Mysteriously Got Tinnitus from Being Sick — It's Getting Worse and I'm Suicidal

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Otitislongia, May 17, 2021.

    1. Otitislongia
      Hurting

      Otitislongia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/14/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      infection
      Hello, My name is Marcus and I am a 25-year-old male living in the USA. My story begins on January 14th, at 10:52pm, or as I like to call it, the first minute after the last minute I was genuinely happy.

      A week ago before this, I woke up one day and just felt super unwell, like someone poured a gallon of crap in my sinuses. I got tested for COVID-19 (negative) and spent a week feeling like I was just off. Then, the day I felt better I had a massive glob of wax fall out my ear in the morning, went to work, came home, and played some video games and enjoyed them with my headset on, at a quiet volume (as I always do, important for later). I remember being with one other person in my voice call, hunched over poorly in bed. I then asked if anyone was there, a friendly quietly said yes, and then all of the sudden it felt like my left ear filled up like it did when I got my fleeting tinnitus, except this time it didn't go away...

      I took my headset off, in a panic, immediately knowing something was wrong. I noticed my hearing in my left ear had diminished and I had distorted hearing as well, music sounded off key and every note had a weird peeping ring to it when I listened to it. I immediately called my doctor, a close family friend, and he saw me the next day when things did not get better. He said my eardrum and ear canal were inflamed, called in meds, and went back home. As soon as I got home, I knew I needed to distract myself, so I tried to play some video games, without a headset on. I couldn't do it, as the distortion and ringing in the left ear were miserable, so I put an earplug in my ear. I noticed when I took it out an our later the hearing returned 100%, but I still had ringing. very odd.

      3 days later, at the fault of the pharmacy NOT telling me my Prednisone and Azithromycin were ready, I took my meds. I immediately noticed a ton of draining from my sinuses, like a heavy and thick amount and ear pressure relief after 2 days of taking it, but after 2 weeks my doctor still said my ear canal was red and eardrum was not moving. Fast forward one more week, I am sitting at home in terrible pain from a muscle spasm headache. I am using a massage gun and it slipped, causing it to rattle my skull under my ear for maybe 1-6 seconds, after this, I took a shower and noticed something very bad. I was hearing things distorted, or thought I was. Fans, water, and certain musical tones sounded wrong, and I had more tinnitus in my head, I now had what I can only describe as normal tonal ringing, an HVAC vent noise, and pulsatile screeching.

      Fast forward to now, I have visited FOUR ENTs, and had an MRI for face and jaw (not brain/ear) and CT. The only thing that was found was that the massage fun had ruined my jaw disc, but after a procedure that has been entirely fixed as of two weeks ago to this day. I have about five noises in my head, and am seriously just suicidal at this point. I was a perfectly healthy, happy, and successful 25 year old dude, but now my life has crumbled due to this fucking BARRAGE of noise. I lost my job, my apartment, and probably my future due to the sheer screeching and bullshit in my head that refuses to go away. I am not scheduled for a brain MRI AND MRA due to pulsing nature of a sound, and the multiple screeching noises in my head. For the record, I have had 4 hearing exams. All perfect, no cochlear damage. No wax in my ear, no damage to the canal, and have shoved every time of natural remedy in my body that I could think of as well as a copious amount of snake oil.

      For the record, when this started I was on an EXTREMELY low dose of Zoloft, and 100 mg of Trazodone for sleeping. I have since kicked the Zoloft and am now on Lexapro (I have severe anxiety and OCD, I need an SSRI), but am wondering if maybe 7 years of Trazodone have caused this.

      I am here to ask for hope and support. I don't want to kill myself for fear of eternal damnation but I am slowly starting to not care. I just want my silence and freedom back. Please tell me that due to my circumstances I have a chance here, as I have always HATED loud noise. For the record, my headset use was for long periods of time during COVID-19, but I always capped it at 20/25% volume and rarely listened to music.
       
      • Hug Hug x 11
    2. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this. Welcome to the Tinnitus Talk website. You will get a lot of support here.

      I think it’s unlikely that Trazodone would all of a sudden start causing tinnitus. If it’s a reaction to medication it should’ve happened a while ago. I suspect your tinnitus is related to your wax buildup and what appears to have been an ear infection as you have described.

      That said, those issues temporarily cause conductive hearing loss as opposed to SNHL. So in theory, once your ear issues are treated, your tinnitus could very well resolve over time.

      Perhaps more damage was done than originally thought from the massage gun and it still needs to heal.

      Is your tinnitus in your left ear only or is it now bilateral? Tinnitus from medication is usually bilateral.

      My otologist said that there are hundreds of things that caused tinnitus and apart from sensorineural hearing loss, it’s very difficult to pinpoint what the causative factor is for any one person.

      I do hope that you will have some improvement soon.

      if you do think it’s Trazodone, you can always just continue it after consulting with your prescriber.

      Best,
      Danielle
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    3. martinberryhorse

      martinberryhorse Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 5, 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One hard cough
      First of all, I can relate a lot to your emotional position. I had just turned 24, for the first time in my life I felt good about who I was and what I was doing, and then 3 weeks later it was all ruined because I coughed mucus into my Eustachian tubes in one horrible moment.

      Like you I have no hearing loss, multiple tests showed this. I also hate loud noise and have always avoided it. From what you say I think you do have a chance to improve or recover. It could be the medication you've been taking, it could be Eustachian tube issues due to your mucus buildup, it could be the inflammation the doctor saw.

      If you can, I would stop taking medications that aren't 100% necessary, you and your doctor would know better than me what that means for you and how you should go about doing it like tapering off, but if it is the meds that's the only way you are going to improve.

      It might take a long time, mine improved after 3 months and has been stuck at the lower level for a year and half after that.

      Do you have any crackling/popping sounds when you swallow?
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    4. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      I seriously doubt some massager did any real damage. Maybe spiked you. What seems to make more sense is the shower noise unmasked all your distortions.

      I know it sucks, a ton of balls, but there are stories of improvements even if you're severe.

      The infection obviously didn't help, and perhaps that's still ongoing and needs a better follow up if the meds for that seemed to help.

      It's possible you were predisposed to tinnitus, especially considering you were on SSRIs, which are kind of known for potentially causing tinnitus, or at least raising the risk.

      From what I've read, any kind of tinnitus caused by meds that alter neurology at the very least can change over long periods of time (give it a year at least) and lower in volume.

      Habituation is sure a lot easier if the volume decreases.

      I had a hell on earth situation happen to me. I am still pretty bad. Lots of tinnitus, wavering, distortions, but it isn't like it was in the beginning. I would've killed myself had it lasted at that level. It mercifully decreased.

      It is still there, but it decreased the most within the span of 3 months. I haven't seen much changing since.

      But if you have an active infection creating mucus and pus in your ear that needs attending to first! Stop the cause, then do damage control.

      In the meantime, try using earplugs at night, and if you have to hide from it, use sounds that change a lot (rainfall might be a good one), not broadband noise which will stimulate the distortions.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Otitislongia
      Hurting

      Otitislongia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/14/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      infection
      Thank you for your kind reply. My tinnitus was only in my left ear even after the injury but about 45 days ago it spread to the right ear with a quiet tinnitus sound.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Otitislongia
      Hurting

      Otitislongia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/14/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      infection
      Tons. I can even move my head and neck and make my left Eustachian tube make crazy noises.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Otitislongia
      Hurting

      Otitislongia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/14/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      infection
      I just got back from the ENT on Monday. He saw no signs of infection. The nose and ears looked great. He did find two hairs in my ear canal that he removed but my left ear still feels wrong and my Eustachian tube still feels weird, like it just won't open.

      I finished a third round of Zithromax with no improvement either.
       
    8. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      Maybe a good old nasal spray of isotonic water while clicking your tubes and some pseudoephedrine might be the ticket if there's any more gunk in your tubes. Both are pretty safe tinnitus wise.
       
    9. martinberryhorse

      martinberryhorse Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 5, 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One hard cough
      I've found that if I do heavy compound movements in the gym like squats or deadlifts, then I can open my left Eustachian tube (with a lot of crackling/sticky sounds) when yawning for about an hour after but then it seals up again.

      Seems like you have Eustachian Tube Dysfunction of some kind. I've read a lot of anecdotes online of people with this and it can take anywhere from a couple weeks to 5 years to get better and some people never do, though those people tend to have other issues as well like recurring sinus infections they've had their whole lives.

      One thing that helped me reduce my volume and clogged ears a little bit was saline sinus rinses, like the ones that spray out of a can. I tilt my head back and flood my sinuses with it, then blow my nose gently.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Otitislongia
      Hurting

      Otitislongia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/14/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      infection
      I was on Sudafed twice, no such luck.

      What are some brand names for this nasal spray you mentioned? Thanks!
       
    11. Kendra

      Kendra Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSNHL/ Acoustic Trauma
      If you can’t open your Eustachian tubes at all or it’s very hard to, I would try using Afrin spray. Don’t use it longer than 7 days though.
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Otitislongia
      Hurting

      Otitislongia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/14/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      infection
      Left one just doesn't feel open all the way. It's hard to explain.
       
    13. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Hang in there.
       
    14. Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      I have unilateral tinnitus and I have started to suspect that my Eustachian tube has something to do with it. I have a saline spray that I have been using, although with no immediate effect. We will see. It really helps with my dry nose, which is good.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    15. Michael24

      Michael24 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/20/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Azithromycin
      @Otitislongia, stop taking Zithromax. I believe my tinnitus was caused from that stupid drug.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Otitislongia
      Hurting

      Otitislongia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/14/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      infection
      Don't worry. Been off it for weeks.
       
    17. Óscar PP
      Psychedelic

      Óscar PP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Coronavirus
      I know you tested negative for COVID-19 but believe me, many long haulers tested negative too yet they have a myriad of odd symptoms that match with those of long COVID-19.

      Also, COVID-19 is known to cause tinnitus and distortions (other viruses too) so I'd say yours is caused by a virus with almost 100% certainty.

      Suicidality should abate around month 6-12 depending on how severe your tinnitus is.
       
    18. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      I agree with the above statement on suicide ideation. It will slowly fade as the brain becomes more used to the new normal and the stress level subsides. Give it time and get all the support you need here. You are not alone here.

      Try read up some success stories to give you hope. Your multi toned tinnitus is similar to Vicki's condition. She is in better state than she was at the beginning when she ended up in a psychiatric hospital. You can follow her thread here in the Introduce Yourself section and hopefully find some hope for your recovery.

      Give it time and let the body heal. Take care. God bless.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    19. Mathew Gould

      Mathew Gould Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck/Jaw misalignment
      I have crackling/popping sounds when I swallow. What does that mean?
       
    20. martinberryhorse

      martinberryhorse Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 5, 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One hard cough
      Probably something wrong with the Eustachian tubes. Could be inflammation or infection. Could be caused by allergies too, or maybe jaw issues. Most ENTs couldn't care less as they can't sell you anything to fix it, they will just tell you to try over the counter nasal sprays or tell you it's TMJ because many will immediately think TMJ when they hear you say "crackling" sound and tell you its your jaw cracking which can be total BS. For example, my ears will crackle when I swallow and my jaws are completely motionless/relaxed. However, one doctor told me it could be the jaws being inflamed that put pressure on the Eustachian tubes.

      I've seen a lot of stories of it improving and some where it goes away. Mine has not in almost two years, though it did improve after the first two months. Saline nasal sprays seemed to help a little.
       
    21. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      What about always having to yawn to pop the ears?
       
    22. Oabmarcus

      Oabmarcus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/30/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress and years of using earbuds/headphones
      The first step to "Recovery" is to accept it. Unfortunately, the more you think of a cure that is not there, the worse off you are and you will never be out of the depression you are in.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    23. martinberryhorse

      martinberryhorse Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 5, 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One hard cough
      Sounds like we are in the same boat. Not fully blocked to where you can't pop them, which is what would show up on a tympanogram, but still gunked up enough that they don't work right.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    24. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Anything I should or shouldn’t be doing?
       
    25. martinberryhorse

      martinberryhorse Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 5, 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One hard cough
      The only thing that helped me at any point was using saline nasal sprays in a very specific way.

      When my tinnitus would spike up and my ears would become pressurized simultaneously, I would tilt my head back, block the back of my nose and close my throat by pushing the back of my tongue to the roof of my mouth, and fill my sinuses with saline while holding my breathe and swallowing over and over to let the saline get into the Eustachian tubes, keep swallowing as long as I can until I need air, then tilt my head forward and let it drain and gently blow my nose.

      I know I did it right when the crackling is gone for a few minutes after, most likely because of the saline in the Eustachian tubes. This also tells me it is indeed the tubes that are crackling, and not the jaw or ear wax, etc... like the ENTs always tell me.

      7/10 times this would immediately get rid of a spike and my ears would feel less pressurized, like they do now and have been for the last 21 months.

      As for what to not do, just the usual stuff like no smoking, don't cough too hard or blow your nose too hard, that's how I got into this mess.

      I find that heavy weightlifting helps my tubes open up a little better for an hour or so after so maybe there is something to that.

      You can try over the counter allergy nasal sprays, that works for some people.

      I have seen one case where someone had our symptoms for 3.5 years before it randomly cleared up, so one last thing you could do is expect to be stuck like this for a while as much as that fucking sucks. I've found it to be more manageable than the rollercoaster of "I think it's getting better" to "nope, it hasn't changed" every other week.

      EDIT: Couple extras. Don't ever let an ENT use a suction machine for earwax removal, don't ever do the Valsalva maneuver too hard. I had an ENT tell me to do it as hard as I could so he could see the eardrum move, bad idea.

      Finding a creative outlet has helped me cope as well.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Useful Useful x 1
    26. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Thank you.
       
    27. martinberryhorse

      martinberryhorse Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Aug 5, 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One hard cough
      You're welcome!
       
    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Otitislongia
      Hurting

      Otitislongia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/14/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      infection
      Quick update. My tinnitus is not better, it almost felt like it was gone but I got a new job and it's just pure hell again. I'm angry all the time and probably just will fucking off myself soon if it doesn't stop.

      God is a sick fucking bastard for giving me 5 noises of this shit. Fuck you.
       
    29. Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lawn mower
      Hello Oscar,

      What makes you say that suicidality should abate between 6 and 12 months? I have had severe tinnitus in my left ear for almost 2 months now. I’m starting to run out of the hope and enthusiasm that is necessary to keep going.

      Mark
       
    30. Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Lawn mower
      @Otitislongia, I’m so sorry you are going through this. You certainly don’t deserve this, particularly as young as you are. And as I understand it from reading your posts, you were careful around sound. What happened to you was medical in nature and beyond your control. It’s just plain unfair. If you’re tinnitus got better once, perhaps it will improve again. If for no other reason I would hang on just for that.

      Mark
       
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