Don't Know What's Causing My Tinnitus, and a Few Insights

Discussion in 'Support' started by Skity, Jul 28, 2019.

    1. Skity

      Skity Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma / TMJ
      Hello guys, this is all pretty weird to me.

      This is going to be a long post, but might be a little light shedding on the condition itself since I think my case is pretty bizarre.

      A little background: I am a 25 y/o male, first got tinnitus, or should I say chronic tinnitus a year ago, after a long and fast motorcycle ride with no hearing protection at all (roughly 180 km/h at times, track day.)

      I never knew the risks of loud noise, and since a very young age I was literally addicted to loud noises, ever since I can remember myself I am exposed to loud noises, at my early teens I'd love to blast my PC stereos full volume, when I got a car at 17 I installed massive speakers in my car along with a big subwoofer, constantly blasting at full volume, for years, along 1 - 3 parties every weekend

      When I reached 18 I went into the army, loads of shooting M16's, mortars go off meters away from me, tanks shooting at well, literally ground-shaking kabooms, trust me, you do NOT want to stand near a tank or mortar when it shoots, one of the times I parked the humvee too close to a tank, my rear window went flying out of the vehicle.

      I am used to tinnitus after a party or a big boom, had it dozens of time, especially coming back from a party, it was always hella loud but I normally just went to sleep knowing by the morning it'll be gone. (or maybe it was always there but I just never noticed? who knows).

      A few years passed by and sadly I suffered a few traumatic experiences in my life, started having panic attacks, anxiety and overall hypertension, possibly anxiety disorder / panic disorder / PTSD / who the hell knows. does the label matter? I generally quit my old lifestyle, quit parties, alcohol, and even old friends.

      Anyway, back to that motorcycle ride, so after hours of riding, loud exhaust, loud wind, I finally arrived home. I didn't suspect anything yet and just head to sleep since I was exhausted of a long racing day, woke up as usual, nothing out of the ordinary for the rest of the day, that until I went to sleep, and that's when I first noticed that annoying high pitched EEEEEEEEEEEE sound, that's when my anxiety started going through the roof, I was so scared it is going to be staying, so I did the worst mistake that I could do, I googled it, and indeed I saw that in many cases it doesn't go away, which just sent me into a big panic attack. (*Note: I suspect that tinnitus has also a lot to do with our emotional system, since I had temporary Tinnitus for dozens of times but I didn't suffer from anxiety back then so I just rubbed it off and went to sleep, so maybe when we have severe anxiety and panic we finally "close a circruit" and make it permanent? classic conditioning the sound as danger, that way always hearing it?) At this point my hearing also get extremely sensitive to sounds.

      Anyway, a few days later I paid an ENT a visit, he examined my ear, said everything looks good and sent me to a hearing test, with my new knowledge of loud noises consequences and knowing my history, I was pretty sure the results are going to be pretty bad, but I was shocked when the audiologists came out and said "your hearing is fine", I was so confused, how?

      This is the audiogram:

      audiogram.png

      So I went back to the ENT with the results and he sent me to a neurologist, which in turn sent me to a brain MRI scan, which also, came back normal.

      At this point the tinnitus is pretty much constant and I habituated, some days its better, some days it's worse, when I'm tired it's a lot louder, also pretty much lost my ability to relax and concentrate, and I also started experiencing visual snow, ears randomly get a clogged up sensation, and all the usual stuff.

      I kept searching for causes for tinnitus, that's when I found out about TMJ(D) so I started investigating, my jaw has some problems, when I eat it makes a lot of weird noises, clicking, clenches, and what not, so I went to a jaw doctor, and she sent me to a few X-Rays and TMJ MRI scan, which all showed that my jaw is indeed a bit off, my rear right teeth don't even fully touch when my mouth is closed, which can be evidence of TMJ misaligned, could be even an early age braces that I had or done wrongly.

      Tomorrow I have an orthodontist appointment and a jaw specialist appointment in November, hoping for the best.

      If it makes sense, seems like noise trauma triggered the tinnitus, but something else keeps it fueled.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    2. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Your tinnitus sounds multifactorial, with both noise induced, and TMJ. Your audiogram does look quite normal considering your history to noise exposure.

      You got a delayed spike from the motorcycle ride. Lots of folks are wearing earplugs when riding as the motorcycles are loud, and helmets protect you from head trauma, but little in the way of hearing protection.

      Be sure to consistently protect from further noise exposure, deal with the TMJ issues, and these is a chance this will get significantly better although can take months to even years.
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Skity

      Skity Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma / TMJ
      You may be right, even though I'd suspect if it was multifactorial I would have more than one tone, but it's always one.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Skity

      Skity Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma / TMJ
      Update: went to the orthodontist today, he said that my that he doesn't see anything too abnormal until he noticed my resting tongue position, apparently I'm always applying constant pressure to my palate, which probably caused the jaw problems, along with an ankylosed tooth.

      Not sure if this has anything to do with tinnitus but we can't know, he said that the jaw specialist I'm visiting would probably have a lot more answers.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    5. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      @Skity

      Doubt the jaw specialist can add much. At best, they can fix your jaw issues (assuming there are some), and see if it helps. Hard to really know as if you hopefully protect your ears from further noise exposures, the T mostly tends to improve over time (although not 100% fully go away in many cases).
       
    6. Contrast
      No Mood

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      in a better place
      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise injury
      The hearing test isn't scientifically accurate, it's just meant to make sure you have another hearing to hold a day job.
      https://hyperacusisfocus.org/innerear/#hiddenloss

      upload_2019-7-30_2-33-43.png
       
    7. Contrast
      No Mood

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      in a better place
      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise injury
      May I ask if you experience ear pain, ear fullness, or facial pain?
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Skity

      Skity Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma / TMJ
      Useful information, I wonder if I do have hidden loss since I think my hearing is fine, even when hearing speech in a noisy environment, but who knows.

      Is there a more accurate test?

      No ear pain, no facial pain (lots of knocking tho), ear fullness comes randomly, like my ear is clogged up really bad, but it usually lasts around 10 - 15 minutes, but it doesn't happen too often, let's say once or twice a month.
       
    9. Contrast
      No Mood

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      in a better place
      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise injury
      There isn't a more accurate test, that's why people are frustrated. There is no mandate for ENT's to keep up with scientific research they just follow a outdated protocol.
       

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