My Tinnitus Is Now Very Mild and Sometimes Gone

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Cleat90, Sep 4, 2019.

    1. Cleat90

      Cleat90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure - Mid Range Hearing Loss / Stress / Bruxism
      I woke up one morning in mid-January with a loud high-pitched ringing and feeling of fullness in my left ear. My immediate reaction was “oh no, another ear infection” because I’d had a very nasty one about 18 months prior. I quickly booked an appointment with my GP but when I saw him, he said that there was nothing in my ear and no sign of infection… I had tinnitus.

      I knew enough about tinnitus to immediately start worrying and as I began to spiral with anxiety it got worse. The tinnitus started to change which ear it was in, some days left, some days right and some days both. It would also change its tone and volume, from ringing, to buzzing and from quiet enough to drown out with my cars engine to loud enough to be silenced by nothing. I felt helpless and immensely sad, like my life was over, that I would never be happy again with the constant noise in my head.

      My doctor had referred me to an ENT and audiology, and they discovered I had a mild mid-range hearing loss. This was given as the reason for my tinnitus, which to this day I’m suspicious of. They claimed it’s likely I’ve had the hearing loss since birth, so how could it suddenly give me tinnitus? Anyway, I also had an MRI to rule out a tumour which came back all clear. It made me feel slightly better but not massively, I was still crippled with anxiety and despair that I could be stuck like this forever.

      I went on like this for about 3 months before a chance conversation with one of my girlfriend’s friends who had tinnitus for about 6 months before it eventually went away. This gave me enough hope to change my outlook – it’s actually when I first posted on here. I decided that I would try to reduce my anxiety in an effort to either habituate or get rid of my tinnitus. My plan of action was this:

      1. Go to a support group meeting to meet likeminded people who could pass their experience on to me.

      2. Start meditating (This was really tough with the noise in my head to begin with, but with perseverance I could begin to relax. Having baths helped me to relax too)

      3. Get out more and do things I enjoy. I started going on more walks, going to the gym, playing golf a lot and took up bouldering.

      4. When I was out, I was trying to focus on other sounds and forget the tinnitus as best I could. Also, to stop focusing on the sound itself and instead focus on my emotional state.

      5. Only masking it when it drove me to a very anxious state / was making it hard to concentrate on something.

      Fast forward to today and my tinnitus is much better. It took about another 3 months from my decision to make a “plan of action” for it to improve but it has drastically reduced in volume and sometimes, only briefly, is not there at all. It still switches from ear to ear but is now mostly so quiet that I can only hear it in quiet rooms – like when I’m in bed about to sleep but even then I don’t need to mask it.

      I have no idea if my change in outlook and “plan of action” had any effect whatsoever, I’m just saying that’s what I did. Being active and trying to find things to make my life busy certainly helped with anxiety, if not the tinnitus itself. Maybe I just got better with time, but you know what that’s good enough. Maybe that will help some people who are new to tinnitus – just knowing that there are people who get drastically better.

      It’s taken over 8 months from onset to this point where I feel “safe” to write my success story. I still hope that I can get even better with time but honestly, I’m happy as I am now. I still get a little worried it might come back as bad as it was at the beginning but if it does, I’m sure I’ll be able to cope much better than I did before.

      There was no indication that noise trauma caused my tinnitus, but I take precautions now, so fingers crossed I’m preventing it coming back as bad as it was/ getting worse. I never listen to music at volumes that could be damaging (not that I did before, but I listen to music even quieter now). I also have noise reducing earplugs for concerts.

      I hope this story helps some people, particularly those new to tinnitus. People can get better, either with it completely disappearing (like my girlfriend’s friend) or by it significantly reducing in intensity like mine. It just takes time.
       
      • Like Like x 7
      • Winner Winner x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. Rb86

      Rb86 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/31/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Thank you for sharing! I'm curious, what was the cause of your friend's tinnitus that went away?

      Either way, this makes me feel good. I'm a little over 3 months in myself with noise induced tinnitus.
       
    3. MarkX

      MarkX Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Was your tinnitus somatic? Could you increase the sound by moving your neck all the way to the left or right or opening you jaw? What would you say your tinnitus is on a scale of 1 to 10 now? I'm so glad it's very mild now for you. I hope to get there. I'm 6 months in now. It hasn't seemed to have gotten better yet. Mine also is not noise induced either. Just started one day while watching TV.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Cleat90

      Cleat90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure - Mid Range Hearing Loss / Stress / Bruxism

      She didn't know. She had no hearing loss or other easily identifiable underlying cause. She assumed it was either noise trauma she wasn't aware of or stress related. All that really mattered to me was that she said it went away over time - gave me hope.

      Stay hopeful, 3 months isn't that long. I honestly believe time is a great healer in terms of Tinnitus.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Cleat90

      Cleat90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure - Mid Range Hearing Loss / Stress / Bruxism
      No it's not somatic but you've reminded me of something I should have mentioned in my post. I have bruxism and clench my jaw in my sleep. I'm not sure if it's related because I've had it since before the tinnitus started but you never know.

      I'd say my tinnitus is now at a 0.5-1 most of the time with a very rare spike to 6 which lasts a short amount of time. Like I say I only really hear it now in quiet environments like in bed, in my office if i'm alone or the other week when I was out walking and it was very very still - no wind.
       
    6. MarkX

      MarkX Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Did you do anything for the Bruxism that helped with tinnitus? Did you wear the mouth guard? I really hope mine reduces to that level as well. I'm 6 months in. When did yours started to lower to that level? You said you are 8 months in.
       
    7. JohnAdams
      Greedy

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      good news!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. all to gain

      all to gain Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Incompetency of GP! Own naivety!
      What did you do at nighttime to sleep?

      What did you do to meditate? Anything in particular?
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Cleat90

      Cleat90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure - Mid Range Hearing Loss / Stress / Bruxism
      I’ve had the bruxism since before the tinnitus and only used to wear the night guard when I was stressed but now I wear it all the time. Not sure if it’s related or not.

      It’s been over 8 and almost 9 months since onset now. I’d say it was around the 5/6 month mark I noticed some difference and then it’s got continually better since then. I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the timeframe to be honest. I think obsessing over how long you’ve had it isn’t good. My advice is to focus on the feelings the tinnitus brings you. I don’t know if that helped mine get this much better but it definitely helped my general well-being.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Cleat90

      Cleat90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure - Mid Range Hearing Loss / Stress / Bruxism
      When it was really bad I used to have an app called relax melodies which I’d play the sound of rain hitting a roof on to mask the tinnitus as best I could. Now I don’t need to because it’s so quiet. It can still annoy me occasionally even at this quiet level but I just need to distract myself enough by reading to fall asleep.

      Meditating was tough. I used to lie on my back and do a breathing exercise whilst listening to some calming music at a level where I could hear the tinnitus. Every time I felt “brave” enough I’d turn the music down and listen more to the tinnitus but be able to relax. I used to do this every day but as the tinnitus has got better in recent months I only do it every so often/ when I feel stressed and that’s not to combat tinnitus it’s just to relax. Like I say I don’t really know if anything I did helped it’s just what I did - if that makes sense.
       
    11. all to gain

      all to gain Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Incompetency of GP! Own naivety!
      So you would listen to the tinnitus whilst meditating? How come? So you just did deep breathing? For how long?

      I wish I could read whilst having tinnitus. That would be a dream come true.
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Cleat90

      Cleat90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure - Mid Range Hearing Loss / Stress / Bruxism
      Yeah so I’d slowly build up to listening to it. I just told myself that if I was going to have it I’d need to become okay with listening to it. Meditation and reducing the music volume over sessions would help me do that. My outlook was it would either get better and that would be amazing or I’d have to learn to be comfortable listening to it. I had no other choices.

      I feel your pain - there was no way I could have read in the first months but now mine has reduced so drastically I can and it even takes my mind off the now quiet noise.

      I hope you get to where I am. It’s possible so keep hope.
       
    13. MarkX

      MarkX Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I would seriously be so happy if mine came down to a .5 or 1 level. It's at an 8 for the last 8 months. I try so hard to ignore it and keeping going but it's so loud that it's just faking it. I hope I get there too.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    14. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      @Cleat90 -- I actually think there's a good chance your tinnitus stemmed from your bruxism, or was at least a contributing factor. I've had bruxism for years, and never was able to find a mouthguard that worked for me. Just recently, I started doing self-acupuncture around my TMJ and ear areas--wherever there's any tightness or tenderness. It's actually pretty amazing how much more relaxed my face will feel the next day. Anyway, something you may want to consider. Who knows what might eliminate that last annoying bit of tinnitus you have left?
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    15. Agrajag364

      Agrajag364 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      The guard might be related. I had an ENT lately who was sure lots of cases were connected to TMJ.

      There are a very large number of stories of tinnitus getting better in the first year so it might just be spontaneous. It’s much rarer to hear that after one or two years.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Cleat90

      Cleat90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure - Mid Range Hearing Loss / Stress / Bruxism
      I don’t know a whole lot about TMJ but perhaps you’re right. I’ll certainly check it out - thanks!

      I think your point on stories of people getting better is very important. I still don’t think it’s said enough and that can be really helpful for people new to tinnitus. Its why I came back to write this story.

      Having said that, it’s sad that people can get stuck after one or two years and a very scary prospect. These people need other support and for us all to keep pushing for a cure.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Cleat90

      Cleat90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure - Mid Range Hearing Loss / Stress / Bruxism
      My mouth guard is custom fitted by my dentist. It was quite expensive but worth it. I don’t think I clench as much now and if I’ve had a particularly “clenchy” night I can tell because my jaw aches slightly like it’s had a workout.

      I can’t say I’ve noticed a coronation between my jaw aching and the tinnitus being worse but you could be on to something. I’m up for trying, either to get rid of this final annoying bit of tinnitus or even just to help relax my face. Thanks!

      Quick question - has your tinnitus improved/ gone as you’ve began to relax your jaw/face?
       
    18. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      @Cleat90 -- At 18+ months in, my tinnitus is still quite intrusive. However, it has changed since onset in Feb. 2018. It started out at a level 10++ of screeching cicadas, which held for a few months. This then gave way to a level 10+ high screeching sounds for a few months. This then gave way to a variety of level 10 sounds that felt less intrusive. Since then, I've now improved to various ebbs and flows, occasionally getting down to a level 6, but more often around 7-8.

      So I have improved over 18 months, and feel the self-acupuncture, self-massage, self-Gua Sha (and more), have all helped in bringing down my uncontrollable tinnitus. I know part of my tinnitus is somatic, and I just discovered a technique that, although it's too early to tell for sure, seems to be modestly helping my tinnitus. At the least, my upper back area is feeling way better, and my sleep has improved since doing it. Here's a link to a 5-min. video:

      The Simplest and Most Effective Exercise For Thoracic Extension

      I think the above technique is almost a must for anybody who sits a lot, which puts a lot of tension on the upper back and neck areas. Which of course can extend down into the shoulders, TMJ, and on and on. I'm just a big believer in doing any kind of home self-help that will keep the whole uppper back and neck areas as nimble as possible, as it all can have an outsized influence on tinnitus loudness and/or intensity.

      If you do follow up on the self-acupuncture (I think everybody should learn some basic points), you may want to consider putting them in your brainstem area. It can stimulate the vagus nerve, which in turn can stimulate the auricular branch of the vagus nerve. One day that I put in the needle (very simple!), I actually felt a slight tingle over in my right hear. Which told me I was on the right track.

      The main benefit I've gotten so far from doing brainstem points however, is that it has significantly improved my neck, and especially my range of motion. Within less than a week, I was astounded how fluidly I was turning my neck as I drove. Wasn't even expecting it, but I'll take it! :)
       
      • Informative Informative x 3

Share This Page

Loading...