Please Help Me Diagnose My Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Mark Beehre, Nov 27, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Mark Beehre
      Facebooking

      Mark Beehre Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wellington, New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008 // 11/2014
      Hi T Talk,

      My name is Mark and I am from New Zealand. I have tinnitus in my right ear. There are two sounds, a low buzzing (like a fridge) and a high pitched ringing (like a car breaking).

      Last night I was using a Tinnitus Application that helps you find the frequency of your tinnitus. I ran through the spectrum on very low volume. When frequencies higher than 10,000 started my ear started to react. Afterwards I felt as though someone was trying to stab me in the ear, such was the sharpness. This went on for 4 or so hours. I was quite taken back by this as the volume was set very low. Since that occurrence the high pitched ringing in my ear has now intensified.

      Can anyone please explain what might be going on with my right ear?

      Cheers,
      Mark
       
    2. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hi Mark, Nice to see a fellow kiwi on here bro,

      Sounds like your T might be a little bit reactionary but that is only a guess.

      How long have you had T and what was the cause?

      Rich
       
    3. MattL
      Jaded

      MattL Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's
      Hi Mark!

      Like Rich said, how long have you experienced tinnitus for?
       
    4. Mark Beehre
      Facebooking

      Mark Beehre Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wellington, New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008 // 11/2014
      I have had T for around 6 years. It initially started off as a low buzzing sound but within a few weeks started to include a high pitch ringing as well. Around the same time my right ear hurt quite a bit at random times e.g. like someone stuck a screwdriver in my ear. I also experienced a fullness in the right ear from time to time. Somewhere around 3 - 6 months after initial onset I discovered a CD that played white noise of the ocean beach variety and I was able to sleep again. As time went on and I slept things improved. The pain and fullness stopped and I forgot about it. T remained, but stopped bothering me, so long as I played the white noise I was able to sleep.

      Same thing happened about a month ago, I started to experience ear pain again in the weeks leading up to the night I woke up with extreme T in my right ear. Loud and angry! :( Lucky for me it subsided after that but not back to the levels before. Now I often have ear pain, occasional fullness and louder more perceptible T. My T also seems to get louder when I am around noise. As stated earlier, I used an app that played different tones between a frequency range of 0 to 20000. As I scaled between 10000 and 20000 my right ear felt funny and then it hurt like I was been stabbed in the ear for around 4 hours. Later that night the tone had increased on the high pitched sound. It took 4 days to come back down. What bothered me was the tone noise was no more than 50db, it was very quiet.

      Any ideas?

      Will this eventually settle down as before if I treat it real nice? I was able to go to movies and whatnot without ear plugs during the last 6 years despite the T. It never got worse or reacted to the loud sounds. Now it seems to so all the time.
       
    5. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Hi Mark... Ummmmmmmmmmm, I don't want to freak you out here and obviously don't have a helluva lot of info on your situation (no info in your Profile to add to what said above), but I would be very, very, very careful about your sound exposure situation in the near future. Or longer.
      Reading between the lines of what you have said, these sound a like what I would call "warnings". I had numerous versions of them in my very testy and checkered history with tinnitus [my Profile/Information gives a minute glimpse into that - plus many posts] but I was too bemused or idiotic to heed what was happening until it was too late. And after as many jumps up in "damage" as I have had I shake my head at my lack of "catching it in time".
      Well, maybe I am being too hard on myself as indeed there were big gaps of time and I believe we are wired to sort of forget about past traumas or we'd never get out the front door each day! Plus I had no experience with the damage ototoxic meds could do if added to the mix. Each situation was a bit different, but all, all, had their "pre-warnings" weeks or days in advance of what became new, permanent levels of tinnitus and then hyperacusis too.

      Anyhow, if you are getting this: My T also seems to get louder when I am around noise.[/QUOTE]...then I re-emphasize the "be careful" thing. Seems to me like have elements of hyperacusis coming in, or "reactivity". (See info in Hyperacusis section for more than you want to know).

      Would also be good to know what was going on that caused the increased ear pain before this started to get goofy again. Were you on any meds? Even simple as NSAIDS. Anything. (Street drugs included - but for you to mull not to necessarily say). Looks like you ride motorcycles??? Or is that what they make you wear to go skiing in Kiwi-land? If motorcycles...well you can guess what I'm thinking.

      Your fellow Kiwi @RichL is a good sort and no novice. You guys could maybe set up a phone conversation perhaps.

      Take care, and all the best. Say hello to the Southern Cross for me... I miss it.

      Zimichael
       
    6. Mark Beehre
      Facebooking

      Mark Beehre Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wellington, New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008 // 11/2014
      Thanks so much for taking the time to reply Zimichael. I really appreciate it! :)

      I do not often take drugs. MY ENT prescribed prednisone and dicofenac. I took the prednisone for 5 days and dicofenac was for 20, but I only did 11. I saw that one of the symptoms was Tinnitus and I didn't want to make it worse. I think dicofenac is ototoxic. Other than that the occasional ibuprofen but we are talking 2 pills in every three or four months... I just don't use meds I generally sleep.

      The photo is a skiing shot taken earlier this year. I drive a car, doesn't seem louder than any others. I play video games from time to time, but I don't have the volume insanely loud. I can say the same thing about watching TV or movies at home. The church I had been attending for the last 6 years does get quite loud, they are new age type pentecostal and so we are talking rock band with 100db sound...thereabouts. Maybe that was what tipped it over the edge, in the months before I had been sitting closer to the stage speakers (I think)...maybe that contributed.

      Suffice to say I have been keeping myself away from loud noise exposure. I am not going to parties (never really have), my computer volume is on low, same with TV and I am not attending church now due to the noise. It's highly frustrating because it limits what I can do. How long does it take for hyperaccusis to settle down? Could that be what is causing the reactive T? How long does it take to settle down?

      I am also off to get an MRI this Friday and a Hyperaccusis Test done by the audiologist. Highly concerned about the MRI. They are really noisy.
       
    7. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I would hazard a guess and say that you have hit the nail on the head right there, no T sufferer should be exposing themselves to a 100db plus noise level, especially a band, (any band) and especially indoors without hearing protection!

      That would be my first piece of advice, stay away from loud noise for a while and protect against louder noise with ear plugs but don't over use the plugs that will make your hyperaccusis worse!

      I don't want to alarm you but all you can do is be very protective of your hearing from now on and hopefully your ears may return to their normal levels, but then again, they may not!
      You would have probably read the many stories on this board from people here who are suffering big time because of their T and H, you don't want to be one of them.

      Definitely wear ear plugs during your MRI and even ear muffs over the top if plugs prove not enough.

      Thanks for the kind words @Zimichael , I am always open to chat @Mark Beehre you just need to pm me bro.
       
    8. MattL
      Jaded

      MattL Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's
      Same here...

      Your symptoms are similar to mine. During the 6 years you have had the t, have you ever experienced lightheadedness? Incapacitating vertigo attacks?

      They give you hearing protection before you go in. If they don't, just ask them. I had one done last week and the noise didn't bother me at all after i was given earplugs.

      Good luck man!
       
    9. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Mark... No problem ref. taking time to reply. I just wish my typing was faster!

      Well, shooting out of the blue there seems like there are couple of things that came to roost...The NSAIDS (Dicofenac - though we don't have it here in USA so am unfamiliar with it myself), and the "sound" exposure. Not a bad guess on the skiing either :) as a lot of Harley Davidson riders wear helmets like that (as I glare at them roaring past with my fingers in my ears of course). Good!...As skiing is definitely preferable in my book, if you have T.

      Also good that you are aware of what's going on and taking precautions with sound exposure. That 100 dB at the church is probably not a good idea and I would at least wear "Musician's" type plugs that give you about 25dB of protection, and stand as far away from the speakers as possible. I wouldn't worry too much about 'increasing hyperacusis potential by over-protecting your hearing' one whit, for the amount of time and exposure we are talking about here.

      @RichL has actually summed it all up pretty thoroughly and I hardly have to add more. Though I guess I can throw in a few more comments, as seem to be genetically incapable of writing short posts. :rolleyes:

      It's highly frustrating because it limits what I can do... Ummmmmmm, with all due respect, I have a suspicion I would relish your level of freedom like someone who has just come out of Evin prison after five years. I highly suggest not going there. Bad place. The combinations of T and H, and reactive versions of same, can be extremely "limiting".

      For more on this, and why you indeed should heed Rich's advice, will be made more clear to you if you take the time to peruse this thread - and at least the recent post outlining the "types of tinnitus/hyperacusis", etc.
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-vs-tinnitus-hyperacusis-some-basic-differences.5110/
      Please excuse me, it is c/o me, but hell's bells I have experienced, and do experience all this kukka very directly, so it's not talk from a 'theoretical' or 'studies report' point of view.
      It will also help answer, or at least give you more appreciation of: How long does it take for hyperaccusis to settle down? Could that be what is causing the reactive T? How long does it take to settle down?

      I think you should find all that enough to chew on for now and hopefully it will help.....Oh, though one other thing, as can't remember if I put it in that thread - as you won't hear this from any 'official' source.

      I have a strong (and twice experienced unfortunately) belief, that if taking any med/drug/substance that has potential for 'ototoxicity' and combine that with loud sound, the sum of the two is more 'lethal' than if separate.
      You follow that?
      So, if going to church at 100 db's and not on 'ototoxic meds' you may get away with it.
      If on potentially 'ototoxic med-whatever', and sitting in your yard the whole time listening to tweety birds. You will probably get away with it.
      If on 'ototoxic med' and go to church at 100 db's.....Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. No...I would not. I reckon your chances of damage are exponentially higher. I'm not going to say how much, as I only have my own "science" behind this statement. But I consider the risk 'significant'.
      [And I don't want get into an ototoxic discussion here, and whether only possible IV, (mine were all PO = 'oral' by the way). Etc., etc. Lots of other threads on that].

      So...Take good care Mark. I wish you well. And hope you and Rich do indeed get to chat.

      Best, Zimichael
       
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    10. Mark Beehre
      Facebooking

      Mark Beehre Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wellington, New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008 // 11/2014
      Thanks again guys. I read through your thread already, but just did again for a refresher. I suppose I wanted to know how long to expect. Last time this happened, I don't recall the Hyperaccusis part...I am not saying it wasn't present, I just didn't know what I know now, then. You see when this all first happened I had very similar symptoms. I can't remember, but thankfully my ENT did one good thing and documented my symptoms in a letter to my GP. This included pain in my right ear and a sense of fullness. Overtime things came right and I enjoyed relative peace for 6 years. I started going to church around the 6 months after point and I initially wore plugs because I suppose the emotional scaring from my first gaunt with T was still weighing heavily on my mind. Over time I stopped using them because I wasn't affected by the noise...my mistake!

      However, I have to wonder if I actually do have hyperaccusis or this other thing called "recruitment". I can drive my car, walk outside, go into a supermarket and sit at a lunch table and not be bothered by it, unless I am mentally more alert to the sounds in my ears (anxiety causing) and focused on it. However, when playing tones at higher frequencies somewhere between 10000 and 20000hz my ear went nuts with pain/fullness and T shot up for around 4 days. The thing here was that the tone would have been around 50db ish...very small...

      Then again I go to our Christmas function which was last Friday. It's indoors with sounds around 90-100db. I wore ear plugs for the last half because I became concerned, but before my anxiety crept in I was in no discomfort or fullness. However that night my T was a lot louder overall, but cooled off by morning.

      In fact other than when playing the higher frequency sounds I don't get the fullness part...at least as I have experienced so far.

      I also suspect my Sony Speaker at home generating some high frequency noise in the background. I always seem yuck after using it, even to play my old masking program...which I have fallen back on after 6 years of trusty relief.

      I am very confused.

      However, in saying that. I have 3 weeks annual leave for Christmas coming up. I plan to take another 1 week unpaid. I am not going away. So I have the perfect opportunity to have a very quiet month. I am going to use this time to get out, exercise and lose some flab. We have many forest type walking tracks within 20m drive here. So I think that is going to be my destination. As far as home entertainment is concerned, I am sure I can play some quiet computer games like Civilization hahahaha.
       
    11. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Mark...

      As we unfortunately know, tinnitus and it's associated "tag-alongs" is a real SOB to figure out. Just look at how many great theories and potential treatments have gone "BOOM!".

      Indeed have some "recruitment" going on, but the bottom line I believe is "CAUTION"...Play it safe until you can be more clear on what is happening and what is not happening in relation to your various sound exposures, etc. - and other potential 'influencers' - meds for example, if relevant.

      If you saw my pictures in a past thread re back-packing in the high mountains you will know that the "open ear canal" silence and natural sounds of that, for days on end, is the most calming thing of all for my ears...and me. Great medicine!

      Happy trails... Michael
       
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    12. Mark Beehre
      Facebooking

      Mark Beehre Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wellington, New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008 // 11/2014
      Hi Zimichael and RichL

      I was wondering if I could trouble you some more...if you don't mind! :)

      It's been about 3 weeks since we last spoke. In that time I have been mindful of the environments I was placing myself in. I've had an MRI and seen an audiologist and done some loudness testing to see what my tolerance was.

      The results of my MRI were clean, other than a prominent vascular loop in both ears, although the tinnitus is predominantly in my right ear. The actual MRI was very loud despite hearing protection and my anxiety level skyrocketed after that...and the T. Although it had subsided by the following morning.

      The loudness testing came back at around 65db. The audiologist suggested that this was mild and most likely due to a mysophonia to sound in general cause by an aural shock. She said that I should not wear ear plugs unless I am in an environment where they would normally be required, e.g. when using a lawnmower. She said that to rebuild my tolerance to sound I need exposure and that I should do it gently, e.g. walking outside and whatnot. Is this advice correct?

      Now, admit-ably in the last 3 weeks the first 2 have been quite challenging. The first week I took myself of the Doxepin (anti-anxiety drug - also Ottotoxic) and didn't get much sleep plus T was bad. After the initial effects wore off (the second week) I was able to sleep again and T quieted down to a more bearable level. Now at the end of the third week it's almost back to how it used to be. In fact I went out and about yesterday in town without any complications. Just two weeks earlier I had ventured into the mall (loud) with ear plugs. I was in there for less than an hour and when I came out my right ear sounded like wind was rushing through it. So given yesterdays awesomeness I believed (maybe wrongly) that my ears were good!

      Then today I went again to the mall without earplugs and without complications. It wasn't till later in the afternoon when I was walking through the city when I was subjected to a high pitch shrill that lasted all of 5 seconds. It was enough to induce panic and cause me to get out of there as quickly as I could. By the time I got home it sounded like wind again (but very mild). After a four hours it has winded down again as before. I had gone out again in the middle of this to get some food and that had caused it to wind up briefly.

      From your experience, what's your take on this. Am I getting better (albeit slowly) and given enough time things should go back to how they were before? Obviously I won't be a nut and not wear hearing protection when going to loud enclosed spaces e.g. malls...

      Would you mind some more advice...I realize it may be repeating what you have already said. I guess I want to know if this winding up/kindling is going to stop eventually?
       
    13. Mark Beehre
      Facebooking

      Mark Beehre Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wellington, New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008 // 11/2014
      Actually...I just re-read your T+H thread again...seemed to answer it I think.

      Basically to avoid any increase in T volume I should take my time. Take things slowly and protect my ears in loud environments?
       
    14. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Hi @Mark Beehre

      I think you have it in a nutshell bro, the only extra advice I would offer is, if you wanted to make it a bit easier on your hearing while tripping to the city and through everyday life,(barring noisy environments), you could stuff cotton wool in your ears, that would take most of the harshness out of any sudden louder noise's, but will still let you hear virtually at a normal level.

      Stay safe, Rich
       
    15. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      Yeah Mark...you got it (and as per Rich above).

      The cotton wool is not something I use as don't rely on something that "variable" outside in public - like how squashed on your ears is it, or how much is in there, etc. Decibel protection could be from ??? to near zero.

      Thus I always carry two sets of plugs for the four basic conditions of being out of my door (in public):

      1. No protection in, open hearing, nothing in ear canal = for "safe situations" like in my car (as long as no sirens blaring behind me), or in a park, or with "educated" friends one on one in a quiet place. "Educated" friends = trained to no sudden clapping hands in delight; no yelling at a passing whatever; etc., etc.

      2. Semi-open ear canal type Etymotics or Sonics, that protect me in "speaking situations" where I need to hear pretty clearly but will not get too blasted by a loud sudden sound I did not catch and avoid. I stick these in before I go into a store, or any unknown place re sound. I can still get "zapped" but it will be a spike not more permanent damage.

      3. Full baffle plugs...for as much protection as possible if I get caught in a bind. Like a store with a super loud overhead intercom thing, or a bunch of raucous schoolkids coming down the corridor towards me with no escape door.

      4. Full baffle plugs and get the hell out of there fast!...For as much protection as possible if I get caught in a big bind - like a police car + siren heading my way, or a sudden street band erupting unexpectedly, etc.

      As a footnote, over head muffs with open ear canal will be easier on your T/hearing than ear plugs...as less of that self generating, self increasing, internal feedback brain loop, that > the T volume, for me anyway, the longer the plugs stay in. I am not over impressed with the protection of Bose Noise-Cancelling headphones and would never buy any, but a client gave me a pair and they are useful on occasions, like if I have to attend a very rare meeting. And no, I do not give a damn what I look like or the looks I get as a result.

      Take care and yep, you need to be careful around sound until you don't have to be!

      Best, Zimichael
       

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