Stress Induced Tinnitus — No Evident Hearing Loss?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Eek, Mar 27, 2020.

    1. Eek

      Eek Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      Hi guys,

      Noone wants to join this forum but those success stories really make you hold on to that glimmer of hope.

      It started one night when I was like what is this noise even and by morning it had gone and I could no longer hear anything. Second night same thing. And then bang! I could hear it during the day. I guess like they say the first week you don’t take much notice and believe it will just go away and when it doesn’t hello hell!

      I had been going through a very high state of anxiety when tinnitus decided to join in on the party. At first, I would need to stick my head into a closet to hear that tingling noise and now omg it is with me every waking second. Sitting at home has become a nightmare! I always believed in the tinnitus gets quieter over time but not mine, it just seems to be getting louder and louder. Its very competitive, if the fridge, microwave, tv or car is running it’s going to react so badly with that. It makes me cringe in agony. At the start I could mask and now it’s just more torture to do so I just sit and listen to it. It has made my anxiety so bad I don’t even know how people just brush this off as an annoyance.

      I've had specialists have a look at my ears. I'm from Australia, I even went to Europe to get second advice from an ENT and yep ears are perfectly clean with no hearing loss evident.

      I keep telling myself it’ll pass but how many times a day can you say that. It’s tiring. I do have some weird thing happen when I bring my right shoulder up to my ear it changes tone as if sand is being poured real fast over glass. I initially had it only on my right and now my left has joined into the devils orchestra. But I would say my right is much worse. Also, when I turn my head either right or left as in push with my hand it sounds like gas leaking out of a pipe. I think this falls into the somatic tinnitus category but I have had chiro, osteo, acupuncture the whole supplement thing but this thing is stubborn and I have not seen any improvements so I have stopped trying anything. I also have my ear popping on its own sometimes and there are stages where I’ll get fleeting tinnitus quite a lot and then it will just stop happening. At one stage I thought I had ETD as my ears would constantly pop on its own but the ENT had a look and said the eustachian tubes look good a slight blockage but nothing that should cause ringing. I was given nasal sprays and antihistamines but I feel like they make it worse so I do not use any of them.

      I have noticed the last week there has been an increase in the tinnitus but its always changing tones, something that was not happening before.

      Any advice for when at home to get this body out of fight or flight. Like how does one chill again when their brain is abusing them. I sometimes wonder if my anxious mind is over exaggerating and I don’t have it real bad. Some say they only hear it at night but if I am at home i hear it all day even when i step out to have a coffee in the backyard.

      How do I become friends with this thing? I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy and people just saying ignore it!! Yeah you go and ignore something like this. My husband has it every now and then but he hears a white noise mine is more piercing as if electrical wires are going crazy in my head.

      Every time I hear it i get heart palpitations which means a lot of them during the day. Im assuming it is the anxiety but what a shitty thing when the thing causes anxiety.

      I’ve had this thing for about 11 months now and I don’t want to lose hope cause we have all read stories of it going away even after long periods.

      Please any advice or just someone to talk to that understands. My biggest confusion is around what to do I mean you cant mask something all day there's going toilet walking down the corridor. So do you just listen to it and let it be. Water running from a tap covers mine but if I put water on my phone it’ll scream over it.

      You guys are all legends. This thing is nasty and I always remind myself that there is way worse out there but my mind thinks otherwise.

      I'm hoping for habituation to take place even but that comes after accepting but my brain is refusing to do that by the looks of it. I know so many people around me that have tinnitus and they are so happy and normal makes you think that either they are not hearing what you are or they are just a different species.

      I really wonder the severity of mine. I can't hear it in shops or cafes or if there's a few people talking. I can't hear it in the shower. I can't hear it when wind blows and leaves rustle or when there's a few birds chirping. But as soon as it goes quiet I can literally feel my brain looking for the tinnitus.

      I can hear it when walking outside and if the air con is on forget it its like another level of torture. I think the noise that annoys me the most is that fast sound pouring on glass the other sound where it's so high pitched you can't even hear it is better.

      I know I just babbled on but just being able to share this is somewhat comforting. Trying to explain to people that don't have this is another level of torture they just don't get it.

      It baffles me how common this is and yes I was one of those people that heard dead silence which is why I guess this bothers me sooo much. Apparently there's a silence noise that most people hear, not me!

      Any advice on how not to give in to this monster would be greatly appreciated. I keep telling myself don't let a noise destroy everything you have worked so hard for but easier said than done.

      May we all hear silence again ✌
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Zugzug

      Zugzug Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; Likely autoimmune; Certainly not noise-induced
      These problems are so complex and everyone says they have severe tinnitus or hyperacusis. When the smoke clears, I think there are three buckets.

      1) Can habituate with existing CBT skills. These people will leave the forums and really see no point to them.
      2) Could habituate with the right CBT skills, but cannot habituate with the wrong skills.
      3) Cannot habituate no matter how many psychology books you read and "experts" you listen to.

      I do think bucket 2) is important to at least explore sincerely. For example, years ago I developed tons of highly intrusive eye floaters. I thought there was no way people habituate to them. I thought I had too many and that I was different. Sure enough, I gave habituation a chance. I lived my life exactly the way I normally would without altering my behavior. I ended up habituating.

      However, none of that works or even makes sense with my hearing disabilities. I literally cannot be around sound. Even if I tried my absolute hardest to live normal, I wouldn't last 10 minutes without my ears flaring up, getting a massive headache, and feeling so angry that I can't see straight. So I have experience in buckets 2) and 3). I am willing to bet the majority of people on here -- certainly the veterans -- are in bucket 3). Contrary to what the victim blamers will say, most people would do anything to get better; even swallowing their pride and trying psychological/psychiatric help.

      Maybe this is just me, but a red flag for me is if someone rejects psychology or CBT as a science. If they clearly respect science and believe in mental health therapies, I am inclined to believe them when they say CBT doesn't work for their ear problems.

      One of the reasons there's some tension on this forum is because this forum is filled with people who do not reject brain science, but are told that habituation doesn't work because they don't see the light.

      I guess I'm not really giving advice, just commiserating. I am severely disabled. I can't work, talk, whisper, leave my house, get in the car, etc. A good day for me is that my H is tame enough to go for a walk around a quiet area. My tinnitus and hyperacusis came on after a stressful period, although the connection between stress and my condition is probably not straightforward since I had pre-existing medical problems before this. But what I do share with you is that it wasn't caused from a medication or loud noise. It's something internal within my own body.

      Have you tried curcumin, fish oil, CBD, vitamin D? I have had some success with these supplements.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Eek

      Eek Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      Thanks for the reply @Zugzug! Sorry to hear about all your medical conditions. When you say you don't work, whisper or talk what is it that you do with your life. I’m currently in the same position where I am just sitting at home, not working and mainly just reading these forums. I can’t concentrate on watching television or reading a book and I am a strong believer that this stagnant life is just adding to the anxiety. Do you just hang around in your house with tinnitus and hyperacusis? It will even drive a ‘normal’ person to the brink of insanity. But what does one do at home when they dont want/cant do anything.

      In terms of supplements I've tried Ginkgo, B complex, Turmeric, NAC and I just stopped them all because I was not seeing anything beneficial. I did also try CBD oil but that wasn’t great for my anxiety and just made matters worse.

      Hence why I feel like I have tried out all avenues and I’m praying for habituation or even some fading to kick in.
       
    4. Zugzug

      Zugzug Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; Likely autoimmune; Certainly not noise-induced
      I'm about as fortunate as one could possibly be with my disabilities. As twisted as this sounds, if anyone has the personality type to deal with this, it's myself. By this, I don't mean that I'm super tough, although this condition has taught me that I have strength that I didn't know I had. Am I mentally ill at this point? Absolutely. But all things considered, I am shocked that I am not more.

      But what I mean is that I am very, very introverted. I study math, and actually got my Ph.D. 2 weeks before my life shattered into pieces. I spend a large part of my time either working on research problems or just reading books and solving problems. It's extremely empowering to work on high level problems that I can solve, unlike my hearing problems. Although, I have also done tons of research on my medical problems. Since my problem is driven by a systemic disease, a lot of my focus is on treating the illness rather than looking for treatments aimed at the ear, which are largely fruitless. Unfortunately, when my condition flares up, at its worst, I can't even comfortably write with a pencil, as even that is too loud.

      But this whole thing has been dark, to put it mildly. I've cried hundreds of times, had many doctors tell me they don't have a clue what to do. I haven't read one success story that resembles my problem. I still play the "try a new supplement game," but I largely know it's a game.

      In a Stockholm syndrome-like manner, I try to tell myself that being this rare has positives. For example, I am so rare that there are no studies guiding how to treat me. But there aren't studies ruling things out. When you're the 1 in hundreds of thousands, you tell yourself that you could find something no one else has, and it wouldn't even be a conspiracy.

      Also, as a sidenote, I have a super kickass wife and support system. Everyone that matters believes me, so I am fortunate in this regard.

      Have you tried antidepressants? I just did and did not have success.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Eek

      Eek Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      @Zugzug nothing like a supportive partner! My husband has been very supportive but I think he might be over me complaining about my ears ringing. He believes that the quicker I learn to ignore it and not bother me the quicker I am going to make peace with it. Sounds like a plan, however, it’s clearly one I can not execute! Lol

      I was actually on Lexapro and my ear ringing did start about three months into it. I thought it might be the culprit and I stopped taking it but that was 7 months ago. My brain does not do too well with antidepressants and at times I think it’s the only thing that might just get me up and going and then the horror stories of antidepressants making tinnitus worse is enough to steer me clear.
       
    6. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      Did you get your neck and jaw checked out? Anxiety brings a lot of extra tension on your neck muscles, and this can increase T a lot.

      My T is not due to hearing loss either: I just fell down the stairs, and there it was. Physiotherapy and neck exercises eliminated multiple sounds in a few months, and the remaining ones reduced a lot as well (from 9 to 1 on a scale of 10). I easily habituated to my current sounds after that, I don't use any kind of masking either. Even though I'd give it all for a complete cure, I feel like I've got my life fully back on track as it is now.

      See if you can recall any kind of physical trauma. But even if not, it's worth it to at least rule these two out as contributing factors.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Eek

      Eek Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      Hi @Tybs,

      My gut tells me there's something up with my neck as when my anxiety kicked in a year ago I've spent many hours a day on my phone. I had over 10 sessions with chiro and 10 with an osteo and there was no improvement. The chiro did say something about c1 and c2 being out of whack a little but that was about it. I had like 20 neck adjustments but no improvement. So as I've mentioned I stopped everything. I have not looked into physio. I don't know if I should as chiro and osteo didn't help but I guess it's worth a shot.

      Thanks for the reply and I'm glad you've had major improvement! How long have you had your tinnitus for?
       
    8. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Which disease triggered your hearing issues?
       
    9. Zugzug

      Zugzug Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; Likely autoimmune; Certainly not noise-induced
      Still unknown. My doctor said my condition is "case study" type of rare. I was supposed to have some tests done, but they got cancelled due to COVID-19.
       

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