Is Jaw/Neck Movement Affected Tinnitus ALWAYS Somatosensory?

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (MD)' started by YungLean, Mar 18, 2015.

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    1. YungLean

      YungLean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      First off I'd like to say thanks for all your work on this forum. It means a lot to those of us with this condition! So I was wondering if it is possible that someone could misdiagnose their T as somatosensory tinnitus when in actuality, certain movements of the head are just putting pressure on the eustachian tubes or something else in the head that could be causing tinnitus. Also, as I've heard clicking in the back of the head is often associated with tinnitus so I was wondering if that has something to do with it as well, if movement of the jaw is putting strain on some fluid or if this crackling fluid buildup is actually the cause of certain peoples' T and not just a symptom.

      Now I know you can't comment on an individual case so I don't expect you to, but I am including this because I believe my situation has relevant information to my above question and maybe you might know something I don't because the internet has no answers to this.

      For example, I have had T for almost 4 months I believe, and when I strain my jaw or open my mouth as wide as I can some of the tones I hear change or go away. This led me to believe I have somatosensory tinnitus as when jaw movements can modify the tones, it is generally assumed so. But a dentist and an orthodontist both said they could not find a point of inflammation to say I have a TMJ problem. I have had TMJ issues in the past but the only thing that happens now is some clicking. If any tones are changed by jaw movement at all, is it a definitive somatosensory case? Or can there lurking variables like E Tubes affected by these particular movements?

      As well, the thing that mostly leads me to believe something else here is at play is that when I run or jump suddenly, there is a crackle in the back of my head seemingly coming from slightly above the ear and more to the back of the head. This happens independently on both the left side and right side of the back of my head and the crackle sound (as if there is fluid back there) is much louder and more noticeable on the left side (where my tinnitus is about a 6 usually) than the right side (where my tinnitus is about a 1 or 2 usually). My question is if there is a connection between this crackling noise I get when I make a sudden movement to a potential cause of tinnitus. It would certainly seem so as the side with more fluid has louder T and these crackling noises started exactly when I got my T for the first time.

      Thanks for reading my post. Again you don't have to comment on my personal situation, it's just extra details for the overarching questions I have here and I'd be ecstatic to hear any knowledge on these questions you can pass on to me.
    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician Benefactor

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      You are most welcome!

      Well, there are a handful of folks on this board who would strongly take issue with that assessment - but I sincerely appreciate your kind words nonetheless.

      Absolutely ... and thank you for raising a very important point. There are any number of head and neck movements that can affect tinnitus pitch or loudness due to altering pressure within the ear as well as central venous pressure and/or intracranial pressure. None of that has anything to do with somatic tinnitus. Indeed, the valsalva from straining to defecate can sometimes increase tinnitus loudness - but I sure hope nobody is postulating a rectal-cochlear pathway! ;)

      Not to my knowledge.

      Good questions!

      Dr. Stephen Nagler

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