Acute Onset Tinnitus Driving Me Bonkers

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by EDogg, Jul 30, 2017.

    1. EDogg

      EDogg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      7/27/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi there,

      I found this forum searching tinnitus online. I developed a persistent tinnitus several days ago and it is driving me bonkers. I feel compelled to reach out for some advice and support, as this is a new one for me.

      So a little about my case. I noticed an acute onset tinnitus while playing my acoustic guitar two days ago. No loud noise onset. Just strumming along and I felt a fullness and ringing in my right ear. Eventually I developed hypersensitivity to sound in that same ear and sound muffling (which is quite disorientating). For instance, the beeping sound to unlock my car sounds different in each ear and more intense. Also, certain higher pitched sounds sound distorted and are uncomfortable/painful to hear. Conversations with people have become unpleasant unless they are speaking quietly. I have been having trouble sleeping as I am completely consumed by this ringing. I purchased the Simplyrain app for iPhone and listened to that last night, which helped to some degree. I had to medicate myself to sleep the past few nights with extra doses of Gabapentin. The ringing is still most pronounced in my right ear, though now I can sense a higher pitched ring in the left ear. There is a very high-pitched white noise like sound in both ears constantly. I went to urgent care yesterday and they saw serous fluid with bubbles behind my right ear drum, about 3/4 way up the drum. I was prescribed (have have taken as prescribed) sudafed, intranasal steroids (flonase) and anti-histamine, as allergy is suspected. I have not experienced any improvement thus far but perhaps it is too early (~2 days). I still feel some degree of fullness in the middle ear (both) and burning feeling, which I equate with inflammation. I can (at least I think I can) feel the fluid moving in the middle ear as I turn/tilt my head. No definite balance issues -- tough have has a few times where I felt dizzy upon changing head position. I have post-nasal drip, some sinus tenderness and occasional cough. I have had the worst allergies this year, by far, though never has it involved ear problems! I have had temporary tinnitus after colds or after flights, but this seems more persistent. I also have been wearing ear plugs at night to block street noise. I stopped the past few nights as they make my ringing more pronounced.

      I am driving myself crazy trying to determine what is causing this. I have an obsessive nature, which lends well to my line of work, yet in personal health situations it can be incredibly counterproductive and pathologic. We are having our home remediated due to mold issue in crawl space and have moved out during that process. I happened to be at my house on the day of and one day after mold remediation of our crawl space and ozone/H2O2 treatment of house and duct work (done professionally), after it was vented out. I did notice an uptick in my allergy/sinus problems, of which the mold previously exacerbated, and a sinus headache later that night, but no tinnitus. The tinnitus began almost 24 h later at our rental (we moved out for the time being). So -- was wondering if maybe mold allergy could be causing it? Neurotoxic mold (though never experienced that living there for past 3 years)? Perhaps irritation from the ozone/H2O2 treatment (supposed to have a very short half life following cessation)? As for medications -- I started Gabapentin a little over a month ago to treat pain associated with a spinal cord injury. It has been incredibly helpful thus far for my nerve pain and muscle spasticity and is literally 20 times cheaper than Lyrica. I also have been taking Mobic for arthritic pain. I am wondering if those meds could be culprit, though seems unlikely with the presence of middle ear effusion, etc. I stopped mobic two days ago but no difference has been noticed. I have read online re: ototoxic drugs and it seems just about every drug has some association (per Google) with ototoxicity. I'm really not sure who to believe! I'd hate to stop taking the Gabapentin (would have to slowly wean off or switch to Lyrica) but if it could help resolve the tinnitus I will. Was previously on Lyrica for 6 years without any hearing issues. Just too darned expensive. Any thoughts? Another possible etiology could be infection right? Could this be some sort of viral middle ear infection? I don't have the typical labrynthitis symptoms. The burning/inflammation seems quite real and, in concert with the finding of a serous middle ear effusion, would support an inflammatory process.

      I am thinking maybe I should push to see an ENT sooner rather than later, maybe hearing evaluation, and perhaps modify treatment (steroids, etc) to calm the inflammatory process and try to prevent permanent damage. Maybe get this fluid drained! The urgent care recommended giving treatment a week, but I am getting anxious about this and worried that inaction may lead to irreversible injury.

      I am really, really, really hoping this tinnitus will go away on it's own. It is obviously bothering me immensely. Do most cases go away spontaneously? The internet seems conflicting on this topic. I'm hoping once the inflammation calms down the tinnitus will also calm, but it sounds like it can take a while sometimes. I fear that I have permanent damage in my ears and it makes me very upset. I've never dealt with something like this where you cannot escape it. It has been driving me to have panic attacks, especially at night when it is quiet. I used to love the quiet and now it is hell. At least with my pain issues, you can take a pill to dull it down to non-perception. Not with this!

      It has really helped me to write this and reach out. I appreciate any advice and support you may have. I realize this hasn't been going on very long, yet know you understand how disruptive and anxiety provoking it can be even in this short period.

      Best,
      Eric
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. w-drak
      Digging it

      w-drak Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      As a new guy posting tread couple minutes before you being scared maybe two times more than you: Do not really worry in your case now... Coldness can easily do it. Allergy can easily do it. Change of medication too. Wait until you feel no fullness in your ears.
      I was dealing with tinnitus for a lot of years due to loud music and it always got triple worse when I was cold.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    3. TuneOut

      TuneOut Member

      Location:
      El Dorado Hills, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Worsened 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert
      Yeah, I would go get some prednisone ASAP. It could help. Take a bunch of NAC to replenish your body's antioxidant supply. And rest your ears and try to relax. I know how difficult and scary this can be. Hopefully things will calm down or go away entirely.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    4. Kolisar
      No Mood

      Kolisar Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      birth?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Welcome @EDogg . Hang in there. You have found a very sympathetic and supportive community of people who truly understand what you are going through. Tinnitus is frightening, and maddening. For many it results in depression, and that depression can result in things far, far, worse.

      While I cannot provide any statistics, if you read through the success stories you will find cases where it has vanished. Unfortunately, you will also find cases (like mine) where a lifetime is spent never experiencing silence. That being said, there is always hope. Medical science continues to advance, and progress will always be made.

      There are a number of things you can do. Seeing a doctor is probably the best first step. I would also look into "Habituation" (learning to ignore the ringing). This seems like it has helped many people in this forum.

      An interesting thought. A quick google search lead me to the following articles that appear to support your hypothesis:

      https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/black-mold-symptoms-mold-exposure-symptoms/
      http://diseaseszoom.com/black-mold-pictures-symptoms-removal-health-effects-risks/
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      EDogg

      EDogg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      7/27/17
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for your support everyone. I was hoping and praying i'd wake up this morning and it would magically be gone. Not the case. Am incredibly sad, frustrated and agitated. I plan to see an ENT tomorrow if I can get or go to ED. This has been pretty intolerable. The tinnitus makes trying to sleep or being in a quiet room unbearable. The sound sensitivity makes being in noisy places, showering, laundry, fridge or dishwasher noises very unpleasant. Even the sound of furnace pushing air through vents is irritating me. I am hoping I can be evaluated and find something to help this. Thinking this might be a virus or something wreaking havoc. Have been listening to white noise through my headphones all day which does seem to drown out the ringing but is irritating in it's own way. Finding a balance between the sound sensitivity and tinnitus is very frustrating to say the least. And to think a week ago I was in such a better place, mentally and physically, getting my life back in order. I have other significant chronic illnesses that I have struggled with for years and I finally started making some headway. I am also a caregiver for my bed bound wife, so this adds some serious stress on me. This is the last thing I need! Gonna try and distract myself with video games and hopefully somehow rest my ears. Maybe take a valium.
       

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