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Multiple Sclerosis Community
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963268 tn?1312900315

tinnitus

Good afternoon!

I have had ringing in my ears for a couple years now.  Hissing almost all the time, with the occasional long drawn out ring where things get muffled.  I have learned how to live with the hissing, as annoying as it is.  But the past couple months the intermittent beep sound (i really can't describe it, sometimes it is a beep, sometimes other sounds!) is happening much more.  I was tested last year by an audiologist and they found nothing within the ears that would cause dizziness or ringing in my ears.  I have mentioned this to my primary care doctor, who usually just ignores it.  My old neuro didn't seem too concerned either.  My hearing is just fine.

Who should I see for this?  I am in between neuro's right now.  I am thinking I need to go to a neuro, right?  Or an ear specialist?

Thanks!

Maureen
9 Responses
1740498 tn?1328962585
You could see an audiologist, neuro, or ENT. If you have already seen an audiologist and your hearing was normal, the ENT could be your next stop. Eustachian tube dysfunction can cause tinnitus. But my guess would be that the tinnitus is related to your MS (I'm assuming you are diagnosed, and I apologize if that is incorrect). Inflammation of the auditory nerve, possibly. Hearing disorders are not well known but do occur with MS.

Usually there are no good options for treating tinnitus. Sadly, they usually tell people, "I'm sorry, you will have to live with this."

No fun, I know. I have intermittent tinnitus, which is quite mild. I would be tearing my hair out if it got worse. Beyond making sure that I do not have hearing loss, I have not pursued a cause. I didn't see the point of paying to see an ENT when it is not likely he could do anything to help me!
429700 tn?1308007823
I have tinnitus ever since I've started having MS symptoms.  The audiologist says that I have hearing loss in both ears (sensory-neural) and need hearing aids (which I can't afford).  

I do get lots of weird things going on with my hearing--including phantom phone ringing.  My ears ring all of the time.  This morning, I really noticed it when I was super tired.  The audiologist isn't sure if it was caused by MS, but he says he could be.    

BTW, the weirdest symptom of all is when I move my eyes to the sides sometimes, the tinnititus gets really loud and will occasionally make beeping sounds.  My neurologist thinks that this symptom is related to MS.  The myelin missing from the auditory and visual nerves causes signals to get messed up.  I think that's how he explained it.  It's been a while and my memory is not good . . .
352007 tn?1372857881
As you're probably aware, there is so much information on the internet regarding tinnitus.  I can say I know the feeling of how annoying ringing in the ears can be, especially when it lasts longer than a minute.

I think your best bet is to go to ENT.  I don't know how your insurance works but if you need a referral, talk with your primary about it.

I hope things get better for you.

Let us know what happens.

Lisa
152264 tn?1280354657
Maureen: sorry you have this; tinnitus can be annoying. I have had episodes of beeping (sounding like a slow, muffled alarm clock) but fortunately not lasting more than a few hours usually. (BTW I do not have MS, apparently, but I do have ear/brainstem problems.) As beachcomber pointed out, if you've been evaluated by an audiologist and nothing abnormal found, there might not be much if anything you can do... but tinnitus sometimes can and does fade. The best thing is to ignore it and not let it become a problem in your life. Learn to feel it as a part of yourself, just your "friendly neighborhood tinnitus," and it will not bother you so much. I have a whirring noise constantly in my left ear but never notice it unless I think about it or unless I'm extremely tired, when it becomes louder.

Deb, that is so weird about the eye movement causing a change in tinnitus. I have something very similar (though not so frequent as it used to be). Moving my eyes, especially sideways, can cause a momentary sharp increase in the constant tinnitus I have in my left ear (whose hearing was severely damaged when I sneezed hard 12 years ago).

No one ever suggested to me that the eye-movement connection was due to MS (which they decided I do not have), but I do have some abnormal "retrocochlear" problem in both ears (meaning on the auditory nerve and/or brainstem) as proved by abnormal evoked potentials.

People who have had acoustic neuromas (benign tumors) removed from their auditory nerve/brainstem have been reported to develop this "gaze-evoked tinnitus." I would guess that any damage to those areas, whether from a tumor or MS or what, could cause these "crossed wires," of eye movement evoking sounds, as  you have.

Nancy
963268 tn?1312900315
Thanks for all your wonderful replies.  I am not diagnosed with anything.  I have been going to the ENT.  He doesn't say much about the ringing in my ears.  He does want to do surgery on my deviated septum, which is causing blockage in my right sinus and I asked if the ringing could be from my sinus issues.  He said perhaps. I am not jumping to have the surgery though. As I sit and write my ears are hissing away, but thankfully I work in a pretty noisy office and it doesn't drive me too crazy!  At night it can be tough but I am pretty used to it.

I do need to go to a neuro for all my other things, like the buzzing and tingling that has not gone away.  And the concentration issues.  And fatigue.  And other things that I can't even remember.  New things pop up all the time.  The problem now is finding a new neuro.

My girlfriend has MS.  She was diagnosed about a year and a half ago.  She said her MS specialist always asks if she has ringing in the ears.  I found that interesting. She took it upon herself to mention me and my symptoms when she goes to check ups and said the PA has told her to tell me to go to an MS specialist.  She even wrote down a few names of docs in NJ for me.  Maybe its time to finally pick up the phone and make an appt.  

Anyway, TGIF!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Maureen
Avatar universal
  I'm experiencin tinnititus for the past year which seems to increase in intensity. diagnosed with MS in 1972, stage at this time is chronic progressive but still marginally ambulatory w/ significant ringing in the ears gradually increasing in intensity.
   Is any relief possible?
   Currently on Naltrexone, 3mg/day, PM
    past meds Ampyra 10mg. VA discontinued, i assume due to cost.
    past script for copaxone, 3 years, but discountued due to unpleasant side effects.    
1831849 tn?1383228392
Hi Scalf - Welcome to the group.

THis thread is a little on the old side. It was last updated 3 years ago. SOme of the original participants no longer visit, and I didn't want you to think you were being ignored :-)

I've had tinitus for years. I have gotten so that unless it's very quiet I don't notice the ringing. White noise machines, and toher sound generators, can be used to  mask the ringing, but I'm not sure it can be fixed permanently. I guess I've never really looked for a solution :-)

Kyle
Avatar universal
     Thanx for your response, i get the impression from you and other responses this is not unusual and probably something i'm gonna have to live with.
1831849 tn?1383228392
I really don't pay much attention to mine. It doesn't keep me from doing anything, like my job for example.THere's enought background chatter in my office that I'm usually unaware of it.

Kyle
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