To Whomever Needs Some Words of Hope — Tinnitus Is Only a Noise

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Iggy Koopa, Dec 29, 2020.

    1. Iggy Koopa

      Iggy Koopa Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music one ear. Accident on the other ear
      I signed up to this website to share my experience with tinnitus. It started over 10 years ago when I was young and stupid. I stood next to a speaker blaring music all night and since then had a high pitched ringing in my left ear. A couple of years later one of my friends (what would we do without friends?) fired an unloaded air rifle into my right ear. From then on the ringing in my right ear has been worse than my left, but both are generally just as bad.

      Over the years I've been to countless doctors/ENTs about my tinnitus, on one of those occasions I sat with tears streaming down my face as I explained that I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life with this constant ringing in my head: only to be met with a sympathetic smile that made me feel ten times worse, as well as acquiring the knowledge that there is no cure for this ringing (a ringing that can be heard over busy traffic outside and in the house has the potential to seem like a small aircraft is in my room with me).

      There's been days when I haven't wanted to get out of bed because of this noise and have not had the mental energy to deal with anything. I've felt exhausted and almost claustrophobic at the idea that I can't escape this curse.

      However... I labelled this post as message of hope because as I sit here typing I can only slightly here the ringing, and only because I'm concentrating on it. I can go for full days, sometimes weeks without remembering that I ever had tinnitus (and now as I focus more it's becoming louder) but I'm not afraid of it, I know it will disappear again.

      I have come to realise that the main factor of my tinnitus is the fear of the tinnitus itself, if I don't pay attention to it, it won't bother me.

      The biggest realisation that helped me personally is knowing that it's only a noise, nothing else. It's not harmful and it's not a disadvantage to me, in fact, I try to feel it as a beautiful reminder that I am alive and that this noise is as much a part of me as my hair or my fingers. It really doesn't bother me at all anymore and it's by changing my perception of the noise that has allowed me to silence it.

      Of course, sometimes something unfortunate will happen. There will be a loud bang or a siren will go past, this can cause a spike for a few days but the main thing that causes the spike is my mind's reaction to the sound. The point is it doesn't matter how long it takes, I know it will return to it's base level and I won't notice it anymore.

      In my own opinion this really is a phantom sound. It doesn't exist. As our eyes easily adjust to darkness, and our sense of smell adjusts to something unpleasant, our ears can also adjust to sound and the problem is that if we constantly focus all of our attention on it, it will completely consume our awareness.

      So take a breath, relax and just try to let go. Tinnitus doesn't have to control your life.

      I hope this helps someone.

      Stay strong.
       
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    2. Shelly75

      Shelly75 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      20/07/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for sharing. How long did it take for you to stop being bothered by it?

      Best wishes,
      Michelle
       
    3. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      Sound is a fundamental part of the human sensory experience. To have it abominably ruined by this shit is intolerable.
       
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    4. Steph1710
      Old hag

      Steph1710 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antibiotics - I think
      @Iggy Koopa,

      Absolutely loved your post! Thank you very much for taking the time to come and write your experiences/feelings about tinnitus.

      Everybody's experience is individual, but hope and positivity is something we can all share.

      Steph <3
       
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    5. Zulla Haile
      Fine

      Zulla Haile Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      It is 4:50 am and I've been up for about 20 min after falling asleep for 3 hrs. After a day where my ears felt pressure but wouldn't "pop" i got home and the tinnitus in my right ear had significantly increased. I've been dealing with this for about6 weeks. And usually I can only notice it in a quiet room. Maybe a 2.5 of 10. Now its like a 7. Im so scared. I dont know why it jumped up like that. Ironically, I had my hearing test that morning and everything was fine. Thanks for writing of hope. At least it is something I can think about for a bit.
       
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    6. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      @Iggy Koopa If you could please answer the above question it would be helpful. G-d Bless.
       
    7. cruise
      Relaxed

      cruise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Shelly75 @Ken219

      Not sure if @Iggy Koopa will be on the forum to answer so I thought I would pitch in with my experience. Getting to the point where the tinnitus has lost its power to be bothersome is a gradual process. From what I have read mostly on this forum, it can take 2 to 6 months and maybe up to a year. In my case it took about 4 months before I reached a point where I felt confident that it would no longer bother me or make me feel bad.

      But I think you should not try to put a time target on this. You should just let time do its job. There is not much you can do to speed up the process, but you can not slow it down either.
       
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    8. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004/05
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      Habituation, if you see it/define it this way, may happen after 6 months to 2-3 years. Possibly even more.
       
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    9. cruise
      Relaxed

      cruise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      To clarify my previous comment. Tinnitus not being bothersome is one of the first stages on the path to habituation. Habituation meaning being hardly aware or hardly ever aware of the tinnitus.
       
    10. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004/05
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      Agreed @cruise.

      Tinnitus, or any other condition, is normally not defined as chronic before the 6 month mark.
       
    11. Pierce Wolf

      Pierce Wolf Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nail gun charge going off outside the gun near my right ear
      A lot harder when you have hyperacusis too and the sometimes excruciating pain that comes along with it.
       
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    12. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      Until you hear low drones wavering thuds and distortion in your voice I'll never accept it as just a "sound".
       
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    13. __nico__
      No Mood

      __nico__ Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      chemo/barotrauma/noise/autoimmune disorder
      I thought so too. I had progressively worsening tinnitus for many years. Now that I have distortions of sound, thumps in my ear etcetera this is no longer "just a noise" to me. If all I experienced was tinnitus I wouldn't even be on this forum.
       
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    14. Chad Lawton

      Chad Lawton Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/19/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possible Ototoxicity + Noise Exposure
      "Unless we can accept things as they are; we will try to force things to be as they are not."

      Until you are willing to accept it, you will continue to suffer from it.
       
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    15. Chad Lawton

      Chad Lawton Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/19/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possible Ototoxicity + Noise Exposure
      As you admit yourself, your reaction to it has changed. It is your negative reaction that is causing you to suffer. The only thing you can control is your reaction; there is nothing you can do to stop the noises. Accepting this is one of the absolutely hardest things to do but it is the one and only first step you can take towards gaining relief.
       
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    16. __nico__
      No Mood

      __nico__ Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      chemo/barotrauma/noise/autoimmune disorder
      Why are you on a support forum?
       
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    17. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      Anyone can be patient with something for only so long. People with chronic pain aren't suffering because they are reacting badly to it, it's a normal human reaction.
      It's as if you think the human brain is perfect and can't break, causing long term suffering.

      My cousin got surgery for her epilepsy, changed her whole life. Don't tell me it was her negative reaction which made the seizures bad... if that was true she wouldn't care about treatment.

      There's a big difference between accepting static in your life and accepting the abrupt shift and distortion of your entire reality.

      It's people like you who just "accept it" which holds society back from actually FIXING a problem instead of living with it.

      I will never accept it, and looking from my past self at this it is night and day, I couldn't imagine something so tormenting, so destructive of your memorable moments and quality of life, of your ability to relax, nor understand suicide. Now I do.
       
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    18. Chad Lawton

      Chad Lawton Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/19/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possible Ototoxicity + Noise Exposure
      Is allowing yourself to suffer from it helping to fix the problem? If so, is it worth it to you? Would you like to suffer for another 5, 10 or 20 years to help get it fixed?

      I was once in your shoes, I contemplated a permanent solution at the darkest times due to this screeching in my ears. I never had a single bout of depression or dark thought before tinnitus; I was as happy as a clam. All it took was a noise inside my head to bring me to my knees so I know what you're going through. I'm not out of the woods quite yet. I've managed to kick most of the depression but am still working on the anxiety.

      Life is a series of neutral events that happens to you and its your decision on how to respond to those events that makes them positive or negative. It's the reason why two people could get into the same freak industrial accident and say both of them lose a leg. One may say "Well, at least I have my other leg." and successfully move on with their life while the other says "My life is over because I will never be able to do the physical activities I once loved." as they spiral into a fit of depression.

      I encourage anyone struggling to check out Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Jon Kabat Zinn's work.
       
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    19. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      Do you think some Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction would have been able to save Gaby Olthuis, or @Allan1967? Have you considered that this insidious symptom can manifest very differently person to person.

      Struggling for Silence — The Story of...
       
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    20. Chad Lawton

      Chad Lawton Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/19/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possible Ototoxicity + Noise Exposure
      I'm sharing what helped me in my darkest time. Be as skeptical as you'd like. You can hate your tinnitus, curse it, refuse to make friends with it and as long as you do, you will continue to suffer from it, I know I have.

      There is science behind Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction & meditation, it's not just voodoo psycho talk. They can literally measure changes in people's brains using fMRI. Tinnitus is thought to be caused by a thalamocortical dysrhythmia but if you refuse to listen, that is on you.
       
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    21. Chad Lawton

      Chad Lawton Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/19/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possible Ototoxicity + Noise Exposure
      Based on the science based approach & success that the MBSR program has had with patients with chronic pain, severe depression & anxiety, tinnitus, heart disease & a multitude of other untreatable diseases; yes, I believe it may have possibly helped.
       
    22. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      You gave into it and decided to live with it. Perhaps you realized things could be much worse.

      I thought that way, that was how I was improving.

      Then it got worse, and I realized I was part of the group that I originally had viewed myself not a part of and been grateful for... thinking well at least it isn't worse in order to accept it and move on worked for a month.

      Not only that, but many events in life require sound. To have that so massively disrupted is akin to always seeing auras in your eye or serious visual snow.

      When things change gradually, it is much easier to accept. Too abruptly will cause the reactions of "fighting it" which is very natural.

      You wouldn't tell anyone with any "treatable" condition to just accept it. Acceptance to me is akin to the church preaching life after death. It's a lie to make it easier, because solving the problem is too hard.

      Viewing a problem as too hard to solve has happened before, and either through determination or luck many things in the past considered unachievable have been achieved.

      So don't give me the "it's your attitude" bullshit.
       
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    23. Chad Lawton

      Chad Lawton Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/19/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possible Ototoxicity + Noise Exposure
      Ever since getting tinnitus I was also hit with eye floaters, visual trails, etc. I see the floaters everywhere in almost all conditions. Dark ones, clear squiggly ones, they are particularly bad on computer screens. I can sit at a meeting at work and if I stare long enough colors & shapes all begin to get auras around them. I never let it bother me though because I figure it can always be worse and that's what has prevented me from suffering from it.

      You can be a pessimist and consider it "it's your attitude" bullshit all you want but you are disagreeing with science. Feel free to google thalamocortical dysrhythmia, amygdala & cortical gray matter volume in depression & anxiety, & mediation induced measurable effects on brain matter. Or don't. It doesn't matter to me at the end of the day, all I know is it has been my route to healing.
       
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    24. Tara Lyons

      Tara Lyons Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      OK. This happened to me too. So weird. Weird things in my vision that never happened before. So freaky. Has it improved at all for you?
       
    25. Vicki14
      Panicky

      Vicki14 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      Jeezo! Me too! Floaters and blurry eyes! It’s definitely all down to the nervous system! X
       
    26. Chad Lawton

      Chad Lawton Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/19/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possible Ototoxicity + Noise Exposure
      No, it hasn't improved but I never really let it bother me that much. It's the kitchen blender that never stopped that bothers me the most lol.
       
    27. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Like a blender in your head?
       
    28. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      I wouldn't ever compare floaters or the slight visual static to this. It's all on a scale anywayw. I'm sure you'd think differently if one day you woke up and there were so many floaters you couldn't see.

      At least floaters has a treatment.
       
    29. Leila
      Probing

      Leila Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1 chiropractic treatment, 2 and 3 no cause
      When I first got tinnitus I felt that it was something I could never get used to. It can still be very hard at times but I usually manage.

      Up until January 2021 I only had a theoretical knowledge of what hyperacusis and sound distortions might be like, but now that I have both of it myself, I have to say this is something you just cannot learn to live with. It is painful, for one! Imagine being shocked by a taser or having your hand put in boiling water whenever there is a sound your hyperacusis reacts to. And there are many such sounds, and in my case they are totally unpredictable - it can be my own chewing, or just putting down a plate the wrong way and something inside my head starts ringing like a bell.
      It makes for a lonely life, let me tell you. I've not just had to stopped listening to music, or watching the odd movie, or going out, or meeting family and friends, but I mostly stopped talking altogether because it oftentimes is the sound of my own voice that sets things off in a seriously bad way.

      It is easy to judge or tell somebody to just suck it up if you are speaking from a position of privilege and have never experienced the things you dare judging for a single day. I think we're all trying to get by the best as we can, and it is great to hear that apparently you have the strength of mind to deal with your tinnitus by telling yourself that it's not that bothersome, but please don't judge people by, for whatever reason, not being able to do so.

      Best regards, Leila
       
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    30. Robster
      Irritated

      Robster Member

      Location:
      South Gloucestershire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma - MRI
      In regards to the floaters, I have loads of them after LASIK surgery in 2011. I also had really bad dry eye due to the eye surgery and would notice my eye floaters 24/7. As my dry eye improved and I was thinking about my eyes less I started noticing my floaters less. My dry eye issues resolved in 2013 and since then it's been extremely rare that I notice my floaters.

      Since getting tinnitus in January and then it getting worse in March I became very anxious and started noticing my floaters again constantly. Over the last couple of weeks I have become less anxious and am noticing my floaters a lot less again. The point I'm making is that a state of anxiety will make you notice your floaters more which makes you more anxious which makes you notice your floaters more and it becomes a vicious circle. The best advice I would give in terms of floaters is to try and reduce your anxiety as much as possible - I know it's easier said than done.
       
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