Tinnitus Seemingly Out of Nowhere in One Ear Only — Caused by Anxiety/Stress?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Brian Walker, Feb 28, 2016.

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    1. Brian Walker

      Brian Walker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Two weeks ago I noticed a ringing in my right ear only in a quiet room. I have always had anxiety/OCD and tinnitus has actually been one of my biggest fears over the years. I have the type of OCD where I will worry obsessively about something—many teams various diseases—and will do mental checks to lower my anxiety. After going to loud bars in my early 20s (I am 28 now) and experiencing temporary ringing after, tinnitus has always scared me.

      Regardless, the tinnitus never stayed after loud bars, and I have lived my life in a fairly quiet environment over the past few years. Over the past few months I have been extremely stressed for work reasons. A month ago, I also overhauled my entire sleeping schedule. I formally worked the night shift, and now I have to be in at 8 a.m. every morning, so the process of changing my sleeping schedule was difficult. The tinnitus probably started a week after, and there was no loud noise exposure in that time period.

      I have visited my general doctor and my ENT since the ringing started. Both said my ear looks fine and there is no excessive wax. My general doctor noted my constant allergies and congestion and told me to try Mucinex D. I have been on it for five days and no change. My ENT basically said nothing can be done.

      Here is a quick summary of my noise exposure/ear health over my life:

      - Constant ear infections as a kid. Stopped around 10 and my hearing was always fine.
      - Not much headphone use as a kid
      - I had a loud dirtbike for around six months when I was 16.
      - I've been to maybe three concerts in my life. None after the age of 22
      - I've been to loud bars over the years. Maybe 40-50 where I would consider it excessively loud. This was over a five or six year period though and I haven't been to a loud bar in at least a year.
      - For maybe a year or two I would wear earbuds to the gym when lifting. I never really set the volume over 60% and it was for an hour at the most a few days a week.

      Either way, the last two years have been pretty quiet for me. No headphone use at all. No loud music in my car. I do sleep with a white noise app to relax me. Regarding medications, I have only taken Aleve occasionally at normal doses for pain from the gym.

      My anxiety is through the roof. I mask the sound when in bed with crickets from my white noise app, but I keep checking my ear in a quiet room throughout the day. I tried sleeping without the app the other day and had a panic attack and the tinnitus seemed incredibly loud. It was very scary and one of the worst experiences of my life.

      Do I have any options here? I know there is a chance that I could habituate one day, but I need to fix this. I have to fix this.
    2. Dutchy
      Not worthy

      Dutchy Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neuronmodulation suggests noise induced?

      I think loud noise contributed just as much as my anxiety/panic attacks as well.When they tell you your hearing is fine you automatically start searching for other causes.I'm pretty sure it's a mix of different things though.

      Your options to fix this?well you could try certain meds,or even participating in certain trials.
      Other than that i have no idea,when you find one let us all know ;).
    3. glynis-harbron

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      One way to help you for Anxiety is to imagine that you have 3 boxes infrount of you and one box is the past,one box is the present,and one is the future.
      Only concentrate on filling your box in the present full of positivity .
      The small things you like,the nice things you feel and no worries of the past or future.
      Concentrate on the easy way of life and off load any stress and focus on your good box for now......give it ago as mindfulness therapy works well.....lots of love glynis
    4. Harvest King

      Harvest King Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      White noise has triggered your tinnitus . . . . . period!
      The cilia (tiny hairs) are extremely sensitive. The constant exposure to the white noise frequencies has either damaged or placed the cilia into shock (that's when its only temporary ringing).
      Stop the white noise now!
    5. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:

      There is several things you can do. I think the big problem is your OCD and anxiety. If you can get that under control, I think you will feel better. Maybe doing some cardio exercising, drinking plenty of water, taking a good multi vitamin, and look into supplements that can help with OCD would help. A second option would be to visit a doctor in which he will probably subscribe you medication for anxiety and OCD ( If you do this option, I wouldn't suggest mixing supplements and medications together unless the doctor says it is okay. A third option would be to get a hearing aid with built in maskers so if the T is bothering you, you can turn the maskers on wherever you are. Fourth, would be to put fountains in the quiet rooms in your house. However, I'm sure there are other options too. Ideally, once you calm down about the tinnitus, its perceptive volume will decrease.

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