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Hearing Disorders Message Board

Hearing Disorders Board Index

Just out of curiosity I decided to stop by this board. I dont normally. You see I am an audiologist by profession. What you have described is very symptomatic of a fistula. In other words an inner ear fluid leak. The pressure from your dive could have done it. An MRI is not going to detect it. There are fistula tests but after this amount of time it may not be reliable. The sooner you get it diagnosed and treated the better your chances for recovery. Surgical repair usually involves patching the hole with a skin graft. Do not take this lightly it could mean the difference between temporary and permanent hearing loss. Get to a certified audiologist and otologist ASAP. Good Luck.
I got a notice that you responded to my post so decided to check in with you. I am glad to hear that you are pursuing this unfortunately I am disappointed that so much time is passing before seeing a specialist who will do more investigating for you. I am unfamiliar with the medical practices in the UK. This may seem far fetched but here in the US sometimes it is the audiologist that brings medical matters to the attention of the ENT. The doctors still order tests and such but sometimes the audiologist is able to spend more time with the patient and is more focused on the individual. It is my understanding that fistula tests such as the one you discribe (pressure test) may not produce dizziness after so much time has passed because your body has compensated for that unequal feeling (ie-less fluid in the cochlea on the deaf side.) I had a patient once who I referred to an otologist for emergency. She had significant sudden loss of hearing on one side. After I spoke to the doctor about how life changing this incident was for the pt., he decided on emergency exploratory surgery. Not only was the fistula found on the side of sudden hearing loss but one on the other side as well. He patched both sides and put pt. on dose of steroids. Her hearing returned to previous (she was already hearing impaired) state. ENT's are surgeons and behave as such, audiologists are people oriented and tend to incorporate their test results with the patient complaints. Of course I am a little biased here :) Hopefully someone will see the urgency of your situation soon. I believe that surgical exploration may be the only true way to diagnose your problem so be kind & well mannered with the surgeon. Explain your situation with all the tact you can muster. Hopefully, he/she will be willing to take it to the next level. Good Luck again. MizLiz

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