What's My Situation? After Getting Tinnitus, Unable to Experience the Perfect Peace I Used to Enjoy

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Romano, Sep 6, 2022.

    1. Romano

      Romano Member

      Location:
      Prague, Czech Republic
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Hi. I've had tinnitus and hyperacusis for about a year. I am not sure how it is going in general, whether I am slowly habituating or not.

      It was caused by a noise trauma. I'm sure that some of my hair cells are damaged and my hearing got worse in the left ear. The volume of tinnitus hasn't changed ever since, only it goes up and down a little bit. Usually it is quieter in the morning and louder in the evening.

      Firstly, luckily, I've never had a problem falling asleep since the beginning. Strangely, I usually fall asleep within 5 minutes. Which wasn't the case before. Although the sound is quite unpleasant, I know I will sleep in a while, so I don't worry. When I wake up in the morning, the first reaction is like Oh, no!!! But then I go to the bathroom and kitchen and as I am making coffee, I don't even hear it. During the day, whenever I am busy doing something, I am not even aware of it. Only on bad days, not sure if I can call them spikes, it can disturb me even during doing something interesting. When I am in a pub or bar talking to friends, or at a party eating, drinking, basically no awareness of tinnitus - it is there at the background, but I am too busy to notice it and the environment is loud enough to perfectly mask it.

      Unlike others' experiences, in my case loud environment doesn't make my tinnitus worse. What makes it worse is bad music coming from bad speakers, usually horrible movie music coming from crappy TV sets. Also when I play the piano, I can notice that certain tones / two or three / trigger a reaction. Clearly some very specific frequencies irritate my nerves or hair cells or whatever it is that reacts to the sound.

      The best experience so far - I once forgot my bone induction earphones at home - I have been using them to partly mask my tinnitus listening to gray noise mixing it with my tinnitus. I once forgot my earphones going on a field trip with my students. The students were so much fun to be with that I quickly forgot tinnitus and did not notice it all day! Last holiday in Italy I could easily enjoy all fun activities, swimming, kayaking, eating, walking. When driving, I have to play hissing sound from my phone to mask the tinnitus and enjoy driving. The biggest problem is - who would guess - that whenever I am alone somewhere quiet, tinnitus spoils the moment, even in the middle of woods or meadows, so at those situations I am often disappointed, sometimes really unhappy. Only cicadas and crickets mask perfectly but they are so hard to find!

      So to sum up, I am not sure what is going on here. Definitely I could make some progress. I am definitely very sad that I cannot experience the perfect peace I used to enjoy.
       
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    2. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Hi Romano, it does not sound like you have hyperacusis at all...
       
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    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Romano.

      Noise trauma is one of the most common causes of tinnitus and it's typically caused by listening to audio through headphones at too high a volume. This includes earbuds, AirPods, headsets, noise cancelling and bone conduction headphones. You haven't mentioned whether you have been examined at ENT since the onset of your tinnitus? If you haven't, then I advise that you do.

      Hyperacusis or having some oversensitivity to sound often accompanies tinnitus that was caused by noise trauma. Whilst your symptoms may not indicate full-blown hyperacusis, I believe your auditory system has some oversensitivity to sound. If this is the case, you can try treating this yourself using low level sound enrichment, which will help to desensitize your ears and auditory system.

      I recommend that you start using low sound enrichment at night using a sound machine by your bedside. It would be a good idea to use it during the day whenever possible. Please click on the links below and read my posts that explain it more detail.

      Go to my started threads and read: The Habituation Process, How to Habituate to Tinnitus, Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? Tinnitus, a Personal View.

      I don't advise anyone that has noise induced tinnitus to listen to audio through any type of headphones even at low volume. This includes the bone conduction headphones that you currently use, because there's a risk of making the tinnitus worse. Please type headphones in the search box at the top of this page and read the posts.

      It appears that bone conduction headphones are not affecting your tinnitus, but I advise some caution for a while and not use them for at least 3 months, to give your auditory system time to desensitize using sound enrichment in the manner described in my posts.

      All the best,
      Michael

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Hyperacusis, As I See It | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
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    4. Javimaltes
      Innocent

      Javimaltes Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No idea
      Hi, @Romano.

      Habituation is a very slow process. It happens gradually over several several months. It can take 18 months even with therapy. It is not possible to force it. But there are strategies to ease the habituation. The main thing is to avoid sadness, cope with sadness, and seek psychological help (mainly people who specialise in tinnitus), and you will start to experience relief.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Romano

      Romano Member

      Location:
      Prague, Czech Republic
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      I didn't mention it to shorten the post, but ever since my tinnitus started, I've had problems with ambulance sirens, underground / metro riding in the underground, driving a car etc. I have to plug my ears whenever an ambulance with a siren passes by. In the underground the noise is unbearable. Plus, I bought a motorcycle a year ago and it was noisy but OK. After tinnitus the motorcycle engine noise is unbearable and I have to use all kinds of tricks to soften the noise of the motorcycle.
       
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    6. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      That sounds more like hyperacusis.

      With severe hyperacusis one cannot even move a chair without lifting it... or close a door without turning the handle and very softly closing it.
       
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    7. Stuart-T
      Thinking

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      I have always plugged my ears when an ambulance or police car goes past - and loud motorbikes - ever since I was a child - and I did not get tinnitus until 57. It is just instinct to protect your ears from excessive loud noises.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Romano

      Romano Member

      Location:
      Prague, Czech Republic
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Well, my experience is different, I didn't mind ambulance sirens for 55 years. I started to perceive the sound as extremely unpleasant only after I got tinnitus. The same about riding the metro, never ever had I problem with the noise inside a subway car until my tinnitus started, so I think that is called hyperacusis, if you cannot tolerate noises that almost everybody can deal with.
       
    9. Stuart-T
      Thinking

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      Emergency sirens are 110 dB. This is a very dangerous level and I always found it unpleasant, no more nor less so since I got tinnitus. I am fine with most other everyday sounds though. I have no problems with road noise and the metro. I also plug my ears if loud motorcycles are roaring past. If you were not protecting your ears with 110 dB sirens, maybe this is one reason why you now have issues.
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Romano

      Romano Member

      Location:
      Prague, Czech Republic
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      There is a hospital in the neighborhood where I live and ambulances pass by with sirens all the time. Honestly, I have never seen anyone in the street plugging their ears when an ambulance with a siren shows up. I believe the sound is 110 dB when you are standing right next to the ambulance siren, but the vans are not stationary, so the sound comes and goes. Another interesting situation is symphony concerts in concert halls. An average symphony has several parts where the orchestra roars fortissimo for a while and maybe one out of 1000 people find that unbearable, I sometimes notice certain people cover their ears at concerts. I went to a chamber, relatively quiet piano concert, solo piano in aa small concert hall and had to run away after two pieces. The noise (sorry, not sound any more) was unbearable. The frequencies of the piano in the acoustics of that hall made my ears ache terribly.
       
    11. Stuart-T
      Thinking

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      I also don't see people plugging their ears but this does not mean they do not find those levels uncomfortable. I am aware I look like an idiot when I plug my ears - most people like to look cool so they just tolerate it. But the fact people do not plug their ears when a 110 dB siren is blaring does not mean that their ears are immune from long lasting damage to those levels. It is 110 dB at the point it passes - so for maybe 1-3 seconds you are exposed to that damaging level of sound. People also do not plug their ears in night clubs and pop concerts. I am glad I plugged my ears every time a siren went by - very glad - as the condition which I now have could very well be much worse than it is.

      It does sound like you have a serious problem and I am sorry for you, especially if you have to walk out of a chamber concert. I never plugged my ears at classical concerts, even Mahler. Maybe the pitch of sirens is a problem for me.

      There is a good article here on ambulance sirens and noise induced hearing loss:

      Hearing Loss in EMS (hmpgloballearningnetwork.com)

      Here is an extract:
      So it definitely is a good idea to plug your ears when exposed to these levels. The average person may be exposed say 10 times a year - so non ear plugging exposure of say 20-30 seconds total per year of say 100 to 130 dB is actually quite a lot.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Romano

      Romano Member

      Location:
      Prague, Czech Republic
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Thank you. I want to make sure you know I appreciate your input.
       
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    13. 10Kcd

      10Kcd Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I relate to so much of your story, and especially that loss of perfect peace. Here's to hoping you find it again, or at least habituate so well that you can find its tinnitus parallel.
       
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