My Story So Far — Tinnitus from Leaf Blower Incident After Years of Rock Guitar Playing

Discussion in 'Support' started by GeorgeLG, Jun 21, 2021.

    1. GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      This will be a bit of a read.

      I am only a month into my journey with tinnitus & hyperacusis. I don't know how bad mine is compared to yours but it's a shockingly loud jet engine in my head and I can't even watch the TV or listen to music on so I am probably at least moderate.

      It started with most of what I read here. New medications, an acoustic trauma, what the heck is that jet engine in my head, why isn't it going away, I don't think I can live like this, what happens if it never goes away, what happens if it gets worse, that friggin' leaf blower? Next up is research, this makes it worse but also makes it better, some limited studies, no studies, studies with the opposite result, helped me, not sure if it helped me, it hurt me. Masking, no masking, don't overprotect. Then doctors don't understand this, most ENTs will tell you to go home and live with it, lots of scary stories, a few good stories, people mad about good stories, lots more scary stories. I cataloged every reasonable sounding thing that could help with emphasis on stuff with studies and some indication of therapeutic benefit. The list has almost 100 items on it. Everything from vitamin A to Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). Overload, resisting a feeling of helplessness, exhaustion, now what? One thing was clear. 50 million Americans deal with this, it's real, some people suffer beyond words. But curiously, for some it's a minor annoyance, or that, it went away. There are 35,000 people here, where are the other 49 million? Some suffering in silence to be sure but all 49 million? Why did my father spend 45 years in construction with the most hearing damage inducing tools imaginable and never once any ear protection and no problem? I have his genes. I measured my leaf blower, all 15 seconds worth and then some construction tools. Have you ever heard a full on Skill saw plow through wet pressure treated lumber or a planar eating through maple? Holy crap! What's up with my wussy leaf blower incident?

      I am a retired engineer. I like to research, solve problems, see evidence and proof. I spent most of my career and life in a world of numbers, data and measurement. I was good at my job, I am good at solving hard problems but I can be hyper vigilant, a little OCD, wound up, I'll sleep when I die, I need more time in the day, it's gotta be perfect. You don't launch moon rockets with a “good enough” attitude. Well you might get them to launch but...

      I have been through high levels of stress before and this has caused health problems like heart arrhythmia in the late 90's. I started to learn then about the mind-body connection. Around 2000 I had some very eye opening experiences with some energy healers in Hawaii and elsewhere, things that challenged my perception of the world, things that I could not explain. There was more going on than just blood tests, scans, medicine, ... Our bodies and minds are more complex and interconnected than I thought and there is energy in many forms all around us it seemed.

      My wife underwent cancer surgery on her throat 10 years ago. The nurse that wheeled her back said the surgery would start at 7:30am. I sat in the waiting room and at 7:30am, nothing. At 8:30am, nothing. At 9:15am I got this tension and painful lump in my throat, it was hard to swallow. What the hell is that? At noon I am wondering why have we not heard anything yet? Then the doctor comes out and reports a successful surgery and says sorry about the late morning but we had issues and a late start. I asked what time the actually operation started and he tells me shortly after 9am. Whoa, what the heck is going on there?

      The last 5 years for me have been the most stressful ever. 5 years of cancer treatments and no cure. Wife got cancer and passed away at 54 after 9 brutal months. A cascading set of problems from cancer treatments and then COVID-19 isolation. I tell you this because it will be relevant to my conclusions so far and where I am going on my journey. We all have our crosses to bear. Many of us suffer for all kinds of reasons here, many more than me but stay tuned.

      During this month some things started to puzzle me. Why did such a high percentage of people with this problem talk about perfectionism, anxiety and depression disorders, display such hyper vigilant focus. No judgment, I am most of these things. Why did my brother-in-law say oh ya I have had that since the army 25 years ago, it's no big deal? Did he have a milder version or is it his state of mind? He says that about everything, "oh that's nothing, it will just go away." He's been through emergency bowel perforation surgery and some terrible bike accidents so he has had his share but he's fit and active and just presses on no matter what.

      Why does tinnitus go away for some people and some report 50 years with it? Why did so many people get downright defensive and really pissed off if someone tries to tell a success story? What button is that really pushing? Just frustration, maybe not so much? I know that everyone is bioindividual and there are degrees of most illnesses but this one is really all over the map.

      Before I tell you what I think I have learned so far, a few definitions. I will never say hypochondriac. That means it's consciously made up. The person knows that they are really not sick. I believe that almost everyone here suffers, let's assume all. Psychosomatic is not hypochondria, it merely says that emotions and your central nervous system interact with your apparent physical body. You get into a yelling match with your challenging teenager and you have a tinnitus flare. That's psychosomatic, you revved up your central nervous system and your tinnitus really got worse. Placebo: something benign causes change because you believe it will. This does not say that the effect is not real, it says that if you believe it will work it will work. It's not BS, it tells us something about the mind body connection and how we can get better.

      I think that it's constructive to separate deafness and permanent hearing loss from tinnitus and hyperacusis. It is pretty generally accepted that acoustic trauma can damage hair cells in the inner ear for instance and in SEM photos they look all withered up and fallen over like dead trees. Most believe that they can never regenerate or be repaired. I am not so sure about that as an absolute statement but let's go with that for now. Protect what you got, there are no do overs. With an acoustic event bad enough your number one concern is permanent measurable and debilitating hearing loss. Gunfire, bombs, explosions. Think Pete Townsend and The Who on the Smothers Brothers Show. Townsend suffered complete and total deafness in that ear. I competed in shooting competitions and if you get caught with your ear protection off with a large caliber weapon discharging nearby, it is shockingly loud. Some strategies are trying to address that issue, trying to avoid the worst case hearing loss as a result of that trauma. Trying to combat hair cell death in the immediate days and hours after a massive trauma. NAC or steroid injections into the eardrum are examples. Protect the hair cells and limit the subsequent oxidative stress damage, etc.

      Separately however is the question, what are tinnitus and hyperacusis? Why does our body act like we have a severed limb and generate, in this case phantom or phantom like noise or sensitivity to sound. It is in our heads, literally, but why? What purpose can the jet engine in my head have especially since I did not suffer any perceivable hearing loss? Many here report perfect hearing test results. I didn't get tested and if I did I don't have a baseline but I didn't notice any hearing loss at least. Maybe for a period it's inflamed nerves or muscles and the whole thing needs to settle down, a period of quite is probably in order like a sprained ankle, but what's going on years later?

      A few things are clear. Keep your body in top shape including your vitamin and mineral status, through a healthy diet if possible. Manage stress and sleep right. Make good lifestyle choices. When that firecracker goes off you want your Glutathione status tip top so that you minimize the possibility of oxidative stress damage in your inner ear by example.

      If you have an acoustic trauma that is bad enough to dull your hearing, consider getting to an experienced ENT to get some treatment or go with some study based supplementation like NAC plus Glycine like the military uses. If you're going to take a medicine assault like Cisplatin chemo consider protective supplementation to prevent ototoxicity or if tinnitus starts, do the same immediately. But that's all the immediate damage from an assault on the inner ear. What about tinnitus and hyperacusis in the weeks, months or years after all of the original trauma is long over. What is going on with us now? Why is there a jet engine in my head with no major hearing loss? Why has my body betrayed my like this. Ed Harris portraying Beethoven yelled to God “why do you infest my mind so!?”.

      I was deep into my list of 100 potential treatments and I came across this video of a guy that says he cured his tinnitus. He said basically that he needed to get his head right and get his system settled down and it went away, that the ringing is not your ears, it's your brain. Not hypochondria, it's psychosomatic (my words). I then started reading the comments and one guy referenced a book by Dr. John Sarno. Holy crap, I remember that guy. I read his book on back pain. Howard Stern turned me on to that guy's book decades ago after years of debilitating back pain. The basic premise is that your pain is real but it's an endless loop of negative feedback between your brain and its thoughts about back pain and your back. Once he was able to convince people of this, their back pain went away. Not everybody was down with the whole thing but he helped a lot of people including me. The point that really got me hooked was he studied a group of people with back pain complaints and a group that were asymptomatic and he studied their films. The percentage of spine abnormalities (including slipped disks) and nerve problems was the same in both groups! Whoa!?

      So I'm sitting at my computer absorbing this notion that we have some control over a revved up central nervous system that is influencing our brain to delivery this incessant infestation of noise and being amazed by the Dr. Sarno connection to my successful back improvement and my tinnitus completely disappeared for about 30 seconds. Yes, it slowly came back but what the hell was that? It has been nonstop for weeks, no breaks of silence until then. This proves nothing yet BUT, can this experience be sustained? It's the first thing besides limiting salt that has helped and the only thing that caused total silence even if only for 30 seconds.

      I then bought Dr. Sarno's book – The Divided Mind and further links brought me to Julian Cowan Hill's book – Tinnitus, From Tyrant to Friend (he also has YouTube videos). I have started with the second book. The basic premise is that we need to calm our central nervous system. Most tinnitus sufferers have a similar personality which is revved up or fearful and hyper focused and that our CNS has manufactured the noise long after any trauma is over and you can reduce or eliminate it with some work. Listening for it all the time, worrying about it, being told it will never go away and listening to too many negative stories all add up to staying in this heightened state of “red alert” as he calls it. I think that this is part of why some people get relief if doctors give them medicine to calm them down in the beginning, we get more relaxed and start to not GAS about it. Some people even talk about trippy drugs bringing relief.

      For those of you that really need a more mechanical and relatable approach, consider plasticity, the notion that the brain and our CNS can change and reroute. Stroke function recovery, my nerve function recovery four years after surgery damage in 2016. I can change my blood pressure and heart rate through relaxation exercises. What else is possible?

      I suspect that this will not resonate with everyone here, might anger some. I might even take a few flamethrowers. That's OK, do what works for you. I will suggest that if this pisses you off, ask yourself why? I am trying to offer some food for thought that might help some people. I am now convinced that at a bare minimum, some of us that might be hyper vigilant and fearful of the entire thing might get at least some relief if we can accept this and then start calming down the CNS. Like breaking the cycle that causes panic attacks on a less obvious level. Ever had a panic attack or watched someone going through one? It's real, it's scary, they are suffering AND it is frequently psychosomatic. That people like me that have suffered immense stress need to get out of our heads and settle things down. The psychosomatic connection to illness has helped reduce my suffering in the past so I'm going down this path for now. In addition, I am going to pursue some supplements and foods that make sense for a stressed out guy my age that wants to protect his hearing and his health in general. I am almost certainly B12 and Glutathione deficient for instance.

      I'll let you know how things go. All the best for some relief to all of you who are suffering.

      George
       
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
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    3. Simon85

      Simon85 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      Hi George. If it helps, keep in mind that the first few months are generally the peak of symptoms and you should see some relief as the months go by. A year or two is not an unreasonable time frame based on what others have written. I think the experience for many people will be different - mine went from blow your socks off, severe sleep deprivation loud to more of an annoyance in the space of 6 months (volume level 8/10 to 2/10 approx).
      I suspect it’s a combination of habituation and a reduction in volume over time. Tinnitus presents over a very wide spectrum. My old tinnitus (which I’d had for years) was very light, only heard in quiet rooms and barely took up any of my attention - I didn’t even realise it was tinnitus as it was more a gentle fluttering that I’d hear when going to sleep or in a quiet room. I’d always equated ringing in the ears with the eeeee after a loud concert. I certainly had zero appreciation for just how loud it gets. Unless people get loud, intrusive tinnitus I think it’s very hard for them to understand. If the roles were reversed I’m not sure that I would understand either.
      I’m truly sorry to hear that. I lost my mother to cancer a few years ago. She did well, fought hard right up until the point she could do no more. It’s still painful to think about.
      Tinnitus has so many causes and levels of severity. If you find something is giving you relief and causing you no harm then I’d say keep at it. What works for you may only work for a subset of others. At times the discussion can get heated on this forum. One of the unfortunate side effects of tinnitus for me is that I’m definitely more irritable - it’s hard to find calm and zen when unable find a peaceful environment - the eee just follows you around.

      It looks like you are spending a lot of time reading up and searching for a solution. That’s helpful to a point. Once you’re well read on tinnitus / hyperacusis and have had all tests for underlying medical causes (which I recommend) then it might be time to focus on other things, perhaps something you enjoy, and away from the tinnitus. My best advice, for what it’s worth, is to take some magnesium supplements (potentially others if you have a need), stay away from loud noise, try to keep busy and your mind off tinnitus (easier said than done), and give it time. I hope you reach a more permanent level of relief with time. Let us know how you go. Best of luck.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Simone85,

      Thank you.

      George
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      What medical conditions should be ruled out and by what type of doctor(s)?

      I agree that after getting up to speed it’s time to climb out of the rabbit hole and find more positive things to focus on. All good advice.

      Thanks,
      George
       
    6. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Thanks for this. I do believe some people have psychosomatic tinnitus but definitely not everyone.
       
    7. Simon85

      Simon85 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      I went to see an ENT who specialises in tinnitus. Not all ENTs will agree to fully test you - the first one I saw told me to live with it. Seeing one that specialises in tinnitus is important. I went to a private ENT and got an MRI, MRI with contrast (for both ears and head), CT scan, extensive bloodwork. Apparently there are a million and one things that cause tinnitus and I just wanted to rule everything out. That being said, they didn’t find anything wrong apart from some mild hearing loss. It’s also worth noting that a few people had their tinnitus made worse from a noisy MRI machine, so there is some sense in waiting for your ears to settle a bit before chasing down possible causes. Also, I live in a country with free / heavily subsidised healthcare which is a great help. I suspect this may be a large barrier for some people on the forum.

      After doing all the tests and letting time pass the ENT started to talk about acceptance and ‘going out to live your life’. It was clear at that point all medical tests had been exhausted and I’d have to play the waiting game. I’m still glad I checked - I’ve read many stories of people who were dismissed when visiting the doctor about tinnitus only to discover it was an issue that would have shown up in bloodwork.

      In cases on noise induced tinnitus it looks like time is your best friend. Those first few months in particular - the acute phase - is quite the extreme ride. The majority of people should see a material drop off in symptoms.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      I have no idea, I have treated exactly one person for tinnitus - me, so my clinical experience is non-existent. In other areas however, I have seen amazing results with changing emotions about illness and/or doing relaxation techniques. Near the end when my wife was on massive amounts of pain medicine and she would call out to the nurses in the ICU in massive pain, sometimes I would ask them to leave the room and we would go through our relaxation and visualization process and she would calm right down and fall asleep. I don’t think many of us here have and hopefully will never experience that level of pain yet relief without drugs was possible. I have witnessed many less dramatic things. Our emotions affect our body, that I know. Stress raises blood pressure, floods us with destructive chemistry, causes strokes and heart attacks. Why can’t the opposite be true?

      I don’t know what labels are best or who this can help but I will go so far as to say that everyone can get at least some relief By exploring this. I really believe that. It’s a process no matter what and it takes months or years. Perhaps people that get better after a year without formal treatment are just basically getting bored with it, no longer fear it, move on to other things and then one day they realize it’s gone. They went through the process on autopilot.

      I see many reasons why people are reluctant to explore ideas like this - it’s not immediate, it sounds like psycho babble BS, it starts peeling back the lid on the can of worms, ... we all have to go through our process. Each step is what we needed to do at that time. It’s our individual journey.

      George
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      I actually cancelled a scheduled MRI for a hip problem until I get further down the road because of the noise issue.

      George
       
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    10. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Thanks for sharing your story.

      My sympathies for what you went through for your wife.

      You have noise induced tinnitus, and not mild. It may improve over the next several months, say 18 to 24. Most important thing is to avoid further damage, so avoid any and all noisy tasks, and protect from the rest. For example, I will never go to another rock concert, but can still use a lawn mower with ear plugs and muffs.

      Try to sleep with ear plugs, it was the only way I could get some sleep when I spiked.

      Feel better soon, accept you will likely have some set backs, and start the road to recovery.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Thank you. It’s funny you should mention setbacks tonight because a huge storm came overhead and I didn’t even think about thunder and lightning cracks. I am going to assume that this will calm back down. You have to monitor for a whole new set of things now while you heal. Ya, rock concerts are definite now in the “back when I was your age” pile. lol.

      George
       
    12. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      I have felt your pain. My tinnitus was from a weed wacker. Stick with the program and should start to see improvements in the next couple of months. I would avoid white noise to sleep as well.
       
    13. Simon85

      Simon85 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      I’ll second this. White noise would cause spikes periodically through the night. While your ears are hyper sensitive they’ll likely benefit from some silence. My most quiet time of the day is when I first wake up after sleeping in a quiet room.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Ok I’ll try some nights with the filter turned off. My hyperacusis is already a bit better at the one month mark. This is a learning process for sure. I usually go without ear protection and I am learning what to avoid or protect from using flare ups and a few measurements as my guide. This morning it was the commercial lawn mower right outside the bedroom window next to my head. Now I know to put that on the list to avoid. It’s a process, but I’m getting the hang of it.

      George
       
    15. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      You are poetic but I say pray that better treatments or a cure will be found!
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Whatever it takes to help people end their suffering. I, like you, hope that those with far more knowledge and experience can someday end this for good. In the meantime we need to explore and use whatever means are at our disposal for whatever level of relief is possible.

      George
       
    17. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Glad to hear the hyperacusis is improved and it is a good sign. I never used hearing protection either prior to this, and now use it consistently. While I still have a little tinnitus, I am much better now.

      For the first year I had to move to the back of my house whenever my neighbor got their lawn cut.
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Glad you're better. To what do you attribute your improvement?

      George
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      To anyone considering reading one or both of the two books I referenced in the first post here:

      The Hill book is shorter and has a softer more emotional support feel to it.

      The Sarno book is longer, more hard driving, more clinical and filled with technical discussion.

      I liked them both but they are very different approaches. In the end they say the same thing, that for millions of people there is a mind body connection to a great many illnesses that cause real observable physical suffering which can be relieved for a great many people.
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      So I have a lot of what people mention here, new high pitched sounds, spikes, etc. I’m having some significant increases from my second COVID-19 shot but I am assuming they will be transient as all of my spikes have been so far.

      This afternoon all of a sudden there is this really loud new buzzing in my right ear, and I’m thinking holy crap that’s loud and annoying, it sounds like a mosquito is buzzing inside my ear and then the mosquito that I did not know was there bit me on that side of my head!

      Classic.

      George
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      I am reading multiple Dr John Sarno books on the mind body connection and its effect on illness. For most of his career he treated pain complaints which included tinnitus (I don’t know the percentage of cases) purely on the basis healing the emotional connection to physical suffering and then ending the pain. He reported getting many letters where patients thanked him because just reading his books ended the suffering. You can read Amazon reviews for some examples. He personally saw the most desperate cases of people turning to this often as a last resort. He did a follow up study of 104 patients and found 44% with little or no remaining pain, 26% at least 80% better, 15% that were 40-80% better and 15% with 0-40% improvement. So absolutely, this approach does not provide a 100% cure of pain and suffering but these are pretty dramatic results.

      He states that around 20-25% of hypertension is due to this mechanism so again and to your point, not all but enough to explore it especially if all else fails.

      He estimated that 10-20% of the general public will be willing to accept this mechanism at the outset.

      George
       
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    22. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I’m riding this with you bud haha. Let’s hang in there.
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Update:

      I have documented my journey to investigate the mind-body connection to tinnitus. I am reading the books that I outlined and watched the videos that I referenced. I already feel less distressed about the sounds in my head; they are still there but they do not bother me as much and I sleep pretty well. All while the noises are getting louder and the spikes are sometimes more annoying. I will continue this work as it helped me with my back 20 years ago.

      So I have been thinking a lot about bio-individuality. Why do some people get this and others don't? Why are some drugs ototoxic but only to the minority of patients? Why do particular supplement therapies work for some and not others? Why can supplementation reduce damage or reverse symptoms but not in everyone? Well, my mind-body theory would certainly explain what's happening in some cases because of the placebo effect and relaxing and calming everything down including the mind and brain chemistry — this can help but that’s not all of it. In a blind placebo controlled study the placebo effect cannot have a significantly skewed benefit to the supplement group unless the supplement or medicine is actually working, plus or minus. These things may only work for some people because not everyone is deficient.

      Over 20 years ago I became extremely ill. Everything made me sick: foods, medicines, supplements. I lost 60 pounds in about 9 months, could no longer work and quit my job. I started an intense research project regarding stress and the biochemistry of our bodies and over a period of a few years I got better. Why are a lot of those same problems coming back just as I got tinnitus, exposed to the same sounds that I have been exposed to for over 50 years without any issue? Is it a coincidence? And why am I getting sick again? Age has a role for sure but the common thread is stress. Back then it was work and a nasty divorce. This time it's cancer for me, losing my wife to cancer and COVID-19 stress and isolation.

      So what happens in situations like this and how do you make yourself better? When you are under a dysfunctional level of stress you don't sleep right, you don't eat right, you don't absorb what you do eat, bad chemistry goes up, good chemistry goes down, a variety of body processes deteriorate and eventually things inside us don't get done right and symptoms appear. Sailors got scurvy on long wooden ship voyages because of a lack of vitamin C. The same mechanism applies here, except it can essentially be anything including tinnitus from a loud noise exposure. The inner ear gets flooded with oxidative stress damage and you're low on Glutathione reserves and additional damage besides any hearing loss occurs. There are other theories of course regarding hearing loss and brain compensation/gain.

      I have been noticing that a lot of the old symptoms that are coming back from 20 years ago require the same nutrients/supplements to fix such as Cysteine, Glycine, and Selenium. I have confirmed this because when I started taking the rather large doses of things like NAC that are recommended for ear damage mitigation, I got the same detoxification reactions as 20 years ago, typical of going too fast when correcting deficiencies that lead to toxicity problems. They are, at least in my case, likely to be related.

      So now what? I need to forgo the mega dose idea for now but get back to basics correcting my body's balance issues with initial emphasis on the things common to all my current problems such as a Glutathione deficiency (NAC, Glycine, etc.) but go in more balance and more slowly to avoid beating my body up so badly with a sledge hammer approach.

      Our bodies eliminate toxins through a 2 part sequence. Phase I is detoxification, which is usually not broken and creates an intermediate metabolite. Then one of several different phase II pathways that handle everything from medical drugs to solvents, caffeine, pesticides and even internal chemistry like adrenaline. Those phase II pathways need various things like Magnesium, Selenium, and various enzymes to function properly. When you are told to supplement certain things when say on Platinum based chemos that is to make sure that the detox pathways are working well. A working P1 and a broken P2 system is a double whammy because more toxic intermediate metabolites get stuck in the system.

      Taking large doses of say NAC is an attempt to shore up Glutathione status immediately after a noise trauma to help in the early day of hearing damage. Various testimonies here suggest that time and improving our health status can help reduce or eliminate our suffering as well however. I am going to have to abandon the large dose ideas for now but instead I will focus as I did 20 years ago on getting everything tip top to potentially help with where I am now and hopefully prevent further damage.

      I will start with normal vitamin and mineral dosages, gut health, good food, eliminate toxic things, rest and exercise, relaxation techniques and mind-body work. I will add additional things particular to ear damage and my re-emerging symptoms like NAC, Glycine, Molybdenum, etc.

      I'll post updates as I develop and implement my plan.

      George
       
    24. Jon R.

      Jon R. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001 & then again in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1st tone 2001 ear plugs, 3 other tones 2021 Pfizer vaccine
      I was in a fairly thin single roomed wooden summer house the other day and my neighbour started shredding wood, and his garden backs on to my summer house by about 6ft gap. I have never known noise like it. I am already trying to get over a spike from the vaccine and then this happened. All I had to hand was a pair of stereo headphones and I just put them on my head to cover my ears, I doubt it helped much, but I couldn't leave the summer house as then I would be outside and even noisier, so I was stuck for 30 minutes while that went on.

      I just hope my headphones were enough, along with the wall of the summer house, to protect my ears, but it still sounded LOUD. I hope my neighbour wore ear protection otherwise that would kill his ears.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      I now carry foam earplugs in my shirt pocket and have a set of earmuffs in the vehicle at all times.

      George
       
    26. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Hope all is well.
       
    27. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      @GeorgeLG, I have the buzzing too, as my main tinnitus sound. Compared to that, the electric buzzing I have is a walk in the park. The buzzing can be almost "felt".

      What I've learned (I'm 12 months in) about the buzzing is:
      1. If I mask it (doesn't even need to be loud masking) during the night, I have it less during the day. It is almost as if my ear needs to fill up on white noise "gas" to be able to go the entire day without much problems... Residual inhibition? But for that long...?

      2. If the buzzing is on LOUD, even being close to a fridge (which produces a similar buzzing) STOPS it completely. And I'm not talking masking, I'm talking full STOP.

      3. Buzzing stops when I'm being spoken to, in between words the buzzing picks back up. It's really that ON and OFF.

      4. When I shake my head "no" , the buzzing stops.

      5. When I put my finger in my ear, the buzzing stops. The same result can not be obtained simply by putting an earplug in.
      Someone here said: you need to sleep without white noise to give your ears a rest during the night. I can promise, when the buzzing is ON, there is no way any human can sleep through that without masking. Obviously I'm exaggerating since I'm sure there will be people that manage it, but really, I'm not sure how since it is LOUD.
       
    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      This is definitely not a one size fits all problem. I am experimenting with sound/no sound at night based on comments here. Also earplugs/no earplugs for the shower, driving, etc. So far I think I like leaving the air filters on at night. My best days have just the right amount of background noise and something to keep my mind busy. I get to forget about the whole thing for a few hours.

      George
       
    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      I dwelled in my recent update on the role of proper detoxification function in avoiding tinnitus/hearing loss due to ototoxicity and oxidative stress damage because I see so many recommendations here overlapping with the biochemical research on detoxification that I did 20 years ago, the list of recommendations has a tremendous amount of overlap. That tells me that we are trying to fix both of those subjects at the same time, they look like the same problem. Here is the list I have where I saw significant mentions in both addressing tinnitus/hearing loss and the proper processing of toxins in the body. In summary, substances look like they may be ototoxic to some people because we have deficiencies that prevent us from processing those substances correctly and potentially a similar root cause for lasting damage from noise exposure:

      ACE vitamins
      B vitamins
      Vitamin C
      Cruciferous vegetables
      Curcumin
      Glutathione/NAC/Glycine
      Green tea
      Lipoflavanoids
      Magnesium
      Methionine
      Omega 3 fatty acids
      Selenium
      Taurine
      Zinc
      CoQ10
      Molybdenum

      There are MANY more recommendations here but this is where I will start.

      George
       
      • Like Like x 1
    30. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Sensible protection, without overprotection. I use foam earplugs and earmuffs to vacuum the house now, for example.

      Earplugs at night for sleep.

      Green tea with aloe vera.

      Omega 3 supplements for the first year.

      I think the first two are the most important.
       
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