Tinnitus and Hyperacusis from Pregabalin and Tobramycin Ear Drops

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Jackson Brady, Dec 30, 2022.

    1. Jackson Brady
      Wishful

      Jackson Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Different medications
      Hi. I am 22 years old.

      Before starting, I must say that I actually have some hearing damage from my younger years from using earphones a lot. I could hear up to 15 kHz - 16 kHz in both ears. Below ideal for my age at that time. I had had mild ringing ears for 6 - 8 years but I never really gave it much thought. I haven't gone to concerts or any extra loud events.

      So now moving on to my current story, the devastating one.

      I have been ruined by medication. I don't know how to explain this, I think I have done a lot of medicated damage. I'm down and devastated.

      I was taking Pregabalin, 50 mg, for a nerve pain issue. On the 10th day I developed high-pitched ringing, different and louder from before, along with hyperacusis towards high-pitched sounds like brake squeals, and sound distortions. As a result, I immediately stopped taking Pregabalin. I went to the ENT, did a hearing test, which was perfect in the speech range. He looked at my ears and said he suspected ETD as I had some negative pressure on the ear drums. He gave me BetaSerc, anti-allergic and some nose spray to use for a month. I also did Valsalva maneuvers.

      A month after the onset I also felt my Eustachian tubes were swollen. I went to the ENT again. He said there might be some inflammation and possibly some slight otitis externa. I had pain in my left ear. He also said my left ear drum seemed inflamed and slightly hurt at the top due to stretching by severe ETD. No perforation.

      I also got checked by another ENT to check for perforation, but there was none. He prescribed Ofloxacin ear drops to use only in the left ear. I refused because I had a very bad reaction to Fluoroquinolones and I wouldn't want to risk it again. Instead, after a long talk, he gave me Tobramycin ear drops. I researched them intensively and it showed no reports of any issue when applied to outer ear canal, it was only ototoxic if it reaches your system through blood stream, and even for that it was dosage dependent, or if it goes directly into the middle ear and inner ear through perforation. I also saw some posts of a few members here too. Hence there was a lot of pain in my left ear so after a few days on sitting on it, I tried to test my luck, well bad luck. I put only two tiny drops in my left ear and an hour later I started to hear engine rumbling sounds and severe sensitivity to vibration sounds, along with a drone sound on top of my already worse symptoms.

      I immediately took NAC, 1200 mg, and kept taking that for a few days. I had to stop the NAC, I will explain the reason a bit later. Maybe there was a tiny hole or something that both ENTs missed, but I still have no idea. I swore off the drops, threw the bottle in garbage can and fell into severe depression, what have I done to myself, every time I try to make myself feel better, it feels like I always get worse.

      I went back to the ENT. He tested my hearing and checked my ear drum. He said the ear drum was healed and the negative pressure had resolved. I told him about the ear drops and he said it wasn't possible as there was not any perforation, the ear drops couldn't have gone through, and even if they did, two tiny drops couldn't possibly do that much damage according to him. He suggested an acoustic reflex test and an MRI which I refused. I can't afford to get worse, I'm already feeling very low.

      I looked into Prednisone, but as I have been double devastated by medications, I swore them off and decided to not try it as some people here told that they got way worse while being on Prednisone. I'm also shit scared of getting diabetes from Prednisone. I hope many of you will understand this coming from a guy who has been damaged by medications twice, not wanting any more in his body.

      I had a hearing test, everything was ok in the speech range. I then checked myself online. I noticed that my left ear, the one I put the two ear drops in, can hear up to 14 kHz and my right ear can hear up to 15 kHz. I can't heard anything above that in either ear.

      Currently I have like 4-5 tones, some are reactive. A high-pitched tinnitus sound, a static, a flute type sound, cicadas, engine rumbling, and low-pitched drone sounds. It's a symphony. I also have sound distortions like crazy now. Some positivity is that the high-pitched sounds and cicadas stuff from Pregabalin have calmed down, but the low-pitch stuff and distortions I got from the Tobramycin ear drops are very much here and strong.

      I have loudness hyperacusis towards high pitch sounds, like car brakes squealing sound way louder, people talking loudly make me back off from them, and I have vibrations. I can literally feel a vibration in my entire head if I am near any power tool that creates vibration or any loud car engine, loud exhaust or any big backup power generator. I can hear a speaker playing bass from a mile away. The hyperacusis towards high-pitched sounds is from Pregabalin, the vibration is from the Tobramycin ear drops.

      I also looked into intratympanic steroid injections as I’m not too late for that, but I’ve seen posts of people getting worse or losing hearing from them, and I don’t want to test my luck anymore. I’m beyond devastated from the medical community. I don’t know what to do, I’m so confused as there are not right answers.

      Some things I have tried:

      I took NAC immediately for 4-5 days after the onset caused by the Tobramycin ear drops. Maybe it helped mitigate further damage, but it causes a histamine reaction in my body; I get insomnia and severe swollen Eustachian tubes from it. I can’t take it so I'm sad.

      Currently I’m taking Ginkgo Biloba, 40 mg, twice a day, a total of 80 mg per day, a multivitamin with lots of B vitamins and antioxidants added, and yesterday I started Magnesium with 3 different types of absorbable Magnesium forms, 200 mg total. I’m also looking into starting Ginger, 1000 mg daily, to reduce any inflammation as I believe that’s how Prednisone maybe works.

      So currently I’m two months out, it all started in October with Pregabalin, then went worse in November end from the Tobramycin ear drops.

      What should I do? I think my only shot is habituation but with so many sounds it feels impossible. Maybe Back to Silence can help? Or should I focus on getting steroids, or other supplements? I'm currently focusing on taking antioxidants.

      My ENT denied steroids because there isn’t any hearing loss in the speech range on the audiogram. I’m going to get higher frequencies tested at a different clinic soon.

      If anyone has any positive support, please reply kindly. I'm just not in a good mental state right now.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. ErikaS

      ErikaS Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Pennsylvania, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection/Ultra High Frequency SSHL in Right Ear
      Hey @Jackson Brady, thanks for sharing your situation. Although I did not acquire my tinnitus as you did, I too have 4-5 sounds that are all over the place - high hiss, electric cicadas, mores code beeping tones, and a straight tone that changes pitch based on sound. It’s all reactive to constant sound sources, especially high hiss. It’s all too much, so I can completely sympathize with you on how overwhelming it is. What we would do for one constant, non-reactive sound, right?

      What I can say is, given your situation, I truly believe the body needs to detox from the meds. So I would maybe reach out to a functional medicine doctor who can provide specific things/diet recommendations to help detox and lower inflammation response. If you do not have funds for that, then I would definitely look into those areas on the internet and others who have found improvement with that. If you have any autoimmune issues or your immune system responds wildly to things, you may want to check out the threads about low dose Naltrexone (LDN).

      I am so sorry you are here, but hopefully you can find some help and encouragement from many caring, experienced members.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jackson Brady
      Wishful

      Jackson Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Different medications
      Thank you for the kind words @ErikaS.

      What wouldn’t we do for a single stable sound. I wish.

      Anyway, I hope we both improve and post our success stories soon!
       
    4. Joe Cuber
      Angry

      Joe Cuber Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      Hey there @Jackson Brady - You asked for advice on how to deal with reactive tinnitus and dysacusis. I haven't experienced dysacusis, but I can tell you what I did to treat my reactive tinnitus.

      Brief background: For me, I have reactive tinnitus in both ears, although it's worse in my right ear. I've had intrusive tinnitus for 8 months, and my reactive tinnitus peaked in strength at around 2 months and then began to wane around 4 months. Like my primary unilateral non-reactive tinnitus, my reactive tinnitus comes and goes by the day. So, some days I don't have or barely have reactive tinnitus. Independently, some days I don't have my primary unilateral non-reactive tinnitus.

      I still have both currently, but the reactive tinnitus is much more mild. At its peak, I couldn't go to a park without it going completely bonkers. Now I can go to restaurants without it spiking. 20 minutes of squeaky shopping cart wheels still spike it though. Certain noises like fan noises will cause my reactivity to react a bit, but it's like a distant wind chime or whistle sound and it doesn't spike.

      So here's what I did to address my reactive tinnitus. In the beginning, I would cast YouTube nature sound videos like this one onto Nest Hub devices in the kitchen or bedroom:

      잠 못 이루는 비오는 밤과 숙면을 위한 최고의 비 소리, 백색소음 ASMR


      At first, I could only stand about 30 minutes of it--the reactivity was too much to handle. Over the course of about 2 months, I found that I could stand more and more until I could play it nonstop throughout the day.

      At the same time, I began exposing myself in small doses to environmental sounds. I began with 20-minute neighborhood walks (the birds would readily set off my reactivity). Then I went to parks. Then I would do 5-minute walks in small downtown areas or briefly visit a cafe. Then outdoor dining on off-meal hours. Then full on restaurants or bars for 30 minutes to an hour. This was over the course of about 6 months.

      A third thing I did was run an air purifier in my room at night. I found that it would set off my reactivity but it wouldn't spike it. So I'd sleep with it on the whole night. I also found that I could play the nature sound videos through a pillow speaker all night if the volume was low enough.

      Progress on the reactivity wasn't linear. Some days it was bad and some days good. But over time, it steadily subsided. At 8 months out now, it's not really an issue for me any longer. Only my unilateral non-reactive tinnitus (a loud hiss in my right ear) is bothersome on days it's present.

      I hope that helps, Jackson, let me know if I can clarify anything.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jackson Brady
      Wishful

      Jackson Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Different medications
      Did you use hearing protection while you were outside or did you expose yourself outside without any protection? I currently get setbacks from stuff like car horns or loud motorcycles if I try walking on the street. How should I do this aspect of the sound therapy?

      Besides, do you have any recommendations for any supplements?
       
    6. Joe Cuber
      Angry

      Joe Cuber Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Gradual hearing loss + a huge amount of stress
      I avoided walking on loud streets in the beginning. I picked quiet neighborhood streets to walk in. If I had to walk down streets like you describe, I would use earplugs. In general, I didn't wear protection in the beginning except when it was a long drive (like, over 30 minutes) or when I anticipated loud environments, like a loud restaurant.

      For environmental sound, I chose my locations carefully in the beginning--quiet neighborhood streets, quiet parks--so I didn't use protection. It would certainly cause my reactivity to rise but not enough to spike it for the day. If it did spike, it reset by the next day.

      When I started going to bolder places, like downtowns, supermarkets, restaurants, I would sometimes spike for the day, sometimes not. My approach was based on the theory that if I don't overprotect, I will acclimate my ears to the reactivity or even help my ears heal from the reactivity. Bear in mind I didn't experience much if any hyperacusis or noxacusis. If I had, I might have reconsidered my approach.

      For supplements, I've been taking Magnesium glycinate, Calcium, Omega-3, Turmeric, B12, and NAC regularly. I haven't felt any overt benefit from taking supplements, but I figure it doesn't hurt to take them.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jackson Brady
      Wishful

      Jackson Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Different medications
      I took Alpha-Lipoic Acid last week for 3 days. My high pitch tinnitus has been very intrusive since then, heavily spiked.

      Has anyone else experienced this? How long will it take to settle down? It's been nearly 7 days now.
       
    8. Aussie Lea
      Dramaqueen

      Aussie Lea Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne Yarra Valley
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      Your spike is probably unrelated to the ALA but usually spikes go down within 1-30 days. If it lasts over 30 days then I think it might be permanent increase.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jackson Brady
      Wishful

      Jackson Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Different medications
      @Aussie Lea, the spike went down after 3 weeks.
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jackson Brady
      Wishful

      Jackson Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Different medications
      5 Months Update:

      - Humming has calmed down a lot.
      - High-pitched tinnitus is still going strong, but not as loud and annoying as before.
      - Reactivity is like 50% better than in the beginning .
      - Hyperacusis has like 60-70% resolved (I think Magnesium supplements helped), I don't use earplugs for everyday sounds now.
      - My mental health has gotten better in terms of dealing with this condition.
      - I am still very wary of sudden loud noises and always take earplugs where i expect something loud.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Hug Hug x 1
    11. Jammer

      Jammer Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Thanks for the update, very encouraging. I try to be careful, but it's always the sudden unexpected noise trauma that gets me, like yesterday when I walked into the kitchen and my wife simultaneously dropped a dinner knife into the sink. Zing goes the ears. At least I no longer get mad because shit happens.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jackson Brady
      Wishful

      Jackson Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Different medications
      It does happen man. You gotta forgive yourself. Keep moving and getting better.
       
    13. Jammer

      Jammer Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Thanks brother.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    14. Mikko Halttunen

      Mikko Halttunen Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2023
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medicines
      Hello Jackson,

      We have a common situation, tinnitus caused by Pregabalin.

      I would like to know how you are doing now.

      Thank you and best wishes :)
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jackson Brady
      Wishful

      Jackson Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Different medications
      Hi, my friend. I am doing much better. My tinnitus is only properly audible in quiet places like my room. It is completely fine outside. My hyperacusis is healed about 90%, I say 90% because loud car horns still make me jump, otherwise my life has returned to normal. I am in my dream job right now and acing my work. I actually forgot about Tinnitus Talk for a while, but something in me said that it’s my duty to provide a helpful update to anyone suffering. I know when I was in the worst patch, I used to check success stories like crazy, they gave me hope.

      Now if I can be someone’s hope, I would love to be.

      Before you ask what helped, I’ll be honest: Magnesium + time + being proactive about not making it worse are the only things that helped me.

      I hope you heal too, best wishes!
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jackson Brady
      Wishful

      Jackson Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Different medications
      8 month update:

      - I no longer carry earplugs.
      - I can enjoy wedding ceremonies, but concerts are still on my never to do list lol.
      - My tinnitus is at an all time low, no longer reactive (my tinnitus sometimes spikes if I use headphones for a long time, my job requires headphone usage at certain times so can’t help it, but it resets to normal pretty soon after a good, quiet sleep).
      - I sleep in silence, tinnitus rages loud in pin drop silence, but I don’t care anymore, I guess habituation has kicked in to some extent.
      - I can count on one hand about how many times I have thought about tinnitus in the past 3 months.
      - My hyperacusis is a lot better (I still won’t fit on my loud exhaust on my car, kinda sad, but it is what it is haha).

      i remember how I used to look at Tinnitus Talk like crazy, it was all I had, crying, sobbing in desperation, looking to try anything and everything for relief but now life has moved on to other stuff. Things did eventually get better. I guess time and Magnesium helped the most.

      Thank you everyone here that made me see even a slight ray of hope. Love you all!
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 3
      • Like Like x 2
      • Winner Winner x 1
    17. Utdmad89
      Depressed

      Utdmad89 Member

      Location:
      United Kingdom
      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      You're lucky man, I got tinnitus last October as well and I'm still in a crap place.
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    18. Jupiterman

      Jupiterman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden loud noise
      Well done @Jackson Brady, this sounds like a relatively quick recovery from moderate tinnitus.

      I expect your young age would have aided healing.

      You have reduced perception and seem well on the road to habituating.

      I am happy for you and jealous too.

      Hopefully you should continue to improve.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jackson Brady
      Wishful

      Jackson Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Different medications
      Thank you. It wasn’t moderate but it wasn’t unbearable, if you check my earlier status updates you would know how I felt. 4-5 different tones raging my brain.

      Wishing for your recovery too!
       
      • Like Like x 1
Loading...

Share This Page