General Question

YoH's avatar

Does anyone have any helpful suggestions on living with tinnitus?

Asked by YoH (1414points) February 28th, 2010

Tinnitus has been with me for a long time, and it may be from long term medication use. The racket is more irritating,or more noticable to me,when I have a slight cold. Today I have such a cold and I’m wondering how other people tolerate the annoyance. Any tips or tricks that work for you?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

I had tinnitus and a hearing loss. i made a wonderful discovery the first day i used my new hearing aids…...the tinnitus was gone. you may not need hearing aids now, but if the tinnitus continues, your heading for a pair for yourself, too. i love my new hearing aids and i hear things i had forgotten about, since the hearing loss muffled their sounds. they are expensive. mine cost $6,000.00. you are correct. some medications can cause tinnitus. hearing aids may be your only recourse.

YoH's avatar

@john65pennington You got me on your second sentence. ‘Being gone’ sounds like a dream yet to come true. The Drs put off what I may be needing. I may have to push harder for help.I’m happy you’ve found peace.

john65pennington's avatar

Note: the new hearing aids how have FM music installed. with sever tinnitus, the everplaying soft music kills the tinnitus. forgot about this. john

YoH's avatar


PupnTaco's avatar

I have it too, a constant high-pitched tone (and hearing loss). Doctors basically told me “oh well, deal with it.”

josie's avatar

Tinnitus is caused by spasm of the tensor tympani muscle, which attaches to one of the ear bones which in turn is attached to the ear drum. This muscle has the same embyonic origin as the muscles that you chew with. For some people, the muscles of the head and neck are particularly sensitive to stress disorders. Before you take lots of medication, investigate the following: do you smoke, how do you deal with the normal pressures of life, have you had to recently face extraordinary life challenges (disease, divorce, death in family etc.), is your diet reasonably good, do you get a reasonable amount of exercise, do your teeth occlude reasonably well. Any or all of these, or any other life stressors that might cause tension in the muscles of the head, neck and face could also cause spasm in the tensor tympani muscle.

YoH's avatar

@PupnTaco I’ve had my share of Drs telling me to learn to live with it. I even had one Dr question my vertigo. He commented that perhaps the dizziness went with being a blonde. Needless to say, I moved on to a Dr with no such sense of humor.

hearkat's avatar

Hello, I am an Audiologist. We have had several posts discussing tinnitus, so please feel free to look through them. Tinnitus is a rather generic term for any noise that exists within our ears/head for which there is no sound source. The exact mechanism for most tinnitus is unknown, but it often occurs along with high-frequency sensorineural hearing loss. Noise exposure and ototoxic medications can certainly cause tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss.

The reason the tinnitus seems louder when you get sinus/upper respiratory congestion is that the pressure or fluid behind the eardrum restricts the movement of the eardrum, thereby muffling the outside sounds slightly and making the sounds inside your head seem louder in comparison. Treating the congestion and its source (allergies, virus, bacteria, fungus, or ear wax accumulation) will help to restore the hearing and tinnitus to your usual levels.

I recommend seeing an Audiologist for a comprehensive evaluation. Do some research to find one who is knowledgeable about tinnitus and the latest treatment options. Now is see you mention that you have vertigo as well… so I actually suggest that you be evaluated by a center specializing in balance disorders and/or Neurotology, as the combination of tinnitus with vertigo is far more complex and potentially serious.

@josie: CORRECTION: SOME tinnitus is caused by spasm of the tensor tympani muscle… and certainly not the most common type of ringing tinnitus.

@john65pennington: With the hearing aids in, the tinnitus is not gone… it is masked. Some of the newer devices are also programmed to “train” the wearer to ignore or tolerate the tinnitus… that seems to be the latest trend. I’d like to learn more about the instruments you are using. Could you tell me the Manufacturer and model?

YoH's avatar

@hearkat Thanks for letting me know about previous discussions. I’m new at this so I can certainly use suggestions. My upper respiratory is being addressed currently. The tinnitus is always more annoying with a cold. My neurologist and ear/eyes/nose/and throat Dr have been great. I think I need to investigate any new treatment options.

hearkat's avatar

There have also been numerous posts relating to dizziness/vertigo that you might check too.

I see you are in IN… Purdue, Ball State, and Indiana University all have Doctoral programs for Audiology, and are likely to have affiliated medical programs that might be helpful to you.

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther