Does tinnitus get better?

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Tinnitus all too much. Any advise please

Posted: April 02, 2014 19:33 by Karen Slocombe

Hi I'm new to forums so I don't know if I'm doing it right! Today my tinnitus is worse it's ever been. I don't know why nothing changed. I really really am feeling suicidal and saw gp. He gave me pregabalin but I see some people tried it and it made t worse. I'm 42 and last June had terrible ringing for 40 min in my left ear. It was so loud I was almost disorientated. Then it stopped. My dad has terrible t and is blind. He says being blind is a walk in the park compared to t. I'm terrified one day mine will be like his. I realise it's prob not that bad at moment? I don't know how to grade it Anyway after this I went gp last year and they said both ears so badly impacted wax they had never seem so bad. They gave olive oil and I did it three times a day. Kept going back and they kept saying try another month etc etc. In July my ear rang really bad for about three weeks then settled down. Also September it flared up and again after few weeks it eased off December I finally was referred consultant and they suctioned my ears. I feel since then it was better ish I'm seeing consultant end may I have begged to see sooner but they have no app If tinnitus never goes can u tell me I stick my head in a cupboard to check it I know I shouldn't, sometimes I can't hear ANYTHING. Yet like now I can hear it above TV. So is it def tinnitus then? Why has it come back bad today? I am always very very stressed but if it is damaged hairs etc how can stress make it worse? I know stress can make u focus on it more etc but if I stick my head in cupboard and cannot hear a thing then surely no amount of stress is going to make it reappear? A doctor said wax could be on ear drum making sounds reverberate? Consultant said rubbish? I'm clinging to hope that maybe this is case and wax clogged up again? I have put radios in every room 24/7. I have white noise under pillow I cannot go anywhere without noise. It's really taking my life over I really wish I was dead. My dad wished he was dead. It scares me how bad it will get. He is 74 but sits in bus shelters til four am to drown it out. How do people live like this? I can't Is it the menopause? I hear hormonal changes can cause tinnitus? But then if it's damaged hairs how does that work? I have never been exposed loud music etc never wore iPod in life Pls help if u can. I'm starting this retraining soon apparently will they do anymore than I'm already doing? Masking noise etc Sorry to go on I'm just so scared and desp. I just thought if I told u everything someone may help. Oh yes I had an ear infection last June but that was in the left ear. It's the right one that rings. I also get spontaneous t bout three times a week both ears where it rings really really shrill for bout ten sec then goes. I am scared it will end up like that all the time? Is that what really bad t is like?

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  • Posted

    I also have TMJ disorder. Is this causing the tinnitus?
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  • Posted

    Hi Karen. I am very sorry to hear of your condition.

    My name is Steve, I'm 40 years old and 6 months ago I awoke one morning with severe tinnitus in my right ear, which has continued 24/7 ever since. Like you, there seemed to be no apparent reason for it. After a few weeks I went to my GP and she referred me to the ENT clinic at the hospital. Investigations are ongoing, but so far, after MRI scans and hearing tests, the doctors are no closer to discovering the cause of my T.

    One of the frustrations I have had is with the apparent lack of urgency shown by the doctors, along with their inability to pin down the cause of my T. One of the additional conditions which go with T is the lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation brings with it its own problems which then exacerbate the stress like a vicious circle. By January this year I had become so exhausted that I was collapsing at work. I have not worked since then (I am a college lecturer).

    Frustrated with the lack of progress, I have been learning as much as I can about tinnitus. Below is a summary of what I have discovered so far. I hope it might be useful to you - it has certainly given me hope and a sense of control once more.

    Firstly, tinnitus itself is not an illness or a condition - it is a symptom. Although it can be deeply upsetting, it is important to remember that the tinnitus cannot physically hurt you.

    As to what causes tinnitus, I have learned that it can be caused by a multitude of conditions, most often related to hearing damage of some kind. In my case as I was also struggling with my balance, the doctors initially suspected an Acoustic Neuroma, which is a benign brain tumour growing on the inner ear. An MRI scan can detect a range of conditions which might be the cause of your T.

    You are not alone - there are millions of us. I am joining a tinnitus support group and suggest you do the same. Although we suffer individually, sharing our pain with other people going through the same thing at least makes us feel less isolated. Maybe others will have tips and advice on how they cope.

    Stress is a factor with the intensity of your T. It becomes a vicious circle when the tinnitus is causing stress, which then in turn worsens your T. At one point I found myself yelling and hitting myself in the side of the head at 3am because I had reached breaking point. It might sound impossible, but remaining as calm and relaxed as you can does help - it boils down to the tinnitus controlling you, or you controlling it. I know many people with T practice Yoga or study Tai Chi.

    Diet can also make the T worse. Apparently it can help T sufferers if we avoid caffeine and unhealthy foods in general. Keeping your level of fitness up is also important.

    There have been studies which show that poor blood flow in the brain can contribute to tinnitus. For the last few weeks I have been taking Gingko Biloba, which is meant to increase blood flow in the brain. I haven't noticed any change yet, although it may be too soon.

    Distracting noises such as having the radio on does help to mask the T. I have radios in every room and I have grown to dislike silence as all I can hear then is the T. At night I have the radio on, either tuned to Classic FM or not tuned at all - the white noise helps sometimes. This week I am going to buy a few CDs with natural sounds such as rain or birdsong (my friends will laugh at that - I am a heavy metal fan). Speaking of rain, one of my favourite things now is walking in the rain or windy weather, as I cannot hear the T.

    Another thing I am going to try is Melatonin. Apparently it can have a calming affect on T. More importantly, it helps you to sleep. Melatonin is a sleep hormone produced naturally in the brain and without it we find it hard or impossible to sleep. Stress can inhibit the production of Melatonin. You cannot buy it over the counter in the UK, although many websites such as Amazon sell it. I am booking an appointment with my GP to discuss using Melatonin or other sleeping tablets - as we both know sleep deprivation is truly horrid, and in turn exacerbates the T.

    The last couple of years has seen research into T come ever closer to understanding what causes it, and how it might be treated. The London Tinnitus Clinic is an excellent place to get advice and support. There is also a new private treatment called Acoustic Coordinated Reset Neuromodulation (try saying that after a few beers) which is offered by this clinic. I can't afford it at between £4000 - £5000, but clinical trials have shown a 70% success rate at either reducing or eliminating totally the tinnitus. I'm opening a savings account! Another place to get support and advice is Action on Hearing Loss.

    I wish you strength and resilience. Don't give up sister. x

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  • Posted

    Hi guys, sorry to hear your experiences. I too have tinnitus, again came on without warning, I am 42 now, but it first started at the age of 30, so had for some time. Had all the tests, MRI, hearing tests. If it's any comfort you do learn to live with it once you have excepted that it's probably here to stay, the brain learns to ignore it, a bit like when we block out the sound of a train when you live next to the railway line, you don't hear them unless you think about it. Honestly I only ever hear it now when I listen for it or am stressed, so don't hear it 90% of the time. In the last 12 years I only ever had I brain retraining session that worked I think it was called CBT. I do not let it control me instead I shit it out, please try and ignore it, honestly it does work. Doctors don't seem that interested, so say to yourself "right I'm not letting this rule my life" stop thinking about it, your just focusing on it, which is like anything. Good luck it will get better honestly,
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  • Posted

    Oops sorry about the typo in the last comment smile
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  • Posted

    Karen, I am new to the group, just wondered if your tinitus has got better
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  • Posted

    A large number of medications are ototoxic, which can cause damage of the inner ear, from which a common first side effect is tinnitus. Ibuprofen, diclofenac, Orudis Retard are just some of the common medications among hundreds that cause tinnitus.
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    • Posted

      Orudis Retard is the same as Ketoprofen which is used in treatment of rheumatism as in my case. Boy do I regret taking it...

      A safer alternative is St. John´s Wort.

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  • Posted

    Hi Karen!

    I understand your problem. To me it was the most terrible thing was, that nobody could tell me whether the ringing will ever go away, or what the hell causes it. I read a lot of articles in the topic, but I found about 20 possible causes of ear ringing, so I gave up, it took over my life after a few days, it was really annoying and depressing. After that my doctor found the problem.

    My right ear rings currently. The cause is Eustachian tube dysfunction according to my doctor. It is not inflammed (yet), I don't feel any pain, but it does not allow the pressure to equalize in my middle ear. As far as I understand, that's why it rings. It started when I tried to clean a surface covered with black mold, so I am completely sure that black mold caused the infection. As soon as I got rid of that mold, my allergy went away and my vision is getting sharper day by day. My ringing gets worse when I sleep with ear plugs and it gets better when I use tea tree oil. Sometimes it is very loud, sometimes it is so silent, I cannot hear it, so it is full of surprises. :S

    I can understand how you feel. To me it was very depressing and I slowly started to get mad. The only thing, made it better, that I know the cause of the tinnitus, so I know that it probably will go away after the infection is cured. As far as I understand, you are without proper diagnose for a long while. I think the only thing you can do now is finding another doctor, who can help you, or at least tell you the cause of the problem. Without knowing the cause it is very hard to treat an illness, and without knowing the cause it is much more depressing to you either. I know it is hard, but many people live with chronic illnesses, and they can manage it, so I think you can do it too. I suffered from depression for 2 years. The only truth I learned from it, that my thoughts aren't me. They don't represent what I really am. They are just advisors I can decide whether I listen to or not. After that I don't give a *** about what negative thoughts telling me, and by practicing this I pulled my ass out of the depression forever. I think you are capable of this too in your own way. Good luck Karen!

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  • Posted

    I have had Tinnitus for years in both ears, its a very high pitched sound. And the more I take notice of it the louder it seems to be.I always have music playing in all the rooms I use but it makes no difference. The Dr said there is no cure either. It is horrible, but what can we do? Best of Luck...Anne... 
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    • Posted

      Same here, a high pitched noise/tone with fluctuations that remind me of cricket chirping as I listen in. The high pitch is very similar to that of an old black and white tv, if you listen with your ear against it.

      They are testing phase three of AM-101 (Auris Medical) for acute tinnitus - up to one year - with promising results. However there remains to develop a cure for us with chronic tinnitus. With increasing funds and human trials it is very possible that a cure is developed within 10-20 years. Hopefully in my lifetime..

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  • Posted

    They are testing the drug AM-101 in various places. Maybe you could sign up.

    If your tinnitus is only on one ear you would have to rule out the possibility of a tumour.

    If you can affect your tinnitus at all with different movements with your neck or jaw, it is likely treatable to a great extent. I would highly recommend seeing an ENT doctor who specialises in tinnitus ASAP.

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