Equilibrium Disturbances 6 Months After Noise Trauma

Discussion in 'Support' started by Vinnitus, Oct 19, 2016.

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    1. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I will be crossing the 6 months boundary coming October 28th after a noise exposure (one single concert for about 2.5 hours) on April 28th of this year. Tinnitus is still pretty much the same with some "good" days and "bad" days here and there, no consistent pattern of improvement so far, unlike during my first Tinnitus experience where it went away after 2.5/3 months. Also no worsening of Tinnitus intensity though. Anyway, I guess I'm in for the long haul.

      In fact, in the last few days new symptoms popped up:
      • Increased pressure the last few days (aural fullness).
      • Disturbance of equilibrium.
      On top of the already-present symptoms:
      • Aural fullness.
      • Eustachian tube clicking/pressure changes when opening the mouth and swallowing.
      • Tinnitus.
      • Feeling of slight ear pain seemingly originating from the left-ear canal or eardrum when quickly closing and opening the ear canal with the tragus. This isn't the case in the right-ear.
      The disturbance of equilibrium is especially annoying, because it makes you feel like your confidence in walking or standing is lessened. Sometimes it feels like you're going to fall over and it gets accompanied by a feeling of light-headedness. It isn't full-blown vertigo however, like in Meniere's. Whatever is going on in the inner-ear, it seems to start affecting the balance system as well, or at least that is how it feels. I do not attribute it to anxiety (which can also cause dizziness-like symptoms) because I have been increasingly at peace with the current Tinnitus situation, yet still these symptoms are showing up. I'm considering the possibility there might be some bacterial or viral cause, but it seems unlikely after having my ear examined by both a GP and ENT.

      I have been reading studies which say "there is no evidence noise trauma is a potential initiator for Meniere's disease or vertigo", but what do we really know? Perhaps severe afflictions like Meniere's and (idiopathic) Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) are ultimately originating from a noise trauma a long time ago, and we just cannot see the link due to this large timeframe between the two events.

      Thats the most worrisome part; the level of factual knowledge in the medical community is lacking in such a way that they may not be able to recognise a potentially severe progressive disease-process with long-term consequences is currently going on inside the inner-ear.

      Anyone else here experiencing issues with balance, light-headedness, dizziness, vertigo or equilibrium-disturbance after a noise trauma?
       
      Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
      • Agree Agree x 2
    2. Jason C

      Jason C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29 May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Burgler Alarm
      Exactly the same symptoms here. I am 5 months after acoustic trauma from an alarm.

      I know what you mean as it is not like dizzyness or full on vertigo and in my case it is easy to"hide" the balance issue but I can feel it. Even in bed at night when I turn too quickly I feel it like my limbs are heavy.
      I get fullness in the left ear, the right ear feels fine and almost feel unaffected.
      Do you have a noticeable hearing loss?? I have a small dip at 4K and probably more at higher frequencies. Hearing test said apart from the 4K dip I was within normal hearing range and I can hear ok apart from reactive tinnitus and music sounds like a garbled mess.

      As equilibrium is part controlled by the inner ear, any changes to an existing equilibrium could result in these issues as hair cells responsible for balance in the vestibular system are damaged by loud noise just as they are in the cochula.
      It's amazing how little doctors know about this shit.
       
    3. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Yes, I can clearly feel something is off, but it's not as well-defined as the more severe vertigo cases often experienced during Meniere's. I can also say that, for me, it is a continued experience and doesn't present itself in the form op "episodes" like in Meniere's. Whenever I walk or stand, I can feel there is some issue with balance.

      I have a small 15-20dB dip at 2Khz. However, this dip was already present before my last noise exposure, as I have audiograms predating my last event. They clearly show the same dip, so I think that one is unrelated. Also the 2Khz dip is rather strange, because my 4Khz is unaffected (the traditional signature of noise-induced trauma).

      Of course, audiometrics are a rather crude way to measure the hearing, so maybe small unnoticed differences might cause these issues in a very sensitive organ. For me, it feels like the noise trauma triggered some ongoing damage process in the inner ear (perhaps the release of free radicals), and now it is starting to eat away at the hair cells responsible for proper balance. I'm curious to see where this is going, not that I have any other options, as "professional" doctors are clueless about the inner-ear processes.

      Let's just say; it's in the name of science and we are the guinea pigs. Discomforting to say the least, but still I'm curious what is going on here and where it will lead to...
       
    4. Jason C

      Jason C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29 May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Burgler Alarm
      I think the damage does continue for a period of time much like a bruise spreading maybe. I first noticed the balance after the first month.
      The balance for me is the same as you. I feel it all the time when moving or walking, running is unaffected etc

      How does your hearing seem too you?? Can you listen to music clearly??
      Not being able to listen too music is one of the biggest killers for me.
      I can hear voices and speech fine, on the phone it's fine, birds singing etc but music sounds like a broken speaker :(
       
    5. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Strangely enough my hearing seems perfectly fine as far as I can tell. No distortion going on as far as I can detect, but of course judging by perception is a crude measurement.

      When I play music, sometimes the Tinnitus acts up and tends to compete with the incoming sound. This sometimes results in me being able to hear the Tinnitus and the music at the same time, so there appears to be some reactive component. This doesn't happen all the time, just when it feels like it.

      Besides this, I can increase the Tinnitus temporarily by pressing on the left side of my face with a flat hand (I believe this is referred to as "somatic tinnitus"). This results in a clear high frequency tone in the left ear. When I do the same at the right side of the face, this also results in increased noise in the right ear, but nowhere near the level of the left ear. I believe Susan Shore researches the behaviour of tactile neurons in the case of hearing loss, where tactile neurons become hyperactive when hearing loss occurs. Maybe this has something to do with this observation and I have indeed some undetected hearing loss going on.
       
    6. Lorac

      Lorac Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden profound hearing loss in left ear.
      I received a treatment called the Epley Maneuver for help with vertigo. It repositions the crystals in your ears, puts them back where they belong.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. Jason C

      Jason C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29 May 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Burgler Alarm
      My tinnitus spikes with music and the music sounds all broken up.
      Hearing is a lot more complicated than an audio graph can show. I'm my case I believe frequency loss to be the issue and some hyperacusis too which hopefully may improve over time as I do seem to be less and less sensitive too some sounds.


      I wouldn't say it's vertigo it's not as bad as that nor is it dizzyness...

      Googles Epley maneuver....

      Epley Maneuver to Treat BPPV Vertigo
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      It is indeed not exactly "vertigo", but you can feel a bit "wobbly" and light-headed when walking. It is best described as feeling a bit off-balance, but nowhere near losing aim completely. I will look into this manoeuvre though, sounds interesting. Thanks.
       
    9. Lorac

      Lorac Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden profound hearing loss in left ear.
      @Vinnitus , @Jason C ,
      I had extreme vertigo during the first days of my hearing loss ordeal but by the time I made it to the doctor who performed the Epley Maneuver, four weeks had passed and I had only that same sort of wobbly feeling you describe. I did not feel really dizzy at that point, just kinda unsteady. I was driving, working, etc. I did feel very dizzy during the treatment but it only lasted a few minutes.
       

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