41-Year-Old w/ Tinnitus, TMJ & Dizziness — Can't Figure It Out

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by cdnhockeygal, Mar 26, 2022.

    1. cdnhockeygal

      cdnhockeygal Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hey! New here! Seeking some support.

      I’m a 41-year-old healthy female with a history of sports injuries - whiplash a few times, concussions that developed some weird issues starting last year. I eat clean and workout.

      June 2021 - Stress fractured a tooth. Dentist made me a splint. I started wearing it. My jaw was in pain a lot. I’m a clencher. I was told I have TMJ. Jaw tracks off centre and clicks.

      Late June 2021 - Got my second COVID-19 vaccination. I felt awful for a week. I noticed brain fog and dizziness starting.

      July 2021 - I had a big spinning vertigo incident, never had this before. I was told it was anxiety, and I was tested for lots of things, nothing came up.

      July - November 2021 - Disequilibrium waxed and waned. Some days I couldn’t drive, some days I was totally fine. Kept a diary, it doesn’t seem to have any major pattern. I saw a VRT physiotherapist who diagnosed me with POTS. I saw my doctor who said I don’t have POTS. Back to the drawing board.

      November 2021 - I had a big neck pain that turned into a headache that turned into facial feelings of numbness. I went to ER. CT scan normal. Blood normal. I was told it was a bad headache.

      December 2021 - Normal month. I started NUCCA chiro for dizziness. I noticed not much of a difference. X-rays showed my head is tilted to the right and neck very straight. I got my third COVID-19 booster dose and was so sick. Another vertigo incident.

      January 2022 - I got VNG test results which showed partial vestibular loss in right ear and normal hearing. ENT said he doesn’t know what’s causing it and refers me to neuro who diagnosed me with vestibular migraines. I got an MRI - it was clear. I was stressed out all month, chewed a lot of gum, didn’t sleep well.

      On January 31st I woke up with tinnitus. Never had it before ever.

      February 2022 - My ENT said nothing can be done for tinnitus and to live with it. I got a second opinion. I got my hearing retested and redid VNG testing. Hearing normal, ears normal and this second ENT diagnosed me with vestibular migraines. I started vestibular therapy for dizziness which seems to help.

      I went see an otolaryngologist who reviewed everything and diagnosed vestibular neuritis but can’t explain tinnitus. He looked at my neck muscles and jaw and suspected TMJ TMD involvement. On February 22 I had a complete relapse of dizziness symptoms after big neck pain/headache. Could barely walk next day.

      March 2022 - I saw a dentist who said TMJ is not the cause of my tinnitus. They recommended I wear a bite guard anyway. I started physiotherapy for TMJ and neck once a week. I noticed it first worsened my symptoms but then I saw a decrease in the symptoms. Massage makes my tinnitus disappear. Advil makes it go away almost completely. Icing and heat helps. The cause feels structural... but not sure what to do now. Tinnitus is here on the daily and worse on some days than others. Dizziness seems to have stabilized but I’m not healing completely. My concern is something is being compressed.

      I think it’s all related - I herniated a disc in my lower back last year, have a history of whiplash and poor posture and neck pain. I think the bad headache I had with numbness in November was compression of the trigeminal nerve. I think the tinnitus is being caused by compression of the auditory nerve in my right ear and possibly the dizziness is being caused by compression on the vestibular nerve BUT I cannot prove any of this as my scans are all normal.

      My physiotherapist agrees that structurally this is possible.

      What do I do? Continue physiotherapy? Any experience with TMJ/TMD causing vestibular nerve irritation or damage? Is this even possible? No doctor seems to put all the symptoms together but they seem related since everything is originating from my right ear.

      I also have popping and cracking in my ears and poor posture, tight SCMs etc.

      Thank you for reading. This tinnitus stuff is the worst.
      • Like Like x 1
    2. AUTHOR

      cdnhockeygal Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I feel like I got initial relief from Physiotherapy/Massage but it seems to have plateaued. My tinnitus is back to same level almost as when it started though my anxiety around it is a bit lower.

      Any other known causes of unilateral tinnitus (high-pitched) with clear scans/MRIs, normal bloodwork, no hearing loss, no ear wax, healthy eardrums, and no acoustic trauma?

      My ENT ruled out Meniere's. Through my googling it looks like there's benign ear cysts (which not sure how diagnosed by assuming they would show up on a scan), vestibular schwannaoma (I had a clear MRI two weeks before the tinnitus started, and my hearing is similar in both ears), cancer (also would assume it would be on a scan, but never had neck scanned) or MS?
    3. in_LA

      in_LA Member

      Los Angeles
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      How are you doing now, have you gotten better?

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