Seems like I'm joining the Tinnitus bandwagon

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I noticed ringing/hissing in my ears about 4 weeks ago.  It is like when I was younger after leaving a club, the hissing noise I heard.  But it always went away.  I'm 59 years old.  I've been a DJ for 14 years, but manage most of the time to be "behind" the music so I'm not in direct flow of the sound.  I also have worked this past year as a Personal Care Assistant, caring for a woman in her home.  Her husband is deaf and plays the TV so loud I can't stand it.  He refuses to wear a hearing aide.  So I got to thinking that maybe that had something to do with my ear issue and have since stopped going there.  My doctor checked my ears and saw no ear wax, gave me a Zpak, and a referral to an ENT, who I have yet to hear from.  I've had a few days when I noticed nothing at all, and it got my hopes up that it would be getting better, but the past 2 days it's right back.  I can't concentrate on anything when it's there.  I dont' feel like ME.  I have read stories from others with this, and have a friend who has had it for 11 years!  She has found ways to live with it,but it's still there!  I'm getting very depressed feeling that there is no hope.  As others have written, there are people living with much worse things, cancer, heart disease, pulmonary disease, and so forth.  Tinnitus is like a torture though.  You can't get away from it no matter what you do.  Actually, when I sleep I do, but as soon as I open my eyes it's like it's there saying, "good morning!"  I feel like I can't live with this, but I sure as heck am not one to give up either.  I have six children and 3 grandchildren.  No one seems to realize what it's like to have this other than my friend.  I stopped whining about it because they don't know what to say, and I think they are tired of listening to me.  After all, it sounds like something minor and who am I to complain about it, right?  It's awful, as anyone with it knows.  I'm looking for hope.  REAL HOPE.  That I will get past this and be able to live again without the first thing on my mind being this hissing.  Today all I want to do is cry.  I have much to do, but it's so hard to get myself in gear.  My house is going to pot because I just don't feel like doing anything anymore, yet sitting doing nothing is even worse because it's the only thing being focused on.  I need some help.  I need some hope.  I'm scared that I'll be like this the rest of my life.

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  • Posted

    Your not alone, I tell my family and they look at me like..how bad can it really be..Like a hundred loud crickets on speed.

    I always have music playing, silence is not golden, its what I fear, I find it takes me an hour or so to fall asleep.

    I have had mine since an infant when I had week long high fevers.

    It wasn't too bad until I hit my 40's thats when it got more noticable and 24/7 

    I have not found anything to help, except staying busy, that keeps my mind off of the noise so I work as much as possible.

    I pray that someday..someone..something will give everyone that suffers from tinnitus the gift of Peace and Quiet.

    Remember..its all in your head..smile

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response.  You know, people who don't have this just don't understand.  We must cut them some slack.  I just keep wishing I could use some ear drops or a hearing aid to cancel out the noise.  I find myself thinking about people who "hear voices".  Geez.  Then I feel lucky!  But not really.  This has started to take most of who I am away.  I try to think of other things, but of course, the more I try to ignore it, the louder it gets.  I'm thankful for this forum where I can talk to others, like yourself, who have it too.  You've had it since you were an infant?  My goodness!  I hope you are finally able to cope with it.  My hope is that eventually I won't notice it so much.  People do tell me that will happen.  I'm praying for it.  Take care and feel free to write anytime.  I'm already feeling better just to know I have acquaintances that I can actually whine (LOL) about this with.  Take care.  Melodie
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  • Posted

    Hi Melodie,

    We are all different but please don't give up hope of recovery. As Jayrider says, try to distract yourself with whatever works for you. I always have quiet classical music playing when I am on my own. Stress definitely makes my tinnitus worse so if you can keep worry and stress to a minimum, I think you will notice a difference. I struggle with depression too and my tinnitus is definitely a factor in this so I can understand your lack of motivation. But don't give up please. Your quality of life doesn't need to suffer because of this horrible condition, which may just be temporary. Keep yourself busy and don't let your mind focus on the inner noise. Easier said than done I know but I think you are a very strong-willed lady and you won't let this beat you, will you ;-)

    Hugs. Digsby x

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for you wonderful and kind words.  You have no idea what they mean.  I saw an ENT a couple of days ago and he told me that there is nothing they can do for this.  He pretty much told me the same thing, to focus on other sounds and not the "inner" sounds.  Since having the hearing test and seeing him however, it seems so much worse.  Not sure why, if the testing had anything to do with it or nothing at all.  I've actually found myself crying about it now.  It's like an obnoxious uninvited guest that just won't leave.  The only peace I get is when I'm sleeping.  I just don't feel like me.  But I am a plugger.  I've had six children and lost many close people in my life. I've dealt with chronic pain.  I've gotten through a lot.  But I'm finding myself feeling that the pain was easier than this.  At least you can take something for it.  For this you can't.  Last night I mentioned it to someone in my neighborhood.  They said, "oh I've heard people can go crazy with that!"  Thanks is what I wanted to say.  I have no choice but to keep going.  As I mentioned, I have six children.  Most grown, and one under 18.  I have grandchildren.  I don't want to let this get to me, but I'm so afraid that this is "it" for the rest of my life.  I need to hear from others, words like yours, that will inspire me and motivate me.  I also hope to do the same for others.  Thank you again.  You are so sweet.  Hugs to you too!  Melodie
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    • Posted

      Hi Melodie..Going to the ENT in my situation was a waste of time and money. The worse thing is to dwell on the noise, as hard as it may seem to do.

      I live in the country and near a river which I have a cabin, it has a small water fall and that is my favorite place, that sound works best at masking the sound I hear. Everyone hears something different, mine has gotten louder and high pitched, it drowns out most other sounds and speach.

      I have been on low doses of Alprazalon for several years and that helps some, enables me to get to sleep.

      Once again please keep busy helps to keep your mind off the noise.

      Peace..Jay

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    • Posted

      Dear Melodie,

      This is a very stressful time for you but as you say, you have come through a lot in your life. I don't think this will be enough to drive you crazy (although I understand why it can). You have a loving family around you so lots to distract you ;-)

      I've found with my depression and tinnitus that because they are "invisible", it's only really fellow sufferers that are able to sympathise. Please vent your frustration any time you want to on this forum - you will find a lot of understanding here. I read somewhere about depression being like an uninvited guest in your head, so your analogy for tinnitus is very apt too. You can't expel this "guest" by force, nor do you want to let it settle down and make itself comfortable. Long before I learnt about mindfulness to deal with my depression, I guess I must have used the same principles to cope with the tinnitus. It's a calm acceptance, embracing it for what it is but allowing yourself space and distance from it so you can rise above the frustrations and other negative feelings that arise. I promise you that you will come to a day when you don't notice it so much. You will find advice via other discussion threads about how people have used diet, etc to manage it. Do whatever it takes to deal with it. We are here for you if you need our support.

      Hugs,

      Digsby xx

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    • Posted

      Digsby, thank you so much.  You have no idea how just having someone, somewhere, to talk to about this helps already.  I'm new at this.  I've "only" had it about 5 weeks.  But the thought of having it the rest of my life has left me feeling that this is the beginning of the end.  My family has no idea how to help, or what to say.  If you won't tire of my crying on your (or the others here) shoulders, I can only say thank you and I will do my very best not to burn my bridges by becoming overbearing.  Last night I was on the internet doing more research.  I saw videos on Youtube from people discussing this terrible curse.  It was so scary to hear that people actually have taken their lives because of it.  I may be 59, but I feel and look younger.  I have always kept busy, even being a DJ for 14 years and dancing on the dancefloor with teenagers at high school dances.  I have done a pretty good job of staying out of line of extremely loud music, setting up behind the speakers so the sound would not be directed at me.  The ENT said he believes it is age, but I don't agree.  I think somewhere I was injured by loud noise.  Anyway, at this point it doesn't matter.  It's there and now I have to deal with it.  I need positive words and yours certainly helped me this morning!  May I ask where you are?  Are you in the US?  I don't even know where anyone is on here, I just came upon it and thought it would be a great place to start.  So far I have had a few very nice people.  Thank God.  I am working on trying to find ways to keep busy and not focus on NOT hearing it because the more I try NOT to hear it, the more I DO.  It's in simply putting it on a back burner that I think will help.  I still am afraid I won't be able to!  It's always there, even when it isn't driving me crazy and I hate that.  But I'm not ready to give up yet for sure.  If anything, it's been in hearing from people with this that they really do learn to live with it, and are able to live normal lives.  Right now that seems so far away, but I'm going to keep fighting to get there.  Thank you so much for caring and for writing me.  It is so wonderful to know there really are people in this world who care.  I'm hoping eventually to be able to help others with this instead of being the one asking for help.  I'm more comfortable doing that and hate being the burden, or cry baby.  Take care and I hope we talk more in the future.  :-)
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    • Posted

      Jay, thank you.  I"m so glad I found this place to converse with others about this.  We are all in the same nightmare pretty much.  I love what you described.  I did find some apps for my phone that have sounds that are helping a bit.  The problem is, I hope I don't have to constantly have them on to "live".  I'm hoping, actually my GOAL, is to live with this noise in the background as opposed to the foreground.  and I agree with you.  The ENT wasn't much of a help.  I am going to see about going to an audiologist.  They specialize in things like this.  Hopefully they can offer some methods to put the noise in the background.  I already know there is no cure.  :-(
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    • Posted

      Melodie...You are correct..the peeps that suffer from T are the only ones that can really understand..but that is diiferent to everyone..like pain on a scale from 1-10 I know many that say they have a slight ringing..maybe a 1-2, and it comes and goes.

      I would say mine is a 8-9..just because it is non-stop and it affects ( drowns out ) speach, other natural sounds..

      Now don't get me wrong..I feel it is just my cross to carry..compared to others that have to live day to day with being unable to walk, see, or just fight to take a breath..this isn't so bad.

      I have tried to keep a journal on what helps or causes it to get worse.

      #1 I always wear hearing protection, chainsaws/tractors/lawnmowers

      #2 Try to keep track of medications, some will cause negative affects

      #3 STRESS is a biggie..as hard as it may seem..don't stress about it..

       #4 Try to find your distraction..I have a few..and have a few I would like to try..yoga, meditation..being in the country hiking, being out in nature helps me.

      Oh..and watchin the Green Bay Packers..is always a great way for me to forget about the noise..lol

      Take care..

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  • Posted

    Hey there. First of do NOT panic. This is an issue that happens millions of people around the world. Let me try and help you if I can.

    Tinnitus is caused in your case it seems from loud exposure to noise. It doesnt matter where you are in the club, if you didnt wear ear protection and noise was above 85db there is a chance that you have ear damage which your tinnitus is a symptom off. For eveery 5db increase after 85db the length of time it takes to get ear damage halfs, so for 85db it is on average 8 hours of constant exposure, for 90db its 4 hours, so, the usual sound of a club is between what? 110-120db? meaning it would only take a mere 1 -2 hours for ear damage to occur.

    Every time you get Tinnitus you will lose a certain frequency of your hearing usually it ends up in the spectrum of human specch which is why people have a hard time hearing soft sounds like "sh" or "ch".

    When the hair cells inside your ear get damaged they bend. After continued exposure to stressfull situations these hair cells stop straightening after they bend and instead they snap which is essentially hearing loss. The pottasium channels that allow you to hear go out of sync and fire of at different times causing you to hear what is Tinnitus.

    Chanes are it will go away withiin 6 months, if not it is chronic and has less chance of going away. I have heard rumours that the herb Ginkgo Biloba is good for fighting Tinnitus. Your best hope is to give your ears time to heal and not expose them to sounds over 85db.

    Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Very informative..I always wear hearing protection when exposed to loud noises.

      I have also heard that Ginkgo Biloba is suppose to help.

      I have also heard Vinpoctine and Betaserc are suppose to help.

      Has anyone tried these and have they helped?

      Unfortunately I have chronic T.

      I have read that the sound comes from over active neirons in the part of the brain (auditory cortex ) these neirons will light up on a MRI scan.

      There are two experimental treatments that are being worked on.

      Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator

      Vagus Nerve Stimulator

      Have a great day..

      Happy Holidays to all..

      Jay

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    • Posted

      I will definitely look into these.  Thank you for the info Jay.  How do you know if you have chronic T or not?
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