Unilateral Tinnitus Joined Me One Night — From Stress / Smoking / TMJ / Neck Issues?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Jebbis, May 12, 2021.

    1. Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      Hey everybody.

      I'm a 20-year-old girl and 7 months ago (late September 2020) one night as my ear was on the pillow, I heard a distant dump truck backing up from inside the pillow. Thus began my journey with unilateral tinnitus on the right side.

      I had been going through an extremely stressful time when my tinnitus joined me. I was clenching my jaw constantly, sobbing extremely hard many hours per day, many days in a row. It was just an awful time for more than a couple reasons. My whole entire being was under immense tension.

      The day after my tinnitus started, I got an air purifier to help me sleep at night. My boyfriend also has very mild non-bothersome tinnitus so he doesn't mind. One week after tinnitus, I was going on a walk with my boyfriend to try to get some nerves out of me... I was having severe anxiety at the time, and I sprained my ankle severely. This left me on crutches for 6 weeks. This made my recovery in those early months very difficult as I was sedentary for the most part. Terrible time.

      I eventually saw an ENT around December. She told me to quit nicotine and get a mouth guard. My hearing was "perfect" as they say. At the time of my appointment, I actually remember hearing silence in the soundproof room. I have no idea how or why that happened.

      I didn't quit vaping nicotine until March 29th. Withdrawals were AWFUL. I was right back to October when I was in full panic. I could not deal with my tinnitus, and the perception of it was very loud. Because I was on nicotine for basically my entire puberty, I am still having withdrawals, but they are getting better. Since quitting nicotine I would say my bad days are lessening and I have actually had a couple moments of "silence". Good days are more frequent. I am habituating for sure, but not giving up at all. Habituation is a "for now" solution but I believe my tinnitus is somatic. I have TMJ clicking, headaches, and I clench.

      I went back to the ENT after my big withdrawal spike. I wanted an MRI and blood work. She refused. So, my next step is to see a TMJ specialist.

      I hope my story is similar to somebody else's, and I hope any other young person with tinnitus doesn't feel as alone as I did in the beginning. I don't think that things happen in the body for no reason, and I think it's silly to think that there is no hope, especially with the inevitable research that will come from tinnitus linked to COVID-19.

      Anyway, some things about me:

      I love nature, I love art, and I love music. I find that humor gets me through more than anything else. I also think we are all in this predicament for a reason. So, let's be friends.

      (Positivity only, please. I don't need doom and gloom here. None of us do. Thanks).
       
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    2. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Welcome to the forum. Your ability to have some silence at times is a good indication that improvement may occur given time especially if you don't let more anxiety and stress to build up. They are not helpful and can aggravate tinnitus. You are welcome to read the success stories as they can give you hope and that you can learn some helpful strategies from others.

      If tinnitus bothers you, try masking it with soothing nature sounds.

      Take good care. God bless.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      @billie48, thank you for the warm welcome. COVID-19 has been an isolating time, and I have no social media--so entering the forum and getting to communicate with a bunch of people who truly truly understand the absolute struggle of tinnitus has been monumental in my recovery.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. kuromi
      Cheerful

      kuromi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      16/11/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      outer ear infection
      We've already spoken a bit here and there, but welcome to the forum Jebbis. You and I are similar ages, and we've had tinnitus for a similar length amount of time. (6 months in personally.) I'm terribly sorry you had such a stressful period of time in the run-up to your onset and I hope that you're having more peaceful days now.

      As others have said, the fact that you're having moments of silence and having good days often is a great sign that you will recover. Even in the early months of my case, I was having moments of silence and relatively good days as I started to experience fading and things went in to a downward trend as I recovered.

      I'm similar to you in the situation that habituation is a 'for-now' solution, but I truly hope and believe something will provide relief in the coming years.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      @kuromi, thanks so much for the warm welcome! Developing tinnitus really kicked my butt... It has been such a journey and I'm glad that I've joined the forum, it has been immensely helpful to talk to everyone and be able to feel like we are all in this battle together. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, it really means a lot. I feel like we are all a part of a family that we don't really want to be in... but here we are. I find that just chatting on here with other people who have tinnitus takes the edge off of the bad days. It really is amazing that we are all able to give each other support. Again, thank you for the welcome.

      There are so many kind and wonderful people here :)
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      I made another doctor's appointment with a new doctor.

      I'm feeling a bit frustrated, just at my own lack of understanding of my tinnitus and my fear that I have been experiencing false hope. I don't know if I should really get excited when I sometimes have a moment of silence after working out, because I don't know what it means. I don't know why my tinnitus seems to wake me up every morning. It is bizarre. Such a bizarre phenomenon. I catch myself wondering if the volume has truly decreased or if I'm just more okay with hearing it. I'm working on acceptance but I still want to know why it started to begin with.

      It's all so difficult. I have had many good weeks in a row, I no longer mask at night, but sometimes in the morning I get bothered, so I have to get up.

      I'm just frustrated. I'll be okay, but this sucks.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      I'm pretty frustrated today for some reason. I think hormonally I'm just out of whack.

      My tinnitus is louder and more intrusive right now than it usually is. I haven't had any coffee today which is unusual.

      I'm really hoping someone on here can help me, I would love some input from anybody.

      I just want to at least get close to the cause of my tinnitus. It doesn't make sense to me.

      I am not sure it was caused by smoking and vaping. I really don't know.

      It is unilateral-and it is a pure tone. I can modulate it greatly by plugging my ears with pressure, and it goes away for a moment after exercise (not sure if that's residual inhibition, I need feedback!) But I don't always get residual inhibition. Also, the sound started out as a ee eeee e eeeee eee ee, it was inconsistent and faint, but when it spikes it becomes a constant eeeeeeeeee.

      I have many other symptoms on the right side.

      When I flex my ears (like to wiggle them), my right ear has this extra crunchy sound/feeling. I know it's normal to be able to hear the muscles, but this is like a gooey crunch that I can almost feel deep inside.

      I have a weird deep itch in right ear and a lot of wax.

      The right side of my jaw is noticeable larger.

      I have occasional pressure around my right eye. Not pain, a dull pressure. It came on as I wrote this. Makes me feel like tearing up or something? It's weird. Water retention?

      I have head sensitivity most of the time when I walk. Its like whenever my right foot hits the ground, unless I'm stepping very lightly, sends this jolt to my head.

      Last summer before my tinnitus started, I turned my head too fast and gave myself a bad knot right at the base of my skull in the back on the right.

      The night I got my tinnitus I was crying really hard. Harder than anyone should. It was about something entirely different. When I had finally calmed down to go to sleep, it was there.

      I would just love some positive feedback, or if anyone else has a case that is similar at all, please let me know, we can support each other.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    8. Damien0000

      Damien0000 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      headphones
      Hello; I don't know if my case is really similar to you or not. I am not sure if my tinnitus appeared due to noise trauma or stress. I find similarities with you: I've had my tinnitus for one year, and I sometimes seem to be having moments of silence. I have the impression that my tinnitus is on one side; sometimes on the left and other times on the right side. Like you, I apparently have no hearing loss. My tinnitus sounds like a pchuuut. I don't notice any hissing... I can't describe how I feel, it is just a noise that bothers me sometimes. The television, and the shower especially, mask it TOTALLY. Like you, I am very, very, very anxious and for no particular reason.

      I have also been found to have hypertension for several months. Have you thought about having your blood pressure tested?

      As for clenching my teeth, I have a tray that I wear at night. This made it possible to stop the clicking of my jaw which I also felt on the left side.

      Personally, I recommend physiotherapy or osteopathy which allows me to relax a little. With the accumulated anxiety, muscle tension sets in, which is a good point to relieve.

      I am like you in the hope of finding a cure and that we can get out of this nightmare...
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      Thank you for the response, I appreciate the reassurance. This is such a bizarre condition.
       
    10. Simon85

      Simon85 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      This shall pass. Ups and downs are the way of tinnitus. Mine has just kicked up for the evening, but I suspect tomorrow will be quieter.

      Many of us can only make best guesses... though I’m pretty sure mine is noise-induced after thrashing my ears all of these years, but I can’t be fully sure. After seeing a good ENT and being tested for everything you just have to play the waiting game and see if you get a reduction in volume.

      It sounds like you’re a good soul and I hope you find your way towards recovery. Remember to keep yourself occupied and try not to dwell on tinnitus. I’m sure that in time you’ll start to feel a lot better.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      @Simon85, thank you, I appreciate it. It's been a hard few days.
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      Well I've had tinnitus for 8 months now.

      I think it would've been over by now if I could've figured out what is going on. I just tried to mask it for months because I was terrified. It was only when I got more comfortable with it did I start to experiment on what changes it and started coming up with ideas.

      Now, I have a few solid ideas of what it could be. I just want support. A couple months ago I quit nicotine and the withdrawals made me feel really shitty. I just quit coffee 2 days ago and I am just feeling so down. I just want more hope. When I have hope I'm fine. Can anybody help?

      Does anybody have a case of tinnitus similar to mine?

      Just wanting to bounce ideas around. Feeling quite alone at the moment.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    13. Simon85

      Simon85 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      Hey Jebbis. Well done for quitting nicotine. If you enjoy coffee then perhaps it’s best not to give it up entirely. If you give up items x, y, z because of tinnitus then that’s a lot of power to give tinnitus over you - ‘look at what tinnitus has done as I can’t do x, y, z’. It’s great for your health generally to give up smoking, but that morning coffee isn’t going to hurt you. If you’re going to cut out coffee perhaps do it for other reasons like losing weight or avoiding coffee in the evening to get better sleep. Yes, the tinnitus can pick up with a strong store bought coffee, but only for an hour - I still enjoy my morning ‘squealing’ coffee before work. By all means, consider cutting down on coffee and substitute in water, but consider it for general health reasons rather than tinnitus. You’re going to feel down if going cold turkey on your uppers.
      Things will, with time, get better.
      Do you have an option of finding another ENT - one that specialises in tinnitus. Not all ENTs are created equal and you’ll want someone to test you for the works - full MRI of head, MRI with contrast, CAT scan and extensive bloodwork. It might be something they can cure. To be fair, I got tested for everything through a private ENT but they still came up empty handed - I then got an equivalent of the ‘learn to live with it’ advice, but I’m glad to know in any case.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      I definitely didn't quit coffee for tinnitus, I quit it because I experience extreme physical symptoms from it (racing heart, anxiety, etc). I'm just happy to be off stimulants. If my tinnitus decreases, then that would be wonderful, but I have this feeling that my tinnitus has a more physical cause if that makes sense?

      I am definitely planning on going to another ENT in a town close by. I will be giving a more thorough history of my ears and trying to focus on the symptoms i have that go along with my tinnitus (headaches, pressure behind eye, neck tension, i clench my jaw at night,, etc.) Because of how my medical system works, I am not sure if I will be able to be referred to a tinnitus specialist, but I may be able to get myself to a TMJ doctor and maybe a physiotherapist, both may help me. I do feel that I would feel better either way if I had some doctors backing me up with a game plan. That would be so huge.

      I'm on a really good road to habituation. Stimulant withdrawal just stinks, though.

      I appreciate you taking the time to respond, and letting me know that it gets better with time.
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      The last doctor experience I had a couple of days ago was such a bummer. I didn't even get the doctor I wanted, and when I started talking about my tinnitus he shook his head and said "no that's not for me." He also refused to look at my ankle to assess for physical therapy because it would "take 5-10 minutes."

      It was unbelievable. I was in tears the whole time.

      So now I will be paying out of pocket to go to the best ENT my parents could find in our area. I'm hopeful this time because apparently this doctor doesn't like to let stuff go. I will update.
       
    16. SectorClear

      SectorClear Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/20/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      TMJ/ETD/stress
      Navigating the medical system with tinnitus has taught me that you have to be the best possible advocate for yourself that you can, because a lot of doctors don't truly care or even understand how debilitating tinnitus can be. They have their hand on the doorknob for half the visit. I found an ENT I really like and I asked for him specifically, turning down the first 2 doctors they tried to pawn on me because I didn't like their online reviews or the look of them. You will need to be assertive and even pushy at times to get the best care.

      Now I'm seeing a TMJ specialist for mine, after the ENT I trust said that's what's causing my tinnitus. The tinnitus specialist is a dentist, technically, but she works for a head and neck pain clinic that specializes in TMJ. Not sure how common these places are but I'm lucky to have one by me, and I get to go in tomorrow for a follow up. 3 months in and it's getting easier, but I'd sure like it gone, as I'm sure you do as well. Good luck with the battle.
       
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    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Jebbis
      Dancing

      Jebbis Member

      Location:
      United states
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, I suspect stress/smoking/tmj/neck issues
      Holy cow, everybody.

      I'm back for an update.

      First and foremost, my tinnitus has not vanished. Go figure, I haven't had any treatment.

      I went to that ENT in the beginning of July. I had another flawless hearing test. He cleaned my ears (manually, on request... that vacuum is loud!) He didn't have any immediate answers for me, but he referred me to get a head MRI with contrast. as well as referred me to a neurologist for my headaches. I still haven't gotten the MRI because I'm dealing with insurance issues. So, we wait. At least I have people who want to help me hunt for the cause.

      Regardless of anything, holy crap, I have my life back.

      I don't know what happened. I started sleeping without a fan, and life since then has been remarkably normal. There are 2 reasons for this, I think:

      1: Acceptance. I realized that this is all just a part of a unique human experience. This is my human experience right now. Maybe not forever, but for right now this is my circus. Damn it, but it's just true. I can't deny that.

      2: Time! I don't think I could think my way out of how I was feeling. It just took me some months to really marinate in my circumstances to realize I have got to make the best of it. I still have bad moments, but even since the last time I was on here...it's incredible. My absolute worst days now are 10x better than my best days 8 months ago, and it doesn't have much to do with the actual perception of my tinnitus.

      I also must say that social media in itself used to give me mental health problems... and it isn't much different with tinnitus. I adore this site and the warriors who reside here... but let yourself breathe. I have found that taking a break from here let me form my own relationship with my ears. This is something I had to do on my own.

      Despite that, I so appreciate everyone on this website. I needed this community to learn the tools to get to where I am now, and I could never have done it if I felt alone. So to every person who ever supported me on here, thank you. Life is good. It may not be perfect, but I can say that it is good. This is the single hardest journey I have ever been thrust into and I appreciate any person who ever tried to make it easier. Thanks, guys.

      Oh, also, does anyone here play disc golf? I just got into it.

      EDIT: Just wanted to clarify that it is very possible that my tinnitus volume has gone down... it certainly has not gotten worse. It's just hard to quantify, you guys know how it is. I do feel like I am getting better, though.
       
      • Winner Winner x 2
    18. baz14600

      baz14600 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      20/07/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Jebbis, thought I’d leave a comment about my recent tinnitus considering we are of similar age.

      I am also 20 and just this week starting to experience some tinnitus in my right ear (which has been affected with hearing loss by otosclerosis for many years now). I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it occurred however I believe it was during a night of high anxiety (which I’d never previously experienced).

      Currently I’m finding it hard to deal with, I haven’t slept properly for days and it is a constant thought in my head that I cannot let go of.

      You mention quitting nicotine giving you trouble and that you were unsure of it being the cause.

      Leading up to this I had recently quit vaping nicotine, I vaped occasionally for 2-3 months until I realised it was dumb and quit.

      Personally I’m really not sure what has caused my tinnitus. Obviously my otosclerosis could very well be the culprit, however I have had this since I was 14 with almost no issues regarding tinnitus. Perhaps quitting nicotine among other recent events in my life may have sparked it.

      Also did you ever have any tinnitus prior? I sometimes had short amounts of it from seconds to a few hours, I always woke up the next day completely fine.

      Anyways, I’ve read your posts in this thread and it’s great to see that you are doing better recently, and I will definitely take on your advice for dealing with it should it continue.

      It’s very comforting to know I’m not the only one of our age experiencing this.
       
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