When is a soundwave a friend and when is it an enemy?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Per, Jul 23, 2013.

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    1. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      I keep reading from posts here that loud sound exposure spikes up the T considerably, I can relate to that but since I have hyperacusis as well I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. Every H treatment report I read emphasis how important it is not to avoid sounds that feels too loud and instead expose myself to them. When I do this it feels like my head is going to split open, like an electric shock! Today it happened again, a screaming kid on the bus penetrated my skull and my ears felt like they were stabbed with a screw driver. I chose not to wear plugs today because my H is supposed to go worse if I do. When I left the bus my T was on full volume again and it really felt like I had done some major damage to my ears - it sure as hell didn't help my T to leave the plugs back home.

      I'm constantly thinking what condition to consider when I'm outside, the H or the T? I'm afraid of making more damage in regards to my T and at the same time I'm trying ferociously to force myself trough the day with no plugs in my ears to habituate the H and to tell my brain "these sounds are not a threat."

      Any advice in this matter? If you have both T and H - have you managed to avoid sounds that spiked your T and habituated the H at the same time? I'm frustrated. Some sounds feel like a weapon, it s truly a physical sensation. I find it almost unbelievable that the sounds can't make any damage to my inner ear when it feels that bad. When the brain perceives the sounds as danger and very loud, doesn't that in turn hurt the ear? I thought the audio cortex in the brain was messaging the ear about these things, thus making any soundwave perceived as super loud damaging to the inner ear.
       
    2. DezDog
      Angry

      DezDog Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2009
      Hi Per
      I think perhaps that it's a good idea to use the plugs where you feel you need them, no need to add anxiety into the mix.

      As long as you can find time to let ambient noise do its habituation thing, you should be able to find a good balance.
      DD
       
    3. Alxtan
      Approved

      Alxtan Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/26/2013
    4. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
    5. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I had horrible hyperacusis (decreased sound tolerance) and misophonia (fear of sound) from the beginning and it make normal living extremely tough. To make matters worst, it made my T even louder. It took several months for the hyperacusis to improve but it did. I still consider hyperacusis and misophonia to be worse than the tinnitus. I think if I had just had the tinnitus alone, I could have coped much better. But what happened to me was all at once. When I developed tinnitus, I got hyperacusis at the same time which in turn, led to the addition of misophonia.

      I had to battle it in a few ways.:

      Anxiety
      First, to address the anxiety, I did use meds only when needed: both Xanax and Lorazepam. I also used natural supplements like 5HTP and Magnesium to help control my mood, panic attacks and anxiety. A few weeks later, when I was feeling a little better, I slowly worked in exercise. I started with taking walks and listening to sound therapy.

      CBT Counseling
      Second, to manage my emotions, fears, negative thoughts and OCD behavior, I sought out CBT counseling which I went through for 20 consecutive weeks. It was tough. Many times, especially in the first few weeks, I didn't want to go but I forced myself to. Finding out why I was doing what I was doing, thinking the way I was (distorted thinking) and learning methods to help me manage them, did help me.

      Sound Therapy
      Thirdly, to help desensitize me from sound, I used a combination of white noise/pink noise therapy. I used mainly apps I downloaded onto my phone and mp3 files I found online. Later when I did not need to use noise therapy all the time and was more comfortable with sound, I listened to audiobooks while working and taking my walks. It helped relax me and take my mind of my T and H.

      This is just my experience. Yours may be different. It took many many slow months to show real progress but it did happen. I think the combination of above and time help me and my brain to adjust.

      My life is pretty normal now. I do get annoyed by T now and then it passes. I am busy with my jobs, family, and extra curricular activities (I play a lot of sports: basketball, soccer, running, hiking, rock climbing, fishing etc). My hyperacusis is pretty much gone. I do still have some sensitivity to sounds but I think I always have. I no longer have a fear of sounds, at least everyday sounds. I do have ear plugs handy for certain occasions like loud movies, live music and bars but that is about it. I try not to over protect as it leads to sound anxiety. I try to be a good person, volunteer weekly (Meals on Wheels) and eat healthy as much as possible.
       
    6. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      @erik

      Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate that. Your story motivates me to believe in a "happy end" to the H.

      I too got T and H at the same time, the H have increased every week and as mentioned I'm trying to habituate by not wearing plugs. It's so tuff cause as u would know all too well the sounds that hurt really hurt in a physical way.

      I went to the GP today because I needed some sleep med. I asked if he would prescribe Xanax but he couldn't because he said he wasn't allowed to give patient that medication anymore. He showed me the name on his screen and the name was all faded out on the list. He didn't even want to prescribe any benzodiazepines but he gave me Zopidem 5mg for sleep. As of last week I also started taking Magnesium. It's 250mg and I take one a day according to the dosage directions.

      I'm in the U.K at the moment and it seems like they have removed Xanax totally from the market here, either that or the GP was throwing a white lie to reduce that type of medication. I have tried Xanax in my home country and it has helped me cope with general anxiety in the past. I was kinda annoyed that he refused me any anti anxiety medication cause right now I could really need them to get my central nervous system to settle down. I notice that I cry more easy these days and I'm feeling really jumpy, in fear of any sudden sounds and unexpected events in the daily life. Another strange effect is that I feel stronger in my sympathy for others. I've become more humble and my life doesn't "go that fast" any more. I'm more reflective.

      In context of sound therapy, did you do a DB level tolerance test with an audiologist? I thought any pink or white noise would have to be tailored in a specific manner to you're frequency loss and that the sound format needed to be in a lossless format to avoid any loss of detail and frequency? How was your hearing test by the way? Mine turned out ok but it was a conventional test done by an ENT surgon, not a high frequency test like they perform at an audiologist.
       
    7. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      @Per I had a hearing test the first week I got T with an audiologist. I had standard audiogram and high frequency audiogram. Both were fine. No hearing loss. A few months later, I went to Tinnitus Clinic at OHSU in Oregon, USA. I had extensive testing done again by an audiologist and everything again was fine. However, was not able to pin point my tinnitus frequency. I just hear a bunch of hiss, mainly on my right side, more so than ringing, though I have a ringing tone in my head if I plug my ears. So my own treatment was not scientific and I could not taylor it to my frequency loss since I didn't have any detectable loss. I just used standard white and pink noise and adjusted it to where it would sit right below my tinnitus level.

      Time is on your side and it will improve for you.
       
    8. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      @erik,

      Wish I could embed the pink and white noise files I have downloaded in this post. I don't even recall where I downloaded them from, I got a lot of T sound files from youtube the first week I got T/H and then I converted them to mp3. Did you just listen to pink and white noise on a standard mp3 player with headset? Or did you use earplugs instead of headphones? Did you stick to a decibel level right under your T for the whole time you listened? How long did you listen each time?
       
    9. 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
      You can use the "Upload a File" function next to "Post Reply" below the reply text box.

      You can attach .mp3, .wav, .ogg. If you'd like to attach other audio formats, let me know and I'll enable them.
       
    10. Per

      Per Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      @Markku. Thanks, that's great. I looked for that feature inside the text pane via the Media icon.

      @erik. These files are the ones I have, but they are very compressed because I didn't want to upload 30mb here, my connection is unstable now. Is this the type of noises you were treating your H with?
       

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