Can't Help Thinking About My Tinnitus That Started After Air Travel — A Physiological Cause?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by funcionario, Jan 28, 2021.

    1. funcionario

      funcionario Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I post this message mostly to hear if other people have similar kind of tinnitus, so all responses are warmly welcome. My tinnitus started 1.5 year ago and has not ceased even for a while. I'm still looking for relief and also trying to understand the cause of the symptoms, as it is not apparent.

      My tinnitus started after an air travel trip. I was having a flu, and I can remember my ears aching during the descent, as they usually do aboard an airplane. The tinnitus did not start right away but in a couple of days. It was first a barely audible single tone beeping in left ear. I had my ears checked and there was minor barotrauma at the tympanic membrane; actually the doctor could not even say for sure if there was or was not. I still had the flu and I was prescribed antibiotic medicine, so if there was an infection that was probably taken care of at this point.

      But the tinnitus got worse. I developed a vibrating sensation in the left ear, and that contributed to another tinnitus tone. Soon after, the right ear started ringing as well. After 1.5 year from the beginning I think the first tone has faded away, making me to think that if there was an initial barotrauma causing the symptoms, that has finally healed.

      The vibrating sensation has got worse, and is really omnipresent. It has also started hurting. So my symptoms are clear vibration somewhere inside my ear or nearby ear, accompanied with pain, and a sensation that something is pulling inside the ear, and of course the actual tinnitus sound. The sound is of course hard to describe, but it is mostly high frequency beeping and humming. The other ear is generating similar sound but there is no vibration or other sensation on the right side.

      The pain and other physical sensations, and the clear sensation of some movement at high frequencies as well as the unilateral nature of that sensation, makes me to suspect that the reason is not any cell damage in the inner ear, but that the tinnitus has a physiological cause. There was a situation 1-2 months prior the symptoms started, where I did metalworking without hearing protection for 1-2 hours and my ears were sore the next day. They were however not ringing and I forgot the instance in a few days. So I might have had some prior inner ear damage contributing to the whole, but I doubt that this is the primary cause of my tinnitus.

      My hypothesis is that there was some initial damage and/or ear infection, and that left some tissues somewhere in the middle ear inflamed for a longer time. The inflammation in turn has caused some involuntary muscle activity, that is transmitted to the inner ear. The stimulation on the left side then has affected all the hearing system so that the eventually both ears are ringing. But I am not sure if there can be any muscle activity generating a high pitch sound, as the middle ear muscles cause clicking sounds or slower rhythmic movement according to my understanding. So what on earth can it be then?

      Does this kind of description about tinnitus ring a bell to anyone? It is really puzzling and my ENT doctor has not been of much help. I have tried all kinds of treatment, and I still have high hopes on acupuncture. I know that tinnitus is usually pretty permanent condition. However my tinnitus feels more like a wound or other kind of damage inside my ear: I can feel it, it is not only a phantom sound. That makes me think that it can not possibly last forever, as the body is usually able to heal the wounds. A barotrauma caused by air travel is usually not that serious, and the damage to my inner ears from the other instances was not that massive either. But my tinnitus is massive, and I am pretty hopeless for not being able to find any relief, nor a clear reason for the symptoms.

      Thank you for reading my story.
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. Ilias T
      Tired

      Ilias T Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss or TMJ
      Welcome to the forum.

      Tinnitus is probably one of the weirdest thing someone can get. There are so many stories and they are so different. I used to wear earphones for too long, and on high volume without having tinnitus at first. And one day I woke up to my new reality.

      I felt it when you said that your doctor didn't help much. I've been to two doctors and both did nothing. I don't want to make you upset but, if there is no physical cause to your tinnitus there is nothing that can be done to guarantee a cure. It might fade on its own.

      It's good that you wrote this explanation. Might be useful if you find a new doctor. Read threads about the candidate FX-322. It might be the first treatment to cure hearing loss and tinnitus.
       
    3. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Have you done a hearing test? If yes, can you post your audiogram? (blank out any personal info)
       
    4. MBH

      MBH Member

      Location:
      Upstate NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Overloaded stress
      Have you looked into Meniere's disease?

      Also, major stress can cause tinnitus. Hopefully, you can find masking sounds to help thru the day. I have a sound machine, I love it, I have it on Ocean sound.

      Your search with tinnitus is finding your inner peace with it. And you can.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      funcionario

      funcionario Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for your reply. It is not Meniere's disease, the symptoms are not like that.

      The most puzzling part is the apparent pain, and the pulling sensation accompanied with the sound. So even though a physiological etiology is not to be found, the problem is physiological in nature. I would happily accept that the audible tinnitus will not go away if the all the physical sensations would go away. You can't really mask pain.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      funcionario

      funcionario Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've had a hearing test, and the result was that I have lost some hearing in high frequencies. There is however not any dip in the audiogram: the hearing just gets poorer and poorer the higher the frequency gets. And I probably have had that for much longer than the tinnitus.
       
    7. MBH

      MBH Member

      Location:
      Upstate NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Overloaded stress
      Tinnitus is beyond misunderstood, and there really is no answer to it. Like you, mine is from major stress. I have 3 different sounds and tones. I still hear it, but I'm good with it. I willed it. I like reading this board, it calms me when mine gets out of hand, better yet I get out of hand. That pain you have, I would have that looked into, maybe ask for an MRI.
       
    8. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Are you comfortable posting the audiogram?
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      funcionario

      funcionario Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yes if I can find it. I think I only have a paper print of it. I'll look for it and scan it if I can find it.

      What is there to see in the audiogram? It has been seen by professionals and it does not reveal anything significant. One can only see the weakened hearing at high frequencies, that can be a contributing factor for the tinnitus.
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      funcionario

      funcionario Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have had an MRI and there was no notable findings. Just a small cyst in the bottom of left sinus cavity. I have been told that the cyst can in any way cause my symptoms. And any tumors have been ruled out as they would be visible in MRI.
       
    11. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I had to show my MRI to half a dozen doctors before I found the one guy who was able to spot a problem. The first few doctors were just re-reading the same blurb that the radiologist had written, and everything was normal. The last guy looked at the images and formed his own opinions.

      Perhaps nothing will come out of you posting your audiogram, but perhaps someone's going to spot something and send you in a direction that nobody had mentioned to you before.
       
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