Developed Tinnitus About Two Months Ago — Thought It Was from Loud Noise at Work, Now Uncertain

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Charburchar, Mar 25, 2020.

    1. Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi all,

      I'm Charlie. I've been lurking here for a few days now, and thought I would create an account and introduce myself.

      I developed tinnitus around two months ago, towards the end of January (I can't remember the exact date). I originally assumed it was caused by consistent exposure to a loud noise at work, but I'm now uncertain. I work part-time at a pub (though I've been absent since the onset of tinnitus), and the noise of the app station (the screen that announces online orders) is terrifically loud, to the extent that it makes me cringe with pain. I believed exposure to this noise gave me tinnitus. However during this time I was also taking medication - isotretinoin. I realised that only after taking this medication did the noise of the app station affect me. This makes me think that the medication, rather than the noise, was the actual cause.

      My tinnitus is in my right ear. It's fairly low volume, but sounds loud at night. It changes frequency, particularly in response to external stimulus. Sometimes I can hear the noise go crazy when I'm in the shower, for example. I can also, sometimes, feel it. When I put my finger in my ear, it can feel it throb (unlike my left ear).

      To see what could be done, I booked an appointment with my GP in early February. He checked inside my ears, said there were no problems, but recommended I take a hearing test, so I booked one. The test was fine, and the audiologist suggested I go for an ENT.

      And that's where I currently am. As soon as pressure is lifted off the health services after covid-19, I shall book another appointment with my GP and demand to get an ENT.

      I'm not sure what the point of this post is, but it has made me feel a little better. I've felt really low recently, cried, thought very dark thoughts. I'm a student, and will be starting a postgraduate degree in October. The idea that I'll never be able to study/read in silence again does frightens me.

      Thank you for reading, and I hope you're all doing well during this unprecedented time.
       
      • Hug Hug x 7
    2. Shaqz

      Shaqz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/10/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Sounds like your tinnitus is from noise exposure in my opinion since it’s in one ear, this means you have a really good shot of it going away... stay away from any loud noise for a couple months and do not by any means put on head phones even at the lowest volume... since your tinnitus is mild you will get to a point where you tune it out and never notice is even in silence at worst therefore yes you will hear crisp silence once again even with this deliberating disease you are considered a lucky one my friend :)
       
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      • Agree Agree x 2
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Charburchar

      Welcome to the forum.

      The most common cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud noise, so your working environment might have something to do with this. Although listening to music through headphones regularly and at too high a volume is often the cause or frequently attending clubs, concerts where loud music is played. If your tinnitus isn't noise induced then hearing loss is something to consider, or an underlying medical problem within your auditory system. When you are seen at ENT for tests your doctor will probably be able to tell you more.

      Please click on the links below and read my posts that give suggestions on coping methods for anyone new to tinnitus.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you Michael, that's appreciated a lot.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. Tweedleman
      Depressed

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
      Hey Charlie, welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear you've got the dreaded tinnitus.

      I don't suppose you've measured the dB level of noise from the app station? You can do this with a free app on your phone. It would be helpful to determine if it's been the cause. If it's over 80 dB I think it certainly is. The fact that your ears were cringing in pain is very telling.

      Unfortunately the ears can be extremely fussy, and even a miniscule, undetectable amount of hearing loss can result in tinnitus.

      Rest your ears and don't expose them to loud noise (80 dB+) and eliminate any ototoxic medication. It can take a long time for tinnitus to go away or settle down, we're talking months to a year.

      Here's a list of supplements that others have had varying degrees of success with reducing tinnitus:

      Curcumin
      NAC
      Magnesium
      Nicotinamide Riboside
      Astaxanthin
      B12 (or B complex)

      Hang in there, you aren't suffering alone. It's good that you feel a little better having made this post. There's strength in numbers.
       
      • Like Like x 3
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you Tweedleman, that means a lot. No I haven't measured the dB of the app station, but I will do when the pub reopens (it's currently closed due to covid-19). I shall also look into getting them supplements. Thanks again!
       
      • Like Like x 2
    7. James1977
      No Mood

      James1977 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/19/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      IMAX Movie
      I'd skip the ENT. I did a tympanogram with my hearing test and screwed me. Seriously they can't fix your tinnitus. I really wish I never gone.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Did the tympanogram make your tinnitus worse?
       
    9. James1977
      No Mood

      James1977 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/19/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      IMAX Movie
      It did. I have a few posts about it. I'd suggest researching others results with ENT testing - like ABR and MRI. These tests can be ordered to scan for acoustic neuroma. Do your research and make an informed decision on the benefits vs. the risks (they're all noisy).
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks Shaqz, that's very reassuring. I confess I have used headphones quite frequently since my tinnitus developed, but upon visiting this forum and reading about the risks involved, I will never go near them again.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I'm sorry to hear that James. I will heed your advice and read around before I take the ENT.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      So over the last few days I have developed mild hyperacusis with pressure in my ears (the right ear keeps popping). I'm really unsure why this has suddenly happened. The only thing that makes sense is that perhaps my ears are adjusting to the quieter environment from being stuck inside all day? I'm not going to concern myself too much, but I am annoyed, because I was really beginning to adjust to my tinnitus.

      Edit: I'm also suddenly getting very thirsty at night. Very, very odd.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    13. James1977
      No Mood

      James1977 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/19/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      IMAX Movie
      I'm sorry to hear that it's gotten worse for you. It's odd but yes I've been very thirsty since mine started too. It's crazy. If you are having mild hyperacusis, I would recommend letting it run its natural course. It'll likely get better on its own in time. My ear also spasms with sharp sounds (might be mild TTTS). One thing I would avoid is trying to speed up recovery with sound therapy. Take it easy and let your ears recover. It takes time and don't rush them. Trying to desensitize is something to have an audiologist involved. I doubt being in lockdown is the source of the hyperacusis. I've seen others have H start weeks after tinnitus. It's probably related to the initial acoustic insult. Hang in there, be patient and it'll likely resolve on its own!

      James
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you James. What is TTTS, may I ask? I'm not going to do any type of therapy, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, protecting my ears and hope they'll eventually recover. My hyperacusis is really strange: loud cars driving past my window and general noise doesn't seem to affect me, but flicking a switch, for example, makes my ears jolt. Is this normal?
       
    15. James1977
      No Mood

      James1977 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/19/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      IMAX Movie
      TTTS is where your eardrum spasms / contracts when hearing a sharp sound - for example when a pots and pans bang. I could see a flicking a light switch on could be sharp enough to trigger a spasm. On the other hand if you have hyperacusis the light switch flicking may seem very loud. It's common for both of these to occur with sharp sounds. Which do you feel is occurring?
       
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    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I see! I feel like it's more of a spasm, but it does also seem a little louder.
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Update on my T and H:

      T doesn't seem nearly as disruptive as it was before, though I think this is because I've taken considerable steps in my daily routine to minimise my awareness of it, i.e. spending my days outside in the garden, watching films/tv at night, etc. I'm skeptical it has actually decreased in volume however. Though it did disappear for about five seconds once the other week.

      H was hugely debilitating when I first developed it, I was really struggling to cope, and had a breakdown over the phone to my mum. Once I got myself together and implemented the new routine it improved. Today seems to be a slight set back as my ears are really sore again, unsure why.

      There has also been a new development. I now also have pulsatile tinnitus. I hear my pulse in my ear at night when my head is sideways on the pillow, and I have a clicking in my right ear, which stops and starts when I move my head. I originally thought it must be a water droplet somewhere in my room, only to discover that the noise was coming from my ear.

      Thus, even though I don't want to, I'm going to have to see an ENT when the NHS is under less strain from Covid-19. Are there tests that do not involve noise? I'm just terrified the tests will aggravate my tinnitus.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. Chrisakky
      Balanced

      Chrisakky Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      1st Oct 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection causing ETD?
      This might be different for yourself as my T is apparently caused by ETD issues (though not certainly) but I just want to give you an idea of what it would be like. I have mild H and since onset have had TTTS also. Neither bother me as much as the T which is in both but overwhelmingly in my left ear. At onset 2 years 6 months ago I went though the standard NHS ENT tests. Hearing test, tympanogram and MRI.

      Hearing test returned fine. Not unexpected as many T sufferers have very narrow bands of hearing loss or loss at much higher frequency than they seem to test at. The impulses of sound were not particularly loud in fact at all points I struggled to pick them out over the sound of my T. Didnt aggrivate tinnitus but I did start paying attention to it when I took the earphones out due to sitting listening to it for 10 minutes.

      Tympanogram being short bursts of air pressuring the inside of the ear canal to deflect the eardrum, listen for responses etc. Was surprised how little pressure they pump though I could definitely feel it. I thought it was going to be like going up in an aeroplane but it's far less than that. Ive seen on this site that some peoples tinnitus spike in reaction to pressure changes. Mine usully doesnt but recently I have been getting bad nose congestion at night which causes negative pressure in my left ear which, when cleared, spikes like crazy (hence my 3am post). Seems to subside after about half a day so seems like barotrauma. Therefore I might have been in a different position if I took the test now. However, your tinnitus may well not respond to pressure changes. And if it does it may well just be a temporary spike. I have seen people report this kind of issue however see https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...department-made-my-tinnitus-much-worse.36541/

      The MRI was indeed loud but again not loud enough to cause any spike. Back then my T spiked due to loud noises which has recently returned but like I say didnt cause an issue. They had capital radio on in my headphones which caused the lions share of the audio-induced annoyance that day ;).

      In my opinion I'd go for at least the MRI if offered. They probably will due to it being only one side to rule out tumours etc. Hell ask them if you can use earplugs. If the hearing test comes out with results I dont see what difference it would make to your handling of the condition other than giving you an idea of the target frequency for noise masking. Seems like all T is some form of hearing loss. Others more knowledgable may disagree? The pressure test I would say weigh up the risks. Like I say my test was negative and they still said it was ETD.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    19. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg. Dose of (Anticholinergic) Drug Promethazine
      @Charburchar -- Have you stopped taking this drug? I hope so, as I just did a quick search on side effects and sure enough, "ringing in the ears" came up--along with a long list of other "side effects" that sound pretty horrific.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    20. akirakurosawa

      akirakurosawa Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      tympanogram
      I am in James's boat, I am 100% certain mine was caused by a tympanogram. I didn't have tinnitus before going to the ENT. I just wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help save hearing on my right ear that had lost some hearing. Walked away in far worse condition. If they come near you with a device that has a cable running back to some sort of box, tell them to stick that device where the sun don't shine.

      I am at about 1 week now. Still have the ringing as loud as I did when I was at the ENT's office. I am trying to not focus so much on the negatives. I see too many people on here letting it wreak havoc on their lives. I see how this can get you down, try and accept it as part of your life now. And if it goes away, great. And if not, you've already started the healing process of accepting it. I think habituation will be a real thing in my recovery. And perspective is huge. I also like the "back to silence" technique on youtube.

      Bets of luck to both James and Charlie, hope to see you less and less as it either becomes something you can live with, or it goes away.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I'm sorry to hear that. I find it horrific how common it seems to be for ENT tests to make their own patients ears worse. Surely the whole process needs to be reviewed. You have a great mentality, I hope your tinnitus disappears/you habituate quickly, and thank you for the advice.
       
    22. Sarah8712

      Sarah8712 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      I'm a bit late to this but I also have recently developed tinnitus from isotretinoin :( Aren't we the lucky 0.01%?? How is yours going now??
       
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