New Member Introduction — Tinnitus Came Out of Nowhere

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ZZZukas, Nov 25, 2019.

    1. ZZZukas

      ZZZukas Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown / Hearing Loss
      Hello all. Quick version: Last December my tinnitus set in full time. It didn't really bother me until January. But since then it's been intrusive into every moment of my life. Quite often I get upset and it drains a lot of my energy, but even though on the inside I feel torn apart, outside of my immediate family you wouldn't know it's affecting me. I've been lurking on this forum since March, and can't tell you how much this support has helped me deal with it. I just decided to join because I felt like I had some things to add to the conversation.

      Longer version: In October 2018, I started noticing certain sounds (violin, children's voices) were causing discomfort in my left ear. If I wore an ear plug in that ear only, it didn't happen, and strangely, it seemed frequency dependent, because just general loud sounds didn't cause discomfort. grown men could be significantly louder than children, but only the kids voices hurt.

      In December 2018, I settled in one evening to read a book and noticed ringing in my left ear. It slowly built over the next months and peaked in March. That's when I went to the doctors/ENT, mostly because of the discomfort thing. I got an audiogram and it showed left ear loss above 1 kHz, peaking at -50 dB @ 6 kHz. Right ear dipped to -30 dB above 2 kHz, again normal below. In the most rude way, he diagnosed sensorineural hearing loss, said that discomfort was me getting used to hearing loss, and there's nothing to be done. I've since seen several ENTs because I could tell that discomfort was not at all related to hearing loss. All of the subsequent ENTs have diagnosed some form of eustachian tube dysfunction, ranging from them not opening at all to being all the way patulous. So to date, I still have the discomfort to certain loud sounds, ENTs have not properly diagnosed the root cause of the discomfort, tinnitus will spike for < 1 minute after loud clanks (silverware on plates or in the sink), and the tinnitus is mind boggling.

      If I have something to keep me preoccupied I can deal with it for that period of time, but in reality most of the days mental energy goes towards pushing through and it's tough to find more energy to do things. I don't know what "habituate" means because I've heard it every second of every day since March and it's basically un-maskable. Even when I'm heavily focused / distracted, I still hear it.

      Thanks to all you on this forum. While I wish it didn't have to, it has helped me tremendously to cope. Hopefully soon research will knock this one out.
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to the forum. It seems that you have some degree of hyperacusis first in October 2018. Usually H follows tinnitus in the case of acoustic trauma. But since you didn't say you have suffered some loud noise exposure before H, I am not sure what could have caused the H. If you suspect ETD may be the cause of your T and that some fluid is blocked from drainage, you can search youtube for its many methods posted there.

      When we talk about masking, the objective is not to totally overwhelm T but to match its loudness or even a bit lower to T. This way we can learn to cope with T without a lot of mental stress. Have you tried heavy rain or cicadas or even shower sounds. Even I remember when first got T, I just masked it everyday, every minute if I could because the ringing could cause relentless anxiety and panic attacks. Any masking to me was better than facing the tinnitus dead on with no other sounds around. But today I can handle it alone which is a miracle to me compared to how scared I was with the T scream back then.

      You may want to try post for more support from the hyperacusis forum as your description seems to point to some form of hyperacusis. Take care. God bless.

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