Living with Tinnitus for the Rest of My Life Feels Unbearable: Looking for Tips

Discussion in 'Support' started by Michael E., Jun 8, 2020.

    1. Michael E.

      Michael E. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown but I did suffer a Trumatic brain injury in 2008
      I was diagnosed with tinnitus last December and some days I’ll be honest the thought of having to deal with this for the rest of my life feels unbearable. Just looking for any helpful hints or things that have worked for people to lessen this constant high-pitched ringing... it’s driving me crazy.
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi. I'm sorry you're finding it tough right now.

      I have 7 years on you.

      A little scathed, but mostly back to living a near normal existence.

      Things that have helped me are:

      . Distraction

      . Accepting that I have little to no control over the noise, and focusing on my reactions (easier said than done) = mindfulness, CBT

      . Plenty of quality sleep

      . Protect your ears

      . Manage stress with something enjoyable

      . Avoid triggers

      . Connect with others who understand

      . I live day by day (I have heart, lung, joint, and renal symptoms as part of my Lyme diagnosis to deal with also = gives perspective)

      I can reassure you that you won't go mad, though I have felt that way many times.

      You are more resilient than you realise. Your brain wants to focus on other things. Give neuroplasticity a chance with mindfulness cbt and other techniques as described in the Back to Silence thread and video.

      Read norman dodges books on neuroplasticity. It will inspire you.

      I know this is crap, but I wanted to reassure you that you will reclaim your life back; with or without the tinnitus.

      Not to mention the possibility of future diagnostics and treatments you'll see discussed on this forum.
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    3. UKBloke

      UKBloke Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / family history
      Hi Michael,

      How's your hearing in general? If the tinnitus is noise-induced then the obvious first thing to do is to give your ears a rest and try let thing settle down. This can take quite a while. When I was first diagnosed back in '91 it took between 2 - 3 years before things became OK for me.

      I think the other thing to remember is that although silence may not completely return (I have not had complete silence since '91) it is entirely possible to live a normal life. There are many of us on here who are living testament to that, and as impossible as it may seem to you right now, it just takes time (your body's own natural resilience will lead the way with that - we're a lot more resilient than we know!).

      If your tinnitus is not too reactive then sound enrichment at night for sleep (and even during the day if you're in a quiet environment) can really help. In this respect it's just a case of trial and error. For me, sometimes a bit of white noise helps, other times I prefer the radio with some talking heads - whatever works.

      I'm not going to try gloss things over; there will be good days and there will be bad days; tinnitus will just do it's thing. Until a cure or really effective treatment is found (there are numerous exciting things on the horizon regarding that by the way), our job is to manage the symptoms. As I say, this can seem impossible in the early phases but rest assured, the vast majority do find a way with that. It's really just about exploring the various options until you discover protocols that works for you.
    4. Mister Muso

      Mister Muso Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Can I ask if you have been able to go to concerts and the cinema safely since that 2-3 year recovery period?

      And did you have hyperacusis?
    5. UKBloke

      UKBloke Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / family history
      After the diagnosis in '91 and the subsequent 2-3 year period of "habituation" (whatever that word means for us in real terms) I went right back to life as it was before - going to concerts, cinema, even playing in a live band (I'm a bit of a muso as well :)). I didn't have hyperacusis that time round.

      Everything was absolutely fine (still had tinnitus but was perfectly manageable for me) until a couple of years ago when I did an extended period of circa 8 weeks wearing a pair of Audio-Technica enclosed headphones at insanely loud volume (recording some music). One day I just "felt something go" in my left ear, and since then the tinnitus level elevated to where I can hear it during the day.

      This elevation has resulted in me experiencing some hyperacusis - the missus bought a new hoover that screamed like a banshee and actually caused me enough pain to have to cover my ears (although it did become a good way of getting out of doing the housework ;)) Thankfully the "pain" element settled within a couple of years. I guess it's just about being aware of the various triggers and trying to avoid them until things level out.

      My tinnitus now often "reaches out" beyond white-noise for masking. From what I've read on this forum, this may also be a symptom of hyperacusis so I suppose I do still have a mild form of it. It's annoying but manageable at this point it seems. One day at a time :)
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    6. Jrblovsky

      Jrblovsky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Christmas 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NOISE/Menieres Who knows
      I feel the same. Just imagine having low to mid roaring on top of the high pitched ringing. I deal with this everyday. I went from no tinnitus to severe/extreme within 30 seconds from 15 gunshots. I apparently developed cochlear Meniere's and it has no cure. I cant even work, it's so loud and unbearable. Fml!
    7. AfroSnowman

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      I've been through a challenging journey as well, one that I still find too hard on a regular basis. My biggest gains in my ability to move on were 1) Stop thinking about what I have lost, it doesn't matter. It is gone and I'm not getting it back. All that matters is what I have to work with now. 2) Never (if I can help it) give in to the pain, never feel sorry for myself, never allow myself to consider the insanity of the situation. I am sure this is linked to point 1 but whenever I allowed myself to go there, that is when things would get truly dark and impossible. 3) Be kind and patient with yourself. This is hard, you will fail many times, but slowly if you keep positive, keep trying to get better at living this way, you will get better at living this way. This means less pain, more functionality, more joy.

      It does not matter if you are not ever going to be what you once were (I am convinced that I will not be), it matters what you can do, how you can best live with what you are.

      Anyway that's how I think about it.
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