Tinnitus sufferers – don't let it drown out the positive voices

Discussion in 'Support' started by erik, Feb 11, 2013.

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    1. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      This is pretty much how I feel about T right now. Still bothers me a little but does not run my life
      Being diagnosed with tinnitus just before going to university was a blow to my confidence, but you can live a normal lif Clubber-dancing-high-angl-008.jpg
      That first night celebrating my A-level results in Birmingham resulted in a deafening ringing in my ears. Photograph: amana images inc/Alamy
      Since I celebrated my A-level results, tinnitus has destroyed what once was silence. During the early start to the summer holidays, an evening in Birmingham was eagerly arranged. The succession of staying out late, clubbing, endless summer parties continued throughout the summer. My A-levels were a triumph, university beckoned along with more celebrations, clubbing and party invitations. What I now know is that first night celebrating in Birmingham resulted in a deafening ringing in my ears that I initially became so used to after nights of clubbing, that I just tried to carry on as normal with the constant noise in my head. Soon I started to suffer from sharp pains through my ears and a ringing that really was non-stop, and it became impossible just to remain calm. After three successive sleepless nights I began to worry about the damage I may have caused to myself and Googled the symptoms, hoping that somebody else had suffered from the same and turned out fine. Although I read some positive articles, most of it was daunting and downright depressing.
      A week went by and I decided it was definitely time to see the doctor. He ran a few tests with a tuning fork and told me I'd be fine and that my hearing hadn't been damaged. The tinnitus didn't subside so I went to see another doctor, and she said the same thing. After around four doctors telling me: "It's a mental battle," I was left feeling helpless. It was quite clear that I had developed tinnitus. I became increasingly restless, I was becoming depressed and the constant thought of being deaf in my 20s was really getting me down. I had always acted and studied drama at a young age and the thought of missing my cue and having tinnitus hold me back severely knocked my confidence.
      Like the estimated 6 million people who suffer from tinnitus in the UK, I was crushed and only saw the negatives; how I wouldn't look cool with earplugs, always having to ask people to turn their music down and most importantly never getting a good night's sleep again. This served as a double blow considering I was about to meet new friends and enter a new lifestyle at university. Tinnitus is a drag when everyone else at university is able to enjoy their nightlife without thinking about repercussions. Having to wear earplugs in clubs and dodge fantastic events like bonfire nights in Brighton and East Sussex wasn't how I'd imagined student life. For me, silence had literally become deafening.
      Now having lived with tinnitus for more than a year, I can now say that it rarely bothers me. I have to remember after pre-drinks to take my earplugs with me on a night out, but apart from that, tinnitus isn't getting me down any longer and I won't let it. I believe remaining positive, keeping busy and seeing tinnitus as less of a defect and more as a slight irritant has helped me tremendously. I manage to sleep soundly at night, I have nights out clubbing with my friends, I can still enjoy music and as far as I know my hearing is still as good as before. My advice for fellow sufferers is to see it as an issue that can be tackled with the right frame of mind. Rather than trying to eradicate it completely, understand it's there, accept that it isn't going away and find ways of living with it. Accepting tinnitus has made it a small part of my life, and if I stick to my sound boundaries, the ringing in my ears gets less and less deafening every day.
       
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    2. Fish
      Balanced

      Fish Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2012
      Very nice and well-written article, thank you for posting Erik!

      I can relate, I am well on my way to habituation after only 6 months and hope one day I will completely ignore this sound. The situation when my T bothers me the most is when sleeping on a side with my head against the pillow. It took some time to get used to it but now I can even sleep on the side back again. For comparison, in the beginning I could only sleep on the back with white noise mp3 on, and even then I would only get like 3-4 hours of sleep. Now my T has close to no effect on my sleep. I think it is a measurable improvement!
       
    3. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      I relate too, pretty well describes me most of the time.

      Like Fish, I can sleep with my ear against the pillow, even though it amplifies the tinnitus ten-fold. Most nights I just don't give a crap and can go asleep anyway - without any accompanying masking or sound enrichment for that matter.

      These sort of articles are great in that they give proper hope for those who are currently going through the first phase, the phase that one usually struggles the most at.

      Still, it's no fun and definitely lowers the quality of life for me on average. After acquiring tinnitus I think I've become more prone to stress and anxiety overall. But, I cope.
       
    4. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Fish, glad to see your doing well. Markku, I just want to post positive tinnitus articles when I see them....they are far and few in between.
       
    5. stantheman

      stantheman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/25/11
      I think that loudness and pitch of the sound(s) has a lot to do with "getting used to it". The louder and higher pitched sound is much harder to habituate to IMO. Erik, how would you describe your T?
       
    6. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      I think this too and also the type of sound affects it, like if it moves up and down, in and out rather than being constant. Jastreboff says not though, says its immaterial.
       
    7. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Hey Stan. My T is like crickets and is constantly there but the volume fluctuates from day to day. Some days its low all day, some days its way up there and some days in between somewhere or a combination of low and high. Last 2 days it was pretty low. Today, its much higher and much more noticeable, pretty much over all other sounds right now. When it is low, yes it is definitely easy to ignore and I can do that hours at a time, when it is high like today, I hear it pretty much constantly and other than the annoying factor, I can still function pretty much normally.
       

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