Newbie :)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ashley, May 11, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      Hi everyone!

      As long as I have tinnitus, and even probably after I have tinnitus (hopefully, and you will see why I say this) I plan to be active on here so I figured why not begin posting! My name is Ashley, I'm almost 22. I am an Au.D. student so I talk about and learn about tinnitus on the daily. I do tinnitus assessments 1-2 times a week on patients so I know most of the current techniques and counsel people all the time on tinnitus -- habituating, enriching your environment with noise, TRT, etc.

      I got tinnitus just about two weeks ago. I am convinced it's from vascular issues and I am really hoping it could be "fixed." Basically, I was stretching. Exercise is not a new routine-- I've been working out for about two weeks trying to prepare for a 5k (my first one!) I think I stretched way too hard, because I literally had the most crippling pain and fell to my knees. I then had tunnel vision for 2-3 minutes, with aural fullness. After all this had passed, I've been left with a constant high pitched tinnitus. I had classmates test my hearing the next day, unchanged. All within normal limits. I told a supervisor of mine, who then called an ENT, and said that they wouldn't be able to do anything because there is no hearing loss, and they told me to go to a neurologist. It took me a few days to get to this point of telling a supervisor because I didn't want to be told the same things I tell my patients-- habituate to the tinnitus, etc. But I told them, and away to the neuro I went.

      Prior to the neurologist, I heard this tinnitus ALL the time. It triumphed over any masker. When masking, you never want to overpower the tinnitus; rather, just have it blend in with something and take your mind off of it. There were nights I had to go to sleep with a fan AND rain forest noises coming from my phone and the tinnitus still wouldn't mix into the background. Luckily, the next morning I called the neuro and they had a cancellation and I went. I was put on Valium. Since I was getting slight migraines with it too, the neuro hypothesized that my brain is hyperactive, giving me migraines and tinnitus, and that the Valium would suppress some neural activity and calm the cortex down. I took half a pill that night and the next day my tinnitus was still there and constant but the intensity of it was SIGNIFICANTLY decreased! I was overall in a much better mood about it, and I had hope that it would soon go away. I took half a pill of Valium for a few nights following, and I was at the same place -- still there, but not as intense. Last night I did not take the Valium, and today I'm so so (I just didn't take it because the neuro said take it as needed, and I wouldn't be on it for any longer than 2 weeks anyway.)

      So, that is my story. Before my neurologist, there were days I literally would cry for hours. I had no enjoyment in anything I really liked to do. I am very convinced/hopeful that there is some underlying issue and that treating that will fix my tinnitus. I know that tinnitus is usually a symptom of something else. In most cases, it is irreversible sensorineural hearing loss. Since I don't have that hearing loss, I'm hopeful. Thanks for listening guys! :) I hope I can help encourage people and I look forward to joining this community!
       
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    2. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      Hi, Ashley, and welcome!

      Thank you for sharing your tinnitus story with us, and I'm glad to hear that the valium has helped you to cope a little bit better. I have something in common with you, in that my tinnitus probably has a vascular element, too. I have both a high-pitched hissing/ringing sound, plus pulsatile tinnitus (in time with heartbeat). Mine came on suddenly after taking a blood pressure drug, so I am still hopeful that it will either subside on its own, or a treatable cause will be found.

      I am so glad you found the neurologist; it sounds like he was very helpful to you at a time when you needed it most. Are you scheduled to go back for a follow-up visit?

      We're glad to have an audiology student on board, and look forward to hearing more from you on this forum. Experiencing tinnitus first-hand, you'll be a great comfort and resource to your future patients.

      Welcome aboard!!!

      Best wishes and hugs,
      Karen
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    3. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      YAY Hi Karen, thanks for reading!! :) It's really nice to have people who can relate to you. My University has support groups but they only meet once a semester, so finding this website was awesome! Luckily, we have something we can pinpoint our tinnitus to-- I think that is always helpful even if it's just in understanding why the tinnitus is there (which can be comforting... imagine having this constant ringing, and in your case pulsing, and not knowing why?!) Is your tinnitus constant? Either way, I am hopeful for you too!

      I am scheduled to go back not this week, but next (so a 2 week f/u appt) so I'm almost excited in a way to tell him that the tinnitus is still there, just so we can move onto the next relief treatment. I'm sure this will be a whole process to see what works best, and I'm excited to get it underway just because I'm so tired of this tinnitus!

      I'm just completing my first year, so hopefully as time goes on I will have much more information to share. Before I could surely sympathize with patients... but now I can truly empathize. Thanks for the warm welcome!
       
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    4. jchinnis

      jchinnis Member

      Location:
      USA: Northern Virginia and Seattle area
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1989
      Ashley, I'm a research psychologist (a bit older than 22) who studied sensory processes and perception in grad school. My tinnitus came on about the same time I developed ocular migraines, and both appeared a few months after having a serious surgery. I still get the migraines off and on, and I'm pretty sure my tinnitus has some kind of vascular/neurological origin.

      In any case, I am fine with my tinnitus now, and I'm sure you will be too.

      Jim
       
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    5. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      Hi Jim,

      Thanks for the reply and support! Haha, I mainly said my age just because I wanted people to know I'm early in the AuD program and I don't have answers to every audiological question. :p Is your tinnitus on and off, or does it come and go with the migraines? Thanks for your response and nice meeting you!
       
    6. jchinnis

      jchinnis Member

      Location:
      USA: Northern Virginia and Seattle area
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1989
      My tinnitus is always on. The migraines tend to come in bunches, unpredictably. They are visual only--I see pinwheels and all the usual visual migraine entertainment. A migraine ends within about 40 minutes; the tinnitus goes on forever but I mostly don't notice it.

      I'm a photographer now that I am retiring. I like your avatar. I need to replace mine...
       
    7. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      My tinnitus is constant, too. I don't notice the pulsating too much during the early part of the day; it's in the late afternoon/early evening when it becomes more noticeable. Also, it is sometimes hard to get to sleep at night, due to the pulsating. In the beginning, I had pretty severe insomnia most every night. Recently, however, it is much easier to sleep, as I am more accustomed to the tinnitus.

      Glad you are going back for a follow-up with your neurologist. Perhaps he will have more suggestions for things you can try. As you'll hear elsewhere on this forum, time is a great healer! Most of us have found that we feel better after a few month's time. It's as if the brain needs time to adjust to this new sound. Once you become more used to it, you'll probably began to feel better, and will be better able to tune it out during the day.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      Perhaps you have developed some bad trigger points to your muscles while doing hard stretching? This video might help in that case...

      Home Trigger Point Therapy for Tinnitus,...
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    9. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      Thank you!!! When I'm procrastinating studying for finals I will definitely watch this video!! :) I'm super interested!
       
    10. Piper the great
      Amused

      Piper the great Member

      Location:
      Grand Prairie, Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012

      WOW.. there seems to be an endless, senseless reasons to start the T, some similar, some not so much, but there must be some thing that is common, but that is the great mystery and probably why the cure/treatment is so hard to find. Hope yours goes away soon, I had the slight migraines, they were the worst part, I don't anymore and the T is much more manageable...:).. keep us posted...
       
    11. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      Thanks so much! I will! And yes isn't it all so fascinating?
       
    12. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
      Try at least the massage / squeezing of the sternocleido mastoid (SCM) muscle in your neck. The first time I squeezed it, my T spiked and I had radiating pain in many areas of my head. After that my T was the most quiet ever for three whole days! Clear trigger points there for me.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    13. applewine
      Curious

      applewine Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Myofascial Trigger Points
      I was also thinking trigger points because of the physical activity. Multiple muscles can cause tinnitus.

      What type of tinnitus do you have? One side, multiple sounds etc. ?
       
    14. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      It's almost always one sound and one tone. :) In just 3 days it will be one month-- eek! So what type of therapy/resolutions are out there for muscle trigger points? If anything? I'm gonna watch the video now, I totally forgot!
       
    15. applewine
      Curious

      applewine Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Myofascial Trigger Points
      The most likely may be the SCM muscle in your case, clavicular branch. The masseter and lateral pterygoid are also listed. Scalenes too by some and trapezius.

      You can try self treating or try to find a massage therapist who specializes in trigger points. A few will say the practice it but know nothing or actually give bad advice like putting ice on it which makes it worse.

      Some of the best have no certification, but there is a certification called CMTPT, they may be worse or better.

      There are also books and videos and websites, but I'd have to list them all so feel free to start a conversation and when I have time I can list some of those resources I have found.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    16. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      Thanks @applewine ! The only reason why I'm a little apprehensive is because I was doing lody body stretching, but hey you really never know!!! I'm willing to try anything at this point! Thank you for your kindness and resourcefulness, I'll be sending you a message now! :) My short term memory is horrible, so just reply when you have a chance.
       
    17. applewine
      Curious

      applewine Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Myofascial Trigger Points
      You are apprehensive because of what?
       
    18. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      I guess just the whole thing. I'm still a little skeptical since I'm nervous and new to tinnitus, and I'm apprehensive to try something that may not work. I also was doing lower body stretches when it happened, so that makes me a little weary, but I'm sure upper body muscles were also a little activated to support the lower body. Overall, I know you will never know unless you try, so I really do need to give it a shot and just hope for the best. :)
       
    19. applewine
      Curious

      applewine Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Myofascial Trigger Points
      Just don't try anything dangerous. Don't take any medication not prescribed by a doctor and research all side effects before taking any prescribed medications given for any purpose. Look up tinnitus causing medications with the ATA. Do not try any treatments by putting stuff in your ear. Do not do water pick or anything powered from an ENT as this can cause tinnitus in rare cases.

      Don't tell yourself you know it is trigger points. Just investigate the possibility. The video posted on this thread is also good.

      What was your upper body posture when stretching and what was the:

      "tunnel vision for 2-3 minutes, with aural fullness."

      Maybe you should describe that to a doctor.

      Was the fullness in both ears? Were you fainting slowly do you think?

      I fainted for the first time a few months ago and it was very scary. It was very slow and I thought I was going to die or something.

      I was standing up using my smartphone with my neck down and forward. I started to feel very strange an uncomfortable. I can't even remember how it felt now. I new something was wrong and I sat down but it didn't get better.

      I think I got up and my vision started to close in then my hearing. I ran to get help and collapsed. As soon as I hit the ground I felt better.

      Another time I got up from doing dumbells on a declined bench press and when I stood up I could barely hear anything in both ears, but no other symptoms. Very scary. It was extremely hard to hear and muffled. It lasted a minute or so and then went away. It did not feel like blood pressure or fainting. I told an ENT who had nothing to say.
       
    20. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      Hi @applewine ! Sorry I didn't reply any sooner.
      I'm definitely going for a second opinion at some point, it may just have to be later rather than sooner because of my work schedule, and I'd be traveling about 500 miles into NYC (my hometown) but I will explain that to the second doctor! (Which I told the that to the first but he brushed it off.) At this point I honestly can't remember if the fullness was in both ears. I want to say yes, but I can't say it 100% confidently. I thought I was fainting and I remember being very nervous, but then telling myself to keep it together, take deep breaths slowly, don't get worked up, etc, because then you will faint. But I definitely did feel like it.

      Your story sounds so similar to mine, and very scary! I hate when doctors have nothing to say to help. Especially when you are confiding in some serious and scary matters. Glad to hear that all times, your hearing has restored (as well as vision, etc.) This is like partially a vent, but before having tinnitus I never realized that there are some crazy things that can happen to you.
       
    21. applewine
      Curious

      applewine Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Myofascial Trigger Points
      Have you looked into muscles as the cause anymore? I have lots of chronic muscle stuff going on and can feel it in my head/face/neck/back. You may not have it if you don't feel that. However, I'm trying to see some people rated as expert in myofascial release with the John F. Barnes technique. You can find a list of people and look for the ones rated expert in your area if you ever need to go that route: http://mfrtherapists.com
       
    22. Mosaik
      Balanced

      Mosaik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
    23. PatrickGunther
      No Mood

      PatrickGunther Member

      Location:
      Secunda, South Africa
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music (so I'm told)
      Hi Ashley
      My tinnitus flared up from a sneeze. Pardon me if this is a stupid question but what will a neurologist be looking for when searching for a cause?
       
    24. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      Patrick,

      Not silly at all! Usually an acoustic neuroma. They are extremely slow growing and usually benign (nothing is typically done about them.)

      But also in terms of research just seeing neural origins and sites of activation and other things like that. :)
       
    25. PatrickGunther
      No Mood

      PatrickGunther Member

      Location:
      Secunda, South Africa
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music (so I'm told)
      Thanks for the info (y)
       

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