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Old 11-29-2007, 05:40 PM   #1
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Tinnitus - Share your story

Hi there,

I've been on these forums alot lately browsing around for symptoms that I have been going through that I think might be stress related from the Tinnitus that I have been overcoming the last several months starting in August. I'm 24 now and have had Tinnitus since July '07, mine was induced by going to the same loud night club 2 nights in a row for 3 hours each. I didn't recognize any damage after the first night and had such a good time that a friend and I decided to head out again the next night. As I'm getting ready to leave the next morning with my friend's family, his other relatives started coming in to unpack for their turn at a week stay at this apartment in Ocean City, MD. As his uncle was talking to me, I had to ask him several times what he was asking me. I just simply couldn't understand him as we were talking literally 3 feet away from each other.

When I got driven home I didn't have a tough time at all trying to fall asleep or anything, then when I got to my friend's house where my car was, I had to drive another 1+ hour north to my house, again, I had the windows open and the music blaring like I usually did in my car.

Eventually after 3-4 days of having this ringing sound in my ear, I was convinced that I had to see somebody about what was actually going on. So I had an appointment with my family doctor who suggested to give it a few more days or week since even he experienced the ringing for a day or 2 straight before.

I did eventually see an ENT and the first month of trying to get through it was unbearable. I could not sleep, and was giving me severe stress because I did not think about anything else besides what was wrong with me. It took away my ability to think clearly, work, and carry on a socially active life like I could be doing. I dreaded going everywhere for awhile. And to be honest, I had some sick sick thoughts that I don't think would be appropriate to go into detail here.... it was that bad.

I was then given a book by my mother about a personal account of a guy who went through 2 1/2 years of essentially debilitating Tinnitus. It was a great story to read and really gave me hope that just getting Tinnitus wasn't all that bad as compared to what he went through.

Today, after months and weeks since first coming into the realm of Tinnitus, I am lucky enough to say that mine has gotten soo much better now. I can now sit in quiet rooms without thinking about it and only hear it in the bathroom's of where I'm living (all hard tiled and no sound dampening things) as well as sometimes when I rest my head on top of my ears at night, although the left has always been a little bit more pronounced then the right.
For 3 months or more now, after reading a website about Gingko Biloba pills and the theories that it has been clinically proven to help, I was convinced I had to buy some. Although you do take 4 pills of them everyday, I'm also convinced that these things do actually play a huge roll in reducing the intensity of the Tinnitus. Either that, or my ears are continuing to heal on their own, regardless, I will continue taking the pills for fear that I might eventually return to the horrible mess that I once was in.

As a side story, during my worst period of T, I decided to take a bike ride the one hot afternoon after reading that excercise can also help reduce the intensity of T. Not that I'm in bad shape or anything, but I decided that it can't hurt and will at least take my mind off of it for awhile. So as I got to the top of this one hill to stretch at a drive way, my bike slid on some cinders as I tried to stop and I took a slight spill, pretty painless. As I stood up I could feel the sensation in my body that it wanted to pass out, but I knew that already and tried hard to stay standing on my feet. I could feel this rush of blood coming out of my head and towards my central organs but kept my balance. I could feel this weird feeling around my ears as I was trying to stay standing and it felt like this weird pressure into my ears from the outside.

The following day/night I started getting these popping sounds in my ears everytime I tried to swallow or something and it just kept getting worse and worse. Now I'm to the point where I still have random popping in my ears at rare times when I'm talking and especially sometimes when I swallow sometimes it gets set off some how mainly in my left ear. I'm hoping to see my ENT for like the 4th time in as many months since I was originally diagnosed by him with Tinnitus. I'm hoping that the popping/constant swallowing that I have been doing lately is just a recent side effect towards the distress of having the Tinnitus or another stimulus of taking my mind off the T.. but now I can't stop the popping all the time and it's getting to be really annoying.. It almost feels like there's something sticky inside my Eustachian Tubes that doesn't let it open and close smoothly anymore since the bike accident. I wish I could just tell my ENT to open me up and literally clense out the inner part of my Eustachian Tubes or lube them up with some sort of lubricant in order to make everything seem nice and smooth again.

I'm just hoping this popping sound now is a side affect to what I used to have and will all go away in due time as I get used to not having Tinnitus as bad as I used to and being able to cope with the constant swallowing affliction that seems to make my ears pop more often since they can't rest as much.

I don't know what you can really get from my story, but I'm just perhaps looking for other people's entire stories of their encounters with Tinnitus, how they coped, and if they also had any other side effects in their anatomy to try and help cope with the sound. Also, please don't hesitate to mention anything that could possibly give me advice as to what I can potentially keep looking into to help rid me of having a crunching/cracking/popping sound going on in my Eustachian tubes or other possible parts of my ear.

Lastly, I don't know why.. but neither the the little Tinnitus I tend to hear as well as the popping/crackling sounds that I'm hearing are neither life threatening/painful/necessary to treat. It just feels like I'm turning more and more into a hypochondriac every day after being perfectly healthy for so many years growing up and now my mind is constantly on these conditions which really aren't harmful... which is why I just want to get rid of them.

- HBomb

Last edited by TNT; 11-29-2007 at 05:49 PM. Reason: Forgot to mention something..

 
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:09 PM   #2
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

I don't have tinnitus but I wanted to respond to one part of your story:

Quote:
Lastly, I don't know why.. but neither the the little Tinnitus I tend to hear as well as the popping/crackling sounds that I'm hearing are neither life threatening/painful/necessary to treat. It just feels like I'm turning more and more into a hypochondriac every day after being perfectly healthy for so many years growing up and now my mind is constantly on these conditions which really aren't harmful... which is why I just want to get rid of them.
I think most of us can relate to that to some degree. I often feel nauseous, slightly unbalanced, funky vision stuff but what I have is (most likely!) not life threatening just like yours. It's an annoyance. It's always in the back of my mind. There's hardly a moment when I can completely forget about it. Technically I can do everything. But I rarely feel just plain normal and it's difficult to deal with on all levels.

I work a lot of older people, and they always told me, you don't know how important your health is until things start going wrong with you. One lady in particular made me laugh; she said, getting old isn't for sissies. I'm not that age quite yet but for the first time in my life I fully understand what they mean.

You're not a hypochondriac. The psychological aspect is just as real as the physical one, and sometimes more debilitating. I've been thinking about checking out cognitive behavioral therapy; I feel like I need to get out of this constant thinking about this even when I'm feeling fairly decent but it's become so ingrained over the past year, it's hard to do on my own.

Good luck to you.

 
Old 11-30-2007, 05:20 PM   #3
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

Thanks, and to you also. I can't believe you read the whole thing, now that I look back on it, I realize how much of an online rambler I am .

 
Old 12-01-2007, 08:10 AM   #4
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

IMO, it helps to tell your whole story in detail at least once, not just for us to know what's going on without having to ask a bunch of questions to get to the details but also for you. It's very therapeutic to write down everything. And as we're supposed to be a kind of support group around here, I think most of us will take the time to read everyone's stories, even if not everyone responds because they don't have anything helpful to contribute.

It's a great community around here even if there's no way to contact anyone outside the boards, the only thing I wish was different. I hope you stick around.

 
Old 12-01-2007, 10:08 AM   #5
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

I agree, these boards are a great way to get support. I don't think I would have made it through 3 years of graduate school without knowing that if something went wrong with my ears, I had a place to go. I know I can come on here and vent if need be. I've been feeling pretty good and it's nice to come one everyonce in a while and give some words of support and hope to those just starting to deal with these problems. So keep writing all your thoughts down, it can help you and someone who maybe in the same position as you are.

 
Old 12-15-2007, 05:14 PM   #6
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

My tinnitus started around July/August 2007... I don't quite remember! But it started just after having a cold which plugged up my ears for about 2 weeks. A couple weeks after that cleared the tinnitus started suddenly. From then on it has continued, with spikes at various times. I went to see an ENT doctor and they did a pressure test, hearing test and looked inside my ear to see ear drum was OK and everything.

My hearing test came out perfect in the right ear, and pressure test was completely normal. The left ear was very mildly lower than the right but well normal limits. The pressure test however came back abnormal which indicated fluid in the middle ear. There is also a sensation of fluttering sometimes too. This along with clicking and popping when I swallow and sometimes when I talk. This can be alleviated by sinus irrigation with a neti pot. I assume water gets into the tubes and makes it less 'sticky' so I don't hear the popping sounds. When the water drains out the clicking/popping comes back. So the reason for my tinnitus appears to be fluid in BOTH ears according to the ENT doctor and can take up to 12 months to completely go away because the mucous is very sticky.

Tinnitus is quite mild but I haven't found anything to really make it lower. A good nights sleep is important so that you don't react as badly to the noise. Lack of sleep and you can become over emotional which will spike the tinnitus. I do worry a lot about the tinnitus becoming louder one day, however there are also times when I can't hardly hear the tinnitus at all, especially just after I wake up.

It is so annoying that this could happen to me! I wouldn't of dreamed of something like this occurring! I live a very healthy life style, all good foods, no junk food at all. I take care of my body and I get this problem?

The problem is huge though, around 33% (1 in 3) soldiers come home from iraq with tinnitus! and 10 - 20% of the general population have the disorder to a certain degree! Yet not many people really talk about it or report it to their doctor.

Luckily with new advancements in imaging technologies, biotechnology, nanotechnology, brain implants and so on... the future looks bright and we probably would not have to suffer for life. A cure is probably only 5-10 years away. Certainly not more than 15.

 
Old 12-15-2007, 08:27 PM   #7
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

ive never personally had tinnitus with this but i know alot of people who deal with it. i hope it gets better

 
Old 12-16-2007, 11:25 AM   #8
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdventure View Post
My tinnitus started around July/August 2007... I don't quite remember! But it started just after having a cold which plugged up my ears for about 2 weeks. A couple weeks after that cleared the tinnitus started suddenly. From then on it has continued, with spikes at various times. I went to see an ENT doctor and they did a pressure test, hearing test and looked inside my ear to see ear drum was OK and everything.

My hearing test came out perfect in the right ear, and pressure test was completely normal. The left ear was very mildly lower than the right but well normal limits. The pressure test however came back abnormal which indicated fluid in the middle ear. There is also a sensation of fluttering sometimes too. This along with clicking and popping when I swallow and sometimes when I talk. This can be alleviated by sinus irrigation with a neti pot. I assume water gets into the tubes and makes it less 'sticky' so I don't hear the popping sounds. When the water drains out the clicking/popping comes back. So the reason for my tinnitus appears to be fluid in BOTH ears according to the ENT doctor and can take up to 12 months to completely go away because the mucous is very sticky.

Tinnitus is quite mild but I haven't found anything to really make it lower. A good nights sleep is important so that you don't react as badly to the noise. Lack of sleep and you can become over emotional which will spike the tinnitus. I do worry a lot about the tinnitus becoming louder one day, however there are also times when I can't hardly hear the tinnitus at all, especially just after I wake up.

It is so annoying that this could happen to me! I wouldn't of dreamed of something like this occurring! I live a very healthy life style, all good foods, no junk food at all. I take care of my body and I get this problem?

The problem is huge though, around 33% (1 in 3) soldiers come home from iraq with tinnitus! and 10 - 20% of the general population have the disorder to a certain degree! Yet not many people really talk about it or report it to their doctor.

Luckily with new advancements in imaging technologies, biotechnology, nanotechnology, brain implants and so on... the future looks bright and we probably would not have to suffer for life. A cure is probably only 5-10 years away. Certainly not more than 15.

 
Old 12-16-2007, 11:30 AM   #9
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story



I have experienced the same situation as your. I had a sinus infection that lasted almost two weeks. A few days after it cleared up my started ringing. I have had tinnitus off and on since since I was 10 years old. I have never had it so bad that I could not sleep at night. It can be very depressing. Reading your story has helped me to know that I am not alone. As I type the ringing has settled down. I dont why but I have to enjoy this while it lasts. It is strange that in the mornings it does not bother me that much. Nor at work during the day unless things quiet down too much. But in the evenings it kicks in and I have a hard time blocking it out of my mind. I have been using CD's with wihite noise and that does help when it gets too loud to bear alone.
Thanks for your comments.

 
Old 12-17-2007, 12:13 PM   #10
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

My ears have been ringing for about 4 months now. I have a post on here somewhere actually called Tinitius for 3 months... there were a lot of encouraging posts made to me from other people who have had ringing in their ears for years and they have learned to live with it.

I'm at work right now and even with the noise around me and people talking, I can still hear the ringing. It was just in one ear, but its now in both of them and it drives me absolutely batty. It also keeps me from sleeping.

I have severe allergies and mine also started after a very bad sinus infection that went into my ears and lymph nodes. I'm assuming my problem is caused from my allergies/sinuses. My ears had rang before in my life but never 24/7.

Its constant and it never stops and I can also hear my heart beating in my ears when I lay down. I find it strange that I only hear this when I put my ear against the pillow. If I pull my head away from the pillow, it is no longer there. The last time I told a doctor that my heart keeps me awake at night I thought he was gonna send me to a loony bin.

I'm trying to adjust to it but I really can't. I'm not sure how other people have just been able to ignore it, but I'm not able to. I also find it hard to believe that we all just have to "deal with it". There has to be some reason and some way to make it stop.

I'm trying to ignore my health problems and just enjoy the holidays and try to remember that it could be worse. There are so many other forums on here for very debilitating and life threatening illnesses and I have to put things into perspective. Its very easy to get lost in a problem that you think is so huge but ultimately I should be thankful that its not something else and not blow it out of proportion.

 
Old 12-17-2007, 05:11 PM   #11
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

Amy,
Have you tried using some form of white noise to block it out. It does help you to sleep.
I have an appointment with ENT Wednesday. Hope to get some kind of relief. Want to find out more about the hearing aids that help to block it out. I work in an office that is fairly noisy so it does not bother me too much at work. I have not had to attend any meetings where the noise level would go down and dread when that happens as I may go crazy. IF anyone knows anything about the hearing aids I would appreciate your comments. Hang in there.

 
Old 12-18-2007, 10:43 AM   #12
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

Hi William,

I was a regular poster on this board for a very long time but don't come on here quite that often anymore as I am moving forward in my life and doing my darnest not to focus on my medical condition so much.

Quote:
IF anyone knows anything about the hearing aids I would appreciate your comments.
I would assume you mean TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy) using the Jastrebroff model. I am in the program now. I have only started the program about 7 weeks ago. I commute 5 hours for therapy. Don't ever let someone tell you your tinnitus can't be helped and to live with it. I did for 3 years before I sought help from a TRAINED AND QUALIFIED doctor of audiology. I can't post web addresses on this site but if you do a search on TRT Association you will find a site that gives you a list of qualified members of the TRT Association who practice the therapy in your area or the closest to were you live.

I work with a great doctor who is really confident she will help me. The program has an overall 85% success rate and her office has an 80% success rate for tinnitus sufferers.

The device is shaped like a hearing aid but does not magnify sound (if you have hearing loss you can have one made to help with hearing too). You really do not see it when it is in place. It emits a natural sound which is combined with directive counsuling by the doctor.

I have not been in the program long enough to tell you about my own success, but lets just say for the first time in 3 years, I am having short periods where it doesn't tornment me.

The downfall is insurance in the US does not cover the therapy and it is quite costly.

One other suggestion I have is a great sound machine I recently purchased. I put it on my end table in my living room and play it all the time when I am home. It is wonderful when watching tv as now I hear the tv and a gentle natural sound in the background, but hardly my tinnitus at all. In the beginning of my tinnitus I tried masking the sound with music on and/or the tv but it never helped. The sound machine I bought was great as it as a variety of natural sounds which can be mixed up and also the tone can be changed to your liking (great for sensativity to sound). I thought having one of these would not be helpful but I can't say enough about my sound machine. The one I purchased (I really looked into these as all sound machines are not the same and they do not produce the same results) is the Marsona 1288A. They cost about $130 but are well worth it. Part of the TRT program stresses the importance of sound therapy. It is not used to mask your tinnitus but rather to desensatize your brain from picking up the tinnitus.

Each TRT program is designed to fit each individuals needs. I am to wear my sound device for a minimum of 8 hours a day. Some people are said to have immediate relief from the sound device; however, it took me a few weeks to get use to wearing the device. My doctor started me out slowly by wearing the device for a couple hours each day with a schedule to increase my time up to a minimum of 8 hours. I pop them in and go on about my day.

There is a newer type of therapy out there too for tinnitus called neuromonics which is similar to TRT. It uses music therapy with a device similar to an IPOD and you listen to the music for about 4 hours a day and they mix it up by decreasing the sound little by little. I don't know a whole lot about this therapy but it has been given a high success rate too. I choose TRT as it was more convenient and has been around longer.

One last peice of advice I have for tinnitus sufferers is STAY AWAY FROM HANGING OUT ON TINNITUS SUPPORT BOARDS (refering to tinnitus only support groups). For the most part, they are extremely negative. This is the number one thing that hinders a tinnitus patient from habituating. If you need to ask a question, ask it, get your response and then high tail it out of there not to look back. Negativity only makes you dwell on your tinnitus more.


There is a very good peice of information and support written on this board under the sticky post at the top of this site. It was from a poster on this board (hbep) who offered a lot of support to me as she is a fellow sufferer of tinnitus too who has pretty much habituated to her tinnitus.

Best of luck,
Gloria

 
Old 12-20-2007, 05:17 PM   #13
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

Gloria,
Thanks for the input. ENT started me on CO Q-10 and elavil. Go back in 2 months. He has an associate that specializes in tinnitus and I will see her then. I think she is the audiloigist. Hate to hear the the insurance doesnt cover it. I have BC and it will only pay $100 a year toward a hearing aid. By the way, I have relatives in Pittsburgh. It's a beautiful city.

 
Old 12-21-2007, 09:21 AM   #14
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

Hi William,

The CO-Q10 has had promising results for nerve/vestibular related problems. My neurologist recommended it as well.

Quote:
I have BC and it will only pay $100 a year toward a hearing aid
Do you have hearing loss as well? I'm sorry if that is so as that is a double whammy. At least when the ringing is really bad you can drown it out a bit with noise but it is harder when hearing loss is involved. I'm glad you are going to see a specialist; hopefully she is trained in the TRT and it will be close to where you live.

It is a real bummer insurance won't pick it up as it is becoming more and more of a problem. I suppose they'd rather pay for years and years of psychcotherapy and meds that people have to take because of the anxiety and depression this bestows on people. It really is quite sad.


Quote:
By the way, I have relatives in Pittsburgh. It's a beautiful city.
Thanks for the compliment. We like it here, but I would prefer some where a little warmer. No way am I moving unless my hubby can take the Steelers with him (lol).

By the way, mine started after I had a very serious reaction to an anitibiotic I took for a sinus infection. I have suffered damage to my central nervous system. I am still recovering from other symptoms but continue to do better and better every year. I also wanted to mention that I know several individuals who suffered tinnitus after a sinus infection or ear infection that had the tinnitus go away in a 6 month to 1 year time frame so hopefully your case will be the same.

Best of luck to you. I don't post regularly anymore, but when my tinnitus is no longer an issue (from the TRT) I will post and tell everyone who may be thinking about going through the program.

Take care,
Gloria

 
Old 12-21-2007, 07:49 PM   #15
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Re: Tinnitus - Share your story

Gloria,
No hearing loss at this time unless my wife is asking me to do something. I dont think I am suffering anxiety or depression at this time as I have had it since childhood. I do want it stop as it is keeping me from sleeping normally. The elavil that I was given for sleep seems to carry over to the next day as I am fatigued in the morning hours. I dont seem to be fully alert until the late afternoon. I may quit taking that if I can sleep without it. Think I will start looking for a good sound machine.
I love the Steelers but they will never be as good as they were in the 70's.
Thanks again for your comments.

 
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