Hopeless: Tinnitus Worsened Significantly (Could Prozac Be the Reason?)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Redwood, Apr 6, 2020.

    1. Redwood

      Redwood Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Well, where to start? I developed tinnitus a couple years ago, acoustic trauma. For the last two years it’s been at about a 3, weeks would go by where I wouldn’t think about it. I felt like I had a decent grip on it and was able to live my life.

      Things changed about a month ago. Within the course of a week my tinnitus went from a 3 to a 8+. I can’t imagine what acoustic trauma could have set off such a spike. Six months ago I’d been put on Prozac for general depression. Things have been going a lot better. I was feeling better, proactive, quit smoking and quit drinking etc. Then the tinnitus came back with a vengeance that has left me in a desperately depressed state.

      The volume and pitch have gotten to the level where it is impossible to mask. Even in the shower I can hear it screeching above the sound of the water. In the three weeks since it spiked, there has been no reprieve whatsoever. No good days. From morning to night it screams in my ear.

      Yesterday I had a massive panic attack while driving. I pulled over and called my wife and cried harder and more hysterically than I ever have in my life. I feel completely at the end of my rope. I feel extreme anxiety and depression, and I know that it won’t be long before suicidal thoughts begin to seep in to my head.

      I don’t expect any cures, But I also cannot see how I can continue to live a life like this.
       
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    2. Tweedleman
      Depressed

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
      Hey dude, sorry you're going through this.

      Are you still on the Prozac? I'd ditch it and see what happens. It's been known to cause and/or worsen some people's tinnitus. It was prescribed to me but I wont go near it for that reason.

      There are many here struggling with the same overwhelming anxiety and depression as well. Finding the strength to carry on is the struggle we all face. You're not alone.

      I know you've said that you're not expecting any cures, but we may have something pretty close to it on the way. Take a look at the research news thread. We're currently awaiting the first generation of regenerative medicine, with FX-322 and other drugs currently in clinical trials. The goal is to regenerate lost/damaged cochlear structures and thereby revert the tinnitus (maladaptive plasticity). Seeing as your tinnitus originates from acoustic trauma, and has possibly been worsened by Prozac ototoxicity, you are a candidate for this medicine. It's the best hope we have, and could realistically be here in a few years.

      I really hope your tinnitus fades for you, nobody deserves it. Hang in there, we're in this together.
       
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    3. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      There is still a chance that this spike is temporary. Temporary spikes can last over 3 months, but you would normally begin to see fading after about 4-6 weeks.

      You got better once, so it will likely happen again. Ears take forever to heal. You need to give it time and hopefully eventually it will fade. A year from now you might be feeling a lot better, so I hope you will give yourself a chance to heal, before doing anything irreversible.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that many people report being able to habituate after about 3 years. Also there are some potential cures in the pipeline:
       
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    4. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to the forum. Sorry that your tinnitus has spiked much. Besides acoustic trauma, tinnitus can be spiked or caused by many other factors. Have you noticed anything else abnormal around the time of the spike? I list below other possible reasons and you can check over them to see if you have anything close to one cause.

      There are many causes which can trigger or aggravate tinnitus including but not limited to drug reaction or side-effects from ototoxic drugs, ear wax build-up, ear or Eustachian tube infection or ETD, ear drum injury, fluid build-up in ears feeling pressured or fullness, sinus infection & congestion especially with a bad cold, TMJ, TTTS, high blood pressure or blood circulation problem, loud noise exposure or acoustic trauma/shock, head trauma & injury, neck injury or muscle problems, hearing loss, Meniere's Decease, barotrauma from sudden change of air pressure such as during landing & taking off on flights especially with blocked nose causing failure to balance the pressure changes, slapping of the ears, deep grief for the loss of loved ones, untreated sleep apnea, extreme, extended stress, anxiety & panic disorder, etc., etc.

      So don't panic. Check over these above and there are more causes then listed. Go see an ENT to check the ears to see if something hidden is happening inside the ears. Stress and anxiety are not helpful to tinnitus, in fact they make tinnitus feel louder. So try to spend your mental energy on what you can help yourself as much as your health and energy can allow you. Years ago I was in bad bad shape with ultra high pitch tinnitus and severe hyperacusis. I understand what you mean that even shower sound can't mask too well. I had to use squeaky faucet or real high pitched cicadas sounds. But masking doesn't have to be completely blocking out tinnitus. It should be slightly lower than the tinnitus sound so your ears can still learn to get used to that tinnitus ringing. That is at least what people in TRT therapy are told, that they should set the volume below that of tinnitus. So don't get too worried that shower doesn't stop tinnitus totally. Try waterfall, torrential or heavy rain, cicadas, or combination of these. You can download Apps for tinnitus masking sounds or therapy on your smart phone and connect to a bluetooth speaker. There are many great Apps for this. Try through them until you find something that work for you. Again don't need to totally overpower tinnitus. I wrote my success story dealing with ultra high pitch tinnitus and severe hyperacusis. Check out the below link where I share some helpful strategies. Your tinnitus is relatively new and there is no need to feel hopeless as things can improve over time and spikes can settle down to baseline. Hope all is well soon with you. Take care. God bless.

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...w-i-recovered-from-tinnitus-hyperacusis.3148/
       
    5. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      The following is some masking ideas that I have archived:

      When tinnitus is new or at a new irritating level, and the ringing is causing much anxiety and panic plus sleeplessness, it is advisable to get masking going so you won’t be so anxious and fearful and can sleep better. Stress and anxiety are toxic to tinnitus. So try masking if you haven’t done so. When my tinnitus was new, I used to mask all day just to prevent panic attacks from hearing my ultra high pitch loud dog whistle tinnitus. Try these if you haven't yet. Best of luck. Take good care. God bless.

      1) Mask at bed time if having trouble sleeping, by using a sound pillow or sound machine with pillow speakers. There are good sound machine & pillow therapy systems like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Oasis-...d-Oasis-Therapy-System-Speakers/dp/B00MH5HKTA

      2) If you need masking on the go, try load an ipod with nature sounds or music using iTunes. If you have a smart phone, you can download free apps for soothing or tinnitus masking sounds. Use wisdom in the use of headphones or earbuds as extended use or excessive volume may hurt your ears. Try set the volume slightly below that of your tinnitus.

      3) With PC & speakers, you can try these excellent masking sounds to see which one masks best:

      Tinnitus Talk's excellent audio player: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/audioplayer/

      or this online sound library, particularly the self-mix nature sounds: https://mynoise.net

      or download free sound generator ‘Aire Freshener’: http://www.peterhirschberg.com/mysoftware.html

      or click play to mix these sounds with this simple sound generator: http://asoftmurmur.com/

      or search YouTube with words like 'tinnitus masking sounds', 'white noise', 'rain sound' etc.


      ACRN:

      If you need DIY neuromodulator or notched Acoustic Coordinated Reset Neuromodulation (ACRN):

      https://mynoise.net/NoiseMachines/neuromodulationTonesGenerator.php
       
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    6. ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      I think I know exactly how you feel. I feel at the end of the rope as well. However, if it's of any good, just to let you know I developed severe tinnitus 10 years ago due to Prozac and after lowering the doses and eventually stop taking it my tinnitus subsided.

      It took about 3 months, but I was taking very high doses (over 60 mg). So chances are this might be your case too.

      The reason I'm suffering from tinnitus again is because I believed I weaned off too abruptly from benzos. Just like you, I feel really scared and hopeless at the moment. I'm so depressed I can't stop taking the benzos (even though it's a small dose) and I'm terrified of taking Prozac even in small doses since my tinnitus is so high.

      However, in my experience with Prozac, my tinnitus went away. Not sure about me this time with benzos.

      In conclusion, hang in there, I can feel your pain, you're not alone.
       
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    7. all to gain
      No Mood

      all to gain Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      -
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      -
      How long were you on fluoxetine? Was your taper 3 months or did your tinnitus subside 3 months after stopping it?
       
    8. ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      It subsided 3 months during the taper, which wasn't gradual. I think I went from 60 mg to 20 mg in a few weeks. It got worse (quite scary) and then improved, with windows of bad days. I hadn't stopped it completely to have it improved.

      I wish I knew the future for my new spike...
       
    9. AnxiouslyWaiting
      No Mood

      AnxiouslyWaiting Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety maybe?
      Thanks for sharing your experience with Prozac, are you still on 20mg or did you taper further? If you did, how long did you take to taper further?
       
    10. ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      Sorry for the delay. I've been feeling terrible. No, I did not taper further after 20 mg. I just stopped taking it. The antidepressant effect was enough to help me cope with my fluctuating symptoms.

      How are you doing now? Are you feeling better?
       
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    11. AnxiouslyWaiting
      No Mood

      AnxiouslyWaiting Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety maybe?
      I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been doing well. I hope you improve soon.

      I’m still hanging in there. Tapering to 15mg citalopram from 20mg at the moment.
       
    12. ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      Thank you. Yes, it's been very difficult for me. Do you feel your tinnitus has somewhat improved/changed its type of noise?

      Glad you're tapering with the AD. I believe antidepressant tinnitus is more about the dosage than the antidepressant itself.
       
    13. AnxiouslyWaiting
      No Mood

      AnxiouslyWaiting Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety maybe?
      I wouldn’t say it’s changed since I’ve started tapering.

      Since my tinnitus has started it has changed to be slightly less reactive but the base tone has gotten louder most the time.
       
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    14. ErnieMassri

      ErnieMassri Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010 (spike 2020)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fluoxetine, Alprazolam withdrawal, stress
      Hope it improves. Less reactivity is good, at least it can be covered/masked. Is it high metallic pitch or a loud hissing?
       
    15. AnxiouslyWaiting
      No Mood

      AnxiouslyWaiting Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Anxiety maybe?
      Thanks, I hope yours improves too.

      Mine's a tone around 4000 Hz. I wish I could have a quiet hiss. Maybe it fades one day.
       
    16. TomBradyGOAT

      TomBradyGOAT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows
      Feel you on this. Sometimes feeling like I will always be on benzos. I am thinking about Bacopa which is supposed to reset the receptor or upregulates them. Nasty vile drugs.
       
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