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. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

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

      Even more old health problems are cropping up along with new ones so something systemic is definitely up. I still believe that the stress of COVID-19, my cancer and losing my wife is a major factor. Throughout my life, all of my major chronic health problems have followed periods of extreme stress. I am continuing to explore both nutritional/supplement, body work and emotional factors.

      I had some bloodwork done and found a vitamin D deficiency and very low B12 so I am working on those. I am also working on other vitamins/supplements that need to be in good shape for my body to heal and are used up under stress starting with B complex, C, Omega 3, E, and glutathione status. I am also following a CBG thread here with great interest.

      I have started back at the chiropractor and that has relieved some of my problems, but not tinnitus so far. I will start cranial sacral therapy this week. I am working on improving sleep trying sounds, getting to bed earlier, making it more comfortable, looking into melatonin, etc.

      I am still reading the book by John Sarno on the mind body connection. I am convinced that some illness (including tinnitus) has a mind body origin and/or that some illness, even if not resulting from buried emotional traumas (for instance) is made worse by our reaction to it. A study summary that I recently read discusses this later concept with the following excerpt:

      "The severity of the distress experienced from the tinnitus is determined not by the acoustic characteristics, such as pitch and loudness of tinnitus (Andersson, 2003; Henry & Meikle, 2000; Hiller & Goebel, 2007), but by the cognitive, emotional and behavioural reactions to it (Andersson, 2002; Andersson & Westin, 2008; Cima, Crombez, & Vlaeyen, 2011; McKenna, Handscomb, Hoare, & Hall, 2014)."

      From this article:

      A trauma-focused approach for patients with tinnitus: the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing – a multicentre pilot trial

      I am not pushing EMDR, CBT, psychotherapy or any other specific treatment, just the concept that we have to heal our bodies and our minds, any time we have chronic illness and tinnitus is no exception. I have also decided that if a "cure" arrives at some point great, but I want to live in the here and now with how ever many days I have left so I am not focusing on a cure that does not yet exist and want to do whatever I can to get relief for myself now.

      The level of tinnitus sound has not gone down at least not yet (its actually a little louder), but I care much less about it and can ignore it at times throughout the day. If correcting my B12 deficiency for instance gets it softer, great but it also works if I just don't care about it anymore.

      I am 66 years old with advancing cancer and the cavalry may not be coming in the time I have left. I am working to get this problem out of my way so that I can do the things left on my list in relative comfort.

      George
       
    2. makeyourownluck

      makeyourownluck Member

      Location:
      Glasgow
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello George,

      I am new to this forum and have made an account so I could reply to you.

      Your attitude towards this ailment, in light of everything you have been/are going through, highlights how strong and resilient people can be. I truly admire your determination.

      I hope things improve going forward. Wish you all the best.
       
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    3. 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 for taking the time to tell me that. Every morning when we get up all we can do is find the best path forward from where we stand today. It’s all we’ve got.

      George
       
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    4. Barry17

      Barry17 Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Motorcycle accident 2001 & acoustic trauma 2021
      Can (slight) hearing loss also recover with time? If tinnitus disappears, will hearing get better then?
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

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

      I am continuing to read books on the mind body connection and the effect of our emotions on pain and illness and working on my attitude towards this affliction. I also had my first cranial sacral therapy session. Nothing dramatic from the first treatment, I will give it 3 tries and then re-assess. I am at the point now that I don't care very much about the tinnitus/sounds. They have actually gotten louder with new noises added since this started but I care much less about them. Most of the time it does not bother me at all. I stopped caring about the foods that cause spikes and just eat them anyhow. I just ate some sugar and as I am typing this I have a truck tire losing all of its air in my head and I don't really care. I know that I will get spikes from random loud noise exposures so I protect when I can but when I get nailed randomly I don't care much anymore and just press on. That's a lot of progress in a short amount of time on the noises in my head. Its shockingly loud sometimes but I think I can live with this part.

      The hyperacousis and ear pain is the bigger challenge. I have heavy restrictions on movies and music and have to protect with most loud things or I will get a big spike in ear pain radiating up and down the side of my head. This keeps me from doing the things I love most in life and so is the more difficult part to deal with. Because of this I am starting to not care about what can be ototoxic and cause tinnitus flares or permanent new noises and I am concentrating on what might help me with the ear pain/fullness/dullness that happens randomly on occasion and constantly from noise exposures. I am thinking about starting CBG and making some new doctors appointments just to make sure I am not missing anything that could help this. I have also developed other new physical symptoms like massive fatigue and joint pain so there may be a bigger issue which may mean an opportunity for improvement.

      George
       
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    6. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      Do earplugs make your tinnitus louder? I would find it hard to sleep with my earplugs in. Just wondering as I’ve read other people do the same thing.
       
    7. 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 tried sleeping with and without earplugs and with and without background sounds. I prefer no earplugs and a silent bedroom. Yes, earplugs or earmuffs make the tinnitus louder or at least more apparent.

      George
       
    8. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      When I first put the earplugs in, the tinnitus is louder. After a couple of minutes, it down regulates, and the tinnitus goes down significantly. It is hard to sleep without them now. I am not sure if it works for everyone, but definitely works for me.
       
    9. makeyourownluck

      makeyourownluck Member

      Location:
      Glasgow
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Regarding your new physical symptoms like fatigue and joint pain. These symptoms, and tinnitus, can be caused by long COVID-19. Maybe worth discussing with your GP.
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

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

      The chiropractor did not help, as a matter of fact its not helping my back pain anymore because that has morphed into lumbar arthritis. This is being managed OK with heat/cold, stretching and Ibuprofen for now. I am also correcting a vitamin D deficiency and that also seems to be helping

      Cranial Sacral therapy did not help. I tried the obligatory 3 treatments and have put that on hold for now.

      I still need to straighten out my B12 deficiency.

      Reading books about the mind body connection is helping me tolerate the tinnitus. It has gotten louder and new squeaky and high pitched noises show up on occasion but I care about it less. I don't like it and sometimes it's shockingly loud but I have found that it's essential to turn down the hyper focus on this condition. Obsessing about it can do nothing good and only make the situation worse. Now I think of it as my new neighbor that plays loud music next door. When the new sounds show up I just laugh and say, I see you brought some new friends over, and sometimes I say F you, that's the best you got for me? Get in line behind cancer. When I get one of the dozens of flare ups every week I just create the ideal "just right" noise environment and go do something that needs my mind in high gear. I protect when necessary or prudent and sleep in total silence. I hear it as I fall asleep but I don't care anymore.

      The ear pain and H is the much bigger problem. Saw an ENT yesterday. I have a raging sinus infection and possible TMJ so she is treating for all of this. Based on how I described the pain and its evolution she thinks she might be able to help. At least she did not tell me to go home and live with it. 21 days of her favorite antibiotic, steroids to settle everything down, muscle relaxers to settle down my jaw and probiotics to keep my gut flora in shape. I may also go see my dentist about TMJ. I am really focused on this now because they found an entirely new cancer during a full body scan last week and I have a music album to finish which now has even further urgency. Cancer has taken my wife, ALL my friends and will take me but it will not take my bucket list. Cancer is going to have to kiss my a*& for now and wait its turn. Life seldom goes as you originally planned it. Sometimes it's spectacularly better like when I met and spent 22 years with my awesome wife or now which is less pleasant but I am a problem solver so onward while I still have the energy.


      George
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

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

      My ENT says that the way I describe my ear pain and hyperacousis, she believes that there may be TMJ involvement. Additionally my chiropractor has been advising me to do specific stretches and strengthening exercises for my forward head posture which has gotten quite severe with age and my muscle loss due to my cancer treatments. In my case my head has an apparent weight of 40 pounds instead of 12 pounds which creates all kinds of problems in the neck and elsewhere. In reading about poor posture and specifically forward head posture, I find out that this can lead to TMJ. So I started moving my TMJ around and doing my posture exercides and this changes the pitch and loudness of my tinnitus. So hopefully correct posture>relieve neck strain>relieve TMJ>help my ears.

      George
       
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    12. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      overuse of hearing protection, plus noise
      I spoke with a brilliant audiologist. Hearing protection at night is completely bad. I did it for years, the result was I gave myself the worst possible hyperacusis imaginable and ended up admitted to hospital and snowed under with antidepressants for weeks, and discharged on a bag of meds.

      Absolutely please do not do that. I know. In the short term, like ten years, it seems fine, what you are doing is disturbing your hearing balance. You must never sleep with ear canals occluded. The end result is where I am now, extremely debilitated and virtually crippled, never knowing if I'm going to sleep or not, and even sometimes not even knowing if I'm going to wake up, talking about voluntary assistance in death, and reading the end it all threads and wondering when will that be me. Notice I list cause of tinnitus as overuse of hearing protection. That was not known about back then. Now the top audiologist are very familiar with how I did it, imagined I was helping myself but in reality setting the stage for tinnitus from hell .

      Don't. Ever. Do. That. Like really. Seriously. I am a subspecialty medical doctor. And they tell me I'm pretty decent at it. My audiologist tells me I know more than 99% of his patients.
       
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    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

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

      The new tumor that was an incidental finding of my full body PET/CT scan for my prostate cancer last week is a thymic tumor, it is growing in the thymus bed adjacent to my heart, under the sternum. Turns out, one of the secondary problems that can come with this type of tumor is Myasthenia Gravis of which I have had some minor symptoms. These include muscles weakness leading to a drooping face, double vision and so forth. There is some thinking that this can then affect the auditory reflex which helps protect you from loud noises by pulling the mechanical chain apart during exposure and can then lead to damage and /or sensitivity to normal sounds as well as tinnitus. This is not a conclusion of my medical team, it is my research connecting the dots and potentially finding the cause and effect relationship that is causing me all of this ear pain suffering. Having the tumor removed can sometimes lessen Myasthenia Gravis symptoms so that may be an opportunity.

      BTW, this is most likely a thymoma or thymic carcinoma which is a rare cancer occurring only around 400 times per year. I lost my wife to an equally rare form of adrenal cancer recently. The chances of a husband and wife having two unrelated rare cancers of these types simultaneously is 0.00000000002.5 %. Its essentially impossible. I guess now I am really special. I keep wondering why for instance my father operated really loud power tools unprotected for 45 years without ear issues and I wound up getting hearing damage from a much lower, shorter duration and much less frequent sound level?

      George
       
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    14. Simon85

      Simon85 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      Sorry to hear that.
      That’s a good question and difficult to answer. A common theme for people who get severe tinnitus after a concert, for example, is that their friends were fine the next day. They were the unlucky ones. I’m guessing, but it’s likely from cumulative exposure, having other health issues or meds that impact the ears at the time (such as a cold) the exposure occurred. Life can be a bit chaotic.
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      GeorgeLG
      Lonely

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Exactly my point, that something is different in the people effected and in my case the cascade from the new tumor may be my root cause.

      George
       
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