Mild Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Have Become Much Worse — Making Life Unbearable

Discussion in 'Support' started by arctic loon, Jul 28, 2019.

    1. arctic loon
      Dreaming

      arctic loon Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music
      Sorry for being negative but I'm just so tired. This tinnitus increase is probably here to stay and also I'm really stressed about the hyperacusis. I'm scared of doing anything because it might make things worse. Most sounds right now make my hyperacusis worse.

      I've been trying to be positive but it is so so hard. I'm on the brink of panic constantly. To be honest I feel really depressed, it takes so much energy just to exist. I had been doing so good for a long time with my tinnitus but now it's difficult to see light in the end of the tunnel. I'm 21 and I feel like my life's over, I'm again in the same place I was in the beginning during my worst days. For some reason the left ear is high pitched now and I can hear that tinnitus over most things, and the right ear hurts almost all the time. Most of the time I'm panicking about the hyperacusis and when that finally calms and almost becomes normal I start worrying about tinnitus.

      My ears simply can't take sounds like they did a couple months ago. I think the reason for this is long bus rides (8 hours a day) which I've done two times during the summer and then two times playing with guitar, with ear plugs but just too long. I visit my parents twice a year and have to make these long bus rides, I do use plugs during them but not for the whole time since it gets so uncomfortable. I don't even want to think about the next time I'm going for one of those bus rides.

      I'm trying to get an appointment with tinnitus specialist but I'm just so exhausted. I feel like I could manage the new tinnitus with CBT self-help methods but the noise sensitivity is making life unbearable. Days feel torture now, I'm just trying to stay calm and hope the day passes quickly so I can go to bed again, although sleeping is affected too. I wake up at least a couple of times per night and I have to fight away the panic and anxiety again and again. I was so lucky before with mild tinnitus and hyperacusis and it barely was a problem for me. During this time I've been constantly so scared of making things worse and now it has happened. I think my biggest fear is having my ear issues so bad I just simply can't live anymore. I've been trying my best but a couple mistakes with noise destroyed everything and all my habituation. I just feel so defeated. I don't want my family to know how much I'm struggling but I probably have to tell eventually. I can't even imagine going back to university in a month. I'm just so terrified of noise, going outside scares me so much.

      Please if someone reads this I need support. If someone could offer me some help or nice words I'd appreciate it very much.
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. Natalie18

      Natalie18 Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      21/12/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Irrigation or Unknown
      Hi, I’m Natalie! It looks like we are going through pretty much the exact same situation and I completely understand how you feel. If you ever want someone to talk to about it then I’m here, I’m also starting university again in a month and I’m terrified that this new level of tinnitus will prevent me from being myself. I’m feeling so low and hopeless so I completely get it. It's so hard to stay strong but I know you can do it, you’ll manage to get back to your place of habituation and everything will be okay.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @arctic loon

      I know you are going through a difficult time at the moment as I have been in a a very similar situation with my tinnitus and hyperacusis when I used to have it. Thankfully I have been hyperacusis free for over 20 years.

      I have given you all the advice that you need on another thread that you started regarding your tinnitus and hyperacusis, in particular sensitivity to sound https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-is-stressing-me-out-again.35533/#post-455720

      You need professional treatment so please make an appointment to be first seen by ENT so tests can be carried out on your auditory system. If all the tests are clear, then get a referral to see a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist, as I have previously mentioned more than once. It is treatment that you need so try to get this in motion as soon as possible. I think it would help having a word with your GP/family doctor on the way that you feel. Possbily something can be prescribed to help with your moods.

      Michael
       
    4. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      You are absolutely right here. If you have noise sensitivity as well as tinnitus sound, the two blend in a way that is impossible to describe to anyone else, and it just makes it that much worse. Even worse when it taunts you by shifting frequencies every other day, sometimes leading you to think its improved only to have it roll back in 24 hours later. The only thing that improved it for me, after four years, paradoxically, was a course of very ototoxic chemotherapy for another issue. It seemed to move the threshold in a direction that lessened the sound intolerance even though it increased the tinnitus volume. After a year of comparative relief it is slowly in decline again.

      I don't believe there are any Specialists worth wasting money on, anywhere, once you get past the initial diagnostic support.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      arctic loon
      Dreaming

      arctic loon Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music
      @Michael Leigh I've been thinking about just going straight to the Helsinki Ear Institute, I called them yesterday and I could have an appointment as early as next week. But I'm not completely sure if I should go since I would need to travel and it would be probably expensive since it's not part of the public healthcare system. It might be smart to go to normal ENT first but I would need to wait until next Thursday, due to reasons I feel are unnecessary to describe in length here, to even be able to book an appointment. I also need to wait until next week to message my psychologist. From time to time I feel I should just say screw it and go to the Helsinki Ear Institute and spend money on that but I'm not really sure what's the smart move here.

      @PaulBe Oh man, I guess I need to wait until I get cancer :ROFL: absolutely nothing else helped you hyperacusis? Did you experience ear pain with your hyperacusis?

      Your hyperacusis is coming back? I'm really sorry about that.

      For me the hyperacusis is a bit strange since it's mostly in the right ear. Sometimes my left ear pops or is sensitive in a way I feel sounds are too loud, but the right ear has pain that is almost chronic at this point. I think it all started in high school music class when the loud speaker on the right side of me made me suddenly really sensitive to sound in the right ear, I started feeling really dizzy, I got weird kaleidoscope type of filter in my eyes and of course - tinnitus. The symptoms went away under 15 mins but I feel like that really started it all, and noise exposure I had months after that was the last straw. Of course because I was stupid and listened to ear buds a lot as a teen also was part of the reason for my ear issues.

      @Natalie18 I'm really sorry you're going through this as well :( I'll PM you!
       
    6. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      injury from noxious noise
      I am really sad to hear your story. I am also disappointing that the clinical world does not address hyperacusis correctly.
      Hyperacusis sufferers are running around in circles getting no where. :(
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI @arctic loon

      I do not know how the health system works in your country so will use the NHS as an example for you to follow if you so wish. I would choose to go through the NHS 99.999 times before ever having private care for tinnitus. I was advised this by my GP/family doctor 23 years ago when I first got tinnitus and desperate for help. It was a 6 months wait to be seen by an NHS hospital. I didn't know back then as I do now that it is right for a new tinnitus patient to be seen at around 4 preferably 6 months after the onset of tinnitus. Unless there are additional symptoms such as: acute pain in the ears, deafness, dizziness or balance problems then a person should be seen sooner by ENT . The reason being, the ear is a very delicate organ and often, many people habituate within 6 months and sometimes the tinnitus can go completely away.

      Too early an intervention can actually make things worse. For this reason and rightly so, many ENT doctors prefer to leave the ears alone and wait for things to settle. If I were in your situation I would go the Public healthcare route. For the simple reason, as with the NHS, tinnitus can be a long term chronic problem. I have ben an out-patient under the NHS care for 23 years and have had very good treatment. No private healthcare in the UK can match this kind of long term care for tinnitus, which is free at point of delivery.

      Private treatment is okay for a quick fix. However, long term health condtions like tinnitus and hyperacusis, treatment takes time and lots of patience. It took me 4 years to habituate for the 2nd time 2008 to 2012. I was under the NHS and 2 years of that was TRT with counselling.

      You need professional help as I've mentioned quite a few times. Preferably counselling and wearing white noise generators to help desensitise your over sensitivity to sound within your ears. How you get this treatment and hopefully it's possible you will have to make that decision.

      All the best
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      arctic loon
      Dreaming

      arctic loon Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music
      I might just wait for public healthcare then. At least I could get my hearing tested since it has been 4 years since it was checked. Won't help much but at least I'll know what the situation with hearing damage is, I know last time i had still normal hearing levels but the hearing was slightly worse in the other ear if I remember correctly.

      It's just so hard to imagine future with this condition when it is this bad. I'm so scared of traveling now since a lot of my traveling is long distance. I don't travel often but it still makes me anxious. Will I ever be able to get a family since small children cry and squeal so loudly? Can I even get my university degree? You're supposed to go one day at a time, I know. It just sucks that you have no control and feel so trapped. I hope we all on this forum could get even some relief.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
    9. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      No. Nothing else helped it. Crazy huh?
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      arctic loon
      Dreaming

      arctic loon Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music
      Woah, that really sucks. How did your hyperacusis start?
       
    11. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      I was an active musician, and looking back now it probably all began with a show where the PA was recklessly placed. When it began my first thought was that their was something wrong with the sound system in the car, then a day or so later I recognised the tinnitus.
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      arctic loon
      Dreaming

      arctic loon Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music
      Got some new tinnitus sound. A mosquito out of all things. Its really hard to sleep at night. All i ever needed on top of all this is a mosquito i cant kill. I hate this new sound so much.

      The hyperacusis is still going strong and im starting to feel i should use earplugs all day. I cant do anything that makes a sound for a couple of days and then they feel slightly better, but after even a bit of noise its painful again. There's no way i can live normal life again. Trt as a treatment for hyperacusis is a bit debated it seems, but i found out there's no actual trt-treatment offered anywhere in my country so that's completely out of the question. Kinda sad when in most hyperacusis success stories that treatment is exactly what helped people regain control in their lives.

      Saw a doctor who though was very nice, didn't understand the condition and told me that all is fine and i cant be damaging my hearing. I just feel my my ears are already broken. He suggested an audiologist visit, though those here are more about hearing aids i'll try to get an appointment. Got a time for hearing test but i'll probably cancel it, the noise of the test might be too much for me and mess up my ears even more.

      I'm going to look into getting sleeping meds or anti depressants or anything that could possibly make my my life more bearable. I thought i got through the worst when i initially got tinnitus but this is just so much worse and it all seems so hopeless.
       
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      If you start using earplugs all day then you will make your hyperacusis worse. I suspect it is a combination of overusing earplugs, staying away from normal everyday sounds that has made your auditory system more sensitive. I previously told you seeing a doctor for your tinnitus and hyperacusis will be of no help as this is not their field. You need to see either a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist that specialises in tinnitus and hyperacusis. If your symptoms were not so pronounced and you were unable to see a tinnitus and hyperacusis specialist, I would recommend that you buy two white noise generators and try self help.

      Since 2015 you have had tinnitus and haven't made significant improvement, so using white noise generators alone might not be enough. In addition to this you need one to one counselling. Please do not read negative posts about TRT or CBT. These therapies work when properly administered and a person goes into them with a positive mindset. Once you start reading negative posts and correspond with negative thinking people that are against TRT or CBT then you set yourself up for complete failure and will make no progress.

      It is for this reason I advise people that start any form of tinnitus treatment not to discuss it is tinnitus forums, because negative thinking people will do their upmost to convince you, that no form of tinnitus therapy will work. So, if you ever start a treatment keep a way from tinnitus forums.

      Michael

      PS: It is important to see an ENT doctor so tests can be carried out on your auditory system, then get a referral to a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist that specialises in tinnitus and hyperacusis. Hearing aids will not be of any help unless you have significant hearing loss. In this instance, dual purpose white noise generators with hearing aids would be of helpful.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      arctic loon
      Dreaming

      arctic loon Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music
      @Michael Leigh the problem is that there simply are no audiologists or hearing theraphists specialised in T and H here. There is no way to get white noise generators in my country. There just simply isn't. The only place that gives specialised CBT for T and H is private=very expensive and very far from me. Even the ear institute doesn't offer TRT with wearable sound generators. They just have cds. I literally cant access that type of treatment. So im stuck like this. It's great that those treatments are more widely available in uk but that is not the case here.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    15. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Noise induced tinnitus/hyperacusis that has prolonged for this amount of time is likely being fueled by further noise exposure. Your story of playing a guitar, even with earplugs, and a full day of bus ride confirm this. It is imperative to avoid these further exposures vigilantly for the time being, to allow hearing that can take months to years unfortunately.

      Wearing earplugs all day will make the hyperacusis worse. Put them in as needed for loud and potentially loud activities, including chores that you cannot farm out to others, including vacuum, hair dryer, paper shredder, etc. Throw any headphones/earbuds out, and don't use them again. Also, wear some type of earplugs (I use the musician ones) for taking a walk near traffic as buses, and trucks are quite loud.

      Try some daily omega 3 that can help to reduce inflammation.

      Feel better soon!
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      arctic loon
      Dreaming

      arctic loon Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music
      @Digital Doc Yeah the noise exposure is definitely what made this worse. I can't believe how stupid I was. Such small decisions have impacted my life very severely. I won't use earplugs that much then, the idea of it feels comforting but not worth it. I will try to keep all volumes really low. Do you think listening to pink noise is a good idea? Honestly I feel like i shouldn't be listening to anything, it just seems a lot of people do recommend some form of sound enrichment. Definitely wont try it right now but in the future if my ears get better?

      I haven't used ear buds or headphones in years, dumped them when this all started. Now even having a long conversation seems to strain my hearing. Do you think I have any chances of recovering from this? I can't imagine going back to university like this. If this doesn't get better I might have to drop out and move back back home if I can't manage on my own. This feels so devastating. I might really become a shut in who has failed in life and lives with their parents.

      But thank you, I might as well give omega 3 a chance.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    17. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I hear you @arctic loon and I am sorry to know of your predicament. Please read my advice in the links that I have given you especially my post: Hyperacusis, As I see it. Use low level sound enrichment whenever possible especially at night. Take your time and be patient. Do not use headphones or listen to overly loud music. Above all do not resort to using earplugs of any type too often, as this will make your condition worse.

      I wish you well

      Michael
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      arctic loon
      Dreaming

      arctic loon Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music
      Got mirtazapine to help with sleep. Sort of scared of trying it. Im a broken record here and im sorry i just have nowhere else to talk to. Im so scared about my future. H is such a rare disease and i cant believe i have such a bad luck that i have it. People trash their ears worse than i did and only get tinnitus. Not that they deserve h, no one does. But life's just really really unfair. Only good thing about H is that it makes T seem completely irrelevant.

      I would give anything to have my previous hearing sensitivity level. I could do so many normal things before and i feel so depressed and bitter that this might really be my new normal. Even if i did miraculously get back on the old level i'd still be terrified because i have now truly understood how broken my ears are.

      I dont have a future in this state. Im scared of having conversations now and doing would pretty much anything. I used to love singing, but probably cant do that again because my own voice sounds too loud now. My ears are sore constantly, during the day there's a couple good hours but towards the night it gets worse again.

      Suicide would destroy my loved ones so i cant do that. I really dont want to suffer like this but i dont want to die. I just want to live even somewhat normal life. I really screwed up, this is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I feel like i cant stop this from getting worse. I probably cant go back to school this autumn. I cant see my my friends anymore. Im going to become completely isolated and still be in pain. My life honestly has become a nightmare. I lived pretty happily past 4 years and so soon im at this point where the quality of my life is so bad. I just wish there was even a bit of hope for me. This is no way to live.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    19. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      Hi @arctic loon -- Sorry to hear what a difficult time you're going through. I am happy to hear however, that you're scared of trying mirtazapine. Do a search on this forum, and you'll see why. Do an online google search for it and tinnitus, and you'll learn even more.

      Regarding your intense feelings of fear and despair, in case you're interested, I wrote a post on a very simple contemplative technique that not only calms me down, but seems to somewhat "transmute" the intensity of my tinnitus. Another member on this forum said it did the same for her. Doesn't necessary make it less loud, but much less intrusive.

      Take care young man--on a positive note, you have youth on your side. It just often takes lots of time for spikes and crises to subside. But if you can discover some effective ways to calm your system down, it will go a long way toward getting past this current difficult cycle. In that regard, you may want to consider looking into self-acupuncture.

      All the Best...
       
    20. Misticvega

      Misticvega Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure?
      My dear friend @actic loon , I am glad I stumbled upon your post. I share your exact sentiment. I've had T for over a year now and my H has lately, been at it's worst. Recently a new tone has flared up in my right ear; really low around 2000 hz that sounds like morse code. I've struggled to cope with this new noise and consequently my H has suffered.

      I saw a Tinnitus specialist back in April. As she put it, the reasons for my H were because I caused my auditory system to be more sensitive. This happened because during my initial onset of T last year, I freak out. I avoided loud noises all together and wanted to protect my ears from everything, swearing I would treat my ears better than I ever had. This response "wired my brain up" to be cautious about every sound about me (even though most weren't harmful) leading to H.

      May and June my H was be super easy to deal with. Yes, pots and pans against the counter still slightly hurt, my keyboard even is agitating, but I almost didn't notice these nearly as much as previous months. Since my latest tone, I've started worrying again making my H worse.

      I know I'll improve and I'll better manage going forward. I'm fine, you're fine, we'll get through it together.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      arctic loon
      Dreaming

      arctic loon Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music
      @Lane thank you for your kind words. Im not sure if i can listen to the the video at the moment, but im glad that has helped you. And about the drug yeah i might not take it. It feels too risky.

      @Misticvega I hope you get better. It's just that i have had this noise sensitivity in my other ear from the beginning and that hasn't come from over protecting. It has gotten worse now yes but i think again mainly from noise exposure. It just feels like my ear is broken and there's nothing i can do to fix it.

      I'm also concerned that my own internal sounds seem to trigger the pain. Is this normal with H? For example talking for long. I'm talking as softly as i can when i need to talk. I cant even imagine shouting. I recently ate some tortillas and got intense burning pain to the bad ear afterwards. Does anyone experience the same thing? Like i cant eat anything else than soft food from now? It's just ridiculous how bad this has gotten and its so depressing. I wish i could get better but it feels more like a fantasy at this point.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    22. Misticvega

      Misticvega Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure?
      @arctic loon Prior to my spike/new tone in my right ear, I felt physical pain. I first noticed it when I laid down at night. Pressing against my pillow was enough to caused my inner ear pain. Perhaps this is all a delayed onset from the number of weddings I've attended this summer with no ear protection (even though I limited my time on the dance floor). Going to another one this Sunday, but screw it, it shouldn't have taken me a year, I'm going to wear Earasers this time.

      You mentioned the noise sensitivity since the beginning... do you mean since your tinnitus started, 4 years ago? Also that it got worse with noise exposure. You, just like me, when in a "noise exposure" environment, need to wear protection. I've been prideful and ashamed given my youthful age to wear protection at sporting events/weddings/movies etc.

      I think things can get better for you and I both. I've had my peaks and valleys over the last year, and I'm currently at one of my lowest points. Let's give our ears a rest, and slowly immerse ourselves back to sounds over the next few months, wearing ear protection at loud events and hopefully we'll see improvement to our H.

      I will add, it makes it difficult to habituate when there are so many things that cause it to spike. Playing golf and going to yoga, any form of exercise, causes my T to go crazy for the next few hours. I spend months feeling like I'm getting better each day only to regress to a lower state.
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      arctic loon
      Dreaming

      arctic loon Member

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music
      Yes i got it when i got tinnitus as, it wasnt nearly this bad back then. I hope you're right that we will both get better.

      I. Just realized what made my problems this much worse. When i was playing the guitar, i wore foam ear plugs. And i also sang with them on while playing the guitar. I completely forgot that the occlusion effect can make wearing plugs while singing/speaking actually harmful! I really screwed up, didn't I? I have tried different silicone ear plugs but none have fit me, so ive always sticked to the foam ones since they are more comfortable in a way. Oh god :cry::cry::cry:
       
    24. Misticvega

      Misticvega Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure?
      I get confused by the occlusion effect. Wouldn't this have affected a musician while wearing their IEM's? Chris Martin stated his tinnitus hasn't gotten any worse since the beginning since he started using protection. It's very different for us all I imagine?
       
    25. Tinniger

      Tinniger Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      increasingly uncertain, maybe noise, maybe somatic ?
      Mirtazapine is very special medication. It is an excellent sleeping pill, 7.5mg are sufficient, sometimes even 3.75mg.
      It is not considered ototoxic. It should not be addictive.

      But it has two special side effects.
      a) It makes unusually vivid dreams.
      And, more important:
      b) Very many people experience a significant weight gain in continuous use. The exact cause is unclear.

      If you are overweight, I advise against it.

      If not, it is worth a try in the cases where sleep is absolutely essential.
       

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