The n-th Newbie — Fell Asleep Listening to Headphones (White Noise), Woke Up with Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by convolution, Dec 4, 2020.

    1. convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      Hi everyone! A week ago I fell asleep overnight listening to my headphones (I was playing only white noise at the first audible level, believe it or not) and when I woke up (after several hours) in the morning I had tinnitus at both ears (high-pitched, probably 14-15 kHz). It never disappeared since then. I am flabbergasted and sad. I have been using headphones but moderately I think (very moderate volume) and I haven't been to any concert or anything that could have produced a noise trauma (at least not in the last 4 years). I am also healthy and I do not take medication of any sort (I took a pill of Ibuprofen few weeks ago and my antihistamine for seasonal allergy in July last time, that's all).

      Since Tuesday one of the two ear rings slightly louder (the intensity goes up and down several times in a minute and the ear feels a bit clogged...). Overall the tinnitus rings quieter in the morning.

      The GP pulled out a clot of earwax from the right ear (this morning) but nothing changed so far. She also said that both ears look nice otherwise. Neck muscles and blood pressure are fine too. Took some blood samples. I am seeing an ENT on Wednesday but I feel already hopeless. I work in academia (I am a PhD student in Mathematics*) and I need silence to think, now when I sit I just hear this stupid sound that does not leave me alone. My anxiety spiked, I am afraid of doing anything (Can I go to the gym? Can I go to the supermarket? Can I take a flight to visit my family?). I do not even have questions to ask, this ailment seems so subjective and so poorly understood (from a scientific point of view)... I just needed to vent a bit.

      At least I can sleep. Actually it seems that the tinnitus is draining my brain's energy and the only thing that I would like to do every time is indeed sleeping...

      *I spoke with my advisor about it and he told me he has got tinnitus too, 14 years ago at some reenactement where some idiot shot a "cannon ball" without warning... also a friend of mine told me he got tinnitus 11 years ago from ear infection. Both the aforementioned are doing perfectly fine now, but they both told me that at the beginning it has been extremely tough (I am already assuming mine is chronic).

      Thank you if you read so far. I donated to this forum because it's great.
       
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    2. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to the forum. Yes, I also find out that many people around me, including my tinnitus therapist in the local hospital told me she had tinnitus. Two ladies in my own social circle have tinnitus so bad that they said sometimes they couldn't hear clearly what people were saying to them. Gosh! Yet they are doing perfectly fine too. It amazes not just myself but this lady truck driver who suffered with loud tinnitus, only to find out later than 70% of her fellow driver colleagues have tinnitus too but not suffering like her. So she said the heck with tinnitus and she changed course and turned around her suffering. Here is her story if you are interested how she turned around her suffering. Take good care. God bless.


      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/6-months-tinnitus-still-going-strong-but-so-am-i.3226/
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      Hi billie48, thank you for your kind words. There is some irony in my situation because I have always been quite careful with my ears - I largely used earplugs even in quiet environments and I was sleeping with white noise in order to protect my ears (or so I thought) - my flatmate/landlady is very noisy when she wakes up and slams the doors quite often at 7:00 am. I only indulged in listening to music with headphones - but who doesn't do that? I am afraid that this generation of airpods users will result in a tinnitus pandemic - I do not know about other countries, but in Sweden it seems that literally everybody I look at is wearing airpods all the time.

      As for me, I have several mood swings during the day but I try to be positive and stay focused on the things that I love - my girlfriend and the Mathematics. I would love to go home for few weeks and stay with my family, but this won't probably be possible due to the pandemic.

      Now I actually have a question: what do you guys think about these earplugs? I hang them to my set of keys and I plan to use them as soon as (possibly before) I come across some loud noise source (train, winds etc...).
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      Just wanted to report back. It has been 25 days for me and the tinnitus is pretty much still there. In the meantime I saw an ENT, did two audiograms and a tympanometry. First audiogram reported a mild hearing loss in my left ear, the second one after a week was apparently fine (?). Tympanometry was fine, blood samples and thyroid are fine too. ENT said "learn to live with it... ah, the bill is 300 euros".

      I think my tinnitus is rather mild, but it's unmaskable (high-pitched). It gets louder and it screams towards the end of the day (say from a 3 to a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10), but I never tried to mask it. So far I have not had big issues in falling asleep (apart from a couple of nights when I had panic attacks and some random cramps). Lately (past 7-10 days) I found it more tolerable throughout the day; also my left ear used to switch from baseline to something louder, now I just hear oscillations (like every 5 seconds) but it does not switch to the louder version (I take it as a good sign).

      I am still psychologically wrecked but I am working on that. I am taking some supplements and trying to eat healthy - I finally decided to completely cut the sugar intake (especially from sodas, that I used to drink quite often). No more headphones and I try to avoid noises (luckily I live in a quite city).

      I did a bit of analysis of the onset and I believe now that the culprit was indeed a noise trauma. I feel asleep with white noise in my headphones and I woke up with this monster. The thing is, I recalled that this happened to me already before (few weeks prior the actual onset), same headphones and same white noise playlist on Spotify; I had the same type of tinnitus for one day and then it went away overnight. I guess I played with fire...
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      35 days in, no big changes. I can hear it quite often if I look for it. I always hear it when I am inside (libraries, my house, post office). I however noticed two things: tinnitus goes down to 3/10 after sleeping, no matter for how long I sleep. My cat woke me up two times in the middle of the night and I experienced silence both times. Might it have something to do with the sleep stage that was interrupted? I do not know. I think I will soon give up in trying to understand this s*it...
       
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    6. Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      I am very glad that so far your case continues to be mild. How do you go about rating the intensities? I've considered doing this myself to keep a journal, but I really have nothing to compare to for the polar ends (i.e. what qualifies a 1/10 versus a 10/10). I feel like I rapidly switch back and forth depending on what's going on, how I feel, what my worries have been, etc.

      I'm not sure how much this has an effect, but you can determine what stage of sleep you are in by estimating the time you went to sleep and the time you wake up. This is a good source that explains the stages and their typical durations.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      I was saying that in my bathroom there is a passive ventilation system that emits a rather constant noise, so I use that noise to determine the loudness of my tinnitus. In the morning the tinnitus is usually slightly below that noise while in the evening is usually above. I do not think that the evening tinnitus is much louder than the morning one, but for some reasons it appears to be so. It might have something to do with tiredness and stress. When I lay down to sleep I seem to have fire alarms blaring in my ears...

      My tinnitus seems to be relentlessly following the same pattern - which is good (because it is "predictable", and it does not seem to react to noises at all) and bad (because I do not seem to be improving so far)... the journey will be long I guess, may I be damned for having been so stupid (not sure if this last one sentence makes sense in English, forgive me I am not native :) ).
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      UPDATE: I am almost two months in. Psychologically speaking I am doing a bit better. I can work and function decently and my mood improved overall – as long as I keep myself distracted, the tinnitus is "just" a nuisance (my tinnitus is not severe, but not even of the type that “can be heard only in a quiet room” – I can hear it quite everywhere). Still the “dark” thoughts come back at night when I would like to relax like a normal human being.

      In terms of tinnitus… it is hard to say if it improved at all. It still follows the same pattern of quiet in the morning (until sometime in the afternoon) –> loud in the evening and it does not seem to be influenced by things or noises, except by the sleep, sleeping always quiets it down. It is not relentlessly the same pure sine high-pitched unmaskable wave, sometimes it changes into a slightly more soothing metallic buzz that often kicks in after I take the Magnesium. I seldom hear also a very distant low frequency tone in my left hear (where supposedly I have a slight hearing loss). I spend most of the time in my room, but when I am around moderate noises I of course protect my ears. I am currently taking Omega-3 and Magnesium Citrate and considering to add NAC soon. Magnesium seems to change the pitch of my left ear's tinnitus, which is quite weird honestly.

      I will update this thread every month - maybe there is someone interested in the ordeal (and hopefully the progresses) of an idiot who fried his own ears listening to 40 dB white noise for ten hours...
       
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    9. Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      Psychological benefits two months in is probably a good sign, at least as far as it pertains to your quality of life. Given that not many report improvements in the actual condition itself in this time, you probably don't have to be worried there. That said, I am with you on the dark thoughts and just the overall malaise of the situation.

      I certainly do look forward to hearing any developments of yours and, as always, wish you the best.
      Can you clarify whether or not your Magnesium Citrate is increasing or decreasing the pitch? I've learned that the Citrate form of the supplement is really good when it comes to absorption by the body, but I've also seen elsewhere that Citrates should be avoided for sufferers due to its excitatory effects.

      I've personally been taking Magnesium Glycinate for the past few weeks, and I would likely recommend it to you as well. Glycinate is widely regarded as being one of the best for absorption. I also think it's the only supplement I've been taking (besides Melatonin) to produce a positive effect; my mood afterwards and sleep quality has somewhat improved.

      There are several others kinds I am curious to try as well, such as L-Threonate and Malate.
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      Hello Drachen, I always appreciate your replies.
      I think that the Citrate does something to my tinnitus... I usually take it on an empty stomach, and it seems to decrease the pitch of my tinnitus, specifically in my left ear. The sound becomes like... a buzz for few hours. It is actually slightly more audible than my usual baseline, but it is also more tolerable. It does not do that always, but often. However it does not seem to have any excitatory effect on me (or maybe the one above is the excitatory effect? Who knows...), but maybe I will switch to the Glycinate as soon as I finish this current container.
      That is great. Magnesium is probably one of the safest supplement to take.
      Me too. I was thinking about NAC...
       
    11. Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      This is very interesting, and I might have to investigate the citrate version a bit further. I am wondering if it is at all possible to switch between them intermittently and receive the different effects. At any rate, if you are experiencing benefits from the citrate, then good on you! As with almost anything, folks react differently and to different extents. Perhaps you are immune to the negative side effects in this case!

      This brings me back to the question of whether or not it would be better to have a lower frequency sound. There are many here on the forum that have said it is absolutely awful, but I am not so sure. I feel like the higher frequency sounds are much more difficult to conceal unless you're specifically listening to high frequency sounds, but then that gets tiresome as well. With lower frequency, I would think more things could conceal it, but then again this could very well be a "grass is (potentially) greener on the other side" dilemma.
      NAC is one of the most recommended supplements I see here on the site, so that's probably a great idea. I had started to take it myself, but then I started having headaches and general feelings of being unwell. I don't necessarily think it was the cause, but I've since stopped taking all supplements besides Magnesium and Melatonin in an attempt to determine what the cause was.

      Digression aside, good on you, and please do report if you notice any benefit! I think that's the best thing we can do as a community; just post updates of what works, what doesn't, and what may hurt. This is the sort of research the medical community should be doing, but uh... well I won't go into that.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      Almost 12 weeks in, no improvements in sight. I am coping better than when this s*it began, but I am still struggling on a daily basis, especially when I am alone (i.e. 90% of the time). Being 1500 km far from home does not help, I guess.
       
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