Trial and Error at a Young Age — Lost Hope of My Tinnitus Getting Better

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by mcomeaux, Jul 29, 2021.

    1. mcomeaux
      Cowboy

      mcomeaux Member

      Location:
      Maryland, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ear infections, unknown
      Hi, I'm Maddy and I'm a new member here on Tinnitus Talk. My first memory of tinnitus goes all the way back to when I was around 8 years old. It didn't take me long to realize that the ringing wasn't a norm for other people. Over the years, the severity of my tinnitus slowly began to worsen.

      At the beginning of 2020, it became so bad that I started having anxiety attacks and couldn't sleep without masking sounds playing. I first went to my ENT who had also performed surgery on me when I was around 2 years old to put tubes in my ears. After a hearing test, they told me that the ringing was due to hearing loss in both ears. Just as a precaution, they also ordered an MRI to check for an acoustic neuroma which came back clean.

      I didn't take no for an answer and went to another ENT for a second opinion where I received another hearing test. Luckily for me, this ENT agreed with me that my level of hearing loss wasn't proportionate to my level of tinnitus. They started me on Prednisone to treat nerve inflammation which didn't help. We then tried Fluconazole nasal spray which also didn't help and in fact, I think it made it worse. As a last resort, they referred me to a physical therapist for TMJ treatment which also, unfortunately, didn't help.

      After multiple attempts to treat my debilitating tinnitus, my new ENT finally suggested that I try a habituation therapy that would cost me $7,000 which I didn't have.

      Despite nothing working, I refused to give up. I searched for a reputable acupuncturist in my area and received treatment for about 6 months. This treatment included traditional acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and deep brain stimulation. Included in this were multiple dietary supplements such as bone broth, Ginkgo Biloba, and garlic ear drops. Again, this didn't work.

      I then saw a chiropractor with the idea that one of my cervical vertebrae was pressing on a nerve bundle connected to the vestibulocochlear nerve in the brain. I saw this "doctor" for about 3 months and didn't see a difference.

      Since then, I've been learning to cope with the ringing. I'm currently on Wellbutrin XL 150 mg/day and Sertraline HCl 50 mg/day for anxiety and depression. I've lost hope that there's something that could help me.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Simon85

      Simon85 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      Hey. I just thought I’d mention that many people have reported tinnitus getting worse while on Wellbutrin - typing it into the tinnitus talk search is likely to yield quite a few results. Just something to consider and I hope you find some relief soon.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      mcomeaux
      Cowboy

      mcomeaux Member

      Location:
      Maryland, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ear infections, unknown
      @Simon85, thank you for your reply. I've noticed a slight increase in the severity of the ringing on Wellbutrin but I can't stop taking it because it's the only thing that can get me out of bed in the morning. With that being said, I appreciate the time you took to let me know about this.
       
    4. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      Did you get any blood work done? It could be as simple as hypothyroid or low BP.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      mcomeaux
      Cowboy

      mcomeaux Member

      Location:
      Maryland, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ear infections, unknown
      @Matchbox Yes, I had bloodwork done in September and November 2020, and the only significant result to come out of the November test was low folate levels. I've been taking daily supplementation for that and I haven't noticed a change.
       
    6. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      Honestly it could be so much worse than ringing.

      I'd taper slowly off the SSRI as it could make your noises worse staying on it.
      Keep masking, it'll likely slowly dissipate over time.

      Do Not Mess With It! Let it heal on its own, unless you suddenly wake up deaf or can't hear as well.
       
      • Winner Winner x 1
    7. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      Is it okay for me to ask why your doctor has you on both Wellbutrin and Zoloft? I understand they act on different receptors, but I've never heard of someone taking two at once, unless you are somehow deficient dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

      Any antidepressant has the potential to make your tinnitus worse, and many months ago I would have said to avoid all. But now I think if anything is helping you, you should stick with it. I, personally would taper off one of them though as you said one them might be making it worse.
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      mcomeaux
      Cowboy

      mcomeaux Member

      Location:
      Maryland, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ear infections, unknown
      @kingsfan Yes, of course. My doctor chose to prescribe me Zoloft for anxiety but unfortunately, it made me extremely tired all the time as a side effect. In response to this, they added Wellbutrin because it gives patients energy with its dose of norepinephrine. So now, I take Zoloft at night so I can try to sleep most of the side effects off and then I take Wellbutrin in the morning to wake me up. I'd love to not have to take them eventually but I don't want to end up in the place I was at before I started taking them.
       
    9. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      I completely understand why you don't want to stop.

      I've taken Wellbutrin in the past. I definitely have first-hand experience with the insomnia it causes. If it hasn't worsened anything to a point you cannot handle and it is helping in other ways, then I don't see any reason to discontinue. If you do decide, however, please talk with your doctor about very very slowly tapering off. Tinnitus can be a withdrawal symptom also.

      I'm currently on Nortriptyline as are many people who come through these forums. I think it made my tinnitus marginally worse, but it saved me from a downward spiral that I could not get out of on my own.
       
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