At My Wits' End with Somatic Tinnitus — Do I Continue with Wasted Treatment Attempts?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Keith D Mitchell, Apr 21, 2021.

    1. Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      So, the last few months have been hell for me. My tinnitus, until February 2021, had been at an acceptable level. Then out of nowhere, I started experiencing what I can only describe as a fast clicking noise when listening to certain sounds. The toilet filling up, certain fans, cars speeding past me as I walked. Then it progressed to happening when I would rub my hands over my body or walking at times. Now, the rain, which used to calm me also makes this happen. I also noticed echoing when people speak to me at times.

      Now, that all said, I have zero issues with my hearing. I've been to 3 ENTs, all said I have perfect hearing. I've done the online sound tests and I hear pretty well for my age.

      Symptoms:
      • Unilateral Tinnitus in the right ear
      • Fullness in the right ear
      • Popping/clicking in right ear around certain noises and now walking
      • Tinnitus was not due to noise or sickness
      • Able to manually pop my right jaw
      Recently, I saw a post where someone had gone to a chiropractor and they were able to, over the course of several months, lower that person's tinnitus. I contacted this person as they were close to me and after speaking with them, they said they could likely help me. I went and they looked at my posture, said my left pelvis was elevated, my neck was straight instead of curved and I have a lot of muscle strain in my mouth (I don't remember exactly everything said). I was supposed to go back and start sessions but then found out there was a NUCCA chiropractor that was further away. But from what I read, NUCCA was supposed to be better. So I went there twice; once for the consultation and a session.

      During the consultation, I was told the same thing as the previous chiropractor told me. In the first session, I didn't feel anything but I was assured it did help. Now I'm wondering if the drive out there is worth it and if I should head back to the previous chiropractor. Tomorrow, April 22, I have a visit with a well-known TMJ specialist to see what he thinks about this.

      I was also asked if I had seen a TMJ specialist as I explained that if I move my jaw inwards, outwards, to the sides, or pressed on a point near my right ear, my tinnitus pitch would change for the worse.

      Now, I initially thought that perhaps I had some answers... until I started reading on here that that doesn't mean anything and somatic tinnitus is permanent, etc. All I am asking for is some support. For anyone who has somatic tinnitus, have you seen a TMJ specialist and/or a chiropractor? If so, did it help you? Would you recommend it or am I just chasing a fantasy?

      I'm also taking Prednisone for a liver issue, but my doc is trying to get me off it. It hasn't helped with my tinnitus, just mentioning that.

      I can't sleep well anymore and melatonin does nothing. I used to listen to my ceiling fan that creaked, but that doesn't help anymore. My anxiety is through the roof. I'm scaring my wife, my oldest child, and myself. I'm tired of thinking that killing myself is the only way to end this.

      Please... help me. Advice, encouragement, anything. How do calm down so the tinnitus isn't as loud? How do I get rid of my anxiety? I love my wife, I don't want to leave her.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    2. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      I'm new to tinnitus. I can't offer much advice but wanted you to know I'm praying for you. I am a long time sufferer of anxiety and PTSD. I've been on every benzo known to mankind. I have an addictive personality so for now my doctor only gives me Buspar and Gabapentin... and eventually maybe a mood stabilizer.

      I've heard that Klonopin and Gabapentin work for a lot of people with tinnitus and anxiety. Maybe give that a shot, or even Xanax, but be careful these can be addictive and are only short term solutions.

      But you aren't alone man. I know it's easier said than done... you need to get the anxiety under control. Trust me, I take 2 steps forward and 3 back all the time, like yesterday.

      Excuse my ignorance but I think Prednisone causes anxiety. I'm not sure. I know there is a thread on here about it.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    3. jrg

      jrg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1 year
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I think I know, not sure
      Dear Keith,

      Even though I don’t know exactly how bad it is for you - I understand. I have not slept well in about 5 or 6 years. I too have experienced addiction problems so I am trying so hard to stay away from anything dangerous - it’s sad and a horrible existence.
      Between no sleep and now the unforgiving tinnitus - I am worried I am destined for dementia or Alzheimer's.

      I am 63 and married 43 years. I have been too close with suicide over the last 20 years a couple times, usually brought on by a drunken binge. So I am sensitive when someone brings it up.

      Do anything to stay alive, pray - listen to YouTube with noise cancel headphones, music - do anything! You posted here, that was a great reach out! Just don’t get to that point of no return. Know that the urge to end it can and will pass. You have to fight, if not for yourself, for that love of your life. I urge you to do what it takes, as hard as that must be.

      Today is not great for me, I will hope tomorrow will be better. Even with all your suffering, life is still worth living. Hugs & prayers - maybe tomorrow will be better.

      Best ~ jrg
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    4. Lilah
      Blah

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have somatic tinnitus as well and went to a NUCCA chiropractor for about 7 or 8 months. I also tried physical therapy for a few months. It did not help for me.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      Thanks for mentioning Klonopin and Gabapentin. Are those ototoxic? As for Prednisone, oh yeah, it causes anxiety, racing heart, and a bunch of other stuff. I'm seeing a liver specialist tomorrow and hopefully, they'll be able to tell me when I get off this stuff and until something safer.
      I'm sorry to hear that. I've given up on NUCCA after having a very honest and heart to heart with a local chiro. He says he understands the science but doesn't trust it and it doesn't do anything different. In fact, it does less. I really didn't want to drive 1.5 hours to the NUCCA and this helped. I had my first session today and while the tinnitus didn't change and I didn't expect it to on my first visit, I feel better at least. OMG, that massage roller tablet. I was melting into it.
       
    6. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      I'm not sure if they are oxotoxic but going by the ATA's website it seems like every medicine is. I wouldn't let that stop you. There is a lot of people with positive experience with this approach. What is there to lose if the tinnitus is already at an unbearable level.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      Sigh... I was hoping it might help. Now it seems it won't.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    8. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      Coping. I had some chamomile tea that helped me sleep last night. The tinnitus isn't so bothersome today, but the anxiety is still sky high.

      My mom gave me a Bible today after talking to her about everything I've gone through.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    10. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      @Keith D Mitchell, try Holy Basil Extract for both the anxiety and sleep (often closely related). I have good experience with this natural, Ayurvedic remedy. It will get better.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. Joyful Spirit

      Joyful Spirit Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Covid vaccine
      Hi Keith,

      I am so sorry you are going through this!! I know I did not think I would be able to function in any way in the first couple months I had tinnitus. I just got it this past January. I am happy to say that I am feeling differently now. I am still having great difficulty sleeping as well and doing many normal types of things, but have learned several strategies that are helping reduce the incredibly debilitating anxiety, exhaustion, and hopelessness I was feeling. I do not have somatic tinnitus and cannot imagine how frustrating that must be for you. I also have hyperacusis which is making participating in any type of social situation painful for me- even sometimes just talking to one or two people. I know that for me checking my anxiety was the first step toward coping. I did this by maintaining a schedule for “sleep” when able, exercising, eating healthy and prayer and meditation to calm and soothe my soul. I have taken no meds and intend to do my best to keep it that way. These natural methods are helping me. I sleep with a large tower fan next to me. I have tried several different things and combinations and nothing works to time out the sirens in my head, so I have been trying to tolerate listening to it for periods of time and remaining calm while doing so. It is helping a bit for me to begin to habituate.

      I think having others to talk to who can understand what we are going through helps a great deal to! My husband tries to understand, but I find comfort in talking to others with tinnitus.

      I will keep you in my prayers! You absolutely can get through this and I am sure you can find your own strategies for coping! I keep myself very busy and physically active now each day until I am exhausted and that helps to distract me.

      Don’t give up on yourself or your family! You are stronger than you know!

      Take care of yourself!!
       
      • Like Like x 2
    12. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      Hi Keith. Carefully reviewed your situation. Unilateral tinnitus (only one ear) would fit to discussion.

      Your situation may be more complicated, but I would consider talking to your doctor about your elevated pelvis. As this may reflect as being primary cause of your straighten C spine and possible C1 tilt that's causing TMJ.
      An elevated pelvis can slowly weaken the C spine.

      TMJ as cause of tinnitus, Nerves from jaw that go to ears. May be responsible causing this:
      Posture Direct: How to Fix a Rotated Pelvis

      Once your pelvis is fixed, some correction to C1, jaw and other problems mentioned above, may happen. I have witnessed this, including decreasing jaw/neck problems and decreased tinnitus.

      Other treatment to discuss with doctors: Mouth guard. Rolled towel placed under the neck in the supine position to increase the cervical curve. Sleeping on a low pillow. Moist packs for neck.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      Hello, I was hoping you'd see this post. A bit of an update. I saw a TMJ doctor last Friday. He said my mouth was fine. No reason to be concerned about the popping.

      So it's the spine straightening and correcting the C1 and C2. Honestly I don't know if that will help me. I definitely don't want the chiropractor making me worse — I've seen some stories that claim that has happened. Others that say they helped. My chiropractor is working on my elevated pelvis, but are you saying I should go to a doctor instead? I'd love to speak with you one-on-one if you're open to that.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      Also, I realized that clicking noise persists even if I plug my ear and gets worse when I'm tired. Or it randomly goes crazy for 10 to 20 minutes.
       
    15. Benjaminbb

      Benjaminbb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown - possibly debrox - noticed after debroxing.
      Hey Keith,

      I went through this anxiety too. It’s hard to gauge subjectively what you’re going through but one thing for certain is that the anxiety is what makes you feel like you’re suffering. Not the noise itself. It’s fear, it’s anxious thoughts about the future etc.

      I reacted heavily to some minor tinnitus (and major fleeting episodes). I didn’t want to drink alcohol, have certain foods etc. in case it made it worse. I played noises all day just in case I heard something in a silent room and freaked out. I didn’t know what the future looked like and thought that ending it would be the only way. But it was ending the anxiety that I really wanted.

      I overcame the anxiety after a period of a few months, I still have many types of minor tinnitus that rotate and also scary hour-long fleeting episodes, but I never really have anxiety about it.

      This is the point you want to get to. I was scary people around me too. You can get through this.

      First of all, is the clicking like typewriter tinnitus? Or more of a tweet sound? Clicking sounds like typewriter tinnitus to me.

      Until you figure out the cause, I can suggest some things to help you realise it’s anxiety and not necessarily the sound.

      Not that I suggest substances, but when I drink (now that I’m not scared to) I feel a lot better and honestly seems like my symptoms usually subside for a few days.

      I have some Valium on hand, when I first took that, I stopped freaking out and realised that everything was fine or bearable at least. That realisation was the beginning of getting back to normal. You need to find these places of realisation, essentially switching the anxiety off for short periods and realising that’s how life can actually be. Slowly that will become more and more often.

      Life is still very liveable.

      Do you have clicking when laying in silence? Can you get periods of solace?

      Two things:
      1. Find ways to relax to learn that you can. Have a relaxing routine, nice camomile or sleepy tea before bed, with dim soft lights reading a book. I fell into safety behaviours like this. I got a better pillow too. Things that made me feel safe and kept that relaxation period around longer.

      2. Find ways to stay distracted. Think of something else, maybe watching interesting videos on YouTube instead of fixating on the sound. Or listen to relaxing sounds with an ear plug in the bad ear if it’s reactive.

      The more you do both of these the less it will be on your mind. If you have to wear ear plugs to stop the reactivity maybe that’s an option?

      Imagine if one ear was totally deaf, life would still be worth living with your wonderful family. I know plenty of people who had sudden hearing loss or were born with hearing in only one ear. They’re happy!

      You can make this sound only become an annoyance and frustration rather than horrifying anxiety. Which is your brain reacting to it as a threat. Remember you’re physically safe. I’m so much more of a calmer person in general now after making it though that.

      Before you can fix the problem you need to fix your anxiety with it!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      The sound is more like a hollow, metallic click. It's not very loud but if I'm listening, I hear it. What's driving me crazy is that it started a few months back. I thought it was an infection, but my damned ENT refuses to give me something for an ear infection until an allergy test. Which is still a ways out.

      I originally asked what Typewriter Tinnitus was, but I found an example of YouTube. No, it does not sound like this. I get the clicky when laying down, but only if I'm moving my head on the pillow of moving a body part. It's not constant, it's random. But again, worst when I'm tired. That's accompanied with a wet feeling in my ear, wiht clear liquid showing instead of wax. An odorless and (tasteless) liquid.

      I don't have an issue being around people or loud sounds, but I am very receptive to sounds. Even before the tinnitus, I could hear a pin drop on a mattress. I was sort of proud of that. Not so much anymore.

      Anyway, the more I think about this, the more I feel this is definitely connected to my posture and perhaps this chiro or a physical therapist can help get it back under control.
       
    17. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @Keith D Mitchell, focus of unilateral tinnitus. Some thoughts:

      Stress can weaken muscles over time and muscles can press on bones.

      Muscle spasms within neck from incorrect posture and /or injury can cause the C spine to straighten and this can cause somatic tinnitus. 32 possible associations, but most would cause somatic tinnitus in both ears. I don't think that your vertebral artery or other arteries/veins has involvement.

      One ear: C3 - C4 disc is possible. The C3- C4 disc can also cause Eustachian Tube or sinus problems. From this, fluid movement can travel to one ear causing tinnitus, but not usually somatic, unless other biology of neck is also involved. You don't appear to have facial concerns or facial nerve concerns with not having headaches. You also don't have blurred vision or eye pain. So with also C3 - C4 disc consideration, right side sternocleidomastoid may have limited involvement. Occipital nerves may also have some involvement and this alone can cause somatic tinnitus. Most with a straighten C spine also have a tilted C1-C2 and that can cause jaw clicking. C spine bone spurs may also have involvements that could press on nerves.

      Also beginning unnoticed jaw muscle strain may be part of the equation from stress or Eustachian Tube process.

      Ear clicking: Eustachian Tube process or a period of stress producing ear muscle spasms usually last minutes to a day. Periodic.

      ----------------------------------------------------------

      The root for all your problems - causing a straightened neck and then your other mentions probably leads from bad posture/head forward actions which can be similar to low scale whiplash effects over time. Then the camel's back may have been broken completely straightening your C spine. Sometime, jaw problems develop slowly over following years as well as arthritis - both neck and jaw.

      I would consider complete posture review, including pelvis from a highly professional physical therapist as soon as possible. Bring all radiological tests/notes, including X rays or motion X rays results with you.
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      Once again @Greg Sacramento, thank you for your input and wisdom. I'm not sure how much different a chiro is from a physical therapist, but if you're recommending it, I'm doing it.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      Just an update. I came back from my GP and he says there's definitely some fluid in my ear which could be causing the clicking. My ENT said there was none, but the GP says my ear drum is not transparent and he sees white deposits the inside of my ear.

      Seriously, what's with these ENTs?
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    20. Lukee

      Lukee Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Breathing Exercise
      Hey Man,

      I had the exact same experience. Doctor told me there was fluid in both ears, ENT said no chance and that family doctors don't know what they are saying. He said I have some old scarring that the doctor is probably confusing with fluid; however, my family doctor checked me 2 times, 1 week apart. I decided in that week to take a course of Sudafed for 4 days and felt considerably like there was less "fluid" in my ears. My doctor, without telling her I took the Sudafed, said it looked much better than the week before but there was still some fluid. I don't know who is right, but I felt better between both visits and it made sense that fluid diminished so not sure who I believe.
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      I was half tempted to take a Q-tip and show the ENT how much fluid was coming out of my ear. When I did it, and I know I shouldn't, the top of the Q-Tip was so soaked that it falls apart.
       
    22. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      Can you go to a different ENT? Or depending on coverage, maybe urgent care?
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      The problem is this specific ENT organization has a monology on ENTs. If you were an independent ENT, they would offer you a job that you couldn't refuse. So all the good ENTs end up there. It's hard to find an ENT that's not part of this organization.

      An ENT I used to go to and was fantastic ended up there.
       
    24. Ben Runyan

      Ben Runyan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown as of yet
      I really needed to hear this. I’m going through it right now pretty bad. And I’m thinking some pretty dark thoughts. But I really need to get through this anxiety. So I can be there for my family.

      I have moments where there is basically no tinnitus. Then I have almost every other day a large spike. Then eventually it comes back down. I cannot predict when that will happen.
       
    25. Ben Runyan

      Ben Runyan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown as of yet
      My doctor believes my tinnitus is caused by neck issues. I don’t know if I can wait for the physical therapist on May 17. I suffer greatly.

      I’m going to a chiropractor today as a last ditch effort.
       
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      The last few weeks have been weird. Between using Sleepytime tea, and being completely tired, I've had some good rests. I've also experienced bouts of my ear fluttering out of nowhere, with clicking, for 15-30 minutes or longer. Last night it woke me up around 3 AM. That was fun.

      Today, I saw the ENT as I had an allergy test scheduled and found out that I'm allergic to a lot of stuff. Odd, never was a factor before, but here we are. I'll be starting Gallery shots for a while to get that under control. ENT thinks this is contributing to the clicking - though is adamant that I don't have an ear infection. My GP thinks otherwise, that's why he gave me the Amoxicillin last week.

      The ENT also prescribed Nortriptyline and I'm torn. I know I saw this was ototoxic and the last thing I want is both my ears with ringing or my current mild tinnitus to get worse. I literally sat in the car and cried because I"m so confused. Do I take it and risk it? Make my tinnitus worse? Maybe help with the clicking? Maybe do nothing? What if it does get worse while on it and it doesn't stop when I taper off? Talked to my wife and she said just don't take it.

      Why would the ENT recommend this if they know what issues it can cause. I'm so freaking confused.

      I suppose finding out about the allergies helps some, and explains why I've been congested for so long. This could be why I'm getting the clicking.

      Thoughts?
       
    27. Brendon

      Brendon Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Seems like you have an issue with the ear.

      But did you ever get X-rays on your neck by the chiropractor? Wondering what kind of misalignment you had, if any.
       
    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Keith D Mitchell
      Alone

      Keith D Mitchell Member

      Location:
      Claymont, Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/20/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No Idea
      I did get X-rays. One chiropractor says I have misalignment but this new chiro does not believe so.

      I've attached them.

      1984_Mitchell_Keith_19761127_3.jpg

      1984_Mitchell_Keith_19761127_4.jpg

      1984_Mitchell_Keith_19761127_5.jpg

      Post Mitchell, K.png

      Pre Mitchell, K..png

      1984_Mitchell_Keith_19761127_0.jpg
       
    29. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      In terms of the medication, just because it's on the ototoxic drug list doesn't mean it will make your tinnitus worse. There is a small chance it will but a much greater chance (90%) it will help. I understand, being in the same position, that it is still a hard risk to take and we feel that we will be that minority that it will make worse but factually speaking it's unlikely... Just my opinion.
       
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