Tinnitus for 10 Years, I Was Habituated, Now It Constantly Spikes Shortly After Falling Asleep

Discussion in 'Support' started by ArthurCzerniak, May 12, 2022.

    1. ArthurCzerniak
      Conehead

      ArthurCzerniak Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Hey everyone, so it's 1:00 am and I've woken up again, for a reason I am so so confused, upset about. I'll get to that in a second. I'll make this short and sweet. At 23 years old (2012) I got tinnitus from a sinus infection. I did take medications for it, some Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and was generally good to go. It would spike once in awhile if I was sick with a cold or allergies, but I managed. I wear musician's earplugs at loud places, etc. I was actually coping well. The sound has stayed the same in my right and left ear. It was always slightly louder in my right ear. I rate it a 2-3/10 90% of the time.

      Now, it's 2022. I am mostly fine during the day and my tinnitus has remained mostly the same. However, I go to bed, fall asleep and then boom, I wake up 2-3 hours later and it's screaming in my left ear only, it feels like it's in my forehead, around my head. I plug my ears to listen for it and it's coming from the left side. 8/10 on the scale of loudness, anxiety shoots up, I wake up, drink some water, pace the house, walk around, go on the computer, do something, anything. Here's the weird thing, 30-40 minutes later of being awake and it's a 2/10 in my right ear and a 4/10 in my left ear. Almost goes back to its normal baseline. As the morning or time progresses, depending on how much sleep I get, it goes back to its normal baseline. It has been going on for 3-4 weeks now, only targets my left ear. Only when I sleep and wake up does this happen.

      Here are some weird symptoms. I wake up with red ears, left one is more red. Both ears feel warm/hot for half an hour or sometimes longer. Anxiety, shakes, tiredness in full effect. Sometimes I get a good 7-8 hours of sleep and now, it's been 3 hours of sleep and I'm awake.

      Current health, I'm 5'11", 182 lbs. Healthy, active. Blood pressure is 134/72, it's okay. I was diagnosed with Graves' disease in December of last year, hyperthyroid. I started medication for it, Methimazole, now at 10 mg a day. I've been on the medication for a few months and haven't had any of these symptoms with my ear before, my T1-2-3 thyroid are stable and I do blood work every 6 weeks. I take allergy medications when it's seasonal, other then that, nothing. I drink black coffee and water. Exercise.

      I'm really scared right now. I don't want to go my whole life fearing sleep because I know I will wake up with screaming tinnitus, have to calm down for an hour and wait for it to calm down everyday. Sometimes during the day I will plug my ears to check and they are ringing as per usual, so I don't know what gives. Why when I sleep does it get so bad it wakes me up? I sleep with a fan on as well.

      I will talk to my specialist about my Graves' disease/hyperthyroid and let her know what's going on with my ears, maybe there is a link between the medication and what's going on.

      Sorry to make it a long post when I said I wouldn't, no one understands who doesn't have tinnitus. I habituated so well with Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, staying active and I've been good for 10 years with this condition. Back to square one I guess. I'm a mess right now.
       
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ArthurCzerniak
      Conehead

      ArthurCzerniak Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      It's been about 45 minutes and right on time, my tinnitus is back to its normal ringing. The ringing I've habituated to, mostly a 3/4 or a 2 out of 10 or at the point where I hear it, but believe it or not, it doesn't bother me. I want to sleep so bad, I really do, but I'm full on stress anxiety knowing when I wake up it will be another episode.
       
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    3. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member

      Location:
      Russia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      If you have to plug your ears to listen for your tinnitus and anxiety is your biggest issue then just keep living life and don't worry about it.

      I honestly don't know what you expect people to reply to this thread. Tinnitus is unpredictable and I don't think anyone will be able to give you an answer except something along the lines of "don't worry it will get better bla bla".

      There isn't much you can do other than just calming down, because as I see your anxiety is your biggest issue (I don't want to sound like a quack Jastreboffian but in your case it seems to be like that). You don't seem to have it that bad. I'd cut out on the concerts, though (yeah even with ear plugs). Oh, and be weary of headphones and earbuds.
       
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    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @ArthurCzerniak.

      I congratulate you on habituating to tinnitus for 10 years but sorry to know it is giving you problems at the moment. Hopefully the large fluctuations you are presently experiencing will be temporary and in time the tinnitus will settle down to its normal baseline. I believe this will happen because you've mentioned that is does return to levels that you are comfortable with, so try not to worry too much.

      Graves' disease can cause stress like other medical conditions and stress can affect tinnitus considerably. Stress makes tinnitus worse and tinnitus can make stress worse. It can become a vicious cycle and therefore stress needs to be managed. Medication with or without counselling can help with this so talk things over with your family doctor how you feel, if the tinnitus is still giving you problems for the next two to four weeks.

      It is important that you take the medication to control the graves disease, so don't stop taking it without first consulting with your doctor.

      Try to refrain from putting a plug into your ears and listening to your tinnitus, checking to see whether it has increased or not, because you are not helping yourself. I understand your reasons but this can cause stress and will allow the brain to focus more on this tinnitus without you being aware this is happening. You risk making the tinnitus louder and more intrusive the more you continue to this so please stop it.

      I suggest that you stop using the fan at night for a while and use a sound machine close to your bedside, set to play nature sounds for low level sound enrichment. Keep the sounds slightly below the tinnitus they must not mask it. Click on the link below and read my post: New to Tinnitus, What to Do? I know you are a tinnitus veteran but think a refresher course in basic tinnitus management will be helpful to you.

      Although your tinnitus wasn't noise induced, I suggest that you don't listen to audio through any type of headphones even at low volume, until the tinnitus returns to baseline for at least 3 months. This includes earbuds and headsets.

      I think stress is affecting your tinnitus a lot and there could be more than one reason for this. You can try to address this yourself. Please go to my started threads and print the articles mentioned below, as you might find them helpful. They are a form of counselling so I suggest you print them and refer to them often. This will help to reinforce positive thinking. You maybe tempted to just read them on a phone or computer screen. However, you will not absorb and retrain the information as well.

      The Habituation Process, How to Habituate to Tinnitus, Tinnitus and the Negative Mindset, Acquiring a Positive Mindset, Tinnitus, A Personal View.

      It might help making an appointment at ENT for checks on your hearing and auditory system to make sure everything is working as it should be.

      Take care and all the best,
      Michael

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ArthurCzerniak
      Conehead

      ArthurCzerniak Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Thank you so much for the advice and kind words, I will 100% start working on these tips right away. I truly appreciate that Michael, very informative.

      Just purchased an Oasis sound machine with 20+ different approved pre programmed sounds or the ability to Bluetooth off your phone, it should be arriving this Saturday! I will start from square one, start booking a hearing test, doctor visit, ENT check up and go from there. I have 2 kids and my wife who I love dearly, I have to survive. I'm going to be a best man this June 4th at a Wedding, I have to survive and be there for my family and friends.
       
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    6. martinberryhorse

      martinberryhorse Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 5, 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One hard cough
      Does it happen every single night?

      I've experienced this a couple times, though it is luckily not often.
       
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    7. Marshall

      Marshall Member

      Location:
      ND
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure/virus/noise trauma/cumulative noise damage
      This happened to me a lot in the beginning, but not often. I think it’s pretty normal imo. In my experience it usually fades over an hour. I got to the point where it doesn’t bother me when it happens. I usually just got back to sleep and it’s gone in the morning.
       
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    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for your kind comments Arthur. I think you'll be fine just take things slowly and try not to put too much pressure on yourself if recovery takes a while. You have the right attitude. Just give it time.

      Take care,
      Michael
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ArthurCzerniak
      Conehead

      ArthurCzerniak Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      It's recently been happening about every day or every other day for the last 2 weeks, frequently enough where it's new to me.
       
    10. Marshall

      Marshall Member

      Location:
      ND
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure/virus/noise trauma/cumulative noise damage
      Your anxiety might be playing more of a role than anything. When it stopped bothering me it stopped happening. Mostly.
       
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    11. martinberryhorse

      martinberryhorse Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 5, 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One hard cough
      Ok that's good it isn't a constant factor, meaning I'd guess it probably isn't due to damage or something worsening. I know that anytime I wake up in the middle of the night my tinnitus sounds very high, so this could be a sleep issue that compounds with the higher tinnitus perception which cascades into the anxiety and so on.

      The red ear thing I'm not sure about, I haven't noticed that in my experience.

      I found that sleeping with earplugs helped me stay asleep as it doesn't allow the tinnitus to compete with other sounds making it seem louder. Not sure if that would help you but it could be worth a shot.

      Though also I should say if you want to play it safe, have a doctor check your ears for infection just in case so you can rule that out.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ArthurCzerniak
      Conehead

      ArthurCzerniak Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      You are 100% correct. So yeah, I woke up today after a 8 hour sleep. I read a book on tinnitus habituation and my old Tinnitus Retraining Therapy notes, used some sound therapy at night and yes, I woke up with a spike again in left ear but it's literally 3/4 of the volume, enough that I heard it but I didn't go into FIGHT mode.

      Relaxed, made a coffee, didn't try to put my attention on it, instead put my attention on what I needed to do and I forgot about it. It has gone back to its normal ringing now, I didn't plug my ears to check or turn into some bad habits.

      So I guess an old dog can learn new tricks. I have to continue to improve on myself and continue to train myself to habituate, it's easy to fall off. I'm not saying this will happen right away, I know it's going to take months of practice and working at it again, but I think I can get to a level again where even if I hear my tinnitus, I won't let myself be bothered by it enough to ruin my day like it has been the last 3 weeks.

      I actually feel a weight come off my shoulders, I'm not fully there yet but it's baby steps. Today was 1000x better reaction, sleep, mood compared to yesterday's full onslaught panic mode.

      Thank you to everyone who commented and took the time to try to help me out, I will not forget it :)
       
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    13. Marshall

      Marshall Member

      Location:
      ND
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure/virus/noise trauma/cumulative noise damage
      As we’re talking about it, it happened to me last night for the first time in a long time. It was so piercingly loud. I almost caught anxiety. But I took deep breaths and fell back asleep. It was gone in the morning. It felt like a laser beam louder than the TV could even match. I woke up in silence though.
       
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    14. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      I’m sure it was not your intention, but your response comes across a little on the harsh side. Particularly your first and second paragraphs. I’m not sure it would be experienced as supportive. It’s hard to convey things sometimes in writing but perhaps you would want to re-read it before you post.
       
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    15. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Arthur! You're back! I remember you.

      I've had a relapse too. Back to hearing it all the time, high anxiety etc.

      I'm glad you've seen some improvement.
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ArthurCzerniak
      Conehead

      ArthurCzerniak Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      We just have to keep working on it, one day at a time. We are in this together, all of us here, baby steps I guess!
       
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