Does your hearing loss/tinnitus affect your mental health?

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kuze
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17 Sep 2021, 9:46 am

Hi all, as an autist, I find hearing loss and tinnitus leads to some obscure hypo and hyper sensory experiences. For example while some audible frequencies are dull, others make my head shudder. Also when I hear a sound that matches one of my tinnitus frequencies it sends me scatty. I'd be interested to know how you cope with hearing loss and other related problems?

kuze


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IsabellaLinton
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17 Sep 2021, 12:17 pm

I have 24/7 bilateral Tinnitus, hyperacusis (ability to hear everything too clearly), and misophonia (panic attacks and meltdowns from everyday noises). The audiologist said my hearing itself is normal other than some hearing loss in the very high range, which wasn't considered to be a problem. There's nothing they can do about the Tinnitus and I've tried everything for over ten years now.

What do I do? I have to wear earplugs to sleep, because I'm a very light sleeper. Unfortunately they amplify the Tinnitus sound like when you put your hands over your ears. :( I have no choice though, or else I can't sleep. I have to just deal with it. When the T started 24/7 in 2009 I was suicidal but I suppose I've habituated to an extent.

Regarding the misophonia and hyperacusis, I avoid the real world as much as possible so I don't have public meltdowns. I've tried noise cancelling earbuds and headphones but I don't like having my general hearing muffled and I can't find anything that offers the right level of protection. It's very frustrating.

I wish I had more to offer in terms of suggestions. If you discover anything, let me know. Misophonia in particular is maddening. I've had more public meltdowns that I can describe, because of people making simple everyday noises.



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17 Sep 2021, 12:25 pm

I have a form of tinnitus, just not formally found.
It doesn't affect me. The worst would be a temporary deafness that I may miss something for few seconds long.

I don't have a form of hearing loss.
Yet I do have a form of auditory processing issue.
This is more of my problem. It happens often when I'm stressed out or overwhelmed.
I swear I didn't had it in childhood or at teenage years.

As for sensitivities, I had a form of misophonia like intolerance once -- when I was 10, with a budding anxiety issue.
But it was gone along with the anxiety by the time I was around 17.
Still unfiltered though. Intensity didn't changed. But tolerance do.


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mohsart
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17 Sep 2021, 12:43 pm

My hearing is excellent, the doctors haven't been able to tell how good it is since I can hear everything they present to me.
However, I have problems hearing what paople say if there's a background noice/others talking. I believe this is a common problem with autistics.
I think it's affecting my mental health, mostly because I have problems being social, and I have a need of some kind of social life.

/Mats


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A_minor
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17 Sep 2021, 6:02 pm

My right ear is deaf since birth, I have tinnitus, misophonia and hyperacusis but my hearing is actually quite good.
My tinnitus started some 30 years ago when a drummer hit his snare drum loudly for fun when I asked him to wait until I had inserted my earplug... the a-hole.
The first two years after that were a nightmare where I'd wake up at night because the tinnitus was screaming at me. It was really depressing, I assumed the horror would stay with me for life but thankfully it has subsided somewhat, it's still annoying but nowadays when I'm at home really focusing on listening to music or playing an instrument I usually don't notice it anymore. Stress and fatigue does make things worse.
I have noise cancelling headphones which I really need, I never leave home without them.
I have really narrow ear canals, they block up often and I have to let my doctor clean them out. I've had loads of ear infections throughout my life. Music is my life, it really sucks I have these ear problems.


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kuze
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17 Sep 2021, 8:44 pm

A_minor wrote:
Music is my life, it really sucks I have these ear problems.


Isn't it typical, being right into music and having these auditory issues? I'm a muso like you, been in a few bands (drummer), cant have helped with the sound issues.

I'v got not much empathy but bless (not a religious bless because theres no such thing as religion) you all for talking about your auditory issues, please tell me more hic . . .


skuze


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CarlM
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17 Sep 2021, 8:58 pm

My tinnitus has not effected my mental health but I have a fear it might someday if it gets worse.


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renaeden
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17 Sep 2021, 10:33 pm

I have a weird sort of tinnitus - I hear a kind of chirping in my left ear. I've been to specialists and they have no idea what to do. My general hearing is fine though. But I do have trouble listening to someone talking if there is noise in the background that competes with their voice. It's like I hear everything with the same intensity and have a nonexistent filter.

At first when I heard the chirping I was frustrated because no one could tell me what it was and I didn't know anyone who knows what it's like. I also had to wait a year to see the specialists and that frustrated me as well. Today I'm resigned to the fact that this is not going away.



CinderashAutomaton
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20 Sep 2021, 9:19 am

Quote:
Does your hearing loss/tinnitus affect your mental health?


Barely.

It's probably because of the combination of my tinnitus rarely being disruptive and the presence of all kinds of external auditory disruptions which have big impacts on my health.

The biggest disruption I get from tinnitus is some minor auditory hallucinations. I occasionally get minor sensory hallucinations of all kinds and have long since gotten used to verifying, disregarding and forgetting such things, but sometimes the auditory hallucinations mimic the disruptive external stimuli, which can both jolt my brain and my heart. I have a pretty overactive alarm response at the moment. It especially sucks because it most often happens when I'm trying to block external stuff with a static noise soundtrack with my earbuds, which means my health is already pretty shook from external stuff.

Thankfully thats mostly pretty rare. Its probably from PTSD; from what I can remember it happens most often when my mental health is very poor and/or I'm mentally exhausted. And I think I've started getting habituated with ignoring and forgetting it more efficiently so it doesn't hit me so hard.

As for the ringing/high-pitched buzzing tinnitus I get...to me its actually kind of comforting. Its most apparent when its quiet, so it's kind of become the 'dinner bell' of finally getting away from all the noise. It's apparent volume also seems to drop off after awhile.


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20 Sep 2021, 10:06 am

its bloody annoying



Bustduster
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20 Sep 2021, 6:16 pm

kuze wrote:
Hi all, as an autist, I find hearing loss and tinnitus leads to some obscure hypo and hyper sensory experiences. For example while some audible frequencies are dull, others make my head shudder. Also when I hear a sound that matches one of my tinnitus frequencies it sends me scatty. I'd be interested to know how you cope with hearing loss and other related problems?

kuze


I'm so acclimatised to mine that I don't notice it unless I'm in a silent environment. That's why I could never live in the countryside.



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26 Nov 2021, 11:06 am

Conservative therapy often helps me to cope with this symptom. I was prescribed antibacterial medication, anti-inflammatory drugs (for infectious and inflammatory diseases of the ear), and B vitamins (improving the nervous tissue's tropism). And the doctor said that it is necessary to undergo other methods of treatment. These included wearing hearing aids, electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve (for hearing impairment), physiotherapy, massage, physical therapy, and psychotherapy.