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Poll: tinnitus increase and e-cigs

Discussion in 'Health, Safety and Vaping' started by Giraut, Jan 5, 2014.

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  1. Giraut

    Giraut Moved On

    Dec 6, 2013
    This is a poll/inquiry for those of you who have experienced a marked increase in tinnitus (or ringing/whooshing/whistling noises in the ears).

    I'm starting this thread because I've had tinnitus for almost 30 years, and it's increased considerably since I've started vaping. I've quit vaping for a while, then started again with different juices, different quantities vaped per day, etc... and I think I've isolated the ingredient responsible for the increase. But I'm not going to post my theory (yet) because I'd like a pseudo-impartial confirmation that I may be on the right track.

    To this end, I'd like to compile a set of data about vapers who experience tinnitus, with as few preconceived notions about the problem and its roots as possible, to make it statistically relevant if possible.

    So:

    - Either you're a long-term tinnitus sufferer, and you already know a lot of it is psychological (i.e. once you starts paying attention, it gets worse, you pay more attention, and it becomes a vicious circle) but you're convinced the increase in your tinnitus is more than that because it's never been that loud, you can't ignore it even if you try with the usual diversion methods, etc.

    - Or you've never had tinnitus in your life and suddenly it's started and it won't go away.

    My questions are these:

    1/ Have you experienced an increase in tinnitus in one ear only, or both?

    2/ Has the tinnitus changed in nature? (different/added frequencies, pulsating when it was constant before, presence of whoosing that wasn't there before, that sort of thing)

    3/ When did you start noticing the increase? Immediately after you started vaping, 1 week after, 2 weeks after...?

    4/ To the best of your recollection, did you start vaping a new juice prior to experiencing the increase in tinnitus? If so, which one (PG/VG/flavoring composition if possible) and how long did the increase seem to take to set in?

    5/ Have you noticed that vaping a particular juice increases your tinnitus even more? If so, which one (PG/VG/flavoring composition if possible)?

    6/ Have you tried to quit vaping altogether? If so, did the tinnitus go down and how long did it take to return to "normal" (or disappear)?

    7/ Have you tried quitting vaping a particular liquid totally that you think made your tinnitus return to "normal" (or disappear)? If so, which one (PG/VG/flavoring composition if possible)?

    8/ If you still have unusual tinnitus now, what juices do you vape during the day (PG/VG/flavoring composition of each juice if possible)?

    Please feel free to skip the questions that don't apply to you.
    Thank you very much for your time!
     
  2. SonHouse

    SonHouse Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 7, 2013
    Seminole
    I have tinnitus. Nicotine and smoking are known to increase the effect as is caffeine. I personally noticed an increase when I first started vaping but that was because I was over dosing on nicotine to make up for the addiction to the secondary tobacco alkaloids. Once I got past that stage it really hasn't been an issue. It can come back from time to time when I over do it.

    1) Both
    2) No
    3) In the first week and continuing. It's been a while so I can't remember exactly.
    4) No, doesn't appear to be tied to the juice.
    5) No, doesn't appear to be tied to the juice.
    6) No, reducing it returned it to normal levels.
    7) N/A
    8) N/A
     
  3. arizonabay

    arizonabay Full Member

    May 11, 2013
    Los Angeles
    1/ Yes. In my right ear.

    2/ No.

    3/ 3 weeks after I started vaping. 8 months later and it's still loud.

    4/ No. I've pretty much stuck with the same juice throughout vaping. Halo's Tribeca.

    5/ I've experimented with different juices and different VG/PG combinations. Nothing seems to make a difference.

    6/ No. I fear this may be too tough!

    7/ I'm currently attempting a pure VG mix. Will stick with this for a month to see if it makes any difference. I read a post suggesting VG only might help somewhere else.

    8/ Halo's Tribeca was my ADV.

    Elsewhere, I've read that thyroid issues are common when one quits smoking and one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism is tinnitus. Plan to get my thyroid checked by the doctor. Just incase this is the cause!
     
  4. PaulBHC

    PaulBHC Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Jan 22, 2014
    Arizona
    1/ Have you experienced an increase in tinnitus in one ear only, or both?
    both
    2/ Has the tinnitus changed in nature? (different/added frequencies, pulsating when it was constant before, presence of whoosing that wasn't there before, that sort of thing)
    louder sometimes
    3/ When did you start noticing the increase? Immediately after you started vaping, 1 week after, 2 weeks after...?
    immediate
    4/ To the best of your recollection, did you start vaping a new juice prior to experiencing the increase in tinnitus? If so, which one (PG/VG/flavoring composition if possible) and how long did the increase seem to take to set in?
    doesn't seem to matter
    5/ Have you noticed that vaping a particular juice increases your tinnitus even more? If so, which one (PG/VG/flavoring composition if possible)?
    not yet but I am going to try different mixes
    6/ Have you tried to quit vaping altogether? If so, did the tinnitus go down and how long did it take to return to "normal" (or disappear)?
    2010 I gave up on vaping and smoking cold turkey for 6 months. I do remember the vape tinnitus back then but don't remember if it went away completely when I quit both
    7/ Have you tried quitting vaping a particular liquid totally that you think made your tinnitus return to "normal" (or disappear)? If so, which one (PG/VG/flavoring composition if possible)?
    no
    8/ If you still have unusual tinnitus now, what juices do you vape during the day (PG/VG/flavoring composition of each juice if possible)?
    generally 50/50 but bought some vg so that I can try some mixes

    It seems worse in my left ear which is the one that I have used most of my life for the telephone
    I have workplace exposure to a noise that seems to cause temporary episodes of tinnitus. Last year I started getting an additional sound like a thump underwater. Not a rhythm like heartbeat but random thumps. I went to my doctor for a checkup and mentioned all of this. My blood pressure is slightly high and he suggested cutting my sodium to <2000mg per day before going to meds. That has helped the BP but no change to the tinnitus but the thump has all but gone away. I notice the tinnitus more when I smoke and when I chain smoke on weekends. When I started vaping again last month, I immediately remembered the effect from the last time. I plan on reducing the amount of nicotine over time. Currently using 24mg. Last time it was 36mg.
     
  5. WhoDothScuba

    WhoDothScuba Decompression Vaper Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sep 15, 2013
    Warner Robins, GA, USA
    Long-term tinnitus sufferer, rock concerts as teen and then USAF exposure to jet engine noise (even with double hearing protection used) were probable causes. 30 years of ringing experience. I think your survey is a great idea.

    My answers to your questions:

    1/ yes, both ears

    2/ yes, increased volume

    3/ 1 month after I started vaping

    4/ no juice change, typically use 50vg/50pg/pg based flavorings and 70vg/30pg/pg based flavorings

    5/ no

    6/ no, not an option yet

    7/ n/a

    8/ Various from GLV, LJsesmokes, Innevape
     
  6. Giraut

    Giraut Moved On

    Dec 6, 2013
    Thanks to those who answered. I should perhaps post a little update on my tinnitus problem: it's gone :) Or rather, it's down to pre-vaping levels for me.

    PG is responsible. I'm now 100% certain.

    It's taken 2 months of vaping 100% VG juices exclusively for my tinnitus to come down. So there is a high latency involved here. I suppose PG, or whatever it degrades into inside the body, lingers around for quite some time and irritates cochlear nerves or something. I'm not a doctor so I wouldn't know for sure, but it stands to reason.

    Occasionally, my tinnitus flares up a little when I vape certain liquids a lot - for instance, menthol liquids. I thought perhaps menthol triggered the problem too, but a little chat with my favorite (and now sole) juice supplier revealed that they use PG to dissolve certain flavorings. So even in 100% VG liquids, there may be some PG depending on the flavors. Having made mentholated liquids myself, I suspected as much: menthol almost doesn't dissolve in VG.

    Finally, as I mentioned in another post, my family doctor confirmed that PG-based ear drops should not be prescribed to people with ruptured eardrums because it then can get into the inner ear. Since vaping gives PG a direct route to the inner ear through the Eustachian tubes, he told my symptoms didn't surprise him one bit.

    So there you have it. If you have tinnitus, stay away from PG. The good news is, PG-induced tinnitus seems reversible. But I wouldn't bet on it remaining reversible forever if you keep vaping it. Better safe than sorry and stop vaping the stuff asap.
     
  7. downInTn

    downInTn Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 21, 2014
    Tennessee
    Thanks for reporting your findings! It's been two months since I started vaping and It's starting to get really bad for me. The past week the ringing has been starting ~midday, this morning I woke up with it.

    Looks like I'm going to have to PIF some juice that I really love :(
     
  8. wv2win

    wv2win ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 10, 2009
    GA by way of WV
    I have been having mild tinnitus for the last year and I vape mostly PG based e-liquid. I have switched to 50/50 but only in the last month. I'm glad I found this thread. Thank you.
     
  9. downInTn

    downInTn Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 21, 2014
    Tennessee
    After some very uncontrolled experimentation, I don't think PG is my problem.

    I had read where another user here found that it was a sweetener that caused their tinnitus. I had been vaping a couple of juices with a lot of sweetener for the past three or so weeks. One was a coffee flavor and the other was chocolate, when I purchased them there was an option to have them sweetened. I kinda thought I would regret it but I got them sweetened anyway.

    So... after a day of moderation and none of the sweetened juice the next day my tinnitus had calmed down 95%. For the next two days I went back to the norm, chain vaping :), even some 80%pg and everything was good. Yesterday I decided to see what would happen if I vaped the sweet stuff. By midday I had gone through about 1 and a half ml, then an hour or so later I thought I could feel it starting up. An hour later and It was full on for the rest of the day. Coincidence, maybe IDK, this morning everything is fairly normal.

    I got some bioflavonoids(vitamins) that supposedly help about a third of the people that suffer from tinnitus... time will tell.
     
  10. Cool_Breeze

    Cool_Breeze Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 10, 2011
    Kentucky
    Do you know what particular sweetener(s) may have been in play?
     
  11. patkin

    patkin Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Arizona USA
    It might have been me you read saying sweeteners. I get tinnitus (way loud cicadas) from any sweetener other than sucralose or saccahrin (sp) but when it started years ago it was only aspartame that did it. It took a few weeks for the tinnitus to weaken after years of drinking aspartame sodas... (getting it out of my body tissues). Over the years I developed the same problem with other sweeteners including stevia which was the first one I tried when ditching aspartame. There's a whole gamut of sweeteners and they don't know how any of them actually work or what they affect. Aspartame, though, affects sensorial nerves so that's why ear tinnitus... at least in me. Now I'm battling noise in my head instead of in my ear(s) and have been through all kinds of tests, including brain scans, that found nothing. Periodically, the usual tuning fork sound there is accompanied by the thumping heartbeat sound of running a marathon. That comes and goes and the tuning fork cycles so I have bad and better days. I don't think its vaping per se causing it as I had it for about a year before I started. But my smoking had increased greatly so I'm trying to cut nic down to see if its a factor. Good luck to everyone. Its no fun living with tinnitus.

    Edit: Oh, I might mention what some of you may already know. Both volume and pitch affect it... make it worse. I have to be careful with TV treble/volume, cell phone treble/voices, those grating high-pitched voices some people have, etc.
     
  12. Muggs

    Muggs Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 8, 2013
    CT
    Wow I had no idea the extra ringing could be tied to vaping, glad I found this thread. I have noticed this happening more often lately and couldn't figure out why. I swear it happens more often to me with higher nic juices.

    1. One ear
    2. It seems to be a lower volume and more frequent
    3. I didn't notice until about 6-8 months of vaping
    4. No
    5. Higher nicotine juices. I DIY my juices 75PG/25VG 18mg, it happens more with 24mg
    6. I havent tried to quit
    7. No but I will pay attention from now on
    8. I always vape 80-75PG and 20-25VG, I swear it happens more often with higher nicotine
     
  13. downInTn

    downInTn Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 21, 2014
    Tennessee
    I do not, it sure does taste good(not artificial) though. I guess the vendor might say if I inquired. I think I'm going to wait a week and see how it goes then try the juice again.

    Yeah, I think It must have been. Exactly, cicadas, the ones that only come around every 16 years and are very loud.
     
  14. r77r7r

    r77r7r ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Pa,LandOfTaxes
    I've found low volume sound helps. I have a player I've gotten off the web that offers 3 diff sounds. It kind of cancels it out.

    HTML5 Noise Generator | PlayNoise.com

    -Yeah, I'm at an age that I prefer silence when home :)
     
  15. we2rcool

    we2rcool Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 31, 2013
    Iowa, IA, USA
  16. downInTn

    downInTn Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 21, 2014
    Tennessee
    My tinnitus has flared up again this morning. I guess the sweetened juice is not to blame.

    I will be going 100% VG for a while, well... as soon as I can DIY something vapeable.:unsure:
     
  17. Lana79

    Lana79 Full Member

    Dec 4, 2012
    Serbia
    I have a specific issue my doc calls "headphones tinnitus" - basically, it appears only after doing full day simultaneous interpretation (with headphones on), and disappears few days after. It also happens when I do voiceovers or sing in a studio, and the duration depends on the time my ears are covered with headphones and quality of sound.

    However, it had gotten worse (takes longer to go away and the intensity is higher, both ears) since I started vaping, but not extremely. In my case, it is just annoying, but I will test different pg/vg contents and avoid artificial sweeteners (damn, I can gulp down 2 pints of diet soda faster than you can pronounce the brand) and report back (if I can find this thread in a month or so). In general, I usually vape Flavor Art juice from a local vendor, maxx blend (tobacco flavor), sometimes testing other brands/flavors, but that's my go-to thing.

    Weird thing: if I interpret a 3 day conference, it would start on day 4...
     
  18. yolo_

    yolo_ Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 11, 2013
    Strawberry Fields
    My experience was a loud whooshing/roaring noise in both ears.

    I completely got rid of tinnitus when i dropped my nic level.

    btw i had tinnitus when i smoked.
     
  19. TigertailzBezerk

    TigertailzBezerk Full Member

    Mar 25, 2010
    Toledo Ohio
    I have had tinnitus going on 5 years now, For me it hasn't gotten any worse/louder or different from vaping
     
  20. HeadInClouds

    HeadInClouds Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 2, 2013
    Thank you for that! It gives me some hope.

    To answer the initial questions:

    I've had tinnitus since childhood due to exposure to loud noises (jet aircraft).
    1. both ears
    2. much louder (double, I'd say) in both ears. I've always heard occasional tone changes, usually during exercise
    3. took me a couple months of vaping to notice.
    4. I was using White Cloud disposables, then Halo liquids. The PG/VG ratio isn't available, but I know both contain PG.
    5. I've never noticed an immediate change in tinnitus from any liquid
    6. I've occasionally skipped a day or two of vaping without noticing any change
    7. see #6
    8. I switched to making my own liquids fairly early. All contained at least 30% PG until about a month ago. (I vaped with PG for 6+ months.) When I switched to VG base and minimum PG-based flavoring (generally 1-3%), the tinnitus quit progressing right away. It has not improved yet, but your results gives me some optimism.
     
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