My Success Story: Habituation *Is* Real

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Oreilles, Mar 10, 2021.

    1. KMc24

      KMc24 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Yes, it has slowly decreased in intensity along with my hyperacusis. On my mild days (1 or 2 a week) it's almost like I don't have tinnitus and my hyperacusis just about vanishes. The 2 are definitely linked for me. For me I think tinnitus is truly a malfunction or maladaptation of the brain's auditory system.
       
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    2. KMc24

      KMc24 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I'd say 2 years.
       
    3. KMc24

      KMc24 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It was somewhat difficult for me because I caused my own tinnitus. So I had to sort through all the feelings of regret and guilt associated with it. I never lost hope of recovering from this. I would hold onto to memories of how I used to be, but I vowed not just get better, but better than before. Having tinnitus has given me a new perspective. More of an appreciation for life and things around me. I realize now how quickly everything can be lost. But, as we lose I think we also gain. Even with diabolical tinnitus I continued to work, exercise, and just put one foot in front of the other, and hope for brighter days. My faith in God has also helped to pull me through.
       
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    4. Shelly75

      Shelly75 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      20/07/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for the reply.
      I think mine are linked too, the intensity of both fluctuates massively which makes me think it can’t be an “ear injury” which would just remain consistent?
       
    5. AliasM
      Depressed

      AliasM Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Botched lumbar puncture, CSF leak
      My hyperacusis and tinnitus are in no way related on a daily basis. Tinnitus is worse in my left ear but I only have pain hyperacusis in my right ear. Yesterday I had an abnormally lower tinnitus day (I rarely get good days) but I was wearing ear plugs under ear switched off headphones in the shower because the pain was well and truly present.

      I also don't get how if pain hyperacusis is linked to anxiety and emotions, how I only have it in one ear. It has to be linked to damage?

      I cannot find a pattern at all.
       
    6. T Toledo OH

      T Toledo OH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/26/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely loud noise and earbuds
      May I ask how you were doing after the first year?

      I am still struggling a lot. Sometimes it goes away for a few days but always returns.
       
    7. KMc24

      KMc24 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      After the first year I wasn't doing well. Tinnitus had gotten better but was still pretty intense. Hardly any habituation. Many people on this thread suggest that intensity and loudness do not impact ones ability to habituate. As my tinnitus has mellowed out I feel it's much easier to ignore. It's like pain levels. More intense pain is more debilitating. That being said everyone's tolerance is different. I have a demanding job as a middle school teacher as well. I feel that if I didn't have to work I may have dealt with it better. My tinnitus has never "went away" for a few days. At first it was one day a week of low tinnitus, then mostly severe. Now it's moderate with a couple mild days a week.
       
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    8. cruise
      Relaxed

      cruise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Well said.

      And your story is familiar, much like my story and many other stories. Thank you for sharing this!
       
    9. cruise
      Relaxed

      cruise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      This a exactly how it works. Because you stop caring, you stop noticing and you start forgetting that it's there, even if it's there 24/7 unchanged.
       
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    10. boliston
      No Mood

      boliston Member

      Location:
      Taunton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      30th April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      I was a bit sceptical about 'habituation' when I first got tinnitus 2 years ago and thought I would just be stuck in a hell like situation for life - I think it was a good 6 months before I was starting to adapt to having tinnitus, and it's still almost certainly as loud now as it was originally but I have got used to it so do not notice it all the time.
       
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    11. Bimmerboy

      Bimmerboy Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      14/02/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      covid, infection, stress, ototoxic meds, noise, TMJ
      Today my tinnitus is 5 weeks old, and still haven’t been able to habituate, I can only hope that I can get better. I have faith but it’s hard and I often break down. Can anyone give me any advice what I should in the initial stages of my tinnitus and how I can lead into habituation?

      I feel guilty as I did this to myself by taking ototoxic ear drops and lots of antibiotics and Ibuprofen to overcome what was apparently an ear infection. I never knew what ototoxic meant up until now. Hopefully some sound advice can get on the right path.
       
    12. Óscar PP

      Óscar PP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Coronavirus
      Same here, nights and mornings are the worst. The feeling of dread and hopelessness is still there for me 6 months in.
       
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    13. Eleanor89
      Approved

      Eleanor89 Member

      Location:
      Barrow in Furness
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I habituated to my tinnitus slowly.

      I have had tinnitus for 26 years and until recently I never paid it much attention.

      However, four weeks ago it spiked in my left ear following a hysterectomy four weeks before the louder tinnitus started.

      I’m hoping I will habituate again x
       
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    14. cruise
      Relaxed

      cruise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      In my first 6 months the worst part was not being able to sleep properly or not at all. At some point I thought that if only I could sleep well again, I would be able to deal with everything else.

      Now I sleep very well and if I don't, it is not because of my tinnitus. There was a turning point when I realized that my tinnitus was not actually preventing me from sleeping, it was the anxiety that kept my adrenaline levels up which was the actual cause of not being able to sleep. Once I came to this realization, my anxiety faded away quickly and I was able to sleep without a problem, same as before tinnitus. That has never changed. Even on very loud days, I fall asleep without any problems.
       
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    15. JasonP
      No Mood

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      Thanks for writing this! It's what I needed to read today. :)
       
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    16. Athens

      Athens Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/27/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I am curious about your hyperacusis. You cannot habituate to hyperacusis so what has been the progression in relation to it? Is it the same or has it calmed down to some degree?
       
    17. Athens

      Athens Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/27/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      How is your hyperacusis now?
       
    18. KMc24

      KMc24 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It's improved quite a bit I would say. Still there on louder tinnitus days, but better.
       
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    19. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member

      Location:
      Russia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Yeah mild stable tinnitus with no hyperacusis is fairly easy to live with.
       
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    20. Shelbylynn
      Worried

      Shelbylynn Member

      Location:
      Fresno, California
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/lifelong music abuse
      What constitutes stable tinnitus? I see that a lot here but is this a medical definition or just a term we use in the community?
       
    21. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Stable usually means you don’t have terrible hyperacusis making normal sounds act like noise traumas spiking or worsening you. Just my guess.
       
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    22. Athens

      Athens Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/27/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I am happy to hear it. I have noticed that I am able to be in certain environments (restaurants) without too much difficulty whereas only a month go, I was very hesitant to even attempt it.
       
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    23. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member

      Location:
      Russia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Stable tinnitus is tinnitus that does not spike / doesn't spike easily.
       
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    24. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Stable tinnitus is as @Wrfortiscue and @AnthonyMcDonald have described.

      Some people believe spikes in tinnitus are a natural part of the condition but they're not. Those affected with this anomaly usually have noise-induced tinnitus and the reason the tinnitus spikes is because the auditory system is oversensitive to sound. This oversensitivity can manifest itself as hyperacusis with or without pain.

      Some people may have noxacusis which I believe is a more acute variation of hyperacusis which is the underlying root cause of the problem caused by noise trauma to the auditory system. I had this 26 years ago and it was completely cured using white noise generators as part of TRT. My tinnitus is variable but it does not spike.

      A person can successfully habituate to noise-induced tinnitus but if they are is still oversensitive to sound, whether it's hyperacusis or noxacusis, spikes will usually become a long term problem. Unfortunately the longer spikes persist the more difficult they usually are to treat.

      Michael
       
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    25. Shelbylynn
      Worried

      Shelbylynn Member

      Location:
      Fresno, California
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/lifelong music abuse
      Hm, is it possible to have noise induced tinnitus but have it moderately stable?

      The only reason I ask is because I have a step father and my brother who have tinnitus but they seem to carry on in their lives the same as before. They both reportedly believe their tinnitus is caused by noise (gun range, loud music, headphones). When I first got my very own tinnitus (noise) the first thing I did was research online which led me to these forums where people would spike very easily. This led me to believe I would too! I would only say in recent months did I realize I have more of what you describe as stable tinnitus (this is barring the fact that I did not go to noisy events or if something was moderately noise I would wear hearing protection).

      Now, after this morning where I was exposed to an extremely loud alarm at close range I can ONLY imagine that I will spike very soon. I have not had a severe or even moderate spike in the two years with tinnitus, but I really can't imagine how it wouldn't spike seeing as the alarms for robbery are 120+ dB, much louder than fire alarms. Also the fact it was in very close range to my ear/head. I am very devastated that it may make my relatively stable tinnitus unstable. My situation reveals this fickleness of hearing and also that sound can often be out of our control. However, some small part of me wants to cling to hope that I will somehow squeak by in this accident unscathed. However the discomfort in my left ear is saying probably not! As I know delayed spikes are quite common...

      I should add I never experienced hyperacusis or noxacusis, just phonophobia. I also started with what I would describe as mild - moderate tinnitus. It has basically been the same since I've gotten it, maybe recently went down a bit in volume from me taking care of it so well.
       
    26. Eleanor89
      Approved

      Eleanor89 Member

      Location:
      Barrow in Furness
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello @Athens, I’m pleased that you’re improving...
       
    27. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You make an interesting point. It is quite possible to have noise-induced tinnitus and for it to be moderately stable or completely silent for most of the time and only heard in very quiet surroundings.

      In its simplest form a person affected by noise-induced tinnitus will usually make a full recovery within 6 to 18 months with or without seeing an audiologist for specialist treatment. Hyperacusis (oversensitivity to sound) often accompanies the condition but not always. If hyperacusis is present this can also go away by itself. However, if it persists as mentioned in my previous post then specialist treatment is required, otherwise it can become a long term problem causing spikes in the tinnitus even though a person has habituated. Some people can develop psychological problems that are associated with hyperacusis and are covered in my thread: The Complexities of Tinnitus and Hyperacusis.

      Your brother and father like many people have successfully habituated to tinnitus and able to carry on with their life. This has probably resulted in them completely forgetting about it for most of the time unless it's brought up during conversation. It all depends how severe the tinnitus is and how much a person's mental and emotional wellbeing is affected by it. This is not often talked about but is so vitally important, because tinnitus is an integral part of our mental and emotional wellbeing and cannot be separated from it.

      Whilst tinnitus forums and other social media sites are good in terms of offering help and support to those having difficulty managing the condition, a person needs to be careful as they could find themselves caught up in the emotional turmoil that tinnitus can create, simply by reading the difficulties that some people go through trying to cope with it on a daily basis. Of course some people are able to cope with this better than others.

      You describe your tinnitus as mild to moderate and don't experience any hyperacusis which is good, but are concerned about phonophobia. Try taking up a new interest or hobby to help direct your thoughts away from tinnitus. If you don't go out much, I suggest trying to and socialise. This promotes positivity and helps takeaway your focus on tinnitus.

      Please go to my started threads and read: Acquiring a Positive Mindset, The Habituation Process, How to Habituate to Tinnitus.

      All the best,
      Michael
       
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    28. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Yes it’s possible. I lived years with stable tinnitus after blowing up my right ear.
       
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    29. blamingeverything

      blamingeverything Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      high frequency hearing loss
      You are so insufferable.
       
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    30. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Don't give up. You can habituate again because I did!
       
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