New to Tinnitus: Add Anxiety and Stress and You Get Panic Attacks and Sleepless Nights

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by StuartGreg, Oct 29, 2020.

    1. StuartGreg

      StuartGreg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possibly silicone earplugs
      Hi everyone,

      I am totally new to this experience of tinnitus.

      I was unlucky enough to notice a change in my left ear precisely 8 days ago. A faint but definite "hissing" sound - or perhaps it might better be described as "static-like"; yes, most of the time it's fairly faint but in quiet rooms it's always perceptible.

      Then, approximately 4-5 days ago the sound was accompanied occasionally by what I think is pulsatile tinnitus - or perhaps it's better to describe it as "fluttering" because it is often not closely in time with my heartbeat, even though the heartbeat itself is usually pretty pronounced in the ear area while the fluttering is going on.

      I have been a sufferer of anxiety for many years. Add to this the fact that I've been under considerable stress at work for quite some time and it's hardly surprising that I've been suffering virtual panic attacks these last couple of nights, especially when I get the pulsations. Obviously, each time this is all happening, somewhat of a vicious cycle is set up, and I've suffered two fairly sleepless nights, and had to take time off work.

      Today I visited my GP. After having looked in the left ear and seeing "virtually no wax" [I had cleaned it a few days earlier so suspected that was what she would find] and seeing no damage at all to my eardrum, she has referred me to a hospital clinic for some tests.

      I think I have lost a little hearing in the left ear. It's only very slight, but I know it's there because when I listen to music through headphones, everything is shifted slightly to the right, and I think in the left ear the music sounds more "bassy" as if some of the higher frequencies have been lost.

      The ever-present sound (at least in quiet rooms) is shaking up my already fragile psychological state so far. The pulsating is even more terrifying.

      I guess I am just reaching out for support a bit at the moment. Reading other people's stories is already helping me to feel less alone with this. Of course, reading the success stories in particular is giving me hope; but I already know not to get too invested in them from what I have already read about tinnitus.
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Be careful! Many of those tests can CAUSE TINNITUS or a huge increase in the volume of tinnitus:

      I believe my tinnitus was caused by a Tympanometry test. My tinnitus turned on in the evening on the day when I had had those hearing tests done.

      Here's the deal - you are now at a point (hearing tinnitus only in quiet rooms) that many here take 2-3 years of healing to get to. You are lucky in the sense that you have a chance to alter your habits and ensure that you will never experience debilitating tinnitus. Many people can hear their tinnitus over the roar of a car going at the speed limit on a busy highway (I used to be one of them). High-pitch tinnitus is the worst.

      Do what you can to stay away from the loud noises (e.g., concerts). The link below has a link to the list of ototoxic medications that you might want to not take, unless there is no other choice. The fact that you are hearing tinnitus means that your ears have been compromised. The noise that a healthy person might not even notice can cause huge problems for you. So try to protect your ears. Listen to the signals from your body - stay away from the sounds that don't feel right to you. At the same time, you don't want to go overboard. The fear of noise can also become debilitating. Use your common sense!

      The good news is that within a year or two you ought to get used to this quiet tinnitus and you will most likely stop being aware of it. Tinnitus fades for most people. But it fades to this "can hear it only in quiet rooms" level. I am not sure whether the fact that your initial tinnitus is so quiet means that it will fade into silence. Let's hope that that's the case. But even if it doesn't, in the long run it shouldn't have a big impact on your life.

      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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    3. TrevorSanders

      TrevorSanders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure/Ototoxic Medication
      It could go away or it might not. I'm currently 2 months in with tinnitus and can say that it does get somewhat easier. Find sounds that mask your tinnitus, exercise regularly and do your best to not hyperfocus/stress on the tinnitus. I would also advise scheduling an appointment with an ENT. Fortunately, we are in a very promising time to see cochlear hair cell regeneration. Tinnitus should be a thing of the past in 10 years maximum for most people.
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