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Suffering from ringing ear. All medical test normal. Started feeling dizzy. Stress related problem?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1984
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Last August I noticed that my left ear felt full light pressure if few days later it started to ring however it was not the ringing that i am use to hearing. This ringing was getting louder and louder. I finally went to an ENT he did not see any blockage in my ear and said my ear drum looked fine. I had no headaches. On this first visit my hearing test for my left ear were really bad. I went to get an mri done to make sure I did not have a tumor behind my ear. The Mri came back fine. I did some blood work in which my antibody level were high. He asked me to see a rheumatologist just to make sure that my own body was attacking my ear or anything else. The rheumatologist took x rays and blood work, all came back fine. Throughout this whole time I was taking valacyclovir and prednisone. I notice that at one point I would say i was almost deaf on my left ear, I experienced dizziness but not that type of dizziness that makes your head spin, just felt like I was on boat shifting around. I was on this medication for two weeks I thought it was the medication that made me dizzy. I remember a week after my medicine ran out i experienced the dizziness again but not as bad as the first time. Since then I have been taking lot of vitamins so far so good. I did have a follow up with my Ent Rheumatologist in late Septmenber and both said this was a viral ear infection and they said I should be ok in 3 months. I have another follow up with them this month. The ringing in my ear has toned down a bit but noticed that my ear rings louder when I am in bed getting ready to sleep, I wake up with ringing but then it tones down. In December I had to fly to Florida, on my way back home to NY my left ear felt clogged up. I quickly started to chew gum and moving my jaw around, started to yawn to make this pop, I took cold medicine and eventually that feeling went away. I am still concerned because sometimes I have felt like my hearing fades down a but then gets but then gets better. I am confident that my next hearing test will come out better that the first, but why is the ringing still there? Is this stress related or is it that I am off balanced when I am sleeping? Can there be some sort of artery causing this problem? Some times I hear a light ringing on my right hear but i gently massage it seems to go away or if I get this feeling while I am sleeping I move to my left side and that slight ringing on my right ear goes away, can this be related to my sleeping pattern? In the past I have not had the best sleeping patterns sleeping only 5 hrs. I have experience ringing in my ears before but it has gone away so I never thought it was serious I would always think it was because I would be at a loud social gathering but I been pretty much a homebody last year so I am not sure what is going on with me ear? Can this be stress related? How long can a viral ear infection last? If it is a viral ear infection can someone in my house catch this viral ear infection?
Posted Thu, 21 Feb 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. A.K. Srivastava 2 hours later
I have gone through your medical history and after thinking deeply about developments from time to time, it is clear that you are probably having viral labyrinthitis. This is a self-limiting condition and has spontaneous recovery.
As your recovery is well because you are not dizzy, hearing well only slight tinnitus is left. Recently you make air travel without much discomfort except ear blocked which cleared by chewing and yawing that is a normal finding.
Now you are having only light ringing sound only at silent atmosphere as bedtime and early morning, this favors good recovery.
Regarding your queries, I would like to tell you-
(1) What is going on my ear: Sir, you are in recovery phase, it takes 6 weeks to 6 months
(2) Can it be stress related: Yes
(3) How long the viral infection last: Viral ear infection last for 10 to 15 days only but residual defect takes 6 weeks to 6 months for recovery, this process is spontaneous, medical treatment is only a supportive measure.
(4) Is this infection can pass to some other member of family: Incubation period (period of contamination) had passed, so do not worry.
Hope your queries are now clear. Let me know if I can help you further.

With Regards.

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