Author Topic: unilateral tinnitus only  (Read 2130 times)

Devyn

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unilateral tinnitus only
« on: November 05, 2017, 06:38:40 am »
Hi all!

About a year ago my primary doc sent me to an ENT to have my hearing and balance checked because I had unilateral tinnitus and some  mild balance issues.  I had a full hearing test that was normal (other than a very tiny bit of expected age related hearing loss). The ENT never checked my balance or did anything other than look in my ears. He asked me about the tinnitus but I don't think my answer was very interesting to him as he just said to come back if it started bothering me more. I felt like I should have handled my interactions with him better. He was not very attentive and I was out of it due to working all night and being tired in addition to the hearing test being very disorienting to me. He said the  balance (which he didn't even check) was probably due to age (I'm 45). 

Fast forward to now. My tinnitus (still only in one ear) is significantly worse. High pitched, constant and easily noticed even in noisy environments.  I can't say if I've lost hearing but it's possible. I do have to ask people to repeat themselves an awful lot but that could be them talking quietly. Hard to say. The balance issues are present but not any worse than before. Mostly, losing balance in the shower or if eyes are closed. I've made an appointment to return to the same ENT clinic in a week and a half. I requested a different doctor.

My questions:

Is it worth asking for an MRI? I know it's extremely unlikely to be a AN especially with my symptoms (no hearing loss). I'm not terribly worried about it. However, I would like to rule it out. They didn't even give me any clue about what could cause the tinnitus when I saw them last year. In know there can be tinnitus for no known reason.I understand this is not a tinnitus forum so I'll find one of those to research other possible causes of the unilateral ringing.

I  guess, bottom line: anyone here have unilateral tinnitus with NO hearing loss as symptom at diagnosis? Should I even bother asking for an MRI just to make sure? I want to be prepared for this appointment and go in my questions so I don't waste the trip.

Thank you :)


MarlaB

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2017, 09:18:35 am »
Unless your ENT had super x-ray vision, there is no way he could tell what is going on inside your head. The only way to rule out an AN is with an MRI.

Find a doc to refer you for one. My GP sent me for mine after the ENT continued to delay.

Good luck.

MarlaB

Muffin

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 08:10:53 am »
I was glad to see you requested another doc.  Wow!  I, also felt the need to make a change when I woke up one morning to feeling like I had water in my ear. My own doc first said it was probably due to dental work I had done. Three weeks later, she believed it was related to TMJ. I had that for 15 years with no hearing loss. I was too embarrassed to go back to her a third time. I told three different docs I had an uncle who had an AN. Fell on deaf ears. Three months later I get an MRI because of perseverance and sure enough.  We know our bodies. Just because something is rare, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Sometimes these professionals already have their minds made up and think they know it all.  I think it is worth asking for one if you believe something is wrong. If it is not an AN great! Peace of mind alone is worth it.  These usually grow slow, so no need to panic, but you are on the right track. I know what you mean by wishing we would have handled things differently, but we are learning all the time.  You won’t repeat that again and neither will I.  Good wishes and blessings to you. I pray you are AN free!


Hi all!
. He asked me about the tinnitus but I don't think my answer was very interesting to him as he just said to come back if it started bothering me more. I felt like I should have handled my interactions with him better. He was not very attentive and I was out of it due to working all night and being tired in addition to the hearing test being very disorienting to me. He said the  balance (which he didn't even check) was probably due to age (I'm 45). I requested a different doctor.





6/10/17: Sudden Hearing Loss
9/20/17:  MRI Shows VS in R IAC Measuring 6x5x3 mm
10/18/17:  On Watch and Wait Status

Devyn

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 01:17:05 pm »
Thank you for the advice and encouragement. I'm getting an MRI! I didn't even have to ask, this new ENT was awesome. My hearing is still okay so that certainly lowers the chances of a AN. He said there's a 1% chance of a AN. I'll just be happy to have this checked.

ANSydney

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 06:54:10 pm »
Good luck with the MRI. Only 1% chance given for an AN sounds reassuring.

Devyn

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 10:16:45 am »
Yes, I am liking that percentage!

I go for my MRI on Monday. Debating on sedation or not. I've had MRIs before and always went with drugs to relax me.  I want to think I can power through and deal with the tight space but then again phobias are not rational. :)

ANSydney

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 03:41:35 pm »
If your worried about claustrophobia with the MRI, you could do what I do. Before they push me in I close my eyes and think I'm in a field. I'm in a magnetic field, but I try to think of a green field :-) Once your eyes are closed, you don't know if the surface above you is just above you or very far away.

On the occasions that you want to open your eye, the little mirror helps. Don't think about it as a mirror just above your eyes but focus on the view that is being reflected. Before you know it your think that you are upright and that your are looking at the operator in their glass room.

alabamajane

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2017, 05:06:44 pm »
Devyn,
Very valid points about the fear you feel about these things,,,,
I too have some trouble with them but have found that if I don’t look at the machine when I enter the room, lie down and close my eyes and NEVER open them until I am finished that I do well. I even had one done with a cloth over my eyes! It made it so much better. I also lie there and sing hymns to myself continuously,, trying to think of the next one keeps me busy,,,,

As far as the tightness of the machine,, there isn’t much to do about that except keep telling yourself that you will fit and it won’t get any tighter.  ::),,,, I don’t know if you are having it done at the same place as before,,, but I have found out that there are machines that have different size bores or openings! The machines at my neurosurgeon are much bigger than at my local hospital,,,, SO much nicer,,,,

Just a few tips/ tricks I use,,,, best of luck,,, of course a Valium never hurt  ;D

Jane
translab Oct 27, 2011
facial nerve graft Oct 31,2011, eyelid weight removed Oct 2013, eye closes well

BAHA surgery Oct. 2014, activated Dec. 26

Devyn

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2017, 10:18:57 pm »
It's done! I made it without drugs. Boy oh boy was that a tight fit.  At one point I thought I wasn't go to make it through the scan but then it got better. I'm so glad it's over!

Of course, I have a CD with all the images on it and I keep looking at it and thinking I see Something. I think the thing I see would be on the wrong side though. lol

ANSydney

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2017, 12:09:52 am »
Right side tumors appear on the left of the MRI and vice versa. That is, the scans are as if your looking from your feet, not the top of your head.

How big is the Something?

Devyn

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2017, 02:30:06 am »
Whatever I think it could be it's on the wrong side (my tinnitus is in left ear only, this "thing" is on the right). I would say it's not big and more like a bit of asymmetry and a brighter spot than the surrounding area. It's certainly in the location where one might find an AN. It's fascinating to see my brain. :)

ANSydney

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2017, 04:19:11 pm »
If you are looking at your MRI, anomalies on the right-side of the image are for the left-side of the body
If you got your information from a radiologist, they know these sort of things :)

alabamajane

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2017, 05:34:53 pm »
Devyn I hope your radiologist report and/or Dr visit tells you that you don’t have an AN!

For most of us It’s usually best to get those reports before looking at the MRI since we aren’t generally educated enough in radiology to understand what we are looking at and therefore will most likely interpret it wrong. Why cause yourself extra angst ?  :-\

Let us know when you get your results,,,
Jane
translab Oct 27, 2011
facial nerve graft Oct 31,2011, eyelid weight removed Oct 2013, eye closes well

BAHA surgery Oct. 2014, activated Dec. 26

ANSydney

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2017, 06:36:29 pm »
Devyn, I agree that radiologists are the the ones to rely on when first interpreting an MRI. After all, it's all new to you.

Initially, the MRIs are a confusing black and white image, but as you said its fascinating to see your brain. With time the structures in your head will make more sense.

I encourage everyone to look at their tumor and take measurements. If it contradicts with the radiologists size, figure out why. Eventually you'll be able to make a measurement that's reliable.

I've now had three MRIs, all done at the same place. Unfortunately it has been two radiologist that have done the reports. The first radiologist got my dimensions totally wrong! The second radiologist, who reported on the last two MRIs got the dimensions right. Had I not taken the time to measure things myself I'd have the wrong figures.

I now get my MRI CDs straight after my MRI and do the measurements. When I see the reports one to two weeks later I already know the size; I'm just checking that the radiologist reported it right.

Taking the time to look at your MRIs and learning about vestibular schwannoma will improve your management of this disease.

Looking at your MRI wont turn you into a pillar of salt!

Devyn

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Re: unilateral tinnitus only
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2017, 10:53:32 pm »
TBH, I'm not terribly worried. I'm anticipating that my tinnitus and balance problems will have no known cause. :)

I love to research all manner of things so not looking at my MRI images but not possible. I just can't help myself. lol

Looking a little more into what I see on my scans and what I found online, I've found a nearly identical match for that "Something". An arachnoid cyst. If that is what it is I would think it's an incidental finding as it's on my right side (left side of image) and my tinnitus is only in my left ear.

 


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