Will Prednisone Help? Multitone, ETD, Barotrauma

Discussion in 'Support' started by MartinP, Nov 12, 2016.

    1. MartinP

      MartinP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, Barotrauma
      Hello everyone,
      I have been reading this forum for a while and was hoping you could give me a hand with my tinnitus case.

      I am a 35-year-old male living in a valley in Oregon. It all began back in mid July when I noticed my right eye pupil was bigger than the left one. I also felt congestion in the ears and sinuses. When I touch or scracth my right side of the head, on top of the ear, I feel an instant itch right to the eye, and it gets red. I had an MRI, no tumors regarding the eye. They discarded acoustic neuroma regarding the tinnitus. Before the MRI however, my tinnitus started. What happened was that I was blowing my nose when my right nostril somehow blocked and air went back inside the ear, causing pain and almost an instant faint hissing in my right ear. I was able to ignore it for a while, then, on the day they did a blood panel and an x ray of my neck to discard a mass to my vertebra, something happened. This was in mid August. As I drove back in the car, the faint hissing sound became loud. Only in the right ear. From there on, things got much worse.

      I tried to get an appointment with an ENT but they would not give me one for 2 months or longer. I went to urgent care. I began taking Flonase and Azythromax. On the first day taking the medications, my tinnitus changed from a "peaceful" radio hissing to a mix of high-pitched sounds. The hissing was still there. On the 3rd day, the tinnitus went to my left ear (which was intact until then). It all became louder.

      Back to urgent care, the doctor told me my ear drums looked like balloons and liquid was trapped in the middle ear. She diagnosed me with otitis media and also said that I had an "allergy" of some type and put me on Zyrtec , suggesting to start Prednisone if the matter didn't resolve in 2 weeks.

      I waited 6 days before starting with the prednisone. Zyrtec didn't do anything for me. Until then I was able to mask the sounds, I continued taking Zyrtec and began Prednisone 20 mg for 7 days, if I recall correctly. Noises were still there, but I believe my ears cleared up at some point because of a foul smell and feeling that came down my throat one day, and was left without the feeling of ear fullness. However, an event took place during the days I was taking the prednisone that left me with some sort of reactive tinnitus or hyperaccusis. As with most people who begin suffering from this, I was making sure my ears didn't suffer from loud noises but didn't use ear plugs. I simply avoided loud noises. My dog suddenly barked in my right ear, very closely, and almost intantly my ear popped. I freaked out. I was scared and reacted like I had been shot. I was worried. Hours later, I began feeling distorted sounds. Until then, sounds were clear and would mask tinnitus. That day everything changed. Tinnitus began vibrating when I talked and external sounds, such as fans, which used to mask my noises, became a trigger. My own voice reverberated and bothered me.

      I am not sure what caused that, but things got way worse later.

      After about 1 week and a half of stopping Prednisone and Zyrtec, I also noticed different tones under the hissing. It sounded like a hard drive from a computer on the right ear and morse code in the left ear. This was activated by sounds as well, but it wasn't too bothersome. So I was left with a multitone tinnitus. These sounds, eventually, became less prevalent and the hissing would cover them, only to be heard in really silent places and when the hissing was down a notch or two.

      I went back to urgent care (was still waiting for the ENT appointment at the time) a and a different doctor said my T was caused by barotrauma when I blew my nose, and that liquid was no longer inside the ears. He prescribed some antibiotics and asured me they wouldn't cause more ringing in the ears (knowing some are ototoxic), but as soon as I read the common side effects, that was one of them. Why he prescribed antibiotics I am not sure, but he seemed to be confused as well. He said no infection was apparent. I did not take the antibiotics.

      I was getting about 3 hours of sleep a day. I couldn't eat. Eeverytime I swallowed food, my ear pops and my throat feels narrow.

      In mid September I finally had the appointment with the ENT and had the typical hearing test, measuring pressure in the ears and such. The doctor told me my hearing was normal and "welcome to tinnitus, it will get better, sorry you feel bad". He didn't look inside my nose. He barely inspected my ears.

      About a week later, in mid September, my tinnitus was getting a little lower in intensity when a frying pan startled me and hell began. It all turned upside down. Every sound became more reactive. I could not watch TV anymore. I could not listen to the radio. Everything was distorted. My own voice hurt me. Putting clothes on, the sound of fabric, was hurtful. Paper, plastic bags, all of those hurt my ears. I went to my family doctor and my blood pressure was lo low, she was concerned. I had lost it. I never needed any drugs to keep me up. I had lost about 10 lbs in 1 month. I was at 131 lbs when tinnitus began. I am now at 115 lbs. She prescribed Lorezapam and sped up the process to get to a different ENT, as she felt the first one had not looked at me properly. She also told me to get a full blood panel again.

      Lorezapam helped. It helped me sleep. It lowered the sounds and calmed me down. I started taking the benzo in mid September, taking about 1.5 mg a day. I was able to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Little by little, I began feeling better. Tinnitus was not bothering me as much, but still reactive to external noises. I could only hear the morse code and hard drive when I was very calm, and sometimes it wasn't there.

      Back to my main care physician, I asked to get tested for Lyme disease, Ankylosing spondylitis, Hypothyroid, Thalassemia (a form of anemia, as my father as the minor type) and a full blood panel.

      ENT appointment was about 1 week ago and the doctor said I had a lot of inflammation inside my nose and ears. He told me I needed an allergy test. He said my hearing was abnormal (as in good) and that I had the hearing of a 6-year-old.

      Allergy test hasn't been done yet, things are very slow in this country, apparently, but ENT will see me at the end of the month.

      Things got better for me for the past week or so, being able to watch TV again, and the reactive tinnitus going away most of the time, no morse code or hard drive sounds... until last Saturday. I went to the city next to my town and my ears popped again, while in the car passing through the mountains. Next day, I blew my nose, carefully BUT THEN it happened again! Just like what supposedly started my tinnitus hit me again. Air came back from my right nostril into my ear. It didn't hurt, but the noise changed and it became more reactive again. The ear fullness began again. Sounds, ironically, became clearer as in I could hear more external noises. But the morse code and hard drive sounds are now audible even when Im not in silent rooms. The hard drive noise sometimes becomes a full beeeeeeeep for a long time. The hissing is always there, up and down, it has maybe lowered itself a bit. Hissing is still not able to be masked completly while watching TV. I leave music on at night, as white noise doesn't cover it either and activates the hissing more. It's still high pitch sometimes, but goes up and down in tone. I can't concentrate to read just yet. I am struggling sometimes to write this.

      My question is, did I cause barotrauma once again after blowing my nose last Sunday and should I take Prednisone right away? It's been 5 days since it happened, approximately, and still hear the morse code and hard drive sounds. Right ear is reacting to sounds, and before this event, it was barely reacting anymore, while the left ear is so good and not reacting as much. Will Prednisone avoid possible cochlear damage or is it too late? Could it be just that it was irritated? I have still pills from last time and could do a 7-10 day course, but doctors are NOT taking me in on time. I don't want these new sounds to become permanent. Since the ENT said I had a huge inflammation inside the nose and the Eustachian Tube Dysfunction is still there. Right ear keeps popping and even hurting, all the way down my throat. When I speak, I feel that vibration on my head and nose again and tinnitus increases. Will Lorezapam (I am down to 0.12 approx a day, tapering) interact with Prednisone? Could the hyperaccusis I developed and the multitones have something to do taking Prednisone back then?

      I do understand I should have been put on a longer and more powerful Prednisone course from the start, correct? Why doctors missed this, I don't know and it pains me so much.

      I really appreciate each and one of you for helping so many people deal with this intrusive condition. Before this, I was a healthy person. Never been depressed until now. Never had psychological issues or anxiety before. My social life is so difficult now and my wife and family have had a horrible time dealing with this as well. I used to love radio, books, movies, writing... I am so messed up right now I can't do those anymore without suffering.

      Thank you so much for your kindness and hoping a cure it is soon available to everyone.
       
    2. Romain B.

      Romain B. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      @MartinP Hello, what about the hard drive sound and morse code ? After taking pred i'm also experiencing the hard drive sound, did it go away for you ? Did you get used to it ?
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MartinP

      MartinP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, Barotrauma
      Hello @Romain B. ,

      It's been a little over a year and both noises are there, but barely audible most of the time.

      I still have hyperaccussis and reactive tinnitus (hissing and electrical noises that get worse when ambient noise is present, resulting in tinnitus spiking like crazy) and it covers the hard drive noise and morse code. Driving, frying food, the noise made by plastic bags, still "hurts". It is like some sort of pain but more like dizziness, spiking the static/electrical noises considerably.

      When I am relaxed and/or the static and electrical noises go down, the morse code and the hard drive noise return. But really, they don't bother me as much, as they can be masked while the static and electrical noises can't.
      Sometimes, the morse code (in the right ear) becomes a full tone for a while, then returns to a very subtle morse code. The hard drive appears to react to ambient noises sometimes, as if these external sounds were translated into the hard drive noise (this strange effect has only happened a few times, then subsided within days).

      The interesting thing is that only when I get someone screaming, or a sudden noise that startles me, that these two noises clearly return, up in volume. It takes a long while, but they slowly go back to a lower volume. Again, these hard drive and morse code noises are able to be masked by ambient noise, while the others aren't. Most days I don't hear these two, I suppose because the static and electrical noises are basically louder.

      So, I'd say I am slowly getting a little used to all noises caused by the disease. Sooner or later, they will come up with a solution for everybody's tinnitus.

      One thing that has helped me greatly is practicing mindfulness, which I suggest everybody tries.

      I hope your new noises go away soon. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me.
       
      Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
    4. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      1
      Tinnitus Since:
      1900
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      the evidence of prednisone doing anything for tinnitus, aside from cases of SSHL, is not very good -- and the evidence that it does anything at all more than 24-48h out is basically non-existent.

      I would not take prednisone 5 days in, personally. I also note that we have a front-page thread now from someone who thinks that a prednisone shot worsened their tinnitus. Drugs are never 100% safe.
       
    5. Romain B.

      Romain B. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      I'm so glad to read from you, thx you so much for your time and your answer. When i red your story with pred it's puzzled me cause it's exactly the same way for me. I took pred in order to treat ETD related with a serous otitis (4 days on the drug) and then i quit rapidly because i was hearing a new sound in the background of my head like a vacuum cleaner always on or when you pick up the home phone and before start dialing your hear this one constant tone... then 2 days later this sound becomed a hard drive type of sound in the middle of the night, like a computer working or loading files : bee beee be beeee beeeeeeeeeeeeeee beeee bee beeeee. It's in both ears too. Sometimes it change side between ears. So to read news from someone who got the same story and manage to cope with this give me hope ! Maybe in one year i would feel the same... I'm waitting this day where we will see the news coming down from heaven : "A cure for tinnitus suffers". Thx again
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MartinP

      MartinP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, Barotrauma
      Definitely. Most people taking prednisone report their tinnitus went down a little, then returns as soon as they stop the dosage. In my case, I know that Azithromycin made mine worse. That's when things turned ugly. Anectodal data, perhaps, but I am sure many users here have experienced that Azithromycin effect from its ototoxicity.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MartinP

      MartinP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, Barotrauma
      Thank you for your kind words. I did get that drone type of noise as well (not exactly a vaccum cleaner), sometimes it comes back, but it is usually not there. That phone example is very accurate. And, yes! The computer loading files, the working noise of the hard drive... that noise is very particular.

      Tinnitus noises will change between your ears, in my experience. Perhaps yours will dissipate soon anyway.

      Of course you will feel the same as me or better, and again, these hard drive and morse code noises have gone down a lot, really. But if you can mask yours, it will be easier. Not so the other noises I suffer from... However, the thing is that if I can go on, you can go on too. We all can. It's hard sometimes, but it is always doable.

      A solution will happen, sooner or later, but it will. Until then, we'll cope with this thing. Staying busy helps. Things will get better.
       
    8. Romain B.

      Romain B. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Once again i don't have the right words to tell you how you gave me hope and positives thoughts ! I will keep reading this post in the bad days. I stay in touch on how things going on. The fact with this type of morse code tinnitus is it's not constant like a hiss that can drive you more easely into sleep.. it's more catchy. But like you said i may at some point habituate to it... Thousands of thx for your words and time
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    9. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      1
      Tinnitus Since:
      1900
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      since I've had significant tinnitus, whenever I've been prescribed antibiotics of any kind, I've filled the script and then waited 48-72hours to start taking them. 90% of the time, I have started to improve on my own; I believe I've only used oral ABx once since I started doing this. The only times I've made an exception were both related to hospital visits where there was a serious risk of infection (once for a puncture wound that sent me to the ER after a bike crash, and once for a minor surgical procedure).

      I've found that even doctors who feel that ABx are overprescribed, tend to be too quick to give them out. Azithromycin is bad; the fluroquinolones can be much worse.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MartinP

      MartinP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, Barotrauma
      When I get sick, I do exactly the same thing. I have been to so many doctors in the US. I then went to so many doctors in Europe, looking for hope, to no avail.

      The interesting thing is that in both continents, emergency doctors, family doctors, and even ENTs, will prescribe ototoxic antibiotics, even after inquiring, to which they always reply "no, these ones are not ototoxic". Then you get out of the building, look it up online and reliable sources almost always contradict the doctor's opinion.

      Conclusion: Always do your own research and don't trust doctors alone. They simply don't get it, don't care, or don't want to understand. The only doctors who told me to avoid antibiotics were those specialized in tinnitus. Antibiotics are poison, no doubt. Specially in IVs. Your body can fight infection and it has long been reported we are overusing antibiotics.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MartinP

      MartinP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, Barotrauma
      I am glad to be of help. I felt that way when I first got the new noises, I know what it's like, not pretty, but it gets better.

      The morse code is perhaps more distracting than the hissing, but if you can mask it when you sleep, you'll be good (maybe calm music, guided meditation, radio). Distract your neurons, trick them a little bit with some audio. If not able to mask, these new noises will start fading out within a few days, weeks or months. One thing that also helps is thinking of how many ambient noises we experience every day and don't pay much attention to (except in reactive tinnitus cases like mine, but even so, your brain tells you it's external noises at some point). From refrigerators to cars, to clocks, to leaking faucets... to people working at a loud factory. Of course, protecting your ears from loud noises and sudden barometric pressure changes is important, but you get my point. People can sleep with a fridge next to them, or with the TV on, or in extreme cases, with background gun shots in times of war. I am pretty sure people who used to work at a telegraph took a few naps while on duty, even with the morse code playing in the background.

      Humans adapt to new environments incredibly well, once you get past the fear of getting new noises, of uncertainty, things change radically.

      If you can stay positive, the new noises will eventually go lower in volume and maybe even disappear.

      Feel free to contact anytime. I am sure your new noise will get better soon.
       
    12. Romain B.

      Romain B. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      It was again a big pleasure to read you. Very helpful point of view. I like the image with the guy sleeping while morse code is transponding.. It's so true, with time the brain can adjust and put it in the background. Actually i'm concerning about the vacuum noise in the rear panel of my head who seems to be elsewhere in my head, like a tea kettle, so weird. Anyway i think it is what you described, the discovery of a brand new world, i'm still not get used to it, it's new and fresh, so fear is easely responding present, i have to accept it as my new baseline, it's pretty hard but i did it once with my first T so maybe it would be the same, with TIME !! Hope it will do great job on my feelings and moods. Thx to let me contact you anytime, it give me support, and comprehension. Your words let me think there is no big drama and it's cool down my nerve system. Thx again
      I will do my best to stay positive !!!
      The best to you
       
      • Like Like x 1
    13. Romain B.

      Romain B. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      @MartinP
      Do you think really it could be the pred that give you morse code hard drive sound ? It's so wierd, i still can't believe that..
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MartinP

      MartinP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, Barotrauma
      Were you taking anything else besides prednisone? Such as an allergy medicine, antibiotics, or similar?

      I took prednisone twice during the onset of my tinnitus. Both times I noticed new noises. The first time it was the morse code and the hard drive. The second time I experienced a strange low humming in my left ear. That humming noise comes every now and then, but gone as of lately.

      I honestly haven't read many cases of prednisone causing it, except when injected directly in the ears. But, again, yours and my case could prove it wrong.

      I have read before, on this forum, that morse code could be the result of a past ear infection causing nerve damage...if I recall correctly.

      The thing is there are so many variables and tinnitus is so hard to understand, that we are left without a clue.

      The best thing to do is get a list of ototoxic drugs and avoid them as much as you can. The same goes to MSG, monosodium glutamate, which is suspected of making tinnitus worse, due to neuron over stimulation, although some studies have shown it is not easy for it to cross the brain blood barrier. Still, I avoid it.

      So, could prednisone have caused your new noise? Maybe. Where you taking other meds at the time? But, I would also hope that it could be temporary and go away. It is very recent. If it doesn't, you will still carry on and be able to live your life (this part I am sure of).
       
    15. Romain B.

      Romain B. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Yes i was taking claritin at the same time (allergy) .. And i got the same low humming noise too, it's my vacuum or phone dialing sound, like fluttering sound in the background, very low but noticeable most of the time. Hope it will subside like yours. Thx for your advice. My theory is when taking the pred only without the antibiotic i reduce my immune system and give more chance to an ear infection to do his nasty job... maybe, maybe not but i'm still locked in that stage full of regrets. I must accept this new invaders but quiet hard for the moment, my best bet would be rely on time. I know his power and hope he would do some good relief.

      "so many variables and tinnitus is so hard to understand" you said it man ! I try my best to figure out what's wrong, what if ... and if i didn't did that etc. It's unbearable to not be able to know who is the culprit.

      I avoid everything that could make it better, i try to have a healthy life, that's the good side of it.

      Still like you said it's strange that pred would do that but who knows... My best card could be to accept it like faith.
      At least when you are dead they are gone as well :) Eternal silence is ahead anyway. Make me feel to enjoy this noises like travelers buddies !

      Thx again for your time and your words. We keep in touch !
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      MartinP

      MartinP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ETD, Barotrauma
      That's actually more than a theory. Taking Prednisone while fighting an infection will leave you vulnerable to the infection, and viruses and other invaders. It suppresses the immune system. I have read that morse code has been linked to a viral infection. But nothing is for certain.

      I believe the allergy meds are known for causing tinnitus. The thing is that, supposedly, this type of ringing caused by allergy meds doesn't last indefinitely, and most likely it eventually goes away.

      The second time I took prednisone I wasn't on any allergy medication and still got a new noise...the low humming one. So this one can't be linked to the allergy medicine.

      The thing about tinnitus is people fear making it worse. That's what keeps us from living life. Don't blame yourself for taking any meds. There is nothing whatsoever you, or science, can do right now to make it better, other than relaxation, unless you have a physical anomaly. If you have had the usual brain MRIs and CT scan, you have already discarded that factor.

      Once we overcome the fear of it getting worse is when we begin living life. There is no solution, it could go away on its own. Or it may stay. I was terrified wen I got all these noises. I thought it was my fault and that maybe, if I acted quickly, it wouldn't get worse. Maybe I could fix it. That was the main thing that kept me from going on with my life. I was concerned and looking for a solution in the US, and then in Europe, but there wasn't any. I now realize I could have done much better had I known a little more about this disease. Whichever happens, believe me when I say it wasn't your fault. You were doing the right thing. In no time, you will start feeling better, your brain will adapt.

      They are indeed, like you said, traveler buddies. An extension of your arm. The fridge noise, or the telegraph work place come to mind: they are always there, but you live with it. Sometimes these noises get louder, sometimes lower. There is no balance. And you never know, but the same way they came, they could go, so don't sweat it too much if you can.

      As I said, stay strong and contact me any time!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    17. Romain B.

      Romain B. Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Thx for your words again ! This help actually. I feel the same way, all day long i try to avoid noise that could make it worse, and when suddenly something happen like someone speaking a bit loudly near me, i become scared and start to ask myself how loud it was, was there a danger for my pretty ears ... fed up to be affraid and to taking too much care about them. I want my life back !!

      Once again a big thx for your words and your time. I will try to avoid coming back here for a period, until i feel in control with this new situation, i want to forget about it, try to make like it never happened !! I will come back to tell you in the future how am i. Take care of yourself too. We keep in touch.

      The very best to you !
       
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