Advice for Recent/Unsuspecting Tinnitus Victim

Discussion in 'Support' started by longtalker, May 15, 2016.

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    1. longtalker

      longtalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Dear all,

      [apologies for what has turned out to be a rather long post to describe my symptoms - thanks in advance to anyone having the patience to read it]

      I began having tinnitus a month or so ago. While it has been varying slightly from day to day (some days are better), on most days I hear a buzzing in both ears which is constant for the duration of the day. I would describe the buzzing as an "electrical noise", which does not have a single pitch but multiple high-frequency components in its spectrum - I measured two identifiable components at 1500 and 2000 Hz for instance (or possibly some octaves higher), although again the noise is far from having a single-pitch perceptual footprint.

      I don't see any evident causes that might have triggered this. I have suffered no ear trauma, nor been exposed to any loud noises. I don't suffer from any allergies apart from a mild pollen allergy. For the past few months I've been listening to podcasts while cycling, with an earphone in right ear only, but not too loud, and not for longer than ~30mins at a time; also, giving this habbit up for the past week hasn't changed my symptoms. Other unlikely links include lower-back pain, that I get after periods of standing/walking, and a slight nasal-septum deviation (that gives no symptoms).
      The only likely causal link I can think of is that for the past half a year or so, my sleep has been rather disturbed (namely, I feel dizzy and half-awake for the latter stage of sleep, early in the morning about 1h before waking up). This problem is ongoing and tends to make me irritable during the day, despite otherwise thankfully not having major stress in my life.
      Another suspicion that I had is related to blood-circulation, since the internal noise I am hearing feels somehow like an intense "high-voltage" in my head. However, a complete cardiology check-up that I had made recently all came out OK, including normal blood-pressure levels.

      In fairness, I have been having some mild ear-buzzings for as long as I can remember:
      1. before going to sleep, when the room was quiet, I used to sometimes become aware of a high-pitched buzzing in my head, which to me, at least in childhood, somehow represented "the sound of silence". That noise's "spectral composition" seemed similar to what I hear now, and was also in both ears, but was definitely not as loud as what I hear now, AND it was only evident before sleeping, i.e. I would forget of it by the next morning
      2. once in a while (once every couple of weeks or so), I get a loud, single-pitch (still high-pitched) sinusoidal tone in the left ear, that fades away quickly (5 seconds)

      However, none of these two previous manifestations were a real annoyance, let alone a concern. Problem 1. is now "drowned" in the noise that has now replaced it on a permanent basis, and problem 2. still appears, just as rarely.

      Although my tinnitus is loud enough that I hear it even with normal environmental noises around me, my hearing does not seem, so far, affected. The ear-nose-throat specialist concluded that my audiogram (attached) looks largely normal, and that there is no local infection. He recommended I do a head MRI, which I will do soon. For now, he prescribed Pentoxifylline to increase blood flow to the ear - although reading that medicine's description, it doesn't seem fit for this purpose at all. I know that tinnitus is hard/impossible to treat permanently, but as a first attempt at a symptomatic relief, I would rather be inclined to first try taking some Ginkgo Biloba, which I read has been suggested to provide (temporary?) tinnitus relief.

      If anyone's tinnitus experience seems similar to what I describe, and would like to share what has worked / not worked for them, I would be very grateful - thanks in advance!
       

      Attached Files:

    2. Sebastians

      Sebastians Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      13/10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Guitars, loud girls and guns
      I would not call that a fairly normal audiogram tbh. Quite a big notch between 4000-6000 khz..
       
    3. longtalker

      longtalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for your input. Any other thoughts at all, anyone?....
       
    4. Fangen
      Monday blues

      Fangen Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Stockholm, Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2nd, 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (loud concert for 1h)
      My theory is that you have had hearing loss within the 4000-6000 hz most likely all your life since you say that you have heard the ringing during your childhood.
      However, the increase I can't say for sure why. Sometimes T can get louder without any reason. I know I have some increase in my T when I have pressed my jaws against each other while sleeping / under stress. I went to a TMJ specialist yesterday and she saw that everything looked fine but she noticed during a test with soft plastic that she put in my mouth and I had to press my teeth on it, that my lower jaw wanted to be further "out". So she said that my jaw could have been somewhat misaligned since I lost my milk teeth since my front teeth are bigger than the others. So if you have noticed something similar, that can increase your T (not necessarily permanent) since the bone is pushing towards the nerve and can cause T.
      Your loud and very sort T, is called fleeting T. I had that before T and of course sometimes after onset of T. We all get that so nothing to worry about.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    5. Owen
      Disappointed

      Owen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unclear. Inflammatory allergic reaction/AIED
      Anything down to 20 dB of loss is classified as "normal" on most audiograms, so in your right ear you have higher than normal hearing loss up to 1 kHz and again somewhere between 3 and 8 kHz. In your left ear, you have a similar issue in the 4 to 8 kHz range. Hearing loss and tinnitus can be mutually exclusive. I have no measurable hearing loss (I say measurable, as my audiogram to 12 kHz shouws no notches greater than 15 dB, but hidden hearing loss occurs in all of us), but I still have tinnitus.

      You may therefore benefit from hearing aids to help. Effectively your brain is probably turning up the gain on your hearing to compensate for the loss and in doing so is amplifying noise in the auditory system. I know a couple of people that having hearing loss and tinnitus and when they wear hearing aids, their tinnitus all but vanishes as their brains no longer need to amplify the missing sounds.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    6. longtalker

      longtalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Many thanks for your replies, which make sense and are helpful. One more question: for a few days now, I've started feeling a bit dizzy, particularly while leaning over, or walking. I suspect the cause of this is common with that of the the tinnitus (or even caused by it). At this point clearly an MRI scan of the head is in order, which I am glad I am scheduled for in 2 weeks.
       
    7. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Don't worry about the dizziness.
      Your brain is trying to compensate for your (sudden?) slight hearing loss. Balance and auditory functions are tightly related. Your balance will be fine in a couple of months.

      The MRI will show nothing of interest, doctors order it just to be safe, primarily to rule out acoustic neuroma - an extremely rare condition, or any kind of MS or neurological disorder - of which you don't have any symptoms, therefore don't expect much.
       
    8. longtalker

      longtalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks! Having done a bit of reading, it seems that the two symptoms together (tinnitus and dizziness) possibly describe Ménière's disease, however that diagnostic is hopefully also not very likely, since that disease is also characterised by
      (i) an inner ear infection, whereas my otoscopic inspection revealed no infection, and
      (ii) hearing loss, whereas my audiogram reflects only little impairment in my hearing.
       
    9. longtalker

      longtalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      There have in fact been two audiograms taken from me on consecutive days, here is the other one, which seems to me to indicate a more mild hearing loss than the first (?), although unfortunately I don't have access right now to the doctor's interpretation of it
       

      Attached Files:

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