What do ear infections, tinnitus, stomach acid, and drugs all have in common? First you have to read my tinnitus story here My Wife is Going to Kill Me. As you can see, I have had tinnitus most of my life and it got worse when I became deaf. Also I have always been plagued with ear and sinus infections as far back as I can remember, which I think played a role in me going deaf. You can read more about my story at World of Silence to get an idea of what I have been through.
Within the last three months I have had two sinus infections.. I get really scared when I start taking antibiotics and steroids, not because I am against them, but because I don’t want to end up with my body getting so used to them that they become ineffective. Several months ago I had to use a PICC line because oral antibiotics were not sufficient to get rid of my infection. For the past few weeks my tinnitus has been so bad it has disturbed my sleep. I tried everything I knew: nasal washes, cutting out caffeine, resting, and so forth. No improvement. This week I went to the ENT and he told me that I have a sinus infection again and when I lie down the mucus is going up into my ears, aggravating my tinnitus. He suspects I have acid reflux, and I will have to undergo a test to confirm that.
I am mentioning this in a blog because if you have had similar symptoms of sinusitis and tinnitus, you may want to ask your doctor about acid reflux. These are are some of the symptoms of acid reflux::
1. Hoarseness, especially in the morning
2. Chronic throat clearing or persistent cough
3. Chronic sore throat
4. A feeling of something caught in the throat
5. Excessive mucous/post nasal drip
6. Difficulty swallowing
7. Restless sleep
Can you answer “YES” to any of these? I know I can. The diagnostic test for acid reflux is the Dx-pH Test . Now comes the interesting part:I did some research online and found that most of the common over-the-counter medications for acid reflux are ototoxic. I have read different opinions regarding what ototoxic class acid reducers should be in, but I think each person will need to evaluate this for him or herself. For example, I had to stop one of the medications I took prior to my deafness because it was ototoxic, and eliminating it helped reduce my tinnitus. But, if the possibly ototoxic acid blocker prevents future sinus infections, that could also reduce my tinnitus, and it would definitely improve my overall health. I have to weigh the costs and benefits.
My name is Jeff Swartz and I live in Atlanta, GA. I am married to wonderful wife and have two teenaged daughter.