Tinnitus as new symptom of longstanding neuropathy anyone?

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Hi. I'm trying to get to the bottom of what might be causing my relatively new and worsening tinnitus. Mine is a very high frequency whine - never varies but it does ease when I've been asleep. A minute or two so into wakingit returns with a vengeance. Is it significant that it eases when I have been sleeping or is everyone's like this? My GP can find nothing in my ears to explain. I'm a 53 year old post menopausal woman.

I have a neurological presentation of Sjogren's Syndrome that is very like MS. I have sicca (dry eyes), GERD, disequilibrium and small fibre neuropathy with inflammatory arthritis thrown in as a non erosive comorbidity. T

I also have bruxism (jaw clenching) and a very allergic history.

Does this neurological presentation sound familiar to anyone else with tinnitus I wonder? I am under neurology, rheumatology and endocrinology (hypothyroid).

I'm asking because I want to know whether or not to request that my GP refers me to audiology/ ENT now? 

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26 Replies

  • Posted

    I am have terrible trouble with tinnitus. I also have Sjogrens syndrom (Mixed connective tissue disease includingv lupus) Also hypothyroidism, poly arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, IBS. I was prescribed plaquenil taking for around a year Doctor added methotrexate g got worse actually waking me from sleep. Any suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks in advanced
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    • Posted

      Your Tinnitus may be the result of a Vitamin B12 deficiency. In addition your hypothyroidism and IBS increases the risk of developing a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

      Symptoms of B12 deficiency tend to develop slowly and may not be recognised immediately. As the condition worsens, common symptoms include:

      Weakness and fatigue

      Light-headedness and dizziness

      Palpitations and rapid heartbeat

      Shortness of breath

      A sore tongue that has a red, beefy appearance

      Nausea or poor appetite

      Weight loss


      Yellowish tinge to the skin and eyes

      Tinnitus – ringing in ears

      If low levels of B12 remain for a long time, the condition also can lead to irreversible damage to nerve cells, which can cause the following symptoms:

      Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet

      Difficulty walking

      Muscle weakness


      Memory loss



      PsychosisI'm not a medically trained person but I would suggest you ask your doctor to test your serum B12 and Folate levels if for nothing else but to eliminate them as a cause.

      I wish you well.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your replies to this old post.  I’m afraid I’m none the wiser really but I’m going to see another ENT in May about possible Eustacian Tube disorder such as Menieres. I do have lots of facial issues but nothing showed up in a CT of my sinuses last year. 

    Re the the B12 comment - if I could collect a small payment for every time anyone has suggested this to me I’d be a rich woman! Last time it was tested about 5 months ago it was 1500 - almost twice as high as normal range! I stopped taking the supplements that everyone kept recommending to me on forums as I think I might have had too much rather than B12 deficiency! 

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  • Posted

    I am going to my Rheumatologist tomorrow. See what he says. Thank you. I hope you get some answers soon
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    • Posted

      Hi there. I just replied with this update to Jane so this is what I said:  I’ve just had full vestibular tests, referred by my ENT who wished to exclude autoimmune ear disease due to vertigo. The tests (awful) showed I have no ear damage to account for my tinnitus or vertigo.

      The audiologist wondered about the arthritis in my neck but to be honest - as my small fibre neuropathy (SFN) affects every part of me and you have pretty much the same combination - I’m voting for SFN as culprit. 

      I should add that I have had arthritis of my jaw excluded since writing this and sensory ataxia has been added to my list. I fail the Romberg test every time.  So the audiologist felt that my vertigo, disequilibrium and tinnitus all belong to the neurological side of my Sjögren’s rather than to any vestibular damage. 

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