I ate a strong space cake last weekend (but please let us not discuss the merits of such consumption; I regretted it immediately). At that point I had had an ear infection for about two weeks and was currently undergoing treatment with antibiotics. The thing is, as soon as the space cake took effect my ears began hurting like never before. I lost my balance and threw up, and my tinnitus (which has always been very mild) flared up to an uncomfortably loud level. Since then, I have heard a constant and uncomfortable high-pitched ringing in both of my ears, my balance has been slightly off and I cannot hear frequencies above 10khz -- a decrease of 3khz since before the infection. I've read that fluid build-up can cause such symptoms and that they are temporary, but sounds aren't muffled and I can't feel anything liquid in my ears, so clearly something else is up.
I went to the doctor about it on the following Wednesday, and she told me that while the bacteria were gone, my eardrums were thickened and secreted, uhm, secretions, meaning the area had yet to heal. She said the tinnitus would likely go away in a couple of weeks, but I'm not sure she knew entirely what she was talking about since she was a GP and not a specialist. On top of that, I have a back problem for which I need pain medication, so I didn't dare to tell her about the space cake, lest she'd think me a junkie and restrict my prescriptions. Sweden is quite strict on these matters.
Now, I realise these things are hard to predict, but the constant ringing really has me down and I need some indication of where this is going. Can your inner ear really recover from something causing these symptoms? How much is my thickened eardrums affecting this condition?
The tinnitus varies in strength, seems to react to other sounds and gets worse if I lean backwards. It isn't so loud I can hear it in all situations, but soft background music isn't enough to cover it any more. Has anyone experienced a similar increase in tinnitus intensity without fluid in the ear, and if so, did you recover?
My tinnitus became very loud after severe otitis externa - and then I caught a cold resulting in otitis media. It took a long time but the tinnitus soon came down. Perhaps not the exact low level it was before, but could be because I am always checking for it now. The inflammation and resulting increased blood flow are likely causes of the increased volume. My infections keep coming back (ear syringing put a lot of rubbish in there!) But each treatment fixed the problem.
One word of warning is avoid the ototoxic antibiotics (the ones ending in ..ycin and some others) as these can (very rarely and in high dosages) themselves cause tinnitus or even deafness. Risk is small but my opinion is that it's not worth it.
Good luck and do write back when fixed.
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