Blocked right ear, vertigo and tinnitus, please help.
Hello, thank you for reading and for any help or advice anyone can offer.
I fear this may turn into a long post so I'll apologize now for that and understand completely if you just hit the back button.
I'm having a lot of anxiety right now and mini panic attacks which is why I've felt the need to post here...
Nine months ago I had a stomach bug, I don't know if it was norovirus but it was that kind of vomiting and diarrhea bug that everyone in the house ends up getting. It lasted a day, if that. The next day was just recovering and getting back to normal when a cold started to come on. Nothing I haven't had before except that night, over a period of no more than 3 hours maximum, my right ear became almost completely blocked with painful high pitched ringing. The pain subsided after an hour or so and as my sinuses were blocked, I put it all down to the cold and was able to sleep.
The next morning, the vertigo hit. It was mainly there when moving and lasted a few seconds to a couple of minutes, but it was quite intense. Again, I put this down to the cold and blocked sinuses and just coped as best I could.
The ear blockage and vertigo gradually subsided over a period of two to three weeks, the last major attack of vertigo was by far the worst. While running a bath it just hit and literally brought me to my knees. I was unable to move for what felt like a long time but in reality was probably less than a minute. This level of severity hadn't happened before but after it had passed I felt noticeably better than I had done for the previous couple of weeks. This was the last severe vertigo I remember experiencing.
After that I experienced dizziness occasionally and mild vertigo when tilting my head to the right or laying on my right side, but this lasted seconds and was very mild. My hearing on my right side had an echo-y quality to it for several more weeks but cleared up.
The most constant thing through all this was the high pitched ringing in my right ear. I knew it was tinnitus as my Mum has it quite badly. I thought it came and went but now believe it was always there and I just didn't notice it.
For the past few weeks I have noticed it all the time, though I don't think it has increased in volume. This ringing made me visit my GP who sent me for a hearing test. The test showed that I have normal hearing in my left ear but my right ear has high frequency hearing loss.
I was referred to an ENT who basically had a quick look in each ear and asked if I had any allergy, (which I don't think I do but quite often have nasal congestion) He then said he would send me for an MRI and see me again in six months.
Its this that has me up at this hour having panic attacks.
I should point out that I am prone to anxiety and panic attacks anyway... so I know it was a stupid thing to go and Google my symptoms as I've become fixated on the worst thing I could find... acoustic neuroma.
To me, the symptoms fit... unilateral loss of high pitched hearing, unilateral tinnitus, balance issues, (I didn't even know the last one till I tried to balance on one leg with my eyes shut, I can do it fine with my eyes open but as soon as I shut them I'm all over the place trying to stay upright.)
I realize that an acoustic neuroma is rare and that often there is no explanation for tinnitus and hearing loss but as I said, I am prone to panic attacks and anxiety... which isn't helped by my tendency to automatically think the worst when it comes to my health.
So if anyone is still reading and has had a similar experience with the onset of symptoms or anyone who can offer an insight into what might have been going on nine months ago or has experience or knowledge to tell me if I should actually be panicking over an acoustic neuroma... I'd very much like to hear from you.
To summarize my symptoms as they are today,
Constant, high pitched ringing in my right ear only.
Occasional and very mild sensation of spinning, usually when tired and laying down/getting up from laying down.
Occasional right sided headache, (I've had these before all this though.)
The balance issue mentioned above.
Right sided high frequency hearing loss.
ANY help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much for reading.