One-Sided Ringing Made Worse by Mastoid Pressure

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Andrew Pafitis, Dec 14, 2015.

    1. Andrew Pafitis

      Andrew Pafitis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      I'm not relatively new to tinnitus, I've been dealing with this condition for over two years now with little hope, but I wanted to turn to the community for any ideas. My left sided tinnitus became prominent 2 years ago, and I chalked it up to years of loud music events, although the fact that it's only in one ear is unsettling.

      The main point I can make here, is that when I press firmly on the left mastoid section (the edgy bone area directly behind the ear and above the jaw), my tinnitus gets much MUCH louder, I'd say like 3-5x louder. So much so, that I cannot fall asleep resting my head on that side. Pressing the same on the right side has absolutely no effect.

      I've had CT scans and an MRI over the last 12 months for sinus issues (I had a balloon sinuplasty earlier this year with very positive results), but no one could ever make anything of the tinnitus. The only other thing that I could differentiate with left from right side is there is also a cyst on that left mastoid section, but my ENT had ensured me several times that that is common and unrelated.

      Any ideas what may be going on? Is there a specialist I could be following this through with?
    2. Smokey

      Smokey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Maybe like 3 or 4 years ago
      I had to register just to reply to you, since your situation is so similar to mines.

      I also have tinnitus on my left ear and a small soft lump over the mastoid bone on my left side. If I press the mastoid area with my thumb or palm the tinnitus gets louder, sounds like a loud dog whistle. When I release the pressure it goes back to the lower hissing sound.

      I went to get the opinion of 2 ENT's both told me it looks like a reactive lymph node. MRI and CT scans showed I had chronic sinusitis in the maxillary, ethmoid and sphenoid cavaties. From what I read, having mucus in the sphenoid cavities isn't good. So the sinuses could be causing the lymph node on the mastoid to stay inflamed. I never did a biopsy of the swollen lymph node. Blood tests came back negative for problems that could cause the lymph node above mastoid to stay inflamed.

      Another thing and let me know if this happens to you. When I press on my forehead the tinnitus gets louder, as soon as I release pressure from my forehead it goes back to the lower hissing sound. Also when I move my head down it gets louder.

      From doing some more research, I found out it could be somatic tinnitus. I did come across an article that talks about how the SCM = Sternocleidomastoid muscle or mastoid muscle, which can cause tinnitus.

      Read this article:

      Other Sternocleidomastoid Muscle Symptoms

      The SCM can create other systemic symptoms that can be very hard to trace back to this muscle. These include tooth ache, nausea, a dry cough, hoarseness of the voice, or a cold sweat on the forehead. The sensitive trigger points can be mistaken for "swollen glands" or lymph nodes. Severe trigger points in infants and young children may be diagnosed as muscular torticollis, but can be treated as you would

      She says that the trigger points can be mistaken for swollen glands.

      I also found this video which might help you, I tried doing it, but I wasn't feeling comfortable grabbing the side of my neck to grab the SCM. There are other muscles around the head that could cause tinnitus. I might be looking for a therapist who could do this for me, who knows about these particular trigger points.

      Here is the link to the video:
      Home Trigger Point Therapy for Tinnitus,...

      Another thing, when I would press on my forehead, I could feel the top of the mastoid muscle which feels like a tight rubber band and it would seem to trigger the louder tinnitus as soon as the muscle would move towards the skin.

      You could feel this point right towards where the mastoid begins at the bottom.

      I also seem to have a TMJ problems, it could be because of dental issues, or the muscles around the neck, jaw and head area, who knows. But I wanted to give you all this info in hopes it would help you out.

      I'm kind of tired and burnt out right now, hopefully some of this made sense.

      Let me know


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