Newbie... Some questions about my experience

Discussion in 'Support' started by alibee, Jan 24, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. alibee
      No Mood

      alibee Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      ?, big spike in 11/2013
      Hi all,

      First off, thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I just found this forum tonight and I hope that my questions are not totally annoying or something you've all answered a billion times before, but my awesome google-fu isn't helping find out the information I'm after :D

      I've always had very sensitive/good hearing in all ranges; I'm in my late 30s and still haven't lost my upper range, for example, and can hear appliances when turned on. In the past two months, I've been experiencing upper-range tonal tinnitus that is most notable at night or in silence, as you'd expect... but I'm noticing a couple of other things that I am wondering about. (Edit: I've had the upper-range tinnitus for a long time, but I guess the word is that it spiked up a couple months ago to the point that it's a huge distraction now.)

      - In noisier environments, it becomes extremely hard for me to understand people. I have to look directly at them to be able to understand them.
      - White noise machines actually cause a negative reaction in me (my kids both have them in their rooms) -- like, I find the extra noise oppressive. (I will hunch up my shoulders and everything, because it's super irritating to me, somehow! Almost like the constant additional noise is nails on a chalkboard.)
      - When I'm tired or not feeling well my symptoms are worse.
      - Wearing earplugs increases my exposure to the tinnitus but actually is soothing in that the competitive noise is lessened.
      - I am more agitated, having a harder time concentrating in meetings, and my memory seems slightly worse (probably related to the concentration), even though I am not actively noticing or focusing on the ringing.

      I finally reached out to my GP today, who gave me a referral to an ENT for early next month (they want a hearing test as well based on the first point). I'm just trying to figure out how much of my experience is normal. I'm totally not opposed to using any device necessary to soothe my symptoms, too. :D

      Thank you all so much!
       
    2. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Alibee,

      Welcome to Tinnitus Talk! We're glad you joined us; you'll find lots of information and support on this forum.

      To answer your questions:

      - It's not unusual to have trouble understanding people in certain environments; sometimes your tinnitus can be so loud that it will drown out background sounds and make it hard to hear things as you normally would. Many of us with tinnitus have experienced this. I know I have!

      - I can understand why sometimes a white noise machine might be irritating. Many of us don't do well with white noise; try pink or brown noise instead. You can find this by Googling these sounds, or listening to some of the sounds recorded here on Tinnitus Talk. Water sounds are also very soothing; you might try those.

      - Most people with tinnitus do worse when tired. If you don't get enough sleep, your tinnitus is often worse the next day. Do you have a sleep aid to help you sleep at night? You might try melatonin to see if that helps.

      - Earplugs can and do help, particularly if you have hyperacusis (extreme sensitivity to noise). However, you don't want to wear the plugs too much, or you will actually make your ears more sensitive. It's best to wear them only when you're exposed to loud noise, for short periods of time.

      - Yes, memory and concentration are both affected by tinnitus, especially right at first. After you've had tinnitus for awhile, you'll find things do improve. It's not unusual to feel this way, but take heart --- thing will get better!

      I'm glad you joined us, and hope you have a calm, quiet evening.

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
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      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. alibee
      No Mood

      alibee Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      ?, big spike in 11/2013
      Sleep is a crapshoot for me because I have two small kids that don't believe that Mommy needs to sleep as much as she'd like ;) BUT! It's good to know so much of this is to be expected!

      The white noise that I've been using right now is like digitized waves crashing on a shore. I'll check out the other types of noises that you suggest, thank you.

      As an aside, I'm really impressed with the overall quality of discussion on this site -- very refreshing for a forum. :)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. alibee
      No Mood

      alibee Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      ?, big spike in 11/2013
      Oh! Another "is this normal": if my kid touches my face it makes my tinnitus louder! Is that a thing?
       
    5. Jeff M.
      Cowabunga

      Jeff M. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      La Jolla, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct. 2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      :welcomesignanimation:
      albiee!! So stoked you sound us!! It's late so I'll be short, stay connected to TT, stay strong and listen to some of the great folks (like Karen) on this site, TONS of support and resources!! You will find help!! Peace!!
       

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