Tips on Avoiding Complete Silence When Everything Hurts Your Ears

Discussion in 'Support' started by Marin, Aug 29, 2020.

    1. Marin

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL... probably previous noise exposure, too
      I’ve been lurking on this forum since I developed sudden hearing loss and tinnitus a little over two months ago in my right ear. The information that I’ve learned on here has been invaluable, and I’m so thankful to have found this forum.

      Shortly, after the loss, I started developing hyperacusis in my bad ear, and then sadly in my good ear as well. For the last month the H has progressed significantly after being exposed to a lot of noise (I moved) to where I can have fullness, pain and burning even without being exposed to sounds that are painful. Having two small children certainly hasn’t helped.

      Currently, even the TV or stereo at the lowest volume hurt my ears. I’m trying to let my ears rest so they can heal, and I’ve started using ear plugs more when I know there will be sounds that irritate or hurt my ears. Given that, it seems like the consensus is that sitting in silence for extended periods of time is also not good.

      For those of you that have been in this spot before, how did you avoid silence when you couldn’t even watch TV or listen to music? I’ve been trying to get some time outside in nature, but even that can get loud and painful after a little while. My yard is up against a nature preserve and some of those birds are LOUD! Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

      Last, does anyone have recommendations for a high quality blue tooth speaker that can play at a very low volume? I’m wondering if my ears might be able to tolerate a little music if the speaker is a high quality and the volume low enough. I tried a JBL charge 4, but the lowest volume setting was still much too loud.

      Thank you!
       
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    2. Kendra

      Kendra Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL/ Acoustic Trauma
      It’s really expensive ($400) but the Sonos Move is Bluetooth and very high quality.
       
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    3. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Do nature sounds or white/pink/purple/brown (I only use white, so maybe someone who knows more about these types of sounds can chime in) noise on speaker also irritates your ears? There are sound generators you could use. Or maybe a tiny desk fan?
       
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    4. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      ??? I made sure to be in silent environments, this had promoted my healing, so that eventually I got completely over hyperacusis. The key is to ignore the actual dB rating of the noise, and to just listen to the signals sent to you by your own body and avoid all sources of noise that doesn't feel right.

      What you seem to be doing is the equivalent of insisting on doing "normal" things like playing soccer - after breaking one's leg, despite the pain one experiences when one does it.
       
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    5. Mister Muso
      Creative

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Hi and welcome. I completely understand your problem, having had severe hyperacusis since one year ago, which is slowly improving. I've learned to tolerate silence better when everything hurts my ears, but most of the time now I am able to listen to either music, nature sounds or musical neuromodulation sounds at low volume. For the first three months I could not listen to music at all though.

      Things that helped my hyperacusis were vitamin B, and amitriptylene (though beware the side effects). I've also found magnesium and NAC helpful to reduce spikes and help my tinnitus and hyperacusis stabilise.

      Hope things get better for you.
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marin

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL... probably previous noise exposure, too
      @Bill Bauer Thank you for the extra info about your recovery. I remember reading somewhere that you had improved by having the TV on in the background, and didn’t realize that you’d used silence, too. Perhaps the TV was later on in your recovery? Good to know that silence worked for you. I have been in a lot of silence lately, and because I wasn’t experiencing improvement (I’m having a particularly painful day today) I was starting to question if that was a good approach. Plus, random sounds just sounds so much louder and startle me when I’m in silence because there is no other noise to distract from them. My kids are with grandparents this weekend and I’ll try to give my ears as much rest as possible.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marin

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL... probably previous noise exposure, too
      @Mister Muso I’m happy to hear that you’re recovering! Those three months of no music must have felt like forever; that’s great that you can not listen again. I love music and now being able to listen to it is so depressing. I really miss dancing to music with my kids, too

      Thanks for the information about what supplements helped you. I have been tempted to try something like amitriptylene because my mood has really been low, but I’m also really sensitive to medications and fear the side effects. Same goes for vitamins. I tried one NAC pill the first week of my hearing loss and felt terrible. I really wish that I could take it! My husband has CDB and has been urging me to try some of that. I’m getting so desperate trust I just might.

      I believe that I’ve seen in some of your other posts that you have children, too. Do you also have a spouse? When you were in your acute phase, did you separate yourself from them entirely to get quiet, or did you use a lot of earplugs to be able to still visit with them?
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marin

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL... probably previous noise exposure, too
      Thanks for the suggestion, @Kendra!
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marin

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL... probably previous noise exposure, too
      Hi @Kriszti, I haven’t tried those sounds in the last couple of weeks, but the last time I tried them them they did bother my ears. Are you currently using those sound therapies, and do you have pain hyperacusis?
       
    10. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Whenever I would be watching a TV program or a movie on my TV (it's actually my PC), I would make sure to set the volume to the maximum level that I was still ok with (in the sense that it would be a volume level that didn't feel too loud to me). This made sure that despite me being easy on my ears, my hyperacusis had no chance of becoming debilitating. (I can see how depriving your ears of any stimulation can eventually (6-24 months?!) reduce the range of sounds that you can be around.)

      If no volume feels good to you, I am sure that it would be ok to just use subtitles for a couple of months. In the Worst case scenario, if your H gets worse (and it shouldn't!), once your ears settle and you are no longer in that acute stage, you can begin watching TV at the minimum volume that you can hear (despite it not feeling good for your ears). You could do something like watch at that volume for a minute one day, and then make it 2 minutes the next day, and so on. After a month of this, you could increase the volume, start with 1 minute at the new volume, and then keep increasing the time of exposure gradually until you feel ready to increase the volume again, etc.

      The point I am trying to make is that hyperacusis normally goes away on its own - you just need to give it time (many months) to get better. And if it doesn't, it ought to be possible to just use a very gradual exposure (e.g., by using a TV) to make it better over the course of several months. So there is probably no need to worry about hyperacusis - just listen to your body, protect your ears in this acute stage, and hopefully your tinnitus will begin fading.
       
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    11. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Are we talking days or months? Unlike other ailments (e.g., cuts, a cold, etc.), ears take Forever (e.g., months [and by that I don't mean Two months, it's more like 12-24 months]) to heal. "Retracements" (when it temporarily gets worse) are also common and to be expected. What matters is the monthly (definitely not the daily!) trend and the global lows.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marin

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL... probably previous noise exposure, too
      I really appreciate the tips and reassuring words, @Bill Bauer ! I have been watching TV with subtitles so I’ll continue to do that for a while longer or until I can tolerate a little of the sound. It’s such a cruel fate for someone with tinnitus to not be able to use any sound to mask it!

      For the last three weeks I’ve had a many breaks of silence, and I have been using more ear protection. However, since I live with a husband and two kids the silence has never been all day. While they have been so wonderful about trying to be quiet, accidents still happen and doors sometimes get slammed or things get dropped onto the hard floors.

      I do worry when I think about the things that bother/hurt me now that didn’t a few weeks ago. Just this week the shower started hurting my ears, sigh. I also had to start wearing earplugs while on my morning walk because the birds hurt my ears now. While I have had a few days here and there that felt like things were better, I’d say that the overall trend has been for the worse. So, that was why I was questioning the silence I’d been taking, but I suppose the sound accidents around the house could be contributing to the decline. I really hope that I can at least stop the downward trend and slowly turn things around.

      For those that may be interested, I broke down and took a little CBD last night because my ears hurt SO bad. It seemed to provide a good amount of relief both emotionally and physically. Thank goodness! As long as I don’t experience any negative side effects, I’ll continue to use it as needed for pain and anxiety.
       
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    13. Mister Muso
      Creative

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I work from home a lot, which helps. Lockdown was difficult though. I still use earplugs a lot when others are around in the kitchen, but mostly I don't need earplugs except in noisy restaurants/traffic and whilst playing the piano, which I have also had to curtail but I refuse to give it up completely, for the sake of my mental health. It's a balancing act.
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marin

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL... probably previous noise exposure, too
      @Mister Muso, that’s great that you only need ear plugs for those certain situations. It gives me hope! I defiantly use ear protection in the kitchen, too, but I’m thinking that I’ll probably need to start using it more around the kids, too, so I can spend more time with them.

      Yes, this lock down has been both a blessing and extremely challenging. I’m so thankful that I get to work from home right now because there’s no way I’d make it into an office in this condition, but having everyone home in our small house is very hard, too. Even though the schools here will be online in the fall, we still signed our kids up for the “after school” program so they can at least be out of the house and doing normal noisy kids stuff for part of the day while I’m dealing with this.
       
    15. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Those things are unavoidable. Everyone who eventually got better has had this sort of things happen to them. Try to minimize the number of those events, but don't feel too bad when they happen and cause a short spike.
      I had had that too. I had been taking baths instead of a shower for over a year and then I had been wearing earplugs to a shower for several months. Flushing a toilet had been torture too, but closing the lid before doing that had helped a lot.
      That's rough. Hopefully all your body needs is a some time to heal.
      Is that cannabis? In any case, I am glad that you found something that was helpful to you.

      Hang in there...
       
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    16. 69Hz

      69Hz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      LOUD NOISES
      Fans. Fans everywhere. Also, maybe consider buying yourself some high quality musicians earplugs to wear wear when it gets a little too noisy.
       
    17. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
    18. all to gain
      No Mood

      all to gain Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      -
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      -
    19. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Every night I sleep with those too. I haven't had any problems yet, but perhaps others will have a different experience.
       
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    20. ShaunR

      ShaunR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert + Motorbike
      @Marin

      How are you doing now?

      Shaun
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marin

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL... probably previous noise exposure, too
      I wish I could say better, but I hate to admit that it’s worse even though I’ve been really careful about my noise exposure. I appreciate you asking, though. I’ve been getting more facial and neck nerve pain. I think my whole nervous system is way over stimulated. I just got a prescription for amitriptyline today in hopes that it can help calm things down. I’ve also made an an appointment with a neuro-chiropractor for next week in hopes of getting done LLLT treatment to help. Feeling desperate!

      How about you, @ShaunR?
       
    22. ShaunR

      ShaunR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert + Motorbike
      @Marin

      I'm so sorry to read you are still not better :( Still there's plenty of time to improve and escape this horrible thing.

      I'm not really any better. My burning pain has buggered off bit I'm left with constant face and jaw a pain. I've just started a nerve pain drug myself called Tegretol... Very small dose to start with. No improvement yet but I'm going to try be hopeful.

      Hoping to see a physio soon too and see if he can help with my face and jaw.

      Feeling kinda desperate myself.

      Hope you get some relief soon!

      Shaun
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marin

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL... probably previous noise exposure, too
      Thanks, @ShaunR! Sorry to hear you aren’t much better, either. I hope the physio appointment helps.

      I do get occasional breaks from the burning ear pain if I’ve been in silence for a long while. It’s just not possible to maintain 24/7 with kids. It’s really other my other increasing neurological symptoms that worry me. Where will it end?! I hope your meds work out for you. Please let me know how it goes. If my meds don’t work out maybe I can ask to try the ones you got

      I had the most depressing appointment with neurotologist yesterday who is supposed to be a well respected expert and works with interns at a local university. You’d think that they’d be more up to date on hyperacusis, but nooooooooo. He said he’d never heard of someone with my pain symptoms in all of his years and that they couldn’t be possibly be related to my ears or hearing. He also wouldn’t prescribe me any meds. I now have to wait another two weeks to see an actual neurologist. I had to get the amitriptyline for a psychologist today since the other doctor wouldn’t give me anything.
       
    24. ShaunR

      ShaunR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert + Motorbike
      @Marin

      I'm sorry your appointment didn't go as planned... When I've had similar ear problems in the past this has been my experience too. No one seems to understand this problem.

      I'm on Tegretol... Not sure if it is helping or not. Yesterday had constant jaw and face pain. Woke up this morning with no real pain but it is silent here so that's not surprising really.

      Got an email from my physio today saying they can't really help me which has depressed my mood no end today.

      Slowly loosing hope of ever living a normal life.

      Shaun.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Marin

      Marin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/18/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL... probably previous noise exposure, too
      @ShaunR from what I’ve read, Tegretol seems to be commonly prescribed for trigeminel nerve issues, so hopefully it will help. Sadly, I think the
      Amitriptyline was a bust because it made me so dizzy. I don’t think I can take anymore of it to find out if it works or not.

      So sorry to hear about the physio not working out.
       
    26. ShaunR

      ShaunR Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert + Motorbike
      @Marin

      I think I read the email wrong from the physio... They said they can't help me with the hearing problem but can help me with pain management so I've emailed back to get an appointment.

      I've upped my own dose of Tegretol which although was a bit naughty has kept quite a lot of pain at bay for now...

      Shaun
       
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