Tinnitus Since Spring 2020, Need Advice: Noise Exposure? Terrible Allergies?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Tony Ruggio, Feb 25, 2021.

    1. Tony Ruggio

      Tony Ruggio Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure? Terrible Allergies?
      I'm 33 and the tinnitus first appeared for about a week following a bad cold/sinus infection last February. High-pitched ringing in the right ear. Went away, only to come back a month later. I suspect the cause was noise exposure, but I'm uncertain as to how given the exposure was no more than 65-75 dB via the Calm app (I was using it to help me sleep). I have frequent insomnia, anxiety, and terrible allergies. When it came back and hung around, I happened to also be experiencing what felt like Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, where the ringing ear would feel full or clogged to a mild degree. Later I had glue ear due to buildup of ear wax, so I began thinking this was all due to ear wax. Trip to my doctor, had them clean out the ear and, what do you know, the ringing went away. Though, it was alarming that much of the ear wax that came out looked crusty and a reddish brown, indicating blood. Anyways, then 2-3 days later the ringing was back but much quieter than before. It was now something I could ignore. Regardless...

      This is when I decided to go to an ENT and audiologist. The audiogram test found no significant hearing loss and the ENT saw no ear drum damage. She concluded it might be due to my allergies, which are so bad that I routinely have to blow my nose of thick clear mucus (and at some point doing so began to displace air between my nose and right ear, possibly due to aforementioned Eustachian tube dysfunction), so she prescribed me Zyrtec. I didn't start taking it until I had a flare-up months later, where the ringing became loud again and, in addition, there was a new subtler hissing sound. Taking Zyrtec quieted the ringing again (only hear it when I plug my ear) and got rid of the hissing for the most part. Over time, I'd hear them randomly on occasion, particularly at night, but otherwise it was working. I assumed any hiccups stemmed from the Zyrtec losing its potency over time, given that I have to take it nearly every day.

      That is, until two weeks ago, when my car Bluetooth had some strange malfunction and blasted a loud noise for a split second, enough to scare me and make me recoil (no idea the dB output of my car speakers). I felt discomfort/fullness (inflammation?) in my right ear after that, eventually some very mild pain, and the hissing sound was now consistent. Still, the hissing wasn't so horrible that I had any kind of panic attack over it. Then a week later there's a moment of sudden loud music at work (no more than 80 dB for a couple of seconds), and it seemed to have a similar effect on my left ear. Ear felt full, possibly a little inflamed, and again very little pain and some manageable discomfort. Now there's a lower tone in my left ear (one I had heard before for a night or two months ago), and after a week it's gotten a little bit louder, sounds kind of like wind. I should also note that when I touch my toes and plug my ears it's more audible. Now the hissing in my right ear is a little bit louder too. I don't know what to do. It'd probably be easier if I didn't have health anxiety. Does hyperacusis cause inner ear damage itself? Or is it simply the perception of noises being louder?

      Since that last incident at work my ears have felt very sensitive to certain loud noises, some expected, some unexpected. Even my own voice sometimes bothers me a tiny bit. I don't know if it's hyperacusis or recruitment or just anxiety. And after everything I still don't know what's causing my tinnitus. Have another ENT/audiologist appointment in a couple of days, hoping to find answers there, but some advice here from those who have experienced this would be of great help.

      To be clear, the discomfort and feeling of fullness/inflammation is no longer present in either ear. And the original high-pitch ringing in my right ear remains quiet unless I plug my ears. The problem are these new sounds that I never expected, both of which I heard on rare occasion before becoming more consistent (and louder) these last two weeks. All because of loud noises that lasted less than a second and/or were definitely under 100 dB? It doesn't make sense.
       
    2. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      @Tony Ruggio, welcome to Tinnitus Talk.

      Allergies can cause and spike tinnitus as the extra mucus finds its way ìnto your eustachian tubes.

      Tree and grass pollen and a long list of others can cause trouble for our ears.
      Post nasal drip going down the back of your throat at night will find its way in your eustachian tubes.

      One thing to look out for is a mucous taste in your mouth as a sign.

      Love Glynis
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Tony Ruggio

      Tony Ruggio Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure? Terrible Allergies?
      Thanks, Glynis. I'm really really hoping that this is all due to allergies (something I can cure), but everything online sows doubt about that.
       
    4. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      @Tony Ruggio,

      When you reply to messages if you put @ in front of their name then we get an alert so we can read your reply and reply back if needed or else it's hit or miss if we see your post.

      This will help get a better response for your posts.

      Love Glynis
       
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