Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Includes Expert Content
Ears ringing with hot feeling and thick throat
avatar
Rewillia posted:
Hi,

I was at a party on Friday night and the music was on the loud side. When I got home, I noticed my ears had a slight ringing that has lasted through today (3 days later). Today I have also noticed a hot feeling in my ears and a thick, scratchy throat. Could this be tinnitus, or the beginning of an ear infection? If it is tinnitus, should I see a doctor or will the ringing go away on its own?

Thanks for your help!
Reply
FirstPrevious12NextLast
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Noise-induced (acoustic trauma), will usually improve over time, but that depends on several factors that I cannot predict, including your hearing sensitivity and, of course, the acoustic levels of the music that caused the problem in the first place. It has been three days now, and your describing it as "slight", so I suspect this will abate soon.

The "hot feeling" and "thick, scratchy throat" is an issue that is unrelated to your acoutic trauma. It is really up to you to see a medical provider or not. I have no way of determining, based on these symptoms alone, whether you are starting an ear infection or not.
 
avatar
Rewillia replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you for your response! The ringing was subdued today while I was at work but now sounds louder since I have gotten home. I do have sensitive ears and the music had a lot of bass in it, if that helps any. Should I see a doctor for this or wait it out to see if it corrects itself? Is it tinnitus? Or if it is not permanent, is it called something else? I don't normally go to loud places, and always wear ear plugs when going to concerts.
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Rewillia's response:
Wait it out a bit longer. There is really nothing much a medical provider can do about acoustic damage to the ear....your body has to do the healing, and it can take time. Give it another week or so and I think you will notice improvement

Yes, this is tinnitus. Please remember this event so that you will not have to repeat it again. You have sensitive ears, so carry ear protection with you when you are at loud venues.
 
avatar
Rewillia replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I gave in and went to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic last night because the ringing was bothering me. He gave me a prescription for prednisone and a referral to an ENT if it is not better by the end of the week. I started the first dose last night, but have not really noticed a difference yet. How long should it take for the prednisone to start to work? Is there a chance that the prednisone will not work?

Thanks again for your help and my many questions! Sorry but I am starting to feel scared about this whole situation.
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Rewillia's response:
The prednisone is not a specific drug for noise-induced (acoustic) trauma. It could help, but so can "tincture of time". If you get better in a week or so like most people do, it really doesn't matter if it was the prednisone or the time.

Again, there is really no way to predict individual outcome or know if the prednisone will help...or not. Your answer will come in time, so trust in your body's ability to heal itself.
 
avatar
Rewillia replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Hi Dr. Moser,

Thanks for your response. I think the doctor said the prednisone may help to reduce any inflammation in my ear that might be contributing to the ringing. My left ear has been feeling hot and "stuffy" on and off today. Could this be from the medicine? I have taken two doses on 40mg in the past two days and today will take 30mg, eventually going down to 10mg before stopping.

When you say "get better in a week or so", do you mean a week from now or a week from when this all began (this past Friday night). Also, is it common for ringing in ears to go for more than a week and still disappear? I guess what I am wondering is if the longer the ringing continues, is that a stronger indication that this is permanent?
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Rewillia's response:
Yes, the longer an ear continues to ring, the more likely it will be permanent, however, you are a long, long way from worrying about that.

The hot, stuffy feeling in your ear is not from the prednisone.

Yes, it is common for ringing to last longer than a week and still disappear. Most improvements are attributed to your immune system and it is impossible to set a timeline.

Just hang in there.....
 
avatar
Rewillia replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you for your response. Our dialogue is helping to reduce anxiety and keep my panic at bay while I wait this out.

I find it strange that I am the only from the group that I was with that night who is suffering from this. My husband and friends are all fine. My husband also commented that the music was not that loud. Do you think the fact that they are ok is any indication of a successful recovery for me? I'm just wondering if they all wouldn't be affected if the music was really loud enough to cause permanent damage. How long do you think I should wait before contacting the ENT doctor for whom I received a referral?

I am trying to stay away from loud noises for now. I live in NYC, and take the subway to work but have been wearing earplugs on my commute so it's not so bad. I am not using my Ipod for the time being, and keeping music low. I am sleeping ok so I am grateful for that.

Thanks again for your support!
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Rewillia's response:
If all of thousand people in a music venue developed acoustic damage, like you, then they would close down the place. The fact that others did not develop problems is good for them, but not relevant; it plays no role in your recovery or not.

Since it may take a while to arrange an ENT visit, I see nothing wrong with getting a future visit scheduled...just in case. You can always cancel it if you completely recover.
 
avatar
Rewillia replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Hi Dr. Moser,

So last night I woke up around 3:00 am and I was unable to get back to sleep until 4:30, probably because I was focusing too much on the ringing. Are there any mind/breathing techniques that I could use in situations like that to distract myself from listening to the sound? Also, would the prednisone that I am taking cause me to lose sleep?

I was also wondering if wearing my ear plugs whenever I am out doors is keeping my ears more sensitive to the ringing? Do you think it is ok to go out without them so that maybe they will help my ears adjust to sounds more quickly?

Thanks so much for your help!
Robin
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Rewillia's response:
People should never take prednisone in the evening or bedtime....it does interfere with sleep. This drug can be quite stimulating.

Earplugs will not really help tinnitus, but you can try them. Earplugs will certainly protect you from any more loud noices. It is okay to go without earplugs, too. In most cases, using earplugs will not really influence outcome at this point, but you do have to avoid any more acoustic trauma.

There are many relaxation techinques, masking noise machines, etc. that can help you cope. I just use the television or music for my tinnitus.
 
avatar
Rewillia replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I just wanted to update. I saw an ENT this morning. He gave me a hearing test which indicated no hearing loss. Does no hearing loss give any indication of whether the ringing will be permanent? Or can one have hearing loss and still have permanent ringing regardless?

When he looked in my ears, he noticed some congestion in the left ear. Could that be contributing to the ringing? He also gave me a prescription for NAC supplements, which he said will help with circulation and blood flow. He told me to continue with the dose of prednisone. Lastly, he said that although he cannot say with certainty that the ringing will stop, he did say that he believed that most likely mine would go away. He wants me to call him in a week and update on how I am doing.

I am happy that I saw him, but am feeling still a bit anxious at the thought that this could still be permanent? What are your thoughts?

Thank you!!!!!
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Rewillia's response:
As I have previously mentioned, most cases will resolve in time...just like the ENT told you today, but it may not be in a week. It mayh take longer, but again, there is no way to predict individual outcome.

One can have tinnitus and not have hearing loss. Congestion in the ears can contribute to tinnitus, but perhaps not in your case. This was most likely an incidental finding since your ENT did not treat it. Your tinnitus was caused by the loud music.

I hope that you asked these same questions to your ENT -- someone who is familar with your case and your examination findings.
 
avatar
Rewillia replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Hi Dr. Moser,

I am onto day #9 and still ringing....but trying to remain calm and remember what you said about "tincture of time" and our body's ability to heal ourselves.

I meant to mention in an earlier post that I had a similar situation with ringing in the ears about 15 years ago, again from loud music in a club. I went to the doctor then who also gave me prednisone and the ringing eventually went away. I think it took about a week and a half. Do you think that that recovery is any indication that I will in fact again recover from the bout that I am experiencing now? I am hoping that it is a good sign.

How are you feeling with your tinnitus? Could I ask if you are at a point now where you are able to "live with it"? I just wanted to say again how grateful I am able to have this email dialogue with you - thank you!


Helpful Tips

Most People with a penicillin allergy can safely take cephalosporinsExpert
Medical providers have always been taught that if you are allergic to penicillin, you have a greater chance of also being allergic to a ... More
Was this Helpful?
30 of 61 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.