About a week after my birthday this year, I went to bed and woke in the middle of the night with an extremely itchy ear. When I woke up the next morning, I could hear a high-pitched noise as if someone had left a TV or some kind of electrical equipment on. I didn't see a doctor until I'd heard the ringing for over a week, because I had been questioning myself. ("I know my ears tend to ring when it's quiet... Could it be possible I've always heard this noise? Why can't I go back to ignoring it like before? What's changed? Maybe it's stress.") I went to an Urgent Care clinic, and they told me there was nothing they could do because it was tinnitus. They also noted my blood pressure was a little high, and urged me to see my primary care physician. I couldn't get an appointment with him until a week later. He looked at my ears and told me that everything looked fine so it must be tinnitus. He said that while he could send me to an ENT, they'd just tell me, "Turn on the radio at night." The sound I hear is usually a steady, high-pitched tone which sometimes tends to waver in pitch in both ears. It actually dissipated at one point, and I went a week without hearing it. Then I went to the movies and it was back the next day. It's been four days at this point during this latest episode, so I'm waiting to see if it dissipates again. It's not clear what the cause was. I work in a library so it's not something work-related. I don't drink or smoke at all. I had been using earbuds more often, but when it started, I hadn't used them in a while. I feel like the fact that my ears were itching terribly has something to do with it, but the doctors don't seem to think it's related at all. I play a lot of games (PC and handheld consoles mostly and never at very high volume), and concentrating on those is usually enough to make me forget about the sound. Prior to having tinnitus, I would fall asleep listening to music, podcasts or while watching a movie, so it wasn't much of a problem working that into my routine. Now and then I get depressed and wonder why this is happening. I did some Googling and came across this site, so it's nice to know that I could still have a life. During those first two weeks though, I was so upset that I literally smacked myself in the head a few times because I wanted it to stop. I'd get depressed and wonder what's wrong with my brain. I felt like I was going crazy. I still feel like I'm going crazy sometimes, especially when I wake up in the middle of the night and hear it. There are some things I'm wondering and I hope I can get some tips here: Ear cleaning--are there dos/don'ts for tinnitus? I've been using Q-tips for years and maybe it's time to rethink that. Prior to having tinnitus, another doctor suggested I use Debrox. They used it on me at the clinic, but honestly I'm too afraid to do it myself. Ear protection--I don't like the thought of putting something in my ear. Would just carrying around a pair of earmuffs be okay? Any recommendations? CBT/Mindfulness--do I have to see a doctor in person for this? Any recommended readings? Thanks in advance!