MRI (with Ear Protection) Made My Pre-Existing Tinnitus Much Worse and Triggered Ear Pain

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Michael17, Apr 15, 2021.

    1. Michael17

      Michael17 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hello everyone,

      I am new to Tinnitus Talk.

      I have been suffering from tinnitus since December 2020. About 9-10 months prior to this time, I had some very minor tinnitus, which I only noticed when I was lying awake at night from fairly regular insomnia. Without getting into all the details, I had an MRI (with contrast dye) done in December 2020 for an issue totally un-related to my tinnitus and after coming out of the MRI machine, my tinnitus became much worse and has been with me ever since. I was wearing ear protection during the MRI. The tinnitus noises vary from those that sound like wind, crickets, whistling, and high pitch ringing. The high pitch ringing is usually accompanied by left ear pain. I have undertaken chiropractic care and acupuncture. There is some relief, but the tinnitus is still pretty distracting.

      Has anyone on this forum had a similar onset of tinnitus from an MRI or ever heard of this before?

      Looking forward to any input others can share and hopefully at some point, finding some solutions, etc. that also might be of help to others on the forum.

      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. zozil_radical

      zozil_radical Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise from MRI Machine
      Many people, including myself, get tinnitus from an MRI machine. Was the MRI machine that gave you tinnitus manufactured by Philips?
    3. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      There are many reports of tinnitus induced from an MRI.

      What did the ear protection consist of during your MRI?
    4. lymebite
      Vegged out

      lymebite Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unfortunately there are many reports of MRIs causing tinnitus. People Magazine published an article about a woman in Texas who got severe tinnitus and hyperacusis from an MRI:

      Five years ago, Kathy McCain had an MRI for lower back pain. She wore earplugs and protective earmuffs to dull the jarringly loud noise of the machine.

      Still, she emerged feeling unwell. When she awakened from a nap, her ears felt full and sore, and were ringing loudly. A searing pain shot down her neck. “I think I’m in trouble,” she told her husband, Rod McCain.

      Later, during a trip to the store, Kathy was overwhelmed by the sounds there — penetrating voices, throbbing refrigerators, metal shopping carts. “Her hearing is like somebody turned up the amplifier,” Rod tells PEOPLE. “Since the MRI, life has been a struggle.”

      It took two years for the worst of the pain to subside, but Kathy continues to suffer. She has hyperacusis, a sound sensitivity she explains as “amplified hearing,” where sounds are abnormally loud.

      She also has intrusive ringing, or tinnitus, with multiple tones that are heightened by almost any noise, even her own voice. Random crawling sensations bedevil her ears.​

      Texas Woman Warns Others After Loud MRI Permanently Damages Her Ears: 'I Live a Life of Misery'
    5. teacher34

      teacher34 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Prescription megadose ibuprofin combined with noise exposure
      I had longstanding mild tinnitus since adolescence (I'm in my 40's), and a few years ago my tinnitus became problematic after I took prescription megadoses of Ibuprofen & then sat too close to a fireworks show. After several months & multiple medications, my tinnitus went back to baseline. Then I was in a car accident (another driver slammed into me from behind while I was parked at a red light), and needed an MRI due to the injuries. I was given a set of foam earplugs to wear and no warnings about danger, even though I told them I had sensitive ears and was concerned about noise. If my recollection is correct, it was an open-style machine. It was still very, very loud and my exam took about 40 minutes.

      That MRI reactivated my problematic tinnitus, and I've been coping with it ever since. It has its ups and downs, but has never been as quiet as it was pre-MRI (it's been 3 years). Don't let any doctor or technician talk away your concerns about those machines. They're dangerous.

      Now my son is having terrible ear problems of his own and needs an MRI for diagnostic purposes. I'm searching for the quietest one possible to put him in as I won't subject him to my experience. I am asking for specs on the machine as well as talking to the techs about how they describe the noise. All "silent" MRIs are not created alike.
      • Hug Hug x 1
    6. Henry Orlando FL

      Henry Orlando FL Member Benefactor

      Orlando, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud sound via earbuds from a digital device.
      I wanted to let folks know about my MRI experiences.

      I have had 4 MRIs in my 10 years of tinnitus with some hyperacusis involved.

      The first two were no problem other than to discover that I sure did not want to do any more MRIs due to claustrophobia.

      Then I had a another episode of a loud sound incidence that resulted in an increase in the sounds of my tinnitus that now remain at a new level so it was not just another spike as the sounds were indeed louder and different sounds than before the incident. The bad news was that I had to habituate all over after that incident. The good news was it did not take as long.

      The last two MRIs were under this new level of sounds. Additionally, now I was worried a long exposure to a loud sounds in an MRI might result in another increase and bout of habituation. But I had to do it.

      One was over the need for the MRI prior to a knee operation or the doctor could not do the operation; so walk or risk higher tinnitus. I did that one with the help of 800 mg of L-Theanine which is an over the counter product since it is an Amino Acid. That was a high dose but there is no known side effects and no known overdose as well as being generally regarded as safe by the USA FDA. All went fine with no changes in my tinnitus from that one.

      The last one was yesterday which was with and without contrast (they inject something like a dye into you so they have contrast which means it takes longer). This one is to determine if I have prostrate cancer or just an enlarged prostrate (hey it happens in one's 70s). This time I received 2 mg of Atavan (low dose) from my doctor per my request to help with the claustrophobia and the large amount of anxiety I had about going into the noisy MRI. I am happy to report doing the MRI was easy and no increased tinnitus from it either.

      Of course I can't say that would be the case for everyone. Maybe it won't turn out OK for me next time.

      I hope this gives you a formula should you need to face an MRI and that it works out as well for you as it did for me.
    7. Bobby B

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Large caliber rifles&machine guns, +30 years of loud clubs
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