Three Weeks In, Hello

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Abacab, Jan 25, 2020.

    1. Abacab

      Abacab Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/7/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've been ghosting this board for a bit when I first noticed ringing in my right ear almost three weeks ago. Decided it was time to introduce myself. I'll go by Abacab for now, I'm 36 and male.

      On December 23 I was shooting with a friend. At one point we were talking and I took off my *left* ear muff so I could hear him. He wasn't paying attention and turned away and fired his rifle about 15 feet from me outside in a field. Didn't notice any ringing but I knew a gunshot unprotected wasn't good - obviously. I knew nothing about any emergency preventatives post acoustical trauma and carried on.

      On January 8th I woke up to this odd ringing sensation in my *right* ear. Tried not to focus on it but it got progressively more bothersome and I couldn't shut it out of my head. By the weekend I knew something was wrong as I was having pain in my right ear and really bad headaches so I made an appointment with an ENT. On the 16th I had an exam with CT scan. Sinuses were clear, ears weren't clogged, some scar tissue on my right ear drum from infections and tubes as a child. Asked me if I was hard of hearing in one ear (I was not) etc. Found no evidence of infection. He sent me home with a prescription for Prednisone and a hearing test.

      Walked downstairs for the hearing test and they found my left had normal hearing/function while my right ear had some high frequency loss at 8 kHz - not news to me. We did the tones and the word repeat back portion which I got all correct. She played a tone at 8 kHz and asked if that's what my tinnitus sounded like and I said yes.

      Her message to me was that it didn't look like a brain tumor, that the hearing loss on the right ear, which was muffed, is a legacy of the tubes and infections probably. As for my situation, she wasn't sure. It could be from the two bad colds I had over the winter and the amoxicillin I took or something else. As an aside, I have TMJ and have worn a bite guard for 20 years but no evidence it changes the tinnitus by opening my mouth, shifting my neck, etc. The only other thing to happen to me was I whacked my head on a metal pipe but it didn't break the skin.

      I took the course of Prednisone and the tone fluctuated a lot where it goes from ring to static and back. When I'm out doing things I don't really notice it except for some sounds that seem to trigger that static/hiss like noise. I've even taken the voodoo gamble of NAC and Magnesium because $30 out of my wallet for supplements with a longshot is better than not trying at all.

      Noticed a couple of days ago a slight warble effect in my left ear started that I'll notice if I put a set of ear muffs on. If I focus while sitting in the quiet I'll notice it too, or putting my left ear on a pillow etc.

      Like anyone in that acute stage, I'm utterly terrified, paralyzed and depressed that I may have this for life. I am insane about wearing ear protection when I shoot and avoid loud events because I remember what it was like to have a hard time hearing as a kid with ear infections alone.

      I try not to succumb to the despair I understandably see in so many posts. I'm always looking for anecdotes about people recovering in instances like this - different from just learning to live with it. I realize that is necessary for many here and I'm not mocking it. I can't imagine what it's like to suffer from chronic tinnitus though I know that's a very real possibility. The ENT gave me another course of Prednisone and his view was it won't hurt but it might not do anything either.

      What I don't understand in my situation is why I started hearing noise in my right ear as it was protected and it's very different from the new noise in my left. Will it heal? Did the cochlear cells get blasted away? Is this my life going forward?

      Thanks for taking the time to read this.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. StarrySky
      Magical

      StarrySky Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss, small ear canal
      I am just like you although how I got it is different. I have had small ear canals since I was born which have caused a number of hearing problems for me including tinnitus. It's caused sensitive hearing which has made me not go to any loud concerts, asking people to talk quieter too. I'm not sure if you're tinnitus though will ever go away to be honest. Mine certainly hasn't gone away for years but... I've learned to live with it and some days, the tinnitus is loud and it can be bothersome but others, the tinnitus while still there is quiet. I just hope you know that you are not alone in this situation. I've learned that the more I panic about the tinnitus, the louder it will be. I wish you luck with this though. :)
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Abacab

      Abacab Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/7/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Well I wish you had better words for me lol but I appreciate your sentiments and empathy!
       
    4. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Abacab

      Abacab Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/7/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
    6. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I have been reading the posts in this forum for the past three years now. Many people who got tinnitus as a result of being exposed to a gunshot, eventually got better. Some haven't gotten better...

      What dose had you been taking when you took Prednisone?

      In any case, be easy on your ears, try to make sure that you don't get a secondary acoustic trauma. You might want to avoid even the moderate noises during this vulnerable time of healing. The next 6 months will likely be a nightmare, but hopefully eventually (2-3 years from now) you will get to have your life back (and hopefully you will feel a lot better sometime during your first year after the onset).
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Abacab

      Abacab Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/7/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I've been taking the pack which is a six day course, second time now. They are spaced out 4mg doses which I believe some here have argued is too low.

      The part that really makes me confused is why I experience the Tinnitus largely on the right ear when it was the left exposed to the gunshot.
       
    8. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      According to my doctor, the rule of thumb is that its 1 mg per 1 kg of your weight, not to exceed 60 mg...
      It's weird. But soon it won't matter. Tinnitus often spreads to the other ear (after 6-12 months).
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Abacab

      Abacab Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/7/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Not good news....
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Abacab

      Abacab Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/7/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thought I'd post an update.

      Went to my old ENT yesterday to get a second opinion. He had 12 years of hearing tests on me and apparently there has been no change over those twelve years.

      Basically he said to me they're pretty ignorant on tinnitus and that I've done everything I can do with the two courses of steroids and any magic pills that I'm taking. His best educated guess was that the noise started on the right as a reaction to the left side's noise induced trauma given that the right was already suffering from a deficit (hearing loss at 8000hz from chronic ear infections). The best thing I can do, in his opinion, is give it time.

      As for the tinnitus, the past two days have been my most functional. It's still there for sure, but it has either subsided some or my brain is adjusting.

      The right ear is no longer piercing and painful when I hear things - it's more like a summer night inside your house with mild crickets. The left has "wawawawa" if listen for it, but when I'm doing things I don't notice.

      Don't know if it's a long term improvement or if I'm going to recover entirely; it's only two days. I am hoping and praying that it continues to get better and that sometime soon I'll hear silence again.
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1

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