Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by 40something, May 8, 2013.

    1. 40something

      40something Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi. I'm mid-40's, never had any hearing problems or noticeable hearing loss, no unusual exposure to long-term loud noise (in fact, I never liked loud music, earbuds, concerts, etc.) other than some recreational target shooting 15-20 years ago, where I always wore double ear protection.

      I have suffered from frequent sinus infections for many years, especially in winter. This winter I had my worst one ever, localized with lots of pain on my right side which is unusual because they are usually more centrally located and no pain, just pressure. The doctor prescribed augmentin, which I hadn't had before but it seemed to cure it. A little over a month ago I had another atypical sinus infection, this time localized on my left side, not so bad and treated with amoxicillin, which I've used before with no side effects. Also seemed to cure it.

      But - shortly after the last sinus infection, I started to notice a "ringing" in my left ear at night that would come and go (like a high pitched whine). Over the last month it has become constant, day and night, and louder. I also seem to be getting more sensitive to loud noise - at church recently the music and crowd conversation really bothered me.

      My doctor said I should get an MRI for "neuroma", but I asked for a referral to an ENT for a second opinion. The ENT ran a hearing test, and found some hearing loss (5db?) in the higher frequencies in my left ear, and basically told me the tinnitus was probably caused by hearing loss due to noise damage, and that I just had to learn to live with it.

      This is really troubling me, and the timing of these unusual sinus infections seems too coincidental to simply chalk it up to noise-induced hearing loss (which seems a little soon, given my age and noise background). So here I am in the middle of the night looking for advice - please don't hold back! I would really appreciate any ideas, suggestions for follow up.

    2. Markku

      Markku Founder Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss doesn't ask age though.

      In the majority of cases, there is some hearing loss in people who have tinnitus.

      Your tinnitus is in the left ear, the hearing loss was measured in the left ear... not a coincidence, I think.

      Augmentin seems to be amoxicillin. Antibiotics can cause hearing loss / tinnitus.

      But, amoxicillin is one of the antibiotics that should be quite safe to the ears.

      It's impossible to say for sure what caused your tinnitus, sometimes the reason for the onset stays a mystery.

      One treatment option you could look into is HBO, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. There's a thread about that in the Treatments section. The sooner it is started, the more effective it is. The best effect is probably seen if it's started within a week or two after onset, and the general upper time window is 3 months.

      It's not a magic wand, some people have benefited immensely, others not so much, or not at all. It's usually indicated for acute noise trauma, which doesn't seem to be the cause of your tinnitus, so it's possible it'll not help. :(

      Time heals is the only certain tip any of us can offer. Either your tinnitus will subside, even go away on its own, maybe stays the same, but either way you will get better and be able to live a normal life with it. Habituation will happen. It's early days for you yet.

      MRI probably wouldn't hurt. In your situation, I would go for it. Acoustic neuroma isn't very common, and usually nothing meaningful is found on the MRI scans that could explain the tinnitus, but it's a good way to rule out some of these things.

      Remember not to stay in quiet too much. Of course don't expose yourself to any extremely loud noises (like you didn't do in the past either), but general everyday noises are important for your ears. Otherwise the hyperacusis (sensitivity to sounds) could worsen.

      I suggest you browse through the board; there's lots of invaluable discussions here. And, welcome aboard!

      Best wishes and keep us updated on your progress,
    3. AUTHOR

      40something Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Thank you many times over, Markku. You have no idea how helpful it is to hear back from someone experienced with this. (Or maybe you do.)

      I am going to look into the HBO today, my town (port town) has a hyberbaric chamber program at the hospital, for which I am suddenly grateful. I will also inquire into an MRI.

      I really appreciate the perspective you and others here can provide, trying not to panic over this.
      Will keep you posted.


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