My Tinnitus Story

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Martin, Mar 2, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      Hello, my name is Martin. End of last year I had a major health scare (unrelated to tinnitus) that caused me a lot of anxiety. I finally saw a specialist who gave me a partial clear. The next day in the evening, the moment I laid down to sleep, the tinnitus started.

      The next weeks I was abroad. I saw an ENT who gave me prednisolone, which helped only briefly, and ginkgo. A hearing test showed that I have a high frequency hearing loss which is slightly asymmetric. Back in the UK I went to another ENT doctor. He thinks that the tinnitus was triggered by anxiety. I got a referral for an MRI scan, but I found out recently that the referral letter did not arrive at the right place and I will have to wait some more weeks for the MRI.

      I started with TRT sessions which I find helpful. I got SoundCure Serenade to try out, but it is too early to tell how helpful it is.

      On some days the tinnitus seems better. But they are always followed by bad days, and I am not sure whether the bad days are related to stress or just random.

      After the tinnitus started I was concerned about my work. Fortunately, I can concentrate on work on most days, but sleeping is a major problem. I do relaxation in the evening and have nature sounds running all night, but I wake up often during the night and don't get enough sleep. Up to now I avoided sleep medication but wonder if I should try some. Any advice, on sleep or otherwise, would be much appreciated.
       
    2. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      Hi and Welcome Marin!

      Did you get any meds during the time of your major health scare that you referred to in the first paragraph?

      About sleep issues...
      Some here like me have taken melatonin. I took liquid melatonin but stopped as I think I had a bad side effect. Worked great though! I now just have 2 cups of Sleepy Time and Chamomile teas before bed. And if I am tossing and turning I jump right into the big guns and take a wee bit of a 1 mg lorazepam!

      Nice to have you abaord!
       
    3. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      Hi Callum,

      No I did not take any medication during the time of the health scare.

      I like Sleepy Time too. It helps me to fall asleep, but not to sleep through.

      Thank you for the advice on the sleeping meds.
       
    4. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      Sorry, Calin, I got your name wrong.
       
    5. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      Martin,

      Your case sound very similar to mine. I too had some health scares that sent me into a state of severe anxiety. In the midst of it, I came down with tinnitus. The one difference for me is that I took a Xanax, fell asleep for about and hour, then woke up with my ears screaming. Prior to taking the Xanax I remember my ears not feeling right and bveing extremely tense. I sometimes wonder if the tinnitus had already started at that point, but I was not consciously aware of it.

      I too have a high frequency hearing loss (in the range of 12.5-14 kHz), and my ENT suggested anxiety/stress as a possible cause. Lastly, I too had a very difficult time sleeping - I would wake up 20-30 times a night. That has gotten better with time. I still wake up several (maybe 5 times) a night, but that is a lot better than 20-30. My tinnitus varies quite a bit not. Some days I hardly notice it for several hours; other days, it is way to loud to not notice it.

      Its about 4 months since mine started.

      mick
       
    6. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      Mick,

      Your story is indeed very similar. My hearing loss starts already at 8 kHz, on the right side even at 6 kHz. The frequencies of the tinnitus seem to be similar.

      I usually wake up every one or two hours, and after 4 or 5 hours it gets more and more difficult to fall asleep again.

      Did your tinnitus get quieter with time or has it stayed the same?

      It sometimes feels as if my tinnitus is fully active, fully firing, but has moved a bit into the background. But I might imagine this.
       
    7. Fish
      Balanced

      Fish Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2012
      Hello Martin, welcome to TT. I would like to ask you - on what basis did the first ENT doctor give you prednisone? I understand it was aimed at relieving the tinnitus symptoms, but you didn't say anything about noise trauma. Was there "sudden hearing loss" involved? Do you feel that your hearing has suddenly worsened at the same time along with tinnitus? And is your tinnitus bilateral or just one ear?
       
    8. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      I can't say for sure whether it has gotten quieter or that I have gotten used to it and that has made it easier to put it in the background. There are times where it seems as bad as it was when it first started and I couldn't sleep for two days. Other times I would swear it is much quiter, but then the volume seems to ramp up after I think about it. I find staying busy and doing my best to just ignore it helps the most. Up until a week ago I had to use masking sounds at work to be able to concentrate - I would run a fan and play masking nature sound on my computer. Now I am able to get by with just the fan running.

      The other thing that has changed for me over time is that my doctor prescribed a heavy dose of Xanax for the tinnitus initially when I could not sleep. There is no question in my mind that it helped reduce the perceived volume of my T for a couple of hours after taking a dose, but after that it would be max volume until my next dose. I have been weaning myself off the stuff and aside from just feeling much much better as I've reduced usage of that junk (I hate the feeling that drug produces) I find that the low perceived volume times last much longer. I suspect that I was going through a little bit of Xanax withdrawal between doses and that is what made it worse. I'm almost off Xanax now - only taking 1/16 of a mg a day. I hope to be done with it entirely in another few days. If I had known what a horrible drug it is to quit I would have never taken it to begin with.
       
    9. Emma

      Emma Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Hi Martin. I just wanted to suggest to you, that when you do get an MRI that you should bring some ear plugs with you. I found the machine to be pretty loud. I am glad I had ear plugs with me. I got a head MRI and when I recently went to an ent, he wanted me to get another mri of the ear. He said it would show more detail. I thought the head mri would have covered the ear region. I am wary of getting another mri just of the ear, and wont be doing it. But just make sure what type of mri you are getting- head or ear? I guess they are looking for tumors with the head mri. Just better to ask before you get it.
       
    10. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      I was not aware of my hearing loss before the hearing test. The first ENT doctor was in Germany. As I understand it he prescribed a short term high dosis of prednisolone to treat the beginning of the tinnitus. I received on four consecutive days 200mg, 150mg, 100mg and 50mg of prednisolone. The tinnitus very briefly was better, but almost immediately worse again. My tinnitus is bilateral but often feels like coming from the inside of my head.
       
    11. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      It seems to be a general pattern that good and bad days follows each other. That makes it more difficult to realise if there are changes. It is good that on the whole you experience improvements. Staying busy and trying to ignore the tinnitus seems to be a general advice.

      I will keep in mind what you wrote about Xanax.
       
    12. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      Thank you for the suggestion, Emma. I was not aware that the MRI machine is loud. I am getting a scan for the inner ear. The reason is the asymmetric hearing loss. My ENT doctor said that it is unlikely that they find anything, but there could be causes that one should treat.
       
    13. Emma

      Emma Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Just maybe make sure that it is OK for you to wear plugs. I never got an ear mri, maybe the ear plugs would obstruct the view of the ear? But the ear plugs of course wont reach the inner ear. Maybe just double check with doctor if it is ok.
       
    14. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      When I had my head MRI they used thick pads on my ears under the MRI head helmet. It was loud inside the chamber, so take precautions!
       
    15. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      Thanks for the info, Emma and Calin. I'll talk to my ENT about precautions.
       
    16. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      Does anyone know what are the typical waiting times for an MRI scan
      on the NHS in the UK?

      In January, my GP referred me for an MRI scan because I have an
      asymmetric high frequency hearing loss. When I checked with the
      hospital last week I found out that they had mislaid the referral letter
      for a second time (it was resent already once end of February).

      I am afraid that I have to wait again for several weeks or months.
      I can't be sure that my waiting time since January is taken into account,
      it is difficult to get a clear answer or find the right person to talk to.
      I am worried because my bad ear seems gets worse, but I am not
      sure if I imagine this or if it is for real.
       
    17. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      Oh man! Unbelievable! so sorry!

      Ya know, the odds of an MRI finding something suspicious are pretty low. I have only heard of one person that had something wrong requiring surgery... He was a doctor himself and still has ringing and then got a balance issue after the surgery.

      I am in the US, so I can't help you with the NHS. :(
       
    18. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      Thank you for the reassuring words, Calin.

      I am mainly worried about the asymmetry. I was given
      SoundCure to try out, and on the right-hand side I have
      to put the volume several levels higher than on the left-hand
      side before I hear the high tone. I find this unsettling, I don't
      know the reason for it, and I want to be sure that there is no
      cause behind it that needs to be treated.
       
    19. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      I notice when hearing specific tones that I will have to turn up the volume on the really high pitches... but I can still hear them. The audiologist told me for my age (I am a couple years older than you) that is normal... nothing to worry about and gave me a good audio report.

      I am not worried about it.. I can hear regular everyday sounds just fine.

      How is your hearing in general?
       
    20. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      My hearing at low frequencies is good, but I have high frequency hearing
      loss around 6 or 8 kHz. My audiologist says it is age-related. I am 53 years
      old. On the left-hand side the high-frequency loss is mild, on the right-hand
      side it is moderate.
       
    21. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      OK.. I see. Are you being recommended for a hearing aid?
       
    22. Martin

      Martin Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      18/12/2012
      My audiologist did not recommend a hearing aid
      but said I could try one if I wanted.
       

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