ED drugs and tinnitus - HORRIBLE experience!

Joined
Mar 3, 2011
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2,408
Location
California's Central Coast Wine Country
Hello Everyone:

I want to share my personal experience with you. It is very important you read this. I want to spare you the anguish I am going through.

I am a healthy 64-year old Caucasian male. I have been successful in life. I was a systems engineer for Tandem Computers/Hewlett Packard Corporation for 28 years. I have a great family who I am very proud of. I’ve been happily married to the same woman for 40 years. She and I are best friends. We respect and love each other dearly. Our two sons are truly good guys, both of them happy and successful. We have a fantastic daughter-in-law and two wonderful grandchildren. I have several long time friends who I see or talk to regularly. My neighbors like me.

I always worked hard on my fitness and am in exceptional physical shape. Red wine is my only vice, although I drink only in moderation. At worst I get a wine buzz over dinner. The last time I remember being drunk was in my high school days. I don’t drink beer or liqueur, nor do I do drugs.

We all have our issues and regrets, but I think anyone who knows me would agree that I’m a good guy and am largely baggage free. My point is, I’ve had a very good life and there is very little I would change if I had it to do over again. I am happy with my life.

I have been happy and healthy my entire life. The only long-term issue I’ve had is tinnitus. Tinnitus is ringing in the ears. I’ve had mild tinnitus for 25 years. I have been around racecars my whole life as a spectator and about 5 years as a crew member. And growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area area in the ‘60s and ‘70s, I was a regular at rock concerts at Winterland and Filmore West. This was a great time in my life!

We all know loud noises can cause hearing damage, so there was no reason to doubt why I was experiencing tinnitus. That said, my tinnitus was always mild and steady. It never truly bothered my. It’s just that I noticed it once in a while, but I always quickly forgot because it faded into the background or disappeared almost completely. For 25 years my tinnitus had ZERO impact on my life.

That changed with something I did starting in late February. As more of an experiment than anything – because I didn’t have any real problem – I asked my doctor for a Levitra prescription. Levitra is an ED drug in the same family as Viagra and Cialis. My doctor prescribed me the lowest dose available, 5mg tablets. The maximum daily dose of Levitra is 20mg.

Over a 60 day timeframe, I used just 9 of the 24 tablets I had been prescribed. On only one occasion did I take tablets on successive days. Even though the maximum dose is 20mg, I never took more than one 5mg tablet at a time. Given the fact that I am a healthy, physically fit, active, 6’5”, 230 pound guy, by all accounts my dosage was very low.

In hindsight, I noticed the morning after taking pill 7 that my hearing seemed a bit dull. But, spring had arrived and allergies were rampant with the wet winter California enjoyed this year. I dismissed the thought that Levitra may have been responsible, not even considering it the cause at the time. Several days later I took two 5mg doses on successive days, #8 and #9. My hearing was noticeably deadened afterwards and I made the association that Levitra may be the cause. That was the last time I took Levitra.

The timeline was this; 1) I started taking it in late February, 2) I took it pretty much once a week , 3) my last two doses in early May were on successive days. Not only was I taking the lowest dose possible, I think you’d all agree I wasn’t popping them like candy.

Within days of taking those last doses I noticed the volume level of my tinnitus was getting increasing louder. My tinnitus was now bothering me every second of my life – and it was getting louder by the day! I hit my low point the night of May 20th. We had dinner with friends at a local winery (we live in the wine country). It was an outdoor venue with an acoustic group playing off in the distance. No sooner did we finish up our meal than did my tinnitus kick into high gear. Our friends and my wife noticed that instant change in me. I was now truly frightened with what was happening. We had to leave that moment.

Back home and in total anguish, I awoke at 2:30AM with literally rock concert loud tinnitus. It was unbearable. I awoke like I was on fire, dancing naked around the bedroom with my hands over my ears. I began sobbing, and sobbed uncontrollably to an hour, writhing uncontrollably in the bed. (I only remember crying one other time in my life. I am not a cry-er). It haunts me that my wife had to witness this!

I was in such AGONY that I will tell you with absolute certainty, had I been solo in life with no friends or family I would have opened up my gun safe and killed myself. It was that bad. Sound is used as a form or torture. Let me tell you, it works.

Somehow I made it through the night and made a doctors appointment the next day. I was quickly referred to an audiologist who did a thorough hearing test and assessment. Sensing my anguish, she had me take a 35 question test on how much my tinnitus was bothering me. Yes answers were the “wrong” answer. Of the 35 questions I answered yes to 31 of them. I already thought it was bad, but I was in far worse shape than I thought. She insisted I see a psychiatrist ASAP, which I did. I’ll get right to the point, the psychiatrist wanted to assess whether or not I was a suicide risk! Me? A suicide risk?! But it was true, good life or not, I could see the possibility.

I have since seen a neurologist who told me that the Levitra was the likely cause of my tinnitus flaring up as is has. He strongly advises against taking any ED drug if you have tinnitus. He has personally seen cases like mine, and he has seen cases where the damage is permanent. What happens is that these ED drugs re-direct blood from the brain to the pelvic region. The consequence of this is that it starved my auditory nerves of blood, thus damaging them. He is hopeful that I will recover eventually given my low dosages and short term use. That said, he said there are no guarantees. If I do recover he said it could take a year or more!

I have since been prescribed powerful anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills. The sleeping pills don’t work and I only use the anti-anxiety drugs when I absolutely have to. Every single evening when the sun goes down I start having anxiety attacks because I know I will be going to bed soon. I’ve bought sound machines, I’ve bought books, I’ve changed my diet virtually eliminating salt and sugar, wine no longer touches my lips, nor does coffee. I’m taking Gingko and Lipo-flavinods. I am doing everything in my power to fight back as hard as I am able.

I will finish this long missive with this – you cannot imagine the agony I am experiencing right now. My tinnitus is with me EVERY SECOND OF MY LIFE. It is the LOUDEST sound I hear, even while riding my bicycle down Peachy Canyon Road at 35mph, or driving our not-so-quiet Honda Element into a head wind on coarse pavement at 75mph.

This horrible sound is ever present with me. It’s hard enough to come to grips with the fact that it may take a year for this to go away. The thought that this damage could be permanent will most certainly change who I am as a person. It will change every single relationship I have. I will change the very core of who I am. I feel completely ruined right now. I’m fighting back as hard as I can, but I’m on the ropes, hunkered down defensively, tinnitus pounding me with blow after blow. I was down on one knee, almost out, on that horrible May 20th night. I’m now back up on two feet, though I’m still on the ropes, getting hammered. Wish me luck.

I write this not for sympathy, but to warn you. Statistics show my situation to be a rare case. But I am one of them and it may have ruined my life.

Do you want to become a statistic? You have been warned.

Sincerely,

Scott


This is what I hear EVERY SECOND OF MY LIFE!

 
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Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
652
Location
Phladelphia
Prayers for a recovery. I cannot imagine what you are going through. And thank you for the warning, I have mild tinnitus as well but much younger. Stay strong brother...
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2014
Messages
3,897
Location
Canada
Sorry to read of your troubles. Hope things improve. Not sure if you've considered this, but to improve blood flow to your auditory areas you might want to stop eating later than 5-6 pm daily. When you do this AFAIK, the blood in your body gets a change to move away from your stomach and digestive areas to the rest of your body (as the muscles aren't working to move food/waste along). The first few times you try this you'll feel an increase in body temp and feeling more "alert"...at least that's what I felt. It also improved the ability for my body to repair itself from any cuts/bruising/muscle soreness and gave me a much better night's rest. The objective is to go as long as possible between dinner time and breakfast to let your body naturally heal itself. I'd recommend at least 12 hour fasting periods and only consuming water. I enjoy doing this regularly. I weigh 150lbs and am 5'6". Really helps to loose weight too
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
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1,356
Location
Europe
Thanks for the heads up. I've had relatively mild tinnitus for many years now. It's just a very high frequency constant whine. It's not improving but nor is it getting any worse. Thankfully I've not reached that stage in my life where I need any pharmaceutical help in the bedroom but if I did, I think I might just pass after reading your post.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
6,170
Location
the canyons
Thanks for the heads-up. Best wishes for a speedy improvement. My whole life has been loud noise. Motorcycles, Rock concerts, insanely loud race cars. I was very fortunate that I learned of earplugs early on. I am never without a pair in my pocket. I have some slight Tinnitus in one ear. A possible treatment that a Doctor recommended was Garlic. Either eating it or taking pills. It seems to have reduced the noise for me. It has a blood-thinning effect, which it is theorized is what helped.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2015
Messages
4,389
Location
Connecticut
Sorry to hear about this. I won't take any drugs unless absolutely necessary. Never considered taking ED drugs, nor would I ever. Same goes for other commonly prescribed things like lipitor, statins, etc. If I can't do it naturally then I don't want to do it, including the old aspirin a day methodology. It will be decades from now when we finally realize all the negative effects of today's prescriptions. Just think, in the 1960's and 1970's cholesterol was the boogeyman. Now they aren't so sure. There are much better risk factors in play today than chol. To improve blood flows I would suggest shifting to more foods that will help improve blood vessels, endothelial tissues, and arteries. More anti-oxidants, less oxidants, and more natural blood "thinners" like garlic and onions, celery, beets, etc. That path can also improve ED and reduce the risks of auto-immune diseases, heart disease, and cancers. I don't consider red wine a problem. A glass a day is a potent anti-oxidant. It has other side effects, but it's not like drinking a can of soda every day. Get Vit D3 daily via peak hours of sunshine as well for a more potent immune response.
 

CT8

Joined
Oct 9, 2014
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15,369
Location
Idaho
I am 64 years old and grew up in Millbrae Calif. I also went to the same places you mentioned and have done the same loud things as well and have Tinnitus really bad about the volume of a woman's voice in my right ear and the left ear not so bad. I am not sure what to say but getting old sucks big time. Arthritis, bad joints, things hurt that I didn't know I had. Old people have to be tough! Like Roy Rogers said when you are young you bounce when you are my age you splat.
 

CT8

Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
15,369
Location
Idaho
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Hope you're feeling better. Some doctors are clueless to side affects of certain medications
They just prescribe other meds to help the side affects of the previous meds.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
858
Location
Wisconsin
I have had bad tinnitus for 22.5 years. I will be 43 in July. My best coping mechanism is to not think about it. Well that and getting good and drunk helps. Getting a buzz makes it worse. I listened to your 6800hz vid. I didn't hear a thing. My kids both said, "Whats that awful sound?"
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
41,744
Location
Great Lakes
Scott, that is horrible. I can't imagine having to hear this non stop. Wishing you find a way to get through this and get better soon.
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
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2,744
Location
San Antonio, TX
I hope you find relief soon. I've had a touch of tinnitus as far back as I can remember -Kindergarten days - but it never really interfered with anything until I had chemotherapy last year. It really jumped up after combination cisplatin and Alimta therapy, and I was warned it was a potential side effect before I was administered chemotherapy. It's definitely interfering now but not at an agonizing level. But it's likely elevated permanently, my last chemo treatment was late January this year and no decrease yet. I'd still do it all over again all things considered. I have agonizing migraine headaches so I sympathize with you on just wanting the problem to stop!
 
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AZjeff

$50 Site Donor 2022
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
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northern Az where the Antelope play
Man that's a tough side effect to get for something you didn't need to take. Hope you get some relief soon. Do you have any figures on how many get this severe tinnitus from taking this drug?
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
2,939
Location
IL
In my opinion, you should seek a clinic that specializes in ED. ED is a serious problem, St. Louis Men's Clinic is my recommendation. I go in for weekly injections. My visits are less than 10 minutes typically and I can be on my way. It's now to the point where I look forward to my visit so I can catch up with the guys in the office. My life is better at home, work and the gym. I would recommend a visit to anyone having the same issues I was having. Don't let pride or embarrassment get in the way, life it too short to feel like it's already over.
 
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