Fast Growing Tinnitus at 31

Posted by davcb88 @davcb88, Jul 7 12:58pm

Hello all,

I was hoping someone could help me out and give me some advice on what I am experiencing. To give you some background on myself, I’m 31, I have had a slightly sensitive hearing my whole life, I never consistently worked with loud machinery (and if I did I wore earplugs), I attended only a handful of concerts in my life (and most I also wore earplugs), and I have had no loud hearing instance that would damage my hearing to my knowledge.

About a year ago, I started hearing a high pitched ringing in both ears and my hearing has been much more sensitive than normal. For example, it is so sensitive at times that water from the sink faucet running into the bottom of the sink bothers my ears. I scheduled an appointment with a ear doctor and had hearing tests done. They told me everything was normal, threw me a few a couple nasal sprays, and that was it. As time has gone on, the tinnitus is becoming increasingly louder and it’s really beginning to worry me. I also have a lot of clear/orange/yellow fluid forming in my ears. The ear doctor told me that some people have a more liquid form of earwax but it’s literally like water. I’m not sure if people have earwax in the same fluidity as water. To try to lessen the water forming in my ears I take Zirtec – D every day.

I’m not sure what to do at this point and I don’t have the money to keep throwing at doctors. Does anyone know anything about this or have any suggestions?

I greatly appreciate any input! Thank you in advance!

-Dave

Dave, has anyone mentioned RECRUITMENT??? Tinnitus is random noise you hear. It generally indicates some degree of hearing loss, i.e., old Ma Nature's way of giving you something to listen to (whether or not you like it). Recruitment is when a sound, especially a sharp sound like a dog's bark, is abnormally loud, even hurtful. It is a common "feature" of Meniere's Disease, but can be present with other inner ear problems.

Yes, anyone treating you should be aware of recruitment…but if you don't mention it, they might not think of it.

The watery ear wax seems like a problem as well–I've never heard of such a thing, but I'm certainly not a doc. Finding a person both well-versed in all types of hearing problems plus being caring is a very big challenge. You need to see someone with more training than an ENT, like a neurotologist. Even then, a degree doesn't indicate the person is caring or that they keep aware of current treatments and technologies. FWIW, neither of the two audiologists or the surgeon who implants CIs in the big hearing center two hours from me knew as much about current assistive devices or Meniere's as the gal (not an audiologist) who dispenses aids at the Costco only an hour away! I have no idea how to winnow through all the places that claim to offer help for those of us who are hearing-impaired, but I've learned that many of them are of little use, which is extremely disappointing.

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I'm curious to know what you mean by 'ear doctor'? Was the doctor an ear, nose and throat specialist? A doctor of audiology? Or of another specialty? None of us on this discussion group are medical doctors, but it is often helpful to talk to someone who has had a similar experience. Most people with hearing loss experience tinnitus to some degree, but some have it without hearing loss. It sounds as if you are experiencing hyperacusis. Rather than me explaining that, I suggest you google 'What is hyperacusis?' It's basically when sounds become painful. Tinnitus is usually a factor. The other issue with the liquid in your ear is unusual. Noise damage resulting in tinnitus or hearing loss can be a gradual thing, or it can be cause by a single incident like a gunshot or other very loud noise. It will be interesting to see what others have to say. Members of the ENT discussion group may be able to help as well as on the hearing loss group. I hope you can find help.

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Hi @davcb88, I add my welcome. As @julieo4 suggested, I have added this discussion to the Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/ear-nose-throat-conditions/) as well as the Hearing Loss group. That way members from both groups can chime it. You may also be interested in reviewing these related discussions:
– Constant tinnitus: Are there any solutions? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/constant-tinnitis/
– Pulsatile tinnitus https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pulsatile-tinnitus-1/

I echo Julie's question. What kind of doctor or specialist have you seen?

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Thank you for your responses, I really appreciate it. I'm sorry, I should have been more clear on what professionals I've seen. Thus far, I have seen a otolaryngologist and an audiologist. Both of your suggestions on recruitment and hyperacusis seem to fit what I am experiencing so those are definitely strong possibilities. I also do experience vertigo on occasion but I find it's mainly due to the water in my ears. When I clean it out, the vertigo typically stops. I'm trying to figure out some better possible solutions because unfortunately in my experiences so far with this and a few other things, most doctors typically toss you a drug that never seems to do anything and they move on.

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@davcb88

Thank you for your responses, I really appreciate it. I'm sorry, I should have been more clear on what professionals I've seen. Thus far, I have seen a otolaryngologist and an audiologist. Both of your suggestions on recruitment and hyperacusis seem to fit what I am experiencing so those are definitely strong possibilities. I also do experience vertigo on occasion but I find it's mainly due to the water in my ears. When I clean it out, the vertigo typically stops. I'm trying to figure out some better possible solutions because unfortunately in my experiences so far with this and a few other things, most doctors typically toss you a drug that never seems to do anything and they move on.

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ive been having vertigo too since april and have had very sensitive hearing for 30 years, hate refrig running and birds chirping even or loud noises. my vertigo is just once in awhile now if i turn head too quickly or when i get up from bed, ear hurts with weather chang and feels like water in it often but not much comes out weird didnt go to doc but called and said allergy med helped sometime ive been unbalanced for years too maybe eye trouble not sure. i cant walk right in glasses so only use reading glasses when sitting. all doctor visits seem normal

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@rhowell5051 That sounds veerrryy similar to what I experience as well. I'm also seeing an allergist right now. He said that with my allergies it should be affecting things to the extent of what I describe to him. I had initially connected the water in my ears to allergies.

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To help you pin down cause of allergies: keep a calendar or diary. Choose three colors to represent good, so-so, bad and color each day with the color that best represents the type of day it has been. Then, list EVERY little thing that was even slightly different from your normal routine: foods, stress, amount of rest, exercise, weather, etc. You may see a connection between something you do and bad allergy days…hopefully, it's something that you can avoid or modify to make things better.

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