Diagnosis: Hydrops or Early Meniere's

Discussion in 'Support' started by Canyonmom, Jan 11, 2017.

    1. Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      I'm a 56 year-old woman. I've had tinnitus for about 10 years (high pitched buzzing). But within the past year, I additionally developed a humming (sounds like a truck idling in the distance, or a washing machine in the spin cycle in the next room).

      I found the hum disturbing, so I went to my ENT, who removed a small amount of wax from both ears, but didn't see anything abnormal. She suggested that I see an audiologist. So I had a quite extensive hearing test. The audiologist said that I had mild hearing loss in both the high and low frequencies, but the middle was normal. She said that the up-and-down pattern is similar to Meniere's. But I don't have any dizziness (and have never had it), and my balance is normal. She said that it could just be idiopathic Hydrops or possibly the early stages of Meniere's.

      I do have auto-immune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's), and it has been well-controlled with Synthroid for over 20 years. Last year I finished menopause, and my thyroid went a bit wacky and I had to reduce my Synthroid dose because I was getting very hyperthyroid. Now, it's back into the preferred range and I feel fine. (I had the blood test for Graves, but it was negative).

      Anyway....the audiologist put me on a small dose of a diuretic to see if it helps the tinnitus. She also wants me to watch my sodium/salt intake. She explained that my autoimmune thyroid disease may be causing extra fluid in my inner ear, and the diuretic might help. She also said that if that is the case, the pressure caused by the extra fluid might degrade my hearing over time.

      I also want to mention that I've been on a small dose (15 mg) of Celexa for mild depression for about 7 years. I'm aware that SSRIs can bring on or exacerbate Tinnitus.

      My elderly mother has profound hearing loss, and I certainly don't want to get like her!

      Has anybody else been through something like this? The audiologist said that it's possible I might regain the low frequencies if the diuretic works.
       
    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Anybody????
       
    3. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Does your audiogram show any air-bone gap?
      Hydrops is usually diagnosed by process of elimination (when they don't know, basically), and Meniere's if you start having vestibular symptoms.

      You're doing something about it already (diuretic, low salt diet), and there isn't much else you can do.
      I had a bit of similar symptoms (and was misdiagnosed as hydrops) but my issue ended up being otosclerosis, which is why I asked about your air-bone gap.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      I don't know. The doctor didn't say anything about an air-bone gap. I didn't see anything about that on the audiogram report. Did they need to do an MRI or CAT Scan to diagnose your condition? I read that it can be hereditary. Does it run in your family?

      I've been on the diuretic for a few days now and I don't notice any difference at all, besides needing to pee more often. Does it take a while for something to happen if it's going to work?
       
    5. Jkph75

      Jkph75 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/27/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I have those horrible sounds too. I know how awful it can be. For what it is worth, my father has an up and down pattern like that with his hearing and he doesn't have tinnitus or Meniere's.
       
    6. danieluk
      Scared

      danieluk Member

      Location:
      Birmingham, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      You are pretty much identical to me :( Mines 7 years high pitch, then the humming appeared later, its getting progressively worse, then the frequent pain and pressure started, slow hearing loss. I suspect hydrops too, gave up with going to the doctors. They can never find anything wrong. However, I do have swollen parotid glands, they dont hurt(except with alcohol or when saliva flows quickly), but are raised and solid constantly have been for many years. No real vertigo but I feel like im in a dream 24/7, brain fog.

      Im now just trying to put up with as long as i can. Not hopeful for the future at all. Sorry i cant be of any help except to try follow a low salt diet. I wish you well :)
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      I have been doing a lot of thinking about my situation. It's a long shot, but....about a year ago I began taking Biotin to make my nails stronger. It worked very well for that, but it screwed up part of my TSH test. I have Hashimoto's (Hypothyroid) that has been well-controlled by Synthroid for years, but started very hyper at menopause. I'd had to reduce and adjust my Synthroid dose many times this past year, so I was getting my TSH and Free T4 tested every 8 weeks. After I began taking the Biotin, my tests showed way too much Free T4 and my doctor was concerned.

      It turns out that Biotin does in fact, do something to the Free T4. And I know for a fact that my tinnitus gets worse when my thyroid gets more Hyper (which it did before I reduced my Synthroid dose). So I have to wonder....is the Biotin causing this additional humming sound that I'm hearing? Is this somehow linked to my thyroid problems?

      I have decided to stop taking the Biotin, and see if the humming goes away in a few months. No harm in this, because I was only taking it to make my nails break less (a small dose of 2500 mg, not the mega doses you can sometimes find). Over time my TSH should further stabilize, and that might help as well. Who the heck knows.

      The humming/pounding sound is awful. I have looked up Pustile Tinnitus and listened to some sounds that mimic it, but mine does not sound like the ones I heard. Mine is a constant very fast hum, like a big truck idling or a big piece of machinery going at a very fast speed. The ones I heard on the internet sound more like a heartbeat and are much slower.

      Sigh....
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Thank you, that is very encouraging to read !!!
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008

      Regarding your situation, DanielUK, I looked up the parotid glands, and I think it's very interesting that they're in front of the ears. If one of them is swollen, it seems to me that it might affect your hearing. Have you ever addressed this -- why are they swollen and what can you do about it?

      Have you had your thyroid tested? Feeling brain fog is a classic hypothyroid symptom!
       
    10. danieluk
      Scared

      danieluk Member

      Location:
      Birmingham, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      The blood test say my thyroid us acting normally. Both are swollen, and its not due to stones, they never inflate and deflate like when you have stones. Its prob some autoimmune response imo. Ill never know now
       
    11. cflkb

      cflkb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2012
      I have similar issues. Along with my high pitch EEE noise in my ears, I'm hearing a loud vibrational, deep intermittent humming noise as well , mostly in my right ear. It's quite annoying especially since I was trying to habituate to the loud EEE sound already. I'm not sure what brought it on. I went for blood work for my yearly physical to see if there is something different from last year.
      I'll get my results tomorrow evening.
      This new humming is so difficult to get used to.
       
    12. Cal18
      Nerdy

      Cal18 Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      San Diego
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2010 / 2016 Both SSRI Withdrawal and Mild Hearing Loss
      @Canyonmom I came across one of your earlier threads and noticed some similarities between myself. I got T from a rapid Paxil withdrawal but it went away for the most part. Then a couple years later I started taking 5mg of Celexa and noticed my ringing came back a little on and off especially with I used the blow dryer. I would say that you had a predisposition to T after your initial withdrawal then Celexa may be the cause.

      However, I'm not recommending you go off of it as withdrawal would be brutal and most likely worsen your T. Wondering if you ever tried to increase your serotonin a little more to see if that helps by taking something like Deplin? Celexa is notorious for pooping out so you might be feeling mild withdrawal symptoms/side effects if you've been at that dose for 7 years. Or not... my T happened because of Celexa so I'll always have a bone to pick with it. This is not meant to scare you but possibly offer some insight.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      As a matter of fact, my psychiatrist had mentioned Deplin to me last year, but we decided not to change my meds at the time. Do you have any idea whether switching away from Celexa might make the tinnitus go away?

      You have an interesting theory about Celexa starting to poop out, therefore causing a decrease in serotonin, and therefore causing increased T. I never would have thought of that (and believe me, I've thought long and hard about this situation!!!) So thank you!!!

      When I was officially in menopause at age 55 after years on oral contraceptives, I thought perhaps my depression might get better (now that there were no more hormones to mess with my brain). I decreased my Celexa from 15 mg to 10 mg. At first I was fine, but after a couple of months I began feeling slightly irritable and depressed again, so I gave in and went back to 15 mg. I think it was sometime during that time that the humming began.

      I am seeing my psychiatrist again later this month, so I will ask about the Deplin. Thank you for reminding me about that. I will also discuss the tinnitus with her.
       
    14. Cal18
      Nerdy

      Cal18 Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      San Diego
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2010 / 2016 Both SSRI Withdrawal and Mild Hearing Loss
      @Canyonmom Deplin is something you can take alongside an antidepressant (but if you try it, I would recommend the smallest dose possible or even half of the smallest recommended dose to start and watch your T), it may not be a good idea to mess with the Celexa. It doesn't like when you stop and start it again. If you decide to go off eventually, you will need to do a micro taper of 5% each month, or you risk increasing your T.

      After 8 months of being off only 5mg, I restarted it and after 3 doses my nervous system got severely sensitized and I suffered a horrendous reaction followed by the worst T I could have ever imagined. Do you remember if the humming started when you lowered the dose or after you raised it again? If it started when you lowered it, that means it could have been withdrawal, if it started when you raised it, that could mean it's the drug just being angry with you.

      Do let me know how if goes with the your psychiatrist. Medications can cause all kinds of ailments that get diagnosed as other things. Sometimes their is a simple answer. I wish you the best.
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Tonight the T is very loud on the right side (where I have a little more hearing loss). And I swear that my ear and the right side of my have are vibrating! I have been poking around the web to find a sound that is similar. Listen to the attached sound. That's pretty much what I hear 24/7 (sometimes lower, sometimes louder) along with a high pitch buzz.

      I wish I could get the washing machine inside my ear to stop going through spin cycle, LOL! It's a very fast pulsation with a bit of vibration.
       

      Attached Files:

    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Here's something interesting. When I insert a blue foam earplug into my ear (rated at I think 33 Db), within 5 minutes the sound gets much quieter. I can still hear it, but it's nowhere as loud. Right now I'm the only one home and my house is very quiet. Has anyone else had this sort of experience with an earplug helping a little bit?
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      I also did two little experiments this week.

      First experiment: The other day, the low pitch humming T was very loud and really getting to me, almost feeling like it was vibrating the side of my face. I inserted one of those blue foam earplugs into my right ear (where the humming seems to be coming from), and kept it in for an entire 24 hours (removing it now and then for a few minutes only). While the earplug was in, I could hear a barely perceptible humming. The humming was much lower after I finally took out the earplug and kept it out. I'm not sure why that would be the case. I believe that the sound is being generated internally. Maybe external sounds somehow make it worse. Or could it have to do with the pressure exerted in my ear canal by the earplug?

      Second experiment: I usually workout at home (I have an exercise bike and a treadmill). I like to workout with music and I have wireless bluetooth lightweight headphones. The last time I worked out (a few days ago), I noticed that the humming T was very loud afterward. I wondered if it could be from the headphones (either from the music or from the headphones themselves). So today, I put one of those blue earplugs in the right ear and put the headphones on over it. I couldn't really hear much of anything in that ear. The music was not turned up loud. This time, the humming was not any louder than it had been before the workout.

      I have also noticed that it gets much louder if I use my Sonicare electric toothbrush (which I have used for over 20 years), or even my Clarisonic face brush. Therefore, I've decided to try brushing my teeth manually for a while and not use anything that creates a sonic "wave" near my face. I'm also using earplugs when I dry my hair or use any loud appliances, because that also makes the humming worse. In addition, I'm trying not to even hold the phone up to my ear. I'm using the speaker feature on my iPhone when I can, or holding the phone a few inches from my ear if I have to use it that way -- or simply hold it up to the left ear instead.

      I'm not sure what to make of this. Why would an earplug make such a noticeable difference in the humming T?

      The high pitch buzzing T is almost always the same. If I'm ill or very tired, it may get louder, but generally it isn't a big problem. The low pitch humming/pulsing T is the worst part of all this, and has me the most concerned and baffled.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    18. Samantha R

      Samantha R Member Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Geelong Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Canyonmom
      It is indeed very interesting about the plug stopping your tinnitus.
      My tinnitus started off as a low hum that was on and off for a week then stopped.
      I noticed when I had a hearing test that week, when I put on the headphones at the audiologist, the tinnitus stopped!
      I went home and repeated this with the ear muffs my husband uses when mowing the lawn, same result!
      As soon as I took them off, the humming was back.
      My audiologist suggested TTTS, but she could not explain why the headphones would stop the noise.
      My ENT didn't give a toss either way and had no suggestion for me.
      It hasn't come back now 6 months later, but I do have a high pitch hiss that developed after the low hum left.
       
    19. Jkph75

      Jkph75 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/27/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      @Canyonmom

      Well, maybe you do have Hydrops. I haven't been diagnosed with Hydrops but I am pretty sure that I have it. I have those same sounds, though I do not have the washing machine sound all the time. Mine gets much worse when I lay down. I think the low sound it is created by an excess of fluid. I am on a low salt diet and also take Prednisone. The Prednisone helps a lot, not that you want to start taking it. A little while ago I cut out all grains, dairy and sugar. I got the noise to go away but when I started cheating it started back up again. I'm doing one serving of grain now. I started yesterday. The noise seems to be better today. We'll see if it works again.
       
    20. Path Maker

      Path Maker Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      @Canyonmom @Samantha R

      Both of your observations made me want to share something I've noticed from time to time with the tinnitus I experience. It's usually the high-pitched kind, and has lessened somewhat in intensity over the year (knock wood quietly :) ).

      However, here's the strange thing: I have a sound-making alarm that wakes me up with the sound of waves sloshing against a dock. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. It goes on for several minutes before shutting off. I usually lay there for those several minutes while it plays. As soon as it shuts off and the house goes silent, I CONTINUE to hear the same whoosh whoosh whoosh as the alarm clock makes for about 20 - 30 seconds, as if (well, it IS!) my head is playing the sound back to me!!

      And I have also noticed that sometimes the tinnitus goes quieter (not always) when I put on my big ear protector things (the kind with the soft heavy foam ear muffs).

      One more thing, and please try it and let me know if this happens to you: If I "pluck" hard my outer ear cartilage (like plucking a guitar string hard), I will immediately hear a resultant high-pitched PING (that goes on for several seconds). I am quite certain that the force from the plucking causes an oscillation of an already hyperactive auditory nerve.

      What do you think?
       
    21. Samantha R

      Samantha R Member Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Geelong Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Path Maker
      I am glad to hear your high pitched tinnitus had lessened.
      To answer your questions, no I don't get any noise when I 'pluck' the hard part of my ear.
      Your theory could well be right in regards to the auditory nerve, it's strange that you get this sensation.
      I physically felt a vibration with my low tinnitus, hence why my audiologist thought I had TTTS. Something about blocking sound caused the noise to stop.
      Unfortunately with my high pitched tinnitus, blocking sound now had the normal effect of making it more audible.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    22. Path Maker

      Path Maker Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Hope it settles for you! It can, even after several months. Sending you best wishes that it does!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      In the past few days, my T has improved quite a bit. I've been taking the diuretic every other day and trying to watch my salt intake. I am not cooking with salt (my family can put their own on afterward, if they want). I got some salt-free pretzels and don't put any salt on my popcorn.

      The reason I take the diuretic every other day is that I also need to take iron for my restless leg syndrome, and it's best for me to do that in the middle of the day not near any other drugs. Hard to do that when you have TWO meds you don't want to take near any other drugs or vitamins! So I alternate. Seems to work well.

      I also decided to increase my Vitamin D (in my last blood test, it was lower than I had wanted it to be, despite taking it every day for years....my Endocrinologist wants it to be higher).

      I also stopped taking the Biotin (my B-complex pill does have a little bit in there, but nowhere near the 2500 mg in the other supplement I was taking). Mainly because I know that Biotin was affecting my thyroid's Free T-4.

      Anyway, I'm not sure exactly what helped, but the humming is MUCH lower, and I think that even the buzzing is lower. If I feel that it is becoming louder, I put in an earplug. I have also been very mindful of putting in earplugs when I'm using a vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, etc. I have stopped using my Sonicare toothbrush. I'm pretty sure that if I used it, the humming would come right back.

      This all really makes me wonder if I have TTTS in my right ear. Does TTTS bring about any hearing loss? Because my low pitch hearing is worse in the right ear.

      So....I'm going to keep on with this, and see how things go. I'm feeling hopeful now that the hum has calmed down to some extent! Silence almost sounds silent again!
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      http://hearinglosshelp.com/blog/do-i-have-tonic-tensor-tympani-syndrome-ttts/

      This is very interesting. I have Mis0phonia (as do my daughters). In fact, I didn't know that there was a name for this "proclivity" until one of my daughters began getting cognitive behavior therapy for her anxiety, and the therapist told me about it! My daughters have it worse than I do. All my life, I thought I was just "being difficult" about hating certain types of sounds.

      Additionally, I was in a mild rear-end auto accident in early 2015, and I know that I didn't have this humming before then (I've had the buzzing for over 10 years, though). I have two herniated discs in my cervical spine (one is quite bad) and after the accident, I had to get PT for weeks....it took a year for my neck and shoulders to stop hurting.

      None of that explains why my hearing has gotten worse since my last test 10 years ago, or why it's worse in one ear than the other for low pitches. I would definitely like to get an MRI to confirm whether or not I have Hydrops.
       
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Yes, if I had an alarm that made noise like that, I'm sure that I would continue to "hear" it after it was really finished! I've had that experience with the fan in my bathroom, which I usually only use when I shower to keep the steam at bay. I've been making sure to keep the fan off for that very reason, trying to limit my exposure to ANYTHING that might exacerbate my T.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    26. Jkph75

      Jkph75 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/27/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      @Canyonmom

      MRIs can't see Hydrops. It is diagnosed with a positive response to duiretics. Your car accident probably played a role too. I problems with my neck shoulder face area on the side of my T. It happened shortly before I developed the t. Look up upper cervical and Meniere's. You should be able to find a good deal of info there.
       
    27. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Otosclerosis is diagnosed with a bunch of clues. It is confirmed with surgery. One of them is an air-bone gap in the audiogram. You can look at fork tests, CT scans, stapedial reflexes for more clues.
       
    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Thank you for the info! I was under the impression that if you had extra fluid in you inner ear region, an MRI would show that.
       
    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Interesting evening.....it was my husband's birthday. I was a little tired this morning and had some weak green tea (made it at home, steeped it for only one minute). I felt the caffeine kick in about 45 minutes later. I'm very sensitive to any sort of stimulant and treat caffeine like a drug. Anyway, also tonight had some red wine with dinner. The dinner itself was a little bit salty, and had a piece of cake for dessert. Now my ears are buzzing and humming like they haven't in days. Much louder than it has been in over a week, LOL. Something to remember for the future.
       
    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Canyonmom

      Canyonmom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Hey, I was wondering if any of you have had positive ANA tests? I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, so of course I have antibodies. My ear doctor wanted me to get an ANA test, and the results came back 1:160 with speckled pattern. She was concerned that I might have Lupus, but I don't have ANY of the symptoms of that (or any of the other autoimmune diseases associated with these sort of results). Seems to me that the results might just be indicating my Hashimoto's. She is worried, however, that I might have autoimmune ear disease.
       

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