Developed Mild Tinnitus About Two Weeks Ago — Wondering What Caused It

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by WhisperCat1991, Nov 6, 2016.

    1. WhisperCat1991

      WhisperCat1991 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi everyone,

      As the subject line would indicate, I've had a mild but constant ringing in my right ear for the last two weeks.

      For the most part, I can only hear it in completely dead silence (as in not even the humming of my laptop or refrigerator) or when I go to sleep at night if I sleep with my right ear on the pillow. It is a fluctuating tone that I would describe as being in the middle range as far as pitch goes. I am also having frequent ear aches (right ear only) and headaches on the right side as well.

      For full background, I had a one-off incident a little over two months ago where I had woken up in the middle of the night with a much louder ringing in the same ear. It worried me enough to see an urgent care doctor the next day, but the ringing was gone by the time he saw me. I figured it was hopefully a fluke and made nothing of it.

      Fast forward to three Friday’s ago - I wake up once again with the ringing in my ear at probably about the same volume as the first time. It went away again, but only for it to come back two nights later, albeit quieter, and to not have gone away since.

      I saw an ENT two days after the non-stop ringing started, and so far I know the following:

      1.) No ear infection

      2.) Nothing visibly wrong with my ear drum

      3.) No significant ear wax build up

      4.) Audiogram was normal, but a full spectrum audiogram was not administered

      5.) No tumors or anything serious indicated on the MRI that I had done of both my brain AND neck

      Despite no serious issues having been discovered so far, I’m awfully worried that the ringing and pain in my ear could turn out to be permanent and worsen over time. The ENT’s initial inclination was towards possible muscle tension issues in my neck.

      If muscle tension isn’t the problem, then the only other fixable cause (in my mind) is that I was told by my dentist a few months ago that I appear to grind my teeth at night (I have not done anything to remedy this as of yet).

      All this being said, my biggest worry is that I have some sort of hearing loss that wasn’t tested for on the audiogram. I have gone out to loud noisy bars on more than my fair share of occasions, and I also have been using a wireless headset on my right ear at work for more than two years. I can’t help but be paranoid that one of those could be the culprit. Interestingly, the pain that I experience in my ear is sometimes similar to the feeling I get when I’ve had my wireless headset or cell phone up to my ear for too long.

      I realize that my case of tinnitus is minor right now, but I’m an inherently anxious and depressed person, so having this condition even in the smallest degree has a big impact on me psychologically. If I were to wake up with tinnitus as bad as I did two months ago, only not go back down in volume, I’m not sure how I would even begin to handle it.

      Without me asking for medical advice, has anyone experienced these symptoms for as long of a period as I have and had them completely dissipate? Has anyone here been tested for hearing loss and been told that their hearing was normal, only to find out that they had hearing loss in a higher frequency range not previously tested for?

      I should mention that other than the possible long term effects of exposure to loud music and wireless radiation noted above, I did not experience any short-term shocks to my ears in the hours or days preceding the ringing in my ear. The pain in my ear and headaches are also something I have been experiencing for longer than the tinnitus, but they seem to be more prevalent now than in the past few months. I’ve also been having muscular twitches on the right side of my face that I can’t be too sure is related to the tinnitus and ear pain or not.

      Apologies for the extremely long post, and thank you to anyone who took the time to read it all. Any advice you can give or experiences you can relate back to me would be much appreciated.
    2. MikeL1972

      MikeL1972 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hi WhisperCat,

      Welcome to the board!

      Did you take any medication prior to your tinnitus? Have you been sick?

      Grinding of teeth can cause tinnitus, FYI.

      Tinnitus is not well understood by the medical community unfortunately, so you can hopscotch from doctor to doctor without getting definitive answers. Typically, they will tell you something like "there is nothing we have right now so the best thing to do is to habituate". And in 9/10 cases, that is what most people do, including myself. Unfortunately, there are some poor people out there and on this site who have terribly loud tinnitus coupled with hyperacusis and poor hearing. They are true fighters!

      In general, the most important things you can do are to protect your ears by not exposing them to any and all loud sounds. Additionally, headphones are not recommended. I have not used headphones since March, 2016 when I first got tinnitus. I never listened to music loud in the first place, and that was not the cause of my tinnitus.

      One thing I can tell you is that anxiety and stress feed into tinnitus so try to minimize it as best you can. Also, try to get as much sleep as possible. Good luck!
    3. glynis

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Welcome to Tinnitus Talk.
      Have a dentist check your teeth and jaw with x-ray to rule out TMJ with grinding your teeth as a mouth guard might help and middle ear infections can cause a facial sensation ....lots of love glynis
      • Winner Winner x 1

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