Catastrophic Tinnitus Worsening After 7 Years — Caused by a Kiss on the Ear

Discussion in 'Support' started by Theezy, Sep 2, 2022.

    1. Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      After 7 years of living with mild/moderate tinnitus and hyperacusis I had a worsening 2 weeks ago that has become unbearable.

      The event that caused it is so stupid, but things were heating up with a girl after a date and she made a loud kissy sound directly into my right ear (my worse ear). I immediately felt some pain and recoiled a bit but I rationalized that this could not have caused permanent damage.

      I woke up at 4 am later that night with an increased ringing, and over the past couple weeks the symptoms have increased with now much worse tinnitus in that ear along with facial pain and tightness on that side.

      I used to be able to mask my tinnitus and ignore it fairly easily although it was something I did struggle with day to day. Now this feels unbearable and I don’t know what to do.

      Two weeks in, what are my best options? I used to think my old tinnitus was hard to live with but if this is my new baseline I don’t see how it’s possible to live. It’s chronic pain at this point and it seems that anything other than rest in a quiet house ramps it up for days to follow. I would call this severe or catastrophic tinnitus.

      I was always reluctant to try medications in the past due to potential ototoxicity and side effects but now I am open to any treatments that may help.

      Please let me know if anyone has any advice on what some good options are at two weeks in.
       
      • Hug Hug x 8
    2. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      Damn another poor soul who got worse from a sweet act (kiss on ear)...

      There's nothing you can do anymore, 2 weeks is too long to try Prednisone or anything like that. But hopefully your situation improves over time!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Steadily worsening since 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Two weeks isn't a long time. My tinnitus varies a lot but every time a new sound that later became permanent first appeared, it was much much worse in the beginning and after 1-6 months they all decreased significantly in volume to the point of being so low I can barely hear it over my "usual" tinnitus. I'm sitting here now casually noticing some sounds that absolutely devastated me when they first appeared. Now I just find them mildly annoying, not life-threatening.

      Everyone is different so take it with a grain of salt. But I've had major spikes after being blasted with impact sounds out of my control, and they all settled down eventually. And I never felt like they would when I was experiencing them.

      Try to relax somehow. Stay active, be outside. It's not easy but you have to stay open to the possibility that the spike will settle down. It's likely it will, statistically, I'd say. Trying to stay positive and activating your parasympathetic nervous system is what you should strive for. This sounds rosy but the link between stress and experience of having tinnitus is undeniable.

      Try your very best to not focus on your tinnitus. It's a frustrating thing to be told, but I believe it's the best thing to do when having a spike. Use sound enrichment and actively listen to that. I like birdsong, wind in tree sounds, some white noise. I can't sleep or relax in bed without actively listening to podcasts when trying to sleep. Anything safe you can think of that you can focus on apart from your tinnitus. Try to tell your brain your tinnitus isn't important to focus on.

      Even if this event changes your tinnitus permanently, the spike you're having now isn't likely to stay like this permanently.

      Sleep medication could be an option in the short term, perhaps? Do you have a demanding job or can you knock yourself out with antihistamines when you need a break from consciousness?

      It's too late for steroids now.
       
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    4. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      I'd try intratympanic steroids if it were me. It's not something you can wait on either. An otologist is your best bet rather than a regular ENT (otolaryngologist). I don't think oral steroids really does anything for tinnitus. This is only my opinion though from my own use of them - no actual scientific studies to back it up.

      You could also just be having a spike and it may just get better on its own.
       
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    5. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Theezy.

      I believe your symptoms indicate what I call variable tinnitus. Please click on the link below and read my post: Can I Habituate to Variable Tinnitus? Although there are variants of this condition, essentially they are all the same and share similarities.

      It is caused by one or series of exposure to further loud noise, after long habituation period to noise induced tinnitus that has lasted for more than one year. The person may have returned to listening to audio through headphones, earbuds, headsets, noise cancelling or bone conduction headphones. At first everything might seem fine but they don't realize that, over time, the auditory system can become irritated and eventually the tinnitus increases.

      After a person habituates, if they regularly attend nightclubs, concerts where loud music is played, this can increase the tinnitus. The wearing of earplugs is no guarantee the auditory system won't be affected by loud noise. If external sound is loud enough, it will pass through the head and transfer to the inner ear by bone conduction and spike the tinnitus.

      If the person experienced hyperacusis when they first developed noise induced tinnitus and this was never cured, either naturally or using sound therapy and counselling whilst under the care of an audiologist, they may experience an increase in the hyperacusis after developing variable tinnitus.

      Please go to my started threads and read: Tinnitus, A Personal View, The Habituation Process, How to Habituate to Tinnitus, Tinnitus and the Negative Mindset, Acquiring a Positive Mindset, Hyperacusis, As I See It, Will My Tinnitus Get Worse?

      It has only been 2 weeks since your tinnitus increased, so there's a good chance it will eventually settle down.

      Hope you start to feel better soon,

      All the best,
      Michael

      Can I Habituate to Variable Tinnitus? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. AnthonyMcDonald
      Confused

      AnthonyMcDonald Member

      Location:
      Russia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      Thank you for your comment Michael. I occasionally lurked here before the recent worsening, and you have always been an extremely valuable guide for this complex condition. Out of curiosity, how often did you use Clonazepam at the beginning? Weekly? More often? I have heard it can be very beneficial when tinnitus is severe, but I am also cautious against becoming dependent on it.
       
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    8. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      • Like Like x 2
    9. Travis Henry
      Cynical

      Travis Henry Member

      Location:
      Dallas,TX
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021 textme2146428395
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1 Moderna Vac, Noise and stress I guess, its killing me
      Whatever you do, do not take any medications! They can lower your sound tolerance and make tinnitus reactive and extremely worse. Stay the course of eating well and protecting your ears. Get on an anti-inflammatory diet or anti-histamine diet.
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      Thanks for sharing - I saw this and luckily she didn’t form a seal so I don’t believe it was the suction in my case. The proximity to my ear canal along with the high tone/pitch is what did the damage I believe. I’d advise any members on here to tell their partners the ears are off limits. Unfortunately I hadn’t been seeing this girl long so she didn’t know about my condition- definitely going to be more upfront in the future.
       
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Thank you for your kind comments Theezy.

      In 2008 I suffered a second noise trauma which changed my tinnitus to variable. It is explained in the link below titled: My Experience with Tinnitus.

      My ENT consultant prescribed me with Clonazepam in 2010 as my tinnitus still reached very severe levels. I was told of its side effects. She advised that I take two 0.5 mg tablets every day for one week. In the second week reduce the dose to every other day. In the third week and thereafter, only take it when the tinnitus is severe.

      I still follow this regime after 12 years and never had a problem with Clonazepam. I found it extremely helpful over the years, when my tinnitus reached excruciating levels and nothing else would calm it down. I am taking it much less now but it is always there when I need it.

      Hope this helps,
      Michael

      My Experience with Tinnitus | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      Still in shock this was from a loud kiss too close to the ear. I have been to weddings, restaurants, bars, etc. (with moderate ear protection if it’s loud), and I have NEVER had a spike even close to this. I am amazed at how bad this spike has become from such a seemingly innocuous act. I know it was from this because the spike immediately kicked in along with facial pain. PLEASE learn from my experience, and make sure that the community is aware of how damaging an ear kiss can be, and let your partners know this is off limits. Apparently this can be severely damaging even for people with healthy hearing (look up “kiss of deaf”).

      When I first got tinnitus in late 2014 it was mild for a few years, and then suddenly shifted to moderate in 2017. Since then I have also dealt with hyperacusis, and some occasional ear/facial pain. Tinnitus definitely affected my life and caused me to avoid some social situations such as concerts and sports games. However, I made the most of it, and I felt my life was good although I struggled with this uncomfortable condition. Now my new tinnitus is audible over almost all my activities. The things that used to work for masking (TV, podcasts, soft music) no longer work, and my tinnitus screeches above it. I also have a lot of tightness and pain on the right side of my face which is the side that was kissed.

      Unfortunately, my optimism that it would get better over a few weeks was wrong. It has gotten worse in terms of volume, tone, and hyperacusis/pain. I really don’t know how I can live with this or what to do. Life was hard with moderate tinnitus, and this feels like I entered a new realm of suffering. I’m sorry to rant, but I’m in so much daily pain and feel so hopeless and need any help and support I can get. I truly don’t see how this ends well when my tinnitus has increased in a stepwise manner from mild to moderate to severe over less than a decade and does not seem to come down after increases. I’m still in my 20s and there’s no way I can handle higher levels of tinnitus, this is insane. With the current screeching sounds in my head I am struggling to think or do basic daily functions. It takes all my strength and focus to do below the bare minimum at my remote job, and it seems unlikely I can hold it much longer without throwing in the flag.
       
      • Hug Hug x 8
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      Thanks for sharing this, luckily there wasn’t a seal around the ear so I don’t think I got damage from the suction component. However, the drawn out kissing noise so close to my ear has been the worst spike (possibly permanent increase) that I have had in nearly a decade of tinnitus. Nothing else is even close! I hope members can learn from my terrible experience. Always make sure to let your partners know this is off limits. I strongly advise against all ear kisses in general even for those with healthy hearing.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    14. SmallRonnie
      Ape-like

      SmallRonnie Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Factory noise + Headphones + Clubbing + Vaccine? + Stress
      Hearing damage is cumulative so if it wasn't that kiss that sent you over the edge, it probably just would have been the next moderately loud thing. I do think sounds closer to the ear are a lot worse than "louder" sounds that are just further away. Headphones for instance are really bad.
       
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    15. Stuart-T

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      Thanks for your advice about warning partners, even though my love life is as dead as a doornail right now, I will bear it in mind. It never would have occurred to me but I suppose the suction and sound from such a kiss could cause issues and I am sorry this has happened to you. I sincerely hope things improve for you, particularly as you are young and have your best years ahead. I got it at 57 and I do feel for you young people getting it in your 20s or before.
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      That’s true and helpful to think if it wasn’t this it would have been something else. Also tough knowing how our condition can permanently worsen at anytime...
       
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    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      Thank you for your reply, I hope it can save someone from this unfortunate experience.

      Very sorry to hear about the love of your life, we have it hard enough as it is.
       
    18. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg dose of (anticholinergic) drug Promethazine
      Hi @Theezy -- I would like to second the "perspective" that your ears were (likely) affected as much as they were because of a vulnerability that was there to begin with. I feel I experienced the same thing with my sudden onset of tinnitus from a single dose of a drug Promethazine.

      I already had hyperacusis, and feel I was most likely "predisposed" to having something like that happen. Could have been something else like a fire alarm, tornado siren, etc. Once our ears become vulnerable, it seems just about anything can come along and make things much worse, even something wouldn't normally be considered a major event.
       
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    19. SmallRonnie
      Ape-like

      SmallRonnie Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Factory noise + Headphones + Clubbing + Vaccine? + Stress
      Worrying about it getting worse has been a big problem for me the past while but eventually I stop because I gotta try and just get on with life. Still a work in progress.
       
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    20. Stuart-T

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      Thanks but don't be sorry. I was married for 20 years, brought up a child etc so done that and unless I meet someone incredibly special I won't be getting into anything new. Am divorced now and frankly my happiness in life comes from good health. I hope for your sake you can get this annoying condition beat as you have it all to look forward to at your age.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      Thanks. I appreciate the well wishes, truly sucks to have gotten it so young. Somehow I have to keep living and make the best of all this.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    22. Marshall

      Marshall Member

      Location:
      ND
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure/virus/noise trauma/cumulative noise damage
      Yeah if you yank it out. Just take them out slowly. Small suctions won’t cause damage. Just be careful.
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      I was having a pretty good week. My tinnitus, hyperacusis and facial pain were still there but my mind was finally starting to get used to it a bit after 4 weeks.

      Last night I dropped a heavy piece of metal silverware onto a granite counter top and ever since then my symptoms have been much worse. My tinnitus is higher pitched screeching and much more intrusive/very difficult to mask. It’s insane to me that this event could spike it so severely,.I was already exhausted from the past month and barely starting to feel like I could live a bit again. Now I feel like I’m even further back than I was a month ago.

      How am I supposed to make this...
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    24. Stuart-T

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      Setbacks happen all the time. There are also false dawns. You were habituating nicely. Start again from where you are and obviously take extra care with noises.
       
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    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      Thank you. I needed that. This is the worst it’s ever been by far. Might be another rough month which is tough after my progress. This condition is ruthless. I’ll fight my ass off though.

      This is awful. It’s been rising all day and I can hear it over everything. What sort of medication can I take for catastrophic tinnitus? I can’t think or eat. Things that helped over the last month aren’t even touching this.
       
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    26. Gabriel5050
      Dead

      Gabriel5050 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (most likely)
      @Theezy, yeah it sucks getting these setbacks. Always have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. But even if you take all the precautions in the world, you will still be exposed to loud noises. So we might as well try to achieve goals and live.

      If you don't mind sharing, what kind of remote job do you have? After I finish my studies, I'll probably try to land a remote job too.
       
    27. Stuart-T

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      There are strategies I have for dealing with spikes. They may not work for you though. You should start experimenting with diet - cutting down sugar and salt caffeine - drink a lot of water - try tinnitus neuromodulation sounds on YouTube - fasting - maybe - which is what I am trying at present. Go through the supplements and treatments section on this board for more info. Doing nothing is not an option.
       
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    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      I’m working out everyday, going on walks, doing tinnitus training exercises. I start an official TRT program next week.

      However, I’m on week 6 of the spike and it’s gotten so much worse even though I feel like I’m doing everything right and giving my ears time to heal. The hyperacusis is also getting quite bad this week where even talking is uncomfortable, and burning facial pain is high today. I’m going to keep trying very hard to stay positive and actively work towards habituation, but the day to day increases and new tones makes it feel like starting behind square one every day.

      Excuse the rant, this is truly unbearable at the moment.
       
      • Hug Hug x 9
    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Theezy

      Theezy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/Rave?
      I’m fortunate enough to be able to work remotely, so I don’t have to drive much.

      Yesterday I made a 20 minute round trip drive which I did not anticipate to aggravate the tinnitus, however from the second I got home it was clearly spiked ~50% and has remained that way, perhaps even a little worse this morning. Can’t imagine it’s a permanent increase but it’s already been almost 24 hours with no signs of fading. This kind of tinnitus is a true disability.
       
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