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Hearing Loss And Meniere's Disease

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Posted October 29, 2013 - 11:02 PM

This is a story 13 years in the making.

On my 30th birthday, I was at work... Got dizzy... Fell down... Got really sick... Took an ambulance ride... Vertigo attack. First time I heard a phrase that will be with me for the rest of my life: Meniere's Disease.

Meniere's Disease is a situation/disease/syndrome where vertigo and hearing loss can be caused by external stimulus such as salt, sugar, stimulants, stress, virus, who knows what all. They really dont know all the triggers, and it seems to be different for each person. Honestly, there are possibly more theories than people with the darned syndrome.

I had never had a vertigo attack before, no known reason why. Possible inner ear virus, but no confirmation.
As a kid, I had tubes a couple of times, normal stuff for the era, but always had good hearing.

Anyways, before that really bad week was over, I had suffered about a 60% loss of hearing in my right ear, picked up tinnitus, and had an unusual procedure done where they inject steroids thru the eardrum into the fluids to try to slow or stop the loss.

I slowly grew used to having a dead ear, learning to position myself on people's right as we spoke, even joking that the tinnitus drowns out the "voices". I adapted in my job, refusing to let it slow me down

Fast forward to this Fall. It felt like my ears needed to pop all the time. In September, I had noticed a lot of difficulty understanding people. The softer spoken they were, the harder. I found myself reading lips and struggling more each day. I kept telling my kids to stop mumbling. Finally, A friend at work said he was worried about me and that was the catalyst to go get checked.

Several tests later, I'm in a Ear Nose Thoat specialist's office and I hear "meniere's disease" again.
We did some tests and the recorded hearing loss was 47db in my left ear, and 53 in my right, nearly even loss, but with no vertigo this time. They even did a procedure to try to trigger an attack (don't eat or drink anything before coming in for this test).

The doctor asked if I injested a lot of caffeine daily. The answer is yes, I have been a three pot a day man for as long as I can remember. He has seen an increase in the number of patients who are dealing with vertigo, hearing loss, or both from high doses of caffeine. One person he mentioned has been drinking a 2L of Mountain Dew every day for over a year.

That was the end of September. I immediately tried to quit, knew that was a bad idea and weaned myself off. After a two week period, I quit caffeinated coffee. Two weeks later, I was retested with a significant improvement in the loss it the left ear. It is today up to only 18db loss. Not back to where it was, but better. Even the right has had some slight improvements.

They told me it will come and go, to expect some fluctuations, but I am able to interact with people with only the occasional "What?". Phones are now usable and I can hear my children's voices well again... Thankfully, they were able to keep the loss in the frequencies that my wife uses... (Just kidding)

I am telling this story for two reasons.
One, to share a great thing that happened to me today and
Two, just in case anyone is suffering from the same thing. If anyone needs more info or wants to ask a question, please ask. PM me if you want to keep it on the QT.
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#2 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2013 - 12:13 AM

That's interesting about the caffeine. I'm 59 & I had a case of Vertigo about a year ago. My 19 year old son started a new job having to wake up at 4:00 am. One morning I thought he was late & I shot up out of bed. When my feet hit the floor I couldn't stand up, I fell across the dresser & into the floor laying there helpless. My wife helped me back to bed & I thought I would be ok. I woke up & could not for the life of me stable myself. Every time I moved my head around I would panic & grab something because I thought I was falling into space. My doctor did a quick test by having me sit on the table with my head turned while he pushed me backwards quickly to watch my eyes. He said I had a very severe case of Vertigo because my eyes were dancing so fast he could barely see them. He explained to me because I moved so quickly I could have damaged the fibers inside my ear area. These fibers stand erect & send signals to the brain as we move to remain stable. When these fibers are restricted because of infections due to colds, allergies, etc it prevents them from floating & causes dizziness. My doctor said I should be fine in a week but it almost took three weeks before it went away. I don't remember what medication he put me on but it was basically a antihistamine. I still get a little dizzy if I move around quickly but I have avoided that mostly. I know someone that takes therapy for this because it keeps coming back. I'm glad your doing a lot better because I know I'll never forget how that felt myself.  

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#3 oldedeeres OFFLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2013 - 12:16 AM

Thanks for this post, it is a really helpful thing you have done. Unfortunately for us, our problem is age and excessive noise related. Well, maybe a little "selective hearing" comes into play as well, lol
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#4 T Guiles OFFLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2013 - 01:07 AM

Thank's for sharing that info I too have hearing loss in both ears and suffer from tinnitus. I find it really hard to get to sleep unless I'm dog tired. That ringing is something I really could do with out. I got mine from standing on the flight line during Desert Storm, seems like the B-52's should have a muffler on them lol,  Thank's again for sharing and hope this might help someone  

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Posted October 30, 2013 - 04:23 AM

Thanks for the info....maybe that is my wifes problem....She can't hear half the time and she is a big coffee drinker.

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#6 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted October 30, 2013 - 05:40 AM

Thanks for posting this Alan. My MIL has meniere's so I was aware of it. I've never heard of it being linked to caffeine though. It's good to hear that your Doc was aware of it and that you were able to improve your hearing. 53db's is a huge loss. For those who aren't familiar with the DB scale it is logarithmic, meaning that a 53db loss would represent a reduction of almost 500 in terms in the sensitivity to sound pressure.

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#7 KennyP OFFLINE  



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Posted October 30, 2013 - 06:13 AM

Glad you are improving some, Alan!

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#8 superaben OFFLINE  


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Posted October 30, 2013 - 06:19 AM

Sorry to hear that, Alan.  Take care of yourself!


Ben W.

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#9 powerking56 OFFLINE  


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Posted October 30, 2013 - 07:04 AM

Thanks for sharing your story and info, I learned quite a bit reading it and the responses.  It seems caffeine can have more of an adverse effect on folks than they may realize.

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#10 LilysDad OFFLINE  


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Posted October 30, 2013 - 07:26 AM

Manure Disease, that's a new one for me. Thanks for sharing with us. Every time I hear something good about coffee, I hear something else bad.

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#11 MH81 OFFLINE  


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Posted October 30, 2013 - 07:30 AM

Manure Disease, that's a new one for me. Thanks for sharing with us. Every time I hear something good about coffee, I hear something else bad.

Humor or auto correct? :rolling:
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#12 Walkinman1 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2013 - 07:46 AM

MH81, thanks for sharing your experience, a lot of that was news to me and it's good info to have.
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#13 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 30, 2013 - 08:09 AM

Health problems are scary. The caffine is another of the old "everything in moderation" stories. I'm glad that you were able to regain abit of your hearing. I live in Connecticut. Off the coast is Plum Island, it is a biological research facility. In the 1950s a germ warfare experiment got loose. They didn't worry about it because "it couldn't survive". Well, it did. It made it to neaby Lyme, CT and now we have Lymes disease. It is a close relative of syphilus and is cork screw shaped. It can bore into the brain and cause many different problems. My wife and I've had it 2x, it killed our dogs, and it crippled a little boy down the road.


There are 4 different strains that must be tested for individually. The tests are only 60% reliable. The good doctors in our area will treat you with antibiotics for three weeks if there is a good indication that you may have it.


I point this out because there is a chance that some syndromes are actually one of these Lymes type diseases. Treatment with amoxicillin may stop the disease. The symptoms may then be relieved. Good Luck, Rick  

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#14 HDWildBill OFFLINE  


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Posted October 30, 2013 - 08:37 AM

Ironic I should see this thread this morning.  Last night we were having dinner with some friends, visiting from Texas, when the husband started to get dizzy.  By the time we left the restaurant he was having quite a problem just standing and walking.  He said it comes and goes.  I can't help but wonder now if he isn't having the same problem.


2 cases now where Caffeine may be causing some serious health issues.  Maybe I need to moderate my consumption of the good stuff.  Thanks for sharing Alan and I'm glad things have turned around for ya.

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#15 olcowhand ONLINE  


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Posted October 30, 2013 - 09:03 AM

Wow, caffeine is quite good at causing an array of problems!  I've been telling the mods all the issue with caffeine & my heart palpitations, and I feel guilty after hearing all Alan has been going through.  Much as I always thought caffeine was helping me, it was slowly messing with my system.  Gone from my diet as much as possible now!

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