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Thread: Ringing In The Ears

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    sumdimguy17's Avatar
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    Default Ringing In The Ears

    Has anyone ever had a persistent ringing in the ears after taking a medication for awhile? I've been taking tramadol regularly for over 2 years now. In recent months, the ringing has become noticeable at times (especially quiet times ;-).

    Last summer, one of my ears became (for lack of a better word) clogged. I used a couple of different types of ear wax removal drops and they did not work. So, I went to a homemade remedy (peroxide and water mix + rubber tube for squirting warm water for flushing). After about a week to 10 days, I finally got full hearing back.

    I can't trace exactly when the ringing began, but I believe it was after my ear clog experience. So, I'm left wondering if I may have done damage in the cleansing process or if my medication might be the cause.

    I've never read anything about tramadol that lists ear ringing (even after extended usage) as a side effect. Have also done a bit of research on this problem (ear ringing) and haven't found anything conclusive. I've read that sometimes it goes away on it's own volition.

    Anyway...just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this problem.
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    Yes, I have actually had the same problem. A very slight ringing noise that Iíve had since I was a child Ė I donít think my case was caused by any medication, but itís often difficult to tell what exactly caused any particular case. Sometimes it can go away, sometimes it comes and goes, but sometimes like in my case it stays for life Ė at least it seems. Luckily I hardly notice it anymore unless I try to notice it Ė Iíve become accustomed to it I guess you could say.

    Iíd recommend you to go to the Mayo Clinicís website and type in ďTinnitusĒ (medical term for ear ringing) into the search feature there. From there you should be able to find many possible causes (there are a lot of things which may cause it) and you can also look at the treatment options and prevention methods Ė there arenít a great number of options at this time, but probably still worth a look.

    If your ears were clogged that could simply be the cause by itself especially if it went away once you got rid of the clog. Be sure that you are careful if you do try to clean your ears, as many people actually damage their ear permanently this way; itís generally recommended to let a professional do it, though I donít think many follow that guideline.

    If you conclude fairly surely that it is the tramadol causing problems youíll have to weigh the benefits of using it against the risks. It is possible for your problem to get worse if you canít figure out whatís causing it and alter your behavior if you choose to do so. Sometimes, a cause for your problem canít be found. However, try to be careful using OTC pain medications such as aspirin, Motrin, etc. because those can often aggravate the problem.

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    kineticode is offline Distinguished Member
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    Hello @sumdimguy17. The name for your condition may be Tinnitus.There are many causes for this condition,and I have not heard anything about Tramadol causing this,but certain medications do contribute to the cause.There is a lot of good information about Tinnitus available online.I have this problem also,but I think it is the communication towers nearby that have some affect to it.Hope you find out the cause;Peace.

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    Default Tinnitus

    I had an uncle who suffered severely from Tinnitus. Tried to pin down the cause of it. he use to keep a log of what he ate, when he slept, medicines he took, when he exercised, all in hopes of finding the trigger. He never found it, but had a heart attck three years ago. Two arteries completely blocked. He had a by-pass. One of the side effects of the by-pass is that his Tinnitus mysteriously went away.

    My younger brother complained about it for over a year, and I finally took him to the doctor. I was convinced that the headphones he has on 10 hours a day, connected to his computer, was the cause (he is 25, a special needs kid, lives with me and my wife). The doctor cleaned out his ears with a what I would describe as a hand powered water sprayer. Basically a shiny, high tech, water gun. His Tinnitus went away. He gets his ears cleaned twice a year now. Some people produce a more heavy and sticky ear wax that collects over time and blocks the ear canal.

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    Tinnitus - all NSAID's make it worse. I was born with it and still hate it. The screaming in my head is constant. SNRI's seem to exponentiate the condition where SSRI's are not so bad.

    Tramadol is basically a synthetic O based on a SNRI compound so yeah it will make your ears ring. Bad stuff for me - great for others.

    And read here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxychloroquine. Tinnitus is one of the worst long term effects. Two years is long term.

    It's a DMARD - there's nothing good about them.
    Last edited by mustang; 02-09-2012 at 08:29 AM.

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    Sounds like you've gotten some good information here. I have tinnitus and have for as long as I can remember, medication or no. While there are many causes and I have no idea what's causing yours, I will say that I have it all the time, but really notice it during times of stress or high anxiety. Like now, I'm not noticing it, but if I try to hear it, I always can. However, when I'm stressed and trying to concentrate, or during major life events that cause distress, I notice it all the time.
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    I have ringing in my ears, but it's due to a TBI. I've had it for a little over a year now. It's the most annoying thing ever. I'm hoping it'll just go away on its own. I was told to wait a year at least because the brain heals itself. It's looking like it might be about time to go get it checked out though.
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    Default Thanks to all!

    I'd like to thank everyone for sharing and relating their experiences with this problem. I'm going to do more research and (hopefully) someday seek out an ears, nose, throat doctor for further analysis. Right now, I'll try to listen to suggestions and do more self-analysis of where the problem may stem from.

    I really miss the "sounds of silence" (absolute, as they were). Stress and anxiety may be a factor currently so I'll try and work on some of life's problems (which affect us all) and see if the problem dissipates.

    It is in my genetics to be predisposed to hearing problems (Grandfather, Dad and Sister all wore/wear hearing aids) so perhaps this is a sign of things to come. I'm in my early 50's, so it's possible this is when it all begins.

    Thanks again, everyone!

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    Heres a link to check out for all those who have ringing in the ears...Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears) Causes, Symptoms, Treatments
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandon7467 View Post
    Heres a link to check out for all those who have ringing in the ears...Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears) Causes, Symptoms, Treatments
    Thanks, Brandon! Very helpful. I've nailed it down to four potential causes (not including my genetic predisposition to hearing loss).

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    If I were you, I would see a doctor about this. Tramadol is a drug which can be "ototoxic", meaning causing damage to the ears. It may in fact be the cause of your tinnitus. So I would be very weary about listening to everyone's advice above about how it's nothing and they have had it too. Yes, it often is benign and that is the case, but if in your case tramadol is causing your tinnitus, you are making your damage worse by the day as you take it. I would advise you to see an ENT to straighten this out as there are many causes of tinnitus.
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    mine was bad while working around loud machinery for a couple years. id wake up at night and ask, why are my ears ringing? it sucked. after being away from that a few years, i only notice it when someone brings it up. ive read all about it. im lucky.
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    I've suffered from tinnitus for most of my life. Can't remember exactly when it started, but it became worse at some point within the last 10 years or so. I can definitely say that anxiety makes it worse. Back when it first started becoming a stressful problem on a daily basis, I was hooked on Effexor XR (an SNRI, withdrawals are hell), and often thought this might have contributed to the condition. Since being off the medication for 2 years, the tinnitus hasn't changed a bit. I've had my hearing tested at an ENT, and scored above normal. I know I can hear well to at least 15 KHz, so hearing isn't an issue with me either, just tinnitus. The ATA (American Tinnitus Association - Home Page | American Tinnitus Association) has been searching for a cure for the last 30-40+ years to little avail. There are an endless number of scams out there, claiming to cure or treat tinnitus, as so many people are significantly burdened by this condition on a daily basis, and desperate to find relief. However, some of these so called treatments seem to have good intentions, but actually have the tendency to worsen the condition.

    In short, there's really nothing you can do about it, HOWEVER, in your case.. I would definitely suggest that you consider trying to get off of tramadol. This may or may not be the cause, but it's the first thing I'd suspect. Upon discontinuing the medication, the tinnitus may or may not ever go away.

    While no one really knows for sure what to do about this condition, I can offer some advice in regards to what NOT to do, as a result of personal experience. Don't continuously try to block the noise out.. with other sound, or (especially) with your mind. Many people will say not to focus on the noise, but I disagree with this, at least partially. Constantly trying to ignore it, not think about it, trying to think over it or constantly indulging in mental activities will only leave you worse off in the long run. I did all of these things, perhaps without even realising it for the longest time, and it only led to me being far more bothered by the noise. As I've become a bit more self-aware and have tried to find ways to quiet and control my racing scatterbrains, I tend not to do these things so much anymore. While the noise does bother me quite frequently on a daily basis, it isn't usually anywhere near as bad as it once was. The best thing you could probably do (aside from getting off the tramadol), is learn to accept the noise. This might be difficult, to varying degrees of course, depending.. but it can be done with time and much patience. I even used to attempt meditating on the sound, rather than trying to ignore it. I think this helped a bit. Now I'm to a point where while it does still bother me quite a bit, I just try to accept it. Whenever I notice it throughout the day/night, I'm just like yeah whatever, to hell with it, etc.

    In the long run though, I've found that the lower my anxiety, stress, and fatigue is, the less my tinnitus tends to bother me. One interesting thing to note is that large portion of the population has tinnitus, and the number seems to be growing at an exponential rate all the time, which I think carries some possible implications.

    Good luck to you, and do post back if your tinnitus ever changes.
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    kineticode is offline Distinguished Member
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    There are countless radio waves saturating our environment,and I think that contributes to some ringing in our ears.Going out to a remote location,and away from any communication towers,(such as the GWEN towers),would be a great experiment to perform.I feel a totally peaceful quietness,when out in the wilderness many miles from civilization.Think about how many people are using cell phones,and wireless computers;There are definitely,a massive amount of radio waves all around us.The human brain operates on low frequency waves,and that is why these particular frequencies are interrupting our minds and ears.Tesla did many experiments using electromagnetic frequencies and the human brain,and the military took off with it from there.Truly a scary invention,these GWEN towers are,and thats all I will say;More information is available online.
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    @sumdimguy17 @mustang
    from what i've read in this thread mustangs info could be the more significant
    reply IMHO. You didn't say if you are on any other medications,which could be significant. As stated in mustangs post tramadol has similiar properties/braintriggers as some antidepressants called snri's and to a lesser extent ssri's. Are you on any antidepressant? Also if you ingest an opioid/opiate while on tram,dizzyness and tinnitus COULD result. any whooo, i suggest a frank discussion with your dr. good luck
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    I had some form of tinnitus about six years ago. It lasted about a year and a half. I never told my doctor about it at the time. It was a time of great stress in my life and I figured the ringing in my ears was because of that. My whole body was out of whack.

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    I can feel everyones pain. I've had ringing in the ears for over 10yrs with 30% hearing loss in both ears.I was told by an audiologist that there is no treatment for my type of loss, scarring of the eardrums. Some days are better than others.
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    Default Ringing in ears

    I had this happen to me way back when I took a lot of Empirin #3 which is codeine with aspirin mixed in with it. I am no doctor, but I researched this and found that too much aspirin or similar products produce pronounced ringing in the ears. I found after I switched to a pain med without aspirin that the condition cleared up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgrn87 View Post
    If I were you, I would see a doctor about this. Tramadol is a drug which can be "ototoxic", meaning causing damage to the ears. It may in fact be the cause of your tinnitus. So I would be very weary about listening to everyone's advice above about how it's nothing and they have had it too. Yes, it often is benign and that is the case, but if in your case tramadol is causing your tinnitus, you are making your damage worse by the day as you take it. I would advise you to see an ENT to straighten this out as there are many causes of tinnitus.
    @jgrn87 is right about Tramadol being ototoxic. If I were in your position @sumdimguy17 I would address that piece of the puzzle first then go from there; however, it sounds like you have some leads from your research and are being proactive about it - you may have addressed the Tramadol issue already. Regardless, I felt it was worth reinforcing the point.

    I too suffer from tinnitus. I can even remember the day it started three years ago. It was in December, I had just finished my first semester of graduate school and I was working two jobs at the time. My grandmother had passed away the summer before. After turning in a very lengthy paper on a Friday I was enjoying my first truly "free" Saturday in a while (I didn't have to work at my part-time job that morning either) and it just started.

    All of that stress, like @kbaker said had just thrown my body out of balance. I have had it ever since. I am glad I found this thread, everyone who has posted has been spot on and I appreciate those of you who have shared your experience. There are worse things I could suffer from so this is an inconvenience in the big scheme of things. I have been dragging my heels about actually seeing an ENT doc because most of what I have read about tinnitus says that you either have it for life or it suddenly stops. (It is in both ears too, if it were just one then I would have been more concerned).
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    I have been taking tramadol for over 12 years, and when I take Percocet with the tramadol I ocassionally will get a slight ringing in the ears. It doesn't last very long, and it doesn't happen everytime. I think it might depend on the time of day I take it. It happens when I'm more tired.
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