Tinnitus for 4 Weeks — And I’m Still So Scared

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by emily-anne, Nov 27, 2019.

    1. emily-anne

      emily-anne Member

      Los Angeles, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold? Also anxiety related.
      Hey everyone,

      I’ve been lurking for the past three weeks and finally decided to reach out for support. I’m tired and depressed, and I’m mourning a life I had not four weeks ago where everything was ok and I didn’t think about tinnitus all the time. I need to get out of this recurring pattern of fear and hopelessness but things have been changing week to week and making it hard to find a new normal.

      Nothing unusual happened. I got a cold, and got really freaked out when my left ear felt plugged up and aurally full after my cold symptoms had cleared up. I had a long bout of Eustachian tube dysfunction a decade ago that lasted for at least six months, probably slightly longer. It’s been so long now that I don’t exactly remember how or when it cleared up but it did and I didn’t think about it for ten years.

      Cut to the cold I had a month ago, and I got so scared that the ETD was back, about a week in I noticed a ringing in my ear. Since then it’s been a downward spiral.

      My aural fullness cleared up for a week, then returned a couple days ago. The buzzing / static high pitched ringing has been constant. There have been moments where I haven’t heard it / my mind wasn’t on it, but when it’s bad and I’m focused on it, I’m just so scared. I don’t know when this fear and panic is going to be gone. I desperately want things to go back to normal. I know I need help, but I don’t know the best way to get it?

      At this point I’ve seen two ENT’s, but everything checked out fine there. I’ve gone to the audiologist, and the hearing test came back perfect so there’s no hearing loss. I’ve also gotten bloodwork that showed normal vitamin levels, and no thyroid issues. The only thing I can think of is that there is just lingering inflammation from ETD caused by the cold, and that’s causing the buzz / ring and static noise, and it will clear up when the ETD does? What’s frustrating though is ETD is just about as misunderstood and relatively untreatable as tinnitus itself. I also don’t fully understand if the two are related because I’ve had ETD before, but my ears never rang then.

      I’ve rambled here, but bottom line is I desperately need support from people who are going through the same thing / most of all from people who are habituated and have come out the other side of this where everything is ok again. I’m honestly losing my mind and it’s only been four weeks. I’m afraid I’m going to feel like this forever. I’m afraid of losing my relationship, my job, my happiness, due to never being able to cope. I’m so tired of feeling this terrible already. I miss the way things were before.

      If anyone has words of encouragement, or tangible actions that I can take to address my fear and start habituating, please reach out. Has anyone had success with habituation being assisted by TRT professionals, or hypnotherapy? On the physiological side of things, I haven’t yet done upper cervical chiropractic (thinking about it) or addressed my bruxism, but I’m trying to be aware of where to best place my money. Because this started after a cold / I suddenly became aware of a noise that may have always been there (???), I am wary to believe that it was caused by my neck / spinal alignment or my teeth grinding.
      Thanks for listening all. Thank you for being a part of this community, even though we are all suffering to some degree. It’s good to know people are out there who understand.
      • Hug Hug x 5
    2. Daniel Lion

      Daniel Lion Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      SE Asia
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma, hearing loss
      Hi emily-anne,

      Sorry you are feeling horrible. I understand and sympathize with you and your crisis... Tinnitus really stinks. On the bright side, you don’t have hearing loss and it’s a real possibility that your tinnitus will go.

      Don't be “wary to believe” teeth grinding can cause tinnitus, because bruxism is very common here as a source of people’s tinnitus. You should research that and perhaps get a mouth guard if the doctor thinks it’s appropriate for you. You may consider doing some steam baths to clear out mucus, don’t do the valsalva (spelling) technique for a DIY clearing of your mucus... I believe they use a neti pot to clear out the tubes. Many people claim it has given them problems. Steam is a gentle way of clearing out mucus, as well as exercise and copious amounts of ginger tea. I wish you well and encourage you to try and remain calm... There’s a very good chance things will get better for you...

    3. beach house

      beach house Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      dunno yet
      hi, Emily, welcome to the forum.

      it's been 3 months for me, new to this atrocity as well. the feeling of hopelessness and loneliness are the strongest at the beginning, there's no denying that. i cried and raged, looking for someone or something to blame. i was aghast when doctors told me, "you just learn to live with it, there's no cure". i mean, that's a pretty wrong thing to say, not that it's not correct but some people are just not ready for that, it makes things worse. right now, try everything you can, get as much professional opinions as you can, see tmj doctor, neurologist, check your neck and spine. i myself also grind my teeth, gums are receding, my neck is stiff due to stress (anxiety's found a home in me for the past years), my hair fell out due to stress they say, my eyes are red for 1.5 month cuss knows why, and i just wonder, "why me?" but i'm better now, not focusing on t when i work or watch or read something. i'm still resting, it is needed after the overwhleming rush of anxiety and stress. so, i advise you to rest as well. take as much time as you need. absolutely don't hold it in yourself, talk it out with your close ones or here (pm me if you want).

      about 2 months after the incident, i knew that i had to start changing my thinking ways, because if we're gonna focus on the bad stuff, well we'll be stuck at it. so that's what i'm doing now. i'm doing some reading, listening to interviews, watching uplifting stuff - anything to get my spirits up and my thoughts away from this curse. but you do you, unless that involves headphones - better not use them for a while. you'll definitely stop focusing on it but not with "everything is doomed" mindset. you'll get back to your old ways of living, albeit somewhat limited. i miss going to movies and gigs but i can do that at home, no problem there. i'm gonna try this sometime later, there's been some good feedback recently but not getting my hopes high.

      take care,
      beach house
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      Welcome Emily!

      Sorry to hear about your current despair: sadly, we've all been there. The bright side of it is that we all can give a bit of advice on how to cope with this. My tips, based on my experience:

      1. Face your fear for tinnitus.
      I started doing this after my first horrid week with T: I decided that no matter what, I had to learn deal with the sounds. No one was going to do it for me. Based on the few things I learned about TRT, I forced myself to listen to my T in a quiet place, ten minutes per day, two weeks long. The first sessions were scary, but after this period, my fear (and the fight/flee response) was pretty much gone. T still annoyed me, but I could handle my normal daily tasks again, without any financial costs made.

      2. Distract yourself
      Find some activities to keep yourself occupied. Don't call in sick for work, but instead, use work to be distracted. In the first weeks, every second or minute of not thinking about T is a huge win.

      3. Do some research
      Don't let this become an obsession, but if you feel really down because of your T, then get some knowledge about the condition and read some success stories. Maybe this just works for me, but I always felt much better after a few hours of investigating T: it helped me to rationalize my feelings and to realize it does not all stay bad. It is also good to read success stories and about current research going on. Stay away from negative (forum) topics though, posts there can really demoralize you.

      The first weeks are the hardest, but things will improve. You might still fully recover, but even without that, habituation is definitely not a bad ship to sail with either. Especially if eventually treatments and cures come around: science is slow, but not standing still in this area :D
    5. Bobby Sinatra

      Bobby Sinatra Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ambien Windrawal Suspected
      Yeah, your tinnitus is very recent. it'll probably go away.

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