TMJ, Neck Issues, Hyperacusis and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by kaybee11, Jun 6, 2022.

    1. kaybee11

      kaybee11 Member

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000ish
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I’ve been struggling that past several months, since beginning of April. During that span of time I’ve seen my Primary Care Doctor, ENT, Gastroenterologist, Neurologist, Chiropractor, Dentist and currently awaiting a follow up with my ENT and an appointment with audiology. I am 50 with a husband and 4 kids.

      I had a cold or something, maybe allergies (runny nose, sometimes like water was running from my nose, it was so thin, stuffy nose, sore throat, and a little bit of a cough). It went away and then early April I felt my ears getting a fullness feeling. My nose symptoms had resolved by this time. I was told it was allergies and prescribed Flonase and Zyrtec by Urgent Care. Tested me for COVID-19, negative. I followed up with my Primary Doctor who said the same thing but I wasn’t having any nasal issues and my ears looked fine, no infection or fluid, so I guess I didn’t think that was the issue.

      Fast forward and within the first 2 weeks in April I had a CT scan of my head and CT scan of sinuses – all normal. Referred to ENT – asked if I had ringing in my ears – I did, although not too bad at that time. I also developed sensitivity to certain sounds, like running water, rustling paper, crinkling of water bottles, and hear my voice a little loud in my ears. She looked in my ears and did a pressure test – all normal. She then put a tube through my nose, said it looked dry and asked if my throat was dry. It was – I also had thick mucus in my throat and at times would get thick rubbery white mucus in my nose, but it didn’t feel stuffy or anything, so was thinking possibility of silent reflux or something, since my stomach was a little off, but, could be anxiety I was suffering as well. Anyway – she ordered blood tests for autoimmune and thyroid, I will go this week to get that done. She also did a hearing test in her office which came back normal.

      Followed up with my Primary Care again, and during this whole time I knew I was clenching my jaw and I had mainly left sided neck and skull pain with head pressure. She referred me to gastro and neuro where basically nothing came of it. Gastro wants to do a colonoscopy and abdominal ultrasound, but my insurance didn’t approve the ultrasound. So got nowhere on the possibility of reflux. Neuro wanted an MRI, the ENT already ordered one in the meantime. I’m supposed to go this Thursday but having second thoughts because MRIs are loud and nervous. It will be a wide bore MRI which I know is loud.

      The dentist said I have TMJ – I mainly feel jaw pain on my left side and pain in and around that ear. Tinnitus is worse in that ear, not as bad in the right. A mold was done of my teeth for a night guard, I do tend to tense my jaw due to anxiety and last few months it has been really bad.

      As of today my current symptoms: increased tinnitus and sensitivity to sound which I noticed last Wednesday. So, this is weird and not sure if related, but something I noticed: My left ear when this first started happening in April, high pitched ringing, felt like maybe roaring in my ear as well along with fullness and crackling – but, when I would plug my left ear I heard like blood moving, whatever you are supposed to hear when you plug your ear canal shut. However, when I did this with my right ear, it was like numb or dull. This resolved like 5 days later and last Wednesday I experienced it again, but now it is fine. However, the hearing in that ear was kind of tinny. Like I heard things far away? I have pretty much constant ear fullness and crackling (crackling more when I swallow and sometimes it will pop a little but on its own). I also get bouts of a little dizziness and anxiety is still there. I was thinking maybe hydrops or something. My mother when she was I believe in her 40s noticed she was losing hearing in her right ear. The doctor told her it was hydrops and prescribed a water pill, which she has taken every day since then.

      I don’t have any diagnosis for this and trying to be patient. Up until last Wednesday I was using ear protection sparingly, nothing to noise cancelling and limited use if I was going to be in a noisy environment. I started listening to pink noise for the tinnitus last Wednesday as well, and increased my usage of ear protection (again, nothing huge like noise cancellation, just using link dream over the ear headphones – I play the pink noise through them as well). I listen to the pink noise on and off through the day, and try to go without have the earphones on. I now have the Oasis sound machine sitting next to me instead of using the headphones. The pillow speakers won’t be here until Wednesday so I don’t have to wear headphones at night. I don’t use them all night, as they tend to fall off when I sleep and my phone battery dies during the night as well.

      I’m not sure what is going on but any insight or support would be welcomed!
       
    2. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing + Somatic tinnitus from dental work
      Hi @kaybee11, tinnitus can occur when abnormal pressure develops in your inner or middle ear. This can be a direct result of congestion caused by allergies. Allergies cause tinnitus usually by fluid in the ear from blockage of the Eustachian tubes. Congestion and inflammation can develop in your ears if you have allergies, even brief. The Eustachian tube connects to the throat and middle ear. This tube can become plugged or inflamed with allergies, and tinnitus can occur. Sinuses are air-filled spaces in your nose and face that could become clogged. All this causes the immune system to react and can cause dizziness. Inflammation from allergies can set into the jaw or anxiety can tense the jaw.

      Nasal, Eustachian tube and sinus issues may now be resolved with no infection or fluid, but this hit and run caused ear and jaw damage.

      Hopefully with a mouth guard and time, your tinnitus will lessen and maybe even disappear. I would try to determine what caused the allergy attack.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kaybee11

      kaybee11 Member

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000ish
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you! Would it also cause the increased sensitivity to sound I've been having the whole time as well? It has been over 2 months and sensitivity increased last week. Anything I can take to help with tinnitus? It is pretty constant. I know anxiety doesn't help either, and I have plenty of that. Just trying to figure this out. Hoping the night guard will work also! Thank you!
       
    4. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing + Somatic tinnitus from dental work
      Probable hyperacusis from reaction to a slightly red eardrum. The eardrum may not show any redness now, but the eardrum may not be totally functional yet. There are also ear muscles that probably have come into play. Protect your ears from loud noise. In a few weeks to a few months, all should at least improve. Try Magnesium Glycinate. One third of a tablet, three times a day. Take with food. If your stomach becomes upset, then quit.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kaybee11

      kaybee11 Member

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000ish
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Last several days I have also had jaw pain (more soreness I guess) right next to my ear and neck pain as well, which is causing ear pain.

      I try to sleep on my back but notice during the night that I end up on my left side and I use a cervical pillow.

      I just don't know how to explain the weird ear feeling with constant ear fullness, crackling sound whenever I swallow and what I explained above.

      I did go to Urgent Care a week or so ago -- the doctor said she saw a flake on my eardrum and said it could have ruptured or perforated. Interesting. She looked again and said, wait, probably just ear wax.

      So, who knows.

      I have been using cotton balls, that is considered over protecting is it? I have been using ear phones since last Wednesday (not noise cancelling) and sometimes listen to pink noise for the tinnitus. So, this is weird, don't know how to explain it but will try. 3 times since this started 2 months ago, my left ear which has the loud tinnitus (not as much in right ear), I will get a spike (normally lasts a few days or so) and also get a kind of roaring sound? Before that if I pinched my ear shut, I could hear like blood flow or something, but not during these spikes, it would sound dull, and my hearing in that ear would be tinny, then resolve once the spike went away. When hearing my family talk my ears kind of react to that, sort of like not a fluttering sound but an echoing maybe? Hard to explain. I always have fullness in my ears and sometimes pressure -- changing in intensity and crackling sounds in ears whenever I swallow. I thought maybe I might have Patulous Eustachian Tubes (PET) -- I did lose like 25 pounds in the last 2 months (anxiety) -- and quick weight loss can do that, but, not sure.

      Trying to rack my brain if I had any acoustic trauma before this started 2 months ago -- unless there is some hidden hearing loss? My ENT was sure that was it because of exposure when I was in the military, but my hearing test came back normal -- so not related to noise exposure. Thinking of seeing if ENT will do a nasal endoscopy where the Eustachian tubes can be seen and if my nasal passages are normal, and maybe a PET test.
       
    6. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing + Somatic tinnitus from dental work
      You now mention:
      Chaff - dry, scaly protective substance from having a red eardrum.

      In your post above, all this relates to what I said on Monday - Eustachian Tubes.

      All should improve, but try to determine what caused the allergy attack. Maybe seasonal pollen.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      kaybee11

      kaybee11 Member

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      2000ish
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you, makes sense!

      I'm pretty sure it is allergies related to the dry desert climate I live in. It has been windy quite often the past several months however, normally my allergies present with sneezing runny nose, etc; but not now. I haven't had allergies bother me in over a year and a half. The past several months I have thickish mucus in my throat (mainly when I swallow) and whenever I eat or drink anything, I can feel some come out my nose, it is not much, is thick and either clear or white and have to use Kleenex to get it out. My eyes also kinda feel mucusy. I may start taking Claritin and see how that goes. Will try sinus rinse as well.

      I just don't understand the sensitivity to noise, heavy head and dizziness, not like vertigo, just kind of off balance but am able to walk ok -- almost feels worse when sitting down. The sound sensitivity is really weird -- when I'm in a store people's voices are loud, A/C systems, banging of carts, beeping at the register, etc.

      I had a follow up audiology appt yesterday. Hearing normal. Tympanogram: Left ear was type A and right ear type B. Was told to follow up with ENT, but that isn't until the 27th. From what I've read A or B could be inflammation of eardrum or Eustachian Tube Dysfunction -- maybe both? Last time I had the hearing test (well over a month ago) my ear pressure was normal. Guess I will have to wait for the ENT follow up and see.
       
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