One Year After Noise Induced Tinnitus (Success Story)

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by sweden1991, Jul 16, 2017.

    1. sweden1991

      sweden1991 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      nightclub? stress? sinus issues?
      Hi everyone.

      (sorry for the long post)

      I have been meaning to write this story, but I decided to wait until my one year tinnitus 'anniversary'.
      A year ago I went to a concert/nightclub with some friends and woke up with ringing in one of my ears. I panicked and searched the internet for some 'comfort' - something I didn't find. I read with tears in my eyes how there is 'no cure'.
      My friends didn't take this seriously and told me that this surely 'would go away in a few days'.
      It didn't. In fact, it got worse. The tone kept changing, and the other ear starting ringing as well. I think I may have also developed some sort of sensitivity to sound as any type of sound felt very painful, and it was as if I was in an airplane constantly (muffled hearing and pressure).
      I spend a lot of money on all types of 'online cures' and 'miracle pills' and spent my days searching the internet for recovery statistics and tinnitus stories.
      I have always had a lot of anxiety, something that was of course made a lot worse by this situation. Most days I would refuse to get out of bad (since I had 'ruined my life' anyways), and my time would be spent either crying my eyes out or screaming/hitting the wall in anger/desperation. I had also 'decided' that, if this did not go away - I would not want to live anymore.
      Months went by and some days would be better (not necessarily the tinnitus itself but my mood - sometimes it's hard to separate the two), and some days would be a lot worse. The tinnitus also changed a lot in these past few months which in my opinion made it much worse to deal with. The changing tones made it impossible 'to get used to tinnitus' in my opinion. Some days it would be screaming in one ear, some days hissing and often I would wake up with 'wind noises' in my ear.

      In October last year I started graduate school at the University of Oxford. I was prepared to drop out but determined to give it a try. The first month was difficult, people were loud and the british pubs even louder - I found myself avoiding social situations because of this or using earplugs which made it hard to hear (while covering my ears with my hair because I was still very much embarrassed by this). One of the people I confided in even said to me 'Tinnitus - isn't that what people kill themselves over'... something that made it even worse.

      A few weeks after my course started something even worse than the tinnitus started (IMO). I started hearing an echo after every word I said (it was as if the tinnitus would echo a beep after I said something). My depression/anxiety got very bad at this point and I was prescribed benzos.
      I live near London and booked an appointment with the Tinnitus Clinic, out of desperation.
      This actually changed everything for me. (and no I don't believe that going there yourself will make a difference for you necessarily, rather the lesson I learnt is what might).

      I sat in the waiting room with the echo and beeping present, I almost wanted to leave since I was worried they would tell me that they could not help me and that it would not go away (which in my case would have been devastating since I regarded them as my last hope).

      The appointment took about an hour and although they of course did not offer any 'miracle cure' - it offered insight.
      The doctor said (among other things) that the research is unclear but in his opinion (and from his research) it seems as though a few things need to be present for Tinnitus to happen (1. some sort of hearing trauma 2. anxiety/stress 3. some problems with a mechanism in the brain which is responsible for neutralizing sounds).
      He believed that anxiety and the reaction to it makes it worse (not just the experience but the actual tinnitus sound), which also means that it can make it better. He stated that this is his personal belief based on his own trials and research, but confirmed that this is not technically 'proven yet' because of the difficulty in conducting medical trials.
      The interesting thing was that his words did calm me down, and the next morning the 'echo' was no longer present (the tinnitus still was).

      Stunned by this I began to wonder if there was something to this.
      I have a few friends who are neuroscience researchers and I started talking to them about the impact of stress/anxiety on the brain and whether they thought that it could have an impact. They seemed to believe that it can. Over the next few months I noticed how really stressful events made it a lot worse (e.g. one morning I woke up and it was so loud that I could barely hear - this was right before a big exam). This to me has 'proven' that anxiety will change it. It has now been one year and I can definitely say that it has gotten soooo much better. (The tinnitus and my reaction to it).
      It is still there somewhat, and does act up sometimes but I can barely hear it (even in a quiet room) unless I plug my ears. The main change took place after 6 months (I believe that this was due to a change in my reaction to it). I understand that some Tinnitus cases do resolve spontaneously, and that perhaps this had nothing to do with anxiety - However, I do not believe that these things were coincidences (eg. me waking up without the echo the day after, it getting worse when I am stressed etc)

      I am not sure that it will every go away completely, however this doesn't matter to me anymore. I can barely hear it and it has actually improved my quality of life. I am now stronger as a person and I am more aware of my stress/anxiety. I used to think that this could in no way be made worse by stress/anxiety since I simply wasn't that stressed - this had to do with me not being 'aware' of my own anxiety I believe.

      I don't want to come off like someone with a miracle solution, I simply want to share my experience - since reading success stories really helped me get better.

      Please feel free to ask me or reach out if you have any questions. I wish you all the best :)
       
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    2. Melike
      Studious

      Melike Member

      Location:
      Istanbul, Turkey
      Tinnitus Since:
      17 / 03 /2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most probably TMJD and neck issues that came with it.
      That's a very encouraging story. I'm having a really hard time with my anxiety. Thank you @sweden1991 , I needed it so much.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sweden1991

      sweden1991 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      nightclub? stress? sinus issues?
      @Melike I'm so glad you got something out of it. I hope you're doing well. Remember that it will get better (one way or another) I promise :)
       
    4. Melike
      Studious

      Melike Member

      Location:
      Istanbul, Turkey
      Tinnitus Since:
      17 / 03 /2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most probably TMJD and neck issues that came with it.
      You are absolutely right. I'm a big fan of stress reduction and I believe we can experience even silence when we do the necessary life style changes. I am not talking about momentarily changes, people believe stress doesn't have an effect on their T just because they dont get spikes when they are stressed or vice versa. It should be a more radical, extensive and self-aware change and we should be patient enough to see any improvement.

      But it is a long process and definitely takes time, but consistency is the key. The main problem is SPIKES! If I can learn to respond them, not to react them, it will be a lot easier !
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sweden1991

      sweden1991 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      nightclub? stress? sinus issues?
      I definitely know what you mean. Ive had a lot of spikes, some of them terrifying and long. They all went away though - just try and remember that. I always gave myself a time to worry - "i'll worry about this if it hasnt gone away in 5 weeks" for instance, that way I learnt to manage my anxiety around it. But most importantly for me was to forget about T. Do as much stuff as you can, never stay home crying about it. Even when you don't want to - make sure to get up and out! It will get better (either your T will get better or you will learn to live with it so that you barely hear it anyways).

      Good luck!
       
    6. Raphael7713
      Alone

      Raphael7713 Member

      Location:
      Stockholm, Sweden.
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 14, 2017.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      I don't think people really understand how powerful stress and anxiety is. It can ruin you can cause 100000 symptoms.
       
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    7. Paula123

      Paula123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss or virus
      I'm also thinking of going to the tinnitus clinic in London, did you just have a hearing test or receive treatment? I think mine is also linked with stress! Thanks Paula
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sweden1991

      sweden1991 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      nightclub? stress? sinus issues?
      @Paula123 Hi Paula,
      I had a hearing test and the comprehensive consultation done. I did this after 4 mo with Tinnitus and they told me to come back if it still was bad a few months after that.
      It was great going but I don't think it's necessary unless you're looking for specific treatment. If you believe that yours is caused by stress/anxiety/emotions (and even if it isnt caused it for sure is affected by it) then I would try working on that first :) (because going there is expensive!)
      Hugs!
       
    9. Nate Croteau

      Nate Croteau Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/27/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sound Trauma
      Hi Sweden1991
      I'm just nearing 6th month with noise induced Tinnitus from a very loud tool at work. My T experience is very similar to yours so far. Started in my left ear now somewhat in both, always changing tone and frequency, waking up to hissing or wind noise, etc. It's been a nightmare struggling to cope, just when I think I'm finally getting a handle on it, it spikes, and then I'm an emotional anxious mess until it settle back down. I too believe stress has alot to do with triggering spikes. I was super anxious about my audiologist appointment a couple days ago but oddly enough my latest spikes didn't happen till late last night. This one was short lived, thank God. It's leveled off again this evening. It's always worst for me if it keeps me up the night before, then my anxiety/stress level is always worst especially with work. I also get these weird sharp pains in my ears and tingling feelings around and behind my skull. The ENT had no explanation for this. Over the past few months the baseline level seems to be improving over all, and I hope to reach a point of full habituation like you in a few more months. Hopefully it will continue to diminish and heal to some degree. Thankfully my hearing test results weren't terrible, I have about 10 db of mid frequency range hearing loss in my left ear, but overall still in normal ranges. Which is weird cause my main T sound is currently high frequency... Anyways, sorry for the long reply. And Thank you for your initial post it's really help me relax and breath easier that this too shall pass... All the best to you.
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sweden1991

      sweden1991 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      nightclub? stress? sinus issues?
      Hi @Nate Croteau ,

      It seems like your experience was really similar to mine. I wish you could just trust me that it will get better but I know that's much easier said than done.
      I haven't 'just' habituated. The tinnitus is 95% gone. If I'm in a quiet room and plug my ears I can hear it btu thats pretty much it. I have had a couple of panic attacks/anxiety attacks recently where it acted up for a few hours (again indicating how stress has a lot more to do with it than we think).
      Think of it this way. If you can 'cope' with it for even 1 minute, then that means that you have proven to yourself that you can cope with it permanently (and it'll get mich easier).
      I would suggest that you only read positive posts from now on (please dont read all the terrible posts written by anxious people, it will only make it worse for you and your tinnitus). Every time you start to panic remember that that too will pass, and that it is ok. Trying to force yourself to not panic wont help - instead try to calm yourself down by reading positive stuff and or focusing on something else.
      It is a journey but I know you will look back on this in the future wondering why you were so anxious :)

      All the best! I'm cheering you on!
       
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    11. Maruashen
      Woot

      Maruashen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014 (increased 10/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Mild hearing loss
      Hi or Hej!

      When I'm reading your post it almost feel like I'm reading exactly what I self might have written, it almost feels weird.
      The feelings regarding emotions and the muffled feeling in the ears that you are describing are exactly the same as what I am experiencing right now.
      Im five weeks into my "increased" tinnitus journey now (just did a long post about it), so I guess I'm not quite there yet regarding "accepting" the tinnitus.
      When did your muffled hearing start to fade away?

      /Martin
       
    12. ClaudiaT

      ClaudiaT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      firecracker
      I love this post. I can't help but wonder if why you had such a dramatic response after your first tinnitus clinic visit was because you were talking to an "expert" who had conviction about his opinion about the causes. Part of my son's problem (he has T from firecracker explosion) is he can NOT stop stressing and I believe that one reason why his stress is off the charts is because every doctor he's seen is wishy washy about his prognosis. If one doctor could lie to him and tell him he will definitely get better, his stress would go down and he might get better! I know docs can't do that. But your doctor's statement was good enough- just telling you that he really believed it. And by the way, his theory makes SOOOO much sense. I can't wait for my son to start his CBT so he can start working on his stress levels. Your post makes me optimistic which makes me a nicer mom which makes my son less stressed, ha ha ha.
       
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    13. TomPearson
      Transparent

      TomPearson Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hey Claudia,

      I thought about linking you to this post after reading it just now, looks like you beat me to it.

      It isn't the end of the world, and anxiety makes it worse!
       
    14. hans01
      Artistic

      hans01 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress, hearing loss, sinus infections, ... ?

      I agree with you, all of the ENT's I saw just made me feel worse because they told me it's 100% noise and hearing damage, and there's nothing we can do for you, this is not just related to T, but a lot of other health issues, doctors are not always giving hope. A good book for understanding this mechanism is "You are the Placebo" from Joe Dispenza, a lot of people will find it probably nonsense, but actually it is not, it's probably much more powerful then we can think of. I have observed great changes in my T levels just by reducing stress, I even managed to cancel a few T's out this way (I have multiple T's) for a few days so it's more then just hearing damage for me.
       
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