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vande33

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 #1 
Hello Dr. Nagler,

I have posted a few times on another forum but decided to also post a reply here.

I have completely lost control. I have had tinnitus going on almost 9 months and I still feel like I did on day 1. I have recently been approved for FLMA as my anxiety and depression rarely allows me to leave my house. I am completely and utterly lost. Since I spent about 6 months reading advice on a forum that shouldn't be named, I have developed fears about pretty much everything in my life. 

I don't know how to move forward anymore. I cry for hours a day, I am scared for my life. I don't know where to turn. Please, help me find the help I need to move forward. I want my life back and I am afraid I will never get any of it back. I live in Springfield, IL if that helps. I really do appreciate the help.
Dr. Nagler

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 #2 
Hello vande33 ... and welcome!

I am very sorry to read that you are struggling so. Let me give your situation a bit of thought. I'll post again shortly.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
Dr. Nagler

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 #3 
Vande33, I would like to help you. I have been exactly where you are now. And I want you to know that your life tomorrow can be better than it ever was before tinnitus. Well not exactly tomorrow as in September 18th, but there will be a tomorrow when you will be able to say that. I also want you to know that if you don't believe me - if you think that I am crazy or unrealistic - well, that makes you NORMAL. It doesn't make you right, but it makes you normal.

So, first things first ...

Your tinnitus. Is it in one ear or in both ears? Also, would I be correct in assuming that you have seen an ENT and an audiologist ... and that they have both told you that there is "nothing wrong" and you will just have to learn to live with it? (Or words to that effect?)

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
vande33

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 #4 
Hello Dr Nagler, thank you for your response.

I have tinnitus in both ears but much more intrusive in my left ear. I have been to 2 ENTs and 2 audiologists. All agree that Lexapro was either the cause or amplified my unknown tinnitus. Nothing seemingly wrong with my ears. My hearing tests show that I hear in the normal range. I am sure I have "hearing loss" but that is certainly beyond the point. 

All pretty much said the same thing, "nothing can be done, you will learn to live with it." Not upset with them because what they say is true but never really offered help or insight on how to learn to live with it. 
Dr. Nagler

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Quote:
I have tinnitus in both ears but much more intrusive in my left ear. I have been to 2 ENTs and 2 audiologists. All agree that Lexapro was either the cause or amplified my unknown tinnitus. Nothing seemingly wrong with my ears. My hearing tests show that I hear in the normal range. I am sure I have "hearing loss" but that is certainly beyond the point. 

All pretty much said the same thing, "nothing can be done, you will learn to live with it." Not upset with them because what they say is true but never really offered help or insight on how to learn to live with it.

OK. Very helpful information. Thank you.

Just curious, by any chance was one of the ENTs who evaluated you Dr. Carol Bauer? She is located at 301 N 8th St. in Springfield. I ask only because she happens to be very well-regarded in tinnitus circles.

Also, I know that you can hear your tinnitus anytime you try. And I know that most of the time you are not purposely focusing on your tinnitus, you are aware of it to some degree or other. On the other hand, surely if you accidentally bang your shin on the metal corner of your bedframe, you won't be aware of your tinnitus ... because you'll be in agony! [A very bad approach to managing your tinnitus, by the way, but I'm just trying to make a point.] So what I would like to know is: In any given week as you go through your normal day very roughly what is the percentage of your waking hours that you happen to be aware of your tinnitus when you are not purposely seeking it? 50%? 75%? 90%? Try to put a number on it.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
vande33

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 #6 
Thank you for the quick reply. I did not see Dr. Carol Bauer, in fact, never heard of her... which is quite astonishing since I have been in and out of the doctors in Springfield about tinnitus and no one mentioned her name. I actually saw one of her collogues at SIU Medicine. I looked her up and saw that she does offer help for tinnitus patients. I am working on getting a referral to see her. 

I was/am getting to the point that I will travel anywhere to get the help I need. I've even considered flying out to see Gale Brenner because I have lost so much hope. I am not looking for a cure I just need help... Thank you so much for your help. 
vande33

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 #7 
I am sorry I missed the whole last part of your comment. Sometimes when my tinnitus seems to be lower (whether that's perception or not) I hear it about, lets say 70% of the time. On a "bad" ear day I hear it 90% if not 100% of the time. I don't always feel bad but most days and most of the day I tend to give tinnitus 100% percent control and attention even if I don't hear it some of the time... If that makes any sense. 

The reason for the FMLA was to try and pinpoint if working in a quiet office was doing more harm than good. So far I've reached the conclusion that it does more harm than good in respect to the office being unbearably quite.
Dr. Nagler

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 #8 
Thank you.

Working in a quiet office definitely does more harm than good. Just as a candle looks brighter in a room with the lights off than in the same room with the lights on at a comfortable level, so too will your tinnitus tend to sound louder in a quiet office than in an office with a comfortable level of background sound. Moreover, being in a quiet environment predisposes to hyperacusis and can work against you in your attempts to overcome your misophonia as well.

Getting back to the part about the percentage of time you happen to be aware of your tinnitus ...

Since you are the only person who hears your tinnitus, when you are not aware of it, you aren't living with it - you are living withOUT it. And anything that will serve to increase the percentage of time you are unaware of your tinnitus, increases the percentage of time you are living without your tinnitus.

So I would suggest that you turn your efforts to strategies that will decrease the percentage of time you are unaware of your tinnitus. Dr. Bauer would be a good place to start. If she cannot help you, you might consider getting in touch with me off the board so we can explore other options.

All the best -

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
vande33

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Posts: 9
 #9 
Thank you Dr. Nagler. I really appreciate your help. Hopefully I will be able to get an appointment with Dr. Bauer and I will start developing a plan to increase the amount of time I am unaware of the tinnitus. 
Dr. Nagler

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 #10 
Quote:
Thank you Dr. Nagler. I really appreciate your help.

You are most welcome.

Quote:
Hopefully I will be able to get an appointment with Dr. Bauer and I will start developing a plan to increase the amount of time I am unaware of the tinnitus.

Dr. Bauer is incredibly knowledgeable. An appointment with her would be a great place to start. And if you can't get an appointment - or if you can but for whatever reason it doesn't work out for you - I have three other clinicians in mind. Or you can contact me off the board, and we can noodle through it all together. It's just that strictly by coincidence, Dr. Bauer's office just happens to be in Springfield, where you live. How fortuitous!

In the meantime you might take a look at Tinnitus 101, which contains some helpful information.

All the best -

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
vande33

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Posts: 9
 #11 
Once again, thank you for your help. I will take a look at the link you sent. 

I do have one more quick question... Because my lack of ability to cope with tinnitus my doctor advised to take amitriptyline. I was doing okay with it when I was on 25 mg. However my doctor and I agreed to up the dose to 50 mg two weeks ago and now my tinnitus feels much worse. Louder and more intrusive. I was just curious what your thoughts are? I'm waiting for a response from my doctor about going back to 25 mg to see if there is a difference. 


Dr. Nagler

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 #12 
How many times a day do you take the amitriptyline?

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
vande33

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 #13 
I take it once a day around 6 pm before bed time. 
vande33

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 #14 
So I just heard back from my doctor was able to make an appointment with Dr. Bauer. I am able to see her just in time before she retires! However the appointment isn't until the end of march. Which quite frankly feels like years away. Any suggestions? Thanks for your help. 
Dr. Nagler

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 #15 
Quote:
I take [amitriptyline] once a day around 6 pm before bed time.

50mg of amitriptyline once a day is a fairly low dose. I think it is unlikely that the drug is causing your tinnitus to get louder and more intrusive.

Quote:
So I just heard back from my doctor was able to make an appointment with Dr. Bauer. I am able to see her just in time before she retires! However the appointment isn't until the end of march. Which quite frankly feels like years away. Any suggestions?

Well, I had hoped you could get in to see Dr. Bauer sooner than March, and the fact that she will be retiring shortly after her first available appointment means that even if you do get in to see her, she will be unavailable for follow-up. So other than the very general principles you can glean from the articles in the "Frequently Requested Articles" section of this site, I guess I could give you some names of folks at a distance (Philly, Phoenix, NYC, etc.), or you could really scrape the bottom of the barrel and contact me off the board so we can try to figure out together how best to address the particular challenges you face.

Quote:
Thanks for your help.

You are most welcome.

All the best with it. 

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
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Dr. Nagler's Tinnitus Corner is provided for education and information only. It is not intended for the purpose of providing medical care and should in no way substitute for appropriate in-person consultations with qualified healthcare professionals. By using this site, participants agree to hold Dr. Nagler and Atlanta Tinnitus Consultants, LLC harmless with respect to any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage arising from following the postings herein.