Tinnitus spikes becoming more frequent?

Discussion in 'Support' started by russiancarl, Jul 11, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Hello everyone,

      Thank you for all the support given to me so far. It's been a big help. I've been away from forums as my tinnitus seemed to improve and any notion of it would send it crying back. Probably not the most mature response as I wish I could help others but it seemed a good temporary fix.

      Well, I've had T for 13 or 14 years now and it was manageable. Easily masked by a fan at night or any conversation during the day. I'm not sure it was always like that or I habituated to it but I was fine.

      Now, things are going haywire. I had a prednisone injection for my eczema on 5/19 and within hours my T spiked to all new levels. I was also on antibiotics for a bit over a month. I nearly went crazy but it luckily faded in 2 - 3 weeks. By 6/2 it was mostly back to it's normal level. I didn't even want to see the ENT that I had scheduled but I went anyway. Even in the quiet office it was all fine.

      Now, a month later on 7/3 I cancelled an audiology test I had and the T spiked again. It's been spiked since then and isn't showing signs of going away. I have nothing to blame it on and I'm so confused. No new medicines, no loud noises, nothing. I was so happy and it's been taken from me again.

      What is going on. Is this normal? Is it allergies? The left ear does feel slightly very slightly pressure at times and crackles from time to time. I started taking more allergy meds but nothing has helped so far.

      I'm so scared this is permanent. I was supposed to go on vacation but 12 hours driving with this I don't know if I can handle. I've had spikes before... you know, a day here or there from a cold or super bad allergies or even from a car window being down.

      But why did it go away and now come back? I guess I should be hopeful that it will go away much like the first bout of spike did but I'm clueless as to why it's shifting so much now. I'm only 29 and very careful with my hearing. I am at a loss here and was wondering if my experience is far outside the norm.

      The normal masking techniques don't work anymore. I have to have the music up quite a bit louder and even every day activities while they clear up 90% of the T just being distracted and out and about I can still tell it's there. It's always the left ear thats worse though if I really concentrate I can hear some in the right.

      Sorry for the long post. I'm sure this despair is pretty common around here. But I was hoping someone would have the same experience as me or advise me on what to do. I do have the audiology test scheduled at the end of July... was supposed to be when I returned from vacation but who knows if I will even be able to leave the house now.

      If it was caused by the Bactrim or Cephalexin antibiotics I was on shouldn't it be in both ears? Is it allergy related even though the fullness/itchy/pain are very very mild?

      Tl;dr:

      T fine for 14 years
      T spike after medicine for 2-3 weeks but got better
      T was fine for a month
      T spikes again for no reason this time and am very scared its permanent
      What is going on?
       
    2. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      One of those antibiotics could have done it, not sure if there ototoxic or not but sometimes T could show up worse a month after taking antibiotics depending if there were ototoxic or not.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Thanks. Yes I was very nervous to take any antibiotics. I believe Bactrim is listed in the ATA guide as causing tinnitus but it's very low on the list of ototoxic antibiotics. The same thing with the Cephalexin... it's not great but way low on the list as far as ototoxicity.

      If it were the drugs, wouldn't I have noticed it while being on it for a month? Not two weeks after finishing up the Bactrim? And wouldn't it make both ears worse?

      My left has always been the bad ear. I can barely tell there is anything in the right.

      I'm at a loss. The only thing I can think of are allergies? The left ear has a jaw that clicks, some crackling when I move it around, and also pops on occasion and feels slightly full at times. Nothing major that would ever make me worry but only when that ringing starts...

      I've had allergies exacerbate tinnitus before just never like this or so long. I'm scared that this spike is permanent. Or that having so many spikes is a bad sign that my ears have suddenly changed for the worse.
       
    4. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Give it some time. Could be from allergies, sinues, those antibiotics but doesnt mean its permanent yet. It could take a few monthes to calm down. Sometimes coming off of antibitotics can result in a spike if there ototoxic.. And i know its low on the list but its still considered ototoxic. Give it some time and try not to worry too much although i understand its worrying you!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Thanks for the kind words. I know that's the de facto advice around here and one I try to follow.

      I've had allergies mess up my tinnitus before but never for this long or with this sensation.

      I didn't freak out the first few days but going on 10 days it seems like it could be a permanent spike. I've found no evidence anywhere on how long it has to be before it goes permanent other than a few anecdotes that of course run the gamut. Some people say they just got used to it, one guy said that he had a bunch of spikes followed by it staying permanently, and others say 1 day, 1 week, 1 month.

      But yes, the problem with this forum (and with me) is that when people get better they rarely post about it as it is a reminder of the ailment. Tinnitus in particular is one of those things where the more time in your mind you give it the worse it is... thus making it kind of a double whammy.

      Just worried about it ruining my vacation. Sometimes it's loud enough to make me break down. Don't want to be in a car with myself for 12 hours if its that bad...
       
    6. Teri
      Artistic

      Teri Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/2014
      Do you think the anxiety that you are having is causing some of the difficulties. I know that when I get really anxious, it seems to fuel the spike.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Oh most definitely. It's odd though... I haven't been under this much stress the last 2 months in I can't remember how long. And yet my ear was quiet for a month in the middle after the first spike.

      So it's kind of odd why the anxiety would focus on ear now when before it did the same and went away. No rhyme or reason I guess to tinnitus just never had spikes like this.

      I change mood from hour to hour. From "i won't let this control me" to "gahh ball of goo on the floor".

      I tried buying one of those Marpac Dohm machines... doesn't help. In fact it makes me focus on the tinnitus more lol. My old bedside fan used to work the best... I remember picking that up 6 years when I had a month long spike and it has served me well since that time even though it did quiet down back then.

      Kind of odd that white noise machine wouldn't work... doesn't make me hopeful for any hearing aid. Pink noise is better but still nowhere near as good as water rushing or the rain.

      I guess if anyone else is reading this too I came across two great websites with sounds on them that help me. I'm partial to the rain one myself.


      http://www.simplynoise.com/
      http://rain.simplynoise.com/
       
    8. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      When you get a chance check out Demi's thread she started under support. It's called the positivity thread. Very good reading there. Once my T spiked for 10 day's in a row, I said to myself, well that's it, I am never going to have a mild T again. Next day it was back down to mild. Someone here said The only thing predictable about T is it is non- predictable. Truer word were never spoken. Now I just ride out the spikes, I know sooner or later I will have some mild T days. Actually right now I am on my longest mild streak ever. I got T over two years ago, I now have had 7 of mild T. I have done nothing different in the last 7 days, except thank the Lord. This is like heaven to me.

      Now when I have another bout with a spike no matter how long, I will remember these last 7 days and know it will get better...
       
    9. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Thanks I will have to take a look at it.

      Staying positive is the key to pretty much life isn't it.

      Just especially tough when tinnitus won't give you a break.

      Can I ask if spikes are common for you since you've had? I'm particularly freaked because I've had it nearly 15 years and have never had spikes before. There was one for a month that was related to medicine and nearly drove me insane. Other than that... just the typical have a cold and its loud for a day or two kinda thing. Expected.

      This... completely unexpected. Is that a bad sign that my T is changing after all this time? I kinda thought it was supposed to be stable or get better. Not get worse 15 years later...
       
    10. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      Yes Carl, spikes are common for me. I really can't say why you got a bad spike, no one really knows, I think it is a good sign that you went 15 years with mild T. Like you say, stay positive and try not to stress out to much over this spike, you will only make it worse if you worry. Post back and let us know how you are doing.

      Remember Carl you are not alone....
       
    11. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Yeah... so if spikes aren't common for me, and I had one from what I think was medicine, then it went away. And then it came back a month later. Does that mean it's a permanent change?

      I don't understand tinnitus but I sure wish someone around with my symptoms or history could shed some light.

      Thank you so much it does help knowing I'm not alone. It really is starting to affect my life. I have been putting off this vacation for months already and when it gets down to go time I am just not in any shape to function with my ear like this. It sucks so much.

      Every morning I wake up hoping it'll be gone or lower or back to baseline. But every morning it's still there. It's actually worse for me in the mornings and at nights. Usually when extremely tired. But once I fixate on it then I'm screwed. I know this but I can't help it. It's just been the last 4 days that have been tough as I didn't think much of the ear before then. But one bad attack when super tired and I can't let it go anymore :(
       
    12. MarkD
      Fine

      MarkD Member

      Location:
      Sydney, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014


      It's a good idea also to keep a journal of what you're eating and when you get your spikes. That way you can iron out what you should and should not be eating.

      When I get spikes its usually because im either dehydrated or I've eaten the wrong foods. E.g canned foods

      As soon as i get a spike I

      1. Drink freshly squeezed lemon in water
      2. Eat pumpkin seeds
      3. Take fish oils

      It only takes a small handful of pumpkin seeds for my T to go down almost instantaneously. Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, zinc and monounsaturated fats.

      It may work for you, it may not. Just depends what's causing your T and spikes.
       
    13. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      I had read about keeping a diet log as well. I cut out salt, caffeine, and alcohol which was really no problem as I didn't consume much of any before.

      Maybe I should try the opposite approach and eating foods that could help tinnitus. Nothing has really changed in my diet except I stopped drinking the Kefir/yogurt drink after my antibiotics course ended. It's probably nothing but I'll add it to the shopping cart just in case.

      I do miss coffee though. I'm too scared with my ear right now to give it a try but I don't know how I will survive a 12 hour car trip without it.

      Does anyone know if chronic tinnitus usually gets worse at random and stays that way? Googling around kinda get differing opinions... Harvard website says most people get worse over time yet these message boards say people generally get better.

      I'm confused and just looking for a little bit of hope. Something I could attribute this too and say "hey if I beat back my allergies maybe the ringing will stop too." It's tough but all the posts here certainly help.

      Thank you so much everyone.
       
    14. MarkD
      Fine

      MarkD Member

      Location:
      Sydney, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Hi Carl, no one knows with certainty because people have T for different reasons and have different diets and routines. Harvard doesn't know either because they wouldn't have large enough a sample size and there's too much subjectivity involved. Was there an actual decrease in their T or did they just before habituated? They can't get inside someone's head to know the truth and there's many people with T but their progress goes unreported.

      Furthermore, a person for example could have T because of a deficiency in magnesium but unless they know about this deficiency they could have T for years not knowing the exact cause. They may think their T just came and went without explanation but in actual fact it was because the deficiency was filled.

      There could be another hundred examples similar to this. That's why it's important to study yourself for the next month to establish what could be the cause and what's the best diet and routine to manage your T.

      There's lots of threads already on diets etc which would be well worth reading IMO.

      Edit: I know theres a bit of consensus that for most people with chronic T it gets better not worse but I don't know where the evidence is. Maybe someone else can answer this...
       
    15. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Hmm yeah, I wish I could find more medical knowledge on chronic tinnitus and how it reacts in the future. Everyone has different causes and thus no one person's story will be exactly like yours.

      Still, I'd like to think this isn't permanent. I'm having a hard time coping with it right now. When I distract myself it's fine but I can't do that 24/7. I'm supposed to be on vacation now... 4 days ago in fact... to go visit my girlfriend. It's really getting me down as even though she says she understands - and i know she is compassionate - nobody but other T sufferers really know how crazy bad it can make you feel.
       
    16. MarkD
      Fine

      MarkD Member

      Location:
      Sydney, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Ok then, I doubt it will be permanent. Time to start developing a healthy diet and daily routine to get your T levels down.

      There's loads of helpful threads in the support and alternative treatment sections.
       
    17. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      Hey MarkD, yeah I've read through the support forum and there are some good stories there but nothing quite like mine.

      I guess all I can do is think positive and wait. But it's so hard as I'm sure many here know. I thought I licked this a month ago when it went back to baseline. I thought I knew why it had spiked but now I have no idea. Maybe the combination of drugs I was on hurt my ears more than I knew and it took weeks to show up.

      Just so hard waking up every morning greeted with this new noise and knowing it'll be another day of suffering. Just hoping that I won't crack under the sound.

      I know it could be worse. In fact, I'm kind of scared it's heading that way after spiking for almost 2 weeks now.

      And my stress levels aren't helping either. The g/f doesn't understand it. People without T don't get how it affects your mental state and can make everyday tasks that much harder.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1

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