New to Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Whyshoot, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Watch Hazel share good news about tinnitus
    1. Whyshoot

      Whyshoot Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic trauma
      I have been to the shooting range probably 6-8 times in the past 5 months, as part of military basic training, using M-16 riffle. I'd say I used ear plugs in 4 occasions. My ears used to ring when without protection for about 2-4 hours then go back to normal.

      On the last occasion in May, we went shooting and this time I didn't bring my ear-plugs. It was around 50 shots. I immediately experienced ear pain/fullness/muffled sound/ringing/sensitivity to sounds/ I wasn't able to listen properly to people when the speak, for 4 weeks before seeing a doctor. All that in my left ear only. I will also see the audiologist to perform higher frequency tests and determine the pitch of my tinnitus.

      4 weeks after the incident I was referred to an ENT, at his office he confirmed I don't have wax build up and me ears are fine. then preformed audiogram tests which showed my my right ear is normal but left ear has slight loss, 20db, at 4k and 8k hz. pressure test were fine. he scheduled me for another appointment after 4 weeks for repeating tests.


      I still have the ringing in my left ear, its two tones. One is the teeeeeeee tone that is continuous (Is this high frequency?), the other a lower pitched sound like a broken speaker.

      the fullness has decreased say 50% now, muffled sound is also less, but my ear bothers me when in a closed places with high sounds, like closed stadium. I feel the left ear is not as good in handling noise as the normal right.


      I drive my car and listen to the radio/Ipod on speakers at low volume and that is no problem for me.


      Frankly I am not sure `I fully understand my symptoms so I would need your help.

      1) do I have hyperacusis ? Or is this sensitivity?
      2) my tinnitus is fluctuating in intensity, but thankfully I am able to sleep and when I go out of home its not very intrusive.It is very much audible in quite places. But I do recognize that it increases if I am exposed to certain situations, example the volume around me gets loud suddenly( especially places that have echo, although I am also monitoring other situations where my T spikes). Is this reactive tinnitus? How can I avoid this to happen. As this really scares me and puts me down and I feel it effects how I interact with people.
      3) I feel the T became lower in volume in general now after 6 weeks, and has stabilized at this level. Will this continue to improve or remain at the current level?
       
    2. CaRd
      Cheerful

      CaRd Member

      Location:
      Bulgaria
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety/Stress/Lack of sleep/Headphones
      It will probably improve. Just stay away from loud noises and do more aerobic exercises. Less time infront of TV or PC is also advisable. It most definitely can disappear but give it some time. And from now on, always protect your ears.
       
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    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Whyshoot

      I would say you have tinnitus and some hyperacusis which is sensitivity to sound. It comes in different levels of severity and is experienced differently by each person. I do not believe there is such a thing as reactive tinnitus. I have seen this word used a lot in tinnitus forums and it's here, it is was made up. I believe this so called "Reactive tinnitus" is the same as hyperacusis or sensitivity to sound.

      Some people do believe there is such a thing as "Reactive Tinnitus". Some in the medical field have taken up with this term (where they didn't before) and devised a suitable treatment plan. Without doubt this treatment will have a price to match. Sorry if I seem sceptical, but wherever there seems money can be made out of people's misery there's a way.

      I personally believe once the ears are properly desensitised using "sound enrichment" this oversensitivity or hyperacusis will cease. Please bear in mind, in more severe cases of hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound) the wearing of white noise generators may be necessary to help treat and cure the condition. More about this will be explained in the links that I will paste at the bottom of this post.

      Try to avoid quiet places and rooms especially at night. Use a sound machine at night by your bedside. More about this is explained in the links below.

      I strongly advise you not to listen to any type of audio through headphones even at low volume and keep away from the shooting for a while. Please click on the links below and read my articles that you might find helpful: Tinnitus, A Personal View. Hyperacusis, As I see it. Things will improve with time so try not to worry too much.

      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/
       
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    4. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles&machine guns, +30 years of loud clubs
      @Whyshoot

      I also got T shooting large caliber rifles and assault weapons in my military training - with ear protection - and then more as sport/recreational shooting..with sometimes inadequate protection, in addition to 30 years of regular clubbing and a lot of listening to portable players since the walkman came out early 1980's up - to the iphone6..

      my advice - give your ears a break from loud noise especially shooting which can go above 140 db which even with ear protection will give some damage. At least for 6 months. Ears can heal up to an extent but have their limits if the damage is too much.

      you are still young and have a good chance getting over this but be very careful you won't really get too many second chances
       
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    5. TuneOut

      TuneOut Member

      Location:
      El Dorado Hills, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Worsened 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      Why just 6 months? If damage from guns can happen even with ear protection? How about never shooting a gun again?
       
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    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Fully agree with you Tuneout. When a person recovers from noise trauma I always advise that they change their lifestyle if they don't want to risk a recurrence of the condition. It is for this reason I haven't returned to using headphones since I developed tinnitus.
       
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    7. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Think water pistols would be better...lol.
      Seriously though your ears need a good rest and if you Cary on shooting make sure you wear ear protection but your ears could suffer now your ears already have tinnitus.
      You need to do what's best for you and how tinnitus makes you feel needs considering.
      Love glynis
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Whyshoot

      Whyshoot Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic trauma
      Thank you so much to each one of you for your warmth and taking time in supporting comments/advise for someone new like me. ( I ve been reading the forum for a month now, its the major source of info/knowledge for me as I practically didn't know anything about tinnitus/hearing problems before). As you might expect what I got from the ENT was near zero info.

      @CaRd
      Hopefully it will. I will use protection in loud places going forward! I know I won't have second chances going forward in terms of my ears.

      @Michael Leigh
      Thank you so much for your clarification. It is very much appreciated from a long time sufferer and experienced person.
      I am more inclined to your theory with regard to hyperacusis vs reactive tinnitus.
      I started reading your threads before joining the forum, and I will continue doing so. I have a big learning curve to go through as you might expect. but will get there soon hopefully. You provided me with more info than my ENT did.

      @Bobby B
      Thanks comrade. Good to hear from someone who went through military training. I wish I used protection like you. I also used to go to clubs but will stop for the next year probably. I obtained a waiver from shooting so won't be shooting for the next 6 months.

      @TuneOut
      Probably I won't be shooting anymore. At least in foreseeable future.

      @glynis
      Thanks. I am resting my ears as much as possible and listen to low music only. Wont be shooting in foreseeable future. I need to invest in protection but don't know where to start, I need to research and find good advise. I am trying not to rush into buying just any protection. Trying to take things step by step. My only previous protection was the 3m plugs from the army.
       
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    9. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for your kind comments @Whyshoot they are much appreciated. ENT doctors are good at what they do and I have a lot of respect for that. They are physicians and know about the anatomy of the ear. They are able to treat it medically or surgically and this they do well. However, the majority of them don't know much about tinnitus because they have never experienced it. It is the Hearing Therapists and Audiologists who are trained in the treatment and management of tinnitus that are the experts in this field. You will find a lot of them were either born with tinnitus or acquired it at some time in their life. Some people might think why is this important? My answer is to please read the post below.

      Why is my ENT doctor useless?

      Over the years I have read many posts at tinnitus forums. Therefore, it is of no surprise to see familiar questions and comments recurring especially by those that are new to this condition. Understandably, some people are in distress and are seeking help. They want reassurance that all will be well. Many want to hear the right answers to their questions or at least their version of it because anything less doesn’t compute. Will it go away? How long does it take to habituate? Will I get my life back? When will a cure be found? The list goes on.

      In addition to this, I often hear people say that their ENT doctor doesn’t understand their tinnitus or what they are going through. After all, they are supposed to be the experts right? Sometimes it can leave a person feeling desperate and at a loss, not knowing what to do or where to go for help. This realisation, comes after having various tests have been done on their auditory system only to be told by their doctor, that no abnormalities where found. The advice given is to leave things as they are for now and see what happens.

      Some people don’t believe in the wait and see approach and have even said their ENT doctor is completely useless when no help has been offered. Whilst everyone is entitled to an opinion, I don’t agree with this statement. However, I do understand how one can come to this conclusion, especially when the bedside manner of some doctors leaves a lot to be desired. This needs to improve if a patient is to feel proper care and consideration is being afforded to them, because we know that tinnitus can be very debilitating when severe and can affect one’s emotions considerably.

      The ear is a very delicate organ and if there is no underlying medical condition causing the tinnitus, such as: pain in the ears, deafness and dizziness or balance problems. The advice to wait and see what happens is usually correct. Many people learn to habituate within the first six months sometimes a little longer and it has been known go completely away. Too early an intervention could make matters worse.

      In the early stages of tinnitus, it is not unusual to experience stress, anxiety and even some depression. These symptoms usually improve with time. Having a word with your GP about this can be beneficial, as medication can be prescribed to help you cope and they don’t have to be taken long term. I am a believer in using sound enrichment; during the day and especially at night. Whether this is via a dedicated sound machine or playing low-level non-intrusive music by the bedside. The volume level set to just below the tinnitus.

      ENT doctors are important health professionals and I have a lot of respect for their skill and expertise. They know all about the anatomy of the ear and are able to treat it medically or surgically. However, in my opinion they are not tinnitus experts, which I believe calls for another set of skills that the majority of them don’t have. This is the ability to know, understand and empathize, with what a tinnitus patient is going through when the condition is loud and intrusive.

      My consultant is an Audiovestibular physician whom I have a lot of respect for. She once told me that I know more about tinnitus than her. She explained because never having experienced it. For this reason, when there is no underlying medical condition causing the tinnitus a person is sometimes referred to a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist trained in tinnitus management.

      This can involve counselling, wearing devices such as hearing aids or white noise generators. Treatments such as TRT, CBT and Mindfulness and relaxation therapy can also be helpful. These health professionals help their patients by showing them a way forward and demystifying a lot of the negativity that surrounds this condition. Not surprisingly, this level of understanding and empathy doesn’t always come from training alone, for some of these people also have tinnitus. Over the years I have met quite a few Hearing Therapists and Audiologists at tinnitus Internet forums helping people. At some point they have relayed to me that they have tinnitus or were born with it as my hearing therapist was.

      Michael
       
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