Worried/anxious I might have tinnitus. - British Tinnitus ...

British Tinnitus Association
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Worried/anxious I might have tinnitus.

Hi everyone i'm new here

I've had tinnitus for the past 36 hrs now, it woke me up straight in the middle the night and gave me a panic attack. My stress levels are very high right now and I'm really worried about this. I've made an appointment to see the doctor but that wont be for another 5 days time (!) All i can say is that it seems to be in one ear (as far as i can tell) quite high pitched and there are times when it comes to the fore (like when I'm trying to sleep which is awful) and when its barely noticeable. At one point i even thought it had gone only to notice/tune into it again about 15 minutes later. I really just hope its an ear infection, though i don't have any pain. My hearing does feel strangely different though, its like i can hear less overall but more acutely some other sounds. Im 31 and have always looked after my ears. Never wore head phones or listed to loud music.

Does any one have any advice? how did your tinnitus start?

6 Replies

Hi there, hope you're doing ok. I'm no expert on tinnitus but I developed it in February this year. Anxiety is the worst thing for tinnitus and just makes it worse. I was in hell for the first three weeks i developed it which made my anxiety worse which in turn made the tinnitus unbearable. I was prescribed sleeping tablets at first to help with the sleep and after them I was put on a high dose of amitriptyline. 6 months down the line and I am off all medication and sleep with white noise off an app on my phone. Hopefully it is an ear infection but if it's not there is light at the end of the tunnel. This forum helped me a lot and speaking to my GP helped also. Try and stay calm until you see your GP. Take care


I have had tinnitus for over twenty years and for the first fourteen years I never knew how it started, but then I found out it was due to a high frequency hearing loss, and since then I have worn hearing aids which do help. I found the best aid to sleep is to have some sort of background noise playing at night and try to focus on that sound, not the tinnitus, it can take time but it works for me.


Hi Vincent

I found staying calm is the best way to reduce the noise level of my tinnitus and using sound therapy at night has been the best thing to help me with sleeping.

Hopefully it's just an ear infection and will go away with treatment.

Please try not to focus on it, easier said then done I know but if you have hobbys etc or do anything that can take your focus away from the noise, then do so as distraction also helps.

If you have a smart phone then there are loads of apps you can use for noise distraction. I use white noise app which is free, if not then use a fan or radio on one of the easy listening stations at night as you'll find that if you can sleep better your anxiety will ease and this in turn will reduce the noise levels.

I could never fathom out how mine started but I had been to an open air festival a few days beforehand but hadn't been very close to any speakers. I do have mild hearing loss in my right ear which is my worst side but I now have a hearing aide with built in sounds that helps to distract my brain from listening to T, and it is helping. I also suffered personal trauma a few months before tinnitus started but don't know if this is all linked.

I don't focus on what might have caused it anymore as you can go round and round in circles and never get an answers so it's best not to put yourself through the ifs and whys and may be's because you'll only make your stress levels worse.

This forum is a great help to many of us so keep in touch, read other people's journeys but most of all, just remember you are not alone and were all hear to help/listen to you.



Hi Vincent, my T started about two years ago. I have always had sensitive ears and to clubs with loud music also didn't help. The T really kicks in for me when my anxiety levels are high. There are some fantastic apps to help however staying calm through meditation has been the best thing for my T. All the best mate


Cool your jets Vincent - getting stressed will only make it worse. If it's a short-lived thing, your docs will probably advise that it'll usually settle down & disappear in due course. For now, tell yourself its an ear infection or blockage or something. Don't start worrying about T until you need to - ie if the noise is still with you in 3-6mths time.

1 like

Mine started exactly the same in the middle of the night whilst going through a lot of stress. I have just seen a ent specialist after waited no 5 months. It started with very loud clicking and I thought I couldn't live like it but after about two weeks it changed to a high pitched whooshing sound so it seems to change. I had wax removed and a hearing test which told them I had some gearing loss in the right ear not the left which the tinnitus is in. Having an Mri to exclude anything sinister as I also have had neck and shoulder problems. But thr is no miracle cure for tinnitus r tinnitus only therapy. I have never listened the loud music either. I hope your tinnitus is temporary but get it checked out. Good luck


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