Help Me with My Ear Mystery: Woke Up to Raging Tinnitus, Hyperacusis and Hearing Loss

Discussion in 'Support' started by AfroSnowman, Jun 23, 2020.

    1. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      trauma
      So 15-ish months ago I had sudden onset severe tinnitus. I went to sleep one night at 11 pm having never experienced tinnitus and woke up at 2 am with raging tinnitus that has not stopped for a moment since. No sickness, no noise exposure, no ototoxic drugs. Just bam.

      I was sent to a local hospital where they examined me and did an audiogram. The only significant finding was a notch at 6000 Hz that dropped out to ~55 dB. The rest of my hearing looked pretty normal for a 50-year-old guy with a slope starting above 4000 Hz going to down to >30 dB, both the slope and the notch were bi-lateral and nearly symmetrical. It was assumed by the ENT that the notch must have been preexisting from noise exposure in my youth, though I had no specific event. "Did you ever go to a concert? OK then that must be it. It was noted that 4000 Hz is where you typically see noise trauma. I was sent home with a pocket full of placebos and life went on. When my condition didn't improve after a couple of weeks I was medevaced to a proper first world ENT where I was pumped with anti-virals, steroids, got the MRI, blood work, blah blah blah. The ENT there assumed it must have been viral.

      Fast forward 8 months, I had been checking my hearing regularly, maybe biweekly, with a hearing app and headphones and found to my surprise that suddenly my notch had gone away. At about 10 months I got confirmation of this when I got an audiogram at Lenire. When I told my medical history to the Audiologist in Ireland, she said that the hearing loss pattern in both the audiograms from the onset with the notch, and the one she did, did not look like a viral pattern

      Flash forward to now, I have been evacuated back to the United States due to COVID-19 and have been seeing ENT's and Audiologists while here. They both say it is very odd. The audiologist said she could tell what caused hearing loss by the pattern. My current hearing looks kind of like just age related mild hearing. The audiograms from my 'event' (I have 4 done in 6 weeks during the onset), she couldn't explain. She said, as did others that it looked like what you see in folks that work in the infantry, or got exposed to an explosion, except that it should happen at 4000 Hz. She explained the physics of this, how the shock wave impacts where the 4000 Hz hairs are, damaging them. I was assured that symmetrical narrow notch damage is not what viral or ototoxic damage looks like.

      One other thing to stir into this mix is I work for the US government abroad. I am aware of the Havana Syndrome and other assumed attacks elsewhere in the world. My immediate thought when it happened was that it was a sonic attack. Again I went to sleep 11 pm never having had any tinnitus issue in my life, no sound trauma, no illness, no ototoxic drugs. I woke at 2 am with severe tinnitus, hyperacusis, and a blast shaped notch at 6000 Hz. The other atypical thing is that my notch healed after more than half a year. I had audiograms up to 6 weeks out from onset showing no improvement. I have been told that this isn't how ears work.

      So community, tell me, what is the explanation for what happened to me?
       
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    2. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Nothing obvious, but it does sound like some type of sonic attack. Did anyone you were with suffer any symptoms?
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      trauma
      No. I was the only one, I was alone in a room sleeping when it occurred.

      I just wonder if there are other possible explanations anyone might think of.
       
    4. Lucifer

      Lucifer Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Is your type of hyperacusis pain or loudness?
       
    5. LukeYoung
      Mooooody

      LukeYoung Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud Concert - Noise Exposure
      55db drop is pretty large, have you thought it could be from this?
      Sometimes these things do catch up to us eventually..
       
    6. acute
      Depressed

      acute Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Music
      @AfroSnowman Hi, I hope I don't bother you with my question, but I remember you tried Lenire. What do you think of Lenire now? Did it help you? Has your tinnitus improved?
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      trauma
      That kind of my point, the drop happened for no apparent reason between 11pm and 2 am on April 16,17 2019 and doesn't look conform at all to the expected hearing loss patterns of a viral, ototoxic, or neurologic event. No illness, no exposure to traumatic noise for years if ever.

      Undoubtedly the trauma created the tinnitus. The question I have to the community is the source of the trauma.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      trauma
      Yes. It helped. In terms of a THI sort of thing before the treatment I was ranging from low end severe to low end moderate score. Post treatment I range from moderate to mild. In short the bad days aren't as bad and the good days I'm pretty much OK. The nature of the tinnitus changed, my swings, both good tend to go on for longer. Before it lasted for days, now it is more typically weeks. I also have far less moving sounds; crickets and crackles used to dominated my days, especially my bad days, now it is a more steady sound. I've also had significant number of objectively quiet days where it is possible to not hear it driving in a jeep with the stereo turned on. This did not used to happen

      How much of it was habituation/healing at 12 months in and how much was from the treatment? Probably a little bit of both. I am in a more survivable situation now than I was before, but it didn't do enough to make me whole.

      I have come to believe that recovery from this is going to be a process, not an end. I think Lenire is/was part of that process to bring me to a better place.

      In terms of recommendation, sure if you can afford it it is worth a shot; you may get some quality of life improvement, but it is not a cure.
       
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