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First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Posted by Michael K on 12/02/03 at 13:43 (139162)

Hello all no luck for me on top of the feet pain I now have ringing in the ears, Tinnitis. I have had the ringing going on four weeks. I am having a hard time trying to put on a smile. I am sure you all know there is nothing like feeling good. Has anyone here experienced ringing in the ears?? If so what was your experience and how long did it last. Thanks, Michael

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

marie on 12/02/03 at 19:11 (139198)

Actually I have. For some reason about 8 years ago I had horrible ringing and pain. The doc said I had TMJ. For the last 6 years I quit producing wax in my ears for unknown reasons. Now my ears are always dry and itchy.

I still have occasional ringing but not often. How long has this been going on? I hope you are able to get some rest and feel better tommorow.

best wishes marie

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Michael K on 12/02/03 at 20:44 (139207)

Hello Marie my ears have been ringing going on four weeks now. The combination with PF is not pleasant at all. It's rough enough just with the PF. Thanks, Michael

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Dorothy on 12/02/03 at 20:58 (139212)

Michael K. - do you take any NSAIDS, particularly aspirin? These can have an affect on the ears, on hearing, and can cause several problems - including hearing loss, although to my knowledge it is temporary and is reversible when the medicine is stopped.

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Michael K on 12/02/03 at 21:08 (139215)

Dorothy what are NSAIDS?? I can say I have not taken any aspirin. I did take Vicodin for about a year a tablet or two a day for pain. I did stop the Vicodin a few weeks back thinking that maybe Vicodin was the cause I am now taking Propoxyphene Hcl for pain have be taking that for several weeks now. Thanks, Michael

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Dorothy on 12/02/03 at 21:40 (139225)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Usually the acronym is used instead of the whole term. I've heard it pronounced two ways and don't know which is correct: 'In-sade' or 'In-sed'.
Maybe do a websearch on tinnitus and maybe do one on tinnitus + NSAID. This is strictly from my (can be faulty) memory so take it with that caveat, but I do think aspirin is the worst culprit for affects on hearing and I think it follows from long-term and possibly pretty heavy use, e.g. for severe arthritis or something like that. Rely not on my memory; I'm just offering a lead for your further investigation, if it pertains to your situation. I hope you find something helpful because that condition can be very maddening and further isolating for one who is suffering from it. It has been difficult to treat but I think there might be new treatments that are effective - I hope so. You may educate all of us with what you learn.

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Dorothy on 12/02/03 at 21:57 (139229)

Michael K ~ I did a 'google' search and the first site I came up with looks very helpful. I was browsing through the FAQ (frequently asked questions) and eventually came to a section about the NSAID issue - but there was lots of interesting material there. You might want to take a look at this site - and then others that you might find:


Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Carole C in NOLA on 12/03/03 at 11:33 (139262)

Michael, there are a number of causes for persistent ringing in the ears, some more trivial than others. If you don't have any luck eliminating it through your online searches, I think you should see a doctor.

Just my opinion.

Carole C

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Michael K on 12/03/03 at 11:52 (139264)

Carole, I went to my primary care physician about three weeks ago she said I did have an ear infection in my right ear. But my ringing seems to be on the left side. I took an antibiotic for two weeks the ear infection did clear up but the ringing did not stop. She said there was no ear wax or anything that she could see that would cause the ringing. I asked her for a referal to see an ENT she said no that nothing can be done for Tinnitis. I am going to wait another month to see if my ears stop ringing then I will call my insurance to see if I can get the referal without her permision. Is it possible my ears are still ringing because of the ear infection?? I finished the antibiotic last week she also seen me then and did say the infection did clear up. Should I still try and see and ENT or is she right?? Thanks, Michael

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Pauline on 12/03/03 at 12:52 (139265)

Just an added comment on ringing in the ear. Many drugs can also contribute to this condition. Aspirin and Antinflammatories have been known to cause this condition.

If you are using any of these stop the drug and see if it helps. Carole's suggestion about seeing an ENT doctor is a good one.

Re: Treatment for tinnitus

Steve G on 12/03/03 at 13:51 (139268)

It probably is due to the infection you mentioned. What she can do is see if elminating the drugs you are taking can make a difference. You doctor can also see if fluid in your middle ear is partly responsible. But once you have been trough the elimination process, then there is not much an ENT can do for you. Often it accompanies high-frequency hearing loss. She is right that there is not specific treatment for tinnitus. I have had tinnitus for years, and I have discussed it with the folks at the Speech and Hearing Center at the University of Washington, and they also made it clear that there is, for example, no drugs or treatment procedures that eliminate the ringing.

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Julie on 12/03/03 at 14:02 (139269)

A Google search for 'tinnitus' turned up 318,000 results - the first few websites looked useful and informative. I also looked for tinnitus + homeopathy. You could check this site out. It's true there is no orthodox remedy for the condition (but it can be masked, as described in one or two of the websites I looked at) but homeopathic treatment may prove helpful.


Re: Treatment for tinnitus

Pauline on 12/03/03 at 14:52 (139272)

But at least Steve you had the opportunity to check your condition out.
He deserves the same chance and he shouldn't be held back from a referral to an ENT specialist by his primary care physician.

Even anxiety with it's many accompanying symptoms can contribute to ringing in the ears. A good ENT can rule out many things and there is no better place to begin than with a complete hearing test.

Besides once established with a good ENT he can always use him, in the future, should other problems appear. A Base line hearing testing with an ENT is often a good place to start.

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Carole C in NOLA on 12/03/03 at 15:13 (139273)

There are several causes for ringing in the ears. A few, but nowhere near all of them have been mentioned here, such as medications and infections.

If my ears had been ringing for that long, I'd go see another doctor about it. It might turn out to be nothing, or it might not. I'd want to know.

Carole C

Re: Treatment for tinnitus

Steve G on 12/03/03 at 15:16 (139274)

He does not need an ENT to get the hearing test. If he wants a hearing evaluation, he won't be referred to an ENT. A certified audiologist gives the tests - that's what they do for a living. He or she can give him the complete battery of tests - nerve conduction, bone conduction, tone decay, tympanogram, etc. If he wants a hearing test, he should by all means, ask for a referral.

Re: Treatment for tinnitus

Pauline on 12/03/03 at 16:56 (139278)

Your absolutely right Steve. If he wants a hearing evaluation he can see a certified audiologist or he can get a total evualation of his specific complaint and ear health by seeing an ENT specialist.

If an audiologist finds something wrong he will refer him on to an ENT for treatment anyway. Personally I like to cut out the middleman.

I much prefer one stop shopping and believe an ENT could zero in on ALL the possible causes for his symptoms and eliminate others, provide a hearing test as well as any others he deems necessary at the time.

Really the bottom line is, it's his decision who he sees. If he wants a second opinion from a specialist he should ask for the referal and we should not discourage it.

Re: Treatment for tinnitus

SteveG on 12/03/03 at 18:14 (139288)

We seem to have a serious disconnect here. Taking these one at a time -

1. If an audiologist finds something wrong he will refer him on to an ENT for treatment anyway. Personally I like to cut out the middleman

You can't infer that. It depends on what the tests reveal. If he has a high-frequency nerve loss, he may be referred to the local hearing aid center. If the tone decay is way too rapid, his primary care doctor may refer him for an MRI that will be read by a neurologist. If the tempanogram shows that is eustacian tube is blocked, his primary care doctor will put him on a run of decongestants and, if he sees signs of an infection e.g., redness, an antibiotic.

2. I much prefer one stop shopping and believe an ENT could zero in on ALL the possible causes for his symptoms and eliminate others, provide a hearing test as well as any others he deems necessary at the time.'

The ENT can't zero in on ALL the possible causes - he does not know what they are. As noted in earlier posts, his doctor can eliminate medications and see if that makes a difference. He can send him to an audiologist and make any appropriate referrals based on the any problems or concerns noted by the audiologist. Finally, the ENT does NOT provide hearing tests. At 400,000 a year, the ENT does not sit in a booth and say 'when you hear the tone raise your hand'.

Re: Treatment for tinnitus

Pauline on 12/03/03 at 20:50 (139295)

I'm content to let you win, because when all is said and done, it really doesn't matter what you or I think or say.

The patient here will make the final decision on his treatment. What ever he chooses to do regardless of what you think and I agree or disagree with is ok by me.

This discussion is not worth an arguement on this board. If you want him to make an appointment with you that's ok by me too. Patient's choice.

My suggestion is that we let him decide what he wants to do and hope he returns to good health.

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Julie on 12/04/03 at 02:14 (139315)


The point of your problem has got somewhat lost in a lengthy discussion! In your last post you said that your PCP had refused to refer you to an ENT because 'there is nothing that can be done for tinnitus'. Whether or not an ENT is the best next step, you should certainly pursue some next step or other because your ears are still ringing and you do not know the cause, which should be identified and (if possible) treated . For what it's worth, I think you should persevere with your PCP. Meanwhile, do your research: there is a lot of information available.

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Michael K on 12/04/03 at 12:16 (139338)

Hello to all I called my pain management doctor yesterday talked with him about the denial to seen an ENT from my primary care doctor. He is going to put in a referal for me to see an ENT I will let you know if the referal is approved. I am also going to stop all pain medications for the PF to see if the ringing stops on it's own. The ringing has been a real nightmare. For now I will have to put up with the ringing and some pain. Thanks All, Michael

Re: Just my 2 cents

Lorinda N on 12/05/03 at 00:56 (139379)

Have you had your thyroid checked? I think ringing in the ears is something that can happen with thyroid problems... I could be wrong. Seems everything can be linked to thyroid problems from my own personal experience. Just a thought...hope you get it taken care of.

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Pauline on 12/05/03 at 09:54 (139398)

I don't know what medications your taking, but there are some medications that you cannot stop cold turkey. You must taper off of them. Please make sure when you go off your pills to take this into consideration.

In addition if you stop all the meds at one time, and one is actually the cause of your tinnitis you will not know which med. is causing the problem. You may want to stop them one at a time beginning with those that list ringing in the ear as a possible side effect.

You can check side effects for your meds using the Physicians Desk Reference that is on line. Please remember all possible side effects are listed even though many people taking the drug do not experience any of them.

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Michael K on 12/05/03 at 11:31 (139405)

Hello Pauline at the present time I am only on one medication which is for pain it's Propoxyphene. I took Vicodin for pain one or two tablets a day for one year I stopped taking the vicodin several weeks ago. Any comments on Propoxyphene will be appreciated. I started the Propoxyphene about three weeks ago. Thanks All, Michael

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Kathy G on 12/06/03 at 08:46 (139473)


Propoxyphene is in the aspirin family and aspirin is known to cause tinnitus in some people. Have you called your pharmacist and asked him about this? He'd be the best source as far as checking the drugs you've been taking and figuring out whether they may be causing the tinnitus.

Bottom line, you need to see an ENT man as tinnitus has been known to literally drive people crazy and we don't want that to happen to you! In the meantime, I had a friend who suffered from this condition due to a serious head injury, and he found that if he ran one of those white sound machines, especially at bedtime when he was trying to go to sleep, it helped him some. While you're waiting for your referral, maybe that would help you.

Good luck. It's no fun. The only ringing you should be hearing in your ears this time of year is that of the Salvation Army Santa's!

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Pauline on 12/06/03 at 09:17 (139477)

I think we all know what you mean when you say 'drives people crazy' but a psychiatrist would differ with you on the casual use of these words.

We don't want to scare anyone, but as far as I know a person is not driven crazy. There is no such thing.

They may become very depressed, over irritated, have high anxiety, develop anger and a whole lot of other symptoms associated with mental health, but the words 'driven crazy' as we see it presented to us so often in films does not exist in a psychiatrist dictionary.

We don't want anyone to think they will end up in a padded cell from
tinnitus and I'm certain you didn't mean to paint that sort of picture either.

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Michael K on 12/06/03 at 11:22 (139482)

Hello Kathy I am taking only Propoxyphene I talked with my pharmist he told me there was zero asprin in my perscription. With all pain meds other ingredients can be added to any pain med. My ringing is mainly in my left ear sometimes in my right. There are many people who have ringing in the ears it is not rare. My main concern now is not to panic and not let it stress me out. Stress will make matters worse. I HAVE to remain calm. Thanks, Michael

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Michael K on 12/06/03 at 11:33 (139485)

Pauline you are correct one has to remain calm when new health problems arise panic and stress will not help any health problem I am still dealing with PF and now this ringing in the ears. It could be the stress from the PF which could have caused the ringing. We all know PF can be stressfull when pain is 24/7. How can one not be under stress with PF when you eat, sleep, shower, rest, play, exercise, drive, shop in pain. Again stress can cause ringing in the ears. Again Thanks, Michael

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Dorothy on 12/06/03 at 20:29 (139499)

I'm going to add another thought to the ones that I posted recently to you, and that is this - be aware of what you are doing with your jaw. You might be clenching your teeth and clenching your jaw while under stress or experiencing pain. This can cause ear problems as a result of muscle tension, inflammation, etc. It can also cause dental, TMJ, and other problems but it could be a contributing factor, if not a cause, to ear problems. It is really amazing to realize how often one is clenching when you become aware of observing for this when previously you had no awareness you were doing it at all. Good luck.

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

Dorothy on 12/06/03 at 20:38 (139505)

It's just an expression, a turn of phrase, a bit of conversational color; it's in common parlance and few people would misunderstand or be disturbed by its use because it a cliche that is widely used and generally understood. If that were not the case, one would take everything very literally and in this case, might be thinking that tinnitus got behind the wheel of a vehicle and drove one mad. It's just an expression.

Re: Michael

Kathy G on 12/07/03 at 09:36 (139525)


I apologize if I appeared to be glib or needlessly dramatic about your tinnitus. My choice of words may have been misguided but my honest concern was not. I am quite aware that no one is 'driven crazy' and having two sisters and a late mother who all have had serious psychiatric problems, I should have been more sensitive about my choice of terms. However, I do know that longerm tinnitus can lead to psychological problems for some people and I was reacting to your obvious frustration and lauding your efforts to see a specialist as soon as you can.

I was also wrong about the Propoxyphene being related to aspirin. It's also Darvon 65 that has aspirin in it. So, all in all, I really struck out with my post!

I do want to make sure that you notice that BrianH posted a link for you on the Scoial Board about Vitamin B-12 deficiency playing a role in tinnitus.

And no matter what, I still think the only ringing you should be hearing is Christmas bells and I sincerely hope that you find relief very quickly!

Re: Michael

Kathy G on 12/07/03 at 09:37 (139526)

That's supposed to be 'longterm.' I think I should just give my fingers a rest for the balance of the day!

Re: Michael

Dorothy on 12/07/03 at 19:04 (139546)

MY comment? There are no strike-outs when one is simply being kind and trying to be helpful.

Re: First PF now Ringing In The Ears

AndrueC on 12/08/03 at 15:18 (139601)

I occasionally get a quiet ringing. I don't usually notice it unless I listen to it. Ibuprofen /seems/ to occasionally exacerbate it but it's no worse than what you might get with a bad cold.