Tinnitus? Argh.

The completely undeserved tinnitus that I developed randomly can go away randomly at any time now. Thank you!

And no, I haven’t been listening to anything loud, nor did it occur after travel. I just woke up one morning August last year, in my quiet apartment with a high-pitched squealing. Yes, I’m hydrating. No, I’m not drinking or eating caffeine. Yes, my ears are clean. No, I didn’t poke a q-tip deep into my ear.

Sometimes it goes away, for no reason I can think determine. Other times, it randomly comes back and makes me crazy. It is astonishing how distracting that little squeal is.

Now would be one of those times.

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24 thoughts on “Tinnitus? Argh.”

  1. I’ve had this for years. They told me to reduce the salt in my diet to “salt? I’ve heard of that but never use it” levels. It helped, sort of. Best of luck.

      1. Of course my hearing issues aren’t your hearing issues… but my tinnitus isn’t driven solely by my salt intake, but rather the balance between salt and potassium, and the impact of the fluid pressure differentials in the cochlea. (As it was explained to me, one fluid’s pressure is affected by salt, the other by potassium.) And I found out that — for me — drinking diet sodas increased the potassium in my system to the point that I had the same symptoms as when I had too much salt. It turns out that not aggressively avoiding salt helped (me) because there was more balance with the potassium intake.

  2. My sympathies. I’ve had it since an ear infection that developed after a long airplane trip in 1997, and sitting a few rows back from the stage at an Alice Cooper show a few years back certainly didn’t help. I wish I could offer some helpful advice, but nothing’s really done much for me. Having soft background noise or music when the ringing is worse than usual helps a little, but that’s just a palliative.

      1. Lisa Spangenberg

        Do check on the ear infection, and sinus infections too — I had had a mild ear infection for a very long time and hadn’t known. In my case, I discovered it because I was flying a lot.

        Hope you find some relief.

  3. I have heard grinding your teeth at night can cause tinnitus. Might be worth looking into, especially as you woke up with it one day?
    My tinnitus, however, came from an ex who wanted to impress his friends with his new sound system…

  4. Mark Phillips

    You should give Andrea a call. I remember when helping her study for her acupuncture classes and I think there was a treatment for tinnitus.

  5. Okay, I have to ask…have you experienced hearing loss on one side, or is this on both sides? Because if it’s only on one side, you might have something pressing on the hearing nerve, like an aneurysm or an acoustic neuroma.

    Strongly suggest you visit an ear, nose, and throat specialist. This is probably fairly minor, but it could be serious. An ENT can run appropriate tests and advise you.

  6. I have severe tinitus, the kind that doesn’t go away. The best thing to do if its bothering you is to mask it with some white noise. A bathroom fan works great (Ceiling fan not so much.) It’s worst when the room is quiet, so I avoid quiet when possible.

  7. I’ve got a sensitivity to chocolate, and when I eat it, my ears itch and then ring about an hour or so later. The more chocolate I eat, the stronger the itch and the longer the tinnitis lasts. It’s quite irritating! I hope you get yours figured out.

  8. Jon Freestone

    My tinitus seems to be tied to the weather. I have never tested it, but when the air pressure changes before a storm system arrives my tinitus seems louder that day.

    Some days I don’t notice it at all, and other days it is all I notice, and the days It is really loud are the days it rains.

    But Correlation does not imply causation.

  9. I had tinnitus for no clear reason a few years back, similarly, though I was lucky that it was quiet enough it didn’t usually bother me except at night. What ended up fixing it, oddly enough, were self-hypnosis techniques. I focused on visualizing “turning off” the noise, or at least “turning off” my attention on it, and it slipped away over a week or two.

  10. I have had this since I was 17, several separate tones, both ears. The “cures” don’t seem to work to reduce the level or anything. What does help for me is rest and a release of tension. The tones never go away completely, but a good shoulder/neck massage really helps me. Heat or ice can also help. When muscles in the head/neck/shoulders are tense, it can increase noise, at least in the experience from the 40 years I’ve had it.

    Also, like a bum knee can predict weather changes, I can predict if I’m coming down with something before I start to feel bad. I go from my normal 7 tones up more (14 separate ones is my record.) Lucky me.

    And lucky you.

  11. Does it get worse at different times of the year? Mine is related to allergies… hay fever style. Slight inflammation of the ear canal. irritating as all get up, but greatly reduces with use of antihistamines

  12. My advise is that you must go to the doctor. Others already pointed that out, so im posting to share with you the following link:


    It’s told that “brown noise” helps mask the tinnitus, and lowers the annoyance it produces. Its not a cure (doctor will give that), but hopefully this can help ease the simptoms.

    I hope it will help 🙂

  13. Randomly, I’m reading an article about tinnitus in an old New Yorker while walking the cat today. It’s in the February 9 & 16, 2009 issue, by Jerome Groopman.

  14. I’ve had it literally as long as I can remember. I was about 11 before I found out that everyone doesn’t have that. The worst part is when it randomly changes in pitch, and that HURTS.

    Seeing an ENT to rule out sinus and ear infections is your best bet, esp. with all the flying you do. Since you didn’t have any loud noises or meds, that might be it. A mild infection that’s not bad enough for you to notice can still irritate your ears.

    Other than that, I’ve found that deep massage of shoulders, neck, and head helps turn down the volume, so you could try that after the doctor. The massage helps drain the sinuses and Eustachian tubes along with calming down the muscles.

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