The Christmas from Hell — Contracted Tinnitus from a Guitar Amp

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Paul674, Jan 4, 2020.

    1. Paul674

      Paul674 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 16th 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic/stress
      Hi everyone,

      I just wanted to ask for some advice. I recently contracted tinnitus - from a guitar amp my wife bought me for Christmas. It was a small desktop amp, and I played it on 16th December (obviously) too close to my ears. Two and a half weeks on and the hissing in my ears hasn't stopped. I can hear it over the noise of the engine of my car and the TV so it is a distraction. However, the worst is the sleeping. I went to the doctors and she prescribed me Zopiclone as a short term measure. It is apparently addictive when used for more then a couple of weeks, moreover, I'm only getting 5 hours sleep on it. My mood is consequently really low. I have also been using sleep masking on my phone but too little effect. I am a poor sleeper generally and have had bouts of insomnia in the past but always get over them - but this!

      Last night I tried sleep without the Zopiclone and had a full blown panic attack - my whole body was shaking so off I went for a pill again. I took a half (3.75) and got only three hours. Seven or eight years ago I had a period of depression and I was prescribed Lexapro, which was fantastic. Yet reading on this forum I see that this and other other SSRI's are apparently ototoxic, similarly the tricyclic antidepressants such as Amitriptyline are also ototoxic. I know that if i could just sleep my mood would improve, and Lexapro helped me so much previously enabling me to sleep, but I am terrified it will make my tinnitus worse. I have ordered some St John's Wort online but am somewhat skeptical of its efficacy - plus it takes 6 weeks to work, whereas SSRI's take 2.

      I would really appreciate knowing:
      • Whether with habituation sleeping gets better?
      • Whether people have had any positive experiences with SSRI's? The internet is a nightmare of conflicting information.
      • How long, if at all, people have used sleeping pills such as Zopiclone with tinnitus?
      • Whether I should just abandon all helps of a pharmaceutical solution and just accept chronic insomnia as the reality of having tinnitus?

      Thanks for reading,

      Paul
       
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    2. ChrisBoyMonkey

      ChrisBoyMonkey Member Podcast Patron

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      My sleep isn't exactly good but I can usually sleep not too bad with melatonin and rain sounds through headphones playing rain sounds at just enough volume to mask the tinnitus, which is at about 30-40% volume for me. It probably wouldn't be a good idea if they had to be louder than this.

      Some people might say to avoid headphones fanatically for fear of getting worse on here but everyone is different and not everyone will get worse simply from that, personally I can't sleep without them.

      I also use an anxiety pill called buspar for when the melatonin isn't enough. It's not primarily for sleeping but it makes me pretty drowsy as a side effect so I use it as needed.
       
    3. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Yes, sleep gets better with habituation. For sure!

      I did not take any SSRI's or other rx meds. I did take melatonin to get me over the hump when the insomnia got bad. I also take daily omega3 as an antiinflammatory, and aloe/green tea, which together all helped.

      Hang in there, if you can avoid additional noise injury (easier said than done), the tinnitus does get better.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Gman
      No Mood

      Gman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic earwax drops, worsened by MDs (Muppet Doctors)
      I don't know how loud you played it, but you're still in the early days. There's a chance it will go away, eventually. Probably be best to avoid loud noise.
      I would agree with melatonin, but it's a subtle effect and taking a time release one was better for me to stay asleep longer. Took some nights to start having an effect either way. Lower doses are considered to be more effective than larger according to some studies.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. MRItechssuck
      Disappointed

      MRItechssuck Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Severe 10/17/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, MRI
      Did you set it to 11?
      I’m hopeful it will resolve itself.

      I’d personally buy a Honeywell air filter, or a noise generator asap from Amazon versus any drug.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Paul674

      Paul674 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 16th 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic/stress
      Hi everyone,

      Many thanks for coming back to me. I'm in a very low place at the moment and I really appreciate your responses.

      .

      This is what I joined this forum for - something positive. Last night I had another bad night. I eventually caved in at 4.40am and took 3.75mg of Zoplicone - got a couple of hours. I am in a really bad place at the moment and talking to people who are also going through this nightmare really helps.

      I am using noise masking - an app on my phone through a bluetooth speaker. I still can't sleep and it make my ears hurt, my tinnitus is worse at night or I notice it more. I had a history of insomnia that I finally beat and now this - life eh.

      [QUOTE"]I would agree with melatonin, but it's a subtle effect and taking a time release one was better for me to stay asleep longer.[/QUOTE].

      I live in Ireland and Melatonin is not available unfortunately in the EU. I am going to my GP tomorrow to talk to her about an anti-depressive.

      [QUOTEI don't know how loud you played it, but you're still in the early days. There's a chance it will go away, eventually. Probably be best to avoid loud noise.[/QUOTE]

      Ironically, not that loud - might have hit 95db a couple of times but I was close to the bloody thing. I guess it could be long term use - electric guitars through valve amps don't sound right unless you play them at a decent volume - what a fool I've been. I will definitely be avoiding loud noise - ear defenders and ear plugs while I cut the grass. And I will be selling every guitar, amp, effects box I own. Never again.

      All the best

      Paul
       
    7. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Hi,

      I have noise induced tinnitus from years of loud music.

      I took Amitriptyline for 2-3 months and it helped me sleep better. My tinnitus didn't get any worse and my hyperacusis improved significantly.

      Agree about avoiding headphone usage and get in the habit of taking earplugs when you leave the house and in the kitchen.
       
    8. Surrealgirl
      Bitching

      Surrealgirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication induced

      So sorry this happened. I have had this happen with loud music in the past and usually it is just a couple days. You sound level may have just been the straw. If it is still with you by the end of this month it is probably permanent, but time will be the only way to know. I would really try not to use sleeping pills though I am guilty of using Zzzquil sometimes, and a glass of wine most days. Just bought a new mattress so hope once I get it it helps with sleeping better, so if you do have an old mattress (mine is 21 years old) then that may help you if you get a new one, supposed to replace every ten years. If you don't exercise at all then you might want to think about that, as that is supposed to help with insomnia, just make sure you don't do it too close to going to bed, at least 3-4 hours earlier if not more. They say if you exercise in the morning you will sleep better at night. I plan to take my own advice here.

      To help with the tinnitus at night, I do sleep with a ceiling fan on, and also a regular fan at times if I need the extra white noise. It helps a lot. It's a nice neutral sound that won't aggravate it.
       
    9. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      Habituation takes quite a while, but it definitely gets better. I still have alternating hisses (posture-related) when I lie down, but I'm used to them and usually fall asleep in five to ten minutes. I don't use masking of any kind.

      Waking up in between still can be a bit of a struggle, but I usually get 6-7 hour nights.
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Paul674

      Paul674 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 16th 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic/stress
      That's interesting. I was thinking of using Remeron, another tricyclic. I read somewhere that it was the only tricyclic that didn't have a risk of making tinnitus worse. Of course if you dig far enough there are invariably cases where it does. My state of mind is such that I really need something as a stop gap just to get me back on my feet again. Just been listening to a thing on youtube on CBT for tinnitus and the person they are describing who is doing everything wrong is me!

      Of course you're right - sleeping pills are never a good option - years of insomnia have taught me that. My problem is that I am not sleeping with masking sounds and it is giving me major anxiety just thinking of going to bed. Have had very little sleep the last few nights and I can't go on like this.

      Thanks for your comments.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Paul674

      Paul674 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 16th 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic/stress
      My problem is sleep - if I can get to just six hours it would be fantastic. I can deal with the permanent hiss in the day but I can't survive on 3 or 4 hours sleep a night. Bring on the Zoplicone
       
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    12. Bartoli

      Bartoli Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009,worsened 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      This is great if you want to try Lenire.
      This is great if you want to be able to pay for Lenire.

      Joking aside, I'm sorry you had this happen to you. I'm serious about trying Lenire. Tinnitus can still go away at this point, but your appointment would probably be some time out so you can always cancel.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    13. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      Habituation got several boosts for me once I did my own research and started to understand what was happening with my hearing, especially once I read about multiple similar cases where T faded. You "only" had it for two and a halve weeks (don't take that the wrong way, I know how hard the first weeks were with my twelve sounds at the time). So much can still happen right now, keep the hope alive during the struggle. Don't research too much though, T should not become an obsession.

      Try using some white noise for sleep, that's how I started out. In your original post you mentioned you can't mask the sound, but that's fine: one should not do that anyway, the brain needs to learn that other sounds are more important to focus on. Actively listen to the white noise until you fall asleep, I used rain sounds for this. Took me a week to get used to it, but afterwards I had my first 6 hour nights again. Though I eventually stopped using it because I don't want to have external dependencies, I think it is still a good bridge towards habituation.

      Other good options are to distract yourself during the day (I didn't take sick breaks so I could keep myself busy) and tire yourself out so you fall asleep right away at night. You'll probably wake up in between... which is annoying, but you get used to it eventually. As it is now, I fall asleep pretty quickly again after waking up.

      Personally, I'd ditch the pills and save them for extreme emergencies. They bring some relieve on the short term, but their addictive nature makes habituation even harder later on. I did not allow myself to use any kind of sleeping pill. Probably the hardest thing I've ever done (those first two weeks felt like hell), but I've thanked myself a lot for it afterwards. Once I (or maybe my brain) learned how to sleep again despite of all the noise, I could function again. The annoyance of the condition itself decreases extremely slowly, but annoyance is a lot less of an issue than fear.
       
    14. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      And the irony that I just now happen to have a night where I can't fall asleep :rolleyes:. Non T-related though, my vacation ends today and I'm thinking a bit too much about what to pick up next for work tomorrow... bad habit.

      Something I just realised and that I feel obligated to add to my previous reply. It should be noted that since November, my T has decreased a lot. Even though I mostly habituated before this time, this fact probably helped in sleeping more easily as well... anyway, felt like I shouldn't leave that part out.

      I hope that you'll find relief from your T soon :)
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Paul674

      Paul674 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 16th 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic/stress
      I have looked at Lenire on this forum. The response seems mixed - I'm just not convinced at the moment. It's about a 3 hour drive to Dublin from where I am - so yeah that's a big plus. I'll be interested to see how it does in wider trials when it goes to Germany. I am trying not to hope that it goes away, just trying to accept it. Hoping for something and it not happening is always worse.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Paul674

      Paul674 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 16th 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic/stress
      Fair play. My problem is that I have a long history of insomnia which means sleep was never a strong suit...and now this. Even with 7.5mg of zopiclone I only slept 4 and a half hrs last night. I am now getting that feeling of panic anxiety about even going to bed, and all the time that bloody sound is buzzing away in my head. I know I will habituate to it eventually.

      I think a lot of my problems are mood and anxiety. I am going to see my doctor tomorrow about an anti-depressant Remeron - which works on mood and makes you sleepy. If my mood picks up everything else will follow. I had depression many years ago and Lexapro sorted me out and i was off it in 3 months.

      That's great news:)
       
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