Questions About Tinnitus — I've Started Recently Noticing Mine More, and I'm Very Worried

Discussion in 'Support' started by Mike DiM-4, Apr 7, 2021.

    1. Mike DiM-4
      Panicky

      Mike DiM-4 Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress, Loud Music, Ruptured Eardrums (maybe?)
      Hi everyone,

      I'm new here and I've recently been trying to do my own research about what I've been experiencing with tinnitus.

      1) I've seen people referring to tinnitus from the brain vs. tinnitus from the ears, but isn't it the same thing? Tinnitus is the brain reproducing a sound, correct?

      2) I believe that my tinnitus has been around for a while (I can't pinpoint it exactly), but ever since the Texas Roadhouse CEO committed suicide due to tinnitus, I've been very worried and I'm starting to notice my tinnitus more and more. I've ruptured both of my ear drums once, but they've healed properly both times. I used to take Adderal but I haven't taken it in months. I know there's a placebo effect for people after participating in one of these promising trials I've been reading about, but can anxiety and stress cause a placebo effect that will make my tinnitus seem worse than it really is and can this stress worsen tinnitus?

      3) I've tried using the search feature to find threads regarding "TMJ" but there seems to be very little threads from years prior. I'm not sure if I have TMJ as I only have slight clicking/popping sounds when I open/close but no pain. I do grind my teeth during sleep and clench my teeth during stress which appears to intensify my tinnitus. From the first question, I've seen people mention that the TMJ is pinching a nerve (or something of that nature) and causing tinnitus. Does this "nerve" I just mentioned relate to anything in the brain that will help?

      4) How do I know if it's earwax? I'm pretty sure I have a lot in there but do I need a feeling of fullness to place that as the cause of tinnitus?

      5) How hopeful are you that a cure/treatment is very close? I've read about some of the trials that have been going on but I don't really understand the ins/outs of tinnitus to make a conclusion myself. I'm just curious to see what this community thinks as you've spent more time reading and discussing with more informed users in this forum.

      If this isn't the correct place for these questions or if you need me to explain more, please let me know! I appreciate any response. Thank you!
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. racedy

      racedy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection and possibly noise over time
      @Mike DiM-4, I understand your situation, I hope you are doing ok, there's no need to worry about your tinnitus getting worse unless you are contantly exposing yourself to loud noises or taking ototoxic drugs or getting viral infections. If you focus on it, you'll hear it more. This happens to me from time to time (when I get louder spikes) but if I stop looking for it, I notice it less and less. It happens without trying if you are very busy or doing something you enjoy.

      Yes, stress can make it worse.

      For earwax -- you'd need to go get looked at by an ENT.

      On the main page of this site, there's a category for treatments and another devoted to research. Many members track trials, treatments, etc. Perhaps posting a question there might be useful? (Sorry, I am not keeping track of all the treatments and trials.)

      Good luck and don't let the news about the CEO get you down. He had covid, and viral infections can cause tinnitus and make it worse. In which case steroids would probably help. But I wouldn't worry about that if you do not have a viral infection.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mike DiM-4
      Panicky

      Mike DiM-4 Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress, Loud Music, Ruptured Eardrums (maybe?)
      @racedy, thank you so much for the response. I was beginning to think my post wasn't going to get a reply.

      Just a follow/clarification question: when you (and others) say "stress/anxiety makes it worse", does this mean a spike in tinnitus or does tinnitus actually become louder? I can't tell if my tinnitus has gotten louder or if my stress/anxiety about the issue is making it seem louder.

      Once again, thank you for responding! Means a lot!
       
    4. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      1) This is very much a subjective thing. I personally don't understand the difference, but some people say there is.

      2) Anxiety and stress can definitely cause a spike in tinnitus.

      3) You might also be thinking about ETD.

      4) An ENT can tell you if it is earwax. Don't do microsuction if it is. Ask for manual extraction.

      5) Treatments are in future, but most likely 3-5 years out. If you go to the treatment section, you can read about the various ones in the pipeline.

      Overall, I think you should get your ears checked out by an ENT and discuss these other TMJ and ETD issues.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mike DiM-4
      Panicky

      Mike DiM-4 Member

      Location:
      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress, Loud Music, Ruptured Eardrums (maybe?)
      Thank you! Your answer to #2 definitely helped me calm down a little bit. For #3, I was actually referring to my jaw making those noises in my original question but when you mention ETD, I do get a popping/cracking in my ear when I yawn or swallow, but no other symptoms to go along with ETD. Oddly enough, both of these issues occur on my left side only yet I still hear ringing in both ears. I do think the left ear fluctuates in pitch/intensity at certain points during the day though.

      I had this issue when I was recovering from a ruptured eardrum where I would feel this cracking and popping after swallowing, talking, yawning, etc., but when I mentioned it to my doctor he said he only saw some “dead skin” or something of that nature was in there possibly from the ear drops I had been using to help heal it. Is it possible there’s a buildup of earwax that might make these feelings in my ear occur? Maybe it’s possible I have ETD but only show that one symptom?
       
    6. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Jack, that is the best. For 30 years I've been reading 'Treatments are in future, but most likely 3-5 years out'.
       
    7. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      If I knew for a fact this would not be possible I might end my life early - it is likely for the best that those of us who want to can credibly adhere to this belief, now moreso than ever.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. racedy

      racedy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection and possibly noise over time
      This happens to me, where I seem to notice it more and think it's gotten louder. I'll be outside and suddenly I'll hear it over the wind and think, has it gotten louder or is it just noticing it. But then I get distracted by things and it quiets down. Feels like I'm playing mind games with my tinnitus at times!

      Forgot to answer your TMJ question -- I don't really know much about it affecting nerves (I feel like there would be a tingling or numb or painful sensation if this was something severe). There are a lot of folks here with TMJ who have a lot of good advice. My dentist examined me and said I didn't have TMJ, but I get clicking and popping and pain when I yawn sometimes. I also grind my teeth and I wear a nightguard, which makes me clench the whole night, which I thought might exacerbate my tinnitus, but I don't think it has. I massage my masseters before going to bed, do some jaw "stretches" that my chiro taught me when he worked on the muscles in that area -- this video captures a lot of what he did minus the adjustment at the end. My chiro recommended I use a splint rather than a nightguard, but I never got fitted for a splint because the whole pandemic stuff happened. I have found if I sleep on my back without a pillow but with a small towel rolled under my neck, it keeps my head in a position where I don't clench/grind, as is apparent when I wake up with my lips slightly open.

      Good luck and I hope your tinnitus gets quieter and you notice it less.

      Hope you are able to see an ENT soon.
       
    9. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      It is possible, but you will need to see an ENT to confirm it.
       
    10. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      I am sorry @GBB. I'm in a bad spike and my emotions got the worst of me. As you may see I am a 30-year-old survivor. I have been praying for better treatments or cure every day. I do hope to have it by tomorrow. But until then I'll take habituation.

      Sorry and G-d bless.

      Ken
       
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