What the Hell Is Happening to Me? Stopped Drinking Alcohol and Got Ringing...

Discussion in 'Support' started by ozm8ey, Jan 20, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. ozm8ey

      ozm8ey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Ok about 4 days ago I stopped drinking alcohol then a day later i noticed a buzzing/ringing sound coming from my ears or head. A day later I still had it so then i started drinking again but now today i still have this constant buzzing sound. I have not recently been exposed to any loud sounds.

      So can someone please help me? its unbearable, oh and i'm only 25.
       
    2. Garye
      Confused

      Garye Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ??
      It's still very early for you...and your young....chances are it will get better.See your doctor.Get your ears checked for ear wax build up.Get your hearing checked as well. It may well not be about the booze.!
       
    3. Garye
      Confused

      Garye Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ??
      I drank a bunch of whiskey 3 days ago,with friends,and next morning my noisy right ear shut up for 2 days...lol...what I mean is that there is no one definitive answer so far. Just remember..your young...it just started awhile ago....and for many people it does go away. Hang in there...
       
    4. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      What do you mean by "stopped drinking alcohol"?
      You were a raging alcoholic and stopped cold turkey? Or you were a casual drinker and decided to live healthy?
      You need to be a bit more specific, because getting tinnitus can be linked to alcohol withdrawal due to GABA receptor plasticity - but that would only be a viable case if you were a really heavy drinker.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. Garye
      Confused

      Garye Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ??
      Sorry did not mean to confuse....I have never been a heavy drinker...could go for months never a drink.
      What I meant was don't let yourself get locked into one explanation
       
    6. Garye
      Confused

      Garye Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ??
      Because unfortunately there does not seem to be one definitive answer . Could be this..could be that...I just meant that perhaps you should get the basics checked first...ear wax...hearing loss...
      Did not mean to annoy...just encourage you....your chances of recovery at this early stage are still good!
       
    7. ozm8ey

      ozm8ey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      you know whats kinda weird i think i can only hear it when i think about it. If I'm out doing stuff i don't really hear it but when im sitting around doing nothing and start thinking about it i hear it again
       
    8. ozm8ey

      ozm8ey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      update:
      I i just saw my doctor, he then checked my ears and said my ears are both almost completely blocked. He then gave me a prescription of Waxsol and told me to use it 3 times a day. He also said to do this throughout the day, he said take a deep breathe then block my nose with my fingers and then try and blow my nose out really hard. He also said its hard to to fix.

      I just hope it is was buildup.
       
    9. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I hope it was, too - but if you still have it after clearing your ears, how likely is that? Look at your first post here: you stopped drinking, and then you got tinnitus. Occam's razor applies here, let's talk a little bit about how tinnitus, and alcohol work.

      Tinnitus is, probably, at least in most cases, a result of nervous system hyperactivity. The system works by a series of checks and balances, where stimulating chemicals (called excitatory transmitters) are balanced out by calming chemicals (inhibitory transmitters). The basic inhibitor is called GABA. Nerve cells have little locks on their outer membrane called receptors. When GABA is present in its receptor, it "inhibits" the cell: it doesn't pass information along to other nerve cells as quickly. When this mechanism is not working normally, one effect is that cells fire "too quickly", "too much" information is being passed along to other cells. I'm using quotes because "too much" is a judgement: the mental and physical reaction to this extra excitation may be anxiety, nervousness, and neurological manifestations like muscle twitching and tinnitus. But, the body is just doing what it's supposed to be doing; its environment has changed, and it is trying to be homeostatic, which means "maintain a constant state".

      Alcohol is a fairly complex drug, all things considered, but at a really basic level one thing it does is cause an increase in the way GABA functions, which in turn causes a decrease in excitatory activity in the nervous system. This is why booze makes you feel relaxed.

      When you consume any substance which acts on GABA in this way for a period of time, homeostasis bites you in the butt: your brain says, "a ha! I'm using GABA much more efficiently than I should be, so I need to decrease it". One mechanism by which this happens is downregulation. Some of the receptor sites on the nerve cells are "turned off", so that GABA cannot bind to them.

      When you are in a state of downregulation and then you suddenly rip away the thing which is causing the increase in GABA function, all hell can break loose: it has a similar effect to taking a stimulating substance.

      The good news is that, in general, this process reverses over a period of time; homeostasis again kicks in and tries to normalize things. But, tinnitus is a very complex situation: the sound is a result of excessive synchronous firing of nerve cells. This may originate in the cochlea, or the auditory cortex, but very rapidly, the whole brain is involved. One problem is that the brain has a tendency to reinforce pathways which it decides are "important", there is an old saying, "if it fires, it wires" -- meaning, if you do something which causes your brain to fire in a certain way, that firing can get "wired in". One way that this happens is called long-term potentiation, which is thought to be heavily involved in the maintenance of tinnitus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_potentiation).

      So, my question is, how much were you drinking, on average? How many days a week did you drink? How long had you been drinking in that way?

      In general, from the anecdotes I have read, tinnitus as a result of alcohol cessation tends to resolve more quickly than tinnitus which arises from drugs like Valium, but there are no hard and fast rules.
       
      • Informative Informative x 3
    10. ozm8ey

      ozm8ey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Drinking around 6-10 beers a day and almost everyday. Also have being drinking heavily for about 1 year.
       
    11. ozm8ey

      ozm8ey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      figured it out: the government is sending signals to our brains to drive us insane
       
    12. albertf50
      Scared

      albertf50 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise Exposure
      linear,

      This is pretty much what happened to me. I was averaging anywhere from 25-35 drinks a week for a period of a year or two. When I decided I needed to stop, my tinnitus (which was probably a level 4) jumped up to what sounds like an 8! I only stopped for a week as the tinnitus caused me to start drinking again, but it has been three weeks now and the tinnitus has not gone back down to what it was. I also started hearing it in my good ear. Needless to say this rocketed my into high anxiety and I even had some very dark thoughts. I had my ears checked and my hearing is normal except in the high frequencies, and I have no wax buildup.

      So assuming there is an alcohol connection, what I can do to ensure it goes back down? Since the last spike, I have been put on xanax and celexa. I have been averaging 1mg xanax and the beginning dose of celexa. Are there any supplements that I could take to help this situation out?

      Thanks you so much,

      Albert
       
    13. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Hi @albertf50

      Sorry you're struggling with this. You're in a pretty complex medical situation, so I'm not really qualified to comment.

      Tapering off booze slowly, or crossing over to a long acting benzo and tapering that, would have been less of a shock to the system. 25-35 drinks a week actually doesn't strike me as a huge amount compared to a serious alcoholic, but it's double or triple the somewhat dubious national average for men.

      If you're still drinking, be very careful with benzos (Xanax) and ssris! Benzos can be pretty nasty in general.
       
    14. albertf50
      Scared

      albertf50 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise Exposure
      @linearb

      Thanks,

      I am having 1-2 drinks a day now. What do you mean, benzos are nasty? Also, did you have bad experience with SSRIs or benzos?

      Also, I read that article on long-term habituation. I am wondering if I get a hearing aid and have it tuned to my tinnitus frequencies in soon enough time, I could get my T back down to the levels they were.
       
    15. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      @albertf50 benzos can cause tolerance and dependence very quickly and are known to cause tinnitus as a result of withdrawal or even use. If your body is dependent on alcohol then you're probably wired to be dependent on benzos.


      I'm not a doomsayer, but you should definitely Google "benzo withdrawal" and "benzo side effects" before you take that stuff for more than a week or two.
       
    16. Nick Pyzik
      Depressed

      Nick Pyzik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/23/15
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Listening to in-ear headphones & playing in a band
      I'm not going to go into detail because it's Sunday and I'm feeling lazy, but I'll simply put it that alcohol is a drug. Drugs affect the brain's functionings, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. Most importantly, alcohol has been shown to release hormones in the brain in relation to the pleasurable reward regions of the brain. It also most likely affects neurotransmissions in the brain which can also be referred to as our "emotions". The kicker is that, although not mentioned very much in the science world, our hearing is one the most stimulating senses we can be born with. The emotional information involved with hearing (if born with the correct circuitry) allows our brain to gather in and feel any sort of frequency/sound out there in the world. That's why many people absolutely love music so much. It's because of how their auditory system is wired throughout their brain. I also would like to state that "Tinnitus" has a strong relation to our "emotions". Therefore, you partaking in the consumption of alcohol, were not fully experiencing this world with the sensory stimuli you have damaged or the hearing you have damaged. Simply, you were blocking your true emotional circuitry in your brain (your damaged hearing) with alcohol. If that all makes sense.
       

Share This Page

Loading...
If you have ringing ears then you've come to the right place. We are a friendly tinnitus support board, dedicated to helping you discuss and understand what tinnitus treatments may work for you.