Thought I Could Handle Ringing in My Ear

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Hopewell, Oct 22, 2017.

    1. Hopewell

      Hopewell Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Everyone,

      Like all of you, I sure wish I didn't need this forum, but I'm glad I found it tonight. I've had tinnitus for the last few years - maybe 2? 4? - it's hard to be sure when I actually started noticing the high-pitched constant tone in my right ear. Nine times out of ten, it doesn't bother me, although when I first noticed it, I had to sleep with my earbuds in, and a "rain-noises" app for a few nights.

      During the day, I'm usually so busy that, unless I intentionally try to tune in to it, it's not a problem. Until tonight. I was just wakened up out of a dream by what I thought was a very distant alarm, when I woke up, plugged both ears, and realized that it's a new constant tone in my LEFT ear! It's much lower in pitch than my right-ear tone, but about the same volume (this is a blessing).

      The worst part is, in order to try to take my attention off it, I'm trying to focus on the right-ear tone, which I'm used to, and which I can normally ignore.

      And the house is quiet right now (it's 2am). I was having a great sleep too, dammit. I really, really hope this is temporary, like from a cold/sinuses, anything. It's very worrisome. Because it's much lower-pitched, it seems harder to ignore, but this may be because I'm focusing on it, and because it's new.

      My fear has always been that my right-ear tone would progressively get louder throughout my middle years (I'm 47), but I never feared a new sound would be added, and to my "good" ear. Sigh.

      Anyway, nice to "meet" everyone. Looking forward to hearing your stories. Thanks for reading. :)
       
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    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Hi @Hopewell

      You have had tinnitus for quite a while and seem to have adapted to it quite well until recently. It would help knowing what caused your tinnitus. Many things can cause it but exposure to loud sounds is the most common. I do not advise you to sleep using earbuds in your ears or wear any type of headphone for that matter. Whilst asleep or awake but the choice is yours.

      A much better way and preferred method that Hearing Therapists and Audiologists advise tinnitus patients, when using "sound enrichment" at night. Is to place a sound machine by the bedside and set the volume slightly below the tinnitus. You can also use a pillow speaker. These have speakers inside with a cable attached that connects to a sound machine or other audio device. It is advisable to use nature sounds for sound enrichment at night as they do not draw the brain's attention unlike music.

      Please click on the links below and read my articles on tinnitus that you might find helpful. Try to read them in full and not skim through them. I advise you to get a referral to ENT so tests can be carried out on your auditory system. If tests come back normal, a referral to a Hearing Therapist or Audiologist who's trained in the treatment and management of tinnitus can prove helpful.

      All the best
      Michael

      PS: Oasis sound machines are good and all can accept a 3.5 mini jack allowing a pillow speaker to be attached. Model S-650 is popular.

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Hopewell

      Hopewell Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Michael,

      Thanks so much for replying - it's appreciated.

      I'm not sure what caused my tinnitus - but I suspect that it was 1) repeated exposure to loud clubs, concerts, etc. in my twenties, and 2) using ear buds and listening to music every day for about 9 months while I ran, training to run a half-marathon five years ago. Just a guess, but I think, if I didn't have some form of T that developed from reason number 1, it was hastened along by reason number 2.

      I saw an ENT last year, when I really started to notice my right-ear T, and had all of the usual tests, etc. - I was told at the time that my hearing is excellent.

      I too am wary of using ear buds, and protect my hearing now as much as possible (I use ear plugs at movies, radio played low in the car, and never go to any loud venues/concerts, etc.) but my husband, who has also recently started suffering from T, has always been a terrible sleeper and needs a very quiet environment in order to get (and stay) asleep. The sound machine would destroy what's left of his remaining ability to sleep well, so it would have to be ear buds for me or nothing. I do like the idea of the pillow speaker, and that might work - it would mean getting used to sleeping with a pillow, however, which I don't often do (something about them drives me crazy)! Many different options to consider at least....

      Masking aside, I do find that sleeping with foam ear plugs actually helps me to sleep through my T, as it's less invasive to me when it's not "fighting" with any ambient room noises (eg. A/C, outside traffic, etc.).

      Thank you for the links - I'll read them through thoroughly and let you know if any questions.

      I'm hopeful that, if this new sound in my left ear is permanent, or long-term like the T in my right ear, I'll gradually acclimatize to it. Otherwise, I will most definitely seek a referral to a Hearing Therapist.

      Thanks again so much for responding and for your suggestions. This seems like a very helpful forum.

      Hopewell
       
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    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI @Hopewell

      Thank you for your reply and the additional information.

      I suspected your tinnitus was caused by loud noise exposure. It is not unusual to have perfect hearing with tinnitus. I strongly advise you not to use earbuds to sleep with as you most certainly in my opinion, make your tinnitus worse. My suggestion is to use an Oasis sound machine and attach it to a pillow that has speakers installed. These are available from Amazon. Make sure they have the audio cable with 3.5mm jack fitted. Most usually do. I advise you not to sleep with earplugs either. More is explained in my articles.

      All the best
      Michael
       
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    5. leledany

      leledany Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-11-02
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hi hopewell it is strange that your husband developed tinnitus also, try to check if in your house there is some high pitch source sound, like elevator engine, noisy heater or such a thing
       

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