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NathalieKoldre

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Hello! I am a 17 year old female and I have suffered from facial nerve inflammation for about a month now. It started on October 9th with major dry eye problems, loss of taste and blurry vision. It was probably due to the cold/virus I had experienced before, but it was nothing too major. I have experienced many many much worse colds and viruses before with no consequences. I had a tingling sensation and a sense of pressure. No paralysis, all movement of face remained, no pain. My ears were free of symptoms however. I took aspirin for nerve inflammation for about 7 days, moderate doses, no ear problems whatsoever, no side effects. Sadly it didn't do much for the inflammation and the doctors didn't recommend or prescribe any other medicine. Everything was completely fine with my ears until October 25th, when I went to consult with my physiotherapist about my nerve problem. He suggested ultrasound treatment, which we did on the facial nerve near the ear for about 15 min on both sides. I only remember feeling a sudden burst of pain on my right side on the TMJ area where the facial nerve exits and under the earlobe. My therapist said it is due to the inflammation or neuropathy. About 1 hour after the treatment, my facial nerve started to hurt really bad and tingle with electric bursts of pain, I felt like my hearing was distorted and my ears felt really heavy, almost as if they were full of something. Then, one day later, I started feeling a cold moist wet feeling inside of my ears accompanied by fullness and later on tinnitus. My tinnitus is reactive, which means it reacts to road noise, music, speech, radiator noise, fan noise, running water etc. It gets louder and rings according to outside sounds. It is also present in silence and gets louder. I also feel like everyday sounds seem oddly loud to me. It feels uncomfortable to hear people talking, as if it was a bass speaker sound.  The tinnitus has persisted for about 2 weeks now with no improvement. It seems to be getting worse. I have developed a new sound, a high frequency buzzing noise in addition to the already present high pitch ringing/whistle. I have had no noise trauma, no head injuries, not listened to loud music ever, eat healthy etc. No signs of getting better. Also since having that ultrasound therapy, I have experienced sudden bursts of ear pain inside the ear, intermittent warmth and cold sensation, bursts of electric nerve pain, tingling etc. No paralysis or numbness. I have never ever heard anyone get such reaction from ultrasound therapy, all the doctors seem to be clueless about what is causing it. Could it be the facial nerve and chorda tympani which is connected to the facial nerve? What effect does the facial nerve have on the ear and its functioning? I guess it could impair the proper functioning of the ear because it goes straight through it. I know that these two nerves run through the middle ear and facial nerve also runs through the inner ear. Could the nerve inflammation have spread into the inner ear and caused labyrinthitis? Could the sick nerve cause these ear problems and tinnitus? Is there a chance that once the nerve heals and balances out, the tinnitus and hyperacusis will disappear? I understand that if a sick nerve is causing these problems and it has to get better eventually (right?), then the tinnitus also has a chance of going away? By the way, my eye has almost recovered and is no longer dry. However, loss of taste and partial loss of smell still persists. I am not worried over that, I am merely worried whether my tinnitus will go. I really hope it does. I am totally shocked about this course of events. Horrible and intimidating circumstances. Was it very bad to do ultrasound while having a nerve inflammation? Main question, what do you think might be causing my tinnitus, can it be the nerves? Will it ever dissipate? I also had all sorts of hearing tests done: tympanometry, audiogram, OAE etc. All tests came back completely normal except for one test (I don't remember the name) which tested my ability to tolerate certain sound level. The results displayed a decreased tolerance to sounds. Thank you for your answer doctor.
Dr. Nagler

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Hi Nathalie -

As I mentioned in a previous thread, I am unaware of any circumstances wherein TMJ ultrasound can have an effect on the auditory system, but let me look into it a bit more and give your question some more thought. Please check back in a few days. Also, if you do not mind, please tell me the name of the largest city near your home. Perhaps I know of somebody in your geographical vicinity who can shed some light.

Regards -

Dr. Stephen Nagler
Atlanta Tinnitus Consultants, LLC

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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
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NathalieKoldre

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 #3 
I don't happen to live in the US.
NathalieKoldre

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Have you acquired any information regarding the question doc?
Dr. Nagler

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Hi Nathalie -

My apologies for not responding sooner. I was called away for several days and only had my handheld - could not complete a thorough search.

Anyway, to your question ...

I cannot find any reliable information suggesting that TMJ ultrasound can result in the type of audiological symptomatology you describe. I am not saying it cannot happen; I am only saying that to me it makes no sense. Indeed, several years ago ultrasound was studied as a potential treatment for tinnitus!

The test you describe that concluded that you have difficulty tolerating certain sound levels is called an LDL (Loudness Discomfort Level) test. There are a number of conditions that can result in abnormal LDL testing, the most common of which is hyperacusis.

In my opinion it may be time for you to stop thinking about what might have caused your audiological problems and begin to develop strategies about what you might do about them irrespective of the cause. Why? Because whatever caused the problem is nothing that can be "undone." That is why I asked you for the name of the largest city near your home. Regardless of where in the US or around the world you might live, I might know of a resource.

All the best -

stephen nagler

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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
NathalieKoldre

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 #6 
Yes it is strange because I have also found no reports of hearing loss or tinnitus from therapeutic TMJ ultrasound, even at high intensities. Could the nerve problem cause my audiological complaints? I live in Tallinn, Estonia. 
Dr. Nagler

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Originally Posted by Nathalie
Yes it is strange because I have also found no reports of hearing loss or tinnitus from therapeutic TMJ ultrasound, even at high intensities. Could the nerve problem cause my audiological complaints? I live in Tallinn, Estonia.

Nathalie, as I suggested earlier, it may be time for you to stop focusing on what caused your symptoms - since you cannot "undo" it anyway. Whatever the cause of your tinnitus, either it will resolve on its own or it won't. So as I see it, there are two ways to move forward. One way would be to keep on hoping that one way your tinnitus will go away (which it probably will), and each morning be disappointed if it has not yet done so. And the other way would be to assume that it will not go away on its own, and 
be thrilled that you were wrong if one day you wake up to silence. I personally do not like being disappointed - so I recommend the second approach. And the folks closest to Tallin with the most experience in that particular regard (i.e., working under the assumption that your tinnitus will not resolve) would be Jacqui Sheldrake in London, Anne-Mette Mohr in Copenhagen, and Gerhard Andersson in Link√∂ping (Sweden). Perhaps you might contact one of them for an evaluation?

stephen nagler

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
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