whoosher from Canada

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Roger Cloutier, Jan 20, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Roger Cloutier

      Roger Cloutier Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 26, 2011
      I've been living with my condition for 1 year and three weeks. It started rather harmlessly, when I sought out a hearing aid last year. I tried the hearing aid for about a month but handed it back to the audiologist, because it blocked out the more intimate conversations I wanted to hear, while raising the volume or din of the crowd. Soon after, I began hearing a ''roaring'' sound, which was joined by a ''whooshing'' sound about 3 months later. I`m inclined to think that a sound therapy that I hastily signed on to, called Sound Therapy International, from Australia, played a role in exacerbating my tinnitus, hence the ``whooshing sound``.

      That's it in a nutshell save to say that I , like everyone else has tried to understand and cope with what we have in our own unique ways. I have read reams on the internet, everything pointed to ''PT'', but I haven't officially been diagnosed by a doctor as of yet. I did experience the usual ''you'll just have live with it'' from an ENT doctor in Winnipeg, Canada, waiting 6 months for a 10 minute appointment. For the most part we've been forced to make do on our own haven't we ?
      Like everyone else who tries to live with tinnitus and PT, I too am always listening to my body, trying to make sense of the symptoms. When I do such and such, or eat such and such, this happens, etc., ironically this has been the most helpful method or way to educate one's self re: tinnitus. Don't underestimate the curative power of forums such as these.
      I could go on with all my experiences, the panic, anxiety, the stay in hospital overnight on suicide watch, the hours spent on the internet, traveling all over the country looking for a cure, spending money on sugar pills from the internet, here's what I've come to understand about my tinnitus.

      I believe I have pulsatile tinnitus given the symptoms, i.e., a pulsating sound with a heartbeat undertone, as well as a whooshing sound. Maybe I have both regular tinnitus and PT, rarely or sometimes I have another smaller roaring sound, all which occur in my right ear. I've listened and read the many ''ringing tinnitus'' accounts, my experience is different.
      I've had 2 audiologists tell me that my tinnitus has a ''vascular'' component, the roar could easily be described as a hum. I've read other people who remark how their tinnitus changes a lot, ''ditto'', especially when one assumes various positions, re: the jaw or applying pressure on certain sides of the face or other parts of the body. Obviously this is confirming how one can change their tinnitus a little, as it pertains to their blood pressure.

      Another peculiarity, lately, it's probably been a few months,where I've seen my tinnitus change once more. When I sit or lay down,my whooshing sound becomes louder, as opposed to when I stand or walk around, being busy or distracted . It's not the distraction as much as the change in posture that affects it, though I've come to appreciate how being busy can distract someone away from their tinnitus, is an important coping skill.
      Many tinnitus sufferers swear by hearing aids, but my experience has been negative. This too indicates how very different we are despite sharing the many stories and symptoms of our tinnitus. I believe, as does my shrink and various others I've conferred with, that depression and anxiety triggered my anxiety. I turned a corner somewhat, when I started taking SSRI's. I dropped Zoloft due to the side effects, and ended up with Cymbalta 6omg. I also found a nutraceutical called Picamilon on the web, check it out.

      About 12 years ago, I had angioplasty and have been a musician all my life, more noteably I play saxes. A tinnitus recipe if ever there was one. Perhaps I experienced tinnitus right after my attack, I do remember hearing some funny sounds some time after the attack when I was taking meds, but I habituated to the sound and never heard the sounds more than 4 - 5 times in a decade. I do have hearing loss in my right ear, the affected one, but didn`t experience a traumatic event (save the hearing aid) such as a rock concert that precipitated the tinnitus. I still play music, it decreases my anxiety and this is more helpful than not playing at all. My symptoms don`t get better when I stop, nor do the appreciably worsen when I play. I just wear cheap foam ear plugs.

      I try to control my anxiety. This is it for me, easier said than done. We all chase our tails, symptoms cause anxiety, anxiety causes symptoms to rise. Again I have tried the meds to control the anxiety, as there is nothing yet that can control the tinnitus. I have also tried lateral inhibition as well as residual inhibition sound therapies, which also are worth checking out. In this regard, check out ``Audio - Notch`` from McMaster University, it`s very inexpensive as compared to the others on the net.
      In finishing, I have some appointments with ENT doctors, and a neurologist. I still am at a miss to figure out if my tinnitus has gotten worse or better, am I just coping better now, probably. Anyways,hope someone out there finds some solace from my words.

      Roger
       
    2. 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
      Thanks for writing, Roger! Just hearing someone else's experiences helps me a lot. I'm a whoosher from Atlanta,Georgia in the U.S. I've been to a number of doctors, done tons of internet research, tried all types of therapies (some of them a little crazy), had various tests, and been through lots of worry and anxiety, all because of pulsating and ringing tinnitus.

      Mine is in my right ear, too. I had some hearing loss in my right ear, and mild tinnitus in that ear, as a result of being too close to speakers at a concert about 20 years ago. My pulsating and severe ringing began after I took blood pressure medicine. I didn't experience a traumatic event, either, so I don't believe there is any sort of injury or physical problem there. I've had an MRI/MRA and CT scan, and nothing unusual showed up.

      Like you, I tried a hearing aid for about 1 month, and it just didn't work for me. I think it's because of the pulsating; the soft tinnitus-masking tone it emitted seemed to actually "set off" my pulsating, and made it much worse when I removed the hearing aid. Do you have any problems with specific sounds that make your tinnitus worse? I have trouble watching television; it makes my pulsating seem more reactive than ever!

      I wish you well on your doctor appointments, and hope they are able to give you some answers. It helps to hear from others who are experiencing pulsating tinnitus, and I hope you'll update us on how things are going after your doctor visits.
       
    3. Roger Cloutier

      Roger Cloutier Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 26, 2011
      Hi Karen from Atlanta. Just a little distraction first, here in Canada where we are obssessed by weather, it is freezing and we have lots of snow presently. When they ''plow'' the streets and sidewalks to remove it, we are left with piles that can reach 5 feet easily. Guess both our cities are reknown but for our different weather, you ''Hot-lanta'', and me Winter-peg. Guess tinnitus/pulsatile, strikes us all regardless of the weather.

      Anyways, yes it sounds that our situations are somewhat similar. I don't know about you, but I am at a loss wondering if my tinnitus symptoms are worse now than when things first started, or if they are better. I guess it's a moot point, let's just say, that they are still here, perhaps that's what is the most relevant.
      It's been a journey for me, the idea that this stuff is going to stick around scares me, and gives me anxiety. Luckily I take anti-depressants and have a shrink. Never thought that such an admission wouldn't bother me.

      Presently I am fast approaching a new wall, or call it a transition. I have been on long term disability for about a year, and it just finished. Blue Cross determined that I could go back to work. Not much of a long term disability plan is it? I've pretty much resolved that I can't return to my former job of social work, due to the stress. Stress and anxiety are major triggers re: my tinnitus.
      You mentioned something about ''t.v.'', can't say that I have that problem now. I believe I did early on. Some sounds reverberate in my head, or put another way, certain frequencies resonate, it's almost like my head is the body of a musical instrument i.e, guitar body etc., the whirring sound of a micro-wave, taking a shower(water gushing down, I feel that diet plays a role as well. Some times I think that eating too much sweets is bad, then again we all know they are poison (sweet poison, thems the worst) but it's not 100%. It might be a high or low blood sugar thing. What ever it is, more and more, I'm beginning to relate my condition to something vascular/blood, and anxiety/possibly depression. It's all inter-mingled.

      Having said that, did I mention that I also play music ? I am tormented to some degree by the idea that I wouldn't be able to play my saxophone anymore, the jury is still out on that one. I find that playing, or reading music is the best distraction I have, it lowers my anxiety and I think that is the most important point. I wouldn't mind returning to some kind of work for that reason as well, as long as the anxiety factor is low, and the distraction high it would allow one to forget the sound or habituate to it.
      There are places where I wear simple foam ear plugs, especially the movies., they really crank those places up too loud, it's painful, there should be a law.

      I've taken to doing simple things like the lumosity games on the internet, and Sudoku as forms of distraction. If there ever is going to be a cure for what we have, I believe it will come as a result of the new work or paradigm, mainly known as ''the plasticity of the brain''. Read Norman Hoidge's book(NewYork best seller, ''how the brain heals itself.'' It's by keeping abreast of such things, that I find hope, each day is turned like a page, I guess it's the small hopes , books, games, and forums such as these that are the only things we have.

      Roger from ''winter-peg''
       
    4. 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, again, Roger from "winter-peg"!
      It certainly sounds like you're having a rough winter, even for Canada, this year. Down here in "Hot-Lanta", we're having an unusually mild winter. It got up to 71 degrees today; then, we had storms from a huge cold front that is moving through our area, bringing temperatures down overnight some 30 degrees. Crazy! We had tornado warnings in the area today, and one tornado actually touched down in the outskirts of the city.

      Thanks for writing back. Have you been to those ENT and neurologist appointments yet? Did the doctors have any suggestions for you?

      I certainly understand your dilemma right now; it's hard coming off a disability leave when you are still stressed, and harder still to consider going back to a stressful job. I agree that stress and anxiety do play a large part in keeping the tinnitus at a distressing level. If it's any consolation to you, mine seems much calmer these days. It has been over 2 1/2 years for me since the severe ringing and pulsating started. Maybe the same thing will happen to you as time goes on.

      I've been using distraction, too, to keep my sanity when the T is at its worst. What works best for me: Exercise, reading, playing games, working puzzles (I love crossword puzzles), and listening to or playing music. Earplugs can definitely help in noisy situations; it seems that a lot of sounds "set off" my pulsating, so that it feels like my head is vibrating. Has that happened to you? Movies are pretty loud these days; the last time I went to a movie, I kept the earplugs in the whole time, and could hear just fine through them!

      Yes, a big factor in curing tinnitus will probably have to do with neuroplasticity. I'm currently going to a chiropractor who specializes in neurology, in the hopes he can help me with my pulsating. We'll see..... I can only say that lately my pulsating has gotten calmer and softer. I wish you the best, and hope you'll send an update after your doctor appointments.
       

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