Close to Finding the Source of My Tinnitus — Likely ETD (Eustachian Tube Dysfunction) Related?

Discussion in 'Support' started by kman7, May 5, 2022.

    1. kman7
      Curious

      kman7 Member

      Location:
      Toronto
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD? TMJ?
      Hi All,

      Long time lurker, looking to get some opinions on the cause of my tinnitus.

      My tinnitus is mostly in my right ear and slightly in my left ear. Sometimes they switch sides completely. Here are my observations:
      1. Blowing my nose, such that my ear pops, relieve my tinnitus. It brings it down from 5 to 0.5 for a few seconds.
      2. Doing the Valsalva completely removes the tinnitus for a few seconds. I've tried this manually and using the EarPopper. The EarPopper works better and I get relief for a minute or two.
      3. Anti-inflammatories help. They don't eliminate the tinnitus but reduce it. I've tried Naproxen, Ibuprofen and Celecoxib.
      I've been to 3-4 ENTs in GTA (Ontario, Canada) and most have indicated I have some form of ETD even though my tympanometry is normal, good ear pressure and above average hearing.

      Personally, based on 1,2 and 3, I believe it is ETD related.

      Does anyone else have similar experiences? Any thoughts/suggestions on what it could be?

      Thank you in advance!
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Something usually causes the onset of tinnitus kman7. Typically it is exposure to loud noise, an underlying medical condition within the auditory system which includes hearing loss, stress. or is linked to medication. There are other possible causes but these are the most common.

      Since you have been examined by 3-4 ENTs who believe your tinnitus is linked to ETD (Eustachian Tube Dysfunction) they are probably right since the Ear, Nose and Throat are their area of expertise. If this is the case any one of these doctors should be able to treat you and hopefully the tinnitus will reduce with time.

      However, the tinnitus could also be related to exposure to loud noise especially if you were a regular user of listening to audio through headphones, earbuds or headsets before the onset of the tinnitus. If headphones are not the cause and you still use them, it's possible they could be contributing to making the symptoms of ETD worse.

      All the best,
      Michael
       
    3. emy289

      emy289 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure!
      It does sound like it is related to some form of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction as you can regulate the tinnitus by temporarily improving this. Anything that changes your hearing to some extent, whether that be a small or large amount can have an impact on your tinnitus.

      The other thing worth considering is somatosensory tinnitus. Basically it's the theory that the connections in the brain between the tinnitus pathways and the somatosensory (sensations) pathways can crossover, so certain movements can change the tinnitus. Usually this will be jaw or eye movement, but it may be something to do with what's happening, rather than just caused by ETD.

      Also, ETD may have been the trigger of the tinnitus but this may have mostly cleared and has left you with the tinnitus. If ENT could have improved the ETD they hopefully would have done so it may be that this is how it is for you. If your tympanometry is normal it is unlikely that you would benefit from surgery or long-term mediation.

      It's worth thinking about how important it is to you about finding the "cause" of the tinnitus, versus finding out the best way to manage it for you. Sometimes focussing on curing the tinnitus is worse than focussing on managing it - just worth considering :)
       
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