So I Went to an ENT...

Discussion in 'Support' started by st0rch, Nov 27, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. st0rch
      Creative

      st0rch Member

      Location:
      Taylorsville, Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/18/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      And I'm not quite sure what to think... would love some insight. I explained that I had Tinnitus after a very loud concert, so he sent me to the audiologist in the next room. Every single hearing test came back extremely well, and my eardrums were responding perfectly.

      The ENT then explained that I experienced a threshold shift, which is temporary hearing loss, and usually includes Tinnitus lasting a day or so that dissapears as the hearing returns. When I explained it had been a week since the concert, he then explained that Anxiety & Stress (which I have more than my share of; read my first post) can prolong the Tinnitus , but informed me that it would eventually dissapear as I address the anxiety.

      So now I have even more questions... and am very concerned :(

      For one, I didn't have the tinnitus previous to the concert, so how could my anxiety possibly be causing the physical manifestation of sound without actual damage to my hearing? It's not subtle... nothing that was hidden before and is only noticable because of anxiety... it's loud, high pitched, and has kept me from sleeping for 5 days straight.

      Maybe I'm missing something. I know this can just as easily be in my head, but it came after an exposure to noise, so...? Everything points to this being permanent, even though the ENT told me it would dissapear. I'm terrified, as It will ALWAYS be on my mind until it's actually gone, and if it's my anxiety keeping it here, that means it will NEVER dissapear. I'm hoping he meant it would actually PHYSICALLY go away, but in my mind he was thinking "It will go away when you stop noticing it" which is hardly true for the level of sound im experiencing. Although sometimes I forget about it, when it gets quiet it surfaces it's ugly head again.

      Any hope for me...? It's been a week officially since I started experiencing these symptoms. Is it possible for this to actually dissapear, or only for me to stop noticing it. (really, that isn't possible at the pitch and volume it's at. I understand learning to ignore / cope with it, but he didn't say that, he said it would go away?)
       
    2. st0rch
      Creative

      st0rch Member

      Location:
      Taylorsville, Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/18/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      And now I'm sitting here thinking... "If this is permanent, then any advances or cures for hearing loss in the future will never help me, as mine isn't due to hearing loss" So now I have no damn hope either way.

      Awesome.
       
    3. Erlend
      Question it

      Erlend Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scandinavia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      If you've had it for only one week, it could very well go away for real. But it's not certain though

      It might very well be permanent, but permanent today could also be 2-3 years because of the research and clinical trials of drugs being done.

      But after one week, I'd say it might very well go away. Here's the thing, it either goes away or it doesn't.

      Do not monitor it.

      Maybe once every two days. If I were you I don't think I'd be able to listen to this advice. I am too concerned, anxious and inpatient. But you should TRY not to monitor it.

      There are also drugs you could take to keep it from manifesting. Check out @attheedgeofscience 's posts, I think he touches this subject.
       
    4. Erlend
      Question it

      Erlend Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scandinavia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      Here's a picture I made once to cheer myself up. I haven't gotten any better after 6 months though.. And I am struggling. But the worst thing you can do is isolate yourself and obsess about. I spent 5 months obsessing (no school or university) and I think because of this, I have developed several other anxiety based conditions related to the ears.

      So in away, you can still avoid traps (that I stepped in...)

      Here's the pic

      tinnitus-success-stories.png

      @click is a member on this forum, so it is legit.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    5. meeruf
      Badass

      meeruf Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Diving
      Well, first of all. You should not have went to a "very loud concert", as you said it, without proper hearing protection. That is just stupid. You are asking for tinnitus when you do that. Don't do that again. You can buy plugs at a pharmacy for nothing.

      Other then that. You have had tinnitus for a very short time. It can go away. If you stop focus on it, you will have a better chance for that to happen.

      And next time, remember plugs. ;)

      EDIT:

      The message above was not ment to offend. Its just that I get despaired to hear about how many people destroy their hearing. It should be more awareness about it. Its so simple to prevent, yet so few that know what they need to do.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Useful Useful x 1
    6. Lulubug69
      Artistic

      Lulubug69 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      9/2013
      Maybe it's that he feels the anxiety is perpetuating the T.
       
    7. Misery
      Happy

      Misery Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 26, 2013
      With all due respect, this isn't always as easy as it may seem. I also attended a too loud concert (who knew it would be too loud) and I did wear ear plugs and I'm in the same situation as stOrch.
       
    8. awbw8
      Balanced

      awbw8 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2013
      @meeruf, while perhaps knowing a concert can damage your hearing and then purposely going without protection might be considered reckless, I don't think it helps to call people's actions stupid here - what's done is done and we all need support at this point. I for one simply had no idea a concert would do any damage to my hearing at all (that's how I got my t). It's not entirely popularly circulated knowledge in the US, in my experience and I'd never had tinnitus before in any way to even have been "warned".)

      @st0rch I know it is impossible to hear or understand right now, but you absolutely can be okay whether or not your tinnitus fades away. I wouldn't have believed that when I was in your position either - I was having panic attacks a week in and visiting every conceivable doctor trying to get one to give me the one thing none of them could - assurance that the ringing would stop.

      You're just at the very beginning, it could still easily go away, there are many stories of tinnitus going away even years later and there are lots of new therapies and meds in trials, so do not lose hope and don't view this as a "rest of my life" sentence right now. Do not spend your days waiting for the sound to stop. I did that and it was as if I died a little each day when I woke up and it was still there in my head. It was a horrible thing to do to myself, but it's understandable. Forgive yourself. However, you wisely found TinniusTalk, which is the only positive and supportive tinnitus forums I've found out on the internet. The people here are kind and most really seem to have done their homework and lived their good advice. That said, here is (very humbly) what I wish I'd done when I was a week into my tinnitus, knowing what I know now.

      1. Do not look to ENTs and general practitioners for answers and do not hang on every word they give you as if it is law. They just don't have much to offer to a person new to the world of noise-induced tinnitus. Do not obsess over their words and try to predict (based on those words) whether or not your tinnitus is permanent. Sitting and running over these thoughts will not help. Work on not panicking, sleeping and taking steps to learn about useful therapies. Bottom line, take care of yourself, do not beat yourself up or try to tell the future, that is guaranteed to make you feel worse.
      • Also, side note on the hearing loss - you may have high frequency hearing loss a regular test cannot detect. Do not be sad you don't have hearing loss and think that future hearing loss innovations will not help you - be JOYOUS your normal range hearing is still good. It means you have more incoming outside sound to mix with the tinnitus and...you still have great hearing! That is a huge blessing, believe me. Celebrate that! :) Even if your tinnitus isn't from hearing loss at all, there are also major studies based in neuroplasticity that may help you that might not help other sufferers. Bottom line, tinnitus can be in the ear, or in the brain or both - most people still aren't 100% clear - so either way you have as much chance of a cure as anyone of us if it doesn't just go away on its own (and it's still so early, it might easily do just that.)
      • As for anxiety and tinnitus - having anxiety isn't going to "keep your tinnitus there" per se, but it will slow down the rate at which you habituate and it will stall your body from healing. That fight or flight response takes a major toll on your body. When you hear that tinnitus sound and feel all that terror, it's literally telling your brain "do not forget this sound, it's dangerous!" - it's not going to make tinnitus itself stay, but it will keep it in your consciousness if it's there. Your brain will be looking for it like it looks for the sound of a creaking board in a dark room or the sound of a bear's growl in the woods. If it thinks it's dangerous, it will freak out and not let you focus on anything else. You can definitely train your brain to register tinnitus as nothing more dangerous than the traffic outside your window or the hum of the air conditioner, but it will take time, have patience.
      2. Get a list from the ATA of tinnitus specialists in your area. I don't know how effective I think the ATA (American Tinnitus Association) is for most things, but they do have a good directory of people all over the US who actually habitually work with tinnitus patients. Having someone who knows what you're going through is invaluable.

      3. Pick a Psychiatrist off this list and go ASAP. Having someone to talk to and most importantly to help you manage your anxiety and sleeplessness is absolutely essential. Your body can't heal, absorb nutrients etc. when you're in a constant state of panic, depression and anxiety. You NEED sleep. You will feel better with sleep than without it and more able to process and cope. There is no shame whatsoever in taking meds to help you sleep or manage you anxiety. I took klonopin and ambien for a while in the beginning and then went off it slowly. It helped a ton, sometimes these meds can even lower the volume a bit temporarily and give you a little break.

      4. If you can afford it, give Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy a shot. This is absolutely just my personal opinion (though there is a thread on it here in the forum), and I am not a MD - just as a disclaimer, but I think it can help with the noise induced T, but the sooner you go the better. I see you're in the US - check out Sara's Garden (sarasgarden.org) they're a non-profit in Ohio that provides HBOT to people who may have conditions not covered by insurance that HBOT can still help. They treated me and several other tinnitus patients. A few got better, a couple didn't, I got a little volume relief, though it didn't cure me. I started about 3 or 4 weeks in, maybe it would have done more if I was just a week in like you. Either way, it's a good place with good people and if you can afford to give it a try, I have not heard of anyone who regretted trying it. The people at Sarah's Garden are angels and will help you through your hard time - that in itself can be enormously healing - just some good, loving energy.

      Other than that, there are many, many treatments to help you habituate, they're just not time sensitive. Things like not panicking and HBOT are - get those things out of the way so you can know that you tried/are trying/are doing something. I think that's the worst thing doctors tell us is that there's nothing we can do. It's just not true. Going and trying something beats sitting at home obsessing any day.

      Know that things absolutely can get better. Whether or not the tinnitus goes away, you can be fine. That doesn't mean it wont take some effort on your part along with the healing power of time, but you can be better. I was pretty close to suicidal, and now my life is more or less back to "normal". In some ways I've really grown and, I hope, become a better, stronger person. Would I get rid of it if I could? You betcha, but I'm back to living it even with the tinnitus. T is just a new part of it.

      I know even that thought is probably distressing and upsetting right now - I remember being upset at that thought of even getting used to tinnitus, like that meant giving up, but it will be okay. It's just so important not to feed your own brain thoughts like "this will ALWAYS be on my mind" - it seems that way now, but it doesn't have to be that way. I know it's hard, because I did it too, but do not spend hours on the internet reading every "success" and "failure" tinnitus story out there. Whether the ringing stops or not, you can succeed. Don't blame yourself, it doesn't help - don't feed yourself mantras of sadness and despair - tell yourself you can get better and the ringing could still stop, and if it doesn't you can and will habituate. Life will be good again one way or another, you just need time.

      Someone should probably change my username to "obnoxiously long post addict", but ah well - I want so badly for people to know it can get better because I remember all too well how desperately hopeless and lost and broken I felt when tinnitus started with me. If you have any questions, feel free to pm me or email me at hopeblog@outlook.com. I started a little blog about my tinnitus journey (hopeblog.org), it's just me writing about my struggles and successes, but I also have a page that says what I've tried, what's helped and what hasn't and I try to keep it positive an honest. Give it a look if it helps, it's not selling any products or miracles or therapies, just hope :)

      I'll say it once more, cause it's true: Life can be good again one way or another, you just need time.
       
      • Like Like x 2
      • Winner Winner x 2
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      I think the same about my T dude :(
       
    10. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      Erland, thank you for taking the time to put together such a well presented synopsis'
       
    11. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      Amelia, lets hope we can change that :( into a :) soon...
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. Eric N

      Eric N Member

      Location:
      Montreal QC
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012
      Even though your hearing is normal on the audiogram that does not mean some damage has not been done, it might have been too small to be detectable. I have normal hearing and I did not even have any unusual noise exposure nevertheless my T just showed up out of no where.
      It was the same thing for me when I first visited the ENT and here I am a year later still with it, so really no one can tell you if it will go or not.
      As for the "addressing the anxiety will make T go away" part, Well I don't know, I think that it is just BS talk by the ENTs because they have nothing better to tell you.
       
    13. seal

      seal Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Meeruf, this is just not very helpful, we are not here to judge each other. I will never in my life judge anyone on this board for how he/she got Tinnitus. Some of them took drugs, some of them listened to loud on their iPods, some of them went to a concert or club without protection, some of them shot a gun without earplugs - those things are like accidents! One doesn't always know that a horrible thing like tinnitus can come from that. There is absolutely no awareness about it where I live for example, ear plugs are not an issue and never handed out at concerts or in clubs.Music shouldn't be dangerously loud nowhere to begin with.
       
    14. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      An audiogram is concerned with the ability to hear speech - which is why the speech frequency range 0 to 8 khz is most often used and hearing loss is considered to occur beyond 25 db (a whisper is 30 db; normal speech = 60 db). People - as well as ENTs - seem to assume that hearing loss and tinnitus are related. That may or may not be (partially) true, but to assume that an audiogram can be used to "detect" or rule out tinnitus is nonsense. Tinnitus and an audiogram are two different things, and while there may be an "overlap" between the two, an audiogram has one primary purpose: to measure the ability to hear speech!

      So what does all that mean in your case? While tinnitus is still poorly understood, it almost certainly occurs when there is some kind of damage done to the inner ear (this can be due to acoustic trauma or long term noise expoure, or some other factor). Since you got tinnitus after a concert - you have already with 99% certainty found the cause. As such, there is not much point in doing an audiogram in your case, because the cause of your tinnitus is already known (regardless of whether the audiogram comes back good or not). The reason why I sometimes recommend an audiogram is for those cases where the cause is not known (idiopathic). You therefore do not have tinnitus because of anxiety (obviously). "Anxiety" (or stress) is the card that doctors pull out of their sleeve for things they are unable to explain! It is nonsense!

      Your doctor is (probably) correct in saying that you got tinnitus due to a temporary threshold shift. However, these do usually not last week(s) - and indeed your audiogram also confirmed that (ie. your hearing is normal again after the concert). So if your tinnitus remains a week later (and with a normal audiogram to match), it is less likely that it will go away (most people's tinnitus goes away within the first 24 hours or so after attending a concert). This is why I am so keen on people going to see their doctor immediately if they suspect that they have acoustic trauma. There is that small window of opportunity where steroids can have an effect on the outcome. After that, it is wait and see. Unfortunately, all the people in this forum to whom I have recommended this, seem not to have listened or understood the urgency (even though I make it pretty clear).
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    15. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      So I just got back my audiogram saying I had extremely good hearing, and just weeks back I thought exactly that, but you really shouldnt :)
      Tinnitus is usually followed by hearing loss, if scientists figure out the trick with that, it will probably be quite an addition to the grand scheme. Don't mourn it's farther away, treasure that your hearing is intact.

      When there is something doctors don't know it's easy to address something as being anxiety related, which you do seem to have a history of. As to how anxiety caused by tinnitus can affect people without prior history of that, it wouldn't be farfetched to think anxiety wasnt a contributor to lower treshold in the first place.

      In regards to the healing abilities of the body, even adults can heal themselves, and you're young :) Initiation to getting help is the first successful steps!
       
    16. NeoM
      Moonlighting

      NeoM Member

      Location:
      America
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/31/2013
      I don't know how loud yours is, but don't give up hope. It can go away. For instance, I had tinnitus a couple years ago and had a little high frequency loss, but after a couple weeks it went away completely.

      Get medication if you need it for anxiety and sleep and then taper off them when you are calmer and less anxiety ridden.
       
    17. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure

      Due to the '@click is a member on this forum, so it is legit' I think I ought to clarify that this was a quote rather than my own experience.

      Please see thread: 'A month of tinnitus suddenly one night' in Oct 2012

      It was a quote that I found on the net and that helped me during the early months of T when I was petrified.
       
    18. Erlend
      Question it

      Erlend Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Scandinavia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2013
      Oh. Oh well, there is no motive for anyone to lie about it, so personally I take it as legit.
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    19. JTP
      No Mood

      JTP Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shit happens
      Doctors often blame anxiety or stress for this kind of symptoms, but that is only because they have no clue. We have to face it: no-one has a clue, no-one knows if it will pass or get worse or stay like it is. All we know is that vast majority of people turn it into non-issue as time goes by. That is the state of medicine & tinnitus in 2013.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    20. st0rch
      Creative

      st0rch Member

      Location:
      Taylorsville, Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/18/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      It upsets me that I inquired about HBOT therapy and steroids when they could have helped, and he shruged it off as he was 100% sure my tinnitus would go away with my anxiety... even though it was noise induced. I'm actually really upset.

      I'm almost two and a half weeks in, neither of these things would help me now, and I couldn't afford a useless treatment. Some doctors really just dont give a $%*#...
       
    21. NeoM
      Moonlighting

      NeoM Member

      Location:
      America
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/31/2013
      You could always try another ENT. Plus I've read on here that HBOT is effective up till 3 months. I know sometimes some places want a prescription for HBOT.
       
    22. carol kane
      Wishful

      carol kane Member

      Location:
      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/13
      Finally someone gets it!! there is no cure, no magic pill, no vitamin, mind over matter, try it! and you´ll still be trying it in 20 yrs time, i´ve decided to just live with it, i´m not wasting my mental energy with thoughts of ; is it louder, is quieter, is it the same, have i had a spike because someone made a loud sound around me, what should i eat,what should my Poop look like!! IT IS WHAT IT IS...
       
    23. st0rch
      Creative

      st0rch Member

      Location:
      Taylorsville, Utah
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/18/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      What you described is probably the only way to accomplish true habituation. Though it's more of an acceptence thing for the first little while with any "illness" similar to Tinnitus. I'm not going to just lay down and accept something like this before trying everything I can to make it go away. Once all hope is lost, is when people really start to analize how they can change their perception of "a good life" rather than trying to change their actual life. Then I guess it really doesn't seem so bad...

      I've had a lot of these things in life, GERD, Artirial Fibrilation (heart skips), panic attacks & Anxiety (actually, the first two were probably caused by my anxiety anyway...) At first It always feels like life is over, and the "why cant I just go back and be the same as I was / everyone else" question always surfaces...

      The funny thing is, you stop worrying so much about a problem you have when a new one shows up. No reason to sit & dwell... Your life is what it is now, not what it was a year ago, dwelling on anything is never a good idea.

      That being said, I still cant think positively about this. It's been one thing after another for me and I valued silence (and loud music) quite a bit :).

      Oh well.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    24. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      • Like Like x 2
    25. cmurem

      cmurem Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/05/2012
    26. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      I beg to differ. This is still a theory and as you say yourself, T is poorly understood. What is established is that the neurons in the auditory cortex is hyperactive with T patients, the reason for this is probably complex and varied. Some may have damages to parts of their inner ear, others not. Because it's impossible to retrieve a visual reference to the vital anatomic parts of the inner air most of the research is based on guess work. Yes, you almost surely can get T by acoustic trauma but that doesn't prove hearing loss. The auditory cortex is very much depended on the central nervous system and these play a role in the limbic system. Shock is probably the key word here. The neurons are too turned on, thus sending meaningless phantom noises in a loop. There are heaps of people with severe hearing loss that doesn't have T. Also, stress can severely alter and change the character of T, this strengthens the limbic approach and makes it easy to understand why so many soldiers get T&H after serving time in war zones.
       

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.