.

      Stephen Nagler
       
    30. Samsara

      Samsara Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013

      Well unfortunately it's the truth isn't it? Nice to see you have joined Tinnitus talk Dr Nagler. For some reason the term 'rats deserting a sinking ship' springs to mind. Kind of predictable though given that Yuku is virtually dead these days and TT is growing and growing. No audience means no-one to give you any attention right?
       
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