I Hear Ringing Only While There's External Sounds — What Is Going On?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Michael Gutowski, Mar 23, 2020.

    1. Michael Gutowski

      Michael Gutowski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello Everyone,

      I am new to the site. I have been experiencing some troubling ear issues that maybe someone can provide insight on.

      A few weeks ago, I had ear fullness in my left ear. No tinnitus. It stayed for about two weeks, when it decided to switch to my right ear. After a few days, it went back to my left ear. Another week passed, and the fullness went away. ENT said no hearing loss and was unsure of the cause.

      Now, I am experiencing ringing whenever I hear sounds. From what I read, this appears to be a case of reactive tinnitus or hyperacusis (I understand there is a debate regarding these terms). What’s weird about my ringing is that it doesn’t get worse throughout the day. I can only hear it when I hear other sounds. For instance, after the sound ends (shut TV off), the ringing ends. I can’t hear the ringing in a quiet room - if I can, it’s minimal. Does anyone know what is going on?

      P.S. Some additional context: I was at a band practice a day before the fullness came about. Additionally, I was chewing gum for several hours at the practice and had significant jaw pain for the following week. The pain subsided, but my jaw still clicks and my right ear crackles. Could it be TMJ-related? It doesn’t help that I have substantial anxiety.

      Thank you for reading.
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Michael Gutowski

      Many things can cause tinnitus, the most common is exposure to loud noise. Typically, it is listening to music regularly through headphones at too high a volume or going to clubs, concerts where loud music is played. These are just examples as there are other types of exposure to loud noise that can be responsible. If your tinnitus isn't noise induced, then it's likely a result from an underlying medical condition within your auditory system or as you've indicated TMJ. Stress and some medications have been known to cause it too.

      I do not believe there is a condition called Reactive tinnitus, although I believe tinnitus does react to certain sounds. Some people describe similar experiences to your own. Most people (but not all) who say they have Reactive tinnitus, almost always it's a result of exposure to loud noise caused by the activities mentioned above. Depending on the level of severity there will usually be some oversensitivity to sound. Often hyperacusis is present and it's severity can vary between people. If you use headphones regularly or headset. Frequently attend venues where loud music is played or work in a noisy environment, then your tinnitus and other symptoms you describe could be caused by exposure to loud noise/sound. If this is the case my advice is to stop using headphones or reduce your exposure to other forms of loud noise. The fact that you play in a band could be an indication that you are exposed to high sound levels.

      If a medical condition is responsible then ENT or Dentist should be able to help you. For now it's probably best to wait and see what happens, as the ears are quite resilient and heal over time.
      Since your tinnitus is low my advice is not to deliberately listen for it and use low level sound enrichment. Please click on the link below and read my post: New to tinnitus what to do, where I explain more about it. There are additional links to other posts that you might find helpful.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
       
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    3. Zugzug

      Zugzug Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown; Likely autoimmune; Certainly not noise-induced
      It sounds like reactive tinnitus. The most likely outcome is that it will improve with time, as it was probably noise induced. I wish you the best.

      Something to note: Steroid use for hearing loss is only effective within the first few weeks of onset. As you track the problem, you may want to consider trying this.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Gutowski

      Michael Gutowski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Happy Friday,

      I have reactive tinnitus or hyperacusis for nearly a month now. It has remained the same level throughout, and I have hope that it will improve over time. I believe it was caused after a concert, as the tinnitus started about 3 weeks after the show. I have not ever had and currently do not have baseline tinnitus. My tinnitus just reacts to any external noise - only for the duration of the noise and then fades away. In regard to hearing tests, my ENT said I have phenomenal hearing. I had ear fullness for about two weeks directly after the concert, but it has disappeared.

      I’m curious to see if others experience something similar. If so, what does yours sound like? Has it improved, remained consistent, worsened? Any tips for improvement?

      Have a great Friday and an awesome weekend!
      Mike
       
    5. James1977
      No Mood

      James1977 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/19/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      IMAX Movie
      I've the same thing for the last month, spent a lot of time researching this question. I've not found anyone with a success story recovering from reactive tinnitus. I see this as independent from hyperacusis as you may have combinations of both. I wish I had tips, but it's new for me too. I wish you the best of luck, please report back if yours resolves.

      James
       
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    6. Sevv

      Sevv Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12.04.2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      It does sound like reactive tinnitus, but the base is so low you don't hear it in silence, only when it ramps up in presence of other sounds (I guess anything exists with tinnitus).

      I have had reactive tinnitus both after getting tinnitus and after my setback in February. The first time, it left after 1-2 months, after the worsening after three weeks. In my case it seems to be connected to hyperacusis to some degree.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Michael Gutowski

      Michael Gutowski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi James,

      Sorry to hear you’re going through a tough time yourself. I have actually come across multiple accounts where reactive tinnitus has improved with time. From what I’ve read, it takes a good deal of time as our ears are healing. I also have been going through this for about a month, and it appears that a month with tinnitus is not long at all. I know it’s hard, but we will get through this. One thing I have learned is that stress and anxiety do nothing to help the condition. Best of luck.

      Mike
       
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