Jon’s Story – Tinnitus from Fluoroquinolones

In December 2016 I fell from a ladder and fractured my Coccyx, one of the complications that came on about 2 weeks after the impact were symptoms of a non-specific urinary tract infection and blood in my semen. I was prescribed by my doctor a 1 week course of Ciprofloxacin, 2 tablets a day. I’m usually reluctant to take antibiotics but due to the worrying nature of the symptoms I started the course in good faith.

Mid way into the course of treatment (having taken 9 out of 14 tablets), I returned home from work that day feeling dizzy and unwell and went to bed at 9pm. At about midnight I woke with the most alarming ringing in my ears, completely deafening in volume that made me leap from the bed and shout to my wife in a highly stressed state. The ringing subsided slightly over about 15 minutes so I tried to calm down and return to sleep. As soon as I started to fall into a light sleep the ringing would return to maximum intensity and wake me with a fright. This was the start of an alarming cycle which meant I was getting no more than about 30 minutes light sleep before waking up due to the tinnitus.

I called my doctor the next day and as my infection symptoms has subsided he agreed I should stop taking the Ciprofloxacin and that my tinnitus should disappear as the medicine left my body. However this was not to be the case, during that first day I was aware of a constant hissing in my left ear and a higher pitch whistle in my right ear. That night when I tried to sleep the same cycle continued, on falling asleep the tinnitus would ‘spike’ and wake me a short time later at such a loud volume if felt like a pressure valve going off in my head. It would subside over several minutes, I’d fall back asleep but the same pattern would continue. After a few days I became increasingly exhausted and distressed, the hissing ‘soundstage’ would remain during the day and at night the spikes continued I’d have the most terrible time sleeping. I couldn’t work and returned to the doctor several times in those first couple of weeks who said I was experiencing an acute stress reaction to the sudden onset tinnitus. I returned to work after about 3 weeks but had never felt so broken and at a low ebb.

The months that have followed have been tough. The tinnitus is always there during the day and still very loud during the night, I’ve found that it is quieter in the morning and builds throughout the day in volume. It also varies in intensity in each ear day to day and this changeability makes it very hard to habituate. I’ve been seeing an ENT consultant who reported my reaction to the drug and carried out an MRI scan to check if there was anything underlying that could have caused the problem – there wasn’t. He confirmed that my hearing has been affected and I’ve experienced moderate high frequency hearing loss in both ears.

I’ve had some cognitive therapy treatment from a hearing specialist working with tinnitus sufferers which has helped a little. I’ve found coping techniques such as playing ocean noises at night have helped improve my ability to sleep which has meant life has returned more or less to normal. I do however feel my tinnitus symptoms are gradually worsening over time, I seem to have more bad days and nights than I used to in the early months. Recently I’ve had a head cold and that seems to have worsened them still and at times i struggle with daily life and feeling positive. My ears are very sensitive to loud noises now. My wife and I sleep in separate rooms because of the sleeping issues, this has impacted on our relationship and the ease of doing things we used to enjoy such as nights away. What saddens me most is that my life feels compromised, my wife see less of my fun side and not able to be the strong one in our relationship any more.

My wife recently became pregnant for the third time and we were concerned that my health issues along with some other significant pregnancy health risk factors affecting my wife that a third child (3 under 3 years) would put both too much risk and pressure on our family. We made the unbelievably difficult decision in December 2017 for an early termination of the pregnancy to ensure we can focus our love and attention on our 2 young boys already here. Whether we would have made the same decision if I’d never taken Cipro and the challenges that this has brought into our lives is something that will haunt me to the grave.

My wife and I both felt something positive needed to come from our sad decision so this year I’m committed to getting the support i need to help me with my tinnitus starting with a local tinnitus support group and audiology assessment later this month. I’m focusing on the loved ones in my life and being thankful every day for what i have. I’m making sleeping separately the exception rather than the norm (trialling a sleep headband that plays sound). I’m eating healthily, drinking in moderation, going to bed earlier and doing more structured fitness all which helps with my mood and general well being. I’m determined to live life to the full and bring happiness to those i love despite what has happened to me.

** The story above is truthful, accurate and told to the best of the ability of the writer. It is not intended as medical advice. No person who submits his or her story, nor the people associated with, diagnoses or treats any illness. The story above should not be substituted for professionally provided medical advice. Please consult your doctor before trying anything that has been mentioned in this story, or in any other story on this site. Please also note that people have varying responses to the treatments mentioned in each story. What helps one person may not help, and may even hurt, another person. It is important that you understand that supplements, IVs, essential oils, and all other treatments, effect people differently depending on the millions of variables that make each of us unique. Please use appropriate caution and prudence, and get professional medical advice.

10 thoughts on “Jon’s Story – Tinnitus from Fluoroquinolones

  1. I am so sorry, and unfortunately I know what you are talking about. I had so many horrific side effects from the Cipro though that the tinnitus ranks about 4th. Terrifying breathing issues were number one, where I was gasping for everything breath for months, and continue on and off to have breathing problems. I also was afraid of losing my sight. I had so many huge floaters it was like looking through gauze for more than a year. That has subsided, but vision in one eye went from 20/20 to 2/65. I also had what is really indescribably nightmarish olfactory nerve damage to where everything in the world asphyxiated me. Imagine being on a crowded elevator with a dozen people, all wearing the strongest, most obnoxious perfume/cologne you have ever smelled…and you can never get off the elevator. OR imagine constantly being surrounded by enormous vats of bleach. IT was like that. It truly defies description, because it was something I never could have imagined was even remotely possible. I was trapped in my apartment, but wasn’t even “safe” there. Even the smell of a potatoe would make me choke. IT was beyond horrifying. THat has mostly gone away (and would have been a deal breaker had it continued) although I am very sensitive now to all scents.

    My tinnitus started gradually and now is constant and also seems to be getting louder. I am furious that I can no longer enjou just “quiet,” one of my favorite things. These drugs have stolen so much. IT is absolutely criminal how many millions of lives have been devastated, all for corporate greed. I keep searching for treatments and solutions, but have not found one to date. I hope someone comes up with something for this.

    • Hi L,
      If you have time, please read my reply to Jon, below your reply, that has many suggestions that may also help you very much. I am so sorry for your deep pain and suffering as a result of the poison called Cipro. It is just a nightmare!! My thoughts and prayers are with you and Jon and all the other sufferers on this forum and around the world recovering from Cipro poisoning! Message me back anytime. There are so many new discoveries being made all the time that will heal your body, I promise they are out there and you will find relief! Please know that.

  2. Hi Jon!
    Just a few thoughts: First, I am deeply sorry about your tremendous and relentless suffering from the tinnitus and the fallout this has caused. It cannot and should not be understated that tinnitus can destroy lives, but I have faith that you will find the light at the end of this tunnel of hell. Anyway, since you are in England, I am not sure if you will have access to the following therapies, but I am going to mention some therapies I know of that might help you a little, or even a whole lot, toward healing from the Cipro poisoning and the tinnitus. First, look into “low level laser therapy for tinnitus” and “cold laser for tinnitus”. There is a doctor by the name of Lutz Wilden, MD, originally from Germany (He may be in Spain now, but I am not sure) and he has been well known for being at the forefront of using low level lasers to treat tinnitus and he has/had a clinic in Europe where patients come from around the world to get laser treatments for their tinnitus, and he also sells laser units that can be used at home. There are other practitioners around the world, I am sure, doing what this doctor does, but he comes to mind first, since I have read about him for years now with his use of laser therapy for ringing in the ears.

    Second, look into CBD oil to help with the tinnitus. Now, last I checked CBD oil was legal in England since it’s the non-psychoactive portion of cannabis, and will not get you high whatsoever. Here’s a caveat regarding CBD oil: You only want to order from a highly reputable vendor who sources from organically grown cannabis and uses high tech extraction methods (like Co2 extraction). I am in the United States, and there is an excellent brand of CBD oil called “Haleigh’s Hope” out of Colorado state, and they may be able to ship to England. The Haleigh’s Hope CBD oil is very expensive, but it’s worth a shot…. at least give one bottle a shot. If you are looking for a cheap bottle of CBD oil, you are going to get what you pay for, and it may be tainted with all sorts of bad stuff that was leftover from cheap extraction process, or poorly grown cannabis, and therefore you will probably not experience any good results…. so it is definitely worth the money to buy from a reputable company…. and there are many other great CBD oil brands I am sure, but I just happen to know a lot about the particular brand I am referring to, and I’ve used this CBD oil myself with great results (not for tinnitus, but for chronic pain, and other health issues).

    Also, look into Helichrysum essential oil for tinnitus, and instructions on how to use this essential oil with your ears, to treat tinnitus, and also be sure to ONLY order oils from reputable vendors like Doterra Essential oils or Young Living Essential Oils, as they both carry extremely high quality oils.

    Also, look into the health supplement/antioxidant “Pycnogenol” for relief of tinnitus. Be sure to research on Amazon or other online stores that sell nutrition supplements, for a brand of Pycnogenol that has high ratings and good reviews from users, because there are crappy brands out there that won’t do much to help, but then there are very high quality brands that will be excellent for helping heal your tinnitus. Also, get Pycnogenol in capsule form, and not in tablet form. And get one that has little to no binders, fillings, unnecessary ingredients, non-gmo….you get the point. 🙂

    Finally, research: “NAD Intravenous therapy for Cipro poisoning”, or “NAD IV therapy for Cipro poisoning”. There are many places here in the US that offer NAD IV therapy, and it is also expensive, but probably well worth it. I cannot afford it at the moment, otherwise I would have long ago tried NAD IV therapy.

    I hope some of this info will be of help to you, and I sincerely wish that you will find quick and permanent relief from the tinnitus. Take good care!

    Lisa 🙂

    • Thanks for all the info, Lisa. I will look into them. I actually did do NAD IVs—VERY expensive, and it did not seem to help with any of my issues. (I had already had over 90 IVs of other things which brought me back to the land of the living.) Thanks again.

  3. Hi Jon, I do hope since you posted this you have found therapies that have helped you. Like you I was poisoned by Cipro in 2016 and I have tried a few therapies. And like you my hearing has been badly affected, with hearing loss and increasing tinnitus. My tendon, joint and muscle pain responded incredibly to naturopathic IV treatments and recently my nighttime tinnitus has decreased with the application of a Young Living essential oil blend called Brain Power. It is an expensive oil but a little less than helichrysum that Lisa mentioned, but helichrysum is in the blend.
    Again, I do hope you have had healing in the past years.
    Be well, Eve Fox

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  5. A couple of weeks ago, I developed a loud ringing in my ears, it has gotten worse and worse. It is at the point that, this is all I hear and am constantly saying “What”. I went for a hearing exam and had been searching everything I could find to see what I can do about this. It has consumed my life.

    Today, I found that out that Cipro which I was on just a few weeks ago may have caused it. I was on 2 500mg tablets a day for 14 days.

    I fear my life will never be the same as, this noice has consumed me.

    • I got tinnitus from Cipro. I was so damaged that it was one of my lesser worries. Over 30 side effects. I had damage to my vision, my heart, my respiration; peripheral neuropathy; horrifying olfactory nerve damage that made all things asphyxiate me; and on and on. I am about 5 1/2 years out and still dealing with many issues, including the tinnitus. It is loud at times and then other times I am not that fixated on it. It is not ringing for me, but rather humming, buzzing…and yes, it can drive me crazy,, but like I said, sometimes I am not that aware of it, when the volume goes down. I wish I could offer some helpful suggestions, but I have not found anything that “fixes” it. I believe it is nerve damage.

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