7th Week with This Monster Tinnitus! Acoustic Trauma from a 1-2 Second LOUD Sound?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by JT2020, Jul 14, 2020.

    1. JT2020

      JT2020 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Los Angeles
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Ear Wax, Congestion
      Hello Everyone,

      My tinnitus started the weekend when the George Floyd Riots in Los Angeles began May 29-30. Early morning on Friday I went for a run (when it was cold) with earbuds at a pretty loud volume. I only used these earbuds about 4 previous times that month (never used earbuds on regular basis before) for about 30 minute run each time. That Friday morning when I connected earbuds to iPhone Bluetooth, initially it was accidentally LOUD for 1-2s. Reading many posts on this great forum the past month I realize that may have been enough to cause acoustic trauma.

      The next day - Saturday (after LA was trashed from the riots) I started hearing my current tinnitus in my right ear only. It was subtle and thought it would go away. When it didn't after a few days I saw my ENT that following Thursday and he removed a huge (I mean HUGE) piece of wax that was plugged in my right ear. He thought the wax may have been causing the ringing. Nope, it didn't go away and the ringing got worse (louder at times).

      I go back to ENT the next week and ask for antibiotics. He said you don't have an infection and gave me a Medrol dose pack (steroids) instead. Took those for 5 days (bad tasting) and no improvement. I then went to 3 audiologists to get hearing test and their opinions on tinnitus treatment. The 1st two were not very helpful (although they conducted thorough hearing tests). The 3rd believes most cases of tinnitus are stress induced.

      My background: I'm a 47-year-old male with Eustachian tube dysfunction since I was 12. That's right when I was 12 I got a cold and my Eustachian tube closed down and has never re-opened. I've had tubes placed in my right ear every 3-5 years for 35 years as the tubes tend to fall out over time and have to be replaced. I've had several ear infections over the years because of this and most recently a perforated ear drum due to the last tube placement over 4 years ago.

      My perforated ear drum never healed as the hole is HUGE and needs surgery to replace/repair the ear drum.
      My hearing tests show significant loss of hearing in my right ear. The perforated ear drum from 4 years ago is definitely contributing to hearing loss, however, I've had hearing loss in my Right ear since I was a kid because of Eustachian tube dysfunction.

      So, I've discussed with my audiologist and ENT (who both understand tinnitus very well) on the next steps. They both seem to think repairing ear drum and opening up the Eustachian tube with balloon dilation (which has only been available recently past 3-4 years) is the way to go.

      They both don't guarantee it will stop the ringing but they do think it could help make it lower at least. Again, reading all the posts on this great forum I know there are no guarantees to help AND could make tinnitus worse. I also have hyperacusis but only at higher frequencies. So, there is that to consider as well (making hyperacusis worse).

      I do believe repairing ear drum and opening up Eustachian tube is the correct thing to do. In addition to improving hearing and ventilation to ear these 2 procedures (if successful) will help prevent further ear infections.

      I realize the tinnitus and to lesser extent hyperacusis will probably stay and will have to deal with those 2 problems possibly with TRT, sound therapy, masking, etc. But structural integrity of the ear is important too and perhaps will help reduce tinnitus and hyperacusis (in the long) run as well.

      Any comments/insight would be appreciated!!

      I am going to post in Doctor's Corner as well to get their opinion as well. It has been a struggle dealing with this. Information on Tinnitus Talk has been invaluable and many of the (positive) posts here have helped me during this dark time.

      Thank you for taking time to read!
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to the forum. Since I am no doctor so I will leave the structural part of your ear problems to the doctors. In term of the mental side of things, there are many things you can do, such as masking your tinnitus if it bothers you and your sleep. If you have issue with sleep, you can try Melatonin. When you mask, try to set the volume just below the ringing so your brain has a chance to get used to the ringing without getting traumatic. That is what they advise to do in TRT anyway. You may want to explore into self help CBT and mindfulness meditation on youtube to help you cope with the stress and anxiety. One positive thing about hyperacusis resulting from acoustic trauma (assuming you had suffered that) is that it tends to fade over time. I had that soon after my high pitched T and then slowly it faded within the year. This happens for many members too. So hopefully your H will follow the same path. Good luck. Take care. God bless.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      JT2020

      JT2020 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Los Angeles
      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma, Ear Wax, Congestion
      Hello Billie48,

      Thank-you for the advice! Yes, I've read many of your posts and other Vets on this site as well. It has kind of fast tracked my understanding and my approach to treat/cope with this unfortunate condition. I already mask at night with a sound machine. I've tried melatonin for a week. Doesn't really get me to sleep so, I'm taking 25mg Diphenhydramine which seems to do the job so far. The 1st 3 weeks were tough. The ringing was kind of a morse code thing with a strong monotone at times around 5 during day and 7-8 at night. Also, electrical activity in center of brain at times.

      H started in 2nd week with high frequency music on TV, music, PA system in supermarket. Hearing distortion like broken speaker usually. The last 3 weeks have been much better. T which is usually quieter in the morning around 1-2 (even .5) some days. Then would get louder around 5 at evening/night before going to bed. The last 5 days I would say T has been even better around 1 throughout the entire day/night consistently.

      I've already bought plenty ear protection. Peltor muffs, musician and foam earplugs. LA is a noisy city. Many police/ambulance sirens a few times a day pass my apartment complex. I put on the Peltor muffs when they pass by even though windows are up. I never really used earbuds or headphones. I only did it because gyms were shut down here and I thought running outside alone, I might need something to keep me entertained while running (Big mistake looking back).

      H has improved but I keep TV volume low. Also, electrical activity in center of brain has disappeared also.

      I also have been taking Lipoflavonoids since week 2 which is basically expensive B vitamins. I don't know if it's helping or it's just placebo but since everything has gotten better I will continue to take for now.

      Nothing has seemed to spike my T (yet). The sirens, the PA speaker in supermarket, the loud lawnmowers- I have not been directly close to any of these but I have all hearing protection close by and put them on anyway even if the sound source is distant. When they pass my apartment that can get pretty loud even with windows up.

      The audiologist I'm seeing is a big believer in "stress induced" T. While no doubt the Covid shutdowns and the riots which corresponded to the time my T started created some stress to my life. You can't ignore my long history of structural problems, ear infections, slow hearing loss due to all of it over the years.

      My ENT who DOES have a good understanding of T feels 90% of T is due to hearing loss but has also seen stress induced with his patients. I also had that large piece of wax and mostly the loud noise exposure through my earbuds to look as culprits why my T started.

      It's been a mental drain. I'm trying to get all the best info I can get to make best decisions moving forward and even that does not guarantee getting better or improvement. I'm doing my best to come to terms with situation. I try and not put too much stress on my wife and my extended family. (We are all dealing with Covid too) and LA has been shutdown again because cases rising here.

      I appreciate the post again and hope to stay in contact with you and others during this journey!
       

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