Tinnitus in Chicago

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Kerry H, Jan 4, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Kerry H
      Balanced

      Kerry H Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago, IL
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Hey everyone,

      Here’s my story. My name is Kerry. I’m 25 years old, living in Chicago. December 18th, 2013 is when I first noticed my tinnitus. Since it started, I’ve been reading many posts on this forum. At first, the stories worried me and did more harm than good. I was scared, anxious, depressed, and feeling hopeless that things would ever get better. However, over the past few days I’ve been looking at my circumstances from a more positive perspective. Now, I’m looking to join the community as support.

      I have a high pitch ringing in my left ear. I first noticed it while smoking marijuana a few weeks back. After a few minutes without the ringing fading away, I began to feel very anxious. I jumped on the Internet to look for answers, however that only sent me into a much deeper start of worry.

      Let me jump back a couple months a give you a better understanding of where it is that I’m coming from – because I still can’t quite pinpoint what it is that caused my tinnitus, although I’m thinking it is a multitude of circumstances. In late October 2013, I was smoking marijuana with some friends. A friend of a friend brought over his “California weed,” and I got much higher than I had ever before (even though I didn’t smoke any more than usual). After a half hour I got very anxious and had my first panic attack. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life. I had literally thought I had lost my mind and I was going crazy.

      After that night in October, things went downhill from there. I started to get more anxious all the time – in everyday life, even when I wasn’t high. I was dealing with many intrusive thoughts, depression, and ever-increasing anxiety levels. I even was convinced I was developing schizophrenia. I spent countless hours on forums and the Internet just trying to make sense of what I was going through. I finally decided to see a therapist.

      After a month or so of seeing a therapist I started to feel a little better. During that time, he helped ease my mind that I wasn’t developing schizophrenia and that the only thing that would put me in the running was my age. For the most part, I had laid off the weed since I had the panic attack because I couldn’t smoke without getting anxious. However, once the therapist helped ease my mind, I thought I’d just try and smoke through it…and that brings me to when I first noticed my tinnitus in mid-December.

      After a couple days without the tinnitus fading away, I slipped into an even deeper state of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. I felt so defeated, without answers, and left wondering why all this has been happening to me. Although it’s still a daily struggle, I feel I’m starting to accept my circumstances more and have come to a better sense of peace with it all.

      Now, let me speak to the tinnitus a bit more. When I first noticed it, I had also had a head cold. My left ear felt full, and the left side of my throat was pretty sore. I went to my primary care doctor because I figured it could be an ear infection. They said everything looked fine, except that my left eardrum was slightly bulging. They just recommended Mucinex to help clear it up. A few days later, I also made an appointment with an ENT. He didn’t notice anything wrong with my ear, figured it was sudden hearing loss, and put me on a 15 day taper of Prednisone (I have 6 days left). I was also told to get an Audiogram. I was found to have a slight high-frequency hearing loss in both ears, even though the tinnitus is only in my left ear. I think it’s important to mention that this hearing loss could come from years of playing guitar in a hardcore punk band. I have also noticed my jaw has been pretty sore lately, and I’ve read that TMJ issues could be a cause of tinnitus. I’ve been dealing with a jaw that pops for as long as I could remember. I’m planning on scheduling a dentist appointment soon.

      My tinnitus comes and goes in its severity. There are moments through the day where I barely even hear it – even when I’m trying to look for it. Usually it is most quiet in the morning. I can go a good portion of the day without even realizing that it’s there now. However, at night it seems to be the most prominent. The weird part is that my tinnitus seems to be better when it is quiet around me. I can take a bath and read a book and not hear it at all. However, the louder it gets in the environment I’m in, the more I can hear the ringing (trains, traffic, bars, etc).

      So this is my story. It’s hard to pinpoint what has caused my tinnitus – and I may never know. It could be from all the stress and anxiety, or the hearing loss, or the marijuana, or the cold I had…or maybe the fact that all of this happened to me at one time, and it had just flipped a switch. The hardest part is not having answers to the zillions of questions I have. But as I said, I’m trying to stay optimistic about it all. I think that’s the only way to move forward. I just wanted to share my story with you all, and say hi. I’m looking forward to participating more on this forum.

      Best,
      Kerry
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Kimbo Slice
      Balanced

      Kimbo Slice Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Hey man, I'm a 22 year old from Canada, Vancouver, BC and I know exactly where you are coming from, I had to cut back heavily on the green as well when I got T since I literally went into panic and thought about suicide every time I toked and the sound would be intensely loud. Even a tiny little pinch of weed which never used to do anything to me was too much. I even cried for the first time in like 20 years LOL it's crazy and I'm a guy with little emotion.



      I have read a lot on T in the past couple of weeks after I ended up with it, and really man, you shouldn't be worrying to much. If you really think about it, our heads are setting of an alarm telling us not to continue the way we are, and it's for a good reason. We need to step back and take a look at our bad habits and re think our strategies. Not that loud music is really a bad habit, but electronics and that sort of stuff were not meant to be part of the evolution of the human race, nor any race, animals etc. it's just not natural. So what I'm saying is that this is actually a warning sign to stop you from doing anymore damage, and I know it sounds kinda harsh, but really in time you WILL get used to it, and when I say that I mean the sound seems to become more suddle. I'm not sure where your at in your process right now, but I am getting used to this slowly and as this is happening, the sound is becoming almost un-noticeable. For instance tonight was the first time I actually heard a kind of silence when I was laying in bed. Although the T was still there, it wasn't as ab-noxious sounding as the first few weeks and my brain was tuning into the sound of silence for once. It's called habituation, and it will happen in time, as your brain is working to get used to this.



      Don't think that just because your ears might be shot that there's nothing that can be done and that you should give up all hope and just live unhealthy for the rest of your life. You need to take precaution from now on, as we are gifted to still have most of our hearing. Keep a pair of ear defenders that have a 33DB rating I believe it is, but please correct me if I'm wrong, and keep these on you at ALL TIMES no matter what. Make sure you dont do what I did and just focus on just a part of your body (e.g ears, since that's what you are most worried about this moment). Eye protection is defiantly a must, and also keep exercising to keep the rest of your body healthy. I probably missed a whole bunch of things concerning health but I think you get the point. I mean i would absolutely hate to live without hearing AND be blind, or have to toss out an additional 25k for laser surgery lol. Btw one last thing. Keep an eye out on Auris Medical and possibly Standford University hearing loss study updates, as they seem to be coming a long way to finding a cure. It should help you answer some of these billion questions you have in mind. xD Please take care of yourself man.




      Regards
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Kerry H
      Balanced

      Kerry H Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago, IL
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Thanks @Kimbo Slice - I'll definietly keep my eye on those research institutions! It's nice to know that there are some promising studies coming out in regards to finding a cure. I hope it's keeping many people hopeful.

      The weed always causes a spike in my T as well, making it harder deal with - especially since I get more panicky when smoking.

      Thanks for the advice though. I think I'm slowly habituating too it. There are some good and bad days, but that seems pretty normal for most with T (or life in general). I'm trying to look at it all more positive. Almost like you said, as if the brain were setting off an alarm. I need to take better care of my health. I've spent the majority of my first 25 years in overall good health, but it was not until I was actually going through issues of my own that I truly could understand what it felt like. Maybe this will allow me a greater sense of empathy for those going through issues that I have not experienced.
       
    4. Smoogle
      Wishful

      Smoogle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Sorry to hear about your situation. Your T sounds a lot like mine in terms of how "reactive" it is to outside sounds, and in terms of it's morning/evening cycle. Oftentimes after sitting in a quiet environment for awhile, I'll end up asking myself "is this REALLY what I've been making such a fuss about"? Then I watch TV for ten minutes and end up with an electrical thunderstorm in my head.

      Unfun times!

      If it's any consolation though, after my first onset of intrusive T two years ago, my T stabilized somewhere around the lower bound after the first several months (I'm back here because a med blew it back up to intrusive levels). If marijuana triggered it, there's a good chance it could mellow out or even go away in time as it works it's way out of your system.

      I remember around the time I got my T, there was a poster that had T induced from marijuana. His mellowed out considerably after a month or two.

      Anyhow, there's a lot of good and supportive people here. Hang tight, because things do get better one way or another.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. Kerry H
      Balanced

      Kerry H Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago, IL
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Thanks @Smoogle - I'm starting to learn that there are many different ways that T is experienced. At first I thought it was odd that being in a quiet environment made my T decrease in intensity, when many have said their T is most noticeable when it's quiet. It's very interesting though how some situations (or stimuli) will cause a spike for some and not others. I definitely feel like my T is "reactive" though.

      I'm staying hopeful that this will all mellow out. I know whatever happens, I'll find ways to enjoy life like I used to. I'm grateful to have found such a supportive community here, and I look forward to learning more about T and ways we can manage it.
       
    6. NeoM
      Moonlighting

      NeoM Member

      Location:
      America
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/31/2013
      There are a lot of different ways tinnitus can come about. For instance, it's not unusual for head trauma, e.g. concussions, to cause tinnitus. I read about a football player that suffered a concussion and when they asked him where he was he said Tampa Bay and they wondered why and he said because he could hear the ocean in his ear. I too tried to narrow down what caused mine, but it was hard and I realized it was pointless too because I had to move on and get over it. For instance, your sore jaw can be anxiety and stress related. I too had a sore jaw for a couple weeks and tension in my neck, but once my anxiety and stress over it began to reduce so did the neck tension and jaw soreness. However, if you think it's TMJ by all means see a dentist or whomever you need to.

      Once you control your stress and anxiety you'll be able to manage your tinnitus much better. Don't try to monitor it or look for it. You need to adopt a "I don't care about tinnitus attitude." This doesn't come instantly, but over time you can develop it.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    7. Kerry H
      Balanced

      Kerry H Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago, IL
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Thanks @NeoM! I agree. I definitely need to adopt the "I don't care about tinnitus attitude." It's just tough, wanting to know the answers to what caused it but knowing that will probably never be the case. I'm sure once I stop looking for all the answers, I'll start to habituate better. Thanks for the advice!
       
    8. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      In my opinion if you are a person prone to anxiety it's best to stay away from pot. It has a reputation of relaxing you, but in my experience that was never the case if I was in a panicked state of mind to begin with. That and it always made my hearing seem a little more muffled or full, which intensified the tinnitus. I guess if it helps you more power to you, but my opinion remains the same.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    9. Kerry H
      Balanced

      Kerry H Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago, IL
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      I agree @Hudson - I've laid off it for now. It's not been worth the increase in T and anxiety.
       
    10. Geoff

      Geoff Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      This story is extremely similar to mine, I truly believe it was the sudden anxiety and depression that "flipped my switch". I'm also from the Chicagoland area in Joliet, so you have some fellow sufferers close by. Stay strong Kerry, I know this will get easier for us eventually.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    11. Kerry H
      Balanced

      Kerry H Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago, IL
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Thanks @Geoff! I definitely like the depression and anxiety has played a part in my onset of T as well. I've been thinking of finding and joining a T support group in the area. If you know of any, hit me up. Thanks for your kind words and optimism!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    12. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      Did the mucinex clear up your fullness?
       
    13. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      Also I'm from the Chicago area, there is a support group I'm looking into going to, it's in glen view I believe!
       
    14. Kerry H
      Balanced

      Kerry H Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago, IL
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Hey @demi - The fullness is gone yes, but I'm not sure how much of it was the mucinex or not. At the time, I didn't think it was doing much to help. But looking back, and the fact that I do not feel like have any more fluid in my ear or a fullness sensation, it could have bee what helped clear it up...or maybe it was just time.

      Thanks for letting me know about the support group! Do you know if it's accessible by the Metra? I don't have a car, so that would probably be the only way I could get up there. Hope all is well.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    15. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      @Kerry H No problem, I've never been yet - the meeting is in March. And yeah there is! The MD-N (Milwaukee North - Direction: Fox Lake) has a Glenview stop.
       
    16. wbj
      Wishful

      wbj Member

      Location:
      DFW Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2013
      On New Years Day 2013 I fell on concrete in a parking lot hit my bridge of nose down to the right side of my face including lip and had nerve damage to right upper teeth. I was diagnoised with a mild concussion, then a month after the fall the tinnitus started in my right ear and some in my left ear. I thought it would drive me crazy for weeks. I saw 2 ENTs and a neurologist, no one had answers, the first ENTs didn't even suggest xrays. He told me I was going deaf after a hearing test and was pushing hearing aides. The second ENT told me I was not going deaf far from it but gave me no answers either to why the tinnitus. The neuro doc told me to try melatonin 5 mg at evening to sleep and put music on. It has been a year and half now since this all started. I was told to see another ENT for possible chronic sinusitis. I finally saw number 3 ENT that gave me answers from my auditory tests he showed me I had a cocklea concussion from that fall. I am having sinus CT scan because he is concerned I could have broken my nose at the time. I still continue to get sinus eye headaches and sinus congestion. This ENT mentioned since it has been a over year with tinnitus it may be with me now for the rest of my life. It has gotten better some days I have quiet days with no buzzing, swooshing or ringing. If I get a sinus infection, the tinnitus is more pronounced. I think I have gotten better trying to live with this. I sometimes will listen to music so I don't have to put up with noise. If anyone has any other suggestions I would welcome information.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    17. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      I live in Des Moines everyone! Only 4 hours away. :) Maybe we could all meet up in the quad cities sometime?

      @Kerry H , sorry to hear about your tinnitus buddy. You're still early on and you might get better still. I'm 28 now, and I've had tinnitus since I was 17. It hasn't effected my ability to lead a normal life (what's normal anyway?).
       
    18. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      Hi WBJ,I to have sinus/ rhinitis facial and eye socket pain came from a virus,it does make a difference to the tinnitus as you say,I've tried all nasal sprays,sinus meds, I find if I can sneeze it helps a lot,it can make the tinnitus easier.takes head pressure down ,so you can have an allergy,along with the tinnitus.the wallop your nose took would certainly have set that problem off.i had an X Ray up the nose,diagnosed it was chronic.I take Migraleve as the nasal and histamine hurt face and eyes more,can't find what ingredient the culprit.
      My aunt gave me a tip to make me sneeze (she's got same trouble ) tip a pepper pot up between your thumb and index finger on the fleshy part,only grains.then sniff it ,bit like old fashioned snuff I think. Give that a try when your face is really painful,but do get Migraleve and drink loads more fluid keeps the mucus flowing plus helps with headaches,paracetamol won't touch the face pain on me.The problems that come along,besides tinnitus hey .
       
    19. Ricky81
      Worried

      Ricky81 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 14, 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Assault/Contusion/Ear Infection

      Hi WBJ,

      Is your T better or worse now? I too have Tinnitus now which was 50 days after concussion.
      A month later the high pitch is lower or maybe my brain is used to it now.
      Hearing is fine.
       
    20. wbj
      Wishful

      wbj Member

      Location:
      DFW Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2013
      Ricky,
      My T is better some days and then other days it is horrible. If I have sinus issues it seems to be worse. The ENT mentioned it has been with me for over a year it may never go away and it could eventually cause more hearing loss or it may not. I have some slight hearing loss for my age.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    21. Ricky81
      Worried

      Ricky81 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 14, 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Assault/Contusion/Ear Infection
      Sorry to hear that. I'm getting MRI done this week. This is my 5th week with T.
      Hopefully there will be a cure in a few years. Stem cell looks promising.
       
    22. wbj
      Wishful

      wbj Member

      Location:
      DFW Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2013
      let me know if they see anything on your mri
       

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