Newbie Tinnitus from Meds/TMJ/Stress

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by StopTheRinging5, Jul 17, 2021.

    1. StopTheRinging5

      StopTheRinging5 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds or TMJ
      Hi all. I’m a newbie with tinnitus. I have been suffering extreme stress with work for over a year. I had been taking Zoloft for a long time. Yet I was tired of taking it and quit. Months later in June things got so bad I decided to start again. After a few pills got tinnitus only at night. Stopped and it went away. Tested that one or two more times. It returned and left. About a week later I tried Wellbutrin (still uneducated). Similar results and stopped it. Tinnitus had completely gone. During these two weeks my stress and TMJ were terrible. Tinnitus started up again and now bothering me in the day.

      What advice do you have on what I should be doing right now? Supplements? Sleep? Etc? I’ve been through learning to cope with a chronic painful eye problem. I know all about the beginning anxiety and depression. I got over it once before. I hardly ever think about my eyes anymore. I’m sure one day my ears will be the same. But it sucks now. And I also know my mental state won’t be able to handle reading through the boards endlessly. Which is why I started a thread to get input and avoid other threads for now. Thanks.
       
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    2. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      How long ago has it been since you took the Wellbutrin and Zoloft?

      Both these medications are known to cause or exacerbate tinnitus, as you have experienced. Usually the tinnitus goes away after you stop taking them, as you also experienced, but some few develop chronic tinnitus.

      It's interesting that both of these medications caused tinnitus as a side effect for you. Both act on different mechanisms - Zoloft being a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and Wellbutrin a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

      With this in mind I think it's best to stay away from other SSRIs. The question is, is it norepinephrine or dopamine or both that caused issue with the Wellbutrin.

      Do you think the tinnitus is the result of stress? There are some medication free therapies for stress: cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, etc. If you wish to add medication, you could ask your doctor about tricyclic antidepressants: Nortriptyline and Amitriptyline. If you go the medication route, start at the smallest possible dose for a few weeks to see how it affects your tinnitus. Some people have developed or worsened there tinnitus with these.

      I personally take Nortriptyline, but only 10 mg a day as anything higher does spike my tinnitus.

      Did you take any other types of medication around the time the tinnitus started? You say you were off the anti-anxiety meds and were fine for a while, so I wonder if it might be something else. Antibiotics, beta-blockers, NSAIDS... all can cause tinnitus. Were you exposed to any loud sounds or prolonged noise?

      You mentioned chronic eye pain. Did doctors put on you Azithromycin, Doxycycline or Tetracycline for this?

      I think dealing with the anxiety of new tinnitus and definitely getting 8 hours of sleep or more a night will help significantly. Also, depending on the level of your tinnitus, masking may help you get used to it in the meantime. It doesn't necessarily have to completely cover you tinnitus, just have something playing lightly in the background. Could be a fan, rain sounds, or even white/brown noise. I personally use cricket sounds to help me sleep, but just run a fan during the day even though I still hear my tinnitus clearly over it. Also keep in mind that a lot of people's tinnitus does get better. The few of us regulars on here are just the unlucky bunch.

      Have you had an audiogram yet?
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      StopTheRinging5

      StopTheRinging5 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds or TMJ
      Thanks for the reply. Both of those ADs I took were in June. As my TMJ is also flared up I had been taking Ibuprofen too. I suppose it’s hard to say which but I absolutely feel stress is related. My shoulders, neck, and up to ears have been tense and just out of whack.

      I started a new job role the day everyone got sent home in the pandemic. Single parent and three kids at home. It was HELL. Then my company developed a new system. Go Live was November last year on the heels of the shutdown. It’s been double HELL since then. Stress has been awful and really changed me. So one positive I finally talked to HR and my director and only mentioned a chronic health issue related to stress. Both very supportive and going to help me find a less demanding role within the next two months. Also if need I can use STD or FMLA. Which I may use intermittent FMLA as I learn to cope with this. Because stress does exacerbate it.

      And concerning my eyes. I have taken Doxycycline. I’ve been down the road of searching for any and every possible solution. I got tired of it and just learned to cope. Honestly that was the best for me. Either my brain is used to the pain or they have actually improved over time. But I still avoid anti-cholinergic meds (dryness makes pain worse) which rules out most ADs. I got lucky with Zoloft for so long.

      I haven’t had an audiogram yet. I assume that is a hearing test? My first appointment with an ENT isn’t until August 5th.

      Lastly, any thoughts on Ambien? I’ve had to take it to sleep. I tried not to but last night I was so exhausted I didn’t care. And I do feel better this morning. Ringing does seem a little quieter too.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      StopTheRinging5

      StopTheRinging5 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds or TMJ
      Do AirPods (at reasonable volume) make tinnitus worse?
       
    5. convolution

      convolution Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden - Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      26/11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      White Noise from Headphones (likely)
      There are different philosophies about the use of earphones/headphones, especially in cases like yours in which the tinnitus does not seem to be noise-induced.

      Headphones at very low volume definitely caused my (now chronic) tinnitus, but in my case the use was prolonged for several hours, and even throughout the night. I understand that headphones/earphones might be very therapeutic, especially in early stage; if you want to use them, I would recommend very low volume + lots of breaks. Also avoid falling asleep with them.
       
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    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      If you are sure that your tinnitus was not noise induced, then using the AirPods at a low volume and taking frequent breaks shouldn't cause any problems. Since you are new to tinnitus I would like to advise you of the following which you may not be aware of.

      Tinnitus can be a very debilitating condition when it is severe. The most common cause of it is exposure to loud noise. Using headphones, AirPods, earbuds or headsets at too high a volume without realizing it. Some people say their tinnitus was caused by stress, TMJ, medication or an underlying medical problem within the auditory system. Eventually they discover this is not the case.

      If you frequently used any of the devices I have mentioned above or work in a noisy environment or exposed to another type of loud noise before the onset of the tinnitus, then it's likely to be noise induced. Another indication of noise induced tinnitus, is being oversensitive to sound. This often accompanies noise induced tinnitus but not always.

      Even if a person's tinnitus is not noise induced, my advice is not to use any type of headphones even at low volume. The tinnitus only needs to spike once and it might not reduce to its previous baseline level. Instead, it can increase to a new permanent level. Sorry to sound so sobering but tinnitus is not something to take lightly.

      It is much better to listen to music at a sensible level through speakers and use low level sound enrichment during the day and at night. More is explained in the link below: New to Tinnitus, What to Do?

      I wish you well.
      Michael

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      StopTheRinging5

      StopTheRinging5 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds or TMJ
      Thank you. I have never liked loud music. I work in a talkative environment and often wore AirPods with noise cancellation through much of the day, at a reasonable volume. So there’s that to throw in the bag of causes I suppose.

      It’s odd. For a couple of nights (not in a row) I swear the sound was sooo quiet I could barely hear it. Two different mornings upon waking the same thing. It was so nice to lay in the silence. But of course getting up and moving around it comes back. I hope that means things are healing and there’s a chance it will go away.

      I’ve been treated for TMJ in the past. Definitely a horrible flare with that and stress when all this happened. But of course I did take the meds. Yet it stopped after I quit. I wish I knew what caused it...

      Oh and another thing to throw in the bag. Twice before this started, but very recently, when I left Camp Gladiator my ear pressure was so off or maybe full of fluid that it hurt to talk and sounded very strange. Both time it eventually settled. I think I may hold off on lifting weights for now and just walk.
       
    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I have corresponded with people that work in call centres and wear a headset for long durations. It has resulted in them developing tinnitus. Using any type of headphones for long durations can cause tinnitus and the volume doesn't have to be very loud. Of course not everyone will be affected that wear headset, but some people are prone to developing tinnitus using them.

      Quiet rooms and surroundings are not good for anyone that has tinnitus especially at night. Please consider using a sound machine to play low level sound enrichment. More is explained in the link I gave to you.

      Michael
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      StopTheRinging5

      StopTheRinging5 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds or TMJ
      Can you share the specific link about the benefits of sound therapy? I can’t figure out which one it is. This sucks because I have never been able to sleep even with the slightest sound. Will any sound machine from Amazon do? Are apps just as good?
       
    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      If you want to find the benefits of sound therapy for tinnitus then please do a search on Google. Most Hearing Therapists and Audiologists advise people with tinnitus to use it. Please follow the advice that I have given in my article: New to Tinnitus, What to Do? It is specifically written for people new to this condition.

      You may find others helpful that are on my started threads: Tinnitus, A Personal View, The Habituation Process, Tinnitus, and the Negative Mindset, Acquiring A Positive Mindset, Hyperacusis, As I See It, Will My Tinnitus Get Worse? Is Positivity Important?

      The early stages of tinnitus can be problematic for a lot of people but this usually improves with time. If you are able to print my articles, you will absorb and retain the information better than reading on a phone or computer screen. Take your time. Please click on the link below and read my post: Sound Machines and Tinnitus.

      Sound Apps are good but I advise not to listen through any type of headphones. Try nature sounds and not music, more is explained in my post.

      Michael

      Sound Machines and Tinnitus | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    11. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Unfortunately people like me have to sleep in quiet.
       
    12. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      That is entirely your choice. If you have intrusive tinnitus, you are not helping yourself by sleeping in a quiet room.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    13. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Well white noise makes my beeps go boop lol. Noise in general slowly raises my volume of tinnitus as well most times. I don’t know what’s right or wrong anymore as far as what to do.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      StopTheRinging5

      StopTheRinging5 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds or TMJ
      Would using the AirPods for noise cancellation only be an issue? No music or video. Man the noise on the bus home drove me crazy! Ears are really hurting.
       
    15. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Using sound therapy to treat tinnitus and oversensitivity to sound takes time particularly when used at night. It takes at least 6 to 8 weeks to get used to using sound therapy at night. You can use nature sounds instead of white noise and keep the volume low. The idea is not for sound therapy to induce sleep but to supply your brain and auditory system with sound enrichment.

      Sleeping in a quiet room forces the brain to focus on internal sounds within the body and head, because there is no external sounds to prevent it from doing this. Under these conditions the brain is able to increase the tinnitus which can make it more intrusive during waking hours.

      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      If you are sensitive to the noise on the bus, this could be an indication that your tinnitus is noise induced. Your TMJ and stress are probably affecting it.

      I don't think noise cancelling headphones or AirPods are the answer although feel free to experiment. You are new to tinnitus. As I have previously said, the early stages of tinnitus can be problematic but this usually improves with time. You have mentioned stress at work? Stress and tinnitus are closely linked so this needs to be managed along with the TMJ.

      You could try noise reducing earplugs when in noisy surroundings but I advise caution, as you don't want to become dependent on them - and please don't use a sound level meter like some people do. These Apps often instil and reinforce negative thinking.

      Take your time, things will improve.

      Michael
       
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    17. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Ok, I’ll do that thank you.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      StopTheRinging5

      StopTheRinging5 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds or TMJ
      I’m am struggling so very much. My tinnitus seems to be getting worse. I can only sleep with Ambien. But I’m scared to take it or even anything as meds played a part in this. I can hardly work. I really want to die.

      How do you ever get used to it?

      At first it only affected my sleep. Now it’s in my head all day and I can even hear it in the shower. There is no relief. I can’t do this.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    19. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      How far are you in this?
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      StopTheRinging5

      StopTheRinging5 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds or TMJ
      It’s very early. Just a few weeks. I know I know it’s early. But I’m very anxiety prone and very much a negative thinker.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    21. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Try to relax some... anxiety makes it horrific. I know it’s hard I struggle as well. Read up on positive stories and try to fixate on something as a distraction. Tinnitus is going to be all over the place in the beginning. Mine is nuts 3 months in.
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      StopTheRinging5

      StopTheRinging5 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds or TMJ
      Why do people say it’s worse in the beginning? Does it actually go crazy then settle?

      I really feel I need medication. But this started for me with Zoloft and stress/TMJ. So won’t it be counterproductive?

      What is safe to take for pain? My jaw is really sore. Any alternatives aside from Aspirin and Ibuprofen.
       
    23. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I have explained the reasons for this in some of my posts that I have given to you via links. If you are able to print them I advise you to do so.

      The early stages of tinnitus can be quite distressing for a lot of people; the same applied to me. Tinnitus is usually an indication of a problem that has occurred somewhere in the auditory system but the actual noise is generated in the part of the brain known as the Limbic system, which controls our emotions: love, hate, fear etc. When the brain hears this strange new noise known as tinnitus, that is has never heard before, it goes into high alert and it latches onto it. This is the reason I have said tinnitus is intrinsically linked to our mental and emotional wellbeing.

      Tinnitus is a very common condition as mentioned in my articles. Many people are able to adjust to it over time because the brain has learnt to no longer fear the noise and this is known as habituation. More is explained in my post: The Habituation Process.
      On the contrary, medication can often help to lower stress and this will usually have a beneficial effect on the tinnitus. I have explained this in my post: Tinnitus and Medication. Counselling with an Audiologist or Hearing Therapist that specialises in tinnitus management can be helpful too and not forgetting sound therapy. Either using sound enrichment via a sound machine or white noise generators. More is explained in my TRT articles.
      My advice is to discus your jaw symptoms with your doctor.

      Michael

      The Habituation Process | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      StopTheRinging5

      StopTheRinging5 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meds or TMJ
      I am over a month in now. And kind of a wreck. I’m trying very hard to battle the depression and be there for my kids. I have a 15-year-old that uses drugs and is suicidal. I just can’t cope with him and this health issue.

      I’d say it’s no worse other than the initial escalation. At first just nights. Then once the panic of no sleep crept in and stress and TMJ worsening so did the ringing. I’m working with my neuromuscular dentist and a physical therapist. Jaw maybe marginally better.

      It just all sucks. I have had some good days where volume is lower. Even some nights when I wake up it seems inaudible or low. And may stay low for awhile. But never lasts. And sleep is the worst. I just want to sleep!

      Please tell me how you ever can sleep? And be happy again? Man I’m trying.
       
    25. Erin091294

      Erin091294 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 12th
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wellbutrin
      How are you doing?

      I'm in my first week of Wellbutrin induced tinnitus and hyperacusis. I have an appointment with an audiologist tomorrow and have been on a script of steroids for three days. Tinnitus isn't unbearable but hyperacusis seems to be making it worse/aggravating it. I was on wellbyutrin for 16 days so iym hoping I caught it fast enough to have some kind of remission.

      Hang in there. You are definitely not alone in this.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    26. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      Have you had your appointment yet? There are a few tests I feel you should avoid as they have worsened myself as well as many others on this forum.

      - Tympanometry
      - Acoustic Reflex Test
      - Otoacoustic Emissions Test

      If something they are doing feels too loud, immediately tell them to stop.
       
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