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martin82

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi I hope someone might be of help.  3 months ago i had a bad head injury where i fell on concrete twisting my neck, swelling my jaw and of course hitting my head.

Since then I've been sensitive to outside noise where by my Tinnitus increases/amplifies with outside noise. This could be an air conditioner, television, or just listening to music.

Also what i have is squealing form of ear ringing that squeals with my heart beat.  It's very frustrating especially as i try to fall asleep yet am unable to mask it as external sounds amplify the condition.

I'm wondering if anyone might have been through something similar?  What i can't figure out is if my tinnitus can be resolved?  Both my MRI and MRA came back negative as did my CT Scan.  

Any help/insight greatly appreciated. 

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martin petersen
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phacker

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Martin,

I am sorry to hear about your troublesome tinnitus.  I also deal with reactive tinnitus, but mine was not caused from a head injury. My tinnitus was caused from hearing loss and sound. Have you had your ears checked since your injury to confirm that you did not suffer some hearing loss or other damage?  I am not aware of any medication that can cure tinnitus.  You may get lucky and the T goes away as your injury heals.  

The most effective way to treat is tinnitus is with sound. Sound is used to create habituation, so you are no longer aware of the tinnitus unless you focus on the tinnitus. There are a number of programs available, for example, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, Neuromonics, Widex Zen.

TRT - can use white noise or pink noise.
Neuromonics - uses a filtered music
Widex Zen - uses chimes and white noise

If you decide to try one of these programs, you may want to try a couple of different sounds as I would recommend that you should start with the sound that you would have the least reaction. There are a number a ways to deliver the sound in the above programs and you should to talk to your audiologist for the best delivery method for you. These programs do not mask the tinnitus as the sound level is set so you can still hear your tinnitus and still hear ambient sounds.

What are you doing to help or get to sleep?

Hope this helps

PH
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martin82

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for your reply. Interestingly enough no loss of hearing tested up to 8K htz.

has your T also related to head injury?

Thanks and thanks for your recommendations.

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martin petersen
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Cheryl_K

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Posts: 101
Reply with quote  #4 

Hi Martin,

Sorry to hear about your accident.

I have T and H related to head, ear, and jaw injury. MRI, MRA, and CAT scan are usually not enough to find the cause of the problem. I show up normal on all of those. When a doctor asks, "Did anyone X-ray the small bones of your inner ear?" no ENT will prescribe it, despite the fact that I was bleeding from my left ear over the course of 2 years.

I know from experience that radiology performed before the swelling subsides is usually misleading. Symptoms can appear years later.

If you have not already done so, look up New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, a good bet for obtaining the proper examinations.  There are also good TMJ research and treatment departments at NYU, and Staten Island University Hospital-North. I cannot in good conscience recommend anyone for cervical spine, but I know they exist. NY Presbyterian-Weill Cornell could be a good start. They are doing research and beginning treatment with veterans at NY Pres.,  at the Tinnitus Center at SUNY Downstate, and I think NYU. Start at the top. Insurance pays the same whether or not they are "general" or superspecialists.  In my experience, the superspecialists who did my surgeries were more adept at getting coverage even if they were out of network for me.

I was very badly injured, and the bozos out here let it go too long. One jaw surgery was botched. I had a second jaw surgery to correct the first one. After that, my T and H got worse (I was warned it would happen), and then began to improve slowly, but improving.

Even with behavioral and audiologic treatments, you probably will not improve if there is something that needs to be fixed.

Traumatic Brain Injury is also very difficult to diagnose properly, especially before the swelling subsides. Even neurologists who specialize in head injury do not give the types of radiological procedures and referrals needed, when confined by insurance restraints. Or laziness.

I'd also recommend at the very least a competent therapist who can help you with the physical and cognitive/emotional stresses you incurred.

If you are not feeling well enough to fight for yourself, you might be able to obtain an advocate through your state brain injury association (or alliance). You might have to educate your advocate on tinnitus, perhaps share this website. As of today, in my state association there are no books or other reference in the media department (which is voluminous) on hyperacusis. But the people are very nice and you might get lucky.

Best of luck to you in navigating the medical maze and getting well.
Cheryl

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martin82

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Cheryl-

Thanks for your insight. I'm in NY. Any suggestions for a doctor TMJ/TMD?

I'm also sorry to hear about your accident. Did you have a concussion? Did the X-rays/footage show anything?

Furthermore how is your T today.

what is odd for the ENTs is that my hearing is quote "normal" yet i suffer from unilateral squealing tinnitus post accident. I'm guessing there is a physical component...

Thanks.

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martin petersen
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Cheryl_K

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Posts: 101
Reply with quote  #6 
July 11, 2014

Hi Martin,
 
I'm always hesitant to recommend specific doctors who were wonderful for me years ago, as things can change. My first oral surgeon, from Columbia Pres, with a sterling reputation, was apprehended for stealing other doctors' prescription pads for his own use. I just thought at the time he was particularly energetic and friendly. My cartilage was shattered, and he completely scraped it out. To be fair, that was standard medical practice at the time, but no longer, as it can lead to complications. Better to leave a shattered cartilage in, or as much can be saved, than to scrape and scrape. I developed a heteronomic ossification, which means bone growing in the place where the flexible cartilage should be, eventually causing complete lockjaw. Dr, Hoffman said it was lucky I got to him in time. Six more months, It would have been a total jaw replacement, which does not provide the greatest of outcomes either.
 
I was not able to find another doctor to properly diagnose or help me for a long time, 2 and a half years after my surgery. There are only about two handfuls of doctors who are capable of the corrective procedure (which does not completely fix the problem), fewer who will work from insurance, and only one who would touch me after being botched by the first guy. There was litigation in progress due to my accident, and nobody wanted to get caught up in it.
 
Today, three roofers woke me up, and there was banging and dragging and machinery, and all kinds of noise from 8am to 3:30. I was working on an essay for the past 3 days, very intently, in memory of a dear teacher who died last week, finally sent it off at 12:30. I had to walk around the house with the boss roofing crew boss, who speaks loudly as he s hard of hearing, while I inspected his work and got the bad news for the work yet to be done. The utility guy arrived in the middle of all this, my son called to ask why hadn't I placed the order at the Chinese take out. I was still reeling when the utility guy gave me a price for a new water heater in my enclosed, echoing furnace room, in a loud, booming voice. My ears and jaw only hurt a little, there is just a faint beginning of T. All this against a backdrop of such awful news in the world.
No headphones at all today, but it is time to rest and do some serious relaxation, hopefully leading to a nap. I'm leaving room to rejoice in the progress I've made since last week, amazed at how a jaw with no cartilage does not cause more trouble than it should.
 
I don't want to discuss my head injuries. I'm busy visualizing new neural pathways today, new tiny hairs in my inner ear. Don't want to even describe the injuries and old patterns.
 
Let me know how things work out,
Good luck,
Peace,
Cheryl
 
 
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Cheryl_K

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Posts: 101
Reply with quote  #7 
Hi Martin (again),

With alI the cutting and pasting, I left the most important thing out: What should you do?

You need to start at the beginning, and go where they will do the least harm. The best bet for that, in my opinion, if I had to do it all over, is a top hospital-based TMJ clinic, either at NYU or Mr. Sinai.  Begin with their intake process.

Your injuries are relatively new. The inner bruising and swelling might eclipse the problem. I think your TMJ questions should be addressed as soon as you can, but it might be a good idea to let your brain heal for another few months to get a clearer picture (**check with a neurologist recommended by whichever clinic you choose, then if you are not satisfied, go for a second opinion at NY Presbyterian). You might have to wait awhile for an appointment, but it's worth the wait. As long as you are not falling or having to catch your balance or experiencing other symptoms, give your brain a chance to heal a bit, and address the jaw issues first.

With jaw and neck injuries, very often there can be subtle to severe issues with the ear. When you go for your TMJ assessment, ask.

Again, good luck.

No pain today, but mild tinnitus. Sounds are OK.

Best,
Cheryl
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