Hello there, I am a 21 year old college student living in NYC. I am an actress and a singer and have been performing in musicals since I was 5 years old. I had noticed when I flew home for thanksgiving that my ears were really hurting me for some reason and it was preventing me from sleeping. After I got back to school, I went to my college health center(which is terrible)and they told me I had fluid in my ear and I needed to take Sudafed(BIG MISTAKE). It made everything worse and made the whole world sound like I was living in a bubble. This is a rather large problem when you are a singer and music is a huge part of your life. The week I got back also happened to be my boyfriend's 21 birthday(I had bought us tickets to a concert as a gift) and the week of my sorority formal. The combination of these two events is what led to my tinnitus. Since December 5, 2015 I have not had silence. I woke up the morning after my sorority formal with a sound in my ears that will never leave. I distinctly remember thinking that I wasn't going to let whatever weird thing was going on with my ears prevent me from having a good time and celebrating with my friends. I had bought some earplugs and had accidentally left them in my room on the way to the concert. I had absolutely no idea what the implications for that mistake would be. Ironically, I had always prided myself on having really good hearing. I was always conscious not to turn my music up too loud and I didn't go out to loud bars or concerts much. For my whole life I have always had extremely good hearing. I have always been a very cautious responsible person and the fact that this happened to me of all people is shocking. After a journey of going to 3 different ENTs in NY and TX(my home state). I was told that there was absolutely nothing I could do and that was simply that. It is absolutely amazing to me the lack of sympathy most doctors and especially ENTs have about tinnitus. It has had an enormous impact on my life and I'm sure all of yours as well. I have developed a lot of health anxiety as a result of my tinnitus and it has greatly disrupted my life and changed my whole perspective. I have some depressive tendencies and this has brought them back to the forefront once again after going for a very happy and strong three years. I'm not as carefree and happy as I used to be. And it's hard to be in college and try to explain to people why you don't want to go to concerts or to loud bars and if you do go, people are always looking at me strangely because of the earplugs. I get so nervous to go places where I know there will be large (loud) crowds now. Even going into restaurants where they play loud music sometimes terrifies me because I want to protect my ears from getting worse. These past few months have been incredibly difficult as I learn to live with this. And while supportive for the most part, most of my friends and family don't understand how hard adjusting to tinnitus is. It's made it incredibly difficult for me to focus on living my life and carrying on as I used to. I'm trying to find a silver lining here but sometimes it's just really challenging to even get up and go out into the very loud world around me. Any advice about living with tinnitus in your twenties will be greatly appreciated. I really want to find a way to "make my own sunshine" with all of this but I'm sure how yet. So yeah...hi. I'm glad this exists.