Musical Tinnitus, Deep Pressure and Ear Pain Following Sinusitis

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by BeMagnified, Dec 3, 2022.

    1. BeMagnified

      BeMagnified Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I am a thirty-something year old female who suddenly developed tinnitus in my right ear at the age of 18. Initially my tinnitus sounded like a low grade siren. Eventually the siren sound went away and was replaced with a hum along with hissing and whistling. After the initial shock, I was able to cope with these sounds for the most part.

      I have had chronic sinusitis for almost three years. When my sinus symptoms become worse, my right ear will eventually become clogged and my hearing will become distorted. The humming will also increase in volume and intensity.

      About a few weeks ago, my sinusitis became worse and one day, I woke up unable to hear bass tones with my right ear. Over the following week, my hearing improved but then I started to hear tinnitus like sounds in a pattern of a melody.

      It has been two weeks and I now hear this "music" during all my waking hours.

      I am having a lot of difficulty coping with this musical tinnitus. I can't concentrate and feel nauseated much of the time. I haven't been able to sleep a full night in a few weeks.

      On top of the musical tinnitus, I have deep pressure and sometimes pain in my right ear and have sensitivity to noise.

      I went to my PCP and all she could see was the fluid that has been sitting behind my eardrums for nearly three years.

      I have used masking for years but now the masking seems to bring out the musical tinnitus even more.

      I am in deep psychological pain and have considered calling a crisis line. I am already under psychiatric care and have a routine follow up appointment coming up later this month. I tried to move this appointment to sooner but it can't be done.

      If this turns out to be permanent, then I don't know how I'm going to adapt and cope with this new musical tinnitus.
       
      • Hug Hug x 5
    2. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BeMagnified

      BeMagnified Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      To continue my story..

      My musical tinnitus has gotten louder and more pronounced. I hear it 24/7 and it's really wearing on my nerves.

      My nurse practitioner called me today to follow up on my appointment with her from a couple of weeks ago. She asked me if I was still experiencing symptoms and I told her that I am. So she asked that I book a hearing test and to get my yearly baseline blood test done. So I got my blood test done (during my last prolonged tinnitus spike, I had a blood test show that I had high neutrophil levels. I wonder if today's blood test will show the same).

      I booked a hearing test and they got me in right away. The audiologist took pictures of both ears. He also did a pressure test. My right eardrum didn't move the first time but it did move the next two times that he ran the test (so if I do have fluid behind my eardrums, it's not enough to make a difference).

      My pure tone test showed normal hearing in both ears. The hearing in my right ear (the one with the tinnitus) is slightly better than my left ear. My speech threshold test came out as normal in both ears.

      So now I see my nurse practitioner in person next week. And I'm not hopeful that this appointment will lead to any relief as she told me that she didn't know what to do the last time I saw her for the same symptoms.

      I have a routine follow up appointment with my psychiatrist and I plan on explaining this situation to him. During my last prolonged tinnitus spike, he gave me a PRN and suggested that I try hearing aids.

      I still struggle to sleep and I still feel nauseated much of the time. This whole situation is making me feel crazy, especially with my hearing and ear tests coming out as normal.
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    4. tpj
      Torn

      tpj Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      probably noise
      It seems I have developed the same thing. I've never had this sound before and I was trying to describe it and the word symphony came to mind. I also felt nauseous but thankfully, that seems to have settled.

      I too am wondering how am I going to get used to this. I'm sorry @BeMagnified that I can't offer you any other advice than what I'm telling myself. Be patient. It's all I've got and that I know how you feel.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BeMagnified

      BeMagnified Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I wouldn't describe mine as a symphony. As most of it sounds like a single instrument (sometimes accordion like and sometimes bagpipes like) playing the same two to five notes over and over again (I have a handful of different "tunes" that I hear). When I don't hear these "tunes", I hear what sounds like a vacuum or a race track or screeching tires in my head. This is on top of the hissing, whistling and humming I've had for many years. I'm finding it depressing and mentally exhausting to deal with.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BeMagnified

      BeMagnified Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Out of all my new noises, I'm finding the vacuum like sound the most disturbing (the musical patterns are easier to deal with than the vacuum or the screeching tires).

      When I went to bed on Friday, my right ear was screaming. I normally take 50 mg of Quetiapine 4 hours before I go to bed, which I did that night. I ended up taking 50 mg more when I went to bed due to my ear. Unfortunately, it still took me 5 hours to fall asleep. For the first hour and a half, I tried different sounds on one of my sound machines but the vacuum sound pierced through them all. I then took a break from trying to sleep and watched TV for an hour and a half. Then I went back to bed and tossed and turned for another 2 hours. I woke up after three and a half hours of sleep. I then proceeded to have multiple anxiety attacks throughout the day.

      I have a routine follow-up appointment coming up with my psychiatrist this week and I don't know how that will go. During my last prolonged tinnitus spike, he gave me enough Quetiapine that I could take up to 100 mg per day (25 mg up to 4 times per day as needed). I started to take Quetiapine 12 years ago and it seemed much more effective then than it is now. At the same time, I'm afraid to go off of it because I went through withdrawal the last time that I did.

      Since developing tinnitus nearly 16 years ago, multiple doctors have recommended SSRI antidepressants to me. Due to having problems with both sleep and tinnitus, I have mostly avoided SSRIs. I did try a couple SSRIs a few years ago only to end up with dizziness and sleep maintenance insomnia with both of them. I didn't notice a change with my tinnitus but I wasn't on either of them for long (I feared that they would worsen my tinnitus). I am definitely not open to trying another SSRI antidepressant right now and I know my psychiatrist knows this. Because of this, I'm afraid that he can do nothing to help me.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BeMagnified

      BeMagnified Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      So I saw my psychiatrist this afternoon. I told him that I have felt very overwhelmed due to the musical tinnitus over this past month. He asked if I had seen an ENT. I told him that I saw my PCP and all she could see was fluid behind both eardrums (this has been a chronic problem all my life). I also told him that I saw an audiologist and that he found nothing wrong. He asked if I could hear the music in my ear or in my head. It is honestly both depending on the sound but the musical patterns tend to be more in my head (it's all on my right side regardless). He said it sounds like I'm having musical hallucinations. He asked how I would feel about switching to Risperidone. I told him that I'm afraid that I would go through withdrawal if I went off Quetiapine. So he said that I could take both. Now he wants me to take 0.5 mg of Risperidone along with 50 mg of Quetiapine.

      I don't know if Risperidone will help but I'm willing to try it (it's not an SSRI antidepressant and so I'm not as afraid of it). Even if it just improves my sleep, it will help me cope better. The vacuum sound came back last night and so I took another 25 mg of Quetiapine. It took me an hour to fall asleep, which is not ideal but at least it didn't take me 5 hours like last week. I have a follow-up appointment with my psychiatrist shortly after the New Year.

      I see my PCP later on this week. I think she still won't know what to do since my blood test and audiogram came back as normal.

      I have had inflammation of both eardrums off and on since seeing her last month. I've taken pictures of this inflammation and I might show them to her when I see her (I've had ear pain off and on for the past month but she didn't see any inflammation when I saw her last).
       
    8. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg dose of (anticholinergic) drug Promethazine
      @BeMagnified -- It seems to me that if you could successfully address the fluid behind your eardrums, you might solve your problem. Since the doctors you've seen have not been able to find a way to do that, you might want to consider looking for a doctor who can. My best guess is a reputable Naturopathic Doctor would likely be able to help you. You could also try some self-help methods to clear up your sinusitis. I've posted many links to various videos on how that can be accomplished. -- All the Best...
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BeMagnified

      BeMagnified Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I saw my PCP today and my appointment pretty much went as expected. She brought up how my blood work and hearing test were both normal. I showed her pictures of the inflammation of my eardrum that comes and goes (my eardrum wasn't inflamed today when she looked). She doesn't believe I could be having reoccuring ear infections despite pain and visible inflammation unless I have had a fever, which I haven't.

      I brought up how I'm still having problems with hearing distortion, sound sensitivity, pain, ear pressure, dizziness and musical tinnitus. She said that in my medical records it says that I have had tinnitus since 2007. I told her that I didn't develop the musical type until suddenly just over a month ago after my chronic sinusitis symptoms flared up.

      I brought up how I have had fluid sitting behind both eardrums for 3 years. I also brought how I haven't been able to breathe through my left nostril in 3 years and how I have chronic sinus pressure on the left side of my face and how I have tried everything possible to manage this (different steroid nasal sprays, saline washes, antihistamines, decongestants...).

      She offered to refer me back to the local ENT. I told her that the local ENT has brushed off both my sinus problems and ear problems multiple times in the past. She is not willing to help me aside from prescribing more nasal spray, which isn't adequately working.

      So my PCP offered to refer me to an ENT out of town, which I agreed to. My PCP told me it will probably take a month just to get an appointment set up due to the holidays coming up. Then who knows how long it will be before I actually see this ENT (the audiologist said that I might have a 2 to 3 year wait due to my hearing testing normal).
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    10. ErikaS

      ErikaS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection/Ultra High Frequency Loss in Right Ear
      Hey there @BeMagnified,

      First of all, I commend you for keeping it together enough while these not helpful at all “professional” fools do nothing. I am glad to hear you are going to another ENT, hoping they can get you in asap. I would demand MRI of sinuses and ears. if you have fluid still behind the eardrum somewhere or if you have significant sinus blockages, these could be addressed and greatly help your situation. Has anyone even tried a steroid with you? It sounds like no intervention has been given to try to address the inflammation.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BeMagnified

      BeMagnified Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I managed to get a 10-day course of Prednisone from an ER doctor but that was over 2 years ago. Almost all doctors (including 2 ENTs) that I have encountered have done nothing but prescribe steroid nasal spray while offering no other help. I did have an MRI of the auditory canal over 2 years ago and that showed nothing. Over a year ago, my last PCP sent me to an allergist for a skin prick test and I reacted to nothing that I was tested for. So the allergist sent me for a CT scan of my sinuses. This scan showed the inflammation of my sinuses but the cause of this inflammation is still unknown. The allergist prescribed me more steroid nasal spray and referred me back to my PCP.
       
    12. DeanD

      DeanD Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction
      I am having the exact same thing and only recently described it as either bagpipes or accordion, and the same few notes, along with other noises.

      It does seem different to a lot of other tinnitus I've read about. My tinnitus is 100% noise related but I also have had sinus problems in the past, and sinusitis which I had two surgeries for 12 and 10 years ago.

      I also have fluid buildup. It isn't behind the eardrums, as this would have been spotted by the 2xENTs, 2xAudiologists and 2xGPs that have looked in to my ear recently - I don't know where yet, but if my head or face is massaged I feel fluid running down he back of my throat, plus I can get a bit dizzy.

      Unfortunately I can't offer any explanation as I'm equally as curious as this seems different to most people's tinnitus, but you aren't alone.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BeMagnified

      BeMagnified Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      It's very different than the still ongoing tinnitus that seems to come directly from my right ear (simple whistling and hissing with no patterns). Sometimes the musical tinnitus seems to be in my ear but also sometimes it seems to be in my head although still on the right side. Also the noise from the shower will drown out the simple hissing and whistling but it makes the musical tinnitus louder or more prominent.

      Besides the musical tinnitus, I do hear other sounds, too. In a way, I feel like I have a radio in the right side of my head that changes frequencies every few minutes. Sometimes I'll hear simple music and other times I'll hear what sounds like a race track or a vacuum.

      I have fluid behind both eardrums that has been sitting there for nearly 3 years. I have post nasal drip that comes and goes. I have also experienced some dizziness since the onset of my musical tinnitus.
       
    14. DeanD

      DeanD Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction
      Mine too, the musical tone is the only one that really feels in the head, the others are more in the ear.

      I have also felt that one of the other tones is like a radio. It almost feels like repetitive speech in a way but nothing I can make out.

      I wonder if the fluid is the reason these tones are not tonal, and have a pattern to them - as fluid in the system I can't believe will be still for very long.

      I do get frustrated that the only medical papers I can find on the subject veer towards musical hallucinations, which this clearly is not.

      I wonder if the fluid is also the reason for the shared dizziness at times.

      If only someone could piece together all these sub-types for patterns, some of this may start making sense!
       
    15. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      For the serious chronic sinus problems, you may want to check out this MD and his recommended procedures on YouTube. There should be more information on this procedure as I read about this many years ago. But check with your doctor before you want to try this. Take care. God bless.

      Dr. Jon Kaiser: Flushing Your Sinuses with Hydrogen Peroxide
       
    16. DeanD

      DeanD Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction
      @BeMagnified - when you mention 'deep pressure' in your ears, does it feel as if a muscle is contracting or tightening in your ear when you hear certain noises? Any burning sensation?
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BeMagnified

      BeMagnified Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I wouldn't say that I experience any contracting or tightening in my right ear when I hear certain noises. The pressure in my ear varies throughout the day but it doesn't seem connected to anything. I have experienced a burning sensation but that doesn't seem to be connected to anything either.
      I really don't get the impression that I'm experiencing musical hallucinations in the way it's been researched. It feels more like my tinnitus is constantly changing tones or sounds. I don't hear clear voices or instruments but I definitely hear patterns.
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BeMagnified

      BeMagnified Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      It's been 3 weeks since I started to take 0.5 mg of Risperidone. I am now generally calmer compared to a month ago and my sleep is better. I experience much less nausea now compared to how I was in November.

      A few weeks ago, I was hearing three distinct melody/patterns along with other sounds that would rotate through. In the last week, I've heard the same one melody that comes and goes (the other two disappeared). Along with the hissing and the whistling, I now have constant roaring and screeching in my right ear. I still have fullness, pain and hearing distortion on that ear. I still have fluid behind both ear drums but that's been a problem for years.

      My mood is quite low. It's been a long time since I've felt this depressed. I'm not sure what can be done about this.

      Up until a month ago, I used to listen to music every day. Now I can't stand listening to music since I feel so lopsided (my hearing is similar on both sides according to my last hearing test but it doesn't feel that way). I'm okay with listening to people talk, though.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BeMagnified

      BeMagnified Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I had a follow up with my psychiatrist. I told him that the complex melodies are gone but that I still hear patterns. He suggested that I could start taking 0.5 mg of Risperidone twice per day instead once per day to see if that would make the patterns go away. We also talked about my sleep. I told him that it's gotten better but it's still not 100% (it's on the restless side). So he gave me sleeping pill samples. I found myself unable to communicate to him about my depressed mood although I hope to when I see him again for the next follow up appointment (I tend to freeze up at appointments).

      I just experienced another turn of events today. This morning, I came down with a fever, chills, nasal congestion, post nasal drip and a rapid resting heart beat. So I did a rapid COVID-19 test and it came back positive, which I'm not surprised since I've been surrounded by sick people since just after Christmas.

      I have read many horror stories about people losing their hearing or getting tinnitus after having COVID-19. So I am experiencing anxiety about what this could mean for my ears. I fear making the tinnitus in my right ear worse or also developing tinnitus in my left ear.

      My hearing does seem a bit muffled in both ears but I'm also having a lot of post nasal drip.

      This is my first time knowingly catching something in over three years.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
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