Once Habituated, Now Going for 2nd Recovery

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Bjorn90, Aug 24, 2019.

    1. Bjorn90

      Bjorn90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      Hi everyone!

      My heart goes out to all of you fellow sufferers. This is my first post at tinnitus forum. I apologize for making it a bit long.

      I have had mild tinnitus for some 15 years although a few months ago it got a lot worse and accompanied by quite in my opinion severe hyperacusis. That's when I started googling around for answers and found this forum. I think its a great place and a lot amazing people share their inspiring success stories.

      So as to my story with tinnitus it started in school around 7th - 8th grade. I had a good friend who decided that it was a genius prank to scream with all his lungs straight into my right ear. Also of course to be mentioned is that around that time I started to play music and play in various rock bands. As I believe that also contributed. My tinnitus would be a high pitch sound in my right ear and a low buzzing in my right ear, sounding a little bit like a car engine on standby. At this time there was no signs of hyperacusis, although I had some sensitivity to sounds it was nothing really bothersome.

      In the beginning I was desperately monitoring my tinnitus to check if I could hear it, if it had changed. I could hear it everywhere decently quiet, over the tv for sure. I didn't really do anything special to help me with this. I used to listen to music when I fell asleep though, or when I needed to read something in quiet. As I said I was lucky to not have hyperacusis at this time. Over time it all faded to the background.

      I wasn't gone, but I wasn't bothered by it, and I couldn't hear if not in extreme quiet, out in nature etc.
      But even then I did not care anymore. And my life continued normally as before for the last 14-15 years.

      I do understand now that this was very mild tinnitus and that its quite easy to live with at that level.
      Just want to say to all of you first timers to relax and give it time. It do get better most of the time.
      Be smart, don't think it will never get worse, use ear plugs in loud clubs etc. I wish I would have listened to that advice from myself.

      As of today, I have a moderately intrusive tinnitus. The cause of this second trauma was a moderately loud blues/rock concert to which I decided I did not need earplugs for... The result is a like a hissing/ringing in my right ear, accompanied by a kind of beep beep beep sound. In my left ear there is a waterfall at full power. And as if that was not enough I also got quite bad hyperacusis. The sensitivity was at the worst so bad that I barley could speak with my girlfriend, let alone play with my kid. I watched tv on low volume with ear plugs and yet it hurt me. I would feel my ears fullness even after a few minutes of conversation. My ears have been "popping", and if exposed to moderately loud environments for longer time my ears feel "distant". Not like I hear bad, but almost like an outside the body hearing experience. My head would hurt and tense up all the way from my temples to my jaw, all the way down through my shoulders. I believe most of this tension was due to stress about my new symptoms.

      As a long time sufferer of tinnitus the sound in my head did not upset me so much as the new never before sensations of the devil hyperacusis. It's a balance game which I'm yet to understand. As advised by many users here I try to not use earplugs to much in my everyday life. Although sometimes it seams that my tinnitus/hyperacusis gets aggravated by the tiny bit louder everyday life. Also I am a restaurant worker which didn't exactly make things better. I do have to use ear plugs at work as I am not able to stand high volume in restaurant environment for a full shift without huge setbacks in regards to both tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      Im only 2 months in this new level of tinnitus and hyperacusis, it has almost driven me mad but I keep on fighting. Maybe it will get better, maybe it won't, but the stories of such as @billie48, @Dr. Hubbard and a lot of other members have kept me hopeful that it will be achievable with habituation.

      I have recently started to study in the university and cutting back on restaurant work. I do not go to bars lately, planing to do it in the future but for now I want to focus on healing. Step by step. When it first got bad about 2 month ago I really believed that this is beginning of the end. I barely slept more than 1 hour at a time. This has gotten better, and I believe a lot thanks to me discovering Bruce Hubbard talking about CBT, careful thinking and mindfulness. I don't expect my tinnitus to get a lot lower, but I expect me to handle it differently and better. The hardest part will be to beat hyperacusis, but hopefully as many people on this forum write, it will fade over time. Although, I try to not expect to much, and just stay in the now. When life feels good, live it to the fullest. And when you're in the dumps, just carry on and keep on fighting. When I struggle with hope, I find my way to the success stories of this forum and rise above.

      After all, what else can we do?
      I'm terrified of making it worse, but I'm even more terrified of not living life.

      Anyway sorry for such a long post, and hope it at least could share some positivity.
      Although life might be different than before it does not mean it has to be bad.
       
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    2. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      In that case, I am glad that you had attended that concert! You got to "live life" for an hour or two = the Benefit. The cost = louder tinnitus for at least two months, possibly a lifetime of louder tinnitus. Above, you are stating that for you this cost is lower than the resulting benefit. I am happy for you!

      Having said this, please keep in mind that the discomfort caused by louder tinnitus probably grows exponentially. In other words, when the volume of tinnitus doubles, the discomfort due to this new volume level probably MORE than doubles. At the same time, the enjoyment of the first time you attend a concert is probably higher than the enjoyment the 10th time you attend a concert. So as you keep exposing yourself to noise in order to "live life", the benefit of each additional hour of exposure will keep falling whereas the cost will keep rising. I guess you will keep your behaviour up until the time when your tinnitus will get So loud, that you will No Longer think that "living life" is "worth" making your tinnitus louder. Too bad that even after you stop abusing your ears, your tinnitus might remain at the new loud volume level for decades to come.

      In any case, all of the above is a long way of saying: Carry on!
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bjorn90

      Bjorn90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      @Bill Bauer
      Well thanks for replying. Maybe I used my words without caution. I did not mean to imply that anyone should go and expose themselves to loud noises without care. I do not attend any loud events, but I can't say there will never be a time when sounds will be loud around me again. I do use ear protection when I feel sound is too loud. I do not mean to say that this concert was giving me the blast worthy of tinnitus for a lifetime. If I could I would obviously undo it, but I can't so I have to go on. I do understand that the one quote from my story can be interpreted in many ways, but the way that you take it out of context and lecture me on the way you presume I live my life is a bit harsh.

      I simply try to give a fairly more positive way of looking at life with this condition. I am still struggling. Probably will for a lot of more time. I am not planning to do anything to make it worse.

      But with that said I also do not intend to hide in my quiet room the rest of my life. Everything has to be done with common sense. And finally to live life doesn't mean participating in every loud event that comes my way.


      Cheers!
       
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    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Bjorn90

      You are a tinnitus veteran so I am not going to tell you how to suck eggs as such. However, are you content with your tinnitus at the moment? Understandably you are terrified of making it worse, do you know how to help prevent this? I ask because you haven't requested any advice or help.

      Michael
       
    5. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I apologize for offending you. People on this forum had argued that very thing - "I won't let tinnitus win - I will continue behaving as if I don't suffer from tinnitus", and I had been part of numerous discussions about this topic.
      I agree.
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bjorn90

      Bjorn90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      @Michael Leigh

      Hi thanks for replying. Some days I feel like I can cope well with and yet other days I feel hopeless. Far from habituated but trying to stay positive. Not sure that I would call myself a veteran considering mine was quite mild most of the time. I have contacted a therapist who specializes in tinnitus and hyperacusis. I'm also planning to get molded ear plugs. But the whole thing with hyperacusis is really new to me. Not quite sure how to handle that. Trying to figure out when to use earplugs and when not to. What is considered normal "everyday" sounds and what is actually too much.

      And it seams that sometimes situations that make my hyperacusis better might make tinnitus worse. And the other way around.
       
    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Bjorn90

      Thank you for the additional information. In your first post you mentioned your tinnitus was mild but I wanted to err on the side of caution, and give you the respect as a veteran, having had tinnitus for quite some time and wasn't sure whether or not you had experienced severe tinnitus, over the years and thus, didn't want to undermine you.

      I would like to give you some advice because I understand your situation quite well as a very similar thing happened to me after habituating for some years. If you follow my advice I am confident that you will improve and recover but it will take time. Therefore, after reading this post please click on the links at the bottom of the page and read my articles in full. Take your time and absorb the information. I recommend that you print them to paper and refer to them often.

      When tinnitus was originally caused by "exposure to loud noise" also known as noise induced, and a person has habituated for 1 year or more. If it should increase to the point where it becomes intrusive and problematic with or without hyperacusis. Providing there is no underlying medical problem within the auditory system responsible for this, the usual cause is further exposure to loud noise, including the type you have mentioned: attending a blues/rock concert. It can also happen from using headphones for some people. I know this because I correspond with people that have noise induced tinnitus, who have habituated and quite suddenly, notice a resurgence of the tinnitus due to reasons I have mentioned.

      You have taken the right step contacting tinnitus and hyperacusis specialist. Your hyperacusis will take time to improve and this is best done using sound enrichment although it can improve naturally too. The use of White Noise Generators, I feel would speed up this process. They will help to desensitise the hypersensitivity to your auditory system and also treat the tinnitus. I have covered this many times in my posts on TRT, which you will find below in the links. It is not absolutely necessary for you to have TRT so follow the advice your tinnitus specialist recommends.

      If I were you I would not buy the "moulded earplugs" as I don't think they are necessary for you. In fact they can encourage overuse and that is something you don't want to do believe me. The result is often a lowering the "loudness threshold" of your auditory system which will make it more sensitive to sound and make your hyperacusis worse. It is treatment you need not abstaining from normal every sounds which is what earplugs tend to do -often causing more harm than good if one isn't careful. There are people in this forum that are staunch advocates and users of earplugs and will disagree with me profusely. However, I know differently because some people can develop additional problems such as phonophobia and misophonia, due to the overuse of earplugs and deliberately avoiding normal every day sounds. Below in the links I explain this in more detail.

      I recommend not using "moulded" earplugs but instead opt for "noise reducing" earplugs which will serve you just as well. They must be used with prudence. More about this is explained in my post: Hyperacusis, As I see it, below.

      My advice is not to use headphones even at low volume. More about this is explained below. They will halt or completely prevent your recovery. If you wish to use headphones after your tinnitus and hyperacusis have improved then do so, but I recommend that you never use headphones even at low volume.

      Please take your time and read the articles in the links.
      Take care and I wish you all the best.

      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-positivity-important.23150/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-habituation-process.20767/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/trt-as-i-see-it.19555/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-complexities-of-tinnitus-and-hyperacusis.25733/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...why-has-tinnitus-hyperacusis-increased.19091/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/what-is-trt-and-when-should-it-be-started.19024/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/my-experience-with-tinnitus.12076/
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bjorn90

      Bjorn90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      @Bill Bauer
      No offence. You had a point and I may not have chosen the wisest words to tell my story. I will always be extra careful with my ears from now on. Although ive had T for a real long time, im quite new to this new level and am just trying to find the balance in how to deal with this without causing further damage.
       
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    9. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Most tinnitus spikes end up being temporary. But they can sure take an incredibly long time to fade... I sincerely hope that your nightmare will be over soon.
       
    10. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      Hi @Bjorn90 -- I received a PM asking me about my own approach toward protection, and so I thought I'd paste my reply to you, as it seems pertinent to your comments:

      What approach did you take?

      My approach was to follow my gut instincts. I noticed in the beginning that running water, and even the sound of peeing in the toilet would make me cringe. But I also noticed that a hair dryer on low (much louder than peeing) was actually sort of soothing. So I didn't avoid the hair dryer. I noticed the same thing about traffic noise. Though I normally did my best to avoid "annoying" traffic noise, I was surprised to notice that I now found it somehow soothing.

      So I became comfortable (and confident) exposing my ears to those kinds of noises. However, I also took precautionary steps to protect my ears (and importantly, auditory cortices as well) while they were going through their healing process. I would closely monitor any kind of TV sounds, keeping it mostly on low, and immediately muting it if some kind of unpleasant "blast" came along.

      I also bought myself a good pair of musician's ear plus (Ear Peace brand--about $20). Though I rarely use them around the house, I always put them in when I head out the door. In the beginning, just riding in a vehicle would cause my reactivity to rev up, and those earplugs helped considerably. I also made sure I had them in when going into stores. I was in a food CO-OP one day (which you would assume would be safe), and had three pretty significant noises occur while I was there. Thankfully, the earplugs prevented any kind of spike.

      One thing about those Ear Peace plugs is that they are quite inconspicuous, and I can easily carry on a conversation with them in. I suspect most people don't even notice I have them in, and if they did, would likely not give them a second thought. -- I also purchased a pair of ear muffs for about $30, which I use around the house for things like blending, vacuuming, or doing any kind of tool thing, like using a hammer.

      I definately did not go overboard with my protection, but I certainly don't feel I went underboard either. I stayed away from any venues that could be problematic, such as bands, or even movies. Amazingly, two different people on this forum developed tinnitus from being exposed to the noise level from the same scene in the same movie. When our ears our healing, it's just not worth it to expose them to any kind of unncessary traumas.

      I think my approach to protection has been pretty balanced, and has served me well. My tinnitus and hyperacusis have both improved somewhat in the past 18 months, but the reactive tinnitus has improved by about 90% or so. Equally important, I feel my approach has allowed me to feel confident I was protecting my ears, but not obsessed about it. As you can probably notice, I feel finding a "comfort zone" in every aspect of this is important to me. And it's actually worked out quite well.

      Best!
       
    11. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      Living your life with tinnitus/enjoying it and being foolish are two different things.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bjorn90

      Bjorn90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
       
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    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bjorn90

      Bjorn90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      Thank you! I sure do hope so too, but I'm prepared for that it doesn't... But if it does end It will be amazing and I will for sure take care of that new chance better.
       
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    14. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      My goal is to get to a point where I no longer find my T and H to be a problem in my life. I don't expect to be cured, as I don't believe that tinnitus works that way. I´m now paying the price for being stupid. But if I can manage to reduce/cure my hyperacusis I will be thrilled. If my tinnitus improves that will be a bonus too of course!

      HI @Bjorn90

      Thank you for your reply and well written post. Thank you also for your kind comments.

      Reading your post tells me a lot about your approach to tinnitus and hyperacusis and whether you will be able to move on and make a good recovery. I believe with time you will achieve this and much more, because you have the most important ingredient which is absolutely essential if one is going to successfully recover from tinnitus and do whatever they want in life. That is Positivity. You have this in abundance. Although you have had a set back you are determined not to let it stop you from achieving your goals and that in itself is success.

      Carry on as you are doing and don't let fear and trepredation stop you focusing on whatever you want to do. There may be times negativity, will make you have doubts and this is quite normal. Dust yourself down and keep moving forwards. Try not think of the unfortunate mistake it is only a termporary and minor blip in the grand scheme of things. You have your whole life ahead of you. Life is problematic and whilst one doesn't go out looking for trouble and strive, it is inevitable we will encounter difficulty as we negaviate our path through it. In a sense, if we did not have difficulty and some struggle, we would probably never grow and develop to reach our full potential. Tinnitus has made me a stronger person and enabled me to do certain things that on reflection I probably wouldn't have been able to do without this experience.

      If you are able to do the CBT then please do so as I don't think TRT is necessary. I advise you to use "Noise reducing" earplugs. These have built in filters that will reduce external sound depending on how much attenuation you require. I think: earplugs of 18 to 30 decibel attenuation will suffice. Alpine NR earplugs are of good quality and available from Amazon. Please adhere to my advice in the post: Hyperacusis, As I see it, and not depend on them too much.

      I am 59 years of age and retired but have a lot going on in my life to keep me busy. You will get through this and carry on to do everything that you want, just take one day at a time and don't push yourself too hard.

      Take care and I wish you all the best
      Michael
       
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    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bjorn90

      Bjorn90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      Hi @Lane
      Thank you for replying, and giving advice from such har earned experience. It is truly amazing that there is so many people on this forum that has been were I am now, and managed to improve significantly/ recover given enough time. It gives me courage that I might get there too. The hard part is to stay positive even when it seams on some days that symptoms are worsting rather than improving. But as I have understood it is not a straight road to recovery, and I will stay patient. I believe your approach with using common sense is very good. I still find some situations tricky as to make the right descision regarding wearing ear plugs or not, but I guess that is something I will also learn over time.

      I hope your tinnitus and hyperacusis continue to improve!
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bjorn90

      Bjorn90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      This post really made me feel good. It is comforting to know that there is people on here who have achieved recovery and habituation. And also believe that it is possible for the rest of us. I also truly believe that positivity and the ability to stay calm are the most important factors to recovery. Although it is not easy to keep them up at all times. I'm happy that you have come through the battle as a stronger person and that it did not only bring hardship to your life. I'm trying to focus on the small things that are good every day rather than all the negative ones, which otherwise can get quite overwhelming. As of now my H has gotten a little bit worse for unknown reasons, and feeling a little bit in the dumps. But I'm hoping it will take a turn for the better soon. I´m guessing that this recovery process will be a little bit like riding a roller coaster. And hopefully I will stand on the top when the ride is over. No one can tell how long it will take, but as long as one believe that there eventually will be recovery/ improvement/ habituation anything is possible. At least that is what I try to tell myself most of the time.

      I´m 30 years old, and I find it at times quite hard to deal with. But I´m not intending to give up. Thank you for all the encouragement. I hope your tinnitus just keeps improving.

      Best wishes
      Bjørn
       
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    17. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Be careful with dishes, they sometimes make painful sounds! I hope you recover soon.
       
    18. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Just carry on as you are @Bjorn90 I believe you will achieve all that you want and a lot more it just takes time....

      All the best
      Michael
       
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    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bjorn90

      Bjorn90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      I know they can be quite a b****. Happy I took up the studies so in 3 years I will be able to do something else. Was reading some of your posts, how is your H doing? I have a weird thing I haven't heard of anywhere else. When I´m walking it feels like the wind is blowing in my ears and it hurts a bit. You or anyone else experienced something like that?
       
    20. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      Hey @Bjorn90 -- I had that for the first few months post onset. It then started to dissipate, and now 18 months outs, I don't notice it anymore. Thanks for the reminder that I'm making subtle improvements I'm not always aware of!
       
    21. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Hi Bjorn, my H was very severe and it slowly evolved into a bit of hearing loss plus T. I havent been to the ENT for an actual check in like 6 months but my feeling is my hearing dropped over that short time span. H is more bearable because I have a degree of hearing loss, but loud sounds still kill me and trigger the same symptoms than severe H did. I am quite sure there must be physical damage in my hearing, although doctors havent found anything wrong yet, anything that can be shown in image scans or can be fixed. Damage from loud noise sometimes cannot be fixed or actually seen in tests other than an audiometric test, that will not provide any information about what area of hearing is damaged (middle ear, inner ear etc).

      I think T is likely to be different in the morning. My T is not there all the times, comes on and off, and right now it is not my main concern. It has been reactive (goes up with noise for instance), also like static, and also static with a high beep on top (2 sounds). Over time you will know what your ears are more prone to, it can be very different things, your hearing can get better, or worse, or get a certain kind of T or hearing loss, but only you will know what makes it worse, better etc even if you cannot fully understand it. Of course doctors or TRT salesmen do not understand H or T, or know how to fix it unless there is a very obvious physical root in the hearing structures (middle ear, otosclerosis, neck injury, TMJD etc etc).

      I think you shouldnt worry a lot about hearing, although it is quite difficult to forget about it, and focus on a healthy lifestyle. That's basically the only factor you can control, not doing something that is obviously going to worsen your T or your hearing.

      Best!
       
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    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bjorn90

      Bjorn90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise
      Hello! Thank you for your reply and sorry for not replying for so long. I was in a pretty dark place and since i spent most of my time awake on tinnitustalk I decided that is was for the best that I stepped off and tried to focus on something else for a while... Luckily for me I have had my studies to focus on and things have been going quite ok. Symptoms are going up and down. The difficulty is that it seams that pretty much everything makes my tinnitus spike. Even just talking to someone. But as you say I also beilive that the best is to try to forget about it and just go about the day. Havent quite figured this stuff out yet but I guess I will get there in time. Havent had any mri scans but my hearing tests have come out normal. So I guess time will be the winner in this case for better or for worse. My T in itself is moderate, even mild sometimes. But the H combined with TTS? is killing me. Especially since it seams to trigger spikes. But I'm doing a lot better now than before so thats a good thing.

      Rellay sorry to hear about your condition and I hope it improves a lot in the future!
       
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    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bjorn90

      Bjorn90 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise

      Sorry for replying so late. I'm happy to hear that I'm not the only one who have experienced this. And even more happy that I could remind you of that you have made improvements in the condition!

      I hope you will continue to improve over time!
       
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