Severe Reactive Tinnitus After Microsuction to Remove Earwax

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by DeanD, Nov 5, 2022.

    1. DeanD

      DeanD Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction
      Hi everyone,

      I came down with severe reactive tinnitus almost 4 weeks ago after a routine microsuction to remove earwax - the increased tinnitus effect was almost immediate.

      I've had tinnitus for at least 20 years, although an audiologist has recently said this has probably been since birth. I'm 45 now. That tinnitus was mild and never a problem and sounded like birds chirping. I never even needed to Google the word 'tinnitus' before, although I knew what it was. I have quite strong high frequency hearing loss from anything about 850 Hz to 1 kHz, although a comparison of hearing loss before (2 years before) and after the microsuction shows no difference in hearing levels.

      The tinnitus has continued to get worse and worse almost daily. The first week I'd wake up to almost silence (1/10), and then tinnitus came on during the day and spiked at night (8/10). After the first week this changed for the worse. Now every morning I wake to an immediate spike at 10/10 and it may get down to an 8/10 by mid-morning and then a 10/10 by night.

      I've seen 2x GPs, 2x Audiologists and an ENT specialist. All giving very mixed suggestions from keep plugging your ears as they are still healing, to let sounds in and desensitise, to 'do what feels best, it won't make a difference!'

      Yesterday, out of nowhere in a quiet room, it felt as if I'd gone completely deaf in my left ear with a huge high pitched shriek coming from it. It lasted about an hour. I was referred to A&E by a GP, and arriving at A&E I was pulled aside and told this is basically not an emergency so we can't see you, but we'll give you antibiotics for the infection (no check to see whether I even had an infection!).

      The GP in A&E did check inside my ear, but it felt a little painful and tender, which she was surprised about as she said usually she can probe deeper without it usually bothering anyone. She said maybe there's an infection, or soreness due to sucking out hard troublesome wax, and has prescribed Otomize ear spray... which I've read many on here warn people away from, so haven't used.

      I'm due to go to a tinnitus centre but they want to do all the tests which again people recommend staying away from, like the loudness discomfort level test and tympanometry so they can try to see what effect it may have had on my ears, the type of tinnitus I have and whether I have hyperacusis... again these tests people recommend refrain from having as they have made things worse.

      Blocking out sounds seems to make it worse, bringing in sounds definitely makes it worse, and it's getting worse each day. Plus, I'm very weary of trying anything that's currently being suggested and offered :(
       
      • Hug Hug x 5
      • Like Like x 1
    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      DeanD

      DeanD Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction
      With my tinnitus incredibly reactive to almost all sounds, and my baseline becoming higher, I'm not sure whether sound enrichment would be a good idea?

      I have been wearing earplugs quite a bit, which I understand isn't something I should do, but any type of continuous noise, whether waves, natural sounds, soft music, or any colour sound for more than 5-10 seconds spike the tinnitus like crazy.

      I know I need to be building up sound tolerance, which I admit I haven't been doing well - but each time I do, the baseline increases.

      I feel I should be becoming more familiar with sounds but each time seems to come with a major setback and a higher baseline - and the sounds used are incredibly low volume.

      I can't have sound on a TV, or sit downstairs as the hum of the fridge spikes it like crazy - even with earplugs!

      The only time I sometimes seem to be able to settle things down a little is with earplugs and earmuffs.

      Does anyone have any suggestions for this type of reactive tinnitus (or hyperacusis, whichever term you want to give it, but I have only experienced pain once with sound)?
       
    3. Jupiterman

      Jupiterman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden loud noise
      Protection of your baseline should be the priority. You won't build up any sound tolerance with your ears the way they are reacting just now.

      Stay away from the tinnitus centre for now.

      Plug up, or double plug, if you need to.

      Give your ears time to recover, then reasses in a few weeks.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. EternalRinging
      Terrified

      EternalRinging Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Dean,

      Sorry about what you’re experiencing.

      Your story sounds similar to mine, I also got tinnitus after an earwax removal.

      However, I’m unsure if mine was actually caused by the earwax removal itself because it appeared two days afterwards, precisely in the same moment when I unclogged my left ear with my index finger because of a feeling of fullness that I had.

      Did your tinnitus appeared suddenly after the earwax removal or not?

      Also, since my tinnitus is also reactive to certain frequencies, I would say that the best way to desensitize the reactivity is to get a bit exposed to normal sounds but not by that much. Your level of exposure is going to depend on the tolerance of your reactivity. Apparently I also have hyperacusis according to my audiologist, so maybe that’s why I have reactive tinnitus, thou’ my reactivity is unilateral.

      I can’t say if I, myself, have seen an improvement during my 6 months of reactive tinnitus (first time having tinnitus, didn’t heard of it before) because some days my reactivity is lower than other days and vice versa, so it is sort of like a rollercoaster.

      On August I got COVID-19 and my reactivity went to insane levels, it reacted to people voices and radio. It no longer reacts to people’s voices and to most of the radio. Hope this helps.
       
    5. ErikaS

      ErikaS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection/Ultra High Frequency Loss in Right Ear
      Hi @DeanD, so sorry to hear about your experience. How long would you say the microsuction took place in each ear?
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      DeanD

      DeanD Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction
      Thanks for the reply.

      I've had tinnitus since birth (chirping), but I noticed a louder ringing within an hour or two later of the microsuction.

      I was following your advice and it was getting better but a terrible acoustic trauma happened (even whilst I was double protected) which has set me back very bad.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      DeanD

      DeanD Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction
      Hi @ErikaS - very quick, only about 20 seconds in each ear.

      Unfortunately the audiologist irrigated after, which was very loud.

      I guess my case a little unique as I am already hard of hearing since birth, and my ears were blocked with wax.

      Wax was pulled out, and I could hear better than I had in years and bam, ears got microsuction gun and irrigation straight away.

      I think the shock brought on hyperacusis which caused the tinnitus.

      How is the neuromodulation going?
       
    8. ErikaS

      ErikaS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection/Ultra High Frequency Loss in Right Ear
      Ugh, I had to get microsuction done a few weeks before I caught an ear infection that gave me tinnitus. The ENT was in each ear for no more than 7 seconds (I had used homeopathic drops that didn’t clear the wax and created a membrane over my eardrums). I had some sound sensitivity and itchy ears for a day or two after, but that subsided. What infuriates me to this day is I called her office to report the sound sensitivity and itchy ears, AND the fact that I still could feel fluid in my right ear. She said “yes, you did have some fluid, but it was clear and did not look infected, keep using Afrin” and I asked her if I should start an antibiotic just in case, and she declined. 2 weeks later, I got a full blown/severe ear infection in right ear, and that’s when the tinnitus came on. I have since found out that the ear infection damaged frequencies at 11.5 kHz and higher in my right ear, which is most likely the cause of my tinnitus. No damage/hearing loss in my left ear which makes sense because the ear infection was mild in that ear. If she would have just given me an antibiotic when I asked to prevent further infection/damage, I probably wouldn’t even be on this site. But here I am, with multiple tones and reactivity. Only thing on my side is that my tinnitus is low-moderate in noise level, but its intrusiveness with reactivity is what gets me.

      I have done 3 Neurofeedback sessions. The first “block” of sessions focuses on engaging the parasympathetic system to tap in more and calm down the nervous system. We are looking for things like improved sleep cycles and mood, however I told the therapist “unfortunately my mood won’t change drastically until I see some type of change with my tinnitus”. You could say I am still stubborn and accepting this situation and working through my anger :) Anyway, the next “block” of sessions will be tying in the actual tinnitus protocol. Then after that, we will be adding in auditory memory components, basically trying to teach my brain “it’s okay that you don’t hear what you did before, let’s rewire you so you don’t focus on that as much”. I plan to continue this for at least a few months, and I have a TRT eval in February. Hoping both can work effectively together and bring on healing.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      DeanD

      DeanD Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction
      I feel that audiologists and clinicians should be required to fully understand the implications of microsuction machines relating to hyperacusis and tinnitus - and be required to make full disclosure of the fact it could happen verbally before it's carried out.

      Seems like they are throwing the kitchen sink at your tinnitus which is good :) I hope it continues to fade for you.

      Did they mention how they intend to target the tinnitus using their tinnitus protocol?

      Keep us updated on how you go!

      Merry Christmas btw! :)
       
    10. ErikaS

      ErikaS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection/Ultra High Frequency Loss in Right Ear
      Well, I am throwing everything at it. No one is really guiding me, just my own research and my own theory/thought process of early intervention may help healing. When it comes to targeting the tinnitus, it’s a specific area of the brain (auditory cortex) and what I showed there on my brain map. It was actually quite crazy, on the right side of my temporal bone area, it was red right in the auditory cortex area. It was not nearly as bad on my left side. This supports that the “damage” and ground zero of tinnitus was with my right ear. So this area will be targeted to try to request the brainwaves that are causing this disruption.

      And yes, I completely agree about the microsuction. Although I do not believe my current issues came from it, I did have sensitive ears for two days after. That did go back to normal, but still very concerning and I was never told to expect any of that. They just don’t explain or go into any detail. Meanwhile this is our AUDITORY system, we only get one so it should be handled with such delicate care and thorough information at every step.

      Merry Christmas to you too :) I was able to attend two family gatherings today, I will see how the tinnitus is going to bed tonight and tomorrow. I thankfully do not have pain hyperacusis, sensitivity, or fear of sounds in these environments, just my sensitive winding up tinnitus.
       
    11. Stayinghopeful
      Procrastinating

      Stayinghopeful Member

      Location:
      NSW, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      COVID-19 / Anesthesia
      First off, I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. I just wanted to ask when you say ''winding up'', do you mean it gets louder throughout the day? Does driving or exercise affect it?
       
    12. ErikaS

      ErikaS Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection/Ultra High Frequency Loss in Right Ear
      Hey @Stayinghopeful, I have reactive or winding up tinnitus. It is very much affected by sound and even things like my heart rate increasing. If you go to my thread called “How Far to Push Reactive Tinnitus” you will see an explanation of how this happens. But yes, things like a fan running, shower, car, etc all make it heightened in a way that it goes up and becomes a louder high hiss. I also deal with sound distortions to these things.

      My tinnitus started from a bad ear infection in my right ear in early September. It unfortunately seemed to have damaged/inflamed nerves in my right inner ear that affect my hearing ability at 12.5 kHz and up (not formally tested, but I realized this at home doing my own sound testing on YouTube). So one could say this virus gave me sudden hearing loss at very high frequencies in my right ear, thus causing tinnitus. It’s upsetting because the tinnitus didn’t stay in my right ear, it affects my left too.
       
    13. EternalRinging
      Terrified

      EternalRinging Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      No problem! Sorry to hear about your setback.

      Hopefully time might be able to heal us. About one week ago, I had a week of almost reactivity free for the first month after a long time, but unfortunately I got a setback out of nowhere (three days after a flight, maybe a delayed noise setback but I’m not sure), thou’ no where near as bad as previous setbacks.

      Based on the months where I have been dealing with reactive tinnitus, there’s no pattern at all and sometimes I get random setbacks but at least they tend to not be permanent.

      What I have noticed is that silence and earplugs do not help me with the reactivity at all since they make me more hypersensitive. I try to avoid earplugs as much as possible unless I consider them completely necessary, but if my reactive tinnitus is screaming very loud to me after the exposure to certain frequencies, I prefer to move away from the source of sound rather than using earplugs if it is an option.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      DeanD

      DeanD Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction
      Sorry to hear about your setback @EternalRinging. Is this the first time you have flown since your onset?

      It does seem crazy in this world that not one medical person I have seen has suggested protecting ears around loud sounds (apart from my ENT who told me to keep constantly protecting as the ears will still be healing for many weeks).

      I am at that stage now where phonophobia has taken over quite badly. Not from the initial exposure, but the myriad of setbacks (5 now in 12 weeks) making it worse. Each setback pushing me further in to earplugs, then homebound.

      The tinnitus was unmaskable, reactive and severe on day one, and today it is worse due to those setbacks. I don't live in earplugs but I live in very quiet and silent surroundings all day.

      This may be a good thing for my ears, but I must admit to feeling in quite an isolated 'stuck' place at the moment.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
Loading...

Share This Page