Help Please — Is This Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (MD)' started by Sarah Farrington, Feb 19, 2015.

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    1. Sarah Farrington

      Sarah Farrington Member

      Tinnitus Since:

      I appreciate I have not had this for very long but I am seeking advice before going ahead and booking an ENT consultation.

      I have had for the past 5 days episodes of low rumbling/vibrating in my left ear - sounds exactly like a car engine running. It has been on and off lasting for several hours at a time and then going back to normal.

      Saw GP yesterday and she said Tinnitus, but im not totally convinced - during the periods of vibrating if I talk, or if there is an outside noise ie someone else talking or the tv is on then the sensation stops. This isn't just me being distracted by another noise, the vibrating literally stops, I can feel it. But then it restarts as soon as I am quiet and still.

      My question is can this happen with tinnitus? Can tinnitus stop when there is an outside noise only to immediately come back? I always thought of tinnitus as a high pitched noise that was constant.

      Would really appreciate any info that anyone can provide.

      Thank you!
    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician Benefactor

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi @Sarah Farrington -

      Tinnitus can act strangely - so what you describe might indeed be tinnitus. Or it could be a somatosound, tensor tympani syndrome, myoclonus, or any of a number of other things. Regardless of what it is, likely it will resolve on its own given a bit of time. Myoclonus and tensor tympani sometimes respond to cessation of caffeine - so if you drink much coffee or tea (or if you eat a lot of chocolate), see if stopping for a few days makes a difference. If the condition persists beyond four weeks or so, you should see an ENT just to check things out. Might want to make an appointment now for four weeks ahead. It's easier to cancel an appointment than to make one on short notice. Of course, if the condition causes you much distress, there is certainly no harm in seeing an ENT sooner.

      Hope this helps.

      stephen nagler

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