Never Give Up —Habituation to Tinnitus Is Possible

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Mark21, Nov 29, 2019.

    1. Mark21

      Mark21 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I want to share my journey with all of you. During my time on this board, I read that once people find peace, they leave the board and do not return, I vowed to share my experience if I ever found peace.

      This board was crucial to me reaching habituation. Yes, habituation is real. Do not listen to any negative comments. One major point I want to make is that you can read ten posts. Nine of them will be positive; one will be negative. What I came to realize is that it didn’t matter how many positive comments I read as my mind only focused on the negative… please try not to focus on anything you read that comes across as negative.

      I want to share my journey to habituation, note that I still live with the ringing in both my ears. In fact, I have two separate sounds in each ear. It’s ok as I have reached peace with the sound (it took just under one year)… it has become a part of me.

      The following is my advice and what I have learned. I am in no way a professional or a doctor, just a regular person looking to help.

      1. If you read any post on this board, read “Back to Silence” located in the support forum. I cannot be more appreciative of the advice and comments in this post from so many wonderful and knowledgeable people… read it once from start to finish… after some time read it all again.

      2. Try not to focus on the ringing; ignore it (easier said than done), but it is possible. One comment I read that changed my mind was the sound of a ticking clock in a room. Most people don’t even realize that it is ticking until someone points it out… the mind has learnt to ignore this sound as it is not important. My aha moment was thinking back to the time before I had my friend in my ear. I had just bought a new fridge… I noticed that it was constantly running… as I took the sound as a threat (there must be something wrong with this expensive purchase); its all I ever heard. After some time, I hardly ever noticed it running (it was running), but it was no longer a threat as in my mind the fridge was no longer on it’s way to breaking down… see my mind was focusing on the threat, once the threat was no longer valid, my mind ignored it completely…use the same principle to reach habituation. I will say it again, read “Back to Silence,” as this post brought all of this to light for me.

      3. Change your diet and start to incorporate exercise into your life. No, diet and exercise do not cure tinnitus. I learned that by taking care of my body, I felt much better, the better I feel, the easier it is for me to deal with anything. The above may not apply to all, but it was a big help in achieving habituation. I noticed that consuming sugar increased the ringing; by limiting sugar, I was able to limit the ringing.

      4. Come to accept the ringing. I could not, for a very long time. My acceptance did not happen overnight, it was a very long process. Once I accepted my life began to change. There is nothing I can say to help with acceptance, and this is an individual task that can only be achieved by someone who wants to change. Accept that this sound is what silence now sounds like, even though I can still hear it with external noise in a room I’m ok with it as I have learned to block it out and only focus on the important noise.

      5. Learn to meditate and practice. I started out by listening to sleep meditation videos on YouTube. As I could not sleep, I would play the video on my phone and place it on my pillow… more often than not, I was eventually able to fall asleep. Meditation is very simple but does take practice. Start by laying down, close your eyes and focus on your breath (this is the basics, and it takes time to learn how to block out the noise and really focus on your breath.

      6. Get a sound machine for sleep. At first, I used my phone. After my newborn came, we purchased a sound machine to help him sleep. My wife decided that the crib needed to be moved into our room; naturally, the sound machine came with it. The sound we used for him was waves on a beach, and I listen to this machine still as it relaxes me, and I meditate to this sound in bed to fall asleep.

      7. Try not to look for the medical field to assist you. I have come to learn (after many specialist visits) that the medical field just doesn’t understand tinnitus, how can you blame them. If you have never experienced it, you would never believe it to be real. There just isn’t enough research being done right now. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that they will find a cure or a way to suppress it one day, for now, we must look to ourselves for the cure, and to me, the cure is habituation.

      8. Read and research as much as you can on the topic… then walk away from searching on the internet. This will aid in your acceptance and will help for your mind to not focus on it and in time, learn to block it out.

      There it is. I could ramble on for hours. I wanted to make this as short as possible and want everyone to hang in there and know that peace or “Back to Silence” is real. There is hope; never forget that.

      I wish anyone who is struggling with the sound nothing but the best and understand the fear and frustration that you are going through. Take care and never give up hope.
       
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    2. pinklights98
      No Mood

      pinklights98 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise Exposure
      How often do you hear your tinnitus now?
       
    3. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Vatican
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Do not follow this advice. Research as much as you can. We are all in this together and until this disease is cured we need to all be educating ourselves and searching for a remedy like hidden treasure.

      This person wants you to believe that you are too stupid to do meaningful research.
       
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    4. Luman
      Spaced

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      I've had tinnitus since July of 2017, the same time period as the OP, and agree with everything in his post. I found the Back to Silence method to be one the best ways of learning how to live with tinnitus, along with CBT, mindfulness, and other effective (for many) coping strategies. There is a dire need for scientific research, and hopefully some kind of relief will become available in the near future, especially for severe cases, but I don't count on it, for myself.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mark21

      Mark21 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I still hear my tinnitus from time to time... when I do I am no longer bothered by it. If at anytime I look for it (like right now), it's there (it's ok, as once I become focused on something else it fades into the background). Most of the day I try my best to not focus on it, when I am not focused on it I become unaware that it is there.
       
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    6. Striveon

      Striveon Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      So do you have silence now that your brain is able to filter out the tinnitus?
      Are you able to go out to places without the earplugs?
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mark21

      Mark21 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I wouldn't say that I have silence as the sound is still there, what I have is peace. I have read before that all humans are incapable of hearing absolute silence, and I believe that it may be true. When I am not aware that it is present my mind seems to filter the sounds into the background, to me that in itself is silence.

      I did wear earplugs for a long time and even wore ear protection when cutting the grass. One day, during my morning jog I longed to listen to music (ear buds). After much internal debate I out them in my ear and listened to music (I was terrified of what may happen, yet my tinnitus did not get any worse) to this day I continue to exercise and listen to music (at a low sound level. I no longer use earplugs when cutting the grass. I am still very careful to avoid very loud noises like attending a rock concert (I am able to go to the movies without any difficulty).
       
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    8. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      I don't think that's what Mark means. It sounds the same as how I experienced my coping with tinnitus: research it, learn how it works and how to function with it, but don't let it obsess you. Or in better known terms: you control (the influence of) tinnitus, don't let it control you.

      A cure usually comes after understanding. So long as we don't understand it, our research should not become an obsession. Yes, it needs to be done, but within healthy boundaries per individual.

      @Mark21
      Thanks for sharing, it is a great encouragement!
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mark21

      Mark21 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Tybs
      Couldn't have said it better myself, thank you very much for your comments.
       
    10. jjflyman

      jjflyman Member

      Location:
      Michigan, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise (Concert)
      Mark
      I'm very happy for you. I'm glad your brain has learned to tune out you tinnitus. One thing I would strongly recommend to you (and everyone) is to use ear protection while mowing the grass, or using any power equipment. It is very important to protect your ears from this type of noise, whether somebody has/had tinnitus or not.
       
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