Tinnitus Again! Thank You Sir, May I Please Have Another

Discussion in 'Support' started by DogWhistle, Jun 30, 2015.

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    1. DogWhistle

      DogWhistle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      So the gift that keeps on giving came down my chimney again. After 4 months of ultra high pitch tinnitus in my right ear that I was just really habituating to, I woke up Sunday morning with this completely new tinnitus in my left ear, much louder than anything I've ever had before. It's a much lower in frequency than my "old" tinnitus - about 7500 hz.

      I woke up Sunday morning after a good night's sleep and immediately noticed that something was wrong with my left ear, like it felt "fallen out", or like there was some offset, so as I walked around our house I felt like my head "wasn't turned right" compared to the way the world sounded. But this feeling dissipated by afternoon.

      On top of that, there is this 7500 hz tone I can hear in my left ear.

      Some really weird fun facts:

      - When I produce my own sounds, like whistling or speaking loudly, I get this weird reverberation in my left ear. If I whistle, I can still hear the whistle in my left ear a quarter-second after I stop. External sounds are totally normal.

      - When I woke up Monday and Tuesday mornings, the tinnitus was completely gone, I heard absolute silence. The tinnitus then "phased in" as I got out of bed and started stirring. It gradually gets louder for the first hours of the day, and then reaches a "stasis" level by about 9 or 10 am.

      - For the last week or so, I've been having these dull pains throughout my face. The pains stopped the morning I woke up with the new tinnitus.

      - This morning, I felt this sharp pinch, sometimes inside my left ear, sometimes in back-left corner of my throat. It went away and hasn't come back.

      I'm a "depressive realist" so I don't really have as much hope it will go away as a newbie would. My most "realistic" theory is that a virus got all up in there in killed some hair cells for the thrill of sport, or else it took pleasure in gnawing at my auditory nerve. (Something like that happened to my vestibular nerve about 6 years ago, leaving me with permanent visual-coordination issues.)

      So any thoughts anyone? I am seeing an ENT in a few hours.

      PS: Thanks Intelligent Designer, great job with that nervous system. Elegance at the expense of robustness is my design philosophy. Fight the good fight - You stay in those Kansas biology textbooks!
       
    2. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      I have this too. Sometimes I also feel it ''in between'' in the gums. Turns out my TMJ on this side is completely mangled.
       
    3. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Tinnitus is going to be harder to understand or treat than whatever is causing your pain and jaw problems. So, start there, if you get lucky it might do something for the T.
       
    4. DogWhistle

      DogWhistle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Well, I went to the ENT a few hours ago. I did an audiogram that said I have very slight hearing loss right around the frequency where I'm hearing the tinnitus. The doctor prescribed me Medrol in case it's caused by a virus - can't wait to get f%@#ed up on that.

      I said to the doctor, "if I have tinnitus right now, isn't it already too late for a steroid?" And he responded emphatically "No! You're only 2 days in. A steroid might help as much 2 weeks after." He said the goal of the Medrol is to "hopefully get my hearing back up." This is really confusing to me, because I thought that once hair cells are dead, they're dead. Why does he think a prednisone-based steroid course could "bring my hearing back up"?
       
    5. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Just like pretty much anything in biology, hair cells do not just exist in a binary states of dead and not dead, but rather as a spectrum between healthy normal functioning and completely gone. The role of steroids is to reduce the body's immune response to inflammation/damage so the non-healthy cells do not commit apoptosis which is irreversible. This is why it is only effective early, some might say even in the few hours following the traumatic event. If the body has already started getting rid of damaged cells then it is too late for steroids treatment.
       
    6. DogWhistle

      DogWhistle Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Thanks so much for that info, Nucleo, that was very helpful.

      I've heard from a few sources something about some cases of tinnitus being caused by cochlear hair cells "toppled over" but not dead. It surprises me that I've never read anything like that on this forum.

      The most elegant way I've heard this explained, is that cochlear hearing damage is like sitting on the grass. If you put a heavy object on the grass and flatten it, then pick it up a little while later, the blades of grass will gradually get back up and continue living. But if you put an object on the grass for a longer time, the grass will die underneath and stay dead when you remove the object.
       

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