Tinnitus

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Kbiggs
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Location: Vancouver WA

Tinnitus

Post by Kbiggs » Fri May 17, 2019 9:28 pm

Anyone have this? I’ve had mild tinnitus for several years now, after a cold that developed into a sinus infection and bronchitis. I don’t notice it unless it’s really quiet. It gets worse when I have a cold, and then it goes away.

However, in March of this year, I had another cold and sinus infection, and I’ve had pretty loud tinnitus ever since. There’s some pressure in the ears, too, which I can feel with loud bass sounds.

Worse yet, when I play, I get a funky “resultant tone” that’s kind of an out-of-tune fifth that wavers around a bit. It’s annoying, distracting... maddening.

I’ve been to an ENT. Nothing. Hearing test revealed mild high-end loss consistent with my age. No other findings, no pathology. I’ve taken decongestants, antihistamines, saline nasal rinses, sleeping on an incline. No change. The audiologist suggested using hearing protection when I play, esp. when playing with others.

Anybody have tinnitus? Anybody done anything that has helped? Thanks in advance.
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
—Mark Twain (attributed)
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Burgerbob
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Re: Tinnitus

Post by Burgerbob » Fri May 17, 2019 9:50 pm

I have light tinnitus in both ears. My left ear will distort sometimes in high pressure situations (playing loudly, usually). Mine isn't loud enough to be distracted by, at least yet. If I focus, I can hear it in most situations, but I tune it out unconsciously. I can only hear up to 14k or so.

I wear earplugs in many situations, which helps any future damage. Small practice rooms, most ensemble situations of a certain size, driving my Miata, watching movies at the theater, etc. I always have a pair in my pocket (just cheap Etymotic plugs). I also sleep with foam earplugs in.
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JohnL
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Re: Tinnitus

Post by JohnL » Fri May 17, 2019 11:36 pm

Did the audiologist or the otolaryngologist mention anything about clogged Eustachian tubes? Maybe due to scarring as a result of your various infections?
brassmedic
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Re: Tinnitus

Post by brassmedic » Fri May 17, 2019 11:58 pm

Yes, I have it. I try to protect my ears as much as I can. I've had it for a long time, and I don't believe there is any way to reverse it. There are no other symptoms - no pressure or congestion, just a ringing sound. I tend to ignore it 99% of the time and forget it's even there most of the time. I don't think it's the kind that is a symptom of a sinus infection; doesn't that go away when the infection goes away?

Trying to protect your hearing can be frustrating in performance situations. A lot of people still don't understand the risk to your hearing caused by loud sounds. I've heard comments like, "Does it really bother you that much?" They don't get that it's not an issue of being "bothered"; it's an issue of having your hearing permanently damaged. I know lots of older musicians who are very hard of hearing from so many years of sitting next to loud instruments (or in some cases even your own instrument).
Pre59
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Location: Devon UK

Re: Tinnitus

Post by Pre59 » Sat May 18, 2019 2:35 am

I've got low level tinnitus in my left ear, thankfully at a single high frequency which makes it hard to identify as a note. I put this down to working as a bassist with loud drummers in tight hard wood corners on cruise ships.
It's manageable, and doesn't have an obvious note, mechanical element, or a rushing sound etc, and I have found reducing coffee intake helps a little.
I'm currently on a course of meds to clear my right side clogged eustachian tube, which after a few days seem to be working, and the doctor hinted that if the tinnitus has an infection component, that the penicillin may help with that.
Kbiggs
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Tinnitus

Post by Kbiggs » Sat May 18, 2019 8:50 am

JohnL wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 11:36 pm
Did the audiologist or the otolaryngologist mention anything about clogged Eustachian tubes? Maybe due to scarring as a result of your various infections?
No, they didn’t. I will ask. My family doctor did when this all started, but I’d forgotten about it. I will follow up with them.

I believe that allergies are playing a part in this, too. In my corner of the world, there’s a lot of tree and grass pollen.
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
—Mark Twain (attributed)
TheSheriff
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Re: Tinnitus

Post by TheSheriff » Sat May 18, 2019 9:11 am

----

I've been dealing with it for 30+ years. I basically ignore it and I'm okay 99% of the time. When I begin to be bothered by it I know it's time for me to remove ear wax, so out come the ear wax removal drops and water blaster syringe to get it out of there. After that I'm back to ignore mode.

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