Ear Ringing Started 9 Days Ago...I Don't Know How to Cope

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by jmccombs82, Nov 8, 2013.

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    1. jmccombs82

      jmccombs82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 29, 2013 at 10AM
      Hello everyone,

      I am new to this type of thing...but I guess I am hoping to gain support and encouragement. 2 weeks ago I started to sneeze and from that resulted a bit of head congestion without fluid. During that time we went camping and my boyfriend and I drove down to a lower altitude, which is when I started to feel a bit woozy in the head. At the campsite I felt a bit nautious (about 5 min) and recovered. We spent two days at the campsite with no symptoms; however, upon driving back up the mountain I started to feel a bit of head congestion and sinus pressure. 3 days later the ringing started, primarily in my right ear. I went to an ENT who told me "it might be a virus" and "the ringing may be with you forever". I was put on a 12 day stint of prednisone and have 4 days left. The prednisone has F#@%KED me up. My anxiety is through the roof and I have slept an average of 3 hours a night (if you clump them all together. I called the ENT after experiencing an increase in anxiety and he told me "I had an ear virus 15 years ago and the ringing stayed". This has no done well for my nerves!!

      I am trying despterately to be optimistic but I notice my emotions are all over the place. I went for a massage a few days ago and she focused on my sinus and glands. After the massage the ringing stopped in my right ear and switched to my left. It has changed tones, pitch, and sound (from ringing to hissing to crickets). I have been placing a warm towel on my left ear and last night is stopped ringing. However, this morning I noticed that the ringing transferred to what sounds like inside my head. I can put ear plugs in and stop the sound at times.

      I am not sure what I am hoping for. I think the most difficult part of this experience is knowing that it may not get better. I am trying so desperately to be optimistic but I find myself crying at multiple points in the day. My poor boyfriend has no idea what to do and I am sure he is terrified to watch me suffer through this as well. (Plus, I am sure it does not help that a lot of threads mark tinnitis as the "relationship killer".

      This is really difficult for me...as it requires me to change a lot of things about my life. I have always loved silence but now it has become my enemy. What suggestions do you offer? We love to camp and be outdoors and now I am worried that the night silence will destroy me. I am thinking of buying a white noise maker to travel with (e.g. I will have to use headphones when traveling with others)

      I am hoping that stopping the prednisone will curb my anxious distress somewhat. I am going to start going to yoga again as well as my weekly spin classes. I have jumped on the the vitamins (B12, Vitamin C, Ginko Biloba, Melatonin (to sleep), Fish Oil, Wmns 1 a Day vitamin, as well as a natural immune system booster (e.g, mushrooms capsules). I have never taken any anti-anxiety or depression medication and I have prided myself in using exercise and yoga as a stress reducer. Now, it does not seem like enough.

      What other coping mechanisms, sound machines, noises, distraction devices have you found that are helpful?

      Lastly, I am hoping someone will offer me hope and share some wisdome that this will dissapate with time. Personally, the uncertainty of this condition is most toxic to my emotional and mental state.

      Thank you again and I look forward to hearing your stories, experience, and general wisdom.


      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. Hudson

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:

      I've had tinnitus for years (mine was noise induced) but I know the feeling of travelling in the mountains with a cold and tinnitus, it isn't fun. Do your best to pop your ears (take decongestants if you need to) and keep the pressure from building too much. That means for ascents and descents.

      I camped in Idaho in the mountains all the time for years after I got tinnitus, and found I really enjoyed it because I would camp next to a river and not hear the tinnitus at all! :)

      It is a good sign that the sound is changing, lessening. Once you get your upper respiratory issues taken care of, and you finish your steroids, it may well clear up. Avoid loud noises like the plague for a while until it either clears up or you establish a baseline.

      I understand your anxiety. Hang in there, things get better. They really do. I have been through it now for a while.
      • Like Like x 2
    3. James
      No Mood

      James Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Pulsing 03/2013
      Hudson's post is good. I want to go camping by a river in Idaho.

      The onset of Tinnitus caused me to feel despondent. The sleeping issue is crazy. I went back to my regular doctor to ask for some medicine to help me sleep. I tried to work with my doctors as much as possible. Whatever the cause, I sincerely hope you get better.
    4. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jennifer -
      Mine also got much worse when I got a sinus infection. I couldn't sleep. I stayed home from work. The lack of sleep was driving me nuts.

      Fortunately, a psychiatrist prescribed me Remeron (mirtazipan), a mild anti-depressant which is great for getting sleep. I was scared about taking it at first. Getting sleep is No. 1 priority.

      Long story short: The loud, high pitched, "EEEEEEE" reduced to somewhat of a white noise with a high-pitch.

      Your tinnitus was probably at a maximum because of your sinus infection compounded by the high altitute in the mountains. Yours will probably eventually reduce from "an old television beep tone" to something like a white noise. Or it may go away.

      There are a few legitimate publications about tinnitus. "Tinnitus Retraining Therapy" is the best, in my opinion. Your anxiety is largely a reaction to new experience which you perceive as a threat. In effect, you are trying to run away from your own body - but you can't. This book will explain what tinnitus is, demystifying the condition. It will also explain things that you can do that will help.
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
    5. Karen

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Jennifer, and welcome!

      We definitely understand what you're going through right now. I agree with Karl's comment that your tinnitus was probably caused by the combination of a sinus infection, along with the change in barometric pressure caused by high altitude. My husband and I both have tinnitus, and we have both noted that when there is a change in barometric pressure (weather-related), our tinnitus gets worse. Here is an article I found about barometric changes and tinnitus:


      Your tinnitus is at its worst right now, but with time, it will probably calm down, or maybe even go away.
      In the meantime, supplements, sound masking, getting enough sleep, and staying calm are the best ways to deal with the tinnitus at its current level.

      On the right-hand side of the Forum page on this website, you'll find the "Tinnitus Talk Audio Player", with various sounds that will help. You might try testing the different sounds, to see what works best for you. Then, you could record that sound, and use it as a masker when you are trying to go to sleep.

      I wish you well, and please know that we're all here to support one another. There is lots of good information here, and wonderful people who understand!!

      Best wishes,
    6. Lulubug69

      Lulubug69 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I have a similar story. Mine started after a head cold virus. I was on decongestants, Advil. Doc said its viral. When that didn't seem to ease up the symptoms they gave me an antibiotic too, along with steroid, they thought it was an infection in the eustachian tubes. The cold/virus/infection finally went away but the Tinnitus remained. I think it was the combo of drugs I was on, mainly the Advil and decongestant. Steroids do ramp you up, but don't stop them, it's never good to stop steroids cold turkey. If it does go away there is a chance it could stop. If it doesn't, the T can settle down after awhile. It can be very stressful in the meantime. Hang in there, read through the forums and the info. As far as the relationship killer comment, I would put that out if your mind. My husband didn't understand it either at first, but I shared with him what I was experiencing (found an app that let him hear what I was hearing) and what I was reading about it. I just asked him to bare with me for a bit. I was scared, mad, a little crazy, frustrated but I brought him in but didn't shut him out and he is a great support.
      • Like Like x 1
    7. jmccombs82

      jmccombs82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 29, 2013 at 10AM
      Thank you all so much for your encouraging words. This is quite the opposite from the ENT, who opted to sly away from the words of optimism and hope. I understand that this is a tricky condition/symptom; however, approaching it as "you'll just have to learn to deal with it" is terribly paralyzing. I am glad I found this forum...everyone on here seems to be uplifting and incredibly knowledgeable. It is the firm calm moment of my storm :)
      • Like Like x 1
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    8. Amelia

      Amelia Member Ambassador

      Tinnitus Since:
      I agree with @Hudson - I wouldn’t be surprised if once your congestion/sinus clears up your T may well go completely, or fade well into the background :) Sounds like you have some mucus moving about it there!

      I’m pretty sure my T is due to a nasal flush I did one night as the ringing started after that. I’m also dealing with sinus disease, and I hold out hope every day that when that settles my T may well also - but unlike yours, my T does not change - except to increase when im stressed or ill. I had a cold recently which freaked the hell out of me because it because so loud. Thankfully it was temporary. Id be more positive about my T going if it fluctuated.

      I still remember all the feelings that you are going through right now, and while I still do feel them, it does get easier. Like you I still mourn the loss of silence - I loved being in the quiet, but now obviously I cant. The thought of that can still torment me.

      But, on a more positive note - some things that have helped me are:

      Supplements - Kava and magnesium have really helped me relax. I also take a Vit B complex.

      Masking - I have an iphone app and carry my phone with me from room to room when i’m at home so there is always background noise. Windchimes are my go-to sound. Totally masks it. I also use this track for night time and it really helps me get to sleep. I started with it relatively loud and have now been able to reduce the volume a little which im proud of. I also downloaded a tonne of audiobooks which I listen too if I’m working in the kitchen etc, just for something in the background.

      Self talk - I know, I know this sounds odd, but recently I read something on here a member had written about treating your T like you would a child and talking to it. If I have a low T day I make sure that I "thank it" at the end of the day. This is more to make me verbalise that I've had a good day and I find it helps me feel a little more positive. I also remind myself to stop focusing on the T when I find myself doing so (which is still very very often!)

      Just for the moment, Id do whatever it takes to take your mind off it. If that’s constant noise, or taking on a new project, or speaking to your doctor for some medication, then do so.

      And ask any questions you need - this is one of the friendliest forums ive ever been on :)
    9. jmccombs82

      jmccombs82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 29, 2013 at 10AM
      Thanks @Amelia. I am hoping it will go away. I also find that benedryl reduces the ringing/hissing sounds. It does not reduce it completely but makes it relatively low pitched. I don't know what that means. The left ear seems to have stopped as of last night and now it sounds like it is in my head. I am still new to the whole masking sound stuff. I have yet to really look at what will help relieve the sounds in my house. I am hoping to go to the store this weekend to get a sound machine. I also thinking of downloading an app on my phone to carry with me too. The fan at night does not seem to do much justice; however, I find that wearing ear plugs in one ear or both keeps the ringing sound out (strange...you would think it would make it louder).

      I am trying to be a detective. This is still incredibly new to me and I am attributing my highly emotional response and over anxious reactions to the prednisone. I am amazed at the level of optimism on this forum. It is great to see!
    10. Dr. Ancill

      Dr. Ancill Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      I am a physician with tinnitus. Tinnitus Retraining (TRT) involves three parts: 1st is education. 2nd is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (and/or medications) to control anxiety and stress and the 3rd is the use of Sound Habituation. You have to be careful what you read on the Internet but Tinnitus Talk is a great site. Being a doctor in clinical practice, I don't care if my patients use the Internet and I will always try and answer their questions. The trick is to sort out the useful and accurate from the nonsense and rubbish, especially the 'miracle' cures. I don't think you ignore the tinnitus as that is impossible for most sufferers. The objective is to take away its power and your sense of loss of control. You need to get to that point when you can say "It's only tinnitus", have a neutral emotional reaction to it and put it back in its box. I am somewhat skeptical of your finding a food that makes it worse or a nutrient that will improve it. It will be a matter of trial and error but my experience so far, and that of my patients, is that tinnitus is always variable and varying. Just when you think that it is getting too much, it backs off. Just when you think it may be going away, it comes back. Remember "It's only tinnitus" and you are in control - it is your brain, after all. Learn to make it do what you want.
      • Like Like x 2
    11. Lulubug69

      Lulubug69 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I think a lot of us have had a not so great experience with our ENT' s. We don't feel we get the answers we need or hoped for, and most of all how to fix it. They don't know how yet. But they are working on it. I said to my ENT, I am really bothered by this ringing and he said, " I know, no one likes it". That's it, after that we got into how the T started which was from a head cold and meds. He focused on why I was having so many sinus infections. So basically I have to deal with it also, like a lot of us have been told. Many of us also hear that sound in our heads, not just inside the ear, so your not alone with that. I did try to mask it at first, but I don't like ear buds in the ears anymore, I've turned the volume up by accident on occasion so I just keep tv or radio at a normal level on. I try to keep my routine the same as usual, because It tends to let the sound fade into the back ground when I'm busy. I find outside noises, like birds, leaves rustling, water from a nearby stream to be very comforting and naturally masking.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    12. christine kauhane

      christine kauhane Member

      honolulu hawaii
      Tinnitus Since:
      june 9th 2013
      Hi jennifer,:welcomesignanimation: We all know where your coming from it's not bee n to long for you it may go soon? the best thing to do is not panic or stress out cause it could cause the T to be more irratating... as for my self i had it for the past 4 months went to bed and work up with it,,, don't not what could of caused mine .. Hearing is perfect says my ENT??? i use a masker when my T is a bit loud:dunno: it plays white noise and it comes with a remote so i can change the sound.:whistle: it really light and small i can even sleep with it , if needed.. it does help me alot:banghead: lol. you have come to the right place .. everyone here knows what u are feeling.(y)
    13. J M

      J M Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I think there's some good news here.

      Tinnitus resulting from infection can clear up some after the infection heals up.

      Been there, done that.
    14. jmccombs82

      jmccombs82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 29, 2013 at 10AM
      @J M - could ringing be from allergies too?
    15. carol kane

      carol kane Member

      Lincolnshire united kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi Jennifer,
      I´m feeling just like you at the moment, my ringing hissing eeeeeeeing started three weeks ago and i refused to believe that it wouldn´t go away, but it´s starting to dawn on me that this shit is real and might be here to stay.
      My husband works in India and i have just moved to Spain and am all alone as i don´t really know anyone yet
      we skype each other every night and all i do is cry and take little panics as we´re talking, he´s very confused as to it all and doesn´t know what to say to me. I feel like i´m cracking up and just wanted to let you know that you´re not alone, keep me posted on your progress and good luck to us both.x

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