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Ear ringing and MS...correlation?

      Re: Ear ringing and MS...correlation?

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Posted by CCF Neurology M.D. on February 09, 1998 at 02:16:31:

In Reply to: Ear ringing and MS...correlation? posted by  J. McFallon on February 08, 1998 at 14:48:14:

: I may or may not have MS (MRI came back negative) and I'm still "in the middle" of a diagnosis.  I have had a constant ringing in my ears for 2 1/2 years after a brief episode of vertigo (2 weeks).  At the time of the vertigo my hearing was affected. Now, my hearing is fine but the ringing is ALWAYS there.  Some days it's worse than others.  White noise dimishes it a fair bit.  Can this be a part of the symtomatology of MS?  I heard a neurologist on the radio once refer to ear ringing and MS but now I can't find any information connecting the two. I know it's not life threateningbut I am intrigued.
Dear J. McFallon,
Yes, ear ringing or "tinnitus" can be a symptom of multiple sclerosis.  A lesion may not be seen on MRI but some other tests that may help in your work-up include braistem auditory evoked potentials and a lumbar puncture.  It is a bit atypical for MS to have one symptom persist without the development of other neurological symptoms over the last two years. In general, there are two types if tinnitus tonal (which is heard only by the patient) and nontonal (which is heard by the patient and doctor). The tonal type is heard by most adults in very quiet surroundings and tends to diminish in situations that produce "normal" noise levels. These symptoms are usually breif, if they persist they may represent some other etiology.(MS, frequent ear infections,certain medication use, otosclerosis, trauma, Meniers).  I suspect from you history that you fall into this category. Work with your doctor to explore some of these options, as well as, for completion of your work-up.

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