New to Tinnitus, What to Do?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Michael Leigh, Dec 21, 2015.

    1. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      New to tinnitus what to do?

      The onset of loud intrusive tinnitus can be very traumatic for most people. I use the words loud and intrusive, because tinnitus comes in many forms and intensities. When it is mild, moderate or occasionally heard in quiet surroundings it is usually not too bothersome and a person can go about their daily affairs quite happily and unperturbed by this anomaly. This type of tinnitus usually comes on gradually and in some cases it’s associated with hearing loss, as we get older and the usual treatment is the wearing of hearing aid/s.

      Tinnitus can be caused by other things: an underlining medical problem, build up of ear wax (cerumen). Jaw problems. Some medications and even irregular blood flow through the body causing Pulsatile tinnitus. There are a plethora of other conditions that can be responsible. However, the most common cause is exposure to loud noise or music that has been played at high levels causing some damage to the cochlear in the inner ear.

      This type of tinnitus can be loud, intrusive and very debilitating. Often leaving a person at a loss and not knowing which way to turn to escape the nightmare that has suddenly come upon them. Your Dr has probably told you, it’s tinnitus and nothing can be done, you’ll just have to learn to live with it. I remember those words as if it were yesterday resonating through my mind and thinking, live with this for the rest of my life, impossible. So I fully understand how difficult it can be for someone new to this condition to take this in and believe it to be factual.

      If you are having difficulty sleeping you might have been advised to try a night time sedation or an ant-depressant to help cope with the stress and anxiety that often accompanies tinnitus. These medications can be helpful especially in the early stages and they don’t have to be taken long term, so it’s something to consider. They can act as a safety net so you don’t become too down.

      A referral to ENT will usually be recommended. In the mean time try to keep occupied with something you like doing, as it helps to distract the brain from focusing on the tinnitus. Avoiding quiet rooms during the day by playing low level non intrusive music such as classical in the background can be helpful.

      At night a sound machine placed by the bedside playing nature sounds or listening to favourite mp3 tracks or Cds are good. Keeping the volume just below the tinnitus is ideal and set to play throughout the night until morning. It takes time to get used to sound therapy so please stay with it. Whilst in a deep sleep it supplies the brain and auditory system with sound enrichment. Over time the tinnitus is pushed further into the background helping to make its perception less noticeable during waking hours.

      In the early stages of tinnitus, if one chooses not to use sound enrichment sleeping can sometimes be difficult and there’s also the chance of the tinnitus becoming more intrusive as sleeping in a quiet room can allow the brain to increase it’s own background activity. In doing so it will also increase the tinnitus making it more intrusive during waking hours.

      There is a tendency for newbies to try and cure their tinnitus which is quite understandable. There are many remedies, treatments and concoctions out there. Some affordable others quite expensive. I am not adverse to trying to help myself but want to say, there are charlatans and con artists eager to relieve someone in distress of their money so please be careful. Even tried and tested treatments I wouldn’t recommend a person try until they have been seen at ENT. Often a person after been seen at ENT is advised to wait a while.

      The reason being. Many people habituate to tinnitus within six months sometimes a little longer and it has been known to go away. The ear is a very delicate organ and many Drs prefer to wait before investigating further and then suggesting a treatment. If other problems are experienced such as: pain in the ears, deafness, dizziness or balance problems this is of more concern and a person will usually been seen quicker.

      It is best to have a word with your GP if you’re feeling stressed or depressed in any way, as previously mentioned there are treatments available. Leaving things alone until ENT advise you of the next step is the best thing to do in my opinion. Don’t try to fix anything or throw large sums of money at treatments that you have no way of knowing whether you’ll get any relief.

      It is not advisable to listen to audio through headphones even at low volume and keep away from loud sounds. By all means go out but anywhere that plays loud music then wear noise reducing earplugs.
      Take things slowly and one day at a time. Read some of the positivity threads and ask other members for advice. Many people eventually habituate to their tinnitus and go on to lead a happy and fulfilling life even though it may take a little time.

      Michael
       
      • Like x 5
      • Helpful x 4
      • Hug x 2
      • Agree x 1
      • Informative x 1
      • Friendly x 1
    2. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      It is sometimes advised to also use certain supplements, eg. magnesium, zinc, B12, NAC, vit E. I believe some studies have suggested that deficiencies of some of these may possibly be implicated in tinnitus onset, or that they may have a mild protective effect. I bombarded my system with these for a while without noticeable effect. I guess whether you want to try comes down to how much you believe in supplements.

      Sometimes it does seem to be helpful to get a short high-dose course of Prednisone/Prednisolone. There is a short time window when this might be effective (reports vary on exactly how long), but talk to your doctor ASAP to pursue this route.

      Excellent idea for a thread @Michael Leigh. (y)
       
    3. Natalie Roberts
      Haunting

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      I've also heard low iron can cause Tinnitus.. :)
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I have heard that too Natalie. Tinnitus is a complex condition and we are all different. What might affect one person might not affect another.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Like Like x 1
    5. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      I have heard it too.
      due to the lack of Red blood cells carrying oxygen around the body.....
      Animia can cause tinnitus.......lots of love glynis
       
    6. Shades of grey
      Curious

      Shades of grey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Unsure
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Due to my allergies I am an involuntary Vegan. I have to control my diet carefully as I cannot take vitamin supplements.
      Could my t be telling me when my iron is low?
       
    7. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      If you feel tired and rundown and your motions are pale you could need iron.
      A simple blood test can tell you so I would see your doctor...lots of love glynis
       
    8. Darbiter

      Darbiter Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2015
      Know that it WILL get better with time. I think of noise like I used to think of silence, which SOUNDS scary, but it's not. Life is very much the same as it was before
       
      • Like Like x 2
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    9. kk16

      kk16 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      good information. Not a newbie, but didn't know about the sound therapy. That is helpful!
       
    10. Rob Hammer

      Rob Hammer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      painful syringing
      Thanks for this @Michael Leigh
      I’m 3 months into T after completely blocking my ears with mineral oil, then a painful syringe I developed timnitus. I was sent to audiology and it was discovered I have hearing loss typical of prolonged exposure/ damage from loud equipment. I work in health care but my wood working hobby likely contributed to the damage.
      I struggle to get used to this constant ringing in my head. I hold out hope that I can learn to cope and hopelynthatbthe t will dissipate over time.
      Your article highlighted the night time background sounds. I haven’t followed this as I am able to sleep through the night. But, I understand your suggestion of playing sound to help push the t into the background. Will a fan suffice for this purpose?
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI @Rob Hammer

      A fan will most likely mask the tinnitus completely and this is not advisable since its volume cannot be adjusted. I advise using a dedicated "sound machine" for using sound enrichment at night. Oasis sound machines are the best in my opinion and are designed for people with tinnitus. They can also be attached to a pillow speaker. Model: S-650 is popular. Please click on the links below and read my articles that you might find helpful.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-positivity-important.23150/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-the-negative-mindset.23705/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/acquiring-a-positive-mindset.23969/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-ent-doctor-and-hearing-therapist.24047/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/inspiration.22894/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/can-tinnitus-counselling-help.22366/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-habituation-process.20767/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/a-change-of-lifestyle.20643/
       
    12. Rob Hammer

      Rob Hammer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      painful syringing
      Thank you for your thoughtful and informative posts Michael. I enjoy reading them and value the hope and insights youbbrinf to the discussion.
      I was wondering if you have experience or knowledge related to my situation. I have never had tinnitus except for the occasional kind after loud music or working with a power tool. Nothing that brings a real memory to mind. I was also never aware of any hearing loss.
      I have had wax build up and tried to tackle the issue in my own. I attempted to q tip it out. In a misguided attempt at softening it, I used a syringe to inject mineral oil into my ears. This led to a full, blocked feeling and discomfort. I knew something to be so wrong. I was able to get to my doctors office after a few hours. The discomfort was great, not quite painful, and the ringing had started.
      The nurse used a squirt bottle and painfully cleared both ears with warm water.
      She said the ringing should go after a few days.
      This was three months ago. I’ve had the ringing daily. Although there have been some days where I haven’t noticed the Tbat all. These were a few weeks ago. It’s been on a bit of a spike since the last bit of relief. If I’m busy I don’t notice the t, but it’s there when it’s quiet.
      An audiologist found I have hearing loss consistent with a machine worker or concert goer. Both ENT’s state the hearing loss is the cause of the T. When I say it was a result of my attempts to syringe they are of the opinion this was coincidence. Both ENT’s did not detect any damage to the ear or symptoms indicating damage. The first ENT feels I should be better in a year or two. The last felt the T would be permanent.
      I’m aware I may be looking for hope, but your thoughts, experience, and knowledge regardeing the recovery process will be appreciated.
      It is been emotionally difficult to adjust to having T. I move been doing the best I can and joining this group has even a god send.
      My kind regards
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Hi @Rob Hammer

      Thank you for your kind comments.

      Since you have read my posts in the links that I sent you there isn't really much I can add. There are more articles on my "started threads" that you might also find useful. You are in the very early stages of tinnitus so please follow the advice I have given in my post on this thread: New to tinnitus what to do? The advice your Audiologist has given you about hearing loss causing your tinnitus, could be right. Also, the advice given by your ENT doctor. Give it time and use sound enrichment especially at night. Try to avoid quiet rooms and surroundings during the day by using low level background music.

      If you have hearing loss it is advisable to wear a hearing aid as I've explained in my article: Tinnitus, A Personal View. If you don't wear a hearing aid your brain will try to compensate for the missing frequencies that it can't hear from the outside world. It will turn up it's internal gain (volume control). Whilst doing this it will also increase the tinnitus, making it louder and more intrusive.

      Hope this helps and please read my other posts on my Started threads, that you might find helpful.

      All the best
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. Rob Hammer

      Rob Hammer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      painful syringing
      "If you have hearing loss it is advisable to wear a hearing aid as I've explained in my article: Tinnitus, A Personal View. If you don't wear a hearing aid your brain will try to compensate for the missing frequencies that it can't hear from the outside world. It will turn up it's internal gain (volume control). Whilst doing this it will also increase the tinnitus, making it louder and more intrusive."

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your response. i will go back and read your articles. I've re read the article new to tinnitus. I'm looking forward to getting my sound machine this friday. I will follow your guidelines. It makes sense that this is a beneficial therapy.

      My ENT and the audiologist didn't recommend a hearing aid. They felt my hearing loss wasn't so far that it would affect my day to day life. The ENT mentioned a company called sound options, for sound therapies, but didn't feel feel the hearing aid was required. The audiologist was only recommending a hearing aid to help with masking the T.
      I'm not sure what to make of these differing ideas.

      Rob
       

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.