Noise-Induced Tinnitus. Four Months Now. Scared.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by MC in NC, Oct 6, 2016.

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    1. MC in NC

      MC in NC Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Played a loud club show without hearing protection

      My name is Marley, and I'm a DJ in Asheville, NC. On May 28, 2016 I played a three-hour club gig without hearing protection or breaks. Typically I am very safe with my ears - always wearing protection for attending shows (I'm 31 now). But for some reason, that night, I didn't think about it, and everything changed. I remember specifically having a significant threshold shift immediately following the show - diminished hearing sensitivity when I was talking to people and packing up - and have experienced persistent low-level high-pitched tinnitus ever since.

      I had two hearing tests in the wake of the incident: the first showed a pretty severe "notch" in the 4K range in my left ear, which is a signature of noise-induced hearing loss. Fortunately, the second test taken a week later showed a significant improvement in that area. My hearing sensitivity seems to be in decent shape, but the T simply hasn't gone away. My heart aches when I think about the time my audiologist told me I had "exceptional hearing" when I was first tested a few years ago.

      There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my tinnitus. But I have good days and bad days. I try to recognize and appreciate the stretches of time when I am not bothered by it. I attend bi-weekly therapy that includes mindfulness and CBT, and I meditate daily on my own for 20 minutes. I'm currently taking a multivitamin and B12 supplement and getting more exercise. Last night my T kept me up and I couldn't sleep, and I felt compelled to share my story.

      On my bad days, I dwell on the mistake I made and the threat it presents to my entire being. I would do anything - and I do mean anything - to take it back. Music is my profession, my livelihood and the framework around which I have built my life and my identity for the past 17 years. I'm wondering now if this development means that I need to consider quitting. On my worst days, there's a voice inside that says "you can always kill yourself," and that provides a bit of relief.

      I've read through many success stories here, but it appears that most people with success stories are either young, had their tinnitus show up only recently (< 1 month or so), or had some origin other than noise damage. I'm still in the phase where I am not giving up, but I am starting to feel that there is no hope for me.

      Thank you for taking the time to read through this.

    2. sirokinl

      sirokinl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      When I stopped caring about my T I could continue living my life. Don't focus too much on it. We probably get a lot more stuff happen to us as we grow older. Don't make a big deal out of it. If music is not for you anymore, find another passion. Don't dwell in the 'what you have lost' but focus on what's still possible. Life is a gift and worth living, even with T.

      Take care man, I'm in your camp. Been having T for about 8 weeks now and visited that dark S place. But there so much to life to enjoy! You will too, as I am already.

      If you want to chat, send me a PM.
      • Like Like x 2
    3. Irish

      Irish Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music from nightclub
      Hey @MC in NC.
      I'm sorry to hear that brother.
      Just to share with you a bit, my story, as I think it will help you.
      I'm 44 so a good bit older than you.
      I also normally protect my ears when out in loud places but in the last year or so I began to do it less often, partly on the behest of a couple of single friends, I would help them out when they would chat to girls, etc

      I had the temporary ringing in my ears a few times in the past but it always went away, maximun after a few hours, but this time it was different.
      Even in my slightly inebriated state, I knew this place was bloody loud, crazily loud, (this was last NYE I think) yet I didn't protect my ears and did the social thing, helped out my buddy with talking to some girls, and enjoyed the music while I was there
      After about ten/fifteen minutes in that club(room), I still knew it was crazy loud, but I had 'acclimatised' to it (ie. I had probably flattened many cilia in my ears and sent my ears into shock).
      We left after an hour or so, maybe a bit longer, so I wasn't in the extremely loud environment as long as you, but I was exposed to possibly louder sounds than you were, plus I'm thirteen years older and my ears probably are less able to 'bounce back' than a younger person like you..

      So, I noticed over the next couple of days that things were not right, I had Hyperacusis straight away and the Tinnitus built up over a few days where it became very noticable and high pitched.
      I was stunned, hadn't expected anything like this, as I had always been fine in the past with loud music, but this was one of the loudest music environments I had ever been in, and I had been in there for over an hour with no ear protection.

      The problems began to mount, the H continued and was very shocking at times, I was extremely sensitive to loud noises or high pitched sounds, the T was persistent and horrible at times.
      I also had a full feeling in my left ear and both ears began to get really sensitive and sore.
      I ended up going to the doctor, who told me I had an ear infection, and gave me ear drops and antibiotics and sinus medication.
      It did help to some degree, but the H & T and blocking/fullness were all still there, although lessened a bit.
      I went for an MRI and turns out I had traces of mastoiditis around my left ear but my hearing was fine except for a small drop around the 4K mark, like you.

      I attended an audiologist and ENT consultant to get my ear health checked, turned out my loudness tolerance levels were around the 90dB mark, which is lower than for a healthy person (it's mild, perhaps tending towards moderate Hyperacusis), but they told me that might improve with time.
      But my T & H were still there (and I was getting some horrible T spikes at times) so my doctor put me on more antibiotics and for the first time things began to improve (this was almost end of April).

      My T began to ease and over the next few weeks, it had reduced to a minimum, and my H perhaps reduced by 15% or so.
      I should say as well that I was hitting up loads of supplements during this time, B12 and B complex, Magnesium, Zinc, NAC, somtimes CoQ10, Fish Oil, I took plenty of anti-inflammatory spices(turmeric, ginger), herbal teas like Camomile, Matcha Green Tea.
      I also hit the gym, and would go twice a week, sometimes three times, and used the steam room too.

      I had a few times where the T came back for a day or so, this was usually after a swim(without earplugs, not clever), or after a particularly stressful day.
      But other than that, I've been free from T for a few months now, in fact since about end of April, which is pretty much four months after my problems began.
      Now I still have ear fullness, 'clicking', pressure issues and tenderness particularly in my left ear which could be ETD, TTTS or Patulous Eustachian Tube, might even by Glue Ear.
      I'm not sure, no medical person I've been to so far has been able to give me a definite answer on that.
      It's annoying for sure, and on a bad day it's debillitating and very distracting and I get a bit down, but when I think of where I was a six months ago, I'll take this situation over that one, for sure.
      That said, I'm worried that I might be stuck with it, not a very nice thought.
      My H is still there too, albeit less severe than before, maybe it's about 70% what it was, 75% on a bad day, still markedly better than six or eight months ago.
      But on the plus side, my T is completely gone, and for that I am grateful, as having experienced it first hand, I know just how it affects you.
      So, my point is, it can get better and I think you're doing all the right things to help it to get better.
      I might not be fully cured but my T is completely gone now, so stay strong and positive as best you can.
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    4. MikeL1972

      MikeL1972 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hey Marley,

      Welcome to the club.

      The first thing you should keep in mind is that the body's natural instinct is to try to heal itself of whatever it detects is wrong (fever, paper cut, aches and pains, etc).

      Unfortunately, none of us can go back into history and do things over. If I could, I would have done so many things differently (like most of us would).

      With that said, try to focus on the positive. I've had tinnitus for not too long (just 7 months) and the first two weeks or so, I was beside myself and having some cowardly thoughts. Then, I realized I was being incredibly selfish and even more importantly - weak. The worst part was that I got it by being at the wrong place at the wrong time (suck in traffic when a car with a load motor roared by).

      Here is the tip you need to understand: stop fighting it! Sure, that is a natural response and I fought it for about 2 weeks. I googled into the night for a remedy and when I learned that multi-millionaires like Barbara Streisand, Steve Martin, William Shatner have had it for decades and live with it, so can I. You will get used to it; "habituate" and you will pay less and less attention to it over time. I hear it now as I type this, but it no longer bothers me because I refuse to let it!
    5. MC in NC

      MC in NC Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Played a loud club show without hearing protection
      Hi Irish - I deeply appreciate your thoughtful response. It is encouraging to hear a true account of recovery, especially from someone a bit older and with a similar personal story. Thanks for including details about your experience. I haven't seen an ENT - in your opinion, is that advisable? I have a great audiologist and he checked my eardrum health in addition to the standard pure tone audiogram and everything looked OK. I have a clicking jaw as well, but no pain or signs of TMJ.

      Thanks Mike! "Stop fighting it" is a great tip, and a tricky one. I'm still learning how to get there. Ironic that one way to "solve" this problem is to stop trying to solve it. So counterintuitive!
      • Like Like x 1
    6. Zug

      Zug Member Benefactor

      Dude, 4 months is nothing in "Tinnitus Time". A lot of musicians have Tinnitus and keep playing. You're doing all the right moves. Keep on with CBT, get some really good earplugs, try to take it easy and give it time. ;)
    7. Bobby B

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      @MC in NC

      Maybe not what you want to hear but if I were you I'd start looking into different careers away from loud sounds
      The reason why you got t isn't only becuase you did 3 hours wihtout plugs but it's all these years of loud sound especially bass - no well cut by plugs - that slowly but surely damage the ear even with plugs..

      If you protect your ears in a year or two your T may improve significantly but again any exposure to loud sound can actually make it even worse than now and this a a lot faster than in the past.
      Your still young - I'd seriously consider other professional options .. You had a small taste of what Hell can be.. It's now up to you to turn your back
    8. Userhx35543

      Userhx35543 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Machinery and concerts
      I'm 47. Been with T for a long time. From loud power tools ( no ear plugs) to concerts ( without ear plugs ). Now I work around Diesel engines ( with plugs ). Still had mild T for years. Manage to cope. Lately I have joined some of the others in this forum with SSHL and a rather loud case of T in my right ear along with hearing loss. I guess I'm lucky to have dealt with the mild stuff for so long, it bothers me sometimes. Sometimes more than others. I work in sort of a noisy environment, so it is masked most of the say at work.

      The point is, as you have heard from the others, you can learn to live with it. Don't let it beat you.
    9. Jomo

      Jomo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      going for a rim shot on the snare drum.
      Your story gives me hope...although mine is from playing the drums i have been doing much better after a hyperacusis went away but my sensitivity to loud sounds is still ear fullness...right now my T is very light but has varied throughout the month....the first week was of course the worse.
      • Like Like x 1
    10. MikeL1972

      MikeL1972 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Jomo, your brain will gradually become used to it and file it into the "not important" folder of your mind. This is the case for the overwhelming majority of people who have it.
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    11. MC in NC

      MC in NC Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Played a loud club show without hearing protection
      Glad to read the replies, here.

      My current plan is to continue to attempt to live "normally" while being extra-vigilant any time I am exposed to loud sounds. I have a good set of custom musicians' earplugs to wear while I'm DJing, and my audiologist says that as long as I take a few breaks over the course of a long gig (ten minutes every hour, or so) I can perform safely. In the studio, I typically mix at a very low volume already, and I will be setting a timer to take an ear break every hour, especially if I'm using headphones.

      I'll be monitoring my tinnitus closely for the next few months to see if it is getting worse, better or staying the same. I was able to sleep last night, fortunately, and I noticed that the pronounced "tone" ring has now shifted to being predominantly in my right ear. Perhaps this is a good sign? I still have HF "crickets" in both ears, however, and I have a feeling that I might be stuck with that.

      I'll plan on following up with any developments over the next few months. One of the things to remember about this forum is that people typically stop posting when their tinnitus improves or they habituate! Holding on to hope, for now.
      • Like Like x 1
    12. Capricornus

      Capricornus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced/Stress
      @Irish Hi there! How long did it take until you'd noticed that your T was improving? I'm currently 2 weeks since onset (also from clubbing), and it's soooo difficult to compare from day to day. I think that it has gone down in volume, but I still have moments when the T "flares up" so to speak.

      I really hope your H will disappear soon!
    13. Irish

      Irish Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music from nightclub
      Hey, thanks for the good wishes
      My H is still there, although some days it doesn't bother me unduly as am not in loud(or high frequency sound) situations
      The only thing which seems to suppress it noticeably is the day or two after I've been to the gym and steam room, not sure if it's only one or both of these that helps.
      Everything else, including supplements and good sleep seems to only have a minimal effect on it.
      My T began to reduce in volume (and how often it affected me) after about four months.
      Although that said, that fourth month was the worst one I had two horrific spikes and felt very ill on a few occasions, almost like the T had one final go at taking me down, but didn't succeed!
      After another six to eight weeks my T was practically gone.
      I had several rounds of antibiotics too early this year, which may have helped, as I also had an ear infection and possibly mastoiditis too, so these may have contributed to my T.
      I have other stuff going on though with my wars, fullness, clicking and tenderness, not sure if it's glue ear or something else but it's not very pleasant.
      Am starting to listen to white noise daily now and also when I sleep as it seems to have helped a lot of people with T and/or H, will report back after some time has passed to let you know if it's helping.
      Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
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