Experienced the Worst Temporary Sudden Deafness and Ear Ringing I've Ever Had 3x Back to Back

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by dylaneno, Mar 16, 2023.

    1. dylaneno

      dylaneno Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:

      I've been perusing this forum on occasion but something came up last night that caused me to finally pull the trigger and make an account. I'm hoping y'all can give me some advice because I'm pretty freaked out, haha.

      I'm 32, male, and have dealt with tinnitus - in my right ear, mostly - since August 2020 after suffering from SSHL in my left ear. Which is weird: I had SSHL in my LEFT ear yet the HEAVY bulk of tinnitus is in my right? How does that work out?. I have a history of having played drums as a teenager (haven’t played in over a decade now), having worked in a loud factory setting (with one of those loud press machines) for a little over a year, worked in sales for 9 years (so was pretty consistently using headphones), and now work as a video editor constantly using headphones. I do not drink or smoke.

      The tinnitus has never really been that debilitating up until the past couple months or so and this last month especially where it suddenly started getting more prominent. I started experiencing high-pitched noises in my ears, but mostly my right. Certain noises seemed more intense - a running faucet, my fridge running, cars going by, my mechanical keyboard, etc. Sometimes even when I'd do something as simple as turn my head or get up and move. Whenever I've experienced tinnitus, it was never ramped up based on moving or even hearing noises - I'd typically only notice it in a quiet room, so I don't even know if what this is is tinnitus at all. And then I'd feel feelings of whooshing in my ear on occasion, kind of felt like the eardrum flapping? Alongside occasional ear fullness and whatnot. And sudden temporary deafness and ear ringing (inner ear hair cells dying?), although never on the level I've experienced just last night.

      Also, when lying down, I've noticed different noises will occur in my ears that don't typically when sitting or standing. I'm not sure if it's the effect of being in a quiet room or if something is changing with the way my head is positioned, but I figured I'd list it here. This was not typically the case up until about a month or so ago; it was usually always the same tinnitus noises, but as of late more noises have been added. It's not super upsetting, as long as I'm not anxious, I'm typically able to fall asleep decently quickly even with the ringing. But it is strange in that it's a new development.

      I went to an ENT the previous week to have him take a look at my ears - the right, specifically. He couldn't see anything wrong - he removed some ear wax, but didn't specify if there was a build-up or if he was even removing all of it / if there was any hard wax in there he couldn't remove without a softener. I asked him about the sudden temporary deafness triggers and he didn't have an answer for me. We scheduled a hearing test and follow up a month+ later. He mentioned wanting to test specifically for Ménière’s due to my SSHL in 2020, but I don’t have a history of any symptom related to that save for the tinnitus (no vertigo, no headaches).

      Since then, things were seeming good. There was no signs of anything! Maybe it's all in my head? My tinnitus was at an all-time low, the sensitivity to certain sounds vanished, and I was feeling great. I've been taking a multivitamin, a Zinc vitamin, eating healthier and more frequently (as I am underweight), going for more walks, exercising more, etc. The last thing I expected was a sudden hearing incident.

      Last night I was talking with a bunch of friends in a voice call using my pair of SENNHEISER HD 569 Closed Back Headphones, we were playing a game of Jackbox online. I had the volume at maybe 30% - I am pretty sensitive to sound so I don't need to crank the volume to be able to hear well, even in spite of my tinnitus, and I always try to keep the volume relatively low to avoid this exact situation. None of us were really shouting or being all THAT loud.

      We played from about 12AM-4AM and around 4:30AM is when I got an "ear flashbang" out of seemingly nowhere that was so immediately disorienting that I had to throw my headphones off and wait for it to subside... While the majority of the deafness did, that numb sort of disorienting feeling did not; sounds were somewhat distorted and as I moved I could hear / feel these like... sonic waves? I'm not sure how else to put it, but moving was like... I could hear the feeling of movement. Noises beyond any sort of typical tinnitus. I went to bed and lied there, a giant ball of anxiety, waiting and hoping for it to resolve. I felt disoriented and... numb? My face. I was worried my face was numbing and kept rubbing it to be sure. Is this the sign of a stroke? Can you have an ear stroke? But I can still move it and everything, so it doesn't seem to have had that sort of effect? It just felt incredibly weird.

      As I lied down and tried to sleep, the "ear flashbang" triggered 2 more times in the span of like 15-20 minutes, both of which weren't as significant as the initial flashbang, but still noticeable and concerning. I eventually fell asleep, waking up from time to time, having all sorts of vivid dreams, but no further flashbangs triggered. I slept until about 3PM the following day. Despite waking up several times, I could feel the sleep was more intense than usual, I felt VERY out of it. My lips were super chapped upon waking up as well. I don't know if that's a sign of anything related to this, but figured I'd include it just in case.

      On the topic of things that might be unrelated but I’d like to mention just in case, just before we started playing games, I had a banana and almond butter - the correlation here being the last time I had this sort of “ear flash bang” (albeit on a much smaller scale) I believe I’d had a similar meal. Are either of these a potential trigger food for this sort of thing? I can’t imagine it would be but it’s a strange coincidence considering I don’t eat either all that often. I also had a bowl of angel hair pasta about two hours into playing. I’m not sure if either would’ve had an effect on blood sugar maybe and triggered this? I don’t have any history of diabetes, if that’s relevant. But I haven’t been tested.

      I did some googling and it seems this could’ve potentially been an inner ear hair cell dying? It seems this is a thing others have experienced but they've had it on a far smaller scale. And if it was on that smaller scale I’m accustomed to, I wouldn’t be that concerned. But again, this was another level and did not clear up shortly after. It triggered two more times and I had to sleep it off. It was one of the most overwhelming, uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing sensations I've ever experienced.

      Having slept through whatever that was, I definitely feel much better, but my ear still feels kind of weird and “full”, the tinnitus sounds different than my typical, and I’m terrified to expose myself to any sort of noise lest I trigger another one of these incidents. Which is very bad because I need to be able to work, but I’m afraid of listening to the sound. I’m even too afraid to eat or shower and I’m just so anxious.

      Any help would be so appreciated. Thank you so much!

      Quick update before I post this: I did see a walk-in clinic doctor since my nerves have been FRIED and I just want a possible answer and solution, and she said it might be allergies causing the Eustachian tube to become inflamed and block its ability to drain, which might explain my sudden sensitivity to noise and these hair cells dying. I have had bad allergies as a kid but since then, not so much. Pollen does have an effect on me and I do blow my nose a bit, but nothing too serious. Is it possible the allergies are impacting my ear and I just don't realize it because I'm only used to experiencing allergies through snot coming out of my nose? LOL. That would be ideal.

      She prescribed me an oral steroid (Medrol) and an Azelastine nasal spray, along with an allergy regimen to help avoid any potential pollen activity on my person or in my home. This is a bit concerning because I've been told to limit my outside activities, yet I find getting sun to be very important and therapeutic, alongside helping my tinnitus balance out with the soothing outside sounds. Am I really going to have to stay indoors for several more months?

      I have a hearing test appointment tomorrow, as well. I will update my results then. I don't think there's any hearing loss as, if anything, I feel like I'm hearing TOO much, but we shall see.

      Again, thank you for reading. Seeing a group of people support each other over such a horrible thing as ear sensory discomfort makes me feel much better knowing I'm not alone and there might be answers to relieve my anxieties.
      • Hug Hug x 4

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