Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Beth35, Mar 5, 2017.

    1. Beth35

      Beth35 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      september 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ear infection/antiobiotics
      Hello everyone. I have been loitering around this forum since I first got Tinnitus in September of 2015. I've never posted until now. I've been meaning to for a few months.

      I tried to stay away from this forum as I found other peoples bad experiences would depress me and cause me anxiety. But I want to now share my experience and perhaps maybe help at least 1 person.

      In September of 2015, I came down with what I suspected was a cold. One night I woke up with a terrible pain in my right ear so I made an appointment the next morning to get some antibiotics knowing I had an ear infection. The Doctor confirmed and said it was full of fluid and gave me Bactrim to clear it up. Upon taking it on the second night I noticed the dreaded ringing in my ears. I started to freak out, I googled everything could about ear infections and Bactrim and found a site stating that the antibiotic can cause temporary Tinnitus. I made another appointment with a doctor, he assured me it was normal with an ear infection and should go away when the infection clears. I was convinced it was the antibiotics. He sensed I was scared so prescribed me a different antibiotic.

      A few weeks later the ringing was still there. It was loud. I heard it all the time unless i was in the shower. I could feel that the infection had mostly cleared up. I should also mention I suffer from depression, GAD and PTSD. So, my anxiety had a hold of me, I was so convinced it wouldn't go away, i couldn't eat, sleep or concentrate so i didn't go to work. . I was scared. I was so distressed I started to have suicidal thoughts, I didn't think I could ever live like this, how could I work? enjoy life? I found this forum and read about other people's awful experiences, which made it worse. I fell into a deep depression.

      The next four weeks were so awful, its hard to put it into words. I had an ENT specialist tell me my infection had indeed cleared up and the Tinnitus MIGHT go away, but he can't do anything about it. My mum took me to the emergency department twice fearing i would seriously hurt myself. Doctors either blew me off or insisted its just a noise get over it. I was prescribed Valium and anti depressants. I refused to take them as i was so worried it would make the noise louder. I googled EVERYTHING about tinnitus and drugs and was convinced no drug would help, not even a sedative, it would just make the noise louder. My family were a huge support but sometimes their positivity just angered me. Every few nights i would fall asleep in front of the tv turned up loud, from exhaustion. I would wake every night crying and pacing around the bedroom with my hands around my head. I couldn't work or drive, My anxiety levels were uncontrollable. I spent the days miserable, crying and laying around the house. In my mind the noise was always going to be there and it would very soon cause me to be committed to a padded cell or kill myself.

      Thankfully, neither of those two things happened =)

      Upon my third visit to the emergency department, a psych doctor actually LISTENED to what i was saying and prescribed me an anti psychotic drug. He said he had googled himself and found no Tinnitus side effects, he also said he would recommend this drug as it would give me relief within a few hours, not like anti depressants. He said it should sedate me and keep me calm. I was still hesitant and of course looked up the side effects as soon as i got home. But i had family and friends around me at the dining table insisting i take it, if even to get a little sleep. I was exhausted and found it hard to even move my i thought...finally....i would take it. I fell into a deep sleep within 2 hours. After waking up 5 hours later i felt a little better, that night, I insisted, me, my parents and partner spend the afternoon/night at the beach and have some dinner. I ate some food and actually had a nice time.

      The next day my mum found a Tinnitus specialist literally 15 minutes away from my house. She rang him that night and he insisted I come in asap. I reluctantly went in the next afternoon. He took all my details. He said he himself had in fact been in my situation, but had actually ended up in a psych ward. He said he could hear his Tinnitus right now but it didn't bother him. He also said he would bet his own house that i would get better. I rolled my eyes in disbelief and called BS. He told me to stay off forums and gave me some useful tips ( don't focus on the noise, keep busy, always have background noise) I didn't think i could do it. i thought it was impossible to not focus on such a loud constant annoying noise in my head.

      Within two days my boss rang and said if i couldn't come back into work she would need to find someone else. That freaked me out as i didn't mind my job and i really needed the money. i didn't want to lose my job I really did need to go back to work. So i went in two days later. It was a struggle at first, but after 2 weeks i felt a little "normal" again. The anti psychotic did make me a little drowsy but i slowly got used to it.

      I think the anti psychotic drug, the Tinnitus specialist and my boss pushing me back to work really helped...and obviously the support of my family and partner. Within a month i was working 38 hours a week, i was eating regular meals and enjoying aspects of my life again. It would still give me anxiety, but the drug would calm me enough to live day to day. With no side effects =)

      Every morning i woke i would listen for it and get miserable, but go about my day. I was able to wean of the drugs in 5 months. 6 Months later the noise was still there, i thought this is it. It won't go away. I realised the hope of it going away was a source of constant disappointment. Wishing for it to go away wasn't helping me, it just caused anxiety and sadness. I read further into habituation and thought positively about it.

      Slowly i felt better and better. I have slowly developed Tinnitus in my other ear, but i can only hear it when that ear is on my pillow. Im not sure if it was the anti psychotic or it was always going to happen.

      I still have the noise, just as loud as ever. The only time i can't hear it is in the shower, sometimes music can drown it out but i don't like to have it too loud. When i hear it I'm slightly annoyed and think...yeah its still there, its part of my life now. But i can focus on what I'm doing and not think about it for too long. The only time it distresses me is at night when I'm trying to fall asleep, so i now have some rain tracks on my iPod connected to some speakers on my bed side table. It doesn't drown out the sound, but i can focus on the rain sound rather than on my Tinnitus and am able to fall asleep. When i have background noise and I'm concentrating, i don't pay much attention to it.

      Eating healthy, regular exercise and keeping busy really helps. I try to keep a positive attitude which isn't easy for me as I'm normally i negative person and always expect the worst outcomes. Before this happened, i was seeing a psychologist for CBT, i think that has helped with the positive attitude.

      The only thing it stops me from doing is going to live gigs. I guess i could go with ear plugs but when i plug my ears the Tinnitus is louder. Ive found that my diet doesn't change the sound, it remains the same no matter what i eat or how much sleep i get ( or i just don't notice that it does )

      I have no idea if it was the ear infection itself or the Bactrim that caused my Tinnitus. Or if the Anti psychotic drug caused the second ear to have it. But, i would say the anti psychotic drug really helped ME. Even just taking it for the first 3 months.

      I haven't measured my Tinnitus, all i know is its louder than day to day activities, including the tv and music and i can only NOT hear it in the shower. Its a constant high pitch sound. I could never fall asleep without having my rain noise next to me. Sometimes my ears feel really sensitive to loud noises, my ears kind of vibrate..?when i hear a women's high pitched laughter or children's screams close by . When in a quiet room i used to panic and freak out, now i remain calm, acknowledge it and try not to focus on it.

      I thought mine was EXTREMELY loud in the beginning. Could not imagine myself living with it. Now i do. Although it is possible it will go away, i expect it won't. Despite it, i am happy. I still have bad days, but I look forward to my future, with or without it.

      My father has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I have some serious new health concerns (nothing to do with Tinnitus) The other day i was standing in the bathroom crying, overcome with stress and fear, i was thinking about all lifes problems. I soon realised at the very bottom of that list was Tinnitus.

      I promise I'm almost done.

      Getting back to work, seeing family and friends and resuming my normal life was the first step. I believe the worst thing anyone can do with Tinnitus is sit around at home focusing on it. Easier said than done I know. In 2015, i did not ever believe anyone who had it could live a normal life. I didn't think i would ever feel happiness ever again.

      I'm aware people have it louder than me, i imagine pulsating Tinnitus is worse, or a Tinnitus that changes pitch would be much harder to get used to. It would be silly of me to assume everyone can get better and i respect anyones way of dealing with it. ......But...I wanted this to be a POSITIVE post. To show new sufferers that as bad as it is, its possible it will get BETTER....even if it doesn't go away. Of course yours might!!! my experience is MINE only, everyone is different. Since having it, i know of 3 people who have had it and it go away in the first year. I now know of someones Tinnitus went away after 5 years.

      I'm happy to answer any questions..
      Thanks for listening.
      • Hug Hug x 2
      • Winner Winner x 2
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    2. Kibakiru

      Kibakiru Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 28 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown | PT: Unknown
      Hi Beth!
      I'm a 16-year-old who recently (January 28) developed both Pulsatile and regular Tinnitus (one for each ear). With a dog whistle in one ear and wind as though i've got my head out the window of a car and something vibrating inside of it in the other, It's not the greatest experience. So I sympathise with you.

      I really loved your story. I had a similar journey to yours, including the emergency room visits. You can read my post in this thread ( if you're interested in hearing about my story (because I'm far too lazy right now to write a success story, but i will).

      It's great that you've adopted a more positive attitude towards this, as that is the only way forward. Why demonise yourself when tinnitus is already trying to do it for you?

      Keep your head up high and your middle fingers higher, my friend. (y)
      • Like Like x 1
    3. MikeL1972

      MikeL1972 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi Beth,

      Welcome to the site!

      We all have similar stories of how we dealt with tinnitus at the onset. My stress and anxiety levels were through the roof as well. I compare it to an episode of "The Twilight Zone" where I was the only one who could hear a phantom ringing noise. During the first two weeks or so, I was trying to fight it head on, but it was a big mistake. However, the best way to combat tinnitus is not to fight it. Let it win and your brain will eventually become accustomed to the sound and ultimately determine that it's harmless. This is what I did and to be honest, it took a good 4-6 months before my nervous system fully accepted it. "Habituation" is the best way to go!!
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Jenni8619

      Jenni8619 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi @Beth35!

      Welcome to this forum :) and thank you for sharing your T experience! I am newer to this site, and love reading positive T stories!



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