Panicking Over Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Kerri, Oct 20, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Kerri
      Crappy

      Kerri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello everyone. I am having a very very bad week with my tinnitus. My tinnitus started last December as a fluttering sound in my right ear. Over time it has vacated my right ear and become a low, high pitched noise in my right ear. Once and a while the left ear will quiet down and I'll get the noise in my right ear again only for it to return to the left shortly thereafter. I have had a hearing test when this all started and there was no hearing loss present. I have been dealing with it rather well but for some reason these past few weeks I am fixated on it , have had several crying episodes and now can't stop reading horror stories on the internet. I have a few questions and was wondering if you could answer a few.

      1. Does anyone else's tinnitus change ears/become unpredictable? Is this normal? I was hoping that this was an indication that one day it will maybe peace out and leave me alone.

      2. I don't know if it's all in my head (no pun intended) but I feel like it is louder now (2/3-10), whereas before it was barely noticeable. I was prescribed a week long dosage of Metronidazole for an infection and I'm freaking out that this has caused a permanent increase. The pharmacist said if it was going to increase the T it would have happened almost instantaneously. Does anyone know/have experience with this drug?

      3. My main issue with tinnitus is that I am so young and don't know how I can live my life with this. Also, they cannot tell me what caused it. (my guess is being on Celexa for two years). The doctor said he doubts very much it will get worse. I've read of people who have had the same tinnitus pitch/tone their whole lives. Is it guaranteed that it will get worse?

      4. Are there any supplements that I can take to maybe reduce the volume? I take a multivitamin now and 500 mg of Magnesium. People on another support group swear by Apple Cider Vinegar but I;m afraid to try it.

      5. Lastly, is it normal to still have freak out over tinnitus even after coping with it for a long time? It makes me feel so mentally weak and pathetic when I freak out and cry over it. I feel so alone in this journey and I don't know anyone with it (except my dad who just ignores it) so I have no one to talk to.

      If someone could please respond with even the littlest bit of insight or just to give me someone to talk to I could greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
       
    2. randomuser

      randomuser Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      Hi Kerri, I am in a similar situation. My t is not that unpredictable, it has a cycle where 2 days stays calm even almost disappears and then I have a louder day, so I can even hear it on the street, and those days I freak out a little, but I am happy because tomorrow will be calm again. I also have had periods where I forgot about it and periods where it bothers me a lot, and I think this is due to other circumstances such as emotional stress.

      I know nothing about drugs and its effects, but it should be due to the fear associated to making it worse. I guess that once the fear ends, it might return to normal. If not, you can try a course of retigabine, it may help, but be careful and do it under medical advice.

      I guess you are aware of the autifony fiasco, most people had high hopes on this drug, but we should be confident in the future, right now in this forum there is a big awareness and research initiative going on to attract funds for research and accelerate the discovery of new drugs or treatments. Life is long, very long, and hopefully in the next few years we will have something available.

      Don't feel bad for feeling weak and pathetic, I feel like you most of the time and I am supposed to be a fully grown man, but still cry a lot. Life is what it is, and at the end the only thing that matters is to be happy.

      Most probably you will get over it again -remember, you did it before.

      About the stability of the tinnitus, I have no idea, but I can figure out that usually people who search for relief on forums is people who is either at the beginning of the condition, people with small relapses (such as you or me) or people in other circumstances. This forum is very small, and there is a lot of people with t out there, so in my opinion most people have stable t, habituates and forgets about it. If not, imagine 3 million people only in US with severe depression and suicidal toughts, the "problem" with t is that most people get used to it and is a minor problem for the ENTs and other doctors ("live with it"). Right now, the best strategy is to try to get used to it, follow the research news (once in a while, not daily) and hope for a relief sooner than later.

      Well, I know how bad you can feel with this noise, but try to live day after day, don't worry about the future and relax, things usually improve after some time, your brain has other things to do apart from hearing the noise and will eventually get bored of it.

      And, please, do not read horror stories, it will make you feel bad, forget about internet, ban tinnitus forums and websites and live your life. I should do it, today I've been too much time here and this is not healthy at all.
       
    3. Robert44

      Robert44 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert
      hi,
      I got T from a loud concert in April. The first month was tough. It will get better. All I can tell you is do everything you can to protect your ears. I carry ear plugs with me at all times. I gave up Advil, caffeine (coffee) aspirin and cut back on salt and sweets. I am doing better. Sleep is important. Use something to mask the T at night so you can get some sleep. If you get some sleep that will really help. Good luck
       
    4. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Nothing is guaranteed; some people have even had long-standing tinnitus randomly go away at some point.

      Because you're young, this is probably the first serious health crisis you've dealt with, which makes it harder. It will definitely not be the last health issue you have.

      Yes, it's very normal to have ongoing anxiety about this. You may not be able to do much about the condition itself, but you will adapt. I have noticed that I'm now often able to go hours without thinking about T at all, even though it's there as a constant 14khz companion, no matter what background sounds I'm around.
       
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    5. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Tinnitus comes in lots of sounds and strengths and can change at any time.
      Also from ear to ear,both or sound in your head.

      Tinnitus usually settles back down over time so try not worry as stress can spike tinnitus....lots of love glynis
       
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    6. eric peterson
      Sporty

      eric peterson Member

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 10/2003 Increase: 4/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      who knows? who cares?
      Kerri, I'll try and take the questions, one at a time.
      (1) Many people say that their tinnitus changes in tone and volume. This is not uncommon. the longer you've had it, the less likely that it's going away, but there are stories of people who've had theirs go away even years after coming down w T.
      (2) There are literally hundreds of drugs that have ringing in the ears as a very low probability side effect, but very few that you should probably avoid. Dr. Stephen Nagler keeps a list of drugs that maybe you should look at on tinn.com.
      (3) Mine was very, very mild for over a decade, and then I had a huge ramp in volume and tone about 6 months ago. As far as I know, this is generally uncommon, and you can very much habituate to the louder level (not that anyone wants the louder level). The doctor has no way of knowing what will happen, and neither do I (or you for that matter). So why worry about it? It's not going to help you learn to live with T (should you have to). You're going to be fine. Just deal with what's on your plate. No point in killing yourself with potentials that will likely never happen.
      (4) There are exactly zero supplements/foods/drugs, etc that have any statistically valid, medically proven ability to lower T volume. But there is anecdotal evidence (basically people on here) who claim any number of things that helped them. So long as they're not potentially harmful to your health, go ahead and do them. Throwing salt over your shoulder doesn't keep bad luck away, but who cares? So long as it doesn't hurt, and even if it helps only as a placebo, go ahead, let 'er rip.
      (5) It is completely common to struggle with T. You're not the only one. In fact, just about everyone with intrusive T struggles with sleeping, anxiety, depression, etc. But know that most people move on to live very happy and healthy lives where their T plays a very minimal role in their lives. The best advice is to live your life as well and as happy as you can, and to put T on the back burner as much as humanly possible. (Not easy, I know).

      Let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.

      Eric
       
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    7. Kerri
      Crappy

      Kerri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Eric,

      Thank you! Your answers are extremely helpful and make me feel 1000x better. It's nice to talk to someone that know something about what you are going through. I've struggled with anxiety my entire life and this is not making that battle any easier. I'm trying to stay off the internet as I find that never helps my anxiety but it's easier said than done.

      I have two more questions if you don't mind.

      When should I be wearing earplugs? I wear them a lot on the subway and if I go to a loud concert or event. Should I be wearing them in restaurants or bars too? It's hard to judge sound what sound levels are safe and what is not.

      I also sleep with a fan on low which according to my iPhone app (idk how reliable they are) is around 50db. I'm worried sleeping 6-7 hours with this on will cause damage to my hearing. I tried wearing earplugs with the fan on but I read somewhere else that overuse of ear plugs can actually increase tinnitus and it seems to sound louder once I take them out. Any thoughts on this?

      Again thanks for you help.

      Kerri
       
    8. Kerri
      Crappy

      Kerri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for your response. I guess life in unfair and this is just another bump in the road we need to deal with. I try to be positive but am naturally pessimistic so it's a struggle, especially with anxiety.

      I don't know anything about the autophony. Maybe I should look that up.
       
    9. eric peterson
      Sporty

      eric peterson Member

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 10/2003 Increase: 4/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      who knows? who cares?
      Kerri, I can't really say when you should be wearing earplugs. I've heard that anything over 85 decibels for an extended period can cause hearing damage. But that's just an average number given for all people. It may be higher or lower for you. I live in NYC, and I never wear any on the subway, or in bars/restaurants. But I also never go to anywhere where I might need them. So no concerts, no bars with bands, no clubs, and no rock 'n' roll bowling alleys with DJs. But as far as just day to day, I never wear any. As far as at night, I'm not a doctor and I hate to give advice like this, but I sincerely doubt that listening to 50db of volume, even in the long term, will have any effect on your hearing. If you're worried, I'd just download a white noise app. I use "White Noise Free". It has fan as one of the choices for sounds to sleep to, and you can adjust it higher and lower and set a time for it to shut off. I personally wear a runner's ear bud (so my gf doesn't have to listen to the noise) and play some soft nature sounds and I sleep like a baby. That's the only time I allow myself to mask at all, but I do it every night and I haven't had any problems.

      Eric
       
    10. randomuser

      randomuser Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      Don't bother looking up the autifony affair. It was basically a "promise drug" that failed miserably and people complained about, there is a huge thread in the research news subforum, but again, it will only harm you, really. Stay away from forums.

      I am also a (very) pessimistic person with loads of self-pity and it's not pleasant.

      And have this in mind. T sucks, a lot, really. But what really sucks it's not T itself, it's the anxiety and depression that comes up with it. Both could be easily relieved if we were able to cure T, but since this is not possible now (in the future probably it will be), try to battle anxiety and depression and forget about T. The concept is extremely simple but it's also extremely difficult to execute. Anxiety is unpleasant, depression is unpleasant. T sucks but at some point it will be only a annoyance, or even less than that. You can live with T and without depression or anxiety, and this should be your (and my) objective, you're young and I bet that you want to enjoy these years... don't let them go. Probably is frustrating, I mean, you will think that you're enjoying things only at 50% and you'll be frustrated, but 50% is more than 0%, this happens when you give up doing things. Take care of your hearing and enjoy.

      (This is the theory, at the end I am like you, but this should be your guideline. Life is unfair but I really doubt that a relief or cure won't be found in the next 10? 15? years... a lot of time but shorter than a lifetime. This is hardly a solace but it's a fact, rock solid, and someday will come)
       
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    11. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Put a bit differently -- if we have a perfect cure in as little as one year, well, it's still a year away. How do you want to spend that year? Suffering as much as you possibly can from your predicament, or enjoying life as much as you can in spite of your predicament?

      I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired, to borrow an aphorism. Tinnitus can drive me fucking bonkers some times, but I'm not going to let it control my life. I will let it steer me away from things that I believe to be fundamentally unsafe for me, like loud indoor rock concerts, and firearms. I will not let it deprive me of the things I love, like riding motorcycles (with earplugs), going on hikes in quiet scenes, etc.
       
    12. randomuser

      randomuser Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      I said this before, but if we were one year ahead of a perfect cure, I would habituate immediately. I was "kind of" habituated when the autifony hype was going on, and "dehabituated" after the bluff. It's sad, but it's my perspective. What annoys me mostly is the lack of solutions to this problem. I am an ex-OCD sufferer and spent several years before going to the psychiatrist, but I was happy to delay the treatment because I knew that there were one available. Isn't that sad?

      Btw, I probably worded bad the last paragraph, I'm saying that in my opinion, something will appear for the treatment of t in the next 10 to 15 years, maybe a bit less, maybe a bit more.
       
    13. Kerri
      Crappy

      Kerri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Do you find your tinnitus is louder for a period after riding the subway or being in a loud environment?
       
    14. eric peterson
      Sporty

      eric peterson Member

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 10/2003 Increase: 4/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      who knows? who cares?
      Kerri,

      Mine changes and spikes at times, but I honestly can't say why it does. Doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for it. Or, at least, I'm not able to figure out why. I try not to worry about whether or not mine will change or spike and just worry more about living my life and trying to keep my emotional reaction to my T as neutral as possible. It's not easy, but it gets easier w time.

      Eric
       
    15. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      1. Yes
      2. No experience with this drug.
      3. Mine got worse. But slowly over 40 plus years.
      4. I've tried a LOT of supplements of vitamins and minerals, and some odd foods, but none helped.
      5. I reached my highest freak out level just last year at this time.
      You may get some help from this- https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/back-to-silence.7172/
       
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