How do you cope with LOUD tinnitus at night?

AJWSmith

New Member
I've had tinnitus since childhood and learnt that the way to cope with the humming/ringing/buzzing is to direct my attention on other things. I've got so good at ignoring my tinnitus that the only time I really notice it, was in audiology tests when I was trying to hear the beeps that are at a similar pitch to the tinnitus.

However in recent months my tinnitus has got louder. In fact it's so LOUD that I find it impossible to ignore (and I have been successful in ignoring my tinnitus for a few decades!). The increase in volume is probably due to my increasing deafness. I know stress is a common trigger, but for me, my stress levels have been very low in the last year.

During the day, I can mask the tinnitus using my HAs (hearing aids), but at night it keeps me awake which it NEVER did beforehand. I find that it stops me dropping off to sleep. Its loud volume often wakes me up in the middle of the night when I move from deep sleep to shallow sleep (& I never used to wake up in the middle of the night). As the morning approaches the volume increases, stopping me get those final couple of hours of sleep I need to wake up refreshed and raring to go. While my tinnitus has never bothered me that much, this lack of sleep is killing me! Especially as I've always been used to getting my eight hours sleep.

I've been reading stuff about how to cope with tinnitus, but the advice I've read so far doesn't seem to fit my situation. Sound masking devices are no good as when I take out my HAs I can't hear anything (apart from my tinnitus!). Relaxation tips seems to be more for people who suffer from a quieter form that can ignored if you learn to relax and distract the mind - in the way you can ignore the hum of a fridge or air-con. But what do you do if the hum becomes the frenzied whirl of a washing machine in spin mode inches from your head?

Maybe I need to kiss those refreshing eight hours goodbye and find a way to function on the 3-6hrs I currently get? At the moment I stuff my face with chocolate to get the energy I need during the day, and drink plenty of red wine in the evenings to knock me out so I get to sleep quickly. These are not the most healthy strategies to use and I've put on weight (but I enjoy the short-term benefits :)!). The tiredness means I lack the energy to do stuff and nothing gets done. For example I'm doing an interesting correspondence course but I can't find the mental energy to write the essays anymore.

To summarize, I'm interested in knowing how other people coped when their tinnitus got very loud. And I would like to know how people cope with the lack of sleep & energy.
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
In my case, since I'm late deafened (in my early teens)....I have "musical tinnitus"....and a lot of deafies have this too....when the "roaring, eeeeeeeeeee"....zinging (like electrical storm)....I've been able to mask it out with songs (that I heard before becoming deaf)...It worked for awhile, but now the lyrics to songs just "won't quit"......Takes me forever to get to sleep...so I've tried to exhaust myself as much as I can before going to bed...sometimes I'm able to fall asleep quickly...other times, not so lucky!....

I do take "naps" during the day if I feel particularly tired....Some of us also watch our diets (what we eat).

After watching American Idol last night, the song that Scotty Mcree (from Garner, N.C.) sang "Believe In Me"....stuck with me until 3AM.....Oh well....the song has pretty much "petered out" today....now I'm on "Love is a Many Splendored Thing....and hoping that "Lady of Spain" does not "butt in"!...HAHA...Anything except Opera!....
 

Beach girl

Active Member
At the moment I stuff my face with chocolate to get the energy I need during the day

Besides the weight gain, chocolate has caffeine which might be contributing to your tinnitus problems.

How much coffee do you typically drink? How much exercise do you get, especially things like walking, swimming, and similar low-intensity but high-duration exercise? I sleep like an absolute rock when I keep up with my swimming.

Have you ever tried yoga or other stretching exercises before going to bed? Calm stretching, not a rigorous workout, about half an hour before bed might help.

The traditional glass of milk... Milk, cottage cheese, yogurt or even a bit of turkey, oddly enough, shortly before bedtime might help you sleep better. Or, um, chocolate pudding, but perhaps best not to go there...

And cut way, way back on any coffee or caffeinated colas, especially if you are in the habit of drinking it in the afternoon or evenings. Too much caffeine supposedly exacerbates tinnitus.

I am not exactly the poster girl for staying away from caffeine; Diet Coke is my weakness, but I do notice a difference when I cut down. Try this: dice up some fresh ginger, some mint leaves, and slice up half a lemon, toss all this into a large pitcher of water kept in the fridge all day. Make it fresh every day, or every other day at most. Try to drink at least 6 glasses, more if you can. It's very refreshing and will help break the caffeine habit, if that's a problem for you.

Some people add sliced cucumber too, but personally I'm not a fan of that.
 

AJWSmith

New Member
I'm the yo-yo man!

rockin'robin I hadn't heard of the term musical tinnitus until you mentioned it in a post elsewhere (can't remember the thread). I've not had this type of tinnitus very often, but a few nights ago I had Echo and The Bunnymen singing "I'm the yo-yo man, always up and down" in an incessant loop. Very appropriate lyrics!
 

AJWSmith

New Member
Besides the weight gain, chocolate has caffeine which might be contributing to your tinnitus problems.

How much coffee do you typically drink? How much exercise do you get, especially things like walking, swimming, and similar low-intensity but high-duration exercise? I sleep like an absolute rock when I keep up with my swimming.

Have you ever tried yoga or other stretching exercises before going to bed? Calm stretching, not a rigorous workout, about half an hour before bed might help.

The traditional glass of milk... Milk, cottage cheese, yogurt or even a bit of turkey, oddly enough, shortly before bedtime might help you sleep better. Or, um, chocolate pudding, but perhaps best not to go there...

And cut way, way back on any coffee or caffeinated colas, especially if you are in the habit of drinking it in the afternoon or evenings. Too much caffeine supposedly exacerbates tinnitus.

I am not exactly the poster girl for staying away from caffeine; Diet Coke is my weakness, but I do notice a difference when I cut down. Try this: dice up some fresh ginger, some mint leaves, and slice up half a lemon, toss all this into a large pitcher of water kept in the fridge all day. Make it fresh every day, or every other day at most. Try to drink at least 6 glasses, more if you can. It's very refreshing and will help break the caffeine habit, if that's a problem for you.

Some people add sliced cucumber too, but personally I'm not a fan of that.

I drink very little caffeine (can't stand cola!). Obviously I eat it in the form of chocolate (milk only for me!) but according Ask Yahoo there's not that much (very reliable source I know ;)) I do a lot of walking, but I don't do any vigorous exercise such as jogging. It's hard to find the energy to do anything vigorous...
 

Beach girl

Active Member
I drink very little caffeine (can't stand cola!). Obviously I eat it in the form of chocolate (milk only for me!) but according Ask Yahoo there's not that much (very reliable source I know ;)) I do a lot of walking, but I don't do any vigorous exercise such as jogging. It's hard to find the energy to do anything vigorous...

It's good that you drink very little caffeine; I was just wondering if cumulatively it was all adding up. Doesn't sound like it, though.

I look at the expressions on the faces of joggers I see. Haven't seen a happy one yet! So I am calm in the face of my non-jogging ability, personally. :lol:
 

AJWSmith

New Member
Saw my ENT consultant and asked him for advice about my loud tinnitus. He repeated the usual mantra of ignoring it and minimising stress. His key point was that I should try and fill my life as much as possible with stimulating and fun things. He said that tinnitus is much less of a problem when you're at a party having great fun with friends than if you're all alone in a quiet room doing nothing. Now I know it's impossible to be having fun all the time, but I liked the challenge to go out and make my life as fun as it can. And I know that I'm not very good at finding the time to do these things. My tendency is to do all the boring and mundane stuff, and only when I've done the horrible stuff, can I give myself permission to do something nice. But by then I'm too tired... :hmm::roll::doh:
 

Beach girl

Active Member
Saw my ENT consultant and asked him for advice about my loud tinnitus. ... His key point was that I should try and fill my life as much as possible with stimulating and fun things.

I really truly love it that you are now under doctor's orders to go out and do fun stuff! I think every doctor should give that prescription, just under "general principles of life." The world would be a far better place, for sure.

So what's going to be first on your agenda?
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
Believe we all wish & hope there is a "cure"....unfortunately, (to my knowledge) there isn't....we just have to do things to "mask" it as much as possible....
 

AJWSmith

New Member
I really truly love it that you are now under doctor's orders to go out and do fun stuff! I think every doctor should give that prescription, just under "general principles of life." The world would be a far better place, for sure.

So what's going to be first on your agenda?

I'm planning to start learning BSL so I can get involved in Deaf social events, but it will take a while to become fluent and to build up friendships from scratch.

As I'm long-term unemployed, I have to discover ways of having fun that don't cost much or is free. When I worked, playing golf was my favourite form of relaxation, but I can't afford that now. Since golf is "a good walk spoilt", I now just walk :)
 

AJWSmith

New Member
Believe we all wish & hope there is a "cure"....unfortunately, (to my knowledge) there isn't....we just have to do things to "mask" it as much as possible....

Wouldn't a cure be marvellous rockin'robin! But as you say, there isn't one and we have to make the best of our unfortunate situation.
 

KristinaB

Emotional Mess
Premium Member
Lately my tinnitus has been both various musical tunes over and over on a never ending loop, but the worst has to be the "sound" of popcorn popping, but instead of it being corn kernels, it's ball bearings. To get rid of that, I will generally take a walk if possible, or I will read a piece of sheet music. I have found that it works for me up to a point. Doesn't get rid of the tinnitus, just mutes it enough that I don't feel like blowing my head off.
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
Lately my tinnitus has been both various musical tunes over and over on a never ending loop, but the worst has to be the "sound" of popcorn popping, but instead of it being corn kernels, it's ball bearings. To get rid of that, I will generally take a walk if possible, or I will read a piece of sheet music. I have found that it works for me up to a point. Doesn't get rid of the tinnitus, just mutes it enough that I don't feel like blowing my head off.

I know the feeling, Kristina....tinnitus used to drive me almost insane. Even today, I wonder how I actually did get through it all. One of my friends had it so bad, she came to me crying, actually begging for help! She had the sound of "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" constantly. The doctor prescribed Prozac for her, (I believe a heavy dosage)....and she seemed to be able to cope with it much better.....Haven't seen her in years, tho'.

I have good days and bad ones.....sometimes just taking a drive helps me too.
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
RR, did you catch the Italian group on idols on Thursday night? They BLEW me away.

Sorry for getting off topic! Seriously, there are a lot of factors into tinnitus. There's been good responses here, and there's been other threads in the past here on this very subject. You (OP) might find something useful in there. For me, I find that drowning out my tinnitus with music OTHER than my usual music genre, and at louder volume, helps. I have insomnia which isn't helped by the tinnitus any, so I think coffee and alcohol do not help (but of which I'm very guilty of indulging in). So I really relate to you. My best advice is to change your habits, your daily routine, the things you listen to, and how. There's no known cure, unfortunately. I find the change and volume helps me tremendously. Maybe some other change in something would work for you. Cheers!
 

Beach girl

Active Member
There is a theory, seriously, that van Gogh suffered from tinnitus, and that is why he cut off his ear.

Sounds like some here could really relate to that.
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
RR, did you catch the Italian group on idols on Thursday night? They BLEW me away.

Sorry for getting off topic! Seriously, there are a lot of factors into tinnitus. There's been good responses here, and there's been other threads in the past here on this very subject. You (OP) might find something useful in there. For me, I find that drowning out my tinnitus with music OTHER than my usual music genre, and at louder volume, helps. I have insomnia which isn't helped by the tinnitus any, so I think coffee and alcohol do not help (but of which I'm very guilty of indulging in). So I really relate to you. My best advice is to change your habits, your daily routine, the things you listen to, and how. There's no known cure, unfortunately. I find the change and volume helps me tremendously. Maybe some other change in something would work for you. Cheers!
Yes, I did....was an awesome show!....Not it's down to Scotty and Lauren....it's a toss-up who is gonna win, I think....both are country music musicians.
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
Yes, I did....was an awesome show!....Not it's down to Scotty and Lauren....it's a toss-up who is gonna win, I think....both are country music musicians.

I agree. I had actually hoped, with the last 3, that Haley would win. My surprise she was voted out. But she was an incredibly good sport about it. My favorite singer of the whole thing was Pia. I was utterly shocked when she was gone so early on.
 

Grummer

Active Member
I know the feeling, Kristina....tinnitus used to drive me almost insane. Even today, I wonder how I actually did get through it all. One of my friends had it so bad, she came to me crying, actually begging for help! She had the sound of "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" constantly. The doctor prescribed Prozac for her, (I believe a heavy dosage)....and she seemed to be able to cope with it much better.....Haven't seen her in years, tho'.

I have good days and bad ones.....sometimes just taking a drive helps me too.
i share the same experiences with many of you posted before me in this thread, tinnitus is no fun at all, its very damaging to the 'inner peace' feelings, but you CAN reclaim that peace, it takes time ( i hate and hated that too), and takes alot discipline to keep your life in balance diet, and odd naps are good, but if you are working and cant do, then maybe seek another way, like change jobs, or change hours to suit...etc dont let "life" rule you, you need to RULE it for you, yourself in order to get better, and to stay that way too...

i feel that too, i have citalpram and its very very good med, oh for nigth sleep try a whole banana, its full of potassium and lots other, helps settle tummy, good strands of fibres...its probably one of the best fruit to have before sleep, kiwifruit seem to help me too, but i prefer banana, sine its easier and cheaper and just plain easy to eat.
 

Hohtopics

New Member
I'm planning to start learning BSL so I can get involved in Deaf social events, but it will take a while to become fluent and to build up friendships from scratch.

As I'm long-term unemployed, I have to discover ways of having fun that don't cost much or is free. When I worked, playing golf was my favourite form of relaxation, but I can't afford that now. Since golf is "a good walk spoilt", I now just walk :)
In the meantime, there are organizations that tend to be populated by the deaf, hard of hearing and late deafened. For instance, in the USA, there's the Hearing Loss Association (HLAA) and the Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA). However, I do not know what would be considered to be their equivalence in England? You might find it helpful to find a group of people whose backgrounds may be similar to yours.

Hope this helps.
 
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