Chronic Tinnitus Sufferer Diagnosed with Middle Ear Infection

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Matt G, Jun 3, 2021.

    1. Matt G

      Matt G Member

      Location:
      Columbus Ohio
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punch to the ear/head
      Hello Everyone,

      Long time lurker and first time poster here to share with you my journey thus far.

      My tinnitus journey started when I was only 7-8 years old. I have an older brother, and as children, we used to play around a lot and fight (playfully of course). Well one time we were a little too rough and he hit me in the ear/back of the head and since then I have had a pretty mild tinnitus that I tuned out for around 15 years. Then my first permanent spike/change in tone happened after being exposed to loud (and shitty) music at a wedding. That was at 23 (am 27 now) and that is when I found this forum.

      I actually habituated to the spike pretty well and after about 2ish months I kind of completely forgot about it and moved on with my life and stopped visiting these forums.

      Fast forward about 4 years later and one month. I was very much so looking forward to last weekend as it was an extended one here in the states, but I couldn’t even be around my friends without my right ear ringing to the high heavens. It was making me incredibly anxious (new to me) and made me almost leave all my friends on a night out. Obviously this is not my base tinnitus so I am starting to freak out as my base tinnitus was incredibly manageable. This new tinnitus has a new tone, and has some slight hyperacusis associated with it... additionally I also lost 10lbs in about 2 weeks because of loss of appetite.

      I decided to go to stat care and the doctor took one look at my ear and told me I had a raging middle ear infection, and also told me I have some of the smallest ear canals he’s ever seen in his career. He prescribed me Augmentin to get rid of the ear infection, but I am extremely worried after reading some of these threads that the antibiotics might make it worse.

      I am on day 4 of full round of antibiotics and the fullness and pain of the ear is slightly subsiding, but the new tone and very slight hyperacusis seem to be staying. Does anybody have a sort of similar experience that they are willing to share? I believe I developed this middle ear infection after wearing dirty ear plugs that I haven’t used in a year.

      Stay strong everyone.
       
    2. Brittany95
      Blah

      Brittany95 Member

      Location:
      Arizona
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Middle Ear Infection
      Hey there Matt! Hope you’re doing as good as you can with this garbage condition. I’ve had tinnitus for 6 months now that started as an ear infection. I never had long-lasting tinnitus before (only for the night after a concert, of which there have been many), so I’m not similar to you there.

      But with having an ear infection, I was given Augmentin in December for ringing in my right ear only and was told “it should fade”. Come March, it had not entirely, and then the left started to ring. I had a new infection in that one, and the right was infected again somehow! I still don’t entirely know how I got them (I think maybe Q-tip usage?). So I was given stronger antibiotics and that dropped it quite a bit. That was 2 months ago and it has been getting quieter, but it sure is taking its time!

      I also got hyperacusis from the Augmentin, but that is slowly dissipating now too.

      I know it sucks to hear, but time is your best bet, along with going easy on your ears and not listening to anything too loud. I would also suggest that if the new noise isn’t gone in a month or so, to go back and have it checked the infection is actually gone. I also found sleeping upright and on my back helped, rather than on my side.

      I hope the fullness and pain keeps subsiding, and that new sounds go with it :)
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Matt G

      Matt G Member

      Location:
      Columbus Ohio
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punch to the ear/head
      Thank you for replying @Brittany95. It is nice hearing from someone that may be going through what I’m going through. I honestly couldn’t bring myself to respond any sooner than this because this past week has really taken a toll on me.

      I feel as though my infection is going away, but I still have this weird fullness (I think) in my ear and it’s really annoying. I feel like I can blow air all the way through my mouth to my eardrum and I can feel it move. I definitely can do that with my good left ear that isn’t infected.

      I have an ENT appointment on Friday and I’m really hoping I can get some answers. The new tone has not gone away, and the reactive tinnitus (I do not care what anyone here says, it’s 100% reactive tinnitus) really hasn’t subsided. Some sounds don’t really affect it like AC/fan, low level audio out of phone, people so long as they aren’t screaming, and some other common noises. However, other things such as plastic bags, cutlery clanking, water coming out of faucets seem to spike it instantly, even scratching the right side of my head, but once the stimulation is gone it seems to subside.

      Oh I also found out the hard way yesterday I probably won’t be cooking bacon or eggs on a skillet anytime soon... really spiked it.

      My life with even moderate tinnitus before this was a walk in the park compared to what I’m going through now.

      Have a great day, we will get through this!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    4. Brittany95
      Blah

      Brittany95 Member

      Location:
      Arizona
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Middle Ear Infection
      @Matt G, I hope you're doing better today and that the weird feeling in your ear has subsided a bit. I never got that symptom (it was literally just ringing, along with a SMALL amount of pain - hardly noticeable) but I can imagine it isn't pleasant.

      As for the reactivity, mine has been tripped up most by music and TV shows, and the large printer in my office. I also now wear earmuffs when I vacuum or am using a leaf blower (I'll continue to do this anyway if my tinnitus completely subsides because I already hated those noises!).

      I hope your ENT appointment gives you some answers/suggestions for what to do. In my personal case, I didn't really start seeing substantial improvements until I was 5 months in. However, my clock was basically reset when I was diagnosed with two new infections in March. So I guess it would technically be 2 months? So hopefully you start seeing improvements in 2!

      Take it one day at a time and know things WILL get better for you :)
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Matt G

      Matt G Member

      Location:
      Columbus Ohio
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punch to the ear/head
      Hey @Brittany95, thank you for replying! (y)

      In my previous post I said:
      I meant to say can’t! Anyways, well the new tone hasn’t gone away, and to be honest it doesn’t bother me since I’ve had this damn condition my whole life. So I gave into it last night and just accepted it for what it is and maybe the ENT will fix me up.

      As far as the reactive tinnitus goes, definitely still there only in the infected right ear. I’m starting to notice it a little less maybe? I think just as the new tone I have going on in that ear, I’m just going to give into it. This is who I am, and there’s really nothing I can do to change it. I can accommodate my lifestyle choices by wearing ear plugs and staying away from generally loud places.

      If my tinnitus spikes for a brief moment when I’m doing the dishes, feeding my cat, watching people drive by on my street, that’s just going to be my life now and it’s better to accept it now then keep holding onto hope for years and years looking for answers.

      Expect for the worst, hope for the best kind of attitude.

      Hope to see you on the other side of this thing!
       
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