Loudness Hyperacusis Substantially Better (Nearly Gone) and Tinnitus Far Less Bothersome

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Ehren M, Sep 2, 2021.

    1. Ehren M
      Nerdy

      Ehren M Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/24/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Dear Tinnitus Talk folks,

      TL;DR:
      While a very mild hissing tinnitus tone still remains with me, I noticed recently that I am no longer alarmingly startled by moderately loud sounds, nor do loud voices sound like distorted threats, which had been the case for months. These changes are a huge relief to me, and they give me hope that my symptoms will continue to improve with time. Furthermore, the tinnitus I experience bothers me far far less than previously, though it is still very clearly always there when I pay attention to it.

      A little background:
      I developed loudness hyperacusis (gratefully never associated with pain, but there was notable reactivity), and high-pitched tinnitus back in late January of 2021 following a series of stressful events punctuated with exposure to a loud high-pitched Fox Classic sports whistle. This has easily been the worst and hardest thing I have ever gone through, and that is coming from someone who has had my fair share of injuries and emotional losses.

      Measures I have been taking to fix my ears/brain/whatever was damaged:
      • taking NAC, Zinc, Turmeric + black pepper capsules, and Magnesium citrate every morning; also taking Zinc and Turmeric + black pepper each night as well
      • protecting against loud sounds when feasible (e.g. wearing earplugs in loud restaurants), but pushing myself to tolerate reasonably loud environments like cafes and relaxed wine bars
      • listening to white noise most of the time (rather quietly), even while sleeping
      • taking every opportunity to do something fun and life-affirming (hiking, backpacking, swimming, taking on new exciting projects at work...in general getting my mind off of my problems)
      • I got a kitten... not sure it's the silver bullet, but he's certainly distracting
      • eating lots of fresh veggies and fruit
      It's interesting to note that I have not noticed anything that consistently spiked my symptoms. Nothing. I enjoy coffee and alcohol in moderation now after avoiding them entirely for a few months immediately after my injury. I avoided them initially due to things I read online that made them sound like bad ingredients to mix with tinnitus. Not for me, at any rate (very gratefully).

      For the most part, I am feeling like I got my life back from these debilitating conditions, and I hope to report further triumphs in time.

      For anyone just beginning their journey with related conditions, please consider the possibility that it is not uncommon for things to drastically improve with time and self-care. Please keep your head up and try plenty of new approaches that might improve your situation... beginning with your mental health - if I may be so bold to suggest starting there. That was highly relevant in my case - perhaps not much of a surprise as we all continue to navigate our lives through the pandemic.

      I with you all the best!
       
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    2. Keith Handy
      Dreaming

      Keith Handy Member

      Location:
      Rochester, NY, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress + sleep deprivation + noise
      Glad to hear you're doing well and hope you only continue to get better!
       
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    3. Tau
      In pain

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      That's amazing to hear!

      What kind of distortions did you have, if you don't mind my asking? I get beeps/whistles and so far I'm only getting worse.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ehren M
      Nerdy

      Ehren M Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/24/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      The distortions sounded like a mixture of the tinnitus sounds (fuzz/hiss) with the person's voice that would set it off... usually because the voice was a loud or abrasive tone. External sound never produced beeps/whistles for me. I think the term "recruitment" might be best to describe the distortions I was experiencing... where as I understand it, recruitment is the over-amplification of a sound by parts of the hair cells in the cochlea that surround the damaged hair cells.

      I'll be hoping for you that your conditions do improve, Tau.
       
    5. Tau
      In pain

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      Thank you! I have both recruitment and hyperacusis. I think beeps arise because some frequencies are overamplified in broadband sound, resulting in distinct beeps.
       
    6. aura

      aura Member Benefactor

      Location:
      romania
      Tinnitus Since:
      05.2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Hey, @Ehren M!

      I remember reading one of your posts that I really liked a few weeks ago and I'm glad to hear that you're doing so well now! :)

      I also developed tinnitus and hyperacusis in January 2021, but unfortunately I'm not in a very good place now...

      Still, stories like yours give me hope that maybe one day things will get better for me too.

      Do you have/had hearing loss or other symptoms like ear pain, aural fullness, dizziness, etc?

      How loud was your tinnitus in the first weeks/months? Has your improvement been linear?

      You said that this was the hardest thing you've been through so far and this is exactly how I feel when I think about that period...

      What was the thing that helped you the most when fighting this condition?
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ehren M
      Nerdy

      Ehren M Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/24/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Hi @aura,

      Great questions!

      During the first couple of days following my injury, I had notable aural fullness, dizziness, headaches, and sound threshold shifts, all of which were worst in the left ear (which is where the tinnitus remains worst... I rarely hear any phantom sounds in the right ear). I didn't experience headaches with any regularity prior to the injury, so this was all clearly related to my injury. The threshold shift (quietness) subsided after 2 days, the dizziness and near-constant headaches subsided after about half a week, and the aural fullness subsided after about 2 weeks. Meanwhile, the hyperacusis and tinnitus started the day after the injury. I did have a dull ear pain from time to time for months following the accident, but there did not seem to be any pattern to it, and I have not noticed it now for months.

      Here is an audiogram from exactly two months after the injury date:

      upload_2021-9-2_14-46-20.png

      As you can see, my hearing profile is in good shape, but this only goes up to 8 kHz, and the inciting factor was likely in the 10-12 kHz range, so who knows how thing look up that high.

      The tinnitus symptom loudness was very loud and distressing in the first few weeks, and then seemed like it tapered off perhaps just the slightest bit within the first two months. I find it very hard to say for certain how it has changed, but what I can say is that it doesn't bother me as much now. I was downright desperate and scared for at least three months before something changed and it got easier. Sorry that sounds vague, but that's as accurate as I can be with this. The improvement was definitely not linear. I got busy with a road trip and then working in a remote forest away from internet, and thus was unable to constantly Google "holy **** will my ears ever heal" and the like. It was during that period when experienced the greatest relief and improvement of these symptoms.

      I would say that the thing that helped me, and continues to help me the most is to make the decision to adopt a "growth mindset" where I do things to facilitate brain growth around positive experiences. I read a lot of peer-reviewed literature regarding neuron and synapse development and how it can help the brain "get over" stuff perhaps akin to tinnitus, and whether or not it's true, it's the track I am on. So I have thrown myself at fun hikes and all kinds of stuff to keep super busy doing stuff that I enjoy, rather than hide in my room like I was doing at first. Of course, perhaps the hiding part actually was good for me at first, for instance to avoid loud sounds and stress... but it eventually was not good because it didn't allow me to seek valid distractions, etc.

      I hope these thoughts somehow help you and that your recovery is just around the corner, @aura!

      Cheers.
       
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    8. SD7
      Angry

      SD7 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Mid /June 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Vaccine + Noise
      Hi @Ehren M, glad you're feeling better. You got your tinnitus from blowing a whistle?!?! Were you sick by any chance before the incident?
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ehren M
      Nerdy

      Ehren M Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/24/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Hi @SD7,

      Yep. A damned whistle. After doing an obsessive amount of searching online however I've seen that my situation is unfortunately not so rare. Referees and others who use whistles frequently have reported hearing damage that seems related to whistles. They can get quite loud (>115 dB).

      I wasn't sick before or any time around the incident. I had been taking amoxycillin for a week or so in early January for a wound... and had a new tetanus shot around January 5th, but it seems like those potentially ototoxic meds would have been present in pretty low doses in my system by January 23rd, when my injury went down.
       
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