New Tinnitus at Age 24! Will I Have This for the Rest of My Life? Looking for Support

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by EllieJ, Apr 26, 2020.

    1. EllieJ

      EllieJ Member

      United Kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hello all, I'm new to this website and am looking for some tinnitus support and treatment suggestions.
      I'm 24 years old and about a week or so ago I noticed that I cannot hear silence. Instead I hear a faint high pitched ringing coming from inside my head. I reckon that I've had this for a long time but have never noticed it before (the past few years I have either been living in a noisy city center or sleeping with a fan or air conditioning but am now living somewhere very quiet so I only really notice this frequency at night. I've always noticed that my ears ring after a night out with loud music and if I drink alcohol but it always went away the next day and I never put much thought into it.

      Anyway, I've begun to get used to the high pitch frequency coming from inside my head BUT a couple of days ago a deeper, louder ringing begun in my just right ear. At first it was coming and going a bit but now it seems to be there all the time and won't go away. The past few weeks I have had an infected daith piercing which I've been treating with TCP, salt water and antibiotic cream and it seems to get better and then irritated again. Maybe some of this has gotten inside the ear canal? I sometimes get an achy pain inside the ear but not very often. I also have a feeling of fullness where the piercing is and also inside the ear. However, I've had this piercing for six years now and never had issues with it and it's strange that the ringing is only happening now after almost a month of infection. The doctor also prescribed clarythramycin just in case the infection gets really bad but it's actually fine but I've read that this antibiotic can cause tinnitus.

      NOTE: In July 2019 I had an ear infection in the same ear (otis medida) and it was treated by bursting my ear drum and then sucking the infected liquid out and two courses of antibiotics. I had significant hearing loss from this infection but never any tinnitus. The hearing returned back to normal once it was treated.

      I also have TMJ on the right side of my jaw which has been going on for a few years and flares up badly sometimes to the point I can barely open my mouth. Although I do not have this right now while my ear is ringing.

      I'm so scared I'm going to have this annoying ringing for the rest of my life! I cannot sleep or focus without loud music or white noise playing. Has anyone else had a similar issue or can any ENT specialist suggest a reason for this? It's so hard to get this checked out by anyone right now due to coronavirus. Thanks for any comments or help! :(
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Forever hopeful

      Forever hopeful Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2015
      He @EllieJ,

      First of all, welcome to the forum, I’m sorry to hear you have all this going on.
      I want to start out by saying that I’m newly back on this forum. I was originally on it in 2015 when I developed bilateral tinnitus. It started a few days after a very loud AC/DC concert to which I did not wear ear protection.. Big mistake. I also had bilateral fluid in my ears and aural fullness, which is what it sounds like you’re describing in your right ear. My hearing test at the time was perfectly normal. I had a very sympathetic ENT, who had tinnitus herself and told me that the ears take a very long time to heal and be patient and try to live my life and not focus on it.

      Ok , well that was so much easier said than done. And I had all the same feelings that I think you’re describing in terms of feeling like this is something that you are going to have to deal with for the rest of your life. Although I am appreciably older than you, at the time is asked the same question and couldn’t imagine that’s what I was facing. The good news is in fact I wasn’t, and there is a good chance the same is true for you. The problem with tinnitus is that it is just different for everyone and everyone’s experience with it is different. I know of people for whom it’s gone away completely and I know people who have had it for 20 and 30 years. There’s no way to know what your experience will be but I do remember asking the same question of my audiologist ( who specialized in tinnitus) when I was first diagnosed. I remember the tears streaming down my face. And I remember her calmly saying to me “You are in the acute phase right now and that things will get better ” and she was right. But I will tell you it was a very, very rough go of it at first. I think the first several months were the worst. And when I first came to this forum five years ago, that was mainly the advice I got. That I was going to be in for a rough haul for the first few months. For me, the anxiety was the worst part. Like you, my initial tinnitus was easily masked by ambient noise and the nighttime or very quiet rooms were the most challenging. I used sound machines, I had a sound pillow for sleeping and I took medications for depression and anxiety. And I really believe that if you need them to cope initially, don’t be afraid of them.

      Tinnitus ruled my life. And then, it didn’t! Someone wrote on one of these threads that the sound you have now is not likely the sound you’re going to end up with. I really believe that’s true. My tinnitus faded over time and basically remained very stable. It got to the point that I would swear it was gone. If I had anything left it was almost imperceptible. I no longer needed the masking sounds. I could be in a quiet room with somebody and not be bothered at all. That describes about the last 3 1/2 to 4 years of my life. I never gave it a thought except to protect my ears when needed

      I think it sounds like the first thing you need to do is see an ENT as soon as you can get in to see one. And I would stay away from loud noises. Everyone has different triggers but loud music is probably pretty universal. I ended up having a pair of custom ear plugs made for me but any of the foam ones in any pharmacy will do. Please put those in before you go out and listen to loud music or go to any loud place. Rule of thumb from my audiologist and ENT is if you have to yell to be heard you need to put your earplugs in. There’s a lot of debate on this site over whether or not to use earbuds. My audiologist an ENT both said they’re fine as long as you keep the volume low. The rule of thumb is no more than 50%. If you can get noise canceling ones, all the better, because then you don’t need the volume up very high as you will not be trying to drown out ambient noise as people often try to do with regular ones and then crank the volume.

      Now your TMJ issues. There is a well understood correlation between TMJ issues and tinnitus and my ENT and audiologist both support that. One of the reasons I’m back on the site is that I ended up having a recurrence in my left ear only- out of the blue. And similar to what you describe it is much louder than what I had experienced before. But I have also been having neck issues and I know I am a jaw clencherbat night so my ENT thinks it’s all related and I’m off to Physical therapy.

      In addition to the ENT, you may need to see a physiotherapist and even a dentist for your TMJ.

      I would also suggest you read the “Success Stories” and the “Doctors' Corner” on this site. I personally have found both to be very helpful and quite frankly, very encouraging. I would in particular, spend some time looking at Dr. Stephen Nagler’s threads and he also has some documents embedded in some of those threads that are very, very helpful.

      Best to you and I do hope your tinnitus improves.


      • Hug Hug x 1
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    3. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      It will probably eventually fade. The original faint sound will likely never completely go away.

      Having said this, people whose tinnitus is due to burst eardrum/TMJ often get to hear silence again months after the eardrum heals/their TMJ is treated.

      You will want to make sure that you don't hurt your ears during this period of vulnerability as your body is healing. You will want to avoid taking ototoxic drugs, avoid microsuction or syringing (performed when you need to clean wax out of your ears; a manual tool should be used), and not let your dental hygienist use an ultrasonic scaling tool on you (a manual tool should be used). For more details, see
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