Tinnitus, Out of the Clear Blue Sky? One Late Evening I Woke Up to High-Pitched Ringing

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Tailwind5, Jul 16, 2021.

    1. Tailwind5

      Tailwind5 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hello, I hope this post finds you well. I just wanted to quick share my tinnitus experience in the hopes that some of you may have some helpful insight or recommendations for me and also to perhaps create some affinity with those going through similar new experiences.

      I just turned 40 and there isn’t much noteworthy in my history of ear health. I had 1 ear infection as a child and I did foolishly shoot a firearm without hearing protection in my early 20s but it was an isolated incident. Other than that, I would say my noise exposure is pretty average though in hindsight I wish I had worn protection more often with things like lawn mowers and power tools as I am a bit of a do-it-yourselfer.

      Exactly 1 month ago I awoke late one evening to a persistent high-pitched ring in my left ear that seemed out of place and of course I couldn’t get back to sleep thereafter. No feeling of fullness, pain or pulsating just the ringing in the left ear.

      The next day I had a spell of positional vertigo set in as well which subsided in about 5 days. Of course, I immediately thought the worst like this was some neurological condition so I went to the clinic and they diagnosed me with BPPV and tinnitus, gave me some anti-nausea meds and told me to follow up with my primary care. I recall the first week the sound was noticeable but not that loud, like a soft cricket maybe. After a few nights I got back to sleeping without masking much but oddly I seemed to noticed that laying on my right side one evening the ringing got worse and has been that way since, it ranges from a 4-7 in intensity I would say. Now, I need some masking sound at night, usually symphony music and I sleep ok all things considered but I avoid sleeping on my right side. During the day its quite noticeable especially in quite rooms but I just do my best to stay occupied and not think about it, easier said than done of course.

      Primary care was in no hurry to schedule me for my symptoms so I began calling around to ENT offices who would see me with no referral. I found one but they had to schedule a hearing test together with the ENT consult so that would be a long lead time. Instead, I booked my own hearing test and was told I have moderate sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear and mild in my right and that I could benefit from hearing aids. A finally got my referral to an ENT and upon my first visit the PA told me that my tinnitus is likely due to the hearing loss at higher frequencies that she equated to something like phantom-limb syndrome where the lost tones are replicated by the nerves. I am scheduled to have an MRI in a couple weeks to rule out a tumor but I read on this forum that the noise of the MRI can make symptoms worsen so now I am having second thoughts.

      I have been offered no real therapies by the physicians other than Lipoflavonoid and some phone apps for masking sounds and physical therapy for the vertigo which went away on its own. I am scheduled for the hearing aid fitting next week but am internally debating whether or not it would be better to just ride out the tinnitus and habituate faster rather than get accustomed to the hearing aids by day and listen to the ringing all night with them out.

      The odd thing about all this is, I feel like I hear perfectly fine and suspect the reason I didn’t hear certain tones during the test was precisely because of the tinnitus and not because my hearing is damaged but I am also not a doctor of Audiology so what would I know?

      So many questions and oddities linger in my mind:

      · Why do some with mild hearing loss get tinnitus and others with more substantial loss do not?

      · Did my 5-day spell of positional vertigo and the one I had a few weeks before the tinnitus have something to do with all this? Never had this before in my life either.

      · Can hearing loss like this be temporary, perhaps due to an inner ear infection?

      · I notice more of a hissing sound while I am sleeping rather than a ringing but after I wake up it goes back to a ring, strange.

      · Should I have the MRI to rule out a tumor or just ride out the tinnitus and see if my vertigo returns?

      · Are any of the supplements or diets helpful for those with hearing loss related tinnitus? I haven’t noticed any change in intensity diet related. The only thing that alters the sound or intensity seems to be lying down for me. ​

      Anyway, despite the feelings of uneasiness and occasional struggle to concentrate I feel like I am coping reasonably well. Getting a decent night’s rest was the biggest obstacle as I am sure most would attest. The ringing is pretty loud for me at night but I simply lay there and listen to soft music on speaker as long as it takes until I eventually fall asleep. The first few nights I would stay up late moving around and this was exhausting and I found it better to lay and let sleep eventually come. Being active during the day and building up fatigue definitely helps in this regard.

      I stopped trying to mask the ringing during the day so it isn’t such a sharp contrast when I am in a quite room. I try to always have something to occupy my thoughts, like a crossword or book and I generally keep to the same schedule I had pre-tinnitus.

      Fingers crossed with time this will either decrease in intensity or simply blend in more psychologically and won’t bother me as much, this too shall pass as they say. And who knows the hearing aids might go a long way to making up for the lost frequencies so my concentration levels return to normal during the day. If there is a consolation, I feel this has been a wakeup call to preserve the hearing I have and not take it for granted. I am now much more inclined to remind others about hearing protection having gone through this ordeal.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my little synopsis and I wish you the best in your own dealings. If like myself you are new to this ailment, please hang in there and if the anxiety gets to be overwhelming seek refuge in friends, family, prayer or whatever it is that uniquely works for you and takes your mind off of it to allow the wave to pass, doing so helped me tremendously in the first few days.
      • Hug Hug x 3
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    2. Wrfortiscue

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Get an open MRI with earplugs and earmuffs. That’s what I’m going to do.
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Jess Bouma

      Jess Bouma Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      I had positional vertigo that resolved quickly with some balance issues that took a couple of weeks to resolve. Then one night after swimming and diving in a lake I woke up to a loud ringing in my ears.

      It has all the ENTs confused is that the only time I get this ringing is when I try to sleep! The strangest part is that during waking hours I don't hear anything! All day long I don't have a problem with tinnitus.

      Please update us!
    4. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Look up YouTube for the Half Somersault maneuver for BPPV. It was a lady MD who suffered BPPV herself inventing this technique. I tried it and it works wonder fast with no more vertigo after the maneuver is done. Wish you speedy recovery. God bless.

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