My Story with Tinnitus So Far...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Lizzie Grant, Jan 12, 2016.

    1. Lizzie Grant

      Lizzie Grant Member

      I've been a member for a week and never made an intro post soo here we go!

      My story starts about 4 days or so before the new year. My boyfriend sent me a link to a VERY loud video (without warning). Somehow my earbuds were on the maximum volume so you can imagine how that went down. My whole face tensed up and I ripped the earbuds out. (I even smelled a faintly weird smell in my nose immediately after, not sure what that means lol) My ears felt irritated but I brushed it off and went on listening to music kind of loudly for the next few days (stupid me). So a few days pass by and I'm watching tv when I noticed my right ear kind of crackling and tensing up everytime the man on the show yelled or raised his voice. I was kind of panicked by this and even more so when I was doing dishes the next day and realized that whenever the silverware clanked together it seemed more amplified and my ears would tense up.

      So I began my research. I was able to rule out hyperacusis simply because it's not so much pain that loud noise brings me it's more of my ear muscles tensing up which was really bothersome at first. Although I did have sharp ear, jaw, face, and neck pain which was due to tonic tensor tympani syndrome (which I still have today it's just less intense) that I reckoned is what I have since I matched all of the symptoms perfectly, As well as acoustic shock/trauma. I started wearing earplugs around the house but I read that only makes it worse so I learned to relax my body before loud noise as to not make my ears tense up and be so anxious. I also have been listening to white and pink noise at night which I feel helped a bit (and has done well at masking my tinnitus for the most part)

      Getting to tinnitus... I've had fleeting tinnitus since I was a kid, I remember having a high pitched tone that would come and go for a few seconds at a time. But what I have now is different. I'd describe it as an electrical hissing. The best I could compare it to is if you put your ear up to one of those little toy watches kids have and you can hear that faint electric hissing or if you're around a lot of wires. My tinnitus didn't start (or perhaps I didn't notice it) until about Thursday night. I feared having chronic tinnitus once I read about it while researching what was wrong with my ears earlier on. Once I noticed it I became really frantic and started to cry, and with this it got louder.

      Now I'm very fortunate in that I can mask this to some point and or distract myself 80% of the time yet tinnitus does not really fit my personality. I have severe anxiety and OCD and I know there's a link between tinnitus and anxiety. Because of the OCD I feel like I NEED to listen for my T if I'm not already concentrated on it and once I do zone in on it I get very anxious and it stays with me. I find it gets worse at night for some reason also. It's especially hard to listen to the tv and sometimes to listen to music (since my incident I keep the volume very low and have volume control on)

      Anyways this is getting really long but since I'm only about two weeks in with this whole ear situation I really hope that means I can still recover and not have this forever. But if I do I believe I can live with it, it will just be a challenge for a bit.

      Anybody else been in a situation like this or have recovered? Thanks for reading!
    2. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome Lizzie. Since your tinnitus is so new and may be related to acoustic trauma, you may want to get your doctor/ENT to prescribe a course of prednisone or other corticosteroids. Members here often recommend new T patients to get this treatment as soon as possible. Here is a discussion thread on this treatment:

      To beat T, it is best we stay calm and remain positive despite the present situation. Since you mention you can mask to some point and 80% of the time you can distract yourself from T, that is already a huge positive in your T journey. I wish I could have that much control over my ultra high pitch dog whistle T and severe hyperacusis a few years back. I was literally in a mess physically and mentally and had to depend on meds to survive. You are way ahead of me in your recovery time line. If after a few years I can live a normal and productive life again, you should do much better and faster. So try to stay positive that you will be just fine over time. T is livable and beatable. Time plus some good strategies will help. Have confidence in your bright future. If you want to know how I turn myself around after living through hell with T & H, here is the link to my success story. Take good care & God bless.
    3. daniel1111

      daniel1111 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced, repeated exposure with loud headphones.
      Hi Lizzie,

      I can understand how this would be extremely difficult. With tinnitus, when you listen for it and listen to it, it gets louder and more noticeable.

      I don't have OCD so I'm sorry if this sounds silly, but is there anyway way you can perform a mental block when doing this? For example, when you notice yourself about to listen to your tinnitus, say something like "Not to be measured!" and go back to what you were doing before? This is kind of what I was doing when I was newer to tinnitus and kept trying to measure if it was louder or quieter. I had to do it a lot of times on some days but it helped me kick that habit.

      I also agree with @billie48 , your symptoms are new and you have every chance to beat it. Just hang in there and take it a day at a time keeping yourself busy and distracted with things you like to do.

    4. AUTHOR
      Lizzie Grant

      Lizzie Grant Member

      Hi @daniel1111 thanks for replying

      I actually do use the mental block as a way to cope with it and so far it's worked as long as I'm distracted! I'm going to keep trying it to kick the habit as well.

      and @billie48 thank you for the positive words! :LOL:

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