My Tinnitus Success Story — Please Read Carefully

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by TinniGone, Dec 10, 2020.

    1. TinniGone

      TinniGone Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I am sharing my honest success story, but please read carefully the context and how I treated my tinnitus. It might not be applicable to everyone. I am not a doctor. Always consult with a doctor.

      CONTEXT

      It all started in 2010. I was 30. It was a party weekend, having gone clubbing for two consecutive nights. On the latter night, a large speaker was placed on the wall right close to my head.

      The morning after I had the ringing in both ears. I often had the temporarily ringing after a loud night, but this time I knew it was different. On other instances, the ringing would be barely felt when I would wake up. But this time it was still loud.

      Three days later, with the ringing lower but still very annoying, I went to an ENT and my hearing showed weakness on some frequencies. I was just told "there is no nothing we can do, time will tell".

      All this was happening at a stressful moment in my life for personal and professional reasons. I am overly ambitious with OCD. I have always had a successful well paid job, but it was never enough. I always wanted more.

      THE DEPRESSION AND TREATMENTS

      The ringing persisted in my right ear. The left ear had a faint "fax machine" like noise, which was barely noticeable and mostly not bothering. But the right ear still had an unpleasant very high pitched whistle, similar to those old TVs (not all might relate).

      I felt my life was shattered. I couldn't focus, nor enjoy simple pleasures. Most people couldn't understand my suffering. I could only find relief at the mall or when taking a shower. Otherwise the high pitch ringing would be mostly audible.

      Around two weeks after the onset, I was recommended to get an appointment with an "innovative" ENT. He prescribed high dosage of cortisone (though he felt it was late) for few days and referred me to a psychiatrist who prescribed me Xanax for few days. The ENT was keen that I took the medication but couldn't prescribe it, hence the referral to the psychiatrist.

      Three days later, the ringing had subsided significantly. I stopped the medications and felt that I was done with the tinnitus.

      But couple days later, the tinnitus came back fluctuating. The psychiatrist refused to prescribe Xanax any further.

      I tried many options over the following 2-3 months: Gingko Biloba, and others, but to a limited success.

      ACCEPTABLE SILENCE

      A friend of mine told me about a psychiatrist with experience with tinnitus. His diagnosis was immediate: "your personality and anxiety are driving your fluctuations". He prescribed Xanax for 3 months. He told me "give it some, don't think about the tinnitus. Enjoy life and exercise."

      I started (again) Xanax. Not much impact in the initial days, but I decided to be patient. In the meanwhile, I had addressed many of my personal and professional issues. Few weeks later, and without directly noticing, my tinnitus had become mostly un-noticeable. I don't know if it happened suddenly, or progressively, but one day I just became conscious that my tinnitus wasn't much there. On most days, I could only hear it when in a perfectly quiet room.

      The prescription was extended by another 3 months, followed by 1 month of winding down. The psychiatrist's instructions were clear: the withdrawal has to be progressive and carefully managed. I was able accordingly to discontinue the Xanax without any symptoms.

      Throughout these 7 months, I had no side effects from the Xanax, with the exception of some sleepiness in the initial days. But I prefer not to disclose my dosage as this is subjective and has to be instructed by a doctor as there are serious side effects with Xanax if the wrong dosage is used or without an exit strategy.

      Xanax was for me a magical pill, albeit I knew it was likely a temporary solution. But I definitely couldn't continue my life taking this serious medication.

      In my subconscious, I always had the fear that the tinnitus might eventually get stronger after I stopped Xanax.

      SINCE LATE 2010 UNTIL TODAY

      Post the Xanax treatment, I resumed a normal life. But let me be clear: the tinnitus was always there, but on most days I could only notice it in a quiet room.

      I have been careful and took care of my my ears which included avoiding loud noises, or otherwise using ear protection if in a loud pub or club.

      I have been exercising on most days, playing tennis, football (soccer), and jogging.

      I took a daily multivitamin pill.

      Every year since then, I would have a tinnitus flare once or twice a year. They usually last 2-3 weeks. Sometimes they come strong and frustrating. I couldn't find a particular pattern or trigger for these flares, but they would mostly occur after a long stressful period. But throughout the years, I identified vitamins and pills that seemed to calm the flare. These included: Vitamin D, Vitamin B (all of them), and melatonin (before sleeping). They have worked in my context and usually kick-in after few days. Additionally, I am taking anti-histamine when my tinnitus coincides with seasonal allergies.

      Finally, the above is based on my personal experience. It is not applicable to all cases. Please always consult with your doctors, especially those that truly understand tinnitus.

      Tinnitus is complex. It is not just about the ears. I believe it is actually about the brain and nervous system. Its treatment requires addressing anxiety and any vitamins/minerals imbalance.

      Be patient and good luck. You will be fine.
       
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    2. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      So do you think the Xanax actually helped you recover?
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TinniGone

      TinniGone Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      In my case, mostly likely Xanax was the magic pill. But this is in my case. My tinnitus was noise induced, in one ear, very high pitched.

      It is a medication that must be taken under supervision of a medical doctor.

      To be clear: I still have the tinnitus but can barely hear it only in a very quiet room.

      I usually have a few spikes per year where the tinnitus is louder which lasts 2-3 weeks. To treat it, I take Xanax and Melatonin at night, with Vitamin D in the morning. I’m confident that they are the reason my spikes calm down.

      I hope this helps.
       
    4. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      Thanks, mine is also noise induced. My psychiatrist wanted me on .5mg Xanax 3x per day but did not articulate that it would help healing, merely that it would be palliative. I’m 5 months in and still struggling, so going full out on benzos seems like one of the few remaining plausible options.

      I found Kava, a natural substance similar to benzos to be helpful, but it isn’t enough of a reduction to resume a normal life.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TinniGone

      TinniGone Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Xanax took me 2-3 months to kick in. I continued for a total of 6 months followed by 1 month of progressive withdrawal.

      Since then I only take it at night when I have spikes together with Melatonin and Vitamin D.

      But can you describe your tinnitus? Is it constant or fluctuating? High pitched? Are your ears overly sensitive?

      Your profile says you were cured in 2016-2019, then severe. What happened?
       
    6. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      I had mild tinnitus in my right ear from some weights falling at the gym in 2016. It started as the typical eeeee then faded into a softer noise, and then eventually it just went completely away, and it never really bothered me.

      Now my tinnitus is in both ears, is reactive, meaning it gets louder with noise exposure, and is quite loud. This occurred when a train went by me very close and used its horn at full volume. My tinnitus varies in terms of sounds, from a dooooooooooooo tone, to atonal tsss tsss tsss and a couple of other things.

      I'm a pretty strong responder to Xanax - I have a prescription and generally take .5mg once every 1-2 weeks when I want a break - when I do that the tinnitus diminished about 75%, and I can ignore the rest. This happens after about an hour and can last almost 24 hours.

      The idea of taking Xanax regularly is intriguing to me - I feel like when I take one it kind of allows my ears a chance to stop the Glutamate explosion happening, but I have no proof. The flipside is I know for many people who take it for months, when they get off, their tinnitus is indeed louder. It's great you did not experience that side effect.

      To me this is just another tinnitus mystery, some things make people better, the same things can make people worse - I have no good data with which to make a decision, but I am intrigued by your account.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TinniGone

      TinniGone Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Tinnitus is indeed a mysterious condition. Is it the ear? Is it the brain? No one really knows.

      I believe that Xanax is a magical medication. I was able to take it for 7 months with no addiction whatsoever. Of course under the supervision of a medical doctor.
      My tinnitus has been mostly not noticeable since then. I have some spikes (usually one a year) which I can rapidly reduce by starting Xanax (very small dosage at night) and Melatonin, also vitamin D could be playing a role.

      Do you have any hearing loss? In my case my hearing is great, although it was damaged in the initial days post the acoustic trauma.
       
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    8. Benjaminbb

      Benjaminbb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown - possibly debrox - noticed after debroxing.
      So I'm guessing you're at about a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10? How high would you say your spikes go in comparison?
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TinniGone

      TinniGone Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Since then I have indeed been a 2 or a 3 over 10. Sometimes I would say even 1. My spikes look like 5 to 7. But to clarify: even during a spike I don’t hear it for instance when taking a shower.
       
    10. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      I have no pronounced hearing loss on a standard audiogram - one frequency is at 15 dB, the rest below. That being said I’m sure more advanced tests might turn up some damage.
       
    11. Uklawyer

      Uklawyer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication - antidepressants
      That is an amazing story. I will hold on to it. I am taking Valium right now under supervision to get me out of the shock to my system and the accompanying anxiety. And it provides me with periods of silence. I pray that I can achieve something like you have done with your treatment.

      I wish everyone on here luck with their search for a level of peace.
       
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    12. T Toledo OH

      T Toledo OH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/26/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely loud noise and earbuds
      How much of Xanax were you taking?
       
    13. Mags

      Mags Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Mid October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      I'm having a similar experience with Clonazepam. Within 3 weeks of taking it my tinnitus went down a lot. Mine started due to stress/anxiety and it was just getting worse until I was recommended a psychiatrist who put me on Clonazepam. I try to keep the dose to minimum. She told me to continue for a few months. Fingers crossed it works and I can eventually get off it. But it is really helping me and I have times during the day when I don't hear it. I've had tinnitus for 5 months now.
       
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    14. twa
      Fine

      twa Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      I hope this works well for you and you continue to improve. My tinnitus actually started when I tapered off of Clonazepam. It was very mild and sounded like cicadas. I thought nothing of it, it never changed and I thought it would subside one day. It remained completely unchanged and unnoticeable for 3 years until I experienced an acoustic trauma 5 months ago. This has completely turned my world upside down. We are all different and so is our recovery. I pray we both find healing and recovery soon.
       
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    15. Mags

      Mags Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Mid October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      Yes every case is different but it is good to try different options. For example I can completely shut my tinnitus down by putting ear plugs in. Something that doctors told me not to do because my tinnitus would sound louder this way and I bet that's the case for majority of tinnitus sufferers. Yet for me it's different. I hope yours goes back to an unnoticeable level soon. Fingers crossed!
       
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    16. T Toledo OH

      T Toledo OH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/26/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely loud noise and earbuds
      How much Clonazepam are you taking each day?
       
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    17. Mags

      Mags Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Mid October 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      Not much, trying to limit it to only at night. At the beginning I was also taking it during the day. It's helped a lot. I don't hear it often during the day. Before it was unbearable. I think its working because mine is driven by anxiety and the meds calm the nerves down. I had MRI yesterday and they didn't find anything and no hearing loss either.
       
    18. racedy

      racedy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection and possibly noise over time
      @TinniGone and @GBB -- so no long-term effects from using Xanax?

      I always have some on hand because I used to have panic attacks. I only use them for emergencies or flights -- my PCP limits how much she prescribes me. It's a shame because I am not a benzo addict -- I once had a Valium prescription for so long that the pills turned into dust.

      I'm having a minor spike now that's been going on for about 8 days now -- much longer than my previous spikes, and also a bit louder. The weird thing about this one is the volume changes constantly. It'll be quite loud and then suddenly cut out, silence, then 20 seconds later it will start up again. I guess my brain is fidgeting with the volume.

      I might try half a dose tomorrow night just to see what happens, and then if I notice anything tell my ENT and PCP. I think if my ENT recommends it to my PCP, she may give me a refill. I really did not like the "behavioral health" doctor assigned to me, although he actually did know what hyperacusis is, so perhaps he'd be open to prescribing me some benzos to get thru this spike.
       
    19. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      No negative effects for me but I use it at most one time per week.
       
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