Unilateral Non-Pulsatile High Frequency Tinnitus with NO Hearing Loss: Some Questions

Discussion in 'Support' started by Jhodi, Feb 4, 2020.

    1. Jhodi

      Jhodi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:

      I am a 54 year old, happily married female, who decided to quit drinking the 3 glasses of red wine I was drinking with dinner, every night, for a several years. When I realized how bad alcohol really is for us, even fancy red wine, I stopped, cold, on January 1st. I had ZERO withdrawal symptoms save for some mild headaches around day 11, 12. Then, three weeks into abstinence, this tinnitus appeared. Over the years I have heard tinnitus, the same high frequency pitch, but it would always go away within seconds. But now it is constant, worse at night, getting better during the day. My hearing test came back within normal range though I do have some very mild, high frequency loss, but still in "normal" range.

      Now, I have been a working musician for all of my life... since about the age if 13. I play guitar for a rock and blues band. I have not played a show since last September, though. If my hearing is normal, can we say that my tinnitus is due to playing live music? It does not appear to be due to hearing loss.

      Let me be very clear: my ultimate priority is resolving this tinnitus or at least keeping it from ever getting worse. I have a big show coming up in two weeks. Should I bow out? It is my birthday show at a big venue... BUT I DON'T CARE if it is going to harm me.

      Thank you all for your feedback... and also: what are your thoughts on the stopping drinking thing? Did this cause a vascular shift? As I stated, the tinnitus is worse at night, in the supine position, and gets better throughout the day. I have read an abstract that this profile of tinnitus could be venous in nature.

      Thank you all for your help. I will SO ditch playing live music if it will help me, and will absolutely quit if there is a chance it can cause further harm.


      Scared Shitless in the Ozarks
    2. GregCA

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Yes, we can. It's probably at the top of the possible culprit's list, given your history of exposure to noise.
      It could still be due to hearing loss. As a life-long musician who played in bands, you probably do have "more than average" hearing damage (due to your exposure), even though it does not necessarily appear significantly on an audiogram (you can also research cochlear synaptopathy and "hidden hearing loss" for more info on damaged hearing that doesn't show during a test).
      How do you protect your hearing during such shows?
      It is possible. However, it's pretty common for tinnitus to vary during the day, and to be worse at night. One common explanation is that nights are quieter, unlike daytime where tons of environmental noise is present to mask tinnitus (even if we don't notice environmental noise due to our brain's filtering).
      It would probably be a good idea to give your ears a bit of a break. You could be close to "the straw that broke the camel's back", with the tinnitus being the warning signal.

      I'd suggest you consult with a specialist and follow the diagnostic flowchart from https://www.tinnitusresearch.net/index.php/for-clinicians/diagnostic-flowchart

      Is your hearing loss and/or tinnitus unilateral? If so your doctor may recommend an MRI to rule out an Acoustic Neuroma.

      Good luck!
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. Chinmoku

      Chinmoku Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, possibly medication
      Stopping alcohol cold turkey has possibly affected Gaba receptors in your brain. It is similar to stopping benzodiazepines, which is known to trigger tinnitus in some people, especially if done cold turkey. If you had mild/hidden hearing loss the gaba disruption might have alerted your brain to it.
      I would take this seriously and avoid further risks. Severe tinnitus can be hell.
    4. Poppy Traxler

      Poppy Traxler Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acute Labrythitus
      I gave up wine as well. It didn't help me.
      Caffeine, strangely, has. Nobody would have believed I'd give up
      my caffeinated coffee.
      Music/sound/loudness/pitch seems to be a huge culprit, and your hearing may stay *normal for many years. Wear ear plugs perhaps to help.

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