My Tinnitus Seems To Be On Life Support. What Now?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Brian Walker, Mar 5, 2016.

    1. Brian Walker

      Brian Walker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      - Tinnitus started about a month ago in my right ear only (ringing/tea kettle)
      - I have a history of going to loud bars but haven't been to one in over a year
      - Sporadic earbud/headphone use throughout my life. I never really listened that loudly.
      - I have played a crickets white noise app on my iPhone for the past 2.5 years at 35% to 50% volume when sleeping. I now realize that it may have been too loud. Since the T started, I play it at 15% volume and will continue to do this.
      - No recent problematic medications

      After freaking out and having a ton of panic attacks, I visited the ENT and then an audiologist. ENT said my ears look fine and my audiologist said my hearing up to 8000 Hz is perfect (I know that doesn't mean that I do not have hearing loss at higher frequencies, but it is good to know that I am good up to 8000 Hz while I still have the chance to protect myself.

      The noise was constant for the first few weeks and got much louder during my panic attacks. My hearing test was on Tuesday, and I was surprised that I did not hear the T in the soundproof room with the noise cancelling headphones. I did hear my heart pounding though!

      Over the past few days, I have checked my T numerous times in quiet rooms. On Wednesday morning, I could not hear it all morning despite plugging my ears. For whatever reason, it returned in the afternoon.

      Since Thursday, I can barely hear it at all in a quiet room. Maybe every 7 or 8 seconds I will hear it quickly, but it seems to die off immediately and is not constant at this point.

      Regardless, I am now informed on how to protect my ears in the future. Earplugs at concerts, loud sporting events and bars.

      I am still freaking out though and my anxiety will not let me relax. I feel like it is going to return to how it was, and I cannot stop testing it in quiet rooms. I will literally sit there and listen for it as hard as I can.

      Does anyone else have experience with their T dying off but kind of still being there?
    2. Purple Parrot

      Purple Parrot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015 - 3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multiple: anxiety, childhood ear infections, loud music
      First thing's first, you need to stop looking for the tinnitus. Resist the temptation to block your ears or go into a quiet room to see if it is still there. I did this myself for about a month and it's one of the worst things you can do for tinnitus., because it will make it seem louder.

      What you are wanting is for your brain to ignore the sound and if you keep checking up on it, it's going to keep being at the forefront of your mind. What you should be aiming for is for your brain to tune out to the noise. In my opinion, the best way to do this is to practice mindful acceptance (observing feelings as they arise can be very helpful for this - read the "back to silence" thread for a very helpful technique for accepting emotions as they arise) and then the rest of the time, keep busy and do things you enjoy (i.e. distract yourself, mask the noise if possible).

      In many people (myself included), tinnitus hangs around for a few months and then quietens down substantially or disappears altogether.

      Being anxious and panicky is going to make the tinnitus seem louder, so if possible, try to focus on doing things which will calm down the anxiety. Cognitive behaviour therapy, mindfulness, yoga, self-help books, gratitude journaling, exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep - these are all going to help. If it's too much, go and see your doctor. Being on anti-anxiety medications for a short period of time really helped me to cope when my tinnitus first arrived on the scene
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