Tinnitus from Noisy Van — I'm Thankful for the Many Sincere Posts Here

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Mark62, Aug 4, 2021.

    1. Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Location:
      Midwest, United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/25/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisy van?
      Hello all. I am so thankful for the many sincere and well considered posts that I’ve read on Tinnitus Talk. I’m new to tinnitus, only less than two weeks. And I was feeling pretty alone, isolated and despondent. Honestly, I was heading to a pretty dark place.

      I’m surprised and scared at how quickly I got to this point. But after reading many of the posts here, I can see that a lot of you have suffered to a greater intensity and for a longer period of time than I can imagine.

      Yet through it all you have found a way to be positive and upbeat, regaining much of the happiness that you had prior to tinnitus.

      Although I can’t see that way now, it gives me hope for the future. I haven’t really slept in days due to the ringing. Perhaps tonight I will get a good night’s sleep. God bless you all.
       
      • Hug Hug x 9
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Mark62.

      Tinnitus can be difficult to cope with in the early stages. As you've read for a lot of people this improves with time. I see that the tinnitus was caused by noise. I advise you not to use any type of headphones or headset even at low volume. Click on the links below and take your time and read the posts.

      Things will get better.
      All the best

      Michael

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Tinnitus, A Personal View | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Location:
      Midwest, United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/25/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisy van?
      Michael,

      I want to thank you for your kind words and your links to the two articles, particularly your ‘Personal View’. It means a lot to be reading words from someone whose footsteps I may well be following. Your positivity and assurance is calming for me. Your words are important to me, because right now, there’s no one I feel I can turn to around me who understands.

      Your advice regarding not to use headphones or headsets of any kind or at any volume is well taken. However, what do you think about high-quality noise canceling headsets? I used them yesterday only in the noise canceling mode to shut out the ambient sounds of street traffic, lawnmowers and other loud sounds as I took my dog for her morning walk. With the noise canceling feature turned on I could only hear my tinnitus and my feet as they rhythmically contacted the pavement as I walked. Sometimes I would change the noise canceling setting to let in a little bit of ambient sound when I was in a quiet portion of my walk. I felt better for the experience and wasn’t afraid that some sudden loud noise was going to pierce into my skull. Any thoughts you may have regarding the use of high quality, noise canceling earbuds would be greatly appreciated.

      BTW, I was able to sleep better last night for the first time in many nights. I am so thankful for that. So thankful. I’m not sure what I would’ve done today otherwise. I have an appointment with my GP this morning. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a smart, cautious and deliberate doctor. I feel certain he will take my complaint seriously and really try to work with me to get things resolved the best that can be had. I’m sure refer me to an ENT.

      Michael, thank you for all that you are doing and all that you have done. I can sense that you are a compassionate person, wanting to help everyone you can who falls under this terrible affliction.

      Mark
       
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    4. Eleanor89

      Eleanor89 Member

      Location:
      Barrow in Furness
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello Michael.

      I too have benefited from your articles. They have truly helped.

      Do you think that spending time and listening to your tinnitus actually helps with habituation?

      Thank you.
       
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    5. Damocles
      Spooky

      Damocles Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Tinnitus from Noisy Van, eh?

      I'm looking at you @Steph1710.
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you @Mark62 and @Eleanor89 for your kind comments.

      Mark62
      I do not think suppressing external sounds too much is a good idea. However, used diligently as in your case shouldn't cause any harm. Please click on the link below and read my post: Hyperacusis, As I See It. You may find the post: The Habituation Process helpful too.

      Eleanor89
      It is not a good idea to sit in silence and listen to your tinnitus as it can make habituation more difficult and you risk making the tinnitus more intrusive. Please use low level sound enrichment, which should be set slightly below the tinnitus and not masking it so it can't be heard.

      All the best
      Michael

      Hyperacusis, As I See It | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      The Habituation Process | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    7. Eleanor89

      Eleanor89 Member

      Location:
      Barrow in Furness
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello,

      I had read about it.
      Part of relaxation and listening and not being afraid of it.

      Relaxing with it.

      Thank you.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Location:
      Midwest, United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/25/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisy van?
      Thank you Michael.

      Mark
       
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    9. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Hi there :)

      Got some loud neighbours right now so standing under my kitchen fan to mask the idiots a little... I’m not good with sudden noises. I got some TTTS stuff / hyperacusis.

      Just wanted to say I don’t think you get any better from listening to tinnitus... low masking is better.

      But if you get tired of masking I don’t see a problem with listening to it either. Unless you’re a very nervous guinea pig :)

      I think habituation will come if
      A: tinnitus is not too disturbing.
      B: tinnitus can be masked easily.

      If you’re not A of B I don’t see habituation happening.
      I’m soon 2 years in and it’s just as day 1, only worse because of more tinnitus noises...

      The only thing you can do is to try avoid setbacks.

      Hugs.
       
    10. Oabmarcus

      Oabmarcus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/30/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress and years of using earbuds/headphones
      I think it depends on what stages of the tinnitus you are in. In the onset acute stages, where you are in the fight/flight mode, I don't think it's good to listen to your tinnitus, it will likely make it seem louder; during the habituation phase, I would only listen to it if it's not threatening to you, and preferably there is some other noise that calms your system, so you are not perceiving the noise in any negative way.
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Location:
      Midwest, United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/25/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisy van?
      @Michael Leigh

      All-

      It’s been a while since I’ve updated my condition. My hyperacusis has subsided significantly. Whereas before I was always inserting my noise canceling earbuds whenever I was walking along a busy road that had lots of traffic or at the sight of a running lawnmower, I no longer find this necessary. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I don’t find it necessary. I do, however, keep the noise canceling earbuds handy.

      The tinnitus in my left ear hasn’t really decreased much at all, if any, since the start of all of this. This left ear tinnitus I perceive to be loud. I can hear it when I’m walking outside and when I’m watching television, but I can’t hear it while I’m taking a shower, so at least it has some upper bound. To me this is a little concerning after 5+ weeks, and I’m worried it doesn’t bode well for my future.

      Right now, I’m on anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs. I do not want to be on these long-term. Michael, you have discussed using WNGs as a way to habituate to tinnitus. Is it your experience that this approach can be successful against loud and intrusive tinnitus? I have acquired a pair of hearing aids with WNGs. I have set the level of the WNGs just below the level of the tinnitus and I’m wearing these hearing aids throughout the day until I go to bed.

      Any thoughts you may have on this would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks,
      Mark
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Location:
      Midwest, United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/25/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisy van?
      Hello -

      It’s been almost seven weeks since I measurably damaged the hearing in my left ear and acquired tinnitus and hyperacusis. The hyperacusis has decreased significantly, maybe by as much as 75%. I can easily walk around outdoors without fear of sounds. This wasn’t the case in the beginning. The tinnitus in my left ear, however, has remained unchanged. It’s near the frequency of ‘crickets’ and seldom changes in frequency. It is loud and intrusive. It’s unmaskable at night. I can clearly hear it in a car traveling at highway speeds (70 mph/117 kph), where the car cabin sound level might be 67 dBA. It’s only when I increase the volume of my external ‘cricket’ sounds to 70 dBA that I no longer hear my right ear tinnitus.

      The beginning for me was very rough. I have followed the path so well trod by so many before me on this forum. Bewilderment, panic, deep despair, blame and guilt for my own stupidity for putting myself into this situation, seeing an audiologist to verify the hearing loss, seeing a GP doctor and ENT for some treatments, followed by drugs to help manage the anxiety and sleeplessness. Although, I haven’t been taking the sleep aids because of the horror stories I’ve read regarding benzos. Not sleeping is becoming a large problem.

      Now that almost seven weeks have passed and I’m over the initial terrifying phase, I fear that where I’m at now might be the way it will be for the rest of my life. Just loud, intrusive tinnitus 24/7. I think I’ve read enough on this forum that says loud, intrusive doesn’t improve much on its own, and that it is difficult if not impossible for habituation to occur. I’m hoping I’m wrong in this conclusion.

      What I would really appreciate, are honest responses and prognoses from forum members who have experienced loud, intrusive tinnitus for longer periods of time than I have. In your experience, has the loud tinnitus ever gotten better on its own? If not, have you been able to habituate to it? Are there other coping mechanisms that you have employed if you couldn’t habituate? To be clear, I’m not looking for input from sufferers whose tinnitus is easily masked at night and where it isn’t heard once you’re outdoors or driving in your car. I know your heart and intentions are in the right place, but this isn’t the information that I really need right now.

      Finally, I feel that I’m slipping into a bit of dark place. I’m finding that in suffering from loud, intrusive tinnitus, I’m not really part of the living world. It’s as if a glass wall has been put up between me and that magical, precious world that we all love and miss. I can see those that I love through the glass wall; I can even reach out and hug them. But as I no longer seem to have joy in my soul, I can‘t seem to share in the magic and beauty.

      Thanks,
      Mark
       
      • Hug Hug x 6
    13. David S

      David S Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Beautifully written. This was exactly my feeling in the beginning. It was almost like I lived in a parallel universe.

      I think it is important to point out that you can live a very normal, happy life with tinnitus even if you can't habituate to your tinnitus. That includes severe tinnitus. Most of the time I have zero emotions related to my tinnitus. It is just there. It is true that I struggle a lite bit more now. That happens once every second or third year. Mostly because I am starting to be uncareful again around loud noises.
       
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    14. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Mark62.

      White noise generators can certainly help with habituation but it takes time. Up to 18 months or longer. Each person's situation will be different as explained in my post: The Habituation Process and How to Habituate to Tinnitus. Both are on my started threads.

      You will probably have no need to stay on the antidepressants long term. You are making progress so just give it time. It's not a good idea to come off them too soon, as they act as a safety net and will help to prevent you from becoming too down, should the tinnitus change which is quite possible in the early stages as it can fluctuate. Although you are making good progress you're not out of the woods yet, so take things slowly and be patient.

      Take care,
      Michael
       
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    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Location:
      Midwest, United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/25/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisy van?
      @David S:

      Thank you for your kind words. This whole experience has been quite emotional for me. I never understood that such a hellish affliction could be loose in the world. Prior to seven weeks ago, I was ignorant and naive.

      I see you've had an account since 2013. Would you characterize your tinnitus as severe? If so, could you please elaborate on how you have been able to deal with it? Did it change in severity over time? At this point, I'm looking for some guidance on what I can expect and how to handle it.

      Thanks,
      Mark
       
    16. Sointu
      In pain

      Sointu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music festival
      Mark, I can relate with many things you are saying. I am sorry to hear you are struggling.
      I hope someone could answer your questions. It would be so much easier to deal with tinnitus if it was certain it would stop some day. Dealing with uncertainty is one of the things that has been most difficult thing with tinnitus.
       
    17. Bob1234

      Bob1234 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones
      I can also relate. I am 3 weeks into this so I do not have answers for you. But I think you'll find that the people for whom it got significantly better, or who habituated, are probably not still hanging out on these forums.
       
    18. David S

      David S Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      @Mark62, if you only listen to me once it would be for the following:

      Habituation is a natural process and will happen over time no matter what. To me it was an extended process because I let my limbic part of the brain to take control. The fight or flight mechanism kicked in with its full power. You cannot control you instinct but you can control your thoughts. You have to understand that millions of people are living with severe tinnitus and can handle it well. Also when you feel sorry for yourself and just fall apart, try to activate yourself, even if it is just for a few minutes. Do some work, talk to a friend of family, take a walk, watch TV, or anything that you enjoy.

      Another thing that struck me is that the prognosis for most of us here is quite good to live a perfectly normal life again. Compare that to being in a bicycle accident and being paralyzed from your chest down as a result. The prognosis for being able to recover fully after that is poor but you could still of course live a very good life.

      Some other things:

      If your limbic part of the brain is causing you sleeping issues and panic mode as a result, I would consider a Benzo and SSRI. I assume that you are born in 1962 so you would know if you were the addictive type of person. If not, I would not worry too much about side effects of those drugs. Tinnitus is tough as it is.

      I do not believe too much in supplements. Try to look over you diet instead. There are a lot of things to be tried. Skip coffee, alcohol, sugar, flour, etc. The idea behind this is that tinnitus is a result of inflammation in the nervous system. To me that sounds like a possible explanation.

      Check your cheek, neck and posture. Can you manipulate your tinnitus by biting hard or by trying to open your month by pushing it back? Some tinnitus are related or escalated from inflammation in those muscles.

      I would recommend sound enrichment but @Michael Leigh is the expert in this field.

      David
       
    19. ALS
      Alone

      ALS Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2021 ; worsened 6/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Years of headphone use (too long and too loud)
    20. BrOKeN_1

      BrOKeN_1 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High Frequency Hearing Loss
      I couldn't have said it better myself. Trying to wrap your head around what is happening during those initial first couple months can be exhausting and downright frightful. You will try everything and go anywhere that that may have a hope of bringing silence. This is normal for many of us including myself. Please be careful and patient with yourself while habituation ensues. I promise it will. It happens slowly and differs somewhat for each person but it comes. My advise would be of course sound enrichment during those quite hours. Such as a sound machine. I personally enjoy LOFI hip-hop. But oddly enough crickets became my go to.

      An antidepressant has been helping me. More than anything I wish I could help you with your sleep because I believe it's probably a mess right now. And honestly for me that became almost a bigger problem during those first months. I used a benzo (Lorazepam) to help knock me out for a couple of months. I know benzos get a bad rep on these forums but they can be really helpful. It's definitely not a long term solution but can be quite helpful while you learn to manage sleep again. If you have an addictive personality this might not be the route for you though.

      I am 10 months in and my tinnitus is still very much present but it does not control me. And I believe you will be there as well. Or perhaps your tinnitus will be a thing of the past. And I'll be jealous lol. Sorry, I don't have a ton of advice. But I PROMISE you are not alone in this. Take care.
       
    21. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      overuse of hearing protection, plus noise
      Hi Mark, I can give you honest answer. My tinnitus also caused by noisy motor vehicle, driving for 8 hours several times, each time coming down with tinnitus from hell. If you go through my posts, you will find I am very knowledgeable about this whole thing.

      My tinnitus cannot be masked at night, I play a soundtrack prepared by my daughter of Enya songs which she modified using Audacity digital program in FLAC format, and I play the modified Enya continuously at night, as well as a high quality Restful Rain CD.

      I live in a remote district, so I do not have access to anyone who knows anything so I needed to educate myself, and very fortunately when things were really bad I was able to find a very helpful person on the ATA support network.

      My tinnitus has gone up and down, and I had lots of times when it was really extremely down.

      I do take a pile of meds, and I actually find I had to use a noise cancelling headset, a lot, starting several years ago, after a truck backfire nearby sent me into a serious tailspin, and I figured all I could do was wear noise cancellation outside, all the time, because any truck can backfire at any time, and any loud motor cycle or truck can drive by, any time, unfortunately the long term use of noise cancelling probably gave me worse hyperacusis. So it is a fact of life with modern noisy environment that cannot be escaped, unless you become some kind of hermit somewhere in the woods, and that is not an option for me.

      Luckily my workplace is quiet except for fire drills, and so I have to wear a Bose QC 25 all the time if I'm outside of my office, because over head paging and fire drill are extremely loud and will give me a spike that goes on for months and months and months. I think I may be one of those individuals that just is inherently susceptible. Unfortunately some people just are.

      You have to find the right balance, and when I talked to a very knowledgeable audiologist several years ago, it is essential to use the appropriate level of hearing protection. Do not overprotect, and do not underprotect.
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Location:
      Midwest, United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/25/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisy van?
      @David S, @BrOKeN_1, @object16:

      Thank you guys for your input. I think what I’m understanding is give it time, don’t over protect your hearing and use anti-depressants and sleeping aids as necessary. I think after I go through all this for perhaps a year or so, I pretty much will have what I will have in the way of tinnitus. For the most part, my sensitivity to sound has corrected itself quickly. I’m hopeful that I may have a similar outcome with tinnitus, but I’m not holding my breath. I’ve been pretty lucky throughout my life, and I understand that. But somehow, I now think my reservoir of luck has just run out! And you know what, I think I’m OK with that. Maybe a little bit of humility and humbleness, and compassion and understanding for others who are genuinely suffering in this world with tinnitus and other afflictions, wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

      Mark
       
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