When and How Did Your Tinnitus Start and How Have You Tried to Alleviate It?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Mack Hagood, Feb 8, 2012.

tinnitus forum
    1. Hi everyone,

      I am doing dissertation research on tinnitus and the ways people deal with it. I am interviewing many patients and audiologists in person, but I would also like to get input from folks on the TT forum.

      So if you don't mind, please share your story:
      1. When did your T start? (Some people know a specific date, while others seem to have had it forever.)
      2. Do you have any idea where it came from?
      3. How have you tried to treat it or make it tolerable? (Meds, sound generators, Neuromonics, music, foods, etc.)
      4. How have those efforts been working out?

      Mack
       
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    2. 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
      Hi Mack. Welcome back, I remember your last post back in March 2011 just when Tinnitus Talk had launched where you described your dissertation in more detail. Actually if anyone's interested, here's that discussion: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hey-folks-im-mack-a-tinnitus-non-medical-researcher.81

      Mine started in April 2010. Soon been two years. I don't remember the exact date, but it was the first days of April.

      Started right after having my ears syringed. Both ears high-pitched ringing, left ear sort of a clicking noise. The clicking noise isn't as bothersome as the ringing as it's pretty low in volume and I can only hear it in semi-quiet surroundings.

      Hope your research goes well!

      Markku
       
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    3. Thanks so much, Markku!
       
    4. mock turtle

      mock turtle Member

      Location:
      puget sound
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/26/1992...habituated after 2 years; 11/04/11 new outbreak
      Mack ,

      my tinnitus started the last week in july about 20 years ago, due to taking an ototoxic medication and being briefly exposed to small caliber gunfire....the tinnitus sure semed loud at the time to me and made me think awful thoughts

      but about 18 months after initial onset, i began to experience significant habituation and really perceived decrease in T

      over the period of 4 or 5 years occasional spikes occurred due to un avoidable momentary noise exposure, car backfire, loud motorcycle going by, fire alarm sounding etc but always recovered after a couple days

      for the next decade or so my tinnitus was invisible unless i listened for it !!

      then this past november 2011, after a long period of stress due to personal issues AND during a week when i had dental work and a flu shot that had trace amounts of gentamicin...my tinnitus returned in full force...i mean absolutely psycho T

      good luck with your project
      mock turtle
       
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    5. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Mack-
      My tinnitus started after I had atrial fibrialation in October, 2011. I was given two medicines that may have caused the tinnitus: Metoprolol and asprin. At first I noticed a high pitched sound that didn't really bother me.

      But in mid-Decemeber, I got what I thought was a sinus infection in my right ear - although it could be TMJD. That's when I really noticed the tinnitus sound increase.

      I tried several things: UST, ear drops, vitamins...I went to an otolarongologist who was no help. I went to a psychiatrist who gave me an anti-depressant that helps me sleep.

      I am now wearing masking devices. Seems to work "ok". I'm coping with tinnitus better than I was in December.
       
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    6. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Mack,

      My tinnitus actually started back in 1985, after sitting too close to the speakers at a concert venue. The tinnitus was in my right ear only, and I had long since habituated to it. The only time I noticed it was when I was in a totally quiet room,and it was not bothersome.

      However, all that changed when, in May 2010, I took blood pressure medicine. At that time, my ringing ear became very loud, and in addition, I ended up with pulsatile tinnitus, as well. So, I am now officially a "whoosher" (please see the Whooshers.com website). I've since learned about ototoxic medications, and how to avoid them!

      I have been to two audiologists, a neurotologist, had a CT scan, an MRI, and a carotid artery scan, and have yet to find the cause of my pulsating. I've tried various treatments, including chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga, reflexology, and sound therapy, as well as various vitamins and herbs, and am still working on getting my tinnitus under control. My next step may be to try a tinnitus masker, if all else fails.

      Living with severe tinnitus/pulsating can be challenging, but I'm not giving up hope!

      Best wishes, and good luck on your dissertation research!
       
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    7. joe

      joe Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Hello I know it maybe hard for you to recall over 20 years, but can you remember if your Tinnitus gradually lowered over the 18 months, or was it a case you woke up one morning and it was lowered? I have heard of Tinnitus to become " Dormant" with time, mostly in cases of noise exposure, lowering time frames have been 6 months, 12 months and 18 months. It seems to go in 6 monthly stages, maybe a cell cycle??
       
    8. Jaco

      Jaco Member

      Hi Mack,
      My tinnitus started about 4 years ago after I had crash with my motorbike and hit my head (with a helmet on) against the handle bars. I was dizzy for a few seconds and then everthing was ok.
      The next day I noted a strange pitched sound in my ear and had it ever since.
      I suspect that was only the trigger because after being exposed to rifle fire without protection and then for a two years to artillery fire in the army without protection.
      At first I felt like going mad from the sound.
      I have grown used to the sound and forget about it for days until someone talks about it.
       
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    9. laura

      laura Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      00/00/1982
      I have had tinnitus for a good 30 years. It's related to hearing loss so I was told. It's constant, sometimes louder than other times (like if I have a cold I notice it more). I can't remember what silence sounds like but for the most part I can ignore it. Sure would like a cure, though!
       
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    10. Don H

      Don H Member

      Location:
      Edmonton
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2009
      Hi Mack. Got it in October 2009. I believe it is the result of two or three factors. I had an audiogram and it revealed some high frequency hearing loss for no good reason. I was never exposed to loud noises. I think that weakness in my hearing made me susceptible to T. Then the combination of major stress and judo training (where you get bounced around pretty good off the mat) set my T in motion. I fell into major Clinical Depression two months later.
       
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    11. Thanks everyone. This is very helpful. Please keep them coming!
       
    12. joe

      joe Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      Hi Mack, I got Mine 1st October 2011, I was changing the battery to my house intruder alarm, the alarm went off and was exposed to the loud pulsating sound for about 5 Minutes. I noticed my ears began to ring instantly straight after, and they have not stopped since. I generally cope quite well, but like everyone else would love to come across relief and enjoy the silence again.
       
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    13. ajg33nyc

      ajg33nyc Member

      Location:
      nyc new york
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/ 2010
      Hi mack, My T started back in dec 2010 after the start of a cluster headache cycle. I was put on prednisone taper at the start of the cluster cycle then was on verapamil which is a blood pressure med that works well in high doses for the helping prevent attacks while in cycle. The cluster cycle ended after 3 and half months or so but the T never did :(.
      So here i am 2 plus years later with no silence. Some days more than others the T could be worse.
       
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    14. Jim
      Happy

      Jim Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Francisco
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Hi Mack,
      Here's my story,
      I remember exactly when mine started. (but not the date) I was at a club listening to some really loud music. I had to leave because it was so loud. I was only there for an hour or so. I noticed immediately when I left that my ears were ringing. Didn't give it much thought, it wasn't the first time. In the past it had always gone away by the next morning. Not this time. It lasted for a couple years without being too much of a nuisance. Then I had some other unrelated health concerns that REALLY stressed me out. The T went through the roof and stayed that way for about a year. I was in sort of a stress feedback loop that I could not break. I didn't think I would survive.

      Yep, I tried everything that sounded reasonable. Neuromonics, masking, food diary, hypnosis, meditation, psychiatry. I took a couple anti-anxiety drugs when it was really bad. Xanax helped some. Started taking Ambien to get some decent sleep. Then I took Zoloft. I took it for only about 2 week. Damn near cured me. I still had the T but at much lower and more tolerable level. It broke the stress cycle. I currently take Ambient every night. (only about 2.5 mg) I also listen to a rain/water sound track through ear buds every night, all night. (you can get it here)
      I listen to music just about all the time. I also try to stay very busy.

      I think they have worked out pretty well. I went from being a basket case fearing that everything I did would make the T worse, to living a normal life again. I now do everything I want. I protect my ears when necessary. The T is still there but I go for periods of time without noticing it. Sometimes hours.
      It does not rule my life any longer.
       
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    15. Paula

      Paula Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2011
      I think mine actually started in August of 2011, with something of a head buzzing sensation. It didn't stick around, and if it did I didn't notice at the time. I had just been diagnosed with TMJD, which is where it is believed to be coming from. During TMJD treatment, I had to get a root canal. Subsequent to that, I began to have jaw problems in my other jaw and hearing a ringing in my right ear. I was so distraught I couldn't eat or sleep. I ended up getting a script for Alprazolam which calmed me down. Eventually the ringing faded away. I only took the Alprazolam occasionally. The head buzzing has since returned (it's a bit more prominent in my left ear--the worst side), accompanied with an occasional roaring sound at night, at intermittent times in the morning and throughout the day. So far, TMJD treatment hasn't been successful at eliminating the head ringing, nor has it been successful at alleviating the TMJD problems. Though I have enjoyed slow, sporadic progress with TMJD pain. I have also noticed that Physical Therapy, Massage, and Yoga stretches seem to help the roar, and that I can produce the roaring sound by pressing a trigger point on my shoulder. I have underlying issues in my body alignment (left shoulder is higher), so my situation is a bit complicated, and I'm going through some testing with a neurologist to check those issues. That said however, the buzz is sticking around though. Sound generators seem to be getting me through okay. I use them to sleep, study, read, etc. I could possibly do all those things without them, but I hate to have to hear it all the time. Hanging out with friends and family, staying busy, etc., all help a lot. Fortunately, I have also been able to get through my college classes pretty well in spite of it, but I do still experience a lot of stress due to being unable to completely drown it out.
       
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    16. futuredreams

      futuredreams Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2011
      1. When did your T start? (Some people know a specific date, while others seem to have had it forever.)
      Mine started the 3rd of december 2011. It was after I had been to a club, for 3 hours. It was my first time major clubbing, and I am not that kind of a guy usually, but now i stepped in the wrong place. However, I did not notice until I lay in my bed trying to sleep. Then it began screaming like all hell had broken lose....However, it went away to tolerable levels within the first week. I had no problems with it, but my approach was probably wrong. I slept with ear plugs and those hearing protection ear muffs, to protect my ears. In my opinion, due to this, I developed a total wax plug which made entrance at the 15th december. I woke up with severe hyper acusis (which is interesting, since wax plugs should block out outside sounds?), and heard everything painfully loud. My tinnitus went to the roof and I developed severe sleeping issues which I have had since, although it has gradually become better. When the doctor resolved the wax plug, the tinnitus went less loud, but in comparsion to how it had been before the plug it was still high (or my perception of it, hard to say). Since then I have read everything about tinnitus I could come over....
      1. Do you have any idea where it came from?
      From the club -- see above!
      1. How have you tried to treat it or make it tolerable? (Meds, sound generators, Neuromonics, music, foods, etc.)
      I am currently eating 2-3 cloves of raw garlic, 200mg Ginkgo Biloba, multi-vitamin supplement and a supplement called "TONE", daily. I smell like dracula....
      1. How have those efforts been working out?
      Yeah, I have not noticed any improvement yet, I think. But I am patient and will continue to wait. Salvation might still arrive, and I dream about silence...
       
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    17. Hi again, everyone. I really appreciate your stories--they are so helpful to my research. If anyone wants to tell me their story in a less public way, you can send me a private message in TT or email me: whagoodi /// indiana.edu. I am also doing skype interviews with many people with T. If you'd be willing, please get in touch. My handle is "groundloup."
       
    18. Brad

      Brad Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2012
      My Tinnitus just started 3 weeks ago a few days after bchydro installed a smart meter.I have significant time this past 3 weeks seeing drs and specialists who all have no answer other than to deal with it. I have been trying to get away from smart meter installations with mixed results so it is tough for me to confirm it is a smart meter causing the problem. I have yet to spend time trying to deal with it as it is extremly disrupting my life and i am stuck on proving to myself the cause. I am young with no medical issues up until this point who works from home in a quiet environment. Just came across this website am ibam wondering if i am crazy to think a smart meter is the cause?
       
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    19. Hi Brad, thanks for your message. Is the smart meter a power meter in your home? Is the tinnitus louder when you are closer to the meter? If not, I tend to doubt this is the cause. What does the tinnitus sound like? You say you work in a quiet home environment--have you tried adding other sounds to the environment to take your mind off of the tinnitus?
       
    20. Jim
      Happy

      Jim Member Benefactor

      Location:
      San Francisco
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      I have to agree wit Mack. I have a smart meter. When I come and come and go, sometimes for weeks at a time, there is no difference in the T. I would not suspect the smart meter.
       
    21. Sue Knights

      Sue Knights Member

      Location:
      West sussex
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/06/2011

      Hello Mack

      My tinnitus started in June 2011
      Doctors said I had fluid in my ears, but when I saw a ENT doctor he said they were clear
      I have tried to cut out caffeine, watch what I eat, exercise more
      Somedays its better than others these last few days it is driving me nuts
       
    22. Brad

      Brad Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2012
      Thanks Mac and Jim for your thoughts. Although I am still not 100% convinced that the meter is not responsible I am begging to believe there isnt much I can do about it. The Tinnitus is so up and down I am going to have to say there is no consistency telling me it gets louder near a meter.

      I have begin listening to music which helps me through the day so i am not so stressed by the end. Drinking helps but I dont want to become an alcoholic. Havnt tried much else yet.
       
    23. Lorraine

      Lorraine Guest

      I've had tinnitus for a few years, not sure when. I played trumpet in a band and I remember a few nights it was uncomfortably loud. I guess I then got used to the noise, but the tinnitus started from then I think. I've never tried any cures as I'm wondering whether psychologically I'm better off not doing that. The sound is generally constant, and it's like crickets chirruping. A common theme here seems to be tinnitus caused by hearing damage.
       
    24. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Mine started just over 2 months ago. Not sure how. I think could be combination of ototoxic drugs and antibiotics or just years of wear and tear on my ears. Nonetheless, it began low but recently has gotten very much louder with no relief. My hearing and even high frequency hearing tested well above average with no loss or drops up to 16K. Been to 3 drs, had MRI, Cat Scan, tried over 30 supplements(I can send you detailed list if you want), acupuncture, sacra-cranial massage, bio-feedback, Bowen and chiropractic. So far none has improved my condition. Never been on prescription drugs yet but that might change with this new increase, it is getting difficult to ignore and manage
       
    25. jack

      jack Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2011
      hi ajg33 is the t getting any better with time ?and do you feel better ? jack usa
       
    26. Chicken

      Chicken Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2011
      I had severe cracking in my right jaw for about 6 months, no pain, but my jaw deviated to the right when opening. had two root canals on the left side with my right jaw opened for quite a while. a week later i was bending over doing some work in my driveway straining my right side and that night i woke up with tinnitus in my right ear. a neuromuscular dentist believes that it was caused by the tmj and it was clenching and muscle spasms. i have been wearing a stablizing/repositioning orthotic since 11/2011 and will be for year from then. a tmj mri showed severe jaw opening limitation on the right side and moderate on the left. i also have a chiropractor/accupuncturist that works on trigger points in my jaw and neck and shoulder. sometimes the sound is less sometimes it isn't. that's my story. the tmj is better i can open my mouth without cracking. the tinnitus is still there though.

      chicken
       
    27. 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 think this topic is still pretty current.

      Take a moment and tell us how and when your tinnitus started, can you pinpoint the cause and what methods you've tried to alleviate it?
       
    28. Meecat

      Meecat Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2012
      1.When did your T start? (Some people know a specific date, while others seem to have had it forever.)
      - first noticed it 20/aug/2012

      2.Do you have any idea where it came from?
      - accumulation of hearing damage (though i dont go to loud places as often as other people)
      - viral upper respiratory tract infection
      - shaking my head side to side after taking showers (trauma?)
      - electrical zap from static electricity (had earplugs in, the lead was dangling and got zapped when it came in contact with fresh laundry I was folding)

      3.How have you tried to treat it or make it tolerable? (Meds, sound generators, Neuromonics, music, foods, etc.)
      - vitamins (tried gingko, magnesium, zinc, bioflavonoids, temazepam, betahistine, sudafed, melatonin, NAC)
      - vitamins (yet to try piracetam, l-lysine, lipoflavonoids)
      - traditional chinese medicine, acupuncture, massage
      - music (regular, notched, low-pitched)

      4.How have those efforts been working out?
      - nothing has made a difference, I think I even got new sounds (but they are low volume)
       
    29. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      1.When did your T start? (Some people know a specific date, while others seem to have had it forever.)
      At 4am on 6th April 2012 - woken up by violent, frantic, screamingly loud electrical buzzing darting from side to side inside top of head.
      For a few days before I had asked my son whether he could hear tiny 'electrical type' noises in the new house - he couldn't. He switched off the whole electrical supply, brought more people round & they all listened. None of them could hear anything. I assumed that I could hear better than all of them - I've always been able to hear a certain frequency of sound (eg. ambulance sirens etc.) before anyone else.

      2.Do you have any idea where it came from?
      - Purchased house in Cornwall 3 weeks before it began - very thick granite walls meant complete silence at night (am in UK).
      - Overhead electricity cables at new house.
      - New superhub router.
      - Change of altitude, air pressure, humidity.
      - Allergy or congestion in eustachian tubes due to new convector heaters (dust?).
      - Possibly neck or wisdom teeth problem / TMJ.

      3.How have you tried to treat it or make it tolerable? (Meds, sound generators, Neuromonics, music, foods, etc.)
      - Initially prescribed doxycycline, betahistine & a nasal spray by GP. I don't like taking drugs. They made my head foggy & I was scared because I was shaking horribly (could have been the fear rather than the drugs). The GP hadn't made it sound as though they were going to really help anyway so I finished the doxycycline & stopped taking the betahistine. Convinced the spray made me shake so hardly used any.
      - Weeks with constant hot steam generator filling the room & using steam inhaler did no good at all
      - Consultation & hearing test (normal) with ENT consultant who told me that it would eventually go away but it would take a long time.
      - Spent months in France with friend to try & retain my sanity (almost didn't!) .
      - Sold house in Cornwall & moved back to Hampshire (at immense expense & leaving area where my son lives - did not want to!); thus getting rid of complete silence, high altitude, high humidity, overhead electricity cables etc.
      - Got rid of new superhub router.
      - Distraction rain sounds playing almost all the time until recently (not masking).
      - Gave up drinking tea as it definitely made it go crazy (tried to replace this with decaff black coffee but it had the same effect - cappaccino with real coffee does not make it go crazy so it's not the caffeine!).
      - When tinnitus very loud I have some kind of rain / noise playing near ears to mask the noise.
      - Booked hospital appointment to have wisdom tooth extracted under general anaesthetic (neither lidocaine nor combinations of similar local anesthetics work for me - once I had eleven injections at the dentist.. nothing!).
      - Efforts to clear eustachian tube congestion, that I'm not even sure I have, by recently eating spicy food & inhaling menthyl.

      4.How have those efforts been working out?
      - Pressing thick tin foil over both ears in the first few weeks stopped the tinnitus completely but it came back when removed. Suggested by friend when I mentioned electricity cables. Eventually I realised that I couldn't live with tin foil constantly on my ears.
      - Tinnitus level changes all the time & has periods of not being there at all for hours at a time. But it's been like this for ages so probably not due to anything I have done.
      - Tinnitus now feels more 'distant' but there are still days (and nights) when it's loud.
      - I think I still believe that it will stop eventually.. it seems to be trying to stop & I don't get an echo sound when tracing fingers down side of neck below ears anymore.
      - Hyperacusis has almost gone, far less severe than before.
      - Still get the 'full feeling' in ears but not as often.
      - Have retained sanity (mostly).

       
    30. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories--this is very helpful! I am still following the thread. And good luck to you all.

      Best,
      Mack
       

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