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I've been suffering from tinnitus now for over two years. It came about in 2004 after a period of having wax blockage in my ears. I made a couple of ill advised cleaning attempts using cotton buds, not being aware of the risks at that time. Eventually I went for syringing after trying to alleviate the wax using olive oil drops.

The tinnitus began about a week before the syringing and continues to this day. It is predominantly a high pitched whine, and seems to be equally present in both ears. I also get a rhythmical rushing sound in my ears particularly when standing up after being seated for a while, or when bending over (seems to be linked to blood pressure shifts?). Then there are the occasional high-pitched 'ping' sounds that begin loud and fade away over a few seconds and sometimes my hearing will seem to become muffled in one ear, again only for a few seconds before clearing.

I have suffered for the last two years with lots of head sensations, including light headedness and general fatigue in my neck and head, but never any spinning vertigo. These particular symptoms have been put down to anxiety so may not be related to the tinnitus.

To date I have had numerous doctor appointments and have seen an ENT, and while they have given me various explanations as to the head sensations nobody has given me any explanation for the tinnitus. So my question, is it likely that I caused some kind of damage to my ears that has resulted in the tinnitus? I was never a fan of rock concerts and I don't work in a noisy environment so I don't believe that noise damage can be a factor.

Your thoughts would me most appreciated.


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replied December 13th, 2006
Ear, Nose & Throat Disorders Answer A1941
Combined manipulation (cleaning attempts) and syringing could possible puncture your eardrum and cause an infection of the outer and inner ear, at most. However, there is no report of any mechanical damage of infection of the ear. Even if you did puncture the eardrum or experienced an ear infection, the dominant symptoms would be pain and weak sense of sound... not tinnitus. Tinnitus is a symptom of a damaged inner ear (cochlea). The inner ear is usually damaged by chronic sound trauma (living and working in a noisy environment, for example). Damage to the inner ear can be confirmed or excluded with audio tests. Tinnitus can be also caused by a type of brain damage that can be confirmed or excluded with CT-scan or MRI of the head. If everything is OK with the ear and brain after these series of tests, the remaining diagnostic possibility is anxiety disorder. You can seek expert help from an ENT Specialist.
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