One Month Ago I Woke Up to a Low Roaring/Humming — Regularly Used Headphones: My Introduction

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by sabrina.t, Aug 8, 2020.

    1. sabrina.t
      Panicky

      sabrina.t Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely TMJ Dysfunction from clenching and wisdom teeth
      Warning: This is long, but I really needed this to vent and share my experience.

      Hello, my name is Sabrina and I am 20 years old. It is August 8th today, but my tinnitus started on Tuesday, July 7th. That day I woke up to a low roaring/humming in my right ear. I ignored it and continued to use my headphones all day like I usually do. I used to wear my headphones every day for multiple hours a day, but the volume was rarely ever extremely loud. I just had them in for long periods of time. Anyways, I eventually realized this might be serious and contacted a doctor. I was referred to an ENT who prescribed me a steroid to take for 5 days and some nasal spray (Flonase). He didn't explain much to me, google and this website has really helped me educate myself throughout this experience. I am assuming he thought I had ETD, but that possibility quickly faded since both the steroid and nasal spray have not improved my symptoms after several weeks.

      During the first two days, the tinnitus was a low, uncomfortable hum in my right ear. My ear felt full and my hearing seemed muffled. The third day (a Thursday) is the day I saw the ENT for the first time and the tinnitus was at an extremely loud high-pitched ring. It was so loud no noise could mask it. That Friday and weekend was the worst of it. I could not sleep at ALL. I couldn't keep food down either (probably from my nerves, since the nausea started before taking any steroids or Flonase). Whenever I chewed and swallowed, I would just gag and puke everything in my stomach. This high-pitched ring lasted until that Monday, where I woke up to it being quieter. My spirits were up and I was convinced the ringing would be going away soon (spoiler: it didn't).

      All the way up until that Thursday it was quiet. Thursday it returned to the low hum (by low I mean in frequency/pitch, not loudness because it sure is loud and extremely hard to ignore). I have noticed a weird phenomenon when the tinnitus is at the humming stage. It is sensitive to sound. Ever since the tinnitus started, I have been having youtube videos playing on my TV at all times to help ignore the sound in my ears. So when it's humming, I've noticed that the hum will increase as the person speaks in the youtube video, if that makes sense. But if I play the video on my phone at a lower volume, the humming isn't affected.

      The humming lasted until late the next day (Friday). I woke up after a nap and the tinnitus was as quiet as ever. It was at a high-pitched ring, but quiet and pretty easy to ignore with some background noise. This lasted all the way until the next weekend. During that time with the quiet ring, I noticed that when I go outside, no matter how quiet it is outside, the tinnitus completely vanishes. That next weekend the hum began again, but I was still determined it would go away! I made another appointment with my ENT that weekend. Oh, I also should mention that I believe it was this weekend that I noticed when I lay down on a pillow on my left ear, I can hear a quiet ring. I don't know if it is caused by the tinnitus in my right ear or if I do truly have very mild tinnitus in my left ear as well. It doesn't get worse like the right ear does and isn't noticeable at all unless that ear is up against a pillow.

      So, I saw the ENT again that Wednesday. The tinnitus was at a decently loud high-pitched ringing again now (and has not changed until today. Today it is still at the ringing and I fear for the day the humming comes back). The few days before the appointment were weird, as one day it was at the quiet ring and the next it would be at the hum. The ENT was completely clueless and it really frustrated me. At this point, my spirits were low, so to hear that my ENT doesn't know what's going on as well made things even worse. He said it might be allergies or air pressure, which I think is not the case at all. Allergies have not affected me since I was under 10 years old. Now at 20, why would allergies come back and only in the form of tinnitus? I have no other allergy symptoms. I think it's worth it to mention that he sees nothing wrong when looking inside my ears. They are clean and there's no obvious signs of infection. My eardrum works and looks fine, but when they tested my hearing the hearing in my right ear was a tad bit worse than that in left (they did this test the first time I saw them).

      Recently I have discovered that when I move my head quickly (I usually do this as a way to get my hair out of my face) the ringing in my right ear increases in both pitch and loudness. After some google searches, a website told me to try turning my neck and see if it does this as well. It does. When I turn my head all the way to the right the ringing in my right ear very noticeably gets louder and higher in pitch. I then stumbled upon a website about TMD and its relation to tinnitus. Through another test, I figured out that when I move my lower jaw forward, it does the same thing to the tinnitus in my right ear only that it is much less noticeable than when I turn my neck (the tinnitus in my right ear also gets louder when I yawn). The website also instructed me to open my jaw and apply pressure to both sides where the TMJ is and when I did both sides are quite tender at the area of this joint. The right side of my jaw clicks when I move it from side to side and open it all the way (remember, the tinnitus is only (I think) in my right ear, so this made sense!). For these reasons, I made an appointment with my dentist.

      Yesterday, August 7th, I saw the dentist. I have never been more excited in my life to see a dentist. I was convinced I had the answer and all I needed was for her to confirm it. To my horror, she did not. She told me that I wasn't an obvious TMD patient in her eyes. She has referred me to an oral surgeon since all four of my wisdom teeth are coming in and are impacted. On my referral, it says I am going for "wisdom teeth, tinnitus, and TMJ issues". I'm not going to lie, I was completely crushed after this appointment. I am crying as I type (which is why I am here to vent because I truly can't stop crying). I came home and had a scary panic attack in front of my entire family, it was so embarrassing. They convinced me to calm down and call a different ENT to get a second opinion. I am seeing that ENT on August 14th and am seeing the oral surgeon on August 26th for a consultation. College starts up again for me on the 24th and I am so upset that the tinnitus won't be going away by then. I already struggle with paying attention and getting myself to do my work and I know the tinnitus will make this 1000x worse.

      That just about sums up my experience. I just now want to point out some additional symptoms I have been having. Both of my ears, mostly the right one, itch on the inside. This doesn't happen often, though. My right ear pops quite a bit. Not like the popping your ear does when you are in an airplane (though it does do this sometimes and there was one night where it kept doing this popping by itself over and over again all night), but the popping your ear does when you swallow, just worse and louder. I really hope that makes sense! I also feel pressure in my right ear right before the humming starts and during the humming. The inside of my right ear also feels hot or cold sometimes and I noticed it happens mostly when I stand from laying down. I don't have many headaches, but I definitely have had a couple since the tinnitus started. I get very quick, sharp pains in my right ear that happen rarely. I swear I felt it in my left ear too, but they are so quick I can barely even call them pains. I had shortness of breath for about two weeks too. I got tested for COVID-19 and it was negative, so I am assuming it might have been the Flonase (which I have since on my own decided to stop taking it to see if it would improve my breathing and it did) and also my anxiety. I think I should mention I suffer from pretty bad anxiety and depression, so you best believe this tinnitus has only made both of those worse.

      If you have made it this far, thank you so much for reading. I would appreciate any responses, opinions, advice, or similar experiences from anyone. I am losing hope in this battle with my tinnitus. It really did come in a bad period of my life, so I am really struggling. I have been having a few suicidal thoughts because of the tinnitus as well as many other things that have been going on in my life. I am here to get this all out and hear from other people who are having a similar experience in hopes it will help me.

      For right now, I have had my blood taken for an allergy screening test and am waiting for the results. It will tell me if it is even worth it to take the actual allergy test, since I take Wellbutrin (I started it after the tinnitus started) and you have to stop taking it for the real allergy test. If the screening test doesn't come up with anything, the next step is an MRI. If the MRI comes up with nothing, the second ENT has no clue, and the oral surgeon has no opinion either, I will probably have given up hope completely. I will update whenever I see the second ENT and the oral surgeon. Thanks again for listening..
       
      • Hug Hug x 5
    2. Kirstystired

      Kirstystired Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Hello. Im 4 weeks after having a baby and randomly developed tinnitus. Very similar to what you describe.
      However started as a load roar and is now after a couple of weeks at a low hum which is obviously worse at night.
      I've been told that it might be related to a viral or vascular inner ear problem and eustachian tube dysfunction.
      My symptoms are popping and the sensation of my ears feeling itchy inside.

      This might well be the case for you too. My GP seems to think that it takes several weeks to see an improvement. If you're still using headphones then i would avoid this for sure.
      I also have some diplacusis which is related to ETD problems.

      I dont have much advice but just wanted to say you aren't alone as I know that T can make you feel like that xx
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sabrina.t
      Panicky

      sabrina.t Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely TMJ Dysfunction from clenching and wisdom teeth
      Thank you for replying! My ENT thought it was ETD too to begin with, but he said it should have been better after taking the steroids and nasal spray so he quickly changed his diagnosis to possible allergies. We will see what this other ENT says. She may say the same thing and that it is related to ETD. I also wanted to mention I have not put an earphone in my ear since the tinnitus began.

      Good luck to you and your tinnitus as well. Hopefully things will get better.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @sabrina.t

      You may have ETD and hopefully once all your tests have been completed you'll find out the cause of the tinnitus. I believe your tinnitus is caused by headphone use known as Noise induced tinnitus. The most common cause of tinnitus is NIT and typically, it is using headphones for long periods of time. A lot of people do not realize they need to give the ears a rest and furthermore don't believe they are listening to their music at too loud a volume when often this is not the case.

      Whether you decide to continue using headphones/earbuds at a low volume is your choice but my advice is to stop using them even at low volume. Please click on the links below and read my posts that you might find helpful.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-habituation-process.20767/
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sabrina.t
      Panicky

      sabrina.t Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely TMJ Dysfunction from clenching and wisdom teeth
      That's interesting because my ENT said I can wear headphones as long as I want without developing problems, just to not listen to it at loud volumes. And why would it be in only one ear if I have listened to the music equally in both ears?
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @sabrina.t

      ENT doctors are physicians not tinnitus specialists. Most of them know very little about tinnitus. I have written about this on the forum recently. If you want to read these posts please click on my Avatar and peruse "Find posts"

      As I have said your tinnitus could be ETD or something else in your auditory system and hopefully tests will reveal the cause the tinnitus. Tinnitus does not always manifest itself in both ears (bilateral) even noise induced tinnitus. If I were in your situation I wouldn't use any form of headphones even at low volume. The choice is yours.

      Take care and I wish you well.
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. LukeYoung
      Mooooody

      LukeYoung Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud Concert - Noise Exposure
      Usually the simplest answer is the most overlooked.

      It's likely all that music in earphones has done damage, if you have found no other obvious reason, this could be it.

      It’s not so much of how loud. It’s the length.
      If you listen to music at 80dB for over an hour a day. This is problematic.

      Just be careful and aware of time as well as dB level.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      sabrina.t
      Panicky

      sabrina.t Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely TMJ Dysfunction from clenching and wisdom teeth
      Is noise induced tinnitus able to be manipulated by neck and jaw movements? Because mine does get louder and higher in pitch when I turn my head to the right and push my lower jaw forward. I mean it really could be NIT because I know I have not been careful when using headphones in the past. I just don't want to believe it because I know it doesn't ever go away and I don't want to live with it for the rest of my life...
       
    9. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @sabrina.t

      Many people find their tinnitus can be manipulated in the manner that you describe especially those new to it. The auditory system consists of many nerves that are routed around the neck and jaw. I advise you to try and stop this as you could make matters worse. Regarding noise induced tinnitus. I have had this condition for many years corresponded and counsel people with this type of tinnitus. In many cases it improves over time and people habituate. My articles in the links that I have given you, explains more about noise induced tinnitus and the habituation process.

      Noise induced tinnitus is the most common cause of tinnitus. If I am correct and you have it then it will improve over time. One of the best was to achieve this is not to use headphones even at low volume. Many ENT doctors tell patients with NIT, using headphones is fine as long as the volume is kept low. Peruse some of the many posts in this forum from people that regret following this advice because the tinnitus increased and will not reduce to its previous baseline level. It is true some people with NIT use headphones and have no problems but many do. I believe there is a risk of the tinnitus increasing every time a person with this type of tinnitus, uses headphones even at low volume.

      Best of luck whatever you decide to do.

      Michael
       
    10. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Intrusive and debilitating since 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Following this advice is what gave me intrusive tinnitus. Never trust an ENT when it comes to tinnitus
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      How is your tinnitus now @HeavyMantra as I know you've had some difficult times? Hope you still have your HI-FI
       
    12. HeavyMantra
      Bugridden

      HeavyMantra Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Intrusive and debilitating since 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Michael, only misery to report I'm afraid

      My new low subwoofer type sound is getting worse. I get these sudden "attacks" once a week now when the sound is 20x as loud. I ended up in a psych ward a few days ago because of it, it was at a very severe volume for 12 hours when before it has lasted 2 hours max.

      I haven't sold my hifi yet but I probably will in the future. Since I got it 6 months ago, I've developed TTTS, ear pain and this new sound. Using it even at extremely low volume gives me ear fullness. I don't know if it's related to the new sound or not but it’s time to face the reality of the situation.. Since I have jaw and neck problems it could be related to that as well but there's simply no way to know. I have to focus on survival now even though giving up music will be the most difficult thing I've ever experienced, tinnitus included
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      @HeavyMantra

      I am extremely sorry to hear about the difficulties that you are going through. I had a 4 years battle with tinnitus after my 2nd noise trauma in 2008. My tinnitus can reach severe levels but I'm in a better place and able to cope.

      Again, I'm very sorry to hear about your admittance into hospital and hope you are able to get something that can really help you.

      Try to keep strong and take care.
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Are 'headphones' that important? Don't test fate.
       

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