Hyperacusis and Tinnitus from Unknown Cause Improved by 90% in 2 Months

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Dman, Jul 19, 2022.

    1. Dman

      Dman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hello everyone, just wanted to share my experience. I apologize for the long story in advance, but I am just trying to put every detail in it.

      My journey with tinnitus started in October 2021. One evening a loud ringing (5 out of 10) appeared in my left ear with no apparent reason. I visited an ENT in November and she was useless telling me that I must have been exposed to a loud event which I hadn't. I've never been to a concert or a gun range. Hadn't been to a club in about 10 years. She cleaned my ears from wax with microsuction and sent me home. Not having my issue resolved or even being informed what tinnitus was, I started to build up anxiety which I never had before. Here I was, a previously 100% healthy 40-year-old individual facing an unknown health issue.

      2022 started with a bang - had a serious tooth infection out of nowhere, hives, as well as other non-medical issues. Turned out that somehow I cracked a tooth and I needed a root canal and a crown. Was given Penicillin for 10 days. I felt a lump in my throat so I decided to visit another ENT. In the meantime my right ear felt just a little plugged from time to time. Mentioned that to the new ENT and he said it must be from me clenching my jaw. Another weird thing was that sometimes in the evenings my earlobes would become unusually red and warm. He said that it was a dermatological issue and prescribed me some cream which didn't work. He also ordered a CT scan of the throat which came back clear. After a lot of drilling, got my root canal done in February and the crown in March.

      Because of my new issues I had almost forgotten about the tinnitus in my left ear and it seems that it had disappeared.

      Then at the end of March I broke my big toe at work. My recent anxiety and stress went through the roof. My blood pressure started to climb up.

      In the beginning of April after a phone call my right ear felt weird and I felt disoriented for a few minutes. A few days later my own voice was making my right ear drum tremble. I also had a minor pain in the same ear. Put a cotton ball in it and waited for a few weeks to see if it would resolve before I booked an appointment with the ENT. Before it was time for my visit, he prescribed antibiotic ear drops over the phone thinking it was an ear infection. On the 5th day of using the ear drops without any results, it was time for my appointment. I was told that I had a "little" swimmer's ear infection which I think he came up with to justify his wrong diagnosis over the phone. Then he cleaned my ear wax only in my right ear with microsuction.

      2 days later I woke up with horrible sound sensitivity and my right ear felt full and achy. I also developed a high pitched, loud reactive tinnitus only in that ear. My ears started to painfully pop every time I swallow. Called the ENT and he said that it's hyperacusis and, since I had mentioned to him my anxiety, he offered to prescribe me an antidepressant which I refused. He also ordered an MRI, which I have been postponing due to the loudness of the procedure. Started googling hyperacusis and based on the info and stories from the forums I thought that my life was over.

      10 days later (at the end of May) I went to another ENT who ran an audiogram and told me that I have a mild hearing loss in the right ear and that my nose lining was inflamed. I have allergies but for some reason hadn't experienced them in over a year. He prescribed Prednisone and a steroid nasal spray to use once a day.

      In the days after, I had couple of panic attacks, felt like I was getting a heart attack every other day. My left side was stiff from the neck trough my arm to the middle of the back. I called an ambulance once and my blood pressure was 170/100 but the ECG was fine so it must have been the panic attacks and anxiety. Probably the Prednisone contributed as well. Didn't feel any immediate effect from the drug. After about a month of usage I stopped the steroid nasal spray and replaced it with saline mist spray.

      Having read the stories, I protected my ears with silicone earplugs with 20 dB NRR most of the time. Wearing those was spiking my reactive tinnitus through the roof. The ear fullness disappeared couple of weeks after the onset of the hypearcusis. Then gradually my ear canals started to feel painful from using the earplugs, so I just decided to stop protecting and face the world.

      It's been about a month since I haven't been protecting and my hyperacusis is gone at 90%. The tinnitus has subsided to 1 out of 10. As a matter of fact today I don't hear it at all, even in a quiet room when I close my ear with my hand. Been using Otovent to pop my ears for 3 days now. It feels like my hearing is back and the noisy popping when I swallow has greatly subsided. Been sneezing few times a day which I take as a sign that things might be getting back to normal. I have an ENT appointment in a week to test my hearing.

      Like most people with hyperacusis and tinnitus, I've read thousand of pages on the internet about potential causes and treatments and was wondering if my case is some form of ETD and a short term acoustic trauma from microsuction that is about to resolve?
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    2. Joe Cuber

      Joe Cuber Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      I'm not sure myself, but wanted to congratulate you on your recovery. I hope I have a recovery of my own, but with the week I'm having, it's hard to imagine.
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