Does Anyone Experience Occasional Muffled Hearing with Tinnitus Spikes?

Discussion in 'Support' started by 12stepCornelius, Jul 2, 2020.

    1. 12stepCornelius

      12stepCornelius Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have had tinnitus and what I assume is hyperacusis (ear pain/ear drums seem to convulse at certain sounds) for 5 years now, and while the first year was a rollercoaster of ups and downs, anxiety, fear, depression, ENTs, audiologists, etc., I've gotten to habituate and usually it doesn't bother me anymore. It likely occurred from noise exposure (played in bands/target shooting/hunting) but my hearing from the audiologists was found to be within the normal range. I rarely notice it most days. Except for when a spike occurs out of nowhere and my hearing in the affected ear seems to muffle and feel full. Also, sounds out of the affected ear seem much less clear. I close off the affected ear and tap my nails on a surface and it sounds like a "tap". I close the relatively good ear, where the tinnitus initially originated from, and leave the affected ear open and the sound is a "thud". So there's a definite loss of clarity. This has also caused a new sense of sound sensitivity where noises like a faucet running or certain fans blowing can exacerbate the tinnitus. It can get pretty scary as it is disorientating.

      But often the sensation subsides after a number of hours, sometimes even minutes, or with sleep and then the ringing returns to my baseline volume, along with the ear fullness dissipating and all seems well enough again. Well, today I'm sitting here in the early evening having had a spike in the middle of the previous night that awoke me from my sleep, which I didn't let bother me too much and promptly fell back asleep. However upon waking, there's the damn "full ear" sensation and sound sensitivity again. But now, it's been over 8 hours and there's been no change.

      I'm having to sit in a quiet room away from family and noise, because noise has become largely uncomfortable and causes my hearing to dampen and the tinnitus to spike in response. It's worrisome how long it's lasting. I'm really hoping it clears up on it's own at some point before my bedtime, otherwise I'm praying for resolution come the next morning, which sometimes occurs if this sort of thing happens at night. In the meantime, I'm trying not to stress too much as I've had plenty of that with COVID-19, financial concerns, and a freshly pulled back muscle from weightlifting. So I'm waiting it out for the night and just taking a walk on the treadmill, having a glass of whiskey to calm the nerves and forget about the seemingly damaged ear.

      Has anyone else experienced the muffling sensation and noise sensitivity with a spike? I'm worrying that something more serious may now be going on, like a permanent reduction in hearing.
       
    2. Elinor
      No Mood

      Elinor Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure and barotrauma
      Yes, I get the exact same type of spikes. They started occasionally, but are now happening daily. Most of the time only lasting a few seconds to minutes and sometimes for hours. In the beginning it would really freak me out. It's still unpleasant, but I usually manage now.

      There's an article here that explains how this happens.
      https://zidbits.com/2013/02/what-causes-spontaneous-ringing-in-our-ears/

      I do however suspect a link between GERD and frequency of these attacks in my own case.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      12stepCornelius

      12stepCornelius Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for the info. Today, I'm more or less back to normal. My T is still slightly elevated, though I can deal with that, as I've gotten pretty good at reacting neutrally to the ringing. It's just background noise to me as long as it remains at a certain frequency.

      That's sounds scary getting the spikes every day. Any idea why that might be happening? I get a random spike maybe once or twice every month or two, so it's usually never a huge deal. The muffling phenomenon rarely happens and hasn't in quite a while, so it was alarming to have my otherwise controlled T roar back with a vengeance.

      I don't have GERD, but do have some rather obvious TMJ issues that have been acting up like crazy lately what with all the stressors in the world right now. I also likely have a disfunction of my tensor tympani system which I have almost all the symptoms of a syndrome related to that reflex disorder. I suspect that may be the cause of my occasional muffled hearing issues.

      After 20 hours of dealing with the ear fullness and what felt like impending deafness, I decompressed with a few glasses of whiskey and by the second one, the fullness and muffling began to dissipate, so I imagine it has to be related to good old fashioned stress and muscle inflammation which I'm assuming the 90 proof rye took care of. The next morning, my head was a little worse for the wear, but at least the spike and hearing issues were all but gone.
       

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