My Story to Silence

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by ambiencr, Feb 13, 2017.

    1. ambiencr

      ambiencr Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown, accutane?
      Hi all

      I will start with my medical history:

      26 y/o male, born with one deaf ear (right). But never bothered me at all, I was able to play two instruments and speak three languages clearly (Chinese, English, and Spanish). I sometimes uses headphone but not excessively (only during workout).

      Everything was fine until 10/22/2016, I was 3 month into my accutane therapy(for acne). And I started to hear something special at night when everything goes quiet. I couldn't say it is because of accutane or anything else. I was on a long flight (5 hr) the day before so it could be the airplane thing. It could also due to my neck problem.

      Anyway, I was never able to identify the cause of the tinnitus. But I stopped accutane immediately. The following Monday (10/24/2016), I went to the ENT doctor and did the hearing test, I was overall okay only have some hearing lost at 8000 Hz, I remember the threshold for 8000 Hz was 25-30 dB, where generally 20 dB or above is considered to be mild hearing lost. But I was very sure it was due to the technical issue with the audiologist setup, which caused me to not fully prepared for that small sound.

      The ENT give me oral steroids, I forgot the name but it was that kind of 6 day pack, I took 6 pills on day 1 and gradually decreased to 1 pill on day 6. Honestly, by the end of day 6, I still struggle with the tinnitus as much as day 1. Btw, I might have a little hyperacusis then as well.

      Road to silence:

      After the first week, I went to another audiologist to do the hearing test. This time, I was more experienced and prepared, the results was better, all the thresholds were under 20 dB. But I still suffered from the same amount of ringing. I was very disappointed and always imagine this tinnitus will be a forever thing for me. I felt so bad because the fear of this ringing thing is going to be perpetual and I am still young.

      In the next few weeks, I struggled between tinnitus, and the fear of tinnitus will be perpetual. Mixing these things made my life a completely mess but I slowly notice the ringing is more "comfortable" or "tolerable" than week 1. Instead of completely mute the ringing, the frequency got lower and I was much more familiar with the sound. This stage lasted about three weeks (from thanksgiving to one week before Christmas). And I went to my parents' place for the holiday.

      The holiday was always nice and busy for Asian family, we played Majong and singed karaoke(a little bit loud). I was too busy to notice my tinnitus for a while. After that, when I left there around new year, I notice even the comfortable sound got very quiet. Since then I don't remember I was bothered by it at all. I cannot say I am 100% tinnitus free 24/7, but I am very confident at this point that I am not bothered by tinnitus at all.

      My master degree was in Neuroscience so I am no stranger to the concept of tinnitus. To my experience, the volume of the ringing usually won't go up after the initial onset (especially if it is noise induced). So after the initially onset, the worst enemy for tinnitus is the association of tinnitus with negative experience. I will explain it here.

      We all hear different sounds from the environment and 99% of the time we don't have problem with it. But when someone has tinnitus, everything he or she hears the ringing sound, it usually generates an emotion, it is called conditioning. Just like the Pavlov's dog link (bell ring will cause salivation). So the goal is to train yourself to de-associate tinnitus with negative emotion. There are many methods out there some are really expensive and some are no cost. The most important thing is to be faithful and not to see it negatively. I was a religious person so I would pray everyday for it and it was actually a very good faith exercise for me. I also find meditation helpful to some degree.

      Last thing before I finish here. Please please don't take the internet thing, particularly the negative thing too seriously. If I do a statistics on tinnitustalk, I believe there are a lot more people suffer from tinnitus than recover from it. The truth is: there are many more people who had a short episode of tinnitus and recovered but never post their struggles here. It's the same for almost all online discussions. If you spend one hour a day on, you will feel you acne will never get better. If you frequent studentdoctornetwork (a premed site), you will feel you will never get into medical school. I believe you guys get my point.

      Best wishes to all of you guys
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    2. Gabri

      Gabri Member

      Bucharest, Romania
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress, emotional trauma
      Dude, you are so right, I realised too late that all is related to negative emotions after onset. I am sutrggling to retrain my brain to assign the noise with positive feelings. Most people that had if fading soon, most probably managed to ignore it and not become obsessed.
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    3. Mandar13

      Mandar13 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise or ETD
      This made me feel much better :) thank you!
    4. Katelouise88

      Katelouise88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I had a very similar experience when I was taking Accutane in 2012, I suddenly starting getting tinnitus. It made me really anxious for months and I was having bad panic attacks. Luckily like you I’ve learned to tune it out and it doesn’t bother me most of the time..
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