My Tinnitus Journey — Did Listening to AirPods or Stressful Week at Work Cause My Worsening?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by jrc123, Feb 24, 2021.

    1. jrc123

      jrc123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possible noise or stress
      Hi all,

      This is the first time I have written on this board but have been a big reader of it in the past 5 years since I got tinnitus. I thought I would share my success and current times.

      I originally got tinnitus back in October 2016 one evening whilst falling asleep peacefully (I thought) but I was stressing about something so small and I heard a pop and there started my journey with tinnitus - the joys!

      I believe the factors were: I grind my teeth, I was taking sleeping pills to help sleep and I was stressed... ooh and I went to a loud wedding a week before... all of these factor played a part I believe.

      The intensity was probably 7/10 and I heard it over everything. It started in one ear and the other one started to follow - annoyingly

      I set up a plan each day so I knew how to get through the day - a big saviour of mine was having a nice relaxing bath!

      I did all the usual things I have seen in this forum, ENTs , scans etc... all a waste of time - my opinion.
      I spent months of sleepless nights... a complete pain in the ass! Probably had a couple hours a night!

      It took around 2.5 years for it to get to a state where I heard it only when I went to bed - down to a 1.5 out of 10.

      I had spikes like everybody else, some really short ones lasting for 10 seconds and some I woke up with a blocked ear that took a 2 days to clear.

      I thought I was over it!

      Cut to November 2020. I had a cold and this blocked one of my ears and probably the eustachian tube. I went to the GP who rarely knows anything complex like this matter and gave me a nasal spray... 3 days later this passed. Huge relief as this was the longest spike I had had with a clogged ear.

      From my learning I tend to get 3 type of spikes:

      Type 1: a loud noise nearby send a sharp thud in my ear.
      Type 2: out of the blue whilst awake one of my ears tends to go dull for a second and a spike appears for a minute or 2.
      Type 3: I wake up and one of my ears is clogged and the tinnitus is heard much more.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Now on the weekend just passed I woke up with a clogged ear, no cold present, no pains anywhere on my neck or jaw.

      The right ear was the clogged ear. The fullness has gone down to about 10%, sounds sound very reactive and tinny and the ring has gone from a quiet hiss to a louder tone. My head feels very static feeling.

      One thing that is weird... When I touch one of my ear canals, the other ear echos/beeps?!
      What's up with that?!

      The only thing I did the night before this worsening was listen to my AirPods at a safe level, and perhaps had a stressful week at work which is common.

      Has anyone had this before? Any recommendations?

      Best,
      JRC123
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @jrc123,

      I know some people tend to read this forum and not post. However, you're the first one I've met that has been a big reader, to use your words and post for the first time in 5 years! This has got to be a record. It is nice of you to make your presence known to us, so welcome aboard.

      I have been here for seven years so you have probably read some of the posts I have submitted. You might also be aware of my views, that the most common cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud noise. Typically, it is the use of headphones, earbuds, headsets including AirPods that are responsible for causing it or making the condition worse. Although you are using the AirPods at low volume, the moment I saw you are a user of these devices it drew my attention. Nine times out of ten, the people I correspond with whose tinnitus has got worse after they have habituated, the cause is using headphones or being exposed to other forms of loud noise, once there is no underlying medical problem within the auditory system that is causing the tinnitus to increase. The spikes you are experiencing could be related to using the AirPods.

      Since you have asked for recommendations my advice is to stop using the AirPods and any type of headphones, headsets. Of course the choice is yours whatever you decide to do. If you feel the ear blockage and fullness is related to something else within your auditory system and this is possible, it would be a good idea to be seen at ENT for tests.

      All the best
      Michael
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jrc123

      jrc123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possible noise or stress
      Hi @Michael Leigh, nice to meet you and thanks for the message!

      Yes I have seen some of your posts over the time of looking at the site!

      I had an annoying couple of days which has given me a nice setback... but that's tinnitus I guess!

      Totally agree on the headphones and I won't be going back to them soon, if ever again!

      Currently it's a different kind of tone to what I have had in the past - I'm hoping it will quieten down.

      I guess, like I have seen in the past, it takes time and patience!

      From your experience in the past years on Tinnitus Talk, do you find things like this to settle down?

      Many thanks for the advice.
       
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    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      In your post you mentioned having a cold, clogged ears etc and you went to your GP who prescribed a nasal spray. These symptoms could be related to ETD and if they don't clear up after a while, I think you should be seen at ENT so do have a word with your GP about this.

      The spikes you have been experiencing makes me believe they are related to noise induced tinnitus, which was probably the original cause of your tinnitus. I think your symptoms can improve but for this to happen I advise the following: Don't use any type headphones again even at low volume. This also means when your tinnitus improves and you don't have anymore spikes. I know this seems drastic but if you want to help yourself this is my advice. In addition to this, when listening to music through speakers at home and in the car if you drive, keep the volume at a moderate level. Start using sound enrichment as described in my posts in the links below. Buy yourself an Oasis sound machine model S-650 is popular, and place this by your bedside to play low level sound enrichment throughout the night until morning. It will take time to get used to using sound enrichment as much as 6 to 8 weeks but try to persist with it.

      Engage in the things you like to do as this will help take your mind off the tinnitus. Give it time. Read the following articles on my started threads, and I think you will improve: The Habituation Process, Will My Tinnitus Get Worse, Tinnitus and the Negative Mindset, Acquiring a Positive Mindset, Hypercausis, As I See It.

      The idea is to help reinforce positive thinking because tinnitus is mostly mental. By this I mean it is an integral part of a person's mental and emotional wellbeing and cannot be separated from it. For this reason it's important to have a positive mental attitude - I am not saying one has to be positive all the time but if a person becomes consumed/overwhelmed with negative thoughts about tinnitus and the way it makes them feel, the condition can become worse. More is about this is explained in my posts, and advise that you read them more than once to reinforce positive thinking. They are a form of counselling.

      Take care
      Michael.

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Tinnitus, A Personal View | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jrc123

      jrc123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possible noise or stress
      @Michael Leigh, thanks for your time and your response!

      I shall keep you posted on my progress. It’s going to take time and patience like the first time!

      Are there anything natural that would help me sleep better or any vitamins I should try taking in the meantime?

      Thanks.
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Start taking Ginkgo biloba and magnesium or Magnesium citrate. Follow the instructions on the bottle. They are usually available from health food stores, Amazon and eBay. Some of the benefits are mentioned in my article: Tinnitus, A Personal View, in the link I have given you. One of my ENT doctor's recommends them to his tinnitus patients.

      Give it time for the tinnitus to improve and try not to focus on it too much. Use low level sound enrichment in the way I've suggested, so avoid sleeping in a quiet room.

      Take care
      Michael
       
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