Music Major with Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by derpytia, Apr 30, 2014.

    1. derpytia

      derpytia Member Benefactor

      Rescue, California
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014 (many increases since then)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Progressive hearing loss / noise / ETD
      Hello there. I'm Kristina and almost 2 weeks ago I went to bed with tinnitus. It all started three months ago when I went to bed with a feeling of fullness in my right ear. I went to an on campus doctor who said I might have a problem with my eustachian tube and that it should clear up and then sent me on my way. Three months went by and the fullness did not go away, but I learned to live with it easily enough. Then, I went to bed one night after practicing my intervals and listening to my music and I noticed a ringing whistle in my right ear. The next morning I woke up with. And the next and the next. I have tinnitus.

      I went to an ENT and it was awful. He looked at my ears, nose, and throat, took an account of my story and my symptoms, didn't tell me ANYTHING about what he was thinking or what the possibilities were. He said NOTHING to me. He then gave me steroid nose spray and lipoflavonoids and said "hope this helps," and sent me away. I am a total wreck and I have to have half a .25 pill of Xanax to keep me stable enough to go to classes in the day and then the other half to sleep at night along with running a fan in my room. But every morning I wake up with my heart racing and my muscles all tensed from my never-ending anxiety. Get up, feel awful, take a pill, go to class, come back, breakdown and cry, take a pill, do homework, go to bed, repeat cycle. I used to be such a happy and optimistic person who had fun. Now I am a total mess and shell of what I used to be. My mental state deteriorated so fast. I pray to God day and night and I don't know for sure when or how he will give me an answer. And I don't want to become addicted to or dependent on Xanax.

      I have many many people praying for me. I am lucky to have so many friends in so many places. But I feel that all the praying in the world isn't helping me at all. Just knowing that I have so many people on my side just makes me breakdown all over again. I'm a musician and a junior in college. I have worked and struggled so long for this career and I feel that this tinnitus is taking all my dreams away from me. I joined a tinnitus facebook group run by a very kind lady named Jodi Goodenough and she is such an inspiration, but for all the comfort she and the others have given me, I feel stuck, trapped, lonely, and depressed. Like I'll never be truly happy again.

      I'm going to see another ENT next week and I'm very nervous about it because I don't want this ENT to be anything like the last one. I want him to have compassion for me and do everything to help me. But I think what I want most of all is for God to take pity on me and release me from this burden soon! I need help and I feel like no matter how much I reach out for it, I never receive. And I'm so tired of fighting this fight.
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    2. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Very sorry to hear about that. Hang in there. And most definitely see another ENT. Scratch and claw until you get a good one. It's very possible you could fix your condition, if it's just a problem with your tubes.

      And welcome to the site, and I think I speak for everyone in saying don't be a stranger if you need support, help, or advice. My humble advice is, if you really believe it's a E-tube thing, then keep struggling to get a good doctor, and do whatever you need to do to find out if your ear/tube problems are fixable, which they could easily be. You definitely sound like the sort of case where this could eventually go away. Stay strong.
    3. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hello Kristina,
      I got t 5 months ago on my last semester of my Bachelors of Music degree. Got it from topical anesthetic. Grrr. It was hard. At first I got sound sensitivity too with the onset of my t. I was very anxious. But when I started taking .5mg of lorazepam (similar to xanax), it helped calm things down - the t, and helped me to sleep. I make sure right now to take it every day, because if I start and stop, there are interdose withdrawal symptoms that seem to make my t worse.
      I am finally starting to get back to music again. It does get easier with time. And for 80% of people, the t subsides substantially in the first year. I am here to tell you that you do not have to give up your dreams of music. Things will get better soon. Look at all the musicians with t that keep on going and turning out tremendous work - Sting, Streisand, Bono, Clapton to name a few. The list is endless!
      You will be OK!
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    4. cullenbohannon

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hello Kristina very sorry your going through this but it can still go away it's only two weeks. Your very new to this. if you can I would suggest finding a doctor who knows tinnitus and can help you. Most ents are not helpful in that regard. I think an experienced tinnitus professional will be able to give you better advice in how to handle music, if that is what you want to do. As for the xanax I used a lot of it and know others who have used more and we're fine. I stopped with no problems. The does you're using is very small. Now you can be a happy person again I know that from first hand experience, start reading Dr.Naglers letter to a tinnitus sufferer and you can contact him on here he may know of someone near where you live to see.
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    5. attheedgeofscience
      No Mood

      attheedgeofscience Member Podcast Patron Mighty Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Resolved since 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (medication, head injury)
      You write a lot. But you don't write much about what you see as the probable causes behind your tinnitus. So I have no choice, but to read between-the-lines.

      Given your choice of major and given that you listen to music, I can't help but think that noise exposure might be one possible reason as to your tinnitus onset? For society as a whole, noise exposure is by far the leading cause of tinnitus, overall. And when it comes to tinnitus, many people - including ENTs - often mistake fullness in the ear as a sign of an infection or inflammation. Fullness in the ear (when followed by tinnitus) could easily be the early warning signs of inner ear overstrain. That overstrain is often due to noise exposure. Once you reach that stage there is only one thing you can do: give your ears complete rest for a long period of time. This means using earplugs as much as is necessary.

      Once tinnitus develops due to noise exposure, there is only one thing that can possibly reverse it during the acute stage: a course of steriods (oral, IV, intratympanic). This is your window of opportunity. After that, it is "wait and see".

      Your ENT will probably put you through an audiometric evaluation. That is unlikely to reveal much in young people who develop tinnitus as a result of noise exposure (and there is no way to really link an audiogram with tinnitus, in any event). For your ENT visit, I would focus on your medical history and what you believe to be the cause of your tinnitus. Unless of course the doctor is able to diagnose your case objectively - but that is rare when it comes to tinnitus. Be 100% honest during the visit. Discuss the options of steriods. My advice.

      I could be going off on the wrong tangent, here. You know yourself best. So you decide whether the above applies to you, or not. I do know this much however: relying on God's help will get you nowhere in this matter - only you can influence the outcome by taking the appropriate action.

      Take care.


      Melatonin can be used as a sleep aid. 6mg, ½ hour before bedtime. Can be used long-term. Therapeutic dosage range is: 5-10mg. There are possible counterindications for young adults.
    6. awbw8

      awbw8 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      "But every morning I wake up with my heart racing and my muscles all tensed from my never-ending anxiety. Get up, feel awful, take a pill, go to class, come back, breakdown and cry, take a pill, do homework, go to bed, repeat cycle. I used to be such a happy and optimistic person who had fun. Now I am a total mess and shell of what I used to be. My mental state deteriorated so fast. I pray to God day and night and I don't know for sure when or how he will give me an answer. And I don't want to become addicted to or dependent on Xanax."

      Oh Kristina, my heart goes out to you. Reading this felt like going back in time - it's something I could have written (and probably did write or say) myself a year ago. I was also struggling through the end of a semester of class at the time. I'm also a musician and tinnitus seemed like the most cruel/perfect punishment to someone who experienced the world so deeply and emotively through sound.

      There is good news though - you are going to be okay. Your tinnitus will either go away (it is still very early), or you will habituate. Do go to the doctor and demand he make sure you don't have something serious going on that can be physically fixed.

      Beyond that, find good healers who can support you (the ATA will email you a list of ENTs, psychologists, psychiatrists, audiologists etc. in California who understand and deal with tinnitus patients). Do not be afraid of getting hooked on Xanax. If you're using it responsibly under the supervision of a caring doctor, you will be fine. Your body needs the relief from the constant anxiety in order to heal mentally and physically. You will not need those drugs forever. I used similar aids for months early on and am glad I did. I am not still on them and feeling just lovely :)

      Know that your dreams are not being taken away from you, God is not punishing you and this will not be a burden forever. This level of suffering from tinnitus is a transition, your optimistic happy self will emerge again, if a little stronger than before. While I would would certainly turn off my T if I could, I do not suffer from it. In fact, the experience of habituating to it over the last year has made me a far more conscientious, empathetic and strong person than I was before and a better artist (at least in my opinion ;)). I like the woman I am after tinnitus. It's not a journey I would have chosen if someone had offered it to me, but I am glad it's a challenge life gave me. I believe you will get your answer from God, just know that it may not come in the way you are currently hoping or thinking it will.

      If you need someone to talk to, we are all here. Also, I'm from California originally and I think you must be about my little sister's age - if you need a fellow once-Cali musician tinnitus lady to write to, please feel free to email me. I'd be more than happy to share any tinnitus resources I have over there that might help:

      One last little tip - do use ear plugs (musician's ones if you have them) if you play a loud instrument (horn etc.) - but do not over use them - loud situations only. Regular levels of sound will not hurt you.
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    7. Andrew_89

      Andrew_89 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hey I'm sorry to hear about what's going on with you.
      I'm a muso aswell and I know what your going through as I myself am doing the exact same thing .
      It's going to take time for us but we can do it .

      The first few months is the hardest not going to lie . And all of the people here can give you support ideas on how to over comb it or just get by. But you my dear are the person who can do this. who can beat this :) . And this is how i am habituating . I only
      Get sad and down when I think I can't play music. Then I go play and yeah my t spikes and I think god my own songs sound so much better than this . Good luck . LIVE LEARN AND LOVE .
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