Possible Mold Exposure?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by kazaba, Nov 2, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. kazaba

      kazaba Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi, everyone, my name is Kailey. I've read a couple threads on this forum, and definitely feel a bit better knowing that I'm not alone. Here is my story:

      This past summer (June 2013), my boyfriend's right ear began ringing constantly. We lived together, and I felt so terrible every time I thought about what he was going through. His T was accompanied with dizziness, sensitivity to sound, and a strange sensation of "fullness" in affected the ear. He had one small episode of vertigo around the time when the T started, which was relieved with just lying down and waiting it out. Around a month later, though, he had a severe attack of vertigo--he vomited every time he moved. This lasted for around 4 hours, and was one of the scariest things I have ever witnessed. After that attack, I went with him to an ENT. After a normal MRI and hearing test showing some hearing loss, my boyfriend was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease.

      I've heard of Meniere's before, and know that the etiology is not understood, and there is really no treatment for it. He has not had another vertigo attack since the severe one in July, but his ear is still constantly ringing to this day (so for around 6 months).

      So where do I come in, you ask? In early September I noticed that my ears would briefly ring more frequently than usual, a couple times a week. I am in graduate school, so I attributed the ringing to stress, perhaps. I just ignored it. Sometimes I would feel dizzy, but also attributed that to lack of sleep, stress, sub-optimal diet, etc. I must admit that I had considered that I might have been experiencing the beginnings of the condition affecting my boyfriend. However, I thought it was so unlikely that we would both develop Meniere's, so I again, dismissed these thoughts.

      One day, in early October, I was feeling quite dizzy and decided to lay down in bed. It was then that I noticed my left ear was ringing so loudly--but it wouldn't go away. I laid there for an hour in a panic. I was then convinced that there must be some environmental cause for the tinnitus. I did some research on possible environmental causes, and came across mold. Mold had been an issue in our apartment from the time we started living there--it was never adequately addressed. We made complaints about discolored (darkened) carpet areas, but it was brushed off. We decided to leave the apartment immediately due to my finding of this: Timeline of Events

      Upon leaving the apartment, we discovered copious amounts of black colored mold in our windows--the wood was literally rotting away. When we took the pictures down off the wall in our bedroom, we noticed that the studs were darkened and visible--indicating water damage, and likely mold. Our bedroom windows were the worst, which was the most terrifying. In addition, I spoke with a neighbor, who told me that she had been experiencing dizziness, light-headedness, and increased frequency of ear ringing. She actually went her doctor about it, and he ordered an MRI which came back normal. During the whole moving process, I was so worried that I was just being paranoid, but this convinced me that we did the right thing.

      I know there are many different causes of T--it is not a disease itself, rather a symptom. While it is possible that this is all a coincidence, i find it so unlikely. The symptoms my boyfriend had experienced--the ringing, the dizziness, the ear fullness, sensitivity to sound... I now know exactly what he was talking about because I too experience these symptoms. Thankfully, I have not yet had an actual attack of vertigo.

      I was hoping that when we left the apartment, our symptoms would gradually improve and disappear completely. He says he just doesn't notice his T anymore, unless he thinks about it. He only had T in one ear though, while I have had it in both. The weird thing is, my T seems to be affected somewhat by head position. It is worse when I am lying down, and will sometimes move from one ear to the other depending on which side I am laying on. It is typically always in my right ear, but has sometimes just been in my left ear. Most often, I have ringing in both ears.

      It is so hard when it's silent, I'm lying down, and I'm tired. I tried taking a nap once, and both ears were ringing so loudly it felt like my brain was vibrating. I couldn't help but break into tears and imagine how nice it would be to just end it all. I'm in graduate school, which is stressful in itself--it's been so hard to study for exams since the T started. Moving out has been very stressful; I now live with my parents. On top of everything, I also decided to end my 5 year relationship with my boyfriend because it was unquestionably adding to my stress (and had been before, even). I just felt (and still feel) like my life has been turned upside down in less than a couple weeks!

      The encouraging thing is, is that I've already experienced some relief. Sometimes I have actually had complete silence. It only lasts for a few seconds or minutes, but it really had me thinking I was getting better! Then it would almost be back to square one the next day, and it is so devastating. I am trying to stay optimistic, but it is incredibly hard.

      So, I guess I'm just looking for some advice, or even some support. Has anyone ever dealt with toxic mold exposure? And what do you guys think about our symptoms?

      Thanks for reading (especially if you read that whole thing!!)
      • Hug Hug x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. lbjprxoxo

      lbjprxoxo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 18th 2013
      Hey Kailey WOWW that's all real tuff things you have gone threw. Sorry Well last October from hurricane Sandy it pretty much destroyed my house. Me , my husband and children didn't really have a place to go so when the power went back on we stayed in the house for 6 months ( then found a new home ) In those 6 months my kids and I were getting sick. Kids coughing , sneezing, sore throats and fever. I got bad headaches , bad dizziness, always a sore throat but not yet the dreaded T. ( that just came oct 18th 2013 ) I was convinced it was black mold and when they tore down some of the remaining Sheetrock their it was ! Black mold. Black mold is very dangerous and you def made the right decision to move. Give it time for your T to subside. Although I didn't my T from black mold it's so possible, it's also possible to stop. I just got mine only a few short weeks ago freaking out and feeling hopeless. It's gotten much lower now and can be masked with the tv. I also prayed a lot to God for help and talking with others on this site your not alone and I will say a prayer for you. xo laura.
    3. Owch

      Owch Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Interesting. I have mold in my bedroom and in my spare room

      Also started some minor hair loss on the same side as my 'worst' tinnitus ear, which is the side closest to the mold when I use my computer (I sit right beside it). Been living in this appartment for 13 years - I wonder if there is a connection?

Share This Page

If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.