Worst Two Months of My Life: Unsure What Caused My Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Shanna, Apr 5, 2020.

    1. Shanna

      Shanna Member

      Location:
      Washington
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hello, just wanted to say how grateful I am for Tinnitus Talk!

      I’ll start by saying I have no idea what has caused my tinnitus.. I don’t recall having any exposure t loud noises that may have caused the ringing.

      I woke up one morning with my left ear ringing and a pressure sensation in both ears. I assumed it was an ear infection and didn’t really give it much thought after that, so a few days passed by and the ringing still hadn’t stopped and I started to freak out. I went to the ER, they said I have fluid in my ear and gave me antibiotics.

      I took the meds and still no change.

      I went to the ENT a few weeks later, they said my ears looked perfect and I needed to adapt to my new normal.

      I can’t believe this has happened, I feel like my life has been turned upside down!
      Please tell me this gets better or I’ll learn to adapt.
       
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    2. aot
      Depressed

      aot Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016. Worsened 11/2019.
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound induced, worsened due to noise expouse + flu.
      Shanna, we're all here for you. Tinnitus is a challenging condition we all share. It can be especially frustrating when you have extra responsibility such as being a parent (Which I assume is the case with you, because of the profile picture.)

      Do not despair. You're in the early days of tinnitus. The sound you hear is likely not the one you will be stuck with. When my tinnitus worsened in November, I thought my life was over. But it has softened since, and it is now much more bearable.

      Most tinnitus is sound induced. Not all hearing loss is visible on an audiogram. So even if you passed a hearing test, it's likely that this tinnitus could be caused by hearing loss, either natural or unnatural. Many companies/teams are working on treatments (Susan Shore of the University of Michigan and Frequency Therapeutics look the most promising,)
      Most people do. Understand that this forum represents the minority of tinnitus sufferers. Many (93% if I remember correctly.) habituate, and go on to live happy lives.

      Avoid loud noises (if you have to visit a loud environment, use hearing protection.) avoid earbuds/headphones, and ototoxic meds. Some people have luck with CBT, though that can be a controversial subject.

      Good luck.
       
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    3. 1World4all

      1World4all Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      Hi Shanna, I am sorry that you are going through it too. I am not sure what caused mine. I started to take Sunflower Lecithin recently and it helped me . I almost do not notice it. I also think not drinking enough water triggers the noise. Ask your Doctor or a Pharmacist if you decide to try the Lecithin. Be strong and do not let it drive you crazy. You are not alone. There are so many people who have the same problem.
       
    4. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Ears take forever to heal. Many people whose tinnitus is a result of an ear infection notice their tinnitus beginning to fade several months after their infection clears (and then it could take many months for it to go away or to get to the "can hear only in quiet rooms stage). Give it time.

      You will want to make sure that you don't hurt your ears during this period of vulnerability as your body is healing. You will want to ensure that you avoid taking ototoxic drugs, that you don't have microsuction done (if you need to clean wax out of your ears; a manual tool should be used), and that you don't have your dental hygienist doesn't use an ultrasonic scaling tool on you (a manual tool should be used). For more details, see

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...eone-else-who-has-tinnitus.26850/#post-307822
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Shanna

      Shanna Member

      Location:
      Washington
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you so much for your reply :)
      I will definitely look into lecithin!

      How do you sleep at night?
      Do you hear the ringing?
      It’s really been messing up my sleep
       
    6. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      You should try using masking. Playing crickets sounds works well with a high pitch tone tinnitus. The idea is not to play so loud that you stop hearing tinnitus. The idea is to give yourself something else to listen to besides your tinnitus. Initially you will still be focusing on your tinnitus. But hopefully after 5-15 minutes you will be able to start focusing on the masking sound.

      Try taking Amitriptyline. It is nonaddictive and it doesn't make you feel drowsy the next day.
      Having said this, whether or not it's a good drug to take is a complicated question.

      Large doses of Amitriptyline (50-100 mg, as opposed of the normal 10 mg that one uses to help one to fall asleep) has been used as a Treatment for tinnitus.
      https://www.researchgate.net/profil...e_Tinnitus/links/5502051c0cf24cee39fb28c8.pdf

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079612307660245

      Just like most potential tinnitus treatments, Amitriptyline can cause tinnitus (or make tinnitus worse) for a very small fraction of the people who take it:
      https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269881107082126

      During the first few months after the onset of my tinnitus (back when I haven't been aware about any of the above) I had been taking Amitriptyline to help me sleep and I ended up feeling good about the experience.

      Many people on this forum have had a similar experience with this drug.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Shanna

      Shanna Member

      Location:
      Washington
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you all so much for the replies!
      Just having this forum and being able to talk about it to people who understand is making my anxiety lessen :)
      I love all the advice and information about dealing with this beast!

      Does anyone else find it difficult to talk to family or friends about this condition?
      I feel like they don’t understand how debilitating it can be... they act like it’s no big deal.
       
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    8. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
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    9. 1World4all

      1World4all Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      The noise gets louder in quite places but I had loud noise that lasted all day and all night and even next day. The noise stops while sleeping but it comes back the moment you open your eyes. I tried over the counter sleeping pills but I did not continue using them. I use Google hub to play nature sounds. Family and friends do not understand it because they never experienced it. Just like us, we did not really know what it was before either.
       
    10. Tweedleman
      Depressed

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
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    11. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      In my experience playing YouTube clips with tinnitus sounds, doing online hearing tests, etc. can lead to spikes. I recommend against being around when clips like that are being played (or at least make sure to wear earplugs). But of course something like that ought to be effective in getting those people to get a sense of how bad tinnitus can make one feel.
       
    12. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Shanna

      Although tinnitus can start for no reason more often than not this isn't the case as something is usually responsible. Many things can cause it but the most common is exposure to loud noise. You have mentioned that you don't recall being exposed to any loud noise which is good. Before ruling this out I want to ask do you regularly listen to music through headphones? Do you frequently attend places where loud music is played, such as clubs, concerts or even the cinema? Do you use a headset? If the answer is no to my questions, then your tinnitus might be caused by an underlying medical problem within your auditory system, or be related to stress. Some medications can cause it too. There is a condition called TMJ, which affects the Jaw joint, resulting in the grinding of teeth which can cause tinnitus. If you are affected by this then the help of dentist is required.

      I have just given you suggestions of some of the common causes of tinnitus. Please click on the links below and read my articles that you might find helpful.

      Hope you start to feel better soon.
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/
       
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    13. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
    14. Charburchar

      Charburchar Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hi Shanna, I'm sorry that you're going through this. The beginning is scary, but it gets better. Ears can take a long time to heal, or for sufferers to habituate.

      I've had tinnitus for around three months, with mild hyperacusis. Personally I no longer use headphones, attend loud venues, etc, and I keep a pair of earplugs on me. Most of the time, in the evenings when my tinnitus is loudest, I put a tv show on until I'm too tired to watch it, turn it off and go to sleep.

      I agree it can be difficult to speak to others about it. Luckily my mum is an angel and very supportive, but it's hard to get across just how debilitating it can be. Nonetheless, I've found speaking about it very cathartic. This forum is a great place. Just remember that you're not alone.
       
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    15. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Seriously, this is the only way I got someone close to me to kind of understand. I kept the same tone and volume as mine and he wanted it gone immediately.
       
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    16. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      Did the same somewhere during the first months: start tone generator on phone, match frequency + volume and put it on the table. Not that my conversation partners were condescending about it or something, but it's amazing to see their understanding (and faces :p) change once they get a small introduction to the impact of the condition.
       
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    17. Hyogga

      Hyogga Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 27 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Drug or noise induced
      If you weren't exposed to loud noise your tinnitus should be reversible. How did they diagnose fluid in the ears? Did you have tests? How are you feeling now?
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Shanna

      Shanna Member

      Location:
      Washington
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      My Doctor diagnosed fluid behind my ear by just looking inside with an otoscope.
      I’m not totally convinced that was my issue but who knows at this point.

      I recently had a mri done and it came back totally normal.
      Just feel defeated at this point...
       
    19. Hyogga

      Hyogga Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Feb 27 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Drug or noise induced
      Fluid in the ear is an ear infection. Tinnitus can happen with an ear infection but should be reversible. Don't worry it will go away with time.
       
    20. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Some people end up with a Much louder tinnitus after having an MRI done. You should count your blessings that that hasn't happened to you.
       
    21. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      @Shanna

      Welcome I first joined five years ago when I first developed bilateral tinnitus . I too was told that I had fluid in both ears. Coincidentally, I also attended an AC/DC concert a week before and likely did some damage to my inner ears although my hearing test came back perfect. Regardless, my tinnitus never really went away but I want you to know that it improved appreciably. Improved to the point that I could barely perceive it and it no longer bothered me. For some, it has even resolved completely. There is hope. Someone in one of these threads said that the vast majority of people who start out on this forum don’t stay on it for long and go on to lead healthy, happy productive lives and I really believe that’s true. When I first joined I was absolutely beyond hopeless. The people on the site were wonderful and we’re tremendously supportive but I was also told by someone on this site at that time that the average time I would spend on this site would be about three months because the first three months are awful. And they were right but things improved and before I knew it I wasn’t visited no anymore. I was doing just fine. I am telling you this to offer you hope.

      When I was first diagnosed, I was an absolute mess. I could barely function. I took sound machines to the office. I couldn’t have a meeting without them. I slept with a machine on and even bought sound pillows because I’m a side sleeper. All of which helped appreciably and helped me cope. Don’t be afraid to use masking at least initially to help you cope and keep your anxiety levels down. That saved me. I am naturally prone to anxiety so you can imagine that this pushed me over the edge. I thought that I would never have a future, that my life would never be the same and I would never be able to enjoy the things that I had previously enjoyed such as concerts, plays, movies etc., anything where the volume was quite loud. For a period of time my entire life revolved around my tinnitus. And then it didn’t! I started to notice that it didn’t bother me anymore and that I could hardly hear it and I no longer needed my sound machines or my sound pillow. The best thing I did was invest in a pair of custom-made ear plugs. That allowed me to start doing the things I loved to do like go to plays and movies and I actually went to an Elton John concert.

      I actually came back on the site because, well, I had a recurrence of a louder noise in my left ear as well as aural fullness and I strongly suspect I have fluid in my ear again. I am seeing my ENT tomorrow but he also wants to do a another hearing test next week. That’s a little scary but I’m going to do it and hopefully it will be fine. I’ve been very good about taking care of my ears so I would be very surprised if I’ve had any hearing loss. That said, I am confident that whatever it is it will simmer down and it will get to a point where I will be able to ignore it and move on with my life. Make be it is just a spike and it will calm down.


      Here are my Tips :
      Make sure you find a good ENT that has experience in tinnitus. My ENT had tinnitus herself and so she was very sympathetic to me.

      I also saw an audiologist who specialized in Tinnitus and that was very helpful. The worst thing is to see somebody who just dismisses your tinnitus is if it’s something you’ve got to just live with.
      So find people that specialize in it -have studied it and really understand it.

      Try not to focus on it. I know that it’s easier said than done and as a tinnitus sufferer with this new recurrence, I can tell you it is the hardest thing in the world. But do try the masking and try to focus on other things like your children and if you work, your job.

      Don’t be afraid to seek out therapy and don’t be afraid to try medications. Just do your research around Ototoxicity.

      As one gentleman on this forum said to you in an earlier post, the sound you have now is not likely to sound you’ll end up with. What I ended up with was so low that even in a quiet room I had to really strain to hear it.

      Best to you.

      Danielle.
       
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    22. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single 25 mg dose of (anticholinergic) drug Promethazine
      Hi @Forever hopeful -- Great post! Just a brief cautionary note: I've seen at least one testimonial on this forum where their tinnitus spiked after a hearing test. As I recall, it lasted a while. Not to frighten you, but I would advise that if anything does not feel quite right while you're taking the test, to consider halting it immediately. That could include even a minor pain or annoyance in your ears. If I recall correctly, the person who got the spike mentioned how listening to the sounds were painful. It just seems that would be something you'd want to avoid.

      Thanks again for your encouraging post(s); All the Best...
       
    23. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      Hi@Lane,

      Not sure how helpful another test will be since my first one came back fine. I am sure they will tell me it is “hidden hearing loss”, although they neve said that before. Samecpractice different doctor. I have really been taking care of my hearing since my diagnosis. This could just be a spike. I don’t think I have ever really had one so maybe this is my first real one. I can’t help but associate the aural fullness with it. Seems like it is too much of a coincidence.

      I know somebody who has suffered with Tinnitus and hypetacusis for over 40 years. He has significant hearing loss. By that I mean measurable hearing loss in one ear. He spent a fair amount of his life learning everything there is to learn about tinnitus and actually offers himself as a support to others, particularly those who are newly diagnosed. He told me that he has spikes now and then and that the sounds he experiences can change as can the frequencies and they can last varying degrees of time depending on the cause of the spike. He said anything related to loud noises for him takes about a month to recover. And to get back to baseline. I am hoping that is all it is.

      Thanks for your feedback.
       
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    24. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      Trying to explain this to others and how debilitating it can be is part of the suffering we must endure. I have many times tried to give a detailed account of what is going on inside my head to family and friends, only to discover later that they are surprised that I still am having some "issues" with my ears. It's like if you lost one of your legs one day and having to still remind people all the time about your condition. Such is the nature of Tinnitus.

      I too suddenly woke up with severe tinnitus, hearing loss and hyperacusis for no apparent reason over a year ago. Nothing has really changed except I am able to cope with it much better now.

      For sleeping, you might try a masking device. There are Apps you can download that will offer many different forms of "white noise" that you can search through and find something that does a good job for your particular tinnitus noise.

      And I totally understand your "totally defeated" feelings. That "feeling" is something that we all must pass through and get to the other side. I really hope that your condition will improve over time (a fairly good chance of that still),..but the catch here is that as long as you hold out strong hope for that, you will also harbour those feelings of defeat that go along with waking up every day to the constant "ringing". I have long since given up any hope that my condition will improve, but I am full of hope that my attitude about living with Tinnitus and hearing loss will continue to improve. And simply having those more positive feelings, helps lower the stress, and thus helps with the tinnitus, and of course this offers me still more hope. I guess, this is a small way of explaining the path towards habituation.

      Sorry for your struggle,

      God Bless,.... John
       
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    25. LindaS

      LindaS Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      sensorineural hearing loss
      Hi Shanna

      Thank for taking the time to contact me to let me know that there is hope. I'm sorry you need to deal with this. It can't be easy being a mom and dealing with this as well. Your message went to my e-mail and not to the thread I started in Introduce Yourself (I'm a "ditz" when it comes to computer stuff) so I wasn't sure how to send something back to you to say a big "THANK YOU!" (need to learn how to navigate this site).

      I'm glad you have seen improvement and wish you more. You have given me hope that this can settle down and life can move forward.

      Thanks a bunch
       
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    26. Vicki14
      Panicky

      Vicki14 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      Hey! Yes! Absolutely! It definitely helps to be able to talk to those of us who truly get how tough this can be to live with. We all get it and how difficult this journey is xx
       
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    27. Tybs

      Tybs Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Fall from stairs
      I've been very lucky on that front. My friends and family all know at least one other person with T: they know how devastating the condition can be. Even my managers at work have been extremely cooperative, accepting my sick days without any constraint or remark. Apparently some of my other colleagues have it as well.

      Having said that: I've noticed a clear difference between talking to people who have T themselves, and those who don't. Those who experienced the torture first hand have some sort of... extra layer of understanding. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it is much easier to discuss the condition with them.

      Ironically enough, so far the specialists in the medical field here have been the worst at understanding. Still, I did get some referrals for diagnoses, so I think I can be happy with that.
       
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