Tinnitus. It sucks.
In 1988 I had my eardrums hemmhorrage when I flew with a cold. My ears healed although I lost some low tones, & from that point on I've taken sudafed & worn earplanes to fly.
In April I went to Egypt & during my weeks there, I took 9 planes. Then I got to Turkey & the weather was MUCH different. I felt a little tickle in the back of my throat but I didn't think anything of it. On a bus from Istanbul to Ankara, I felt the pressure building up inside of my left ear as the bus climbed a (not even that big!) hill. I knew I was in trouble. I took sudafed. I couldn't find my earplanes. I tried to cope. At 11pm I arrived in Cappadocia Turkey -- ie, NOWHERE -- in extreme pain and booked myself into a hotel room. In the middle of the night I awoke to a LOUD pop inside of my ear. When I woke up, there was pink liquid all over my pillow. My eardrum had ruptured. I went to 4 non-english speaking doctors in various countries overseas before finally being approved to fly home. Meanwhile, I was deaf in my left ear for 12 days & it had hemmhorraged stuff for 10, and for that time all I could hear was a loud heartbeat and tinnitus in my ear. The doctor in Turkey told me that it would only last for 6 days, but unfortunately, the infection in my ear was a bad one. My understanding is that the medicine in Turkey wasn't strong enough & so it ended up being much worse than it needed to be.
Since coming home, the California Ear Institute diagnosed me with Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. My rupture has healed up nicely, they say. Looks good, they say. I had a tympanostomy tube inserted into my ear, and will probably have to have that replaced & one inserted into my right ear before I fly overseas next time. So all of that is well & good. But the tinnitis has never left. I haven't heard silence since May 6, 2006. I miss it.
They've taken cat scans of my sinuses. They've done allergy patch tests up and down my arms and told me I should get allergy shots every week for 3 years. The more tests they recommend and "specialists" they wanted me to see, the more I wanted to just run home and give up on doctors. I know they don't know what to do & they're just wasting my money.
At first it affected my singing voice (my voice echoes in my head a little now & it threw me off) but thank God I've been able to train myself to get over that. It's just I feel like I'm always run down, like I never really feel peaceful. For a while it was really affecting my personality & I got depressed, but I'm doing better now. At night when it's quiet... all I hear is this high pitched sound. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I just can't sleep. I don't want to get hooked on sleeping pills or anything. I just want to feel rested. And I miss silence.
Since it's a problem other people can't hear, my friends don't know how to be supportive & I don't want their pity. (I actually ended my friendship someone who kept telling me that it was "just in my head.") I just try to keep it to myself and just ignore it. But wow, is it tiresome.
Anybody here have tinnitus? What have you done for it? Does acupuncture help? Should I get one of those background noise machines for my bedroom?