Three Months, Looking for Hope and Support

Discussion in 'Support' started by CarolinaGuy, Feb 3, 2015.

    1. CarolinaGuy

      CarolinaGuy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely ototoxicity
      Hello all,
      A little more than three months ago (late October), I had a sudden onset of intrusive tinnitus, really for the first time in my life except for a few short bouts years ago.

      I am 42, and in generally good health.
      I believe my tinnitus was caused by ototoxicity after taking two pharmaceutical-level doses of ibuprofen over a 48-hour period for pain and swelling following dental surgery (a failed root canal) and having a back injury.

      I had never taken ibuprofen much before in my life. Had I known the ibuprofen would do this, I wouldn’t have taken it. I feel stupid, but I can’t take it back now.

      The doctors I have seen seemed skeptical about my ibuprofen theory. But I feel pretty certain that was the cause as there was nothing else to explain it.

      I have seen two ENTS. One, about two weeks after onset, at a university-research hospital. They did extensive audiological tests, found that my hearing was within normal range except, of course, for the “mild high-frequency loss” that so many people with tinnitus say they have. They told me the drop-off was barely below normal range. The ENT there told me she expected my tinnitus would “resolve itself with time” and that it could take months.

      However, after about four weeks and noticing very little improvement, I saw another ENT for a second opinion. This one did not do any audiological tests, just looked in my ears with the otoscope and listened to my story. He then told me, bluntly, that my tinnitus was almost certainly permanent, would not get better and would likely get worse with age. (He said he has had tinnitus since childhood and seemed almost bemused by my distress over it.) He prescribed Xanax, which I have just in case I need it, but I have NOT been taking it.

      My tinnitus is highly variable. There have been many times when I could barely hear it for hours on end. Then, it will build up slowly to a louder volume. Sometimes I hear a single tone in my right ear – it has been dominant in the right ear.

      Sometimes I get a high-frequency “hiss” in both ears.

      When it first started, I would wake up in the night with a loud single tone in the center of my head. That seems to have stopped now. I also would hear the “crickets” sound sometimes, but that hasn’t happened in a few weeks.

      However, while those two things seem to be an improvement, overall, it does not seem to be diminishing greatly. I have not gone a full day without noticing it.

      I’m wondering, after three months now, and based on the experience and knowledge of people here, what chance I have of seeing significant improvement within the next three to six months, or even by the time I reach a year. I suppose it’s too much to hope it will go away entirely. If it would just diminish down to a lower level, I feel like I could habituate to it. The fluctuations to a louder volume, however, always bring my mind right back to it.

      I am trying to go on with my life as normal as possible. I’m still working, going to social things, etc. It’s not easy, though.
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    2. kevin b

      kevin b Member

      Hope well junction, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hey Buddy, I have T for one year now, and things have gotten better but I still struggle so I certainly don't have all the answers. It sounds like you are doing alot of things right by going out and living your life again, that was something that took me a long time. I am going thru an add on of hissing in my left ear right after I started to habiutate to my Pulsating T in my right ear. One of the things most here will agree is there is no explanation on why it changes, spikes, goes up or down. Most advice I have gotten is to try and not guage the changes, you will add anxiety trying to figure it out. Are you sleeping well? I could not sleep the first few months, even with masking, now I sleep fine with no masking. Sleep seems to be one if not the biggest factor on getting to recovery. Me personally, i would not freak out about taking Xanax once in awhile, it has helped many people here and as long as you don't abuse it it can get you thru rough times. This site is great, many caring people who can definetly give you good advice and support. I have made a friend on here who has "screaming T" and has gotten his life back and is a very happy guy again. I also believe the research on it is getting much better and we are getting much closer to relief or even a cure. Hang in there man.
      God Bless,
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. Matt01

      Matt01 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Have you considered oxygen therapy? Might be an option, although they say it is better inside 3 months.
    4. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      The signs are good that your T is improving and you are living your life. These combined will allow you to slowly remove the 'threat' factor from your T and turn it into something just 'annoying' at times only. When the fear factor is removed, the brain will be able to scale back its monitoring of the sound and you will be on the way to habituation. What you lack so far is the passage of time. The human body can get used to new or alien sensation if it doesn't feel the sensation is a 'threat'. This is the same for people who move from quiet country side to a busy city, or worse to living near an airport. The annoyance is there at the beginning. As long as there is no painful emotional or negative reactions, the body will adapt and adjust to the new 'normal'. But this process takes time and a good attitude. That is why I choose to be positive about my T a few years back and slowly the body just hardens to the ultra high pitch T and now I don't give a dime because the brain doesn't even react to T high or low, and it will fade out T from my consciousness most of the time when I am busy with things.
    5. Robert Lund

      Robert Lund Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      It will get better, coping wise! I have suffered for over 30 yes with T. About 14 months ago I was firing my rifle w/hearing protection. And when I was done my left ear was really screaming at me.I figured oh well it will go back to the level it was as this had happened before.
      That did not happen and I went into a panic attack. Went through all the phases but now my hearing loss is even greater. Was ready to have nerve cut and be deaf in that ear. But no guarantee the T would be gone ,so scrapped that idea.
      My biggest break through came with new hearing aided with Bluetooth technology. This was a gift from God! When I use the TV hookup the sound goes directly to my ears. Its like surround sound in my head! My wife loves it to because I now longer have to blast her out of the room so I can hear.I have about 4 grand of stereo equipment that I rarely use now. The nice thing is I don't have to blast my ears to get by but dealing with the T is so much easier. Actually has been a life saver. Because of the onset of this undescribable screaming in my left ear I was near suicidal. Afraid to even go deer hunting quite woods screaming ear and a loaded weapon not a good combo. But I think even headphones will let you escape for a while it works for me !

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