Debilitating Health Anxiety — Recently Experienced Temporary Sudden Deafness and Loud Ear Ringing

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ors1992, Dec 22, 2020.

    1. ors1992

      ors1992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi all,

      I am new to the forum and am thankful to be able to tell you all what's going on as I am desperate for help.

      I am a 28-year-old male who suffers from [at times] debilitating health anxiety. I am not on any medication although I have recently entertained the idea of taking an antidepressant to control my anxiety & depression.

      Approx 2.5 weeks ago I experienced a sudden deafness in my left ear that lasted for about 5-10 seconds followed by a loud ringing and STRANGE sensation of - fullness, numbness, pressure. This lasted about another minute or two. Of course this got my adrenaline pumping and I began to worry about all sorts underlying issues. Since I know how I react, I was certain this would spiral into an anxious episode therefore it's a shame to hear stress & anxiety can bring on new tinnitus or worsen symptoms.

      I went to my ENT two days later and they did a hearing test and turns out I have mild hearing loss in my left ear. My Doctor prescribed Prednisone 60mg a day for 5 days tapered down for 2 weeks. I didn't take it.

      The reason being - I actually didn't feel as though I had hearing loss in my left ear and I was certain it was some sort of circulation problem as that's where my mind will always lead me... to the deep end.
      I went to a neurologist and he prescribed an MRA of the head and neck as well as an MRI of the Inner Ear Canal.

      Results came back normal: no acoustic neuroma & no blood blockages or aneurysm (VERY thankful).

      However, my tinnitus has been at a low level for the past 2 weeks, with random bouts of more than moderate tinnitus in both ears & today i experienced the exact same feeling as the first episode. Randomly went "ringing" deaf in one ear and it scared me again. What's strange is the my head was positioned in a strange way when I got it. Looking down and to the left. This could perhaps be consistent with the first episode all though I am unsure.

      All I do know is I do not appear to have serious hearing loss. After every 15 second episode, my hearing tends to come back... it's a bit muffled on my left side but nothing substantial.

      I am worried though. I am scared the feeling that I experience is different than what others describe. I am wondering if anyone experiences a feeling of almost a "stroke" sensation more so in the head when these bouts come on. I wish I had the correct words to describe the feeling - heavy, full, off balance slightly, almost like my left side of my head isn't receiving oxygen or something. It truly scares me to the point of thinking I am dying.

      Either way, I hope to get through this. Any advice would be VERY appreciated.
      I am so thankful to have an outlet where I can be noticed/taken seriously.

      SOME USEFUL INFO:

      1. I use noise cancelling headphones [not at crazy volumes] to listen to guided meditation. They are over ear Bose QC 25's.

      2. I used to listen to music at slightly high volumes from ages 15-23, in cars & with Apple in-ear headphones.

      3. Two years ago for about a year each weekend I would go shotgun clay shooting. Although I always used hearing protection.

      4. For about 5 months I have been stretching my neck pretty intensely as I found it helped with my anxiety. I have also been yawning an awful amount as I feel that helped with my anxiety as well. My neck has been quite sore and jaw definitely has a strain to it. I have also been pressing on my sinuses with my index and thumb quite hard (in between my nose & forehead). I have a deviated septum and I feel as though sometimes this helps me breathe better.

      THANK YOU AGAIN for reading. I hope everyone finds peace within themselves and stays safe.
       
      • Hug Hug x 6
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I'm really sorry that you are struggling.

      Apart from the strange "stroke" feeling it sounds like some form of fleeting tinnitus. Are you familiar with that?

      Because you mention that it happens in a certain position and you suspect it may be due to circulation issues, perhaps @Greg Sacramento can chime in and help.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    3. 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
      This is well documented and it happened to me. When having a quick sudden episode of anxiety - stress - blood pressure will quickly and briefly rise and when head is bent down to the left, the carotid artery on that side slows blood to the ears and brain. You didn't have a stroke, but this is similar. A stroke can happen when sleeping in a chair when head falls forward and to the left. The left side - with a stroke - left side of body, neck and arm.

      Radiology - MRAs, CTAs or angiograms would not confirm this in any area.
      You should not have any lasting damage.
      You will need to control extreme anxiety stressful quick happening moments.
      Drink enough water.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ors1992

      ors1992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for this info Greg. Although I am scared by it, is there anything you could recommend? Besides for water of course as I am normally very hydrated. I experienced it again tonight. Head was turned to the left as well as yawning and looking down. Should I be concerned?
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ors1992

      ors1992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you kindly Kriszti. I am very new to this and quite frightened. Best.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    6. 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
      @ors1992
      Try not to remain in the same sitting position (chair) for too long - over an hour without getting up and walking around for a couple of minutes.

      If your neurologist and GP has no medical concerns and do not see a need to examine more medically beyond your radiological testing and with what you mention, then seeing an anxiety specialist would be rewarding. Like yourself, anxiety specialists or anxiety counselors are very friendly, caring and understanding.

      Stay in touch OK. A hug.
       
    7. Rainer

      Rainer Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, very likely cervicogenic
      Is this how you describe yourself, or is this a diagnosis that your doctor told you? Have you sought or do you seek any outside help with this health anxiety?
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ors1992

      ors1992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you Greg.

      I am very in tune with my body and get very stressed when things feel different to me.

      I know I must manage the anxiety first.

      Best
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ors1992

      ors1992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Rainer I have been diagnosed by both GP and a therapist. I believe I have OCD. It's very unfortunate but hey nobody's perfect, right?
       
    10. Rainer

      Rainer Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, very likely cervicogenic
      So I understand that you already have a therapist to support you dealing with your anxiety? Does it help in any way?
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ors1992

      ors1992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have my moments of relief, however it is ultimately a new symptom accompanied by ruminating thoughts that spirals me. So when I take a step forward it seems to be 2 steps (at least) backwards.

      Intermittent Sudden Hearing loss does not seem to help my anxiety in any way as you could imagine.
       
    12. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Sorry for asking, it's not quite clear for me. Do you have constant tinnitus as well? Or "only" the fleeting episodes?
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ors1992

      ors1992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Ever since the first "big" episode, I've had fairly constant tinnitus. It's not terrible but in a quiet room it is evident.

      These fleeting episodes have weakened a bit but are still there. They went from 4-5 a day to about 2-3.

      My anxiety is still pretty high. It's a blessing I'm able to sleep at night.
       
    14. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Oh, I see. I think it's a good sign that the fleeting episodes are less frequent. I recall that when my bilateral tinnitus started I had awful fluctuations and a LOT of fleeting episodes which scared me to death, although I did not have a stroke-like feeling. Eventually they calmed down and I have them quite rarely, like once in two weeks.

      I know, tinnitus in the first days are awful, because it's not natural to hear sounds and the brain goes into fight or flight mode. I'm truly sorry that you are going through this. It also good that you are in the quiet room phase. Try to protect your ears, and I hope that your tinnitus will fade.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    15. Drachen
      Wishful

      Drachen Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Currently unknown; awaiting evaluation
      The more that I read this thread, the more I see parallels between what I perceive is my own condition and what has happened with yours. I am with you on the health anxiety, quite closely!

      The only difference is that, while I've had these instances of fleeting moments (which, before learning the term, I referred to as "flashbangs"), it's very infrequent. It's quite... unfortunate that you can get both those and the constant simultaneously.
      I am still finding it difficult to endure this issue. Have you been trying anything particular that has allowed you to sleep? I am doing what I can at night and sometimes during the day in terms of trying to mask the sound, but I keep having instances nights where I wake up after only three to four hours and getting back to sleep is a coinflip.

      Thanks for sharing!
       
    16. ShipSho

      ShipSho Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Allergies?
      Hey Ors, I also started having the EXACT episodes you describe about 5 years ago. I did a lot of research and this is what I found out about it.

      Your cochlea has fluid and loops inside of it. The tubes also have little hairs that move back and forth as the fluid goes back and forth. The position change of these hairs is how our body perceives balance. From what Ive read, this type of symptom is caused by the following.

      You're going about your day and you randomly turn your head into a position which causes the fluid to move quickly inside your ears. This may or may not be associated with a stone or crystal in your ear fluid. If the fluid moves quickly enough or if a stone is present and it moves, it can “shock” the hairs in the cochlea and cause them to spasm. This spasm last about 15 seconds and is accompanied by feeling deaf in that ear, loud ringing, fullness. Slowly over 15 seconds your hearing returns as the hairs relax. The ringing stops another 15-30 seconds after that and the fullness goes away another 2 minutes after and then you're fine. When this first started happening to me I started freaking out and talked to a bunch of my ENT docs about it (I'm a surgical nurse so I have access to many doctors who I talk to casually). All of them explained this to me and said its no big deal.

      My episodes last 30 seconds max now and happens maybe once every two weeks.

      They say the only thing you can do is go get some Dix-Hallpike tests to see if there's a stone and it can be removed using maneuvers. I myself haven't had any of these tests be positive.

      Either way, it's been 5 years, I'm still alive, my hearing is fine. The only other problem I have is occasional dizzy spells and some tinnitus that comes out to play at night in a quiet room that stops me from sleeping, but I don't believe these are connected.

      I've come to the conclusion that I have super sensitive ears.

      As always though if you're worried, go see your doctor. Get the EKG, get the MRI, get the stress test to rule it out. A lot of people have anxiety about these tests but I've found it makes my anxiety go down because I know there's nothing wrong with me. And of course, my writings here are my personal opinion and experience and do not necessarily represent my professional opinion as a nurse.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    17. LukeYoung
      Stressed

      LukeYoung Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud Concert - Noise Exposure
      Fleeting tinnitus is very anxiety inducing.

      I also had horrible health anxiety before I started taking 20mg of Amitriptyline.

      Also if it's what @ShipSho is saying, the Epley maneuver is the way to go.

      I've also been going through some dizzy spells. But in this case, I'm thinking cervical vertigo.
       
    18. Mo21
      Cheerful

      Mo21 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ?
      Hi,

      In addition to all of the useful comments above, I would say that I am interested in the mention you made about the headphones.
      I have had tinnitus since a boy but noticed recently the same temporary loss with louder ringing (in one ear usually but sometimes in the other ear.) I also use BOSE QC 25 noise cancelling headphones at sensible levels.

      I wonder if there is something emitted from the headphones that aggravates/initiates a tinnitus reaction? I will look for or post a general inquiry to see if this is a common factor experienced by others.

      Like most people here, I am looking for an explanation, in the absence of any pertinent medical help. The tendency is to exclude anything 'serious' by having a scan and that being the end of the process when nothing is found. Maybe the medical community will realize that the cost of better research will be offset the huge savings of unnecessary scans undertaken every year for poor tinnitus sufferers. After all, all tinnitus is self diagnosed by the concerned sufferers and we all fear that this is just the first phase of a more serious condition. Well I do anyway.
       
    19. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg. Dose of (Anticholinergic) Drug Promethazine
      Hi @Mo21 -- I don't know how common it happens, but it's what happened to me. After about 3-4x, it was no longer a coincidence that my tinnitus spiked afterwards. It was a disappointment, because I really thought those headphones were going to be very helpful for my hyperacusis. -- I've seen others on this forum report the same, but I really don't know what kind of prevalence that translates into.
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ors1992

      ors1992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you kindly Kriszti!
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ors1992

      ors1992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I know, very strange - although sometimes I get a jolt out of bed - from panic I presume... I feel as though my body is so tired from all the stress & worry throughout the day that it just shuts down. I hope you find a healthy sleeping pattern as well.
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ors1992

      ors1992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      This is amazing information ShipSho! Thank you so much. Although I wish no one has to deal with this, I feel comfort in knowing I am not alone and validated by someone in the field.

      The symptoms sound similar to Meniere's - is this correct? I've never had the dizzy spells (PRAYING I WON'T) but both of my parents have had them. In fact, my mother had a terrible case not too long ago which landed her in the ER. She's ok!

      I will look into Dix-Hallpike test and a stress test as that's the only test I haven't done and I'm sure that will allow the anxiety to subside.

      I appreciate all of your insight. It truly means a lot to me! Stay Safe & Feel your best self!
       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ors1992

      ors1992 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Mo21!

      The headphones are quite an interesting issue to me too. I originally started using them about 2 years ago which is actually when my journey with health anxiety began. Recently I have been using them to meditate but not since the brief hearing loss episode happened. I am VERY curious if there is a correlation between the two. As there is a noticeable "pressure" feeling when activating the noise cancelling mode on the headphones.

      Stay in touch.
       
Loading...

Share This Page