Skip to content
Ringing, headaches, spinal stenosis
PunkyJohn posted:
I've been having severe ringing in both ears and headaches for over a year.

It started on Jan. 1, 2009. I developed what the doctor referred to as a "severe sore throat". As soon as I started feeling a bit better, the ringing and headaches started. Prior to this I had never had a problem with either.

An MRI and Cat Scan shows no problems in either my head or sinus passages.

Also, I have "moderate to severe" cervical spinal stenosis which a well regarded neurosurgeon says would not be causing the ringing and headaches, at least not ones as severe as I have. The spinal stenosis was first diagnosed 8 years ago. It has never really caused any problems and the only reason I saw the neurosurgeon was to try to determine the cause of my headaches.

I am 65 years old and in reasonably good health. My father and an uncle did die of cerebral aneurysms in their 40's but I've never had any indications of similar problems.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm just wondering if anyone else has had similar symptoms....ringing in ears, headaches, sudden onset after a cold/sore throat....and if there was any success in treating it.

Any insight or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
As you know, tinnitus is the medical term for ?ringing in the ears?. Tinnitus can also be heard as a buzzing, roaring, hissing, clicking, high-pitched whining, low-pitched hums, or even pulsing like the heart. It is estimated that over 35 million people in the United States have tinnitus (including ME).

Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom ? a symptom of many common medical problems, such as ear infections, wax impactions, noise exposure (like rock concerts), TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, or even a side effect of certain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, caffeine, or birth control pills. Tinnitus may also be a symptom of more serious illnesses like high blood pressure, anxiety/depression, diabetes, thyroid disorders, M?ni?re?s disease, blood vessel disorders, or tumors.

Finding a cause of tinnitus can be simple, or it may require extensive diagnostic tests, like an MRI or CAT scan. In many cases, a cause is never found ? a fact that frustrates many tinnitus sufferers and their medical providers.

Even if a cause is not found, there is still hope for successful treatment aimed at quieting the noise and controlling the anxiety. Not all techniques work for everyone. Usually, it is a combination of therapies, used over time, that offer the best hope. Quieting the ringing will require a lifelong commitment to lifestyle changes, cooperative medical care, and most importantly ? a positive and optimistic attitude.

Your first and most important step is to see a good ENT specialist so you can start the evaluation process.

Helpful Tips

VNG is Excruciatingly Painful
I recently had a VNG test at a local neurology center. It was so painful that I could not make it through it, I had to beg them to stop. ... More
Was this Helpful?
0 of 0 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

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.