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Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Marc Stegeman, Nov 24, 2015.

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    1. Marc Stegeman

      Marc Stegeman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2015
      Hi everyone

      I'm Marc, an American living in France. I was a professional musician in my 20s and 30s, and while I was aware of the risks and did my best to protect my ears, I've had a mild tinnitus in the 10Khz range for decades. Never bothered me, and only noticed it at night if I actually paid attention to it.

      Since August, after returning from a particularly stressful trip to Brazil, I was hit with a severe ringing at around 8Khz, loud as a whistling tea pot. It lasted a few days, then calmed down for a few weeks. In September, the loud 8KHz came back and has been getting progressively worse. I'm at the 4 month mark now of this new and extremely loud tinnitus.

      All the doctors I've seen reply the same way: you were a musician, you're getting older (I'm 57), it's normal, get used to it.

      But after living with tinnitus for decades, I know that what I'm experiencing now is vastly different.

      To reduce inflammation, I took 9 days of prednisol (cortisone). I've changed my diet to mostly vegetarian, low carbs, and zero alcohol or cafeine. To promote nerve regeneration, I'm taking heavy doses of B1, B6, and I'm also taking B12, C, Magnesium, Zinc, Niacin, Inositol and multivitamins . I've also been trying out Pine Bark and Ginko Baloba (can't hurt). Last but not least, I bought an exercise bike to improve circulation to help get oxygen to my ears.

      The problem has not gone away, but I've had a few "good" days over the past few weeks. Some days the ring turns into a hiss, and several times I've had the impression that the ringing from the left ear (or what my brain perceives as coming from the left ear) occasionally pulsates in and out. I'm assuming that any change is good news.

      Today is not a good day, and I've noticed that stress is clearly a big factor. I've observed that when it's the weekend and I can relax, I'm less bothered by the ringing. If I stop and focus on it, then I realize that the tinnitus is just as present, but when I'm relaxed my brain seems better able to ignore it. When I get stressed, the noise becomes unbearable, which (of course) adds to the stress.

      My immediate goal is to get my body into better shape, reduce stress, try to stay positive (not always easy), and hope that this raging tinnitus will get better with time.

      Meantime, has anybody had any success using techniques like acoustic neuromodulation or on ketonic diet to boost the brain's potassium channels?

      Thanks
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI Marc,
      Welcome to TT. Whilst it's good getting yourself in shape, managing stress levels and keeping to a balanced diet. I suspect the main cause of your tinnitus is, or was caused by exposure to loud noise over a long period of time. If you keep away from loud sounds, there's every chance the tinnitus will become less intrusive. It is true that the onset of tinnitus often makes the brain focus on it more, but over time habituation occurs and the T becomes less intrusive. Try to avoid quiet rooms and surroundings particularly at night, by using low-level background music during the day and a sound machine at night placed by the bedside or, connected to a pillow speaker. You might find my two posts: Introduction to tinnitus & Tinnitus and sound machines helpful. Please click on the links below.
      All the best
      Michael
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/an-introduction-to-tinnitus.12100/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/sound-machines-and-tinnitus.12072/

      PS: With the advancement in age hearing loss can occur and cause tinnitus. If you haven't had a hearing test yet, try to get one as a hearing aid can help improve hearing and lower the tinnitus.
       
    3. Marc Stegeman

      Marc Stegeman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2015
      Thanks Michael. Very interesting and well presented. There is no doubt that exposure to music in my youth caused some damage, and that age is also a factor. I'm less sure why my T was low and stable for about 20 years and then suddenly became unbearably loud 4 months ago with no new trauma that I know (other than a long airplane flight). I suspect it's not one specific cause but rather a "perfect storm" of different causes that somehow came together in August. So I'm trying to address each cause on its own. At night, I do run white noise generator. Have you tried the acoustic neuromodulation, or know anyone who was helped by it?
       
    4. Ecip

      Ecip Member

      Location:
      Edmonton, AB
      Tinnitus Since:
      4.11.2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Still unknown... possibly noise exposure?
    5. Ecip

      Ecip Member

      Location:
      Edmonton, AB
      Tinnitus Since:
      4.11.2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Still unknown... possibly noise exposure?
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI Marc,

      I have never tried neuromodulation but I know a couple of people that have and the results were not favourable. However, there are people that have had good results with it. As you know the treatment is expensive. Since you say that your tinnitus has been stable for many years, my opinion is that something has caused its sudden increase. Stress is a known factor in making tinnitus more intrusive, so you may want to review on what’s been going on in your life recently.

      Life is problematic for everyone at some time, so the steps you’re taking to improve your health and lifestyle is a good one. Before spending lots of money on tinnitus treatment, I advise you first to get your hearing tested and if that’s ok then ask to be referred to a Hearing Therapist who can advise on tinnitus management. In the mean time carry on using the sound enrichment at night and during the day, and it would be prudent not to listen to audio through headphones at this time.

      The onset of tinnitus or its sudden increase can make a person feel down. If at anytime you’re feeling like things are getting too much then have word with your Doctor as a mild anti-depressant can help. St John’s Wort is an herbal alternative and is good for stress but before taking have a talk with your Doctor.

      All the best
      Michael
       
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