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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: corkybstewart on November 30, 2011, 05:07:25 PM

Title: Tinnitus
Post by: corkybstewart on November 30, 2011, 05:07:25 PM
For some unexplained reason I woke up 3 weeks ago with a busted eardrum.  Since then the pain is minimal to tolerable but the high pitched scream in my left ear is driving me crazy.  If it had been the right ear I wouldn't have to listen to my wife's endless chatter in the car ;D but no such luck.
Do any of you smart people out there have any remedies for tinnitus that doesn't require a bullet to my head or cutting my ear off with a steak knife?
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: majorvices on November 30, 2011, 05:18:38 PM
Call a doctor?
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: tschmidlin on November 30, 2011, 05:23:20 PM
Uh, yeah.  Busted eardrum = go to the doctor.

Why have you waited 3 weeks?!
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: bluesman on November 30, 2011, 05:27:34 PM
Call a doctor?

+1

I have it in both ears. I'm a musician and I've been performing on stage for the past 30 years. Unfortunately, I didn't wear hearing protection for most of that time and developed some hearing loss mostly in my left ear.

Definitely call your doctor.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: corkybstewart on November 30, 2011, 05:29:36 PM
Uh, yeah.  Busted eardrum = go to the doctor.

Why have you waited 3 weeks?!
I was traveling for business when it happened so I had to wait until I got home.
 Been there done that, no help whatsoever.  In our town it takes a minimum of 2 weeks to see a doctor.  
You can see a nurse practitioner if you sit in the waiting room all day but they just prescribe antibiotics and tell you it'll get better.
 I have an appointment with the specialist tomorrow but I've been down this road before and they just kind of shrug and say "You'll get used to it".  And quit drinking coffee and cut your salt intake
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: morticaixavier on November 30, 2011, 05:30:37 PM
How do you know it's a busted ear drum if you havn't been to the doctor? tinnatus can be caused by lots of things other than a busted eardrum! high blood preasure can cause it. Too much loud music. I remember mornings after going to concerts where I heard everything through a low hum for a day or two. Bet that was good for me ::)
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: Slowbrew on November 30, 2011, 05:36:30 PM
Mine comes form sitting on old tractors throughout my youth and working big data centers for most of my adult life.  Lots of things can cause it.

A burst eardrum is usually an ear infection gone mad.  If you had an infection before you left and took a plane it probably got worse very fast.  Air travel can really accelerate an infection. 

That said, you need to see the doctor as you have planned.  If you don't get the infection stopped you could have bigger problems down the road.

Good luck with it.

Paul
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: tschmidlin on November 30, 2011, 05:52:08 PM
A burst eardrum is usually an ear infection gone mad.  If you had an infection before you left and took a plane it probably got worse very fast.  Air travel can really accelerate an infection. 
How does air travel accelerate an infection?
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: bluesman on November 30, 2011, 05:58:29 PM
A burst eardrum is usually an ear infection gone mad.  If you had an infection before you left and took a plane it probably got worse very fast.  Air travel can really accelerate an infection. 
How does air travel accelerate an infection?

Probably from the cabin pressure exerted on the inner ear. But, I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: corkybstewart on November 30, 2011, 06:03:28 PM
I have seen the NP, she verified it's a burst eardrum and gave me antibiotics for the  as yet undiagnosed sinus infection she thinks caused it. Her words, and I quote:  "That's really nasty looking in there".   I can also tell by all the blood on my pillow some mornings.

In the early 90's I flew back from France with a bad case of allergies and nasal congestion.  My eardrum burst as we landed in Houston which meant I still had to take one more flight, a flight I wouldn't wish on some of my worst enemies.  that time I had extreme dzziness-I tilted to the right when I walked and the doctors told me I had permanent nerve damage to my left ear and would be deaf in it forever.  Forever lasted 6 months until my ear popped and everything was cool.  For a couple of days I tilted to the left until I got equilibrium back. I've had problems with the left ear, sometimes both, off and on ever since but never anything like this time.   Thus my utter lack of faith in the medical/industrial complex to help me this time.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: majorvices on November 30, 2011, 06:20:36 PM
My bad. I didn't know you had already sought medical advice. I do have an method for treating Tinnitus. It involves a loooong knitting needle and a convolution of mirrors.  :)
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: tschmidlin on November 30, 2011, 06:21:25 PM
A burst eardrum is usually an ear infection gone mad.  If you had an infection before you left and took a plane it probably got worse very fast.  Air travel can really accelerate an infection.  
How does air travel accelerate an infection?

Probably from the cabin pressure exerted on the inner ear. But, I could be wrong.
I can see that too, but that's not an acceleration of the infection.

Sorry about your ear - I've got nothing.  Not that kind of doctor. ;)
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: jeffy on November 30, 2011, 06:29:53 PM
I don't have any advice, but I did break the round window in my inner ear while scuba diving once.  The pain after that 85 foot dive and into the next 30 foot dive were unforgiving.  Antihistamines helped a lot.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: weithman5 on November 30, 2011, 06:54:22 PM
air travel won't make bacteria grow faster but what the pressure changes can cause are eustachian tubes not to equalize well and close in on the inside. the normal bacteria there can grow without draining thus it tends to lead to inner ear infections, increasing pressure and discomfort.  often if you can clear your ears, the infection will drain, just kind of like draining a boil on the leg



not all busted ear drums heal well. if you are still having problems you should at see an ear nose and throat specialist to at least get his opinion. you may just need to have the debris debrided. 

chronic tinnitus is miserable and i feel for bluesman. 

in the meantime, if you have no contraindications, i often recommend sudafed (not the pe) prior to landings  for people who have difficulty clearing there ears on flights. 
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: weazletoe on November 30, 2011, 08:53:03 PM
One of my first childhood memories is trying to figure out what that high pitched noise was. Wasn't till I got a bit older I realized I have tinitus. It's so bad, it often keeps me awake at night. Many, many times, I literally cannot hear people talking to me. I know there is noise coming out of their mouth, but have no idea what the words are. The is pretty much nothing to cure it. IF you go to a health food / vitamin store, you can buy a supplement called Ringstop. It might help, it might not. Takes a good month or better to work, if it;s gonna. For me, the best thing is to have some sort of noise on all the time. Radio, tv, whatever. (I have the BN on right now) I have a white noise machine I use at night when its really bad. The spring peeper works best for me. You can also turn your radio on static. That kinda helps drown it out. I really feel for dude! IT SUCKS!!! Hopefully, yours is just temporary.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: Slowbrew on November 30, 2011, 10:09:43 PM
A burst eardrum is usually an ear infection gone mad.  If you had an infection before you left and took a plane it probably got worse very fast.  Air travel can really accelerate an infection.  
How does air travel accelerate an infection?

Probably from the cabin pressure exerted on the inner ear. But, I could be wrong.
I can see that too, but that's not an acceleration of the infection.

Sorry about your ear - I've got nothing.  Not that kind of doctor. ;)

I should have stated that a bit differently than I did.

I have had minor irritations become really nasty issues to deal with immediately following flights.  Many others I know say the same thing.  Very anecdotal but the closed cabins, the extra dry air, the strange pressure changes and the recirculation of the air for several hours just seems to make infections harder to deal with.

Paul
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: tschmidlin on November 30, 2011, 10:21:15 PM
I should have stated that a bit differently than I did.

I have had minor irritations become really nasty issues to deal with immediately following flights.  Many others I know say the same thing.  Very anecdotal but the closed cabins, the extra dry air, the strange pressure changes and the recirculation of the air for several hours just seems to make infections harder to deal with.
I have no problems picturing worsening symptoms. :)

Sorry to be pedantic, I can't help it.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: beersk on November 30, 2011, 10:37:04 PM
In the early 90's I flew back from France with a bad case of allergies and nasal congestion.  My eardrum burst as we landed in Houston which meant I still had to take one more flight, a flight I wouldn't wish on some of my worst enemies.  that time I had extreme dzziness-I tilted to the right when I walked and the doctors told me I had permanent nerve damage to my left ear and would be deaf in it forever.  Forever lasted 6 months until my ear popped and everything was cool.  For a couple of days I tilted to the left until I got equilibrium back. I've had problems with the left ear, sometimes both, off and on ever since but never anything like this time.   Thus my utter lack of faith in the medical/industrial complex to help me this time.

I had something similar happen, not nearly as bad, but quite painful.  I was developing a cold and on my flight home my ears just would not pop on the descents.  And at one point the pain was so bad I almost screamed out.  My ears didn't pop open for weeks.  Made me never want to fly again.
But I also have mild ringing in my ears all the time from drumming for the last 13+ years.  I've pretty much always worn ear plugs, but sometimes that isn't enough when you play loud.  I have to sleep with a fan on at night or else it's difficult to get to sleep.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: bluesman on November 30, 2011, 10:53:41 PM
I find it to be the worst in the morning when I'm lying in bed as I awake. I can really hear it whern there is complete silence. For the most part, I have learned to ignore it except when I'm actually thinking about it like right now. At least it doesn't involve physical pain.  ;)
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: weithman5 on November 30, 2011, 10:54:09 PM

  I was developing a cold and on my flight home my ears just would not pop on the descents.  And at one point the pain was so bad I almost screamed out. .

it is usually the descents that cause the problems.  as i mentioned i have a lot of patients take sudafed about an hour before landing and then sometime after landing for a time.  (as long as there is no reason they can't take the sudafed)
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: jaybeerman on November 30, 2011, 10:56:29 PM
One of my first childhood memories is trying to figure out what that high pitched noise was. Wasn't till I got a bit older I realized I have tinitus. It's so bad, it often keeps me awake at night. Many, many times, I literally cannot hear people talking to me. I know there is noise coming out of their mouth, but have no idea what the words are. There is pretty much nothing to cure it.

For me, the best thing is to have some sort of noise on all the time. Radio, tv, whatever. (I have the BN on right now) I have a white noise machine I use at night when its really bad.

+1 same here, luckily they removed my adnoids and put in eartubes so that my ears could drain

corky, you have to find what works for you.  I've found that using a neti pot regularly helps to diminish my symptoms and I've heard others say that they like nasal irrigation.  Of course, this does nothing for my wife and she ended up having to get white noise hearing aids, which she wears when it gets unbearable.   Hope yours gets a little more tolerable.

Mine is usually an industrial low-end noise (also tinnitus) and very rarely a high pitch.  It's itermitant so I won't notice it for a week, but in the meantime it has just worn me out.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: tubercle on November 30, 2011, 11:07:33 PM
I've had this high pitch thing going on in my left ear pretty much all my life and now the right ear is starting. Like Bluesman, A Les Paul and 100w Peavy hasn't helped much over the years. That and hours and hours on the firing range and dove hunting and messing around with race cars and go carts.

One of my first childhood memories is trying to figure out what that high pitched noise was. Wasn't till I got a bit older I realized I have tinitus. It's so bad, it often keeps me awake at night. Many, many times, I literally cannot hear people talking to me. I know there is noise coming out of their mouth, but have no idea what the words are. The is pretty much nothing to cure it. IF you go to a health food / vitamin store, you can buy a supplement called Ringstop. It might help, it might not. Takes a good month or better to work, if it;s gonna. For me, the best thing is to have some sort of noise on all the time. Radio, tv, whatever. (I have the BN on right now) I have a white noise machine I use at night when its really bad. The spring peeper works best for me. You can also turn your radio on static. That kinda helps drown it out. I really feel for dude! IT SUCKS!!! Hopefully, yours is just temporary.

^^^and exactly like all of that!!!^^^^

 I can't understand anything hardly and I have to stand sideways with my right ear toward someone to have any chance of a conversation. TV is especially bad, I'm constantly asking Ms. Tubercle "what did they say"? Any background noise during a conversation and I hear words but can't understand them.

 It sucks.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: weazletoe on November 30, 2011, 11:09:48 PM
At least once a week, after Holly has repeated herself for the 100th time, she gets ticked, and yells, "What are you, deaf?!" YES for the millionth time I am deaf!!!  ::)
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: tubercle on November 30, 2011, 11:12:45 PM
At least once a week, after Holly has repeated herself for the 100th time, she gets ticked, and yells, "What are you, deaf?!" YES for the millionth time I am deaf!!!  ::)

^^^and that too!!!^^^^ :D :D :D :D

EDIT: Not Holly ::) But Ms. Tubercle.

 
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: BrewingRover on December 01, 2011, 12:05:32 AM
For the most part, I have learned to ignore it except when I'm actually thinking about it like right now. At least it doesn't involve physical pain.  ;)

That's how I am with mine. So of course I had to rad this thread and hear the noise come back  >:(
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: nicneufeld on December 01, 2011, 01:26:50 AM
Yikes, blood on the pillow and everything?  My wife is a medically hypersenstive person in some ways so anything remotely that severe she'd have carted me off to any number of doctors immediately, regardless of protests.  Hope it gets better for you!

I was sure I'd get this eventually, because in my early 20s I was both cranking up tube amps until my guitar tone was appreciably saturated with power tube distortion (a lovely thing) and I was also in thrall to an enjoyable hobby of target shooting with rather noisy centerfire pistols.  But lately...I maybe shoot once every one or two years, and musically I've switched over to purely acoustic Indian music on the hobby side, where the volumes are very modest, and in the western music sphere I'm playing with in ear monitors and stage volume is much reduced.  It's nice when you pull a meend on a sitar and you, the player, have to hold your breath to hear the sustain and harmonics dying out, softly.  Nice on the eardrums too.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: bluesman on December 01, 2011, 01:50:04 AM
At least once a week, after Holly has repeated herself for the 100th time, she gets ticked, and yells, "What are you, deaf?!" YES for the millionth time I am deaf!!!  ::)

+1

I've gotten that over the years from my wife....and my response is very similiar.

How quickly they forget.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: corkybstewart on December 01, 2011, 02:26:36 AM
I have an appointment with the ENT tomorrow. 
Right now I'm in agony, we just drove home from Las Cruces NM and had to drive through the Sacramento Mtns, I think the elevation at one point is around 9000'.  I have to downplay the misery for my wife, she'd have me at the ER immediately and that really does no good here.  Now my big worry is our flight to Alabama for Christmas.
Thanks for the sympathy and tips, I appreciate it.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: MDixon on December 01, 2011, 01:22:29 PM
Sorry to be late to the party, but you are now on the right path, an ENT. I also find Nurse Practitioners are more skilled at ENT issues than most doctors. I've had 7 ear operations and once had to have a patch placed on my eardrum so it would heal. I still have ear infections at the rate of about one ever two years and so by my calcs and with the number I had as a child I'm at about 30+ infections. I can tell when they are coming and in many cases can hold my nose and pressurize to open the pathways which drain the inner ear. Often after an infection I lose my hearing in that ear for a month or more.

As far as planes, if your drainage pathways are not draining due to inflammation and fluid build up it can be EXTREMELY painful. Usually after my eardrum would rupture the pain would basically go away (not the infection pain, but the pressure pain).

If it is recurring and you can self diagnose, find yourself a doctor who will see you quickly at the onset of symptoms and you can generally take antibiotics and/or decongestants and get the ear draining again.

For those that have not had the issue, think about driving to higher elevations and your ear pops due to the pressure. Now imagine it will not pop and the pressure becomes so great you can barely hear, you have severe head and ear aches and life is generally miserable...now multiply that times about 10 and you will understand what it might feel like.  ;)
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: corkybstewart on December 01, 2011, 01:41:35 PM
Sorry to be late to the party, but you are now on the right path, an ENT. I also find Nurse Practitioners are more skilled at ENT issues than most doctors.
5 years ago I started having problems with this ear again and the NP insisted it was an ear wax problem, but there was none, so I wasted $175 on that treatment.  I went to 2 different ENTs, they both told me it was Menierre's Syndrome and I should cut back on caffeine and salt.  I drink 2 cups of coffee per day and very little salt so that wasn't the problem, but they were satisfied with their diagnosis and that was that..  One day I took a Sudafed for allergies and the ear was fixed.  I was out about $2000 and missed lots of work with no relief, and then I found the $5 cure.  But this time none of the OTC decongestants are helping, the NP gave me antibiotics which may have helped with an underlying infection, but haven't given me any relief of my symptoms.
Many doctors these days repay grant money(have it forgiven) by working 2 or 3 years in underserved rural markets-Carlsbad is one of those markets.  So we have doctors who come here for the required time period and then they go off to the big city.  About the time you establish a relationship with a doctor they take off and you have to start over.  I'm not anti-doctor, my dad is a retired physician, my wife and sister are RN's and my other sister is clinical director of a university based chain of ob-gyn clinics,but I just don't have much luck with our health care system.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: nicneufeld on December 01, 2011, 02:21:36 PM
For those that have not had the issue, think about driving to higher elevations and your ear pops due to the pressure. Now imagine it will not pop and the pressure becomes so great you can barely hear, you have severe head and ear aches and life is generally miserable...now multiply that times about 10 and you will understand what it might feel like.  ;)

I've been there on a flight once or twice, where when landing, my ears refused to pop.  I was about 20 years old and it was a bit on the alarming side...pressure did release eventually after landing, but dang, that was unpleasant.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: bo on December 01, 2011, 02:24:51 PM
For those that have not had the issue, think about driving to higher elevations and your ear pops due to the pressure. Now imagine it will not pop and the pressure becomes so great you can barely hear, you have severe head and ear aches and life is generally miserable...now multiply that times about 10 and you will understand what it might feel like.  ;)

I've been there on a flight once or twice, where when landing, my ears refused to pop.  I was about 20 years old and it was a bit on the alarming side...pressure did release eventually after landing, but dang, that was unpleasant.

You have to start correcting the pressure when you first feel it coming on. In my experience, with both flying and diving, if you wait it only gets harder to do. I found that if I clamp my nose and blow through my ears, but also try swallowing at the same time, it helps a lot.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: weazletoe on December 01, 2011, 09:15:47 PM
Ever try dirning from the backside of a glass? I doubt it will help with your ear preassure problem, but it's funny as hell!!! ;D
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: morticaixavier on December 01, 2011, 09:42:15 PM
Ever try dirning from the backside of a glass? I doubt it will help with your ear preassure problem, but it's funny as hell!!! ;D

plu sit cures hicups! although not as well as a slice of lemon with sugar and bitters.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: 1vertical on December 02, 2011, 02:01:53 AM
Ok, Ex-Underground miner here...and the loud is better guitar guilty thing,and a
lot of loud head phone ear abuse and now.....Constang ringing in both ears. 
an herbalist will tell you to try OTC Bio-Flavinoids, I did.  Not much help.

I have had no luck with the removal of the incessant ringing....if someone
knows how to alleviate this affliction, please do post.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: bo on December 02, 2011, 02:07:37 AM
Ok, Ex-Underground miner here...and the loud is better guitar guilty thing,and a
lot of loud head phone ear abuse and now.....Constang ringing in both ears. 
an herbalist will tell you to try OTC Bio-Flavinoids, I did.  Not much help.

I have had no luck with the removal of the incessant ringing....if someone
knows how to alleviate this affliction, please do post.

Thanks. Now I hear mine as well.  :-\
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: euge on December 02, 2011, 07:47:50 AM
Corky I bet that ear popping after six months was like getting a nut. ;D
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: MDixon on December 02, 2011, 12:31:33 PM
Cork - ear wax and infection would be outer ear. You have pain, but no pressure in that instance. My wife has recurring outer ear infections. Irritating, painful, but nothing compared to an inner ear infection. I've actually had pretty good luck at a Doc in the Box before with ear issues. Now if you get a Doc who doesn't believe you know what you are talking about the best things is to never use their practice again. I once got free meds for allowing an entire staff at a Doc in the Box to look at how swollen and scarred my eardrums are...the best story is how my mother took me to the emergency room over a weekend when I was a kid. The Doc on duty didn't know crap and on the way home my eardrum burst. Ahhhh....
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: corkybstewart on December 02, 2011, 01:39:55 PM
I saw the ENT yesterday and it's a middle ear infection and the eardrum is healing.  He was not impressed with the NP's work so I get new antibiotics today.  Still, I was up at 3:30 AM with that dwarf driving a stake through my ear again.  This is getting old. Fast
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: loopy on December 02, 2011, 08:34:49 PM
will someone answer the DAMN phone!!! 
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: bonjour on December 02, 2011, 11:31:07 PM
What phone? 

No ear aches, but I've had Tinnitus since I was about 10, no loud noises or anything like that.  I though it was normal. 

About 3000 hz at 35 db by matching tone and volume during a test.

Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: nicneufeld on December 04, 2011, 07:27:18 PM
That would be one way to develop perfect pitch...you've got a reference tone built in!
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: firedog23 on December 04, 2011, 07:45:37 PM
HAHA, I laugh at tinnitus but of course I can't here my laugh because of my tinnitus!  Air Force fire fighter = loud equipment, loud planes both taking of and walking around them and of course, the every now and then loud concert.  Just one of those things I have learned to live with.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: bonjour on December 04, 2011, 09:46:07 PM
I'd be lying down in front of the TV doing my homework, I'd hear the Horiz sync out and reach up and adjust it by sound, never looking at it then resume my homework.  My dad would always tell me to "fix" the TV.  I just did it before he could say anything, My "tone" was what I based my adjustment on.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: weazletoe on December 04, 2011, 10:02:24 PM
When I used to repair tv's, anytime I had the back off of a Zenith, and turned it on, the flyback emitted a certain pitch that no one else in the shop could hear, but I could. It did something to my body that would put me just on the verge of either passing out, or throwing up. Strange stuff.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: tonyp on December 05, 2011, 06:03:59 AM
weaze,

when i was in high school, they had about 15 apple ]['s in the compputer room and the monitors made a high-pitched sound that only me and 1 other dude in my class could hear. i could tell which ones were on instantly without looking. never found anything else that was like that.

now, of course, after working with computers and listening to loud music i hear that sound permanently.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: punatic on December 05, 2011, 06:20:35 AM
One of the benefits of going deaf has been not hearing the high-pitched squeal of the flyback transformers on CRT monitors.

I would trade hearing the squeal for getting my hearing back in a New York minute!  
Plus, now we use LED displays...
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: weazletoe on December 05, 2011, 09:49:46 PM
Funny thing is, it was only a Zenith. It would drop me to my knees in a second flat.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: corkybstewart on December 16, 2011, 07:58:01 PM
Update:  2 weeks of antibiotics took care of the underlying infection so I can hear again, there's no dwarf pounding nails into my eardrum and so almost all is well.  The tinnitus that before was intermittent is now permanent.  But it's bearable and I'll get used to it.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: weazletoe on December 17, 2011, 01:26:27 AM
The tinnitus that before was intermittent is now permanent.  But it's bearable and I'll get used to it.


Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no, and no. That really sucks dude. I know how you feel.
Title: Re: Tinnitus
Post by: corkybstewart on December 17, 2011, 04:57:58 AM
As I told my wife, we have friends who have to bear much more than this and do it with grace.  This is a minor annoyance that pales compared to what many people deal with daily.