Tinnitus and Azithromycin

Hi Guys, I wrote a post around September about my tinnitus. My Lung Consultant was not convinced that Azithromycin was causing the tinnitus nor was he happy with my GP for merely saying she could not help with tinnitus as there is no cure and could only help me if I noticed a loss of hearing. Well last Thursday I saw the ENT consultant, I also had my hearing tested and it showed a marked decrease in my hearing. The consultant cleaned my ears (I apparently have very small ear channels which makes it difficult for the wax to escape). Then he explained I had a problem with my ear drums caused by years of sinusitis. As the only cure is major surgery and I am already chronically ill he explained the only way forward was hearing aids. I was in shock, I knew my hearing was no longer perfect, but deaf never. I have just been to another clinic to have another hearing test and I am now wearing my brand new hearing aids. The sensation of having good hearing again takes a little getting used to but I have to say they are very comfortable and I will not be struggling again with conversations. The Audiologist also said I may be lucky and the tinnitus may not be noticeable anymore as having normal hearing tends to depress the hissing sounds I have been hearing. I am telling you this, as I know there are a number of people out there who are also suffering from tinnitus. My advice is do not hesitate ask for that appointment at ENT and good luck. Take care everyone Maximonkey

18 Replies

  • Hi Maximonkey, thanks for sharing this with us. I've been on 1 azithromax 250 per day for more then 2 years now and am getting a bit nervous about deafness and Tinnitus. I've been having a bit of Tinnitus ( real or imagined) when I lie down to sleep so last three nights have put on my headphones and listened to music. Temporary solution probably but it's working for now. Glad you've got to the bottom of tbe problem.

  • Hi Argana, I am so sorry you have began to hear the tinnitus noise. I am afraid that headphones may only excelerate your loss of hearing. If I were you I would ask your GP for a referral. The tinnitus noise (this is how it was described to me by the ENT specialist) is an indication of hearing loss which has already happened. Therefore, you could already be losing hearing. I am now on day 2 of my aids (you cannot see them, only I am aware I am wearing them) so far no tinnitus. Good luck and take care. Maximonkey

  • I'll bring it up at my next visit with the consultant. Thanks again for the warning.

  • Great news - must be such a relief for you. All best wishes. xx

  • Hi Dedalus, yes it is a relief I thought I would be hearing this awful noise for the rest of my days. Many thanks for your good wishes. Take Care Maximonkey

  • So glad you have had a positive outcome...I'm waiting for my ENT appointment,I thought it might be a waste of time but I am now encouraged by your experience ,thanks for sharing.

  • Hi jeanielee, it is a pleasure. Sharing our experiences helps. Good luck at ENT I am sure it will not be a waste of time. I am still surprised at the speed of the NHS. 5 days after seeing the consultant I am fitted with the aids and already feel so much better. Day 2 and still not tinnitus. Hope it lasts. Take care Maximonkey

  • Great post Maximonkey. I have tinnitus because of another drug but cannot recall the name now. Pete takes Azithromycin with no ill effects but his hearing is not great either. I think I will try and get an appointment to have my hearing checked as it has gone downhill since the tinnitus kicked in. My doctor also told me that nothing could be done for tinnitus so I just live with the hissing sound. I refuse to let it get me down but can understand how much others suffer especially if they are already ill. Thanks again and take care. xxxxxx

  • Hi sassy59, thanks for the reply. Good luck with the GP. Don't be put off ask to see the ENT asap. Good luck to you and Pete. I will keep you informed re: the tinnitus and hearing. Take care Maximonkey

  • Maximonkey, I had tinnitus for at least 40 years. sometimes, like now that you talk about it, I notice the strong whistiling in my left ear. I think it may increase when I get tired. But during the day, I don't notice it.

    I had some hearing loss when I had Gentamicin. My consultant stopped it straight away, but not before I told him I couldn't hear him at all! The hearing aid consultant sided with my consultant and said it was old age. Crumbs, I know what I was talking about.

    I went through the "ceremony" of measuring my hearing, measuring my ear and giving me the Siemens hearing aid for both ears. After a fortnight, my hearing had recovered - so it was the Gentamicin after all! I still have the tinnitus!

    Take care, Mic

  • Hi Maximonkey, thanks for telling us of your experience. I went through exactly the same as you and was prescribed a hearing aid but I can't get on with it so I don't use it. I still have reasonably good hearing in one ear and tinnitus in the other. Hearing what people are saying when there is a lot of background noise is a nuisance and I'm sure I give the wrong answers sometimes, and must raise a few eyebrows, because I can't hear properly but I get by. Good luck and take care. Lizzy.

  • Hi Skinnylizzy59, did you get a follow up from the Audiologist? I will be receiving a call next week to see how I am getting on with the hearing aid. If you didn't get a phone call to ask how you were and you wish to improve your hearing, go back to your GP and ask be referred again. Today's hearing aids are geared to your own hearing perfectly and if it is not correct you can get it altered quite easily. Please do not keep on struggling your hearing will just get worse. The audio lady also said I hopefully would not hear the tinnitus so loudly once I got used to the hearing aid, she was right the tinnitus seems to be so much fainter now. Take care and good luck. Maximonkey

  • Hi Maximonkey, thanks for getting back to me. I was issued with the standard Siemens hearing aid which I had trouble fitting in my ear and so I've never bothered with it since I found it didn't make any difference. I haven't received any follow up from the hospital. Take care and keep warm, Lizzy.

  • GHi Skinnylizzy59, please go back to your GP and ask for help. I received excellent care and help and my hearing aids are normal NHS standard hearing aids. I was surprised to see they are computer controlled and completely geared to my hearing. When the Audio lady showed me all the relevant bits of the aid she chose the smallest size as I apparently have very small and slightly crooked ear channels. She put her earphones into my ears and connected them to the hearing aid which was connected to the computer, then she put into the computer my prescription (hearing results) and it was done in seconds. At first I could hear background noise very loudly but after a few tweeks the computer had ironed that out, once I was happy the aids were given to me to put into my ears (with the help of a mirror). They were easy to install and could not be seen, thank God, I was feeling very old at this point, but was hearing more clearly. I was amazed at how the technology has improved in recent years. I am now on day 6 and I already notice the difference in watching TV and conversations with family. I no longer feel excluded, because of my hearing loss (although I did not realise my hearing was so bad at the time) I think my daughters thought I was not interested anymore in their lives. I felt really sad about this but did not realise it was because I was mishearing them. The tinnitus is still here but much fainter. I do not use anything at night as I am usually so tired I go to sleep very quickly, I have only been kept awake with the noise once and that was when I was ill and could not sleep very well anyway. If I have gone on, I am sorry, I only wanted to show you how easy I found the whole process. Maybe your aids are the wrong size for you. How will you know if you do not go back. Good luck and take care. Maximonkey

  • Hi Maximonkey, thanks for caring, perhaps I'll have another go with the aid I have and if I'm still not happy see what help I can get. Many thanks again. Take care, Lizzy x

  • Hi Flibberti, No I do not use a machine. To be honest I am so tired most nights I just flake out. I do regular exercise, swimming, Aqua aerobics etc and by 10pm I am really tired. I have only once had trouble with the Tinnitus at night and that was when I was ill and awake in the middle of the night (probably due to no exercise) and the Tinnitus was very loud. Good luck and if you are still struggling I think you should go back to your GP and ask to visit ENT again. Take care Maximonkey

  • I am very deaf in my right ear and my left ear is quite deaf, but I can manage with that. The consultant said there wasn't much available to stop tinnitus. I decided not to bother. I have hearing aids but they drive me nuts. So uncomfortable. I daresay I will have to go back to the audio department soon. Hopefully, they will have some smaller, less visible hearing aids now. Mine are horrid pink things with a big plastic thing that goes in the ear.

  • Hi Azure, sorry you are having difficulties with your hearing aids. I posted recently because I am taking Azithromycin and thought my Tinnitus was because of these tablets. I was wrong. I went to the local ENT had an audio test and they discovered I have hearing loss in both ears, probably caused by all the sinus problems I have had over my lifetime. I have very small ears apparently and it is difficult for the doctors to see everything easily, my doc was very patient with me. My aids are very comfortable and with a little help from my hairdresser they are invisible. No-one except my husband and grand-daughter know I have hearing loss. The one thing I did learn was that Tinnitus is a sign of hearing loss not a nasty side effect of the tablets. If I had not gone to ENT when I did my hearing loss would have continued. I wear my aids all the time except when showering, swimming and going to the hairdresser. I must say they have made me less aware of the Tinnitus. It is still there but because I can hear everything more clearly, the noises in my ears bother me less. Please go back and tell the Audiologist your problem. They will do everything they can. Do not be afraid to ask questions. I did not expect to need hearing aids, in fact I was in shock for a day or two but once I understood how they worked and found how easy they are to insert I was off. I have not looked back since. Take care. Maximonkey

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