Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Since 2019 — Caused by Live Music

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ashcash, Nov 29, 2022.

    1. ashcash

      ashcash Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (Bar Music 9/2019) (worsened by MRI 12/2019)
      Hi everyone, sorry you're here, sorry I'm here too! I've been coming to Tinnitus Talk since 2019 when my tinnitus began and since it's gotten worse this October I decided to finally introduce myself.

      My tinnitus began in grad school when I was 23 years old. I've always been a pretty quiet and keep-to-myself type of person. My friends would joke they could get me to a happy hour once a quarter. I would go to kickbacks and then go home when the group decided to go to the club after, but I felt like I was kind of squandering my youth by always staying home and always saying no to invitees so I decided to try a year of saying yes. Two weeks in, I accepted an invite to go to a club with a group of friends and this place was loud, but to me, everything is always loud (pre-hyperacusis), there was a live band and I asked if other people thought it was too loud and they all said no so I figured I was just being my too sensitive self. Well, needless to say, I had a lot of fun, we were all very drunk and I was there for about 2 hours, which turned out to be my downfall. When I left my ears felt full and were ringing a little, I noticed I was yelling when talking but thought nothing of it and went to bed. When I woke up the next day, the feeling was the same but the drinks were all out of my system. I panicked and took an online hearing test. My hearing was fine but all sounds hurt. I quickly found Tinnitus Talk and made doctors' appointments.

      Through reading Tinnitus Talk, I was able to quickly figure out that I needed to throw away my headphones, buy earplugs, and lock myself in a quiet place. Being in grad school, with a part-time job and an internship, this was impossible but I just had to wear my foam earplugs everywhere (I now wear Hearprotek but they were insufficient, hence my return to Tinnitus Talk) and go only where necessary. I was devastated, suicidal, and so mad at myself. I didn't know that all those times I turned down invitations to go out I was actually protecting myself from this literal hell.

      The story from there is one of familiarity to most of you. I went to three doctors who told me it would get better or it wouldn't and there was nothing to be done, and an audiologist who said my hearing was fine and I should wear earplugs next time I go to a concert.

      In December 2019 my hands and legs started to feel numb, which, combined with the tinnitus, led my doctor to send me for an MRI, which was a big mistake. I asked the techs and neurologist if the MRI would worsen my tinnitus, they all looked at me crazy and said no. The day after my MRI I had a new tone, very low vibrational, like a car idling, but also the exact feeling of one of the sounds the MRI made so that sucked but I just blamed the doctors and moved on.

      After that I decided to just focus on the fact that I could hear and that I could not hear the tinnitus over normal conversation or the TV. The hyperacusis sucked and I was relegated back to my hermit lifestyle but I tried to focus on the positives. I would say I had a least a dozen different tones in my head, and they never changed. The hyperacusis was extremely painful and that and the fullness feeling didn't go away for about 6-10 months. But I was able to move forward. I had to give up a lot of things I loved (listening to music, going to the gym, workout classes, bars, restaurants, and church) but somehow I was able to achieve a moderate level of happiness from 2020 until September 2021. Possibly because the world shut down March 2020 so others had to give up those things as well a few months after I did.

      Things that helped me cope early on were long walks and runs (with earplugs), I never left the house without over-the-ear hearing protection unless I was running with foam earplugs and 75 Hard was a great distraction. I would sing the songs I missed in my head, may be a no-brainer but I missed listening to music so much. I can say that I truly appreciated silence pre-tinnitus, so I did not use any masking, because I didn't want additional noise and because with the hyperacusis noise hurt.

      Well I guess I got accustomed to my new life and I clearly forgot myself, my place, and had a bout of temporary insanity, I don't know, but in Fall 2022 I went to a wedding. Now in my defense, 2 weeks after tinnitus onset in 2019 I went to a wedding, wore my foam earplugs, and sat outside the reception as soon as we were done eating to limit my noise exposure and nothing happened. But back to the 2022 wedding, I wore my earplugs and I left an hour into the reception because it was too loud just like the first time. What I should've done was gone running from the reception the moment I saw the live band because a few days later my tinnitus became much, much worse. The low vibrating car tone I got from the MRI felt like it was now shaking my entire head and body. It is much stronger than before. Which freaked me out sooooo much that I went scouring the internet and decided to try NAC. I am not a medicine person. Even pre-tinnitus I didn't even take Advil. For me, the NAC definitely affected my tinnitus but I think it made it worse; the vibrating is less noticeable but only because it gave me two new tones, higher pitched than anything I've ever had.

      After that, I had an accident with my stapler that made a loud metal clanging sound and I got another new louder high pitched tone. So for about a month, I was as depressed as when this all started and I'm still really down. I feel like an idiot, and I am terrified of the future. but I try to lie to myself and tell myself that the cure will be found any day and I'll make a spontaneous recovery soon. And I'm begging myself, the universe, and all the Gods that I stop making stupid decisions.

      Lastly, if anyone has read this far, I am supposed to get married next year but due to this mess I will not be having music at my wedding. Has anyone done this? Any tips or should I just prepare to have the lamest wedding on the planet?

      • September 2019: High tones tinnitus and hyperacusis - from a bar with live music
      • December 2019: Vibrational tinnitus tone - from MRI
      • September 2022: Vibrational tinnitus tone increase - from attending a wedding with live music
      • November 2022: High tone tinnitus increase - from a stapler
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    2. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Despite all your tinnitus and hyperacusis events, the positive thing is that you survive them and you even can accept it as new normal and move on even though life looks dark and bleak at times.

      Hyperacusis from acoustic trauma usually fade over time for many members. I have had hyperacusis twice, first when my ultra high-pitched tinnitus hit me over a decade ago, and the 2nd hyperacusis was when I suddenly lost hearing in a SSHL episode 2 years ago. Each time the hyperacusis lasted about a year. Yes I had to wear earplugs during the worst period but I learn from others to gradually expose to normal ambient sounds so the ears don't get sound sensitivity. Now my hyperacusis is gone.

      I just had a nice vacation to fly to Florida on a cruise. I just used my fingers when needed during take offs. My hearing has not come back on my left ear. It has a jet-engine like roaring tinnitus. The right ear is a dentist drill. These bothered me initially but the body somehow gets used to them. Life goes on and I can still enjoy my hobbies plus going on vacation.

      Give it time. You have done it before accepting the new normal. You can do it again. Enjoy your sweet life with your wife. You can play some soft music for your great day. You can keep the volume down and/or wear musician ear plugs.

      All the best. Take care and God bless.
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