Ongoing Tinnitus Spike After Months of Habituation — A Result of a Burn Out and Continued Stress?

Discussion in 'Support' started by sigridcornelia, Nov 19, 2020.

    1. sigridcornelia

      sigridcornelia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 17, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Combination of stress, anxiety, a cold and a flight.
      Hi everyone,

      I actually haven't been here for a while. I was doing quite good. My tinnitus started 2.5 years ago. After 1.5 years or so I habituated, and since February/March of this year I wasn't bothered by my tinnitus at all. It was like I didn't have tinnitus anymore, although it was still there, but very mild. I actually started to 'like' my tinnitus. It became a soothing sound to me at night, and helped me fall asleep.

      I was very happy that my tinnitus got so mild, since it was very loud at the beginning. It became a minor issue in my life. However, in August of this year my tinnitus randomly started to spike a little. This kept going for 4 weeks or so, and then it got better again. But a little over 4 weeks ago my tinnitus started to spike again, and this time it became very loud. For 3 weeks there was no change in the volume or sound. It became unbearable. The last week there were a few moments that it became a little softer, so I thought this spike was finally going to end, but it seems like it isn't, cause last night it went back to this high volume, and I couldn't sleep. Today I feel awful, and I feel like I'm getting depressed again. Like I'm back to square one... after such a great time without tinnitus distress. Anyway, the fact that it's starting to fluctuate again could be a good sign I guess?

      I haven't had a spike in a long time, so I feel like I'm back to being a newbie to this and I need some advice and/or reassurance. In my first year of tinnitus I had a lot of spikes, and they always lasted for a maximum of 2 weeks, and I always trusted that they would go away. This time it feels different? It's taking so long... more than 4 weeks now. I feel like I can't trust it will get down to baseline again.

      I must mention that I did have a burn out this year, that my mom became terminally ill (we heard that at the end of July and in August my tinnitus started to spike), and that I have a lot of work stress. So hopefully my nervous system is just messed up because of stress and things will get back to normal. Could really use some advice though.

      Do you guys have any idea whether I should consider this a permanent increase in the volume of my tinnitus or just a temporary spike that's taking it's time?

      X
       
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    2. jimH
      Caffeine

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      A period of sustained stress can cause a prolonged spike. I had three simultaneous stressful situations in my life in 2014 that caused the longest and worst spike I've experienced in more than 30 years of living with Tinnitus. It lasted four months.

      Considering the situation with your mom and the stressful situation at work, I believe you're experiencing the same thing that I did.

      As the stressful situations were resolved, my Tinnitus level gradually decreased back down to it's previous base. I believe your situation is just temporary. Try to convince yourself that is probably the case in order not to add to your anxiety and stress level by thinking that it's probably permanent.

      Good Luck!
       
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    3. Michael B
      No Mood

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      '11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      For me, the only thing predictable about tinnitus is its unpredictability. Based on your history with tinnitus, my guess is that it will improve in time.
      Sorry to hear about your mom. Hope your tinnitus improves soon.
       
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    4. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      You are none of the above. You are a survivor. You know the drill. It'll take time but you will habituate as you did before. I know how you feel. I have had many spikes and have always habituated. G-d bless. Pray for better treatments or cure.
       
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    5. CAgirl

      CAgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      3 M80 Firecrackers
      I was also habituating and healing after months and then used a hair dryer for 15 minutes and am having the worst spike now for the last 4 days. I am also back into that cycle of anxiety and depression. So I completely know what you mean. I really hope it gets better for you with time.
       
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    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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

      Sorry to know your tinnitus has spiked. If there is no underlying medical problem within your auditory system that originally caused the tinnitus such as menier's etc. The two common causes after a long habituation period as you've described are stress and exposure to loud noise. When I say loud noise I included the following: Using headphones, earbuds, headset, Noise cancelling headphones. Listening to loud music through speakers or in the car.

      If you haven't been using headphones of any kind, even at low volume and you haven't been exposed to loud sounds/noise, then the stress due to your mother being ill is the likely cause. Sorry to hear about your mother. If the increase is stress related the tinnitus will calm down in time. Have a talk with your doctor who may prescribe something to help you through this difficult time.

      Take care
      Michael
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sigridcornelia

      sigridcornelia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 17, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Combination of stress, anxiety, a cold and a flight.
      Thanks everyone for responding. I really appreciate it.

      I do have some better days though, but at the moment it's LOUD again. Blegh. I hope the fluctuations mean that my spike is slowly, gradually, going down, or that I'm habituating to this new volume.

      I did a hearing test to see if my hearing got bad, but I still have excellent hearing... So, there is a high chance that my stress-levels are indeed contributing to my tinnitus.

      If there is anyone that would like to share his or her experience with an ongoing spike, I'd really like to hear it... :)
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sigridcornelia

      sigridcornelia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 17, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Combination of stress, anxiety, a cold and a flight.
      So sorry you are going through the same sh*t. How are you doing these days? Any better?
       
    9. AWilson32

      AWilson32 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Earphone use
      I know the feeling unfortunately. I've had tinnitus since Jan 2016 and the start was a nightmare. I would do anything and everything to resist it.

      However since Sep 2017, my tinnitus was stable and down to a gentle hum. Yet this week, maybe triggered by a sore throat or cold weather (who knows how this thing works), I had a flare up.

      It's messed up my sleep and you're having to go through another cycle of habituation again. What gives me comfort is it's temporary and the noise goes back down to a manageable "baseline" eventually.
       
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