Worsening High-Frequency Hearing After Acoustic Trauma

Discussion in 'Support' started by Blue28, May 22, 2017.

    1. walkthroughwalls

      walkthroughwalls Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I'm sorry I don't have any direct advise for you, but I recognize a lot of what you describe. My tinnitus is also there 24/7, high pitched and I cannot equalize my ears properly. The only thing that works sometimes is yawning. By now I've picked up the habit of trying to yawn all day, which probably makes me look silly :woot:
      I also think I used to have above average hearing and I'm down to hearing loss now. Everything sounds kind of dull and distant.

      I did, however, habituate at some point, although my tinnitus may be quieter than yours. Please keep going, you've made it this far and that's an accomplishment already! :) There is more research for a cure than there ever was and even in the worst case, thereare people who've habituated to all kinds of tinnitus. However hard it is, it is not impossible. Please hang in there and keep yawning ;)
       
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      Thank you so much for your kind words @walkthroughwalls, it means a lot that there are people here willing to listen. I couldn't have put it better myself "dull and distant"...that's exactly how I hear now. Isn't it awful...I just long to hear like before. And like you I constantly yawn throughout the day. Take care :)
       
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    3. Pomme
      Crappy

      Pomme Member

      Location:
      Manchester UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concerts and Stress
      @Blue28 Did WNG's not help with your hyperacusis at all ? Do you plug your ears every time you go out ?
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      Hi @Pomme, I tried WNG's last summer but after about 6 weeks I had to stop as they were hurting my ears. I started again from scratch and very gradually built up my exposure to sounds, it took between 8-12 months of being cautious and patient. I used ear plugs (silicon type with filters) a lot of the time when I went outside, and if I played with my daughter (she was 2 at the time) as I couldn't cope with high pitched noise :( it took what felt like forever! Gradually I started to take out the ear plugs and only wear them for places/times when I felt my ears were at risk (which was still quite a bit). Slowly I began to tolerate more and more sounds, and it got a little easier. I still carry plugs with me all the time, but I only use them if I feel it's necessary. I wear them when I drive on long journeys, for instance, or if I go out to a restaurant. I never go anywhere that I think will be loud, not even with plugs. My tinnitus is still crazy, I still have ear pain, but the H is definitely less intrusive and causes me less distress. I hope this helps.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      Ok...so my hearing still seems to be deteriorating, and I having really loud high pitched tinnitus. It's been almost 18 months since the noise exposure (microsuction), and things are not improving. I have terrible ear pressure and pain, as well as numbness and strange nerve sensations (burning or cold/freezing) in my ears and face. My balance is now affected and I either feel off balance or have brain fog. I'm also getting more and more headaches. Anyone else experience these symptoms following noise exposure? Is this cochlear hydrops or the start of menières?
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      I'm hoping someone can give me a little insight...my above post explains a lot of my current symptoms. It's going from bad to worse... I have EXTREME fullness in both ears, a dull ache as well as intermittent sharp pains, high pitched tinnitus both continuous and pulsatile, and I now also a low hum in my left ear (I'm experiencing a lot of burning/numbness in this ear and side if face). What is all of this? It's unbearable!
       
    7. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      When was your most recent hearing test/audiogram? What did it show?
      Did you do any CT Scan, MRI - recently?
      Any Webber & Rinne tests? What are the results?
      Other tests you've done? (otoacoustic emissions, etc)
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      Hi @GregCA, thanks for replying.

      I did an audiogram just over a month ago which showed a drop of 10-15db in several frequencies (compared to last year).

      I did a CT scan last August which was normal. I have an MRI scheduled for October but I'm terrified it will make things worse as my hearing problems are noise induced (from a noisy micro suction procedure).

      I have never been given an OAE test, I have done an ultra high frequency hearing test which shows a very steep (65db HL) at 12khz. What is a Webber & Rinne test?

      I have begun to have unsteadiness and imbalance more and more. This seems to come on after any noise exposure (just normal noise...nothing really loud). I have extreme fullness in both ears. I also have almost daily headaches and strange muscle/nervous twitches, like there's a problem with my CNS.

      I'm not sure what to do anymore...I have been to A&E 3 times in the last year, have seen several ENT docs as well as my GP, no one takes me seriously. I don't know what to do anymore, things are getting worse.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      Just an update and a message to everyone with noise induced tinnitus (and possible other kinds too). My initial acoustic trauma was caused by a loud microsuction procedure by an ENT... I didn't have anything wrong with my hearing prior to this (no tinnitus, hyperacusis or hearing loss issues) so a word of warning... Be careful with wax removal procedures, they carry a risk! Anyway, on to the reason for this post...

      So since the initial trauma my tinnitus has gotten worse, and I'm now showing a mild hearing loss in a few frequencies on my hearing test (I had severe ultra high frequency loss after the trauma but normal hearing up to 8khz). What made it worse... Well I think noise. Not the kind of acoustic trauma noise, just everyday things that normally wouldn't harm people with healthy ears (things dropping, noise in supermarkets, children crying etc). I've postponed having a crown fitted, as I'm sure the noise of the drilling will do more damage. I haven't even dared go anywhere like a cinema, even with plugs. I was careful, but not over protecting, yet my hearing issues still worsened gradually. Recently a few things have made my symptoms worse again, I'll explain...

      I was advised to have an mri by an ENT to check for acoustic neuroma or blood vessel problems, the ent wanted to rule this out despite me telling him my T and H was definitely noise induced (from the microsuction procedure by an ENT). I was scared to do the mri but the ent said he couldn't help me if I refused to do it so I went ahead. The mri came back normal. However, despite wearing foam plugs and muffs the scan was very loud. This spiked my tinnitus and created more fullness in my ears. I also had a sensation of numbness in the side of my face/ear and a sticky feeling like my ear inside was clogged and stuck together. This went on for several months. It improved slightly, but never resolved, I still have the feeling of clogged ears like I need to pop them (I had this originally from the day after the microsuction).

      Then just this week I went for a hearing test, and I was also given an LDL (loudness discomfort level) test to possibly see about white noise generators to help with my T and H. I didn't want to do the test but the audiologist said I'd be fine. I did the tests which showed I have quite severe hyperacusis, although it has improved since the original trauma. I got home and that night and my ears felt a bit sore, aching. That was Thursday. Then yesterday when I got up the tinnitus was going berserk (I have it in both ears and my head). My ears felt full and I had nausea, numbness in my face and symptoms with my left eye (like eye strain). I also felt dizzy. Last night I barely slept and today I feel dreadful. I'm sure my hearing has suffered again too. I am very worried to say the least.

      It's been almost 2 years since the initial trauma and I feel that my hearing has continued to deteriorate, with loud, intrusive tinnitus, ear and facial pain, fullness, numbness, dizziness and hyperacusis. All this despite being careful about protecting my ears. I'm not sure how I sustain this torture, but I'm trying my best for my 3 year old daughter. Please take heed of this story, be extremely careful if you've suffered acoustic trauma, as it's so easy to make matters worse by just everyday noise. Even tests that are supposed to help us can potentially cause more harm. I'm not sure where I go with this now, my life has been on hold for 2 years now and unless a cure is found for nihl, I don't know what the future holds for me.

      Be very careful with noise. Protect your ears, they are definitely more fragile, even after just one acoustic trauma.
       
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    10. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I am sympathetic about your situation, but I have a feeling that you might be inaccurately blaming "every day noises", when you've expressed yourself that the worsening happened right after loud events. Loud MRI and LDL tests are not every day noises, and neither is the loud microsuction that started it all for you.

      Unfortunately, as you said it yourself, no procedure is risk free, and one has to carefully weigh risk vs reward before moving forward. Even with a small % of problematic outcomes, we are bound to find people who will have suffered from them, since many of these procedures are performed on a very large amount of people daily.

      Good luck!
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      Thank you for your reply. I agree with you about the mri etc worsening my tinnitus and hearing, and in hindsight I wish I had not agreed to these tests. In desperation I went ahead with them thinking that they would help me move forward (I went for wax removal, the ent did microsuction, it was loud but as I'd never had this before and it was being performed by an ENT, I didn't expect to get permanent hearing loss from it, the mri was virtually forced on me as the ent refused to treat me if I didn't do it, and he was the 4th ent I'd seen... The LDL test was to ascertain my level of hyperacusis for wng... The audiologist told me "it will be fine". I know different now). However, despite these loud insults, I have also had worsening with things like children screaming, loud noises in supermarkets, car journeys etc. I wear ear muffs for vacuuming and for long car journeys. I think my ears must be super fragile now, I just wish I'd never gone to see that ent to have the wax removed...
       
    12. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I feel for you: nobody expects to be in the minority of catastrophically poor outcomes, but that doesn't mean that you should have done things differently, so there is no point in blaming yourself for it.
      It seems logical that a doctor can't treat you if s/he doesn't have the data that determines the treatment: if we could determine that you have an acoustic neuroma without an MRI, we'd do it, but there is no magic test that will look into your head in a non invasive way. In some ways, the MRI is the magic test: we can see stuff without poking you or opening you up.
       
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    13. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      @Blue28 ,
      You could have Hydrops or early Meniere's.
      For the dizziness and nausea you could ask your doctor about Betahistine or Buccastem or Proclorperazine.
      An over the counter pain relief can ease pressure paìn.
      Also check you don't have a sinus problem .
      Love glynis
       
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    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      Thank you for your comments @GregCA, I agree that an mri is THE test for detecting potential tumours etc, but it's so noisy, even with the plugs and muffs. I have one big regret, going to the ent that fateful day to have a wax build up removed. If only I'd known about tinnitus talk before going, I'd have read all the testimonies of people who'd suffered due to wax removal procedures...

      Thank you @glynis for your advice, I had actually thought of this before, the hydrops, but the ent I saw just thought I was exaggerating as my hearing test up to 8khz was within normal limits apart from a slight drop at 8khz. I believe I may have developed secondary endolymphatic hydrops as a result of the acoustic trauma, and I'm afraid this is progressing. My hearing has definitely deteriorated further, despite being careful that is. I'm seeing another ent next week so will discuss this. I don't suffer from sinus troubles or allergies, the tympanometry is normal and I have tried nasal sprays and antihistamines. What tests do they do to check for meniere's?
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      @glynis can I just ask, does this sound familiar as a hydrops symptom... I have constant ringing in my ears (sometimes pulsatile) with fullness and pressure and when I swallow I sometimes feel like my ears are blocked? I have constant pressure in my ears and my low frequencies went from a 5 to 10dbhl in July last year to a 20dbhl last month. All these symptoms started about a month after the noise trauma and have gotten worse in the last 2 years.
       
    16. glynis
      Feminine

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Hydrops causes crystals on the tiny hairs in your cochlear and causes motion sickness ,dizziness and ear fullness and tinnitus and hearingloss but unlike meniere's it is not a progressive disease .
      Tests are done to rule out other problems and MRI and balance tests done .
      It is good to keep a log of your problems as could come in handy with a diagnosis should your problems not settle.
      Love glynis
       
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    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
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    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      So it's now a week and a half since I did the LDL test and EVERYTHING has gotten worse... Tinnitus, blocked feeling in ears, hyperacusis and hearing loss. I strongly advise people NOT to take this test (it was increasingly loud peeps played through headphones at multiple frequencies). If it's absolutely necessary to do this to be fitted with wng then I'd be VERY careful. I wish I'd never done this test. After two years of torture following my acoustic trauma I've now made things worse by agreeing to to this test. Once hearing is damaged, don't underestimate the potential for more damage... It can happen with sound levels much lower than you might think.
       
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    19. Gman
      No Mood

      Gman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic earwax drops, worsened by MDs (Muppet Doctors)
      I too wanted to be proactive about my once ultra mild and stable T and sought professional help via ENTs and audiologist and was accosted with the same procedures you had and it has left me with chronic ASD, TTTS, H, and wildly fluctuating T. I was unlucky with numerous other acoustic incidences.
      I understand what you are going through. I have young noisy kids too and it pains me to have to either block my ears and/or tell them to be quieter or leave the room. I feel like such a bad role model.

      My trust in the medical and therapeutic professions has gone from great to zero. You just have to really doubt whatever they tell you, get a second opinion and only do what you know won’t hurt you (although it’s only now after the incompetence we know!). Any medication you are ever prescribed you must research and check for any ototoxicity or T side effects.
      To be honest yours could be ASD with the fullness, dizziness etc. Do you know if the hearing loss is sensorineural or conductive? When I get a flare up I get low frequency conductive hearing loss, higher T, H, whirring kind of hum and often a pulsatile hum.
      For more on ASD read this, this and this
       
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    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      Thanks @Gman.

      I'm sorry to hear you're also a victim of the medical profession too. It's unbelievable how little these professionals know about noise damage to ears, and like you I feel I have to do my own research before going ahead with anything at all now. I should have known better, after all this whole nightmare for me began after a noisy procedure by an ENT (that I naively trusted).

      I also have a young daughter and it saddens me that I can't be the happy-go-lucky mum that I'd like to be. I feel excluded from the happiness when she's giggling with her father etc and I have to leave the room for the pains in my ears.

      My tinnitus screams after noise exposure, it's also like a loud electrical buzzing in my ears and head. I get dizzy now too, and confused by sound. It's like my brain aches so much. I also get strange nervous twitches, facial numbness and pains in my ears, face, neck and spine. All this comes on after noise exposure. With every noise exposure (and I'm talking noise lower than 90db) is triggered all of these symptoms. My hearing loss is sensorineural.

      I have read about ASD, but thank you for the links, I'm going to take a look at them now.

      I don't know how to settle my symptoms, or how to prevent them worsening (moving to a remote cottage in the middle of nowhere is not an option sadly).

      I hope one day science will progress enough to be able to help us and we'll look back on these days as just a bad memory.
       
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    21. Andrei90
      Depressed

      Andrei90 Member

      Location:
      Seattle, WA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Exposure to loud music (earphones)
      I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with this terrible condition. Out of all the posters here, I think your condition seems to mirror mine the best. I've also been slowly losing hearing since my trauma back in December. I took every measure to protect my hearing and yet it keeps getting worse. My T is getting louder as a result since there's less input. I don't have your other symptoms at this point but I do experience fullness occasionally. I think it might be more related to neck issues though. At this point, I'm pretty sure that my ears have been weakened and thus can't handle normal everyday noise anymore. Either this or I'm experiencing further nerve degeneration. Or a combination of both. I suggest you look at some of the papers by Sharon G. Kujawa. The search function will help you. It won't exactly put your mind to ease but it might help explain what you're going through.

      I got my HL through multiple exposures to loud music via earbud use. This took place over a period of 4 years or so. I finally used a decibel meter to measure the noise and found that I was listening to +100db music with some spikes going over 120db. This was my fault but it seems like your ENT completely messed up your procedure. 150db noise in your ears is like shooting a military rifle or listening to a jet taking off with no protection. So sorry you had to experience that. Any louder and it would have been like artillery going off.
       
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    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      Thank you so much @Andrei90 for your kind words. I'm so sorry to hear you're having trouble too. I think that people are not made enough aware of the potential risks that noise has on our hearing apparatus. And since there is no cure once the damage is done there's no going back. We can try to protect our ears as much as possible but you don't expect procedures done by doctors or audiologists to cause damage, I certainly didn't. And even if you did listen to really loud music through your headphones I'm sure you didn't know you were causing damage to your hearing until it was too late.

      I will look into the papers you mentioned. Thank you so much for your input.
       
    23. Gman
      No Mood

      Gman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic earwax drops, worsened by MDs (Muppet Doctors)
      It pains me to read this. I feel the same. Can’t be carefree anymore, being able to take them places without weighing up the risks and need for ear protection. The number of times my kids have asked me to take them to the cinema or such. Only outdoor places away from the crowds for me. I’ve dreamt of moving to somewhere remote too.

      Seems like you have a bad case of hyperacusis which accounts for the reactive T and sound sensitivity. Beyond that it does sound a lot like ASD. I find some loud noises can make me dizzy or even give me vertigo. Sensitisation of your auditory system, in particular the middle ear muscles, can have flow on effects to other areas such as trigeminal nerve etc.
      As far as I’ve read the only way to improve is to avoid further loud noise exposure, avoid any loud tests or procedures (micro suction and LDL), listen to low volume pink noise (probably not in ear in your case) until you improve. Seeing an audiologist who specialises in acoustic shock (not a Joe Schmo) could be a consideration. But having said that I’m not sure that’s what you have, as I’m not sure how to account for your high frequency hearing loss.
       
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    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Blue28
      Doubtful

      Blue28 Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma from Microsuction
      Thanks for your message @Gman.

      I agree, keeping away from all loud (and loudish) noise is the only way, although I'm scared that just normal noise effects me (playing with my 3 year old daughter or having a half hour Skype conversation totally wipes me out and my ears ache).

      I will not be going for any kind of "treatment" involving WNG etc in the ears for at least a LONG time, if ever. Instead I will listen to my gentle nature sounds on my phone when I sleep. I have an app that I use, but I never listen with earbuds etc, only via the phone's speaker next to my bed.

      I hope things will settle down for you. Maybe in the fututre there'll be a cure, or at least more help.
       
    25. Gman
      No Mood

      Gman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic earwax drops, worsened by MDs (Muppet Doctors)
      Thanks I hope they settle for you too. I really think if you treat the H, your sound sensitivity and reactiveness will improve.
      There is a treatment for ASD but for some people it becomes chronic and can last indefinitely.
      I found switching to pink noise to be more soothing. White noise was irritating my ears. But some articles mention not using anything that sits in the ears such as WNGs as ASD affected ears are super sensitive. So what you are doing with your nature sounds should be fine. I have found my phone and computer speakers a bit irritating though.

      Also clonazepam has been very effective in reducing my symptoms when they get worse.
      There’s alway CBT to consider too.
       
      Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
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    26. dingaling
      Relaxed

      dingaling Member

      Location:
      London UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown, probably loud music
      @Blue28

      It sounds like your hearing in general is (over) sensitized and if this continues, you will develop phonophobia (fear of sound) and you need to start "loving" sound again. For people with severe hyperacusis, the LDL test is contraindicated and I don't care what the text books say.

      But you need hearing therapy and sound desensitization therapy (e.g. TRT) adminstered by an audiologist expert in the field. You also need to avoid LOUD noise but not everyday noise
       
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    27. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      So sorry, Blue. Can I ask why the LDL test was done? Was it to check your sound tolerance? Do you know how many dBs loud the beeps were?

      I only ask because I have had a lot of testing in the last year, but I have not had an LDL test. May be one I should avoid if offered. But as it is, at high frequencies the beeps need to be 80dB before I can even hear them.
       
    28. dingaling
      Relaxed

      dingaling Member

      Location:
      London UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown, probably loud music
      @Tinker Bell If your hearing thresholds at high frequencies are 80dB, an LDL may not be worthwhile. If you suffer from recruitment, then having an LDL test is a definate no-no with your hearing thresholds (cochlear loss). If you have a neural loss, then LDLs are likely to fall well beyond the range of the audiometer and thus, pointless
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    29. Gman
      No Mood

      Gman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic earwax drops, worsened by MDs (Muppet Doctors)
      From experience, I would strongly recommend avoiding it if you have any kind of acoustic trauma and/or hyperacusis. Even though it is done to determine if you have hyperacusis. It most definitely can make things worse.
       
    30. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      Isn’t it a test used to establish a starting point for hyperacusis treatment? Does seem kind of counter intuitive if someone has anxiety to sound or if sounds are louder to them.

      I no longer have loudness hyperacusis, but my tinnitus is still reactive to particular sounds.
       
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