Tinnitus from Banging on a Pan for the NHS — Desperate for Help

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Ealing-girl, May 28, 2020.

    1. Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      Please help! I've been suffering with tinnitus and noise sensitivity for 6 weeks. It happened after I was banging on a pan during our weekly clapping for the NHS during lockdown (I live in the UK). I felt it hurt my ears but stupidly didn't stop.

      The ENT has said I have acoustic shock, my hearing tests etc came back normal. He's given me Clonazepam and Serc 16, and obviously can't say how things will turn out.

      I'm in a really dreadful panic all the time. I have ringing in my ears (mostly the left) ranging from a single tone to high pitched ringing to roaring in my head, sometimes all at once. Sometimes I can ignore the sounds and don't hear them with other noise around, other times I can hear them over the tv. Also I have noise sensitivity, my ears are often in pain even with no noise around.

      I have 2 kids, live in London, and it's hard to be in a quiet environment.

      Please please please can someone offer me some advice. I don't think I'll ever habituate, low level masking helps to distract from the tinnitus but aggravates the noise sensitivity. Foam ear plugs, even the small size feel like they bruise my ears.

      I cry every day and struggle to cope. I'm only 6 weeks in and I can't bear to think I'll have this forever. My GP has given me antidepressants (which I haven't started taking yet).

      I'm so desperate for some positivity. Thank you.
       
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    2. hans799
      Mellow

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Hungary
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      While hearing doesn't regenerate, the system as a whole does heal. You can expect the pain to fade, the tinnitus to stabilize, and you to become used to it. The vast majority of tinnitus sufferers eventually manages to live with this condition. Even some of the very bad cases - and you're not a bad case.

      However, all this will take a long time. Months, maybe 2-3 years. And will only happen if you're careful from now on. Guard your hearing. No concerts, loud bars, loud music, or anything else. Buy and wear earplugs on the street. Use your phone in speaker mode instead of pressing it to your ear. And so on. You should aim to never hear anything which you'd consider "loud". Your ears are very delicate right now.

      Also, you should watch your general health. Sleep (and now is an excellent time to use sleep aids if you have to). Eat well. Exercise. Take your vitamins. You need your body to be as robust as possible.

      The bad news is that you're in for a tough period. The good news is that as long as you guard your ears and keep yourself together, you will eventually get most of your quality of life back.
       
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    3. Steph1710
      Old hag

      Steph1710 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antibiotics - I think
      Hi @Ealing-girl

      I’m so new to tinnitus, (my tinnitus started 7 weeks ago yesterday) that I'm not sure I can offer much advice, but I'll tell you all I've learnt/know.

      My tinnitus was caused by Ototoxic medication, however, yours definitely sounds like it was noise induced. The best person for advice on noise induced tinnitus is @Bill Bauer. He was fundamental in helping me get through my first weeks of developing tinnitus. (thanks Bill!)

      As all will tell you, you MUST protect your ears as much as possible at the moment. Avoid all loud noise. Your ears have been compromised and you need to lessen the damage and let them heal. Buy a pair of ear plugs or if putting plugs in hurts, buy over the ear defenders. I have both. I'll send you a link to some good ones!

      Don't go out without any protection - even if it's just a little pair of ear plugs you can pop in if you suddenly encounter any loud sounds. Even cars going by are pretty loud! This is not meant to scare you, but you can get tinnitus spikes from loud sounds that sometimes go down after a little while, but sometimes not. So protection is fundamental.

      Some people ask for prednisone which is a strong steroid which can help initially with noise induced tinnitus by reducing inflammation. I think there's a very short window of opportunity that it can help, so you might have missed it.

      However, don't be disheartened because many who have taken prednisone, including myself, even on the onset of developing tinnitus, have found after the course medication, the T return to what we call the 'baseline' sound - meaning the original sound it first was.

      Start taking supplements such as NAC, magnesium, vitamin B, and curcumin. All have been shown to help some people in lowering the volume of their tinnitus. So it's worth a shot. :)

      Another bit of advice - if your having trouble sleeping, use sound enrichment apps on your phone to help mask the tinnitus in quiet rooms. This really, really helped me. Or as it's warm atm, have a fan on at night.

      Also you are so new to tinnitus that you have a very good chance of recovery. Most people find that their tinnitus does reduce significantly. So you'll probably be okay.

      Although it may not seem/feel like it - you can habituated, and you will! It takes a long time but you WILL get there.

      Lastly - you know we’re all in the same boat here. Come rant and rave. Post as much and as often as you like. Tell us how you’re feeling, even if it’s suicidal. We’re all here to listen and help.

      Also they’re a few promising treatments in the pipeline, and I, like many others, truly believe in five years time, they’ll be something that really will help us.

      Take care and hang in there.
      You’re not alone. They’re people on here which have had terrible tinnitus for years, and live a very good life. There is always hope.

      Steph <3
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      hans799,
      Thank you so much for your response and advice, it's really helpful.
      Can I ask why you would consider mine not to be a bad case?
      This gives me hope. But 2-3 years of recovery sounds like such a scarily long time, I'm praying it'll be sooner or at the very least to reduce in pain and intensity. I'm so looking forward to getting back my quality of life, feeling so low right now.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      Thank you so much for all the advice.
      I really hope I do recover but I see so many people on here who haven't. Do you think it could happen for me? Do you believe as yours is recent you may recover?

      Do you think the sound enrichment can aggravate the noise sensitivity/pain? Sometimes I use the Beltone app on my phone under my pillow, the sounds are soothing but sometimes I get more pain after. At the moment the clonazepam knocks me out so I'm mostly sleeping without any noise.

      Yes please send me links to good ear plugs and/or ear defenders, I'd really appreciate it. I've been looking online at Earpeace earplugs, have you heard of them? They have good reviews and maybe in small size might be good for day to day.

      Thank you so much for the advice and kind words of encouragement. I feel like I've gone from being a regular happy person to a total wreck, sorry for all the questions, I'm feeling so lost in all this.

      PS. I'm confused about how to post a reply! Is it always click on "quote" then "post reply"?!!
       
    6. hans799
      Mellow

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Hungary
      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      Because there are already periods during which you don't hear/can ignore it. That means it has a manageable volume. There are people here who need to run a vacuum cleaner to mask the noise. Imagine that.
      Oh, you'll get relief a lot sooner. It'll be up and down. Some days you'll feel better, then you'll be miserable again. Over time, the share of good days will increase and in time tinnitus will be the new normal, just another thing life threw at you.
       
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    7. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @Ealing-girl

      Tell yourself that your going to see recovery and with that your nervous system will assist. Magnesium 1/3 tablet three times daily is recommended, but some studies say with having ASD, not to take B12 tablets, when being under stress. It can cause a faster heartbeat, irregular breathing and tightness in the chest. I had ASD, TTTS and hyperacusis.

      For now, I would use noise blocking headphones instead of ear plugs, as your ears are sensitive. ASD can have an inner ear membrane relationship.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      Thank you for the encouragement, I do hope you're right. Today the noise sounds really screachy, harder to ignore, I guess it's changeable? Couldn't bear for it to get worse
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      Thank you, I'm finding it impossible to stay positive, how do people do it? I wake up in tears and go to bed in tears, and lots of tears in between (I know I sound nuts!). I'm trying mindfulness and meditation and taking magnesium but all I can think of is that I've ruined my life by banging on pans, it's so ridiculous. I just want to go back to normal.

      Sorry for going on, what I really want to ask you is are there any noise blocking headphones you'd recommend? The ear defenders I've seen are all huge, I'm trying to find some I can wear outside without looking like an idiot!
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    10. Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      It's important to keep in mind that your tinnitus and extra sensitivity may very well go away.
      It happens frequently, even after several weeks. Sometimes after several months. By the way, also keep in mind that a huge majority of the people who post on this forum have "kept" their tinnitus, but it should not biase the way you see things. We are the unlucky tinnitus sufferers, but a lot of people have totally healed from it (only in my family and friends, I already know three people who successfully recovered from tinnitus).

      Try to relax and give your ears time to fully recover. And try to limit your exposure to loud noises to give you the best odds (of course, avoid loud places like concerts, loud bars, nightclubs etc.)
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      Thank you so much, I'm clinging to every word of hope.
      Those you know who've recovered, did it eventually just go on it's own by being careful or after years of some kind of therapy? I'm soooo hoping mine will go sooner rather than later!
      Thank you for the words of encouragement.
       
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    12. Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      I am glad it helps ;)
      Regarding the people I know, the tinnitus went away by itself. And it was noise induced in the three cases.
       
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    13. ASilverLight
      In pain

      ASilverLight Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise, stress and a neck injury.
      May I ask how long it took for them to notice changes and for it to go away? Just curious.
       
    14. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      The first 3 months are the worst. It often gets better after that.
      Could it be described as "burning".
      I agree with @Steph1710 - try to protect your ears from all of the sounds that don't feel right, including the moderate noises like that of a vacuum cleaner. If you can't physically get away from the noise, wear good earplugs (3M foam earplugs
      https://www.amazon.com/3M-1100-Foam-Plugs-200-Pair/dp/B008MVYL7C) and/or muffs (3M Peltor X5A or less effective, a little less comfortable but easier to wear in public X4A).
      There is a good chance that you will Not be stuck with the tinnitus sound that you are hearing now.

      If you experience any fading, it ought to continue to fade and improve.

      You will want to make sure that you don't hurt your ears during this period of vulnerability as your body is healing. You will want to avoid taking ototoxic drugs, avoid microsuction or syringing (performed when you need to clean wax out of your ears; a manual tool should be used), and not let your dental hygienist use an ultrasonic scaling tool on you (a manual tool should be used). For more details, see

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...eone-else-who-has-tinnitus.26850/#post-307822

      In the worst case scenario, if your tinnitus doesn't end up fading, there is still hope as a number of promising treatments are in the pipeline:
       
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    15. Dreamer14

      Dreamer14 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @Ealing-girl

      I have tinnitus since past 2 years. When I first felt the ringing (noise-induced), I didn't realise this was tinnitus until my GP referred me to the ENT for further tests. My GP first thought I had some ear bacterial infection for which they prescribed an antibiotic tablet due to which I lost 8 kgs within 2 weeks (gained back long ago :)). I later checked and weight loss was one of the side effects of that tablet.

      Anyhow, my hearing tests came back normal, but the ringing was still there! I felt terrible and was left alone thinking why did this happen to me! Why can’t it revert back to normal as before? I tried to divert my mind more into reading books, breathing exercises, nature walks, mindfulness... I must say, that certainly helped.

      I gave up on somewhat loud music, even listening on earphones would trigger my ringing within few seconds. Less sleep, anxiety, long chats on phone call would all trigger and make it worse for me so I try to avoid all to date.

      Won't say the ringing has completely gone, but my brain has now adjusted and ‘normalised’ these unknown external sounds. I don’t even realise I have tinnitus anymore until I trigger it somehow.

      Sending you positive vibes and to others suffering the same. Let your brain work itself out as time progresses and you should be fine. It’s only a matter of first few months. Stay positive.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    16. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @Ealing-girl Acoustic shock disorder should settle, hopefully within a few weeks. Life will get better.

      With acoustic shock, muscle membranes within the ear can be inflamed and sometimes a slight muscle tear exists that should heal quickly. Placing and pulling out ear plugs may irritate muscle membranes.

      Often with acoustic shock there's association to middle ear muscles, inner ear, peripheral inflammatory processes with sensitization of the trigeminal nerve. Sound defender headphones should not have an extreme grip because that can cause sensitization of the trigeminal nerve. They should fit well, but not feel like your head is in a vice. I use 3M X5A.

      If you drive on a highway or in a busy area, you should ask your ENT for a statement saying that you have a hearing disability. Keep this with your vehicle registration, so if stopped by traffic enforcement they should compassionately understand why you have sound defenders on. They will see that you are not listening to music. Tell them that you can still hear louder sounds while wearing.

      I would also consider using large surgical hair nets that extend over the ears to stop dust from getting into your ears when using home air conditioning, heater or fan.

      A few therapy sites mention that those with physical neck and jaw disorders having tinnitus should also wear light and not extreme gripping sound blocking headphones. Reasons are association to middle ear muscles, peripheral inflammatory processes with sensitization of the trigeminal nerve, the TMJ joint, jaw and vertebrae/muscles within the neck. Extreme forward head bending with the weight of sound defenders isn't wise.

      :) Sorry, not well written - lots of physical pain.
       
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    17. Mister Muso
      No Mood

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Take heart from the success stories on here. Six weeks is early days and for many people it's a very difficult stage, but improvements within 3 to 6 months are possible. For many people the hyperacusis gradually eases off and then disappears completely leaving the tinnitus at a bearable level. Keep trying to find a GP or an audiologist that is sympathetic and knowledgeable. I wouldn't waste much time chasing after ENT consultants as it's not something they can help with. Amitriptyline helped my hyperacusis, my sleeping and my mood, but be aware of the side effects and discuss with your doctor first.
       
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    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      Thanks so much for all the advice.

      No I wouldn't say the pain is burning. More like ear ache, or a bruised feeling. (Also some pain on the outside, sort of down the side of my face along the ear line). Hurts when there's noise but often hurts when there's no noise too.

      I'll look into the ear protection you recommend. The slimmer ones look promising, I just don't want them to be too tight on my head, I want to be able to wear something for more than 5mins. As we're in lockdown here it's hard to go out and try some on!

      I'm concerned that nothing is fading yet. Should it by 6 weeks? In fact after the first couple of weeks it did fade a little but then on the 8th May there was a (socially distanced) street party. My neighbours opposite set up a large sound system facing our house and altho I wore my ear plugs I'm wondering if that caused me to suffer a set back. I did go outdide but not for too long. Would a setback be permanent?

      I'm so sick with worry that everything seems unbelievably bleak. Everyone's been so kind and helpful here, it makes me feel optimistic then half an hour later I'm in despair again.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      Thank you so much.
      Yes my ears do feel bruised or inflamed. It's hard to find something comfortable that doesn't squeeze my head. I think the ones you suggest are the really big ones? I'm not vain but I just don't feel comfortable with something so huge! Do you know of any other smaller ones that are comfy and effective?
       
    20. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      That's good. "Burning" is a bad symptom to have. People struggle with it and it seems to take longer to go away.
      Perhaps the above is something a good ENT might actually help with? They are useless when it comes to tinnitus and hyperacusis, but perhaps they can diagnose and do something about the pain.
      It's possible that you are having a spike. A bad one can last over three months.

      Normally one begins to notice fading between 1 and 2 months after the onset. In your case, perhaps the fact that you had trouble avoiding the kind of noise that feels bad to your ears has resulted in you not making a lot of progress. You will want to look at the time since you had began protecting your ears.
      The vast majority are temporary. During a spike, one's tinnitus goes back to square one or even becomes louder. Normally they last only a couple of days, but some can linger for months. Usually they begin fading after about a month, and then take months to go away.
      The first few months are horrific, no way around it. Hopefully a month after you begin protecting your ears, you will notice some fading.
       
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    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      Thank you.
      I'm glad things are better for you and you're able to ignore the sounds. I'm so scared about it all. I really hope it goes or at least fades, it's so hard to be in a quiet environment physically and mentally esp with 2 loud children and stuck in lockdown.
      I'm finding this forum so helpful in gaining some positivity, it's the maintaining that positivity and being able to really believe that things can get better that's hard.
       
    22. Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      A couple of weeks for two of them and three or four months for the other one.
       
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    23. jjflyman

      jjflyman Member

      Location:
      Michigan, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise (Concert)
      @hans799 has given you great advice. I too have suffered (2 times) from acoustic trauma that caused tinnitus. The noise level and duration of exposure were much higher and longer than what you were exposed to, and the first time my tinnitus faded to zero in just under 2 years, the second time (years later) it faded 90% in 3 years.

      Take care to give your ears a "rest" from noise and you will start to see fading in a few months. The vast majority of acoustic trauma tinnitus fades away in 6-24 months. I don't think you have permanent tinnitus, but you should take care of your ears from now on because they have been compromised.
       
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    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      @Steph1710
      Hi any suggestions for ear plugs and ear defenders? There have been some useful suggestions here, you were saying you have some to recommend? Just trying to amass as many options as I can!! Thank you.
       
    25. jjflyman

      jjflyman Member

      Location:
      Michigan, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise (Concert)
      You can get fancy with earplugs, but I just use foam earplugs.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    26. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      Hello @Ealing-girl

      Myself, I don't care if people look at me strange when I'm wearing my defenders.
      Maybe @Steph1710 has some ideas.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    27. Luman
      Spaced

      Luman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brooklyn
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Intermittent Tinnitus probably noise induced
      Individually wrapped 3M ear disposable ear plugs are available by the box, at the world's most popular online store site.

      For hearing protection when taking the subway, I use various commercially available silicon plugs, and an inexpensive pair of noise-cancelling headphones, in addition. I don't listen to music through the noise canelling headphones. They (N/C headphones) reduce the low frequency sound waves that enter your ears, while the plugs guard against other damage, due to excessive levels of middle and high frequencies.
       
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    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      Yes I find the foam ones really good for blocking out noise. It's just that they do tend to hurt my already painful ears, even though I use the small size. Maybe I have narrow ear canals or something!
       
    29. Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      Hi. If you want to try reusable silicone earplugs, here are a few options that are frequently used:

      https://www.amazon.com/EarDial-HiFi...hild=1&keywords=eardial&qid=1590840114&sr=8-5

      https://www.amazon.com/Eargasm-Musicians-Motorcycles-Sensitivity-Conditions/dp/B019M576XW/ref=sr_1_2?crid=21AXH36ERVL6Z&dchild=1&keywords=eargasm+earplugs&qid=1590840140&sprefix=earg,aps,852&sr=8-2

      https://www.amazon.com/Alpine-Party...ywords=alpine+partyplug&qid=1590840167&sr=8-1

      I have all of them, although I mainly use the EarDials (as well as my custom moulded plugs), for I find them very easy to plug in/out and very low profile. I find the main pro of the foam earplugs is that they stay in place better, but it can be interesting to try one of those silicone plugs.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Ealing-girl

      Ealing-girl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic shock
      That's really helpful thank you I'll take a look :)
       
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