Tinnitus Prefers Quiet... Question on Seeking Audiologist/Treatment Help Early

Discussion in 'Support' started by Natalie Roberts, Nov 28, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      I'm about 5 weeks or so into my journey with T and one thing that has remained almost constant (for the most part) is that my T seems to flair up with certain nosies like the television, car radio, etc. so I'm pretty sure I also have hyperacusis. I recently purchased a sound machine and started using it at night at the advise of another member, nights 1 and 2 were okay but by night 3 even the sound machine seemed to make my T so much louder I couldn't fall asleep. I ended up turning it off and my T almost immediately decreased in sound to a level I could fall asleep and sleep all night. I'm at work right now and its very, very quiet and am only bothered by the T if I search for it. I've had good days over the past few weeks where its almost non-existant for the better part of the day also. But I've also had bad days (like yesterday) when my T was loud/intrusive and bothered me literally all day long with zero breaks.

      My T doesn't seem typical to some of yours in that attempts to mask/or have background noises on often irritate my T.. I'm assuming I have T and hyperacusis.. My question is, being 5 weeks in should I seek out treatment from an audiologist to maybe help the hyperacusis or continue riding it out? I'm a bit worried I will make it harder to treat if I keep waiting for treatment but at the same time it does seem to be improving some days on its own (Some days also are harder). Is it better/more beneficial to seek out treatment earlier? I have seen an ENT one time also but didn't get any advise or information other then to see an audiologist. No MRI was offered as she said she didnt feel it was necessary. I tend to try to keep my surroundings as calm/quiet as possible and use ear plugs for the vaccuum cleaner or other loud household noises to not cause a spike..

      For those of you who don't know they think my T is either caused by mild hearing loss (discovered via audiogram, previously unaware of any hearing loss) OR pregnancy inducded. I have had no loud sound exposures, no noise damage or anything. It just started up one day in October and has been there most every day since then. I have about 8 weeks left in my pregnancy..
       
    2. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Have you noticed a slight blood presure rise now your nearly due as a small change could increase tinnitus ?
      It does sound like you have reactive tinnitus to some sounds .
      Hyperacusis is treated well with maskers over time but not everyone finds them helpful as irritates their tinnitus.
      Audiology dont usually see you till have had tinnitus six months as people can adapt naturally over time and the help they provide aids natural habituation and see if maskers or hearing aids are needed.

      The sound machine at night should help so I would try it a little longer and then decide if it helps you or not ....lots of love glynis x
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      My blood pressure is suprising (given all the stress I'm under) low. I have a machine at home and check it periodically but usually its around 95/60 or something like that. I've never had high blood pressure issues.. I'm just kind of confused as where to go from here. Is it better to continue waiting it out or is seeking out help from an expert a better option to increase my chances of either early habituation OR helping my T to go away sooner (still trying to be optimistic it will on its own)? I've seen two ENT's. The first didn't do anything but look in my ears and said I needed an audiogram and sent me on my way to get one so I got a the audiogram and saw a different ENT who was referred by the audiologist there. The second ENT said "hearing loss or pregnancy.. see an audiologist if it gets worse, see ya later." So basically they offered no help/no advise as I was sitting in her office crying and describing my symptoms.. This was about 1.5 weeks ago now. So I've just been waiting it out. The audiologist I was referred to DOESN'T accept insurance and the first visit is $200 alone. I'm not sure the subsequent charges. Money is not really an issue though because honestly, I would gladly pay the $200 if I thought it would help.
       
    4. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      I know a few members from both forums have had tinnitus with pregnancy and after it settled down.
      One lady's tinnitus is back again now as on her second pregnancy .

      For now I thing making sure you get enough sleep and rest when you can is most important and you are doing well noticing your tinnitus loves quiet as we are all different.
      Just make sure you dont mask everyday sounds as your sensitive ears will get worse .
      You will get to know what spikes your ears but have every chance It will go after your little one arrives. ..lots of love glynis
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 2
    5. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      One thing you can try is to download white noise and set it below your tinnitus and play it a while or if you have it on your sound machine as It will give you an idea what maskers sound like and if your ears can cope with that sound you will have an idea if seeing audiology for maskers would be beneficial ...lots of love glynis
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    6. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      I have tried it briefly for like 5 minutes but I found it super irritating in addition to my T as it sounds very similar to my t. I will try again though for a longer duration and see how that goes. Thanks for your advise and words of encouragement about the pregnancy :) it always makes me feel a little better/stronger when hearing those things.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    7. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      There are conflicting views on sound enrichment vs treatment with silence. Any advise handed out is just opinion, there is no proof either way, so be very careful. I would do what works best for you, try different things, and listen to your body above anything else.

      There are A LOT of people that don't do well with sound enrichment at night, it's not rare, it's actually quite common.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    8. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      Thank you! I appreciate your opinion. I've been great today, my T is very very low volume and hasn't been too intrusive and I've been keep the volume low (or tv/radio off) on everything all day long. It seems to work for me and anything to get some relief is worth it. I may try the sound machine very low volume tonight again if I can tolerate it and see what happens.
       
    9. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      I agree with Telis. When having big problems adapting to a volume increase I was given a sound machine, which I tried a few times and then decided I would probably get used to the t quicker without it. I find my t more intrusive in quiet rooms, but I still feel that the quiet is a good thing... that it gives my auditory system rest which is beneficial. You may or may not be the same, so trust your feelings and your experience when you try things out.
      I'm not sure that is hyperacusis that you describe. I think t is often quite reactive to sound in the early stages, meaning the volume of the t goes up temporarily. Hyperacusis is more a feeling of pain or a disturbing overload of sensation in response to sound (as I understand it).

      I hope things settle down for you soon.:)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      That's great. You could also try a timer, run sounds for part of the night, silence the rest, mix it up. I somehow feel that the brain tries to lock onto the T, and can sometimes turn up the gain on the brain sounds (tinnitus) to to compete with external noise.

      In my opinion, you won't do any harm with a little silence, especially if that's what you prefer and it doesn't bother you. If I found something that gave me relief one way, or another, I sure as hell would be running with it.
       
    11. Robert44

      Robert44 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert
      I would try to find an audiologist that has experience with Tinnitus. Also find one that accepts your insurance. Look around you should be able to find one.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    12. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      Thank you for your insight! :) I don't have much knowledge of this since im so new I guess I just assumed that was hyperacusis. It's not pain that I feel just the ringing noise gets much louder when I watch tv or at least it becomes more noticeable, instead of the tv masking it. Maybe reactive is the better way to describe it! Either way, I've kept a quiet household (no electronics on) with two kids doing arts and crafts and just normal stuff and my T has been pretty controllable so for now, that's what seems to work for me.. I will probably try the tv out in a few minutes to see how it goes as I refuse to let myself be prisoner forever.

      Thanks for your reply :) I appreciate it so much.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    13. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      I think mixing it up may be a good idea! I agree! It does sound like the t is completing with external noise which is super irritating. I do try and limit what sounds I'm around the majority of the day but don't wear ear plugs for long durations or keep myself locked in a soundproof box.. Just no to or music for most of the day until evening. My kids make tons of noise but luckily it's isn't cause the t to react today so I'm thankful for that. I really appreciate your reply and insight :)
       
    14. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      tHanks for your reply !! I will try to see what else I can find. It may just be for a consultation but may be helpful in the long run.
       
    15. noisebox
      Loved

      noisebox Member

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      West End show. Came back 2015 vitamin D overdose prescribed
      Natalie, when my T was new in 2012 I realized that it did not like many sounds especially the TV, it reacted and upped its volume. I found at night I longed for a silent bedroom which oddly I coped with very well. Over time it settled down its re-activity and became very stable though I never ventured need very loud sounds.
      Sadly I'm back on the forum now after a major setback due to medical issues. Sure enough its back reacting like crazy to everything. I did try sounds at night as I lost the ability to sleep but they really annoyed my T. I now just have a little clock so not total silence but it does not annoy me. I'm back trying to cope with TV on low volume and keeping all sounds sensible.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      A sound machine takes time to get use to and needs consistent routine playing it lower than your tinnitus through out the night.
      It's through the night sound machines work their magic helping your brain adjust and push your tinnitus sound to the back by working hard pick up the lower sound you have chosen .
      Best by your bedside or connected to pillow speakers.
      If anyone has brought a sound machine see the difference over 4 weeks and not just the odd night.

      Melatonin can aid sleep and sleeping tablets too but don't do nothing help habituate to tinnitus....lots of love glynis
       
      • Like Like x 2
    17. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      First of all, I am sorry you are goign through this all again. It DOES sound like your T and mine are very similar in what they react to. It's so annoying because I used to LOVE just relaxing in the evenings with my partner and watching a few of our favorite shows but now its almost like I dread turning it on because I know how it will be.. It is interesting to me to hear that yours is similar and gives me hope that the reactivity does go down in time. Yesterday was a pretty good day overall. My T was very low and almost unnoticable all day long and even the TV didn't cause it to go too crazy which for me was pretty exciting. It's the 3rd day since this started that the TV hasn't caused a reaction and the 3rd or 4th day where my T was pretty non-existant. In 5 weeks of noise I take that as a victory! We will see how today goes but I'm keeping my fingers crossed its a good ear day. :) Thank you so much for your reply. It helps to know I am not alone in that my T prefers the quiet!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. dboy
      Jaded

      dboy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2007 & 8/2013
      It sounds as though what works for you (and Noisebox also) is almost exactly what works best for me too. I don't believe sound machines are always a good thing. Maybe they are useful if quiet rooms are producing great anxiety or if someone finds that the sound they make helps them to sleep. But habituation is something that happens in most cases anyway. Gadgets are not necessarily needed to make that happen.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    19. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      Totally agree. I'm taking everyone's advise and trying it out but for most days what I've found working for me is just limiting sounds that cause my T to react! I admit I have started using ear plugs when I vacuum or give my small kids a bath because I'm afraid the noise is too loud BUT other then that, I don't use them and I don't limit everyday household noises like dishwasher/washing machine/kids playing etc. I have all of that going on, just cut out the electronic noises at home. NO TV, no radio, no music. Besides it seeming to keep my T volume more tolerable, I've also found ton of time for fun arts/crafts activites with the kids that keeps my mind busy and off T and its better for them as well. :) So, I agree with finding what works for you and rolling with it. I think I will still try the sound machine with low volume at night as long as the noise doesn't make my T louder though. Thanks for your reply:)
       
      • Like Like x 2
    20. LovesToTeach
      Chatty

      LovesToTeach Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/pregnancy/stress
      Hi @Natalie Roberts, I'm one of those that acquired T during pregnancy, at around 31 weeks. Unfortunately, mine never went away after giving birth in February, but an audiologist recently found mild hearing loss. Her theory was that my gestational hypertension caused some cochlear damage, leaving me with hearing loss and tinnitus. I really wish I was one of the people whose T left right after birth - but, this is my new journey! I was having a very hard time until I acquired hearing aids a few weeks ago. Now, unless it's a super spikey day (usually caused by poor sleep or salt), I can focus on what I need to do and even relax a little sometimes. I have the Widex Zen - they were $4k out of pocket but worth it for me. Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy and I hope your story ends in silence!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    21. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Natalie,

      My tinnitus is reactive to sounds, like yours is, particularly the TV. I've had severe tinnitus for over five years now, and the reactivity has improved considerably since then. I can now watch TV, as long as I limit it to no more than 1/2 hour to an hour at a time. I can listen to music again, and of course, I like soothing music best. If my tinnitus starts to react, I leave the room and find a quiet activity to occupy my mind.

      I think that, in time, you'll find that yours improves, too. I don't know if the background sounds will help you. For me, water sounds work the best, but I don't sleep with any background sound on at all, because I find it irritating.

      Things will improve in time, and I think you are on the right track toward healing!

      Best wishes,
      Karen
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    22. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      Thank you for your post! I'm sorry your T didn't go away after birth. :( This is not what I wanted to hear but a reality I must accept as they haven't identifed the cause of mine so it's possbile mine won't go either.. Was it pretty much constant? Mine has been pretty much constant since it started 5 weeks ago but I have had maybe 4 days where I couldn't hear it at all for the majority of the day or long periods of times when it goes away completly but comes back a few hours later so I'm taking that as a good sign. The good days have all been within in the last 2 weeks. Hopefully it means maybe it's on its way out or my brain is learning to ignore it (either way, I'll take it). I haven't gone as far as a second appointment with an audiologist yet but initially they said sometimes hearing aids may be able to help since my hearing loss apparantly is in the upper ranges where my T is. I haven't looked into this yet and was kind of waiting it out to see what happens after pregnancy since I'm just not sure what to do. I would also gladly pay 4k if it would help the T to be less. I hope my story also ends in silence but take comfort in knowing you are doing much better! I hope your baby is doing well also!
       
    23. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      Thanks for your post. Maybe I just have reactive T and not hyperacusis which is what I originally thought. Seems to be more common that I initially was thinking. I am hopeful, since having good days I am on the road to improvement and still trying to keep positive thoughts that it will go away after birth as I need to have some hope! :)
       
    24. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      Makes no sense to me! Yesterday and thanksgiving day my T was virtually non-existant. I could not hear it. It did not bother me at all. Seemed to be gone. Then, today low and behold its back. Not super intrusive but an electrical white-noise sound in both my ears thats fairly obnoxious.:banghead:

      Keeping repeating to myself positive thoughts and trying to ignore it so I don't let any panic in. If I start to stress/panic about it, its always so much worse. I've come a long way in the last 5 weeks in controlling my panic/anxiety and I'm super grateful for that! It's an accomplisment in my eyes considering both 2 and 3 weeks ago I was sitting in my OB's office crying begging for anti-depressants. She did prescribe them but I have not started them and feel pretty confident I can finish this pregnancy without taking them.

      I keep thinking more good days will come and the bad ones will be less and less. :rolleyes:
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    25. joseph Ghass
      Angelic

      joseph Ghass Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2015
      Natalie, you need from 6 months to one year for the loud sounds to fade.

      Dont be surprised for spikes to happen randomly.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    26. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      Today is not necessarily what I would consider a "spike". Its more of my normal T sound, if anything maybe a tid bit quieter so far this am. It just irritates me to no end having awesome days where the noise is gone completely just to have it return. I know this is normal in the beginning stages though, from everyone's tips/advise. Just venting. I'm hoping my T goes away sooner then 6 months but am also realistic that it may not.
       
    27. Ecip

      Ecip Member

      Location:
      Edmonton, AB
      Tinnitus Since:
      4.11.2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Still unknown... possibly noise exposure?
      My T also seems to react to noise. Me and the fiancé were out and about yesterday, driving in the car, singing to the radio, and once we got to our destination my left ear was yelling at me a bit, but settled back down once we got home. I had a headache from a TMJ massage the previous day and decided to take a robaxit (sp? the muscle relaxant with 200mg ibuprofen) and that made my headache go away it seemed to relax my T a bit also.
      It's a strange thing, this tinnitus.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    28. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      Thats what I'm learning. :/ I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Although I am improving and having great days here and there and only 5 weeks into this, being pregnant with other health issues on top this has been so far one of the most difficult health issue I have had to deal with. It's difficult in that it causes so much anxiety as well as affecting your physical health and causing a great deal of emotional stress. I guess if this is the worst health issue I've had to deal with I should be grateful. There are a lot of other things that are much worse. Being 30, I just have a difficult time when I think it could be forever. Getting over the initial anxiety was huge for me and I know I wouldn't have been able to cope as easily without this forum. Grateful for everyone who contributes to my posts :)
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    29. LovesToTeach
      Chatty

      LovesToTeach Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/pregnancy/stress
      My baby is now 9 months old and she's just a barrel of energy. It's been fun! Though people ask about when we'll have another (hate that question, T or no) and I don't know if I want to get pregnant again. There's a great chance it wasn't caused by pregnancy at all - it's just conjecture.

      If your T is fading some days, I'd call that a great sign! Mine was constant from the day it started, and it has only increased since then. But, I think I really focused on it too much so I was basically telling my brain to only hear that noise. My T is also in the range of my hearing loss, but it's in the mid-range (like 4-6k). Distraction is key!

      My audiologist has been my lifesaver. She has helped me understand what is happening and has also given me hope that life will go on! Someday I will stop caring about that noise!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    30. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      I'm not sure where my T lies on the scale but I do know my hearing loss is in the very high upper ranges and my T sounds very high frequency and difficult to mask due to it being so high pitched. I'm so glad to hear your baby is doing so well. :) It's interesting talking to someone who has been pregnant with T as I've heard a lot of stories here but never actually talked to anyone, so in that I felt alone.. Its so rough being pregnant with this because I did want to take anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medications when this first started as it was causing uncontrollable panic attacks/depression and worsening my already severe OCD/Anxiety. But my first concern has always been my baby and so I have held off. So far, I haven't had to take the long term medication but did have to take some short acting (baby safe) anti-anxiety medication initially to help with the panic attacks. I think I took the pills 4 times total over the past 5 weeks. Did you have anxiety when yours started up? My OB doesn't know anything about it in pregnancy so she's been little help.

      This is my 3rd pregnancy (I have a 2 and 5 year old) and this will be my last. It has been SO difficult with other health issues I've been dealing with on top of being a mom. I just wish I could enjoy this being my last pregnancy. Do you have other kids? Thanks for replying :)
       

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