A Hypochondriac: Increased Tinnitus or Just Anxiety? What Are Your Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Mike DiM-4, Apr 12, 2021.

    1. Mike DiM-4

      Mike DiM-4 Member

      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress, Loud Music, Ruptured Eardrums (maybe?)
      Hi everyone,

      I'm a 21-year-old male from the Northeast U.S. I'm the type of person to observe things rather than speak out, but I've become quite concerned about tinnitus since the news of the CEO Kent Taylor taking his life. I'm trying to see if anyone has a similar story that may help me find answers. Well, maybe not experiences that are an exact replica of mine, but maybe someone that also has valuable knowledge that will quell my fears. I'll give a brief overview of anything ear related, but to be honest, I feel like I've experienced everything under the sun in terms of things that can cause tinnitus.

      As a baby, I received a Myringotomy in both ears. I have seasonal allergies to pollen that occur in the spring. As any teenager is nowadays, I was an avid headphone user that would listen to music at 1/2 to 3/4 of what the headphone/car stereo system allowed, but I wasn't in the car for more than 30 minutes a day (I'm aware now that even one second of a loud noise can cause tinnitus). In February 2018, I ruptured my left eardrum, and in May 2019, I ruptured my right ear drum. Both of these resulted from a blow to the head (hand and soccer ball, respectively). I'd like to note that I took very good care of my ears during both times I was recovering. I was prescribed steroid ear drops after the second perforation and even though I worked in carpentry for half of that preceding summer, I used ear protection every time loud tools were used. I still have the bottle of ear drops if you're curious, but I don't think you'll find it necessary.

      In the last 18 months, I switched jobs from carpentry to a desk job. I'm also pursuing a Computer Science degree. For these last 18 months I've been stressed, tired, sitting in an atrocious posture, staring at a computer for hours, with headphones - I didn't listen to music as loud as I had before this and sometimes I didn't even listen to music. I kind of just had them on was super focused on what I was doing. I started noticing tinnitus in November 2020 but pushed it to the side until the news about the CEO, and now it's the only thing I can think of. I forgot to mention that I'm a hypochondriac/generally anxious person, but I'm not prescribed anything for it.

      I keep gathering more and more information with every post I read here and the research I do online. With the curse of being anxious about this stuff, there is a gift: being able to search far and wide for any possible answer. While I actually asked my dentist the other day if I had TMJ, he didn't seem too sure but he does think I grind my teeth at night along with the clenching of my jaw that I do A LOT during the day. Maybe if someone who has TMJ/jaw issues knows anything, that would be of great help. I was also pointed in the direction of ETD, but I'm not sure as the only symptom I have is the popping/clicking sound when I swallow or yawn that is accompanied with the tinnitus. I'm wondering if anyone here has been diagnosed with ETD that only had that specific symptom. That might help narrow things down for me. Surely I could have hearing loss from the trauma and noise that my ears have been through and that the stress/anxiety are causing me to believe that it's getting louder when it could just be my body in fight-or-flight mode right now. Could possibly be my spine/surrounding muscles but the tinnitus doesn't react when I turn my head a certain way like I've read/heard about with others.

      And don't worry, I'm one step ahead of you guys. I've already seen my dentist for my TMJ concerns and will be fitted for a night guard, and I contacted my doctor's office to get my ears looked at and if necessary an ENT referral. I'm just looking to get more information about the causes and if anyone shares something similar that can help me out. If you made it this far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart just for listening.

      Thanks :)

      - Mike
    2. Matchbox

      Matchbox Member

      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      Take some Ativan and talk to a counselor man.

      Synapses form up to 25 years of age. Treat your ears nicely (earplugs when above 95 dB) and you should be alright and nothing will dramatically change for you.

      Yes illness can do crazy things, so live life and get your plans going now! You'll always have time is the biggest lie ever sold to me as a young adult.

      And EVEN if it gets worse, for most people it's temporary, and you'd be one of the very lucky ones to end up like me (or some others who are worse and yet still alive and trying to live).

      I blame the medical system for me getting worse, but the initial trauma was all me and loud music.

      I really, REALLY, went overboard. I'd been accustomed to it, and took things finally to the breaking point. I'd imagine I had 110 dB in my ears for a couple hours. I instantly knew something was wrong as I could no longer hear "s" sounds nor pronounce them (it was as if I had a lisp). I've had lots of tinnitus in my life, but this was another level.
    3. PortugalTheMan

      PortugalTheMan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety / Maybe years listening to music on headphones
      Hi Mike, how is your tinnitus? Is it pure tone, static, or something electric?

      We are in the same boat, I also work in computer science and I have had tinnitus for 3 months, it is very difficult to concentrate and do a good job.

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