My 1.5 Year Tinnitus Journey: A Year of Thriving After 6 Months of Darkness

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by DustinV, Sep 4, 2022.

    1. DustinV

      DustinV Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hello everyone,

      My journey starts pretty dark, but please stick around... there's light at the end of the tunnel.

      I started my journey with tinnitus 1.5 years ago. You can see my original thread below:

      Tinnitus for 4 Days After Shooting a Handgun without Ear Protection

      The TL;DR of this is that a few gunshots from a 9mm handgun without ear protection caused my tinnitus. I got into the doctor after it was too late, though I did attempt to self medicate with steroids. I ruptured one eardrum from the gunshot. The continuation of this is that later down the line, the other eardrum ruptured as well from fluid buildup. Both healed fine and hearing was not affected for the most part, but tinnitus remained.

      This all happened when I was finishing my final semester of college. The first 1.5 months were difficult, but I had to get through it to finish school. I had a goal, and still had hope. After I graduated, things seemed to just get worse. Ear pain, fluid build up/draining, popping/crackling. Really don't know how to explain it but certain sounds would just thud against my eardrum rather than the sound being registered full (a form of hearing loss I guess?). Like closing the fridge, or setting silverware on the table would just thud in my ears. On top of this I couldn't sleep because I'm a side sleeper, which was unbearable now. All hope was gone. I was miserable. I was in bed at least 12 hours a day. I struggled to make it through the day. I was in a dark place.

      Despite the difficulties, my tinnitus was constantly evolving. Even in my first 10 days from my original post it drastically changed. It continued to majorly evolve over the next 6 months. It went from high pitched buzzing to a static that floated around with a solid buzz overtop. Then only one ear had the solid buzz. The volume level was also constantly getting lower. Less and less sounds would make the thud in my ears really anymore. My left ear continued popping, but it wasn't nearly as bad. I started to be able to rest my head against a pillow for a little while, although not fall asleep like that. I have fans and whatnot strategically placed throughout my house to ensure there are no quiet zones. Although I could survive in quiet places, I got in the habit of humming or just listening to music if I was in such a place and that did the trick.

      At this point, I pulled myself out of the darkness. I started to think I was going to be ok. I got a job and got out of the house. I was starting to function. My tinnitus had improved enough that I was able to discover a new normal that was manageable.

      Today, 1.5 years later, I'm at a point where yes, I can still hear it, but I can truly go through my day without it interfering. While I'm still more comfortable with some background noise, it has faded so much & the sound profile has changed in a way that I can rest on my side with my ear against my pillow and sleep like a baby. Quiet rooms don't phase me. Even noise cancelling headphones with nothing playing isn't a big deal.

      I'm doing great at work and expect to get promoted here very soon. I bought a new car. I'm enjoying life by spending time with family and watching my nieces grow up.

      I'm not just alive, I'm thriving. And you will too.

      Stay strong friends,
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    2. jc canedo

      jc canedo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Excessive use of headphones maybe
      its great to hear this, buddy.
    3. Forever hopeful

      Forever hopeful Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      Winner winner chicken dinner. This is one of the best stories I have read. Thanks for sharing.

      Have you had your hearing checked once you healed? Just curious.
    4. ErikaS

      ErikaS Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Pennsylvania, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection/Ultra High Frequency SSHL in Right Ear
      Awesome post, thank you for sharing! Were any of your tinnitus sounds, like the high hiss static, reactive? Meaning did noise or things like fan, TV, or shower aggravate them or make them go louder/change in a more distressing way?

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