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    Old 12-29-2013, 11:18 AM   #1
    Octans
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    Weird thumping in my right ear when I do certain things.

    So, yesterday I woke up, got out of bed and noticed that my ear thumped *seemingly* randomly. I could hear AND feel the thumps. After a few seconds, it stopped. I went on to eat breakfast and my ear began thumping again every time I chewed my food. When I went to brush my teeth it thumped again as I brushed. I washed my face and once again, thumping in my ear when I splashed water on my face. And finally, I experienced thumping when I combed my hair.

    Those are the only actions that cause my ear to thump otherwise I am fine. When it thumps I can actually feel as if something is twitching and actually slowly taking away my hearing, but once I stop whatever it is that triggers it, my hearing comes back as if nothing happened.

    I don't know if it matters, but the night before I woke up with this strange affliction, I had trouble sleeping because my pillow and mattress were making me extremely uncomfortable because they felt like rocks. When I woke up, my neck and shoulder muscles were stiff. Even my jaw was a little stiff and slightly sore so I'm thinking it could be stiff muscles. But the problem is that I still have it today despite the fact that I've been relaxing all day.

    Any ideas on what this could be? I hope it's nothing serious because I was 100% fine until yesterday morning when I woke up :\

     
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    Old 01-01-2014, 01:37 PM   #2
    Octans
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    Re: Weird thumping in my right ear when I do certain things.

    I just wanted to update that this condition has not improved or worsened. Again, I will state the times when my ear thumps:

    Immediately after waking up and getting out of bed
    Chewing food
    Salivating when smelling food
    Brushing teeth
    Combing hair
    Applying shampoo/conditioner
    Splashing water on my face from the sink

    The longer I prolong the activity that causes my ear to thump, the more it (temporarily) affect my hearing. For example, the longer I comb my hair the more it thumps and I get a sensation of something swelling and clogging my ear. When I stop, my hearing returns instantly, but I am left with a stuffy feeling in my ear which goes away after a few seconds.

    What's strange is that my ear does NOT thump when I do vigorous exercise. I lift heavy weights and even when I'm lifting a particularly heavy weight, my ear does not thump a single bit. Not even cardio exercises causes the thumps. Only the above listed activities cause the thumps.

    Again, this happened completely out of the blue when I woke up one day. It's really annoying, especially since it's taking away my enjoyment of eating food.

     
    Old 02-18-2014, 10:00 AM   #3
    RyanA
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    Re: Weird thumping in my right ear when I do certain things.

    Hi Octans,

    Interesting to read your posts. I saw on another post that you said you had tinnitus for a number of years and had 'got used to it'. I am in a very distressing place at the moment - it does not directly relate to your symptoms above but you may be able to provide some re-assurance.

    I developed tinnitus around 7 months ago after a night out. My ears were hurting in a nightclub and the next day I had a ringing in my left ear which never went away. I was very depressed and panicked, however I had read information that 'getting used to it' or 'habituating' to it over time can really lessen its impact on your life. Literally just over two weeks later I developed hyperacusis....very horrible affliction and all of a sudden my tinnitus did not seem that prominent....it was just one continuous noise which got louder if I spent too long thinking about it....and with hyperacusis, the tinnitus was automatically less important to me.

    However, 5 months on and thankfully the hyperacusis disappeared (as it does with 99% of people) and I started to notice that my tinnitus seemed more intrusive (as it would do). However, around another 2 months later I noticed that it had changed SIGNIFICANTLY.....it constantly changes in rhythm and motion and perhaps more importantly I can now hear a pulsing in that ear as well. When I get up from sitting down the pulsing gets louder. If I bend over forwards the pulsing gets much louder. When I'm eating something hard (like a baguette) the tinnitus goes really loud and I can then often hear pulsing alongside it. If I am walking around the house I will hear little 'whooshes' out of nowhere which is obviously to do with blood and has been triggered by my movement.

    My point here is that I developed tinnitus and after literally a few weeks I had habituated and thought 'oh well that's not anywhere near as bad as I thought', but since it has changed and is now so variable it seems to be almost impossible to habituate to. The specialist says the very last thing he will try is putting a grommet in my ear to relieve inner ear pressure which, if it doesn't work, is the last thing he will try. So I'm completely confused....I know this is not the same as what you have above but we share the variability and unpredictability factors.

    Do you think that if this operation doesn't work I will still have a chance of 'getting used' to what I have so it doesn't bother me any more?

    Hope you have found a solution to your thumping since you last posted.

    Thx,

    Ryan

     
    Old 02-18-2014, 07:03 PM   #4
    Octans
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    Re: Weird thumping in my right ear when I do certain things.

    Hello, Ryan

    So, I've read through your post and the manner in which you got your tinnitus seems very typical. I have read many stories of people leaving clubs or concerts and then they realize that they have tinnitus. As you've most likely figured, consistent exposure to loud noise *or* a sudden instance of loud noise can lead you to develop tinnitus (but these are not the only ways). Also common is that a more serious or distressing affliction robbed tinnitus of all the attention you were giving it, as was the case with your hyperacusis. Of course, after you were rid of it, it regained your attention.

    Now, about your tinnitus becoming worse/more intrusive...all of what you said happens to me as well. All of it. From the whole "getting up from sitting" to the whooshing and pulsing and variable pitches. I've had that very same experience where my tinnitus became worse later in life and it distressed me and drove me nuts, especially since I thought I had gotten used to it. Well, I'm currently sitting right now typing this with my ear ringing and screaming in literally 3 different tones (I call it "layered tinnitus"). It doesn't bother me a single bit. What I'm saying is that you *can* get used it, it's just a very simple matter of living with it for some time. You will soon realize that it's nothing major and it will become background noise (kinda like when you're walking outside and you hear ambience). I can still listen to music, still have conversations with people, still think, still exercise, still enjoy myself. Unless your doctor seriously recommends otherwise, I would try living with the tinnitus for a year. Grommets is a pretty disturbing and risky procedure. I've read many depressing stories of people who get worse with grommets OR become deaf in the ear with grommets. Of course, there are also success stories. It seems to me as if it's 50/50 with grommets. So, I urge you to try to get used to the tinnitus.

    I'm guessing you also have some hearing loss? As far as I know, tinnitus is usually associated with hearing loss (tinnitus does NOT cause hearing loss, just to be clear). The fact that you developed the tinnitus after leaving the nightclub leaves me very suspicious about your hearing (and just in case you're panicking, I did not saying major hearing loss. The fact that you didn't mention any of that leads me to suspect it's minimal).

    There are some things, which I've mentioned in older posts, that you can do to make the tinnitus more mangeable. Exercising will significantly reduce stress levels and will leave you feeling too tired to care about something like tinnitus. Using fans can also make tinnitus appear less noticable (I recommend a ceiling fan for your bedroom and use it when you go to sleep, it will create a subtle noise that helps). Just keep yourself occupied with whatever it is you do. This will help you cope in the beginning. As time goes by, you won't really need to do these to deal with tinnitus.

    I've had tinnitus for the better part of my life and you *do* become accustomed to it. And to show how tinnitus really can be overcome: My worst tinnitus is in my right ear, which is my "good ear" (it's still considered bad by average standards). My left ear, which is mostly useless, barely has any tinnitus. So, you would think that having loud, booming tinnitus in my only good ear would be distressing, but it truly, honestly isn't because that still doesn't change the fact that I can hear better in that ear! Give it some time, I promise you that you will adapt and become used to it. Tinnitus only matters if you allow it to matter.

    Also, yes the thumping has gone away, thankfully.

    (I feel as if I didn't say what I wanted to say as best as I could. I hope it helps and feel free to keep asking me questions)

     
    Old 02-21-2014, 02:58 PM   #5
    RyanA
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    Re: Weird thumping in my right ear when I do certain things.

    Octans,

    Thank you very much for your reply. Some very useful advice. I'm just very concerned and stressed about what I have as I feel that I should have my whole life in front of me (I'm in my late 20's) and I have a good job but it's stressful and to progress it will mean more stress.....the way I feel right now is that I'm struggling to do the job I already have (due to the change in my T). So yes, it is definitely affecting my quality of life and is making me nervous about the future as well. I feel like I'm functioning at 60-70% at work and I'm not enjoying my social time anywhere near as much as I used to.

    As you can tell it is the variability which is causing me the anguish all day long. When I first got the tinnitus 7 months ago (before this big change), it could get very loud if I REALLY concentrated on it and then if I took my attention away it got quieter and eventually when I habituated to it (and during the hyperacusis) it was 'sometimes' like it wasn't even there at all!.....But I know that this is because it was one consistent tone in my ear with very very little variability. The variability means that you can't quieten it down with your own mind because it kind of just does what it wants so your mind is always alert to it when it gets slightly louder or another 'whoosh' comes out of nowhere.

    So I just want to ask you a question to understand what it is like for yourself having gotten used to it. I presume this basically involves you constantly hearing it but just not being bothered by it.....so you get all the variability and your brain recognises that, but it just doesn't alarm you any more so there is no panic felt?....as you say...it's like background noise but you feel no panic or despair whatever it is doing? I just want to clarify this as like I said when I habituated before, the T sometimes literally almost faded down to nothing....and therefore although I can hopefully 'get used to it' this time around, I presume that it will be slightly different and I will not achieve this level of 'not realising it is there' as it is more variable?..... Do you understand what I mean?

    I also forgot to mention that my tinnitus seems to get slightly louder or somewhat irritated when I talk and sometimes even just when I breathe heavily through my nose....and it is these things which are making me think that this variability has to be more than just to do with noise related damage. As you point out, I have noise related damage for sure....but recently it has changed so much that I can't help but think something else has happened on top.

    Sorry for the essay here. I just wanted to clarify a few more things on your habituation. I'm undecided on the grommet yet but I do think you have a point....it's just that when something like this is having such a massive impact on your quality of life you get to a point where you are willing to try anything.

    Again thanks for you time Octans, it's great to speak to other people who are going through similar experiences.

    Ryan

    P.S. Glad your thumping has gone away...must have been a bit of a scare with everything else you had going on!

     
    Old 02-23-2014, 11:21 AM   #6
    Octans
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    Re: Weird thumping in my right ear when I do certain things.

    Yes, that is correct. My tinnitus has all the variability and noise and whooshing -- every noise you can think of that tinnitus could do, I've most likely experienced it. You do get used to it the same way you got used to it when it was consistent and predictable. Though, it will probably take a bit more time due its unpredictability. So yes, I do get the variability and my brain does recognize it, but there is zero panic or despair. I'm at the point where it doesn't stress me at all and at times it can even help me sleep. For example, last night my tinnitus decided to become very loud at the same time I was going to bed and it happened to sound like many loud crickets chirping at once. The noise was actually quite soothing and helped me fall asleep . Your brain will recognize that your tinnitus is just doing what it always does, so instead of reacting with "PANIC" it reacts with "Who cares?". Of course, I do notice it more when I think about it or talk about it like I'm doing now, but again it doesn't bother.

    You know, the same thing happens to me. When I get irritated, my tinnitus becomes louder (though not so much when I breathe heavily. I suppose if I did do it really really hard, it would happen, such as when I lift a very heavy weight). I'm not sure why this happens, it would be best to ask a doctor. Sorry I can't help in that regard. I've always chalked it up to "increasing blood pressure".


    I want you to also reach that point because I don't think it's worth it to get grommets and go through such an ordeal simply for tinnitus.

    I hope that this give you some hope. I know it's much easier said than done, but just do what you usually do, try not to give your tinnitus any attention no matter how loud and crazy it gets.

     
    Old 03-08-2014, 12:57 PM   #7
    RyanA
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    Re: Weird thumping in my right ear when I do certain things.

    Hey Octans,

    Thanks for the deeper explanation. It does help to give me hope as I am still struggling with this change in T, but when I read through your experience it really does help.

    There is definitely a blood element to whatever is going on given that I have pulsing whooshes and it gets louder when I bend over forwards. Even when I'm watching TV with it on quite loud I'll hear no tinnitus and then suddenly I will hear a little click or chirp up into my ear for a few seconds and then I'm back aware of it again until it does it again 15/15/20/30 seconds later (whatever it may be). I've also noticed when I am talking at work or on the phone I can feel my tinnitus becoming louder, almost like it is being aggravated by me talking so I don't know if this is TMJ or just blood flow again (I presume blood flow). There are so many symptoms I just wish I understood what was going on.

    I'm having the grommets put in on Tuesday and I'm told it is a pretty straight forward procedure but I was told by the doc not to get my hopes up as he could not guarantee that this is where the problem lies. So quite frankly I am going to have the op, however I'm fully preparing myself in case it does nothing because then I feel I have run out of road. My specialist said there is very little he can do after this (not what you want to hear when every day is such a struggle and you are so desperate) so I will need to try to habituate although as I said before this seems like an impossibility at the moment. As I say it is speaking to guys like you that gives me hope.

    I don't want to dwell on it too much but I think the interesting thing with my symptoms now is that the whooshing and aggravation upon me talking/eating, getting louder upon bending down etc seem to have NOTHING TO DO with noise induced tinnitus......which I got 7 months ago and still have. So my thoughts are always "what are the chances of having noise induced tinnitus and then a completely separate and different tinnitus occurring in the same ear just a few months later?"....I'd have more chance of winning the lottery!!!....so again this conundrum leaves me very confused.

    Anyway I'll stop rambling now. Not sure if you have any more thoughts on this but it is helpful to hear your experiences and thought processes.

    Hope all is good for you Octans

    Ryan

     
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