Tinnitus Since February 1st from Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSNHL) — My Story

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Charles Sidwell, Feb 27, 2020.

    1. Charles Sidwell

      Charles Sidwell Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 1, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
      Hi, my name is Charles. I turned 50 years old in January of this year. Up to this point, I had no hearing problems. The hearing in my right ear was the same as in my left. I am a music lover. Who isn't? However, I have been producing my own music since I was a teenager in in the 1980s. So, sound is everything to me. I bask in it. It is my life.

      Then, February came. It was a Saturday, February 1st. It wasn't a birthday gift that I ever wanted. I woke up as usual, sat up, and put my right leg down to step out of bed. It was at that point that my right ear went blank. Well, not completely blank, but I could barely hear out of it. My ear started ringing a little bit - but nothing horrible. I have had this happen from time to time before, so I didn't worry too much about it. I had to leave for work soon, so I went to the bathroom and rinsed my ear out, thinking it was just earwax. Nothing happened. I figured that I would just go on with my day, and it would slowly disappear.

      As I drove to work, I noticed my ear started ringing furiously and was jumping around from low to high pitched. I freaked out, and turned around and drove back home. This time I would use a q-tip to see if I could wriggle loose whatever wax was in my ear. I was gentle about it, too. Still nothing, and the ringing just kept going. When I got to work, I could barely hear anything out of the ear whatsoever. If I turned up the radio volume, it sounded like someone talking in a tin can, but barely noticeable. As I walked around at work, I started to feel dizzy. Almost vertigo in nature, but not quite. I knew something wasn't right. I kept on working, instead of going straight to a doctor.

      When I got off work, I came home and laid in bed for a while, hoping whatever was bothering me would dissipate. The dizziness had gone away. I decided to get up and go to a urgent care. I explained what happened, and the doctor said my ears were heavily clogged with earwax. They out some drops in, and had me lay there for about 20 minutes. They did did an ear rinse, and the amount of earwax that came out of substantial.

      I told the doc that my hearing had not changed in the right ear. She said to give it a few hours, and that it probably needed to repressurize. So I went home, and waited... Laying in bed...Waiting. Well, it go to be 10pm, and I turned off the light to go to sleep, and when I did, my eyes were spinning in my head. I couldn't seem to get it to stop. I felt like I was falling through the clouds. I turned on the light, and relaxed, and the vertigo stopped. I had the stamina to drive to the hospital emergency room. The doc on staff said my blood pressure was high. Well, of course it was - I was nearly having an anxiety attack. I told them I was having vertigo and my hearing in my right ear was practically zero. They did an EKG (why, I don't know). Said my EKG was good. The doc said my health was fine, and wondered why I was even there. He asked me if I wanted to see an ENT. He did a balance test, and I did fine. He gave me a prescription for a Diazepam for help with my anxiety.

      So, I went home, got in bed and went to sleep. The next morning, I woke up feeling an immense amount of vertigo and anxiety. I could hardly stand up straight. I have never felt that kind of dizziness in my life. I felt like my nervous system was completely inept. I drove back to the urgent care, hysterical, and they gave me Meclazine to help with the dizziness. Again, the same doctor. They didn't really have any clue about what was going on. Didn't refer me to an ENT or anything. So, on the following Tuesday (4 days from the initial occurrence, I called the ENT, referred by the doctor from the hospital emergency room visit. They said they could set me up with an appointment some 2 months later. Hearing the urgency in my voice, they suddenly told me they had an 11am for the next day (Wednesday). Wonderful!

      Went to the ENT, and he test some tuning fork tests, looked in my ears, asked questions, and had me do some coordination tests in the office. He said I had to go to an audiologist the next day. He also said if the tests show sudden hearing loss, I'd have to start steroid treatment immediately.

      So, after seeing the audiologist the next day, she showed me the diagram. Severe hearing loss in the high frequency range. Less than normal in low frequency. My ear had normal parameters across low and high frequency. At least I still had one good ear.

      The ENT called and confirmed results, and said he would start me on oral steroids. 60mg for 2 weeks, then taper 10mg each day after until bottle finished. Started taking the steroids (Prednisone) Feb 10th. 10 days after occurrence. I have not noticed any significant change in my hearing. The ringing only got worse after taking the Prednisone. It has gotten so loud sometimes (a high-pitched ringing), that it is all I ca do to keep myself from going crazy. The first week of the ordeal had me in tears and fear.

      Now, since taking the Prednisone treatment, I have noticed my left ear pops and crackles a lot and sometimes I even get a high-pitch ringing in that ear that quickly diminishes. Naturally, now I have anxiety about of the same things will happen to my left ear.

      When I take the Prednisone. my right ear pops a little but, and even sounds like I am hearing a little more in the ear. By the next day, it is back where it was. Overall, I do have better hearing than when I initially had the sudden hearing loss. So, I don't know if the Prednisone has helped restore some of my hearing, or it is just naturally improving. Still, my left ear hears much better than my right.

      The ringing has never stopped since Feb 1st. At night, when I take the prednisone, it does cause a little dizziness, and when I wake up in the middle night to get up to take a nature break (TMI), I do feel drastically dizzy. Maybe the prednisone. Not sure. Or maybe the fluid in my ear, and when I get up, it changes my perception of balance. Usually I wake up feeling really dizzy, as well. But, after moving around, it subsides.

      Until I get my next audio test, I can't know for sure if I have had any real change in my hearing after doing the therapy. Sometimes it seems like I hear better than others.

      I sometimes wonder if I could have Meniere's Disease. However, from my what I have read on it, it mainly effects low frequency hearing. My severe hearing loss is in the high frequency. However, I express all the symptoms of what I have researched on Meniere's.

      I have TMJ problems, and was fitting a few years ago with a mouth guard, because I grind my teeth furiously when I sleep. These past 2 weeks, I have been experiencing aching and pain my my left jaw - which as me worried that it may effect my left inner ear, and will I have the same thing happen to my left ear as my right.

      However, despite periodic ringing, my left ear still hears fine. I am wondering if maybe the steroids could be causing it, since I hadn't had that issue until being on steroids.

      I find that when I am relaxed, the tinnitus is more dim. Hot baths seem to give me a lot of relief. I have started chewing on CBD chews, which I have noticed helps me relax and lesson the tinnitus' volume. I have also started taking gingko biloba supplement twice a day, and started taking a B12 and D3 supplement after day. I have changed to a primarily plant based diet, with no eggs or dairy. I only have tun or sardines from time to time. I have started green juicing at home about ever day, or every other day. I gave up sweet drinks and sugar (except some fruit now and then). I have curbed the salt, but not enough. It is easier for me to give up sugar than salt. But, I know that high sodium intake can make the tinnitus condition worse.

      So, that is my story. It has been nearly a month since initial hearing loss and 24hr a day tinnitus. I pray to God every day to help me deal with this new affliction and give me the strength to live life with it. I do find solace in praying.

      All I know is that I have taken my hearing, and life in general, for granted for so long. Now, because of this, it has turned my life upside down in a way unexpected. I have always care about my health. Never drank. Never smoked. Try to eat healthy (most of the time). Yet, I have anxiety issues, and I know that has probably been a contributing factor to my unwanted condition that I find myself in now.

      Thanks, if you read this.

      Charles
       
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    2. fishbone
      Shitfaced

      fishbone Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise and very bad sickness
      I'm sorry that you are going through this. I hope further testing ,can possibly pin point why you are going through this.
      Tinnitus in general is unpredictable and not much can make sense about it. Hopefully your case gets better.

      I will say this though, vitamin B can be a vitamin that can possibly cause jitters and anxiety. At least for me it did, so I stopped taking them. All of us are different and it may be helping you out.

      Welcome to the forum :)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Tweedleman
      Depressed

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
      Sorry this terrifying experience has happened to you Charles, hang in there. Let us know how you get along with your next hearing test. I hope they can at least give you a proper diagnosis.

      If you're up for more supplements, I'd suggest trying NAG+ (Tru Naigen) and Astaxanthin. Others have reported reduced tinnitus and even hearing improvement. They're expensive but may be worth it for you being in the acute phase of this. You could also try Curcumin.

      We are here for you
       
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Charles Sidwell

      Welcome to the forum. I am sorry to know the difficulties you are going through with tinnitus, hearing and anxiety. Hopefully with time you will begin to feel better. As you probably know, TMJ can cause tinnitus and if someone already has tinnitus then develops TMJ it might aggravate the tinnitus. I want to put the TMJ aside for a moment because you have had it a while and wear a mouthguard for treatment.

      You have been detailed in story that makes me suspect the route cause of your problems are related to sound, particularly music. You have been a music lover since your teens and producing it and now turned 50. You have also mentioned experiencing ringing in your ears but it would go away. All this information suggests to me your tinnitus is Noise induced. Exposure to loud noise/music is the most common cause of tinnitus. Typically, it is listening to music through headphones at too high a volume and listening to it through speakers at high volume levels can do the same.

      If you are a regular user of headphones this would be the likely cause of the tinnitus reaching to the stage that is now. By the way, it has probably been lying dormant in the background for a number of years. Your brain has got used to it by pushing it into the background making it less noticeable during the day and masked by environmental sounds. This happens quite a lot and did with me. Like you I have loved listening to music since my early teens and would bask in it just the same. Whether listening to it through speakers or headphones but my preferrence was the latter, which eventually gave me tinnitus. Therefore, I understand the pleasure you get from listening to music. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is not necessarily always good and can have it's downsides.

      If the tinnitus is caused by sound as I suspect you may or may not have hearing loss. Hearing loss is sometimes associated with noise induced tinnitus. Your ENT doctor should be able to advise of this further. I advise you to continue taking the Gingko Biloba as it increases blood circulation to the body extremities: feet, hands and head including the auditory pathways. I am sure it has improved my hearing. Some people say it has improved their tinnitus. I advise you to take it in Tincture form as it enters the blood stream quicker than tablets. It takes time to build up in the body around 3 months.

      If you are a user of headphones then I advise you to stop using them immediately and preferably never use them again even at low volume. I know this might seem extreme but believe me I know of whereof I speak regarding headphones and noise induced tinnitus. If your tinnitus is noise induced and you continue using headphones, even at low volume. Then in my opinion you are playing with fire. Noise induced tinnitus can increase to a level that you wouldn't believe is possible and can be your worst nightmare. The only difference being it will be a reality not a dream. I am not trying to frighten you just advising to be very careful and think about what I have told you.

      Noise induce tinnitus often improves with time and if this is what you have, and you follow my advice you will make improvement. However, this does not mean you can return to using headphones, even after your tinnitus settles because you risk making it worse. Listening to music through speakers is fine as long as it's not too loud.

      I have said I suspect your tinnitus is noise induced but this may not be the case. I say this because you haven't mentioned something which is closely associated with Noise induced tinnitus. That is hyperacusis. Hyperacusis is having an oversensitivity to sound. If you had mentioned being sensitive to sound in your post or experiencing pain in your ears when hearing certain sounds, I would probably say your tinnitus is definitely noise induced. However, hyperacusis is not always experienced with noise induced tinnitus but often it is.

      Please click on the links below and read my articles on this that I think you will find helpful.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/acquiring-a-positive-mindset.23969/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-the-negative-mindset.23705/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/the-habituation-process.20767/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-positivity-important.23150/
       
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    5. El BUZZ
      Buzzed

      El BUZZ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music consumption plus acoustic trauma.
      Curious you mention vitamin B making you anxious. I've been feeling lots of anxiety since I started taking a vitamin B supplement plus magnesium. Now I don't know if I feel my tinnitus worse because of anxiety triggered by vitamin B or one of the multiple possibilities from the mix of those three factors.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charles Sidwell

      Charles Sidwell Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 1, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
      "Welcome to the forum. I am sorry to know the difficulties you are going through with tinnitus, hearing and anxiety. Hopefully with time you will begin to feel better. As you probably know, TMJ can cause tinnitus and if someone already has tinnitus then develops TMJ it might aggravate the tinnitus. I want to put the TMJ aside for a moment because you have had it a while and wear a mouthguard for treatment."

      Thanks. Michael. You seem like you've done your homework on this stuff. Sorry I am just now getting back. I have felt defeated over these past number of months. For the record, the tinnitus still alive and well. However, it has not made me well. The only peace I get is when I am asleep at night. The time I wake up and start moving around, to the time I go to bed at night, it never ceases. I don't even think it is quite as loud as it used to be during the first couple of months after I got it. However, I still zero in on it and concentrate too much on it when I know I shouldn't. It has made my life seem like a living hell. I did the steroid injections, and the steroid injections made it worse. However, my hearing did improve some. I wouldn't say it has improved much, however. Sometimes I hear better than others. I don't know if the weather has something to do when it, or if I ate something; but, sometimes I hear better in that ear. Sometimes it gets so intolerable that I want to scream. I am highly susceptible, already, to anxiety. For a while, the tinnitus either got very low, or I just learned to block it out, making it less intrusive. But, for some strange reason, over these past 2 weeks, it has got more noticeable, and sometimes I have to go somewhere in private to, frankly, cry it out. I have to release the stress somehow. My friends all noticed how much I have changed. I used to be jovial, joking around, singing all the time - generally in a great mood. Now, I hardly speak to anybody and am very quiet and dim. I feel very depressed and don't even have the energy to open my mouth and speak to anyone. I have never been so depressed in my entire life. Sometimes I have thoughts of ending it all, and I just don't like those thoughts at all. I love life. I love music, nature, all the beautiful things around me. Nevertheless, when I have those suicidal thoughts, I am more afraid of the pain of dying than I am of this mental anguish caused by this noise in my head. But if I am to become less of the person I used to be, I don't feel that alive anymore. It just sucks.

      "You have been detailed in story that makes me suspect the route cause of your problems are related to sound, particularly music. You have been a music lover since your teens and producing it and now turned 50. You have also mentioned experiencing ringing in your ears but it would go away. All this information suggests to me your tinnitus is Noise induced. Exposure to loud noise/music is the most common cause of tinnitus. Typically, it is listening to music through headphones at too high a volume and listening to it through speakers at high volume levels can do the same."

      Perhaps. Who knows. I have been seeing ENTs. They want me to get an MRI. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss in one ear can be a symptom of an acoustic neuroma. I think they want to rule that out as the cause. I used to feel dizzy all the time if I woke up in the middle of the night, and when I woke up. Now, not so much. That is at least one thing that has improved. My neck gets stiff a lot - which I think is caused by my anxiety. It cracks all the time, especially when I wake up. Sometimes that makes my other ear (the left one) start ringing.. But then it subsides.

      When I was a kid, I had ear infections all the time. If I remember correctly, it was always my right ear (the one affected by hearing loss and loud tinnitus). Over the past number of years, I would notice fluid leaking from that ear. My ear would feel itchy, so I would stick my finger in it to scratch it. It would then start leaking a watery fluid. Also, from time to time, maybe twice a year, I would wake up and the ear was stopped up and muffled. After about 24 to 48 hours, it would pop and I could hear normally again. I have read and heard about people that had hearing problems later in life if they had routine, chronic ear infections as a kid.

      I have sometimes thought that I have Menier's Disease. However, because my hearing loss is in the high frequency zone, the audiologist ruled out Menier's Disease. However, I seem to display the same symptoms. Also, I don't get Menier's attacks, where I feel like my world is spinning and having vertigo attacks.


      "If you are a regular user of headphones this would be the likely cause of the tinnitus reaching to the stage that is now. By the way, it has probably been lying dormant in the background for a number of years. Your brain has got used to it by pushing it into the background making it less noticeable during the day and masked by environmental sounds. This happens quite a lot and did with me. Like you I have loved listening to music since my early teens and would bask in it just the same. Whether listening to it through speakers or headphones but my preferrence was the latter, which eventually gave me tinnitus. Therefore, I understand the pleasure you get from listening to music. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is not necessarily always good and can have it's downsides."

      I no longer use headphones. Besides, I didn't use them much to begin with. I just listened through my computer speakers, which would only get so loud before it ruined the music. My one ear has perfect hearing - so I am doing whatever I can to protect the health of that ear. Can't imagine what my life would even be like if what happened in my right ear also happened to my left. Then I literally would go crazy.

      If the tinnitus is caused by sound as I suspect you may or may not have hearing loss. Hearing loss is sometimes associated with noise induced tinnitus. Your ENT doctor should be able to advise of this further. I advise you to continue taking the Gingko Biloba as it increases blood circulation to the body extremities: feet, hands and head including the auditory pathways. I am sure it has improved my hearing. Some people say it has improved their tinnitus. I advise you to take it in Tincture form as it enters the blood stream quicker than tablets. It takes time to build up in the body around 3 months.

      I've been taking the GB for a few months now - but miss several days, or don't take two a day as the bottle says. It seems to me it made the tinnitus worse when I took it. Not sure if this is mormal or what. I do notice after I take it that I starting hearing better in my affected ear for at least a few hours. However, whenever I hear better, the tinnitus is louder. When the tinnitus is more dim, my hearing is worse. It's strange. I didn't know that it takes about 3 months to really lead to benefits, though - so thanks for telling me.

      Noise induce tinnitus often improves with time and if this is what you have, and you follow my advice you will make improvement. However, this does not mean you can return to using headphones, even after your tinnitus settles because you risk making it worse. Listening to music through speakers is fine as long as it's not too loud.

      For a while there, it did improve. But in these past few weeks, it ramped up again. I suspect that because I have started a more aerobic exercise regiment of cycling again, it may be exercise induced. As you know, with this COVID crisis going on, people have cabin fever and are getting out and exercising outdoors since most gyms are still not open. I do notice aerobic exercise worsens the tinnitus. Maybe it's because the heart rate speeds up and causes temporary higher blood pressure. It might be the higher blood pressure in those delicate capillaries in the inner ear. However, that is just *my* theory.

      I have said I suspect your tinnitus is noise induced but this may not be the case. I say this because you haven't mentioned something which is closely associated with Noise induced tinnitus. That is hyperacusis. Hyperacusis is having an oversensitivity to sound. If you had mentioned being sensitive to sound in your post or experiencing pain in your ears when hearing certain sounds, I would probably say your tinnitus is definitely noise induced. However, hyperacusis is not always experienced with noise induced tinnitus but often it is.

      Well, since losing a significant amount of hearing in my right ear, my left ear has become much more sensitive to sound. Maybe it's because the right ear can't share the load of the sound received by my brain. So noises that didn't used to bother me as much now make me practically jump 6 feet in the air.

      Thank you for your insight and thought-provoking input on my matter.

      -Charles
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Charles Sidwell

      Charles Sidwell Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 1, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
      Where do I begin? Woke up Feb 1, 2020, like any other day, and found that I could barely hear out of my right ear. The hearing gradually got worse through the day, and my ear started ringing hi and low pitch throughout the morning. I went to an ENT a couple of days later and they put me on a steroid treatment a few days later. In the meantime the ENT ordered an MRI, which is normal from what I have heard, because acoustic neuromas have the same symptoms. I experienced really bad dizziness and occasional vertigo. They gave me some medication for the vertigo, and the vertigo gradually went away after about two weeks. Because of lacking health insurance at the time, the ENT told me I could wait a couple of months and get the MRI done when I got insurance with my new job, because he said that an acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor that typically grows at a very slow rate. Now that I have health insurance as of July 1st of this year oh, I am scheduling an MRI to get done as soon as is humanly possible.

      Over these past few months I have been under a lot of stress and anxiety about this constant 24-hour a day tinnitus that I suffer from. What is worse is that I am anxious to get the MRI done because I would really like to know if it is an acoustic neuroma that is causing my problems. Incidentally, after taking the steroid treatment my hearing did gradually return but at only about 50% of what I was hearing before. From what I have heard about acoustic neuromas, is that the hearing typically does not improve. So while I am anxious, I am hopeful that it is not an acoustic neuroma, as I have read and I have heard that they are very rare.

      Now, as far as my tinnitus is concerned, it is bothersome about 80% of the time. It is really strange, because some days it is barely noticeable, and then some days it is loud enough to be intrusive in my life. I used to get very very depressed about it, and like a lot of other people, I even had suicidal thoughts that I really did not care for. When I noticed that some days were better than others, I kept my head straight and thought to myself, "well, maybe tomorrow will be a better day."

      I guess it is normal for tinnitus to have better days than other days. My tinnitus is just like the weather. Some days it rings loud enough to really annoy me, and then the next day it is much much quieter to the point that I forget that it's even there. And my mood quickly improves on the days that my tinnitus is much quieter. So I Revel in it and try to do as much as I can on those days where I feel more motivated to actually do things. Because on the days when my tinnitus is loud enough to annoy me. It really dissolves my motivation, except to crawl into bed and lay there for several hours hoping that it will subside.

      There are some brief moments where the tinnitus will disappear for a Split Second and then it returns. This seems very odd, but gives me hope that maybe one day it will stop and not come back. All I can say about my tinnitus is that it is very strange and reminds me that the human brain is a very odd thing. I think that my anxiety and stress will be greatly greatly reduced when I hopefully get the MRI done and it hopefully, shows that there is no acoustic neuroma. Naturally, me being a natural hypochondriac, I always think the worse whenever I get any kind of medical problem. I think once I find out from an MRI what is going on, my tinnitus will likely get much better because I won't feel so stressed out all the time about if I've got an acoustic neuroma or not.

      Sometimes I feel that the weather has something to do with why I have good days and bad days when it comes to my tinnitus. Oh, and another thing, I have noticed something very strange. When my tinnitus is louder, my hearing is better. When the tinnitus is quieter, my hearing is not as good. Again, a very strange thing.

      Michael
       
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