My Story — Tinnitus Faded After 2 Months, However I Messed Up Again...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Walker123, Apr 15, 2020.

    1. Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi everyone,

      I am from the Netherlands and I first got real tinnitus in April 2019.

      I would like to share my story.

      PRE-TINNITUS

      In hindsight I always had very mild tinnitus since childhood. I didn't even know I have it and it didn't bother me at all. When I was in bed I heard a faint noise from what I thought was a water running through the heating pipelines of the house. I didn't even pay attention to it. I also had a very high pitched noise as if an old CRT-TV was switched on down stairs. It was not loud and I thought it was normal. Only when I discovered that the noise wasn't from our TV I was slightly shocked, but because I didn't know better that didn't bother me as well. I even thought it must be normal and most people have it.

      Fast forward to my late 30's. My right ear would sometimes be a little bit more noisy. I couldn't really make out what kind of noise. Sometimes it would annoy me a bit but it wasn't really bothering me yet. My right ear also developed a soft whistling sound, which bothered me a bit for about a month but after that I didn't mind about it. I could listen to it without any emotional reaction.

      I was the kind of person that went clubbing and go to festivals without ear protection. But no one really did. I never really knew that it was so bad for the ears. I would also listen to loud music through my earbuds at work. Not everyday, but sometimes a week in a row.

      2018: THE EARLY SIGNS

      In fall 2018 I started to wake up in the middle of the night with ringing ears. It would be a bit louder and more complex sounding. I didn't understand why, because I couldn't remember any noise incident that might have caused it.
      I started to have these nightly "tinnitus attacks" once or twice a month. The first time it caused me to panic, but everytime I was fine again in the morning. I was puzzled though. Could it be because of my nose which has a slight deviated septum and is blocked a lot of the time? Could it be sleep apnea? In hindsight I think it might be a delayed reaction to music over headphones a few days before.

      APRIL 2019: HORRIBLE TINNITUS

      In April 2019 I bought some wood to make a bench in the garden. I worked on it every Saturday. To cut the wooden planks I used a very loud circle saw. I did this for 3 Saturdays. There were no problems.
      But then a week after that on the fourth Saturday, I woke up in the middle of the night with VERY LOUD HIGH PITCHED NOISE in both my ears. It was like the old CRT-TV sound, but only like 10 times louder. The next day it was still there. I could hear it over everything. I didn't really realize what was going on and walked around with this horrible sound until I collapsed mentally two weeks later. I was in total panic.
      In the next month I was a mess. And often when I went to sleep I would wake up in the middle of the night with a tinnitus attack where it got even worse. This happened three times, but within 24 hours it would go back to the loud high pitched noise. I could hear it everywhere, also because it was such a high pitch: outside, in the supermarket, in the car, in the forest, while watching TV.

      JUNE 2019: GETTING BETTER AGAIN AFTER :)

      In June I got days where the tinnitus would first go from a solid noise to an intermittent morse style noise. And then a day later it would fade to a much softer noise. I was ecstatic! I thought it was gone.
      But then the day after it would come back.
      But luckily, the good days became more and I got less bad days! I was getting better.
      This fading started after 1.5 months.
      I only had a bit of a faint sharp high pitched tone in my right ear which became louder if when I chewed food. But I was happy, I could live like this.
      And I became more lucky. The chewing-tinnitus faded as well! Once in a while it would come back for a day, but I was glad that the majority of time it was silent again!

      OCTOBER 2019: ONE MONTH SPIKE

      Late October for some reason I got a spike. God knows why. I admit that I started listening to my 5.1 home cinema quite loud again sometimes. And listening to music sometimes.
      Of course I was in total panic again. But after roughly 1 month things got better again.

      JANUARY 2020: THIS TIME ITS FOR REAL?

      Of course I had to throw a new years party and get drunk and listen to my neighbours fire crackers! Yay!
      Next day: January 1st I had a hangover. Nothing out of the ordinary.
      January 2nd: my tinnitus came back! I was a bit disappointed, but I thought this was just another bad day.
      And of course the longer it lasted, the more I would freak out.
      I started to get really depressed. Was this my last chance. Did I mess things up for good?
      Also weird new noises would start to join in. Lower high pitched tones around 5000 Hz. They would do weird things like go up and down in pitch. As if my brain was calibrating the sound or something.
      I also got a new whistle sound on and off like a human whistling in my left ear.
      I would listen to it and try to make sense out of all of this.

      MID FEBRUARY

      Of course I would tell myself it would not be chronic and I had to wait 3 months. And somewhere mid February things started to get better again. The CRT noise faded. The other noises as well. They were still there but much more in the background. I started to be optimistic again.
      Until that same Sunday I attended a birthday party. There was no loud music, but there were a lot of people talking. An I was talking for half an hour with someone and we had to raise our voice a bit to hear each other. I felt that somehow this was not so good for me and I would also get fleeting tinnitus in my right ear during the conversation.
      The day after that my tinnitus was back again. I was a bit surprised, because the party was not THAT loud.
      I was depressed again.

      I would have a couple of good days MID MARCH and in the beginning of this month, where my highest pitched noise would fade again. The other most bothering noise is a 5000 Hz beep in my right ear, which is just about audible when I'm walking outside. At night it becomes bothering.

      NOW

      So now I'm 3.5 months in. And the last 10 days has been constant CRT noise, which I can hear over everything, because of it pitch. It seems to come from inside my head. And the 5000 Hz tone I hear slightly softer under it in my right ear.

      I also have about 6 other low pitched tones left and right, but they don't bother me really. The are very faint.

      At the moment I am a bit depressed. And I think I might be in for the long run. I am putting a lot of emotional strain on myself and my family.
      Is this ever going to fade again?

      Thank you for reading my story. I hope it was not too long. And I hope someone can give me some advice.

      Kind regards,
      Walker123
       
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Short update after 4 months:

      I waited a while before posting this update, because most of you know, things can turn around on a daily basis.

      I can't say if the tinnitus is any less in actual volume. But the good news is that mentally it's going much better now.

      The ultra high-pitched hiss does come and go. Sometimes it's gone for 2 day, but now, while I'm typing it it's here. I don't care about it so much because I know it will go away again.
      The other 5000 hz high pitched tone is still there but it I can keep it out of my focus quite well. Possibly because the volume of this tone doesn't exceed background noise (much). When it's quiet it gets louder, but I don't care about it so much any more. It used to drive me mad. When it's quiet my overall head-noise is quite annoying, but I don't think about it and just ignore it and then I forget about it.

      I am a bit worried about the future. I know that further hearing damage will probably make T louder. I am carefull with my hearing now, but accidents are inevitable. It's part of life. So I just don't think about it and enjoy the fact that I have my life back now.

      In hindsight, things started to get better when I chose not to focus on my suffering, but instead focus on life. And also allow yourself to enjoy things. Ignore the voice that says: "I can't enjoy like normal people because I have tinnitus". Just allow yourself to enjoy something. And focus on the things that deserve your attention in life.
      I consider my T moderate level (did have severe period during the onset last year).

      I am not writing this because I want to, but because I promised myself to give something back to this forum, after reading it for a year. The better I feel, the less I visit this site. But I will come back to report changes once in a while.
       
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    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Walker123

      It is good to know you are making some improvement and hope this continues. I have some suggestions that might be of help to you. Although it reads on your Avatar cause of tinnitus unknown, I am fairly certain you have Noise induced tinnitus. Caused by listening to loud music at clubs which resulted in you experiencing tinnitus and also using earbuds while listening to music at high volume levels. These are common causes of Noise induced tinnitus.

      I suggest that you stop using headphones, earbuds or headset even at volume. Try and see an Audiologist that specialises in tinnitus and hyperacusis treatment and management. Please click on the links below and read my posts, that I think will be of help.

      All the best
      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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    4. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      No use in worrying. Sure, be careful with the ears, but live life while you enjoy it. Otherwise, íf it ever gets worse, you will just have wasted a lot of years worrying for it, while there was nothing you could do about it.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Michael, thank a lot for the links! The information is very useful.

      I agree totally.
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi all, short update,

      It has been almost 8 months now since my tinnitus returned.

      I took quite good care of my ears and my T faded to a level where it was very good tolerable and I didn't care about it anymore.

      And if you really don't care anymore, you know what happens: I stopped caring about my ears and stopped protecting them. I also started listening to music again and didn't use my earplugs anymore in noisy environments.

      As a result my T seems a bit louder lately. Sometimes it bothers me, but I notice that I forget about it everytime. And then I tell myself: if I forget about it, then it isn't worth worrying about it anyway.

      I also notice that I find other problems in life more important now. In the beginning of this year all problems seemed nothing compared to T. So that's good news.

      I'll probably won't visit this forum much anymore. Unless my T gets much louder. Otherwise you can assume I got used to it and moved on.
       
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    7. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      For the second time?!?
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yeah, I know. I can't help myself. Sometimes I have absolutely no self control.
      My T is becoming quite bothersome again. So now I am swithing back to "careful mode" again. Earplugs and everything.

      When (or if) I get used to this again and begin caring less, I'm sure I will make the same mistakes again. Of course I will try not to, but I know myself by now. It just takes 1 weak moment to screw up. And I can't stay sharp 100% of the time. Especially when beer is involved.
       
    9. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Sometimes I have no self-control. But tinnitus is so horrible that it's easy to be in self-control if that means reducing the chance of getting louder tinnitus...
       
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    10. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      Hmmm, there is a relatively straight forward solution for that! ;) Just to mention, I used to like my beer, but some kind of strange health issues (CFS) brought me to a point of "alcohol intolerance". In short, if I had even a single beer, I could be heavily hung over for 3-4 days. It didn't take too much calculus to discern it would probably be best for me to quit drinking. Might the calculus be similar to your tinnitus situation? Only you can say. I haven't had an alcoholic beverage in 30+ years, and don't miss it in the least. -- Good luck staying sharp! :)
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I agree. But I have been doing quite well for the past two months or so. I also gained more confidence being in noisy environments, because my tinnitus seemed to be quite stable. And then first you start listening to music again carefully. And then the next week when you drank six beers or so and you discover an awesome musical track, you keep on cranking up the volume.

      A faint voice in the back of your head says: "Watch it, this is louder than usual". But because you had been doing well and you gained confidence and especially your judgement and sense of danger is clouded being tipsy. And any negative thoughts are dismissed and replaced with: "I am enjoying the moment". Very stupid, as I found out yet again.

      I hope this time I have learned from it. My tinnitus has been quite bothersome for about two weeks now and I hope it will reduce back to what it was again. On the other hand, during my whole tinnitus ordeal I've learned that no one knows if the spike will subside again and I am just going to take things as they are. I am not beating myself up about my behaviour and I don't look back to the past. I will try again to get my focus away from tinnitus and move on. And I hope I have definitely learned my lesson for the future now.

      I have to add: the music was loud, but not as loud as in a dance club. I listened for about an hour. Of course no one knows if this was really the cause of my spike. I assume it.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I'm sorry to hear that you have CFS. I hope you can find a cure. And I also hope then you won't start drinking again ;)
       
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    13. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      That statement seems to be the equivalent of saying "I gained more confidence in not practicing hygiene - I picked up food from a filthy floor and ate it and nothing happened." Now that you've had tinnitus, your ears have most likely been compromised. The risk that exposure to noisy environments will backfire is non-negligible. This is especially true during your first 1-3 years. Perhaps after 3 years it might not be insane to experiment with some limited exposures.

      Note the above is my personal opinion which is based on what I learned reading this forum and on my personal experiences. If you want me to post quotes of horror stories where people took risks that didn't work out for them, please let me know. It is certainly the case that there are others on this forum who have taken your approach. Things worked out for some of them, and haven't worked out well at all for others.
      Ok, just to give you a taste of those horror stories:
      The good news is that most spikes are temporary. But surely a spike is a signal that your actions haven't been promoting your healing.
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks Bill Bauer for holding up the mirror.

      Yesterday I had a bad day where I was focussing all day on my tinnitus again. I hope this spike will settle down again.
      Before this I was doing pretty well.
      My plan is to cope with it again like I did earlier. From now on I will do everything I can to protect my ears from more harm. And then I hope things will improve.
       
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    15. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Don't beat yourself up too much for being unable to not focus on it. Unless tinnitus fades, it can take years to be able to begin to ignore it.
      Hopefully you will begin to see positive changes after a month or two. What I learned is that it makes sense to do what feels right. Give each approach about two months, and if you experience fading, stick with that approach. Conversely, if some approach results in a spike, stop the approach right away. You might try it again after a year of healing, but it makes sense to be careful with an approach that has already generated what seems to be negative feedback.

      In my experience, its impossible to not make mistakes. So that means that most mistakes aren't "fatal", although it could take what feels like a long time for one to return to one's baseline after a mistake.
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi good news,

      The last 2 days my tinnitus is gradually returning back to baseline. Now it even seems quieter than baseline. I was pretty depressed about it and now I feel good again.

      Certain sounds do make it spike shortly, like hair trimmer, blender (in the kitchen), frying food in a pan. But those mini-spikes subside after like 5 minutes. I feel like my brain is trying to kill the tinnitus again.

      At the moment I am doing well. I know things can change for no reason. Especially the high pitched tinnitus can suddenly start again and stay there for at least ten days. But for now I am happy.

      So to summarize everything: my tinnitus started about 1 year and 5 months ago. It was very loud, but subsided to almost nothing in about 2 months. About 11 months ago I had a spike which lasted for more than 2 weeks and the it subsided again. 9 months ago (new years eve) my tinnitus came back due to new noise trauma from fireworks and loud music. This time it took much longer, like 6 months or so, before I noticed improvement. Baseline went up a level since new years eve. As I said, since my most recent spike I am now 2 days back to baseline and if it stays like this, habituating won't be hard.

      In the past I did try supplements (ginkgo, megnesium) etcetera, but it makes no difference. I think people who think that helped, would have also gotten better without it.

      I think general health is the only thing that really helps. When I am healthy and rested I can cope with T much better.

      A big no-no for me is alcohol combined with sound/music.

      I will keep writing here whenever something changes.
       
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    17. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      By ignoring the signals from your body and exposing yourself to those noises, you are taking a risk. One day they might not subside.
      I am glad that things have been working out for you. Please keep in mind that usually we are given only a limited number of second chances.
       
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    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi All,
      Everything was going well up until I went for a dental cleaning this morning. She used a high pitched drill or something and now my high pitched hiss is back. During the 30-minute treatment I didn't notice anything. I noticed the T when I was walking back to my car.
      It is very annoying, but I am quite calm about it. We'll see how it goes. I'll keep you up to date.
      And Bill Bauer, I guess I ignored my body signals. When she started cleaning with that device, something in me said "this may be a bit loud". But I didn't experience discomfort from it. It wasn't that loud. Not enough to make me jump out of the chair.

      I must add that my high pitched hiss sometimes comes and goes without any reason. But today the reason seems obvious.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi,
      My high-pitched hiss faded 30 hours after dental cleaning. Now I am almost back to baseline. Not completely yet because overall the ears seem a little bit noisy still.
      But I am glad about the high-pitched one subsiding, because that one is difficult to deal with.

      A hypothetical question: What must I do if I get a cavity in one of my teeth?
      Drilling seems inevitable then, or not?
      If that happens I guess I should let my tooth rot until I feel my T is stable enough to endure drilling at the dentist.
       
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    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi all, at the moment I am not doing very well. I am mildly depressed.
      The spike from dental cleaning is still present and the high pitched hiss did return again. Overall my ears are noisy especially my right ear.
      Wednesday I was doing so well that I thought I was finally going to beat T! That makes this setback more difficult to accept. I hope that things will improve again. I must get my focus off it again and hope T wil subside again.
      And I keep thinking "what if this spike stays forever this time?". How many chances will I get? Why wasn't I assertive and pro-active enough to ask for a manual dental cleaning, because I did read the other posts about people who have got their T get worse because of a dental cleaning.
      I had the same dental cleaning a year ago. I already had tinnitus then, but back then it didn't cause a spike.
      I am trying not to "wait" until it gets getter. Life must not stand still because of this. I want to keep doing what I was doing, but a lot of energy goes to the T. My last spike lasted for 2 weeks. I hope this time will be the same, but nothing is certain.

      I will post here again when there are important changes. I do this for other people who have similar cases like me.
       
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    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi all quick update.

      At the moment my T is still there. As I described it consists of two elements:
      1. the noise which is always there: tones ranging from low to high frequencies, the 5khz one being the most annoying. These tones don't vary in volume very much. Thankfully not really audible/noticable above outside noise. It's bothering, but I can live with it, as long as it doesn't get worse. The 5kz tone is in my right ear, but sometimes it gets a slight bit louder and spreads a bit to my left ear as well. This makes me anxious that it's getting worse. But this always settles down again within a few hours or so.
      2. the high frequency 14-15khz "head" tinnitus. I don't know how to describe the noise: "hiss/electric". This is the most bothering noise. I van even hear it over busy street or on a busy market. Probaly because the high pitch.
      The good part is that this noise comes and goes. Last year this noise disappeared after about 2-3 months and would come back sometimes, but not very frequently.
      The past weeks I have this noise most of the time. It seems to be there for about a week, followed by 1-2 days where it's gone. I think in the past 6 months this noise has disappeared and came back about a dozen times.

      Every time when the high-pitched noise comes back, I get more anxious and I wait for it to go away. The first day is not so bad, but the following days my anxiety increases every time.

      Now I reached a point where I am tired of waiting and being dependent on it to go away every time. I decided to try and not let it get me down and ignore it and focus on living live again. Sometimes I feel down, but sometimes I feel that I can do it and that gives me motivation. Today there where time windows of about 15 minutes where I forgot about it. When the T came into focus again I felt depressed about it, but I keep on trying to shift my attention to something else.
      I've been here before a few times. From june until august I have been doing well. I didn't care much about it anymore, but for some reason the recent spikes messed everything up and I must go through the mental process all over again.

      I hope that especially noise number 2 will eventually go away again, but I am not going to depend on it.

      I'll keep following up with updates .
       
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    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Walker123

      Walker123 Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi all, another update on my tinnitus progress. I am doing well now :)

      After my last post the T started to weigh heavy on me and I was quite depressed about it. I am not going to make this a long story. I could make it very long if I go into all the details.

      I can say that I am starting to get my life back. I stil have good and bad T days and I realize that I wil always have noise in my head, but lately I am starting to care less about it. I am not depressed now. Actually I feel quite happy for a while now. My T can stil be very loud sometimes, but after noticing it, I forget about it quickly. And most of the time it becomes less intrusive after a while but I don't care so much. I am starting to get more familiar with the spikes etcetera. It has been a whole psychological process to get where I am now. I lost hope many times. I can't really explain the process but I think there's no shortcut. Everyone who has this condition must find his/her own way to deal with it.

      I don't use any kind of masking. When I walk outside I hear it. It used to freak me out but now I think differently of it: I think: I know it's there, it's still the same, nothing important and it just dissapears from my attention. In bed I don't mask. I listen to all the tones in my head (8 or more) and then my thoughts drift to other subjects just like anyone without T.

      Maybe in a few weeks my state will change, like it has many times. But for this moment I can say: I have my life back and there is hope.
       
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