I suffered with tinnitus from December 2018 to July 2019 (8 months) as triggered by an inner-ear infection, hearing loss, and a long-term Eustachian tube condition. This is a record of the steps I took to get well again.
Knowing how difficult this condition can be, how long-lasting and seemingly hopeless it feels, I felt it was important for me to create the necessary accounts on these forums to share my story as a hopeful inspiration for others.
It's been 8 long months since I first got tinnitus, with this most recent week bringing miraculous healing and reduction in the volume of the ringing in my ears. My tinnitus has been bilateral, though primarily in my right ear.
As I write this, I am 99.9% recovered, with tinnitus that I can barely perceive when I plug my ears. I expect to be completely healed in the coming weeks as I continue my health regimen. I made it through the gauntlet. I'm going to be okay.
I had thought my life would never be normal again, that my ears were permanently damaged, and that I would have ringing forever. But count me now as one of those who will have left their tinnitus completely behind them — by the grace of God.
My Story(Video) Clogged Ear Due to Ear Infection or Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
I'm a 35 year old man with a history of immunity problems. I seem to have allergy issues all the time, year round, and I catch every virus that comes to town. Sinus infections are common with me, and I've had long seasons of fatigue and weakness in the past.
This journey has been so long, but I'll try to keep it short. It began with tinnitus, a hearing test that showed significant hearing loss (low freq), steroid injections directly into my ear, and being diagnosed with Meniere's Disease.See AlsoGluten Free Alcoholic Drinks Market : Global Industry Overview by Size, Share, Trends, Growth Factors, Historical Analysis, Opportunities and Industry Segments Poised for Rapid Growth by 2028Keto Diet For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummiesCops can't break these rules if you're pulled over | finder.comIs Bang Drink Bad For You?
I endured months of soul-crushing tinnitus, ear fullness, and medical complications from steroids and Benzodiazepine prescriptions. I ended up in the hospital convinced that I was going to die, traumatizing my wife and children.
I reached a point of total hearing loss in my right ear, massive weight loss, and an inability to function. I developed dozens of massive floaters in my eyes. I was convinced that I was on borrowed time, that I wasn't going to live much longer.
I took daily walks in prayer, begging God to help me. I began to research the ears and the sinuses. I began to develop and refine a health regimen and diet plan that I hoped would bring me healing. I gave up coffee, ate at home, and learned yoga.
This journey is ending, as I sense it very near completion, with a total recovery. I've had a hearing test that shows my hearing all within the normal range. My tinnitus has been, dare I say it, completely eliminated. I feel healthy and I feel strong.(Video) Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
As it turns out, the doctors were completely wrong. I went to 3 different doctors for my condition. I can't help but feel resentful toward them for how insistently they wanted to diagnose me with Meniere's Disease, a lifelong incurable condition.
The trauma of that diagnosis is severe and, it seems, often wrong. I'm convinced that if you get diagnosed with Meniere's Disease, you are more statistically probable to NOT have it than to have it. It has become the catch-all for what they don't understand.
I don't have Meniere's Disease. I never had vertigo. I never had an "episode". My ear fullness came on gradually and took months to dissipate. None of my medical history matches Meniere's and none of the doctors were willing to take the time.See AlsoBuy CBD Oil Online from Top 5 CBD Brands Legally in 2022 | amNewYorkBahamas Drinks: 24 Best Bahamas Beverages And Non Alcoholic Drinks In Bahamas - GamintravelerCan Pain Cause High Blood Pressure?30 Of The Best 21st Birthday Party Ideas For Your Celebration - Style Events
What I did have was a horrible case of Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD), which I had to self diagnose. This condition caused an inner-ear infection that damaged my hearing. The steroid shots into my ear presumptively healed that damage.
My ETD eventually became a case of "glue ear" which caused me to have almost total hearing loss in my right ear. By continuing to treat my ETD condition, my hearing recovered, but I still had lingering tinnitus for many months afterward.(Video) Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Fixed With Eustachian Tuboplasty
My health regimen took many forms over the months as I tried to explore new diets and new supplements. This last week has brought me by far the most radical healing, where after months of no progress my tinnitus has suddenly begun melting away.
I've been trying a lot of different things over these many months, and I don't know if it was one single thing I changed or if it was a combination of things, but here is what I'm doing right now as I'm experiencing massive healing and recovery:
- I take daily walks in prayer. I wanted to use this time in my life of physical pain and discomfort to draw closer to God. I ask him for forgiveness and healing, as he is my creator and the giver of life. While spending time steaming, I listen to podcasts and Bible classes to develop my spiritual life and to help me promote spiritual renewal.
- I make it my practice to do yoga every morning. I've gotten decent at it over the last 8 months, and I find it to be a time that is very calming and physically beneficial for me. The deep breathing and the constant changing of head position is good for my ears, and I feel it. I've been using this time for self-reflection and stress relief.
- I've experimented with numerous diets, including the Paleo diet and the AIP diet. Ultimately, I landed on the Carnivore diet. It took me about a month before I started seeing amazing results. I feel better than I have in years and my ears have started to heal very rapidly. I plan to keep at this diet for the rest of my life.
- In my dieting I use an app called Cronometer to track my food intake, my nutrient breakdown, and to make notes about my tinnitus levels and my physical symptoms. Looking back I wish I had journaled and made even more daily notes about how I was feeling physically day to day. My journey has been so long, I can't remember all the things that have happened.
- A word about salt and the CATS restriction. After my initial Meniere's diagnosis I went scorched earth on caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and salt (CATS). These days I'm drinking coffee in the morning and controlling my salt intake by drinking electrolytes, tracking my salt to be around 1000mg-1200mg total in a given day. No salt added to food.
- A related subject is potassium consumption. For many months I was on a diuretic as given by my doctor. The low salt diet combined with the water pill meant major potassium shortages in my body. I took a powder supplement to help, which I drank 3x day, but now that I am on the carnivore diet it's not necessary. I get plenty of potassium naturally now.
- I found a "coach", someone I could talk to about my health issues who wasn't in my family. Family members will get tired of hearing about it, will think you are permanently damaged, and will want you to "get over it." I got someone outside my family who was always optimistic and always a listener and always encouraging me that I would get better.
- For me, my coach was my acupuncturist. I really believe that the acupuncture helped me, especially in the beginning. I remember my first treatment and having a drastic reduction in my ringing, though at the time it was temporary. She was supportive of me and she was always positive about my outcome. She was confident I would end up alright.
- It took me a while to submit to the self-help technique of "masking". I felt like hiding the tinnitus problem was an inauthentic, weak-minded method of coping. I was wrong. I found that CalmRadio had a station called "Pink Noise" that I used at night when I went to bed. It helped me sleep soundly and get my mind off the tinnitus in my head.
- My favorite times of the day are when I'm standing over my steamer while listening to a Bible class. I try to do this 3x a day for at least 10min. I often will add Olbas Oil to the water. In the early days of my condition this treatment would cause my ears to pop several times. These days I don't get many pops but I still do it to keep things clear.
- On my desk at work I keep a diffuser w/ Eucalyptus Oil, I really think it helps and it makes me feel better. Also, I keep a humidifier next to my bed at night, which helps keep my sinuses from getting all dried out. I had gone months without the humidifier but when I started using it I noticed a big difference in how I felt in the morning.
- A lot of online tips on ETD recommended chewing gum. I tried using this non-sugar xylitol gum for a while, but I ended up stopping as I didn't think it was helping me and I was worried about causing problems with my jaw. I include it here just for those who might want to try it. I was worried about TMJ issues as I had major jaw pain in the early days.
- I stopped taking decongestants. If you are stuffy in your sinuses every day it means you have something else that is going wrong. Decongestants are helpful only after you have had the allergic response -- try to prevent the allergic response before it happens. For me this took months to figure out through supplements and dieting.
- I went months with no progress, but eventually decided to try a prescription anti-histamine called Singulair that I had been on in the past. I don't know if this was the game changer or not because about a week after I started this I began to notice healing. Maybe my system had just been overwhelmed for all these months and could never heal.
- Here are the supplements I'm taking right now: Vitamin C (2x day), Vitamin D (1x day), Manganese (1x day), Cal/Mag (2x day), NAC (2x day), Turmeric (2x day), Quercetin (2x day), and a Mens Multivitamin (2x day). These enabled me to have anti-inflammatories, anti-histamine, and nutritional support as I embarked on my diet experiments.
- An additional supplement I take has been Oregano Oil (2x day), which I use in 2 week on / 2 week off sequences. I was worried that during all these months of having fluid trapped in my ear that I might get another ear infection, and I hoped that the Oregano would help prevent me from viral infection that might cause me more hearing loss.
- I have to talk about the problem of anxiety. I'm a naturally high strung, high stress, individual. This trial rocked me to my core, and I have never been as nervous a wreck as I have been during this past year. Never take Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, etc) no matter what the doctors tell you. Just don't. Take Valerian Root instead.
- I use nasal sprays very frequently and I make sure to always use the proper technique to blow it into my Eustachian tubes. I alternate between taking Xclear and Sovereign Silver, and I do it every 30 minutes. I experimented with weeks where I didn't blow anything into my tubes and things just got worse, so I decided that I would keep at it aggressively.
- At night, right before bed, I use the same technique to blow Flonase into my Eustachian tubes. I honestly don't think Flonase helps but I keep doing it. As an aside, when my ears are really blocked up, I do a neti-pot with salt and I blow that into my Eustachian tubes to force them open. This technique is what cured my glue ear.
Again, I'm not sure if any one element of this health regimen was the silver bullet or if it was a combination of things. All I know is that my condition is getting cured, rapidly, and this is what I'm doing at the moment.
- A homeopathic medicine I recently started using is called Kali Bich. I don't know if it makes a difference or not but it's something I'm taking now so I include it here. Another thing I'm taking is an anti-fungal called FungDX. I had felt like I had a sinus infection that had lasted for months and never healed, and so fungus was a possible theoretical cause.
I feel like the rise of the internet, and the sharing of information, has allowed the online community to move way ahead of the medical community on these ear issues.
Reading the stories and histories of people online has been infinitely more useful and helpful than anything the doctors had to share with me. They are profoundly ill-informed.See AlsoKen Jennings - Mormonism, The Mormon Church, Beliefs, & ReligionLegal Drinking Ages around the world - You'll be Surprised!HGV Medicals Near Me15 Best Captain Morgan Drinks(Video) Ear Fullness and Hearing Impairment Recovery by McKenzie Method
One of the guides that I found most helpful for dealing with ETD was this blog post I discovered many months ago. I did everything this guy recommended, as best I could, and I'm thankful to him.
I hope to never be back in this situation again. I had decided early on in this season that, if I was going to survive, I would have to become a health nut. Now I want to thrive.
I'm so thankful to God for having mercy on me and for sustaining me through this condition. It could have been much worse, it could have ended worse. Praise the LORD!
For those who may be facing permanent tinnitus, consider this:
As a Christian, I know that my greatest need for deliverance isn't from a broken body, but from my sins.
I've prayed to God that, as I have struggled with my mortality, that he would give me eternal eyes to see a future beyond my body, and that I would take greater hope and comfort in the promise of new life for those who belong to Jesus.(Video) Eustachian Tube Dysfunction ETD Exercises and Massage Techniques for Ear Fullness
To that end, having tinnitus in your ears serves as a constant reminder of where your hope belongs... and maybe that isn't such a bad thing after all.
In most cases, treatment isn't necessary because ETD often resolves on its own. However, you might need treatment if your symptoms linger for more than two weeks. Eustachian tube dysfunction treatment depends on the cause and the severity of your condition.Is tinnitus common with Eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Eustachian tube dysfunction may occur when the mucosal lining of the tube is swollen, or does not open or close properly. If the tube is dysfunctional, symptoms such as muffled hearing, pain, tinnitus, reduced hearing, a feeling of fullness in the ear or problems with balance may occur.How long does ETD tinnitus last? ›
Most cases of Eustachian tube dysfunction clear up in a few days with the help of over-the-counter medication and home remedies, but symptoms can last one to two weeks. If you're still having symptoms after two weeks, or they're getting worse, you may need more aggressive treatment.How do you live with Eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction usually go away without treatment. You can do exercises to open up the tubes. This includes swallowing, yawning, or chewing gum. You can help relieve the “full ear” feeling by taking a deep breath, pinching your nostrils closed, and “blowing” with your mouth shut.How long does it take to recover from eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Most cases of Eustachian tube dysfunction clear up in a few days with the help of over-the-counter medication and home remedies, but symptoms can last one to two weeks. If you're still having symptoms after two weeks, or they're getting worse, you may need more aggressive treatment.How does the brain heal from tinnitus? ›
There's no known cure for tinnitus. Current treatments generally involve masking the sound or learning to ignore it. NIH-funded researchers set out to see if they could develop a way to reverse tinnitus by essentially resetting the brain's sound processing system.Can an audiologist help with eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Your care team may include otolaryngologists, ear, nose and throat provider, audiologists, physical therapists and oral maxillofacial surgeons. Meet the specialists dedicated to helping patients experiencing Eustachian tube dysfunction.Is Eustachian tube dysfunction a disability? ›
The Veteran's Eustachian tube dysfunction has been assigned a 10 percent disability evaluation by analogy under 38 C.F.R. § 4.87, Diagnostic Code 6204. Under Diagnostic Code 6204, a 10 percent evaluation is assigned for peripheral vestibular disorders manifested by occasional dizziness.Does MRI show eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
CT and MRI are best suited to identifying features associated with obstructive or patulous Eustachian tube dysfunction, though true assessments of function have only been achieved with contrast enhanced radiographs and scintigraphy.Is eustachian tube dysfunction lifelong? ›
That's because, unfortunately, untreated Eustachian tube dysfunction can last for months, especially when the underlying cause goes unaddressed. Long-term ETD can lead to serious ear infections and, in severe cases, hearing loss.
- Use hearing protection. Over time, exposure to loud sounds can damage the nerves in the ears, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. ...
- Turn down the volume. ...
- Use white noise. ...
- Limit alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
Through this outpatient ENT surgery, we make a small incision in the eardrum and place a pressure equalization tube in it to allow fluid to escape. As a result, it not only resolves chronic earaches, but Eustachian tube problems as well. As the eardrum heals, the tubes eventually fall out on their own.How is long term eustachian tube dysfunction treated? ›
A common course of treatment for Eustachian tube dysfunction is the use of decongestants or antihistamines. In some cases, this treatment may make the condition worse. If decongestants or antihistamines do not provide relief, contact your doctor. You may need to see an ear, nose and throat specialist for treatment.Is it safe to fly with eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Flying with Eustachian tube dysfunction carries the risk of middle ear damage, and in rarer cases severe inner ear damage. The Eustachian tube provides a connection from the back of the nose to the ear and allows equalisation of pressure changes.What is the best medication for eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Oral decongestants are used in the treatment of eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) and can help decrease peritubal edema provoked by allergies or URI. Oxymetazoline is an ingredient found in topical decongestants.How can I strengthen my Eustachian tube? ›
How do you do the exercises? Regular vigorous nose blowing and/or yawning/swallowing movements. Combine nose blowing and swallowing –swallowing tends to open the Eustachian tube which then allows extra pressure to push air into the middle ear: pinch the nose and continue to blow the nose while swallowing.Can surgery fix eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Recurrent eustachian tube dysfunction requires the surgical placement of tubes in the eardrum, which allows pressure to equalize in the middle ear. With the FDA-approved Aera system, children and adults with chronic eustachian tube dysfunction can opt for a simple, 10-minute procedure instead, Kaylie said.Do steroids help eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) can be treated primarily with a combination of time, autoinsufflation (eg, an Otovent), and oral and nasal steroids (budesonide, mometasone, prednisone, methylprednisolone). The results of one study suggest that intranasal steroid sprays alone do not help eustachian tube dysfunction.Is there brain surgery for tinnitus? ›
There is no cure for tinnitus, but a brain implant might offer a solution for those with severe tinnitus in the near future.What part of the brain does tinnitus affect? ›
These studies demonstrated the involvement of the primary auditory cortex and non-auditory brain areas such the anterior cingulate gyrus, anterior insula, amygdala, hippocampus, and parahippocampal region.
Myth #2: Tinnitus means your brain is dying
One study showed that roughly 76 percent of veterans with a traumatic brain injury also experienced tinnitus. So while tinnitus does not impact your brain, it could be an indicator of some other issue that is affecting your brain.
Middle ear assessments were also significantly improved at the long-term follow-up period. Eustachian tube balloon dilation results in a long-term improvement for patients with persistent ETD.What disability rating is tinnitus? ›
The condition of tinnitus almost always results in a 10 percent disability rating. Importantly, this singular 10 percent disability rating takes both ears into account.How much disability is ringing in the ears? ›
Tinnitus is a condition that the VA rates under 38 CFR § 4.87, Schedule of Ratings – Ear, Diagnostic Code 6260. This means that tinnitus VA ratings are a flat 10 percent disability rating for both ears.Is tinnitus permanent disability? ›
Is Tinnitus a disability? Yes. Tinnitus can be a long-term, debilitating condition even with treatment. It may take some effort to get past the barriers some insurance companies place in your path, but an Ocala FL LTD attorney can help you improve your chances of receiving long-term disability benefits for tinnitus.Can neck problems cause eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
To sum up, an upper neck problem affecting muscle tension of the throat and behind your jaw can make it difficult for the muscles of the eustachian tube to 'open' during a swallow or yawn.Can blocked eustachian tube cause permanent hearing loss? ›
This refers to fluid buildup in the middle ear. It may last for a few weeks, but more severe cases can cause permanent hearing damage.What mimics eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Rarely, a tumour behind the eardrum or at the back of the nose (the nasopharynx) can mimic the symptoms of Eustachian tube dysfunction. These types of tumours are very uncommon and usually cause other symptoms in addition to ETD, such as headache, a hoarse voice and a constantly blocked nose.How did William Shatner overcome tinnitus? ›
Shatner's treatment involved wearing a small electronic device that generated a low-level, broadband sound — a white noise — that helped his brain put the tinnitus in the background.Can you enjoy life with tinnitus? ›
While it has no clear cure or cause, it affects millions of people in the world on some level and can be challenging to cope with. Thankfully, it's entirely possible to live a normal life even with tinnitus.
For most people, tinnitus will disappear after a few weeks, or even a few days depending on the possible causes behind it. However, while tinnitus can go away on its own, and this is the experience that many people can attest to, you should not merely wait around for the tinnitus to stop.Can an ENT see your eustachian tube? ›
An ENT consultant will test your hearing including a Tympanometry which measures the pressure your ear is at. They may ask you to swallow, and they will also check your Eustachian tubes with a fibre optic camera that's passed painlessly up your nose.Does Weather Affect Eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Changes in barometric pressure
The result is a pressure imbalance, which can cause a sensation of fullness or popping in the ears. Seasonal allergies exacerbate the problem by causing a narrowing of the Eustachian tube, making equalization of pressure even more difficult.
Be reassured that most people with tinnitus do not experience any adverse effect on their condition whilst flying. In the unlikely situation that they do, it is likely to be only minor and temporary.What medication dries up fluid in ears? ›
Pseudoephedrine is used to relieve nasal or sinus congestion caused by the common cold, sinusitis, and hay fever and other respiratory allergies. It is also used to relieve ear congestion caused by ear inflammation or infection.How do you keep eustachian tubes open? ›
Chronic nasal swelling is another potential culprit. If that's the case, medications such as nasal steroids, leukotriene inhibitors and antihistamines could decrease the swelling, opening up your Eustachian tubes and thus improving your hearing.Does chronic Eustachian tube dysfunction ever go away? ›
Chronic ETD is unlikely to go away on its own and must be treated by a healthcare professional. Allergies, illnesses and infections that cause inflammation may lead to ETD. Certain lifestyle factors put one at a higher risk for developing this condition.Is Eustachian tube dysfunction lifelong? ›
That's because, unfortunately, untreated Eustachian tube dysfunction can last for months, especially when the underlying cause goes unaddressed. Long-term ETD can lead to serious ear infections and, in severe cases, hearing loss.Does sound induced tinnitus go away? ›
Tinnitus may subside over time, but can sometimes continue constantly or occasionally throughout a person's life. Hearing loss and tinnitus can occur in one or both ears. Sometimes exposure to impulse or continuous loud noise causes a temporary hearing loss that disappears 16 to 48 hours later.How do you know if tinnitus is permanent or temporary? ›
If you experience your tinnitus in short bursts, maybe only a few minutes each, there's a good chance that it will fade over time. However, if it has been going on for months or even years, then it's likely that the condition is permanent.
Through this outpatient ENT surgery, we make a small incision in the eardrum and place a pressure equalization tube in it to allow fluid to escape. As a result, it not only resolves chronic earaches, but Eustachian tube problems as well. As the eardrum heals, the tubes eventually fall out on their own.How is long term Eustachian tube dysfunction treated? ›
A common course of treatment for Eustachian tube dysfunction is the use of decongestants or antihistamines. In some cases, this treatment may make the condition worse. If decongestants or antihistamines do not provide relief, contact your doctor. You may need to see an ear, nose and throat specialist for treatment.Is Eustachian tube dysfunction rare? ›
It's an uncommon condition that affects only about 1 out of every 10,000 people. 1 The eustachian tubes, also called auditory tubes, run from the inner ear to the back of the throat.Can surgery fix eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Recurrent eustachian tube dysfunction requires the surgical placement of tubes in the eardrum, which allows pressure to equalize in the middle ear. With the FDA-approved Aera system, children and adults with chronic eustachian tube dysfunction can opt for a simple, 10-minute procedure instead, Kaylie said.What is the best medication for eustachian tube dysfunction? ›
Oral decongestants are used in the treatment of eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) and can help decrease peritubal edema provoked by allergies or URI. Oxymetazoline is an ingredient found in topical decongestants.What is the disadvantage of the Eustachian tube? ›
The major disadvantage of pressure equalization tubes is that water must be kept out of the ear.How can I live with permanent tinnitus? ›
- Use hearing protection. Over time, exposure to loud sounds can damage the nerves in the ears, causing hearing loss and tinnitus. ...
- Turn down the volume. ...
- Use white noise. ...
- Limit alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
Noise trauma can result in two types of injury to the inner ear, depending on the intensity and duration of the exposure: either transient attenuation of hearing acuity a.k.a. temporary threshold shift (TTS), or a permanent threshold shift (PTS) . Hearing generally recovers within 24–48 h after a TTS .What vitamins help tinnitus? ›
Research studies have shown that people with tinnitus experienced improvement in symptoms after undergoing vitamin B12 supplemental therapy. Vitamin B12 can be found in foods such as meat, fish and dairy products; it can also be produced in a Lab. It is often taken in combination with other B vitamins.Are you stuck with tinnitus forever? ›
Tinnitus can't be cured. But tinnitus usually doesn't continue forever. There will be a large number of factors that will establish how long your tinnitus will stick around, including the primary cause of your tinnitus and your general hearing health.
But, if you are experiencing a long-term condition affecting the ear, such as Meniere's disease, your tinnitus may be more long-lasting or even permanent. If your tinnitus is caused by the natural loss of hearing that's common with aging, then it may also be permanent.How many people have permanent tinnitus? ›
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 million Americans have chronic tinnitus. And studies show the pandemic ushered in both new cases and a worsening of the condition among people who already had it.