Sudden Deafness with Tinnitus and Hyperacusis

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ZAF777, Feb 1, 2021.

    1. ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      Hi, my name is Steve.

      Two weeks ago I woke up at about 12.30 am and found that my left ear was totally deaf. The following day I was sent to an ENT by my doctor who prescribed Prednisolone. Unfortunately this did not work and am waiting to see a specialist in about 9 days' time.

      I have constant tinnitus in my deaf ear and now realise that I have hyperacusis in my right ear. I initially assumed it was all to do with tinnitus as I had never heard of this.

      I am off work at the moment but I can't tolerate many sounds as it causes me so much anguish which I know is spiralling to depression. My ears tend to fill up immediately with the washing machine, tumble dryer, fans, tv and many other noises and my tinnitus starts roaring. The car journey to the ENT was a horrendous experience which I originally attributed to tinnitus.

      I have a family to support and am really scared for the future as it seems so bleak. I never realised this horror could happen to anyone and now sympathise with all the people suffering with conditions that I had very little knowledge about.

      I have to admit that I have recently had the most darkest of thoughts and until visiting Tinnitus Talk and realising that I am not alone in suffering, I feel ashamed that I could contemplate these thoughts when I have a family to support.

      I would be extremely grateful for any advice to help alleviate these awful symptoms.
       
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    2. SadMan
      Tired

      SadMan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hi and welcome,

      I understand you very well. I have tinnitus, hyperacusis, dysacusis, and pressure in the ears.

      I'm trying Keppra for hyperacusis. Today is day 4. If it works for me, I'll post it on my profile page.

      3.5 months ago I had an acoustic trauma. Unfortunately, my tinnitus has not decreased during this time, but rather increased. The best remedy for tinnitus is time. I believe my tinnitus will decrease in the 6th month. Be patient for 6 months.

      Magnesium helps me sleep a little. I wouldn't recommend using antidepressants unless it is absolutely necessary. You can try using B12 and Zinc. If tinnitus bothers you too much, I recommend you listen to white noise.

      You will be better, time heals everything.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      I really hope you're right SadMan. At the moment it feels extremely futile, but I will try to look for positives.

      I have heard about Keppra on this forum so I would be very interested in your experience.
       
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    4. Simon85

      Simon85 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      @ZAF777 Sorry to hear this is happening to you.
      I can understand where you're coming from. No need to feel shame over it. I have a family and spent some time on the suicide hotline myself. What I can say is that things are likely to get better. The first 3-6 months are supposed to be the most difficult.

      What has helped me in getting through:
      • Sleep can be very difficult during this period. I could barely get a couple of hours in each night while rolling in bed with my ears screeching and in pain. The Prednisone also made this worse as insomnia is a side effect. However, sleep is essential for good health and for your body to repair. Perhaps some short term use of sleeping pills will help. I could at least get a block of 3-4 hours with the sleeping pills. Before that I was beyond desperate. Be careful as this is only a short term solution. Dependence on sleeping pills and benzos is not a road anyone wants to go down.
      • This is a long game. From what I've been reading it can take up to two years for ears to heal. Good rest and an attempt to relax, as hard as that may be, is important. I've tried to get some light exercise and am doing my best to eat well.
      • I've found the ReSound and Smiling Mind apps useful; the first is a masking app and the second is for meditation.
      • In an attempt to relax I've been going through body scan exercises with Jon Kabat Zinn that you can find on YouTube.
      • I've been reading 'Full Catastrophe Living' by Jon Kabat Zin and 'Rock Steady' by Joey Remenyi. Several people seem to have found these helpful.
      • Protect your ears and avoid loud noises. I've got a good pair of re-useable ear plugs and pop them in if I need to. However, it's a difficult balancing act. My approach is to protect my ears from sounds that are uncomfortable. That being said you don't want to overprotect. I'm listening to my body in this regard and the hyperacusis has reduced materially in the last few months.

      As difficult as it is the best medicine appears to be time and looking after yourself. Life can throw some painful curve balls unfortunately and we've got to find a way to make it through that works for us. I suspect that you'll be feeling a lot better in 3-6 months time, but you've got to look after and be kind to yourself until then.

      Best of luck,
      Simon.
       
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    5. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      You may want to try to see someone sooner. Doctors sometimes try an intratympanic injection when oral steroids don't work.

      Good luck!
       
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    6. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to the forum, Steve. I totally empathize with you and your symptoms and sufferings because I just had the same sudden hearing loss on December 10, 2020, only about 7 weeks ago.

      So I have all the symptoms you have, perhaps more. I have written a thread on the main support forum.

      For brevity, I list it below so you can read up what happened to my SSHL and the treatments I had gone through, plus all the nasty symptoms accompanying with SSHL. Don't despair nor worry. I am on a SSHL support group and what I know from the veteran members there is that most of the problem symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, loud roaring tinnitus, ear fullness, pressured and plugged ear sensation, sound sensitivity or hyperacusis (going through it myself right now), brain fog etc. (I have all of these nasty symptoms) will likely either fade, improve or disappear in a few months for some lucky members, and a bit longer for others. But in all, most said that things will definitely improve and your brain will slowly adjust and adapt to the new normal even if the deaf ear doesn't come back. It is likely mine won't come back to even 50% even though I have gone through most of the standard treatment protocols out there (such as oral Prednisone, injections, Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, anti-viral drug etc) for SSHL as soon as I could. I belong the not-so-lucky group that the hearing doesn't come back compared to those lucky folks who restore most of their hearing even just after oral Prednisone. But there are the hearing aids, bone conduction procedure, even cochlear implant etc. that one can explore for further treatment options for the hearing loss.

      You can read more about my SSHL story from below link. Please read it and if you have any questions, I will try to answer whatever I know. Try to keep positive that in a year or 2 most likely life will go on normal. So take good care. God bless your speedy recovery.

      My SSHL story:
      My Turn for Your Support — Woke Up with Sudden Hearing Loss and Severe Vertigo
       
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    7. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      • Get yourself onto anti virals such as Acyclovir
      • Intratympanic steroids
      • Nicotinamide Riboside
      • Trial Low-Dose Naltrexone
      • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      Thank you for your warm words Simon, I will try to take some comfort from them. I know I have to find a way forward through this extremely distressing period.

      Many thanks,
      Steve
       
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    9. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Try to get an appointment with a doctor sooner, see if they can try other ways of delivering steroids.
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      I have an MRI booked for next Thursday followed by ENT on Friday. I have given up hope that my hearing will return but will ask for the injections anyway.
       
    11. Tweedleman
      Depressed

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
      We're here for you Steve, and please don't be ashamed for having dark thoughts. Sometimes I'm embarrassed by my old posts and fancy deleting them, but I've realized that my little saga suffering here is actually an important piece of data. The public needs to understand how distressing auditory problems can be, so that we can press for more funding and research for treatments.

      Speaking of which, I encourage you to head over to the Research News section of Tinnitus Talk and take a look at the regenerative medicine that is in the pipeline! One way or another I firmly believe you will eventually get your ears back.

      Stay strong brother.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      Thank you Tweedleman. It's a small comfort that maybe one day life will sound much better.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      Thank you Billie and am sorry to see you are going through this hell. I will read up your posts.

      Many thanks,
      Steve
       
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    14. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg. Dose of (Anticholinergic) Drug Promethazine
      Hi @ZAF777 -- I'm sorry to hear how distressing things are for you at this time. I recently made three posts on another thread where I touched on some things that helped me cope during my time of great distress (which started back on Feb. 4, 2018). I really didn't think I was going to make it for quite some time, but was able to by relying on some energetic and spiritual techniques to pull me through. Here are the links to those posts in case you're interested: 1, 2, 3. -- All the Best!
       
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    15. twa
      Fine

      twa Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      I'm so very sorry this is happening to you. I'm glad you were able to get Prednisolone. Did they give you an option of an injection directly into your eardrum? Do you have an appointment to see an otologist? Hopefully, you have ear plugs to use outside the home. Feel free to reach out if you need someone to talk to. Praying for your recovery.

      twa
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      I'm seeing an ENT specialist next week. I have resigned myself to permanent deafness / tinnitus & hyperacusis. I feel more upbeat today . Sometimes in life we are dealt a bad hand. This is mine. I know i will/ have to adapt to this unusual and very annoying condition . The body and mind is an amazing thing so have to believe that we can both compromise and move forward.

      Thanks.
       
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    17. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Steve, I am so sorry that this happened to you. What you described is "exactly" what happened to me two years ago. I don't have much time right at this moment, but I will get back to you on how I have learned to cope, etc. Believe me, I get it. Talk later.

      John
       
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    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      Thank you John. I would appreciate any advice and coping methods. I am trying so hard to ignore it but but am having my difficult moments more than I'd like.

      Steve
       
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    19. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Hi Steve. Again, I am sorry about your hearing loss and tinnitus/hyperacusis. I don't know how much you have read of previous posts I have shared about my experience, but I will summarize it for you...

      About two years ago I was recovering from a very bad motorcycle accident where I broke my right leg in three places (one compound), my left collar bone, my right wrist and hand, with two fractured vertebrae. About 3 months into my recovery I was sleeping and woke up in the middle of the night with a crackling bubbling type of noise in my head mostly on the right side. I soon realized that I also could not hear out of my right ear. I got out of bed and experienced some vertigo and felt nauseous. I thought it was just some bad head congestion and I could walk it off. After a few hours the nausea got better and I went back to bed. When I got up in the morning, the severity of the crackling and bubbling noises had subsided and now it was just a loud static hissing noise (like an untuned radio or TV) on my right side and total hearing loss in right ear.

      I went to the ENT doctor that very day and began all the tests, etc. After the examination the ENT put me on oral Prednisone and told me that this kind of thing happens although it is pretty rare. He called it SSHL (Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss). After I finished the Prednisone (with no effect) he gave me Prednisone injections directly into the middle ear through my ear drum. Again, it didn't help anything. He then basically told me that my condition likely would not improve and to get used to the tinnitus. He did say that the hyperacusis would probably get better... It has not.

      Well, that was almost two years ago that I went through all that. When at first I came to grips that this crap would likely be with me for the rest of my life, I really had a moment of desperation. It shook me to the bone. I could handle hearing loss, but the thought of this loud hissing noise in my head 24/7 truly rattled me. I never became suicidal, but I did have thoughts like... "this could actually lead me to becoming suicidal", which was pretty unnerving and scary.

      Fortunately, I am not a young person. I am retired so I didn't have to think about how I would work with this. Other than getting up there in age I am in very good physical health and am very active, so this condition does play a major role in my life now.

      Okay, how am I getting along, now that it has been about two years since the "event"? You may have already come across some of what I will begin to tell you, but it's good to hear these things from others too. For me, my going forward was a lot about total acceptance. Once I ruled out the option of finding a high bridge to leap off, I told myself that... "Okay, this is it. I simply have to live with this. I must give it total acceptance, to the point that I even embrace it. It is no longer my enemy. It is me." That was a major starting point. After that, I began experimenting with different little tools and tricks to make coping come to me as soon as possible and begin the road towards habituation.

      I began to discover that there were certain times where It didn't bother me nearly as much as other times. So, when things were really bad, I could comfort myself with the knowledge that it isn't always this bad. This would gird me up to endure the "pain" if you will. For example, my tinnitus is very much noise reactive. The hissing noise is always there 24//7, but it becomes much more intense when there is certain outside noise coming thru my left good ear... (Hyperacusis). So not only do sounds like dishes clanging together really rattle my brain, but those sounds throw gasoline on the ongoing hissing noise on my right side. This is a bad thing, and a good thing. Yea, it's a real bummer when I am enduring this, but at least I can usually do something about the outside noises like inserting an ear plug into my good ear, or simply changing my environment. I try to think about those "good" things I can do that will make it better, even if I can't do them right at this time. Fortunately for me, when I go to bed in a very quiet bedroom, the hissing noise begins to calm down a bit to the point that by morning when I wake up it is not all that bad. Sometimes I will just lie there in bed and enjoy the "relative' quiet. But as soon as I get up and run water of whatever, the hissing begins to crank up in volume. But at least I know it isn't always that loud. BTW, I also have a ringing sound and small squeaky chirping noises... neither of which are very loud or troublesome compared to the hissing noise.

      Another thing that happened pretty early on is I discovered a method of watching TV that is much more tolerable. At first listening to TV through the regular speakers was very uncomfortable to the point that I just could not do it. Then I discovered that if I put an earplug into my good ear and turned the volume up a bit, it was much more tolerable. What the earplugs do is block the sound waves from direct contact with ear drum. That made me think that headphones might work for this as well. I had an old pair of headphones and plugged them into my TV and it did help to the point that I felt encouraged. Then... I decided to invest in an expensive pair of noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones and give them a try. This ended up being the best for watching TV. The ones I have are made by Sony and they cost about $350, but now I wear them anytime I am watching TV at home. The Bose models would work just as well. With these headphones, they cancel out a lot of the noise that affects my hyperacusis, and I can adjust the volume to exactly the most comfortable level, and my wife can just listen to the regular speakers. I'm not sure exactly what's all going on, only that it makes it much more tolerable to watch TV with these headphones. This is what works for me, and may not work for you. And this is just one more thing that I can look forward to doing that gives me a degree of relief.

      Another thing for me, is that driving in a car seems to be quite tolerable. I have found that certain particular sound/noise sorta meshes with the tinnitus noise in my head and I can get into a kind of groove where I don't pay much attention to it. It's as loud as ever, but I think my brain is tricked into thinking that it's all just road noise.

      Having your mind occupied helps too... at least for me. I fly small airplanes (for fun) and when I am flying it's the only time where I'm hardly aware of the tinnitus at all. It's almost like it completely goes away when I am flying. It's like all these things are working together to completely mask it. I'm wearing headphones, so there's a barrier to block direct noise contact... the steady drone sounds of the airplane merge with the static noise of the tinnitus... and my mind is pretty occupied. Sometimes when flying I will purposely listen for the tinnitus, and even doing that I hardly notice it. But sadly, I cannot fly all the time. LOL. But it is one of those things that I can look forward to for a degree of relief.

      Okay, there are certain times when I simply can't bear it. I already mentioned clanging dishes together and those type of sounds. The other thing that is pretty intolerable for me which probably has the most major effect on my quality of life is I cannot be inside a room with a bunch of people talking. This is mainly when I am in someone's home where there is a group there, and especially when the room has an echo to it. %$#@%&$!! This is hard for me because I am part of a church group where we like to have weekly group gatherings with 6-12 people at a time. I still might attend, but when I do I have to insert an earplug in my good ear to tolerate. This of course makes it hard to enjoy that time and I find myself attending less than before. Being around people has gotten a little better over the last two years. At first I simply could not go into any kind of retail store (grocery, coffee shop, Home Depot, etc.) without inserting an ear plug. Today I can do that. I think it's all part of the habituation. Maybe it's because I am not interacting with people that I can do it, unlike being in a home social gathering where I'm trying to interact.

      All in all, I am actually surprised that I am getting along as well as I am. I suppose my habituation is moving along. I have heard some people say it takes a good two years to habituate, and I am seeing this may have some merit. Sometimes I do discover that a period of time just went by where I didn't think about or consider my tinnitus at all. I'm talking about in regular daily living.... I will discover that.... "Hey a whole hour went by, and I didn't even notice my tinnitus (even though it is as loud as ever). Over time, those magical moments get a little longer and longer. Surely this is "habituation", and I have heard some say that they have reached a point of habituation where they just don't notice or think about their tinnitus much at all anymore. This is the goal. But, be careful. Always thinking about that goal can just slow down the progress. Total acceptance. Take away its authority.

      I have described what is working for me. Tinnitus is like our fingerprints. No two people are exactly alike. Some things that help with me, may not be much help for you. Don't despair. Keep trying different things. Some people like a very quiet bedroom at night (like myself) and some require some "white noise" at night. Everyone is different and you need to find what works for you. We can live with this. A while back I had to ask myself if I still enjoyed life. The answer that came to me was... "yes, but not as much as before". Well, that's a starting point. I also recognized that there are people all over living with chronic physical pain in their lives and they too find ways to forge ahead. We simply have to come to grips with the fact that we have become permanently injured and are handicapped. This is not an ear problem, it is a brain injury not unlike a stroke. We have to accept that.

      I hope this has been of some help in your quest for how you will move forward with tinnitus/hyperacusis. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. It's the biggest challenge I have ever faced in my life by far. I live on the West Coast and if someone told me there was a cure waiting for me in Florida but that I would have to walk there, I would start walking tomorrow.

      Feel free to ask me any other questions in the future. And it may be good to sort through some other stories of those with similar experiences in the search for remedies that might fit your very personal condition. But be aware, there are a lot of very cynical and bitter sufferers expressing themselves on this website (which is understandable) that won't be of much help in the long run. I have chosen to live with this, and by living, I mean as vibrant a living as I can muster. I hope you can do this as well.

      Cheers,

      -John
       
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    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      Hi John. So sorry for the belated response but have had a few really bad days where I have felt unable to do very much. The specialist appointment was as I predicted.

      "Sorry but there is nothing we can do".

      Although expected, it really took the wind from my sails.

      What an incredibly detailed account John. I must have read about your journey at least 5 times. You will never know how much of a lift it gave me. It's comparing apples for apples. I have tried to absorb every word because it is so beneficial to my circumstance.

      Using hearing plugs to watch the TV does give me some relief as you mentioned, but i will certainly be looking to buy some wireless blue-tooth headphones very soon. Thanks for the tip.

      I was also amazed that you fly small planes. Wow seriously. As a Brit this is a very rare happening in this country, so I set my mindset to the American Movies / TV shows and for a short while forgot about my problems. I was visualising myself in a small aircraft with all that noise, rattling and adrenaline pumping. This did make me smile a lot more than I have recently. Thank you for that. What you are doing with your life has given me a huge wake-up call. This is what I am now, accept and move on.

      I will continue to wear earbuds but am hoping little by little that I will be able to tolerate slightly more noise as time moves on.

      You are very inspirational John and I have taken so much from your ordeal, although I am sorry that you have had to deal with this yourself.

      Oddly enough I feel very attached to you and if I could transport myself to the west coast I would give you a huge hug and handshake. It must have taken you quite some time to write that, which I wholeheartedly appreciate. I don't read books a lot nowadays but if you were an Author, I would be buying your books religiously.

      Last but not least I cannot thank you enough. Many many thanks John. Reading your post has given me the biggest lift I could imagine. Your positive view to make good from bad has really put me in a much better place.

      I really hope we can stay in touch, you have helped so much. You are a phenomenal man and I wish you a long healthy happy life.

      Thank you my friend.
      Steve.
       
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    21. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Steve, thank you for the kind words. If I can be of some help to others with tinnitus/hyperacusis, then this is therapy for me too. I really mean it. It's just another "positive" that I can absorb.

      In spite of the crippling seriousness of this affliction, your attitude seems to be pointed in the right direction and this alone is a huge thing in your journey towards achieving some degree of habituation where those truly dark days are something in the past.

      For myself, I have long ago let go of any real expectation of being free from this. At first, this may seem like a depressing thought, but actually it was a place where I had to get to if I was to really begin formulating a solid point of reference to begin my real journey of living with tinnitus/hyperacusis. This is a journey. We didn't ask for it, and we all would rather not be on it, but never the less,... here we are.

      Like I said above, I have given up on expecting a cure. I needed to do that to move forward. For some, that may not be how they want to tackle this journey, but this is what I needed to do. My journey is more one of finding my peace with tinnitus/hyperacusis. Finding that solid ground of tolerance. Thus far it has been working pretty good. Like I said in my previous post I am discovering that I am having longer and longer times where I realized that I didn't think at all about my tinnitus/hyperacusis. So I guess you could say that my journey is one of lengthening those periods of (non-event). Sometimes regarding my tinnitus/hyperacusis it's kinda like... "Oh, it's you again... yea, yea... I know, your still here. Okay, okay... I know, your never going to leave. If you want to stick around,..fine. But you need to know, I have things to do." To some, it may seem like a fallacy to treat severe tinnitus/hyperacusis this way, but this is where I had to get. To not look at it as my enemy, but more like my crazy mother-in-law who lives with us and I am stuck with... LOL.

      Okay, just a little bit more on some practical things that help me through the daily grind of life. I already told you about utilizing ear plugs and headphones etc... I'll just add a little more to that.

      Regarding "noise cancelling" devices, In addition to the noise cancelling headphones, I also make use of noise cancelling earbuds. The ones I use are the Apple models. They don't seem to work quite as well as the full headphones, but they are much less visible, thus better for when I am with people in a home environment or whatever. For example, I mentioned before that (before the COVID-19 Virus) I have weekly gatherings with a small group of people from church. For this, I always wear those Apple noise cancelling ear buds now. They seem to work the best "for me" in this type of environment. Plus they aren't nearly as visible as big headphones. Again, you need to experiment.

      There are some people out there, (you will see some of their posts,) who are very strong in their opposition to using noise cancelling headphones in the way that I use them. So I do say, use some caution in your use of headphones, etc. Having said that, we must realize that there are different types of tinnitus/hyperacusis. By far, the most common type of tinnitus is "noise induced" tinnitus. I'm not talking about "noise-reactive" tinnitus/hyperacusis, like what I have. I'm speaking of tinnitus that was caused by subjecting your ears to very loud ear destroying noise such as listening to very loud music using headphones, or going to loud concerts without ear protection, or some type of on the job noise w/out ear protection, etc; causing genuine damage to the inner ear, resulting in tinnitus. This type of tinnitus is much more common than the type that you and I have. In other words, unlike noise induced tinnitus, there is really nothing wrong with the mechanics of our ears. Something happened in our brains that is associated with the auditory nerve. So, because of my own experience with using noise cancelling headphones, I am confident that if used with some caution, they are working for me without fear of making things worse, like when I am watching TV with them, I turn up the volume to only what is required. The last thing I want to do is cause actual damage to my good ear resulting in the other more common type of tinnitus. Anyway, I understand others fear and warnings about using headphones, but in most cases we are talking about two completely different kinds of tinnitus/hyperacusis.

      One more point to offer you, is how you deal with people you have to deal with whether they be co-workers, friends or relatives, etc. This thing we have... "tinnitus/hyperacusis" (at least for me) very much effects how I am with people. Before tinnitus/hyperacusis I lived a very social living. I still try to do as much as I did before (socially) but I must be honest, my social life has suffered a bit. One of the really unfair things about tinnitus/hyperacusis is that nobody really gets it, unless they have it too. I have a circle of very close "friends" who I enjoy being with. They have all listened to me try to explain to them what it is that I am dealing with. I describe to them what is going on inside my head. I tell them that it never, ever goes away. I tell them all of this, because I want them to understand if I just can't do the things and be at all the things I was before. Yet, still... it isn't that unusual for one of my friends to say something like... "Do you still have that tinnitus thing going on??" I usually just smile and say.... "yea, I still have it."

      One time I was with a group of about 5 or 6 close associates and my tinnitus/hyperacusis came up in conversation. This time I had downloaded this "Tinnitus Sounds" app on my phone. It's an app that you can adjust to make a noise that is very much like the noise that you hear in your head, only it plays out on your phones speaker. So, I got out my phone, opened the app and made the proper adjustments that mimicked the noise in my head, (you know, like the sound of an idling Boeing 737 sitting on the runway) LOL... anyway, when I played it for them, I said... "You hear this? Sounds really annoying doesn't it." I could see their eyes getting big. "Well, just imagine strapping this thing to the side of your head and spending the rest of your life like that." That's when their jaws just dropped and I could tell that they really could not accept that this is how I live. And to be honest, I don't hold that against them. It's not something that you want to think about someone that you are close to. And that's okay, with me. I just needed to one time try and put them in my shoes for a brief moment.

      Of course, time goes on and nobody can see your condition. Nobody can hear what you hear. They don't see you in a wheel chair. They don't see you limping down the street. They don't see you with a cane in your hand searching for the curb. They don't see you making sign language motions. They "see" nothing. Yet, we are just as crippled as all these other "seen" handicaps. You will get some argument from people who will claim surely there is no way that having tinnitus is as significant a handicap as being blind, paralyzed, or completely deaf, etc. Most of those who hold to this notion likely are not privy to all those who have taken their lives because of Tinnitus. This, is all a part of the unique aspect of tinnitus/hyperacusis. I sometimes refer to it is the "lonely handicap". Even other tinnitus/hyperacusis sufferers out there remain unknown to me, unless the topic comes up by accident. What a deal, huh?

      Having said all that (about other non-sufferers) I now am in a place where I have forced myself to not really care about how others treat me, or may not have the kind of understanding that I would like to have. It's not their fault. It is what it is, and I just have to do what's best for me to continue down that road towards that elusive blissful tolerance and habituation. How I feel, is way more important now than how they feel. Yes, I have become a bit more selfish with how I am with others. Even if someone is offended, I really don't care. I am tired of trying to... "explain." I am blessed to have a few very close relationships with some who truly do make every attempt to understand... Including my wife of course.

      As you move forward, you will have to make your own way with the people that are in your life. In time you will settle down and be at peace with how things are going in that regard. As in many other significant personal traumas, time is your friend. With the proper focus and attitude, time will dull many of the sharp edges of the painful issues that emerge out of this lousy hand we have been dealt.

      One last thought. I really do hope that this dialogue is of some help on the "journey". Having said that, we must always remember that the ultimate goal is to put it behind us... to not give it the kind of attention that it seeks... to take away its controlling factor... to the point that it is simply a non-issue. This is the sought after destination.

      Years ago I once stayed in a friends apartment for two days while they were away. The apartment was on a bluff which was right above a railroad track. Every night a very loud freight train would go by blasting it's horn. Of course this incredibly loud noise would wake us up. I recall my wife and I just staring at each other in bewilderment. How in the world do people live like this? Every day and night three or four of these very long trains would go screaming by! When I talked to my friend later I asked him how he could live with that noise? He kinda laughed and said... "Oh yea... we just don't hear it anymore." Of course the train noise wasn't a constant noise 24/7, but you get the point. I tell you this because I don't want this dialogue we are having to be a "source" of giving tinnitus/hyperacusis more attention than it deserves, or that is required. Remember, the goal is to remove the "attention" it is demanding of us.

      There is another tinnitus/hyperacusis sufferer of whom I have an ongoing relationship with who approached me after reading some of my posts. This was some time ago. I shared many of the same things with him that I have with you. Eventually we have gotten to the point where we never talk about our tinnitus anymore. We still have a long distance relationship via email, etc; and we of course know of our "special" commonality regarding tinnitus/hyperacusis, but we don't talk about it anymore. It just so happens there are other similar things we discovered about our lives that have now become the focus of our "relationship"... instead of tinnitus/hyperacusis. I would say that this is one of those success stories. It is also why I don't spend nearly as much time on this website as before. In fact, I took a long break from this site when I began to discover those "non-event" times stretching out longer and longer. I am now much more secure and confident in how things are and I now find no adverse effect in spending time here. For me now... spending some time here does not interfere with the habituation process. I think I am a little beyond that now. This is just more food for thought for your own very personal path. Everyone is different.

      Steve, I hope this little portion is just another healing assist for you. Be encouraged. In my time together with my weekly group (on Zoom now) I am reminded that "out of darkness, light shall shine. And, in our weaknesses we are made strong". I have really taken this to heart. It is the path I have chosen.

      Blessings my friend...

      -John
       
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    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      Many many thanks for your fantastic response John.

      So sorry for the late reply but just after my last post I went for my MRI scan. I was shocked how loud it was although I wore foam ear plugs. This has caused me a great deal of sleepless nights lately with the tinnitus at rocket engine levels and my hyperacusis seeming so much worse. I decided to reluctantly take some meds the doctor had prescribed for me which seemed to have no effect. It has taken me five days just to get my frame of mind back to some reasonable level.
      I can actually concentrate today to reply which a few days ago didn't think was possible.

      It gives me great comfort reading your replies over and over. I find it incredibly heartening that you put so much humour in with such a dire situation. This makes me smile so much. You are very inspirational and it pushes me each day to see the positives for the next day. I have so much gratitude towards you.

      Your suggestion about the Apple AirPods was a great one. I like to watch horse racing on my PC but have had problems concentrating with the speakers. This recommendation has worked wonders for me. I can concentrate so much easier with them on. I have also ordered a pair of Sony Bluetooth wireless headset which were expensive but am sure it will be money well spent. I am very excited to be able to watch TV without all the discomfort from shuffling an earbud continuously. This will be delivered later today. Many thanks for your recommendations, they are making my life that much easier.

      Your attention to detail is fascinating and very absorbing. Like you say - I think of it now as my crazy mother-in-law constantly nagging me hehehe. I feel far more positive that each day will get better overall. I know there may be setbacks but I believe I will find that middle ground and be content.

      Finally I want to say how invaluable your input has been. I have printed your posts so that I can read it at will.
      You have given me so much of your time John and I can't thank you enough for that. I only wish that I could repay you.

      You are a true gentleman.

      Thank you my friend,
      Steve
       
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    23. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Steve, so glad my words have offered some encouragement. You are in the early stages of this mighty challenge, a stage I might refer to as tinnitus/hyperacusis boot camp. The humour I seem to be able to muster I think finds its source again in total acceptance, which I have previously addressed. With that kind of total acceptance, you will achieve a life where tinnitus/hyperacusis is not ruling the day. It will never be the same as before. I have put that behind me.

      Just a quick word about the headphones. I hope they work as well for you as they do for me. I'm still not sure exactly why they make watching TV so much more tolerable, but they do (for me). I'm guessing there are multiple reasons. First of all, I'm actually doing something to enhance my life with tinnitus/hyperacusis. That alone is a mental exercise that helps to alleviate the complete helplessness we experience when first confronted with the enormity of tinnitus/hyperacusis. Oh, that brings up a thought. I don't want you to think that when I say "total acceptance" that I mean I don't try to do things and try new remedies that might make life more pleasant with tinnitus/hyperacusis. I simply mean that tinnitus/hyperacusis is here to stay. It's not going anywhere. Yea, the gift of that crazy mother in law... that keeps on giving. LOL. But no, I will always be open to trying different little tricks or whatever to make things better. You know... slipping some sleeping pills into the in-law's oatmeal never hurt anybody. ;-)

      Okay, back to the headphones. These are not the headphones of yesteryear. I had never had a modern pair of headphones before, and its amazing how far they have come. Obviously, your TV has to have Bluetooth feature for them to work the best. One thing that I think I am benefiting from when wearing headphones, is that the Hissing/ static noise that my tinnitus produces that usually sounds as if it is in my right ear... when I wear headphones it's almost as if my brain is tricked into thinking that the "noise" is coming thru the headset, and not originating in my brain. This is just one more of the positive features that utilizing headphones offers. And I think the noise cancelling feature combined with being able to finely adjust the volume to deal with the hyperacusis that feeds my tinnitus is all part of what is working.

      After I purchased my Sony headphones, they would shut off after about 45 minutes or so, and I would have to turn them back on. Apparently the ones I got were preset on a timer to shut down. Anyway, I finally realized that there is an APP that you can download on your smartphone that performs all the fine tuning of the headphones. It's still taking me some time to realize that there is a APP for basically everything now! If I recall, there are also videos on YouTube that you can look at that explain how these things work the best.

      I never watch TV in my home without them on now. Of course another of the perks is that I can go almost anywhere in my house and I can still listen to whats on TV... like when I'm taking in the news, etc... (something I don't recommend these days... LOL).

      That is it for now Steve. Let me know how things are progressing.

      The best,

      -John
       
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    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      Hi John,

      I wanted to reply to you after an evening with the headset. Wow, what a difference. I have a Bluetooth TV so it was very easy to set up. I had given up, believing that I would never enjoy movies / sport or anything else again.
      I watched my football team (soccer) win their game last night, thoroughly enjoyable experience.
      I then watched some Netflix followed by a movie.

      I had the volume not too loud but where I could hear it comfortably. I had the noise cancellation on / although i was toggling between ambient sound etc. Thankfully it didn't switch off after 45 minutes :D I will download the app later to see what benefits that may give.

      Overall I actually felt normal (if that's the right phrase) for the first time in many weeks. I was able to absorb / concentrate on everything that happened. I didn't believe that could happen. It was in very early hours of the morning before I had finished.

      This works perfectly for me and I now know that I have something to look forward to in the evening which is another positive going forward.

      When this unfortunate incident happened I was extremely concerned that I would never be able to work again.
      I am fortunate that my job pays full wages while I adapt to this new way of life. I am now so much more confident with your help John, that I will return to my job in the near future.

      Probably due to our identical situation everything you do seems to work for me.
      I am so grateful for your help and humorous dialogue.

      You are the best John.

      Steve.
       
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    25. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Hey Steve,

      I'm really glad that the new headphones are working for you! I suspected that they just might help a little since your experience with tinnitus/hyperacusis so much mirrors my own. For you to say that you felt a "sense" of normality is simply awesome! That made me think about when I fly my plane. Like Ive said before, it's the only time where I feel very close to 100% normal. I don't get near that same level of comfort watching TV, etc; but I do get enough degree of relief that I can experience those periods where the tinnitus is mostly an afterthought. The destination we are seeking is getting to that place where the tinnitus/hyperacusis has forever given up it's throne. I am definitely further down that road than I was 18 months ago, and I know you too will get there and beyond.

      Ive also experimented with the Sony's while driving if I'm on a long drive. For the most part my tinnitus is pretty tolerable while driving. I think I already mentioned that the drone of road noise seems to be in that certain frequency that meshes with the tinnitus noise and I can kind of settle into a level of comfort. I also tried listening to some music or podcasts using my Bluetooth smartphone. It worked really well, but I did experience a slight increase (over normal) in the tinnitus noise when I reached destination and removed headset, although it wasn't too long before the tinnitus settled back to it's normal level of Chinese torture. Ha... had to get that in. Anyway, I have come to conclusion that because of our condition being not the result of noise induced ear damage but rather some form of brain injury, that the risk of causing further increased permanent damage by utilizing these headphones is lower than someone who has already suffered noise induced ear damage.

      All in all, with everything I have done over the last two years, my tinnitus/hyperacusis is pretty much exactly the same as it was in the beginning. Having said that, do be careful, resisting the temptation to turn up the volume. That kind of caution goes for anyone using headphones. We both must remember that the vast majority of those afflicted with tinnitus is from (noise induced tinnitus), and people abusing the use of headphones is one of the culprits. You and I both have to protect our one good ear as much as possible. Headphones can be dangerous if not used with caution. Having said all that, I am really glad you are getting some success with them. It's so nice to experience something positive that we can add to the mental gymnastics we perform in our quest to formulate some lemonade out of this lemon laid in our lap however sour it may be.

      I was going to ask you... you said that your SSHL hit you at 12:30am. That is so remarkable, because that's almost the exact same time of night it hit myself. Anyway, my question is... was there anything at all you can think of that you might consider as a contributing cause for this to happen? Something you did out of the ordinary prior to the event? Did you hit your head on anything in the weeks prior? Any trauma? Were you taking any medications at that time? Watch a really stupid movie? He... he. The reason I ask is that about 7 weeks before I was struck with this I was in a near death motorcycle accident while riding off-road. I described it all in a previous post. I have no idea how hard I hit my head but I know it did take a pretty good whack. It was a very traumatic experience, and then weeks later the tinnitus/hyperacusis event.

      There is so little we really know about SSHL. My ENT was almost useless, other than saying it is not that common but he does see it happen to people for seemingly no reason. "Yea, thanks Doc." Like you, I did get an MRI to rule out some kind of tumour or stroke. Apparently we are just really special people! Anyway, I was just curious if there was something in your own case that made you feel as if there may have been a reason for this outside of pure chance.

      One more question. For myself, outside of using headphones, flying, etc; the best time for me with the lowest volume of the hissing static noise of my tinnitus is usually when I wake up in the morning. I guess the quiet of the night while sleeping over 7-8 hours allows my tinnitus to wind down to its calmest period. Of course as soon as I get up and begin making normal noises like running water etc; the tinnitus spools back up to it's "normal" level. Is this your experience also? Or is the volume of your tinnitus the same waking up as it was going to bed?

      That's it Steve. Again, so glad to hear some positive news on your front. Keep it coming. Oh... I was going to mention that helping out those such as yourself is just as much a blessing to me as it is to yourself. Dealing with this scourge has so much to do with our mental attitude, and to somehow eke out a degree of positivity does wonders for heading down that "road". The positive feedback I get from those such as yourself helps me enormously to get through to the other side. It almost begins to make sense (almost)... and that there is some deeper purpose in all of this. Right... right? Just say right. ;-)

      ...the best,

      -John
       
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    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      Hi John,

      Great to hear from you. The headset is fantastic. But as you pointed out, I am extremely wary of not to cause any unnecessary damage to my good ear. I keep the volume to a low-ish level but comfortable enough to hear all the dialogue. When guns start blazing, I tend to turn down slightly more.

      For driving I will certainly be using these in the future. I drove my car to the garage yesterday for brake pad replacement. Very local (5 minute drive). That is the first time I have driven since this happened. Although the wife collected me then returned me to pick up the vehicle later in the day. I have basically been house confined during this whole time. With all the COVID-19 travelling restrictions in place here, it oddly doesn't feel unusual.

      As for the night it happened.
      I was watching TV until about 10.30 - 10.45 pm and then went to bed. I remember waking up with a jolt. I don't know why but it was sudden. I hadn't had any bumps / knocks that I can remember. Although I did give this extensive thought I can't attribute this to anything but bad luck. I also wasn't taking any medication of any kind. I have come to the conclusion that I am one of the unlucky few with this condition. Better still, as you mentioned, one of the "special" few hahaha.

      I have tried to sleep in my bed but due to my erratic sleeping pattern am unable to settle. Every bit of minute noise, even her breathing seems to torment me. I believe this is the hyperacusis amplifying everything and even tried ear plugs but to no avail. Therefore I am unfortunately resigned to the sofa for now. Until I can work out some kind of sleep routine, which is difficult while I am off work, this will probably continue for a while.
      I understand that I must get into a routine if I am to manage this properly.
      Thankfully my wife is understanding.

      After wearing the headset in the night/early hours, I find my tinnitus tolerable. I am able to sleep but find it easier if I sleep on my deaf ear. Not sure why, but it seems quieter if I do it this way. On waking up I find it tolerable but not quiet. This spikes quite badly once movement arises. IE - the dog / wife or the kids start their daily routine. Ear plugs on LOL.

      It tends to stay quite prominent all day, although I tend to get some respite sat on the P.C. Although I have an iPad, laptop etc I like to sit with my double screen P.C. and read, type etc. I am able to concentrate while it's quiet this way.

      I am also not eating anywhere near as much, due to little appetite. I am fully aware that I have to get my appetite and sleep patterns to a more reasonable level. This is difficult at the moment but I will certainly be working on it over the coming weeks/months.

      I value your input so much John. Thank you for putting in so much time and effort for me.
      You are helping me immensely. I really hope I get to your position of acceptance. I know I am much further towards it with all your help.

      You are a remarkable man.
      Many thanks.
      Steve.
       
    27. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Hey Steve,

      Thanks for sharing the details of your "event." So so similar to my own. I'm beginning to think more and more that it didn't have anything to do with my accident. I have heard of too many accounts of it simply happening. And it always seems to be just the one ear going deaf. It would be so great if they could sometime discover what exactly is going on, even if we cannot be cured. It would be nice to know just what in the world happened to us. Right?

      Well, it sounds like you are well on the way to finding the best use of the N/C headphones. Really glad they are offering a least some degree of relief. The trick is getting this stuff to calm down just to the point that we can sort of put it all on the back burner and get on with things that we normally do and allow ourselves to focus and concentrate on things like work, reading, etc. The more we can accomplish this (giving our attention elsewhere) the further down the road towards full habituation we can go. It's a real marathon, but at least we/you have begun.

      If it's any further consolation, outside of the very time this hit you, right now you are passing through the most intense time. You are still in early stages, and in a very real sense, you are likely still in a bit of shock. For a number of months I went through these waves of disbelief and awe that this happened to me. Not unlike the death of a close family member. Waves of grief. For awhile you go on with things trying to do what needs to be done... and then it just hits you and overwhelms you for a period. Then you get up, lick your wounds, and get going again. As in the death of a family member, eventually those waves of grief begin to subside and you enter the next stage of acceptance and habituation. There are no shortcuts. Only the little tricks like headphones, etc... that take some of the sharp edges off the bumps.

      I was fortunate that this hit me late in life. Today I am 67. I'm not going to lie, it would be a tougher hand to accept if this were to hit me in mid-life with all the challenges associated. Being retired, I pretty much have complete control of my time and environment, and for that I am glad. Oh, I was going to say... for myself, being outside is always better than being inside. Especially when I am with people and talking. Apparently when I am outside the sound waves are diffused and have nothing to bounce off of. And most "nature type" sounds are okay on my ears. Indoors, it's a completely different ball game where ear plugs and/or headphones are often required. Having said that, I am finding that I can tolerate being places more and more without the use of an earplug where before I needed them. That is what we are looking for. That is progress.

      That brings up one more thing I don't think I mentioned before. We need to balance our use of earplugs and headphones and only use them when we need to. Not because they will cause damage, but because we are trying to "habituate." Like when I would go to a hardware store or whatever, I would not insert an ear plug unless I just had to, which was quite a lot at the beginning. But over time, I got to where I don't need them now in those kind of places. I don't mean you should make yourself suffer through it. Just that, if it really doesn't bother you that much, don't use them. This will help speed the process of habituation. It's too easy to just go for the most comfort and use them in a regular fashion... "Oh, I'm going inside a store, where's my ear plug?" And having said this, I think it's just fine to "treat" ourselves once in a while. There are times where I am home, and my wife is doing whatever, and there are the normal daily sounds going on and I'm doing... pretty okay... but I just decide, "You know what, I'm gonna just check out into Headphone oblivion for a period of time", and I grab the Sony's, turn on the N/C feature, open my laptop to go internet surfing, pop open a local micro-brew IPA, and... "Nirvana!" So yea... it's okay to treat ourselves now and then, as long as we don't lose sight of the habituation destination. I do consider watching something on TV as simply pleasure (not work) and always use my Sony's for that. And who knows, if I continue to make more progress towards habituating, maybe a day will come where It doesn't really matter if I use them or not while watching TV... maybe.

      Sleep and eating is without doubt something you have to get back on the rails. If you allow this to get too out of whack, this can eventually lead to some real trouble. Not trying to scare you, but this is to be taken seriously. One thing you might consider is I have heard a lot about the benefits of "meditation." Personally, I have a pretty strong and grounded "faith" that no doubt offers me some of the same benefits of your run of the mill meditation techniques. Anyway, it's something you might look into, and just might help with the sleep and appetite issues. I never seemed to have a deficit in the area of sleep and appetite during this time. Being able to sleep through the night was a great relief because I have heard of a lot of tinnitus sufferers that have trouble with that. With the "noise reactive" tinnitus/hyperacusis I am comforted with the knowledge that even if my tinnitus is raging when I go to bed, it is going to wind down a lot as the "quiet" night progresses. I really hope you can get the sleep thing figured out, and this (meditation) might help with the appetite also. Remember, you are still in "boot camp", your not yet in tinnitus/hyperacusis shape, and your feeling that "pain". Things will get better.

      Best wishes Steve...

      -John
       
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    28. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Thank you John for all your posts. They are so full of details and so inspiring. For those of us who have recently and unfortunately acquired SSHL, your experiences are greatly valued. We can all learn from you in some ways. Having super loud tinnitus at the same time facing bad hyperacusis, plus all the other nasty symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, aural fullness, plugged and pressured sensations etc, is a challenge for most people especially when new at this. Your words of assurance are most appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to help others.

      Perhaps from a "veteran perspective" you can share the mental processes of how to train or condition the brain to ACCEPT something that is so unacceptable, from treating it as an enemy to embracing it as part of ourselves. It must not be a one day thing to achieve that but a repeated process, perhaps for weeks and months, of facing up to the oppressive symptoms of SSHL repeatedly trying to accept the sufferings before the brain finally catches up to begin to accept them. I like your term Total Acceptance. That is really the secret of overcoming the ordeal but that state of complete acceptance may take a while to achieve.

      Thanks again for your effort to help. God bless.
       
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    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZAF777
      Insomnious

      ZAF777 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL
      Hi John.

      Always a great pleasure to read your thoughts.

      I certainly agree with you John, this isn't a sprint but a marathon. I initially assumed that I had a few weeks to get a grip on this, but have realised that is not the case. With your help/support and guidance plus the tinnitus community, I am seeing this as a long term project. Baby steps comes to mind. I am now under no illusion that there is a quick fix solution.

      The Sony headset is a godsend for me. I have noticed recently that my deaf ear seems to crackle at times with certain noises / headset etc. I now put an ear plug in (deaf ear) when watching TV which I find helps slightly.

      You are definitely right about my sleep and eating habits. I need to get back on the rails. I will definitely work on it, but at the moment find that I am exhausted come late morning. I wake up multiple times during the night which is frustrating. My body feels as though it has had no rest whatsoever. I am attributing this to my lack of appetite but more so the amount of mental anguish that I am so hard trying to distance myself from. This certainly is a 24/7 battle which I really intend to win. I will accept some kind of truce however lol.

      I turned 50 just a few months ago and had a few bucket list adventures. I was really looking forward to going to Las Vegas in the near future but feel uncertain if that will ever materialize now . <Sad face>.

      A little bit about me John...

      I am a postman (mail man I think in the U.S.A) so am relatively fit. I generally walk about 8-10 miles a day on my delivery. I have been doing this for about 16 years and really enjoy my job. I have made many friends with my customers which enhances the pleasure working. Prior to delivering I am in the delivery office sorting parcels/mail for a few hours. This is a somewhat noisy environment with music blaring etc. This concerns me greatly when I do return.

      Prior to that I was in the military for nearly 10 years. I served in the Royal Navy. I sailed around the globe on a couple of occasions. I spent a fair bit of time in Florida. Miami, Tampa, Key west. Also spent 8 weeks in West Virginia getting repaired from severe hurricane damage. That was a scary time when our 6000 tonne warship was like a duck in a whirlpool. I don't miss those moments for sure. When leaving I worked in manufacturing for about 5/6 years which I didn't enjoy very much. This forced me to unexpectedly become a postman which I haven't regretted a single minute.
      I really hope that I will be able to return to this. That's what I find troubling. It is early days, so have believe that I certainly will.

      I and others like billie48 who recently posted are taking great comfort from your experience and knowledge.

      Thank you for your time and patience.

      With the greatest of gratitude,
      Steve
       
    30. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Hi Steve,

      Good to hear form you. A few days ago I was in the middle of replying to you and I stopped for awhile and when I returned to this site the next day to continue writing, I could not retrieve what I had started writing. I assume that it was lost somehow. If you did get it, then this note may seem repetitive at times. But I think the first one was lost.

      Glad to hear you are continuing on with the "baby steps". No doubt that "patience" is a valued virtue when it comes to coping with tinnitus/hyperacusis in our lives. I have definitely made a lot pf progress, but it still often seems like three steps forward and one step backwards much of the time. Sometimes that step backwards is hard to take. But I guess this is where logging some time with experience is invaluable. I still sometimes have those moments where I am literally stupefied at the enormity of what we are dealing with. However, because of over two years of experience I am able to simply take the next step... and move on.

      Thank you so much for telling me a little bit more about yourself. That is so great that you get to do something that you enjoy doing, and also for being able to be outside for much of the day. I can't recall if I told you before, but I handle tinnitus/hyperacusis much better when I am outside where all the sound waves are diffused and not bouncing off of interior walls attacking my brain over and over! Another thing I noticed is that "nature" sounds don't really bother me much even if it is quite loud, like if I am near a very noisy waterfall. Even though it is quite loud, I really don't mind it that much. But... if a loud motorcycle roars by, it can literally rattle my brain.

      Your time in the Royal Navy sounds pretty interesting. Those hurricanes are nothing to mess around with. I have been through one myself. I too spent some time on the ocean, or rather "in" the ocean. I'll tell you a little more about that below. Anyway, regarding your time that you have to spend indoors sorting through mail while the loud music is blaring can no doubt be a source of stress. In a case like that, I would suggest that a good ear plug would be the best remedy. That is if you don't have to be talking to people during that time. As time goes on, little by little you will find that your need for an ear plug becomes less and less. But, this does take a long time and is not something we should dwell on. Thinking too much about our progress of the lack of it has the unintended consequence of slowing the habituation process that we all look forward to.

      Okay, little bit about myself...

      I am 67 years young. I will be 68 this May. I say "young" because I really do not in any way feel like I am almost two years away from being 70! I have so much more feeling and respect for the older generation now. I realize more than ever now that older people are just like younger people on the inside... just in older more worn "containers."

      I never went to college, nor was I ever in the military. Shortly after high school myself and by best friend packed up everything we owned (not much), loaded it all up in a 1957 Chevy station wagon, left Seattle WA and headed down to Los Angeles California to enroll in a commercial deep sea diving school. We had no intention of returning to Seattle. We had been sport divers for about a year and decided that diving for a job would be a great thing to do. Anyway to make a long story short, we pretty much did what we set out to do and ended up finding work down in the Gulf of Mexico in support of the offshore oil and gas industry. We both worked for the same company "Oceaneering" although I only remained in that industry for about 6 years. My friend got married and remained down in that area and is still there.

      I never really did like living in that part of the country and eventually moved back to the Seattle area. Upon moving back to Seattle I soon had an experience that I must say had a profound impact on the direction of my life and thereafter. In previous posts here, I have briefly mentioned my "faith." At the age of 26 I became a believer in Christ and began meeting regularly with some like minded believers, one couple of which I had known since high school. I would not be honest or fair with you nor anyone else to tell you about myself without mentioning this most profound aspect of who I am. I met my wife shorty after this. We have been together now for over 40 years. We have two grown children and one 7 year old granddaughter.

      After moving back to Seattle I tried to but could not find any steady work relating to my diving experience so I took on a few different jobs until I finally settled on driving/operating a concrete mixer truck employed by a large Seattle company. It was pretty good pay and had excellent benefits with a pension upon retirement. I stayed with this company for 26 years until I retired.

      I was very fortunate that I wasn't hit with tinnitus/hyperacusis at a younger age. I was already retired when it hit me. I really feel for those who have to confront this at a younger age while trying to work or raise a family. Life is hard enough without this to complicate things. We all must have, find, or develop some form of coping mechanism to get to that place where we can lay hold of the assurance that we can not only live with this, but can prosper with it. For myself, it is my faith. I hope I can share just a couple of things that I have come to know through this without sounding like I am "preaching." Even if you don't embrace the same devotion that I do, my experience and realization may still have some profit to you in whichever path you are on.

      There is a principle we find in the bible that tells us "all things work together for good, for those who love God." Some people who are familiar with this principle make the mistake that it is implying that all things work out good for those who love God. It does not mean that. Everyone experiences bad things along with good things. There is no escaping the bad things in life, nor the unfair things. I have been a "believer" for over 40 years now, and I can attest that sufferings are a part of life. Yet for us believers it is through those sufferings that often are the times we discover a deeper intimacy with our Lord. Of course we would never seek out sufferings as a means to that intimacy, but never the less, this is often the case. And this is the good that comes to those who love God according to that principle.

      Regarding this, I must tell you Steve that there is a most profound depth of intimacy I found with my Lord through this experience I had and am having with tinnitus/hyperacusis that may have been elusive otherwise. Don't get me wrong. I would walk across the country if I knew there was a cure waiting for me there. But, there is something about coming face to face with something you cannot handle. Something that is beyond your strength or ability to confront or even process... (for myself) this afforded me a way to open myself in a way that probably could not have occurred void of this impossible situation I suddenly found myself in two years ago. I came to the hard awesome realization that teachings, doctrine, theology, etc... was not going to suffice. Those outward things were simply not going to get me through this. I need stark reality. I needed the real thing. Comforting words and encouragement were not going to do it this time. Thus, this drove me deeper in prayer than I had even been before. My prayer lost all of it's religious trappings and became very real and tangible. More than it had ever been before.

      There is a lot more I could say, but to sum this up... I hate my tinnitus/hyperacusis with a passion. I do wish it would just go away. But... I value and cherish the deep intimacy I have discovered with my Lord and saviour through this process and the road I am still traveling. I don't understand it all. I wish there was another way. But it is what it is, and I accept it. Now I see something that maybe I couldn't fathom when this thing tinnitus/hyperacusis first came to me. I can now see that some place down this road I am on I will be able to look back and just maybe... dare I say... have the the unimaginable realization that it all truly did ..."work out for good." Life can be very mysterious at times... yes it can.

      Well there you have it Steve. You know a little bit more about myself now. I look forward to hearing from you and how you are getting on. Your going to make it my friend! One more baby step...

      Te best to you...

      -John
       
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