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Any nurses dealing with Tinnitus?

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by nikiiii123 nikiiii123 (New Member) New Member

178 Visitors; 22 Posts

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Hi guys,

Just wondering any nurses dealing with tinnitus or are in nursing school dealing with it too? I have tinnitus just want to know all of your experiences and what do you guys to do to cope with it. Has it made your job being a nurse harder or no? Any challenges? And also how did you guys get tinnitus? I would love to read all of your posts!

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and works as a Nursing Professional Development + Academic Facult.

5 Followers; 57,850 Visitors; 13,021 Posts

I've had tinnitus for about 25 years. I developed it when one of my inner ears died when I was in my 30's. (I am now in my early 60's) As you can probably guess, I also lost 100% of my hearing in that ear and the balance function in that ear. The official diagnosis: Complete Sudden Hearing Loss Syndrome - 100 loss of the middle ear in the span of about 10 seconds -- probably due to an inner ear virus.

When it was new, it was annoying and tiring. Because it happened suddenly instead of gradually and was very loud, it took a lot of energy for me to cope with the many changes I faced. I experienced a wide variety of both musical and non-musical sounds that were loud and ignoring them was difficult. I had to take about 6 weeks off work & grad school to adapt. I simply "gutted it out" for about 2 years -- which is about when I started feeling "normal" again. I still had balance and hearing problems, and I still had the tinnitus, but the tinnitus had gotten a little softer and I had learned not to focus on it.

There was no treatment. So I simply trained my brain not to focus on the sounds in my head, but to consciously focus on other sounds that I wanted to hear. At first that was difficult -- and very tiring. But as years passed, focusing intently on what I chose to focus on (and ignore the rest) became a habit.

Is you tinnitus new or have you had it for a few years?

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178 Visitors; 22 Posts

Thank you llg, for responding, I feel so much better. My tinnitus is new, only had it for 2 months in my right ear so far. Also I have pulsatile tinnitus. ITs annoying whooshing sound and sometimes a sound of a heart beat. The morning I don't hear it which is weird because I heard that tinnitus is worse in the mornings. I have done an MRI and went to the ENT , everything is fine and they didn't find anything. I just hope this doesn't affect me in studying and being in nursing school. Nursing school is already stressful, on top of tinnitus it will be more difficult. I hope I can still be a nurse. Did you have any difficulty with the stethoscope? I can still hear , i have no problems with my hearing just this darn sound. I am scared it will affect my ability to hear the heart & lung sounds. What kind of stethoscope do you prefer for a nurse with tinnitus? I feel happy that I am not the only one dealing with this. Also is it hard working in the hospital as a nurse with tinnitus? It's just so hard in the beginning you can't take your mind off it, maybe with time I will get distracted from the sound especially when you are a nurse ,you have so many tasks and always busy. I hope I can get through this, I really want to be a nurse and I don't want this to get in the way of my career and studying.

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178 Visitors; 22 Posts

Also to any nurses and students, what kind of stethoscope did you guys use. Does it make it harder using the stethoscope?

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and works as a Nursing Professional Development + Academic Facult.

5 Followers; 57,850 Visitors; 13,021 Posts

Mine is quietest in the early morning because the ear is not exposed to much sound when I am sleeping. The more sound that my ear is exposed to (sending sound signals to my broken inner ear), the louder and more varied my tinnitus becomes. So I often wake up with minimal tinnitus ... go to the bathroom ... and then I flush and the noise of the flush "turns the tinnitus on." :-)

Being exposed to sound and/or the wind blowing in it ... caffeine ... stress ... and certain medications make it much worse. So I seek prefer quiet environments and avoid caffeine and those drugs.

It doesn't effect my use of a stethoscope. I hear fine in my good hear and nothing but the tinnitus in my deaf ear. It's the same whether I use a stethoscope or not. When I am listening for very quiet sounds, I often used to get another nurse to check behind me to make sure I haven't missed a subtle sound. But as I haven't done direct patient care for several years, that need hasn't been an issue for me. That's why I suggest telling your instructors and other students about it -- unless you find that you have no need for a back-up listener. You might not need it as you can still hear with both ears.

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178 Visitors; 22 Posts

What kind of stethoscope do you recommend me getting? Also when working in the hospital, does it make it hard getting your job done with tinnitus? Or do you not recognize it? Also how do you sleep with your tinnitus? I still haven't gotten a way to sleep with this sound.

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1 Follower; 32,180 Visitors; 6,972 Posts

since your hearing is unlikely to be effected, your tinnitus is entirely different than the prev poster's, and mine. steth choice is really not an issue. check out a little on line, cardiac consult is recommended, and endo for thyroid issues.

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Florida Sun RN has 5 years experience.

734 Visitors; 33 Posts

It sound like you have symptoms of Menieres diesease. Search for "John of Ohio" John's Menieres Treatment

He has a vitamin regime that I have followed since 2006 to alleviate my symptoms. The best supplement for tinnitus is Vinpocetine. You can get it at Vitamin Shoppe. One tab twice a day. Start with one once a day for a few weeks. Good luck

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178 Visitors; 22 Posts

How do i have symptoms of meineres disease. I didn't write anything about having vertigo. or hearing loss I dont have any of that. I just have a pulsing sound in my ear.

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kakamegamama works as a student, formerly faculty, jackie of all trades.

15,517 Visitors; 1,012 Posts

OP- I have had nonstop tinnitus since April, 2009. It is aggravated by loud noises, fatigue, and stress. I like to say it started in my "rocker years" but, alas, that would be a lie. I had had it sporadically prior to that time and it would "go away" as the day progressed. On that day, it started and never stopped. Anyway----I also have a hearing loss primarily in that ear and wear hearing aids which actually help. Sometimes if it is too quiet the tinnitus is louder. If i am busy and don't pay a lot of attention to it, it is minimal to non-existent.

As to stethoscope use---unless you have a hearing loss, you probably won't have any difficulty using one. Just train your ear to "hear above the noise" of the tinnitus.

Good luck!

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178 Visitors; 22 Posts

Thank you for your message. Did you have tinnitus during nursing school also? How did you study? I am mostly worried about this.

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