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Strange medical question

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Today I stayed home with an ear infection, something that I've had chronically since I've been about 6 months old. As an adult I know what to do, I wait for it to drain; once that happens I'm fine. Now for the odd part. For as long as I can remember I've heard a high pitched noise in my ears. The quieter it gets the louder the sound, so to compensate I've always carried around a Walkman, Diskman, and recently and MP3 player just to make sure that I don't get overwhelmed by it. Here's the funny part. Until today, I had no idea that this wasn't normal. I guess in my 28+ years I've never heard a true silence.

Is there a medical treatment for this?
post #2 of 20
Are you saying that you have ALWAYS had ringing in your ears?
post #3 of 20
Ringing in the ears is called tinnitis. I have it off and on because of my sinus problems.

How curable it is depends on the cause of it. It can be caused by anything from a buildup of earwax to sinus problems to a problem with your nervous system. If you've had chronic ear problems, it's probably related to that. Definitely talk to your doctor about it and see if there's anything they can do.
post #4 of 20
That sounds like what you're experiencing may be tinnitus. Perhaps you'll find some useful information here. And of course -- talk with your doctor about it.
post #5 of 20
I have tinnitus, like you I have also suffered from repeated ear infections throughout my life. It's not 'normal' but plenty of people have it. It sounds as if you have a good coping strategy by providing background noise, just make sure that any music is not turned up too loud because it can cause further damage which will ultimately make the problem worse. Some people find that having the radio on when they go to bed helps, or have it tuned between stations so that you have very quiet background 'white noise' - as when you're trying to sleep can be the most disturbing time to hear ringing or buzzing.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trouts mom View Post
Are you saying that you have ALWAYS had ringing in your ears?
Yep... only I thought when people were talking about a ringing that it would sound like bells. It's a high pitched sound that is constantly in my ears. I don't know how else to describe it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
I have tinnitus, like you I have also suffered from repeated ear infections throughout my life. It's not 'normal' but plenty of people have it. It sounds as if you have a good coping strategy by providing background noise, just make sure that any music is not turned up too loud because it can cause further damage which will ultimately make the problem worse. Some people find that having the radio on when they go to bed helps, or have it tuned between stations so that you have very quiet background 'white noise' - as when you're trying to sleep can be the most disturbing time to hear ringing or buzzing.
I have a noise machine that does ocean waves.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47 View Post
That sounds like what you're experiencing may be tinnitus. Perhaps you'll find some useful information here. And of course -- talk with your doctor about it.
Thank you so much... I'm still getting over the fact that this isn't something I should be hearing. It's just always been there.
post #8 of 20
I agree with the others. Sounds like tinnitus, and yes I do believe it can be treated.
post #9 of 20
Thats crazy, I hope you can get it treated..that must suck, how do you even sleep?
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trouts mom View Post
Thats crazy, I hope you can get it treated..that must suck, how do you even sleep?
I never knew that it was supposed to be annoying.


Now I'm starting to wonder if I'll be able to sleep if I DON'T hear it.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
I never knew that it was supposed to be annoying.


Now I'm starting to wonder if I'll be able to sleep if I DON'T hear it.
I think you're really lucky in that sense, PLEASE KEEP THAT OUTLOOK because tinnitus has occasionally driven people over the edge. If you are used to it, do not think of it as something that you need to worry about - PLEASE!
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
I think you're really lucky in that sense, PLEASE KEEP THAT OUTLOOK because tinnitus has occasionally driven people over the edge. If you are used to it, do not think of it as something that you need to worry about - PLEASE!
Wow, I had no idea. This is all sort of strange for me today. I'll check into it with my doctor, but tell him that it's not a huge bother to me.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
Yep... only I thought when people were talking about a ringing that it would sound like bells.
Looks like everyone has given you good advice already, but I have to add one thing.

I learned the word tintinnabulation in the 7th grade and I've never forgotten it. It means "the ringing of bells" and is used in a Edgar Allen Poe poem.
post #14 of 20
I also have it, as does my mother and I believe my Grandmother. Actually they have something called Mariner's Disease (something like that), which the ringing can be a symptom of. I try to take good care of my ears now. I'm actually hearing it now and I do a lot of the time.

I find that if I sleep with noise on for too long I feel it worse and then end up waking with a headache. It doesn't bother me much, not even for going to sleep. I guess I kind of tune it out. My mind is always busy so I think that helps.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
Thank you so much... I'm still getting over the fact that this isn't something I should be hearing. It's just always been there.
You too! I just discovered this the other day. Last summer I swore the neighbors slept with a radio on. Hubby thought I was nuts but his hearing is worst than mine. Lately my ears have been very waxing. The other night I heard this humming & when I put a pillow to my head it got louder. I know it is a good way to get out of jury duty if you hate it.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tari View Post
Ringing in the ears is called tinnitis. I have it off and on because of my sinus problems.
Yep same here, That is why i lke sleeping with a fan on, However in noticed when i was living in asia, I never had sinus and very little ringing. once i got back to ohio.
both are crazy.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
Yep same here, That is why i lke sleeping with a fan on, However in noticed when i was living in asia, I never had sinus and very little ringing. once i got back to ohio.
both are crazy.
It's probably the Cleveland Browns doing it.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by churchi4cubs View Post
It's probably the Cleveland Browns doing it.
hey the browns should have a great season next year, I hear they are moving them over to AA high school div.
post #19 of 20
Sounds like Meiners Disease. The ringing you're having is Tinnitious....you need to stop using ear pieces for your music...especially if you're having ear problems. Your ear draining and the cronic ear infections is NOT normal- please see an ear doctor. I almost completly lost my hearing in my left ear two summers ago. I have virtually NO ear wax in my ear- and that's not a good thing- you need ear wax in normal amounts- it helps keep the bacteria (everyone has an amount of yeast and bacteria in their ear) to keep it in balance....when somethings not quite right- one infection can really mess your hearing up. As a result of having virtually no ear wax- i got a rampid yeast infection in my ears (which we're now getting some tests done- my docs think i have a yeast allergy -which would explaine why it took forever for me to get over ringworm a while back and other infections in the past as well as why i can't have some breads). There is no tissue in your ear between the skin and bone- as a result, the yeast infection went straight from the skin in my ear and into the bone (can we say OUCH!)....my doctor wound up puncturing my ear drum and every day for 3 days I had to go in and get steroids in my ears (in addition to a ton of ear drops for the yeast problem and no ear wax). It's like the adult version of having tubes put in your ear- it drains the fluid off of your ear yet you don't have to mess with tubes. Here's the thing sweetheart- if you don't get this seen about- it could cause permenant damage down the road. I have meiners disease ( a mild form of it for now) and will potentially loose my hearing as i age...i've already lost a little and high frequencies really hurt my ears as do loud noises- i always keep my customized ear plugs with me if i need them. The ringing in your ear is tinnitious- i have it too...it goes along with meiners disease in some people. I also have severe Vertigo to the point that I cannot function without medication. I take 3 very low doses of Diazepam (valium) a day. I take 1/2 a pill at each dose....and without it i pass out, faint, have sever ringing in my ear, black out, get dizzy...the whole 9 yards- with it though, it's almost always under control That medicine has been a miracle for me- before i could bairly drive without worrying about passing out or having a dizzy spell on the road...and i'd fainted in class several times. (at the time I was a music industry major- so music majors and ear problems are not a good combo!) / Also- please go to a reputable ENT - not just a normal physician for this- they will need to preform specific tests most likely and they really can help you the most. A good doctor could potentially keep you from loosing your hearing. You should not be having chronic ear problems- it's not normal. I'm not trying to scare you..it's just i've been there and i've almost lost my hearing as a result. Fortunately though, Memphis has some of the best ENT's around. I go to The Shea Center for Hearing & Balance- Dr. Shea Jr. is my personal ENT- he saved me ears pretty much. After my ears healed after their surgery, i have almost all of my hearing back and haven't had many problems since. It's a life long thing though- the meiners disease and tinnitious and vertigo...so i always have to watch out- but thankfully it's managable with a good doctor and me watching my symptoms. Please go have a good ENT check your ears out- the ringing ,chronic infections, and draining could result in hearing loss- and that's definitely not something you want. PM me if you wanna know anything or have any questions... / I'm not sure if it will help or not, but here's my doctors site....maybe you could call his number and find a referal for a good doctor in your state (he knows docs all over) http://www.ears.com/
post #20 of 20
Without the other symptoms, I wouldn't be especially worried about Meniere's. Tinnitis can be a seperate problem and it sounds like it probably is in your case.

I have all of the symptoms of classic Meniere's and an excellent ENT. He refuses to use Meniere's as a diagnois for me - or anyone else. Nobody knows what causes it, or how to treat it - it's all trial and error. I don't object to the term, because it makes it easier to say 'Wiki Meniere's and then you'll understand' rather than try to explain. But I have to say I also understand why he doesn't think it's a valid or even helpful diagnois - everyone with Meniere's type symptons is suffering, but not necessarily from the same thing.
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