Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Tinnitus
avatar
allypeanut1964 posted:
I have had sinus congestion/drainage for 3 months. I have also had ear ringing for 3 months. I went to the ENT yesterday and he didn't think I had a sinus infection although I do have green/brownish discharge from my nose. He did say that I had hearing loss in my right ear, although it is minimal and that was what he thought was causing my ringing. There was 1 part of the hearing test that showed a dip in my hearing in the left also, but he said that wasn't that big of a deal. Now, about 18 yrs ago, I had a hearing test done and they said that I had some hearing loss in my right ear, so I don't know that this is anything new or not. I am 45 years old. The ringing is in both ears and I feel like with my allergies or sinus that both ears have been feeling kinda full. He said he didn't see any fluid in my ears. When I went to my regular doctor a couple of weeks ago, she said she saw fluid in my right ear. When I blow my nose, my ears get stuffed up and then become normal again in a short time. I have read alot that sinus issues can cause tinnitus. Is this why I am getting it now and will it go away when my sinus problem resolves? Should I get an antibiotic as my discharge is colored? When I yawn, my ears do the popping. What is your opinion? Thank you.
Reply
FirstPrevious12NextLast
 
avatar
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
I assume that the ENT did not order a sinus CT scan...correct? The CT is really the best diagnostic test if sinusitis is a consideration. Sinus infections, even painless, chronic sinusitis -- can cause postnasal drainage. When this drainage runs across the opening of the Eustachian tubes, they can clog and not function properly (the fullness or popping in your ears when you yawn). Because the e-tubes also go to the middle ear space, it can cause effusion (fluid), and yes, even tinnitus. Since there are really hundreds of causes of tinnitus, it would not be possible for me to determine if this is really the culprit in your case or not. Without an examination, I do not know if you need antibiotics for a possible sinusitis -- colored mucous is not a definitive sign of bacterial involvement, but it does indicated 'stagnation".

Talk to your primary care doctor or even the ENT about a sinus CT scan. This test is also helpful in ruling out several other causes of tinnitus, so I think it would be helpful....or perhaps, even an MRI.
 
avatar
allypeanut1964 responded:
Thank you so much for replying so soon. I do have an appt on Friday with my regular doctor, so I will talk to him about those tests. Do you think my hearing could be slightly impaired due to the pressure from my sinuses?
 
avatar
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
It's possible, but please keep in mind that there can be MANY reasons for impaired hearing. Sinus pressure per se does not cause hearing problems, but sinusitis can indirectly affect hearing by causing ear pressure.
 
avatar
allypeanut1964 responded:
Do you think it's appropriate that he diagnose me with hearing loss and permanent tinnitus after just briefly looking in my ear and doing a hearing test? In my first post, I mentioned that Miracle Ear did a test 18 yrs ago and said that I had some loss in my right ear, so this hearing loss he's referring to could be that old. I just feel like he's jumping the gun. He did rule out the tumor that can grow on the nerve as the ringing is in both ears and he said if I had that it would only be in 1 ear. Do I still need to worry about a brain tumor? What would a MRI show? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
 
avatar
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
I don't think YOU feel it is appropriate to make that call after a cursory exam...that is what is important. Seeing a specialist that takes the time, and clinical effort, to properly examine you and evaulate your symptoms is what anyone deserves.

I can't really tell someone, one way or another, about what to worry about. Listed among the hundreds of causes of tinnitus would be tumors, including brain tumors. This is one of the reasons why people should be adequately evaluated, and yes, this would include an MRI. Most MRIs turn out to be normal, but you do have to look. Brain tumors are rare causes, but just because they are uncommon does not justify "jumping the gun" as you stated. You have to feel comfortable that your medical provider as overturned every clinical stone before making a conclusion.
 
avatar
allypeanut1964 responded:
Thank you Dr. Roser. So, what you are saying is that it probably is unlikely I have a brain tumor, but I should have it checked out just to be on the safe side? So, even though it is a possibility and it is likely some other reason for the ringing, I should not be freaking out about a tumor? I know you can't say I do or don't have one, I'm just wondering how worried I should be about it. Oh, have I mentioned that I'm a cancer phobe?
 
avatar
allypeanut1964 responded:
Dr. Moser. My sincere apologies. I mistyped your name in my last post. I meant to type Dr. R. Moser and ended up with Dr. Roser. I also know personally a Dr. Roeser, so that's where my fingers went! I am very sorry!
 
avatar
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
No need to apologize....I have been called worse, I can assure you.
 
avatar
allypeanut1964 responded:
I wanted to post an update and also ask a question. I did go back to my primary care doctor and after looking at ears and taking history said that his belief was my problem is sinus/allergy related. Almost exactly like your first post to me Doctor Moser. He put me on Rhinocort (sp) nasal spray, Sudafed, Zytec and just for good measure an antibiotic. It does seem to be drying up my nasal drainage. My question is how long does something like that take to clear up and how long should I expect the ringing to continue? I know before when I talked with the nurse she said it could take up to 3 weeks for the inflamation/ringing to stop. Thank you!
 
avatar
allypeanut1964 responded:
I mean Zyrtec, not Zytec.
 
avatar
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
You are being "shotgun treated" with antibiotics, steroids, antihistamines, etc., hoping that one, or the combination will do the job.

Unfortunately, it would not be possible to predict or even guess if this approach will even work for your tinnitus, let alone guess when. Time will give you the answer.

When are you supposed to go back if it DOESN'T work?
 
avatar
allypeanut1964 responded:
I believe he said a week or two, but I have a message in to him to double check.

You dont' sound too optimistic that this will work. Am i being too hopeful? Is there anything else you could suggest?
 
avatar
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
You have to understand that I was not there in the examining room when those treatment suggestions were made. All that I have to go on is what is filtered to me from your postings. I really have no right to challenge those clinical decisions, so perhaps I was over-stepping a bit. I am normally a very optimistic person when it comes to clinical improvement, but since I have tinnitus myself, my optimism has been personally jaded. If I had any profound wisdom regarding a better treatment regime, I would be considering it myself.

My own tinnitus has been exacerbating a bit, so I need to see my own ENT and see what may be cooking. We tinnitus people have to stick together.....

Just in case, make sure you have that appointment in two weeks.
 
avatar
nothus responded:
Dear Dr. Moser,

At the beginning of December, I had a mildly irritated sinus on the right side nostril and my ENT had me use Afrin which made things worse. The day I stopped using it four days later, I experienced several hours of ear ringing and an increased heart rate. The irritation segued into sinusitis after several days of heavily reduced sense of smell and blocked passages. The ENT offered no help so after a week, so I asked my general practicioner and he had me take Omnaris (a corticosteroid like Nasonex) once a day. After two days, I woke up with a white tongue and a metallic taste in my mouth. I stopped taking the Omnaris and later that night, my heart rate/pulse/blood pressure went up again and the ear ringing started again and hasn't ceased since. Those two problems were also accompanied by an equally constant post-nasal drip, with coughing, excess flem, and some degree of stomach upset.

The hypertension continued for two weeks (resulting in one call to Emergency Services early one morning re palpatations) and still continues to a smaller degree - frequent gas-like pains on the left side chest. The post-nasal drip and tinnitus seem to be interacting to some degree with the tinnitus getting very noise during weather changes (esp. rain & snow) and the sinus headache pains have been getting increasingly painful. I have seen several ENTs and none have been terribly pro-active or helpful.

I have not had a CT, but have had a MRI which showed nothing amiss that they could find. A Tympanogram (incorrect spelling, I know) showed that my Eustachian tubes were swollen one week then fine the next. The sounds vary from crickets to electronic buzzing/feedback to a high pitched combo of the two other sounds. The sounds shift constantly from one ear to the next. I feel pressure in the ears,both apart and in tandem with sinus pains. I've suffered no hearing loss but the tinnitus is getting louder every week. What should I do?

Is there any chance that the sinusitis/post-nasal drip is draining across the Eustachian tubes and clogging them? Most of the doctors have poo=pooed the idea that I had an ototoxic reaction to the drugs but the reactions happened after I stopped using them.

Best,

Michael Murphy


Helpful Tips

EAR PROBLEMS
I have had a mild ear ache on and off and recently when I had a cold with runniynose, the ear began to hurt again. The outer ear was also ... More
Was this Helpful?
1 of 2 found this helpful

Expert Blog

Focus on Flu

Find answers to your questions about seasonal flu issues and answers to your concerns about the flu season and H1N1...Read More

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.