The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Lgunal, Aug 26, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Lgunal

      Lgunal Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss and Wellbutrin (I believe)
      The good...I'm still alive and kicking.
      The bad...this freakin' sound in my head.
      The ugly...I have broken down in tears twice today and believe me it's not pretty!

      Hey all,

      New member here; 38 years old (well I will be on Sept. 1), mom of 2 girls, 20 & 9, wife of almost 10 years, and currently back in school changing careers.

      I've had T since around December of 2015, but can't pinpoint the exact day it began. Why? Because in the beginning the first few times I noticed it I brushed it off as part of the headache that I had or a bad nights sleep and figured it'd be gone in the next day or so. It wasn't until January when the volume increased ten-fold that I really noticed it never went away and it began to affect my sleep, my mood, my concentration, my everything!

      I had started seeing this new psychiatrist for depression/anxiety and had been taking Lexapro, but the side affects were not fun so we switched to Wellbutrin and that's the catalyst that set this all in motion; imho. I immediately quit the Wellbutrin, but the T has not gone away.

      I waited for a few months just to give plenty of time for the Wellbutrin to clear my system before I saw the first ENT. He did a hearing test and determined that I have some mild high-frequency hearing loss, which he said is the reason for my T. I was told to buy hearing aids and try to relax.

      Easier said than done.

      I tried hearing aids for 2 months; got them from Costco because they were more affordable, but they didn't help at all. In reality they made things worse.

      See I'm currently a student at a local community college getting my certification in Surgical Technology. This job will require that I stand with the surgeon during surgery and hand all instruments to him/her, assist in retraction, keep track of various pieces of info, and maintain the sterility of the surgical site on behalf of the patient. There are many sounds that take place in the OR, for example; the Electrosurgery Unit (ESU) emits a high pitched sound to let you know it's working properly, the surgeon might ask to play music, the air circulation is much faster (read: louder) to help with the air quality, and many others depending on the case. Unfortunately the hearing aids made everything BUT the surgeons voice louder and I MUST hear the surgeon.

      Frustrated, with the whole situation I researched other more highly qualified ENT's/specialist to try for a second opinion. I found a Otologist/Neuro-Otologist who listed T as a specialty. I arrived for my appointment with so much hope, only to be crushed when she basically said the same exact thing as the first one. "It's hearing loss related." "It's likely permanent." "You need to learn to ignore it and maybe incorporate some relaxation techniques into your day." "Try hearing aids." "Come back in a year for a follow-up."

      Needless to say I left that appointment a blubbering slob.

      A week later I was back in the office with their Audiologist to try out different types of hearing aids/sound machines as she suggested. The first pair I was given to test simply made "white" noise and I was supposed to set the volume for the day to match whatever the volume of my T was in the morning when I woke up, in an effort to distract my brain. Hahahahahaha! All that happened was my T would increase in volume and I'd be stuck with an even louder monster in my head with a soft "white" noise in the background.

      Today I went back to give my report and try the next set. These lovely hearing aids not only emit a "fractal" sound (think chiming bells-called Zen Bells), but they also "enhance sound" i.e. make everything annoying louder.

      I already hate them. I already want them gone.

      So that bring me to now. My T is a 3 part sound. One is an extremely high-pitched single note sound like nothing I have heard before, one is an annoying high-pitched buzzing sound that is kinda behind the other 2 and sounds like there's multiple dimensions to it, and the last one is just a flat boring high note, kinda in between the pitch of the others. Most days the volume is around a 6, on a 10 point scale. It's almost never quieter than that, but lucky for me it does get louder regularly, especially if I'm stressed, angry, etc - which I am a lot because of this monster in my head.

      The affect this is having on my life is awful; I'm depressed, I'm moody, I almost never get a good nights sleep, I rarely go out, I have trouble concentrating in class, I have trouble in clinicals and have to ask surgeons to repeat themselves (which they HATE), my marriage is not great, I suffer from severe anxiety now whenever I go out with my family to noisy places, or if more than one person tries to talk to me at a time. It's like I go into sensory overload. I really feel like I'm losing my mind.

      Today has been an ugly day.

      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I'm sorry to hear that. I got that same very high pitched sound (mostly in my head). Sounds like you have tinnitus, reactive tinnitus, and hyperacusis. It's maddening and doctors really don't know what to do with it.
      Did your ENT mention anything about the Wellbutrin being a possible culprit? You aren't the first person here that has linked their tinnitus to it.

      As for in the surgery room, can you get filtered earplugs that cut out some sound but still allow you to hear the surgeon?
      I have a similar conundrum at my work. I work around moderately noisy equipment most of the day: servers in my office, laminar air flow and heavy machinery in other places, and it's a nightmare trying to balance protecting my hearing and avoiding making my tinnitus louder (it screams when I leave earplugs in too long).
    3. Lgunal

      Lgunal Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss and Wellbutrin (I believe)
      Hey Alue,

      Thanks for reading through my oh so long winded post above.

      No the ENT's didn't say anything about it. I mentioned it, but neither have heard of a connection or so they say.

      As for filtered earplugs, never heard of such a thing. My biggest concern would be that most surgeons don't speak loudly and quite often mumble. Most Surg Techs I've trained under say that they learn to decipher what the surgeons ask for after some time on the job. My biggest worry is that surgery is literally a life and death situation and I feel like my T makes me a liability. I'm thinking about me and my family; if someone I loved, say my mother, we're going under the knife would I want a distracted, anxious person participating in the surgery? Honestly, no I wouldn't.
    4. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      That's a tough situation, but you may just have to explain to the surgeon he needs to speak up. How that will go over probably depends on the surgeon, though.
    5. glynis

      glynis Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Hi @Lgunal,
      Hearing aids can take a while to get use to but can help with tinnitus in time and duel purpose ones with built in white noise generators .
      If you are in a quiet place with no noise to amplify you can play white noise and set them below your tinnitus to help your brain push hard to pick up the lower masker sound and not focus on your tinnitus.
      When you are working and around sounds in the theatre you might find earplugs with filters better to protect your ears from loud sound but can still hear normal conversations.
      It's finding what works for you the best to help you cope better .....lots of love glynis

Share This Page

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