Hello, I'm Lost: What Caused My Mild Tinnitus to Suddenly Get So Bad?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Kathy McGraw, Sep 9, 2020.

    1. Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Never in my life have I contemplated ending my life so seriously as I have these past few days. I cannot stand the idea of leaving my husband alone, but I want this torture to stop. Going from 1 to 10 is just paralyzing.

      About Me
      I am 35 years old, living in California. Married. I have general anxiety and something like OCD (self-diagnosed). No health insurance; last time I went to a doctor was in my late teens. My hearing was fine at that time, according to the physician.

      I didn't know that I had tinnitus until my husband and I went to the desert and camped out there, in the dead silence. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop! I heard a midtone, somewhere between humming and a high pitched noise in both ears. It bothered me only on the day we stayed there and since I'm not usually in that kind of environment, I wasn't bothered by it. That was five years ago.

      I have no idea what caused it. I've gone to eight concerts in my life, five of which were at outdoor venues and the latter three I wore earplugs. I also went shooting, once, in an open air range. For the most part, I wore my headgear. I have always been a little sensitive to sounds, so when something is loud, I instinctively cover my ears. I mostly avoid earbuds, since I don't like the idea of putting noise directly in my ears. I don't blast music or my stereos. During my late teens to mid twenties, I used noise-canceling headphones. Not excessively and not loudly, but I did. I get a lot of earwax build up, so I have used ear drops, mineral oil and hydrogen peroxide.

      I clean out my ears like this maybe twice a year, with a bulb syringe to get the remaining gunk out. Never had a perforated eardrum, swimmers ear, etc. I've only had an ear infection once (as a child) and an earache maybe five times in my life that lasted no more than a day. I did use to use aspirin in my teens and late teens, before I knew that ibuprofen existed. Then, I used ibuprofen pretty often in my twenties, all the way up to when I was about thirty. This was due to migraines, which eventually changed into sinusitis. I rarely have migraines any more, but sometimes my sinusitis gets so bad, I take one or two. Unfortunately, acetaminophen does not work on me, at all.

      Several times a year, I get a high pitched whine in one of my ears that lasts up to thirty seconds. It doesn't seem to be triggered by anything and I have had this happen since I was young. When I asked a physician in my late teens, he said it was a sign of hearing loss related to aging. Another thing I deal with, but did not disclose to a physician, is that I sometime have fluttering in my left ear. I've also had this since I was young and it is usually triggered by certain noises (I always said a singer was good if this happened, lol). The fluttering sounds and feels like someone rapidly striking a drum and it lasts maybe five seconds. It can also happen when I am in a quiet or silent room/area. It's not persistent and doesn't happen repeatedly.

      Anyway, with all that said, everything was fine up until earlier this year. We generally have a fan in the window to let cool air into our room. Usually, my husband turns it off when he leaves and closes the window. One day, I wake up after he does this to the sound of the midtone. I got a bit frustrated because this meant I needed more ambient noise to not hear the midtone, but it didn't affect me otherwise. I'd rate this annoyance as maybe 2/10. I have no idea what might have triggered it, but it didn't go away. I just simply accepted this as my new normal and prayed it wouldn't get any worse. At this point, it's worth mentioning I didn't know anything about spikes.

      About three weeks ago, I feel something like a hair fall on the back of my neck, followed by an intense itching sensation. My husband looks and it appears I was bitten by something, possibly a baby spider. A few days later, I develop my first ever swollen lymph node. I didn't go to a doctor because, after all, I do not have health insurance. I put a heat pack on it, take some a little ibuprofen and diphenhydramine for a few days, then stop when it slowly begins to get smaller. Regardless, I have some level of anxiety throughout this situation, with the worst of it being the first week. I start taking 2mg melatonin with diphenhydramine sleeping pills to help with my restless sleep.

      Then, we come to last week. Note, that we just began sleeping in a different room, since our bedroom does not have AC and it has been hot; the other room does have AC. On Monday, I went to the dentist to get a deep cleaning. I asked to antibiotics since I was dealing with a swollen lymph node and didn't want to take any chances for infection. I was prescribed amoxicillin, 500g, 3x per day for 7 days. I take probiotics with it to help my gut flora. The very next day, I noticed a new tone on top (of the midtone I only hear in quiet); a high pitched whine coming from both ears whenever I put my ear to a pillow. I googled it, searching for an answer. I came upon this forum and read a few people had a thing called a "spike" and that it might have been caused by the antibiotics. I decided to stop the antibiotics after three days, then begin a detox, in the hopes that it would go away.

      I self-treat with homeopathic remedies. Chamomile has helped a lot with my periodic insomnia and anxiety. I also began taking passion flower after my anxiety went up from the lymph node swelling. I also take Valerian and St. John's Wort. For detoxing and for tinnitus support, I took Milk Thistle, Magnesium and B12 starting Thursday. Friday, I decide to try cleaning out my ears with hydrogen peroxide and a little mineral oil. A tiny bit of ear wax came out, but nothing changed.

      Then, Sunday morning comes and the whine in my ears becomes so loud, I wake up from it. 4AM and I am trembling, trying to sleep, using my noise machine or anything that can work. I can't eat much, since every bite makes me nauseous. All I can do is sip water. Note, this is about the time that the air quality where I live goes down, due to the fires.

      My husband woke up and I start talking about suicide. I tell him I can't live like this and that I needed to go back to normal, or else I was going to have to take a gun to my head. So, we pray together, we leave home and we go to a park and I try to relax. I stop taking everything, save for the Valerian, St. John's Wort, Chamomile and Magnesium. Even the sound of nature doesn't help, since I can hear the whine over almost everything. I go through the rest of my day trying to cope and breaking down and crying, telling him I can't do it anymore.

      Finally, he suggests pot. We have a few buds, just in case I have one of my rare migraines that can only be helped by huge doses of ibuprofen. He and I go through a bud. I feel calmer, but the sound isn't alleviated. He and I pray again and we go to sleep with the TV on. I wake up and it seems like the sound is gone. I do some tests and it seems that it has gone back to before I took the antibiotics. I cry in happiness, but still am dealing with the nausea of having gone through all that anxiety.

      He and I go to a few places, despite the shitty air quality. Around the middle of the day, I notice a little sinus pain, so I take one diphenhydramine. We go to my mother's home and watch movies with her. As time goes on, my nausea and sinus pain gets worse. She gives me some sinus medication and prescription sleeping pills. When I go home, I go into the bedroom, lights off, take another diphenhydramine and a single ibuprofen. I begin to notice the whine begin to come back, little by little. By the time the pain goes away, it is almost back to what it was on Sunday.

      We slept in the AC room again, I kept the TV on and took one of the prescription sleeping pills and a melatonin. I woke up periodically, not bothering to check the tone, just tossing and turning. Finally, I wake up at seven and cannot go back to sleep. At this point, it is back to being as bad as it was after taking the antibiotics. I try to meditate, find peace in mindfulness and focus on other things, but as the day progresses, it goes back up to just as loud as it was on Sunday. Finally, I took a shower; the only thing loud enough to block out the noise. I start thinking about suicide again, contemplating if I should do it in the bath tub so I don't make a mess.

      I forced myself to eat, to drink, to take my Valerian, St. John's Wort and Chamomile. I didn't bother with the magnesium. Now, I am at work, trying to drown out the noise with two fans and music. I can still hear it. I am fatigued, mentally and physically tired...

      How does one cope with it? Going from a minor annoyance that only occurs when there is dead silence to hearing constantly hearing a high pitched whine that overtakes most noise? I don't get it. For about five years, I was completely fine. When I realized I had tinnitus, I did my best to protect my ears. I've had anxiety attacks before, I've taken antibiotics once before, I've cleaned my ears with rigor... and nothing like this has ever happened! It makes me anxious, my OCD won't let me ignore it and adapt to it.

      The noise is relentless. I just want it to stop. As much as I don't want to leave my husband and my loved ones, I don't want to deal with this noise. What stops me are repercussions of my death: my husband will end up leaving home to live with his parents, in misery, until they both die; my grandmother, who has already experienced so much loss this year, will likely have a stroke and die; my father will have another heart attack, and my mother will drink herself to death. My brother and his wife will likely be fine.

      Sorry for the long post, this should have been put into Introduction, but I am going through a difficult time. I know I am not special and that there are many who have dealt with my same circumstances, if not worse... I just don't know what to do and feel hopeless and afraid.
       
      • Hug Hug x 10
    2. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @Kathy McGraw

      Could it be a Sinusitis history as an underlining factor, where the inner lining of the sinuses swells due to allergies and dust - bacteria. This and also maybe with changing blood pressure. A continuation of this can cause nerves within the ears to become sensitive and sensitive to other input, including certain medications.

      If around a fan, I would use a surgical hair net to stop dust from getting into ears.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Greg Sacramento

      I've had a weird history of head afflictions throughout my life. I used to get headaches often and would take something for it, but I don't recall what. Then, at some point in my teens (maybe around when I got my first period) I started getting migraines and the headaches stopped. I took aspirin until I found out about ibuprofen. I'd get migraines pretty often, enough that if I still had them as I did, a botox shot might have been in order. Then, as I got into my late twenties, I got less and less migraines.

      I remember one time, I had decided to swear off all NSAIDs and threw them out and shortly afterward, I had the worst migraine of my life. Sound sensitive, light sensitive, even touch sensitive. I was literally on the floor, screaming. So, my dad, who had aspirin (because he has stents), ground up a few pills with coconut oil and gave it to me, alone with a bud. I consumed the aspirin and my husband and I smoked the bud. It went away shortly after that. Since then, I get a migraine maybe three times or so a year.

      The sinus attacks came after the migraines began to lessen. At the same time, my brother and father also began to get sinus problems (we all live on the same property). I think I have it worse than any of them, perhaps because I have a deviated septum. My dad, on the other hand, will get them every so often, but when it gets them there is a 50/50 chance he will see a doctor because it gets infected.

      Usually a single diphenhydramine makes it go away. I get them a few times a month, sometimes less sometimes more. Maybe once a month, I get one bad enough that I take one or two ibuprofen. The air quality of where I live is shitty to begin with, because we literally live in something like a canyon, with its own microclimate and is a dust bowl, since it surrounded by highways. I remember my grandfather remarked that the "air here is terrible" when he first moved in with us.

      Anyway, I don't get "allergies", in the classical sense. I don't sneeze or get congested, with sniffles or anything like that. Now, having said that, if someone cuts grass, I haul ass away from there based on a single instance of getting a bad case. If I go the park or hiking, 9 times out of 10, I have no issues and if I do, it's mild.

      In regard to my blood pressure, it's not great. I have always had a high-ish pulse and my blood pressure teeters on pre-hypertension, according to my dad's BP checker. I inherited the obsessive, worry-wort and anxious personality disorder of my maternal grandmother, mother, maternal uncle and probably my paternal uncle. My mother has had hypertension for years, although they say that is from her smoking and drinking. She also has kidney issues, so that might have contributed.

      All that said, I've only had two panic attacks in my life. One time, out of the blue, when I was alone at home at the age of thirteen or so. Then, again, out of the blue when I was at a gym maybe seven years ago. I never had another panic attack, but I did suddenly develop anxiety (or at least, it became bad enough to where it fucked me up) in late 2018.

      I had my first anxiety attack from an incompetent optician who was deliberately vague answering my questions about my eye health. I didn't even understand what was happening. Since then, my anxiety levels have been abnormal. Most of my anxiety comes from health-related issues and I have had less than ten attacks since then. When I got the swollen lymph node, I got two attacks. I was about to have one on Sunday, but the pot stopped it.

      I know this is a lot more information than you probably expected, but I thought I'd be honest.


      EDIT: Oh, I forgot to mention this, but at some point I also had TMJ. It lasted a few days and I didn't see a dentist about it. It was caused by me overworking one side of my mouth, since I avoided chewing on one side due to an untreated cavity. It went away on its own and since then, I have had the cavity filled. That was in late 2018, maybe?
       
    4. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      This is normal. Even the healthy people get that. People with T get this multiple times a day. One way to think of it is that it is the body's attempt to recalibrate.
      This is TTTS - Tonic tensor tympani syndrome. Normally it happens infrequently, if it starts being frequent, it will often mostly go away on its own after a year or two.
      Amoxicillin is one of the safest antibiotics out there. ON the other hand, Ibuprophen is ototoxic. Whenever you can, try replacing it with Tylenol.

      You've had it for less than a month. There is a high chance that eventually it will begin to fade. If you notice any fading 1-2 months after the onset, it ought to continue to fade and eventually (after 1-3 years) get to the "can hear it only in quiet rooms" stage. The next 6 months will be horrible, but it ought to get better after that.

      You will want to make sure that you don't hurt your ears during this period of vulnerability as your body is healing. You will want to avoid taking ototoxic drugs, avoid microsuction or syringing (performed when you need to clean wax out of your ears; a manual tool should be used), and not let your dental hygienist use an ultrasonic scaling tool on you (a manual tool should be used). For more details, see

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...eone-else-who-has-tinnitus.26850/#post-307822
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Genius Genius x 1
    5. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @Kathy McGraw Correct - Hypertension often runs in families - some of my relatives and self. I have spent thousands of hours on the study of hypertension since the age of 15 - over 50 years ago.

      Hypertension could be the cause of your tinnitus without vein and artery input, except for arteries that go the eyes - usually only one eye. It does not appear that you have pulsatile tinnitus or intercranial hypertension without migraines.

      Echocardiogram and carotid ultrasound for consideration to discuss with your doctor. I doubt that you have issues with either heart or the carotid artery. It may be that sudden and brief rising of blood pressure is your cause of tinnitus. If so, blood pressure/ anxiety meds may greatly help and with tinnitus. When feeling stressed, breathe in and out slowly a few times and drink a small glass of water. Don't eat a lot of foods that contain large amounts of vitamin A daily.

      Seeing an interventional radiologist for consultation may be something to consider. At your age, there is much less to consider.

      Have you had your hearing examined?

      Can you tell me about your eye problems? When happening, did this come on suddenly?
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Bill Bauer

      Thanks for the input. I also found that my husband, who has tinnitus in one ear, has also been experiencing an abnormally high spike. A co-worker of his is also saying he recently has spiked, which may or may not be an indication of an environmental factor.

      We are surrounded by fires here and Santa Ana.

      That said, I apologise for not getting back sooner. I'm having the worst bout of anxiety in my life. This is my second day out of work because of it. I thought I got serotonin syndrome from a sleeping pill I took to make me fall asleep during all this.

      Instead, it seems I am having a mental health crisis. Haven't slept in 30 hours. Heart racing between 90-120. Called two urgent care centers, an ER and poison control.

      I may have given up on killing myself, but the tinnitus is quite literally killing me.

      EDIT: On a side note, while the ear-to-pillow issue hasn't changed since last Tuesday, I do find that every so often, the overarching whine tends to fluctuate. Sometimes, it's vanishes. Sometimes, it's so loud it overtakes most all other sound. Other times, it's lower, but still quite noticeable.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Greg Sacramento

      My top number is always good, but it seems my bottom number is usually high 70s, low 80s. Sometimes higher if I'm going through a lot.

      I have no insurance, thus no doctor, ENT, etc. Last time I had my ears checked it was a routine physical when I was a teenager. As far as I can recall, my hearing was only checked with the tones as a child.

      I'm the only one in my family who is myopic; no one else has ocular issues. In fact, when I was younger, I believe I had better than average sight. It started to be slightly noticeable in my late teens, then got worse as I begun to wear glasses starting 2009. Note, I was a computer-holic by the age of 15. My sight has been degrading about .25 every year and hasn't stopped or slowed. I have floaters; a lot of them. A little bit of photosensitivity. I had my first dilated pupils test with this eye doctor from Walmart. She told me I had lattice degeneration in one eye and that I'd likely get it in the other side too.

      I asked her what that meant and she said "basically, stretch marks on the eyes that could cause a retinal tear". When I pressed for more info, she dodged. Then, I asked about the fact my eyes haven't stabilized yet. She said something like, "Oh, well I have a lady who is -23. No worries!" WTF? My previous eye doctor, who has about 30+ years of experience on her and such, had done the digital imaging on my eyes and told my that, despite the floaters, my eye health was normal for my age. He also told me some people don't stabilize until they reach age-related hyperopia. Despite that, what this lady told me began my anxiety spiral, from which I have not recovered.

      I stopped all vitamins, cold turkey, yesterday, after my mental health declined considerably. I haven't slept in 30 hours. The ringing is so loud and is louder when I put either ear to a pillow.

      After taking another of those sleeping pills, I found myself waking up to palpitations and racing heart beat between 90-120. This is the second day I've stayed home.

      The fear of having serotonin syndrome made me realize I don't want to kill myself, but this tinnitus apparently is killing me anyway. I called two Urgent Care facilities, an ER and Poison Control, who all told my it's my anxiety. No amount of baths, showers, meditation, mindfulness, sound generators and white noise seems to be helping.

      As I said before, going from a 1/2 out of 10 to a 10 is just debilitating.

      I mentioned this in a response, but my husband is also dealing with tinnitus, only he has it in one ear. Over the past week, his has also been getting worse. The past day or so, he says it's been getting really bad. Now, he has texted me to tell me it is so bad it hurts and he feels pressure in his ear.

      What the heck is going on??

      Adding some notes:
      * The sleeping pill mum gave me was called trazodone, 50mg.
      * Since I haven't slept in a good while, I'm going to ask dad for a Xanax.
      * I might be going to Urgent Care anyway with my husband for his ear. I don't know if they can do anything though.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    8. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      @Kathy McGraw From your blood pressure reading "isolated systolic hypertension" stands out. The word hypertension would be replaced with hyperstimulation for you, meaning there is more than just fear, feeling down, anxiety or stress input - a physical input.

      Air pollution (smoke) often with hot weather tops the list as with activation. CO2 levels are lowered causing insomnia as well as a changing respiration rate and PH balance. LDL cholesterol can also be a factor. Some or all of these factors may be your problem. Hypertension can cause tinnitus and vision concerns, but at your young age, usually there needs to be a physical input, although vein and arteries can be affected. Certain vitamins can also contribute, such as too much vitamin A, which might also cause vision and eye problems when one has hypertension or hyperstimulation.

      In summary, someone with systolic hypertension that has any of the input factors that I have mentioned, often will have physical hyperstimulation. I live in California and consul students with tinnitus and hypertension. The wild fires (smoke) have been a major problem for them. Parents have said, that my child has not slept for days.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Greg Sacramento

      My mother has hypertension, though I don't know which stage. My father has an LDL problem and cholesterol problem, both of which are genetic. Mom and her side have triglyceride problems. Maternal grandmother has chronic depression.

      Floaters seem to be getting worse the past week.

      Not sure how I would be overdosing on Vitamin A. Where is it sourced?
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Update: I just went to urgent care. They checked my ears, my vitals, etc. Ultimately, they prescribed me 10 doses of Xanax. No feedback on the tinnitus though.
       
    11. Nadia231
      Depressed

      Nadia231 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Kathy,

      Sorry to hear about that.
      I understand you since I am going through the same right now.

      I have had mild/moderate tinnitus for three years but I was completely habituated to it and would not cause any trouble in my life (apart from a few noise induced spikes that would disappeared after a good night's sleep.

      However two weeks ago a huge spike woke me up in the middle of the night with a very intense, loud high pitch sound in one ear, and a general metallic very loud hissing in my head. I panicked and could not get back to sleep. Since that day I have not slept more than 2h each day, the volume of my tinnitus is ridiculously loud and can't even mask it with sounds at night. I also have a clogged ear (especially every day after getting up and it lasts until the evening) quite weird.

      My biggest fear is that this is another permanent spike that will stay with me. I don't think I can hanituate to such horrible tinnitus this time.

      I am seeking psychological help and will see my ENT doctor soon. I never thought that after habituating to my normal tinnitus, I would have to live this nightmare again but multiplied by 10.

      I really hope you get better.
      Me, I personally don't have any hopes that I will fade and get back to baseline level.

      Sorry for my English, it is not my first language.
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Nadia231 Thank you for sharing and for your concerns. I'm sorry that you are going through this too.

      Last night, my anxiety was so bad I went to Urgent Care. They checked my ears, my vitals, etc. and sent me home with a 10 pill RX of Xanax, to sleep.

      I got about five hours sleep last night, but then woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. I called Poison Control again after I noticed my pulse was altering 30+ between sitting and standing.

      The woman told me to go to a clinic and get an EKG. The Xanax was not causing this, she assured me. So, I got evaluated and my EKG was normal, except for a little blip they attributed to my rapid heart rate. Regardless, they wanted to err on the side of caution. So, I have thyroid, calcium and potassium blood panel results to wait for.

      Regardless, the physician told me that I needed to go to therapy for my anxiety and see an audiologist to get my hearing checked. She also told me to call my dentist about the tinnitus; I'll be speaking with him tomorrow.

      I wish I didn't have such terrible anxiety. I could get along with taking sleeping aids and protecting my hearing, until hopefully then tinnitus spike goes away. These physical symptoms are the worst. :cry:

      The bills from the clinic and urgent care are going to suck too.
       
    13. CLB2020

      CLB2020 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection & Stress/ Anxiety
      Hi Kathy.

      I'm sorry that you're feeling like this. I've been through a similar process in terms of anxiety and dark thoughts.

      I'd really urge you to try and sleep if possible. Take the meds and things should improve with time.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    14. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      How is the pollution smoke from the fires in your area?
      Smoke pollution can raise hypertension and anxiety by 22% - a Harvard study. - give pulse 20+ increase - lowering of C02 which would be noticed between sitting and standing.

      Visit here: Floaters are also mentioned.
      https://www.anxietycentre.com/
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Greg Sacramento

      Fires keeps popping up every day it seems. Last night, a new one appeared out of nowhere as we were filling my prescription. Air quality keeps shifting from moderate to unhealthy: https://www.iqair.com/us/usa/california/san-diego

      It kind of feels like the air pressure is messed up too. My husband and I keep feeling pops in our ears when moving our jaws. It also feels weird when I roll up the windows in my car and turn on the AC; I crack open the window now to allow pressure inside. At Urgent Care and the clinic, they checked my ears and they both said they the canal and eardrums looked okay.

      While the pillow-to-ear situation remains as bad, the whine has been fluctuating a lot in the past three days. It doesn't help my car, window fan and fridge give off high pitched whines. Sometimes the whine seems gone, then it comes back and it is slight and then sometimes it is so loud that only a shower drowns it out. It seems until (I HOPE) this goes back to my baseline, I will be sleeping on my back. I hope to God it reverts.

      My husband's singe-sided tinnitus is getting better though; no more pain or fullness. Still pretty loud though.

      EDIT: I was prescribed hydroxyzine for the anxiety. The physician said it wasn't ototoxic. The internet seems to be contradictory about it.
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @CLB2020

      Thank you for your kind words. I am trying my best to deal with this, though the ear-to-pillow situation makes things terrible. I guess I will have to just become a back sleeper until this HOPEFULLY reverts. Until then, my husband and I will be babying our ears.

      I still can't fathom how tinnitus hasn't been cured or at least treated effectively, especially since Reagan had it and brought it to light more than thirty years ago with the National Better Hearing and Speech Month. I guess people are more interested in studying the climate aftereffects of an extinct milk thistle(?) plant in the desert that had been the primary diet source of an equally extinct turtle/tortoise. I'm not kidding about that. It was a multi-million dollar study that took around 20 years to complete.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    17. Kendra

      Kendra Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL/ Acoustic Trauma
      Yeah. The things researchers and funders throw their money behind when people are suffering blows my mind. Hope you get feeling better <3.
       
    18. Nadia231
      Depressed

      Nadia231 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks Kathy,

      You really need to look after yourself in terms of anxiety. I know how hard it is to control the panic attacks ( I used to have loads as a teenager) , but though I still have anxiety from this last horrible spike, and can't sleep without waking up constantly for the last two weeks, I have not had any panic attacks, and I am determined to not let them become another problem beside the tinnitus.

      If you had to go to urgent care I can imagine the situation you were going through, the heart rate, the pain chest... But bare this in mind, those symptoms, you are creating them, your brain, your anxiety... If we cannot fix our tinnitus, at least we CAN do something about the stress and anxiety, since we are creating it.

      Please try and make the effort to gradually become less anxious about the situation, that is what I tell myself every single day.

      Find some psychological help, it will for sure do no harm to you.

      Please keep updating!
      Nadia
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Nadia231

      Thank you again for your words.

      I'm trying my best to be optimistic. I hope that this is temporary and that in time, it will subside (both the anxiety and tinnitus). My husband's tinnitus has returned to normal, but his might have been triggered by something else.

      The doctor told me to call me dentist and I did. He said in all his 20 years, he has never had anyone complain to him about getting tinnitus or a tinnitus spike. My TSH and free T4, metabolic and hemoglobin tests are normal. I'm going to be talking to the doctor again on Monday.

      I feel a little sedated from the medication, but I feel okay. Heart rate is still high. My grandpa, a retired counselor, said I should try CBT for my anxiety and for tinnitus.

      Panic attacks suck. I've only had them twice in my life. From personal experience, I'd take a panic attacks over an anxiety attacks. My anxiety attacks last for hours and the only thing that helps it is sleep, which I have to induce with pills. My panic attacks both lasted about fifteen minutes after getting away from the situation.

      My dad gets panic attacks because he developed claustrophobia a few years ago from being under a house and accidentally starting a fire.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    20. Nadia231
      Depressed

      Nadia231 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Sounds really bad Kathy, anxiety really sucks, especially if we also need to deal with the loud tinnitus.

      Mine is still the same. Sometimes even higher. And I am not sleeping either... Almost 3 weeks in. Only taking melatonin, which is not really helping.

      Good luck and I really hope you get better.
      Nadia
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Nadia231

      Thank you. I hope you get better too.
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Another update.

      I'm still having palpations every so often, a racing heart and fluctuations in my heart rate. The doctor never called me back, so I went back to the clinic. I had another EKG done and it was, again, normal.

      The doctor said it could still all be anxiety or something intermittent that the machine isn't picking up. So, I was referred to cardiology. They said it wasn't an urgent issue, so I will be seeing him early next month. I have my first telehealth therapy session next week and still have to get an audiologist appointment. My step-grandpa, a former counselor himself, is pushing CBT.

      My tinnitus symptoms have become wacky the past few days. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's just bad... I noticed last night I didn't hear anything against a pillow (or it will very soft), but did hear something over the fan. Then, I woke up with the ear-to-pillow sound. At the clinic I heard a little whine. I came home and it started blaring. I'm hoping this is a sign it's starting to improve and I can return to my baseline. Fingers crossed.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Another update (9/25)

      I went to a Cardiologist last Friday and my third EKG. All normal. I didn't even bother to ask about tinnitus since I'm seeing an Audiologist in October. I've become more concerned about my heart. She suggested that for "peace of mind", I get a 48 hour Holter test and echocardiogram. Follow up in November.

      I've already had my echo and the sonographer saw how anxious I was, so he went ahead and told me that it looked normal. I'll be getting my Holter next Friday.

      My husband and I have had fluctuations in our tinnitus the past week or so. He's getting worse, then improving and mine improving, then getting worse. He asked a nurse at work about it, who said it's likely the barometric pressure.

      What happened? Did he and I hit 35 and then suddenly our ears decided to act up?

      Anyway, I'll find out what this audiologist says about my hearing and tinnitus later in October, and then follow up with the first doctor in early October, and I have to reschedule my therapy telehealth appointment.

      I'm so very, very, VERY thankful for community health centers. If not for them, I'd be screwed.

      ----------------

      I'm sorry of this seems a little spammy. I want to share my journey with you all. Hopefully, it can help someone. I've gone from just having some anxiety the past two years, to suddenly having terrible tinnitus this year, developing all consuming anxiety and contemplating suicide, to suddenly having daily palpations, tachycardia and fluctuations in BPM. Then, with no insurance, going to doctors, getting tests done and trying to figure it all out.

      I know one person I've touched in doing this. My father. He's been obsessed with tinnitus since I first got my palpations. He's been reading about it every day and is as equally frustrated with the lack of progress and inconsistent information as someone who suffers from it.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    24. Kendra

      Kendra Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL/ Acoustic Trauma
      That’s so awesome how much your father cares! I know most of us wish our family members cared as much as we did.
       
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Kathy McGraw
      Depressed

      Kathy McGraw Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hey all. Update time.

      I had a follow up with the first nurse/doctor I saw. Nothing new to report on her end. The Holter gave me a few side effects, including little zaps and contact dermatitis, which I've never had before. I made sure to write what was basically a book report for those 48 hours, pit together in a nice paper folder. Lol.

      Those results should come in in early November, unless I get moved up on the wait list.

      Anyway, my tinnitus fluctuations continue, although my ability to be in a quiet room or area is consistently uncomfortable. I basically can't be in a room without something like a fan being on.

      Next Monday I am seeing the audiologist. I had forgotten to inquire about a few things here with people who have seen one before:

      1. What kind of test(s) should I get? What should I tell them?

      2. What should I do and/or say to make sure I don't get a tinnitus spike from the test(s). Is that even a thing?

      3. Should I ask about molded/custom ear plugs?

      4. Should I bother with an ENT if they refer me to one?

      Thanks all.
       

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