My Tinnitus Recently Got Worse. :(

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Peter_Sweden, Jan 8, 2016.

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    1. Peter_Sweden
      Doubtful

      Peter_Sweden Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2015
      Hi!

      First of all, I'm sorry to see that we are so many having this horrible problem. But at the same time it somehow feels good that I'm not one of few. But I really hope that in a near future we have all get cured. :)

      I just registered here and here's a short summary of my history of tinnitus:
      May 2015 - I got my tinnitus (most likely after too loud music in a friends car). I now got really depressed and had some tough months ahead blaming myself for not protecting my ears during the car ride.

      July -2015 - I started to get used to my tinnitus and I started to not think about it so much and started to enjoy my life again. I still went out to bars and clubs but always with ear plugs in my ears when it was loud music.

      November - 2015 - I started a 3 months long travel in Thailand and after one week I went out with some friends to some bars with loud music. My problem here was that I had forgot my ear plugs at the hotel and decided to not go back home. After some beers the pretty loud music didn't feel that bad...one of the bad sides with alcohol. Around 1 week later I noticed that my tinnitus had got worse and I heard it almost 24/7. I got a new depression and when I had been in Thailand for three weeks in total I decided to travel back to my home country as I felt so bad. After around one week back home I started to feel better and I then also started to not think about my tinnitus that much even though the sound was pretty much the same. Life was good again.

      New Years Eve 2016 - As I felt better and some of my friends had earlier booked a travel to Thailand to meet up with me (as it was planned that I should stay there until February) I decided to go there again. This time I told myself that I would never ever go out to bars/night clubs without wearing ear plugs. We went out partying for maybe 4-5 hours and as promised I used the ear plugs the whole time (ear plugs that were told to reduce the level with around 39 dB). Late in the night I started to hear that the ringing got worse and I told my friends that I need to go back to the hotel which I did. The day after the ringing was still there with the increased volume.

      Today - I have now had the same level of ringing since New Years Eve and as both times earlier I have got a little bit depressed. I'm once again very angry on myself and thinking why the h*ll did I go out at all? But I did still think that with ear plugs it should be ok for me as it had been after I got tinnitus the first time. I have not been very sensitive to sounds this third time compared to the previously two times....not sure if that's good or bad with regards to the chances of not hearing/thinking about the sound that much soon.

      That was my short (long?) story. :) I would be very happy if some of you could help me to answer some questions that I have. It would be so kind of you!

      1. Do you still think I have a chance to get my good life back as I had before New Years Eve? I mean will the louder sound level perhaps go down again or that I won't think as much of it as I now do?

      2. If you think it will get better, do you know how long time this may take?

      3. I have read so much about different ways that can reduce/remove your tinnitus. Do you have any guidence of which way would be the best? CBT, ACT, TRT or anything else?

      Thanks a lot in advance!

      Best regards,
      Peter
       
    2. daniel1111
      Shitfaced

      daniel1111 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced, repeated exposure with loud headphones.
      Hi Peter,

      Try not to be angry at yourself, all of us that suffer from noise induced tinnitus wish we could go back in time and undo what we did, but that kind of thinking is not going to help anything. We are in this situation and the quicker we accept it the quicker we move forward with our lives.

      Tinnitus is often so closely linked to our emotional state too, so being angry and stressed about it will certainly make it louder and/or more noticeable.

      The tinnitus itself is not an actual real sound, it's a phantom sound. When you habituate to it and have moments of silence, as happened to you, you just don't notice it. Based on anecdotal evidence I believe you will be able to habituate to it again. I don't know how long it would take, but it could be similar to the previous times. It's only been a week and I think that's too short to notice improvement, it seems like around 3 weeks is often when people start to manage their tinnitus a little better.

      I don't have experience with professional treatments, but I do know that analysing your tinnitus, thinking about the volume or pitch of it and trying to decide if it's better or worse, will usually make it worse anyway. Try really hard not to analyse your tinnitus.

      Keeping depression at bay will help you significantly. You need to find activities that you enjoy and keep your mind distracted. I found that sitting at home was really bad for my tinnitus and train of thought, going out for long walks (1 hour or more) around the city took my mind off of it at least a little bit, those brief respites are necessary to keep a healthy mind.

      Good luck, I hope you start to manage it better again soon.

      Regards,
      Dan
       
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    3. Peter_Sweden
      Doubtful

      Peter_Sweden Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2015
      Hi Dan,

      First of all, thank you very much for taking time to read my story and for your detailed answer. I really really appreciate it! You gave some really good tips which I definately will think of. Even I have noticed that when I'm busy doing some activity I think less about the tinnitus. When I don't do anything or when it's not much noise around me then I notice and listen to the tinnitus more.

      Regarding the habituation it sounds promising and I hope that I will notice some improvements within some weeks/months. I read on some website that a very important thing to reach the habituation is to always (or as much as possible) have other sounds around you. Is that true? Is it because the more you hear other sounds the less you will hear the tinnitus and the more habituated you will get? I mean, I luckily don't have any problems to sleep, but as long as I'm i Thailand I have an airconditioner on which gives some noise, but when I'm back from my vacation and want to sleep, should I then have some music or some other sound which should be played the whole night to easier and quicker achieve habituation?

      Also, does habituation mean that I will never/rarely hear it or that the sound level actually gets lower?

      And finally, if I don't see any improvement within some months, would it be good to try the TRT (tinnitus retraining therapy)?

      Once again thanks a lot Dan!

      Best regards,
      Peter
       
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    4. daniel1111
      Shitfaced

      daniel1111 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced, repeated exposure with loud headphones.
      Hi again Peter,

      I'm glad you found my post helpful!

      Regarding sound masking and habituation, there's no official answer to this. My thoughts are than sound masking is needed if you are unable to sleep due to the annoyince of tinnitus, or if it's particularly stressing you out from time to time for some emotional respite. At other times, I think it hampers habituation because you can't really get used to something that you can't hear anyway. Also, it tends to bring focus back to the sound when you stop masking it.

      But I can also understand with strong tinnitus you can't really just accept it, and masking is just necessary to stop yourself going crazy.


      It's basically that you will notice it less and less, so you will have moments which seem like complete silence whether the sound is there or not. Also that if you do hear the sound, it doesn't annoy you anymore. you don't think "oh that annoying noise" you just keep doing what you're doing. It can also become quieter, but again this is because your brain is paying less attention to the sound.

      You should seek treatment if it doesn't get better after a while yes. I've seen that some people have success with TRT but I can't speak from personal experience on treatments.

      Regards,
      Daniel
       
    5. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      just my 2 cents -- my own, personal experience of periods of habituation is not what I would describe as "perceiving silence", I don't really know what that means at this point. But, I've been able to spend extended periods working quietly on a computer, or reading, in mostly silent rooms and not have any conscious thoughts about my tinnitus. So, that's just how I'd describe it.
       

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