Malaria, a Quinine Overdose, and Here I Am Years Later with Worsening Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by MichaelPoll, Oct 20, 2022.

    1. MichaelPoll

      MichaelPoll Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity due to quinine OD to treat malaria
      Hello Everyone,

      My journey to get to Tinnitus Talk starts with me getting Malaria in East Africa in the year 2000. A Peace Corps volunteer, I dutifully took my malaria prophylaxis pills but still ended up getting malaria. In the hospital I was subsequently overdosed with Quinine (the treatment). My feeling is that they were afraid I might die, so they gave me extra! While in the hospital I experienced an immediate 50% reduction in hearing and a tinnitus that was so loud and intense that my brain started making a chorus out of it to compensate. A week goes by, I’m still in the hospital, and now I understand how sound can be used as torture. Though I’ve never been suicidal, the thought crosses my mind. Fortunately, over the following two weeks my hearing seems to return, and the tinnitus goes away.

      After about two years I start to experience noticeable hearing loss and a very mild sense of tinnitus. This continues to get worse over time and in 2010 I start wearing hearing aids. As time progresses, so does the intensity of my tinnitus. I suspect I may be nearing the level of loudness that I originally experienced in Africa but because it has been a slow progression over time my brain has acclimated. That said, it is tiring, and I dream about having quiet. I find that towards the end of the day I tend to get a bit grumpy and more snappy and I suspect it’s just my brain being tired of the incessant sound, thus irritation is easier.

      I am here because this particular journey has been a solitary one. I don’t really discuss it with family or friends and I don’t really expect them to understand. But I know that all of you reading this do understand, and there is some solace in that.

      Generally I am an upbeat and positive person and I’ve learned to live with tinnitus, but as it progresses, as my hearing decreases, I sometimes concern myself about how bad this is going to get. Hoping that it doesn’t progress beyond what I am currently experiencing. So that’s my story! I wish you all the best!

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    2. Stuart-T

      Stuart-T Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear wax or COVID-19 infection
      Welcome to the forum - one forum of many that nobody wants to need.

      Yes you will find understanding here - and you may find some good advice and things you can try to alleviate your tinnitus.

      It's good that you are a positive person - don't let tinnitus take that away.
    3. 10Kcd

      10Kcd Member

      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Welcome, @MichaelPoll - fellow Peace Corps vet here, though much more of a newbie to tinnitus. I hear how your journey has been solitary, and I'm glad you joined this community. I've found it incredibly supportive, and hope you will too.

      I wish you healing, connection and, ideally, silence!
    4. AUTHOR

      MichaelPoll Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity due to quinine OD to treat malaria
      Thanks for the nice welcome @Stuart-T and @10Kcd! Somehow there is comfort in commiseration, knowing that I am not alone.

      Positivity is a trait that I picked up a while back after learning the hard way that to be otherwise does not make for an enjoyable life. As I get older I try to be more aware, look at the larger picture to get a better sense of things instead of focusing on the negative. I know that I am stuck with this Tinnitus, there isn’t really much to be done at this point. It’s tough at times and I do crave for silence, but it’s not likely to ever happen. Thus I do my best, join a supporting forum, and keep moving forward with life.

      Tinnitus will not take away my spirit, my good nature, and I hope it doesn’t take that from any of my fellow sufferers. I wish everyone the best!
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