British Tinnitus Association
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Unbearable teenage tinnitus

I have recently been suffering with unbearable tinnitus, it started after a very serious viral infection and hasn't gone since. I have tried everything there is to get rid of the noise but it just won't go away. I haven't slept properly since I started having the noise and its really starting to get me down and since I am so young I am worried ill have to live with it forever. Please help me, is there anything else I can try I don't know how much more I can take !!:(

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Hi naomieff,

Many things can cause tinnitus including a viral infection. Once the infection is cleared up then hopefully the tinnitus will too. I will assume that you have been to your GP and therefore following the advice that you have been given.

The onset of tinnitus can be stressful but in most cases this settles down in time. Please read my post in this forum titled: New to tinnitus what to do? Click on the link below: healthunlocked.com/bta/post...

I also advise you to look at your lifestyle. Do you regularly listen to music through headphones or attend places where loud music is played? Concerts, clubs or other places of entertainment? This is just to rule out whether your tinnitus might have been caused by loud sounds, since the most common cause of it is exposure to loud noise.

All the best

Michael

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Hi, thanks for your reply. I had the virus in January, and have been suffering tinnitus since so don't think its that:(

I have been to the GP three times and have tried everything they have given. I have since been referred to ent but the noise is so unbearable I have decided to pay private.

I never use headphones and rarely even listen to music and haven't been to any concerts/clubs for a while, there is no hearing loss so there is no cause for my tinnitus which is what worries me further. Hopefully it will be sorted soon because its driving me insane :(

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I don't advise you to go private for help with your tinnitus. I have had this condition for 20 years and have habituated twice. I will give you the advice my GP gave me many years ago when I first got tinnitus and asked about going private. " Michael, you will get the best help and long term aftercare under the NHS". Twenty years on I have to say my GP was one hundred percent right.

I have talked with many people that have gone private for tinnitus treatment and the majority of them wished they hadn't bothered. Many end up parting with a lot of money only to be told to go back to the NHS when funds run out.

I have written a tinnitus article to help people that are new to tinnitus. It gives advice on treatment and copying methods. If you would like a copy please send me a private message with your email address.

All the best

Michael

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Hi naomieff, Michael is correct. I paid privately to see an ENT consultant at the onset of my tinnitus. He told me that I had tinnitus for which there was no cure and I would have to live with it. Expensive words! But he did refer me to his tinnitus clinic at the NHS local hospital where I got the best advice and care possible. I also got good advice and support from the BTA forum and 2 years later I am able to live my life as I used to despite the T. I hope your T quietens as you recover from the virus. Angela xx

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HI Angela,

I am pleased to hear that you are living your life and doing everything that you want to and not allowing tinnitus to get the better of you. This condition comes in many forms and intensities and no two people experience it the same. However, most people learn to habituate with time and are able to carry on with their life.

As you know, tinnitus can be quite daunting in the early stages but with time and adopting a positive outlook a lot can be achieved. It is good that you are able to pass on your advice and experience to people like naomieff, as I believe it is this kind of help and encouragement that people in the early stages of tinnitus need, and will spur them on and give hope that things will get better.

All the best

Michael

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I re-read your document Michael from time to time. Understanding leads to being able to accept and deal with T. Angela xx

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Hi Angela.

I usually advise people to print the whole of my document and refer to it whenever they feel the need as you have done, in particular the Positivity articles. Reading them on the computer is fine but for the message to sink in, I believe a hard copy is better so they can be referred to often.

I hope things continue to improve for you.

Michael

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Welcome to the BTA community naomieff.

Ask your doctor about melatonin to help you sleep for a while and sleeping will help you adapt better with how you feel.

Also if at school,college etc make sure you show them a GP letter so you will get extra support and time etc if you need it.

Tinnitus is hard to cope with at first along with not sleeping and the unwanted emotions it can cause.

I hope you have lots of support around you and we are here for you and the BTA advice line...

Keep your chin up and try stay positive as there is help ....lots of love glynis

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hi - sounds a real difficult time for you and to gather support is important - you can always call Samaritans for a chat about how you are feeling and how this all affects you - they are a great support organisation for anyone and everyone - good luck

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Hi Naomieff

Over 20 years ago, I had a viral infection, and I got tinnitus. But I didn't know what it was - there was no internet, no Wikipedia, no NHS Choices ... and I distinctly remember one day at work, after the infection had gone but i could still here the noise, looking at my office wall and working out the best position to stand to bang my head against it to have something else to focus on. It was a real struggle.

And then - after some weeks, the noise was gone. But by that time my brain had learned to tune it out so it was several days after that before I actually really noticed ...

The good news is that I've never had it again like that. I get a few seconds or a minute or two of noise - usually when I'm stressed - and that's it.

It's highly likely given what you've said about not being exposed to noise that it's the virus to blame. And so, once your body gets over that completely, the tinnitus should go too. However, getting stressed and anxious won't help - I know, easier said than done!

You might find our new e-learning platform helpful - takeontinnitus.co.uk and if you do want to speak to someone, our friendly team are on the end of the line ready and willing to help - you can reach us on 0800 018 0527 between 9 and 5, Monday to Friday.

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Hi Naomi, relax take a deep breath and try to contain the rising panic. "T" is horrible but it is not life threatening and you will get more and more able to deal with it and manage your condition as time passes. It might even decrease or go away on its own. I know many people who have suffered for a few years or months and that was it.

Also, an awful lot of research is being done to try to establish an effective treatment or cure for "T". So even in the worst case there is still hope.

White noise or running water or jungle sounds played just below the volume of your "T" really help with sleep. Try to be relaxed and develop scenarios in your head that account for the external noise and the "T" fades into nothing.

Above all keep smiling you are young and you have your whole life in front of you. Enjoy it.

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My own tinnitus was caused by Chickenpox at 7, so viruses can be a cause of tinnitus and hearing issues, chickenpox, measles and rubella can all cause those symptoms in some patients.

As you have been dealing with it for a few months now and it doesn't seem to be going away, I think the best thing would be to get your doctors to check your ears to see if there has been any permanent damage to your hearing and also to join the Tinnitus Association in your area if you haven't done so already. Mum and I both joined when I was first diagnosed and they offered us a great deal of support and information. I was often the youngest person at their meetings, but I was always encouraged to talk about my tinnitus and listened to as much as any of the adults there, the Edinburgh branch were very welcoming. I live too far away now.

If you can find coping strategies that help, it may make living with tinnitus easier for you. I find listening to the radio, either speech, or music helps me better than maskers, or white noise machines, but I know that they help others, try some of those options out. If you play music at school, or you love going to see live music, consider taking some earplugs with you. I have a few professional musicians in my family and I have encouraged them to wear them too.

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Hi, Naomi,

I can only echo London 20's sentiments. I know it seems hard at first, maybe even a bit frightening but you are not alone. Most of us can find ways to cope whether it's meditation, relaxation, sound therapy or a combination. Read these posts, try the take on tinnitus website modules, speak to your doctor. Be proactive in learning about tinnitus and ways to alleviate it. A quick Google search will show there are many famous celebrities with tinnitus but it doesn't stop them entertaining in their chosen fields. My thoughts are with you.

Respectfully submitted,

Keoni

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