Join Date: Nov 2012
Tinnitus........you little (big) bugger! :)
Hope you are all well, aside from the obvious reasons why you are reading these boards in the first place :P
This is my first thread, and details my tinnitus story so far. I did post mostly this on a Tinnitus forum, which is more geared towards support (and is absolutey excellent, with first class people on there) but also thought that it would be worth getting a more medical angle here too.
October 8th 2012 I caught a bug that was going round. I like to keep very healthy, exercise, cook from scratch etc, so fortunately I don’t tend to get ill too often. I managed to shake this bug within 24 hours. It was just the usual flu or creepy like feeling, but it did come with some sinus problems. Nothing major, nothing to get excited about. From October 9th, the ringing started. A high pitched, whistling ring, 4 months later, it hasn’t stopped, at all.
My T is mostly white noise, or a high pitched ringing. At work, in the office, it’s not so bad. In the street, not really a problem. Cooking is ok, with the drone of the boiler. At home, forget about it. Watching TV is basically impossible. I’ve come to learn that drone like hums I like, air con, boilers, pipes, they are my friend. There’s something about the way the TV emits sound, that my T will go one for one with it, and always win. Watching TV on the laptop for some reason is much better, again maybe it’s the fan.
I’m 33 years old. Going back for the last 15 years, or all my adult life, I’ve woken up every morning with the most horrific mucus problems (sorry ha ha). It was so bad that each morning, that apart from honking it all out (sorry again ha ha) and generally making everyone else listen to some horrible noises, I also had to use my fingers to forcibly remove it from the top of my mouth, it was that bad. It took some effort to get it all out of my throat.
I visited an osteopath in May 2009, for something completely unrelated, who asked me if there was anything else wrong with me and I mentioned the mucus. He done some very strange tests on me, which included various different colour glasses (red, blue, yellow, green) and asked me to push my thighs against him. For all the colours I had full power, for the blue colour (according to him) I couldn’t push too hard, and he said it’s because I’m lactose intolerant. He advised to cut out dairy, to which I did, and for the last four years the morning mucus has significantly reduced, but, I do still have to clear it out each morning, just not so much. I do often wake at 3am subconsciously choking on it, and have to get up, so it is still an issue.
Various doctors advised taking various tablets too treat this ‘stomach’ or indigestion problem, to no avail. I always thought the mucus was coming up, but since I’ve joined the wonderful world of T, I suspect it’s going down the way, from my nose.
Anyway, after various GP visits and tests and chest x-rays and nasal sprays, decongestants, antibiotics, and God knows what else, which have all made no difference, I finally go around to visiting a specialised ENT doctor at the hospital.
Before I explain to you what happened yesterday with that visit, I’d like to detail the other symptoms I have. Ever since the T, I have had;
1) Sticky ears, each morning when I wake up I can push the little flap of skin attached to your head down into the canal and is takes 2 or 3 seconds to squelch back up, I shower, it’s fine for 24 hours, then I wake the next morning and it’s sticky.
2) If I rotate or lift my face, specifically my cheeks (not the cheek bone, but the skin) I hear the most bizarre crunching, crackling noise, which also has a physical feeling of crushed, trapped, dried crusty fluid or something.
3) If I move/clench my jaw down to the bottom left I can modulate, or increase the T a good 30, 40% to make it much more high pitched and loud.
4) Sometimes, when I chew I hear a strange clicking sound somewhere in my left ear, click click click, or more of a clean pop pop pop, on every jaw movement, if I stick my finger in that ear I can really hear it, what is that noise? Is the eustachion tube playing havoc? A misaligned bone, rock hard fluid?
Now, for the ENT visit, I went into a sound proof room and performed a series of hearing tests. You probably have all done them before, whereby they put headphones on you and you click a button every time you hear a sound. They done the same, but instead of headphones, they put the head thing on your skull, then finally, they stuck a fat bingo pen (ha ha) into my ears which was connected to a machine to test (I think) the pressure or something of my ear drums. (Tympanometry?)
Then, the consultant looked up my nose, at my vocal chords and in my ears... and then he opened the door and called out to the nurse ‘bring me the scope!’ So I’m sitting there thinking right ok that sounds ominous, and then this trolly comes wheeling in with a giant camera probe attached to what can only be described as a fishing rod! Now, let me say this to you, you’ve never lived until you’ve had a camera shoved up your nose and down your throat until your eyes are watering! Ha ha ha. What an experience. Anyway, after all the tests the consultant sat me down.
He said straight off the bat, I’ve failed some areas of the hearing tests. He said I have hearing loss in the high frequency range. He said it’s extremely rare in someone of my age, but this is what is causing the T. He then went onto explain all about T and how you can reach habitulisation, and about anxiety and perception of sound, and of course I have read all about this so none of it was news.
But, what was news is the way he so quickly diagnosed me with auditory damaged induced T. Now, I know I failed the hearing tests, but I think the reason I failed is because when he put the headphones on me for the test, well of course my T level shot up because all external sound was blocked out. And as you all know, external sound is your friend in this game. He did touch on this, but then brushed straight past it and carried on talking about sound enrichment and learning to live with it.
Of course at the time it’s all quite daunting and an alien environment so you don’t always challenge the doctor as much as you would like. I asked him that if it is not mucus related, then how come ever since the T I have had sticky ears, and a physical feeling of crunching when I move my cheek muscles? He said it is purely coincidence.
I then got home and done some high frequency hearing tests and my scores were excellent, and done them with another person who has no ear problems at all and we scored the same, it was on the headphone style test that exacerbated my T that I failed.
Now, to go with the doctors theory, I will also say that I have had very slight hyperacusis in the left ear, for about 4 years. It’s not a problem, but when the plug hits the bath, that metal on metal sound, then I instinctively put my hand to my left ear. I guess I should have told my doctor about this 4 years ago and he would of said protect your ears boy.
However, this is only in one ear, the left, and only is a problem about once every month or so when you hear that metal on metal sound.
I also have very slight TMJ on the right side, as I had a big tooth out on the lower left, so I can only chew on the right side. Sometimes my jaw clicks, not often, and sometimes if I eat something hard I do get a little shooting pain.
To be fair to the doc, he has penciled me in for an MRI scan, which he said would indicate anything more sinister, but I am hoping it will show if the cilia have been damaged (will it?). Also, will it show any trapped fluid?
So, I am quite aggrieved (denial? ha ha) that I have been told I have life long T based on one failed hearing test that my T was making difficult. And what about all the other symptoms? The mucus I’ve had for so many years, and now the crunching and the sticky ear? So the tympanometry said my ear drum was fine, and I don’t seem to have any hearing issues (the test aside) but perhaps the fluid is stuck in the inner ear? I am no expert of course.
The guy has given me some ‘super’ steroid nasal drops (I have already been taking steroid nasal spray) and he has also put me in for an allergy test as well as the MRI, and another appointment with him so we will see what all that shows up.
Do you think I am clinging onto something that isn’t the cause here? I feel like until I get to the bottom of this, I can’t start the habitulisation process.
Thank you for reading, I just wanted some chat from people who have been through anything similar.
Thanks again for reading.
Last edited by Administrator; 03-18-2013 at 12:42 PM.