Not Fully Cured, but 99.99% There.

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by dmhead, Jan 21, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. dmhead
      Cheerful

      dmhead Member

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/25/13
      My case of T and my ability to have it virtually eliminated is directly due to three people who truly took the time to listen, investigate, experiment and provide encouragement. I apologize for my long absence, but I needed to stay away from talking about T as I went through this.

      My ENT Specialst: When my T first hit and wouldn't let up, I finally went to an ENT specialist. I was convinced it was due to loud music, considering I am a working musician, it only seemed logical. After a thorough hearing test and ear examination, I was told my hearing is "actually quite good, if not better than the average 47 year old." She didn't rule out loud music and inner ear damage, but she immediately began exploring other causes. Never once did she diminish my condition or treat it as something insignificant or unimportant. We went through a long question and answer period where she asked me question that I thought had no relevance to anything. For example, "what did you eat today?" "How do you sleep?". Anyway, after this series of questions, she said flat out, "I bet your tinnitus is due to TMJ." I was skeptical. My jaw felt fine, nothing was sore, etc. But then she asked some more specific questions about my jaw locking up, clicking, etc. I told her this happens on occasion. She started feeling the right side of my face and YOW! That hurt. She told me the whole side of my face and the muscles within were completely in spasm and most probably this is the cause of my T. She referred me to a TMJ specialist.

      My TMJ Specialist: Spent a lot of time and appointments with him and he was very thorough and encouraging. He taught me a lot of jaw therapy and relaxation techniques, as well as provided me with a bite plate. He also put me on a small dose of Klonopin to help me "get over the hump", so to speak. After about a few months with him, I noticed my T diminished. He didn't credit himself, he credited me for the hard work I did with learning to try and give my facial and cranial muscles a break. He then said that I should explore acupuncture, chiropractic, etc. and see what works best for me. I gave him my chiropractor's name and he called him and had a long discussion with him about how I should be handled. He also told me that this condition may never go away, but it can surely be controlled and the tinnitus could be virtually eliminated. As with my ENT, he was compassionate, had an open ear and was very encouraging. By the time I left him, I was off the Klonopin, and my T went from a 9 to 6 (1-10 scale)

      My Chiropractor: This is where my greatest gains were made. After about 2 months of twice-a-week appointments with him, my T literally went from a 6 to a 1 or even less. He was very thorough in taking care of not just my jaw, but my neck and shoulders as well. He also suggested some dietary changes. Again, a compassionate and wonderful guy.

      So, to sum up, I never even knew about TMJ and if it wasn't for these three people who truly cared about me I don't think I would have accomplished so much. As of today's writing, I don't think I ever notice my T until bedtime and its very quiet, and when that happens I put on some customized noise mixed in with crickets that I made to help cancel it out.

      As a funny aside, my bandmates found my custom sound so pleasing and conducive to sleeping well (especially on the road where it is tough to sleep) that one night I forgot to turn it on and I get yelled at: "Turn on those f@king crickets! I cannot sleep without them!".

      I'm lucky. I'm thankful and most of all, I'm appreciative to all those who helped me. I hope the path you travel during your treatment has people this good standing beside you.
       
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    2. conbsgc

      conbsgc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      october
      glad for you 99.99% is pretty much done!!!
       
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    3. marqualler
      Nerdy

      marqualler Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Minneapolis, MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / Mild Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      Thanks for your story @dmhead! I'm always glad to see some stories about "light at the end of the tunnel". Cool that you still keep up with your band--I am in a band as well and am just easing myself back into it along with some hearing protection that I didn't use before. I'm also teaching my bandmates about proper hearing protection!
       
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    4. Mikey Cliff
      Fine

      Mikey Cliff Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      This is great news! So you mind me asking if you are/were able to manipulate the pitch by clenching your jaw?
       
    5. dmhead
      Cheerful

      dmhead Member

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/25/13
      Absolutely I was able to change the pitch by clenching my jaw. When it was at its worst, Chewing food was like listening to a wave of high and higher pitches as I chewed. Annoying as hell I tell ya. I can still make the T active by clenching down hard or just opening my jaw wide.

      ...Damn, I just clenched my jaw and boom! from 1 right up to 6 on my scale of 1-10. It usually subsides within a few minutes.
       
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    6. dmhead
      Cheerful

      dmhead Member

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/25/13
      My bandmates won't listen to me about ear protection. I warned them. I always wore protection when playing out live, so I guess that's why my hearing is still above average (and trust me we play loud deathmetal!). I just bought a pair of custom-molded ear plugs, which are fantastic. You hear absolutely everything, except the volume is just lowered by 25db. It drives my bandmates crazy, because now I can hear every mistake and call them on it!
       
    7. marqualler
      Nerdy

      marqualler Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Minneapolis, MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / Mild Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      Awesome! What do you play? I play drums so I need some that lower things by at least 25db. We are not death metal but we can get loud, and I think I scared my bandmates straight because they are all wearing earplugs when I'm there now. Also good to know about the custom mold--I'm thinking of doing that myself.
       
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    8. Mikey Cliff
      Fine

      Mikey Cliff Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Careful! I didn't mean to make it worse! Great story, a one would be wonderful. I'm musician myself. I've been pursuing a splint and chiropractic help.
       
    9. dmhead
      Cheerful

      dmhead Member

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/25/13
      I play guitar. 140 Watt Ampeg head through a full-stack. Can you say loud? Anyway, cymbals are THE WORST thing for your ears. Do you use foam earplugs now? The custom molded are a godsend. They are comfortable and have genuine clarity to them. They aren't really "plugs" more like attenuators.
       
    10. dmhead
      Cheerful

      dmhead Member

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/25/13
      Good luck. I hope it works out! I'd like to know if it does.
       
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    11. marqualler
      Nerdy

      marqualler Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Minneapolis, MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / Mild Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      Right now I am actually using the 3M industrial style earmuffs that are about 30db and music earplugs that are 10db--which is seeming to knock out any of the high frequencies. But it would be nice to get the 25db protection and still have a good-ish sounding balance going on. Yeah I really regret not using earplugs for a long time with drumming and crashing my cymbals a lot (along with listening to music on headphones very loud, going to concerts without earplugs, going to sporting events without earplugs, etc.) In some sick way, getting tinnitus now before my sound-induced hearing loss dipped even further was a good wake-up call.
       
    12. Mikey Cliff
      Fine

      Mikey Cliff Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      I'm committed to believing it can get better and I can get my life back. Even though today's like today suck
       
    13. dmhead
      Cheerful

      dmhead Member

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/25/13
      My drummer recently--albeit reluctantly has been getting on the earplug thing. For practice, he wears shooting earmuffs and then uses in-ear monitors at a low volume in his ears (we use two room mics for his monitors). I checked his setup out and its pretty rad. The sound is good and clear and doesn't have that shrill high-pitched cymbal shimmer which just kills your ears. Live, he uses Vic Firth earmuffs, which allow a bit more sound in so he can hear me yelling at him on stage, lol. Honestly, I do not know how he is not deaf, 20+ years of a huge drum monitor on his riser blasting right in his ear.
       
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    14. dmhead
      Cheerful

      dmhead Member

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/25/13
      You can do it!!
       
    15. Pat Tibbs

      Pat Tibbs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      about age six
      This is very encouraging news. Thanks for sharing your experience.
       
    16. Kaelon
      Wishful

      Kaelon Member Benefactor Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      Boston, Mass.
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Muscle Spasms
      @dmhead, this is an incredibly inspirational story. Thanks for sharing it. I have some thoughts and questions, and hope you can weigh in.

      You and I have a very similar etiology. My Tinnitus started back in November after over a month of terrible sleep at night and incredible stress at home and at work. It's high pitched, in both ears, and responds (lowers in volume) when I move my jaw, and is prompted or exacerbated by clenching my teeth. My first ENT evaluated me in the same way yours did and concluded pretty definitively that I have TMJ. But my maxillofacial surgeon, when I met with him first, indicated that there was no quick fix here and placed me on a regimen of ibuprofen, liquid dieting, and hot/cold compresses every day. I noticed some minor improvements.

      The biggest improvements for me came by taking prednisone, frankly. My GP prescribed prednisone and antibiotics to rule out an ear infection (and because she could see liquid in my ears, in my response to my complaining about fullness in my ears and periodic sharp stabbing pains), and by the third day of a 50mg taper, I noticed an almost complete quieting in one of my two ears. But it was short lived since, after all, you can't be on prednisone forever. This started me down the inflammation route.

      I've been seeing a chiropractor, and I really like her. I'm noticing general improvements to my sleep and health as a whole. And when she's adjusting my neck, I can absolutely feel an instant improvement.

      Questions:
      1. What sort of treatments should my chiropractor be doing? What should I ask her to do? She's doing neck curls and standard back/neck/shoulder adjustments so far, but really nothing with my jaw or head.

      2. Was this "bite plate" you got an orthotic device for your TMJ? How often did you wear it? Did you ever find out what was causing your TMJ? Was it clenching, bruxism, or something else?

      3. How should I be looking for a TMJ specialist? Most dentists around Boston claim they have TMJ expertise, but this usually means that they got a basic certificate, rather than actually specialize in craniofacial neuromuscular disorders.

      4. Do you ever hear your Tinnitus anymore? If so, what's the volume and how frequently?
      Thank you!
       
    17. dmhead
      Cheerful

      dmhead Member

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/25/13
       
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    18. Beessie
      Relaxed

      Beessie Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      21-01-2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress? + badluck? Clubbing? IDK!
      Great to hear this @dmhead . I am at a chiropracter atm and she is going to do the same thing to me.She said I need a bite plate as well and that my muscles from my jaw to my head were under extreme tension. Seems like a similiar case. It is probally because of stress my Tinnitus in now 5 out of 10.

      All the best to all of you.

      Bas
       
    19. dmhead
      Cheerful

      dmhead Member

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/25/13
      Great news Bas! I have to tell you, in my case I didn't even realize all the muscles on the right side of my face even hurt until my ENT touched them and I was like OMG! Thank god for her, because a lot of docs don't believe in the whole TMJ thing.

      That being said, the constant care from my chiro has worked wonders. As long as I use my bite plate and see him regularly, I am a 1-2 on 1-10 scale for T. I can live with that, easily. It is amazing though, if I skip a session (I go every 3 weeks or so), the T goes right up.
       
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    20. Beessie
      Relaxed

      Beessie Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      21-01-2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress? + badluck? Clubbing? IDK!
      @dmhead Wauw, you just made my day!
      I had the exact same thing when she pushed on the muscles it hurts a lot and she said: ooh that should not hurt a "normal"person. I was not aware of any pain in my face or jaw until wednesday!

      What kind of exercises is the chiro doing on you? and is stress also related to your Tinnitus?
      My hearing is perfect and my eardrums looked beautiful according to my ENT. Does that counts the same for you?
      And what kind of Tinnitus did you had/have? Mine is a high-pitch like from a old telivision.

      Do you have any pro-tips for relaxation related to your head muscles?

      Thank you so much:).
       
    21. jeannie
      Stressed

      jeannie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced, Ear Infection, Medication... Who knows?
      What kind of bite plates are you guys using??I have a 24/7 repositioning splint,seems to have made my tinnitus worse.and jaw tender?
       
    22. Beessie
      Relaxed

      Beessie Member

      Location:
      The Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      21-01-2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress? + badluck? Clubbing? IDK!
      I am sorry @jeannie I will go to the dentist next week to discuss my options. So no information about the kind of bite plate I will get.

      My jaws dont hurt normally, ok occasionaly they do but that might be because I didnt go to the dentist for a year..
      I will update here or contact you personally about the feedback I will get, probally I know more next week.

      Still not 100% I have TMJ but muscles related to it hurt so much when the chiropracter touched them plus my hearing and ears are perfect so I suppose I have TMJ.

      All the best.
       
    23. Uri38

      Uri38 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      @jeannie
      Any update in you splint usage?
       
    24. dmhead
      Cheerful

      dmhead Member

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/25/13
      Sorry, I didn't see this, let me answer you:

      The chiro does a lot of massage around my head and jaw, plus he uses ultrasound, and some weird contraption that "punches" my jaw to help reposition it. My T is like yours, high-pitched. Quite, frankly, I forgot what it sounds like because I rarely hear it.

      Pro-tips? The letter "M". If your T is from TMJ, taking a break every hour or so and slowly saying the letter "M" will help you relax your jaw. I used to put smiley stickers around my house, and any time I saw a sticker, I would say the letter "M" a few times, take a few breaths, etc.
       
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    25. jeannie
      Stressed

      jeannie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise-induced, Ear Infection, Medication... Who knows?
      I am debating on using my splint again.I usually have no jaw pain either just crunching and tenderness.has been getting stiff too.my doc said prob.arthritis .feel lost on what to do anymore.....
       
    26. Dev

      Dev Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2015
      @dmhead I had few questions for you. So I have had my T since 5 days now. I have seen 2 ENTs. 1st one checked my ears and said they look healthy and have no infection and told me to wait 2 weeks. 2nd ENT did an audio test and found that my right ear has a minor hearing loss probably due to loud noise and prescribed me some Mendrol, B complex, Niacine and some steroids to help boost the recovery of my dried up hair cells.

      but ever since i read about your story and your TMJ. I started doing some self testing to see if I have any sort of jaw pain or clicking. and when I tried opening my mouth wide open and closing it I heard clicking sounds. Basically every time i open my mouth more than normal i hear clicking sound. Then i looked up where TMJ bone is and tried pressing it with my finger and again i felt pain. so i just wanted to ask you that by the looks of my symptoms do you think i should maybe i should consult a dentist or chiropractor?
       
    27. Tamalak
      Volatile

      Tamalak Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2011
      Wow what an amazing and wonderful story. Just goes to show that doctors who choose to actually give a damn are worth their weight in platinum. It's a pity they are so rare :(

      OP got the holy trinity, I am delighted.
       
    28. uae96
      Thinking

      uae96 Member

      Location:
      Dubai, UAE
      Tinnitus Since:
      6/14/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      If you have hearing loss that's you're reason for T don't waste time in the dentist if u don't think u have TMJ
       
    29. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      even my mom has a sound moving and clenching her jaw but when she doesn`t it is silent, she doesn`t have any T ... seems normal and not necessarily related.
       
    30. Mikey Cliff
      Fine

      Mikey Cliff Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Not necessarily, however mine never did until it t started. How are you doing @nills ?
       

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