Losing My Mind — New to Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Christina, Feb 23, 2015.

    1. Christina

      Christina Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hello everyone.
      My name is Christina and this is my first post to this forum. I've only had tinnitus for a little less than a month, and I'm in desperate need of advice or persective.

      I'm a 26 year old woman who for the most part, has never had any problems with hearing or the ears in general. I had one brief episode of acoustic trauma back in 2008, which caused some inflammation, but I was quickly seen and treated by an ENT physician. I've taken pretty good care of my ears over the years. I'm not much of a club goer or partier, but whenever I did go to these events; I always made sure to bring ear plugs with me.

      I first noticed my tinnitus on January 30, 2015. At first, I thought it was the humming from the computer. I didn't pay too much attention to it. But then the sound popped, and I realized it was actually coming from my ear. I tried to ignore it because I assumed it would go away. But, since that day, it's only gotten progressively worse.

      I've suffered from 3 severe bouts of tonsillitis since November, which my ENT believes has contributed to my tinnitus. A few days after discovering my new-found tinnitus, I experienced severe nausea, debilitating ear pain and dizziness, which led me to go back to visit the ER. The ER dr performed a complete CBC blood panel and a CT scan of my head and neck. Everything came back normal. I was sent home the same evening, and told that I was just suffering from a migraine.

      Since November, I've been given so many antibiotics and steroids that I'm fairly certain that my tinnitus was caused by ototoxicity. I never had any problems with ear ringing until taking all these medications. Bear in mind, these infections have been coming back for the last few months, which led me to undergo several rounds of antibiotics often without any breaks. I took methylpredinisole at least twice, clindamycin twice, amoxicillan twice, ibuprofen for pain, promethazine for nausea, and another antibiotic as well that I can't remember.

      Due to my recurrent infections, my ENT decided to go ahead and schedule me for a tonsillectomy this month. I just had surgery this past Thursday (Feb 19th), and the pain is unbearable. I'm afraid to take anything for the pain, because when I took hydrocodone with acetaminophen, the ringing became so loud within 10 minutes. The same thing happened when I took promethazine. I told my ENT that the medication was aggravating my tinnitus, and she recommended children's Tylenol and benadryl to help me sleep. I took both of those for one day and after that, my tinnitus volume increased even more.

      I've noticed that while I've had tinnitus, my sensitivity to noise is through the roof. I can't even handle music at such a lower level. To be honest, I am so paranoid about listening to music that I can't even enjoy it. My tinnitus is so high pitched, I cannot even begin to locate the frequency. It reminds me of a dentist drill. It is so intense that the sound cuts through everything, and physically hurts my ears. As a musican, I am very devastated because music is my life and my future career. I can't even go near my violin anymore, because the pitch is too high and causes me immense discomfort.

      I am so tired of ENT doctors telling me that I should just use white noise and live with this condition. I had to see several of my regular ENT doctors colleagues since they all work different schedules, and they just keep telling me the tinnitus and the pain is just referred pain from my tonsils. The interesting thing is that when I first got tinnitus, the infection in my tonsils was already gone. So, I'm not sure how that's even possible. The ENT nurse says that my tinnitus might be temporary and they all said that I might not even have it after surgery. I had hope that might happen, but when I woke up from my tonsillectomy---the tinnitus was still very much there.

      I honestly do not know what to do. I know this is so long, and if you've read this far, thank you so much for your attention. I'm so depressed that I can't even enjoy my music or even hear silence for just a brief moment. My mood has been shot, and I often think if this does not go away that I do not know how I will go on with my life. I have to return to work soon, and I do not know how this will affect my job performance. I'm normally such a positive person, but lately my mind has even thought about suicide and that's not something I ever think about. I just want my old life back.

      Please help me. If you have any tips or insight into this condition, please let me know. Do you think my tinnitus will resolve? What can I do to make it bearable or go away?? So far, even without taking any meds, it's been getting worse. At first, it was only in my left. It's more prominent in my left ear than my right, but if I cover my right ear, i can still hear it. So far, its been getting louder mostly in my left ear.

      I accidentally slapped my left ear last night in a fit of anger, not hard or anything , but because I was so tired of hearing the ringing. I can hear OK out of it and there is no blood or pus. I have a follow up with my ENT surgeon on Thursday and I was going to mention it to her. I also forgot to include that my hearing was tested for any hearing loss and my hearing is actually better than normal. My dr says my hearing is actually perfect so the tinnitus was not brought on by hearing loss.

      I'm desperate for any insight, sorry if this post has been so long. Anything you can do to help me, I sincerely appreciate it.

      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. attheedgeofscience
      No Mood

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Any antibiotic with the name of the drug ending in -mycin is ototoxic (some more than others); the delivery method (i.e. topical, oral or IV) also influences the toxicity.
      Standard hearing tests only focus on the speech frequency range (0 - 8 kHz). Hearing loss (incl. ototoxic hearing loss) tends to start with the higher frequencies above that. In any event, a hearing test is designed to diagnose hearing loss, not tinnitus.
      Depending on your location, there may be clinical trials you could consider enrollment for.

      Those are the immediate "insights" I can offer.
      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. Christina

      Christina Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Thanks for your input. I had my hearing test done by an audiologist at my ENT clinic. She tested my higher frequencies too, if I remember correctly. I can hear very high frequencies on my own, I listened to them carefully online. I don't think I have hearing loss honestly. I can hear things at such a low level that even other people with normal hearing can't even hear. I'll check it again though just in case.

      What clinical trials are available if any right now? I'm not very familiar with any of the treatments.
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    4. Sailboardman

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.

      Hello and welcome. Some of my opinions.

      First step, you should contact your PCP and get something to control your anxiety. I used Xanax when I first got T and initially, it helped me sleep and cope. The second thing, is get a noise machine to help mask the T at night, this also helps with sleep. Bed, Bath and Beyond has one for $20. It is important to get a good nights sleep. Third thing, is to know that most ENT specialist are not to helpful when it comes to T. (My opinion and others here on this forum) fourth thing, is stay on this site and read as much as you can, especially the success stories. know that you are amoungst friends, with similar symptoms and issues as you. you're not alone, Christina!

      We all go through stages of depression, anxiety, dark thoughts and lack of good sleep at first. Eventually and over time, you will find ways to adapt to the noise and your brain will start to habituate. Stay as busy as possible and no loud noises! Always have some low background noise on around the house. It helps distract from the T.

      Avoid alcohol, sugar, sodium and tobacco. Read about what holistic supplements and vitamins, others have found helpful to diminish the T sound a bit, here on this forum.

      Mainly, try not to panic and stay as positive as possible. I know it's hard to do, but keep in the moment, not the past or the future for now! Have hope! You may wake up one morning and it's gone. We Never know?

      For me, I pray and have faith in the Lord to help me. He has never let me down! God bless!

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    5. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      That is a wonderful support post from Sailboardman. If you follow these points of advice, your condition should improve. Either your T will be perceived as lower or your capacity to handle T will be increased. If there is anything to add, I will just say that your T being so new your are now at the worst phase of T suffering. Your body is still a bit traumatic about the T sensation and your nerve is controlled by the limbic system functioning in the 'fight or flight' mode. As such, things appear much worse than they are. There are also many distorted thoughts about T and the future, something they call 'Cognitive Distortions' in CBT therapy. Typical is the distortion called 'Catastrophic Thinking' (such as saying future is all dark and hopeless), or the one called 'All or Nothing Thinking' (such as saying life is not worth living with T). Try to read up on Cognitive Distortions and you will see many thought patterns during the initial T suffering fall into this category.

      We are a product of what and how we think. If you believe in these distorted thoughts, then you will suffer a lot. But unnecessarily I may say. Because the future is not all that what the traumatic brain projects, and life is beautiful and worth living regardless of T. Hope you will read up all the success stories to get some insights and to have hope for your future. There are many methods or strategies out there, CBT, TRT, mindfulness meditation, exercise, diet & supplements, etc., etc. When you read enough success stories, you will know there are many roads to Rome. So don't think your situation is hopeless. There are many things you can do to help yourself.

      There are many great threads on TT which can help a new T sufferer. Here is an excellent thread started by a member on what to do when you are new with tinnitus and stressed out. I added some comments to the OP’s thread, but you can scroll up to post #1 to read up on the excellent suggestions by the original poster.

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    6. Kathi

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      @Christina --[USER=2670]@billie48[/USER] and @Sailboardman both gave excellent advice. Just try to remember that you are at the beginning--it will get better. I can truly say it got better for me. It's not perfect but I work, socialize, camp, ride a motorcycle (with ear protection), take care of my mom and now I am planning a baby shower. I never thought that I would be able to do all these things again. You will get there too. I'm in my 16th month. My advice is that TIME takes TIME--the brain has to habituate. If after a while you don't feel you are naturally habituating then seek out another strategy--CBT (I did this) or TRT. We're here for you. This community really cares.
      • Agree Agree x 1
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    7. Christina

      Christina Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Thank you all so much. It has been very difficult to stay positive, but your words have given me great encouragement. I'm hoping my T will go away in time, but I'll definitely look into some more threads on here. I appreciate the advice.

      Also, have any of you done any treatments for your tinnitus (Nuemonics, sound therapy, etc)? Have they helped? I'm trying to see what might be the best option.

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