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Acoustic Trauma from Ipod
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Charlottedad2 posted:
12 days ago I played my Ipod too loud while mowing the lawn. I know it was dumb and will never do it again. Since them I have been suffering from tinnitus and fullness of both ears. For these reasons it has been difficult for me to fall asleep at night and have even suffered anxiety attacks that these symptoms will never abate.

I went to an ENT a week ago and he was very unhelpful. He checked my ear and said it was structurally fine but wasnt forthcoming with additional recovery information. Instead he was very vague and said that if things didnt progess to come back in 6 months.

I dont think I have lost hearing and glad that the ENT said my ear looked fine, but the fullness and the tinnitus are quite bothersome. Began taking Ginkgo Bilboa and B Complex with B12 today. Where possible I use earplugs to limit noise and use a fan at night to help drown out tinnitis. Also, if I pull on my ears this will alleviate the fullness momentarally.

Questions that I have are:
1. Is there anything else that I could be doing to help recovery?
2. Any idea on recovery time for at least the fullness part.
3. If and when the fullness subsides, could the tinnitus subside somewhat?

Thanks
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Your questions:

1. Is there anything else that I could be doing to help recovery?

Not really. Time is the great healer for acoustic injuries of this nature. Statistically, most people do get completely better without any medical intervention, which is good since there is really nothing medical that has been proven to treat this.

2. Any idea on recovery time for at least the fullness part.

At this point, the only thing you can do is trust that your inner ear tends to repair itself, but it is not possible to predict when this might happen. It could be weeks or months.

3. If and when the fullness subsides, could the tinnitus subside somewhat?

Tinnitus is unpredictable, but in most cases, if you did not have tinnitus before, it should resolve as well. However, I suspect that this wasn't the first time that you blasted loud music in your ears, so tinnitus can be the result of multiple episodes, not just this last one.
 
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Charlottedad2 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you Dr. Moser,
You reply was better intelligence than I received at the ENT. I imagine stress can also be hinderance recovery. Your reply provided comfort that some of these symptoms will work themselves out and the fullness has actually come off its highest point today. So thank you.

I assume running a fan at night will not negatively impact recovery? Also, is it alright to keep pulling on ears to help with the fullness? Can I take ibruprofen? I read somewhere that aspirin can cause tinnitus, but didnt know about other pain relievers.

Again, thank you!
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Charlottedad2's response:
Running the fan as a masking noise will be helpful. Pulling on your ears should not really help or hinder your recovery since the problem is likely in your inner ear....not an anatomical area where pulling your ear canal would even reach. If you seem to get some sort of relief from doing it, it will not be harmful (unless you pull your ear too hard!).

Aspirin AND ibuprofen have been associated with tinnitus, so to be safe, you may want to consider taking acetaminophen instead.
 
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Charlottedad2 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Dr. Moser,
Some days are better than others regarding the pain and the fullness. Actually both fluctuate throught the day. Did I read in another thread that this was evidence that healing is occurring? Or was this wishful thinking?

Another stupid question? Ok to excersize or should I keep it easy while recovering?

Thank you.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Charlottedad2's response:
Go on with your normal life....exercise and all. Fluctuating fullness does not necessarily mean healing, but at least you are not getting worse over time. Statistically your ears will heal....in TIME, as soon as your ears repair the acoustic damage.
 
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Charlottedad2 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Now off and on burning sensation in my left ear. What can this mean. I have surely learned my lesson and will never use the Ipod again if I get out of this mess.

I read elsewhere that you have tinnitus. How do you cope?
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Charlottedad2's response:
I don't know the significance of your burning sensation, I am sorry. Was your ear burning when you saw the ENT? Did you address this symptom?

How do I cope with tinnitus? I try and ignore it. When I can't ignore, I try and mask it with background noise (usually the television) while I simultaneous read or play solitare Scabble on the iPad. It is usually worse at night, but my wife's snoring drowns some of it out, too.

I have had tinnitus for over 12 years (probably longer, I lost track) and it can get pretty loud at times, but I found that bitching about it, complaining, whining, does nothing to change it. My wife is sympathetic, but that is about as far as it goes. Those of us with tinnitus have to learn to cope with it all by ourselves.

I don't think you will end up having tinnitus the rest of your life, like me. I think yours will eventually abate, but that is also a guess. Mine was caused by a viral inner ear infection that most likely damage those delicate structures permanently.

I don't really spend time lamenting things that I cannot change. Just stay BUSY and you will not have time, either.
 
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Charlottedad2 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you for the advice. The burning sensation stopped. The constant ear pain has diminished. Still have fullness, sensitive to loud sounds, and tinnitus.

The family and I are on vacation and have stayed busy. Though I will not go under water at the pool just yet. Only real difficulty is falling to sleep.

I worry that my masking elements (fan, AC, ambient noise iPhone app) are too loud. Is my fear unfounded?

Also trouble falling asleep at night as tinnitus worse in the evening. Is melatonin a viable option?

Thanks for your help.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Charlottedad2's response:
Melatonin is safe to use. Only you can decide if your masking sounds are helping or may be too loud...Since you are sensitive to sounds, perhaps you need to keep the volume low.

Staying busy is the best thing you can do.
 
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Charlottedad2 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Sorry to keep bothering. Statistically will the sound sensitivity abate as well with time? Didn't notice this as much when this episode began, but I bring earplugs with me whoever I go now.. Thanks!
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Charlottedad2's response:
Unpredictable, my friend, but keep those earplugs with you anyway and extricate yourself from any loud venues....it is not worth it.
 
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Charlottedad2 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Ugh! I was afraid you were going to say something like that. Read some other discussions on this board and someone said that the sensitivity got so bad that a whisper was too loud. Is this an extreme case?
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Charlottedad2's response:
Yes, that is called hyperacusus. Even the sounds of paper turning in a book or water running can be very, very uncomfortable. True hyperacusus is rare.
 
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Charlottedad2 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Hello Dr. Moser, I wanted to give you an update and ask a question. It's been 5 weeks since my acoustic trauma.

Ten days ago I went to another ENT. Hearing is normal, and ear drum working normal. He suspected cochlear concussion and said my recovery was atypical since it is taking a while. He also said my anxiety over this is hindering recovery. Advised me not to use ear plugs because my brain needed to "reset" to noise.

Was on Prednisone for 6 days and now Porpranolol for anxiety.

I'm less sensitive to sound and no longer have burning sensation in ears, but still have fullness and now it feels like I need to pop my ears every few minutes.

Any advice on the ear popping?


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