My Tinnitus Started Around the Time of an Airplane Flight and Getting Apple AirPods

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Kelly H, Apr 11, 2021.

    1. Kelly H

      Kelly H Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      February 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I've recently developed tinnitus for unknown reasons and have had persistent loud, high-pitched ringing in my ears since February. The only thing that changed during that period was I flew back from East Africa, where I currently live, following my mother-in-law's death. Also, I received Apple AirPods shortly after for my birthday in late February, and that's when I believe I started noticing a fullness sensation in my ears and ringing. Also, I've been under tremendous stress supporting my spouse following the loss of their parent and father-in-law's poor health.

      The ringing seems to increase most during heightened episodes of stress. I run a lot and do not turn my volume up too loud, but I've noticed after a long run my ears feel like they are about to pop, and I can hear clearer for some time, but then the ringing returns.

      I googled a bunch of things, and I still really don't know much about this condition. At first, I assumed I had lots of earwax build-up, so I scheduled an appointment two days ago with a minute clinic to see if they could do an earwax removal procedure. The Physician's Assistant looked in my ears and told me they were too clean, in fact, but that she saw no significant issues in the outer ear. She noticed some fluid built up in a tube behind the eardrum. She prescribed me some Flonase. She said it could be due to recent air travel.

      I experience allergies and sinuses every once in a while, which can get rather nasty if unchecked. It's been two days of using the Flonase, and I haven't noticed a difference. Sometimes I think I do, but then I listen closely, and the ringing is still there.

      I guess the main question I have is, is this permanent? Can nothing be done to stop the ringing? I've scheduled an appointment with my Primary Care physician next week, so I will see what he has to say.

      Anyways, sorry for the rambling; I just discovered this community and look forward to perusing it a bit. Cheers!
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Jack Straw

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Sorry to hear about your situation. I'll try to give my two cents.

      To start off, stress and anxiety is know to make tinnitus worse. It is a vicious cycle because you are stressed / anxious and then your tinnitus gets worse and then your more stressed / anxious and then your tinnitus get worse. You have to find a way to break the cycle. Try to get distracted as best you can to keep your mind from focusing on it. I know it sounds impossible, but over time you may habituate to it. With the current situation you described I definitely think that your stress is making it worse.

      Exercise is also known to increase tinnitus temporarily. I don't know exactly why, but I suspect it has to do with increased blood flow and some type of somatic tinnitus changes due to neck movements. Overall exercise is worth doing at the end of the day because it is healthy, reduces stress, and only increase tinnitus for a short while.

      Fluid behind ear can also effect your ability to hear and can make your tinnitus seem louder. So it seems that your increased fluid may be increasing your very quiet tinnitus. You should definitely get this resolved as it can take a couple of months to clear up. In the future make sure you see an ENT and not a regular doctor. Seeing any doctor besides an ENT is a waste of time in regards to tinnitus and ear issues. Also, never get micro suction or irrigation for ear wax removal.

      Allergies can also cause sinus issues which can exacerbate tinnitus.

      Depending on how you developed tinnitus it can be permanent, but it can also go away over time. It is different for everyone. It seems to be very quiet for you, where you have to listen to hear it. Take this as a learning experience and protect your ears in loud environments because it can and will get worse if you don't.
    3. Ehren M

      Ehren M Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Welcome to this community, which no-one wishes to be a part of but everyone is grateful for.

      I'm a relative newbie too. My symptoms have been around just a month or so longer than yours.

      Some of the crucial points that I have gathered so far in this journey follow:

      1) in many cases even medical professionals have only the faintest idea of how to treat tinnitus.

      2) tinnitus can take a long time to "heal" on its own (though a full recovery appears to be quite likely in many cases, given proper care of the ears by avoiding further trauma, getting good nutrition with lots of antioxidants, and plenty of sleep). That said, I would avoid using earbuds and headphones altogether for at least a few months. Others here will advise you to never use the things again once you've had the symptoms you describe. I've read many accounts of people who seem quite sure that use of these things was the cause of their symptoms, and it's hard to know whether they were a contributing factor in your case. Might as well play it safe. Also, avoid loud places, and/or wear earplugs when you can't avoid loud stuff (like airplanes, traffic, etc.). There is no reason to expect to live with this forever if your life doesn't expose you to loud sounds consistently.

      3) thinking about tinnitus only seems to exacerbate the symptoms, so try to not dwell on it, as impossible as that may seem, and...

      4) don't let yourself be in pure silence, since apparently our auditory cortext tends to "turn up the volume" when in silence, which in turn may elevate the brain's sensitivity to whatever garbage signals it is now receiving from your cochlea that results in your perception of tinnitus. Instead, use a noise generator (white noise on youtube, etc.) at a volume just under the volume of your tinnitus sounds while you sleep and whenever you would be in silence otherwise.

      I wish you a speedy and full recovery.
      • Like Like x 1
    4. TrevorSanders

      TrevorSanders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure/Ototoxic Medication
      If you have to listen closely to see if your tinnitus is still there, you should count your blessings. Odds are you will easily habituate and live a normal life in a few months. Just protect your ears from noise and ototoxic medication from now on and you should be fine.

Share This Page