Why Do Ear Infections Cause Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Littlebailey, Apr 29, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      Does anybody actually know? When I say 'anybody' of course I just mean whoever, medical experts and so forth. It certainly seems as if ENTs know almost nothing as to why, other than to say that it will probably go away. And then inevitably - learn to live with it.

      We know why loud sound causes it, presumably. But what happens in an ear infection that does it? It just kills the ear hairs?
       
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    2. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      I presume the infected fluid gets to the inner ear and damages hair cells the same way noise would. I believe it's the best theory at this point, but one that many agree with.
       
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    3. Kimbo Slice
      Balanced

      Kimbo Slice Member

      Location:
      Canada
      I already mentioned this in a couple of other posts, but here goes. When you lose hearing, you will hear tinnitus. It's most likely because even a person with normal hearing has tinnitus when entering a completely soundproof room and when you lose hearing or your ear becomes swollen, that tinnitus becomes more audible. Are you suffering from an ear infection right now? If so, why has your doctor not done anything about it?
       
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    4. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014

      I guess that makes sense. Frustrating, though. On many levels.
       
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    5. Penelope33
      Torn

      Penelope33 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2013
      Would tinnitus from high blood pressure kill hair cells?
       
    6. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      Great question. Does T from 'stress'/high blood pressure, etc. also damage the hair cells? I read somewhere that in the case of 'stress', the thinking might be that blood vessels are constricted, and that somehow induces the ringing. But what about the hair cells then? Frustrating that we don't know more about that.
       
    7. Denny

      Denny Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2013
      why do many people who have a history of anxiety and depression develop T?
      This is a pattern that Doctors don't care about but you can see phenomenon on
      many tinnitus forums.
       
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    8. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      @Denny Indeed. It could be the anxious/nervous sorts are the type of people more liable to go to message boards and talk about it, and are thus sort of overrepresented. But either way it does seem to be true, and I guess why anxiety is given as a legitimate cause of T onset, even if no one has much of answer as to why.
       
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    9. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      It's actually a little mind-boggling to me that we can do things like open heart surgery and organ transplants, but we can't understand something as common as tinnitus.

      Not everyone has tinnitus. If the only time someone can hear tinnitus is in a sound proof room, then they don't have it. Because under normally earthly conditions, you'll never be faced with a sound proof environment.
       
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    10. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      Hey matt I agree, and when I think about the really crazy and incredible things that we have achieved in the world not only in medicine but other areas of science and technology, it kind of reassures me that eventually we will figure this out. And everyone might have tinnitus to some extent but not like we do.
      Only thing I would add is if you think about t it involves the tiny delicate hair cells of the inner ear and the least understood part of the human body the brain. Considering that I think we have made good progress in the fact that we may have some actual treatments coming out to manage t in the not so distant future.
       
    11. Denny

      Denny Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2013
      @cullenbohannon

      some people think the brain is not receiving a signal from the ears so the
      brain starts it's own signal.
       
    12. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      Yes I've read a bit into that. I'm just happy we have theories as to why and hopefully from these theories something more can come. Personally i don't why and don't really have an opinion. I'm just happy it's being researched. @Denny
       
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    13. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      And another question I feel like asking, I guess almost rhetorically, why does T get louder when feeling stress/anxiety? Not so much why might it be caused by stress/anxiety/depression, but why, whatever the original cause, does it get worse and louder under stress, and then when the stress is relieved, it gets quieter?

      That would be something else it would be awesome if they knew, and would conceivably be part and parcel of the whole process.
       
    14. Denny

      Denny Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2013
      Good Question. Maybe because stress put more burden on the brain ??
      Brain cannot pickup signal from ears so sends a stronger signal or T gets louder.
       
    15. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      If noise damage causes haircells to die, and ear infections you would think causes hair cells to die, taking an otoxic drug causes hair cells to die, extreme stress can cause hair cells to die which all of those "causes" lead to the same effect hearing damage ( hair cells to die) then you would think that when they do find an effect treatment, it should work on all three cause even though there all different causes, the effect is the same meaning the tinnitus.
       
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    16. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014
      True enough. I'm not sure why stress would cause the hair cells die, but what the heck do I know? Not much.

      In any case, the best bet for treatment/cure would then seem to be the path autifony is pursuing. To stop the brain, regardless of the cause, from sending those phantom signals that we experience as ringing in the ear. And damn where you might have got it from!
       
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    17. Littlebailey

      Littlebailey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2014

      Is that true, though? What I mean is does everyone who experiences hearing loss get T? My dad was deaf in one ear most of his life, and my Grandpa had bad hearing for years, and neither of them had T. I'm guessing there are ways of acquiring hearing loss without destroying the hair cells. And that's the key thing, it's not the hearing loss per se, but the hair cells in particular. If that makes sense, which it might not.

      I don't know if I have an ear infection. If I do, it's a low-level chronic sort of thing. My appointment is not for another month. Because I don't have any dramatic symptoms. Fairly mild T, and crinkling of the ears.
       
    18. Denny

      Denny Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan 2013
      If your ear infection caused your t, then there maybe a good chance it will be gone when your infection is gone?
       
    19. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Yeah basically how i see it, is its a hit or miss kind of thing. Not everyone with hearing loss will develop T and thats including ear infections also. I had a bad case of hearing infections as a kid and never experienced T, but then got T from noise exposure so all together it seems if hair cells are being damaged no matter the cause then theres always the chance of developing T. Like you said autifony sounds like there heading into the right direction for creating something effective for T. But what i dont get is that most of us have perfect hearing which is told to us when we get a hearing test, yet do they have a test that can tell if hairs were damaged/destroyed? And since we have near perfect hearing, say 10 hair cells were destroyed which is probably nothing close to effecting our overall hearing, is that alone enough to cause T? Sounds so.
       
    20. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      That's a really good way to look at it. I have learned from my CBT that often when things get us down, we just need to look at the situation from a different perspective.

      Another thing that is reassuring is the very probable link between hearing loss and tinnitus. Because while research for hearing loss might not necessarily have tinnitus in mind, it could end up curing it if the theories about hearing loss and tinnitus are true. So we have researchers looking into hearing loss and we have researchers looking into tinnitus specifically. And even if tinnitus isn't that high of a priority in the minds of some, hearing loss surely is.
       
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    21. Penelope33
      Torn

      Penelope33 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2013
      Stress causes t to be louder as when under stess our hearts bear faster = more blood pumping round the head/ ears thus making t louder. Would be the same after physical excursion etc....
      That's my theory
       

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