My Tinnitus Story — Cold, Jaw Issues or Loud Noise?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by FutureDrAllen, Mar 2, 2020.

    1. FutureDrAllen

      FutureDrAllen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold, Jaw, or Noise?
      How it started.

      My tinnitus started around the evening of January 30th 2020. I remember being at the computer just playing some games with friends and all of a sudden when I took off my headphones I heard a noise. I didn’t think too much of it and I slept fine that day. And then woke up with it still and the rest is history.

      Possible causes for me is either the cold, my jaw, or noise. Sometime around January 6th I had a bit of a cold, nothing too long and after 2-3 days I took some medicine and it went away and I was fine. After that I drove to San Diego on the 17th and drove back to Arizona on the 20th, nothing wrong and everything was fine. Sometime between January 21st and January 30th during the afternoon, I was yawning very wide and my jaw just felt like it came off. Slowly I was able to close my jaw but I felt dizzy and very hot. I laid down and after a couple minutes I was fine. For all I know that could have happened on the day I heard ringing on the 30th or even the day before.

      About two weeks in, I remember feeling my right ear pop open when waking up and it mainly focusing on my left ear but as the day went on it continued and it started to just feel like the noise was in my head. Some days I have spikes in my right ear, and I think I developed sensitivity in my right ear to loud noises that sometimes causes a bit of a distortion when I'm in noise places like a mall and a child screams, the child’s noise feels weird, not super bothersome but noticeable. The other weird occurrence for me is that a couple months ago I had a bit of ear pain always waking up. It was short 1 minute of pain and it would go away. I switched my pillow thinking maybe my ear wasn’t feeling good because my pillow was too hard/soft. This starts to happen now also but isn’t as frequent. My only issue with sleep is I always tend to wake up 1-3 hours after I fall asleep. I can usually fall asleep again but I never had the problem of waking up in the middle of the night for no reason.

      I went to an ENT who did a sound test and my hearing was fine. And basically told me there is nothing we can do and only come back to me if you have hearing loss.

      I went to my PCP and he gave me 4mg of steroids and I took those and nothing much.

      Went to another ENT, did a sound test and supposedly I have mild hearing loss at the 4 kHz. It was a bit of a shocker because I’ve never been to a loud event in my life and honestly I’ve been listening to music even quieter since the new AirPods came out. Though I suspect that at this ENT the cause of my mild hearing loss could have been because I feel my tinnitus almost sounds like that 4 kHz noise and possibly could have been spiking and on top of that they used over ear headphones which caused me to hear a bit of my heart beat loudly and not focus well, compared to the first ENT that had in ear headphones.

      When I saw the second ENT he asked me to hold my nose and close my mouth and try to blow. My ears felt even more clogged, like they couldn’t pop (for me usually opening my mouth allows my ears to pop). He told me that it's possible I have a eustachian tube dysfunction. He gave me 60mg of steroids to take for 4 days and then to taper off to 40mg for 4 days and then 20 mg for 4 days. I also got a Nasal spray Azelastine HCL nasal spray to do 2 times a day. During the visit though he put force on my jaw connection with his hand, and my left side hurt very much. So much that I started to have that same feeling of feeling dizzy and hot when I opened my jaw too wide. I'm only a week into my medicine. Not much of a difference but thankfully nothing worse. For me my tinnitus is only really bothersome in quiet places or when I try to sleep I need to have some video or something playing to focus on. He said we will look into the jaw in my next visit which about another week away.

      But that's my story, hopefully I can figure out what caused this and correct it. I don’t think it's noise induced and I am suspecting it’s my jaw. Since I’ve usually taken care of myself and that jaw event seems like a likely cause.
    2. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      Welcome to the forum!

      The jaw is the most likely suspect IMO. I'd recommend at least getting it checked out by a dentist, and maybe an orofacial therapist as well (to check the muscles).

      In any case, stop trying with ENT's visits: at this point, your ears are diagnosed as being in good condition, so look at other possible causes first. If you happen to encounter a bad one, then they're more likely to mess it up further than to fix it.

      (Disclaimer: not a doctor, just a fellow T guy :p)
    3. oceanofsound26

      oceanofsound26 Member

      Delaware, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      TMJ, Neck Issues, and Accompanying Postural Deviations.
      Hi @FutureDrAllen -

      Waking after 3-4 hours can be of a sign of several different health problems, but for tinnitus, sleep-disturbed breathing or sleep apnea if more severe, forward head posture, and bruxism/TMJ are most prominent. All three can be related (they were for me) and lead to the development of tinnitus either singly or in combination. If this has been a problem for several years, this may merit further investigation starting with seeing a sleep doctor and getting a take-home or lab sleep study.

      Some useful info on pillows from a post I wrote about how I deal with sleep and tinnitus.

      Be mindful of your sleep posture. Try to keep your spine in a neutral position. Invest in a cervical neck pillow for back and/or side sleeping and consider using a lumbar support pillow. My recommendations for back sleepers - - and for slide sleepers - or I rotate between these three pillows for sleep. It is good to have a pillow that is the right height for your neck depending on your preferred sleeping position(s) -, so purchasing a pillow you can add or remove fill to and adjust pillow height is a good approach. The human neck curves slightly forward (to sustain the weight of the head when upright), and it’s important to maintain this curve when in a resting position and take care not to hyper-extend forward neck curvature when sleeping. Sleeping with the neck in a forward-flexed position can trigger or worsen musculoskeletal misalignment, cause neck and back pain, worsen sleep disordered breathing due to narrowing the airway, and trigger bruxism. I noticed this was part of my default sleep posture and now set my pillow further back to keep my head over my shoulders where it belongs when sleeping on my side.

      Full post here -—-achieving-better-sleep.39047/#post-502890.

      A potentially useful post on jaw problems and tinnitus -

      Good luck with everything.


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