New Member, First Post, Any Advice Greatly Appreciated

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Adam Smith, Aug 18, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Adam Smith

      Adam Smith Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      Hi Guys, I've been suffering with tinnitus for around 20 years now, I first damaged my hearing at a rock concert when I was 16, it did take a while but it did quiet down over time, I was able to sleep at night by having a fan switched on and if I went to any more shows/concerts I always wore ear plugs. Fast forward to April 2015, I was eating breakfast in a mcdonalds of all places, and due to a mechanical fault, the roller shutter door came down, got stuck on an advertising board, backed up on itself and crunch! The sound was so loud it actually distorted my ear drum, I was heart broken as I knew major damage had been done.

      The tinnitus in my left ear got louder, and then since January this year, another problem started, everything seemed louder, I had no idea what was going on, going to the cinema was painful, if I scraped my knife on my dinner plate, that was painful. Obviously it was the start of hyperacusis, and I begin having a few tinnitus spikes, it would be loud for a month then it would quiet down again. It take me a while to work out what was happening, so I decided to splash out and buy every foam ear plug available and I've been wearing them ever since, even at home whilst preparing food, I put on a pair of industrial ear defenders.

      About a month ago, I spent a day in London, and even though I wore ear plugs, my tinnitus spiked, so now I'm living in damage limitation mode and have accepted that I can't go the cinema, attend shows/concerts etc, no more days out for me. I used to enjoy walking into town, but even with wearing ear plugs, the traffic noise is too great, so if I do go out, I visit the local shopping mall very early in the morning.

      As for work, I'm a wedding photographer, which means I only have to leave the house around once a week, I wear ear plugs and overall it hasn't been too bad, with being at work and the stress of a wedding day, it takes my mind off the ringing and when I return home of an evening, my tinnitus never seems any worse.

      I've recently started to take high does of ginkgo/q10/b12/magnesium/zinc, basically everything thats ever been mentioned on the internet. Also, every time I swallow, I get a crunching/clicking sound, if there is a problem with my eustachian tubes, can this be treated and would it help the hyperacusis/tinnitus or is it just wishful thinking?

      I live in the UK and I did visit my GP after the incident in April last year, but she laughed it off and said I'd need to give it time, it is worth going back? I know hardly nothing can be done for tinnitus through the NHS and I often find I simply get fobbed off, but perhaps if I return with any knowledge I can gain from here I stand a better chance of being taken seriously.

      I know the first thing people will say is to stop wearing ear plugs, otherwise the hyperacusis won't get any better, but I'm in a catch 22 situation, I can't allow my tinnitus to get any louder, if it gets any worse then life will be unliveable, a terrible thing to say but I'm sure we've all been there.

      So sorry for the long post, but I felt I'd best explain everything. So to recap, I can't allow my tinnitus to worsen, I'm Mack's (ear plugs) best ever customer, everything seems louder in my left ear and I get a crunching/clicking noise every time I swallow.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post and I'm grateful for any advice you can give.
       
    2. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Welcome to Tinnitus Talk @Adam Smith.
      I would recommend not wearing plugs as much as your ears will become supper sensitive.
      I know you are only protecting them but tinnitus can be caused through so many reasons like catching a cold or ear infection and plugs won't stop that so try not to be over cautious and just keep your plugs handy in your wallet.
      Have a up-to-date audiogram and always push for help from your doctor if needed and don't get fobbed off ....lots of love glynis
       
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Adam Smith

      HI Adam, and welcome to the forum.
      Some of the best help and long time aftercare for tinnitus is through the NHS. I have had very good care for twenty years. However, this does vary throughout the country. I advise you to return to your GP and ask to be referred to ENT as I believe you need treatment for your hyperacusis and tinnitus. One of the best forms of treatment for these conditions is the wearing of white noise generators and used as part of TRT (tinnitus retraining therapy) if available. I have had TRT twice under the NHS.

      I fully agree with the advice that Glynis has given and advise you not to wear ear plugs all the time. Not only will you make your ears more sensitive to sound you could develop phonophobia, which is a fear of sound and more extreme than hyperacusis.

      You may find the post below helpful: Answers to Hyperacusis and habituation.

      All the best

      Michael


      Answers to hyperacusis and habituation.
      Hyperacusis.

      Two questions often asked about tinnitus are: How long does it take to habituate? How do I know if I have hyperacusis?

      One of the main causes of tinnitus is exposure to loud noise. Quite often though hyperacusis, (sensitivity to sounds) accompanies the condition. This is because the nerves in the auditory pathway have been subjected to noise trauma and thus become highly sensitised. Hyperacusis can be extremely painful. It can cause tinnitus to spike sometimes making it last for days until it settles down again. Within this time the person affected can be in a lot of discomfort.

      Music that was once pleasurable to listen to through a home music system or radio is now an ordeal so one prefers not to listen to it. The closing of doors, washing up of kitchen plates and cutlery is enough to send a person running for cover, as it can feel like a pneumatic drill is piercing through your ears and head. It can become such a problem a person is afraid to venture outside their home in fear of road traffic noise sparking an increase in their tinnitus due to their sensitivity to sound.

      One of the best ways to treat hyperacusis is by using “sound enrichment”. This can be achieved in many ways but I one of the best to wear white noise generators. Two should be worn to keep your auditory system in balance. The sound level of these devices must be adjusted correctly so as not to cause further irritation to a person’s auditory system, which can make the hyperacusis and tinnitus worse. It is best to always make sure their sound levels are set just below the tinnitus. Wngs are usually worn for up to ten hours a day. Two things are achieved over time.

      The hearing system is constantly subjected to low-level non-intrusive white noise, which will help to desensitise it. Secondly, they help the brain to focus less on the tinnitus and push it further into the background making it less noticeable. This form of treatment is also known as TRT.

      An alternative to wngs is to use a tabletop sound machine that plays nature sounds. This can be used for sound enrichment to help the healing process of hyperacusis. Again it is best to set the sound level just below the tinnitus. As previously explained sound machines can be very useful at night by the bedside and in the day used to fill in the background ambiance in room.

      Treating hyperacusis takes time as there is no quick fix and everyone will respond to treatment differently.
      Please bare in mind that a person with tinnitus and hyperacuisis, if the hyperacusis is left untreated sensitivity to sound will always remain a problem. In some cases hyperacusis can get better naturally without using sound enrichment but there is no guarantee.

      A word of caution. Some people use earplugs to help suppress external sounds because of their sensitivity to sound. Earplugs are available but should only be used when in noisy surroundings and not to suppress normal every day sounds, as doing so can prevent the healing process of hyperacusis.

      Habituating to Tinnitus.

      Habituating to tinnitus often seems shrouded in mystery for the more seriously affected people that are in distress and have had to seek help at ENT. It can be particularly difficult for people that are new to tinnitus to comprehend. How does one know when they have habituated to their T and more importantly what does this actually mean?

      The following doesn’t apply in every case of tinnitus for there are some people that have large fluctuations in their T and every day can be a different experience. This is one of the most severe forms of tinnitus and medications may be required to help cope with the condition. Habituating to this type of tinnitus is still possible to an extent but does present additional problems.

      To others I will say this: You’ll know when you have habituated to your T regardless of whatever treatment you are using via ENT etc as your brain will over time push it further into the background so it becomes less significant, in a similar way to the people that have mild tinnitus. Although your T may be present and on occasions it will spike, over time it will cease to be so much of a problem unless you deliberately focus on it and bring it to the forefront of your mind.

      Michael
       
    4. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      @Michael Leigh ,
      Great to see you on the forum my dear friend....lots of love glynis x
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. Adam Smith

      Adam Smith Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      Many thanks for taking the time to reply, I do appreciate it. I've contacted my local doctors surgery and I've made an appointment for Monday morning, I'll do my very best to get a referral to a ENT specialist.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Thanks Glynis. It's good to be here....
       
      • Like Like x 1

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