Masking Reactive Tinnitus / Hyperacusis

Discussion in 'Support' started by valeri, Aug 21, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      I really really hope someone else can relate to this.
      I have been having this hiss/sizzle noise on and off for over a year. Yes it's always upsetting but it never lasted this long.
      It has been over a month and hiss/sizzle is very intrusive but to make matter even worse this noise somehow reacts with other noises around me.
      Sitting at the computer at work I can hear it high pitched sharp hiss hurting my ears. It's almost as if knives are going through my ears.
      I don't have a clue what could be the reason for this but, added to the dreadful drone I have, it's seriously affecting my life and ability to function.
      My ears feel "wide opened", as if there's no filter but sound goes straight through them.
      Watching TV is impossible now too.
      I always slept with making noise and some music but now that's out.
      Is this hyperaccousis?
      Or reactive tinnitus?
      Does it get better?
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I have the same thing, the sound is shrill and hurts the ears, it also competes with most sound after a short time. My TV becomes background noise to my T after about 20 min, it's like I'm listening to my TV through this wall of tinnitus. It's not just the insides of my ears that get sore, the outsides of my ears also get hot and red, my ear canals get swollen, it is pretty painful after a couple of hours of this. I always feel like I have a ear infection or something but it's just my T and H.


      The only thing that I have found to help is the shower, kind of resets them. I guess that doesn't help you at work though.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    3. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @Telis
      Have you tried any meds (benzos) that may help?
      Also how long does the improvement last after shower?
      I'm devasted and scared this is now permanent:(
       
    4. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      @valeri, what you describe is definitely **reactive** T. It competes/getting louder and louder to all kind of ambient sounds.
      I can relate to this. For instance, I cannot sit/be near a desktop PC (hard-drives, fans, running water, cars, trains, fridges, dryers, washing machines, radios, TVs etc drive my T crazy) or any other equipment that resonates noise.
      It's hard to say. It may improve a little or get worse. I've it **extreme** since the very onset of T (about 8 months ago), and I've no desire to suffer much longer. I'm done.
      There's no way to hab to **reactive** T. It's just too extreme and whimsical. I mean, do you really think celebrities with T who still manage a successful career have it **reactive**? No freaking way! They have to *look for it* to hear it.
      **reactive** T = incapacitated for life. That's why we hear nothing about T from them. They are too busy with life.
      What @Telis said about the shower I can sort of confirm. But in my case T gets so extremely high pitched once I'm done with the shower it almost feels as if T is about to resolve for a few minutes only to explode back beyond sanity.
      My advice: have as many silence as possible. Somehow silence can calm **reactive** T. And be outdoor in the woods.
      We are doomed. All these ongoing trials are holes in the barrel. Instead of fixing the issue at its root they try to sell us some placebo drugs and invasive questionable injections. Pharmaceutical money business as usual. More damage than good.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I will say yes you can adjust to reactive T. I have loud T and hyperacusis (though mild now). I played soccer for 2 hours this morning (and rode my motorcycle to and from it) and now my T is screaming loud and high pitched with crickets. I hear it over everything I currently hear including this gaming computer I am typing this on (with loud fans) and the TV movie I am watching.

      It was low when I got up this morning. I could have tried to keep it low but that doesn't work when you have reactive T. You cannot control it. If it's gonna get loud it will. Mine reacts to sounds or no sounds. It will get loud even if I am eating sometimes just from chewing. If I just get worked up over something then it can get loud.

      You just gotta do what you gotta do. If it gets loud because of something or some event, then you have to let it go as much as you can and move about with your day. You gotta stay even keeled and not let the little sh** bother you.

      I am not saying what I do will work for you, but this is the way I deal with it and it gets me through my day. The less you care about what you cannot control in the first place, the better off you will be.
       
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    6. Barbara777

      Barbara777 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2015
      Erik, how long did it take for you to habituate to your T? I've had this reactive T for almost seven months and still am finding it hard to get used to.
       
    7. 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
      I have reactive tinnitus, too. I've had it for over five years now; before that, my tinnitus was mild and I could go through my day without noticing it at all. Now, however, my tinnitus reacts to sounds such as the TV, the computer, etc., especially later in the day. I've never understood why that it is, but I have learned to live with it.

      Although my T still reacts to television, I've noticed lately that it's (on most days) not as bad as it used to be. I can now watch a 1/2 hour TV show, rest my ear, and then go back later and watch another 1/2 hour.

      So, to answer your question, it does get better --- in a way. I think we learn to adjust to it with time, and experience.
      Also, I have been taking NAC (N-Acetlycistene) for several months now, and I think it helps take a tiny bit of the edge off my tinnitus , and is supposed to protect the ears from further damage.

      Basically, learning to cope with reactive tinnitus takes time, but it can be done.
       
    8. Mad maggot
      Breezy

      Mad maggot Member

      Location:
      New zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Sounds like reactive and hypercusis both. Aren't you so lucky?
      That was sarcasm of course! Have you seen a doc for help with this? Many here have similar problem and I'm sure will have tips.
       
    9. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Hey @Barbara777 - It took me about 1.5 years to get to a point where I didn't get stressed or anxious about my T, which was 1000% an improvement from where I started. I still have my moments, like when the ref blew a whistle a few feet from me during my soccer match last Thur (that was super loud!), but overall 98% of the time, I operate the same whether my T is high and loud or low. It's just harder to ignore when it is really loud but when if I have things to do, I need to get them done regardless.
       
    10. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      But why would this hiss all of a sudden decide to stay and become reactive?
      Then yesterday morning I woke up to a ringing sound that's still here.
      Hell! Pure hell this is!
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    11. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @erik
      @Karen @NiNyu

      Do you feel pain in your ears when it's reacting?
      Mine is almost like blades going through my ears:(

      Thank you all for your support!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
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    12. dan
      Chatty

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2011
      I suffered bad ear pain for one year of onset. Then it got better in terms of pain, not tinnitus.
      Tinnitus got worse.
       
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    13. 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
      No, I don't feel pain. Just an increase in my tinnitus. I have pulsatile tinnitus, too, and that makes it feel like my ear is vibrating with the sound.
       
    14. Erik, you are hardcore. I like your style and that you fearlessly describe your T and then follow it with a "You just gotta do what you gotta do. If it gets loud because of something or some event, then you have to let it go as much as you can and move about with your day. You gotta stay even keeled and not let the little sh** bother you." Seriously, that kind of attitude resonates with me and I find you inspiring. Thanks man.
       
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    15. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      @Karen, it's pretty simple T dwells in the non-functional frequencies; for whatever the reason. Those neurons fire perpetually even though there's no sound. Now when there is sound that we can hear with the good ear (or whatever ear that can still transmit the sound to our auditory cortexes), T gets louder because we always hear in stereo and the neurons always fire simultaneously in both auditory cortexes.

      @valeri, I wouldn't call it a consistent pain like in an *otitis media* but it stings, tingles, itches and sometimes it even hurts a little.

      @erik, while I admire your tenacity this approach can't work for everybody, unfortunately.
       
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    16. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @Karen
      How much of NAC are you taking daily?
       
    17. snow86
      Surrender

      snow86 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 - Extreme T since 12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      see "information" on profile page. Crippled by extreme T
      Our small, exclusive club :/

      @valeri , did you try some of your trobalt or are you still trying that useless herbal mix?
       
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    18. Mark Beehre
      Facebooking

      Mark Beehre Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wellington, New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008 // 11/2014
      I have reactive tinnitus which I believe is related to a mild hyperaccusis in my right ear. It's probably more like dysacusis because sounds don't feel louder, but I get all the other problems e.g. increase in tinnitus pitch and intensity and ear pain.

      One thing I have noticed is that with time the hyperaccusis has scaled back and the reactive episodes have as well. I am able to handle more exposure without any complications. However, it is like a rubber band and if I over do it I snap the band and have to start almost from scratch. It can take two to three weeks to bounce back to a more stabilized sleeping pattern and level of anxiety and semi-baseline T. My last significant episode was 46 days ago. Touch wood this will continue.

      What I have done to achieve this is eliminate unnecessary ambient noise from my life by moving closer to work and avoid noisy environments. I still drive the 5 minutes to and from work. I still go out for leisurely hour walks around the neighborhood and go to the supermarket or local take away store. Some of these places are noisy, but I know my ears can handle it without spiking from past experience so I am pretty calm about it. The times I do get stressed is when I need to drive for 30 minute intervals, but thankfully moving closer to work I have dropped that off considerably.

      I base my recovery down to the concept that my ear is a rubber band that is gradually being strengthened to handle greater stretching. So long as I don't snap it, it will only get better. I hope it can get back to its ordinary self given time, as it has already been 8 months, but the last month has been the best of all in the last 8 months so here's to that! :)

      If I could change anything about the last 8 months it would have been moving closer to work from the very start. My belief is the noisy 30 minute and then return trip to work each day was the sole hindrance to my recovery. Every week for 5 months I would have a setback that would last a few days only to recover on the weekend only to re-do it again when back at work Monday. Suffice to say it was 3 months ago when I moved to be near work...

      The second bad thing I did was use ear plugs when driving or out as shops etc. in an attempt to limit the reactions. First off, it didn't work and second off it actually made my ears even more sensitive.

      The positive news was that last weekend I went back to my house (30 minutes drive) without any hearing protection and had no complications. Then the following day drove for about 40 minutes and spent another 30 minutes in a noisy cafe again with no complications. Suffice to say the following 4 days have been more quieter...again not wanting to stretch too far...but if I had tried to do that two months ago I would have been squashed alive by raging T.

      Right now all I have to deal with is fluctuating T. I have good days where I barely notice it, days like today where it hisses and days like the last two where it's very high frequency like a dog whistle and I need 1mg of lorazapam to send me off to sleep. Hopefully that too will stabilize with time or habituation will come. But here's to being positive that I can bounce back from this affliction and that you can too! :)
       
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    19. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @Mark Beehre

      Mark my problem is that rather small sounds are causing this hiss to go very sharp and hurting my ears.
      Noise like TV is upsetting, aircon, computer, fan.....
      Is this the case with you too or only loud noises are problem in your case?
       
    20. Mark Beehre
      Facebooking

      Mark Beehre Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wellington, New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008 // 11/2014
      That happened to me in the early days of my journey too. I could barely have any volume on the television or computer. I remember going through a phase thinking I should have my computer box in a different room so that I wouldn't hear the fans. Overtime my ears healed and it got better. It's not perfect yet and has taken me ages to get where I am, but be positive that it can happen given enough time. Don't right yourself off for recovery, you can and will have an amazing future! :)
       
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    21. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      Mine is also reactive, I can go from an okay day to a jet engine without realising the link. Sometimes it may be a noise or situation I can put my finger on or sometimes, like last Sunday, it jumps up randomly.

      I struggle to listen to a lot of music now because my T reacts to it, along with fans and plenty of other things. I take the same approach as Erik, I'm not going to sit around and feel sorry for myself because all that can possibly do is make me worse. I do try and make sure that I keep away from those reactive sounds, much like I would any sound that irritated me. And I also make music and sounds so that can be therapeutic too, actively searching for sounds that don't spike me.

      My advice is to get on with things and make changes where you can, if you know what makes it react then you can work to avoid situations or just face them anyway if it's something you want to do - or you can actively seek out situations where the sound is pleasing for you. The important thing is to try and not pay too much attention (I know that isn't easy and I wish I had mastered it myself), the anxiety you create by obsessing over it is really bad for you, one thing none of us need is extra tension.

      Do you know when my T is the loudest? When I log on here and see excessive negativity, doom and gloom, that's when it jumps right up. The more you obsess over the negative the worse you are fating yourself to be.
       
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    22. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @Steve H

      Steve does your t go sharper in quality?
       
    23. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Thank you all for your support!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    24. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      Yes it does, it's like a high pitch knife as you describe, very intense sound. If I stay in the noise area that it's competing with it can feel very uncomfortable. Not always that bad but when it is it isn't nice to deal with.
       
    25. 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
      I take two capsules per day, at 600 mg. each, for a total of 1,200 mg. per day. The brand I take is NOW NAC.
       
    26. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      Thanks Karen!
      I have exactly the same thing so I may give it a go.
      I just hope it won't make things worse:(
       
    27. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      I take the same, for more than 6 months now. Cannot tell if my hearing got better. It seems to be the same. No change on my T unfortunately.

      No reactive T here on my side. Also only a very mild H. I was even in a football stadium on Sunday and my T was unchanged.

      But my T currently so loud like fleeting T non-stop.
      Like Steve and Markku, I live as good as possible a normal life. At least my family should not be influenced by it. Biggest problem besides T is high tension and anxiety. This makes it fu... hard to function. One day I can cope better, the other not. But playing football for two hours? I do not have the energy for this. I try going running 2-3 times a week. But difficult since T is spiking even more.

      Please stay strong everyone.
       
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    28. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @Martin69

      Martin my friend you are one very brave man!
      I admire your positivity and support and many times that's what keeps me going:)

      With this new change my anxiety is through the roof and it's really hard to understand why after 4 years of drone hell I have this new problem.

      It's heartbreaking and it scared me that one just never knows what's around the corner.

      You just wake up and the new hell is there:(

      This is like Dantes 9 circles of hell!
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    29. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      @valeri @RicoS

      Giving up is NO OPTION.

      We went a long way already and will continue going.
      On those days like today I would normally not function at all.
      But we have a sunny day. I work as good as possible (luckily not very stressful tasks today) and after my shift I will go into mothers nature or go running.

      Am I positive? I don't know. I try the best I can dealing with the situation. A friend of mine killed himself some weeks ago (not because of T). He had kids. I cannot imagine seeing my kids from heaven (or hell) after I killed myself. I would kill me once again immediately. So I continue suffering here and make the best I can.

      And one day our brain is so bored with the sound that it FILTERS it away. (y)
       
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    30. RicoS
      Confused

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      @Martin69 you know I will not quit my friend....I love my son and wife to much....;) And we had a deal remember.... :) ...we get through this together!!! We all have our moment that we are fed up with it and we need to ventilate..... but quitting is not an option....2 years and 2 months I have this but it seems like for ever ....but that makes me wonder when it perhaps gone in the future how much joy I will have.

      I've been at rock bottom 8 months ago....I will not let myself slip in there again. (y)
       
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