Hope to habituate

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by jazz, Jan 5, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Hi everyone,

      Chronic ear problems lead to my tinnitus. Namely, I had ETD with a lot of stuffiness in my ears. My ENT told me I could relieve my pressure by gently "popping" my ears. Last August, while popping my ears, I heard a deep, harmonic sound from my left ear. And I felt a lot of pressure release. I just knew this was not good.

      Several days later, I began to hear a piercing sound from my left ear. At first, it was brief and intermittent. Over the next few weeks, however, it became constant. I really panicked, not understanding I had damaged my cochlea. I focused instead on my ETD and began popping my ears several times a day, probably causing more damage--which I realized only later. Long story short, I've visited three ENTs who told me about the necessity of habitation. I understand this and am working on it, but it's so frustrating to be told to "heal yourself."

      Anyway, I've read many posts on this board and I've been impressed with the knowledge and strength of its members. It's comforting to know you are not alone, and that things will get better.
       
      • Winner Winner x 1
    2. DezDog
      Angry

      DezDog Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2009
      Welcome jazz. How did you learn that you'd damaged your cochlea? I think I'm interested to know how they made that diagnosis. It's good to hear you've found some comfort just by finding this forum.
      DD
       
    3. Fish
      Balanced

      Fish Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2012
      Hello jazz and welcome to Tinnitus Talk!

      I have been wondering the same thing as DezDog. How did your ENT doctors diagnose you with cochlear damage? Have you had hearing tests done and is there hearing loss involved?

      If I understand correctly, by popping your ears too hard you have bursted your ear drum. This indeed is not a good thing to happen, but then again it doesn't necessarily need to cause tinnitus! In fact, ear drum tissue heals up very quickly, after small piercings like tympanotomy it recovers fully within 24 hours. Assuming it is otherwise healthy.
       
    4. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Hi DD and Fish!

      Since acquiring this affliction, I often lament my limited understanding of medical science. That doesn't stop me from prodigiously researching about tinnitus; yet I often feel inadequate when analyzing the details of a journal article, etc.

      That said, I know that an ENT can test for cochlea damage. The test is called "otoacoustic emission testing." Apparently, the cochlea not only receives sounds, it also produces them. Here's the link to an article that explains the cochlea test:

      http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/835943-overview

      Regarding my ETD, Fish, you are correct that I should've just hurt my ear drum. The second ENT I visited--and the ONLY one who cared about my problem--said I did have trauma to my ear drum, which he could see had healed. He then stated that by popping my ears I probably caused a barotrauma, which injured my cochlea. The sound I heard after popping my left ear--which reminded me of a cymbal, quite pretty for the second it lasted--might've been my cochlea being damaged as the pressure from my middle ear was released. After reading a lot about ETD, I know most people never have issues with gentle ear popping. My case was unusual. But I'd warn anyone with ETD to be cautious when popping their ears and to never use OTC items that pop your ears. If you have a lot of pressure--like I did--you could cause tinnitus.

      I also found an interesting picture of the cochlea that shows where various frequencies lie on it. Most people with hearing loss, mine included, have it in the high frequencies. They are located at the beginning of the cochlea. This is the common place to receive damage from middle ear dysfunction (me) or acoustic trauma (most other people with sensorineural hearing loss). Here's the link:

      http://www.advancedhearingaidclinic.com/hearing-loss/tinnitus-treatment.html

      Go about half way down the page (it's quite long) until you get to figure 4. The figure is a cool diagram of the cochlea and its frequencies. And, as everyone knows, it's the hair cells on the cochlea that become damaged and cannot be regenerated (yet!).
       
    5. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure

      Hi Jazz

      How did they diagnose your eustachian tube disfunction in the first place.. before the onset of your tinnitus?

      Any info appreciated.

      Jane (aka click)
       
    6. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Hi Jane,

      To access eustachian tube function, I received a test called a "tympanometry." In googling it, I believe this test is the same as--or similar to--the impedance audiometry that you describe in another post. I clicked on the link you provided in that post, which gave an explanation that sounds like the two tests are equivalent or one is a subset of the other. I can't tell. Here's the link: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1831254-overview

      I had the tympanometry test done twice: once in 2010 after had I ruptured both ear drums from acute otis media, following a severe cold. The second time was when my tinnitus first emerged as a continual noise, around the beginning of September, 2012. Both tests showed a nice peak, but I had no idea what the peak meant. My doctor didn't comment on the tympanometry or the hearing test--which was also the same as in 2010--and said my ETD had caused the tinnitus. He then gave me some nasal steroids and told me the tinnitus was permanent, but "there were worse things" than the noise.

      Obviously, I got upset and went to a second ENT with my hearing and tympanometry tests. (My hearing, BTW, is normal except for a small dip in the 8,0000 frequency, which had not changed since my ear drums were ruptured.) The new ENT said my eustachian tubes were normal. He said "look at the peaks" on the tympanometry chart, which means you're normal.

      But something tells me my problem did start with my eustachian tubes. I've had terrible pressure and clicking in both ears, but particularly my left, since my otis media. I think the infection scarred my tubes and that's why I have pressure. I've been all over the Internet, and I do have all the signs of ETD.

      Have you been tested yet? I recently found an article that suggests a specific method to test the eustachian tubes that will indicate chronic dysfunction. I feel like having this done. Here's the link: http://www.audiologyonline.com/ask-the-experts/eustachian-tube-dysfunction-tests-713

      I do hope this was helpful. This disease is baffling. I'm now keeping a daily diary of all food and activities that might be worsening my tinnitus. I just had three wonderful days of 1-2 out of 10 (for the first time in three months!) and now I'm at a 5. I think my salad dressing must have a MSG or another preservative in it. Of course, nothing is listed on the label, but that doesn't mean the food is safe.

      Jazz
       

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