My 12 Weeks of Tinnitus: It Started from Ear Infection — It's Now Dramatically Improved

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by unlucky_eli, Oct 21, 2019.

    1. unlucky_eli
      Fine

      unlucky_eli Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 24 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Hi all,
      My story is similar to many I have read here.

      Mine started 12 weeks ago due to a serious ear infection.

      I was bed ridden for 2 days due to the ear pain. It was some of the worst pain I have ever experienced. Having limited knowledge of tinnitus I requested a very mild antibiotic because I hate to take drugs in general. I was prescribed 5 days of amoxicillin and went on my merry way from my GP.

      A few days after the ear infection started I developed a very serious ringing/buzzing in my left ear. According to my browser history, 2 days later was my first google search for "tinnitus due to ear infection".

      My tinnitus has been brutal.

      Utterly brutal, brain buzzing that has been impossible to mask. I could hear this demon even driving at highway speeds, windows down and radio blaring. Within 4 weeks I went from 1) This is an ear infection, once it passes the ringing will stop to 2) oh my god this infernal ringing will never end, I wonder what the best way to end my life is.

      It has been utterly brutal. So loud that I remember lying in bed, in utter disbelief that such a loud sound could be coming from somewhere inside me. Complete mental devastation ensued.

      The good news is that things are improving significantly.

      The past 2 weeks have been very good in comparison to the previous 10 weeks. About 2 weeks ago I had my first experience of total silence after waking. 20 minutes of complete silence. I didn't move a muscle. After 10 weeks of soul destroying noise I was lying in bed in complete silence. It was total bliss and my first indication that whatever damage had been done by the virus/bacteria might just be possible to heal from.

      Of course the silence was once again disturbed by this incessant buzzing and ringing. The kind that will make you question your belief in god/zeus/fsm or whatever your deity of choice. The murderous blaring returned and I was once again plunged into the depths of hell.

      I would describe my tinnitus as the ringing of Christmas bells if they were rung by a satanic Santa on meth. It was like this noise had me by the throat and was wringing every last bit of life out of me. I was psychologically spent.

      The worst period was weeks 5-9. I went off the deep end. Complete destruction of the self. Suicidal. Complete disbelief that such a thing can even be.

      My doctor put me on Valium which saved my bacon. During the very worst periods I would sleep 1-2 hours per night and drench the sheets in sweat the rest of the time. Valium gave me 3-5 hours of relief at a time and although it did nothing to reduce the tinnitus, within 30 mins I was once again able face the world without rivulets of sweat running down my face. I used Valium for approx 10 days and it was a life saver.

      Melatonin saved my life. After sleeping for 1-2 hours per night for approx 10 days, according to my wife, I looked like a crack addict. I would sweat profusely, pupils contracted, very close to a manic state. Once I regained my sleep, I felt that I started to regain some control of my life.

      The good news.

      My tinnitus seems to be burning itself out over the past 2 weeks. Each silent period is longer than the last and within the last 2 weeks the intensity of the tinnitus has reduced dramatically. The longest period of silence has now been over 10 hours.

      My favourite activity is now to go into a quiet room, plug my ears and listen to silence. I just stand there in a quiet, dark room and just bask in it.

      Not out of the woods yet.

      I'm certainly not there yet and I realise that the tinnitus could return at any time to destroy my mind once again, but for now I am cherishing each silent minute and I am no longer deathly afraid each time the tinnitus demon returns.

      Things are moving in the right direction. I really hope that in a month or two I will be able to post a tinnitus success story. A story of how my own body overcame the damage caused by a virus/bacteria.

      last night I had my first natural sleep. No melatonin, and slept 8 hours without a hitch. What success!!

      For now, the tinnitus is sitting at a comfortable 2/10. If it continues this way then I can happily live with it. I've, somehow lived through weeks of 10/10, and if things stay at a 2 then life is peachy again.

      I don't want to preempt things too much though. 5 nights ago I woke to the worst tinnitus yet, a piercing thing that was more felt than heard. It was so bad that I had to pop 2 Valium to go to sleep again. Thankfully when I woke the tinnitus had once again subsided to a reasonable level.

      Such a funny old thing this tinnitus. I hope it F*cks off for good soon, it's worn it's welcome out.

      Hello, and thank you for reading,
      Unlucky Eli
       
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    2. Daniel Lion
      Ape-like

      Daniel Lion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      SE Asia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma, hearing loss
      Hi Eli,

      I think lucky Eli is a better name. You’ve experienced silence and positive changes.
      Make sure you are very disciplined about your diet, exercise, stress, and breathing techniques. Tinnitus is a shitty life changer, but it sounds like you are holding up like a champ. Keep optimistic, eat salmon and good food, be kind to yourself.
      You are going to be ok mate...

      Stay strong... welcome to the forum.
       
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    3. SouthKorean
      No Mood

      SouthKorean Member

      Location:
      South Korea
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017/12/28
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress, Shock
      Congratulations Eli!!
       
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    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @unlucky_eli

      Welcome to the forum.

      I am pleased to hear your tinnitus is improving as this can take a while after an ear infection. I would like to give you some advice. Whether you choose to take it is up to you but it is based on many years experience with tinnitus, and something tinnitus books endorse, those seasoned to tinnitus and also veterans to the condition.

      Try to refrain from going into a quiet room and especially plugging your ears and listening to silence. If you continue this practice, you risk and I say "risk" making the tinnitus become permanent and increase in volume if you're not careful. By seeking out a quiet environment you are allowing your brain to focus on the internal sounds within your body. Even worse is using earplugs to facilitate this. In short it is one of the worst things to do.

      If you are interested in learning more about tinnitus and quiet surroundings and the reasons this is not encouraged, then please click on the links below and read my articles.

      I wish you well.
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      unlucky_eli
      Fine

      unlucky_eli Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 24 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Thank you for your reply Michael, and thank you also for the words of caution.

      I had no idea that listening to silence could be a risk. It's really tough not to do to be honest, but your caution makes sense. I'll now simply acknowledge the silence and move on with my day.

      Now to just check the silence one more time ... just kidding, thanks for your kind words.
       
    6. Gabriel
      Balanced

      Gabriel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I focused on verifying if I had tinnitus
      Excellent news. 12 weeks is not that much, even though it is so long when you have tinnitus. If it has improved that much, I am pretty confident for you it will keep getting better!

      And wow, 10 hours of silence? Very very good indeed. If it keeps going like that, you will have then 12 hours hours of silence, then 14 hours, then 16 hours.... which means if you sleep 8 hours per day, total silence, no tinnitus, bye bye.

      Also as Michael has stated, being in total silent is the worst thing to do imo (as well as going into a big concert).

      That's how I got my tinnitus at first, and I think that's how I made it become permanent, by focusing so much on it I could not unhear it. Use sound enrichment, or have some background music on, not too loud of course.

      Fingers crossed for you and best of luck!
       
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    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      You are welcome @unlucky_eli

      Tinnitus is a learning curve and having had it for 23 years I'm still learning. Fortunately there are some very knowledge people on this forum that know about tinnitus. I would just like to give you one more piece of advice, which I have mentioned many times in this forum and you will see in the articles that I have written. If you listen to music through headphones, earbuds etc, then please keep the volume as low as possible. It is even better if you never use them.

      Take care and wish you all the best.
      Michael
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      unlucky_eli
      Fine

      unlucky_eli Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 24 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Wow! Thank you all for the wonderful welcome :)

      @Daniel Lion : Thank you so much for the encouraging words! Yes taking better care of myself is a definite must. I've started by looking after my mental health and with the help of a therapist I'm starting to do really well mentally once again.

      @Gabriel: Thank you! Yes I'm encouraged every time there is an improvement and the longer these silences last, the more confident I am that, even if this tinnitus never goes away completely, there is a very good chance that I will end up with tinnitus that I can ultimately comfortably live with. I'd prefer to set myself modest goals first. If it does end up going away completely then I'll be thrilled though (y)

      @SouthKorean: Thank you!
       
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    9. Helsebub

      Helsebub Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus
      That is excellent news Eli, hope it continues to improve for you! I'm on week 6 of mine after my ears got blocked at the beginning of some weird virus which lurked in my throat and left ear! On Sunday my ears unblocked for 24 hours and my tinnitus became very tinny and started to sound like 'it was running out of batteries' so I live in hope for improvement, will just keep going with steam inhalation! All the best to you.
       
    10. MargMan
      Wishful

      MargMan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 3, 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus
      Congratulations! Positive thoughts & prayers for continued healing!
       
    11. Mila9828

      Mila9828 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accident/Screaming?
      So happy to hear this :) I’m praying that the tinnitus continues to decrease for you! I totally know what you mean, some days I wake up and the tinnitus is silent for at least a few seconds or minutes. I don’t move because I think moving will start it and eventually it does come back but that has to mean something right?! I also get the occasional spike which sucks but I’m hoping this all clears up for ya soon!
       

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