Mild Tinnitus Got Much Worse + Developed Moderate to Severe Hyperacusis & Distortions

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ZFire, Aug 8, 2021.

    1. ZFire

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011(mild) April2021 (moderate-severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity (2011) barotrauma & noise induced probably(2021)
      Hi everyone.

      I’ll try to keep this short because I could write a whole biography with my situation.

      I’ve had tinnitus since 2013. I think aspirin caused it, but not totally sure. It was mild so I was easily able to forgot about it and move on (hardly notice it). I was 22 at the time (30 now).

      However, I started to notice on April of 2021 that the ringing got much louder than usual. I presume the cause is from too much loud noise. I exposed myself to loud music while wearing headphones. I also had a moment in May where after a shower, my left ear briefly was so clogged, it gave my voice an occlusion effect (barotrauma?), my ringing grew louder and more reactive to certain frequencies. I also had early signs of hyperacusis where I was getting noise sensitivity. I went to see an ENT, hearing test results were within normal range(only up to 8000 Hz). They did say I have some slight negative ear pressure. The ENT prescribed me antibiotics which I didn’t take due to fear of ototoxicity and also a 6 day taper course of methylprednisolone starting at 24mg. I took that.

      I think taking the steroids was a mistake. Upon taking it, I noticed my tinnitus tone almost immediately changed into a low rumbling engine sound. Also with steroids, I started to get some weird hearing distortions. running water, wind showers, or even rubbing my hands aggressively has some weird sizzling bacon sound effect to it. I will say some other distortions have somewhat subsided but I’m not sure because I’m haven’t tested it because I’m scared to find out what I will hear (like music, video games).

      Well anyways the last few months my tinnitus has progressed with multiple tones and really loud.

      Now the most devastating part is that the hyperacusis in the last 4 months has gotten quite severe. I believe I have loudness hyperacusis along with the pain hyperacusis (to a lesser degree). I feel like the world’s volume has been crank up. Everything just sounds much more louder, my kitchen stove, refrigerator, traffic, planes, heck I can even hear a buzzing sound the light fixture in my bathroom gives off. It’s like I’ve gain some super hearing ability. I also start to get ear pain and fatigue when I expose myself to more sound. Like there is a threshold of sound I can take for the day. I get startled very easily with certain sounds like silverware clanking, doors closing.

      I had days where I felt like the hyperacusis has improved, but then reverts back to shitty levels... Not sure, maybe it was the Xanax at the time.

      I’ve had quite a bit of acoustic accidents since onset, and have notice tinnitus spiking badly (spike still ongoing). I’ve bailed on steroids, since I don’t even respond well to them I think. Hyperacusis and tinnitus has force me to take a leave of absence from work. I stay home all day, wearing earmuffs most of the day because I live in one of the most noisiest cities in the world (NYC) and on top that I live near a major hospital where I expect to hear 2 to 3 ambulance sirens every hour and also planes and helicopters constantly. Just my luck...

      The last 4 months have been quite surreal. This gradual worsening has me in complete disbelief. Im having a hard time coping. Something feels off with my ears and I’m not processing sound the same way I used to. I think I’m also developing misophonia or phonophobia. Definitely scared of certain sounds and feel like it will make my tinnitus worse. It’s already bad!

      Since last month, I’ve spent many hours reading alot of the threads on Tinnitus Talk and learning about these conditions. I’m already familiar with a lot of the members here and hoping to interact with you all. This is a great place for information but also it has made me feel that I’m not alone in this struggle. I’m taking a lot of supplements and just started Nortriptyline. I also have Clonazepam on deck, but haven’t yet used.

      I’m just looking for that light at the end of the tunnel.

      Regards,
      Z
       
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    2. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Hey @ZFire.

      I just want to say that I sympathize a lot with your situation as I'm finding myself in a situation with really bad loudness hyperacusis and tinnitus that spikes very easily.

      My only recommendation to you is to continue taking it very easy with sound but try to not sit in complete silence literally 24/7 as that can make you more sensitive. Every case is different though, and you'll have to test the waters and see what works. If you can e.g. watch series on low volume without too much consequences, maybe try to do that for some time each day as a means of maintaining and increasing tolerance to sound, but be very careful not to overdo anything. Monitor your progression carefully.

      I believe that you can recover to a good place, as there are testimonies of recovery.

      I wish you the speediest of recoveries,
      Stacken
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZFire

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011(mild) April2021 (moderate-severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity (2011) barotrauma & noise induced probably(2021)
      Thank you for the words of encouragement @Stacken77.

      I have read about your situation and I definitely understand what you are going through. To wear or not to wear ear protection all the time is the biggest hurdle I am currently facing.

      I am in a tough spot because there is so much noise everywhere where I live. Apartment buildings nearby all have their air conditioners blasting from the outside, ambulance sirens constantly every hour and than planes/helicopters passing by...
       
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    4. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I can see that being a problem. I've actually been in NYC once, and yeah, it's a noisy city.
      Yes, it's a though question that depends solely on what everyone can handle in each individual case. Some benefit from decent amounts of silence, while others may need to enrich themselves with sound to improve. A middle ground could be to invest in a pair of custom molded earplugs with interchangeable filters as you could let in just about as much sound as you want. I haven't had that much success with those though, because I just spike too badly, but others may do, just know that they may have increased occlusion effect, e.g. when talking.

      Stacken
       
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    5. Padraigh Griffin

      Padraigh Griffin Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Stress
      I have no advice to offer but I wish you well on your recovery.
       
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    6. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Hey @ZFire :)

      Very sorry you’re suffering with us...

      When many talk about distortions it’s actually just tinnitus that reacts instantly or a constant one that twists what you’re hearing. Still very awful of course... :(

      I’d say don’t go out amongst roads or houses without something on your ears. First half year has the biggest chance of getting better so be careful and patience my friend..

      Have some background noise inside at least during the day.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZFire

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011(mild) April2021 (moderate-severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity (2011) barotrauma & noise induced probably(2021)
      Thanks for the insight @Exit. Your statement about tinnitus and how it twists what you hear definitely rings true to what I’ve been dealing with. Since this is my first real battle with intrusive tinnitus, it has definitely gotten the best of me and had made me afraid of sound in general. Trying my best to reverse this train of thought.

      Appreciate the words!
       
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    8. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Thanks. Any side effects from Nortriptyline?

      I have a box lying around...
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZFire

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011(mild) April2021 (moderate-severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity (2011) barotrauma & noise induced probably(2021)
      Just dry mouth so far. I have been on it for about a week and half at 25 mg.

      Psychiatrist wants me to up the dose to 50 mg soon.
       
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    10. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      How are you doing? I have a similar story to you. Mild tinnitus and hyperacusis for 4 years, then I deadlift heavy in December, boom, distortions. And my hyperacusis has slowly been progressing worse and worse. For no reason. If I’m exposed to noise, it gets worse worse. If I work out, it gets worse. If I sit home and don’t move, it gets worse.

      Our cases make me wonder what’s going on because I hear all the time others getting worse from noise, but having been in the quiet for the last few months, why am I getting worse? I do show some signs of a PLF, and it does make sense because I was deadlifting 500 pounds. For you I highly doubt a PLF unless you were flying, lifting heavy, went far under water, or had a head injury.

      I have tinnitus in both ears now, distortions in both but in my opinion the real bitch is the hyperacusis. It keeps me in the house all day, and really freaks me out because it gets worse from me talking. Barely even 50 dB. That’s insane. Makes me wonder how much worse I’m gonna get.
       
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    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZFire

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011(mild) April2021 (moderate-severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity (2011) barotrauma & noise induced probably(2021)
      Hi @Brian Newman, nice to meet you.

      Yeah, the hyperacusis pretty much immobilizes you... I have to lower my voice into a whisper or else...

      Does your hyperacusis affect your tinnitus? If exposed to a moderate sound, tinnitus will spike easily...

      About the PLF. It’s interesting you mention this because I was also working out everyday prior to worsening. In the month of May I was wearing earplugs while working out in the gym (loud music there) and my ears would would also feel clogged while working out and pop later on. Now I don’t lift heavy, but I do mainly calisthenics such as 100 pull-ups, 100 push ups, 100 dips. The most pounds I would use with free weights would be 35 pounds. Gym has music there playing constantly, so maybe it could of been noise exposure throughout all the years since I was there. Plus listening to my own music through earbuds. I actually don’t know.

      I will say the distortions have dissipated in the last few weeks, but sometimes it’s there. I may also be co fusing with reactive Tinnitus also. It’s all very confusing to me and can’t believe stuff like this actual exists.
       
    12. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Ok, wow, that is absolutely insane. I was deadlifting heavy for years had no problems. I started wearing an earplug in my bad ear because i was slamming the weight and it was bothering me. The one time I did it, pop, same thing, I got home and noticed the distortions that night, and my tinnitus spiked and I developed a beeping in my ear as well.

      So I have been battling and been trying to figure out what I did for 8 months now but all I could figure out is that if I strain too hard, I feel pressure and a little pain in my ears. If I go too hard, it sets my ears off and I get new distortions. I took a few weeks off multiple times but never fully healed. I also noticed it took a medium amount of straining to set my ears off, but if I was wearing earplugs, instead of benching 225 to set them off, it would only take 135. What about you?
       
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    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZFire

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011(mild) April2021 (moderate-severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity (2011) barotrauma & noise induced probably(2021)
      I haven’t done any strenuous activity for 2 and a half months now. No gym (depressing) or anything but I have noticed that if I bend down or if I get up quickly from the bed, I start to feel a little lightheaded and have a blood rushing pulsing sensation from my ears. The ringing also gets louder if I get a random popping of the ears. I haven’t tested out what working out is like under my current situation and honestly am afraid to find out.
       
    14. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      We most likely have the same thing going on. I need to hear everything you have tried and more of your symptoms. Maybe we can figure it out.
       
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    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZFire

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011(mild) April2021 (moderate-severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity (2011) barotrauma & noise induced probably(2021)
      I have loudness hyperacusis and reactive tinnitus. Not sure if the tinnitus is reactive because of the hyperacusis. Sounds will spike my tinnitus easily. They don’t have to be loud.

      I’ve been taking Nortriptyline 50 mg for depression for 3 weeks and I believe it helps with the ear pain I used to get from hyperacusis. I haven’t experienced any ear pain since. Not sure though. I still have loudness hyperacusis which is more bothersome for me.

      Taking the usual supplements Vitamin A, E, C, NAC, NAD+ Resveratrol, Omega 3, dark cocoa.

      I think avoiding sound mostly has been the most helpful for my reactive tinnitus. Hyperacusis I fear is getting more sensitive to loud.

      Currently busy at the moment. I’ll write more up later!
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZFire

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011(mild) April2021 (moderate-severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity (2011) barotrauma & noise induced probably(2021)
      @Brian Newman, I forgot to @ you for my post above.

      The hyperacusis bugs me out. It’s so strange I can hear things I’ve never heard before. I hear freaking electricity running through light fixture much louder. My ears will pick up ambulance sirens almost immediately when the source of the sound feels very far away. Loud sounds like silverware clanking or doors closing don’t necessary give me ear pain, but they easily startled me. As for distortions, they are on/off except for any water that’s running. It has a sizzling effect. Wind noise apparently has that effect too. Sometimes though when I hear my brother turn on the PS5 and I’m in another room (closed door ), the beeping noise it makes when turning on has a reverberating effect and sometimes sounds more higher pitch (prinngggggg). I think this is all connected with the hyperacusis along with reactive part of my tinnitus. I notice when I’m anxious everything gets worse. Ringing gets louder and my ears feel “vulnerable”. Like any noise will make these symptoms worse. It’s hard to explain really.
       
    17. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Have you tried Prednisone? Have you seen an ENT? Have you gotten an audiogram? All my shit is normal. My distortions are the same from running water and stuff like that. I got into a car accident 3 months after the deadlift and that’s what made my hyperacusis horrible.
       
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    18. Kenilworth

      Kenilworth Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      I have severe tinnitus (reactive) and severe hyperacusis. I've also noticed my hearing is a little dull. I'm not sure If I have hearing loss or if it's just the hyperacusis but I experience tension/pain in my head when I try to watch tv or videos or listen to music even at low volume. My hearing decreases temporarily afterwards.
       
    19. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Yeah the hyperacusis really sucks. My hearing is weird. I feel bothered by my voice and any volume out of my phone, but the tv is ok sometimes. I hate hyperacusis. It’s literally such shit. If I had bad distortions and bad tinnitus I would be fine. The hyperacusis keeps me at home and from working.
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZFire

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011(mild) April2021 (moderate-severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity (2011) barotrauma & noise induced probably(2021)
      I was on Medrol and responded terribly to it with terrible side effects and actually I started to notice distortions while on them. Seeing an ENT was useless, audiogram turned out normal as well, but I feel like I have some degree of hearing loss particularly when background noise is involved.
       
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    21. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      I really suspect a PLF. There is no way to really tell if we have it or not. Do you feel weird bending over or staining? Any dizziness at all?
       
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    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZFire

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011(mild) April2021 (moderate-severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity (2011) barotrauma & noise induced probably(2021)
      Definitely slight dizziness when I bend over or if I quickly get up from the bed. I also hear blood rushing to my ears making a pulsing sound.
       
    23. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Bro, me too. Okay, whatever we did, it is the same thing. We need to figure this out. When I strain I feel pressure in my head and ears, then if it’s too much I develop new tones distortion wise. My hyperacusis is worse when I wake up. I have tried and have been researching for 8 months and can still not figure out what happened. I know something is not right because I never was dizzy before this.

      When it gets bad I stand up and see stars and the blood rushes to my head and ears and it feels like I’m upside down for a second.

      Have you had any more tests done? Do doctors have any idea? Maybe they are better where you live. I still suspect a PLF but I was seeing a lot of people have weird symptoms from PLF. They have hearing loss or vertigo, but some fall over to certain noise, they can’t stand up with their eyes closed and with their feet together, they have weird eye movements to certain noise, or they have other strange symptoms.

      I also suspect a CSF leak. The main symptoms include getting dizzy when standing up.

      You are smart not doing straining because yours might heal. If it’s as bad as mine, it’s not going to heal and we have figure out what this is. Waiting will not make it go away.
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      ZFire

      ZFire Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011(mild) April2021 (moderate-severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity (2011) barotrauma & noise induced probably(2021)
      Have you tried supplements? Nootropics has some supplements that have helped members on Tinnitus Talk to a degree.

      Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) — Experiences on What It Does for Pain Hyperacusis?

      I’m looking to try some myself soon.
       
    25. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      I haven't. I'll give it a try. And taking Vitamin D, Zinc, Magnesium, and Lipoflavonoids seemed to help the tinnitus. But the dysacusis and hyperacusis have a mind of their own. I also have headaches and think my stuffy house might be contributing. I'm moving soon, so going to see if I get better too.
       
    26. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      I think you both should give a diuretic like Lasix or Thiazide a trial run.

      If it has anything to do with pressure, that'd help you find out. Borderline CSF leaks aren't going to show up on anything, not without more symptoms like droning tinnitus on standing, hearing loss-like Meniere's, and severe headache relieved by lying down. It could be CSF hypertension... but again should have more symptoms.

      For me after exercising, wearing earplugs and doing cardio, if I change head position from upright to supine/head down between my legs, the seashell like tinnitus sounds absolutely change in intensity and pitch dramatically (they get much worse).
      But without a hearing loss that tells ENTs nothing. For me the sounds my ear makes on yawning as well seem to be pointing to something more like secondary hydrops from steroids moreso than anything else. I suppose there's potential for some kind of hyperactivity disorder or stapes dislocation from Barotrauma, but I don't even know what an ENT could do. And to be a double PLF just seems so bloody unlikely and to be making the same sound yawning in both ears? It's a bit too convenient.

      One thing's for sure, a snug earplug makes a pressure seal. The middle ear is naturally at a slight vacuum and "breathes" via the tubes. Exercise will induce pressure changes, the vacuum in the ear increases as more low solute low oxygenated venous blood flows through, and the ear plug makes a vacuum on the other side so the drum can't flex as normally when pressure swings... basically making it so that the middle ear gets edema and some vacuum injury in god knows how many ways. Membranes will puff out, capillaries will burst, joints will swell, you get the idea, it's not a good idea. I have absolutely noticed getting worse when working out with earplugs. The yawning effect is tripled, probably from a higher vacuum being formed than should be otherwise.

      Me doing HBO with earplugs was ungodly stupid, but then again the operator should have known and said something.

      I've tried testing this vacuum yawning theory by equalizing first when I feel the need to, but it turns out that's REALLY hard to test (and the one time I did, it did nothing, kind of breaking the vacuum theory, but still, score 1 for hydrops).

      @ZFire, @Brian Newman, have you two measured your hearing right after exercising?

      I could use your help in the poll I made for Reddit head tap residual inhibition to get an idea as to what you hear.

      Poll: Residual Inhibition from Head Tapping / "The Reddit Tinnitus Cure"
       
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    27. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I got that too.
       
    28. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Same here but I’ve had POTS symptoms for years… along with dizzy days, hearing loss, headaches etc.
       
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    29. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Yeah you're right man about measuring my hearing after working out. I haven't lifted in 2 weeks because everybody keeps telling me I need to stop. I'm going another week and if I don't see noticeable improvement, I'm just gonna lift and measure my hearing.

      I wish I never wore earplugs on that deadlift. And ok so we all get worse by lifting and wearing earplugs. Increases the pressure. What else could have gotten damaged Lmaoooo. This is a nightmare.
       
    30. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      I think the closest thing that would relate is stories of barotrauma from scuba divers and see how they panned out years later.
       
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