My Tinnitus Is Reducing in Volume!

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Purple Parrot, Feb 5, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      I know, I know...

      I said in my previous posts that I wouldn't be here for a couple of weeks, but I've been so excited about my progress in the last week that I felt compelled to come here and make a post.

      But....

      It's getting better!!!

      It actually isn't entirely gone but it is so, so much better and I've actually had periods of silence. Brief lived periods, yes, but incredibly - periods of silence where I couldn't even hear ringing if I put my fingers in my ears.

      What's my tinnitus like?

      My tinnitus started late 2015 after an extremely stressful month. I was worried about a potential health condition, which had the symptoms of tinnitus - I make the mistake of listening and there it was! As soon as I noticed it, the volume seemed to treble. I could hear it very prominently in most places, except in the shower...it's not always a consistent sound, either. The sounds change and can sometime "pulsate". It would be nice if it were a constant sound!

      As a person prone to anxiety and panic, tinnitus has been a real issue for me from a mental health perspective. On the first day with it, I actually wound up in the emergency department of a local hospital, as I was so panicked and distressed that I felt like I wanted to jump off a bridge! Literally! One of the worst things has been that sometimes it is so loud, that I can barely mask it.

      The months since have not been easy and it has taken a real toll on my mental health. Sleeping in particular has been a real issue with whining in my ears constantly. Having said that, it hasn't been so bad in the last month as it was late last year- I would attribute that to some degree of habituation. Not total habituation or even half habituation, just some habituation.

      The origin of my tinnitus:

      It's all fairly self explanatory. I've got "normal" hearing range (for spoken words) but I had ear infections and glue ear as a kid, grommets....as a teenager I loved punk rock & heavy metal music. I used to go to a lot of gigs. I played in bands as a guitarist. Listened to headphones. I've probably given my hair cells a battering over the years....add to that, I've had chronic anxiety for years & years...add that altogether and you have yourself a perfect tinnitus candidate!

      What helped me?

      I watched all of Julian Cowan Hill's videos on YouTube. I'm not going to lie, I thought it sounded like a load of rubbish when I first watched it - he practices craniosacral therapy, which is well outside of the thing I would normally buy into, as it didn't seem particularly scientific...but...for some reason I kept watching his videos. I found his demeanour very soothing and he seemed quite knowledgeable. He's also a former tinnitus sufferer (for 16+ years), so it was nice to watch someone who knows what it's like!

      I decided I would buy his books - both of them available on Amazon as ebooks. I read both of them and they are full of practical advice. Much of the advice is based Julian's theory is that tinnitus is a symptom of the central nervous system being in "red alert". There could be any number of triggers for tinnitus - but the thing which keeps it going is a CNS which is in overdrive. This kind of made sense to me - I've read quite a lot of literature about the effect of trauma on the body. The body actually has its own memory and holds onto traumatic experience (which is basically any experience that the body and mind find overwhelming). Mental health professionals are starting to recognise that the body and the mind are incredibly interlinked and that to release trauma, it is necessary to work directly with the body. My therapist actually told me that one of the questions on the health insurance trauma survey (she is a trauma specialist) is whether people have tinnitus. So trauma and tinnitus are interlinked, too.

      Many of the characteristics Julian described applied to me - driven, perfectionist, upset stomach, etc. I thought I would give it a go - try and make my nervous system "settle" by working on myself, going to a body based therapist, going to a psychotherapist to try and resolve some of my issues and adopting a mind/body practice (e.g. Tai Chi and Yoga). I also read "Full Catastrophe Living" by Jon Kabat-Zinn and have started going mindfulness practice. I've been avoiding stressful and overstimulating material and have tried to stick with immersing myself in uplifting material.

      Julian talks in one of his videos about candida, sugar and tinnitus and how he did not fully resolve his tinnitus until he dealt with his issues to do with candida. I've read quite a lot about the gut recently and how it is sometimes referred to by scientists as being the "second brain", due to the large number of neurotransmitters produced in the gut and the large number of neurons located in and around the gut. I decided to do the "Clean Gut" program, by Alejandro Junger, which cuts out a number of potential inflammatory agents, e.g. dairy, soy, wheat, sugar, peanuts, alcohol, coffee etc. I've continued with this program and have separately noticed massive improvements in my mood, energy levels and particularly my irritable gut symptoms. They have all but disappeared.

      The outcome

      I've been very diligent about doing the above. I have been going to a psychotherapist for talk sessions, going to a massage therapist for body therapy, regularly practising yoga and mindfulness meditations most days. For a number of weeks, I didn't experience any improvement and in fact the tinnitus actually got worse- having said that, my emotional reaction of the tinnitus wasn't as bad, because I was feeling a lot more relaxed and well. -But the actual tinnitus itself was worse. I wondered if I was doing the right thing, but decided to persist anyway. That's why I decided to take a break from the forum - I thought maybe it was drawing my attention to my tinnitus a little too much.

      I have persisted with Julian's advice for nearly 2 months now. It is only this week that I have really noticed it starting to pipe down and back off. It's been this week that I've noticed those still rare, intermittent and brief periods of silence. But they are periods of silence nonetheless! Interestingly, it's only since I started to stop caring whether or not it went away and stopped obsessively focusing on my symptoms, that it's started to pipe down. I suppose it would be nice if it went away entirely, but at the moment, I'm sufficiently OK with things and calm that it wouldn't matter if it didn't go away. Having said that - I've made such good progress so far that I think it's a very real possibility.

      I get spikes quite often and they are annoying, but I don't panic about them, because that doesn't help and I know I can get through it. I never would have thought I'd be here that night I ended up in hospital wanting to jump off a bridge. One of the lessons for me and for other tinnitus people from this is that we shouldn't catastrophise about the future. Who knows how things will turn out? The vast majority of people, even people with very severe tinnitus and with chronic depression/anxiety, go on to get better. It just takes time. So don't make projections about the future based on present suffering. And if you are going to make projections about the future, tell yourself that it's going to get better, because the odds are very much stacked in your favour that it will! Whether that means habituation, a partial recovery or full recover - it will get better and life will go back to normal.

      Big hugs!!
       
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    2. baz 22
      Alone

      baz 22 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Thankyou for your uplifting story. Did you find the massage helped? I was thinking of getting a massage and some acupunture since it is in my town. You think they may help?
       
    3. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      I definitely think massage helps, because massage is relaxing and relaxation is beneficial for mental health, which is in turn beneficial for tinnitus.

      I tried acupuncture and had a positive experience the first time around and then didn't experience much the next couple of times I went.

      If I had to choose, I would go for massage - it's more relaxing imho.
       
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    4. noisebox
      Loved

      noisebox Member

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      West End show. Came back 2015 vitamin D overdose prescribed
      Your story is excellent and helpful but as you only had t a short while there was always a massive chance it would self resolve. I had T in the 1980's which resolved totally for over 20 years.
      You are very lucky to have access to all those therapies. here in the UK, I originally had to wait 6 months for an ENT referral. And after my relapse last year I waited over 6 months to see an NHS therapist who turned out to be useless and refused to try and understand T and H. My GP suggested a health psychologist and the service said no we don't take referrals form GP's.
      I think your proactive approach is what helped you the most, you feel you are helping yourself and that is vital after we are told tough it will be with you forever, go live with it.
       
    5. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      Yes, I am lucky. The "access to therapies" came at a cost, though!

      I understand in the UK that doctor appointments are free through the NHS. Not where I live. I spend a small fortune going to General Practitioners and audiologists etc. I am now somewhat broke! Oh well :)

      Psychotherapy is not free either. I was fortunate in that my workplace had an employee assistance program which offered some free sessions of therapy (a limited number). Otherwise I would have been paying a pretty penny! She was not a tinnitus specialist or anything, just a regular therapist.

      With massage, I actually went to the local massage school and got sessions with students there, which made it a lot cheaper. If you have a school in your area I would suggest checking it out.

      I didn't pay for the yoga classes - I go to www.doyogawithme.com, which is a brilliant website with plenty of free classes.

      There are stories of tinnitus self resolving after 2 days, 2 years, 10 years, 20 years etc, so I think people should remain hopeful and not obsess too much about "tinnitus anniversaries".

      All the best :)
       
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    6. ceauses97
      Speechless

      ceauses97 Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/12/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music/chemotherapy/hypercalcemia
      How long did it take for your tinnnus to resolve and what was the cause back then?
       
    7. noisebox
      Loved

      noisebox Member

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      West End show. Came back 2015 vitamin D overdose prescribed
      Back in the late 1980's when I got it I had recently had a baby, with surgery and had another young child and had spent many months in hospital. It was not noise that's for sure. It may have been stress but I certainly was not aware my situation had stressed me. So it was a mystery. I had in several months and I simply must have been too busy to bother too much, but I didn't have H and it was not reactive so I think that makes it easier to cope with.
      I had forgotten i ever had it until it came back in 2012, but this time I think from a very loud West End, London musical.
       
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    8. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      I've reintroduced a number of foods into my diet and unfortunately the tinnitus increased in volume somewhat (although not to what it was before)...as did my anxiety.

      Food intolerance can be a factor!
       
    9. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      An update: through my elimination diet, I have discovered that I have an intolerance to dairy and gluten. Pretty much any time I eat either of these foods, it will result in a "spike" (not immediately, just sometime in the next 24 hours).

      The tinnitus is still with me, but it's gone down in volume a lot. Since I posted this thread, it has gone down in volume some more. I've stopped with my rigorous regime and the volume has stayed at a fixed level since. I guess I lost a bit of motivation as it doesn't bother me or panic me as it used to do. I just notice it for a second and then I don't even think about it anymore. The "back to silence" thread was a big help for me in calming the negative emotional reactions I was having. It wasn't a quick fix, but over time, it was a big help. My brain is getting that used to the sound that I really have to focus on listening to it, as it quickly gets bored of the sound and goes into "ignore" mode.

      My biggest tip for people out there is to take steps to calm your central nervous system down. You might think you're relaxed now, but after you take up body based practices, you start to realise how much unconscious tension you're holding onto. If you can calm your central nervous system down, then this is really going to help you to ignore the tinnitus and it might even help to get the volume down as well.
       
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    10. Pan
      Joyful

      Pan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress? Earwax?
      I'm very thankfull for this post! I'm happy to read that after your tinnitus worsening, it got better! I've started to do a cranio like treatment aswell and after my thirth session a week ago I got this very intense reaction. I think it was anger, but not from my mind but from my stomach (now I'm typing this, things even start to get more clear) and since then the T also has been a bit more angry. Where did you get the elimination diet?
       
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    11. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      I did the "Clean Gut" diet by Alejandro Junger. The book is available on Amazon.com

      It was extremely tough but it was definitely worth it!
       
    12. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      So I decided to give eating wheat and sugary foods a go earlier in the week and it was a big mistake.

      Tinnitus not only returned but was louder than I have ever heard it before... and stuck around.

      Will not be eating wheat foods again anytime soon!

      Thank god for yoga and cranio osteopathy, I finally managed to get it to pipe down again today!
       
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    13. Mario martz
      Creative

      Mario martz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2016
      So craneosacral is working for you too?
      i think its starting to work on me!
       
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    14. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      Yup. It has been a huge help to me.
       
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    15. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      @Purple Parrot
      Thanks for sharing. Much like my story.
      Just to add, when we stop monitoring our t, that is where the real progress can often be found.
      It allows the other parts of the brain that hang onto t and bring it to the forefront to finally let go of t, resulting in habituation and/or lessening of t.
       
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    16. VickiD

      VickiD Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No idea :(
      Brilliant post x
       
    17. Purple Parrot
      Bookworm

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      Happy to report I am tinnitus free now and have been for some time :) I am VERY careful with my ears now - I even wear earplugs in our shower (which has a really noisy fan).
       
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    18. Kairamasonmommy

      Kairamasonmommy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear irrigation
      Can you tell me the things you did that helped?
       
    19. billaro4
      Balanced

      billaro4 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      well Purple Parrot, firstly a massive thank you for such a positive and detailed description.

      My situation is similar. Noise started with stress in 2015 and got worse through a neck injury and even worse this july with a stressful month of work.

      I'll follow your ideas and see how it goes.
       
    20. TMLB

      TMLB Member Benefactor

      Location:
      British Columbia, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Thank you for post. Myself, like you, find Julian Cowen's you tube posts to be very calming and hopeful. I've started a yoga regime and will be taking a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program soon. Will give the clean gut diet a go -- thanks for that information.

      I've found two apps that I downloaded to my phone to be helpful in providing me with stress reduction -- Headspace is one and the second one is Calm.

      It's going to be hard work but I find that reading posts such as yours gives me confidence that it will go down at some point.

      I'm very happy for you. Thanks again,
       

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