British Tinnitus Association

Trying to keep positive

Hello everyone,

I've had tinnitus for around 9 years, and up until a few months ago I had coped with it, of course the first couple of months were beyond stressful and I was very depressed and tearful. However, i must have got 'used' to it.

A few months ago it heightened and I think I know why. Went to a gig etc, it was to the point where it started to affect me falling asleep slightly, but I could do it. I would usually watch a comedy, call a friend etc and I'd be able to settle my self and mind to switch to sleep mode.

In the past 2 months my T has shot up to a level I've neber had. I had dental work done (tooth out) and the week before I was freaking out over this and I was very tense, so since 2 months it's gone crazy. Also had a very short term 2 week job during Christmas, which caused me tremendous amounts of stress, so I'm not sure if these are all factors. I left the job as it was too much.

I also gave up smoking the day I had my tooth out as I was told it would delay healing and can lead to serious infection, so again without me realising I'm wondering if yet that's another factor.

Went to an ENT person in July when it started getting worse, and he said my hearing was perfect and I had no pressure in my ear (can't rememberer the tech term) left there not sure what and why this has gotten worse.

Saw him again a few weeks ago as it had gotten even worse and I left there feeling even more helpless than before I went in.

He couldn't give me any reason(s) as to why my T has shot up in 6 months.

As I'm writing this, I feel quite a lot of pressure in my right ear and have for a few days. This is the same side as I had my tooth extracted. So this is making me feel worried and anxious.

Apologies if my typing is messy, I'm just feeling on edge and very tearful.

As it says, I'm trying to keep positive and hoping it's only a temporary thing, but feeling more hopeless.

Any advice or words then please do say them to me.

Thank you,


10 Replies

Hi Elleveryone. Sorry you are having such a hard time. A lot of what you describe is similar to myself - years of stress, jaw problems , constant neck and tooth pain and nasal problems. Like you ENT not helpful - gave me a nasal spray !There is a lot about the neck/jae/ tooth area and how it can link with tinnitus. Googling alas is the new NHS replacement . I have been trying to get support and hAve been saving to see if I can get private ENT . I am going to see anWe do carry on as best we can and offer each other comfort and support. I keep telling myself when I get better I will campaign for better services.If I get any where with anything I will share. Xx

1 like

Hi Lindsay,

I think and do believe there are quite a number of possibilities in making T worse, whether that's temp or perm who knows. I certainly know my anxiety and on edge character doesn't help, so it's a vicious circle.

Again, I believe we will all get better in our own way.

I'm going to a new T support group in my area this week, so it'll be great yo hear other people's stories and experiences, plus their ways of coping etc.

Hope you're ok Lindsay, and I'm here if you want to chat too :) xxx


Evening. I think being a wee bit bonkers and light hearted helps me cope - I was over the moon when my favourite footballer replied to a comment I put on his face book page ( and texted my boss He had set the date when I asked him to marry me !). I have felt in less pain today - although I have been house hunting ( a yearly occurrence as I can not settle !) I think the picture and stress of long drive to work and stressful job don't help. I also know that constantly keeping busy is not how I want to live all my life because I will crash and it doesn't help my tinnitus. I truly think it's the trickiest thing ever. And that there are so many excuses not to take it seriously or provide help - e.g its just a symptom ( ok , so help us find out what and then help us treat it ) or all the semantics about whether it is louder or its our perception of it that's increased. Worst I think k is that rest and relaxation and switching off which help all long term conditions are impossible with tinnitus once it gets to a certain level. I am trying to get my head round it and the impact it is having ( I am no longer superwoman ) and paying a counsellor to help with this - long process. Sorry for the waffle on a Saturday night ! Best wishes to all who continue to continue 😊

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Hi Elle,

You're a little more of a trooper with T than me, I've only had it for 16 months. Sorry to hear you're having a hard time with your T at the moment.

Do you think the gig you went to made you worry that your T might increase and in turn the worry has indeed made you more aware of it? Same maybe for the dentist?

If you are also still feeling a little sore from the dentist, your T should ease with it I'm sure.

I'm pretty new to this compared to most on here, but the more I worry about my T the more intrusive it seems to become.

When you say you managed with it for 9 years, I'm interested to know how intrusive your T was? I've been having a bad time with mine the last 3 months following a loud gig and a hectic month. I'm not sure whether I'm worrying about the level of it too much, hence making it more important in my life. (Sorry if that ended up being more of a question for myself).

All the best.

Ellie x


Hi Ellie,

I'm assuming I did get used to mine, it's always hard to know or even think back to that time to determine how loud it was if that makes sense. Perhaps it went down slightly or I really did get used to it. Not sure how, but I did.

It's now at a level where it is affecting my daily life and sleep, well, that's something I have yet again had to prepare for.

Plenty of camomile tea, comedy to watch, bath, hot water bottle etc do help, but in the end I have been focusing on pleasant things and focus, it's sometimes helps, other times not.

Have you tried thing so like yoga and soft exercise. I've done it once and it did help me relax, so I, going to start doing this at least once a week.

Also I, trying to cut down on refined sugar, I don't have caffeine nor drink alcohol as I've heard that doesn't help. Sounds very dire to some people, but it's a positive thing too as you're getting healthy 😉

To answer both your questions re the gig and dentist, yes I think due to me freaking out over having my tooth out DEFFO increased it due to stress and me being tense.

The gig, of course I was an idiot, but it's most likely due to that as well.

We must all remember and I know it's so, so hard, but this won't harm us. This is the strange thing, we know it won't hurt up, so we must find our own way (with support of others around us) to not feel afraid.

Again I'm here to talk if you ever want to Ellie xxx


Thanks for your reply Elle!

When I developed it, I knew it was there but only heard it when I listened for it. I literally didn't freak out at all, so got used to it straight away.

However, I think this was my downfall as I didn't really realise how intrusive it could become without protecting my ears. I too can now hear it the majority of the time and it has for the first time affected my sleep. The only way I can describe it is, it has become sharper, so more noticeable.

I've stopped drinking, started exercising regularly and am trying to be more healthy, I must admit it seems to be helping! I've also finally bought ear plugs for noisy places! I'm yet to try yoga, but sounds like a great idea 😊

Thank you for your support, it really is appreciated! Positivity seems to be the best way forward.

Ellie x


HI Elle,

I am sorry to hear that your tinnitus has become more intrusive but hopefully this will calm down in time. I have had this condition for 20 years and it now varies considerably in intensity from: silent, mild, moderate and severe. It no longer reaches very severe levels that used to continue for many days.

I have managed to habituate to it. Although we are all different and no two people experience tinnitus the same many people habituate and carry on to lead a fulfilling life doing all they things that they want to do.

As you probably know, the most common cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud noise. If someone’s tinnitus was initially caused by loud noise and they have habituated after a while. If the condition becomes more intrusive and there is no underlying medical condition responsible, the usual cause is exposure to loud noise and in some cases listening to music through headphones even at low volume might cause it.

It should be said, not everyone with tinnitus and uses headphones will be adversely affected and that is perfectly fine.

However, in my opinion, anyone whose tinnitus which was caused by loud noise should think twice about using headphones even at low volume because I don’t recommend it. Furthermore, these people should be careful when attending gigs, concerts or anywhere where loud sounds or music is played. I believe taking precautions would be a good idea by wearing noise reducing earplugs.

All the best



Hi Elle, sorry to hear you are suffering. My tinnitus started 16 years ago and it is only in the last twelve months that I have "learned to live with it", as my consultant told me at the outset. Mine is a screaming white noise F# 365/24/7. It never goes away. I've had instances of the fullness you describe in the ear and this does pass - I have noticed an improvement with a hearing aid as this allows more surrounding noise into the ear - mine is caused by aging hearing loss - and so I can focus more on the outside noise rather than the T. I believe stress is a huge part of the problem. I too have s stressful job, and as soon as I get anxious my T kicks off. Needless to say, I walk away from most confrontation as I have developed a self protection mechanism. In all of this I believe that the mind controls your T more than you think . So I now allow myself to acknowledge the noise for what it is and tell myself that it won't control me. In doing so, I am able to switch off to it - it's still there all the time - but I won't let it take over my life as it used to do. I hope you get some help from this post. I am always available to chat if you want to . Jane x


Hi Elle, im like you i have had T for about 8-9 years and sometimes it gets to me. You see we are trapped in a vicious circle, the more we get stressed the more our T will invade us, the more our T invades us the more stressed we become. So what can we do about it? we must break the circle so what i suggest you do is to take one step at a time. First of all if you are still getting problems with your teeth go back to the dentist, have the socket checked out just to put your mind at wrest. Take a step back and see what else is stressing you out and then CALMLY deal with it but what ever you do try not to get into a panick. You know, this morning my T is in overdrive but i am busy doing household chores ive just been hanging washing and do you know from my ears i never heard a sound so always try, especially when your T is getting to you,to keep your mind occupied. Also why not try and find a Tinnitus group that is near to you, i found them a life saver, and also experiment with relaxation exercises. All the best then Elle and dont forget the people on this site will do all they can to help and advise you.

Your friend, Peter.😊


Hello Elle,

Firstly my love you need to take a deep breath in, hold it then breath out slowly, Elle tinnitus can peak at certain times and also can decrease, keep very positive and tell your self this will settle, you need to stop focusing on the tinnitus , because this is at present consuming you, put the radio on, listen to it, even if you have to listen to the news, get focusing, and remind yourself who is in control here, it will not harm you, you are letting your body becoming stressed by the sounds, just embrace thgem, deep breath loosen your shoulders, calm down , put on a movie, and listen to the words and do this as often as you can, you are homing in on your sounds, STOP, i know it isnt easy i have had tinnitus for 30 plus years, but honestly this is what you need to do, you want to enjoy life more then you want to give this annoying affliction the time of day, i know you can get it back under control, it takes a bit of mindfulness but you can do it. :-)


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