Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is not a common symptom of multiple sclerosis, but it does sometimes occur, and varies in severity from person to person. Mine showed up after a flu illness, along with severe headaches. The headaches abated, but the ringing persists, more than a year later, although at a far more bearable level of intensity than on first appearance. In some cases, the ringing is temporary and goes away altogether with time.
An attendant problem may occur which involves difficulty in discriminating speech against a noisy background or among multiple speakers. There may also be heightened sensitivity to noise.
Although there does not seem to be any specific medication for this problem, many who suffer with tinnitus use various methods to deal with it. Music seems to be helpful in interrupting the monotony of the ringing and decreasing the intensity. I employed this method with fair effect, using earphones and soothing selections of music. Another method is to employ “white noise” a constant low level distraction in the background, like a radio or a TV set.
One should be aware also that some medications can actually cause tinnitus, such as steroids or, most notably, aspirin. It would be wise to check these possibilities first.
Have you experienced any ear problems?
Richard was raised in Portland, Oregon and diagnosed with MS in 2007. Within 3 years, he decided to retire early, at 55, and move to Bali with his wife, who is originally Indonesian. From there, he continues to write about experiences with MS as well as his various adventures on the island.