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Old 15th January 2012 | Show parent
Gear Head

Interesting thread everyone.

I am 25 and I first noticed tinnitus when I was in Grade 5. I remember being panicked about it when it first started.

I first went to my family doctor and he gave me a couple of different antibiotics because he said there was a fluid buildup which was causing extra pressure inside my ears. But alas, it did not help.

Then I proceeded to an ear/nose/throat specialist. He wasn't able to shine much light on the situation other than telling me a few foods and drinks to stay away from. He was right about Coca-cola... Coca-cola is essentially like turning up the volume knob of my tinnitus. But avoiding coke and other caffeinated beverages does not make it disappear, it simply helps it to not become LOUDER.

Then I was able to get into an audiologist who gave me a full hearing exam which actually took a couple of hours. She basically said my actual HEARING is great, and that I do not lack any ability to disipher syllables, frequencies, or words.. but that there is really not any "magic cure" for the ringing.

I've read several books and articles over the years about it. The one I actually found most interesting was by a doctor who did a study and was basically able to "record" the exact sound of your tinnitus and put it onto a CD. Then by listening to a CD of your tinnitus for an amount of time would provide you with X number of minutes of relief. The concept was not that the tinnitus would be gone, but it would trick you into thinking it's gone. He related it to the way you hate the smell of vinegar in a coffee maker when you first walk into a room, but after a few minutes of exposure you no longer notice it. The smell is still there, but you've become accustomed to it and you don't notice it anymore. Same idea with the ringing.. you are exposing yourself to the sound of your ears ringing from an outside source, then once you shut off the sound... it all appears to be gone.
Not sure if this study would ever become useful in day-to-day life for someone who suffers tinnitus, but it was certainly an interesting read.

I personally just fall asleep with a little machine beside my bed that I bought from Wal-mart that has a selection of 10 different sounds you can listen to.. (ex: rain, summer night, heartbeat, white noise, etc.)

I find my tinnitus is at the point now where it only really bothers me in extremely quiet environments.