Let Time Do Its Work: Tinnitus Used to Consume My Attention — Now It's a Non-Issue

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by cruise, Jan 19, 2021.

    1. cruise

      cruise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I first heard my tinnitus almost 3 years ago. At first I experienced basically all negative emotions that you may have read about or may be experiencing. The continuous anxiety led to a few very bad months. Not sleeping well was the worst part. I also remember saying to myself that if I can only sleep normally again, I could handle the rest. But I never skipped work or any other family duties, I just kept going and kept fighting. Until things slowly started getting better. The cure: time.

      The first few nights of good sleep was a blessing. But then came a relapse that made me feel even worse than before. It was simply because I saw some progression that suddenly disappeared again. That was maybe the worst time of all. But after a few weeks I started getting better sleep again. And since then I never had any sleep problems. Again the cure was: time.

      So now I sleep like a baby again. I always hear my tinnitus in bed but it doesn't bother me and it just jumps in and out of my awareness, and it's mostly out. How this happened? My only answer: time.

      To make a long story short, my experience is that I suffered all the negative because I was prone to get anxious about tinnitus and it was consuming my attention all day and night. Time has made me get used to tinnitus so much that it has totally become a non-issue. The loudness does vary but does not make a difference in how I react, which is basically no reaction at all. Nowadays, if for some reason I get aware of my tinnitus, it usually takes seconds before I am unaware again. It is not a "thing" anymore but I always told myself that I will share my story one day, because stories of others did help me in the early stages, when I was looking for answers and hope.

      So for all of you that are suffering now, hang in there, be brave, let time do it's work.
       
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    2. Drachen
      Tired

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Thank you for stopping by to share your story.

      It does seem like for the vast majority of people, time is the answer. As I am now a month into my symptom, I am still in that phase where both the past and present are bleak. Right now as I'm writing this, the noise is particularly piercing, and I came off a rough night of little sleep.

      It's incredibly hard to get through the present towards the hopeful future where you might find yourself able to adjust. Feeling as if the days are going by wasted and marred by this incredibly distressing condition is a real honest to God pain.

      However, it is certainly inspirational to hear how you've achieved a decent sense of normalcy. Defeating anxiety is a massive undertaking, and I applaud your ability to overcome its grasp.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      cruise

      cruise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Drachen It’s a very good sign that you realize that you are in a phase, meaning, there will be other, better, phases to come. Time will bring the next phase and the next.

      News: your time now is not being wasted. You are building mental strength, believe it or not. Once you are past this, you will realize that the strength you have gained will help you with other challenges and will help you help others with their challenges.

      And btw I am not a decent sense of normalcy. I am just at normalcy. Tinnitus has become a non-issue to me.
       
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    4. T Toledo OH

      T Toledo OH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/26/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely loud noise and earbuds
      How long did it take for you to habituate?
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      cruise

      cruise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      It took about 4 months before I felt OK and that I was confident that the worst part was behind me. I never had sleep issues after the first 4 months, no masking. That was probably the biggest milestone of all. With better sleep, everything becomes easier. It took another 4 months or so before I felt that I fully accepted the sounds and they did no longer influenced my mood, and therefore were no longer present in my awareness most of the time.
       
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    6. Mags

      Mags Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Mid October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      Thank you for sharing the positive story.

      Did you experience worsening of your symptoms in the first 4 months at any point?

      My tinnitus was mild/moderate for the first 3 months, but in the last 10 days I've had a new tone that is simply crushing me. I had been starting to do well before it appeared out of the blue. I'm 3 months 10 days in and feel really scared that it's just worsening. Still hopeful it will go back to previous level somehow.
       
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    7. Pughma84
      Gloomy

      Pughma84 Member

      Location:
      uk
      Tinnitus Since:
      2020 August
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Hi @cruise, I am intrigued by your amazing progress and story. I have now had my tinnitus for the best part of 7 months (right ear only). No hearing loss or diagnosis unfortunately provided by anyone.

      If I look back 6 months, it used to regularly start and stop but now it is a permanent albeit very quiet noise I only tend to hear in silent rooms. Central heating masks it coupled with certain TV volumes, I also struggle to hear it outside now which is progress to an extent.

      However, what bothers me and gets me down the most is even though it's very quiet noise it has a pulsing quality to it and I'm trying to be brave and go into silent rooms but I don't just want to sit there and listen to it as it still makes me super anxious and if I'm tired I will sleep but it takes up so much of my mind.

      I don't know how to get out of this routine of checking it all the time I'm somewhere quiet. Since Christmas I haven't had to work too hard to find it's always there. The point is it still bothers me whenever I go to a quiet room and I know you mention time is a great healer but my brain doesn't seem to be getting used to it at all, it feels like a constant circle and if it was a static pitch would be half the battle for me but its a very quiet irritating tinny noise I just cannot get used to.

      Majority of the day I don't hear it with central heating and I play my radio or if I go running or tennis (lockdown now in Britain sadly).

      I just feel like I'm caught between what best approach is, I feel like my brain just can't put it to background in a quiet room so is there anything I can do to help tell my brain it's not an important sound and please put it in background. More and more things seem to help mask it now but now I'm hyper aware of what those natural maskers are which sucks. Nothing seems to help in total silence but I can't completely avoid this full stop.

      I just feel in complete limbo everyday and wondered if you had any tips or why it seems to be taking me so long to find any moments of progress now? I feel I've come some way but now feel it won't get to improve to any further level and I literally want a 10-20% further improvement to be happy again once and for all and stop even thinking or talking about this stupid sound.

      Kind regards,
      Steve
       
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    8. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      @Pughma84, Steve, your story sounds very similar to what happened to me when I first got tinnitus. I got bilateral tinnitus in 2015 after a rock concert. I had my hearing tested it was fine. Generally speaking I could only hear it in quiet rooms. For me it sounded like light sabers in my head and an occasional ring. I went through hell. I was taking anti-anxieties but I managed to still function, go to work etc. etc. When I found this site I realized that I actually had it quite mildly but it doesn’t diminish your own experience with it. Although truth be told, there were some people on the site who were quite nasty to me because mine was mild. After two years I noticed I didn’t need to sound machines anymore or the sound pillow. For me my tinnitus actually went away for about three years.

      Then last year, in March, I developed an echo in my left ear. I went to the ENT completely convinced I had an ear infection or fluid in my ear and I didn’t. I had a hearing test and I had hearing loss at one low frequency and the hearing loss was very mild. The ENT felt like I may have acquired a virus because unilateral tinnitus is actually quite rare. A month later I developed bilateral tinnitus that is very high-pitched and was very hard to mask. But I have to say that it didn’t annoy me as much as I thought it would. It was also very variable and fluctuated constantly. Over time I learned to focus on it less and the echo seashell roaring noise in my left ear didn’t bother me so much. In part because like you, it was easily masked by every day activities and noises. When it was somewhat quiet and I could hear it I was able to tune it out when I was working or what not. It inadequate no emotion to it.

      Then yesterday morning, my echo sound changed to a low hum like the sound of your TV going off line. I would occasionally get that noise on and off over the last year but it would never last very long. Well it’s been 24 hours so I suspect it’s here to stay. And yes, you can imagine I’m right back where I started again. And this time it’s a little bit louder and I can hear it over things that I would not have heard it over before. I’m trying very hard to remember that I got better before and I will get better again. I think the key is just trying to not focus on it or survey it so much. Believe me I know that’s easier said than done. I am there. I’ve even started taking my trusty Clonazepam again which I had stopped taking. So what I would say is you are really lucky that you can easily mask this noise and attend to your life. But I know you know that. I think the thing that makes us listen for it so much is because deep down inside we keep hoping it won’t be there. And that’s super hard for me considering that mine actually went away for three years. And it went away. I didn’t habituate it was gone.

      I wish you all the best. Hang in there. Period.

      Danielle
       
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    9. matthew_bk
      Crappy

      matthew_bk Member

      Location:
      Brooklyn, NY, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sudden hearing loss - left ear only
      Just curious, @cruise, do you also suffer from hearing loss? Unilateral, bilateral?
       
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