Tinnitus for 5 Days Post MRI and Very Worried

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Cassandram, Apr 15, 2018.

    1. Cassandram

      Cassandram Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      5 days ago
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      recent MRI for lower back and high levels of anxiety/stress
      I had an MRI scan on my lower back 5 days ago. I've had MRIs before and they have never been an issue. For some reason this one seemed much louder (I attributed it to being all the way in the tube rather than past ones where it was just my foot). When I said something to the tech she assured me that I had the proper earmuffs on and that my hearing was protected. There was one sequence at a very high frequency that was extremely irritating to my ears. When I left the clinic my ears felt a little ringy. I said something to the techn again and they said it was just the vibrations and I would be fine. That night when I lay down to sleep I got really bad ear ringing and now 5 days later I still have it. I'm also noticing some heightened sensitivity to sound and feeling of fullness in my ears. I spoke to the doctor who runs the clinic and he said he has been scanning people for 12 years and has never heard of a problem. He was very nice and legitimately concerned but kept reassuring me that they have set protocols for the machines and ear protection and he'd never had a patient end up with a problem. He said it's possible the high frequency set something off in my ear and suspected it would resolve in few days.

      I saw an ENT doc a couple of days ago. They tested my hearing and said it was good. They also examined my ears and said they looked healthy (no fluid, etc.). The ENT doc said he had very occasionally seen this after an MRI or stressful event to the body (surgery). He said it was an acute stress response and said it will likely go away in a few weeks. In addition to the acoustic trauma of the MRI I have been extremely stressed and anxious recently and I'm struggling with pretty bad allergies so these things could have contributed.

      Since it's early days I would like to do everything I can to increase the chance that it goes away and go away quickly. I'm trying not to be anxious about it and to reduce my overall stress (which has been extremely high lately) as I know stress can make it worse and get you into a loop but easier said than done! It's causing a lot of sleep disturbance (I'm trying different masking apps) and causing difficulty with concentration at work (I'm a therapist so it's quiet in the room and I have be very focused).

      Does anyone have advice on things I can do now in the early days to improve my chance of recovery? I read on this forum that a short course of steroids can sometimes help early on but the ENT doc said steroids have side effects and he prefers not to use them in cases like this. Everyone seems to keep telling me that this will likely resolve but it hasn't improved at all.

      I would appreciate any advice or support. I'm only just starting to read through this forum and it's a bit overwhelming. Plus, I'm trying to balance educating myself about it without giving it too much attention.

      Thank you,
    2. dingaling

      dingaling Member

      London UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown, probably loud music
      Hi Cassandra and welcome to the forum

      Yes, you are right, anxiety and tinnitus go hand in hand and an increase in one increases the other

      You already know you have to reduce stress which can be done through relaxation, meditation and use of sound therapy (e.g. calming, neutral sounds such as those found in nature)

      It is unlikely any damage has been caused; your ENT have reassured you about this and the best way forward is to find strategies to reduce your anxiety.

      Try not to focus on your tinnitus as this will only perpetuate your anxiety (and worsen the tinnitus) and maintain the cycle.

      Have you tried some CBT on yourself?
    3. Emer

      Emer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress related
      Hi Cassandra I like most people here understand your distress. I am fairly new to this forum too but have been reading for a long time. I found at the beginning of my tinnitus journey when it was at its most intense - that a couple of sessions of cranio sacral therapy really really helped me. I also went back to my therapist (I am a psychotherapist myself) and did some emotional work which helped me understand how my body might have manifested such a stress response as tinnitus. This is just my personal experience and everyone is so different. I think not being noise induced probably offered me more options even though the trigger event was attending a bollywood style wedding and dancing for hours to the music close to speakers. However my hearing is perfect and I havent a history of any kind of loud noise exposure. I always say I got tinnitus the day after Donald Trump got elected - the trauma - no offence to anyone stateside! Mind yourself and keep doing all you are doing

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