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Old 09-29-2008, 02:30 PM   #1
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ancdc HB User
new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

Hi. I started having tinnitus about 6 weeks ago. I've had some ups and downs, but think I've done okay handling it. However, for the past 8 days the tinnitus has changed. It started as just a hissing/crackling in both ears - but now I have a high-pitched ringing in my right ear and it is growing louder and louder. I think I'm finally having a break down and I have no idea what to do about it.

I've already seen my GP and an ENT each twice about this and I have an appt w/ a neurologist in a couple weeks. But I'm honestly losing my mind now.

I'm too scared to read other people's posts because what I do not need right now is horror stories because I am scared to death. I want some home and some reason to keep fighting because I am afraid that this will keep getting worse and I will lose my enjoyment of life.

I am already much crankier and less social than I used to be - in just 6 weeks. I can't imagine a lifetime of this.

I am only 30 years old. The audiologist found no hearing loss. I am hypothyroid, but my thyroid is being treated. There doesn't seem to be any explanation for it, though my GP suspects it is related to my migraines, but I no longer believe in this hypothesis after the past 8 days of horror, but no migraine.

The only loud noise I can think of that may relate is that I went to an IMAX movie right before the onset and it was very loud. And, 2 days before this bad ringing started I went to a Broadway musical and I had to plug my ears several times because the speakers were so loud..... so, I'm not sure if this could have contributed to the problem, though, because my hearing is nearly pristine...

Please tell me some hopeful stories so I know there is a reason to try and fight.

 
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:22 PM   #2
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Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

Hi ancdc

Firstly please know that you are not alone there are many tinnitus sufferers on this board who can offer words of support. (Although we try not to think bout it too much )

I first suffered with tinnitus when I was 5 months pregnant, I had hearing loss in one ear and in that ear I began to hear a heartbeat, I truly thought I would go nuts...my GP prescribed Ativan ( even though I was pregnant he felt my health was at a significant risk to precribe this narcotic) I had'nt slept for 4 nights prior to this...I ended up going on Mat leave early due to the tinnitus...

Firstly and this is the hardest thing, try to ignore it, I know that sounds impossible but worry and stress only make it worse, do some things you really enjoy with friends and family who make you feel good. Take some long walks and do things that relax you. It may take time to find the cause of the tinnitus and your ear may settle down if they have experienced some loudness over the past few weeks.

I just had a surgery in that ear and my tinnitus seems less noticable.

I will check back later and see how things are going

Best wishes

 
Old 09-29-2008, 10:48 PM   #3
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ancdc HB User
Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

Hi. I just woke up and my tinnitus is at an all time worse. It sounds just like when TV stations used to go off the air at night and would just play a high-pitched tone over color bars before going to fuzz.

I'm only 30. I really can't go through the rest of my life like this. My job involves audio and video and I think it will be difficult to take my mind off of it.

I thought I was getting a migraine a few hours ago, so I took my normal migraine pill and it seems to have made everything worse somehow (and I still have a headache).

I'm probably having an MRI soon to rule out any kind of tumor or whatever. I really think there is no good explanation for this for me - just one of those lucky people who get it w/o cause.

I feel like my life just changed from when I fell asleep a few hours ago until now. It went from a nagging and frustrating problem to what may now be a disability of sorts.

I have a sort of anxious personality and my anxiety has gotten worse over the recent years and so it is just a viscious cycle. I'm now very paranoid that presciption drugs I've taken this year (cortisone shots and NSAIDs and migraine pills) may somehow be related to causing this since they are all ototoxic drugs.

My husband wants me to stay off of the interest and not to be wrapped up about it, but I told him this is like having someone chop off your arm and then try to ignore it while the blood gushes out.

ANY advice is appreciated and yes, knowing that I am not alone helps too. I'm afraid that my whole life and my whole future has changed now.

I'm sorry that you went through this while you were pregnant kitchener12. What kind of surgery did you have? Please let me know how it goes and thanks for the words of support.

 
Old 09-30-2008, 06:04 AM   #4
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Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

Hi ancdc

I am sorry you had a bad night I know it is at its worst when you are trying to sleep, everyone else in th house is snoring peacefully and you are desperate for sleep but can't, gggrrr thats when it can really get to you I know....

You mentioned you have been on a lot of meds this year for migranes I have heard that migriane sufferers can get tinnitus but that theres no really positive connection....

My tinnitus came on first while I was pregnant but also having a hard time at work, my boss was not being very helpful I had major accounts and lots of deadlines and there fore lots of stress plus being pregnant!!!!
Stress and anxiety are major contributors to this awful noise and therefore you must really try and keep them to a minimum, I know you probably don;t want to take any more meds but I did find that a sleeping tablet once in a while helped me sleep a little and stop me from obbsessing about the noise...believe me it will get better...you will be able to carry on it is just worse now because its probably all you can think about...I hate to say it but your hubby is kinda right

Make sure you are checked out fully with your dr, regarding bloodflow, ear pressure, meds and see what happens.

In the mean time keep busy and noisy (!) and try to relax and not worry it will ease off

I will check again soon, take care

I had a stapedectomy (prosetic stapes) so I just had 2 weeks of vertigo too..mmmm (PS I would preffer tinnitus to vertigo anyday !)

 
Old 10-03-2008, 06:18 AM   #5
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ancdc HB User
Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

I saw a neurologist on Wednesday, and he feels that the tinnitus is related to my migraines, which have become much more severe this year. In fact, the doctor himself suffers from migraines and tinnitus. I am not sure this is the final answer, but it is helping me to cope with and understand what's happening to me.

He prescribed to me a beta blocker, which he feels may prevent most of my migraines and also may lessen the tinnitus.

I am going to the Univ of Maryland's tinnitus center in a couple weeks and will eventually discuss some treatments with them, such as hearing retraining therapy.

I am generally a strong person emotionally and handle pain well, but this ringing has really broken me down. Luckily, it has decreased significantly over the past 2 days, but I am still anxious about it coming back. And from what the doctor said, it will definitely come back.

Anyway, thanks for the support and I will stay in touch - I have a feeling there are still rough days ahead, but for now, making it through the day much better.

 
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:09 AM   #6
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Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

HI ancdc

The fact that your dr understands what you are experiencing is a real plus.
Is there really a center for tinnitus Wow I would have loved to have known about that. It sounds as if you are in good hands.
I truly hope the beta blockers help, be positive.
I know what you mean I am usually strong and don;t usually suffer anxiety but it really got me down too.
I am so pleased the tinnitus has lessened, please don't listen for it though, just trust me on that one

BEst wishes
I will keep checking your posts

 
Old 10-05-2008, 06:00 PM   #7
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ancdc HB User
Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

Hi there - just to give you some info on the center to anyone out there suffering from tinnitus... (A colleague of mine went to the senter around 1994 and was given "hearing retraining therapy. Basically, he wore hearing aids for about 18 months that made the same noise as his tinnitus - and now he does not notice the tinnitus. He says it saved him. He had tinnitus due to hearing loss due to loud noise. There are now more updated treatments, but hearing retraining is still a mainstay of treatment.)

Here is the website: [url]http://www.umm.edu/otolaryngology/[/url]

Supposedly people fly in from all over the world to go to this center for treatment.

 
Old 10-06-2008, 11:37 AM   #8
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Larkley HB User
Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

Ive had tinnitus for about 3 weeks. So far, ive been able to ignore it. Im afraid it will get worse though. it started after I had fluid in my ears. The meds they gave me didnt help and i wont be able to see a doc for another month. Im pretty concerned. what a horrible noise. I usually sit under a flourescent light, or turn on a humdifier to drown it out.

 
Old 10-09-2008, 12:21 PM   #9
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Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

Im not sure. I am completely guilty of loud music, driving with the windows down, ear buds, concerts, etc. And yet when I went to the co, he said he thought it was allergies because i have fluid behind my ear drums.

Thing is, I worked for a couple of chain smokers a couple years ago and from about Oct 07 to July 08 I had a sinus infection. Had to use nasal irrigation, steam inhaler, etc. I also developed nasal polyps so I completely cut out caffeine from my diet.

However, at the beginning of September, after i finally beat the infection i started up with coffee and chocolate again, stopped drinking enough water and stopped taking my vitamins. Then i went to the concert and id say 4 days later after the fluid wouldnt subside i got the ringing. And now, the sinus infection is back as well and all the glands on my neck are swollen.

Everything is just very loud. I listen to tv with subtitles on only because the volume just hurts at almost any level. If its television i watch it quite comfortably and no one else in the room can hear it. ive taken to wearing ear muffs or plugs around the house so i can deal with what everyone else considers "normal volume"

I think its from too many concerts...but i guess that doesnt explain the infection.

 
Old 10-19-2008, 05:37 PM   #10
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Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

I am fairly new to tinnitus too. Started about two months ago, I woke up one morning and couldn't hear anything but ringing in my left ear. This drove me nuts but not from the ringing, from the deafness. I went to the doctor and he thought I had an ear infection, had two different antibiotics, neither worked, went back a second dr said my eustation(sp?) tubes were clogged, got predisone and another antibiotic while waiting for the ear nose and throat dr appointment. That didn't work. The ear nose and throat guy said there was no infection or sign of it, and I definitly had hearing loss (big news there!). Went to get an MRI, missed that appointment because my gall bladder decided to blow out and ended up in the ER and an extended stay at hospital. I rescheduled and had the MRI but I haven't heard any results and it has been about 3 weeks. I guess they forgot?? Anyway, still can't hear anything... except the ringing. So if anyone has any idea what causes this, let me know...
Funny though, the ringing doesn't bother me, maybe because its in one ear?
Lizzy
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:00 AM   #11
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Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

Lizzie, This happened to me last January and continued for many months although I did not have much hearing loss - mainly the ringing. After numerous doctor visits and antibiotics I decided to try a few things on my own. So, here is what worked for me. It does sound as if your tube is clogged.

If your stomach can handle it, take two baby aspirin several times a day - after meals and before bed. Aspirin expands the blood vessels and this will allow the blood to flow more freely to your ear and open up that tube. This really helped me a great deal.

I stumbled on this quite by accident one day when doing yoga. Some simple head exercises helped to open up that tube. All of this should be done while inhaling and exhaling deeply. Tilt your head to one side, hold, and return to center. Repeat on the other side. Do these about five times. Look to one side, hold, and return to center. Repeat on the other side. Do these about five times. Raise arms over head, gently roll to the floor so that eyes are looking at knees, hold, and gently roll back up. Do these several times. These helped me a great deal too and can be repeated many times during the day.

I know it sounds very simplistic, but often the simple things work the best. I had tried hot compresses, ear drops, sinus rinses, massage, etc. and the aspirin and head exercises helped the most. I still get the ringing from time to time due to sinus congestion and these always help.

Hope you feel better.

glowing4

 
Old 10-20-2008, 06:32 PM   #12
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Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

[QUOTE=glowing4;3766698]Lizzie, This happened to me last January and continued for many months although I did not have much hearing loss - mainly the ringing. After numerous doctor visits and antibiotics I decided to try a few things on my own. So, here is what worked for me. It does sound as if your tube is clogged.

Hi Glowing4,

I think you may be right! And it doesn't sound like I am going to get any help soon so I may as well try it.
One important thing that I haven't mentioned here or to my doctors. I haven't had any ear wax in that ear. I mean, completely clean. This just occurred to me after I wrote this. I noticed it but I really didn't connect it till today, and it feels clogged. The ear nose and throat guy said my eustachion were fine and clear so I am very confused.
Thanks for the advice! It is much appreciated.
Hugs,
Lizzy
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:30 AM   #13
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Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

Lizzie, My ENT couldn't really find anything wrong either. I had a hearing test and a CT scan, but nothing serious really showed up. He said it was probably TMJ due to lots of teeth work I had done. Still, I knew that something wasn't right and the ringing went on and on. I do hope these simple things work for you as they did for me. Some people suggest warm, moist heat, which you can try, but that didn't really help either and only gave temporary relief if any. I am getting over a bad cold and the ringing has come back a bit, but I know now what it is and return to the baby aspirin and exercises. Like you, mine was worse in one ear. One thing I did notice, despite doctors suggestions, is that decongestants made it much worse. They are supposed to help drain, but I found they increased the problem!

Let me know how you are doing. It most probably will go away with a little time.

glowing4

 
Old 10-23-2008, 10:23 PM   #14
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TXMommy27 HB User
Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

I am also a tinnitus sufferer, altho hopefully the worst is in my past. Like kitchener, I have had stapedectomies recently that seem to have "cured" my tinnitus.

I don't even know how long I had it, it was with me for so long. Mine started out as a washing machine sound in my ears, and sometimes a heartbeat. I really did get so used to it that I didn't realize I was also losing my hearing (due to otosclerosis - most people who have this DO have tinnitus also). When I finally got my hearing checked, I got a name for the constant noise - and hearing aids that I wore for four years. They were a pain, but they did help with the tinnitus. The silver lining was that I always had white noise to help me sleep. I know some of you have noises that keep you awake - sometimes this happened, but since this was all I could hear at night, it eventually became like a white noise for me.

This year, I learned that my hearing could be corrected with surgery. I had no expectation of losing the tinnitus, and even heard it could get worse. It did the first few days - horribly loud, heart pounding. SO bad I was in tears - plus the pain from the surgery didn't help (cutting your eardrum to get to the inner ear - very painful!). It did get better, and the tinnitus is almost non-existent now. That may not help many of you whose tinnitus is caused by something completely different. But do know that I spent years not knowing what this was, what caused it, and that it could ever go away. It IS worse to suffer alone!

Ironically, I learned later that my dad has this too - he never talked about it, so I never knew. Now I am trying to convince him to see if surgery will help his hearing loss/tinnitus. I was the one who got him to see the audiologist and get hearing aids - even though his dad wore them for decades.

Quote:
Funny though, the ringing doesn't bother me, maybe because its in one ear?
This is true - between surgeries, I only had it in my un-operated ear, and it was annoying, but much less than before. It was easier to ignore, for sure.

For those of you who are readers, Lorna Landvik's Oh My Stars touched me in a powerful way in the midst of my "suffering" - never mentions tinnitus by name, but the main character suffers from it.

My only advice: get 2nd opinions, get hearing tests, and keep getting them. Someone out there will surely be able to help!

 
Old 04-15-2009, 08:28 AM   #15
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Re: new tinnitus sufferer... need support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glowing4 View Post
Lizzie, My ENT couldn't really find anything wrong either. I had a hearing test and a CT scan, but nothing serious really showed up. He said it was probably TMJ due to lots of teeth work I had done. Still, I knew that something wasn't right and the ringing went on and on. I do hope these simple things work for you as they did for me. Some people suggest warm, moist heat, which you can try, but that didn't really help either and only gave temporary relief if any. I am getting over a bad cold and the ringing has come back a bit, but I know now what it is and return to the baby aspirin and exercises. Like you, mine was worse in one ear. One thing I did notice, despite doctors suggestions, is that decongestants made it much worse. They are supposed to help drain, but I found they increased the problem!

Let me know how you are doing. It most probably will go away with a little time.

glowing4

 
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