Tinnitus: 2 Weeks and a Half — From Loud Music or Ear Infection

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Gareth Davies, Jul 22, 2020.

    1. Gareth Davies
      Dreaming

      Gareth Davies Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most Likely Ear Infection (And / Or ETD)
      Hi Everyone,

      I'm 27; and two and a half weeks ago, I messed up.

      I was listening to some music on my earphones, and I accidentally turned the music up on said earphones to a high level (the earphones had a built-in volume control; I misclicked - you only have to mess up once, I guess).

      The smart thing to do would have been to take the earphones out immediately - instead, I kept the earphones IN and reached over to turn the volume down.

      From the peak high to the ever reducing volume from the earphones, the earphones were in my ears for 7-8 SECONDS MAXIMUM.

      I have no history of tinnitus before now (barring one time it lasted a day a 4-5 years back - a night club); and I've kept my ears safe from loud noises my entire life. I've always been careful.

      The Health App on my mobile stated the decibel level was 52 decibels. No idea if it's actually accurate - the previous day was a similar level as well, but the volume was definitely louder during the accident.

      First day: I was fine. No tinnitus. Maybe I was fatigued- can't tell if that was due to the end of a long shift on a Friday; general work tiredness from the week; poor sleep schedule...or something else.

      Second day: Muffled right ear. No tinnitus. Put my finger in my right ear (shallowly) to dislodge any wax - did not seem to do much. Put a mustard spoon's worth of olive oil in my right ear - "maybe it will help as it has so many times in the past" I thought. Left the oil in for 5 minutes flat.

      Third day: Morning: Eardrum seemed to be swollen. Blowing my nose causes my right eardrum to hurt badly. Evening: Tinnitus in right ear. Maddening. Fell asleep in fear.

      Fourth day: Saw my GP. He said the left ear looked fine. The right ear was infected and full of fluid.

      Fifth-12th Day: Tinnitus in the right ear - feeling of it moving to the left sometimes, but for the most part the left is quiet.

      13th Day Week: Left ear pops. Ringing in left ear begins.

      Now two and a half weeks later, and two weeks worth of antibiotics, the ringing is still there.
      Driving me insane.

      Running water, showers, a kettle boiling gives me a moment rest - giving me hope; but then it creeps back.

      It's in my head and in my ears - I'll lost track of whether it's my mind playing tricks on me / transfer of sound through blood; but both ears seem to be are ringing now? One is stronger than the other; and then it switches over - back and forth, back and forth - like a seesaw.

      GP won't see me again due to the pandemic - so I can't check if the infection is gone; he believes I haven't done any long term harm. Naturally, he can't look into my head to check if the eustachian tubes are inflamed/infected.

      He's not an ear specialist and has referred me to an ENT.

      The wait is anything from 6 weeks to 8 weeks.

      I have private medical care, but I'm scared to use it; having the incident go down on my work record and maybe lose my job "because you can't hear".

      Another, stronger part thinks - "Who cares; use it!"

      My hearing is fine; both ears. Birds calling, wind rustling, the patter of light rain. Small mercies.

      Spoke to my friend - he thinks I'll be fine too. He had tinnitus for a year due to a lifetime of heavy metal and concerts; made a good, if not complete recovery.

      Spoke to another friend - he listened to music in a recording studio (part of his job) with headphones and blasted his ears with studio grade stuff. He had two months of tinnitus and made a full recovery.

      What is this? Inner ear infection? Glue ear? Or...permanent tinnitus.

      My left and right ears hurt and feel wrong, besides the ringing. But sometimes the hurt goes away - a mind trick?

      Sometimes I think my right eardrum is almost "fluttering" over the ringing when I mask the T with low music or as I'm typing now, or maybe it's wishful thinking...

      The ringing move from one ear to the next at random - but I feel it in my head sometimes; especially at night.

      How long would an infection last? The internet says 3 days; other parts say 6 weeks.

      I have no way to tell what this is - and it's driving me mad.

      I'm afraid. I can't focus. I can't sleep. I'm depressed. I'm having dark thoughts. It's driving me insane - and it's only been a few weeks.

      I've never felt more alone.

      Is 7-8 seconds enough to de-rail my life?

      Thoughts; advice; opinions?

      Please.
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. Thuan

      Thuan Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Hi Gareth, I'm sorry to hear about your tinnitus. You probably got tinnitus from the infection and not the music blast. If it was from the blast, you will have tinnitus on both ears. Don't blame yourself. It isn't your fault. You're in the early stages so still have hope but don't hope on it everyday as it will just depress you if it doesn't disappear the next day. One thing I can say for sure is that the tinnitus volume will get lower in a month or a few months once your infection goes away and your inflammation is gone.

      What you can do now is try to get better sleep and do things that distract yourself. I know, it's really hard to get out of the negative mentality. I'm struggling every once in awhile.

      If you have trouble sleeping, YouTube some brown noise, pink noise, or white noise that lasts for 8+ hours when you sleep. If those are annoying to sleep with, then try to play some natural nature sounds like cricket sounds, fire cabin sounds, forest sounds, birds sound. The Beltone Tinnitus Calmer app for Android is pretty useful for nature sounds, but not so much for brown noise, pink noise or white noise. You can also open your window fully and let in the natural night sound to suppress some of your tinnitus volume.

      Don't use sound masker in the morning (unless you're up to your threshold panicking) because you want to get use to the ringing and slowly try to put it out of your mind as background noise. I know it's hard. It's hard for me on bad days and even good days I have trouble putting it out of my mind. But we can only try our best.

      Also, you can also try to get as much background noise in your bedroom for situations where you have to close your windows because it's too cold at night. In such situations, I'd get an old fashion really loud and noisy mechanical clock that gives the "tick tock" noise. You can also added a noisy mini refrigerator for more noise. Those appliance noises don't bother me and soothes me at night when I can't open the windows all the way. I plan to get a water tank with a noisy water pump... I'm starting to really dig appliance noises because I won't be reminded of tinnitus as often until I go to sleep.

      You might also want to buy some good supplements (Vitamin B-complex) to boost as much recovery as possible. However, if you get cloudy pee, try half dosage. Other people will get NAC, curcumin, and magnesium supplements but experiment with these because some people report positive AND negative reactions. If you notice NAC or curcumin spike your tinnitus, then stop the next day. Try it again a few days later and see if it does the same. If it does, stop it completely.

      Give your body as much vitamins to recover from your infection as best as it could. Maybe it will help or not but it's not that expensive to try. Try to eat healthy, like low sodium, no junk food, no fatty food, no canned food and etc.

      Final note, your ears are now damaged so be careful of loud noise exposure, such as standing next to a car honking, club music, and etc. Also, be aware of any future medications you take because some will worsen your tinnitus. If you get careless, your tinnitus will get worse and it's another uphill battle from there.

      Best wishes.
       
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    3. Steph1710
      Old hag

      Steph1710 Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antibiotics - I think
      Hi @Gareth Davies!

      Firstly, sorry to learn of your troubles. Tinnitus is awful right! However we on this forum can't fix you, but we can offer some good advice.

      I would say to begin with - use your private care and see a specialist! They may or may not be able to help, because if your T has a physical and fixable symptom, you want to sort it ASAP incase you miss an opportunity to do so.

      Right, now I have a question: what antibiotics did they prescribe you? I'm not sure if you're aware, but antibiotics like many other drugs can be ototoxic. This means they can damage your hearing and give you tinnitus. My T, for example, was caused by antibiotics. So if you are to have more of it, make sure you ask for one such as amoxicillin which is much safer for your ears.

      I'm no expert but it seems to me that your T is probably from noise exposure which was then exuberated by an ear infection. So hopefully when the ear infection completely goes, the T should settle down.

      In the mean time, look after your ears. Make sure you don't use headphones/earbuds and don't expose yourself to any loud sounds or places. Ears can heal but take an incredibly long time to do so.

      If you have to go anywhere loud, get yourself a good pair of noise cancelling ear muffs or a pair of earplugs which you can pop in if you find yourself in a suddenly loud environment.

      Right! Supplements! So many people on this forum have had various successes in slightly reducing their T with different supplements. Some of the ones promoted and which I also take are: magnesium/NAC/vit b/zinc/curcumin.

      Also if you're trying to mask your tinnitus, make sure whatever sound your using, to set it at a volume below the sound of your T, so that you're not trying to drown it out completely - just trying to give your brain something else to focus on.

      If you're having trouble sleeping, melatonin is a great natural sleeping aid which is non-addictive. :)

      So plan of action:

      Seek private medical care,
      Buy a good pair of earplugs,
      Stay away from loud sounds/places,
      Get on the supplements,
      Don't over mask,
      Ask for melatonin to help sleep

      Also give yourself time. When T first makes an appearance, it's often intrusive and overwhelming. We all understand that here - you're so not alone. T can, and does, often go away for many people. T does have a habit of settling down after a a few months. The first few months are incredibly tough/rough.

      You will be okay. It's such early days that I wouldn't bother panicking :) If you look after your ears, and start protecting, there's a good chance your T will begin to fade.

      I suggest if you are feeling hopeless, just read the many success stories on here... They always pick me up :)

      Lastly, feel free to rant and rave at us. We're a lovely bunch and people will guide/give advice where and when they can.

      Hope this all make sense and helps put your mind at rest a bit.

      Steph

      <3

      P.S even if your T does happen to be permanent, there are so many different treatments in the pipeline that hopefully in five years time, we will get to see at least one on the market. Never lose hope.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Gareth Davies
      Dreaming

      Gareth Davies Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most Likely Ear Infection (And / Or ETD)
      Thank you both for your answers :) Very friendly and informative.

      I was prescribed amoxicillin for those two weeks, just so you know.

      I'll immediately get on the supplement train (thanks for the mention of melatonin - I'll investigate that).

      Fortunately, I live in a reasonably quiet part of the world - so too much external sound exposure shouldn't be a problem; but I'll get some good noise cancellers anyway.

      No more over-masking either!

      I've begun to get in touch with my private health care provider - thank you for your input in that.

      I've never heard of pink or brown noise before - I'll have to check those out; thank you for the tip!

      ...It really means a lot - having someone to talk to about this; I'm very appreciative.

      It might be permanent...but you're right - I need to adopt a long view and remain hopeful...

      I'll be crossing my fingers.

      Thanks again.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    5. Steph1710
      Old hag

      Steph1710 Member

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Antibiotics - I think
      Sounds like a good plan Gareth. :)

      I'm currently three months into developing tinnitus. It's still hard at times, but overall it has settled down since the initial onset.

      Amoxicillin is one of the good guys. I'm actually asking for some tomorrow as I've managed to catch an ear infection from my earplugs. I was given drops, but it hasn't worked.

      Are you in the UK by any chance?

      This is what this wonderful forum is here for. It's certainly helped me in very dark times.

      <3
       
      • Like Like x 2
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Gareth Davies
      Dreaming

      Gareth Davies Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most Likely Ear Infection (And / Or ETD)
      Thanks :)

      I'm sorry to learn of yours as well - hopefully, as the months continue to roll by, it will disappear into nothing (as soon as possible, I hope)!

      Yep, I took amoxicillin for those two weeks - I've been told good things about it.

      UK citizen through and through; I'm so glad to have the NHS to talk to! The rain? Er, not so much...Okay I lie, I like the rain - pluviophile here.

      ...Do you mind if I ask another question?

      What is the scientific cause for tinnitus exactly? I know nobody is entirely sure yet, but I'm trying to rule out possible "why's" the noise could be happening - or does that path lead to madness?

      Loud Noises, Middle Ear Infections, Meniere's Disease, Glue Ear, Labyrinthitis cause it, but what is mechanically going on?
      • Is it the infected liquid behind the eardrum irritating / tapping the eardrum?
      • Are the ossicle ear bones going into over-drive and tapping with a furious pace (because of the infection)?
      • Damage to auditory nerves / inner ear hairs (I hope not!)?
      Is there a grand list of someone going into detail about this on the site maybe?

      I'll be asking these questions of my ENT as well, but I thought to ask.

      Yeah; this does seem to be the best online forum for it - somewhere to learn and chat with a friendly bunch! :)

      Thanks again :thankyousign:
       
    7. Thuan

      Thuan Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      I suppose you're asking for ear infection. No one really knows. I asked my ENT doc and he just gave a whole bunch of could be this or that but not definitive. So could be that the infection caused some middle ear scarring or eardrum scarring, or the infection had reached to your inner cochlea and killed some hair cells or that the auditory nerve was damaged. Could be that when you recover it didn't rebuild whatever was damaged correctly too, such as when you get an injury and it is never the same as before. In my opinion, it seems like the ears need near perfect homeostasis from what I've been reading. But they don't really know.

      But the consensus is that any damage that disrupts the auditory signaling causes the brain overcompensate with their own noise.

      If you look at the forum's research section, there's a thread where researchers are starting to find the model for tinnitus. It will probably take years if it's successful in modeling the exact mechanism why the brain does it's own rewiring to neurologically produce tinnitus sounds.

      The only thing ENT docs know for sure is when there's obvious causes like otosclerosis or acoustic neuroma (benign cancer).
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Gareth Davies
      Dreaming

      Gareth Davies Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most Likely Ear Infection (And / Or ETD)
      Hi All,

      Are there any non-harmful anti-inflammatories I can take for my ears?

      I have a feeling my T is related to it.

      I was prescribed Naproxen (after asking for an anti-inflammatory) but I’m refusing to touch it since one of its side-effects is tinnitus...

      Still waiting on my ENT appointment :bookworm:

      Anyone know how to mask high pitch T? Struggling to sleep at night - like many I’m sure.
       
    9. Thuan

      Thuan Member

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      @Gareth Davies For masking, it really depends on the severity of your tinnitus. Back when my tinnitus was mild, I could always mask it with nature sounds that you can find dozens in YouTube. Now that my tinnitus has spiked, only natural water sound and white/pink/brown noise fully mask it.

      Everyone is different with their own severity and preferences to sounds so you really have to experiment with different type of sounds and volume. Lately, I've been playing these in the background during the day and sleep but it does not fully mask it.

      As for non-harmful anti-inflammatory, you can try the natural approach such as using turmeric but people on this forum has positive and some has negative effects... However, it's best to try low dose medicine first by your doctor and monitor if it increases your tinnitus or not. A lot of ototoxtic meds only cause tinnitus side effects on very high dosage (hence rare side effects) but you should follow your doctor's opinions.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Gareth Davies
      Dreaming

      Gareth Davies Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most Likely Ear Infection (And / Or ETD)
      I've spoken to my ENT today; and after running a few tests - he believes my hearing is fine.

      No damage caused by the loud noise.

      The middle ear infection I had has gone (hurray!).

      My right-eardrum has apparently returned to normal (more hurray!)

      Buuuut, I apparently have ETD (boo!). Which would explain my continuing tinnitus.

      (I can also move the eardrum in the ear that had the infection, at will. Is that normal? Will that stop? The sound it makes is kind of sticky / like velcro when I move it.)

      I've been prescribed a daily nasal spray, and have been told to wait 6-8 weeks.

      (I'm also currently chewing bubblegum like my life depended on it, in the hopes it helps treat the ETD / assist in opening up the tubes.)

      I also think my T is vaguely somatic - seems to get louder in the car, or when I move around quickly.

      Anything else I can do to help with the ETD?

      I'll have a second opinion in a week's time as well.

      I hope everyone is okay; and getting better.

      Thanks again :thankyousign:
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    11. Kirstystired

      Kirstystired Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      @Gareth Davies

      Hi there,

      Im 3 weeks post partum and I have been told I have possible ETD but from hormonal imbalance as a result of delivery. I saw my GP and he prescribed me nasal spray mometasone and was told to bare with it and that it will get better but it takes time. I had similar advice from the ENT consultant who I paid for privately (as was a 6 week wait on the NHS) and he prescribed me prednisolone to see if it would help.
      The tinnitus has changed and often will switch from my ears , so i will wake up with symptoms in my right but by the end of the day it will be in my left. I think that this might be the nature of the beast so to speak. Apparently steam inhalation is meant to help and chewing, swallowing and pinching your nose and keeping your mouth closed and then blowing is what my consultant told me to do.

      If you find any other suggestions then please share ! Xx
       
    12. Gordon Steinberg

      Gordon Steinberg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      7/25/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Very Loud Noise
      Gareth, how are you doing? My tinnitus started around the same time as yours. Every day is a new battle but hoping as any of us as possible can get relief via natural healing.
       
    13. Andymo

      Andymo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Early May 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Possible earbuds and/oxoticity
      I had a middle ear infection which lasted 3 months until all the trapped fluid behind my ear drum dissipated. It will go away eventually: keep going!
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Gareth Davies
      Dreaming

      Gareth Davies Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/07/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most Likely Ear Infection (And / Or ETD)
      It’s improved over what it was, although it’s still very volatile at times.

      The left rarely rings anymore (touch wood!)

      The ear infection seems to have cleared up, but there’s still quite a bit of inflammation and pain inside the right ear. And there could still be trace fluids in there I suppose as well.

      High blood pressure seems to make mine worse for the short-term, so perhaps stay away from stimulants. I’d advise the same for alcohol.

      It’s much less noticeable in busy environments or outdoors in general - which I’m glad for.

      Ultimately, it’s a waiting game (for all of us), and keeping yourself distracted as best as possible in the meanwhile (i.e personal projects, favourite TV shows, etc).

      (I also turn a tap on and measure how much water is needed to completely mask it every now and then.)

      Good luck!
       

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