Anything Would Help

Discussion in 'Support' started by Daniel, Aug 13, 2011.

    1. Daniel

      Daniel Member

      Hi, everyone..!
      My name is Daniel, and at this point in my life advise and a listening ear go a long way. I'm a 28 years old artist, college student, and husband. I grew up in a loud-speaking Hispanic household, so I was no foreigner to higher decibels. As a young child I was no stranger to pangs of tinnitus, like someone had turned on an old television, but the sound would fade as quickly as it came.
      As I grew older, I would listen to rock music, go to concerts, hit-up a club here and there, create my own rock music, and just did about anything a normal young man who loved music and art would do. One morning, early in the month of March of this year, I woke to the ringing of a turned on television in my left ear...but, this time it didn't fade away. Prone to anxiety, the ringing quickly distressed me. To add insult to injury, a few days later I started exempting what could only be attributed as allergies (I've never suffered from allergies before). It shouldn't have been surprising, I guess. We were on the dawn of Spring, and Houston, Texas was just about to hit the worse drought season that we've ever had in a while.
      Taking into consideration my newly found allergies, I was optimistic. I reasoned with myself that the tinnitus had to be an effect of my now disturbed sinuses. So, I started to take over the counter allergy/decongestant medication in hopes that I can kill two birds with one stone (because, obviously my ear canals were filled with mucus causing the ringing, right? R-right?? lol) The ringing was lessened by the medication, but it didn't entirely go away.
      This is where I submitted to the tinnitus. It now was to the point where I couldn't tell what ear the ringing came from, nor did I care. With my tinnitus I found myself sensitive to loud noises. I could no longer listen to music above a certain level, or withstand my loud family for very long stretches of time (although, I guess that hadn't changed much ;p), so I started to take precautions. I do not go to the movies, bars, clubs, or concerts without my ear plugs. I no longer listen to my music very loud, and even some songs had to be removed from my playlist. Even my manner of speaking, and they volume in which my wife and I speak to each other has changed. Needless to say, I didn't want my tinnitus to get worse.
      Because I knew tinnitus to be effected by stress and diet as well, I continued my practice of meditation (which I originally took up because of my anxiety), exercise (6 days a week), and a decent diet. Together with the medication for my allergies, the ringing had lessened to the point where it was my constant companion, but it was something I would make a point to put it behind me.
      Eventually, when my allergies weren't as bad, I decided to get off the medication to try ginkgo baloba (60mg) with my normal morning multi-vitamin. It was a method I'm sure many of us have read about in our search for a relief. I figured that it couldn't hurt, and if anything, help me with my studies. Two days later in the treatment and now my right ear is actively ringing like my left one did way back in March. Now, I'm stumped.
      From the beginning with my bout with the ringing, I still got the pangs of tinnitus /on top/ of my tinnitus like I have since I was a child that would (like always) come and fade. I just figured that was a symptom of tinnitus. They wouldn't happen often, but they did happen. The allergies, of course since were still in the summer months and drought, are still there. Now, that I'm off my allergy medication for two days, I get hit by louder ringing now in my right ear after actively protecting my hearing..!
      So, I guess it comes down to this, and I being too optimistic in maybe believing that my ringing is a by-product of allergies?? I have to mention that back in March my ears were clogged by mucus to the point where I couldn't swallow without it sounding like the act was swishing mucus around in my ear that accompanied by pressure and discomfort. The allergy medication and using a Nettle-Pot eventually took that away to a degree, yet the slight ringing remained. Unfortunately, I have not yet been to a doctor due to a lack of insurance.
      What do you kind folks think? Have you had similar experiences? Should I get to a doctor to see if the ringing is a by-product of an inner ear infection due to allergies? What is the best course of action?
    2. Markku

      Markku Founder Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hey Daniel, welcome! It never feels quite right to welcome anybody here, since it'd be much nicer if nobody had to come to a forum like this :( But given the current situation of tinnitus and hearing disorders and how little help there is, I guess a support community is the next best thing. So, welcome :coffee:

      It is quite a coincidence that the allergy quickly followed tinnitus. I'm no doctor, but I'd be inclined to categorize it as "too much of a coincidence".

      Then again, you do write that you've listened to (at loud levels, I suppose?) rock music, gone clubbing and been exposed to other noises. It's theoretically possible that all that noise has accumulated (slowly making the ears prone to tinnitus) during the years and then the ears gave up one night, spontaneously. For what it's worth I've had the "pangs of tinnitus" too, very rarely before constant tinnitus, but after that I've had them frequently, maybe once or twice very two weeks. In my case they are short in duration, usually under 30 seconds, but the tone is very constant, ringing tinnitus, and way more noticeable than the usual constant tinnitus.

      It's also interesting that the right ear tinnitus is now the same as the left one was back in March, after being off the allergy meds for a couple of days and starting gingko biloba. 60mg of Gingko isn't that big of a dose, many have taken 120-240mg, but could it be that ginkgo caused the right ear ringing somehow? I would think it's more likely though that the reason is you stopped the allergy meds.

      Anyway, I would see a doctor. It must, however, be very hard to be without health insurance in the USA. I don't know much about the situation over there, but the insurance itself is probably very expensive if one doesn't it get it through their workplace? And without insurance the doctor bills can add up quickly and cost a ton. One of the positives living here in Finland, having a publicly funded system of health care. But if you somehow can afford the costs, an ENT (ear-nose-throat) doctor should check your ears and figure out if there's anything abnormal going on and what might be the treatment options.

      I'm suggesting seeing a doctor because if, in worst case scenario, it turns out later that you could have done something to your tinnitus if you had gone to a doctor faster. I would hate to see that happen, and that's one of the biggest reasons I suggest seeing a doctor. And of course also that you get a professional opinion on whether the tinnitus in your case might be a byproduct of allergies.

      I wasn't much of a help here, but I sincerely hope (and it seems so at this point, doesn't it?) that the tinnitus is caused by allergies and you'll either get rid of tinnitus altogether at some point or at least it subsides to a level you can easily habituate to.

      Let us know how it goes for you,
    3. AUTHOR

      Daniel Member

      Thank you very much for your response, Markku! I really appreciate the listening ear.

      You're right. Unfortunately for us Americans, we've strayed behind the developed worlds when it comes to health-care, and therefore many of us are left to take care of the bill. At the moment, it cost $100 (US) to see a doctor, and maybe even more for a specialist like a ENT. But, you bring up a good point, and I shouldn't wait should it risk making my hearing worse.

      Your words have been very valuable, and I can tell that this forum will be one that I frequently visit. Thank you :)

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