Sudden Increase in Tinnitus; I'm Losing My Mind

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by TOFDS311, Apr 22, 2021.

    1. TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      Hello,

      About 12 years ago, I went to the doctor because I thought I had some bad earwax buildup causing constant ringing in my ears, but worse on one side. Turns out, I was wrong. I saw an ENT and was told I had mild hearing loss, probably from being around lots of noise when I was younger.

      Over the years, I've learned to cope with it, and it was fairly mild, although I did experience times where it "reached a new level". That all changed about two weeks ago. Out of absolutely nowhere, my tinnitus started to increase on one side. Within 2 days, it worsened on the other side as well. Before I could even wrap my head around it, my tinnitus had gotten 10 times worse almost overnight.

      I called my doctor, and saw him. He gave me a Z-Pack and some Prednisone, thinking it was probably an infection. I did the entire course of both, and still felt no relief. I went to an ENT again, hoping they would have some answer or anything that could help. They did tests. "Nothing we can do." I walked away with eardrops, which I'm now using. It still hasn't helped.

      I haven't changed anything about my daily routine at all. I started thinking about every possibility of how this could happen. I did notice roughly around the same time I started having the worsened tinnitus, I had a wisdom tooth growing in on that same side. I have never had my wisdom teeth removed before. I brought this up with both my doctor and my ENT, however, and neither of them seemed to think it had anything to do with it. Even when I brought up my TMJ, both my doctor and ENT told me that if anything, it may be the TMJ, but not the tooth. I have no pain in my jaw or anything like that. No swelling. Nothing. I did briefly have headaches but I think that was mostly just from my intense crying sessions on wondering why this was happening to me, again.

      I have literally combed my mind for every single thing imaginable that could have changed it. Did I use the wrong soap cleaning my CPAP? Did I eat something wrong or too much of something? Did some loud noises I heard in recent weeks bring it on? Did one of my kids screaming finally do it? I mean, I have had these thoughts over and over and over, but I can't get an answer and it's frustrating.

      I have also noticed that doing things I normally do now make it worse, which was never a problem before. My ears are now suddenly more sensitive and any sudden loud noise "hurts". I also have severe PTSD so I use a medical marijuana vape a few times a day to calm my nerves and function properly. I have used it for years and NEVER had this issue. It only ever helped me. As I type this, I am crying. Using my vape was the only real thing that ever helped me with the rest of my issues, and now, using it is only worsening my tinnitus, which is causing even more problems. My therapist told me I should try reaching out to others, who may be in the same spot as I am, so here I am.

      I didn't want to make an extremely long post, and as I've been typing this it's been increasingly harder to fully express just how much this is having an impact on my life.
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
      • Funny Funny x 1
    2. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      I have smoked weed for years. I'm not sure if it's related but one month ago, on a Sunday I ate a gummy bear and Monday morning my tinnitus started.

      I started googling and there are some stories of people blaming weed for the onset of tinnitus. Regardless, I've stopped smoking. I don't want to risk the tinnitus go back to what it initially was at a 10/10 level.
       
    3. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      What's in the ear drops? Did you have pain before using them?
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      I have not heard anybody with that issue before. Hope it gets better for you!
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      No pain before or after using them. Just the "standard" ear drops I suppose - it says Neomycin, Polymyxin, and Hydrocortisone Otic.
       
    6. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Neomycin and Polymyxin are both ototoxic. They have both been used safely in people with intact ear drums, however some people here have had pretty substantial worsenings on it. I am glad they weren't a contributing factor but I would lay off of them, personally, just to be safe. If you don't have an outer ear infection (otitis externa) they aren't going to help anyway.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      They were pretty adamant about not stopping them until I used them up, so I'm conflicted. It seems whether I use them or not, it's the same. So far, at least. I just want relief and don't know how else to get it. I have a hunch it is/was some sort of infection at some point, maybe it is still there? Or maybe it returned? Possibly still lingering? I just wish I had the answers.
       
    8. BuzzyBee
      Jaded

      BuzzyBee Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      Does your ENT have an otoscope?

      I'm no doctor, but I thought ear drops were for inflammation of the ear canal (outer) or ear drum (that covers the entrance to the middle). Plus it seems like you'd have some visible signs of inflammation or at least minor pain if it was the outer ear and maybe a red ear drum if something was going on in the middle ear. If it was the inner ear, then the Z-Pack and Prednisone should have helped. So I'm confused as to why they'd give you ear drops without confirming there's some inflammation. And if it's the inner ear, the drops wouldn't even get to the inner ear because your ear drum blocks it. I'd go back and get some clarification on what structure these drops are supposed to be healing.

      Maybe the THC in your vape triggered some vestibular symptoms including tinnitus and now the tinnitus is just hanging around annoying you. It should go away, but you might have to stop vaping for a while. Or maybe just continue to vape and accept the tinnitus.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      The ENT said both ears looked "a little inflamed" which I guess is why he prescribed the drops. I'm conflicted on whether to continue use as the doc asked, or listen to the advice on here. I honestly just want it to go away so badly. I'd give the world.
       
    10. BuzzyBee
      Jaded

      BuzzyBee Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      I'm sorry to hear that both ears are inflamed. I guess it's the eardrums? Something is probably going on in the middle ear. If that's the case you should stay on the drops because if the inflammation gets worse the eardrum could rupture and then you'll have worse problems. But I think you need to talk to your doctor and have him reassure you that the drops themselves won't cause harm.

      From what I know about ear drops, the kind of drops you have are only ototoxic if they make their way through a perforated eardrum (which could happen if your eardrum ruptures) AND if you take them long term. And then they'd have to damage your hearing and then potentially tinnitus could arise. I do sometimes wonder if the medications in the drops are absorbed into the skin topically and somehow trigger tinnitus by other mechanisms, but if that were the case it would have probably come up in a study.

      Probably whatever it was that caused inflammation in BOTH your poor ears is what triggered the tinnitus, and once it's completely gone your tinnitus will slowly go back down to baseline.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      Yeah, I'm really at a loss. I'm putting my faith in these drops which I know is a long shot. I am a bit relieved to hear that the drops aren't as harmful as I originally thought. Probably my biggest fear at this point is that it still has something to do with my wisdom tooth or TMJ, both of which I am not in much of a position to do much about. I have no pain in the area at all, just a bit of a "fullness" feeling, almost like something is numb, but there isn't. The more I read on here, the more horrified I get at what else might have caused such sudden changes. Brain tumors, etc. I also see lots of success stories though, and I'm hoping I'm one of them. I'm about two weeks into this now and if anything I feel like it's gotten worse, but I don't know how much is physical or mental anymore. I feel like I'm slowly descending into madness.

      Thank you for reaching out so far, I appreciate you taking the time. I feel so alone.
       
    12. Hasp
      Supportive

      Hasp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Likely related to Bupropion or TMJ.
      I feel your pain. I had minor, sporadic episodes of tinnitus, that went away without consequence. Last Thursday, I had a stress peak, and since then, while the stress has gone away, the tinnitus hasn't. I've been sitting here with the endless, high pitched eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee in my ears for the past week, and I truly miss actual silence at this point.

      For what it's worth, I've read both online and had it recommended that NAC can help with hearing issues, including tinnitus, while also being generally beneficial. It's a supplement I took previously to help my body deal with being on accutane, and it seems I'm going to go back to it to see if it can help me with tinnitus. It's both inexpensive and safe, so there's little to lose from trying it out. A lot of people have said that it has helped lessen their tinnitus, and some have said it defeated it entirely. Success stories give me hope I may yet enjoy silence again.

      Hang in there my guy, there is hope yet.
      -Hasp
       
    13. BuzzyBee
      Jaded

      BuzzyBee Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      You are definitely not alone. Lots of people here know what it feels like, so keep coming by and reading the threads that make you feel better.

      You seem to be out of the woods in terms of brain tumors and such, as your doctor has already diagnosed you with inflammation and didn't seem that concerned.

      About the fullness, I had that for quite a while and it was so confusing because I also had ear issues and it was hard to diagnose what pain was coming from the ear and what was coming from the jaw region. But yeah -- fullness is not painful, it is just (extremely!) uncomfortable and very annoying. Mine went away after I started taking Magnesium Glycinate. My theory is that it may have a mild muscle relaxant effect that helps stop or curb grinding. So you may want to look into getting some Magnesium.

      https://www.amazon.com/KAL-Magnesium-Glycinate-Chelated-Servings/dp/B00013YZ1Q

      You could also try getting a cheap mouth guard and see if it makes any difference. You'd be surprised at how much TMD/TMJ can contribute to ear problems. I was.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      I have never heard of NAC before, I have heard of another supplement before (can't remember the name) that an old ENT said "might help", but it never did. I don't recall it being NAC though. I take lots of different things for various health issues so I'm not even sure if I'd be able to take something like that, though I'd love to give it a shot.

      One thing that is really continually annoying is being told there isn't fluid in my ear, but periodically throughout the day, there is. Not much, and it never drips out or anything, but there is absolutely something there.
       
    15. Hasp
      Supportive

      Hasp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Likely related to Bupropion or TMJ.
      Multi-responding, yay. I hope I'm not committing some sort of forum-based faux pas by doing so. I've been chewing on the concept recently (and will talk to my doctor about it on Tuesday) that I may have TMJ and have just been largely ignoring it. It might be a contributing factor, considering the audiologist said that I have no issues or obvious hearing loss. Looking at pretty much all of my options for the chance of enjoying actual silence again sometime in the future.
      NAC is N-acetylcysteine, and it's a supplement/medication used for a few things, but one of the big things it helps with is liver function and, interestingly enough, repairing damage to the ear and helping it recover from hearing loss and/or tinnitus. In short, it functions by allowing your body to create more glutathione, which helps manage and regulate a number of things.

      I like to recommend things like this to others, especially if they've worked for me in the past. I am relatively well-informed, but I am not a medical expert, and thus I always advocate for people to either talk with their physician about these kinds of things and/or do their own research.

      In summary: NAC is really helpful for a number of things, and has been shown to help with hearing loss and tinnitus recovery, even if unrelated to hearing loss by working against potential causes. It's inexpensive and easy to acquire, so if your research/physician say you can take it with your current medications or supplements, I recommend it. I grabbed a few off Amazon the other day for like $15 CAD.

      With regards to the ear fluid, I know the feeling. It's endlessly infuriating, especially if you can't figure out what it is or why it's there. Do you have a deviated septum or nasal congestion?

      The reason I ask is because I have a deviated septum (pretty common condition), and suffered from a feeling of pressure or stifling mostly in my right ear, and my doctor prescribed me some nasal spray. His theory was that my congestion or blockage was preventing my ear from draining correctly. Turns out he might've been onto something. Like I said, stuff to talk to your doctor about when you get a chance.
       
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      It feels good just to read that I'm not alone. I just wish it would go away! I already take tons of different supplements and medication which is why I'll probably have to have another talk with my doctor about Magnesium or the NAC. I actually just went out today and bought some disposable mouth guards to give that a shot as well. Part of the whole problem for me is that, if it is the TMJ, or even my tooth, I'll have to get surgery. Because of my health issues, and an irrational fear of the dentist (I was 5 and had a traumatic experience), I am scared out of my minddddddddddd to go that route. I'm hoping I can resolve it without the need for any surgery or tooth removal.
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      I will absolutely be looking into the NAC, and I'll check with my doctor about it as soon as I can actually get a hold of him, lol.

      As far as the fluid thing is concerned, I'm starting to wonder if it has something to do with my CPAP machine, in which case, that would really suck. I have been using it for years with no issue so I don't think it's the CPAP, but in trying to rule out other things, that can't be ruled out yet. Would really suck for one thing I need to be causing other problems. I will note though, whether it was just a "placebo" effect or not, I used a nasal spray last night and it seemed to help, even though I used it a few days prior and it did nothing. Everything is so confusing!
       
    18. Hasp
      Supportive

      Hasp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Likely related to Bupropion or TMJ.
      Yeah, sounds like we share a similar situation. There are so many variables that you need to rule out piece by piece and it's absolutely maddening going through the process. When you want to be rid of it and have silence now, needing to go through the process of figuring out where the root cause lies is a massive pain.
       
    19. BuzzyBee
      Jaded

      BuzzyBee Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      @Hasp, thanks for all the information on NAC. I've been reading about it through the years and wondering if it would help people who have had tinnitus for years. I bought a bottle, took one, then blamed it for spiking my tinnitus, which is kind of a pattern for me. I need to just stick with something for a few weeks and see if it helps. I think @Isabella 123 recently had some luck with NAC and she's way out of the acute phase.

      @TOFDS311, that is encouraging that the nasal spray helped! Most of the posts I've read here say they've had to use it for a while to really get results, so maybe keep on using it. I don't know anything about CPAP, but I read up on it just now (thanks, Google) and it seems like CPAP is related to ear issues. So maybe you are on to something! That makes sense. It's another thing you could talk to your doctor about. Maybe long term nasal spray will be the fix. And maybe NAC could help as well by thinning the fluid?
       
    20. Hasp
      Supportive

      Hasp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Likely related to Bupropion or TMJ.
      Aye, NAC can probably help by thinning the fluid as well as helping by working against some of the initial trigger mechanisms for tinnitus. I'm happy to help. ^^
      As I said to my friend the other day, even if your body is getting some of what it needs from your diet in order to make NAC itself, there's always an argument between having what you can naturally produce vs. having an optimal amount.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    21. Sayeed

      Sayeed Member Benefactor

      Location:
      miami fl
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/1/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      I read that the pressure needs to be adjusted on the CPAP machine or a different mask will help alleviate the increase in tinnitus. I'm concerned about this as well as the doctor ordered a sleep study... Please keep us posted on your progress.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      Sorry for not posting the last two days. On Saturday, I thought a miracle may have been bestowed upon me as MOST of the tinnitus had seemed to subside. I woke up Sunday and it was worse than it was the previous few days. I'm really just at the point where I just want to give up. All these tears I have shed, all the torture this is causing me, it just makes me wonder how long I can continue. My prayers have gone unanswered. I continue to suffer as the doctors just throw their hands in the air like they just don't care.

      I know as long as I'm here, I'm not alone. I know people have it way worse than me. I should consider myself lucky, people say. I don't feel lucky. I feel like I'm being endlessly punished. If this is what hell is like, I'm gonna need a promotion if I ever make it there.
       
    23. Rb86

      Rb86 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5/31/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      So sorry buddy. I really DO feel your pain.

      I absolutely do think the wisdom teeth coming in is related. I knew a guy whose tinnitus was affected after having a tooth pulled. The nerves are all related in that area.

      Work on the TMJ as that's a documented cause.

      Give yourself small goals to complete during the day, and take Melatonin to sleep at night. Drink plenty of water and eat well.

      Talk with a dentist, and perhaps consider a mouth guard for that TMJ.

      I think this will pass over time.
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      I'm actually concerned that having the tooth removed may make it worse. I don't think there's a win no matter what I do. Also, I'm not sure how my other ear would be affected, but I'm no doctor. The strange part is there is no pain at all. None.
       
    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      Wanted to post a small update to see if this is uncommon or something I should be more concerned about.

      For the last day and a half, my "good" ear has now basically become worse than my "bad" ear. The tinnitus is just as bad now, and I have this weird sensation similar to having fluid in your ears where when you knock on your head you can hear a "hollowness" to it. The weird part is knocking on one side of my head makes me hear the "hollowness" on the opposite side. I don't know what the heck is going on!

      Can someone explain what this might be?
       
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      I posted on here about a month ago about some sudden increase in tinnitus and overall losing my sanity over it.

      Since then, I have now seen an ENT, my primary doctor twice (who gave me steroids and antibiotics TWICE), a dentist (I had suspected maybe a wisdom tooth could have been the issue), AND I even rushed myself to the ER several days ago after waking up with almost no ability to hear at all.

      To recap, at the dentist, I was told the wisdom teeth were not an issue, but the TMJ may be having an affect. He did admit that he was "slinging crap at a wall" but said he saw no other reason from my x-rays that would cause it. When I went to the ER, I told them about my health issues and how bad my tinnitus has gotten. I told them that I was having weird sensations in my head, etc. They did a CAT scan and found nothing. On my discharge papers, the cause was listed as "tinnitus". NO WAY! The thing I TOLD them I had!? As for my primary, he originally suspected an infection, and gave me a second round of steroids and antibiotics which I have completed once again.

      I have even stopped using my CPAP the last few days because I felt like maybe there was some pressure building up from using it, but without using my CPAP, I feel awful, and it doesn't seem to have helped at all.

      I am already a paranoid person, but I can't help but seem to notice new things or different things happening. Sometimes when I press hard enough on my ears I can actually hear a pulse, like my heart beat. I am also extremely sensitive to loud noises, and over the last few weeks, the frequency has become so high that I can no longer hear certain noises. Whatever this is, it is not improving, and I don't know what else to do. My blood pressure has spiked as well the last few weeks and I'm not sure how much of it is stress related or if there are other issues. I'm scared to death.

      I am at the end of my rope. I have cried myself to sleep so many times and wondered how much longer I can go. I feel helpless, and everywhere I go, they turn me away with no answers or even anything to help me.

      PLEASE, SOMEBODY TELL ME WHAT TO DO NEXT. I FEAR FOR MY LIFE.

      I just want relief. I am so young and I have such a beautiful family. I cannot picture being deaf or not being here for them, but I have never in my life experienced such torture, and this is coming from someone who suffers from PTSD from horrible things in my life.

      Please, someone help me.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    27. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      If you have substantial hearing loss (or did that resolve?), they need to treat this aggressively. What was the dose of steroids they gave you? I would try to be seen ASAP by an Otologist (have your ENT give you an emergency referral) especially if you have sustained hearing loss (but I would go either way), they are an ENT sub-specialist that only deals with ears and they are a often a lot more clued in.

      Only caveat is if you are "sensitive" to noise, you may be experiencing hyperacusis, though, so do *not* let them give you an MRI as it can make it much worse (they are really ruling out rare things only with the MRI like an acoustic neuroma, which it doesn't sound like is likely in your case).
       
    28. GBB

      GBB Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Virus / Microsuction / Acoustic Trauma
      Try a Xanax for some momentary respite. It lowers the sound for me - it may give you some time to think more calmly.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      The steroids I was on was 10 mg of Prednisone. I started with taking 6 pills a day and reducing one pill every day until it was gone. I did that twice, with antibiotics. The hearing loss has not resolved. Just 2 weeks ago I could hear the "beep" on my thermometer and now I can't hear it at all. It's the same frequency and as loud as the tinnitus so it sounds the same. I've made another ENT appointment for a second opinion/deeper dive, but I cannot be seen for over a month.

      I am still experiencing the sensitivity to almost any noise. That seems to have gotten worse as well. I used my CPAP for the first time last night after not using it for days and woke up to almost the same thing. Only difference was that there was fluid in my ears today, and probably more than I've seen up to this point. I put a q-tip in my ear to soak the fluid up and they came out almost soaked.

      Since I cannot be seen by anybody anytime soon, I am really going into panic mode as I am afraid I will be entirely deaf soon. I called my doctor and he thought it would be wise to give me Valium and take me off of a similar medication I have been on for years (Klonopin). As of now I have yet to take the first dose, but I probably will tonight.
       
    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      TOFDS311
      Alone

      TOFDS311 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      My primary doctor just wrote me a script for Valium, and I will be going off of my other medication I am currently on (Klonopin). I am a bit worried about this change but I am so desperate I will do anything.
       
Loading...

Share This Page