Struggling with Acceptance: Losing a Passion Because of Hyperacusis/Reactive Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by weab00, Sep 17, 2020.

    1. weab00
      Alone

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      depression-ville
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise, whiplash; 08/20 H
      I've posted similar topics on the forums before but I honestly don't know where to turn to. 1.5 years ago I got tinnitus from loud headphone use. I was anxiety-ridden, saw an audiologist who told me to deal with it, and eventually habituated after 6-7 months.

      Last month I took a plane to go on vacation, and 4 days later I was struck with a bad case of hyperacusis. Sound distortions, ear tingling, stabbing pain, etc. People's voices sounded intolerably loud and I immediately went back to this forum after not using it for over a year.

      I'm only 16 and was planning on becoming a musician, but now things are looking like I'm going to have to give that up... even listening to a song gives me severe sound distortions and stabbing pain in/around my ear.

      I'm at a loss for how to cope with this, I know people on this forum have no reason to care about my problems and are thinking about it rationally, so their advice is to accept it and move on. But it's been taking a huge emotional toll on me and I'm emotionally withdrawing from psychotherapy because there's nothing my therapist can say to make it better. I was excited to see my friends at school but now I have to do online because it's too much on my ears.

      My dad is also a trumpet player and I'm probably not ever going to get to see him perform again... Life feels like hell right now. Feels like I've had so many simple joys robbed from me and there are no answers from anyone besides pity; I don't want pity, I need people who can understand the pain. The stress that hyperacusis brings on is so much to manage in addition to getting into college, extracurriculars, maintaining a normal social life, parties, etc. What's the point if even after recovery I can be completely setback by a loud motorcycle, an everyday noise for healthy ears?

      Any musicians or people that had their passion crushed by hyperacusis out there that can relate? Should I give up? I know very few people can relate to this even on here.
       
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    2. Dave111
      Alone

      Dave111 Member

      Location:
      Nederland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Makeing music in band and headphone on to long.
      Sucks man, can you use ear protection and play and watch your dad play trumpet?

      Hyperacusis should go away after a few months, shouldn't it?
       
    3. winstona
      Balanced

      winstona Member

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise exposure and excessive ear irrigation
      I can certainly relate to what you are going through my fellow tinnitus sufferer...I am not replying to provide my pity but to share my experience of my journey with you.

      Everyone's journey is different but me and you may have something in common.

      My tinnitus was caused by a loud concert but what sent it through the roof was ear syringing to remove ear wax myself. It was really a life changing event, especially when it was mostly caused by myself.

      I was devastated after that and wanted to kill myself due to the suffering and partly due to the guilt caused by the self inflicted injury . Life was no fun when all you can hope for is to survive and endure the unbearable tinnitus on a daily basis. What's worth living for after that?

      On top of that, I was an audiophile and liked to listen to vinyl records and enjoyed going to gigs from time to time. Much like yourself, Music used to be my escape in life but after the onset, listening to music was like a living hell as the highs were distorted and my ears felt like they were bleeding inside after listening for a couple of minutes...

      Sounds familiar?

      I can tell you things can improve but it can be very slow. I am almost three years after onset and now I can go back to enjoying music and the distortion is mostly gone. My ears went from hurting to feel like they are itching when I listen to music. I also get more good days than bad and the tinnitus volume in general has improved a lot. I would say I used to have to deal with an 9/10 tinnitus (not even the shower can mask) 5 days out of 7 in a week and now during the worse possible day (once or twice a week I'd say?) and time, a 7/10 may be. I can function normally and be happy now, no more thoughts of suicide...

      I mean, if I can improve, you must be able to too. I know you are hurt right now and there is no thoughts of ever getting back into music but things may change for you. You are only 16 and right now your ears are hurt and they need time to recover. Stay away from loud music for the time being and do not use headphones or earplugs for music. Perhaps try to focus on the fact that you can improve and when that happens, you can go back to your passion of music. I know a lot of musicians wear earplugs when they perform to protect their ears, so may be you can too. Let's see what the situation is after another year. My improvement started exactly 1.5 years after my onset. I know the recovery is very slow but better days will come. Just look at me.

      If you want to know more about my story, read it here:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...for-1-5-years-and-counting.34552/#post-456737

      Don't let this beast win, defeat it!

      Winston
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      weab00
      Alone

      weab00 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      depression-ville
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise, whiplash; 08/20 H
      Thanks man. I appreciate the kind words, it's definitely been really tough and I've been losing interest in all my hobbies lately. I struggle with depression and anxiety already, but now all of my energy 24/7 is being put toward feeling hopeless about the future and browsing these forums... not much else to do though considering going to the supermarket gives me delayed ear pain.

      You didn't specifically mention it, but I figure you suffered from hyperacusis as well since you said you had distortions too? How is that for you these days? I agree though that distortions and pain are the worse part about this condition. Guess all I can do now is keep myself away from loud noises, do online school, and wait... hoping it gets better eventually.

      Who knows, maybe I'll wind up producing instead of playing live, at least until that regenerative treatment supposedly coming out by 2025...
       
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    5. winstona
      Balanced

      winstona Member

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise exposure and excessive ear irrigation
      Hi weaboo,

      I am not sure if it's hyperacusis technically because I am generally ok with sounds that usually bother a lot of people suffering from hyperacusis, like when plates hit each other. I may have been suffering from a mild form of it? I don't know.

      As for distortions in music , they are now 98% gone.

      I used to hear very annoying distortions when listening to songs with vocal sibilance. the "s"es not only was distorted like when you set up your sound system wrong but at the same time, each of these distorted "s"es eventually made my ears hurt like hell after a while and I had to stop listening. Watching TV was not that much better, my ears just hurt when listening to dialogues. Not to mention the Tinnitus on top of all that!

      Basically, any high frequency sibilances are problematic, regardless if they are from the sound system or natural sources. For example, my ears seemed to be tickling and sometimes hurting when I listen to someone speaking with the use a lot of "s" es at the end of a sentence.

      It made my life a living hell because you know, as most normal human beings do, they watch movies, binge TV shows and listen to music as a form of entertainment...

      I know how one suffers from tinnitus/hyperacusis can be very different from person to person. But what I know for a fact is that this kind of hyperacusis/distortion can be improved or even fixed over a period of time. It is possible that yours can too so don't lose hope.

      Winston
       
    6. SummerDreamer

      SummerDreamer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Clubbing
      Hey weab00,

      I know exactly how you feel and you are super young to go through something like this. but please be patient and kind to yourself. You are only 16, and have good chance to recover but you have to give it time.

      Life throws us all sorts of surprises and we have to deal with them the best we can. I am a musician too music is true passion, and in my darkest days I never thought I would be able to go back to it again. Like you I developed hyperacusis and visual snow after my tinnitus. I got tinnitus last December after a very loud club which I also habituated to but when the other symptoms came this May I was convinced it wasn’t going to improve , was so depressed and not ashamed to say very suicidal but I got prescribed antidepressants which saved me to be honest, if I had listened to all of the people discouraging the used of antidepressants I might not have got out of the depression. Psychotherapy didn’t work for me then either, I think it doesn’t work if you are too far down in depression which you may be. But it is working wonders for me now! I didn’t listen to/make music music for months because it broke my heart that the thing I loved caused me pain. But very slowly I stopped obsessing over the symptoms and spending all my time on forums and started to do things that make me happy and feel good like go to the gym, watch TV, baking , playing with my dog...and my symptoms have slowly improved. I can now listen to music through headphones again (not pushing my luck too much though!) and I’ve started recording my first song in months even though I still get occasional ear pain, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was.

      What I advise is this: leave the music for now, but tell yourself that one day you WILL come back to it. I know it doesn’t seem like it now but it’s very likely you will improve. But focus your attention on something else just for now, keep going with online classes, try to see friends outside of school and perhaps tell them about your condition if you haven’t already. And tell yourself everyday that when you come out the other side, you will be stronger than ever before.

      SummerDreamer x
       
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