Will I re-habituate? Tinnitus seems worse

Hi all, little bit stressed out here.

I've had tinnitus for around 6 years and in the main had become totally habituated. It didn't affect my life at all. I still carried earplugs with me and knew to put them in during certain situations, but this was more of a default reaction. In the last 6 years I've had multiple full-time jobs, travelled hundreds of times, gone through some great times as well as some lows and at no point did I feel like tinnitus was an issue for me. I knew I had it, but it just did not impact my life, I didn't notice it.

Maybe once a year in the past 4 years I'd go to a noisy club, not for long and always wearing the custom plugs that reduce DBs by 27. I've always known it's a risk but at the same time I was in my 20s, occasionally I did not want to miss out.

However last week I went to a club for the first time for about a year and it was awful, however my friend seemed to be having a good time so we stayed longer than I ideally wanted. She kept dancing in front of the speaker in quite a small room, I moved her away to the side. I was wearing my plugs. Eventually I did pull her away to leave, I reckon we must have spent 1 hour or 1 hour 15 in the club (some of it in a bigger room).

I could hear my tinnitus when I went to bed however over the years I've often noticed that if drunk, the blood seems to whoosh and the sounds are amplified. In my experience this is simply being tired and drunk.

However I was nervous that this time around I'd made a mistake, so was pretty anxious the next day. The night after I slept with the radio on, something I haven't done for about 5 years no joke. On Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I seemed fine, I was busy having dinner with my dad, food shopping with my boyfriend, we went for a cycle ride, I went to the gym, I hung out with colleagues from work... However it must have been in the back of my mind as for some reason when I got home last night when I started reading the paper in our quiet bedroom it just hit me that all I could hear was loud tinnitus.

Since then I just feel at my wits' end, I feel back to square one and utterly distressed. If I've made the tinnitus worse (even by focusing on it), is it likely I will re-habituate again?

Perhaps it's worth mentioning that for about a week before the club and also after, I've had some pressure problems with my right ear with it suddenly feeling blocked, but then going away. This occurred before I went to the club.

  • Hi steph-e,  You mentioned "and drunk". This is the clue. In my view immoderate use of alcohol can produce tinnitus. I don't have extra-personal evidence for the foregoing statement, apart from my brother who mentioned that a doctor had told him that "either smoking of alcohol were the cause".

    I like alcohol and I have had a few glasses of wine before posting this message. Also I smoke, and enjoy doing so. But I have experienced tinnitus and "know" that alcohol is associated with the condition.

    Perhaps you may be interested in a post I made some while ago at: http://community.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/tinnitus/f/forum/36175/bear-with-me-how-i-dealt-with-my-tinnitus .

  • Hi steph-e

    Thank you for your post. I am sorry to hear how you are feeling at the moment. You have however come to the right place for guidance and support.

    What is important to remember is that you have habituated before and so it is absolutely possible that you will do so again. It may be that the loud noise or even the ear pressure you have been experienced could have affected it. I would suggest getting an appointment with your GP and a referral to ENT would be a good idea just to have your ears checked.

    There is a big link between stress and tinnitus and although it is easier said that done, it is important to try and keep calm and keep yourself busy to help distract you from the tinnitus. There are a number of different things you can do to help stress and anxiety levels which you may like to read about in our tinnitus publications .

    Please feel free to keep us posted with how you are getting on. I hope other forum users will be along shortly to offer you their own words of encouragement and support.

    Kind regards