Is My Tinnitus Caused by Cancer? Retracted Eardrum

Discussion in 'Support' started by Louise9877, Jul 7, 2020.

    1. Louise9877

      Louise9877 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi.

      I've been browsing Tinnitus Talk for a few weeks now.
      I'm 30 and normally quite healthy.

      I got ringing tinnitus around 6 weeks ago. It's in my left ear and very occasionally I hear it in my right ear (very low). I assumed it was from my baby's high pitch squeal as my ears always used to ring when she squealed.

      I called the doctor two weeks ago and she said it may be allergies and gave me steroid nasal spray. I also used Earol to make sure there was no wax problem..

      Today I called back up because that was making no difference and she asked me to come down to have a look in my ears.

      She said both eardrums are retracted and have fluid behind the ear drum. She said this was worse in my left (where I hear the ringing). She said to take Sudafed spray for 2 weeks and if it's not better she needs to refer me for a head scan because it could be cancer.

      I am a nervous wreck. I'm so upset. Never did I think it could be cancer. Has anyone had this experience before?
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Yes, it's pretty common to ask for a head MRI when you have unilateral tinnitus/hearing loss that you can't attribute to anything (acoustic trauma, etc). This is done to rule out an Acoustic Neuroma, which is a benign tumor (that's what I think you refer to as "cancer"). The odds of having an AN are very small, so it's mostly for peace of mind.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    3. Thuan

      Thuan Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Best wishes to you. Just note that from the posts I've read about MRI is VERY loud. Take precautionary measures like ear plugs or something to protect your ears. You don't want your tinnitus to get worse from a being in a loud MRI environment. If it's a CT scan, then it should be fine since they're not that loud.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise9877

      Louise9877 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for your reply.

      The doctor said 'malignant' and I asked her what what meant exactly and she just replied 'cancer' and that was kind of the end of the appointment. :(
       
    5. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Please, try to calm down. Tinnitus has a lot of other, and more likely causes than cancer. I'm not saying that it's yours' cause, because most of us have never found one, but the fluid in your ears and the retracted eardrums could be the culprit. There is a really slim chance that it's tumor.

      Did you visit an ENT or a GP?

      (I don't think it was a very responsible choice for your doctor to scare you this much without offering a more thorough explanation on tinnitus.)
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise9877

      Louise9877 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for your reassuring answer.

      I visited my local GP. I only went down because I wanted to check it wasn't wax. I was kind of prepared for the ' tinnitus can't be cured and to just learn to live with it discussion' . As much as I didn't want to hear that I have to live with it I thought that would be the case. I was so shocked when she just said 'could be cancer'. She didn't talk about any other problems that could cause it.

      I also feel she was wrong to say cancer. She didn't check anywhere else apart from looking in my ears. I wouldn't say I have any other symptoms. No pain, no discharge etc. It's just scared the life out of me.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    7. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Your doctor seems to be a bit unorthodox in bringing up "malignant" and "cancer" terminology after a look at your ear drums.
       
      • Agree Agree x 5
    8. ginger_cat

      ginger_cat Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      I bet your tinnitus is caused by fluid in your ears. Be patient, it takes a lot of time to drain it out. I struggle with the same. Opening eustachian tubes etc. is a lengthy process. Stay positive and don’t get stressed.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    9. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      That's very strange. ENTs usually order an MRI as a standard procedure to rule out an acoustic neuroma (and this can be removed, and it is not that common). It's just a standard protocol and in principle the chances of having an acoustic neuroma are slim.
       
    10. LilSass
      Pensive

      LilSass Member

      Location:
      Ontario, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely ototoxic medication
      If you have retracted ear drums and fluid, then all you need to do is clear the eustachian tubes and drain the liquid, hopefully before it becomes an infection (stay away from sick people). Not sure why you would need an MRI since it is pretty obvious what is causing your tinnitus. It can take a while to clear though.
       
    11. Ggina

      Ggina Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3 weeks
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Louise9877 just wondering if you had your check up yet and if it was fluid in the ears. I have had tinnitus in my left ear for around 6 weeks and I’m terrified to see the GP. I’ve been using ear drops and Sudafed in case it was earwax but it’s not done anything. :-(
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise9877

      Louise9877 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown


      Hi. Yes I saw my GP Friday.
      She said having cancer was as likey as her winning the lottery.
      She checked my ears and I still have a retracted ear drum and fluid behind my ears. Particularly the left.
      I wouldn't suggest using sudafed for more then a week because it can make congestion worse and Usually has side effects when you stop the spray. She told me to continue on with Beconase nasal spray ( you can get this in the pharmacy) and to take antihistamines every day then to go see her agian in two weeks to see if it's changed.
      ENT at hospital are not really seeing anyone due to covid. We're not 100% sure it's caused by the eardrum but I'm hoping it is and that it will eventually go. I guess I will see how the ringing is once the ear drum is back to normal... If that ever happens.


      Please go and see your gp. You already have the ringing and seeing them won't make it any worse. It might make it better and they might be able to treat it. It will at least put your mind to rest about what it is.
       
    13. Thuan

      Thuan Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      @Ggina I would suggest you be careful and take the correct dosage of your medications, Sudafed and ear drops. Surprisingly a lot of meds have "rare" tinnitus side effect or hearing issues when taken in large dosage. Always consult with your doctor or look at the side effects carefully.
       
    14. Ggina

      Ggina Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3 weeks
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Louise9877 thank you for sharing this. It’s so scary and I have no idea why this is happening I will panic if they can’t see anything with my ears. I have an appointment for a hearing test booked this week and I was going to call the clinic that does microsuction for her to clear any wax. I had an issue with a blocked ear in May but that was the one that’s not causing an issue and the one that has tinnitus is not feeling blocked.
       

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