Never Thought I'd Find Myself Here, But Hello!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by MichaelF6161, Sep 12, 2018.

    1. MichaelF6161
      Balanced

      MichaelF6161 Member

      Location:
      VA Beach
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to Gun Fire
      I've had tinnitus for two weeks now due to an incident at a shooting range. I won't bother you with the details, but I made a really stupid mistake with my ear protection while shooting a friend's rifle. Since then, high pitched ringing 24/7.

      I've seen an audiologist for testing, and she says I have moderate hearing loss and permanent damage to my right ear. She suggested getting a course of prednisone started and seeing the ENT's at the teaching hospital in my area. Still waiting for that appointment.

      Sleep is the biggest challenge. I've gotten some sleep medication and a noise machine, and at best I'm getting 5-6 hours. At worst, 2-3. Not good. I have other health issues, and this sleep deprivation is not helping at all.

      I'm a bit panicked, and need some support, so here I am.

      Anyone else's tinnitus due to gun fire? Any vets out there? Love to hear some words of wisdom from those who have successfully managed this condition. Researching the heck out of it, but boy is it hard to know which way to turn. From supplements to very expensive hearing aid/masking devices.

      Thanks,
      Michael
       
      • Hug Hug x 7
    2. Rogerde2018
      Alone

      Rogerde2018 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Etd
      It will take some time but you will be able to sleep back to normal, just be patient. For me took 5 months to be able to sleep my 7 hrs ...
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelF6161
      Balanced

      MichaelF6161 Member

      Location:
      VA Beach
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to Gun Fire
      Thanks Rogerde2018. Any tricks to help you get back to normal sleep patterns? Medication help? Noise machines? I've got both on the way, but feel so groggy with sleep meds.
      Maybe slow release melatonin?
       
    4. another sean
      Studious

      another sean Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Los Angeles
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Long duration of low audio
      Alcohol Free Passion Flower drops help me sleep. Just drop it in your mouth, forget the water.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelF6161
      Balanced

      MichaelF6161 Member

      Location:
      VA Beach
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to Gun Fire
      Thanks Sean. I'll give that a try. I've got a pretty decent natural foods/supplements/herbs store near me.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelF6161
      Balanced

      MichaelF6161 Member

      Location:
      VA Beach
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to Gun Fire
      A member by the name of Tamika has started a 'conversation' with me. If you read this, I cannot figure out how to reply. No matter where I look within this message feature, I see no way to reply.
      Can someone help me with that?
      Thanks
       
    7. Jonstorm

      Jonstorm Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ?anxiety ?dental work
      Hi @MichaelF6161
      Im in a similar situation to you although I didn't get my T from gunshots. Sleep is almost universally hard at the beginning from what ive seen. Im now 6 weeks from onset. My first 2-3 weeks were the worst with sometimes only 3-4 hours sleep which was incredibly interrupted and poor quality as well. I have been improving on that front and I have no doubt you will too it just takes time. Once you get a bit better sleep life (and T) will get a bit easier.

      A lot of active forum members on here seem to state its essential that you use 'sound therapy' at night to help your brain tune out the T but for me and many others they found additional sounds just made their T appear to get louder or that it just another sound to distract them from relaxing. I have slept better since moving to sleep in silence or near silence. I still have good days and bad days but can get up to 7 hours or so now albeit usually in broken sections. This may be hard at first but will often get better. I encourage you to try out both ways and see how you feel. Universally people say to have the sound therapy/masking quite quiet and don't try and drown the T out as it wont work.

      Sleeping in silence does not stop people habituating to T and many people in the success stories threads moved to sleeping in silence just fine. There is very little scientific evidence out there that sound therapy helps specifically because it is often combined with CBT during tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT).

      Try to focus on managing your anxiety when hearing the sound- mindfulness for example using smartphone apps like Headspace can help manage your anxiety.
      Also try and get fresh air and exercise if you are able.

      From meds point of view its obvious that sometimes they can help in the short term. Longer term you really need to try and get off them especially addictive benzos or Z drugs.
      I am currently taking magnesium and L theanine at night with a herbal tea. Im not sure if it helps but the ritual seems to help even if just due to placebo effect.

      You will have ups and downs on the sleep front as well as your mood. Try to ride them out as you are aiming for gradual progress to habituate over several months and day to day life can be very erratic I have found.
      Message me if you want to discuss in private
      John
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelF6161
      Balanced

      MichaelF6161 Member

      Location:
      VA Beach
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to Gun Fire
      Thanks very much for the comments John. I appreciate you taking the time. Yes, I agree the sleep meds are a short term solution, but I feel if I don't do something to battle this cumulative sleep deprivation, I could really get myself in a crisis mode. I'm doing so-so. I perceive this T as moderate to loud, so it's just not the sleeping/quiet room issue. I'm waiting to get into see an ENT, and then again an audiologist who deals with helping the hearing damage/T with a wearable hearing device.

      There's a great deal of conflicting information out there on various therapies. I guess you just have to keep trying things, and whatever works for you, go for it. I come from the clinical cardiac world, and we had some studies with patients experiencing placebo benefit nearing the 26% range. It just demonstrates the healing power of the mind.

      I'll gladly take it!

      Right now, I'm using White Noise App on my iPhone at night at a fairly low level. Yes, you are correct about the attempt to drown the T out. Doesn't work. I'm just trying to blend it with sounds that make my brain think it is a real part of the audio recording. I think it helps to some extent. There is a recording on the app called "Summer Crickets" that really helps bury the sound of the T in my head.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to comment. I will PM you if I think of any other question.

      All The Best,
      Michael
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelF6161
      Balanced

      MichaelF6161 Member

      Location:
      VA Beach
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to Gun Fire
      Can someone please tell me how to start a conversation or private message another member? I've been on similar forums like this, but I can't seem to navigate to the proper area. I've tried clicking on the member name, and then searched for an option to "start conversation" or "private message", but I see no options like that. I also cannot find a "help" section for navigating this type of forum.

      Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks!
       
    10. Lane

      Lane Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      It's been the case for me as well that virtually all masking sounds I've tried makes the tinnitus rev up. The exception has been listening to a spiritual sound I've been using for most of the last 30+ years. I have a 20-min recording of it, put it on a continuous loop, turn it on fairly low volume, and I've been able to sleep now as well as before tinnitus onset.

      It may work well for me, because I was so familiar with the HU sound before my tinnitus onset. So don't really know if it might work as well for you. But I've heard of a number of people discovering the HU song, playing it, and finding it to be calming and relaxing. When I wake up in the night, if I sing along inwardly with the outward sound, I almost always get back to sleep right away.

      If you're at all interested in checking this out further, here's LINK to an hour-long recording of the HU sound. Here's a LINK to a 3-min. introductory video on the HU.

      All the Best!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      get the prednisone asap dont wait even if you have to pay a thousand dollars this is worth it
       
      • Like Like x 1
    12. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      injury from noxious noise
      • Like Like x 1
    13. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      injury from noxious noise
      Accept this problem gave your life a massive shortcoming and be a real help and support scientific research to help all of us make it out of this horror show
       
    14. manny222

      manny222 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise at indoor gun range
      To MichaelF6161. Two years ago in 2016 I inadvertently walked into gun range without ear protection and suffered damage to my ears. I suffered for 10 months with dizziness, fullness of my right ear like having water trapped in eustachian tube, hearing loss that never returned and tinnitus. Miraculously after the 10 months all symptoms disappeared quite suddenly and I felt normal again. I joined the local health club and started to get back in shape after spending the 10 months isolated and confined at home. Then I joined an exercise class and after about a month of being exposed to the loud music, my tinnitus has returned with a vengeance . I had been symptom free for a year until this most recent experience in May. Right now I am devastated and going to ENTs has been a waste of time.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    15. PortalNaut

      PortalNaut Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Late 2/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      @MichaelF6161 My T was from a gun range. I guess it was inadequate ear protection. Has been 7 months since the event. Early on, I got prednisone after 12 days, and it helped. Then somewhere like at 5 months my self-therapy has moved from physical conditioning of the ears/nerves to working on the brain to change it's 'production' of this noise.

      I hope you get what you need. Imo, you need to be pro-active and also accepting at the same time. Anxiety and stress will exacerbate the T. Stay grounded and keeping coping. Good luck.
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelF6161
      Balanced

      MichaelF6161 Member

      Location:
      VA Beach
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to Gun Fire
      Thanks for the encouraging words, which, surprisingly on this forum, seem to be few and far between. Ironic, I searched "tinnitus support" and this is what I got. Okay then.

      I accept that I have this, and may for the rest of my life. I am chasing down every available therapy that is out there and has some clinical validity. Yes, this really isn't an ear or ENT problem, is it? This is a brain disorder. There is no noise. This is neural excitability for a lack of auditory input signal. I guess the best analogy I can think of is phantom limb pain. The limb is gone, but the brain says, no it's not and keeps the signal receptors excited and receiving 'pain'.

      I think real treatments and 'cures' will lie around those researchers who figure out how to disrupt the organized neural activity. It could be pharmacological. It could also be a device implanted sub-cutaneously with leads that disruptively stimulate that area of the brain. Deep brain stimulation is a whole other issue. That is very invasive and risky surgery.

      Anyway, thank you to those who have commented positively to this post. To others, you really should keep your comments to yourself. I have had many challenges in my life, and realize that surrounding myself with the right people is the key to success and fulfillment.
       
    17. Maruashen
      Woot

      Maruashen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014 (increased 10/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mild hearing loss
      It might sound crazy when I say this but the only way to recover is to let it go and accept it.
      I got a similar damage about 11 months ago and I freaked out and though my life was ruined. I couldn't figure out how I could live with the tinnitus.
      First 3 months was the worst, I tried to look for cures that didnt exist.
      After awhile you kinda make it apart of your life and it doesn't bother you that much anymore.
      For me it took about 3-5months to habituate.
      So.. My suggestion is just to try not to stress and give it some time.. It gets better even tho the sound doesn't decrease.
      Just try not to think about it.. And try not to listen after it :)
       
    18. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      injury from noxious noise
      as long as your inner ear is damaged your tinnitus can always come back, I encourage you to look into the science of hearing regeneration as a treatment to get your life fully back.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelF6161
      Balanced

      MichaelF6161 Member

      Location:
      VA Beach
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to Gun Fire
      Thanks for your comments. You are absolutely correct. There is hard data out there that concludes acceptance and commitment therapy significantly reduce tinnitus burden and stress. I am at that point now. Although I will continue to see what management options are out there, I think acceptance is a key to the success of many of these options.
       
    20. Christophe_85
      Alone

      Christophe_85 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Geneva, Switzerland
      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure...
      Hello Michael,

      I used to take Valeriane to help me sleep at the beginning, it helped me !

      And what I did too was putting Youtube videos of Rain sounds...
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MichaelF6161
      Balanced

      MichaelF6161 Member

      Location:
      VA Beach
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to Gun Fire
      Christophe,

      Yes, I have tried valerian tea and I think it did help. My current approach is to frankly try to let my body adjust to this new stimulus when it needs sleep. I used slow release melatonin for several nights, but it did not give much assistance. I was also groggy the next day.

      Whether it is pharmaceuticals or natural sleep aids like valerian or passion flower, I seem to be effected by them the next day. I have been using different white noise tracks playing on my mini-bluetooth speaker at my bedside. This seems to help. I have to find the tone and volume level that blends with my T, but I think I have a pretty good track for now. Luckily, my wife likes the current selection and she falls asleep like a baby with no problems.

      I'm not getting through the night just yet, but I'm doing okay. I wake maybe 1-3 times in a 7 hour session. I'm usually able to get back to sleep okay, so I will take that as a victory.

      Thanks for your comments.
       

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