Long-Term Tinnitus Getting Worse with Possible Connection to TMJ

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by birdzilla123, Feb 12, 2023.

    1. birdzilla123

      birdzilla123 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hello all. I'm coming for some advice, and am interested in whether or not my experience matches anyone else's.

      I've had tinnitus for about 6 years. It was a pain at first, but I eventually habituated, as it's not horribly bad. I never found out what was causing it; I always thought it was sickness, as it first started at the end of a 2 week bout with bronchitis. I was in college, and I didn't care to get it investigated further as I was far from home and busy.

      At first, I didn't connect it to TMJ. I started to get painless jaw clicking and popping about 3 years ago. I did some exercises for ETD, but they didn't help, and as this started around when COVID-19 started popping up, I decided to kinda ignore it.

      Fast forward to a few months ago, and I've started getting some concerning tinnitus spikes. I noticed these were coming on after heavy jaw exercises (heavy chewing). These spikes lasted about 2 weeks or so before eventually going back to normal. So I decided to go to a TMJ specialist, thinking that maybe my tinnitus was actually related to jaw issues I was having. I got orthotics to wear. However, I wore them as directed for about 4 days, and my tinnitus got worse than ever, and my jaws started getting super tight, and I heard more grinding than I have before in my jaws. So I stopped wearing them. They told me sometimes symptoms get worse before they get better, and recommended I keep wearing them. I was reluctant to do that if it made my tinnitus worse, and I ended going to another TMJ specialist for a second opinion, but they also want to give me another splint. I've tried experimenting with changing tongue posture as well, but that's also making the tinnitus worse.

      So my question is: has anyone else experienced symptoms getting worse with TMJ treatment? Does it sometimes get worse before it gets better? Would hate to undergo treatment and end up worse permanently, but would also hate to bypass treatment if things will end up getting better in the end. Thanks!
    2. Joshua Macleod

      Joshua Macleod Member

      United Kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise, presumably!
      I'm afraid I can't offer any testimonial, I've yet to visit a TMJ specialist. Still awaiting an ENT and/or audiology appointment, truthfully.

      Just thought I'd chime in and say that I'm in a very similar situation. I've had TMJ issues, migraines and dysphagia on and off for perhaps a decade, now. The former two seem highly linked, albeit anecdotally, and I do wonder if these are linked with increasingly common, sporadic tinnitus spikes. Some of these spikes appear to be permanent, occuring largely overnight (linked to bruxism, perhaps?).

      I hope you find some form of resolution. Do keep us updated. I'm hoping someone with personal experience responds, too. Sorry I can't be of more help!

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