Hearing Loss and Tinnitus from 'Safe' Noises—Over and Over Again... Help?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Lauren Morse, Nov 15, 2015.

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    1. Lauren Morse
      Cowabunga

      Lauren Morse Member

      Location:
      Salt Lake City
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma/Migraines
      So I am a 21 year old still-in college student who has had a number of hearing issues in the past year.

      Frankly, my problems with hearing loss and T started a few years ago, as a result of repeated exposure to high volumes on my ipod; I have stopped such behavior since Spring of 2014, however.
      Enjoying about 8 months with no more hearing problems, hell then broke loose last February when a firecracker went off by my ears, creating instant hearing loss, tinnitus, and hyperacusis. I was still, luckily, in the normal range for all speech frequencies (had hearing of a 30 something year old now) and only had large losses in the very high frequencies, particularly in the right ear.

      Fast forward to May where I had 2 seperate noise induced incidents, where I lost hearing and got more T while wearing earplugs in only a 100-105 decibel environment (one event for only 15 minutes, the other for about 2 hours). Given that nobody else was losing hearing (even temporarily) in these events, I thought it odd, especially since I visited nightclubs (occasionally) and went to school concerts even after the firecracker incident with no problems.

      Anyway, then things started to get really weird around August after a labrynthitis attack, where any exposure to a relatively loudish noise, no matter how brief and regardless of protection worn, was setting off episodes of permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo. Now I have the hearing of a 50-60 something year old :/, and have developed a 40 decibel notch at 6 K in the left ear (which was not there in May) with high speech frequency losses. Since August, I have had events caused by:

      Riding a bus with earplugs
      One loud crowd scream with earplugs in, and then people talking loudly for a brief time
      Wisdom tooth surgery
      Ear suction at ENT office (recovered from that fortunately)
      Jackhammer on other side of the street, or Taiko drums a block away for 3 minutes, with earplugs in
      Taking a shower that was only a bit louder than most
      Singing 2 folk songs in the car at a moderate volume
      Watching a 25 minute movie segment with volume up slightly high (but absolutely not earsplitting or even close)
      Singing at lower volume with earplugs in (occlusion effect?)

      I have also had other weird symptoms accompanying the usual inner ear damage more recently, including:

      • A feeling of pressure and swelling all across my head in response to loud noises or me raising my voice
      • Frequent mild temple headaches (especially around episodes of hearing loss)
      • During episodes of hearing loss I get facial tingling and numbing
      • Sometimes hand/feet tingling, as well as 'vibrations' in parts of my body, that occur after loud noise
      • Shooting eye and sinus pain (from loud noises)
      • Feelings that circulation has been cut off from ears, which induces very loud tinnitus and pain radiating from one ear across the head to the other
      • Dizziness and vertigo are frequently experienced, but not debilitating
      I mean, what the hell is this? I have been to a neuro-otologist, and plenty of ENT's who have offered no insights into the problem (aside from auditory neuropathy). Clearly, noise is a trigger and a cause but my extreme vulnerability to noise must have another underlying reason. I have come up with my own ideas such as secondary cochlear hydrops, noise mediated autoimmune inner ear disease, a lingering inner ear virus, vascular damage that has limited circulation, etc. etc. but again, NO diagnosis!

      Any insights as to what could be going on, or is there anything I could do to continue finding a solution to the problem? I am so desperate to be free of the ringing, and the emotional and mental health hell that occurs whenever I lose more hearing.

      Thank you so much!
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    3. Lauren Morse
      Cowabunga

      Lauren Morse Member

      Location:
      Salt Lake City
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma/Migraines
      Thanks Nick!

      Yes, this is probably part of the explanation for earlier noise damage, but it doesn't seem to fit the vertigo/migraine-like headache/lightheadedness which have accompanied all my subsequent hearing losses, and the most recent going into the past month.
      It could be some other kind of neuropathy though beyond the inner ear!
       
    4. shreddAr87

      shreddAr87 Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud music...history of anxiety/depression...earplugs idk
      MRI?
       
    5. Lauren Morse
      Cowabunga

      Lauren Morse Member

      Location:
      Salt Lake City
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma/Migraines
      I know I need an MRI at this point, especially since this illness or whatever is no longer confined to my ears.
      It's just incredibly risky given my extreme vulnerability to noises. I didn't feel safe even with plugs and muffs on when I last tried in October.
      If there is no good way to protect me, getting an MRI now could be the difference between wearing and not wearing hearing aids thanks to the war zone environment in that machine :/.
       
    6. Angela95

      Angela95 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise exposure
      Hi,

      I can relate to what you are saying...all it took was one loud exposure to sound from my laptop, and now my tolerance for sound is at a point where I have been experiencing symptoms of hearing loss/damage even from 5 minutes in a Booster Juice with kind of loud music..

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/feel-like-noise-is-attacking-me.14741

      I hope that you have seen improvements with your condition and that there is way for us to once again be in "normal" sound environments without experiencing these symptoms..
       
    7. bill 112
      Studious

      bill 112 Member

      Location:
      Republic Of Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      If I'm honest Lauren regardless of what anyone thinks I know myself what causes T and H,it takes people in situations like ours to realise it.T and H are simply auditory nerve damage or irritation,if the damage is minor your ear will slowly recover over time and if it's more serious than that then you won't.Explains why some peoples H disappears and others doesn't,personally I think Jastreboff knows this but makes money off of a recovery that was going to happen anyway.Its basically peripheral neuropathy and neuropathies in nature are usually degenerative.Thats why one noise can worsen someone's T and H but yet the same noise wouldn't harm someone with hearing loss from haircells with no T and H.Neuropathic pain is tingling numbness stinging or burning and basically the very pain every H sufferer feels.I have way more on this but I don't want to bore you either lol.I have a lot of symptoms similar to you so pm me when you read this as I'd like to discuss it with you.
       
    8. bill 112
      Studious

      bill 112 Member

      Location:
      Republic Of Ireland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      How loud was the noise Angela?Was it deafeningly loud almost like it blew you away?What were your symptoms immediately after?And what sound came through the headphones,was it loud singing or what?Just curious.
       
    9. Angela95

      Angela95 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise exposure
      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for your reply.

      I've been trying to figure out how loud the noise was since it happened...but it seems impossible to measure exactly. I was using Apple earbuds with my Asus laptop..which was pretty new so I didn't realize how much louder the audio was with headphones vs just the laptop speakers...and the noise that came through was unfortunately..trumpets blaring, I'm not even kidding! It was the opening credits to a show and that's why it happened so unexpectedly (like the music in the DVD menu when it first starts). I highly doubt my laptop volume was any higher than maybe 60 db..like through the speakers I mean..(I tried to measure this with an app on my phone)..so then how much louder would it be amplified through the headphones? I don't know...do you?

      Another "test" I tried to do with my boyfriend was to recreate the approximate volume settings on my laptop and have him listen to through the same headphones (that was nice of him to offer to do that!) and he said that while it was a bit too loud, he could listen to it for a couple minutes as he felt fine after). So I don't know, do I have super sensitive ears I guess?

      When it happened...I remember this tiny "ping" sound inside my ear...like as though something had just shifted or been damaged deep in my ear..and my ears were very hot and my face too..and I felt really nauseous, especially the next day..and had bad hyperacusis for about a week where people had to whisper to me..and then the ringing started about a week after..

      Well, thanks for listening!
       
    10. Lauren Morse
      Cowabunga

      Lauren Morse Member

      Location:
      Salt Lake City
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma/Migraines
      @Angela95

      I was recently diagnosed with migraines, and that is supposedly what is causing my hearing losses as migraines can spread to the auditory portion of the inner ear.

      Granted that the noise you were exposed to was so short in duration, likely not on the order of 120 decibels, and that you did not (I hope) have prior really loud noise experiences, you may have had a migraine attack. But you are also right that your findings are consistent with acoustic shock.

      Just an idea; I hope things have started to get better for you!
       

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