Documenting My Case

Discussion in 'Support' started by Liesel, Dec 6, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      Maybe I need support a little, it's true...but I'm also hope that if my treatment goes well, this will serve as encouragement! So first, let's catch you up.

      In July I came down with a flu. 104 degree fever for two days. I was also working a job that did not allow me sick leave. Basically, if I was gone from work for more than two days, I would be fired. It was at a summer camp working with kids, and it is the most stressful job I had ever experienced. So add the stress of the job, the stress of being sick, and the stress of potentially being fired, and I was beyond miserable.

      A few days after the fever had passed but I still had some minor sickness symptoms, but gained ringing in my right ear as well as a pressure/fullness feeling and occasional pain. The ringing was a constantly fluctuating series of buzzes or chirps, kind of like you might hear from a light bulb. I was assured it was just an earache typical for the flu, and it would go away.

      In late August, shortly after my job was over, the T in my right ear was almost gone. As it faded, so did the pain and fullness. If I held my ear to a pillow in a quiet room I could just barely hear the T. This didn't last, as my life got stressful again as I approached school. The T shot up to new levels and the pain became constant. I was examined by an ENT and audiologist. I was told that I had very very minor upper range hearing loss, not within bounds for concern, and no abnormalities visible in my ears. However, I did learn that I have Eustacian Tube Disorder. I was told by an ENT that I should take flonase (steroidal nasal spray) to ensure that my allergies weren't clogging my eustacian tubes. Sure enough the pain and ringing plummeted back down to "normal" levels soon after.

      Mid September I began experiencing facial pain near my sinuses. At this point muscle tenseness/pain in my jaw also became a constant in my life. I had TMJ disorder issues 4 years prior, but it was solved with surgery. Sure enough, my jaw had begun clicking again earlier that year, so it was conceivable that TMJ was causing all of my symptoms. And go figure- the side that clicks is the same side as the ringing. Combine that with the fact that I grind my teeth at night and I have issues with anxiety, anxiety that's worsened by the tinnitus, and it's the perfect storm. At this point I am convinced, as are my doctors, that my symptoms are entirely related to stress + TMJ. This is especially likely since my tinnitus is lower in times of low stress. I am also able to lessen the ringing temporarily with exercise or a hot shower. Circulation issues? Perhaps.

      This past Sunday I began experiencing pain in my left ear, and it began ringing too. A constant high pitch. In addition, pain in both ears has gone up, and I have a very faint case of pulsatile tinnitus in both ears. While I was easily able to mask the tinnitus in my right ear, this new ringing is so high it can't be masked in the same manner. Luckily I seem to be habituating to this one faster, nevertheless.

      I had some very cool 3D x-rays taken of my head, as well as some models of my mouth. I'll be meeting with my orthodontist soon to find the best course of treatment based on the data he gathered. In all likelyhood I will be given a mouth guard to wear. I don't expect I will improve quickly if at all, but that's why I'm starting this!

      Thanks for reading! I look forward to updating you soon about starting my treatment.
       
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    2. Sherri786
      Dreaming

      Sherri786 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Thanks for sharing and yes pls so update. Best wishes.
       
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    3. NeoM
      Moonlighting

      NeoM Member

      Location:
      America
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/31/2013
      I think I might have developed tmj. I started taking zoloft at 25mg and have noticed that my jaw is sore. I've read clenching/bruxism can be a side effect of SSRIs, but this is pretty intense and not worth it, if it's the zoloft.
       
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    4. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      I know people say to not focus on the noise, and yet, if I didn't, I'd never discover things like this:

      Turns out that the pitch of the ringing in my left ear responds to jaw movement. It's not drastic, but the tone does rise in pitch when my mouth opens. Even small movements have an effect. This might also explain why the volume has felt variant throughout the day.

      So this is good news in its own way. Just more evidence that the ringing is linked to my TMJD.

      I'm also looking into the "pineapple myth". I didn't realize until after I read about it, but I had 4 days in a row of very very low T when I was eating pineapple a few weeks ago. Gonna' try again.
       
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    5. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      A big update!

      I saw my orthodontist and discovered why I am likely experiencing all of these problems.

      There are estrogen receptors in the jaw joint. When some women go through puberty, the change in hormones effects the bone and can cause it to weaken and degrade. Hence why something like %80 of TMJD sufferers are women. According to my xrays this happened to me long ago, and the bone is now stable. That's the good news.

      There's such a tiny barrier between the jaw joint and the ear, it's quite easy for the ear to get slammed around a bit if something goes wrong in the jaw. While the bone can degrade, so can the cartilage and soft tissue in the joint, further complicating things. For me specifically I don't know how that's going, no MRI yet.

      Turns out my bite is also off by just a little bit. About 2mm. Even though I had a "perfect bite" years ago, it's likely things have shifted out of place again because I grind my teeth at night.

      I'm moving forward with getting a night guard. The idea is, that a night guard pushes your jaw into the correct bite position while you're wearing it, reducing stress on the jaw. It also keeps the joint from moving all the way back and slamming into the ear. For me it's most important to wear at night because of the stress of grinding my teeth.

      I won't be getting my night guard until mid January due to the holiday season, but I'm excited!

      I've also been advised to try anti-inflammatories, as well as biofeedback therapy. Funnily enough the recommendation for anti-inflammatories was advil, which my ENT said I should avoid taking too much of. Not sure what I'll do there.

      Another good thing of note is that since my final exams are over, the tinnitus in my left ear has gone down. Both in volume and pitch. Here's to hoping an anxiety-less winter break will continue to improve things!
       
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    6. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      I realized after writing the post that I couldn't even hear that particular ringing any more. I had to go to the quietest room in the house. Such sudden massive improvement over 2 days. If this is really so strongly linked to my anxiety I'll be pissed...yet relieved. I'm an anxious person!

      The initial humming in my right ear is still there as always, but it's had its ups and downs in the past. We'll see if I can coax it down again.
       
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    7. Sherri786
      Dreaming

      Sherri786 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      That's great, liesel !
      Are you still eating pineapples everyday ?
       
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    8. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      No, I tried it for about 5 days straight and didn't see any improvement. Got interrupted by travel. I do love pineapple though, so I'll doing this test many times, I'm sure.
       
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    9. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      Why why WHY!?

      I was at a movie tonight resting my face on my hand when all the sudden my jaw cracked on the right side. A little ow, not used to that happening. I was initially worried until...

      I got home and I realized the ringing in that ear was gone.

      Just gone.

      Not turned down, not masked, just.

      Gone.

      It wasn't meant to last. I was icing my jaw due to the pain when I noticed the noise creeping back up on me.

      Still, that half hour of "silence" with only the relatively pleasant electronic hum of my left ear. Having that brief break from the cricket/kettle was so wonderful. And so frustrating to have it ripped away.
       
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    10. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      Something strange happened yesterday, and I had a follow up hearing test today.

      Yesterday I was walking to the car to unload my stuff after a 7 hour drive, and the noise in my left ear just shot up in a split second. I've never had that happen before. But I don't think I've been that sleep deprived or caffeinated in a long time either. It slowly went back down over the next few hours, but it's still a bit higher than it had been before the event. :(

      The hearing test just confused me. A different audiologist did the test this time. The test went up to 8000hz. I had very slight high frequency hearing loss in both ears (~5db), which I was told was relatively normal and not to be worried about. My eardrums are also responding properly. They did one other test, I think it was a otoacoustic emissions test. They put a little sensor in my ears and recorded the responsiveness of the hair cells. Apparently I had "failing" scores on some of the higher frequencies, and it was worse in my right ear. Failing not necessarily meaning unresponsive, just not as responsive as normal.

      I don't know how to interpret this. I was told that my test results had not changed between September and now, so why the new noise I got a month ago? I was so confused with how the results were presented, I got the feeling they were trying to keep me from panicking and that I should have done much better. The way the noises change makes me think that it's still likely related to my jaw, but...sigh. My TMJD needs treatment anyhow, so hopefully I will see some T improvement along with that.

      All this mess has taken me a step back from habituation, and it's pissing me off. -_-
       
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    11. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      A positive, post-christmas update!

      Despite the spike, everything has gone back to normal...and better. The past week I have had days where I have been able to barely hear my tinnitus. Sometimes it actually goes so low that I have to plug my ears in a quiet room to tell if it's still there. Considering that my tinnitus used to be so loud that a fan couldn't mask it, this is the best news possible. I doubt it will stay this way, but it gives me hope that it's a manageable condition.

      Does anyone with noise related tinnitus experience this much variance in volume? Also, for people with temporary tinnitus, I wonder if it really did just get better "overnight" or if it was more of a gradual improvement.
       
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    12. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Hello Liesel. I got several hisses, crickets etc, but it started with a firm lower hum on my left which I suspect is noise induced. (the headset ear)
      It's a morsecode going "... .. . . . . . . . .... .. ........". A couple of times I've had super spikes, as well as reverse spikes: one tone would burst on one ear, removing all the other sounds on Both ears so just like those almigthty spikes are possible, the reverse is too. My tone's presence varies, according to my focus ofc but also in vol, I think atleast.
      Seeming as they can't measure something to be different in your ears, together with that jaw experience it's quite an emphasis on something else to be partly off
       
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    13. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      A little update: I finally got my mouth guard a little over a week ago. This time everything is going swimmingly. No more toothaches in the morning. The guard doesn't bother my mouth at all. It's too early to say if it's having an effect on my tinnitus or jaw pain. I've definitely been waking up with very very quiet T though, better than normal. Still returns to the normal volume over the course of the day though. Hopefully I'm on the road to improvement now!
       
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    14. just1morething
      Benevolent

      just1morething Member Benefactor

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma from airplane descent, noise exposure? ETD? TMJD?
      I am so glad your doing better Liesel, and hope you have found the answer to your T! I had to look up the word "swimmingly" though lol. I have a 2 piece appliance with bands on it for TMD. I have no pain in my jaw, but it helps with sleep apnea to keep my airway open.... not sure if it helps my T though.
       
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    15. Glen Morse
      Cold turkey

      Glen Morse Member

      Location:
      Waterloo N.Y.
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/08/2010
      Liesel, Reading your posts, gives me hope, because your going through a lot of what i'm going through, I have come to believe that anxiety is playing a big roll in my tinnitus, because stress always makes it worse, but I believe that magnesium chloride is realy helping with that, because noise like slaming and clinging pans and silverware don't set me on edge now. I have a clicking jaw, but can't tell if that is effecting it. I have highs and lows to the point of thinking i'm healed for the rest of my life, then it comes back with vengeance.
      I believe we are getting better!
       
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    16. Liesel

      Liesel Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2013
      Long time no see. But I'm happy to be reporting in that things have just been getting better! My pains have mostly shifted from my ear to my jaw joint. Which is an annoyance in and of itself, but it means that the tinnitus has been fading as well! The constant tone that assaulted me day and night disappeared from my right ear. My left ear's tone has been improving massively at the same time. The only thing that hasn't significantly budged is the morse code noise in my right ear that started this whole mess.

      My mouth guard was adjusted again just a few days ago, so here's hoping that recovery continues to go well. It's amazing what a difference it can make, to suddenly be able to go hours without thinking about it.
       
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