Hypo and Tinnitus! New sympton :(

I'm beginning to understand that having hypothyroidism isn't as straight forward as the GP originally made it sound!

My latest ( in an ever growing list) of symptoms is tinnitus. I'm concerned because it is in one ear only and a quick web search lead me to an inevitable tumour :(

I just wondered if anyone else has experienced this - particularly in one ear? I'm a 44 year old female on 50mg Actavis levothyroxine.

Some days are worse than others but it's always there - either a high pitched drone or clicking sounds. I've had it for roughly a month. I'm reluctant to see my GP as I feel like I may as well move in at my local surgery - I think she is fed up with me at the moment I am there so often!

My last TSH result btw was 3.5

Thank you all xx

13 Replies

  • Hi, I started off with Graves which is now in remission. My TSH is rising slowly but is definitely increasing. I have had problems with my ears for ages, but a few weeks ago as I was driving home from work my left ear popped and I became deaf as a post - apart from my tinnitus becoming much worse than normal. I went to the doctor about five days later - I had been putting drops in it for a few days before reading online that I ought to have acted within 24-48 hours. Too late for that. I was given an ENT appointment for the end of the week and once there they hoovered out a load of wax, tested my hearing and said my hearing loss ( equal in both ears) was really due to old age - well I was told it was because of my age but we all knew it meant because I'm on the old side of life.

    By the time I got to the hospital I too was thinking of tumour and autoimmune deafness among other things plus I was convinced it could also be down to my increasing TSH - it has increased from 0.58 - 1.4 since I stopped my B&R four months ago and my system definitely feels more sluggish than I was before - I definitely felt better when it was below 1 - anyway I felt that might be part of my hearing problem, but it seems it is just old age.

    I was offered RAI should I relapse and I really don't want it because as you are point out being underactive is not as straightforward as a lot of medical professionals would have you believe. Good luck with the ears. You aren't on a big dose of levo - perhaps an increase would help.

  • I too have tinnitus, it's very annoying. It is important to get it checked out to make sure there isn't a problem within the ear. I am lucky as there is a meeting every few months for tinnitus sufferers. It's amazing how many people have this condition. There does seem to be a connection with hypothyroidism and tinnitus. MY tinnitus has worsened and is continual. I have hearing loss now and wear a hearing aid which helps during the day, it's the night time that is the problem. There are devices that can be used but I found them too uncomfortable. I have fibromyalgia and am not the best of sleepers. Hope you can find something for yours. Please do get checked out though.

  • There are ways and means of coping with tinnitus. I recently developed a new sound to add to the cacophony I've been hearing for years, and to begin with it was extremely distressing. But I googled and found out about various noise generators and ambient or nature sound generators that you can use.

    Do google searches for "white noise", "pink noise" and "brown noise" generators. Also try ambient noise generators and nature sound generators. Some sites have free downloads of sound files you can download and play while you are trying to fall asleep. In some cases you can make up your own with the tools provided on the site. Then you can download them.

    I use an mp3 player and a tiny speaker which I put on my pillow. My MP3 player allows me to set a timer so it turns itself off after a certain time.

    I'm currently using this individual speaker :


    But I plan to buy these at some point - sound oasis pillow speakers :


    Luckily for me my husband doesn't find the noises annoying.

    My favourite site for making pleasant sounds to listen to as I fall asleep is this one :


    White, pink and brown noise generators or downloads are easy to find.

  • I haven't given these noise makers all the fair chance that perhaps they need. My approach was to find various noise generator apps - some for tinnitus, others not - and play them on my tablet or phone. I can use an external speaker or headphones as well as the internal one.

    None seemed to help me at all. I find, perhaps rather strangely, that human voice is the best thing. Typically what you get on Radio 4 or Radio 4 Extra. Perhaps because I can positively listen to it rather than it just being there.

    One of the frequently mentioned noises is the sea. For me, I find canned sea noise intensely annoying - but the real sea can be helpful.

    I think my tinnitus is now permanently 24/7. Every time I think about it, it is there, but maybe there are a few minutes here and there that it subsides? Have had it since I was about 8 years old - so fifty years. It has got slowly worse but I struggle to decide if there is, or is not, any relationship to thyroid levels for me.

    I had an MRI - but only after I had brought it up with a doctor for the first time after only about 45 years. :-) Didn't think it likely a tumour but you never can be sure.


  • I find human voices, either while I'm trying to fall asleep, or being woken up by a person on the radio or music on the radio, actually drives me completely nuts - and not in a nice way! I recently discovered that the condition actually has a name - misophonia.


    I was much, much worse when I was in my teens and twenties than I am now. But I still find it difficult to tolerate certain types of sound while I'm in bed. If I have to listen to sound to mask tinnitus as I go to sleep it must be unstructured and/or fairly meaningless or natural noise. Anything I must make sense of - like speech or proper music - is a definite no-no for me. And for waking up it must be a simple alarm noise. I can't cope with a radio at all.

    Incidentally, I was told recently at a hearing test appointment that the ideal volume for masking tinnitus is 5 dB below the level of the tinnitus itself. The idea is not to drown it out. The brain has to learn to filter out the tinnitus and to do that it must be heard.

    I was six years old when my hearing loss was first identified. But I have no memory at all of when my tinnitus started. What does impress me is that the frequencies I hear tinnitus at can be identified through a standard hearing test. I thought it was clever that the sound I hear in my head that nobody else can hear can actually be identified.

  • Goes to show how different we all are! :-)

    Misophonia looks as if it is something to do with the sound of fermented soy...

    My first experiences were very similar to the sound later used when the television transmitters closed down at night - a single very clean note. It has degenerated over the years into something much mire complicated and difficult to describe. I think the worst bit of mine also corresponds to a dip in my hearing.

  • When was your last thyroid function test? 3.5 is still on the high side. There's a good chance you're not on enough medication yet and that might be why your ear is so bad. 50mcg isn't a very big dose.

    My sympathies on the tinnitus - I've had it on and off since I was a child. It's enough to drive one insane sometimes!

  • I agree with lily may your TSH is too high, mine needs to be below 1. I also suffer from occasional tinnitus, usually in one ear and only for seconds at a time. Don't know what sets it off. My hearing is actually very acute and I often am woken up by noises from outside, while hubby sleeps through it all. See if an increase in levo will help you mrspinkrat.

  • I also have it, it started in one ear and the. Went I to the other ear, I have had it since being hypo and I have got use to it, it just buzzes away at high pitch, but like crimple also have very good hearing

  • The protocol for one ear Tinnitus is that if you have it for over six weeks then you can have a scan...MRI to rule out said Tumour. I have just had it done so I know. Everything OK except I still have the Tinnitus.

  • Thank you all for your replies.

    It's comforting to know I'm not alone.

    My GP and gynae both say that a level of 3.5 is fine. I'm not strong enough to tell them they are wrong :(

    How can I word it without revealing I have been on a forum? Last time I mentioned 'forum' at the surgery they looked at me as if I should be burnt at the stake and told me not to partake in forum discussions!!!

    Also, it IS approaching 6 weeks! If I need a scan, how long is the wait and if a tumour is the cause, what next? I'm a bit scared now :'(

  • How dare they tell you not to take part in forums. We are now supposed to take an active part in our health care, maybe someone on here can remind me where I read that. You are not a silly little schoolgirl that has to be told what you can and cannot do. So many people on here would be much more ill and possibly even 6 feet under by now if they weren't more proactive with their health. Is there someone who could go with you to the GP to give you some moral support? I do hope you get better medicated, I would be very ill with TSH of 3.5

  • Nothing complies to BSI.

    Some of us hear RF radio frequencies.

    Tinitous can be internalised or present in the environment.

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