Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Worsened After Taking Turmeric for Back Pain

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Jerad, Sep 19, 2021.

    1. Jerad

      Jerad Member

      Location:
      Ohio; United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication ototoxicity
      Hi, my name is Jerad. Recently, my hyperacusis and tinnitus were only mild. I had improved very significantly with hyperacusis. I’d say my LDLs were around 80-85 decibels, which made everyday life tolerable for the most part. As for my tinnitus, I had habituated to it and it wasn’t bad. I didn’t even think about it.

      But about 6 weeks ago, I relapsed due to taking a herbal supplement (Turmeric) for 6 days — for back pain.

      It has collapsed my sound tolerances very significantly and increased my tinnitus. I’d say I’m hyperacusis category 3 based off my measurements of the sounds bothering me with sensitivity; maybe borderline 4.

      My tinnitus has changed, too. I have new sounds I’m dealing with - a morse-code type sound in my left ear and an unbearable, erratic humming that sounds like a lightsaber from Star Wars and varies in intensity; and I have an increased high frequency ring in my right ear. The humming sound was previously there before the turmeric, but it was only mild and could only be heard in a quiet room. So I hardly ever noticed it.

      Now, it interferes in 9 out of 10 rooms and is much, much louder. It’s very intrusive because it’s like a pulsating drone-like sound that is constantly changing — not one pitch. At the advice of hyperacusis experts, I was trying a pink noise with a CD and the lowest volume on a pair of open-ear headphones. Around that time, the unbearable humming seemed to get a lot worse and has been that way for 3 weeks straight now. It comes and goes in intensity, but never leaves entirely unless I’ve been on a car ride for a long time or a lot of sound exposure (not loud, just 50-60 dB, like a car ride). I’m worried that I’ve made myself worse with the headphones, trying to help myself, even at the low volumes and only trying it for 5 days a few hours each day. I don’t use them anymore now. I saw Michael Leigh’s posts about headphones after I used them and wished now I had seen this info before use to steer clear.

      Do you think this spike could recover? It’s been over 3 weeks with fluctuating intensity, but pretty nonstop. I’m so regretful.

      I have the appointment with the audiologist next week to assess my options for treatment and possibly WNGs. I’m worried, though. Since I spiked so bad with the headphones, it seems, and it isn’t getting better yet, will the same thing happen with the WNGs? I don’t want to keep making myself get worse. What is the best path forward with treatment? Should I lay low and just take in sound naturally and avoid WNGs? It seems like I get spikes from broadband noise. I have an Oasis machine and tried it for a an hour last night. It didn’t seem to bug me at the time and the pink noise exposures don’t bring about pain at the time, but later I seem to have a bad spike, like this morning that subsided.

      It’s so hard to identify what does and does not spike you with the tinnitus and hyperacusis combo because it’s so erratic and random. Even on a day where you didn’t do sound enrichment, it starts spiking at times. I’m not sure how to proceed. Maybe I’m worse than I think I am hyperacusis-wise, but a car ride doesn’t generally bother me that much. Voices are hard to handle now and most everyday sounds. I’m only wearing earplugs in the shower and limiting my use beyond that. My tinnitus is what others describe as reactive, probably because of hyperacusis. The morse code sound will, for example, get louder sometimes when it is confronted with a certain sound, whereas it’s quieter when not being confronted by sounds. And when the humming is raging, that causes the morse code to speed up or almost take on a metallic tone.

      Given all this info, how should I proceed with treatment, in your opinion? Would I benefit from a steroid in case there has been some cochlear damage? It has been a few weeks since this unfolded. Thanks so much.

      P.S.

      I had a pair of WNGs from the past, but they are no longer working properly. I have an appointment with an audiologist to assess my options.
       
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    2. Butch

      Butch Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      9/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accustic trauma and hearing loss.
      Hi Jerad. You should probably give your ears as much of a break from semi loud or prolonged semi loud noise as much as possible for a couple of weeks. In the meantime if you can tolerate a mild pink noise etc, I would use it as much as possible as long as it doesn't make things worse. You want to make sure that your ears are getting sound to them so as to not allow your hyperacusis to get worse. Basically try to give your ears a bit of a break. Try not to get too stressed out over it, stress and anxiety will just make it worse. Drink a lot of water and stay away from salt and sugar for a while and things could very possibly go back to what they were before.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jerad

      Jerad Member

      Location:
      Ohio; United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication ototoxicity
      Thanks for the reply. Ya, I’m taking it easy and have been fine-tuning my diet. Water and no salt. I need to cut out sugar more - I just have fructose usually from fruit.

      With this situation, the anxiety’s been killing me, though. The last 2 days, I was only able to sleep 2 hours total. The night prior, I lied awake in bed all night, desperately trying to get to fall asleep. It was weird because I was drained and tired, but the anxiety wouldn’t let me drift off. I think it must be adrenaline and I have remorse for the situation, as I feel like I wasn’t careful enough. Even though I thought I had dotted all my i’s and crossed all the t’s, and was doing the right things.

      The headphones exacerbating my tinnitus so much has been very hard because I feel like it’s created this debilitating form of tinnitus that is so intrusive. I was already very fragile prior to that and then it hit me, too.

      My tinnitus in my left ear is now humming and drumming erratically, and droning/thumping at times. It’s pretty nonstop. It’s like pulsatile tinnitus. Is it possible to habituate to that? It comes and goes in intensity. Sometimes it’s a 2/10 and sometimes an 8. But the rhythmic nature of it is annoying.
       
    4. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I had the exact same experience early on. Almost as my heart would begin to race just as I drifted off; couldn't sleep at all.

      I took 20 mg Hydroxyzine (known as Atarax/Visatril) and it helped to break the vicious cycle of perpetual anxiety. It's safer than benzos and doesn't build tolerance. If you choose to use it, just be careful if you use it for more than 2-3 consecutive days, because it maybe affected my tinnitus and hyperacusis, but I'm not completely sure. It should be one of the safer alternatives though.

      Hope you get some sleep soon,
      Stacken
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jerad

      Jerad Member

      Location:
      Ohio; United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication ototoxicity
      @Stacken77 thanks for the help. I have managed to get some sleep lately (around 5-7 hours each day), but it’s very broken up. I wake up hourly and toss and turn a lot. I didn’t take any meds yet to aid in sleeping. I appreciate the suggestions.

      I also looked into 5-HTP. Have you ever used it?

      My recent tinnitus spike is sitting at a 2 or 3 out of 10 right now (loudness). However, it ramps up to 8 or 9 at times. It’s very random. Do you think that the low points mean that it could eventually settle permanently to a lower level?

      It’s been 5 weeks since the headphones at low levels caused a huge ramp up on my tinnitus. I was advised by someone knowledgeable in hyperacusis to use open-ear headphones for pink noise at low levels. I didn’t realize the danger. I’ve been really upset about it. My tinnitus was previously a 1/10 pretty much. Lately it’s been debilitating.
       
    6. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      That can be expected. I still wake up at times during the night, but I do fall asleep again rather quickly. I think I've only slept through a full night without waking up 3-4 times the last 7 months, but I still feel rested, even though I wake up.
      I have not.
      Yes, definitely, it's a good sign. Try to minimize the spiking, if you know what causes them. Eventually things ought to stabilize.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jerad

      Jerad Member

      Location:
      Ohio; United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication ototoxicity
      Thanks for the reply @Stacken77.

      Glad you’re getting sleep overall. Dealing with all this is tough.

      I’m having the hardest time with the new onset of tinnitus. The new level is really bad when I’m at home. Any environment below 35 dB, it is heard. It’s this droning hum and motor engine sound and there’s the oscillation. So it seems like a sound that would be impossible to habituate to. This same sound (the hum) was there before I was using those headphones, but it was much quieter (like level 1 out of 10). So it wasn’t a problem. Now it’s ramped up to a 6 or 8 when it’s bad, and sometimes it gets quiet for periods and rests at a 2-3. It’s strange because the headphones were at the lowest volume and I don’t know if the ear was shocked or damaged due to already having tinnitus and hyperacusis or what.

      Do you think I should get on Prednisone to try to reverse possible damage? It’s been 5 weeks almost since this started. Overall, there haven’t been big improvements, just those moments of fluctuating intensity.
       
    8. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I know how it feels, but hopefully things will get easier as time passes, although it can take a long time. Mine fluctuates constantly in response to low level sound which can be extremely distressing at times, but I can still do a lot of tasks that require concentration because I've listened to it so much and gotten used to it.
      Lowest volume shouldn't have caused damage, in my opinion. But if we have preexisting tinnitus and hyperacusis, the ears are in a state of vulnerability, and the tinnitus may latch onto the slightest hearing loss.
      I don't have any experience with Prednisone since I missed that boat. My country are kinda restrictive with steroids. I called the national health consulting hotline 5 days after my acoustic trauma, but was denied since they said the window of opportunity is like 48 hours. Having read the forum, I think Prednisone can have a positive impact for way longer than that. 5 weeks is a long time though, so I doubt it would do anything, but maybe you could ask a doctor if they think it's reasonable?

      Wish you well,
      Stacken
       
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