Unsure Cause, Worst Went Away, But What Remains Is Still Constant.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Zevo, May 17, 2015.

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    1. Zevo

      Zevo Member

      Location:
      Los Angeles, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      TLDR: Tinnitus faded away significantly after 10 days but a constant light ringing remains. Still unsure of cause, several things suspected, please see the last paragraph if you can give any feedback on it.

      On April 1st I woke up with tinnitus. It was like a high pitched whistling sound that seemed to be coming from inside my head, along with various other ringing and buzzing sounds. It seemed worse toward my left side, but not localized to any particular area. I remember the first few days it was hard to fall asleep, and I awoke frequently in the night. I tried putting on white noise tracks on the computer to fall asleep to, and turned on a tower fan, but I'm not sure either helped-the tinnitus wasn't particularly loud, but there was a certain sharpness to it that made me hear it over everything. During the first week or so I also remember walking outside looking up at the sky, and it seemed like the whistling noise was just pouring down on me and followed me wherever I went, it was difficult to enjoy anything.

      I was fortunate to get a very friendly doctor at the health clinic. I passed for normal hearing range with a rudimentary test. I had my ears looked at and she said they looked fine. There was some fluid behind my left ear drum, but the doctor assured me that is is very common to see this, and it wouldn't be the cause of the tinnitus. I asked for something to help with anxiety, and was described an antidepressant. However, I waited until the next Monday to talk to my counselling therapist about it, as I was very wary of these type of drugs, and only considered it because I was desperate for relief. In the end I decided against it because of the negative health consequences of SSRIs I researched online, and also became less anxious because by that time I was able to sleep normally through the night and not need to mask it at all. I had used melatonin supplements and another herbal capsule called Deep Sleep frequently before, and now I take them religiously, most of the time I fall asleep very quickly.

      I still keep the radio on whenever I'm at home and awake, and not listening to or watching something else. One thing I miss is being able to just lie in bed peacefully in silence for a while after sleeping in. If I'm not going to fall back asleep, listening to the tinnitus too much doesn't feel good, so I get up and turn on the radio. Always on speakers, I basically stopped wearing headphones or earbuds ever.

      10 days or so after it first occurred, the high pitch whine in my head mostly faded away, and I would only notice it in a quiet room or when in bed. The second half of April I remember as feeling very good, hardly noticing the tinnitus. Though it seemed to worsen slightly in early May, but nowhere near as bad as when it first happened, more easily forgettable. At this point it does seem mostly heard in my left ear, but still as if its from inside my head. Sounds like water rushing through a pipe, a tiny bell ringing, or a soft mechanical rattling, like an air conditioner. I can't be sure exactly about how it fluctuates, and I learned that constantly plugging my ears to check the tinnitus sound will only make me more stressed and anxious about it. I listen to it, then I imagine I'm hearing it get louder, check my ears again, a vicious cycle. It feels like I'm constantly playing a game, where I have to not think about the tinnitus, and I lose every time I remember it. Otherwise, when I just forget about it, life is good. Today I promised myself not ear check at all, and have been feeling much better because of it.

      I first assumed the tinnitus was cause by noises I heard outside. I sleep in the living room of an apartment next to balcony doors, which are often left open. The week I got tinnitus, and for some time after, I hears a lot of strange high pitch noises which were freakishly loud. I went to investigate, and talked to neighbors, and it turned out that there was a lot of drilling and sawing in an apartment in the next building over being renovated, and someone in the apartment below me had a cleaning crew that used an extremely loud vacuum. The doctor told me that those wouldn't cause tinnitus, however, being under a lot of stress after being woken up by that noise could. I remember that 2 days before the tinnitus happened, I felt traumatized by the high pitched noises of the maintenance/construction work, and imagined hearing them even after they stopped.

      Other things I suspected could have caused/be causing it: Using certain essential oils on my skin without proper diluting, playing with a sound amplifier spy toy that was broken and let out a squeal, anxiety about being woken up to harsh noises outside, and cumulative damage from previous exposure to loud noise, and sticking things in my ear that shouldn't go there. I often stuck q tips deep in my ears to rub out wax, about as often as I cut my fingernails- only just now learned that it is bad to do this. I recall a time recently when I had a q tip in my ear, and I accidentally bumped my elbow on something, and it pushed the q tip in my ear and I felt a quick pain, but the tinnitus didn't start then, don't remember which ear it was. Several months ago my left ear hurt for a while after I walked by a busker with a boom box playing extremely loud music, and didn't think to cover my ears. Even before then, I think my left ear had always felt a little funny, but I've never had any problems with pain or hearing loss.

      Any helpful feedback would be appreciated. I acknowledge that my situation is very minor compared to what others with very severe tinnitus are going through.
       
    2. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      The best advice I can give you is to count the blesssing that your tinnitus is milder than other people here. With positivity and with getting back to normal living, the brain will start to consider this T not a 'threat'. It then will learn to fade this out from consciousness. The worst thing is to zoom on T and monitor it all the time, trying to find out cause and effect with this unpredictable beast, as this will cause us to always tip-toe around it and giving it too much significance. The brain needs to minimize T. The best thing is not to give it time, by ignoring it and not paying attention when it is around, accepting it as being there for the time being. With this approach, sooner or later, T will not be an issue any more. Take care and God bless.
       
    3. Zevo

      Zevo Member

      Location:
      Los Angeles, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      I often read on here that it isn't the tinnitus itself that is most bothersome, but how your brain and body reacts to it. This is very true, and goes both ways, calmer I am, less I'm distracted by the T; fixate on the T = feeling anxious/uneasy. The yoga practice I have been doing has been very helpful in keeping me happy and relaxed, it involves a lot of breathwork and energy healing.

      Still is helpful to acknowledge things that may have caused it or could make it worse, so I can avoid them. Like not sticking q tips deep into my ears anymore and avoid listening to loud music with headphones.
       
    4. iamgrmm2

      iamgrmm2 Member

      I'm the same as you bud! Except my T now is mostly heard on my right ear. I barley hear it on my left touch but it's milder and bearable!
       
    5. Jbeans

      Jbeans Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      My tinnitus started suddenly without any obvious apparent reason either. I was obsessed about finding out the cause but its impossible for anyone to say. Even the ENT i pay alot of money to see cannot give me straight answers. If your T is improving then I think that is the only thing that matters at this point. Just look after your ears from now on.

      My T has fluctuated alot since onset (2 months ago), it still bothers me but overall its fading away slowly. If the trend continuous, I will no longer have T in 2 months. But since Tinnitus is so unpredictable I wouldnt dare put my hopes up high. Just praying for the best now..
       
    6. iamgrmm2

      iamgrmm2 Member

      Same here! It has become quite good to me too barely notice it outside just in a quiet room. Hang in there! we'll be back on track when T gets gone or we will habituate to it which is good both ways.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1

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