The Ups and Downs of Tinnitus. Am I Dealing With It Okay?

Discussion in 'Support' started by AlecP, Feb 6, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. AlecP
      Procrastinating

      AlecP Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (I think)
      Hi everyone - I feel like this is going to be a long first post, so if you take the time to read my story then I greatly appreciate it.

      So I've been loitering in the background of this site off and on for the last 6 months or so ever since I started this life changing experience (for the worst as I'm sure all of you feel too). Anyway as a back story on me, I've had a long history of subjecting my ears to loud noises. Ever since I was 8 or 9 I started playing in brass and wind bands and from the age of 15-16 started using headphones and headsets for music and gaming etc. I realise now that the long sessions of gaming and music were probably too much for my ears and over time they were weakening and weakening until one day in July 2014 my life flipped upside down. As a 20 year old with my whole life ahead of me (hopefully haha) I despaired and freaked the f*ck out for the first 6 weeks before settling down into constantly feeling on edge about my tinnitus. My co-workers and friends at my Summer job could see that I was a different person and not as jovial or outgoing as I was before. Indeed I retreated into a dark place where I never thought I would be happy again. I never thought about killing myself, but I did wonder whether death was preferable to a life of listening to these bloody noises. I went to the doctor who said it would go in a couple of weeks and then got a free Boots hearing test where the audiologist said the same thing. My hearing is fine though, maybe a very slight drop off at high frequencies but certainly nothing to be concerned about at the moment.

      The tinnitus itself is in both ears and my head, which naturally sucks massively. The sounds in my ears are sort of mid ranged frequencies, although the left ear is much higher. These noises don't particularly bother me though because when I go about my daily life, even if it's just watching stuff on my laptop or whatever, I don't really hear the sounds in my ears. However, it's the high pitched hissing and 'cricket-esque' noises in my head that drive me crazy, especially when I'm trying to do something productive like uni work.

      So here we are 6 months on, and I genuinely feel a lot better about the whole sh*tty thing. I will go a week or 10 days where my tinnitus is much quieter and I will hardly think about it. BUT then there will be a couple of days where it is much louder and I go back to despairing thoughts and googling cure research statuses and such haha. Thing is, I guess I just don't fully understand what is going on and why the changes are so random. On the days where it is better, it is not just my perception and mood which have improved, the tinnitus is genuinely much quieter and sometimes I will really have to listen for it to hear it, even in quiet environments. This includes the head sounds which will either have gone completely or dissipated to a much lower, reasonable volume. But then it will get worse again for a couple of days even though I have done nothing to cause it to do so. The pattern can also be really irregular. Sometimes it will be 3 days good, 2 days bad, 7 days good, 1 day bad, 1 day good, 3 days bad etc etc, however more recently (within the last 2 months) the periods of good days have been getting longer e.g. 10 days as I've said before. One thing to also note is that I do spend a lot of time at my computer so I wonder whether my posture and neck pain etc could effect it negatively?

      I certainly don't freak out when I hear my T anymore, I sort of feel like it is just an annoyance that I want out of my life. The worse thing is that I can't shake the over-arching thought that I've kind of f*cked my life up and I always think irrational things like; oh those 2 people there are laughing and are happy...I bet they don't have tinnitus like me. I know it's dumb but I always end up thinking like that.

      But anyway I suppose what I'm asking is, am I slowly but surely habituating? Am I dealing with it okay after 6 months?
      I continually hope that my tinnitus may one day go away, although I'm not holding my breath, and I can go on leading a 'normal' life again, but if not that then I'd just like to have all good days. On the good days even if I hear my T, it is quiet and I really don't give a crap, so if not fully cured, I'll take all good days thank you very much.

      Sorry for the ramble and if you've made it to the end thank you very much for reading.

      Any advice on how you think I'm doing and how to increase the good days would be much appreciated.

      Alec
       
    2. AlecP
      Procrastinating

      AlecP Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (I think)
      Also the only time my tinnitus prevented me from sleeping was the first night. Since then I've managed to get to sleep fine. At that point, when it's so quiet and I'm not trying to do anything but sleep, I care so little about my T that I just drift off.
       
    3. Rube
      Fine

      Rube Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.A
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Hi @AlecP sounds like me exactly. I hope it means we r habituating and I would certainly love to finally have longer stretches of good days. But u sound like u r moving in the right direction. Maybe u can pass along some info if u know how to increase the good days! I personally can't find any correlation between what I do or don't do that results in good days or bad days. I don't have alot of stress and I don't panic or feel anxiety about my t any more and I have no issues sleeping. So here's hoping to more good days!
       
    4. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids

      Alec
      From what I read it sounds like you are habituating quite well. If you are getting 10 good days in a row that is exceptional.

      Here, I slammed together some questions (you didn't know this was a survey :LOL:); if you can honestly answer NO to all of them, I think it very safe to say you are largely, if not totally, habituated -- and ready for a long, happy life.

      Does T adversely affect your mood/motivation (so much you are you unable to do the things you want to do)?
      Does T adversely affect your ability to focus on your work/hobbies/sports?
      Does T have an adverse affect on your relationships?
      Does T keep you awake at night?
      Does T dominate your thoughts and conversations?

      If you are anything like me, the idea that I have T bugs me more than the actual sound. I think I'll always be that way the rest of my life, but I can live with it just fine. Sounds like you will too.

      Mark
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    5. AlecP
      Procrastinating

      AlecP Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (I think)
      Hi @Rube

      I feel as though I do suffer a bit from GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) but that is self-diagnosed from the internet haha, so not 100% sure. I do however get very bad, recurring mouth ulcers when I'm stressed/anxious and I do notice that my T gets worse during these periods too. What annoys me, is that when I'm ulcer free, got no pressures or anything and feel completely relaxed, my T may randomly increase in volume and annoyance = bad days. This may be come with anxiety symptoms as well but sometimes does not. It's a weird thing and I hate having no control over it. But my actual reaction to T has got much better, it doesn't freak me out, instead just mildly irritates me.

      I hope your good days carry on for longer and longer until life is just one big good day :)
       
    6. AlecP
      Procrastinating

      AlecP Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (I think)
      Hi @Mark McDill -

      The answers to your questions:
      1) Mood/Motivation: At its worst volumes and annoyance levels tinnitus changes my mood from chilled out and happy to annoyed and a bit despairing. That being said I don't let it stop me from doing things like I did months ago I try to carry on my day to day life until the volume goes down again.

      2) Work/hobbies/sport: Again at its worst it can distract me from putting my full attention into something, for example today I've been trying to write a presentation on Blitzkrieg warfare and have been distracted and procrastinating like crazy! However, on the good days I work to my full potential.

      3)Relationships: My T has no effect on my relationships, I have great friends and a loving family (they could all be a bit more supportive from time to time) and my best friend suffers from anxiety and has been a great help through the last 6 months. All that's left is a great girlfriend ;) haha

      4) T never keeps me awake at night and I don't struggle to fall asleep.

      5)I do think about T every day, but I think like yourself it's more that I'm annoyed that I have it at all rather than the sounds themselves (although that doesn't help of course haha).

      So yeah, not quite no to all of them, but ups and downs as my thread title suggests.
       
    7. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      @AlecP
      Great answers, very honest and articulate. I think you are doing quite well; if you aren't totally habituated now, you will be in the near future. I agree, it's the idea that bugs me more than the sound.

      Mark
       
    8. Rube
      Fine

      Rube Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.A
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      I found that breathing exercises helped me greatly when I had some anxiety issues when t started. Have you tried any? Tons of helpful vids on YouTube ,
       
    9. AlecP
      Procrastinating

      AlecP Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (I think)
      I'll have to try that @Rube! I read somewhere that meditation can help but have yet to try it out. Maybe I'll give it a go :)
       
    10. Paul201
      Worried

      Paul201 Member

      Location:
      Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Subwoofer
      Sounds like you are doing pretty good, getting your sleep at night im sure is helping a lot. The t must not be overly playing on your mind I can only assume. You are also very young and if you continue to take good care of your hearing there seems to be a decent shot it will fade down further.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. AlecP
      Procrastinating

      AlecP Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (I think)
      Hey @Paul201 Cheers for these words, today I've been having a good day! My T is low and I'm not bothered by anything that I do hear :) May these days go on and on forever haha!
       
      • Like Like x 2
    12. @AlecP It sounds like you are doing really well! Out of the last 33 days, I have had 3 good ones. I cherish those days. I love your Stephen Hawking quote!
       
    13. Thongjy
      Balanced

      Thongjy Member

      Location:
      Singapore
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      Are you taking supplements? Can you list out so that I can try.
       
    14. AlecP
      Procrastinating

      AlecP Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (I think)
    15. Eltel

      Eltel Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/14
      Mine started in July too and I have good and bad days ,bloody annoying that nothing to suggest what will make a good day .Had a wk off work and struggled to motivate myself to do much when I was always so active .
      Ears have 3 noises now but not too bothered yet other times the same noises bring despair and panic .Left ear only noticeable in the quiet but right ear hum always there ,cannot believe my brain will filter it once my reaction is better .
      I know so many people who cope well so gives me hope I will too
      Let's hope Autifony gives us a help in the right direction
       
    16. Rina
      Energetic

      Rina Member

      Location:
      florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Really don't know
      Can you tell us what supplements are you taking?
       
    17. AlecP
      Procrastinating

      AlecP Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (I think)
      @Rina I used to take Gingko but it didn't do anything so I stopped taking it :)
       
    18. Quentino
      Tired

      Quentino Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Decrease of Hearing i presume.
      you said your hearing was fine : can i ask you your audiogram ?
       
    19. AlecP
      Procrastinating

      AlecP Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (I think)
      I don't have a picture of it online unfortunately, but like I said in the original post there was only a very slight drop off at the highest frequencies and it hasn't got worse nearly a year on (that I am aware of).
       
    20. Juice564

      Juice564 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      9/2011
      Alec your description of your emotions is spot on right down to playing brass, loud headphones and gaming!
       
    21. Lakadema
      Gloomy

      Lakadema Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29-5-2015
      Man, Alec..your story is almost identical as mine. Save for the part that its driving me utterly mad now.

      All my life ive been a heavy gamer, music listener with headphones and earplugs....2 weeks ago i got the Tinnitus after listening to a real loud song for 2 hours! it did subside at first but i stupidly continued listening to songs (albeit at a lower volume), the next day the T stayed as 24-7 high pitch screech.

      Ent and audiologist told me i got some hearing loss in m left ear, maybe due to all these years abusing my ears with headphones...

      He said, its not that much but it IS for your age (im 26)


      Did your T spiked during your first weeks? glad yours went down!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    22. Quentino
      Tired

      Quentino Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Decrease of Hearing i presume.
      Same here.


      Same here... What is your audiogram? Mine could be better for my age, and i feel alone in this case ...
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    23. Lakadema
      Gloomy

      Lakadema Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29-5-2015
      I cant scan my audiometry and i dont know how to read it lol, but my left ear's hearing has frequency loss, my right is fine.

      You are definitely not alone man, i cant even distinguish which ear i have T since it seems that both ears are ringing, but during morning my right ear has an additional mosquito buzzing.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    24. Xorthian
      Balanced

      Xorthian Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      Initial 2012. Massive spike 4/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisey Lifestyle. Increase from infection.
      Was that 20db or 40db or 60db. Would be awesome to know :)
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    25. Lakadema
      Gloomy

      Lakadema Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29-5-2015
      @Quentino, I see that your T started last year..did it get better? or it just got worse?
       
    26. Quentino
      Tired

      Quentino Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Decrease of Hearing i presume.
      @Lakadema , it changes the first month, then sometimes i hear it more , sometimes less. But it always go down when it increase. So far so good at this level!

      For my audiogram ( if someone wants to know) it's -10 db left, same for riight ear with some fall to -15 db/-20 db. Will make a new one in in a month.a
       
    27. Lakadema
      Gloomy

      Lakadema Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29-5-2015
      But is still massively better than when you first got it? Mine spiked brutally in volume after the third day.
       
    28. Quentino
      Tired

      Quentino Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Decrease of Hearing i presume.
      Yes, i had at first some big increase, but now it's quieter than at the beginning. . His tone changed too,, from an hight pitched sound to a more "diffused sound, less noticeable in ... All the situations. So my T clearly improved , and i hope it continue.
       
    29. Lakadema
      Gloomy

      Lakadema Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29-5-2015
      nice, that definitely gives me some hope!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    30. Quentino
      Tired

      Quentino Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Decrease of Hearing i presume.
      And i can sleep without masking since last october really, even if i'm in a totaly silent place.

      The key is to step back about your situation, then your mind will be naturally occupied by other toughtq than T and after some times, you realize that if you feel better it's because you have habituated ( for sleeping i mean).
      So yes i live better my T now, a lot better, , but now i'm more concerned by my hearing. But that's life.

      @AlecP I hope that your T will disturb you less and less. Is it a "reactive T" l?
       

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