Ear Infection Induced Tinnitus — Chances of Recovery?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by kuromi, Jan 11, 2021.

    1. kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      Hey everyone!

      I've been experiencing tinnitus for about 8 weeks now. It started on the 16th of November, 2020.

      After noticing the ringing, which is only in my left ear, I quickly went to my university's GP and was promptly diagnosed with an outer ear infection (my GP said that my ear canal was inflamed and swollen, and that there was also pus present.) In response to this diagnosis, I was given an anti-bacterial ear spray with a one week dosage. (EarCalm - Acetic Acid spray.)

      After using the spray for the full duration, I did notice the ringing had started to decrease. I was supposed to have a follow-up with my doctor to check the status of the infection after initial treatment, but I wasn't able to do this due to having to return home for the winter break.

      It's now been 7 weeks since I finished using the spray, which leads me to my current situation. After observing my tinnitus for the past week or so, I've noticed I can't hear it when I'm outside, and when in quiet rooms, it remains faint/soft and sometimes feels more noticeable. I have a history of anxiety, so I've largely been trying to manage my emotional response to this whole situation, and I've so far been able to manage getting on with life fairly well.

      My only concern is that I have a residual form of the infection still present in my ear, and that's what's causing my lingering symptoms. I'm currently in the process of trying to get a doctor to assess my ear again, but, I'm concerned about how long these symptoms have lasted, and if the infection is still present, how long do those typically last? Can outer infections spread to the middle/inner ear and cause damage?

      Thank you for reading. I appreciate any advice I can get regarding this - it's been really scary!
       
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      Hello everyone!

      I've posted on here before, but I wanted to make another post asking for advice as I've just returned from an ENT appointment today.

      My ringing (only present in my left ear) started two months ago without any obvious trigger. After going to my GP at first, I was diagnosed with an ear infection; for which an anti-bacterial ear spray helped significantly in reducing the ringing.

      Two months on, after getting my ears seen by an ENT, I was told both of my ears were absolutely full of wax and thus - I've been suggested to have my ears microsuctioned, along with an hearing test. I've also been told an MRI could be required to rule out anything serious.

      I've read many posts on this forum that say that microsuction and MRIs are dangerous and I'm really unsure of where to go in this regard. I've been doing well up until now with managing things, but I'm quite worried about it potentially getting much worse as a result of the stories I've seen.

      Can anyone advise me on how best to tackle these things? Are their any alternatives I can ask for to mitigate risks?
       
    3. buttercake

      buttercake Guest

      I had microsuction right after my onset almost two months ago and I ended up being fine - the microsuction itself was not horrendously loud, but it still felt uncomfortable.

      At that time I was not aware of the stories of Tinnitus Talk.

      From what I read here around, the safest option would be manual cleaning; you will need to soften the earwax with some product (olive oil?) in advance.

      I never had an MRI, but apparently old MRI devices are extremely loud.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      The ENT did suggest using drops/olive oil to soften the wax before the cleaning, so I'll be starting that this evening. And in terms of an MRI, I'm hesitant to get one unless it's absolutely necessary - he didn't seem clear about whether or not he thought it was justified in my case, so I'll be sure to discuss this with him further.

      I'll also look into discussing manual cleaning with the ENT when I go for the follow-up appointment, just so I can mitigate any risks.

      Thank you for responding!
       
    5. sophielynch

      sophielynch Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection and wax removal
      Hi! I got my tinnitus the same way as you, from an ear infection.

      I want to say I’ve had tinnitus since about 10th December?

      I’ve read that yours has gotten quieter and I think mine has too but it spikes up so often! It’s always much quieter in the morning. Very annoying.

      How do you manage yours? And are you hopeful yours will fully go away?

      I had suctioning on my ear wax on the 14th January.

      When I press around my ear, I get a whooshing but only if I press on it/itch my ear etc. Do you get this?
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      Hey there! It always makes me feel better to see other people with similar stories, even though tinnitus is awful to deal with.

      I've had tinnitus since around 16th November, so just a month before yours. Mine has gotten quieter but personally I haven't noticed any spiking with my tinnitus, it doesn't react to noises as far as I've noticed.

      In terms of managing mine, right now I'm just trying to live with it and control my anxiety and thoughts around it. I initially had treatment for my ear infection and I'm currently in the process of trying to follow up with an ENT to get some earwax removed and get my ear checked. But other than that I've been making an effort not to pay attention to the noise or monitor it.

      Given how things have improved for me so far, I'm still confident it'll hopefully go away entirely, though I'm prepared to be cautious and wait if it takes time to do so.

      My tinnitus right now is thankfully minimal and non-invasive, but it still triggers my anxiety a lot. I don't get any wooshing noise when I press/itch my ear, so I wouldn't know how to help in that regard.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      Update at 15 weeks:
      • I'm pleased to report that my tinnitus has reduced to a low level since onset, after a lot of observation I can say with confidence that it has lowered to the point where I cannot hear it outside, and in quiet rooms it's a faint noise that is no longer intrusive or distracting.
      • I find that mentally, my condition has also drastically improved - since plotting a trend of positive changes, I have been able to live my life as normal, without the heightened stress and anxiety I was suffering with in my earlier days. I'm able to keep up with the demands of my university degree, and I'm thankful and blessed to be in such a position.
      I know that given the unpredictability of this condition, nothing can be promised; but I truly believe that I will see further positive progress over the coming weeks/months. As of right now, I am currently in the process of booking a follow-up appointment with my ENT to arrange wax removal and a hearing assessment, which brings me to my current situation.

      I'm rather worried at the potential prospect of having an earwax removal, as I've heard accounts on the forum of it leading to worsenings and increased spikes; that being said, at my last consultation, microsuction was suggested to me. After reading up about the procedure and the potential dangers of a significant increase, I don't feel comfortable with taking that option, and instead want to opt for a manual cleaning.

      Can anyone with experience give me insight into whether or not this is a readily available option? I suppose my main fear is going to my appointment and finding out that a manual cleaning isn't an available option for whatever reason.

      I appreciate any advice you may have. Thank you for reading!
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      Hello everyone.

      I've had tinnitus in my left ear for about four months now - it was triggered by an outer ear infection I was diagnosed with in early November.

      Since onset, it has gradually faded down, and I'm pleased to report I'm more or less used to it. I'm perfectly comfortable with sitting in silence and pushing the noise into the background, and I'm also happy to say I've been sleeping well after some disruptions.

      Whilst I understand that of course, given the nature of tinnitus being so individual, circumstances are different for everyone, but I was wondering if I could have some advice, as I'm still struggling with some things.

      1. Whilst my tinnitus has decreased to a level where I would consider it non-intrusive and incredibly mild. The moment I lay down to sleep, I think about the future, and imagine this getting worse, and I end up spiralling into catastrophic thinking. Does anyone have any advice on how to tackle this? I feel like it's something I'm really struggling with. As my tinnitus has improved, all my mind can think of is the nightmare of potential worsenings.
      2. One of my biggest fears is the potential possibility of tinnitus spreading to my other ear, as right now, my tinnitus is unilateral (focused on the ear that had the infection.). From posts on this forum, I have read that it is a likely possibility as it is something that happens to most people who's cases are unilateral initially, and I find this terrifies me.
      All in all, I find that my anxiety is getting the better of me, and when I look ahead to an uncertain future: I fear the worst case scenario, and I've yet to find any assurance to dispell these worries.

      Thank you for reading, I appreciate any advice.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      5 Months In:

      Hello everyone.

      I haven't been very active on Tinnitus Talk as of recent but I wanted to write a short update in case anyone was wondering how I was doing. I'm now 5 months in with unilateral tinnitus that started as a result of an ear infection in early November 2020. In the past few months, my life has been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least, not just with the onset of tinnitus, but with a myriad of other troublesome situations I've had to deal with.

      However, I'm pleased to report significantly positive results!

      As it stands, my tinnitus has lowered in volume to a point where it is incredibly minimal during the day. I'm confidently able to rate it at a 0.5/10 as opposed to my onset level of 3-4/10, which I found to be incredibly frustrating, intrusive and anxiety-inducing. As a result of this significant reduction, I've been able to live my life as normal and find that I've done days and weeks without so much as thinking about tinnitus at all during the day except for the evenings (as it becomes more prominent during this time.). I feel a lot more comfortable with my situation as even in the situations where I do hear my tinnitus, I am able to be neutral about it as it doesn't create an intense emotional response anymore.

      However, I am still doing my best to be cautious and cognizant about noise levels and exposure as not to leave the door open for future issues. I wouldn't say I'm a 'success story' at all honestly, as I still do wish for this symptom to entirely disappear, but I think I'm doing pretty well, all things considered.

      My love to all of you, forever and always,

      Kuromi.
       
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    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      8 Months In:

      Hello everyone! I figured I would return to this thread again to give another update as it's been awhile since my last one.

      Back in November of 2020, my life was turned upside down when I first experienced tinnitus - unilateral, obnoxious and anxiety-inducing. I want to be fully transparent when I say my initial experience with this affliction was hellish. I was completely uprooted during an already stressful period of my life. I vividly remember hearing my tinnitus everywhere outside, being constantly pre-occupied by it during my waking hours and witnessing the undeniable effects it was having on my studies, personal life and peace. I'm saying this to make it clear that I've experienced how bad this symptom can be, and whatever I say comes from a place of respect for those who have more serious experiences than I.

      As it stands, my tinnitus has reduced to a level that is non-intrusive and incredibly mild during the day. I can confidently say I'm almost entirely attuned to it, as it doesn't cause me any emotional trouble in the slightest - by and large, I'm able to go about my day perfectly fine, including moments of silence where I hear my tinnitus. Furthermore, the volume has reduced to a level where I cannot hear it outside. However, my tinnitus causes me significant trouble during the evenings, as it becomes more noticeable and troublesome around this time, especially when going to bed, there have been times in recent weeks where my anxiety has returned full-throttle. I'm working to conquer this and trying to slowly improve, however glacial progress in this regard will be.

      Furthermore, my experience with this condition has contributed to fears for the future and my environment. I try my best to avoid loud environments and potential noise exposure to the best of my ability - but throughout my experience over the past few months I still worry for the future, and hope I'll be able to reach a point where I'm more comfortable in this regard.

      All in all, I'm doing well right now - and I can hardly believe I can say that after where I was when I started. Over time, I hope that small improvements will coalesce and pave the way for a brighter future.

      My love to all of you, forever and always -

      Kuromi.
       
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    11. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      That’s awesome. You’re about home free.
       
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    12. TheHonoredOne

      TheHonoredOne Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Vaccine
      A similar thing happened to me with regards to ear infection. I had an external one and it made my post vaccine tinnitus double or triple in volume. No clue if it was permanent or not but other loud noise exposures seemed to have put me at a 6/10 tinnitus level now.
       
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    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      Sorry to hear that. I had an external one as well, that's what started this whole situation off. It's been 8 months and I've had great improvements but I'm still stuck with a low-level of tinnitus to date.

      Wishing you the best for your situation.
       
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    14. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media
      Hey @kuromi,
      how you been keeping?

      (Also, let's hear about the new avatar)
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      Hey there Damocles! Always lovely to hear from you mate.

      I've been doing well. Going out a bit more in lieu of restrictions easing and things being safer in my local area - my tinnitus has been fairly stable, so most of the time it's been life as normal except for the occasional hiccup (night of poor sleep,etc.). I'm pleased to be at this stage after so much anxiety, so now I'm just trying to keep everything under control.

      (And my new avatar is Azura from the game Fire Emblem: Fates. It's a lovely game for the Nintendo 3DS that I quite enjoy.)
       
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    16. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media
      Ah, that's good to hear.

      I bought a Nintendo Switch Lite this summer, and so far I've been playing Pokemon Sword and Worms W.M.D. on it.

      I like TBS games, because after the years of anxiety I've been through with my tinnitus, I'm like a shell shocked war veteran, and those are all I can handle; even a game of Mario causes me to panic! :LOL:
       
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    17. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otitis media
      Totally forgot, the reason I was mentioning this was because I was thinking of buying Fire Emblem for my Switch (Three Houses and Warriors), as it falls into the TBS genre (if I'm not mistaken?). That was what I meant to say.

      Also, hot ears sound good to me; mine are always cold. Don't think it's anything you should worry about.
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      Fantastic! I would highly recommend both Three Houses and Warriors. Both of them are stellar TBS games, I think you'll thoroughly enjoy them. Three Houses is a lot more story-based, if that's your kind of thing. If you have any issues with audio both games can be played muted and still enjoyed thoroughly to my recollection.

      And speaking of the hot ears situation, whatever issue I had seems to have subsided. I'm assuming that whole stint was likely from stress or something of the sort - everything's back to normal now.
       
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    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      14 Months In:

      My my, how time flies. Hello everyone!

      Back in November 2020, my journey with tinnitus began - and it was one of the most terrifying things I've ever had to deal with in 20 years on this earth. Tinnitus is a beast, and it shook me to my core and made me rethink many things about my life, my health, and my future. This forum helped me in some of my darkest moments, and many users on here can attest to seeing me traverse highs and lows throughout my time with this condition.

      I'm happy to report that as it stands, one year later, my tinnitus is still at a mild level. I don't hear my tinnitus at all when I'm outside, and in quiet environments, I almost never notice it - and whenever I do, it isn't at all notable. I won't try and play into empty habituation platitudes, since I know this experience hasn't been easy, and by no means do I 'not care' about my tinnitus; I still do, and it's still a big deal. But by and large tinnitus is something I can live with and manage.

      I'm currently in my second year of university, with high hopes for the future and aspirations to enter a career I've dreamed of working in for a very long time. When I look back to the person I was during my first post on this thread, it surprises me to see how far I've come. I'm beyond grateful that in my darkest moments, when I thought I would never get better; the future proved me wrong.

      I'm happy, and my life is brighter than ever before. Every day is a journey forward in eliminating anxiety and continuing my time on this earth in the best way I can, however that may be.

      My love to all of you, forever and always -

      Kuromi.
       
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