Tinnitus tips

On November 23, I developed mild tinnitus. I’ve been hearing a constant sound in my head. The sound is a mid-pitched whistle or whine similar to what you hear through the wall when your neighbor is vacuuming. The principal frequency seems to be about 1.1 kHz. Here’s the closest I could get when trying to generate the sound in Cool Edit Pro.

The volume is not high – the sound is overpowered by the refrigerator in my kitchen, the sound of water flowing in the pipes in the bathroom. I can often hear it over my PC (several very quiet fans + quiet 7200 rpm hard drive) or during a conversation in a quiet room when nobody is talking.

As I’ve spent a lot of time reading and thinking about tinnitus, I want to share some tips that helped me get over the initial shock and go back to living normally. Much of the advice in this FAQ is based on what I’ve read about Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), the leading clinically proven tinnitus treatment.

What causes tinnitus?

Sometimes tinnitus has an easily identifiable cause, such as earwax buildup, certain drugs, hypertension, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, or acoustic neuroma. (The Tinnitus FAQ has a catalogue of possible causes.)

Most cases of tinnitus, however, are “unexplained”. That is, they result from changes in the brain that are still poorly understood. Dr James Kaltenbach has written a good scientific introduction (PDF) to the current theories on the causes of tinnitus.

One thing that is known about this type of tinnitus is that it is associated with hearing loss. Between 60 and 90% (depending on the source) of tinnitus patients have some degree of hearing loss. This is, however, not a true explanation of tinnitus because the majority of hearing-impaired people don’t have tinnitus, and a significant percentage of tinnitus patients have normal hearing (especially among younger people).

When will my tinnitus go away?

If your tinnitus is of the unexplained kind, the question is difficult to answer. If you were recently exposed to loud noise (for example, you went to a concert), you may just have temporary tinnitus that will go away in a few days. In many other cases, tinnitus goes away on its own within 2-3 months. In still others, it takes 2-3 years. On the other hand, there are people who have had tinnitus for over 20 years. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any reliable statistics that would show what percentage of cases resolve within a few months. The best I could find was this informal survey.

What can I do about my tinnitus?

You can go to a doctor in case your tinnitus is due to something that can be fixed or treated easily.

You can try one or more remedies recommended by tinnitus patients – vitamin B12, magnesium, ginkgo biloba, caffeine withdrawal and paracetamol – for each of these, you will find people who swear it reduces their tinnitus. And you can certainly avoid wasting your money on the countless “tinnitus cure” scams ran by unscrupulous assholes all over the Web.

Other than that, there is currently no proven method of rewiring your brain to make “unexplained” tinnitus disappear completely and permanently. There are therapies that can lessen tinnitus or even make it disappear (Xanax, notched music therapy), but their effect is temporary, i.e. they must be continued indefinitely if the effect is to be maintained.

However, you can do two very important things:

  1. You can stop the noise from bothering you.
  2. You can learn not to notice the noise.

If you achieve these two goals, tinnitus will be no more of a problem for you than the color of the walls in your apartment. It will still be noticeable, if you choose to notice it, but it will not be an issue.

Dr Stephen M. Nagler describes this beautifully in his introduction to Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT):

TRT is not a cure for tinnitus.  It is a treatment approach designed with the goal of tinnitus ceasing to be an issue in the patient’s life.  It is designed with the goal of making tinnitus into a pair of pants.  Ninety percent of the time, people are unaware of their pants.  The 10% of the time they are aware, they do not “cope” with their pants, they do not “deal” with their pants, they do not “learn to live” with their pants, and they most certainly do not spend any time worrying whether the following day will be a “good pants day” or a “bad pants day.”  They simply wear their pants; and when the goal of TRT has been met, tinnitus should be just like that!

How do I stop the noise from bothering me?

The first thing you must realize is that the sound itself is not that much of a problem. Unless your tinnitus is uncommonly severe, the noise in your head probably does not interfere with your hearing in a significant way.

The real problem is that (1) you are paying attention to the noise and (2) you are reacting to it in an emotional way. In neurological terms, the auditory stimulus leads to a stress response. You find the sound disturbing, you can’t think about anything else, your heart is racing, you can’t fall asleep at night – all these problems are not due to tinnitus; they are due to your emotional reaction to tinnitus.

Does it have to be this way? No. You are probably surrounded by many sounds that are objectively louder than your tinnitus, yet you don’t give them a second thought. Every day, you sit in front of a computer that has noisy fans and hard drives, but you don’t obsess over it. While driving, you’re exposed to the sound of traffic and your own car, sometimes for hours, but that does not make you miserable. Airline pilots spend half their lives in the noise of jet engines, but they don’t make a big deal out of it. The only difference between tinnitus and those “everyday sounds” is that you interpret those other sounds as “normal background noise”.

As I sit in front of my computer writing this post, I am surrounded by potentially annoying stimuli. I hear the drone of the washing machine that’s running in the bathroom, the whirr of the hard drives in my computer, and some sounds of traffic outside the window. I am wearing eyeglasses that put constant pressure on my nose and ears; worse still, their rims impose themselves on my field of vision, putting a useless blurry border around whatever I’m looking at. To the right of my screen, there is a network router with bright LEDs blinking at irregular intervals. And whenever I move in my chair, it makes a fairly loud squeak. All of these things can be seen as irritating, yet none of them bothers me in the least bit.

There is no objective reason why I should be completely indifferent to all these stimuli, yet be disturbed by tinnitus. After all, tinnitus is just another sound I can’t do anything about.

Your emotional reaction to tinnitus is a matter of attitude. And attitudes to stimuli can change. I remember very clearly that I used to be annoyed by the ticking of the wall clock in my room, to the point that I had to take it down. Guess what? I recently hung it again and now I kind of like it. To take another example, there are people who are annoyed by the noise made by children playing in the playground. Often, the same people will find it much less annoying (or even pleasant) once they have their own children and begin to associate the sound with something pleasant.

Finally, it is helpful to realize that most of your negative attitude to tinnitus comes from the initial shock. If you had been born with tinnitus, would you worry about it? Certainly not. For you, it would be the way the world works – much like the fact that you have to blink every 20 seconds or so. Some people who have had tinnitus since childhood are indifferent to it to the point that they believe it is completely normal.

What is partial masking?

Partial masking is a good technique that can help you stop reacting emotionally to tinnitus. Surround yourself with some sort of noise that blends with the sound of tinnitus without obscuring it completely. Good sources of noise include computer-generated noise, recordings with sounds of nature (rain, ocean, mountain stream, etc.), fans, radio static, air humidifiers, etc. There is a good free online noise generator over at SimplyNoise.com. Remember that if your goal is to reduce your emotional response to tinnitus, the tinnitus should still be partially audible over the masking noise. The reason is that you cannot get used to something you don’t hear. You can then gradually decrease the volume of the masking noise until your tinnitus becomes as boring and unworthy of attention as the buzz of the refrigerator in your kitchen.

Does tinnitus deprive you of silence?

Among tinnitus patients, there is a tendency to think “I will never hear silence again”, but it is worth noting that humans are incapable of hearing complete silence anyway. In a well-known study by Heller and Bergman (1953), out of 100 tinnitus-free university students placed in an anechoic chamber , 93% reported hearing a buzzing, pulsing or whistling sound. (Here’s another, more recent study of the same phenomenon.)

How do I learn not to notice the noise?

At the core of tinnitus is The Loop. The Loop is my own term for the positive feedback loop created by the following two mechanisms:

  1. The more attention you give to your tinnitus, the louder it gets. (What happens is, you are telling your brain “This sound is important/threatening, I need to hear it more clearly”.)
  2. The louder your tinnitus is, the more it attracts your attention, which in turn makes it even louder, and so on.

This is a vicious circle that can be extremely hard to break out of. In the first few days after my tinnitus appeared, I gave it so much of my attention that eventually I could hear it even while watching TV.

The loop starts when you focus your attention on the noise. Once you let yourself do that, the noise will get louder, making it much harder to get your mind off it. So Rule Number One is: don’t start The Loop. Whenever you find your attention wandering towards the noise, use your will to immediately focus on something else. Get busy. Slap yourself on the face. If you’re trying to fall asleep, try counting. Remember how miserable you felt the last time you let yourself focus on the noise. Do whatever it takes to take your mind off the tinnitus. If all else fails, mask it with music or some noise. But whatever you do, don’t start The Loop.

Learning to take your attention away from tinnitus takes training. One technique that helps with this is having a loud ticking clock in your room. The moment your attention wanders towards the tinnitus, focus on the tick-tock instead. Counting tick-tocks is also a good way to fall asleep.

Tinnitus gets louder when you are anxious about it, so anything that reduces your overall anxiety level is helpful. There’s medication like Xanax that is known to help, but exercise works great, too. If you make yourself feel so tired that you can barely move, it’s really hard to think about tinnitus – when your body is aching, all you can think of is how good it feels to lie down and rest. I would also recommend experimenting with cold showers. In general, anything that causes (safe) pain is good because once the pain is gone, you experience the opposite feeling: bliss, warmth, energy.

If you haven’t heard your tinnitus for some time, don’t listen for it. Don’t ask yourself: “Do I hear the noise now?” or “Has it really gone away or is it just temporarily masked by ambient noise?”. In the first weeks after I got tinnitus, whenever it stopped being noticeable, I would go to a quiet room and put on my isolating headphones to see if it really went away. I did this many times a day and all it did was make me notice my tinnitus again. In the end, I had to set a rule: I am allowed one “tinnitus test” per day, when I get up in the morning. For the rest of the day, no checking.

Remember: If you listen for tinnitus, you are just training your brain to hear it better. Don’t do it. Focus on other things in your surroundings and your life.

What if I’m already in The Loop?

Ah, yes. When you’re in The Loop, your tinnitus seems so loud that it’s like a tiger in your room – it seems damn near impossible not to pay attention to it. In addition, the stress you are probably experiencing does not make it any easier to exercise mental control.

Still, you have to help yourself. You have to get out of The Loop somehow. Here’s a method that worked for me: Mask the hell out of it and go to sleep. When you wake up the next morning, use every ounce of self-control you have to focus your attention on things other than the tinnitus. Keep telling yourself: if I let myself focus on it, it will just get bigger and even harder to ignore. Whenever your thoughts start wandering toward the tinnitus, slap yourself on the face or pinch the back of your forearm (this serves as negative reinforcement). The goal is to develop a mental habit to distract yourself every time you start thinking about your tinnitus. As time passes, it will get easier and easier to distract yourself when tinnitus becomes noticeable.

It can be hard to keep this up for the whole day, especially in the beginning, so use masking liberally. (Full masking is not recommended in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy because it removes the noise completely rather than letting you get comfortable with it, but my experience is that when you’re going crazy from listening to your tinnitus, masking it partially doesn’t make you any calmer. There are times when you need emergency measures.)

When you cannot help but pay attention to your tinnitus and it’s beginning to stress you out, you can try the following mental technique that I’ve found very effective. I call it the Refrigerator Trick. The trick is to imagine that the sound of tinnitus is made by an actual device in the room, perhaps a small refrigerator. It’s amazing that simply having that thought brings about instant stress relief. As soon as the sound is associated with an everyday object, it seems the brain no longer has any reason for alarm. Once the tinnitus is classified as an “everyday noise”, it is much easier to take your mind off it. To make this visualization more convincing, you can picture what the refrigerator looks like, where it’s standing, etc.

Useful resources on tinnitus

  • Dr. Nagler’s Tinnitus Site – a very well-written site with tinnitus information and support, by Dr Stephen Nagler, who is a tinnitus patient himself
  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) “uses a combination of low level, broad-band noise and counseling to achieve the habituation of tinnitus, that is the patient is no longer aware of their tinnitus, except when they focus their attention on it, and even then tinnitus is not annoying or bothersome”. The author of TRT, Dr Pawel Jastreboff also wrote a book about it.
  • Tinnitus Support Message Board – the largest and best forum for tinnitus patients
  • Tinnitus FAQ
  • SimplyNoise.com – a free online noise generator
  • Plasticity – a free brain training game that may change your perception of tinnitus (Firefox only) – see below

Update (Sep 2011)

I still have tinnitus, but have become indifferent to it to a degree I would never have thought possible. Basically, now it’s like the sound of the hard drive in my laptop. Sure, I notice it sometimes, but I don’t focus on it; I just go back to whatever I was doing. I’m certainly not sitting there writing an e-mail on my laptop and thinking “OMG, here’s the damn hard drive noise again, why won’t it stop?”. Needless to say, I don’t check the intensity of my tinnitus every day anymore. In fact, I’ve gone weeks without noticing it.

I used to be scared of going to sleep without masking sounds, as the silence at night brings the tinnitus out. Now it’s no big deal: I don’t pay attention to it, and on the rare occasion that I do, it doesn’t bother me; it’s just “that familiar sound” to me.

Update  – Plasticity (Aug 2012)

In April 2011, I wrote an HTML5 game (Firefox only) called Plasticity with the objective of rewiring my auditory cortex and thus reducing my tinnitus. The idea was simple:

  1. Some neurons are firing in my auditory cortex (since I hear the tinnitus).
  2. The cortex can reorganize in response to training.
  3. Conclusion: I’m going to train my auditory cortex and see how that changes the perception of tinnitus.

Did it work? It’s hard to say. I was of course hoping for a dramatic, unmistakable result – a total cure. That didn’t happen. I thought I noticed some improvement in the course of my training, but that could have easily been simple placebo effect. After a month of using Plasticity every day, I went on a short foreign trip. During that trip, I noticed that I was able to fall asleep without masking noise for the first time since I got tinnitus. When I got back home, I decided to stop using masking at home as well. I also stopped using Plasticity. In the following months, my tinnitus gradually became a non-issue for me. I would still hear it, but only if I tried to. It would no longer hijack my whole brain. Since the auditory training was effective (I did get better at recognizing sounds, as evidenced by better scores), I think it’s possible that the training somehow changed my brain’s neurological response to tinnitus. I wouldn’t bet money on it, though.

Anyway, I have now made Plasticity available to everyone on the Web, so you are free to try it if you wish. (Here’s some more information on the scientific justification and tips on how to use Plasticity.) It’s totally unproven, but there is no real risk and, unlike the countless fake cures on the Internet, it’s totally free (though I’d be really grateful for your donations if you can afford to spare some money).

Update – (SEP 2013)

Well, OK. The bad news is that my tinnitus got worse. The good news is that it didn’t really upset me. It only bothered me a bit for 2-3 days, then I quickly forgot about it.

How did it get worse? Well, there was a loud concert that I went to with a friend. My friend wanted to get closer to the stage, and, like an idiot, I followed her, even though the music was already uncomfortably loud where I was standing. In other words, there was a red light but I ignored it. Needless to say, I won’t be attending any loud concerts anytime soon. Which is fine with me, I’m more of a home listener anyway.

The concert left me with a threshold shift (reduced hearing) and a whistling sound in my left ear that persisted for about 3 days. My hearing came back to normal (for a while I was worried that it would stay that way), but the whistling never went away. It is much louder than the tinnitus I have in my right ear.

Now I am 90% sure that my original tinnitus was caused by noise as well (another super-loud concert). So here’s a public service announcement: If you have tinnitus, avoid loud noises, such as concerts in enclosed spaces like clubs.

How did I get over it? Same as before, only 100 times faster. (I’m getting good at this!) I used a bit of masking, Plasticity, plus exercise to relax, but mostly it was just the familiar “don’t let yourself think about it” technique. Initially, I felt pretty bad – mainly because I hated myself for making such a stupid mistake and because I was afraid my hearing would be permanently impaired. After a couple days, though, I started paying less and less attention to it, and now I don’t think about it as an issue anymore. Actually, I am quite proud of how quickly I stopped caring about it.

 

Good luck! Remember to post your comments here.

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236 responses to “Tinnitus tips

  1. Thanks for helpful tips. I developed tinnitus 9 months ago. It has been one hell of a shock ever since. It sounds 10 000 Hz in the head 24/7. I hope to habituate soon because obsessing over it just makes it worse. Again, thanks.

  2. Very helpful and informative post — thanks! Love Dr Nagler’s “pants” analogy! :-)

    For people who have tinnitus, it’s worth considering that it could be caused (or triggered, or worsened) by a drug. Here’s an article with a partial list of drugs that can damage hearing either temporarily or permanently:

    http://www.healthyhearing.com/articles/7786-ototoxicity-the-hidden-menace

  3. Wow thanks for sharing, this really gave me hope, I also have a minor ringing after going to a loud club night, it has been about a month which seems like its getting better. Also mind if I ask, has your ringing progressed ? did it get any better then it was? Thank you!

  4. That was a really useful article, many thanks, almost felt as if my tinnitus eased as I was reading! I’ve had mine for years now and it changes from day to day but always good to read about others who also suffer but who have taken a positive step to getting over it.

    One thing I would add is that exercise is incredible at de-stressing and therefore reducing the amount that tinnitus effects your life – after a run in the morning everything seems brighter even if you have rining in your ears.

    • I agree. My life is so much better since I started exercising (running, swimming, cycling). After a nice run, my mood is great for the whole day, and even the next day I can feel a little more “oomph” than usual. Back when my tinnitus really bothered me, exercise was like a vacation away from the anxiety. I still heard the noise, but it no longer had the power to upset me.

      • Have you had problems sometimes with swimming? I do waterpolo and sometimes, next day I have the feeling that the tinnitus has developed a little bit more. Is there any real danger with water, or maybe it is just my mind?

        • Yes. If water gets in your ears, it can block them slightly. Because all the ambient sound is softer, the tinnitus seems louder by comparison. For me, tilting my head and shaking it vigorously right after swimming removes the water.

        • I’m a former competitive swimmer and after 50 years of swimming, here’s my remedy: put a few drops of rubbing alcohol in the ear, let it sit a few seconds, then turn your head and let it drain out.

          Should clear out any water.

        • Claudia,
          I used to use that technique. I diluted rubbing alcohol with warm water and put it in my ear with a syringe.
          When I told an ENT about it, he advised against it because alcohol can irritate the skin in your ear and make it too dry.
          Nowadays, I just use the head shaking technique; works for me.
          Tomasz

  5. Thank you.

  6. thnx a lot :)

  7. Thanks for these helpful and good tips. I developed “T” 4 months
    ago and my life has changed completely . I`ve been in and out of the loop many times now and after reading your tinnitus tips; I`m inspired to take back the control of my life!!
    Thanks :-)

  8. Thank you! Developed it about a month ago during a wax blockage and infection episode combined with a highly stressful life situation. I can tolerate it fairly well while active but sleep has become a problem, both drifting off and remaining asleep for more than a few hours. Working to shake it off. This is very helpful.

  9. Thanks for your work on this!

    For what it’s worth here’s my story:

    One month ago I was on vacation in Asia going to loud clubs most nights. I have professional earplugs but got caught without them. I was beside an insanely loud speaker on New Year’s Eve for a couple hours which made my left ear physically hurt for 3 days; the pain resided but the tinnitus has been here since – It’s been 4 weeks exactly now and it’s about half of what it was but still noticeable all day and all night.

    Similar to the comment above I arrived home to a horribly stressful situation (unspeakable really) – this along with jet-lag gave me less than 4 hours of sleep per day for 3 weeks – I think this had a lot to do with exacerbating the tinnitus.

    My insomnia was so bad I saw a doctor who first prescribed 1 Xanax at bedtime – this helped me forget the Tinnitus enough to sleep for 3-5 nights but then it’s effect wore off. Next he gave me Zopiclone as it’s considered less addictive. It knocks me out and I find every time I get a good sleep I wake up feeling a little less concerned about the Tinnitus and also the volume of it decreased.

    I have seen an audiologist who advised that compared to the last time I was tested 4 years ago I have lost 5-10% of my hearing in both ears (not just the left that got so hurt on New Years) BUT that my hearing is still (barely) in the normal range.

    For more information I got myself referred to an ENT specialist 3 days ago who advised my ear drum pressure was normal both sides (which apparently is great news as drum trouble would be a much worse outcome); he however did put me on oral steroids (prednisolone) for 4 days and advised me that this is the best known possible fix for tinnitus after an audio assault on your ears – he also noted that it works best if administered right after the incident (not 4 weeks after as in my case) and that it works more often for younger people like teenagers who had a loud bang at a shooting range or something like that (not so much for a 41 year old guy like me who has been around loud music for decades).

    I share my story as I am only 4 weeks into this as a record for myself and anyone else who may benefit from what I have written.

    Thanks again for your great summary article.

    • Thanks for posting this, Kevin. In my experience, good sleep is crucial — my tinnitus always flares up when I’m sleepy and is almost nonexistent right after I wake up, when I’m well rested. Your condition will get better for sure — the only question is, how much better? I still can’t believe how much my tinnitus has improved over the past year or so.

    • Kevin– I’m having almost the exact same experience as you. I went to a concert with my son 5 days ago and my ears have been ringing like crazy ever since. It is so upsetting because the last time I went to a concert I had earplugs in the whole time–I knew better! We assumed because it was a bluegrass concert it wouldn’t be too bad. I have gone to the ENT and he put me on prednisone, but beyond that he only wants to check my hearing to see if I have loss in the higher frequencies. Everyone is saying it will eventually get better–but it’s hard not to assume the worse . This is the first sight I have come across that has not sent me into a complete panic. It’s actually helpful and positive. I can cope with this if I know it will lessen over time–it’s hard to believe right now that it will. I would love to hear how you are progressing. I am 45 years old and am reminded how delicate I am in my old age!!

  10. Thanks for that Tomasz – I just got back from a big birthday party of 30 people at a noisy chinese restaurant – looking quite foolish in ear protection I’m trying out for a month – while on the inside wrought with worry over this mess. I’m cutting my hours back at work immediately to focus on health and wellness!

    I’m happy to have found this site and made your acquaintance.

    For anyone following this thread I forgot to mention that my ENT specialist also closely examined my TMJ (I often grind my teeth at night); he recommended I wear a night guard – which I had and started using again after a month off – and it has helped at least my sleep, and thus my ring.

  11. This blog is really inspiring. I have been really struggling and suffering from Tinnitus for 7 weeks. It has totally changed my life. I was under much stress, depression, anxiety and lack of sleep. Tinnitus thrives in those situations. Today I am much calmer and ready to take my life back and not let tinnitus rule me. I was here first, I am in charge.

    Please keep updates on your Tinnitus progress. I think your tips are wonderful.

  12. Thank you so much for your post Tomasz. I’ve just recently got tinnitus and I had a lot of fear and anxiety from it. Your post is Very inspiring and makes me feel much better about it. I can’t say it’s a severe from of tinnitus, sometimes I don’t hear it at all. I can swear it’s not there, but then it comes back, and goes away again. Time’ll let me get used to it, that’s if it doesn’t go away completely..

    Please keep us up to date on your progress!

  13. Thank you so much for this “positive” information.
    As Hillary mentioned, a lot of the tinnitus info online is very doom and gloom oriented, makes things worse.
    I’ve had tinnitus for about a month now, just woke up with it one morning. No concerts, no loud noises but I do wear an mp3 player when I exercise so I suspect I may have had the volume too loud.
    I was very panicky at first but this blog has helped me a lot and by the way, the free “thunderstorm” mp3 file at simplyNoise is a great masker (1 hr long), very peaceful sound when I’m trying to get to sleep.

    Thanks again for all the useful info and positive reinforcement.

  14. grumpygeologist

    Nice write up. I’ve had tinnitus for about the last 30 years now and have been living most of your recommendations. In fact, the first time I heard my tinnitus today was when I saw the reference to your article and started reading it. I find that having soft to medium noise in the background – nice music or the television left on, the tinnitus just disappears – or as suggested, nature sounds etc., mask it completely. Background noise can be soft.

    Something that caught my attention in the comments from Hillary(?) attending a concert with her son where she forgot her earplugs and sustained some damage. Yikes!! If the sound levels are so high that she has to wear ear plugs or risk damage, why is her son or other children at that concert – risking a lifetime of damaged hearing??? Why do concerts where children attend have to be THAT loud?? If I had children, I would never allow them to attend and event where their hearing could be damaged.

    Just my $0.02 and worth every penny you paid for it.

  15. Hello all tinnitus sufferers,
    I am a computer tech by trade so naturally my tendency is to troubleshoot. What can I do to help relieve these non-stop ringing/buzzing/hissing sounds.
    I’ve been searching the web endlessly and blogs have been extremely helpful.
    So I discovered a site:

    http://ringinginears.net/2007-10-10/the-sounds-of-tinnitus-work-out-what-kind-of-tinnitus-you-have/

    that has audio files of various tinnitus sounds.
    Personally, I hear crickets, a high pitched non stop sound 24-7 and I found an audio file on this site that matched my particular tinnitus affliction:

    [audio src="http://ringinginears.net/audio/klingeln.mp3" /]

    I listened to it with earphones on an endless loop with earphones for 10 minutes or so.
    I removed my earphones and was astounded that I no longer heard the tinnitus sounds.
    Now, tinnitus is such a mental thing and your brain will bring it back if you’re looking for it.
    But I think I’m on to something here. Listen to a similar sound externally and the internal sound gets cancelled out.
    I’m curently a day without tinnitus and I try to remain calm in my success.

    I would love to hear from fellow sufferers, check out this remedy.

    Rick Nellis
    rdn90@hotmail.com

    • Only fair to report my tinnitus has returned after 2 days of “non-cricket” heaven. Back to the drawing board. Off to see an ENT next week but i’ll continue my own trial and error approach.
      The mp3 files do offer relief, tinnitus volume is lower afterwards.
      But I woke up this morning with it loud and clear.

      • Hi Rick. I haven’t had tinnitus for very long (3 months approximately) but I did notice it comes and goes. I can go for 1 week without it and it comes back. At first I thought it was gone for good but it bounces back. Who knows, maybe some day it’ll go and never come back.

        Have a great day!

        • Thanks for the reply David. there’s a lot of comfort in knowing you’re not alone with this strange condition.
          Cheers!

      • Rick, you might want to try Plasticity – an auditory training game that I just made available. Who knows — it might offer some relief (I would be thrilled if it did). See the update above for more details. Good luck!

  16. Thanks for this. This blog was the turning point for me in calming down about my recently aquired accoustic injury tinnitus. It was instrumental on sending me on a rational positive path. Now out of the bad loop, and into a good one, and although the tinnitus is still there it is rarely my focus and I don’t react to it emotionally anymore and am actually my happy self again.
    Cheers

  17. I have tinnitus, after driving home on a sunny afternoon last week. The sound was very bothering, so I decided to look it up in the web. Needless to say, all of the websites I’ve stumbled across scared me a lot more then what it is. Most of them were quite negative. Now, I’ve found your block and you are probably the only positive person describing this symptom. It’s been a week already and I still have it. I really hope it will go away soon. In addition, I hope your tinnitus will be gone soon. All the best to you.

  18. You may find this of interest: http://www.soundcure.com. New sound therapy device based on hearing research conducted at UC Irvine. FDA cleared device, available nationwide.

  19. Excellent insight provided regarding avoiding obsessing over the noise.

    It was somewhat ironic I had a recent bout with “T” given my preference for total silence, even when surfing, which is why I retired a noisy desktop for a laptop which produces virtually no noise by comparison, and speakers are always muted.

    After 59 years of perfect health, which never required a family physician or check up I experienced an unexplained, 4 week episode of “T”. Was anxiety the cause? After 3 weeks of vitual total isolation the intermittent hum in the left ear gradually subisded and absent by week four. I can now look back with amusement at the first night I began documenting the hum, having attributed the invasive noise to something that had to be related to the house or other external source. Google “The Hum” and you will find very little mention of tinnitus, but much about strange events akin to bigfoot.

    Yes, I was developing coping mechanisms during my short episode of “T” but there can be no doubt I prefer life without the unwanted and univited companion. August 29, 2012 to September 22 is a time period I am unlikely to forget.

  20. Makes me feel a lot better! Especially the part about humans not being able to hear total silence anyways; I never really thought of it that way. I have a slight case of T for a little over a year now, and totally feel the heart rate racing and anxiety when I notice it. I found a great music track that provides amazing relief and am keeping myself so busy that I simply don’t have the energy to freak out about it! I am still a bit concerned though, because I am only 22 and like going to parties etc. Even though I am usually wearing earplugs (and am the only one of my peers to do so) sometimes it seems they don’t work. But I am gonna try this approach – and keep going to parties I suppose because I can’t let this control my life! And at 22, who knows maybe its just comfy and will eventually leave.

  21. Thanks for the well-thought out tips, Tomasz. Seems like the raging scientific debate is whether tinnitus is a symptom of existing hearing loss made worse by stress, or directly opposite, whether the tinnitus noise itself blocks the listener’s ability to hear frequencies over the noise of the tinnitus. Wondering if you’ve found a way to see if the tinnitus is causing hearing loss, or if the hearing loss causes the tinnitus.

    Also, hoping to get someone’s opinion on whether hearing loss may have been caused by running on a treadmill indoors for about 58 minutes three to four times a week for a few months (in training for a race). My smartphone measures the decibels of the machine between 85-90 DBs, sometimes spiking briefly at 92 or 93 for just a second or two. Thanks all.

    • Hello,

      One thing I’ve had confirmed by 2 different ENT specialists is that hearing loss causes tinnitus. I’ve had 3 seperate hearing tests and have substantial loss in the higher frequencies. This high frequency range is now replaced by the noise in my ears/brain, tinnitus.
      Just an FYI, I saw Pete Townsend on David Letterman last night discussing his tinnitus, he says that he’s gotten a lot of relief from taking herbal medicines from his homepath,

    • Hi Matt,

      Hearing loss causes tinnitus, not the other way around. 90 DBs of sustained sound is where hearing loss starts to occur. At that level, it would take hours on end to have permanent hearing loss, around 8 hours I believe. It would be very surprising that your treadmill caused your hearing loss.

      Stress does affect the way you perceive tinnitus. The limbic system is responsible for your habituation to it. It’s like when you’re wearing clothes, you don’t feel it unless you think about it. Well tinnitus is the same. After some time, your brain will get accustomed to the sound. Stress can make it seem worse because your limbic system is busy dealing with your stress.

      How long have you had your tinnitus? If it’s been within a month, I implore you to go see an ENT ASAP to have a steroid given to you. It could save your hearing. If I would’ve known this myself, I would’ve probably saved myself from tinnitus.

      • I just found this blog–have had tinnutis for over a month now…
        thought it was left over from bad sinus infection where I went through two antibiotic RX and a steriod 5-day pack then RX for bronchial inhalor (another type of steroid) and another prednisone. During that time I flew home from FL and when the plane was decending my ears popped and my ringing went away…once the sinus infection started up, I had problem with ringing…
        Finally went to my dr who said he could see no obvious reason and did cursory auditory test–said I had loss in both ears.
        I went to ENT today and had audio test–found reduced hearing in my left ear (where the ringing is) and nothing in my right. I told this doctor about my sinus infections and the RX w/prednisone and that about two years before my husband and I had been in a serious car accident but thankfully not had any severe trauma–just seat belt trauma…but the airbags front and side came out. I asked if the air bags could have damaged my ear. He said that was distinct possibility–and that yes, it could have taken this long to make the damage known…I am a 65 yr old woman who was never into loud music, don’t use headphones, worked as teacher where noise was constant but not like machine shop…

        I don’t know what to believe–I am taking an over the counter allergy antihistimene proscribed by my family doctor in case there is any fluid in inner ear–but the ENT didn’t ask about that–he proscribed what I think is a tranq of some kind which I probably won’t take…wasn’t ready at pharmacy when we went by after the doctor visit.

        Neither one recommended another round of steroids since they both said tthat using steroids–even Advil–can cause this problem.

        Frankly I have noticed NO change in my hearing except for the difficulty witth the ringng interfering at time…I understand that damaged hearing can cause the tinnitus–but it doesn’t always…since I didn’t have an auditoryy test before this started, I guess I don’t axiomatically believe that tthe hearing loss is so severe that it is causing it now…

  22. Thanks David for the informed and thoughtful comment. Your validation that I didn’t do in my hearing — by trying to be physically fit — is a huge comfort. And thanks for the comments on how stress can amplify tinnitus.

    My tinnitus started more than two years ago. Saw a general practitioner at the time who said it might go away, or it might not. Then went to a renowned hearing clinic, about six months ago, where I was told there really isn’t anything that can be done. Pretty discouraging.

    Curious if anyone else has found ways to calm the limbic system and allow it to help filter out tinnitus. Any suggestions would be appreciated. “The Loop,” as Tomasz described so beautifully, can be a powerful gravitational force to overcome.

  23. Thanks. Kind of you to share. I’ll try your game too. Mine comes and goes.. I’m generally good at not getting in the loop; but seem to have unwittingly entered it again in the last week.. your tips will no doubt help.

  24. As I’m writing this, I realised that I too might be suffering from tinnitus. Had some pain in my right eat and I’ve noticed soon after the pain I started hearing a soft high pitched sound in the background at the moment its bearable and I can deal with it. Im still not sure if it’s indeed tinnitus or just because I have colds and stuffed nose. Should go to my doctor and have it checked? Is there any special diagnostic procedure that will be done to confirm if I really have tinnitus? Aside from the ringing sound, are there any other associated sign and symptoms along with it? Like headache vertigo dizziness lost of balance to make sure that it is. Trying very hard to calm myself down and not to panic. Please help me! And I just wanna what different types of sounds of tinnitus. Does it vary to different individual? Is there any site on the net that mimic the sound of tinnitus just to compare it to mine. Didn’t sleep well last night had panic attacks. Thanks so much in advance

    • If you haven’t had it for a long time (like 2 weeks), chances are it’s just some passing symptom, especially if you have a cold. It’s possible that your ear has a wax buildup, which can cause a ringing sound (at least in my case it does) — usually you can notice some discomfort or the fact that your hearing is slightly worse in one ear.

    • If the ringing is recent, I suggest you go see your doctor asap and get their opinion. Hearing loss is the most common cause of tinnitus. Have you had exposure to loud noise for a prolong period of time? If you did, tell you doctor about it. I know that steroids can help cure your hearing loss if taken soon after the trauma that caused the loss itself. Tinnitus varies in sound depending on the individual. Tinnitus may make your ear may feel “stuffy” or “plugged” at times. It can also cause vertigo if the tinnitus is sever enough. Good luck, and try to stay calm, stress can make it seem worse.

  25. i have it too it really has changed my life it has made me very ill if lost out on many sleeps and the sounds are loud it can be to hard but u have to be strong and fight it make friends with it as thy say

  26. Hello all.
    This is just an FYI to all new tinnitus sufferers. I first developed my tinnitus the first week of July 2012 and it scared me. I was looking around my apartment for what was causing this noise until I realized that the source was internal, not external. After a few visits to an ENT I learned that I had hearing loss (specifically in the high frequencies) which was causing my tinnitus.
    The good news: I still have it but have learned to live with it. Some days I don’t notice it for hours at a time. So relax, exercise, live a healthy lifestyle and be cool. I’m grateful that I still hear most of what goes on around me. The tinnitus is now just a part of me, and not so annoying when you understand the cause: namely, hearing loss. We’re all getting older and hearing loss goes with the territory.

  27. I’m glad I stumbled upon this block as it has given me a great deal of insight into my tinnitus problem and some possible self-help measures I can take to possible help control my reaction to it. I started having tinnitus in February during the course of a severe sinus infection. While my sinus infection finally was cured the tinnitus has remained and seems to have actually gotten worse. What concerns me most is that over the past month or so I’ve noticed that my tinnitus actually picks up everyday sounds, water from a faucet, the air freshener, humidifier, the fan on my computer, etc and increases in intensity. I suppose most of the sounds are of the high-frequency type and I do have a high frequency hearing loss. I was fitted with hearing aids and the hearing aid specialist stated the sounds of tinnitus should remain more or less constant and that I was probably getting some sort of feed-back. This is not the way it is with me, I know my tinnitus is aggravated and made worse be these sounds and they don’t have to be loud nor do I have to be wearing my hearing aids.. I have done considerable research on the matter but have yet to come upon anyone having described a similar experience or even an article that speaks of this problem. I would like to know if anyone does have this problem or if my tinnitus may be of a different nature. I would greatly appreciate any information. .

    • I think it’s possible your tinnitus gets louder in the presence of everyday sounds because you’re focusing on it. At least that’s what I experienced. I would watch TV and listen for my tinnitus at the same time; sure enough, I could hear it over the TV. I only got better after I started consciously forcing my attention away from the tinnitus.

  28. Unfortunately my tinnitus definitely reacts to and become considerable more intense with certain sounds and they seem to be of a high-frequency nature. I was diagnosed as having a severe high-frequency hearing loss so there may or not be a connection. This does make the tinnitus harder to deal with but I’m trying to use some of your suggestions to help overcome the problem. That seems to be the only real option I have as all the other measures I’ve tried have been fruitless.
    I recently stumbled upon what appears to be an explanation for the additional problem I’m having with sounds. It’s a condition called Hyperacusis and it seems that about 40% of tinnitus patients have it. As far as percentages go it looks like I got the bad end of the stick. Never-the-less, I’m trying to stay positive and deal with it the best I can. I had been so lucky, not only with my health but with practically all aspects of my life, that I can it’s time to pay the piper. I’m getting older now but when I was young I loved music and liked it loud. Wish I had it to do over again!

    Thanks for starting this blog! The information has been helpful to me and it’s nice to know you’re not alone in trying to deal with this lilfe-changing ailment. I plan to keep fighting.

    • Hi Tom,
      I certainly related to your comments. I too have been moreless a lucky person in life and I spent years listening to loud music, particularly with my mp3 player. Paying the price now as well. One thing I notice that helps is simply time. 6 months ago I never imagined I’d get used to the tinnitus but now I can go hours at a time without noticing the ringing. good days and bad days but I’m still a very healthy person aside from the tinnitus. Blogs like this help a great deal.
      Cheers,
      Rick

  29. Thanks Rick,
    Another thing that helps is hearing from people who are dealing with tinnitus yet maintain a positive attitude and offer hope that things will get better. It’s really strange that prior to the on-set of my tinnitus I had never even heard of it and since it commenced I have not found any of my friends/acquaintances who have experienced the problem (to any significant degree) and whom I could relate with. I felt very alone and then started checking on-line and found out I was in no way alone. You’re right, blogs like this may be among the the best forms of therapy we have.

    Thanks again and good luck!

    Tom

  30. Good stuff Tom,
    Tinnitus, although a physical condition is also for fellow sufferers a very mental and emotional thing to deal with. Just chilling out is important.
    I’ve had two seperate ENT specialists tell me that my high frequency hearing loss is the direct cause of my tinnitus.
    And my high frequency hearing loss was my own doing.
    My years of enjoying Led Zeppelin, The Stones, etc at high volume with earphones has caused the high frequency hearing loss but now I’m OK with it. The “crickets” in my brain are there now, so be it.
    One other thing, when i’m busy with work or friends, the tinnitus definitely subsides. So keep busy!

    Rick

  31. Rick,
    Sounds like we went down the same road for sure! I blame a lot of my problem on Bob Seger and Rod Stewart. My job required a lot of travel on the road and they were a lot of company. Too much I’m afraid. Like you when I wasn’t in the car I far too often had earphones in my ear and the volumn up loud. The result, “Severe high frequency hearing loss”. I know the diagnosis is correct as before I purchased my hearing aids I saw three different audiologists and you could lay the results of each test over each other and they were practically identical. You’re right, I’m trying to stay busy and focus on other things. Recently joined the Y and spent about two hours there a few days ago and never once thought about my tinnitus. It’s up to us to deal with the problem as I saw three different ENTs and none offered any hope other than “you have to learn to live with it.” I will take your advise and try and stay busy. I’m determined to not let this get me down.

    Tom

  32. Hi
    Thanks for great tips. I`ve had T for years but It got worse lately, and my life went down the drain. But after I read your tips I feel I can overcome this battle again. I think your tips are soo good you schould write a book:) thanks, Jesse

  33. Wow great work on this site.. I woke up three days ago with the loud sound of a Florida Cicada bug sound in my ear. First day thought I would go crazy, today after finding this site, I feel much better. The cicada is a sound I hear each summer and kinda like, so I try my best to just think that the sound is just those summer cicada bugs, even though it’s full winter here in Florida. Thanks! Greg

  34. This has slightly increased my confidence, I’ve had tinnitus for around 5 years now and I’m only 14. It’s a lot louder in my left ear and is mentally distressing, the tinnitus came from ETD. Which is a terrible condition that I received after a horrible ear infection in my left ear.

    I still have ETD to this very day and it doesn’t bother me very much but I just want to know how fluid behind the ears could cause such a horrible ringing noise! I think ETD has done some sought of damage to my ear that really just depresses me.

  35. Great article and great responses. I’ve had tinnitus for 6+ years and for the most part, it doesn’t interfere with my life at all. Mine is of the high pitched “ringing” (that is the closest sound that I can use to describe it) variety and it is 24/7. It definitely gets louder when I am tired (I can actually use it to let me know when I need to get some sleep!) and is present in the morning as well – until I am fully alert and on to my day. I found this blog because this past week it has become very loud and persistent – I am assuming that this has to do with me having been ill with the flu/cold during that time.

    As a long time survivor :) of this condition, I can tell you that yes, sleep (or lack thereof) directly effects it, paying attention to it will cause it to amplify and you can live happily with tinnitus!

    I am sure that I have some degree of high frequency hearing loss (I haven’t had it checked in ages) as I am 54 and grew up listening to loud rock music as many others here have. But, other than that I am a very healthy person – age just happens. That said, I know this is not the cause of my tinnitus and I am going to share how mine started in case it may help someone else. Over 6 years ago I was in a deep depression due to a divorce and made a poor choice to overdose on Xanax. I woke up from this and drove myself to the hospital to get checked out (or in my case, checked in). It was after this event that I began to experience tinnitus and it has been with me every day since then.

    Sure it can be annoying at times (like now as I mentioned), but I have come a long way from the place I was in 6+ years ago and I have also just accepted this constant “sound” as part of who I am now. There are days that pass without me even noticing it, although I “know” it is still there. Basically, it is like “oh, there it is again” and I either go to sleep or just continue on and it subsides into my not conscious awareness.

    I would be very interested in any homeopathic remedies that people know of that have proven successful. I can, and will happily, live forever with this condition, but I also wouldn’t say no to a “cure”!

    I would also love to hear an mp3 of my sound…I have yet to find one.

    Namaste,
    Starla

    • Your response was wonderful, Starla. The place you’ve gotten sets a realistic goal for many people with this.

      The connection between stress and tinnitus seems to be attracting more research. This March 2012 study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3328238/) suggests a link, and is worth a read. It says: “Long-term stress exposure and its deleterious effects therefore constitute an important predisposing factor for, or a significant pathological consequence of, this debilitating hearing disorder.”

  36. A friend was going through a difficulty time + she said what helped her is blogging..hence I found this sight.
    I have had tinnitus for approximately 16 years + after suffering greatly I did the TRT about 8 years ago. I did learn to live with it + have been fine. As many people mentioned you adapt, excercise, and mask the sound.
    But recently the sounds became quite loud again…I had tremendous stress + lack of sleep. The stress factor was eliminated (work related) but the sounds have continued. I have been back to my audiologist + she confirmed this is stress related. Also getting support from a Naturopath + chiropractor but the reality is I have to take a few steps back and learn how to cope again. I got off course. I have put the maskers back into my ears because all I do is focus on the sounds! I love the fact that it was mentioned to only check 1x a day! Brilliant suggestion + one I will attempt.
    I am encouraged that I will eventually be back to where I was before this onset, this is from all of the encouraging words I have read today.
    I want to add that my tinnitus came without a clue…but my advice to all is to protect your ears, always.

  37. Thanks for a great site, and Thomasz – thanks for your post on Dec. 13 where you say that if it hasn’t been going on for long, it is probably a passing thing – this has given me some relief (time will tell if it was fake relief or not)

    My story – i woke up 15 days ago, and heard a high-pitched ringing in my head. I knew immediately what is was, but thought that it would just pass

    I saw my own doctor after 6 days, who cleansed my ears as i had some wax. He then referred me to a ENT. After he removed my wax, i felt that i heard things louder – and the sounds at my work (work in an office with 10 people) seemed to bother me – especially high pitched sounds.

    As i am too much of a worrier, i looked up far to many articles – which only made me feel worse as i then feared i would have Menieres or that it would never stop. I then noticed slight dizzyness, nausea and a general loss of hunger – i didnt feel hungry at any time and had to force food into me.

    ENT saw me on day 9 – nothing wrong with my hearing or ears, and no sign of menieres or other stuff. He said it was probably a passing virus, and that it would take off over time. I asked a loot a questions, and maybe he got a bit annoyed with me as he at one point said “you’ll have to learn to live with it”

    I had called various ENT’s – and prior to making the arrangement for day 9, i had also arranged to see another ENT. I went to see him today – and the results were the same – He also thought it would dissapear and that 15 days really wasn’t a long time. I have also had a cold for 4-5 days, which he said could also have an effect. I have developed a minor headache, but he didnt think it had to do with the “T”

    I have no trouble falling asleap at night – but have woken up 3-5 times at night, having difficulty to fall back to sleep. I always try to fall asleap for an hour or so, before using some static sounds (i use a white noise i have found on youtube) because i fear that i will then grow to not being able to fall asleap without masking.

    I can now cope with the office sounds a bit better – some high pitched sounds still bother me.

    I previously went to Spinning classes 3-4 times a week where the music is loud, but only for a hour, and still quite lower than in a night club/concert setting – i do however fear going there now as im afraid it affects my “T” – even with earplugs. I did go on day 13 which made me feel good – but on day 14 my “T” seemed higher.

    At work my mood was normally very good – but the last 10 days it has been up and down. I try to be in good mood, but its difficult – probably because i focus to much on the “T”

    Im going on a 14 day trip overseas in 9 day – hopefully this will help me to think of other things.

    Once again thanks for a great site – and your guides have allready cheered me up a little.
    (sorry for the long post)

  38. I’m so glad I came across your post. I thought i was losing my mind, but I’ve been hearing a sound in my head now that sounds like a hard drive with a flanger on it. Or a bathroom with an echo and a toilet that runs off and on again. It’s just relieving to know there’s at least one other out there.

  39. I must admit I am yet to read all of your post BUT … I have noticed my Tinitius is worse with exposure to Microwaves – ie: Wireless, mobiles, DECT phones- anything that emits Pulsed Microwave Radiation.

    I have had a friend comment when they stayed over (slept for a few weeks) that their tinitius is much worse in the city than in the country side (where my friend resides). He has very poor mobile coverage and no wireless internet / home network to speak of, so I concluded that he isn’t usually exposed to much RF.

    I have since purchased a 200Mhz – 8.5Ghz radiation meter to follow up on this.

    I just thought I would share this before reading the rest of your article. (I don’t know why, I just got a bee in my bonnet about it).

    Now, back to read your post …

    • Hi there,
      I must say your blog made me feel more positive about this whole situation. I only developed tinnitus 4 days ago due to loud music exposure. I barely go clubbing and well this time I left with more than a hangover. Though I didn’t notice the ringing until about 12 hours later, which I do find strange.
      I’m 19 and really don’t want to be stuck with this for the rest of my life.

      I went to the doctor twice in the past 4 days. My last doctor coincidently suffered with tinnitus for about 3 weeks and it went away. I find relief in knowing that it can go away for some. He told me it should go away in a few weeks, as it was only one night! Fingers crossed right.

      Anyway your blog opened my eyes and I found it quite calming. Thank you :)

      Live with no regrets!

      • Hi Tiffany,

        I am currently in a very similar situation to you, being 19 and having developed tinnitus after a night out clubbing, something I don’t do very often. I would be really interested and would find it very helpful to hear how you are coping with it now, or indeed whether it has gone away at all?

  40. I’m not too sure if I have tinnitus because this is only my first night of hearing this noise. I’m probably just self diagnosing as most googlers do. I had a bit of a panic attack thinking i was hearing things but then read up on it and feeling alot more calm now. I do have an extremely blocked ear and I do wear hearing aids, but right now I am laying in bed and it is 6am im usually asleep by now. The thumping started at around 4am. I am extremely tired and unable to fall asleep. But I’m going to try and listen to music or count and see how it goes. Hopefully this is temporary due to my build up of wax and nothing too serious. I do like my sleep and silence. if anyone has anything positive to say or any tips please reply it would really help and put me at ease. If this keeps happening I’ll definitely see my doctor.

    • “Thumping” doesn’t sound like tinnitus at all. I’d say your ear is blocked and you’re simply hearing your pulse. Try irrigating your ear canal with a large syringe filled with lukewarm water.

      • Thankyou heaps :) that’s what i was thinking I just needed to hear from someone else. I’ll go doctors ASAP to get my ears unblocked. Thanks for your response!

  41. Can I ask how you a finding your tinnitus now? I am just at the end of my second month with tinnitus…. I still get anxious about it and the whole “I have got this for the rest of my life” but each day week gets a tiny bit easier than first two! Thanks again!

    • I only notice it once in a few weeks (usually when I’m sick or tired, or when my ear is blocked), and even if I do, it’s no big deal. Don’t think about “the rest of your life” – focus on today. A wise man once said “Don’t worry about it twice”. Let “tomorrow’s you” worry about tomorrow’s tinnitus. Today you have only “today’s tinnitus” to deal with.

  42. thats great news… and pleased you are doing so well… so would you say it hasn’t affected the quality of your life at all?

    • It doesn’t affect me at all anymore. I worry about other things, of course, just not my tinnitus. :)

      • This forum is so helpful to tinnitus sufferers. It’s one of those conditions that only a fellow sufferer understands. I’ve had my tinnitus for approx. 9 months now and 99% of the time I’m living my life unaware of the “crickets”. Every so often, usually when I’m reading, I’ll be aware of it but even then it’s just part of me now. Time really does help a lot!

  43. I wonder when I will reach that point. 4 months in it and still aware of this sound 24/7, worst in the morning but present during a day – low volume , high tone hiss. Wish I can forget about this sound, trying my best but still react kind of negative to it.

  44. I’m 41 and have had tinnitus over a year. I just woke up with it April 17, 2012. Night and day does not go far enough to say how much better life is now vs. then! In the beginning, I couldn’t think of anything but the ringing. It consumed me. I felt trapped, claustrophobic, miserable, couldn’t sleep. I didn’t know if I could go on. It took time but I adjusted. I started exercising, lost weight, and used medicine for a while (Xanax, mostly, and some sleeping medicine). What really helped were the relaxation techniques I learned online and by going to a hypnotherapist. I was able to stop using the medicine and go to sleep on my own. If I woke up at night, I would go through the relaxation techniques again and go back to sleep (basically telling each part of my body to relax starting at my feet and working up, sounds so goofy but I promise it works). I got to the point where I could hear the ringing, but it didn’t bother me, AT ALL! ZERO! I never thought that was possible. Then, believe it or not, I think it went away for quite a while. And then it came back! And I had to readjust. But I don’t want to give anything but hope. THINGS GET SO MUCH BETTER! SO MUCH BETTER!!! Have hope! HOPE!!!

  45. I had an inner ear infection diagnosed on April 10 2013. Was given BIAXIN (poison). On the 17th of April 2013 tinnitus started. I am a mess. My GP gave me Ativan for 5 nights and I could cope with it during the day. Went to ENT had 2 hearing tests in 3 weeks…my hearing is perfect…it is NOT my ears therefore he cant help me! Can you believe that! He told me to take 5mg of Melatonin before bedtime. I felt awful the next day…groggy almost all day!!!! Tried nothing last night….I think I slept for 45 minutes the whole night. I was doing breathing techniques…at one point the tinnitus subsided but coult NOT get back to sleep. My nerves are shot. In 3 weeks I have become a complete disaster. I need help.

    • It gets better; so much better! I remember my ENT telling me the same thing, even getting mad at me. He said, “It’s like a pair of shoes, you don’t think about wearing shoes most of the time and they don’t bother you.” I didn’t want to hear that. I needed help and hope. THERE IS HOPE! I don’t mean to diminish your suffering, I know it’s real. For me, exercise during the day really helped me. I missed a lot of work at first because I could not sleep, so I exercised (walking which turned to jogging).The first week, I couldn’t drive 5 miles without almost falling asleep. I only share that to say that now I don’t think about it. It’s hard at first and takes a little time but have hope. It will, absolutely, positively get better. Turn to your family and friends for support. Turn to prayer if you believe in God (I feel it helped me). See a speech and hearing specialist. There are hearing aid type devices that are designed to help you adjust to it. There are options and there is hope. Soon enough, you will be encouraging others who are new to tinnitus.

      • Thanks for your reply. It helps a lot. How did your Tinnitus start YoungOldster? I am at the 2 month mark yesterday. Since it started I felt on some days like it was going away. Right ear is much much worse than left…the left one I can hardly hear the T sometimes. I am being pro-active. I grind my teeth and was told years ago to get a guard so went to dentist to rule out TMJ. No TMJ only sensitive jaw muscles and sensitive teeth so I have started a tooth guard at time just 2 days ago….it seems to make it worse…a coincidence? I dont know. Last night I went to bed my Tinnitus was very low…fell asleep and my T was very loud in right ear. So I am confused lol! I have other symtoms that started like a thumping in my ears not deep down but a thumping nonetheless…doesnt last long. Also when I am sleeping on my right ear (which is the worst one) last night I heard a sound that sounded like your cell phone is vibrating…not constant thank God. Going to our hospital for a Tinnitus consultation with audiologist on July 3 and going to my allergist in July also. Tinnitus for me started with “fluid” in my ears…so something is causing this. Hope I get an answer to all my questions. I wish you all the best and hope one day the noise will cease! L.O.V.E.

      • p.s. I have been taking Seroquel 25mg at bedtime only. This has helped me quite a bit. An anxiety medication. Some nights I have take 12mg and it worked too. I dont want to be on meds for the rest of my life though. Cannot wait to go to Tiinitus consultation!

      • hey..i am 6 days into tinnutis..it came out of nowhere..i think maybe i took too much aleve when i was hung over.wayy too much…i feel bad because do i have to suffer like this for the rest of my life? night time is the worst..that constant ringing and buzzing in my ear woke me up almost to a panic attack and i started crying and weeping like i have never cried before..on the floor…asking God to remove this awful sound from my head..is it truly possible and true that you could reach a point when this sound does not bother you at all anymore? this almost seems like a miracle…i would do ANYTHING to reach that point …i did have a cold before and i also had a little bit of an ear ache before all this happened..the ringing is on the right side of my ear/head and its worse whenenver i am in a silent room or sleeping i hear that high pitched whistle non stop..NON STOP!!! how could one live their life for the rest of their life like this..please give me hope for i am losing hope..i need relief..i need encouragement..i believe in God and surely God does not want us to suffer so much like this…does he? help me…please!!!!!! i went to the dr.he looked at my right ear..he said it was a little red and gave me antio biotics..im not sure if this will help..you see i have always had tiny mild tinnutis andi could always ignore it..but this time it is soo intrusive and powerful…

  46. Hi,
    I have had tinnitus for about a year now. It is worse in the morning and then fluctuates through out the day. The only direct correlation I can find is that after I excersize (jog, bball) it invariably intesifies.

    I have tried ginko, magnesium, hearing aid, zinc, stopping nsaids, stopping all meds (restarted meds when no changes).

    Can anyone extrapolate why my workouts would make it worse and what I might conclude from this correlation to help reduce/cure my tinnitus? Much Thanks! Mohammed

    • Hi Mohammed,

      I have identical symptoms to you. I’ve also had my tinnitus for a year. Worse in the morning and worse after workouts. Although the workouts make me feel great everywhere else my tinnitus is worse.
      The only theory I have is that while you’re working out, your heart rate increases, your blood pressure goes up, your entire body is running faster, hotter and louder (in the case of the tinnitus). Also, I notice stress greatly increases the tinnitus for all the same reasons.
      After a year I’m learning to live with it, it’s just a part of me now. My ENT has confirmed I have hearing loss in both ears and this is a direct cause of my tinnitus.

  47. Thanks Rick. My ENT said the same but most people with hearing loss don’t have tinnitus (my 86 year old mom for example). I haven’t come to accept it yet – maybe in another year. I have a list of possible causes and I am checking them off as I try them. Right now this excersise lead is what I am working on. So I am trying to understand the changes in the body that occur (as you listed) when you excersise and think something in that link is damaged and perhaps can be corrected. Don’t know but speculating on muscle, skeletel, arteries clogged/narrowed, neck or other… I jog so I wonder if the vibration/thumping may adversely affect a damaged/out 0f place “something” in the body that is related to the intesity of the tinnitus.

  48. I have had tinnitis for over a year now ,caused from high frequency hearing loss. Your site has actually made me feel a lot calmer, knowing that their is hope! It does seem like it has gotten better, especially when I am busy with friends, or when I am working I hardly hear it.I also think my stress level has gone down since I have faced the fact that this is part of me and I have to deal with it. It is worse for me in the evening, it gets loud especially when I,m watching TV I hear the tinnitis over the TV.I take half of a xanax at night and I sleep very well. How can I conquer this TV thing ? My bad Times are in the evening with TV on or TV off, the noise is loud.

  49. Ursula,
    I recommend white noise so that you have a distraction from your ears. I use a fan or use a white noise app on my phone. You can still hear the TV but the white noise helps a lot.
    I always use a fan to sleep as well.

  50. Sometimes when I try to sleep I hear these loud frequency sounds in my head, they start low then increase higher and higher to a point that my feet shake. I try to snap out of it but cannot make a move…wen I receive an opportunity to make movement. The sounds stop, when I fall into sleep mode again. Then start. What is this?

  51. With which software can I determinate the frequency of my tinnitus ?
    After that how can I find the correct sound/music for my problem ?
    Thanks in advance.

  52. Tinnitus started to bother me more than a month ago, a permanent whistling sound that drove me crazy to the point I couldn’t sleep anymore. It’s the sound I used to hear after being to a really loud concert. Apparently there is nothing wrong with me medically and am taking some Ginkgo Biloba pills for a week now — it makes no difference but at least I feel I’m doing something and my doctor also said it would irrigate my hearing. Yesterday I decided to take a few days off from work and did NOTHING at all, just slept on the couch watching/listening to TV, and then took my wife out for dinner. Today I ran 5Km on the treadmill (workout did’t affect the noise) and drank no coffee. The tinnitus is still here, of course, but I am sure this has something to do with stress and fatigue. I guess it probably will never go away but I am crossing my fingers hoping the sound will decrease over time. In any case, I will NOT let it ruin my life, as it did for a few days last week — I am 36 and hadn’t cried for many years but after a few sleepless nights it just became too much.
    My message today is: don’t despair, remember you are not alone and tinnitus is in fact a manageable problem. PS I live in Portugal and over here every herbal store or even pharmacy has some sort of cure to sell you — it’s probably the same in the US and all over the internet. I tried some in the beginning but now am convinced this is nothing more than charlatans trying to make money over other people’s misery.

  53. I’m glad I found this blog and am heading over to the forum suggested above to read some more stories. I was put on zoloft for depression a month and a half ago. After 3 or so days i noticed my left ear occasionally ringing, this progressed to both ears and after 10 days of the high pitched ringing getting worse I stopped the zoloft. It has been 18 days since then and the ringing is present 24/7. I don’t sleep for roughly 24 – 40 hours and when i do finally fall asleep I’m lucky if I manage more than 5 hours. I’m hoping the ringing will stop and is not a permanent thing but I’m now starting to think that it will be with me from here on out. It is extremely encouraging to read that many others are able to live normal lives, even with the constant noise. I have cried many times in the past couple of weeks but after reading this blog I feel like now maybe this is something I can take control of. Thanks so much :-)

    • Hi Elli,

      I had to reply to your email because you sound exactly like me 1 year ago. I just woke up one morning in July 2012 with the ringing in my ears. I too cried and thought I was losing my mind. I went to 3 separate appointments with ENT specialists and discovered I had high frequency hearing loss in both ears (too many concerts and too loud volume in my earphones). I’m 55 years old and I realize now the tinnitus is with me now but the good news is that you will get used to it Elli. I’m so used to it now a year later that I’m not even aware of the tinnitus 90% of the time. It becomes a part of you and you will adjust. Hang in there, it gets better.

      Rick

    • Elli, I agree with Rick that you will adjust to it.. I woke up with this awful hissing in my left ear about 6 months ago, thought I would go crazy the first couple of weeks. I now have learned to just adjust to it as you would an appliance running all day in you home, at least if you take this approach you won’t expect to just wake up one morning and it be gone, and maybe one day it will, but you will be able to deal with it if it don’t.. Take Care! Greg

      • Hey Greg,
        What a great reply. Tinnitus is very sinister because it’s inside your own brain. The first month is the worst because you’re so helpless to treat it.
        As I write this update I hear the hissing in my ears but it’s the norm now and it doesn’t affect my life. I love to read and my “hissing” is part of my life, it’s just there.
        Our capacity to adapt is what makes us human. Elli, it gets better, I promise you that.

    • I believe ZOLOFT is ototoxic….poison to the ears that can cause Tinnitus look into it with your DR. he or she has a list of ototoxic drugs.

  54. I developed tinitus about 2 weeks ago after a nasty head cold. Ever since, I’ve been driving myself mad and got very anxious and have been in therapy since. I’ve also started on Propanlol, to reduce the anxiety effects.
    I used to notice it all the time, even the tele. Because I became so oppssesed with the sound. At night, was the nightmare every day. Recently, I’ve never heard it during the day and the smallest if noises ie. the computer or clock can drown it out.
    Sometimes I wake up in the morning and it’s gone and when I go to sleep. I’m hoping its on its last legs now.
    Thank you for this blog, it’s nice to know I’m not on my own.

  55. Greg and Rick-

    I’ve had tinnitus for the past 6 months and at times it seems to be getting better but I’m trying to stay positive. I’m 54 and this has really been a challenge. I’ve always been active and physically fit with no health issues. Any words of encouragement? Thanks for your help. I try not to discuss it with family because they already think I’m a hypochondriac.

    • Hi Greg,

      It was exactly 1 year ago this weekend I developed tinnitus. I’m 55, otherwise very healthy, I work out the gym 5 days per week, watch my diet, etc. The first few months is by far the worse time with tinnitus, I thought I was losing my mind. But I can tell you that it does get better. Yes, my tinnitus is still there but I go long stretches without being aware of it, sometimes hours at a time. And hen I am aware of it, it’s just part of me now.
      No more tears, no more worry. It does get better.

  56. Another note….I’ve had an MRI and other tests, which were negative. ENT…just live with it. It came on like a train through my ears. I’m struggling.

  57. Thanks Rick. I just noticed that you commented.

  58. You are seriously one of the most awesome people ever. After reading this it makes so much sense why I’ve been so stressed. I feel like I can handle this now and not let it bother me. Before I read this, the high pitched sound was taking over my life and literally, straight after it isn’t as noticeable. I aim to conquer it. I’ve only had it for three weeks and a day after a nasty virus but it had gone from being undeniably loud and frightening to a high pitch that doesn’t bother me as much and is much quieter. I feel I have the strength to move on now and not let it control my life. Man, I used to go straight into quiet rooms just so I could hear it, close my hands over my ears and focus hard… not anymore now! Much love from a fellow tinnitus sufferer~ ^.^

  59. This is one of the best write-ups on Tinnitus I have come across. I’m an acoustics engineer and have quite loud tinnitus in both ears, like a constant high pitched screech at about 4kHz. It began very suddenly on 1st of Feb 2011, possibly due to stress at work(?), and has never really stopped since. I’m very careful with my hearing and use ear defenders and ear-plugs if I think I might damage it (including using 18dB attenuating earplugs at concerts!). The advice to “learn not to notice it” is excellent. Your post is obviously making a big difference to a lot of people! Well done!

  60. Your site is very encouraging. You reinforce what I think is the answer which is to keep it in perspective and most importantly accept it and even embrace it as just part of the new you.

    A good site for free nature MP3 is this one:

    http://archive.org/details/Sounds_of_Nature_Collection

    This has a number of good masking sounds for Tinnitus. I like the crickets because my Tinnitus is around 9200 herz and the cricket audio is mainly at the high end of the frequencies.

    • Good news to know that site of nature sounds collection.
      But … how to determinate the frequecy of my tinnitus ?
      Is there any windows free software that does it ?
      After knowing the frequency, how to procede to choose the correct sound as good masking sound ?
      Very thanks in advance.

  61. Thank you very much! it helps knowing that there are people going through exactly what i am, and have overcame it. iv had T for around 3 months now and i occasionally have frantic flare ups and dive into anxiety but this helps. my father and aunt both have it to and they say they have had it so long they dont even notice it anymore. it takes time and patience but your brain is amazing and it has the capacity to deal with trauma like Shittius over time haha. hang in there everyone we are not alone, it sucks but we are in this club together.

  62. I have one main question I really want to ask- will I ever be able to enjoy weddings, festivals, concerts, even watching movies and going theatres… and the such? I now feel so terrified of the idea of going to these things- the idea that I’ll make the ringing so much worse. I don’t want to be the odd one out in my family- I’m already outcasted as it is without this added shit. It’s fudged up my life quite a considerable amount already but I’m still trying my best to overcome it and be myself again. I even feel really scared of going on a bus- with the idea it’ll damage my ears! That sounds stupid but yeah. How about normal headphones on low volume- is that a no now? Tinnitus can go and eat shit. >.<

    • Hi Sandy, Try to go on and do the things you enjoy. I have been dealing with this beast for several months, and like I have told others on here, try to get it off your mind and go on with your bad self… I play guitar as a hobby, and I plan to continue.. Best of luck! Greg P.

      • I agree with Greg. Sandy, your comments remind me of myself a year ago when I first developed tinnitus. I was afraid to go swimming (which I love), wear earphones, listen to live music, etc. It doesn’t help that ENT specialists tell you there’s nothing you can do to help you.
        But time does help, your brain adapts and the tinnitus becomes a part of you and, believe it or not, not noticeable much of the time now. Live your life normally, time really will help.

  63. This is really helpful and comforting. I developed Tinnitus today and I think it may have followed many years of watching movies with loud sound on my home theatre system. The static on simplynoise is helping already, but I also seem to feel a little pain in the ears. Would it be wise to see an ENT specialist?

  64. I so much appreciate all the comments here. I’ve had tinnitus now for about three weeks and I’ve been so discouraged and anxious about the situation. I have a question: Is there anyone else whose tinnitus changes constantly? I will hear it sometimes in one ear and sometimes the other. Tone and pitch and intensity and quality (i.e., buzzing versus a clear tone) all vary throughout the day. I feel like this is quite unusual and means that getting used to it is going to be a challenge. My hearing is normal. Anyone else having a similar case?

    • I’ve talked to numerous ENT specialists during my 1 year of tinnitus and have learned the primary cause is definitely hearing loss. This is true in my case, high frequency hearing loss caused by many loud concerts and too much time with the earphones turned up loud.
      I’m told by the ENTs that the second cause can be a virus. Marie, if you’ve had tinnitus only 3 weeks this may be very good news for you. If your hearing is normal, perhaps a virus is causing your problem. If that’s the case, your tinnitus will go away in time.
      Good luck and hang in there.

      • Hi Rick, I’ve had my ringing for about 7-8 weeks now and in that time, it has considerably gone down now but now the frequencies are changing a lot. Sometimes it sounds like bells, others just a drone and it’s never constant anymore. Some mornings I wake up without any ringing and then it suddenly appears out of the blue throughout the day- even in silence for when I’m reading- not really caused by anything loud. I know I haven’t had any hearing loss- I took a test and my hearing is far above average so this isn’t an issue. My doctors (I’ve asked two doctors) has assumed it is a virus. If so, how long will it take to actually leave? I’m no longer as affected by it daily although it does bring about anxiety attacks especially when on a road journey or going to a party (which I am now going to get musician earplugs for). Does it vary? Or can it still last longer? Thanks! :)

        • Hi Sandy,
          I’m not a doctor, just a fellow tinnitus sufferer. An ENT specialist would be better equipped to answer your questions regarding a possible virus.
          I’ve had numerous hearing tests and they all come back with high frequency hearing loss, the major cause of tinnitus.
          Second cause is a virus. If you have perfect hearing, this is the most likely culprit. How long the virus lasts I don’t know.
          One of the most frustrating things all of us on this blog share is that doctors don’t seem to have any treatment options other than masking or time.
          For me, time worked. It’s now 13 months and I’m listening to my “crickets” as I write this. I’m more aware of it because I’m thinking about it right this moment.
          But 5 minutes from now when I’m working out at the gym and socializing, I’m not even aware of the tinnitus.
          I hope this helps. It’s a mysterious ailment but this blog has helped me a great deal and I hope it helps you.
          Take care, peace.

    • I am having tinnitus for the last 6 weeks and it fluctutes constantly. Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it’s not there. My hearing is normal and the ENT specialist says it is due to stress. Tinnitus is only in right ear. Also had Brain MRI and it is normal. Just wanted to know whether your Tinnitus still persists otr it has went away

  65. Rick-

    Question…I realize that everyone is different but after one year, do you ever have to mask the sound? Also, when swimming….do you wear ear plugs? After six months, I’m still trying to work through this challenge. Thanks.

    Greg

    • Hi Greg,
      No, I don’t wear ear plugs when swimming. I ran this by my ENT and he said ear plugs would not be a benefit to stopping or improving my tinnitus. Since I do have hearing loss in both ears there isn’t much I can do. I did try masking with audio clips of nature, thunderstorms, etc and it is effective but now after 1 year I’m surprisingly used to the “crickets” in my ears.

  66. Hi Greg,

    Thank you very much for writing this. I’ve recently began my tinnitus research and your post is one of the first thing that I’ve read.

    I’m glad that I could read about your discoveries as they further reassured me that I’d finally found the real cause of my countless, countless sleepless nights. Everything you write sounds so very familiar that it’s just calming to hear it from somewhere outside of my own head.

    My life’s quality have deteriorated enormously for the last couple of years because I cannot fall asleep until I’m totally drained almost every single night, which greatly impacts my day activities. I first thought I can just ignore all this, the noise, the problem, forget about it. Yeah, but subconsciously everything was there, I was still hearing it and it was annoying and I didn’t know why I was annoyed… This contradicts the theory of ignoring the noise but only superficially – the two are different things: not acknowledging the problem and ignoring the sound. Anyway. Before I got my tinnitus the thing I love most in my life was to get somewhere quiet and listen to the silence.

    Since this is one of the first stops in my journey I’ll be continuing with some of the links you provided – some of them look very promising.

    Thank you very much once again!

  67. I do not know whether this will be helpful to anyone, but here is a blogpost on my benign experience of tinnitus which I have had since childhood, for as long as I can remember. http://bit.ly/16rIyZc

    • Thanks! Experiences like yours show that the biggest problem with tinnitus is not the sound itself, but one’s attitude to it. I’ll link your post from the main article.

  68. This is the best article I have read on the tinnitus topic thus far. Thank you for posting. About 3 weeks ago, I just noticed my right ear had a slight ringing and thought it might be earwax buildup. I used some debrox and went to bed without giving it another thought. However, the sound got louder and louder and I decided to visit my dr who told me I had a slight ear infection. I was given antibiotics, and though the sound lessened, I noticed my other ear had the same ringing sensation. I went back to my dr who told me I had an infection and to continue the antibiotics. The antibiotics finished 2 days ago but the sound is still there, though considerably lower. It doesnt affect my hearing but it has made me depressed and anxious. I think I am already In the loop and I am trying my best not to think about it or listen to the sound, but its hard. I realized, the more depressed I am, the worse the noise gets so I am trying to stay positive and watch silly videos. I am using white noise to sleep but I dont want to become dependant on white noise just to mask it . I also play music through out the day to mask the noise and get my mood up.This article really gave me a positive outlook and hopefully, I can get improvement soon. Thanks for posting.

  69. I like your tone generator. It’s the best I have found online, except for one thing: there is no volume control. Any chance you could add that? (I use digital output on my computer and therefore can’t use my computer to control volume. Adding to that, my external amplifier does not have exact control for volume, so it is way too loud even at its lowest setting.)

  70. Hi Sandy,

    My symptoms of ear ringing matches your. it’s 6 weeks since i got ear ringing at the middle of the night and it is fluctuating since then. Sometimes it;s there and some of the times it goes away. Doctors say it is infection but even after it got cleared, the ringing still continues. Now they say, that i am stressed up and ask me not to focus upon it.

    Can you let us know if yours has gone away. It will give me a great assurance that i am not struck up with it forever

    • Hey Vikas,
      I’ve had my ringing for almost four months now, and what a ride. I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety and depression… and I’m only 17… which is really inconvientient but you know what? I’ve become so accustomed to the ringing now. It still bugs me at times but that’s rare now. My ears get clogged up 10000x quicker since being infected, and even though the virus has gone (I think), it’s still there. It has improved over time. It’s really faint now.
      I’m seeing an ENT soon (just to be on the safe side), and I’m also going for therapy for my disorders, and I’m here just to say be strong and keep being strong. Even though I have really bad lows at time for other various reasons, it’s still fine to live with, it’s bareable, and like this blog says, and almost everyone commenting, it gets better. Though I am precautious now- I take earplugs with me to wedding parties and such. But apart from that, nothing has changed ^-^

  71. Thanks so much for this blog. I developed T less than a week ago and am securely in “the loop”. I feel as if I’m going crazy, but while reading your post and the comments I feel as though the tinnitus has quieted. I hope that this gets better, and that the sound will bother me less. I wonder if steroids would help me, my concert was over three weeks ago.

    Sending lots of love to all T sufferers out there. <3

    • Ben, being that yours was brought on by a concert, you may be one of the lucky few and your T will go away. I’m however not one of the lucky few, and just live with it, paying as little attention to it as possible.. Best of luck! Greg P.

  72. Greg,

    I’ve had a mild case for years, but only at night. This time it’s getting in the way of my daily life. I sure do hope it goes away, but that possibility seems so far off right now. I need to learn some ways of “blocking it out”.

  73. Thank you very much Tomasz. I have developed T six month ago and found your blog about 3 months ago. Mine is very high at about 15khz but very loud. I was really panicking and going crazy about it. Because I am musician it was a lot harder to me. I keep coming back to what you said about tinnitus and checking if my attitude has change and I can say yes it has changed after all those months. Of course my tinnitus remains the same but its the attitude like you said. So yes leaving with tinnitus is not easy but you CAN adjust and learn to live with it and go back to your old self. Once again thanks for your help!

  74. Thank you so much for writing this blog. I have learnt a lot.

    I wonder what happens if people start exercising a bit more? Going for a run each day. Might take your mind off the noise. I might try it.

    • Hi, I am fit and healthy (5’11”, 11 stone) and never did that much regular exercise, then I got stress related TT. I started running every second day and it is a great help. Usually after I run 20 mins I forget about it completely for a few hours, sometimes all day, and its quiet enough that I have to concentrate to see if I can still here it at all. Well worth a try :)

  75. PBS’ Newshour did a study, citing current tinnitus research, which reinforces many of the concept on this blog. Interesting reading: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/science/july-dec13/tinnitus_11-06.html

    • Thank you for posting this. The audio demonstration of what tinnitus sounds like was quite realistic. Though I was disappointed that there was no mention of Jastreboff’s TRT. TRT must have helped thousands of people with tinnitus.

  76. I find this blog very interesting. I have read over all of the posts and can relate to most of what everyone says. I have had tinnitus for over 12 years now. It started with someone firing off a full clip from a 45 cal handgun not even 3 feet from my left ear. It took a week before I could actually start hearing sounds from that ear again. It felt almost numb with no tingling during that time, but constant ringing. I have had the high pitched ringing ever since. I never went to a doctor about it because I figured my hearing is damaged and from what I read back then, there isn’t anything that can be done about it.

    I will say it almost drove me to have panic attacks within the first year because all I could focus on was the high pitched squealing and the thought that it would never go away. You do finally get to a point where you start to ignore it, although there are days it flairs up but then subsides. I have worked in an industrial setting where my hearing was tested yearly and the first test revealed significant hearing loss at high frequencies.

    What brought me here was researching hyperacusis. My wife believes she may have it because there are some noises that just drive her insane such as a ceiling fan ticking, water cooler humming and young children screaming while playing, just to name a few. It’s a real problem for her. She gets irritated with me when I tell her to just focus on something else like we learn to do with tinnitus. She looks at me like she wants to stab me in the neck. To make it worse I find some of the sounds soothing so I prefer to have them there! That’s when I found the post by Tome Schultz on 12/27/13. There are a couple of sounds that just set me and my tinnitus off. The main one is a water faucet. I won’t even notice the high pitched ringing until the faucet is turned on and bam! It’s like the tinnitus volume was cranked to full volume. There is very little information on the topic of hyperacusis caused by tinnitus. I’m glad I found this site because it puts a new perspective on what might be a common problem my wife and I share. I think it’s time we both have it checked out by a doctor.

  77. I’m in my late 50’s with tinnitus for the past 6 or 7 weeks. Saw ENT and had hearing test – ‘mild’ bilateral high frequency sensorineural hearing loss – ENT thought it was noise-related. Seems to come and go between ears – R then L, both and occasionally neither.
    No one on this blog has mentioned notched-music or notched white noise therapy. There seems to be a fair bit of encouraging literature on both (see below). Interested in your thoughts on this.

    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 January 19; 107(3): 1207–1210

    http://www.uwo.ca/fhs/csd/ebp/reviews/2011-12/Bennett.pdf

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2918775/pdf/cib0303_0274.pdf

    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/3/1207.full.pdf

    • Chuck, I used notched noise to mask my tinnitus at night for many months. It helped me fall asleep (as any noise would have); I don’t know if it helped, certainly it didn’t make a dramatic difference.

  78. Thank you for writing this, has been reassuring :)

  79. I have had my T for seven months now. In the beginning it was very scary. For the first three months, I went through a very wild roller coaster ride. But I was very lucky since mine is very light I could hear it only in very quiet places and does not bother me when working. I aslo found this forum very helpful! And it is true; it gets better in time.

  80. I developed tinnitus 17 days ago. I am a singer and musician, so I am tuned into the buzzing tones all day and night long. It started when I went to an ENT for a blocked Eustachian tube, something I have had before and which passed. He sprayed lidocaine up my nose so he could check the opening with a probe. Hours later my ears started buzzing and haven’t stopped since. Static noise at the same frequency seems to make it louder – showers, fans, generators. So basically wherever I go, I hear it. Looked up lidocaine, and it is ototoxic. Cannot believe that an ENT actually brought this on. I am hoping it will go away. I know I suffer from anxiety anyway, but my auditory perception is everything as a musician. Many of you who posted on this thread have had it only for a few weeks. Has anybody’s gone away? The doctor said it should go in a few weeks if due to one time ototoxcity. But not so sure this ever goes away. I know I cannot live with this long term. I will not make it. You are all so very brave.

    • Lisa, the reason static noise makes it louder is that you’re focusing on the tinnitus so much, so your brain is trying to amplify the sound that you perceive as threatening. Believe it or not, many people get tinnitus and, when they notice it, never give it a second thought — after all it’s just a little noise, it doesn’t really impair your hearing. The problem with tinnitus is that your neurotic reaction to it is “feeding” it (see my comments about The Loop). The only way out is to stop treating it as a threat.

    • I’ve had it for a good 25+ weeks now and honestly, it sometimes goes away (for very brief moments of time; say, a minute) and comes back. Like Tomasz says, it really is because you’re paying attention to it that it sounds loud and… the best way to describe it is that it is f***ing terrifying. I hardly notice it now. I’m also a musician; (pianist & singer), so my perfect pitch matters to me so much (I can hear notes and replicate them perfectly as long as I’m given at most a minute xD). And honestly, no matter how loud the ringing is… I can still hear extremely well. & since it’s due to the ototoxicity you were given, just give it a good three months or less to really clear up. I promise that it gets better. I was sure that my whole life would be ruined; (my anxiety reached an all time high, I was diagnosed with depression, I was terrified to go to loud places in case I became deaf) but… all the worry is literally for nothing but fear. To be honest, I’m seeing an ENT tomorrow so I’ll see what they say. Pretty nerve-wrecking to say the least in case I’m completely wrong and there’s another, deeper underlying problem (catastrophising: this is my depression taking over I do apologise). You’re very brave too~~~ AND do not look too much into tinnitus. It’ll only scare you!! Things published on the internet may not be true, even if they’re on legitimate websites.
      Well, good luck anyway~^-^

  81. Hi, first off thanks for the blog tips, TT is very scary and its lovely to read something positive. I have had mine for three weeks now and altough its still very much there I am surprised how quickly I have started to deal with it. So if you’ve just got TT and are freaked out, dont worrry, it gets better!!

    For me it started out of nowhere, no loud noise or physical discomfort, just noticed a loud high pitched ringing in my ears that didnt stop. I went to the ENT and she said everything was perfect and she put it down to stress. My TT was loud, VERY loud, and I was very very frightened for the first week. Having never experienced a panic attack before I had 3 serious panic attacks in a week. I am 32 and I have always been 100% healthy and fit, so i didn’t recognise my own behaviour, I was extremely stressed, almost constantly panicked and very depressed. The doctor put me on Sleeping pills and anxiety pills to calm me down. Sleeping didn’t happen at all without heavy anxiety pills

    But then as I got used to it my brain began to adjust, and I got my “thoughts” back, and the last week has been pretty normal. for large parts of the day I dont even notice it, and it gets louder when I get a bit stressed or think about it, which makes me realise that I DO have some leve of control over this.

    I still haven’t figured out how to sleep, I have come off the pills but I am only getting 3hrs at a time, with an hour awake, then another 2/3, but I am working on it, I have affectionately called it my new “sleep training project”.

    On the good side, my 10 days of literal mental breakdown gave me some extraordinary gifts. I called my dad and we talked about how scared I was, and it opened up a line of communication that we have never had before, he called me every night since its been great for us. Also having had a very happy event free 12 months with my girlfriend, I saw her for the first time in a crises situation and she was amaxzing, and now, in relative sanity, I realise how great she is, and I know how lucky I am to have her. Also I have no got a very motivating reason to start exercising properly as running is really a great stress reliever.

    Anyway, I’m not out of the woods and my TT seems very loud still, but I am a million miles ahead of where I was three weeks ago, and at the time I really dodnt think that would ever be possible.

  82. Thank you for the comments. And the blog is so wonderful. Especially the ticking clock. The pitches I hear are in a certain range, so I think when I experience static or noise in that frequency, the tinnitus also reacts.
    They say that tinnitus can reverse itself if in the first 3 months. I wonder if any new sufferers on here have experienced this? Where it completely goes away.

    • Lisa, have you tried pseudoephedrine ?(Sudafed, contained in many cold remedies). If it’s Eustacian tube relates then that might work.

    • It can definitely go away, but people don’t usually write about it on message boards when it happens. Just like you only see sick people in hospitals — doesn’t mean that people never get better.

  83. Hi Tomasz and everyone else!
    I’ve had some kind of tinnitus for as long as I can remember. When I was very little and trying to sleep, I’d ask my brother if he also heard something. Someone explained to me that it was natural, just the sound of blood circulation.

    But as a teenager and my early twenties (I’m now 25), I suppose I listened too often to music that was too loud on my iPod. The volume of my tinnitus gradually increased. It didn’t go from imperceptible to loud in a day, but the realisation was rather sudden – “my god, it’s actually quite loud”.

    I don’t have trouble sleeping with it, and I have also experienced forgetting when I focus on reading or listening to another, irregular sound, for instance. It doesn’t interfere with the things I “need” to do during a day.

    What frustrates me about most tinnitus advice is that the general advice is to mask it, to do something that distracts you, or to think of something else. The reason why is that I love to meditate, and I love silence. For both of these, tinnitus is quite an obstacle. Meditation and silence used to be my sanctuary, my escape, my best time alone. Now I’m anxious of meditating and being in silent rooms because I often end up a little more frustrated than when I was before.

    I’ve found more sites than yours, Tomasz, who says that T can get better. But I haven’t found much concrete advice on what to do. I will stay away from coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, loud music and try to exercise – but is there something else? Is there any study showing that you can meditate T away, or something along those lines?

    Thank you all for sharing your stories and tips!
    Peter

    • The way I see it, tinnitus could be helpful in meditation. Instead of focusing on your breath, or a mantra, you can just focus on the sound in your head. But to do that, you’d have to lose the negative reaction to it, and instead grow to accept it. Think of it as the dial tone of the universe :)

      I’m not sure there is any solid evidence that coffee makes tinnitus worse. In my case, it makes it quieter, as does anything that makes me more alert. My tinnitus has always been worst when I’m tired. For me, exercise actually makes it “objectively” louder, but it reduces anxiety. Not sure about alcohol, I drink sometimes, and haven’t noticed any change. I do agree that loud music (uncomfortably loud) is something you want to avoid, as it can produce tinnitus.

  84. I went to an ent doctor and told him I had tinnitus. I showed him an xray of my ear & neck and he found that my styloid was 5cm. He told me the avg styloid is 2cm and that could be causing my tinitus. I surgically had it removed. I woke up from surgery and my tinnitus is now worse.

  85. Hi All, just wanted to write an update. I have now had tinnitus for 8 weeks. Initial onset was from anesthetic. But various treatments have added more tones. This included anti anxiety meds, the pressure changes in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, 2 tapers of prednisone, and most recently an acupuncturist actually added electricity to needles on my head, saying it worked for her stroke patient (which turns out is opposite from tinnitus and our neurons over firing). So what was low buzzing in my left ear, is now around 4 tones, some high and piercing in both ears. I have learned the hard way now just to leave it alone. I worry I was so obsessed in trying to fix it, I have now passed the point of no return. I find things that bother the tinnitus are loud noises, stress, lack of sleep, inflammation, electricity. Things that help are sleep (which I am still not really doing), epsom salts bath (muscle relaxing), deep breathing, meditation. I hear all the time that in most cases, in the first year, the tinnitus can be substantially repressed/diminished. So I am hanging on to that hope right now.

  86. Hey guys, I also have Tinnitus the last 4 months and I have to say it does get better. Two months ago, I couldn’t imagine it won’t bother me at all in such a short time.

    I think the common thing between us all is that we spent too much energy on it, I have talked to people who had it and didn’t even bother going to the doctor. Speaking of which, try to get as many opinions as possible, I found doctors telling me completely different things.

    Also, to add to the update of a loud concert making it worse, I also got it from a loud concert, but I have continued going to them; I don’t think it is impossible to enjoy these anymore; just use common sense, wear earplugs, stay away from the speakers and if you feel the noise levels get uncomfortably high leave.

    • Yes, I think there is definitely a connection between neuroticism and how much you suffer from tinnitus. Some people are just more prone to worrying, obsessive thoughts, anxiety etc. than others. Once they discover a mildly annoying sound in their head, they fixate on it and drive themselves nuts.

      A friend recently told me that one night he discovered he had a constant noise in his head. He immediately dismissed it as a minor problem, never occurred to him to go to an ENT, read Web forums, etc. He is the opposite of neurotic — one of the most emotionally stable people I know, the kind of guy who never gets angry, anxious, worried, etc.

      I’m a fairly neurotic person myself, but I have learned to recognize some of the bad thoughts and “shoot them down”. Realizing that there is nothing inherently “annoying” about a stimulus, that it’s your thought patterns that make it annoying or neutral or pleasant, has really helped me become a more accepting person with regard to tinnitus and other things that used to bother me. It’s not like you have full control over your feelings, but once you realize that they happen inside of YOU, you can start seriously thinking about what techniques you can use to stop your brain from reacting in a certain way.

  87. Wow this is an amazing article.
    Has your tinnitus gotten any better since you wrote the update in September?

  88. I’ve lived with T for as long as I can remember, and never really worried about it. It was simply part of life…”the pants” I’d been wearing for years….
    But abruptly, about a month ago, it got REALLY loud and was suddenly accompanied by a feeling of pressure in my ears, sometimes a pulsating kind of feeling. I don’t notice it much during the day, or maybe I just don’t focus on it or care…however, it now wakes me out of a deep (or light) slumber, and there’s no way to get back to sleep without listening to music.
    It’s the new pressure aspect that has me concerned, and the volume of the whistling and ringing.
    Turning on the fan seems to work…except that it’s cold now in winter! :)

    • I think you should see an ENT. The pressure sounds like a mechanical problem unrelated to tinnitus. If your ears are blocked because of some fluid buildup, tinnitus will seem louder because the ambient noise will get softer. Sometimes my ears are blocked after swimming and that makes the tinnitus louder.

  89. More research that confirms findings of the author of this blog. “The more the patient worries about and concentrates on the sound, the greater and more persistent it becomes.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-139867/A-sound-hope-tinnitus-victims.html#ixzz2qQ6gP7Fe

  90. Thanks for everyone’s comments on the board. My tinnitus has been going on for a year with different degrees. I like to contribute it to my CPAP that was initially set to a higher pressure than it should have been which caused alot of popping in my ears. I had it re-calibrated a couple of months after but my ringing never stopped. it got louder recently when I went on a flight with a sinus cold I was getting over (BAD IDEA).. Fluid filled BOTH ears and it took over a month to start to drain. The ringing was LOUDER with fluid and still loud with some of the fluid drained. UGH.. Hopefully, it will get less intense over time but I have to agree that rewiring the brain may be the sure answer..

  91. It’s now approaching 4 months since my tinnitus started. I’ve followed a similar emotional trajectory to many of the others that post to this blog. The most difficult time was a span of 6 weeks in late November and December during which time I was unable to sleep and working myself into a panic, anxiety state. I had made the mistake of taking pills to fall asleep (Ativan, zopiclone) for 3 weeks and when they stopped working, I began to despair. I saw no light at the end of the tunnel, could not see how I could continue to function at work and envisioned a life devoid of joy.
    On Dec. 20, I went cold turkey on sleeping pills. I was off for 2 weeks till early January and took advantage of this time to devote myself to relearning how to sleep with tinnitus and without pills. The first week was a sleepless hell but I gradually emerged from the darkness stronger and more resilient than I have ever been. These are the things that have helped me:
    1) Found a therapist who understood tinnitus. I’ve now seen her 3 times and she has been an enormous help. She taught me that the tinnitus was a product of ‘thoughts that had gone a little to far’ and gave me strategies to prevent the tinnitus from triggering emotion (the limbic system) and the ‘fight or flight’ adrenaline response. These strategies have really worked in ‘down-regulating’ my nervous system.
    (a) breathing to relax – breathe in through your nose and then breathe out twice as long. Focus on the sensation of breathing and let go of the negative thoughts. Use when negative thoughts come into your head or when you feel generally anxious. Keeps you out of that downward spiral.
    (b) mindfulness meditation – at her suggestion, I enrolled in a 12 week mindfulness meditation workshop. Been to only 3 classes and am doing my homework with fantastic results already.
    (c) energy psychology – tapping on accupressure points on your body and face several times a day while verbalizing your worries and expressing your beliefs that they may improve. Needs commitment and you have to believe in the treatment somewhat for it to work. I believe, I believe, I believe…
    2) Exercise – I made a point of walking, cycling and in bad weather, walking the treadmill. A great and natural non-drug way to combat anxiety and improve sleep.
    3) Building on successes – once you begin to sleep more and gain confidence, you can begin to ‘tame the beast’ that is tinnitus. Realize that it is largely a product of your mind and your anxieties. The greater control you gain over your mind, the better you feel and the quieter the tinnitus becomes.
    4) The book “The Tools” by Phil Stutz and Barry Michel. Wonderful and unique approach to curing yourself of your anxieties and neuroses. Read the chapter on “Reversal of desire” and substitute ‘tinnitus’ for ‘pain’. To shrink the tinnitus, you must desire it, approach it, become one with and conquer your fear of it. Only then can you begin to move forward. While I have truly benefited from Tomasz’s insights (one of the best tinnitus blogs on the net), I have learned that avoidance of the tinnitus may not be the answer for all.

    My tinnitus has been extremely quiet for the past 3 days and I am thrilled by that. I recognize that it may come back but I’ll be ready for it with my brain down-regulation strategies poised for action. I truly believe that over time, using some of these approaches, you can ‘rewire your own brain’ and cure yourself of your tinnitus.

  92. Mine is really loud sometimes only on my left side. I don’t think it will ever go away. I have cut out all the stuff that is the so called triggers and it still comes on strong at night. I have had it for over a year or two. Yes I shot guns had husband die and life sucks but stress caused. I don’t know about that. It is inside the ear the ENT said. 63 and tired of it all

  93. Excellent blogs. Many thanks for sharing the information!

  94. I have had tinnitus for over two years. I have stopped many things that they say are reasons they get loud. caffeine aphinameniphine diet or zero calorie anything. it did change the amount of noise I hear. I have it the most in the evening after I have eaten and all the calories from the day and the stress is resting in my body.
    Sometimes it gets so bad I would call my brother to have him pray for me. He passed this last September so I just turn up TV or radio or something.
    I hope it will go away but, I doubt it. I have to live with this the rest of my life.

    • Hi all,

      I’ve noticed some very dire postings here lately and I feel the need to speak up. I’ve had tinnitus for almost 2 years now.
      At first I thought I was losing my sanity, it was very scary. I looked out my condo windows thinking it was coming from outside. When I realized it was in my own brain I got even more scared. The mental trip is very intense and can make you feel alone and helpless.
      I discovered this fantastic blog and realized I was not alone. After 2 years I am now functioning fine and am “used” to the noisy companion in my brain. Yes, I wish it wasn’t there but it’s a part of me now and the more you learn to accept it the more you learn to live with it.
      I’m hearing it now as I write this post, audio frequencies rise and lower sometimes but that’s me now.
      I still live my life, I work out all the time, work at my job, and listen to music.
      Do not be afraid of this thing called tinnitus, it’s attached itself to you but you can live with it and it does get better with time.
      I work with a fellow who has ALS, that ain’t fun.

      Keep strong, it really is a mental thing, mind over matter.
      Me personally, I don’t remember silence, my “crickets” are a part of me now.

      Be well.

      Rick

      • Hey Riick, I just got your post in my mail box. I know it is strange to think this is going to be with us till die.
        I as well got away from that stuff but really in the evening I guess it is all the food that has turned to sugar and the stress of the day.
        Sometimes I just put my ear bugs in to get rid of the noise. I hope I am not making it worse.
        The Dr.’s were a waste if time and money. Some was anything from the store..
        I guess this is it. I wish I was one of the ones that it came and went or comes and goes. but no. not me. ;)

    • Cherie,

      I first posted on here almost 2 years ago. I destroyed my ears at a concert with my son. His ringing ended as soon as he left the concert and mine has never gone away. I have been through all the worst experiences of panic you can imagine. A few doctor visits and hearing checks. I lost high frequency hearing because of this one trauma. I remember pacing in my bedroom crying and calling my sister in law who suffers from Meniere’s. She has been plagued by ringing for years as a side effect of the disease. She copes just fine and talked me through my worst moments. The side effects of Meniere’s is so extreme that ringing is the least of her problems. The trick at first is constant background noise and training your mind to listen to ALL noises around you–not just the chirping. Easier said than done. Focusing on the ringing is exhausting on all levels. Physically, my body couldn’t handle the stress anymore and mysteriously my brain switched it’s focus on it’s own. Also, you mention prayer. A coincidence or not…I belong to a bible study and during one of our meetings it was amazingly quiet in the house and the ringing was extreme. I started crying because I couldn’t take it. My friends were so worried. Without any delay they all prayed over my ears–sounds nuts! I didn’t know what to think but I was willing to try anything. These are incredibly faith filled women. The ringing didn’t go away–but around that time I just started coping. It became just another ambient sound. I no longer even need to sleep with a fan. Never underestimate the power of prayer! A big part of this is not allowing yourself to be sucked into the panic spiral. All will be ok.

      • god is great prayer works it might be what you were expecting but knowing that God is with us. I give this to him as well and can be present with life and put it on the back burner.Thank you for sharing that.

  95. i share everyone’s sentiment about this post. It has been of tremendous value, thank you Tomasz!

    i also developed tinnitus just over 3 months ago, and have been through the same ride as most people posted here. I also have some hearing loss at higher frequencies, which seems to have caused the tinnitus. At this point it is annoying at times, but manageable so far.

    I met with Dr Robert LEvine, who apparently is one of the worlds leading researcher into tinnitus (Harvard). Here is a youtube video of some of the work he has done on the use of benzodiazepine drugs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaj7bpLd4MY and how to use it: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxkb2N0b3JsZXZpbmVzdGlubml0dXNzaXRlfGd4OjEzZWQwZWQxYTY4OTBjOWU

    He also believes that muscular issues can cause tinnitus. I usually hear the sounds much louder in my left ear, as if it is coming from somewhere on the left side of my brain. He noticed that the muscles in the left side of the neck were larger, and suggested i try acupuncture with someone he specifically recommended. Haven’t yet, but it is interesting that i started to exercise again (after having not exercised for a long while) around the time i got tinnitus. Though i am not sure how all of it is connected.

    I haven’t done the valium thing either since i am working on simply dealing with it as is, but i would love to hear if anyone has had any experience or has seen other research on this.

    I also have placed my cell phone on the night table near by head while sleeping as my alarm clock. Who KNows what these things can cause.

    Finally, i have noticed that my tinnitus (more in the left side, sometimes it sounds like nothing is coming from the right) starts buzzin when i hear a piano, or if i am in a room with lots of neon lighting.

    Thanks again

  96. I noticed a “ringing” in my ears (more like a constant high pitched buzzing like the sound electronics give off) about two weeks ago after starting a new medication. Once I realized that the sound was internal and not external I called my Dr and we found that the muscle relaxer I had started taking did have tinnitus as a rare side effect. So it’s been about a week now without taking the med and still no relief from the tinnitus. I know that it could take months or it may never go away. Dr is getting ready to refer me to an ENT just to check hearing loss and whatever else. I’m 41 years old and have never really had any issues with my ears except for two bouts of severe vertigo that went away with medication and time.

    I appreciate you article and hope to find your suggestions helpful. Right now I can ignore it for the most part when talking to people or watching tv, but “silence” seems to amplify it… and during work even if i have music playing it seems like the loudest sound in the room.

    Thank you again for the article, I will be attempting a lot of your suggestions and hope to find some relief

  97. Just discovered a story by a board certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Hanscom, some of you might find useful. Dr. Hanscom reports finding a way to conquer his tinnitus (created, he thinks, from years in the noisy construction business when he was younger). His technique is very much like Tomasz’ and those presented by others here who have learned to deal with this condition. It’s interesting to get a story from a doctor who suffered with the same situation … a story which has a happy ending and offers hope: http://www.drdavidhanscom.com/2012/10/the-ringing-in-my-ears/

  98. I love u man
    just have read 100 of articles on tinnitus as I am suffering since a month and going mad, I feel this is the best article and possible cure I have ever read.
    Thanks a lot.

  99. I first had tinnitus 25 years ago, with 4 years of thinking I was going mad. I can’t remember how he tinnitus disappeared, then 8 years ago it returned. I suffered for 7 months and again it went away. Back in Dec’13 the tinnitus returned with a vengeance. I just didn’t know how to cope once again I was in a vicious circle. I had sleeping tablets for a month..tried cranial osteopathy which didn’t work (been told it takes 2 years or so for the treatment to work). What has helped me is relaxing and getting rid of my anxiety. I massage my feet each night with sesame oil in particular the ear points on the feet. I practice 15 mins of brahmari pranayama. Since last week I have been having saraswat churna (Ayurveda herb mixture) with honey and ghee. I bought it from ebay. it has helped calm my anxiety attacks. I have also been having a couple of teaspoons of herb brahmi n hot water Last night for the first time since having tinnitus I slept without a sleeping tablet and feel refreshed this morning. Although the tinnitus is still there but I am learning to ignore it. All the best.

  100. I got a steroid injection in my back and 2 weeks later on Christmas day I came down with a massive migraine. My blood pressure was very high, so my doctor thought the migraines was from the high blood pressure. Finally got it under control but now I have ringing and clogged ears. I had an MRI and everything is fine. Went to a ENT doctor who said I have TMJ but I have no other symptoms for it. I still get migraines once in awhile but the clogged ears are really bothering me. The ringing bothers me mostly at night but have been taking a low dosage of Xanex to help me sleep and I also listen to music. Now I am having problems seeing. Wearing my contacts give me a headache and I just had my vision checked acouple of weeks before the migraines started. Going back to the eye doctor to see if my prescription has changed. Needless to say the injection in my back did not work and now I have horrible pain (sciatica and herniated disc). I have read that anti-inflammatory medicines make tinnitus worse. I am trying to find something to take to relieve my back pain but doesn’t make the tinnitus worse. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    • I’ve also read people saying that various things make their tinnitus worse – caffeine, painkillers, alcohol, etc. Personally, I’ve never experienced much of a difference. Or, to be more specific, my daily fluctuations in tinnitus (best after waking up, worst before going to bed) are much bigger than any changes effected by caffeine, aspirin, etc.
      I think it’s possible that some people are just experiencing placebo effect (or, more properly, “nocebo”) – they expect to hear a difference, so they hear it.

  101. Thank you this really helped

  102. This really was super helpful for me. I read it every time I got depressed, and for sure I will overcome this annoying (because it is just that) condition.
    Thank you Tomas!

  103. I have had tinnitus for 2 months now. Was dealing with it but woke up today and my right ear is pulsating. It is hard to ignore since everytime it pulsates I feel it. I just went to an ENT doctor last week and my ears were clear and he didn’t see anything wrong. Going to get a hearing test next week. Does anyone know why my ear is pulsating now? It is really scary since now I have the ringing and pulsating, my ear also is very clogged today. The ENT shot something up my nose before he put the tube in my nose to look at my ears. I hope that didn’t make the pulsating start.

    • wow, my doctor didn’t do any of those things. Just a hearing test and the bad news that this is my new normal could or not go away.
      I have had pulsing too. you are ok. The doctors cost tons and do little cause there isn’t much they can do. Try to find your peace place. I just ignore it if possible, if not just deal with it.
      Life could of gotten worse I guess.

      • Lynda – Cherie is right. You need to acknowledge the horrid tinnitus is not going to disappear over night. You have to slowly accept it somehow and learn to ignore it, this is the most difficult part. Even when you hear the noise, surf the net or do something to take your mind off the noise. I usually have the tv as background noise and always surfing the net for things…until I get physically tired. I’ve also been consuming Cheshire cheese half an hour before bed..it is very bizarre but I have had a good sleep due to this. You may want to check this out on the Daily Mail website. All the best

  104. Okay just wondering if anybody had any idea why I have got tinnitus and if it will go? I have had it five weeks and in that time it has destroyed me. I have not slept at all, I have had to defer my final year at university because I just could not function properly. My hearing is perfect, my ears are fine and it was not noise induced. I have not had a head injury, or a bad cold or any of the other causes that have been put forward. I was on no medication so that cant be a reason. I literally just went to bed and a ringing started. It is only in my left ear but it is so loud. I can mask it with things such as a fan or dehumidifier but can hear it over things such as tv etc. I am really struggling with this especially because five different doctors and an ent specialist cannot fathom why I have got it. Oh and I am only 21 years old as well.

    • Maybe it will go stay calm and just wait

      • Hi GKN,
        This blog is a very helpful tool for new tinnitus sufferers, it restores normality to an insane condition.
        I’ve said this before so please forgive me fellow blog followers for my repetition but it helps new victims.
        I’ve had tinnitus for 2 1/2 yrs now. I hoped it would go away and it did not. ENT specialists have no cure or even treatment other than masking devices.
        Personally, I am now used to the loud crickets in my brain, they are there right now as I write this. But they are a part of me now.
        Live your life, it really does get better with time.
        Peace.

        Rick

    • Hi Monica,
      I’m also a young sufferer, being in first year at university, so I totally understand the situation you’re in right now. I first developed it in October and found it so awful at times when I first had it that I couldn’t get out of bed, and it reduced me to tears countless times. But trust me when I say that it gets better. More than anything you just have to accept that it probably won’t go away, at least not immediately; the sooner you do that the better. I found that as soon as I did that, stopped searching for cures, and stopped going on internet forums about tinnitus, it became so much more bearable. It’s now at the point that I don’t really notice it for 90% of the day, and even when I do it doesn’t bother me anywhere near as much as it used to. Personally I found that masking it with noise did not really help me, and that when I stopped using it and just forced myself to get used to the noise it became more bearable….obviously the same thing doesn’t work for everyone though. The main thing is just to keep up with your daily life and try to keep as normal as possible.
      Hope this helps, even in a small way.

      • Great message Jamie. Tinnitus, although a physical problem takes mental strength to cope with.

      • Thank you for your message that has been really helpful. Today has been a good day I have managed to get on with things and the noise has not been the main focus of my day. When I got this I was so shocked I always assumed it was in older people with hearing loss and noise damage I never knew you could just get it out of the blue and at such a young age. But after searching around I have realised many younger people have got this a friend of mine has a little boy who is only nine and constantly crying and screaming because he has a noise in his ear that sounds like someone is blowing a loud whistle in it all day long. It has made me realise that I am not alone in this and there are people much worse off then me. Thank you for taking the time to write your message and offer support. I have actually chosen to defer my final year at university until next year because I couldn’t cope with all my deadlines on top of the tinnitus and the insomnia that has come along with it. If you have managed to carry on with your university work then I take my hat off to you. Hopefully in a few months time I will be where you are at now when I only notice it now and again.
        All the best
        xxxxx

    • Monica, I know it has been tuff on you. We all get it. If you can be calm it will help. If you believe in God, pray it will help. If you can just know that doing something else instead of concentrating on this will help.
      I pray that this will have an end date for you. I understand some young folks like you will have an end date. Pray for Peace and it will come.
      I am old er 63 and I would say 50 percent of the time or more I can ignore it. Get on with my life.
      I lost my husband to cancer a year and a half ago and you know, it could of been worse. This is not a death sentence.

      • Thank you that is really nice of you to say. I have been much better today I actually managed to get some sleep last night (with an increased dose of a tablet to help me sleep) and today I have been much better at not focusing on it. The lack of sleep is really whats causing me not being able to cope with it. I am booked in with a hypnotherapist who is experienced with working with tinnitus to help me change the perception of the sound and help me to deal with it if it is long term. Thank you for your support and I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. This has certainly made me appreciate my family and friends who have been there for me at what has certainly been the lowest point in my life. I know that I can’t let this control me and take over my life like I have been letting it the past five weeks.
        Wishing you luck and happiness
        xxxxxx

        • Thank You Monica. I too take something for sleep. If you look at the back of the packages at the store they are all the same drug. the newest dose of that is 50MG same med put out by zzz Quill The Pharmacist at the VA suggested it to my brother.
          I hope you have good results form the hypnotherapist let me know

        • The tablet I am on is technically not a sleeping tablet its an antidepressant which they have found in low doses can be used as a relaxant to help stop worrying keeping you awake. The doctors aren’t too keen on putting me on a sleeping tablet as they are for short term use only I am not sure where you are from but here in England they hate prescribing sleeping tablets they stay away from them if possible. If I continue having trouble sleeping though I will be going back and asking for something a bit stronger. I will let you know how it goes with the hypnotherapist. The NHS wont even consider you for therapy over here unless you have had tinnitus for six months (chronic) so I have had to seek alternative options. Thank you again for your support
          xxxxx

    • Dear Monica, have you had a MRI? I had a friend with the same in one ear, and it turned out to be an acoustic neuroma, which is completely benign, and he had it removed 3 years ago. He now wears a hearing aid and it completely helps.

      Hang in there, it is no fun but you must push yourself to move on.

  105. Hey everyone…
    So it’s been 10 months since the ringing began and… actually I’m doing pretty damn well! I’ve been through a roller coaster of events since last June when I first started noticing a loud ringing. I had so many problems but most are alright now. Luckily, I’ve noticed the only thing I was properly spared from was sleep. I guess I knock out too easily and I’m thankful for that though I guess it didn’t help a great lot.

    On the negative side of things now, I have moderate depression and anxiety triggered by the ringing however, on the positive side, I’m still alive and well, and my ringing actually rarely bothers me now, and when it does, it only bothers me for perhaps a minute before my mind drifts elsewhere. It’s annoyingly sad how little knowledge and understanding there is of tinnitus, however, to anyone who reads this, I have my own personal advice as a 17 year old… so I guess not everyone will find this helpful. However, I’ll never know who I could help unless I try to help. Here’s my five…

    1) Go to an ENT as soon as you possibly can. Put your mind at ease a little, knowing you’re not going to die/you’re not going to go deaf (almost all don’t have serious issues with tinnitus). It’s those catastrophic thoughts that make us panic and go crazy, and make us concentrate on it and make it go louder.
    2) Eat more pineapples. It has something to do with reducing inflammation of the inner ears which MAY be a hint to why people get tinnitus. They taste great, are healthy with lots of benefits so it’s a bonus.
    3) Eat almonds too. Some people swear it helps quieten tinnitus- not sure exactly why- but then again it could be a placebo effect which I guess is still good. Anyway it’s helping me, so could possibly help you? (This is considering you’re not allergic to almonds)
    4) Don’t avoid going to parties, loud places etc… just buy musician earplugs preferably off Amazon because it’s cheap and convenient. They don’t affect the quality of music- take it from a music-fanatic. They just make it quieter so it doesn’t damage your ears. I think the quality gets better to be honest. It’s also a great peace of mind, too, knowing you’re not damaging your ears! The more you avoid these kinds of things, the more worse you’ll feel.
    5) Leading on 4, do the things you enjoy, go out and have fun. By worrying, you’re getting yourself worked up and it’s best to increase dopamine (the happy hormone) by going out and getting active. It’s a great mood booster and it’s great for your body too!

    I hope these tips can help someone here. Good luck everyone!
    Sandy^^ :)

  106. Hi Guys Just thought I would post a message as I have had Tinnitus for about 3 months as well. I have had my hearing checked by 3 ENT specialists and have great hearing for a 50 year old, their words not mine.
    I have a high pitch 11000hzt pitch and whistle in the middle of the back of my head which started after a long stressful drive to London from my home in Devon. The noise started in a very quite room a point that should be noted here is that according to the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis centre that I visited in London last month should be avoided at all cost as total quite causes the filters in the brain to widen and lock onto any noise that they can hear. As everybody can hear tinnitus in a very quite setting your filters lock onto the noise your brain makes or the disco tinnitus that you get after a gig etc, you then create an emotional link to this noise and the loop is created.
    The information that is made available here on this website is so true about tinnitus, it does get better with time as your brain relearns how to disregard the noise in your head ears etc, if you continue to think that tinnitus is something to be beaten or the enemy it makes it harder for your brain to let go of the loop. If you would like to hear a great tape by Jonathon Hazell one of the top tinnitus doctors in the world you can search for the tinnitus and hyperacusis centre in London and there is a massive amount of positive information and reassurance on that site. Please don’t think that I am trying to sell this as it is all for free and I have nothing to do with this site apart from the fact that I have been to see them once. All I would like to do is offer some positive news here as when I got tinnitus I searched the web and was utterly dismayed at some of the stories I read.
    On a positive note my tinnitus is now much quieter that it was, at one time I could hear it above the dyson, heartbreaking as I really thought that my like was all but over, having a 12 year old and a 10 year old, suicide was never an option but there were days when I could’t function so I totally understand where you guys come from. I hope this post helps, bless you all

  107. Does anyone’s ears also clogged with tinnitus? Sometimes at night my ears get so clogged I have to keep swallowing to unclog them. I also get alot of pressure in my ears. I have had hearing tests and the ENT doctor has checked my inner ear. Everything is clear. I am also getting pain once in awhile in my right ear. I am trying real hard to accept having tinnitus and not to think about it but it is hard when my head is clogged.

    • no sorry Lynda I know I am not much help but wanted to say no I dont

    • Hi Lynda,

      Usually if your ears get clogged and your hearing is fine, it’s a result of either high pressure damage (say, from a lot of flying) or low pressure damage (eg. scuba diving) I’m not a doctor and I’m sure your ENT pointed these symptoms out to you. I do a lot of swimming and it usually helps my tinnitus but of course I swim im my condo pool, not ocean depths.
      Good luck.

    • Hi Lynda the condition that you refer to is called Eustacian tube dysfunction. I also get this a lot and its caused by a build up of fluid in the little tube that leads from your ear to your throat. I have to clear mine constantly especially after a cold. It should drain away naturally have you had a bad cold lately? Often I sleep slightly raised so as to try not to get it blocking up so badly. Has your ENT talked about antibiotics I also try Nurofen now and again as this can reduce the swelling in the tubes and help them keep clear. Also menthol crystals in boiling water and breath the vapour. I hope this helps just to let you know I am not a doctor but I find these things help.

  108. Let me get back at it after posting once in December. It’s been 6 full months now and it really barely bothers me now. I am also battling with panic disorder this period which actually takes much of my energy and doesn’t leave me time for T. Jamie’s situation above is very similar to mine.

    What I wanted to add, is that I have visited a very good doctor who seemed to know what he was talking about who did some unique tests, one of which was checking how damage the ear cells that cause T are. He also measured the frequency of the T and also advised me to have TRT and/or a laser based therapy which is good for young people like me (27 yo). So I am wondering why no one has mentioned anything similar. I realize alo of people here might be from the US and the doctor told me that this is particularly popular in continental Europe, but I am really surprised that no one else has mentioned anything of this.

    Me, I didn’t bother as it doesn’t bother me all that much and if anything I thought that it will only make me think of it more while doing the therapy. A friend of mine, suffering also from T saw very good results with accupuncture, not sure if anyone here has tried that.

  109. Hi, was wondering if anyone knows of a pain medicine I can take for my back that won’t effect my tinnitus. I am in alot of pain. I have 2 herniated discs and I am scared of going for a steroid shot for fear it will make my tinnitus worse. Any suggestions or does anyone know if the steroid shot will make it worse? Thanks.

  110. Tinnitus discovered me March 9th. 2014, Like everyone else I am happy to have found this spot on the internet just because it’s positive and uplifting.

  111. Hey Thomas!
    I was wondering if you are thinking to write another post about Tinnitus after all this years. It could be super helpful for everybody I think.
    Best wishes!

  112. Hallo to everyone! I discovered this beautiful article and I decided to let go all other websites, because reading about tinnitus is going to make me more worried and anxious. Tips contained here are extremely useful for me. I’m italian and I am (or was) a professional musician, tinnitus developed during a loud concert kept 40 days ago. I’ve been playing bass in jazz or blues concerts during the last 10 years, but it was during a loud rock concert that I developed this problem; obviously it wasn’t the first time in my life, it happened to have my ears ringing after concerts, but this time it was louder and it didn’t pass until now (only in left ear). I feel pain sometimes in the inner ear, both in the left and in the right one. My doctor suggested me to take a musical brake, because tinnitus could grow up, so I’m not playing anymore!!! (a part the not-amplified bass when I’m home) until… I don’t know when. How you can imagine this is a big issue for me, as it is my only profession since many years, and a way to live. Anyway tinnitus now is not so strong, I can stay many hours during the day without hearing it. I’m probably learning to handle this new particular “condition”, but I’d like to know if I can continue my profession soon. So every suggestion is well accepted: if you know other musicians who developed tinnitus I can speak with, drugs (I’m taking magnesium and ginkgo biloba), info about earplugs, experimental cures. I found that make playing on the pc the exact frequencies of my tinnitus stop it, but it’s always very temporary, and anyway I think my ears need a rest in that particular range of frequencies. I stopped using white noise after I reading this article, and I found it a good idea. I’m accepting tinnitus and I’m stopping thinking about it. I completely stopped drinking alcohol and I’m practicing sport. Anyway, for what concern the musical part of my life, every (not-anxoius) suggestion is accepted. Thank you

  113. You are lucky if you can simply ignore your tinnitus. Mine is around 6khz, is about as loud as a car engine (is louder than people talking to me sometimes), and hasn’t stopped for a minute for the last 6 years. I can really understand why some people that kill themselves due to it, especially when some people have it several times louder than even i do. The only thing that I have ever been able to do is temporary reduce it with a brown noise machine (white noise makes it worse). My ENT said to do this because it tricks my brain into thinking that it shouldnt be hearing high noises. Also when I stopped drinking coffee and cut my salt intake way down there was a noticeable quieting. We gotta live with it, and eventually you get the point where it becomes such a part of you that the thought of silence is almost scary. Thats my take on it anyhow

    • Hi Nick,
      I am a regular reader, contributor and sufferer of tinnitus.
      I’m going on two years now, mine is more the sound of crickets which is a helluva lot nicer than what you must be experiencing!
      Jesus, a car engine!
      You’re showing a lot of strength and generosity contributing here.
      I think you’re an example of how we can used to just about anything.

      Take care.

      Rick

  114. I have tinnitus for about 6 years. I tried everythin in 6 countries.
    Please, don’t do the same mistake like me. Don’t waste your money with “miracles” and orthers stuffs from amazon or other websites. :)

  115. Thank you so much for this uplifting article, I am very grateful to you for putting it all in such a positive light. I think the mental filtering out of the worst of the effects is by far the best way to tackle it when there’s no ‘cure’ so to speak.

    I first started experiencing tinnitus about three or four months ago, after having had treatment for mercury toxicity (amalgam fillings replaced) which resulted in a severe candida overgrowth and other issues. There was definitely no other stressor which could have caused it.

    The saddest part for me with the tinnitus experience was that I no longer was able to find the peace and quiet I craved when wanting to escape noisy town life – my hilltop sanctuary where it was possible to not hear a manmade sound at all. I now carry noise with me constantly.

    Fighting it is of no use, the stress only gives me a headache and worsen the noise – a cacophony of chirruping overlaying a shrill turbine whine. Accepting gently what is, allows me to focus more fully on other more positive aspects of life thereby reducing the negative effect tinnitus could have, if I allowed it.

  116. Someone posted a blog on this site about research that had taken place in Israel, it emerged patients who were given the GABA amino acid found their tinnitus had lessened. I ordered the GABA powder from the internet, been taking it for the last couple of nights. I can report I have had sound sleep, the volume of tinnitus is much lower, I can actually concentrate on my work during the day time and relax during the evening instead of listening to the roaring, high whistling sounds.

  117. Hi. I have suffered from tinnitus for 6 years. My tinnitus started after virus infection. As many bloggers have said a good sleep calms tinnitus and disturbed sleep aggravates tinnitus. I sometimes take 1/5 tablet of amitriptyline which gives me a calm nights sleep. Care though, some medications are known to cause tinnitus ! I had my gall bladder removed about 3 years ago and that’s definitely reduced my tinnitus levels.
    Finally, I read the American Tinnitus Association website for ideas- they are committed to finding a cure for tinnitus.

  118. tinnitus is the worst thing that has ever happend to me i felt as if i had done something wrong to get this curse as i call it but each day i cope with it im to young 22 to give up on my own life just becouse of this find something you love that helps a lot just finding things you like and think about them if you feel really down most days talk to someone listen to soft music try to sleep for a bit it easy for people to say youll be fine one here it nice to know that there are millions of people suffer with it you really do feel less alone we each have something that allows us to cope better with it !!

  119. Hi All,

    I am a 43 years old women with Tinnitus. I am Hungarian. I have had it once 6 years ago coming from nothing one day. I was also searching for help for a period. I went through on tests, CT, Bera (objective hearing test at brain), blood tests, etc. No result. No hearing loss, etc. I am quite stressfull person so the my best guess was stress as causing thing. Somehow – I can’t remember how – after about 3 months I didn’t focus on it anymore and I also can’t remember but somehow went away. At least didn’t hear it for 6 years. Until mid Februar, 2014. I woke up one morning wiht a very frustrating noise in my ears, specially in my lef ear. And than I made the mistake what shouldnt’h have. I started to be anxious, scared, frustrated. And it became louder and louder every day. I couldn’t sleep for weeks (6 years ago I had no such issue), I bacame anixous, depressed at a high volume. I couldn’t focus anything but the noise. I have hade heraring test again, MRI, neck X-ray, blood tests for diabetes, thyroid, etc. Nothing so far. (Thanks to Good). BUT after 1,5 month worrying and depressed a new noise formed on top of my basic noise. The basic one is such a speaker what is left swiched on mode (sometimes when its louder is more a ringing), but this second is very strange and it is like a kind of engine. My familiy is 100% that stress is what causing this to me. About the second noise I am also sure because it wasn’t existing from the begining at all, but my basis one…. I don’t know. It’s interesting that what could do 6 years ago I can hardly do no. Its simply difficult for me to be not scared. I take Rivotril sometimes when I feel too much anxious, nights for sleeping sometimes. In the begining I was not able to sleep at all, even without nature sounds, etc. And than I stopped doing this and try to fall asleep without it. The only thing we (my husband) use is to switch on TV (not too loud) put it on sleep function and fall asleep like that. I pray a lot ( am a beleiver) and hope that one day I’ll ba able to habituate this. I have no other choice as I can see. I don’t beleive in super cures and so. And I don’t noticed any changes by using less coffein (I neves drank coffee :) , getting vitamins, magnesium, etc. I take ginko for 2 months with no result. Sometimes it gets louder without any objective reason. So I want to stop thinking on what helps and what doesn’t. What I’d like to reach is that I am able to forget about it as I could do it 6 years ago. I’ll try it anyway. Its just something what I wanted to share with someone who really know what Tinnitus means. Thanks for reading…. if. :)

    Szilvia

  120. Thought I would let you know that Riverside Medical Center is doing a Tinnitus study and I am going.
    That will be this Friday night. I will let you know if anything what is going on doing this trial

  121. Thank you very much! I have been having tinnitus since i was very young maybe when i was in primary school. I first thought it was very disturbing but i just learned to live with it / ignore it…. but im 25 now that feeling comes back from time to time. It always gets on my nerves everytime i hear it at night when im trying to sleep……..its really irritating and i cant really calm down and relax. Ill will try ur ways to make it less annoying although i cant get rid of it forever. But thank you!! X

  122. We do think about many of the thoughts you’ve got presented with your article. These are begging and may certainly work. Nonetheless, a posts are very shorter education. May you want stretch these people slightly through following occasion? Many thanks for this post.

  123. So thankful for this post. I am a young woman at the age of 25, and I have been suffering from on and off Tinnitus for 7 weeks now (with no exact cause). I had been under a lot of pressure lately because of family problems and this condition isn’t really making it better. I had gone to different ENT’s, and all hasn’t help a lot. They just kept giving me medications which doesn’t help a lot. So I’ll try your method and hope it is working for me. Thank you..

  124. As a long time tinnitus sufferer (since I was 14) who has just this week suffered a sort of “relapse” of tinnitus in the form of a new noise I have to say that this blog and the plasticity tool are absolutely amazing! I have a tendency to anxiety and the sudden emergence of a new noise in my head almost made me insane during the first days but I immediately started to treat my tension neck and use the plasticity tool I feel like I’m going to beat this again in no time.

    Thanks for your insight! Everyone, remember: there may not be a miracle pill that takes away the noise forever, but there sure are good ways to make life a bit easier.

  125. This blog is a great support tool!

    I experienced severe T during and after completing chemotherapy. Actually started during chemo and also resulted in some hearing loss in the higher frequency range normal with age (61) but the real culprit for me was using the drug Cisplatin. Had hearing tests 5 months ago and last week to confirm the hearing loss, also saw an ENT who said not much can be done for the T or the hearing by the Cisplatin.

    The T was (and remains) constant and still overwhelms many other everyday sounds including normal soft conversation. It has significantly altered my ability to sleep (using Xanax and ambien every evening). The other side effect has been a “metallc” sound to normal higher frequency sounds: like dishes on a counter, cymbals/snare drums when listening to music, high pitched barking (our little dog!) – they all can bee ear shattering – I’m not sure whether this is associated with the T or the hearing loss or both.

    Anyway, working on using soothing music (just below the T level) at night to help mask the T and train the brain to ignore it. The first step is accepting that it isn’t going to go away on its own.

    Dave 7/18/14

    • My husband had the exact same hearing loss effect from Cisplatin. He said that a lot of music became “tinny” and “thin” after he’d taken the drug and he had trouble hearing conversation in noisy rooms. Just letting you know you are not alone. If you are still taking Cisplatin, you might want to check with your doctor about carboplatin as an alternative, but I’m not a doctor, so this is just based on my husband’s experience. My very best to you in every way.

  126. I don’t understand why the drug companies aren’t all over this. I had never heard of tinnitus before developing symptoms but I can’t believe the level of anguish and despair I’ve encountered online.

    And the “coping” techniques you read about are just as chilling. “Sleep with the radio on. Practice yoga. Take mind-altering anti-depressant drugs.” Sheesh…

    And even the people who claim to have “habituated” always have a caveat. “Well just the other day I noticed my tinnitus is louder but it doesn’t bother me 80% of the time…”

    I don’t want to “cope”. I want to go back to being the happy-go-lucky, carefree guy I was before this monster came into my life.

    I would gladly pay $100 a month for some kind of remedy that you take everyday to keep this thing at bay…

    If any of the drug companies are reading this, get on it. There is a billion dollars to be made here people. I wasn’t born with tinnitus so obviously it had to come from somewhere. If it came from somewhere, there must be a way to send it back there.

    Whoever figures this thing out is gonna be filthy stinking rich…

  127. An update: Have now had tinnitus or 10 months. After the initial 4 months of hardly sleeping and loud sounds, I went on a daily dose of the benzo Lorazepam at just .5mg once per day. Unfortunately, I stayed on this for 4 months. The US doctor did not mention that long term use or withdrawal/tolerance could in most cases make t worse. So here I am doing a 5 month taper from 4 month use (ridiculous), and my t is as loud as ever again, my sleep broken, with vivid dreams.
    Feel like I have gone backwards.
    Benzos can be great in the first month or so, but after that, it can be a slippery slope as far as t is concerned.

  128. Just also wanted to ask those on here if in your first year if the perceived volume of your tinnitus decreased – a natural fade? Or what what the timeframe, if you did experience this? Note, this is different from habituation, which often may take longer.
    Thanks.

  129. I also have tinnitus that reacts to static sounds around the same frequency as my tinnitus – fans, generators, traffic, fridges. The list is endless. Just a note that when I first came on here, I wrote about this, and got comments that it was because I was listening out for it, that’s all. This is not the case. Tinnitus that reacts in this way to external sound sources is very real, and could also be triggering an additional interpretative mechanism in the central auditory cortex.

  130. Has anyone had a sudden-onset increase in tinnitus for several days after an MRI, and is there anything I should do right away before more time passes, like take a steroid? It’s been three days and the piercing whistle is still there, and I cannot sleep or function properly, and I keep crying in despair. It is like I am back where I was in 2006, when I first got tinnitus and thought I would die. The onset back then seemed more gradual, and though it became quite loud and unbearable, especially at night, after a few months I began not noticing it, and in the years since I’d come to hardly notice it (and could live with it when I did) until this MRI-induced acute increase three days ago. Any helpful advice would be appreciated — but positive only, please, as I am prone to panic and despair.

    • It can be fairly loud inside an MRI machine (up to 100 dB). Does your hearing seem muffled? Are you hearing the same tinnitus sound that you’ve always heard? If the answer to both question is “yes”, then it’s possible that your tinnitus simply seems louder because all the other sounds are muffled. Kind of like when you cover your ears, tinnitus seems to get louder. If so, this should pass within a few days of the exposure.

      Second, I think it’s possible for certain kinds of noise to trigger tinnitus. I’ve had it happen to me (with relatively soft sounds that could not have possibly caused the effect described above). It has always resolved itself rather quickly — but it’s important not to feed the emotional reaction to it, or it will get worse. Don’t get sucked into The Loop! Use the techniques I described in my post.

      Steroids are prescribed right after exposure to very loud noise, in order to limit hearing damage. The efficacy of this treatment is disputed — there are studies which show it works (if administered within a few days), and others that fail to show any effect. If you think the MRI could have been loud enough to damage your hearing, then you can go to an ENT and they can make the decision.

      It’s probably best to use ear protection whenever you’re exposed to loud noises for more than a few minutes. I use isolating headphones even when vacuuming, but that’s probably overkill.

      • Thank you, Tomasz. It is the same kind of tinnitus as before (only louder and more piercing), but my hearing does not seem muffled — if anything, my ears are very sensitive right now — certain sounds seem to echo or ping off the tinnitus in a painful way. [I have an appt with an audiologist who specializes in tinnitus, but could not get in until the 23rd. I am wondering if I need to hurry and get to an ENT within a 10-day window of the MRI noise exposure.)

        • Julia, if you didn’t experience muffled or somehow altered hearing (like a loss of high-pitched sounds) after the MRI, then I’d say it’s unlikely you actually damaged your hearing. At least my experience is that exposure to loud noise always causes a temporary loss of sensitivity (the technical term is “threshold shift”). Perhaps the MRI noise wasn’t that loud and it just happened to be the type of sound that interacts with your tinnitus. As I said, I find my tinnitus get louder in the presence of certain sounds. (For example, I can hear it in my left ear when I hear traffic noise, but when I put on isolating headphones, it goes away. This is really odd, because tinnitus is supposed to be “in your head”, and therefore independent of outside noise, but that’s what happens.)
          If this is what’s going on in your case, the only way is to make yourself stop thinking about it, and it will ease off.

      • I should add that in the 8 years I’ve had tinnitus, I have been careful about using earplugs at concerts and other loud events. Why I did not think to use earplugs during this MRI a few day ago I do not know — I am furious at myself because of this. The headphones the technician placed on me were loose, so I think I was pretty badly exposed to 100+ decibels for 20+ minutes.

        • It probably wasn’t 100 decibels, that’s like a jack hammer 1 meter away. Traffic next to a busy freeway can get up to 90 dB. (Check this page for a reference.) Usually, you can tell if a noise can damage hearing — it’s simply uncomfortable. Was it uncomfortably loud in the MRI machine? Did you want to cover your ears?

        • Inside the MRI it was very uncomfortable — it did sound like a jackhammer rattling in my skull. Today, Day 4, the tinnitus is still loud and piercing.

          Went to an ENT today; hearing tested fine (only a slight loss that could have been from years ago, when I also tested as a slight loss). He prescribed a short course of steroids. He also told me to order “Arches Tinnitus Formulas,” which I am very skeptical about, as they are merely $150+ worth of vitamins and herbs. I was surprised an MD would tell me to buy those.

          I need to know that I will be able to sit and read again, to sit and write again, and to sleep.

        • The tinnitus formula recommended by your doctor is, from what I’ve read, essentially ginkgo + zinc. I found this discussion of both supplements in Pawel Jastreboff’s classic book:

          http://books.google.com/books?id=weJtKjIYf3sC&lpg=PA192&ots=nGQLH-cPu0&dq=tinnitus%20glutamate&pg=PA192#v=onepage&q=tinnitus%20glutamate&f=false

          In short, ginkgo could be helpful because it helps with stress, but no specific anti-tinnitus effects have been proved. (at least as of the time the book was written) You could get a generic ginkgo supplement that costs less than $150.
          Anyway, it’s great news that your hearing is not damaged. I’m sure you’re experiencing a temporary tinnitus flare-up and your brain will readjust itself soon.

  131. I just red the whole story, I can totally find myself in it. Also the times it got worse because I was to stupid to protect my ears. The “feeling bad” after it… Nice to read about someone who actually experienced it the same.

  132. What an excellent read on all who posted ,lot of info ,put onto this blog site today by another tinnitus sufferer.Ive had tinnitus since 1996 ,but following a virus ,my Tinnitus has got worse ,plus now allergies and balance issues since the virus .will keep looking in .

  133. Recently I’ve been having dizzy spells and having read related issues with this, I noticed that Tinnitus and Meniere’s Disease have a lot of similarities. Has anyone read about this or had dizzy spells due to tinnitus?

  134. I agree hundred per cent about scammers as to T cure ,they give out false hope ,shame on them that do this ,it shows no compassion to ones who suffer from this . Why are ones out there doing such dreadful thing it totally beyond my thinking .Karma sooner or later does catch up in one form or another ,either to them or a close loved one .who may one day suffer as we do from tinnitus .There is no cure ,just tips on how to cope for some .
    Kate ,lots are given wrong diagnosis to this balance ,very rare do Drs agree as to the right name for it ,one says Menieres you get queasy ,next says no ,then the next will say you get both .So who do you believe .?
    Best wishes go to all T .

  135. Hi all,

    I feel the need to send a message out to all new T sufferers, it gets better. I’m going on 2 years now and it just becomes part of your life,
    I am 55 years old, pinched nerve in my neck that never goes away plus the tinnitus. But I see my co-workers and friends suffering from much more serious things: cancer especially..
    Dealing with Tinnitus is a state of mind, the crickets in my head are part of me now. In fact, the only time I’m aware of them is when I write these entries.
    It gets better! You’re not alone!
    Peace.

    Rick

  136. Rick-

    Did you cut out caffeinated drinks including coffee? In addition to excercise, did you change your diet and/or supplements that you think was a benefit. Thanks for you input.

  137. Hi Greg,

    I definitely cut down on my coffee, only 2 cups per day now. I have noticed alcohol makes my tinnitus worse, especially the day after drinking so I’ve cut way back on that also. My diet hasn’t changed much but I generally started eating healthier with less sugar intake.
    Goo luck.

  138. Beware of scams folks!
    People that take advantage of us tinnitus sufferers are the scum of the earth. This is a physical condition, it can’t be cured, only controlled. I do believe in karma, evil karma to all those that promise quick results to tinnitus.
    I just noticed my tinnitus flared up, well worth it to send this message. Do NOT listen to assholes selling “cures” for tinnitus.

  139. Thanks for writing. The goal of partial masking is to get accustomed to the sound (and make it subjectively softer by reducing the emotional reaction to it), so you don’t really need it if the sound doesn’t bother you. I don’t know much about music therapy, so I don’t know how similar it is to Plasticity. Cheers!

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