Long-term tinnitus problem. Any help/advice please

Hello all, this is my first post on here. I have had a form of tinnitus for almost two and a half years now, and the medical professional seems incapable of diagnosing or treating the problem. I have been to several GPs, had an MRI scan (clear) and last month finally got to see a specialist after a ten-month wait. He gave me a hearing test, which revealed my hearing levels are above average, but that was never the problem. He also stuck a spatula in the affecte ear (my right) and took out a lot of wax, but all that did was make the ear bleed and cause the high-pitched whining sound to intensify. It has ebbed a little since, but still irritating.

My symptoms are these: high-pitched noise in my right ear, much worse when I lie down, bearable in daily life when I am up and about and have background noise to block it out. Occasionally I get noises in my left ear as well, but these only last a few seconds. In my right ear there is constant clicking, as though something has gone wrong in the inner ear chamber and it keeps opening and closing. Very occasionally there is a stab of pain, but this only lasts seconds. About eighteen months ago I suddenly lost my balance and was rushed to a local GP, who said I might have Méniere's Disease. However I haven't suffered any recurrence of this.

Does any of this sound familiar to members on here, and if so can anyone kindly give me some advice as to what I should do? This is getting very frustrating now.

Thanks very much in advance,

David

10 Replies

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  • HI David,

    I am sorry to hear that you are having problems with tinnitus. A referral to a hearing therapist should be able to help you and offer some treatment. I mostly deal with tinnitus when it was caused by loud noise. If you do have menieres or a form of it, my friend Glynis knowledgeable on this and will probably see your post later. However, if your tinnitus was caused by noise exposure I might be able to offer some help. Please let me know.

    All the best

    Michael

  • Hi Michael just noticed yr post to David and interested me as I am now a T sufferer after years in print and being around presses, compressors etc .. all finally causing me to suffer "white noise" T and hyperaccusis. I live with it mostly but some days it nears intolerability. Hearing test shows some lose of hearing at both ends but not yet bad enough for h-aids. Exasperated by road noise in car too ..its bliss when we hit new quieter tarmac! Cope most of the time bot odd days I struggle to keep smiling!!

    Seems an increasingly common problem

    R

  • Hi Seilman,

    I am sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time coping with tinnitus and hyperacusis. I have written and article on tinnitus which includes information on hyperacusis. If you would like to read it, please send me your email address in PM, please don't post it on the forum as it's agains the rules.

    All the best

    Michael

  • Welcome to the BTA community Robe.

    Tinnitus comes in lots of sounds and strengths.

    I think you might be hearing pressure in your ears changing and your eustation tubes opening and closing.

    Pressure changes can also change your tinnitus in sound and strength.

    I have menieres and had it many years and has lots of symptoms and vertigo does not alway have to be present but ENT wont rush to diagnose menieres with out tests and time to see if other symptoms develop.

    See how things go but any concerns I would pop in see your doctor and maybe a ENT refural if needed.....

    Anxiety can ramp up tinnitus so stay calm and dont worry...lots of love glynis

  • Thank you both for your replies. After reading them and doing a bit of research, it seems most likely I have a form of inner-ear barotrauma. I can occasionally sense ear fluid sloshing around the inner chamber as well. What puzzles me is why none of the doctors and specialists I have seen (I've had an ENT referral, see my original post) have been able to diagnose the condition or recommend any treatment. It's very frustrating.

  • Hi Robe, When I read your story I felt like I was reading my own history. Mine started out exactly as yours did - high pitched whistling, vertigo, Meniere's diagnosis, mri scans were clear, fluid like sensation in my ear. All came to nothing with my ENT consultant, who offered the only advice I have had in 17 years - "go away and live with it". Oh, and when I told him I couldn't sleep, he prescribed sleeping tablets - !!.

    I have learnt to live with my condition as there is no cure. However, just recently I have met with an audio vestibular physician who told me why we don't get answers from ENT consultants - he told me that they want to be able to cut you open and fix the problem. As a surgeon, that is what they are trained to do. If they can't find anything wrong, they have no idea what to do next - hence "go away and live with it".

    Most people with T have found their own life path as to how they manage their symptoms. We could teach the medical community a lot.!

    Keep strong

    Jane

  • Thank you Jane, I was beginning to think I was the only person with this particular condition! How do you manage your symptoms, if you don't mind me asking?

    Best,

    David

  • Hi David, I have found mental strength in yoga - it really does work as it helps me switch off to the noise in my head and focus on something else. It gives me the ability to switch off and sleep - I get 6 hours uninterrupted which I consider a blessing, as the early days found me pacing the floor at 3am. I also use maskers when times get tough - first thing in the morning is the most difficult as the house is quiet. Listening to the fan in the bathroom is a favourite and opening the window to listen to the wind in the trees. It's finding your own inner strength is the answer. If you have a passion for something , throw yourself into it with a vengeance as it will block out your T. You will find your strength through that - oh , and there are lots of men in my yoga class Life is so stressful these days that all walks of life need to switch off somehow.

    Jane

  • Hi Robe,

    Have a read up on the main BTA website for Take on Tinnitus

    t.co/2YMcCv3TJ1

    Lots of love glynis

  • Hi David i get your point on the frustrating element, i have realised that sometimes in this moments people can see what you think or even expect to say what you want to hear, i just had one hour twenty mins ear clean out at the ent ward Reading, and with regards to the sounds they said you just have to follow the path your on, cliche i know, but generally i senses the medical people try not to give out an opinion they prefer facts in what they can see or not see its thats simple, we are share the frustration element with this condition but if can find out or help with any facts i also find on my journey then will message them out here. Glynis is just incredible around this place, her insight is just awesome, and with anxiety i have also found it can cause more stress at the end of the day, so i try even now just to stay focused on the here and now and that one moment we are in sounds like a know it all comment but its not the here and now helps me to leave the next and whatever to the right time ..

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