Silence Is a Gift

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by TravisK, Aug 24, 2018.

    1. TravisK

      TravisK Member

      Location:
      Wisconsin
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Suspected Acoustic Trauma
      It’s been a long time coming, but I wanted to share my success story in hopes that it inspires and helps others. My tinnitus started in January 2017 after suffering from a particularly bad cold with a 101-degree fever. I woke up one morning a couple days after the fever broke to a full feeling in my right ear and muffled sound. I did not think much of it the first couple days and figured it would eventually go away. It didn’t. Soon the tinnitus began as well, which sounded like a small engine running in an adjacent room. (I actually asked my wife once if a car was idling outside when it wasn’t.) Other times the tinnitus sounded like a “roaring” noise, or the constant white noise sound one hears when in an airplane at cruising altitude.

      I assumed the cause was the cold/fever I had suffered, but I always wondered whether it also could have been caused by a loud white noise machine that had been literally sitting on my bed next to my pillow, which I used for white noise to help me sleep. I wondered whether I could have suffered some kind of autistic trauma, made possible by ears weakened by the virus I’d just kicked. More on that theory in a moment.

      In the weeks that followed, my tinnitus was nearly constant, sound was muffled, and my ears became VERY sensitive to noise. I could not listen to music on headphones, had to keep TV and radio volumes down, and I could not talk on the phone using that ear because it was so sensitive. After a month of this hell, I went to a Doctor, who said I had fluid in my right ear. He said it should eventually go away on its own and that I should take an antihistamine to help this process. I left feeling hopeful, but more weeks passed and no improvement.

      Next, I went to ENT, where they saw no fluid in my ears and could identify no cause for my issues. My acoustic trauma theory was dismissed. I was prescribed steroids, which were not helpful and actually made the tinnitus worse at times. I also had a hearing test, which showed reduced hearing in my right ear. This was no surprise because I was constantly asking for things to be repeated. They also ordered an MRI due to some dizziness that had also started by that point, which was negative. I decided to just deal with it for awhile and hope it went away.

      By March 2018, nearly a year later, the tinnitus was still there and my dizziness had gotten more frequent, now occurring several times per week. Out of frustration, I made another ENT appointment with a different Doctor. He was very knowledgeable, but was not helpful and rattled off the dozens of tests he wanted to do. He suspected Meniere’s Disease. He also dismissed my acoustic trauma theory. I left angry and decided to take matters into my own hands.

      On April 28, 2018 I made some significant changes to my environment and lifestyle that were ultimately life changing and helped me kick this. First, I immediately stopped using any form of white noise for sleep and instead slept with ear plugs and gave my ears complete silence all night. I had never used that same white noise machine again after this all started, but continued to keep a fan on at night, so I stopped that too. I felt all along that the original spark for this was likely acoustic trauma, and after a lot of research online (much on this site) I realized if that was the cause I was not letting my ear heal properly because it was continuing to be exposed to that white noise for 8 hours a night, every night. I also became VERY careful about avoiding any loud noise exposure and even purchased some heavy duty ear protection for when I mowed the lawn or used any loud tools.

      Secondly, I began drinking a lot more water. I probably tripled my water intake when I started this, which eliminated my dizziness. I don’t know whether I was just severely dehydrated or if it was related to my ear issues. I suspect it may have been both. Finally, I began taking a multivitamin and also vitamin D3 daily after reading that this has helped some people with chronic tinnitus.

      It has been about four months since making these changes and my tinnitus is basically gone! I have gone from thinking about tinnitus 30 times a day to maybe twice a day. My dizziness is also gone and my hearing has improved a great deal. If I’m in a totally silent room I can still hear a slight high pitch ring in that ear, but it does not bother me and I can’t hear it over other noises.

      I think the most important thing I learned from this experience is that the ear is very slow to heal! It's frustrating, but if you're making changes and trying things give them time to work. Let me know if you have any questions. I know I left out some stuff that happened along the way, but I hope this was helpful.
       
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    2. Michellejean

      Michellejean Member

      Location:
      Maine
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/1/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus/ no clue
      @TravisK this was really encouraging to me as my tinnitus came after a virus as well. Can you describe how the pure tone sounded? Right now I have tinnitus I can hear easily over 40 decibels if ambient sound. (Imagine the grocery store parking lot would be this loud)

      Did the volume of your tinnitus slowly fade? Or was it mostly over the last four months as you stated?

      I’m so happy for you!
       
    3. Kelvin

      Kelvin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Work
      Great to hear you success story !
      I find your choice to avoid White Noise very interesting.
      The standard advice seems to be that these noises played through WNGs can be helpful and healing
      I have not and found this to be true ( although not been able to get WNGs from my NHS trust and cant chance the cash ) and hence I find my experience with these static type noises puzzling.
      I find them intensely irritating....:mad:
      Reading your post though it makes 'logical' sense to let things heal.
      Whatever the cause of your T or H I guess your auditory system is basically screaming it is tired and stressed or injured.
      I hope things continue to improve for you.
       
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    4. fatima

      fatima Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1st august 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Labyrinthitis
      Could it have been labyrinthitis??
      What triggered your dizziness??
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TravisK

      TravisK Member

      Location:
      Wisconsin
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Suspected Acoustic Trauma
      It’s possible. I think that nerve was definitely angry/inflamed and it was contributing to my issues. Giving it a few months of quietness must have settled it down.

      As for the dizziness, I’ve read about many people having it with acoustic trauma cases. Lots of inner ear problems are directly tied to dizziness so unfortunately it could be a number of possibilities.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TravisK

      TravisK Member

      Location:
      Wisconsin
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Suspected Acoustic Trauma
      I found that after waking up in the morning after using white noise all night, my T was worse and my ear was more sensitive. It gradually settled down a little during the day. I concluded that the relatively quiet white noise I was using was enough to cause issues over 8 hours.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    7. Contrast

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Retrovile
      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      injury from noxious noise
      hearing improved, tinnitus lessened. 10/10 also you made a typo.
       

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