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My ears are always ringing - not to the degree that it makes me crazier - lord knows I don't need that, but really they always do. 

This is one of those things you think is normal and you find out its not.

Anyone?  I don't think there is anything that can be done about it but I wondered if this is my journey into hearing problems in the future?  Kris

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i checked briefly, you aren't on lithium or anything - there can be a side effect of lithium that is tinitus (ringing in ears). but you aren't on it.

the ringing is actually the little tiny hairs inside your ears dying off. it will be more pronounced after exposure to a loud event. there's lots of little hairs.

but i think that it's possible for constant ringing to be some neuro thing rather than the physical process of the hairs dying.

maybe ncc would have a better answer. my partner took some perception/physiological psychology courses. very rudimentary knowledge.

yes, it's not 'normal' to have constant ringing. it will probably eventually get really bothersome. see about getting it checked. i don't know what they can do, but get your hearing tested and over time tested again and you can at least be informed about whether you are losing hearing.


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Thanks Presentjoy.  I smacked my head pretty majorily when I was 8 and have had a few other head jolts...perhaps some neuro going on there?  I also was in band in school (yup a band geek) for 8 years - too much lound noise?  Perhaps a mix plus heriditary?  Weird all these things you think are "normal" and you find out they're not. 

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i don't know about any of those things. i have always had intermittent ringing, and i am not a loud noise person. i'm more in the hands-over-ears cringing kind of girl.

it's so hard to say why. or pin it down. but no, it's not something 'normal'. but it's not so uncommon either. i think probably the commonest way to have hearing damage is playing the iPod music too loud. riding the subway or train a lot with the volume turned up on the headphones. ear protection isn't common enough.

if it's bugging you a lot talk to the doctor. i'm just not sure how much they can do, but like i said, the ringing doesn't necessarily mean hearing loss i don't think, but it would help to get that tested.


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Tinnitus is extremely common.  It can be sign of particlar problems, ear injury or as a result of medication,  but in most cases it is ideopathic (unknown reason) and there is really no treatment short of drastic measures which are only taken if it is overwhelming. You can find lots of info on the web.


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Here are a few links:




http://www.tinnitus-research.org/info/links.asp - links to various international organizations

There are thousands more. If you look at these, you'll see there are many treatments that have been tried and still are. Niacin has shown some promise, but the jury is still out on it.

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Hi Kris,

Is there any hearing loss with the ringing? Does it wake you up at night? Have you figured out what note it is on the piano? Can you sometimes not hear people talk because you're too busy listening to the ringing? Is it more like a buzz or water running or the refrigerator in the middle of the night? I have tinnitis too - for about a million years now - nerve damage from who knows what. Sometimes it's merely bothersome but other times it's downright crazy-making. Feel free to PM me if you need pointers on dealing.

Millie O

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A blend,

of heavy surf,



From a life time,

of making



I know,


the Ibuprofen,

I take,

by the pound,

adds to the


Most of

my Middle

Frequency hearing




Pays to protect

Your hearing.

It's for life.


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Heya Kris,

Missed this thread until today, sorry  :embarassed:

And it's all covered by the others anyway ;)

Except I have to take exception:

It's so common, it counts (IMHO) as normal.

People have been known to feel suicidal with it, it's so disruptive/maddening.

Tinnitus is mostly noise-induced, mostly.

Is it worse in one ear?

Is there hearing loss?

Any dizziness?

Any pain?

If NO --

No caffeine.

Lots of water.

White noise, like a fan or small humidifier at night.

If YES --

See an audiologist for a hearing test, and evoked potentials.

Mine actually recorded the ringing in *my* ears.  That was during school, when I volunteered to be the test subject.

Then, perhaps s/he will recommend your FP send you to an ENT for an opinion.

B/c there's a remote chance of a *benign* thing called an "acoustic neuroma."

A thing on your acoustic nerve that screws up your hearing, and can be surgically removed.

Nothing scary, really.

(another good place for the non-existent "trust me, I'm a doctor" smilie)


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Thank you Dr. NCC! ;) No hearing loss.  I will ATTEMPT to cut out my morning coffee, have already almost eliminated any caffeine beyond that and I do use a fan (noise machine) at night.  Thanks for your reply!  Kris.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I was on Depakote, my ears rang SO bad to the point where I would bang my hands against my head to try and distract myself.  It was so loud that it impaired my hearing.  But then I got off of the Depakote and within a week it was gone.

[i'm on lithium now]

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