First Time Posting, Need Advice

Discussion in 'Support' started by msroach89, Jun 29, 2016.

    1. msroach89

      msroach89 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure. Maybe noise induced, maybe tmj issues
      Hello, all.

      The following is going to be bit a read so don't feel shy to just skim through, but reading my give a more complete picture of my situation.

      First an important bit of info to keep in mind while reading this. I have general anxiety disorder. Had a pretty bad childhood(as im sure a lot of people have) and am easily overwhelmed by pretty minor things. I'd say I'm a bit of a hypochondriac.

      I've been dealing with tinnitus in only my left ear since February 2008 starting my second semester in college. I was overworked, sleep deprived and, like all the rest of my life, constantly battling my anxiety. February hit and I had a sudden onset of tinnitus in my left ear. I was a nervous wreck for a few months but bounced back pretty quickly and over the course of the next 8-12 months, it just kind of faded to the point I could only hear it in a silent room and even then it wasn't really anything.

      The second bout with it occurred in Sept 2014 following a LONG period of financial and school issues. Work and stress had been taking a toll on my school work and a few major changes lefter me with 3 years left, a small mountain of debt and a bad home life. This time the noise was significantly louder, probably a 7-8 out of 10. I went down a spiral. Ended up having a breakdown, couldn't work, could do classes and started having panic attacks and one night it got so bad I wound up sobbing on my bathroom floor the the phone with the suicide hotline. I didn't have a plan or means to do anything to myself at that moment, but the idea of just ending it was pretty appealing and that scared the shit out of me. After talking to them and calling close friend I was able to get out of the fetal position I was laying in got some sleep.

      Good news now. I think I pretty much habituated over the course of a long and tiresome 4-5 months. I was feeling like myself again. Able to eat three meals a day, could sleep through the night, got back to work and even moved in with some friends (didn't last long as two of my four roommates were horrible slobs.) The tinnitus MAY have lowered some but I unsure if it really did or I just didn't perceive as being as intrusive as it had been before. Life was fine. Still stressful and full of anxiety, but it was manageable. Would I rather the tinnitus go away? Absolutely. Did I feel like I could live with it if it never did? sure. Rather not, but it was more of an occasional nuisance than anything else.

      Fast forward to April of this year. After going through the ringer of my parents divorce, learning of my mothers infidelity, having to move out of my home of the past 13 years(excluding the 6 months I live with some friends), I was at a new low. Unemployed and depressed and having to look after an elderly grandmother whose health is failing, I pretty much awoke one morning in April with my ear(still the same one in question) ringing louder than ever. I was 2014 all over again. I couldn't believe it. How could I have gotten so far and overcome so much for it to come back roaring (pun intended). I feel into a bad cycle of endless internet research looking for cure/relief. none was to be had. I slowly weaned of the forums(this one included) and just got back to doing my regular routine.

      Two months ago, after loosing hope for any relief and just waiting for the next bad bout of tinnitus to show up, I was becoming more aware and annoyed at my jaw pains on my left side. Cant believe it happened, but I wound up in a thread or two here where people were saying that tinnitus COULD be a symptom of TMD. Ideas and memories started clicking. I've been having issues in the left side of my jaw where the tinnitus has been since day one YEARS back. Constant grinding and crackling in the joint. Occasional loud pops/snap audible to other in the same room. A bad habit clicking my jaw when frustrated. Lack of saliva on my pillow during stressful periods(gross I know but may be a sign of bruxism).

      Wound up at a dentist that referred me to a maxillo-facial surgeon. The guy is extremely well reputed in this part of the county and regarded are one of the best in his field. Went in and explained my issues. He took an xray and checked my range of motion of my jaw, but seem pretty dismissive about anything being wrong with my jaw. instead, he focused on my wisdom teeth said my bone structure was fine. No real mention or examination of the muscles that I complained of. He ended up gaving me some muscle relaxers and told me to get a mouthguard made for the possible bruxism just to try for shits and giggles. A month of the muscle relaxers and mouthguard and my tinnitus felt as though it went down some. Not sure if it actually did or I was just dealing better. Still having pains and swelling/knots on my left side though. A follow up a month later and he pretty much just blew me off. Really seemed more concerned with my bone structure than anything which is fine. still wants those wisdom teeth out though for unrelated matters.

      Coming to this week, I did a bit more research into possible jaw muscle problems being the culprit and have been seeing a lot of conflicting info/testimonials. Multiple instances of people claiming to have some relief if not full elimination of their tinnitus, many of which describe their tinnitus like mine. Like a high pitched CRT TV static whine that is erratic and only located in one side. Other people though seem real quick to just say "that wont do anything. just live with it", but those that say that almost always report having hearing damage and, not trying to be judgmental, seem a bit jaded. But with the fact that I've been having mild jaw issues since 2006-07 on the left side(side I've always had tinnitus) with occasional pains along the ridge of my check, under/above my left eye, sudden pains around and toward the inside of my ear, swollen muscles right next to the ear, crackling, popping, grinding and occasional locking in addition to stuffy ear and swollen eustatian tube(only on the left side) am I right to think there may be something to it or do you think im just grasping at straws?

      My question is, should I seek a second opinion from someone who specialized in treating TMJ issues or should I just "live with it". If it really wont help, I'll do what I can to move on. Did it three time and don't see why I can just do it again. *sigh* But, if yall think it's worth a shot, I'll do some searching for a "TMJ specialist" somewhere in my area of the country. Would love some feedback. Thanks in advance!

      Sorry if this was too long winded and confusing. Had to put it down and come back to finish writing it three time. If some clarification is needed, just let me know. I'm sure I haven't put everything done.
    2. Path Maker

      Path Maker Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I just read your whole thing! :)

      Personally, I would think, why not? You mentioned that the specialist you saw was kind of dismissive. I always really dislike hearing that.

      Even "experts" are humans, and some humans can be more helpful than others.

      I would spend a good deal of energy networking, word-of-mouthing, online searching, Facebook querying on TMJ groups, etc. to try to find a couple of good, solid recommendations of doctors that others consistently rave about, and then also use your own intuition, and then make some appointments. Good luck! It's worth it to try some more.
    3. GregCA

      GregCA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Does it hurt to get a second (or third? I went through half a dozen ENTs before we figured out what I had) opinion?
      I would try to get as many data points as possible. The stakes are too high to pass up on the chance, IMHO.
    4. glynis

      glynis Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Welcome to Tinnitus Talk.
      I had TMJ for many years.
      A mouth guard will help in time
      along with a soft food diet or cut meat up small and don't over bite on Apple's and try not yawn.
      I was under the Maxilliofacial specialists and told I was a candidate for new surgery and have me 6 months to decide on having the opperations on my jaw.
      My back teeth did not like up and had fillings in them and one broke off and one a little loose.
      I had some dental work done and ended up with 4 teeth on a partial denture and this stopped my jaw cracking and crunching and no need for surgery now..
      Give your mouth guard time and hope it helps you ........lots of love glynis
    5. AUTHOR

      msroach89 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure. Maybe noise induced, maybe tmj issues
      Okay, so an update. Kind of bizarre. I got home from staying at my aunt's house following my wisdom tooth removal. I got home distraught over my tinnitus being/seeming worse. I sat here reading doom and gloom on here while massaging the knot in my jaw for 30 mins or so thinking the worst. Got up to run to the store and *pause for dramatic effect* my tinnitus is MUCH lower. Still there, but back to a manageable level. Unless I'm going insane from desperation, I'm sold on the idea of TMJ issues causing mine now or at least making the already present tinnitus worse

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