Tinnitus and Hyperacusis/Ear Sensitivity After Microsuction and MRI

Discussion in 'Support' started by Aaaron8, May 28, 2020.

    1. Aaaron8

      Aaaron8 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi All

      Apologies for the long post but please bear with me.

      I have had tinnitus now for over 2.5 months and it's been a struggle.

      Likely caused by noise exposure in my early 20's (I have some mild hearing loss in high frequencies) however it came on slowly. I had a muscle spasm/beating noise in my ear for a few months and the doctor thought it was due to impacted wax and I was referred to have it removed. I was talked into microsuction by ENT nurse as it's quicker and during current times I think they wanted me in and out of the office as quickly as possible.

      After the procedure I went home and made a cup of tea and the sound of a tea spoon on a cup hurt my ear. Other things hurt my ears like plates and people coughing etc. I'm assuming this is hyperacusis from reading similar threads on this forum. The tinnitus came on slowly that night and a week later came on my good ear too.

      This continued for about a month and then I spoke with an audiologist. He told me this is normal after microsuction and that it should go away after a month or two. He told me to listen to pink noise and that I needed to expose my ears to noise again to help with sensitivity.

      To his credit after I relaxed and followed his instructions the sensitivity did go away after a few weeks of that and I had no problems with plates and cutlery again. Not sure if it fully went away but my ear felt normal again. No fullness no pain. This coincided with the tinnitus decreasing to just a hiss that was hardly noticeable.

      However, in the past few days I have noticed that my tinnitus has spiked in both ears and that the ear pain is back now whenever I hear any cutlery or noises like before. Seems to be worse than before and still only affects my bad ear.

      I had an MRI 2 weeks ago of the head and ear and there are no issues apparently but still waiting to see an ENT for assessment. I wore earplugs during the MRI so I thought I was fine but my tinnitus did increase after this. I did have a lot of stress over past few weeks at the fear of a neurological condition. But the neurologist said the tests were fine.

      Fast forward two weeks and I am totally at rock bottom just now and if anyone can help answer my questions that would be greatly appreciated.

      Is this likely to be hyperacusis or is it possibly noise anxiety? There is no doubt that there is pain and ear fullness feeling but it subsides shortly after any irritant noise. I have read that hyperacusis pain lasts for days? And the fact it went away for me before in a month seems rather quick.

      Could this be TTTS? Any literature I have read suggests that TTTS comes on after tinnitus starts. But I had the ear spasms long before this (approx 2-3 months). This seemed to happen right after microsuction.

      I don't really know what to do as NHS aren't having any new ENT appointments for the foreseeable and I don't know what's the best thing for my recovery.

      @Michael Leigh I know you have a lot of experience in the above and recovery, have you got any advice?

      Thanks all.

      A
       
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    2. Orions Pain
      Dreaming

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      This sounds like hyperacusis. You said you had noise exposure in your twenties. Then the microsuctioning did more damage but you got lucky and it went away. Noise damage is cumulative.

      MRI was another strike. Unfortunately they are loud even with ear plugs and your ears were already in a vulnerable state.

      Hyperacusis is different for everyone. Some have delayed pain. Some have immediate pain after sound. Some pain lasts for a few seconds while for some it lasts for minutes or hours. For some it manifests as a burning. It’s all highly variable. The thumping you’re having is likely to be TTTS, it can exist with or without tinnitus/hyperacusis.

      The best thing to do is avoid loud noises from here on out as best as possible and do pink noise therapy. Each re-injury will be worse and harder to heal than the last one.

      Sorry you’re also going through this :(
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Aaaron8

      Aaaron8 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for your response. I worked in bars and clubs when I was in my early 20's that's why I thought my ears would be a bit beaten up. But I have never had any difficulty with hearing. Even now my hearing seems to be the same in both ears.

      I am hoping and praying that this subsides and isn't the 'norm' from now on. I didn't realise that borderline mild hearing loss (25dB) could cause this.
       
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    4. Orions Pain
      Dreaming

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Very little is known about hyperacusis, even less so than tinnitus. Based on a standard audiogram I don’t have any hearing loss and I’ve had hyperacusis for 7 months now :/

      It seems that some people are just more susceptible to it. I’m sure thousands of people get MRIs each year, work in bars, musicians, etc yet very little get hyperacusis.

      I hope things improve for you. According to long term sufferers, noise injuries to heal but they just heal very very slowly and it’s very important to protect your ears in the meantime. The 85 dB being safe rule doesn’t apply to us.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Aaaron8

      Aaaron8 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have started to use pink noise again however this time it hurts my ear which it didn't before.

      I have turned it down to a lower level but I can barely hear it. I am not sure if I should persist with the ear ache as its not loud enough to cause further damage or stop.

      It sucks that we are the unlucky ones. However I keep trying to tell myself that there are a lot worse conditions and illnesses out there that I could have.
       
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    6. Orions Pain
      Dreaming

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Ahh I’m sorry. Perhaps you should let your ears rest a bit before doing pink noise while your ears are still highly sensitive. I’m no doctor but I think pain is the bodys way of warning you. I know the ears aren’t similar to muscles/sprains, but someone who is fresh after an accident doesn’t go straight to physical therapy right? Some healing has to happen on it’s own before you start therapy.

      It does suck :( just knowing something as simple as sound can be your enemy and for most people it’s a non issue. But hopefully with time things get better
       
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    7. Flyingsheep
      Sheepish

      Flyingsheep Member

      Location:
      Cleveland, OH
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I just had an MRI and could only wear foam earplugs because they were scanning my neck. They rushed me while I was having difficulty putting the earplugs in (I always do) so I don't think I got them in as far as they needed to be. Definitely quite loud, though it was only for 12 minutes. My ears were ringing pretty bad immediately after, and going to sleep at night was pretty terrible. I was having a bad day coincidentally with tinnitus and it could have been a coincidence. Since then it has dropped significantly and I'm back to normal without any sensitivity. So you could be fine. I think MRIs may be more dangerous to tinnitus and hyperacusis sufferers if it's over 30 minutes, since some can last over an hour.

      Don't let staff rush you during any kind of appointment, especially when getting an MRI. That's the number one thing that pisses me off is this super rushed in and out thing, but the thing is they are working for you and getting paid for it, so you have the authority to take control of the situation and not allow them to pressure you in and out.
       
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    8. Orions Pain
      Dreaming

      Orions Pain Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      YES the last part is so important! You’re the one paying money for the procedure. It’s also your body not theirs, you will be the one who pays the price. Workers in hospitals do rush you a lot because they’re forced to. Greedy insurance companies and corporations force them to be this way.

      For example, our family dentist usually allocates an hour for a cleaning. They recently sent out a newsletter that the insurance company they work with was forcing them to cut down the cleaning time to 30 minutes (to get more patients in).

      They didn’t want to sacrifice quality of service so they dropped working with that insurance.

      Techs and employees are usually abiding by rules set upon them but it’s still important to make sure you get proper care

      Also to anyone having an MRI - PLEASE watch videos on how to properly insert ear plugs. Most people just stick em in and that’s not correct and then they fall out and they get hurt during their MRI. There are tutorials on YouTube.
       
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    9. Flyingsheep
      Sheepish

      Flyingsheep Member

      Location:
      Cleveland, OH
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yeah, looks like insurance companies have been running the show for a long time. This has to stop somehow...

      I've watched those videos, I still cannot seem to ever insert them all the way. They were in but I could feel that they could have been in further. So I probably had like a 20dB reduction instead of 34dB. So that's like 80-85dB I got slapped with but only for 12 minutes, which hopefully means I'm fine.
       
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    10. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      If you need another MRI at some point, try the "silent" type. This already maxes out at 70-75db without ear protection (and of course at 40-45 db with normal ear protection), so it's hardly a risk anymore. Had two of those so far, gave no issues at all.
       
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    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Aaaron8

      For some reason I did not receive a PM Alert even though you wrote my name @Michael Leigh I have only seen your post by chance.

      From what you describe it seems that you have oversensitivity to sound which could indicate hyperacusis. Whenever you have Microsuction or Ear irrigation, you should apply olive oil/ear drops to each ear 3x a day for 10 days before having the wax removed. This will usually loosen it sufficiently to allow easy removal. Failure to do this may result in developing tinnitus or making pre-existing tinnitus worse. It can also cause oversensitivity to sound or hyperacusis.

      Since you live in the UK I advise you not to go anywhere private for treating tinnitus or hyperacusis. You will get the best help and long term aftercare for these conditions under the NHS, that no private treatments can match in the UK I assure you. I have been an out-patient for 23 years and have had good treatment.

      Please click on the links below and read my posts and hope you find them helpful.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/acquiring-a-positive-mindset.23969/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-the-negative-mindset.23705/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-habituation-process.20767/
       
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    12. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      It sounds like a bit of hyperacusis, but as you describe it, it does not sound like a very bad case.

      Probably the MRI made an impact, it's so loud! Ears heal very slowly. Try to relax and give it time; see if you feel better in a few months. It is a slow process.
       
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    13. Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      I'm so sorry to read that this has happened to you too. Please read my post entitled "the dangers of microsuction" :-(
       
    14. dipp
      Moonlighting

      dipp Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Spain
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Maybe stress and acoustic trauma
      Do you know what is the model of the machine? Pianissimo feature maybe?
      My ENT advised me to perform a MRI, but I don´t want to risk my hearing even more... 70-75dB sounds very fine.
       
    15. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      I checked, and you're right: it's the Pianissimo. Link is in dutch, but the main facts should be clear with Google translate:

      https://www.openmrizen.com/nl/ons-centrum/mri-onderzoek/
       
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