Sleeping Positions Affect My Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by RachLouise, Oct 23, 2021.

    1. RachLouise

      RachLouise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello everyone,

      It's been 6 months since I got tinnitus which changed my life completely, and I don't know how I got it.

      I am unable to mask it as it is so loud and incredibly high pitched and it fluctuates every few seconds making it unbearable.

      The thing that I find very odd is that my sleeping position will change the tinnitus completely. Not just while lying in that position, but for the next few days.

      I only have tinnitus in my left ear. If I sleep with my left ear in the air, the tinnitus will be gone in the morning but will come back after a few hours. If I sleep in any other position (back, other side, upright) the noise will change to more of a ring, and will keep getting louder as the days go on.

      Has anyone else had any symptoms like this? I've scoured the internet and I feel like I'm completely alone.

      Thanks.
       
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    2. Tau
      Probing

      Tau Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2019-Concert, 2021-headphones/acoustic trauma at 110dB,16kHz
      My unilateral Morse code tinnitus becomes very faint if I sleep on that ear. My high-pitched noises seem to be independent of my sleeping position.

      This is how I noticed my first tinnitus, actually, - I slept on the other ear and woke up at night to beep beep beep.

      Maybe it's a vascular issue, even though my MRI was fine. I still don't know. It may be worth seeing a specialist for you, however, be careful if they want you to do an MRI as I got hearing damage from mine (insufficient protection, MRIs are loud).
       
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    3. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing + Somatic tinnitus from dental work
      I would continue to sleep more on left side.
      With this, for one ear, ear wax or muscle tension in the neck are highest on the list. Next comes jaw movement.

      Would need to discuss more for other possibilities.

      Check your posture by standing in front of a wall mirror to see if your shoulders are balanced.
       
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    4. DimLeb

      DimLeb Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      14/03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic Cochleopathy Or Maybe Loud Music
      @RachLouise, hello. First of all, sorry to hear that you are in such distress with your symptoms. It's really a shame that we all here suffer from such a ridiculous condition.

      I kind of have a similar situation. Even though my tinnitus is towards the mild side, it has multiple sounds (2-3 tones and white noise hissing), fluctuating in volume. Not all are always there, especially in the morning and they build towards the evening.

      But when I sleep and wake up in the middle of night (happens every night because my sleep sucks), it all has changed into a weird vague noise, not loud at all but more like a slight vibrating sensation. I don't think it matters on which side I sleep, but that I lie down.

      I don't know if all these mean something, I certainly would appreciate if there was anybody (doctor, ENT, otologist, whatever) that could assess all these. But for all I've seen so far, they seemed not to care / be irrelevant.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RachLouise

      RachLouise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks for the feedback guys, nice to know that sleeping position can be a factor. I've had an MRI which came back clear and a hearing test which showed perfect hearing.

      I also get the feeling of pressure in that ear and sometimes I can't unblock it properly. My sinuses on that side also seem off. They block randomly at times and then unblock themselves a few days later.

      Please tell me it will get better? I feel so sad. Like I'll never know happiness again.
       
    6. Juan

      Juan Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Have you checked your neck, jaw etc? Do you know if you clench your teeth while sleeping?

      Try physiotherapy.
       
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    7. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      I'm the same. Get the pressure checked in your ears. I ended being diagnosed with hydrops.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RachLouise

      RachLouise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Sayeed, can it be treated?
       
    9. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      For me they put me on HCTZ. It's a blood pressure/diuretic. It's worked fairly well. I would say my tinnitus is 50% lower than it first started.

      I've read lots of articles that say hydrops is a precursor to get Meniere's disease while others say it's completely separate.
       
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    10. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      What are the symptoms of hydrops? They told me initially I had that but I didn’t do a pressure test.

      Initial dizziness, ringing and ear pressure.
       
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    11. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      I don't know if there is any specific symptoms of hydrops outside of tinnitus. I do feel Eustachian tubes feel a little full of pressure and fix that swallowing etc.

      What has helped me is doing nasal drainage.

      I feel a slight fullness in the ear with hydrops but to be honest with all my other issues listed below associated with tinnitus I tend not to concentrate on it much.

      Head pressure initially
      Face pressure/numbness
      Brain/body zaps
      Eye issues (blurriness / flashes of light)
      Nerve pain
      Etc
       
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    12. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Thanks. It seems the symptoms are vague.
       
    13. patorjk
      Disappointed

      patorjk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several reasons
      A possible theory you may not have considered: silent acid reflux. I have a small hiatal hernia which causes me to have some reflux at night. For the longest time I didn't feel any heart burn when I woke up. I just felt like I didn't get a good night's sleep. Later I had very mild chest aches, and sometime had a lump in my throat. It wasn't until it got worse that I realized it was acid flux. It only happens when I sleep on my left side and I have bad tinnitus in my left ear (I have some faint tinnitus in my right ear but it's not bad). However, from an anatomical standpoint, acid reflux is more common when you sleep on your right side (I'm backwards for some reason).

      Since my dad has acid reflux and tinnitus too, part of me suspects my tinnitus was caused or worsened by my acid reflux issue. If you want to check and see if this could be your issue too, you could do the following (which would lessen the effect of nighttime acid reflux):
      • Raise the head of your bed ~3-6 inches. This keeps acid from creeping up your esophagus. You can also put something under the head of the mattress or get one of those special acid reflux pillows.
      • Take a PPI like Prilosec for 2 weeks. Prilosec reduces the acidity in your stomach. This is not a good long term solution though.
      Anyway, this is a little out of left field, but I figured I'd put it out there in case it could help you.
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RachLouise

      RachLouise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thanks everyone.

      @Sayeed, do you know how you got Hydrops?
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RachLouise

      RachLouise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Wrfortiscue, what are your symptoms?

      Mine are:

      Tinnitus - so loud. Though it does quieten / stop depending on my sleeping position the night before.

      Pressure in the ear, sometimes it feels like someone's closed it completely.

      I sometimes get a wet feeling in my ear, or the notion of liquid in my ear though the doc said he couldn't see any.

      Light headedness/mild dizziness. I've never lost my balance or anything like that.
       
    16. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004/05
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      @RachLouise, I'm positive your symptoms will ease up with time.
      I've had all the symptoms you mention here:
      ...and they do get better.

      Keep your spirit up, and have faith in better times.

      Protect but not overprotect. Do things that make you happy, and try not to overfocusing on the situation.

      If you find things really difficult and overwhelming, seek out for help. A therapist, for instance skilled in CBT, might help you.

      You have no idea what caused the onset of this? Could it be triggered by stress, and possibly now worse by worrying and anxiety?
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RachLouise

      RachLouise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @MindOverMatter, thank you so much, that's reassuring to hear. I think it might have been barotrauma to the ear.

      What caused yours?
       
    18. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004/05
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      @RachLouise, I see. Just have patience, and take one day at a time. For most it does get a lot better.

      How I got it?

      A mix of many happenings I guess; noise, stress, and furthermore anxiety due to all that came with it.
       
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    19. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      How bad is your tinnitus nowadays?
       
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    20. MindOverMatter

      MindOverMatter Member

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004/05
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown (possibly stress related, and later sound induced)
      @Wrfortiscue, it is a rollercoaster at times. Fluctuates a lot. Same with sound sensitivity. I try not to monitor it too much - to me it serves no purpose as long as I know I do take good care of myself.

      I've had bouts with TTTS, aural fullness, dizziness and nerve pain too - some of this connecting a lot to anxiety imo.

      I try not to focus too much on the days that passes, but rather enjoy and be grateful for the good days I have. Life can't be taken for granted, even though we tend to do so.

      If you can manage to get more good days, than less good days, that is a small victory along the road.

      How are you doing these days?
       
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    21. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Yeah I’m similar to you. Maybe not as bad. I’ve been alright, I look to you, fishbone and others for inspiration. I try now to be more positive. It’s been helping. Trying to get out of that catastrophic mindset. My sleep still sucks but I also have sleep apnea and GERD. If I raise my pillow the tones get more squealish.

      My ringing and tones go up and down all day… For minutes or hours, intrusive or non intrusive, sometimes reactive and sometimes hyperacusis is semi bad. I can hear my ringing over driving with music on low setting in my truck, sometimes even shower when spiked, or I can’t hear it all.

      The times I don’t hear it are when I’m focusing on stuff, keeping positive, and if it bothers me I take a deep breath and tell myself it’s just a noise and it’s ok.

      Keep spreading that positivity. It’s much needed.

      Btw whoever is reading this I was negative/depressed/having suicidal thoughts most of my life and it took severe tinnitus to start being more positive. Go figure.
       
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    22. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      So speaking of sleeping positions, I have to sleep flat or else my tinnitus squeals very loud. Before onset I was always sleeping with pillows elevated always on my side. Messed up my neck quite a bit.

      Last night I slept on my right side with the pillows elevated. Woke up an hour later to the loudest screaming tinnitus I ever have had. I kept my cool and just laid flat, within 5 minutes I knocked out and was fine.

      Weird, just odd stuff. How can noise induced tinnitus be affected so much by position.
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    23. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I’m the opposite. Tinnitus goes mental if I lie flat. First 5 months it was like you. Lowest when flat...

      Strange... Yiu’re lucky at least with flat being okay. Kills the neck and back.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    24. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Problem is my acid reflux and sleep apnea when lying flat lol. I can’t breathe.
       
    25. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I thought you would bring that up :D

      Lol.
       
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    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RachLouise

      RachLouise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Just to update everyone.

      I started seeing an upper cervical chiropractor a couple of weeks ago and got my first treatment two days ago. The X-rays found a misalignment on the left side of my neck (my tinnitus side). He realigned my neck two days ago by pushing it quickly (it made an awful crunch sound), I got a little woozy then sat down and had vertigo for about 15/20 minutes, then it passed. My ear felt a little strange on that side. I haven't noticed any change in my tinnitus yet, though the pressure in my ear doesn't seem as intense.

      I will keep you posted.
       
    27. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RachLouise

      RachLouise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Sayeed, have you looked into upper cervical chiropractors?

      After you posted here I noticed that we shared a lot of the same symptoms and to me it does sound like early Meniere's.

      I have narrowed my tinnitus down to my neck, I believe I have a pinched nerve. This is what a lot of people with Meniere's have too.

      Luckily, upper cervical chiropractors are having a lot of luck treating Meniere's, but I think it's important to get in early if you can.

      Problems with the upper neck can create ear problems, migraines, vision issues and nerve problems like you said.

      I've only had a few treatments and my tinnitus has not changed at the moment, though I am noticing some changes with my ear and neck. I will keep you posted.
       
    28. NYCGuy
      Wishful

      NYCGuy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck, Jaw or Stress, who knows.
      Are you seeing NUCCA?
       
    29. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Any benefit to them?
       
    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      RachLouise

      RachLouise Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @NYCGuy, @Wrfortiscue, I am seeing the company that took over NUCCA in London.

      I did a lot of reading around the science of it and it does make complete sense.

      My tinnitus comes and goes depending on my sleep position. Rarely stays the same which makes habituation incredibly hard.

      Since I started treatment three weeks ago, I noticed subtle differences with my ear. It's been making some strange noises, I've been feeling fluid roll around in it more and the left side of my neck has also been making some strange gurgling noises at times.

      It's still quite early, but I am hopeful and wanted to share.
       
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