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superivanho

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi I'm 25 and I have developed tinnitus and hyperacusis back in august '12. As time went by I almost got used to it and it has been almost reduced to a negligble level.

Until 3 weeks ago, I had a sudden onset of tinnitus again. Since that time I suffered from insomnia most of the days. More unfortunately, this is just the beginning. A week ago, I started having this weird symptom, which I believe some people have already mentioned, is that I can hear an additional echo, whistling or morse code sorts of noise on top of noises from certain frequency and amplitude.

The "feedback" noise began when I was watching football champions league match on TV about 2 weeks ago . I heard an additional whistling on top of fans' chanting. The next morning when I took the shower, I started hearing morse code kinda high pitch noise. Day after day, I almost hear any sorts of whistling, echoes or morse code noise on anything anywhere. I can hear it on running water taps, automotive motors, trains, ventilation and computer fans (which is the most annoying as I'm a PC user most of the time) and even human voice (sometimes). The thing that saddens me is, some music that I listen to, few particular pitch sounds like being distorted or amplified which is so weird and not what they're supposed to be. I'm also confused by some high pitch vibration sound occasionally from machinery which they aren't supposed to sound that loud.

It's just been a week or more but my symptoms are just getting so dramatic. One thing I noticed though, was that the pitch and amplitude can vary day to day, time to time. It doesn't mean it's recovering or getting much worse, but it seems to me it varies so quick that I cannot track down the major cause and how to avoid it. Just like today, I had insomnia I had very little sleep but my echo tinnitus pitch has shifted and lower in amplitude somehow. Another thing is, I have an ear popping sensation on my left ear few days after I got this echo thingy. Hyperacusis and persistant tinnitus right now has almost returned to negligible level compared to the echo.

I have been to my local GP this week, what he told me is to have decongestant tablets for a month but so far it just didn't work but just made me feel weaker and hearing more static tinnitus. The GP said he has to follow the NHS guidelines which I need to wait for at least a month in order to refer me to ENT, which is completely BS. What if my hearing get much worse during this month then resulting a permanent hearing loss? Shall the NHS be responsible to this?

Anyhow, can anyone relate to this? Or if anyone who has been suffered from this for a while would you mind telling me how your symptoms are like now?
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Jennifer

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi,

Yes, I have heard of all of those symptoms and have some them myself. You appear to have had a secondary noise injury. My advice is:

- Rest your ears right now.
- Read the "Supplement" which is on the homepage of the H Network, which talks about resting your ears after a new injury.
- Join this forum: http://www.tinnitustalk.com/ They can help you with questions you have about tinnitus.
- Read everything you can about tinnitus and hyperacusis. Tinnitus can calm down, but sometimes it can take months.

A doctor isn't going to help you right now and, in fact, if an ENT gives you tests that are too loud for you, he or she can make you worse. 

Rest your ears, consume foods with a lot of antioxidants, and try to heal as much as you can.

Best wishes,

Jennifer

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I cured TTS with trigger point work.
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Jennifer

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Reply with quote  #3 
Actually, I just reread your post and I realized you didn't say anything about what caused your symptoms - either last year or this year. Did you have a noise injury last year?

Jennifer

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Johnloudb

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi, I can relate as can many with sound sensitivity problems. Do any sounds physically hurt your ears? Try using sound enrichment, like nature sounds played back on a nature sound radio. You can read about how to use sound enrichment here - http://www.tinnitus.com Sound enrichment will reduce the strength you respond to these sounds that cause you these unpleasant symptoms.

Try to relax and look up some meditation techniques, cause fear and anxiety over these symptoms just make things worse.

It's fine to seek out professional help. Sounds like it will take awhile to get to the ENT anyway. it's a good idea because they can diagnose other problems that could be causing your symptoms. Anyway, these symptoms in no way indicate your going to loose your hearing.

If your not using ear protection don't start, that will just make your sensitivity worse. Though you should use it around excessive noise like loud music, clubs, bars and the like. Do you ear protection a lot?

Maybe also look up tapping or emotion freedom technique on the Internet. Ears need sound all the time so avoid extended periods of silence. You're going to be fine, you need to believe that. And take care of your ears and avoid excessive noise, remember sound enrichment. Hope that helps, good luck. John
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Jennifer

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Reply with quote  #5 

Hi John,

I would actually also recommend that you read the "Supplement." Here you go: http://www.hyperacusis.net/hyperacusis/supplement/default.asp

I can't say that I'm a believer in EFT, but it's a harmless thing to try. But why are you telling someone with brand new tinnitus symptoms to listen to sound? The position of the Hyperacusis Network is that a person with a new injury should rest their ears. And this person's predominant complaint is tinnitus. If it is from a noise injury, his one and only chance at HEALING it is to rest his ears right now.

Jennifer


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I cured TTS with trigger point work.
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superivanho

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi sorry forgot to add how my tinnitus began. Both times when my tinnitus began (the first time in august'12 and the recent one) were after I had a panic attack when i woke up after a scary nightmare. I remembered how my heartbeat rate went up so quick and also i heard a very weird whoosing sound from one of my ears which i think it's right ear (that sound just only happened once on me though).

I also suspect myself suffering from TMJ (though haven't properly diagnosed by doctor), as my jaw movement seems to be restricted since the age of 14 or 15, and some grinding noise at the jaw.  Also a history of bruxism (teeth grinding in deep sleep) which might also contribute to the symptoms i have. Apart from that, I'm quite a healthy person, my BMI is 21, though I hvn't done much exercising and running as I used to be due to the workload I have.

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Johnloudb

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Reply with quote  #7 
Jennifer said - "But why are you telling someone with brand new tinnitus symptoms to listen to sound? The position of the Hyperacusis Network is that a person with a new injury should rest their ears."

Hi Jennifer, hurt ears need sound enrichment. Sure if people ears have suffered a sound tramma it's a good idea to take it easy with loud sound for a few days. You don't completely avoid sounds, or use ear protection around normal sound levels though, or live in silence. That only leads to greater sensivity and makes symptoms worse. Emotional Freedom Technique, Tapping, Tigger Point Therapy, Yoga, have a positive effect on the limbic system (emotional brain). This form of yoga exercise I'm doing in a class, incorporates a lot of these disciplines into it. John
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Johnloudb

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Reply with quote  #8 
Super says "Both times when my tinnitus began (the first time in august'12 and the recent one) were after I had a panic attack when i woke up after a scary nightmare. "

Hi Super, like i mentioned, best to seek professional help, for the TMJ and other symptoms. ENT's may have have no answers for you symptoms, but it doesn't mean you can't be helped. And an ENT can diagnose some problems. Sound enrichment is very helpful for both tinnitus and hyperacusis. It really is. Just play back a pleasant nature sound that sounds soothing to you. Either on a stereo or nature sound machine or MP3 player.. It's especially helpful at night when you sleep.
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superivanho

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Johnloudb, thanks for the advice. When I had the persistent tinnitus I always put a pillow speaker with rainfall and white noise on. Unfortunately, even listening to white noise cannot help me now since when I listen to any of those white noise, the echo from certain frequency can be heard along with the white noise and it is bothersome. I'd now prefer wearing earplugs at night during sleep since anything like ventilation fan noise will trigger the echo sound. My situation is a dilemma. I gave myself full rest with more than 8 hours of sleep these few days and it seems like a few echoes have been suppressed. I also tried drinking goji berry soup, hope the antioxidant may help. I can still hear some echoes with other pitch but I do hope it is an improvement.
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Johnloudb

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Reply with quote  #10 
Don't wear ear protection at night. If all sounds including any type of sound enrichment, even at low levels sets it off, your problem is a limbic and autonomic nervous system response (conditioned reflex) in nature. Don't use white noise or pillow speakers. Anyway, you might try nature sounds, set at a low level on a portable stereo or nature sound radio.

Do read the tinnitus/TRT link on this site - http://www.tinnitus.org

It explains the Jastreboff model for hearing, and problem tinnitus. By "Problem" I mean that your tinnitus and this associated sound you complain about is a problem for you. Tinnitus can take on many forms and be triggered by other sounds.

Keep seeking help though ENT first, and might need TRT help for both your tinnitus and sound sensitivity. They can check your LDL's (loudness discomfort levels) and diagnose your problem, and treat you.
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Rob

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Reply with quote  #11 

superivanho –  

The Morse code sound you describe may be your tensor tympani muscle.  If so, it is not a result of “secondary noise injury”.  It isn’t a physical injury.  The symptom is sometimes associated with the tensor tympani working way too hard and too often.  You don’t need to rest your ears, read the supplement, consider yourself injured, join a tinnitus forum, or read everything you can about tinnitus or hyperacusis.  The Morse code sound does not sound like tinnitus to me.  It may have been brought on by stress due to the re-emergence of your tinnitus.  Stress often accompanies insomnia.      

A simple thing you can try on your own is to cut out all caffeine for three weeks or so and see if the symptom goes away or diminishes on its own.  If it does, you are on the right track.  Eventually, you may be able to bring some caffeine back into your diet, but not as much as before.  This symptom can sometimes be controlled with a prescription for a benzodiazepine.  That is a determination best left up to your doctor, of course.  

Taking a decongestant for the ear popping sounds like an approach worth trying.  However, I think you are right that it is a good idea to be evaluated by an ENT.  I wouldn’t wait for a month, unless you have no choice but to wait. 

A previous poster suggested that a doctor isn’t going to help you at this time.  I disagree.  I also disagree that being examined by a doctor will make you worse.  While the tensor tympani is a good candidate for what you are describing, there are other possibilities and a doctor can determine if they apply in your case.  

At some point, you may want to have your dentist evaluate you to see if TMJ is associated with your tinnitus.  If so, there are steps you can take that may be helpful.    

I had the Morse code symptom and it drove me absolutely crazy.  Like you, I heard it around certain sounds – water, fans, air conditioners, broadband noise, tabletop devices, driving on the highway, etc.  Mine sounded like the world’s fastest (and worst) bass player.  The sound was low-pitched and incredibly distracting.  Cutting out all caffeine worked for me.  It took a few weeks for me to notice some obvious improvement.  I can understand why you would want to wear hearing protection at night given how distracting the sound is, but perhaps you could forgo that and simply do without any background sound while you try to get a handle on things.   

Rob         

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Jennifer

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Reply with quote  #12 

Rob,

You might want to try reading all of the messages in a thread before posting your replies. I would suggest that you read what I said in Message #3. Given that Superivanho replied to that message and stated that he hasn't had a noise injury, obviously he doesn't need to follow advice that was clearly intended for someone who has just had a noise injury.

And Superivanho, I'm sorry, but I have a very severe back problem that makes is difficult for me to type and since John jumped into this thread, I just wasn't feeling up to posting anything further here because I don't agree with the majority of his beliefs.

I do actually agree with Rob that it sounds like you may have a muscle issue, but you might need trigger point work for that. If you read my previous posts, you'll find a lot of information about treating trigger points.

As to benzodiazepines, I would only take one as a very LAST resort. And I'm saying that as someone who has to take one. But if your symptoms are muscle-related and you learn the trigger points that are associated with ear issues and TMJ/TMD and you treat them everyday, you shouldn't have to take a benzo.

Best wishes,

Jennifer


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Johnloudb

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Reply with quote  #13 
Superivanho - It's not important wether Jennifer, or anyone agree with me. I think we all speak from our own experience and what we've learned from professionals who treat these conditions. But, it's really important that you know there is help for ya, and that you seek it out. I can say that I have experienced sounds setting off a variety of noises like you mention. And it wasn't permanent and I didn't treat it by avoiding everday sounds. There are answers there for those who look. I found help on the link I posted above, and eventually sought TRT help. Stay positive and don't distress over your symptoms. Don't quit looking for help. Do keep the ENT appointment. May be a good idea to seek TRT help after that. Just my thoughts, John
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superivanho

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Reply with quote  #14 
Hi guys, sorry for the late reply as I was trying to give myself a good rest for the weekends.

Bad news is, I can still hear it occasionally. Good news is, the echo sound level has been reduced by half.

Also I noticed that my echo sounds can vary from time to time. Like this morning when I was back to the office, the echo noise can be triggered by any object movements: plastic bags, photocopier etc. but after giving a couple of minutes, the echo noise level has dropped to a level which is negliable. Until lunchtime the echo comes back a little bit but it can fade away.

I suspect it is something to deal with nerve signals, OR, it could be my OCD which makes me focusing on these bothering noise since I got this problem. Actually apart from tinnitus I also have eye floater problems, visual snow (visual static) and some other minor visual distubance but I have already got over them. I still feel panicking and depressed from time to time as I know this is going to be a tough time. Yet I have to give myself another week of good rest and eating healthy to observe any changes.

Anyway i'll try the advise from you both Jennifer and Johnloudb, cheers!
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Rob

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Reply with quote  #15 

superivanho –

 

I’m glad the sound has decreased to some degree and you were able to get some rest.  Your symptoms sound exactly like what I experienced, other than the volume level dropping off after a couple minutes. 

I don’t think you are describing an OCD issue or that this is something you will need to get used to, like visual snow.  If your problem is due to the over-engagement of the tensor tympani muscle, neither TRT nor trigger point work will help you.  The short-term use of diazepam has been shown to be very effective in helping to calm down this muscle and this particular condition.  Removing caffeine from one’s diet for a few weeks is the safest and most expedient thing to try.  Good luck!  I hope you feel better soon.

 

Rob        

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Johnloudb

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Reply with quote  #16 
Hi Rob, Superivanho was complaining of tinnitus and sounded like some degree hyperacusis as well. So, I think TRT could be helpful, and even with the other symptoms Super mentions. Many with sound sensitivity problems complain of these symptoms.

Hi Super, Well sounds like you've got a better handle on things now. It really good to hear cause anxiety over your symptoms can really make things worse. Is hyperacusis much of a problem for you now? What about Tinnitus? John
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Rob

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Reply with quote  #17 
I'm with you, John.  I'm simply saying if the repeating sound the original poster asked about is associated with the tensor tympani, I don't think TRT would be helpful to him to resolve it. 

Rob
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superivanho

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Reply with quote  #18 
Hi Johnloudb,

thanks for the reply. Hyperacusis is not a big deal for me. Long time ago I used to have a moderate hyperacusis when I hear tap water hitting kitchen sink, toilet flushing, and someone talking in a very quiet room. My hyperacusis somehow got well about four months ago and hardly felt pain and my tensor tympani didn't feel vibrating when hearing those noise. Until recently I found a have a little bit of hyperacusis, especially when I try to press the light switch of my room when I wake up in the morning. Besides that, my hyperacusis is not that serious.

Tinnitus, well, it comes and it goes for me. Three weeks ago I experienced a very strong tinnitus attack and it lasted for about two weeks. I could hear a strong buzzing noise in my head it could be heard even in the office.

My tinnitus faded away but as soon as it's gone, this echo problem kicked in the very next day. I even bought myself a pillow speaker, thought i can use it for listening to white noise or any environmental sound before going to bed but now these natural sound seems distorted....like there is one or more additional frequency on top of it.

Basically, my main concern now is the echo problem, tinnitus is just a little thing to me.

you can just call me Ivan by the way

Just out of interest, can you guys vibrate your tensor muscles by forcing it, like closing your eyes tightly etc.? One interesting fact was that I can do that only on the left ear but I can't do it on the right. In my memory before I had tinnitus problem, I can vibrate my tensor muscles on both ears. I always think this is a key factor which links to my hearing problem. Another fact, last time when I was taking a shower, I tried to close my ears tight, then I let the shower water splatted on my shoulders. When the water splashed on my left shoulder, my left ear could feel the tiny bit of splashing noise, but when the water splashed on my right shoulder, my right ear couldn't hear the splash noise.
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superivanho

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Reply with quote  #19 
I also found this old post today:

http://www.chat-hyperacusis.net/post/How-do-you-know-if-its-hyperacusis-or-tensor-tympanic-syndrome-3595141

I'm now more convinced that I have TTS. I rarely drink cafferine products so cafferine cutdown doesn't affect me at all. (I didn't drink any coke or coffee for a month or two at least). My daily nerves and stress could be the reason.
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Johnloudb

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Reply with quote  #20 
Hi Ivan, I don't know about TTS, could be part of it, but many with sound sensitivities experience those type of symptoms. Glad your sensitivities and tinnitus are not much of a problem for you.
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superivanho

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Reply with quote  #21 
Hi,

I have recently read a few articles about Meniere's disease and some symptoms also involve sound distortion, ear fullness and tinnitus which are "comes and goes" basis.

Though I have not experienced vertigo so far, does that also conclude I have a possibility of having Meniere's disease?

Ivan
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Rob

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Reply with quote  #22 
Typically, a patient who presents with a combination of episodic hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo may be diagnosed with Meniere's disease. Meniere's disease is associated with recurrent vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and aural fullness or pressure.  Based on what you have written, it doesn't sound like you are describing Meniere's.  But if you are concerned, it's worth talking to your doctor about it.

Rob 
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impedance

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Reply with quote  #23 
superivanho,

Yes!!! I know exactly what you're talking about when you refer to the "whistling" noise on top of other sounds. I work in an office environment and am surrounded by PCs. Some days I hear it, other days I don't. The sound is mostly confined to fans, refrigerators, and similar sounds. I haven't observed it with any other types of sounds, though.

As for the distorted music, again, I have the exact same problem.
 
 

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superivanho

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Reply with quote  #24 
Hey would you mind telling me how long have you experienced this problem for? and has it got better by certain extent?

I have this problem for almost 3 weeks now. Appearance of those sounds have been reduced by half, but they always come in random basis. Some days it can be quiet and some days it bothers me quiet a lot.

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impedance

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Reply with quote  #25 
Ivan,

Well, that's actually a rather difficult question to answer!

I first noticed the sound distortion in May of last year, shortly after an ear infection. Very, very mild. In fact, it was only observable with a few songs at first. In late May, it became more apparent, but stabilized. It got bad in August, improved in September, and remained stable up until February of this year, in which it changed again. Still, it was nowhere near as bad as it was in August. So, in other words, it changes. It changes on a daily basis and it changes in the long-term. As for the whistling effect, I haven't experienced it for a week or two - maybe longer.

Aside from the tinnitus and distortion, do you have any other symptoms?
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superivanho

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Reply with quote  #26 
Hi impedance,

Apart from auditory problems I also have other symptoms and they are all related to visual disruption: eye floaters, visual snow (visual static), increased blue field entoptic phenomenon (seeing sparks on bright sky), photopsia (seeing flashlight at dark), palinopsia (seeing afterimages) and maybe some temporary random blind spots (scotoma) which lasted for less than one second but seldom happens. Those symptoms all started when I first noticed eye floaters in June last year. Fortunately, these visual symptoms don't bother me much or I seldom notice or focus on them. I also went to the eye clinics for dilated pupil examinations a few times and eye examiner always told me my eyes are healthy. Those visual symptoms have been stable ever since (I hope it won't get worse in the future).

As for today, I was out with my friends at an arcade. Despite a bit uncomfortable hearing those unavoidable noise around the arcade consoles, I was still able to enjoy most of the day. I have been feeling depressed and anxious about those noise distortion throughout the past few weeks though.

How well do you cope with your symptoms so far? I know you have more experiences in dealing with it.

cheers,
Ivan
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impedance

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Reply with quote  #27 
Ivan,

There are a few autoimmune disorders whose symptoms include both visual and hearing problems, but the visual problems include eye pain and/or deteriorating vision. The hearing problems include hearing loss. The symptoms also tend to escalate fairly quickly. Having said that, I doubt this is something autoimmune-related (Disclaimer: I'm an electrical engineer, not a doctor). I have floaters, too, but they're caused by my nearsightedness and I've had them for as long as I can remember.

The best things you can do are to stay busy and stop dwelling on this. If you're losing a lot of sleep over this, take action to remedy it - melatonin, antihistamines, something. Take comfort in knowing that you can still hear!

I'm coping with my symptoms a lot better than I used to. But I'd be a liar if I told you I never thought about them or worried about them.

How long until you get to see an ENT?

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superivanho

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Reply with quote  #28 
impedance,

I'm an engineer either, though I'm not electrical I'm mechanical. I would not like to think about how I'm gonna deal with noisy compressors and gas lines in the near future.

Anyway. just managed to get my GP referring me to an ENT appointment today. Sadly I'm living in the UK and the earliest appointment date available with the NHS ENT will be around early July. If the condition gets worse than I may consider going to a private clinic, but having that said, it always comes with a huge cost. Even I'm under health insurance from my company I still have to pay 100 pounds for the annual subscription. Now it's a waiting game....
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impedance

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Reply with quote  #29 
Ivan,

It's always great to run into another engineer!

Anyways, I'm really sorry to hear about the long wait time. I think you're on the right path, though. If it gets bad enough, bite the bullet and go to a private clinic. Otherwise, wait it out and see the ENT in July. If the ENT is of little to no help, which, in my experience, is likely going to be the case, you may need to see a neurotologist next.
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