Noise-Induced Tinnitus, 5 Weeks In — I Feel Like My Life Is Over

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by DaveyJones, Jun 24, 2020.

    1. DaveyJones
      No Mood

      DaveyJones Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/19/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi everyone,

      I've been lurking here for a couple weeks and finally decided to make an account, because I'm in such a dark place and I don't know how to manage.

      First, I'd like to give a history of my tinnitus:
      A little over two years ago, I was forced to ride in the way back of a car (no seats, but not exactly shut in a trunk). I was right on top of a speaker for about a one hour ride. The bass from the speaker was especially loud, but at the time I was not aware of the damage noise could do. My ear started hurting near the end of the ride, and I asked for the volume to be turned down, but it was too late. I had ear pain for days and then after a few weeks I started hearing my heartbeat in my right ear. No ringing, just a loud pulsing that seemed to get worse depending on my noise exposure throughout the day. I also developed hyperacusis. It took several months to calm down. I quit using in-ear headphones, bought noise canceling headphones which I used at an extremely low volume, and bought custom musician's earplugs which I wore at clubs and concerts (attended maybe once every two months). I occasionally heard a thump in my right ear from time to time, but over around the next two years I was fine.

      Fast forward to about 5 weeks ago. I needed to clean some grimy patio furniture and purchased a pressure washer to do so. While I was using it, I thought it was kind of loud and should probably use ear plugs, but I didn't have them on me and my ears had been fine for two years, so I figured it would be fine. I was dead wrong. I woke up the next morning and was hearing static in my ear, which I attributed to some electrical wiring in my residence. It took me a few days to realize it was coming from my right ear, and it gradually increased in volume. I also started hearing a faint, high-pitched ringing in my right ear that would be amplified by certain noises such as fans, running water, and certain parts of songs. I have now learned that some of you call this reactive tinnitus or dysacusis. Also, I noticed the high-pitched tone would sometimes be in sync with my heartbeat, especially when it is elevated. These noises started scaring the hell out of me as they did not go away, and I grew more aware of them.

      17 days after the pressure washer, I saw my ENT. No detectable hearing loss on the standard frequencies and my pressure was fine. He said he hoped it would improve slowly over time.

      About two days after the ENT a 116 dB alarm went off right next to my ear. I turned it off immediately, but was exposed for maybe 1-2 seconds and felt my tinnitus spike slightly. My anxiety was through the roof following that alarm.

      About four days after the alarm I started developing dizziness and poor balance. It was never full-fledged vertigo; I just felt like I was on a boat constantly. My balance still feels slightly off, but it has improved in the past few days. I have a balance (VNG?) test scheduled for this coming Thursday.

      About 7 days after the alarm, I started feeling really hopeful about my tinnitus. I would wake up in the mornings with almost pure silence. It would get worse by bedtime but would be so much better in the morning. Then I was experiencing a night which felt like pure silence, and it was the happiest I had been in a month. Of course, with my luck, my phone fell out of my lap onto my acoustic guitar right next to me on the floor (I was stupid not to secure it properly). It smacked hard against the strings and the wood of the guitar, letting out this cacophonous noise which instantly caused a high-pitched spike in my right ear.

      I am now at 9 days since the guitar incident, and my tinnitus feels louder than it has ever been over the past 5 weeks. I was hoping I would get back to pre-guitar levels, but that does not seem to be happening. Thankfully, I don't hear it with the TV on (unless certain frequencies react with my dysacusis), and I don't hear it outside.

      Considering it has been 5 weeks since the onset of my symptoms, I am starting to lose hope. I've always struggled with depression, and this year has been one of the worst years of my life. I had some rough things happen pre-COVID-19, and COVID-19 just made my mental state so much worse. Now that I'm adding my tinnitus onto all of this, life doesn't seem to be worth living anymore. I can't enjoy my two favorite hobbies - music (which now sounds distorted) and competitive video games such as Valorant which require headphones for directional sound. I'm doing everything I can to reduce loud noise exposure but nothing seems to improve.

      I have a therapist and psychiatrist. I just got a Klonopin prescription which is at least calming me down. However, I can't help but thinking that if this tinnitus doesn't improve in the next month or two, I'm going to end my own life. I've already had a hard enough time, and this is just too much now.

      If you want a summary of all my symptoms:
      Two tones in right ear. One static/white noise, another high-pitched and resonates with certain external frequencies. High-pitched noise sometimes syncs with my pulse. I hear the thump of my heartbeat in my ear maybe 1-2 times a day.

      Currently have pain in my left ear that seems to be reacting to the noise of typing this up. I hope I'm not developing hyperacusis again. It rings briefly on some days, but I'm not too concerned about it compared to my right ear.

      I get the sensation of fluid dripping in my ears multiple times a day, but my ENT found nothing.

      Balance issues which have seemed to improve slightly.

      I've also noticed considerably more floaters in my left eye. I know there can be a connection between tinnitus and vision, but maybe I'm just being a hypochondriac.

      I guess I'm just looking for advice or comforting words, something to make me feel like my life is still worth living.
       
      • Hug Hug x 6
    2. LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      Hello DaveyJones

      I'm so glad you found this forum. I'm fairly new to tinnitus & hyperacusis myself so at this point I don't feel qualified to give any advice except to say "Welcome" You are not alone.

      There are some very knowledgeable people on this forum who have been through some really tough times.
      They made it through and got better.

      I highly recommend you read posts by the following people:

      Michael Leigh
      Bill Bauer
      Billie48

      Also, something I wish I would have done when I was first new on this forum.....stick to reading the more positive posts, especially the success stories.
      I printed some stories and posts written by the people mentioned above and made a tinnitus & hyperacusis journal called "Treasures of Hope". I find nights the hardest, so I keep it on the bedside table and read/reread them when I need to.

      Your life is absolutely worth living! Hang in there! :huganimation:
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      DaveyJones
      No Mood

      DaveyJones Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/19/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for your reply :). I have noticed posts by those people you mentioned, and I like hearing what they have to say. I would be honored if one of them stopped by this thread.

      Your journal sounds really nice. I have probably spent too much time down the rabbit hole of negative posts here, and I don't think that has helped my mental state. I'll try to stick to the more positive posts.
       
    4. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to the forum. Don't lose hope. You are in the right place as most of us have gone through what you are going through right now, during the initial phase of a new tinnitus or a spike. It seems you have a spike recently from acoustic trauma. As such it will take time (a few months to a year or two) to recover and usually the ears will be quite unstable and will likely have scary symptoms which can also morph into other symptoms without warning. So this is what can cause a new tinnitus sufferer to fall into the trap of too much anxiety and stress which unfortunately can aggravate tinnitus because your fight or flight response is activated by the limbic nervous system. Things tend to become more intense and harder to deal with under such condition, making the victim of a new tinnitus often having panic attacks and depression and for some even suicide ideations, myself included, during the initial period. Yes, I was in a mess much worse than you as my intrusive T can be heard everywhere, inside and outside, even above the sounds of the raging rapids in the salmon rivers I used to fish, and above the jet noise in flights. Then I also have full blown hyperacusis, not just reactive tinnitus, and prior conditions of anxiety/panic disorder plus PTSD. Tell me about the sufferings. I know them and I have deep empathy for what you are going through.

      Saying that, I hope you don't resort to do any harm to yourself because your tinnitus don't subside in the time frame you mention above. Tinnitus is unpredictable but it is conquerable and people can habituate to it over time, or luckily for some, tinnitus just fades away in due time. So being so new to your spike in matter of weeks, it is understandable you wish it to go away or improve asap. But the more you press yourself, the more you become anxious about it. Try to learn some helpful strategies by reading those success stories and don't panic nor despair. Good time will be back. If you can't hear your tinnitus outside, you are in fact lucky to have a milder form of tinnitus that will have a high chance of fading or habituating to it. If reading my success story can help you, do spend the time to learn some strategies I used to help myself to turn around the sufferings, from darkness to light. Read other stories too like Back to Silence by IWLM and others. Remember don't rush anything. Life is too precious and tinnitus is not an end game. Take good care. God bless.

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...w-i-recovered-from-tinnitus-hyperacusis.3148/
       
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    5. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @DaveyJones You have understandably been thru a lot. I like what Billy has said. I'll add a few more thoughts.

      The inner ear helps maintain the equilibrium of the body with being motion sensitive. The nerve endings in the vestibular area transfer never impulses to the brain, helping it to access the body's position and balance of the body.

      The vestibular and cochlear nerves run through the inner ear to the brain to transmit sound and motion signals. With an onset of tinnitus, this it may lead to vertigo and/or balance problems. The reason is that an impaired nervous system is sending out nerve impulses that confuse the brain and disrupts the equilibrium of the body and hearing. This is just a natural part with having an onset of hearing associated tinnitus. Maybe discuss Vasodilation pills with your doctor to help reduce vestibular and cochlear ear pressure. Balance exercises done with a therapist should help. Drinking a fair safe amount of water thru out the day is important.

      Eye problems and thumping can associate to understandable anxiety causing a bit of hypertension. Raising blood pressure may be very brief and not often.

      Consider taking magnesium - one third of a tablet three times a day. Take a couple of hours before medications.
      Your medication should also help with calmness.
      Very soft pink music - listen at at whisper level to start with - running water - a brook - found online where you can also watch the water running.

      Lets talk more.
       
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    6. Mister Muso
      Inactive

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Five weeks in is one of the hardest times for many of us, when you've found your life being impacted in more and more ways, and you wonder if it's ever going to get any easier. For most of us here, it does.

      If in doubt that something might make your symptoms worse, err on the safety side. Take earplugs, or don't go. Hang in there and find out what works for you.

      We're not all in the same boat, but we're in different boats in the same storm.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      DaveyJones
      No Mood

      DaveyJones Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/19/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Billie,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write out your reply. I can't believe you can hear your T above rapids and jet noise! Your advice is very helpful, and I read through your success story as well. You've truly made my day a little better and made me feel slightly more positive about my future.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      DaveyJones
      No Mood

      DaveyJones Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/19/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Greg,

      Thanks for your reply. What you said about balance makes sense. My doctor's theory was that my inner ear is inflamed and is causing balance issues. Thankfully, the balance has seemed to improve little by little every day naturally. I think forcing myself to exercise has helped as well (as long as I'm not putting myself in a situation where I can fall over).

      I've already been taking a multivitamin with 100mg of magnesium, since before the onset of my T: https://www.gnc.com/best-sellers-shop-all/201422.html#q=mega+men&lang=default&start=1. I wonder if there's anything in this multivitamin that may be detrimental for T?

      I've been using soft background noise, especially sounds from the TRT Spotify album. Unfortunately, some of the sounds make my dysacusis louder, but I've identified the tracks that don't. Running water definitely amplifies my dysacusis, but there's this campfire noise that works really well.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      DaveyJones
      No Mood

      DaveyJones Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/19/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      My ENT wants me to get an MRI because there's an occasional pulsatile aspect to my T. However, I'm terrified the noise of the MRI will make my T spike, and I'm convinced the cause of my T is simply acoustic trauma. Any thoughts?
       
    10. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      Hypertension (high blood pressure) from anxiety/stress or hypotension (low blood pressure) can affect balance with association to large arteries causing turbulent blood flow that could be heard in the ears. Balance problems involve impaired stimulus reception from peripheral structures.

      Any vascular problems / arteries, vein problems, heart or abdominal aortic problems with association to something else can also cause pulsatile sounds.

      Hypertension or hypotension moments can also cause balance problems with decreasing microcirculation within small nerves of the ears and this can cause an ear infection.

      It very well may be that your balance has improved from balance therapy and exercise that has lowered hypertension and/or stress levels.

      Many case studies - minus dizziness. Often mentioned that acoustic trauma happens easier because of vestibular input.

      The vestibular system can be divided into two main systems: the central system (the brain and brainstem) and the peripheral system (the inner ear and the pathways to the brainstem). The inner ear, known as the labyrinth, contains two primary structures: the cochlea, responsible for hearing, and the vestibular apparatus, responsible for maintaining balance, stability and spatial orientation.

      https://vestibular.org/educational-...ibular-disorders/peripheral-vestibular-system

      I think that medications used for blood flow (after a blood pressure study) and tests mentioned in article might knock the socks off your tinnitus and PT. Not sure which class of medication would be best. You can find complete lists by researching hypertension and hypotension and blood pressure.

      MRI or MRA - of brain - would be needed for full treatment.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    11. Jassiel

      Jassiel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      fireworks
      @DaveyJones hi first and foremost,
      Don’t give up and keep fighting. I’m 3 weeks into T from a firecracker. The first 2 weeks were painful. Loud eeeee and I only slept 2 hours a night for 2 weeks. Also developed sensitivity to loud noise. I was dizzy, confused, foggy, light headed, uncoordinated and fearful. Last 3 days my T went from about a 7 down to a 2-3 range. I have slept for about 7 hours the last 3 nights. I can say I have gotten a little better. I might try HBOT next week. Don’t lose hope.

      best,

      Jassiel
       
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    12. CAgirl

      CAgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      3 M80 Firecrackers
      @Jassiel. I’m so glad yours is getting better. I still have non-stop hissing and ringing from the 3 M80 firecrackers I was exposed to at close range. Just over the fence. Mine isn’t maskable either. I can hear it over everything. It’s been 3 weeks now and I pray I’ll see some improvement.
       
    13. Jassiel

      Jassiel Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      fireworks
      @CAgirl mine was from one of those small fireworks that pop like 10 small ones. Was tossed over the fence but one flew towards my feet and made my ear ring. Now my ear and brain ring. Decreased in noise level but still annoying. Been going to a chiropractor and taking supplements. Also might do HBOT next week but I’m still not sure. Don’t want to add any more side affects. I’m already sensitive to loud noise. I think we can recover. We have to be optimistic and also maintain good health.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      DaveyJones
      No Mood

      DaveyJones Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/19/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hi everyone.

      I’m about 2.5 months in now and really frustrated. It started out as 1 consistent tone in my right ear and an intermittent tone in the ear with some reactivity.

      My right ear now has 3 separate tones, and my left ear has a Morse code-like sound. I sometimes get pulsatile tinnitus in my right ear if my blood pressure goes up. My tinnitus remains reactive as well. I even have symptoms of mild visual snow syndrome - BFEP, negative afterimages, halos, starbursts.

      My symptoms only seem to have gotten worse since onset. I don’t want to be negative, but I’ve gotten very close to suicide and feel like I’m hanging on by a thread. I don’t get how I can have any hope of improvement when I’m 2.5 months in and it’s only gotten worse.
       
    15. CAgirl

      CAgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      3 M80 Firecrackers
      So sorry @DaveyJones. I’m 5 weeks in and it the hissing/reactive tinnitus got worse at 4 weeks out and hasn’t subsided. I have multiple tones too. It is frustrating. If you still can’t hear it outside that is really good. I can hear it everywhere and it’s quite loud/intrusive :( Sooner or later, our brains will have to sort this out. Hang in there!
       

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