Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ringing in the ears and Meniere’s disease

The sudden vertigo and the intense nausea of Meniere’s disease is difficult to handle (to say the least!) but to add in tinnitus can make it mind blowing. The constant ringing or hissing that at times seems to never end can really drive you crazy. As you know you can have tinnitus without Meniere’s disease and of course you can also have Meniere’s without tinnitus, either way it is a big problem.

Last fall I wrote a post about how my tinnitus was acting up again partly due or mostly due to congestion and nasal problems so it isn’t any surprise that I am having the problem again due to record breaking pollen season here in Georgia.  Because of the early spring and the lack of rain the pollen count has been astronomical. Hopefully we will only have a few more weeks of this.

I had a regular checkup with my ENT the other day and I mentioned the pollen problems. I was given a prescription for fluticasone propionate (Flonase). I am a little hesitant to try it yet because of any potential side effects. The last thing I want to bring on an attack or a series of attacks although I was reassured that it wouldn’t but you never know.

Hopefully this will clear up the pollen problems which in turn will ease up or eliminate the tinnitus situation.  I’ll let you know.

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Thanks

15 comments:

  1. David, I'm here in Va. and am having the same type of Spring season you are. My sinuses are going crazy with congestion, headache and sneezing. I wanted to tell you that I use Flonase without any side effects. I've been taking a generic version of Claritin and the Flonase spray for well over a year. Neither have actually been much help during this pollen season but usually control the symptoms of allergies. Deborah

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    1. I have used Omnaris for my nasal congestion in the past, without any side effects aside from a tiny amount of blood from irritated nasal passages. It was minor, but I didn't like it, so I stopped using it.

      David, have you tried OTC nasal sprays? I don't have bad seasonal allergies, but when I do get stuffed up, I use Vicks spray. It helps.

      I have been considering trying a Neti pot, but am still absurdly worried I might drown the first time out. Anyone ever tried that?

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  2. Hey, David. I can totally relate to the annoyance of dealing with the various kinds of tinnitus. Things were going along fairly well for me until a couple of days ago. I suddenly got the high-pitched tinnitus in my left ear and the low humming tinnitus in my right ear -- at the same time! It was making me nuts. And, on top of that, I also had that "fullness" in both ears. I have a feeling that all of this was brought on because I was being a little bad and not carefully watching my sodium intake, but that might just be a hunch. Well, here I am, three days later, and things have calmed down a lot. Not gone, but not so "loud" anymore. I hope things keep dissipating even more.

    I'm in South Florida and we don't seem to be having the same problems with pollen that people in the central part of the state and in Georgia, where you are, are having. We never seem to get pollen problems like that down here, I'm glad to say. I hope your pollen starts to dissipate really soon.
    Richard F.

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  3. It is interesting that you should mention this. I got diagnosed only last year and haven't been through a Spring yet. A strange thing happened at the weekend. My tinnitus and hearing loss has all but disappeared in my left ear, but this weekend it came back with a vengence. However, it returned in my right ear! As far as I understand Meniere's is normally only in one ear and it says in that ear. I know that sometimes it progresses to both ears, but I haven't heard of anyone's moving from one ear to another. Is this something that is possible? It is quite disturbing and has got me worried. The only saving grace is that I am seeing the specialist tomorrow and he may have something to say about it. I have been sneezing this last week and have been taking my antihistamine as I normally do when my allergies hit. It could just be me being bunged up I guess, but I have had allergies for quite a few years and have never had tinnitus because of it.

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  4. I got allergy tested in January and I'm now on maintenance dose allergy drops. THE BEST thing I've done!! No sneezing, no runny nose, no sticky goo in the back of my throat! I did not even know I had allergies. I had intra-dermal testing and was allergic to 27 outdoor/indoor things. Even my cat! The drops are under the tongue, once a day, in your home, about $42 a month.
    Having said that, it will take 3-6 years to change my immune system, but if it helps with MD, then anything is worth it. I also have to be retested every 2 years because allergies change.

    I've never had a problem with nasal sprays or steroids in the nose.

    David, I've never heard of having MD without constant tinnitus. I thought it was all part of the package. Your blessed. Or are you saying that you have tinnitus that doesn't bother you until the spring pollen arrives?

    Margie

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  5. I know most folks with meniere's has tinnitus but not everyone,with me it comes and goes.
    David

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  6. I am so glad to find this blog. It has been eye opening to say the least. I've had meniere's for about 33 years off and now. For about 16 years it seemed to be gone but 5 years ago it came back with a vengeance. Through your blog I am having to re-evaluate a whole lot of things...pollen? weather? food allergies? dental work? etc,etc. I certainly appreciate all the comments since learning from others experiences seems to be more helpful than the Dr. I commend all of you who live with this. This truly is a disease that is so very difficult to 'live' with. Thanks, David, and all of your readers. Nice to know that we have someone else out there who knows and understands!

    Cindy

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  7. David - I am here in Georgia as well (roswell to be specific). I have had MD for almost 3 years now. I have used flonase (fluticasone propianate) every day of those 3 years. I can't say that it has helped or not with the MD, but it is a life saver for the allergies!! I haven't really found anything that helps with the MD, the low-sodium has lessened the occurances of the vertigo (maybe) but the rest of the meds I have been on haven't seemed to help. meclizine, valium, diuretic, none of them have done much. When an attack is coming all that I can do is pop some valium/anti-nausea meds and hope they knock me out before it gets too ugly. Thanks for everything you do on your blog. Nice to have a place to go to see that we are not alone.

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    1. Hi Kennedy,
      I know how you feel. I have only had MD for a couple of months, but I take the same meds, plus, my EN&T have given me 5 decadron injections, and with everything combined, it seems only to have lessened the intensity and duration, but I still have daily attacks. I see my EN&T again Monday, and we are going to hook me up with a Neurotologist.
      As for Flonase, I've never tried that, but have used Nasonex for years now and it seems to help quite a bit. I take it at bedtime so my sinus' will stay clear. Hope you find some sort of solution. I've been at least lucky that the attacks I endure aren't as severe as other's I've read about, or as bad as the first few I had. Best wishes to you and all the followers, and David too...

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    2. I've tried Nasonex and equivalents before and I'm not sure it made any difference, but I like your idea of taking it at bedtime. This chimes with something from the Jastreboff Model of Tinnitus that I've been reading about (thanks to another blog reader).

      It's worth reading for yourself but it's to do with retraining hearing and part of that is to do with background/ambient noises. Jastreboff explains that our hearing remains alert during sleep and can therefore fixate on the tinnitus, and so it's a good idea to have some background noise in your bedroom. I've been trying this myself the last couple of weeks with some ambient sounds like waves and rain and I have to say I haven't really had a repeat of my previous experience of waking up with noisy tinnitus; in general my tinnitus is better. Now this can definitely be part of the general Meniere's ups and downs, but as long as the sounds aren't disturbing the sleep itself, why not do it? It's nice to think we can treat ourselves overnight and maybe start the next day in better shape.

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    3. That is really interesting about background noise, Jeff. I generally sleep with a fan on and the windows open, which helps with ambient sound. In the winter, I usually have a vaporizer going. I wonder if I am subconsciously trying to fill in the background to detract from my tinnitus?? Huh. It makes sense.

      I also do find that if I take an allergy pill at bedtime, I sleep through the night. If I don't... I don't. :-(

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    4. @Peggy, you should have a read:

      http://www.tinnitus.org/home/frame/tin2a.htm

      It's not so much to do with masking the tinnitus as retraining the brain to disregard the tinnitus altogether, in the way that you learn to ignore a ticking clock or the noise of traffic. It makes sense to me; I think my consultant said to me that tinnitus happens in the brain, not in the ear.

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    5. Yes, I get it. I had heard about this (retraining your brain to disregard the tinnitus) before but managed to forget (duh). I'll read that link... thanks!

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  8. I have been a tinnitus sufferer for a number of years now. I find fatigue is a major triggering factor. I am now on tebonin and high dosage of beta serc. I am contemplating tapering off it - the prospect of being hit by MD is pretty scary ....

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  9. Hi Charmaine,
    I would check with your doctor before cutting back on any medication.
    Fatigue seemed to be a triggering factor with me as well.
    good luck and stay in touch
    David

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