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British Tinnitus Association
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Plz help

I've had tinnitus for 4 months. It's been a huge struggle! My tinnitus changes in tones and volume. I also have severe anxiety and feel like the quality of my life has greatly decreased. I barely sleep :(

Is it bad to use sound enrichment at night for life? I really want to habituate but I fear it's not possible.

Any tips?

Thanks.

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Not at all. Sound enrichment through the night is perfectly feasible and you won't do any harm using it long term. You do need to make sure the sounds you use are set at a volume just below your T, rather than loud enough to drown it out.

I can't imagine being without my 'distant thunderstorm on a remote lake' all night long.

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Hi Ruud1boy,

Thanks for replying back to me. I will continue to use sound enrichment.

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Hello and welcome to the British Tinnitus Association forum.

Do feel free to ask any questions, I hope that you find this a helpful and supportive place to help you manage your tinnitus.

We have some resources that you might like to check out in addition to our home here:

tinnitus.org.uk (information and support details)

takeontinnitus.co.uk (free tinnitus management programme)

Helpline 0800 018 0527 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm) (outside the UK you can call +44 (0)114 250 9922)

Kind regards

Shakeela

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Hi Toronto....firstly, you WILL get better and you WILL habituate. You will dance and sing and laugh again BUT please know it will take time.

I would highly recommend some CBT counselling or some CAT counselling (I’ve done the former but not the latter). CBT helped me enormously in allowing me to acknowledge, accept and eventually ignore the T. It helps with your emotional reaction to the T and allows you to stop fighting it. When you stop fighting it & being afraid of it you will notice that you start to go periods when you don’t even realise it’s there. You’ll also find that when you do hear it you don’t flip out anymore.

I would certainly recommend doing anything and everything to Lee you afloat in the short term but long term pls do seek counselling. Ongoing relaxation techniques too but I get that until you’re in a stronger place this might be tough.

Finally I’ve also found YouTube videos by Julian Cowan Hill to be so so helpful. They are very positive and give hope so check them out too.

Good luck and pls remember to be patient xx

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Hi abic77,

Thank you for the positivity. I know this takes time. I just hate being in constant flight or fight mode.

I recently started CBT. I had my first session last week. Not much was really done since it was the meet-and-greet session. I will go once a week. I really hope it helps. I was hoping to find a therapist who specializes in tinnitus. We'll see how this therapist works out.

Thanks for your time

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Hi Toronto ... I know exactly how you feel. I have had Tinnitus for 3 years ... I kept pushing my ENT for help which he tried , I’ve had a grommet in and out 3 times , a stapadectomy , a Cochlear put in then taken out, ... long story and I now have a Cochlear again. I have awful pain and have just had Botox injections for it. My advice is ... don’t have any operations , keep calm and listen to soft music or Podcasts. I recently bought some sleep buds from BOSE which are great , but a bit expensive. Keep positive , this chatline is great . I live in Australia and have been told there is a lot of research happening .Take care. 😊

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Hi 1Dar,

If you don't mind me asking what was the cause of your tinnitus? I'm glad you're doing okay.

Thanks for the encouragement. Everything is a bit better when you get some sleep.

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Hello , first of all my name is Jenny. I don’t mind at all telling you... I had a blocked ear and had a grommet put in there. It was certainly mild to what it is today, but me being persistent kept seeking for answers that weren’t there. So now I’ve got Tinnitus and pain. It’s been an emotional journey . I am happy to talk to you privately on the chat line if you wish. It may help you. Take care and ask me any questions ... always happy to help. If you hear my journey it will make you feel better ! Ha 😊

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and yes sleep makes all the difference !

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Hi, did you have grommets in for clogged ear feeling.? Do you have eustation tube problems? The reason I ask is I'm pushing ent for grommets but he won't do as my hearing is perfect.

Thanks Michael

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Hi Michael ... I am the perfect person to ask that question. Yes I had a blocked ear, but not too much hearing loss. I pushed for the grommet, but please don’t do it! I have had Tinnitus for 3 years as a result of the grommet. I have had the grommet in and out 3 times, a stapadectomy, a Cochlear Implant, only to be taken out a year later due to pain, but now have another Cochlear. I am so sorry for those people who have had to hear this again. A month ago I stupidly saw another audio , she said not to use the Cochlear anymore. I had hearing aids put in my ears, but because of so much pain in my bad ear, I had them taken out. I have recently had Botox injections for the pain. I’m in agony , and will never ever have anyone touch my ear again. My eustachean tubes are fine. If I can help anyone that would be grrat. I just have to be positive , but the ringing is awful too. Don’t do anything. Message me privately if you want to. All the best. Jenny 😊

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What's CAT counselling?

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Hi ruudboy it’s Cognitive Acceptance Therapy. But like CBT but helps with accepting conditions and living with them too.

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Listen to all of these replies they are good sound advice. The beginning in tinnitus is always the worst part; maybe because it is so much a shock to your system. I would also recommend the book TINNITUS RETRAINING THERAPY by JASTREBOFF. There is a lot of information in it. You are very fortunate to live in these times for we are getting close to finding a solution to our misery. The work of Dr. Susan Shore of UMICH and Neuromod of Dublin Ireland are getting close to results that should relieve some of our misery.

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Hi jmallordturner51,

My body is definitely in shock. It happened so quick. I got tinnitus in a bizarre way and recently got a CAT scan. I'm just waiting for the results.

Does your tinnitus change in tone and frequency often?

Thanks for the positivity! Hope all is well.

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Absolutely it changes all the time! The most frustrating thing for me is trying to figure out why. One thing that I find definitely makes it worse is taking a cat nap during the day. I have read this pretty common. I've had tinnitus since I was 15 doing push-ups of all things, I am know 67. For the most part I habituated to it. The last 4 months it has ramped up in volume tremendously. I went to a ENT and she thought it might be related to some neck pain; so I have been going to see a physical therapist for the past 5 weeks. My neck is better but not the T. Next on the docket is a chinese acupuncturist. I am not terribly hopeful but it may be worth a shot ( no pun intended). The many sounds I hear, I think about a dozen, are very disturbing; my goal is just to reduce the volume. If you really want sound advice about tinnitus and hyperacusis google Dr. Neil Bauman. He is an audiologist with many of the same problems as his patients. He writes extensively on his blogs about his remedies for hearing conditions. I wish you and all of us sufferers much luck in our quest for a little peace and quiet.

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Greetings jmallordturner51,

Thanks for all the information! I'm glad to hear that despite the changes in your tinnitus, you were still able to habituate. I'm sorry to hear about the increase of volume over the past 4 months. I really hope it pipes down.

I will check out Dr. Neil. I have never heard of him before. When you hear an unfamiliar tone, how do you stay calm & not freak out? I know it takes time.

Thanks for your time.

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Hi Toronto - I can confirm things will get better! I had tinnitus following an infection and in the first few months I really struggled with panic attacks and feelings of despair. It's been nearly seven months for me, and not only has the volume decreased a lot, but I no longer feel trapped by it, or as if it controls me. I feel able to do all the things I could do before it came, and though I can still hear it most of the time, it doesn't feel like a burden. If I ever feel upset or worried now, I watch Julian Cowan Hill's YouTube videos which are very reassuring!

I used sounds to mask the tinnitus so I could sleep for the first few months (maybe 3 or 4), but I don't need them now because even though when my head's on the pillow I can hear the tinnitus quite loud sometimes, it doesn't make me feel stressed or scared like it used to. I would go ahead and use it as long as you need to - I don't think it will stop you habituating because you'll still be hearing it during the day so your brain will still have time to get used to it, and eventually start filtering it out.

Very best wishes!

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Hi Sally07,

Thank so much for the reply. Does your tinnitus change in tone and frequency often?

Thanks so much for the positivity! This site is wonderful.

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Hi Toronto,

No problem! It doesn't change that much now but it definitely used to. These days mine's a very high pitched, quite quiet constant sound - but it used to be really loud and vary in pitch too.

I know! There's so much negativity out there about tinnitus. I honestly wasn't expecting to improve as much as I have done!

Very best wishes!

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Hi, it's very hard to habituate if the noise keeps changing, i'' had it for 1 year exactly and am really struggling. I get clogged ears off and on aswel.i'v had eustation tube problems for 10 years but tinnitus only came about a year ago. I find it really difficult as volume and pitch changes from week to week and anxiety shoots through the roof.when I see people say they habituated I always wonder when will I get to this stage.we just have to be hopeful because there will be a cure.

Thanks Michael

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