Personal Experience with Tinnitus and What Helped Me Personally

Discussion in 'Support' started by AVas, Dec 27, 2018.

    1. AVas

      AVas Member


      Through my 2+ years of ever-increasing tinnitus experience I'd like to share what helped me and how I've dealt with it. Might be useful for somebody.

      Quick story - clubbing, a lot of it in very loud places. Obviously hearing damage was followed by hyperacusis, tinnitus and noticeable hearing loss (or, I suspect, hidden hearing loss). After I've recovered decided to go clubbing (hit me on the head, I know), wore 33db earplugs + 27db earmuffs and after 4-5 hours of clubbing had a huge spike that's still present after a year. Clubs are stupidly loud (this definitely needs to be put under control, regardless...). One lesson from all of this - double protection does not help.

      Now, on my first year I thought it was bad, I was stressed out. But I've managed and recovered. Took me about a year. Got too comfortable and made the same mistakes. Shoot me. Lesson from this - if you think it's bad now, trust me, it can get worse. If you think you're about to crack, give it time, you will recover considerably (not entirely). So being constantly frustrated, angry, upset or what not is not going to make it any better, might as well enjoy the life until the condition improves. Improvement will come as reduced tinnitus volume and improved hyperacusis to the point you will ignore both problems.

      Hyperacusis bothered me for a year but what I've found is that by overprotecting my ears made it worse. Expose your ears to moderate sounds every day and within months hyperacusis will improve quite considerably.

      Supplements I've tried: Ginkgo Biloba, Magnesium (this one helped), Vitamin B complex, Taurine, Omega-3, L-Theanine, Acetyl L-Carnitine. Only magnesium helped but I suspect that's because it relaxes the body overall and that improves sleep quality.

      Sleep makes a huge difference in tinnitus loudness. Better sleep - lower volume. Being stressed out and on caffeine (or its effect of reducing the amount of sleep) made tinnitus go through the roof.

      Exercise helped, especially cardio. Anything that keeps blood pumping through the brain and the body. Tinnitus volume is reduced after the session and afterwards. So there's another reason to stay healthy.

      One of the peculiarities I've noticed is that tinnitus on my left ear subsides when laying still. A bit of motion cranks up the volume. So if you're a book reader find a comfortable position, try to not to move and see if tinnitus volume drops or even dissipates. Doesn't make a different with my right ear, though.

      Another trick - if you want to get momentary silence during the nights, even for a few minutes, match your tinnitus frequency and play a sound for a couple of seconds. This will suppress the tinnitus. Quite nice to hear the silence after long loud months. Compose yourself an mp3 that emits sound at tinnitus frequency for a second or two every minute or so to keep it suppressed for longer. Keep in mind that this may give only partial suppression, depends on the level of damage. After repeating same mistakes of going clubbing damage is more extensive now and it's impossible to completely disable tinnitus with matching sound, still does help to some extent.

      One thing I've noticed is that tinnitus onset is not immediate. After clubbing with double protection I was ok for 2 weeks and then suddenly the tinnitus started becoming louder and louder in the next few days and stayed that way until now (1+ year). So there's that.

      So, even with the ever increasing tinnitus (almost doubled in the last year) I deal with it even better than I did when I first got tinnitus which was much quieter. The brain (or you) gets bored of focusing on it and you just move on with your activities.

      And let's stay optimistic! Eventually something will come along or you'll find something that will help you. In the mean time enjoy the life!

      P.S. If you're looking for a masker that does not cut off the outside world buy bone conducting headphones and play some brown/pink/white noise/environmental sound. Won't cost more than GBP100 (depends on where you live) and much cheaper than hearing aids or some other fancy overpriced sound emitters.
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    2. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Thanks for the info, and your insight.

      Two questions:

      Can you explain further the moderate noise you used to help the hyperacusis?

      Also, what did you use to make the mp3 to match your tinnitus? Is there a smartphone app for this?
    3. AUTHOR

      AVas Member

      @Digital Doc First Now I wear earplugs when driving (gets up to 80db inside the car, usually around 75db but enough to aggravate tinnitus, and yeah, I've measured with a dedicated device), when I'm in noisy pubs or areas, when vacuuming etc. I keep the ears open for everything else. This has helped me a lot.

      When I first got hyperacusis I wasn't protecting ears from the aforementioned noises and it wouldn't improve, overprotecting made it worse, but having a balance as I've mentioned above actually helped a lot. Yeah, have to be a bit more conscious about noises than before but it's what it's.

      Get yourself custom earplugs - easy and fast to get in, easy and fast to get out, and keep them in your pockets. Makes this whole thing much less annoying to the point of it being just another thing you do when you close your door.

      I've used Audacity on Windows, it's free, easy to use and powerful. You click generate -> tone and that's it. Add pauses in between as necessary. To match the tone you can use any free app on your phone, e.g. Frequency Sound Generator on android. Keep the volume below tinnitus and check which tone matches yours. Also you need to pay attention whether your tinnitus gets suppressed as that's a good indication frequencies matched. E.g. playing 1400Hz against 800Hz tinnitus won't suppress it.

      Do note that overexposing your ears to tinnitus frequency for quite a bit, say 10 minutes (for me), transfers the buzzing "into" the brain from my ears, so take care!
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    4. Vicki14

      Vicki14 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Helpful post thanks @AVas. That’s exactly where I am with it 3 years down the line. I’m just finding unexpected noise exposure which results in increased Tinnitus, in my case, very frightening! I’m glad you are coping with it well! (y)
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    5. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Thanks much for the detailed response. I have played with audacity in the past, but did not know it had that capability, so will give it a try.

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