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 Motorcycle Safety
 Aging and Disabilities
 Tinnitus
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Cash Anthony
Female Administrator
1466 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, Texas
USA

Honda

Magna 750

Posted - 09/16/2011 :  9:15 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend                        Like
Along with the bouts of vertigo from loose "ear rocks" that began to affect me several months ago, around the same time I first noticed it I also woke up suddenly a little after midnight one night with a very loud buzzing in both ears.

I was so startled by it that at first I thought the ceiling fan was dysfunctional, or that an alarm in the house was buzzing. Then when I realized it was in my head and not in the room, I got up and took my blood pressure. It was fine.

During the next couple of weeks, I tried to see whether I had eaten or drunk something unusual, or whether a new medication I had just started could cause it (the doctor said no), or what I could think of that had changed to cause my ears to ring and/or buzz so suddenly.

Over time, the buzzing diminished a little bit, but it continued to affect me until about two weeks ago, usually becoming very pronounced in the late afternoon or evening, which I thought meant it was worse when I was tired. When I woke up each morning, it was essentially gone, but it recurred every night. As I put my head on my pillow, my ears were whining away until I finally went to sleep.

I have a Sleep Machine that makes white noise at night (this is supposed to help with tinnitus), and I like the ocean wave sound it makes, but if it helped, I couldn't tell it; and it certainly didn't make the whining go away for long.

Since I was much more concerned about the vertigo, I haven't said much about the tinnitus here.

After a couple of weeks of it, I did some online research and discovered that it's very common among older people, and that it can cause different amounts of disturbance to daily life and different kinds of problems.

That is, for some people it can be so disturbing that it affects their mental health quite seriously, making them absolutely miserable -- and curiously, for some people just "thinking about it" makes it worse. For other people, like my husband, it's just "there" and a nuisance. In Tim's case, when I mentioned how annoying it was, he shrugged and told me he'd been having a high-pitched whine in his ears for probably 15 years or more, and he'd never worried about it at all. He said it didn't keep him from functioning in any important way, he had learned to 'tune it out', and he could still hear quite well despite it. He figured it was from the abuse he's given his ears over time (he's a former classical musician, and we've attended plenty of rock concerts, too). He didn't think it was any big deal for himself.

I continued to wonder whether it had any effect on my vertigo, and whether there was any way to get rid of it.

Most of the online posts and articles about it suggest that you just "have to live with it," though a few promised that if I'd drop a few bucks, I could download an e-book that might provide me some kind of miracle cure.

Since reputable medical information sites didn't offer me that miracle, I thought I'd best save my money.

What I did find, though, is that those same reputable medical information sites often listed some common medications that are known to cause tinnitus or at least to aggravate it. In fact, there are over 450!!! medications that are considered ototoxic!

I also discovered that there's an organization called the American Tinnitus Association, and that it offers (free) a document that lists all these different medications that people take that are known to affect tinnitus.

It also had a link to an article about them, which you can read here if you're interested.

So I sent for the list. And one of my medications -- one that I usually took in the afternoon or evening -- was on that list. I've been taking it for about a dozen years, but it's terribly expensive (over $200 a month after my insurance company pays their pittance), and I started it taking for a condition that was acute at the time but that has diminished greatly over these years down to pretty much nothing. I've also had days when I didn't take it because I forgot to, without noticing much difference. I decided to do a short test (and this isn't something that would affect any important physical aspect of my life) and left it off for a few days, starting two weeks ago.

Voila! The tinnitus began to go away.

I've kept a close watch on myself to see whether any of the symptoms that indicate I need this medication have returned; and they have not. In the interim since I started taking it, I've also been given other medications to handle some of the problems that I had before, like chronic pain from neck and back issues and post-surgery spasms; and they seem to be doing what they're supposed to do, without causing the tinnitus when I'm taking them alone.

I'll be seeing my doctor within a month now, and I'm planning to report the results of my self-test off this drug, and to see whether there's any reason I should start taking it again when I don't seem to need it any more.

And the tinnitus is completely gone. GONE. What a huge relief!

The list of medications that have tinnitus listed as a side-effect is very long, and I'm sure some of them are not the kind of drug that you should just quit taking. But I'm going to stay off this one for now, and I'm looking forward to saving that $2500 a year, plus not having yet one more medication in my system if I don't need it.

If you have ringing, whining, or buzzing in your ears, you might look into this. It's certainly made my life much more pleasant not to have it any more.

I'm going to keep monitoring my balance issues to see if they, too, will go completely away gradually without this medication -- as vertigo is also a listed side-effect, though I'd never had it before this spring.

The balance exercises described elsewhere do work to get rid of the vertigo, but it would be nice if I didn't ever have to do them again, as hanging off the sofa for five minutes with my head tilted funny while my "ear rocks" settle back into position is less than fun, even if the cats find it highly entertaining. Even the vertigo seems to be better most of the time now.


Cash

bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2266 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 09/17/2011 :  1:51 AM
Nice find.
I more than suspect that as I age (started a few years ago, say Nov 1961 or so) I'll consider aging itself as a disability. At the same time I want to make our house more easily traveled and comfortable, we are child-proofing it for the grand-kid. I never thought about how the two would intersect but it seems pretty logical now.
I'm betting your research is going to help many others find the cure is worse than the side effects in some cases or that with Doctor approval, they may find alternates for some meds to ease or eliminate annoying effects.

I have what I'd describe as a slight sensitivity to vertigo as in sea legs getting off and elevator type thing. I believe it has to do with some history of head injuries over the years. More recently, a BP med may even have an effect but I don't find it to be a noticeable issue on the motorcycle. It may be that I've adapted w/o realizing though. I do tend (I think) to put both feet down more often than I used to.

I'm going to try staying away from the WEB MD type sites and related research as long as I can.
A few years ago I had a friend tell me he was a hypochondriac and I said; " I think I have that ! "

~brian
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6888 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 09/17/2011 :  5:58 AM
quote:
and curiously, for some people just "thinking about it" makes it worse
Thanks a lot, I wasn't even noticing my tinnitus until you made me think about it.

I wish there was some medication that I could try not taking for a while, but I don't take any right now, so there is nothing that I can stop taking. I'm pretty much stuck with the ringing all the time, but most of the time I'm successfully able to tune it out. All I have to do is think about it and it's there, though. Any time, all the time.

I wish I had protected my hearing better during my younger years.
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Thom49
Male Junior Member
32 Posts


Sacramento, CA
USA

Yamaha

2004 Virago 250vxc

Posted - 09/19/2011 :  1:54 PM
I've had tinnitus since Vietnam. I've learned to live with it. I subscribed to this post to keep in touch with any new developments.

Cash, thanks for your post on vertigo, it was information I've never heard of and at 62 y.o. I need to monitor ways of keeping young.

Ringing varies from barely audible to the sound of a teapot whistling down the hall in another room and thankfully the loudness diminishes after a minute or two.

Edited by - Thom49 on 09/20/2011 2:01 PM
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kacinpa
Male Advanced Member
802 Posts
[Mentor]


Lansdale, PA
USA

Triumph

Sprint GT

Posted - 09/19/2011 :  3:28 PM
I recently had a bout of tinnitus and it was maddening!

It started one morning in my "Boot Camp" exercise class. We were rapidly going between leg kicks, push-ups, and running in place. We went from a push-up sequence to a running in place, and when I stood up my left ear "popped", felt like it had water in it, and started ringing.

I thought it would go away by itself, but after three days it was the same, so I went to the doctor. He said I was suffering from a "Eustation Tube Dysfunction" causing both the pressure and the ringing. As I am a diabetic and systematic steroids cause elevated blood glucose levels, he elected to put me on a steroidal nasal spray instead. It got slowly better, but took three weeks to go away for good.

I suppose we can adapt and get used to many things, but I could hardly sleep due to the ringing being so "loud".

I feel for anyone suffering from tinnitus long term.
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