Ear Surgery... a Possible Cause?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by SLQ, Feb 13, 2014.

    1. SLQ

      SLQ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I'm a guy in my late twenties and I have had tinnitus for all my adult live.

      I suspect the cause was when I had a relatively complicated tympanoplasty done to graft a patch into my eardrum. The complicated part was that they slightly widened my ear canal to gain access to the edge of the eardrum as it was obscured.

      Anyway, I think it must have caused some inner ear trauma because I have had constant tinnitus ever since.

      What I hear is a continuous high pitch tone at the edge of the upper limits of human high frequency hearing and only in the ear that was operated on.

      (I've good hearing in my repaired ear. Just some minor losses in the low frequencies and I've very above average hearing in the other ear)

      It's a bit like the noise you might hear from a switch mode power supply or an old TV with a CRT tube or maybe a capacitor charging.

      I can ignore it as background noise most of the time.

      However, every so often I get louder tones that are actually distracting. They might last a few seconds or up to 10 minutes but they're as loud as a phone ringing. It's just the same high pitched tone but much louder. It's enough to make me grimace or even look around for a non existent noise!

      It usually seems to go away if I pop my ears.

      Sometimes its so bad it wakes me or it might even get incorporated into my dreams. Usually they end up being weird nightmares if that happens and I wake up with this loud constant tone.
      When that happens I often just stay up listening to music or the radio. Sometimes it doesn't stop for hours.

      I explained it to my doctor and he was less than helpful and implied it was psychological and there was no physical reason for it. (He's not an ENT, just a my 'general practitioner')

      Anyway, I've learned to live with it and just accept that it's going to screw up my sleep.

      I just keep music on all night to help me ignore it.

      Is this typical? Anyone else in the same situation.?
    2. Mark McDill

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids

      You have described 'typical' tinnitus (louder at night or when environment is quiet, a ringing without an objective cause). The medical community does very little for T because they can't just prescribe a pill or do surgery to fix it; furthermore, there are so many different causes and, yes, there is a psychological component involved. All these things make tinnitus 'one squirrely-bugger' to diagnose and cure. ENTs are part of the medical community and they all sing from the same sheet of music (can't do anything for you, it's all in your head). You need to see a hearing specialist, an audiologist. I went to Nebraska Hearing Instruments (Omaha, NE) -- they really helped me!

      Don't be discouraged; it's manageable to a point where it doesn't have to really mean a whole lot in your life (it can become 'just a thing'). It sounds as if you have made good progress accepting it (that's the right track to be on, keep it going).

      It doesn't have to ruin your sleep; I have hearing aids with white noise generators that mask my T very well (sweet sleep!). I've had severe and invasive T for a year now I go to sleep on my terms.
    3. AUTHOR

      SLQ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Thanks for the tips.
      What I'm trying at the moment is to teach my brain to ignore it and I'm having some success.

      The loud tinnitus I get more intermittently isn't just at night or in quiet environments.

      I can completely ignore the regular tinnitus and I would nearly miss it if it were gone. It's just the noise my left ear makes !

      However, with the other louder 'noise' I could be having a conversion, waking down the street, driving, doing a presentation on stage, having a shower or basically anything.

      This ultra high pitch tone just cuts loudly across my hearing on the operated side only and the hearing level drops for a moment. Its louder than a person speaking at normal volume and drowns out everything in that ear!

      It might last 5 seconds or it could last a few mins.
      When it happens it's a bit embarrassing as I look like something's distracted me. I have to try to avoid reacting with any facial grimace.

      Really unpleasant.

      If it happens at night I wake up or have really strange nightmares that just include the sound in the "story line"... So because it sounds a bit sci fi .. I'm usually being abducted by the Borg! LOL
    4. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Sounds like that is what caused it.. But the extra loud pitch that lasts for few secs to 10 mins is like a temporary tinnitus.. Even though you already have it permanent.. But its like that high pitch ring that everyone experiences in there life that goes away.. And it will mostly always go away. There was a thread on it here somewhere so it seems like thats what your experiencing.. I get it like 2 or 3 times a week or if im lucky for two weeks but your right it is always extra high pitch and way louder then your Normal T.. But everytime i i experience it, its always a diff high pitch tone and some times im like eww i dont like the sound of that one go away! Lol but it always does. So its either that or the only other reason could be a spike? Not really familiar with spikes.. Havent had them yet so would never other suggestions too. :)
    5. Valentin

      Valentin Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      it's fleeting tinnitus, perfectly normal but does happen very often with people who suffer from Tinnitus, for me it's like 3 times a week, before tinnitus more like once every 6 month.
    6. AUTHOR

      SLQ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Yeah, fleeting is a good description.
      I think it seems to coincide with pressure changes in my middle ear, so often it stops when I pop my ear.

      What annoyed me though is that it's pretty obvious it's a physical problem. I know there might not be anything I can do about it as it's not really fixable, but I thought my doctor's attitude was ridiculous. He immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was a psychological thing and that I should deal with it by consulting a therapist or even a psychiatrist !

      I went in thinking I'd get some advice on sound generators or some kind of a technical solution to cancel out the noise.

      Anyway, I've worked out some of my own technical strategies for dealing with it. I used a tone generator (software one) to find the tone I hear. So, I just played various frequencies until I matched it up. Then I tried to find a tone that would cancel it.

      When I did that, I mixed the tone into some long music tracks and I keep those on my phone (checked it can actually output the tones I need) and with good headphones with decent performance at the upper end of the spectrum, I can actually play those tracks and my tinnitus temporarily disappears.
    7. mcomeaux

      mcomeaux Member

      Maryland, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ear infections, unknown
      Hi @SLQ, I suggest reading my first thread post on my profile. Long story short, I had ear surgery at a very young age and I think that that started my tinnitus journey and made my ears more susceptible to things in the long run.

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