My Tinnitus Story (Played in a Touring Band) — Current Relapse, Accepting Positive Vibes!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by leeroymo, Jun 8, 2021.

    1. leeroymo

      leeroymo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hey, everyone. My name is Lee. I’ve been a lurker on here since the onset of my tinnitus in October of 2018. Here’s my story:

      I’m *fairly* sure that my tinnitus is noise-induced, but there certainly may be some other contributing factors to it as well. Playing in a touring band for years as a guitarist makes me the ideal candidate for tinnitus, as I also was known to head-bang VICIOUSLY and FREQUENTLY as a part of my performance. Whiplash, perhaps? I also have TMJ problems (undiagnosed, but I have popping and crunching in my jaw, and my tinnitus gets louder with certain jaw modulations). High blood pressure is also an issue. It’s hard to tell the exact cause but I’m willing to bet that it was noise-induced.


      My tinnitus started 2 nights after leaving a job I had worked for 7 years, and while wearing headphones and listening to some pretty loud music. I pulled my headphones off to reveal a high-pitched ring (probably around 15 kHz, but I’m afraid to even attempt to verify), and I entered panic mode. I’d have called the volume probably a 7 out of 10. I was sensitive to many natural sounds, but the worst part was this shrill electric buzzing noise that would show up and oscillate when I was really stressing over it. I kinda just threw some money at the issue (audiologist, supplements, dietary changes, noise apps, various other things) and waited it out, using masking techniques for when I was home and trying to watch TV or play video games. After maybe 5-6 months I had reached a certain level of habituation. I could still hear the noise, but it only really bothered me when I thought about it. The shrill electric noise was the worst part, and that had mainly subsided, as well as the sensitivity. I eventually made the decision to stop masking at night, and I was fine. I was starting to get my life back, with some modifications of course. My tinnitus had maybe gone down to a 3 or 4 out of 10, volume wise.

      Fast forward to May of 2021. It’s been about 2.5 years since the onset of my tinnitus, and I’ve had a pretty normal life. However, I left another job at the end of May that I had worked for the last year, and it was around that time that I noticed the volume of my tinnitus start to rise again. I had admittedly reverted back to a lot of my old habits after my tinnitus became tolerable (eating bad, wearing headphones with low volume, smoking marijuana, etc.), but the sound had not bothered me for a long time. I initially didn’t worry so much about the rise in volume, as I had minor spikes in the last 2 years that almost always subsided within minutes. However, between around May 25th and today (June 8th), I have taken a very negative turn. It has gradually gotten worse over the last 2 weeks, and I’m back to square one. The shrill electric buzz noise is now almost constant, and pretty much impossible to mask. The sensitivity to sound (hyperacusis) has returned as well. I’d now call the volume a 9 or 10 out of 10, with it still being apparent over all environmental noise as well. I’m attempting to replicate a lot of my actions from the original onset (supplements, ear protection everywhere, eating better, lowering blood pressure, ATTEMPTING to mask), but the last week has been very, very hard. I had my first actual full night of sleep last night, aided by an essential oil diffuser, rain noise in the background, and Melatonin. I also have begun acupuncture therapy as well in my attempt to get this buzzing to subside. I’ve had small moments that are tolerable, where the buzz isn’t present or the noises themselves are a little more faint, but it’s a mostly bad and not much good, currently. I’m certainly at an all time low with my tinnitus currently. It’s truly excruciating.

      Now that you guys know my personal story, I’ve come here to seek some support, advice, encouragement, tips, etc. And I will first say that I honestly don’t want to hear negativity about this. I only want to hear positivity and success stories. I have hope that I can come out of this spike, and I’d love to hear some positive stories. My questions/concerns:

      1.) Rehabituation. Have some of you rehabituated after having an extreme spike? What did you do? How long did it take?

      2.) The anxiety/depression behind this is the crusher. What are some ways you guys cope with the anxiety of your tinnitus? Do you take medications? What medications have worked for you?

      3.) I have a job that CAN expose me to some semi-loud noises. I work at a restaurant where there are clanging dishes, music on the stereo, various other outdoor noises (I live in Nashville, TN. Lots of construction around here.) Should I be wearing ear protection at work every day? Does the lack of audio stimulation make the tinnitus or hyperacusis worse?

      4.) Any treatments that you guys believe helped you get over the hump?

      These are just some of my questions and concerns about this current spike. Any good vibes or helpful advice would be so appreciated. If you made it this far, thank you for reading!

      Much love,
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Robster

      Robster Member

      South Gloucestershire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma - MRI
      I'm a fairly new sufferer myself so some of your questions I can't really answer. In regards to question 3 you should definitely wear some form of ear protection - for example musicians earplugs if you work if a noisy restaurant.

      Good luck and I hope things improve for you.
    3. kingsfan

      kingsfan Member Benefactor

      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      I was going to reply to you more in full when I finished up work, but yes, I would absolutely wear earplugs working in a restaurant kitchen. I would grab some foam earplugs from Target or 3M foam earplugs from Home Depot to use for now while you decide what kind of musician's plugs you are interested in.

      That's right, you wrote that you were a touring guitarist, so you may already know the drill with earplugs. If not, it's cool, I never played with earplugs either until my last few years when I started using in-ears.

Share This Page