If you have sensitivity to noise, it's called "Hyperacusis"
What sounds bother you?
What happens when you hear these sounds?
Music makes my right ear "plug" up
Music makes my tinnitus worse (after the fact)
Music makes my ear's click and go into Spasm sometimes
TV sound SOMETIMES makes my ears click
Talking on the phone SOMETIMES makes my ears click
People talking loudly in a car, hurts my right ear.
Dishes banging together hurts my ears
Loud restaurants throw sounds at me from every direction and bother me. When people toss their keys on their desks or something, ARGH! Babies crying, children screaming.. ouch
My ears just fills right up and hurts when I am exposed to loud sounds.
Places I have not been able to enjoy for over a year:
- Movies (Blockbuster is my new home, damn rentals)
- Dance Clubs
- Pool Hall (used to be an avid Pool Player)
- Hockey Games
I hate ear plugs, and I refuse to be that guy at the Hockey Game with ear plugs! I'll just watch on TV.
Will this EVER get better?
Share your Hyperacusis thoughts/stories/problems here...
The search for a diagnosis is long and painful...
I've posted on this before but I sympathize so much with you Jamie, what you say re noise affecting your ears is just what happens to me. Just this am loud music made my right ear full and caused gentle spasming in my face and throat ;(. This really distressed me as my ears have been feeling much better recently, I panic with any kind of set back and am afraid some uncontrollable regresssion will set in.
Common noises I'm adversely affected by now are music and car engines, particularly loud rumbling car engines which take ages to start and rumble away outside my flat for hours! I have to keep the tv pretty quiet, and lights/fridge or the pc can start off not rumbling but a hissing noise in my ears. In the night I wear soft foam earplugs, I tried not wearing them and it was worse so now I just always use them. I've thought about wearing them when I go out but so far haven't from slight embarassment in case they fall out and they are visible sticking out of my ears too.
But, I have got better, before I couldn't talk on the phone without pain, now it doesn't bother me, I couldn't go to a mall, on Sat I did and it was ok, I actually didn't notice noise. I'm not really bothered by shouting or screaming now. But then with improvement comes increased (if possible) fear for my ears and the desire to protect them, and depression with for example events like the neighbour's noise today. I wonder if I will ever be able to go to see films again, and not shrink from noise. I wonder too dispiritedly if ears can recover fully after weeks or months of problems?
I don't know what I have, I'm planning on seeing some kind of ear related dr for tests the rather pathetic ENT I saw didn't do but am confused about who to go to. I don't know if my ear issues are 'only' TMJ or something else besides TMJ but probably related.
[This message has been edited by Isobelj (edited 09-30-2003).]
You said 'I hate ear plugs, and I refuse to be that guy at the Hockey Game with ear plugs! I'll just watch on TV.
Why????? Ear plugs are incredibly sensible - there are people on the tinnitus boards who curse themselves for not wearing ear plugs sooner - people who attend loud events - even without ear problems should wear ear plugs in places where the noise level is unnaceptable. If you were wearing ear plugs it would be you who was sensible/intelligent and they guy without the ear plugs at the hockey game who loses out. Are you aware there are things called musicians ear plugs - they are expensive (although not beyond reach) and allow in a certain amount of sound but not the harmful level. Most importantly they are COMPLETELY INVISIBLE, and fit right inside your ear. No one would know you were the guy at the hockey game wearing them. I sat and had lunch with a friend who was wearing them, had no idea till he told me. I actually think by wearing ear plugs in noisey places you would be aiding your recovery - how much better to be out, able to have fun in a noisy place, than at home depressed, stressed, angry that you can't go out and therefore clenching your muscles further. Ear plugs shouldn't be worn all the time, this desensitises the ear to noise, but they are absolutely recommended for EVERYONE in a noisy place - cinemas being a good example. Cinemas are louder than recommended noise levels. I always wear mine in cinemas and bars, my hyperacusis has gradually got much better.
Also, regarding the clicking - I saw my neurotologist yesterday (ear/brain/dizzy) specialist - I was asking him about the vibration in my ears - he said it was most probably myoclonus /stapedial muscular spasm (see the article I posted for you last time) although this usually presents as CLICKING. The other things he mentioned in relation to tmj were full ears and ear pain. I realise you hate drugs as much as you dislike ear plugs, but very, very occasional use of a muscle relaxant (not daily) - 1 or 2 mg or valium worked for me (my dentist attended a conference in the States and they had concluded v. short term use of valium could be very helpful for tmjd'ers) I used it when the vibration was at its worst and haven't had to use it for months now. I think that along with splint therapy, occasional use of a drug to relax the muscles can ease the cycle of clenching can actually aid recovery.
I'm so sorry you are also suffering with this Isobel - my experience with ear specialists is that they are at a bit of a loss when it comes to hyperacusis/ear vibration etc... Your symptoms do sound a lot like mine, and after my many ear specialist visits I've concluded that it is tmj related. I do, as I said, have vestibular neuritis (more commonly known as labyrinthitis) but this does cause v. profound dizziness - mostly constant for a number of months at first and doesn't sound like you. For me the vibration comes on when I talk a lot - I mean hours - I'm a big talker, which merely confirms for me that it's tmjd related. You could definitely see another ENT - although I'm not sure how much help they'd be - although my specialist at the dental hospital did say that tmj causes a lot of ear symptoms and most of her patients have them, she didn't elaborate as to which.
I do think these symptoms go, with time, it just takes a while.
I've attended several concerts this year, and each and every time, I wear ear plugs (as a precaution). Perhaps it's because I'm "over 40" and don't care what people think about my wearing ear plugs - LOL! I had extra ear plugs when I was at these concerts, and gave them to complete strangers - when they were looking "enviously" at mine!