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Tinnitus > How much louder will it get? About to give up.

#1 Posted : Thursday, May 18, 2017 6:10:49 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 5/18/2017
Posts: 1

I have been suffering from tinnitus for nearly 10 years. I first got it when I was partying at university aged 21. Since then I have have limited my social life to try avoid loud places and have been religious about wearing ear plugs when I do go somewhere noisey. Of course I have still gone to the odd gig or bar because I figured having an active social life is also important in order to avoid blaming tinnitus for a poor quality of life.

Over the years the tinnitus has steadily got worse and worse. About 5 years ago I started permanently wearing in ear white noise generators as the tinnitus was too loud for me to cope. I had insomnia and couldn't concentrate in work. This massively helped. But again, over the last five year the tinnitus has got worse and worse and I have had to turn up the volume of the white noise to accommodate this - I know why the tinnitus got louder on some occasions, e.g accidentally taking Ciprofloxacin without checking the ototoxicity, but in the majority of cases it just gets louder.

I enjoy outdoor sports, particularly skiing, rock climbing and hiking. I have noticed that the T is worse at altitude but usually goes back to normal once I get home. However, I have just returned from 5 days hiking in Central Asia and the T is still incredibly loud - I can hear it over my white noise generators, over the tv, over the sound of the train.

Do I have to give this up too? As well as socialising with my friends? I dont know how I am going to cope with this. I am only 29, if the T continues to get louder at the same rate it has over the last 8 years then it will be the volume of a foghorn by the time I am 35 and I will not be able to live with it. God knows how loud it will be in 20 years time.

How much louder can it get? And what am I supposed to do? Give up on everything that I enjoy in life.

I have avoided coming to this forum for a few years as I have not wanted to dwell on the T too much, even though I think about it everyday anyway. But its getting too much. Any advice would be welcome.


Amy (Information Officer)
#2 Posted : Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:45:35 AM
Rank: Senior Member

Joined: 4/14/2014
Posts: 538
Hello KatieArnold2,

Thank you for your post and welcome to the forum. My name is Amy and I work on the Information Line here at Action on Hearing loss. You have come to the right place for guidance and support, I am sure other forum members will be along shortly to share their experiences and offer support to you.

We are very sorry to read that you are experiencing a spike in your tinnitus and we hope that the information below will help.

Tinnitus effects people differently and in turn what helps people with their tinnitus also differs, with this in mind it would be hard for us to say whether the white noise generator is still suitable. As it is currently not offering any relief, we would encourage you to return to the specialist who supplied it to you to see if they are able to make any adjustments or offer an alternative such as a therapy or possibly counselling.

With the right support and guidance from your therapist, in most cases, tinnitus improves slowly over time by a process known as ‘habituation’. This is where you reach a state of mind where you no longer find your tinnitus bothersome and are no longer overly aware of it. Habituation is the main aim of tinnitus therapies, so if you have not done so already it may be worth trying this route. You can read more about the therapies in our factsheet here.

Best wishes,
Senior Information Line Officer

Telephone: 0808 808 0123
Text phone: 0808 808 9000
SMS: 0780 0000360
#3 Posted : Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:45:34 PM
Rank: Active Member

Joined: 6/5/2014
Posts: 147
Hello Katie

I'm so sorry to hear all about how your now struggling with yourr tinny.

I had tinnitus about 15 years ago. The very quiet one...well at the time I thought it was loud...but I got used to did I not affect my life.
Then 3 years ago ..quite out of the blue it suddenly went loud.

It was awful in those early years.
I kept a diary of what the noise was each day. I cried..lots....I won't bore you with all what I tried to do to cope..but here I am in my 4 th year of the loud tinny.

Some days it's just a whoosh...other days a loud white noise/hiss type noise.

It hard to measure how loud anyone's tinny is compared to others...maybe yours is as loud as mine...maybe yours is louder...maybe mine is louder....but what ever we have tinnitus and we have to adjust. Sometimes in the night I wake up to go to use the loo and mine is so loud I think god what if it stayed like that every day I don't know what I would do. By the morning it's back to normal. I don't think anyone can know what tinnitus is going to be like each time for them.
It has a mind of its own .

I think some people on here have had their tinny noise measured. Maybe you could try that and that may help you as you try and cope with it getting louder .

I'm 59 a lot older than you ...but please try and find a way of coping with this loudness. We mustn't let tinnitus beat us .
Although I know for some people it does seem that way .

Good luck


#4 Posted : Friday, May 26, 2017 1:22:44 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 12/9/2016
Posts: 18
Hi Katie,

It sounds from your note that you're having a really hard time with this appalling affliction and I wish there was something more that I, or anyone else, could do for you. As I'm sure you know, we can't - I've found myself frequently curled up in anguish thinking there must be something that can be done to alleviate this suffering, but every time, I come up empty. My regular internet searches from 'tinnitus emergency' or 'tinnitus crisis' have yet to yield anything worthwhile. All the medical community seem to be able to offer is that it should get easier over time - no use at all when you're in the teeth of a bad day / week / time with it I appreciate, but there we go.

You haven't mentioned anything in your note about seeing audiologists etc? There isn't much that they can do, but the best advice I can give you is to seek out whatever assistance might be available - ENT referral from your GP, CBT, hearing aids, support groups, sound therapy etc. Take it one day at a time and know that it will improve given time.
#5 Posted : Monday, May 29, 2017 1:31:30 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 5/29/2017
Posts: 1
Hi Katie,

Really sorry to hear how the tinnitus is affecting you and would like to offer some positive advice for the future.

Firstly, you mention using white noise generators - and the fact that you have been turning up the volume of these. While some people find white noise generators helpful as a distraction from tinnitus there is a danger that they can aggravate tinnitus as well - especially if listened to at a high volume over a long period of time. I would definitely stop this - or at least turn the volume down on them as as first step.

Secondly, in terms of altitude, this can aggravate people's tinnitus as well. You say you have only recently returned from Central Asia and it may be the case that this is a relatively short-term spike of your tinnitus. Possibly also a long air-flight may have aggravated your tinnitus further. Give it time, but if this does turn out to be more long-term as a higher level of tinnitus you may be well-advised to avoid longer periods at high altitude in the future.

Hope that this helps and that you feel better soon.

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