Maltodextrin Reaction and the Valsalva Maneuver

Discussion in 'Support' started by DaveA, Apr 7, 2015.

    1. DaveA

      DaveA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi. I'm a new member, mild tinnitus since July 2012. My quick info:

      1. Certain foods and additives make my ears ring. The most potent is anything with maltodextrin, but there seem to be others, either sugar or corn-based. (Also possibly msg)
      2. Once my ears are ringing, they will ring moderately from 6 to 24 hours.
      3. Ears typically settle down after a night's sleep. Cannot hear tinnitus in my sleep.
      4. When I get up in the morning I typically listen to soft music while sitting on the couch. Tinnitus here is normally moderate, until I stand up and begin moving around, at which point it is much software, usually drowned out by everyday things.
      5. A morning non-dairy smoothie with lots of natural green foods and ginger, berries, etc. is a huge help.

      My questions are mostly about the Valsalva maneuver. When my ears are reacting to ingesting maltodextrin (and to some extent most simple carbs), along with the increase in tinnitus is a sense that the area around my eustachian tubes is somehow swelling, as if there's just not enough room for all my ear structures or something. My hearing seems slightly dulled at this point, but mostly things don't seem right, as if my "acoustic orientation" is a little off.

      While in this state, when I do the Valsalva maneuver, while in the middle of the maneuver, my hearing becomes extremely acute and sensitive - my upper range is significantly increased. It's wonderful. As soon as I stop the maneuver, that very high range instantly subdues and I'm back to slightly dulled hearing.

      I also notice that if I do a "reverse Valsalva", i.e. I hold my nose and breath in briskly, a suction effect occurs, and I again can hear extremely high frequencies. The suction (and high frequency response) continues after I let go of my nose, until I swallow.

      My question is: if my high end audio response of my ears is made better with a Valsalva, and immediately stops after stopping the maneuver, does this mean that I have some kind of inflammation? I'm basically vegan, lots of raw food, blood test good ("perfect" in the opinion of my doctor), IgG allergy test clear. But maltodextrin is a definite trigger. I've tried every supplement (curcumin, ginger, etc. etc. etc.) but they have no positive effect. The only thing that helps the tinnitus is to avoid things like maltodextrin. But the Valsalva thing, it persists: while doing it, my hearing is fantasic. When I stop, not so good. Why?

      Sorry for the long message, and thanks for any input.
    2. Late Hippy

      Late Hippy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I wonder if you ever found an answer to your question, Dave.

      I have none. And for me, when I do this maneuver, I sense the opposite as you- so I find it interesting.
    3. AUTHOR

      DaveA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hello Late Hippy! :)

      I'm sorry - I didn't notice your post until recently. I went quite a while with no replies, so I assumed that there weren't many around with my symptoms.

      I have lately begun to suspect that the interesting Valsalva maneuver result might actually be related to a neck issue. I have no neck pain at all, although maybe a little tightness. I have found myself in front of a computer 6 to 7 days per week for the past 30 years or so. Perhaps it caught up with me. :)

      Anyway, I think that possibly my issue is related to my sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle in my neck. The reason for my suspicion is that when I have tinnitus the worst, I also notice that my eustachian tubes are not fully operating - for example, when I simulate a yawn. Yet, there is nothing wrong with my ears in the sense that I have no cold, no soreness. Just a full feeling. Almost like there's just not enough room for everything in there. Yet physically, I feel fine in all other respects.

      When I think back to when this all started, it was the spring of 2012 when one morning I got up and my left ear seemed completely plugged, as if I had a severe cold or allergy. Yet I felt completely fine. I went to the doctor. He looked in my ear and said he found absolutely nothing wrong - the ear was completely clear. I said it seemed impossible, as it was completely plugged. He thought a steroidal nasal spray might help. In fact it cleared up on its own within a few days. It happened again later that summer, but it seemed to be accompanied with quiet tinnitus, which never fully went away.

      My job can be quite stressful at times, and I also noticed that at the times of heightened stress, the tinnitus gets worse. I do have a bit of history with stress affecting my neck.

      I tried doing a little SCM massage this morning by following a Youtube video, and (not sure if I did it right or not) it might actually have made my tinnitus a little worse for a while. :) However, I'm thinking that possibly this is a good sign, as it might mean I'm in the right area after all.

      I'm going to see a massage therapist about this.


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