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Hearing Disorders Message Board

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Hey Andy,

I'm just a couple weeks behind you. I'm having my stapedectomy on January 16th, 2007 and i'm scared::dizzy: .

I have read hundreds of articles, posts, etc and all of them say that it takes anywhere from 2 weeks for 6 months for your hearing to stabilize after surgery and all the strange side effects to go away. Waiting this long for surgery (14 years) and then having to wait several more months after surgery to see if it helped or not is really going to be hard. But, I'm like most people who made the decision to go ahead with it because in my case, my hearing can ONLY improve.

I hope you are doing well and am really interested in hearing your progress. I'll keep ya posted on my progress also.
My ear is still healing. Sometimes it feels like my ear drum is still swollen a little. Other times not. Also, once in a while I have some pain in that ear- last night (after 4 1/2 weeks) when I lay on that ear for several minutes. But it was temporary and went away.

The taste issue is back and annoying. I have to say that I have a generally sweet taste in my mouth. That can be annoying when you are eating popcorn or chips and salsa and you are looking for a salty taste. I have to say that I also am liking stronger tasting coffee than before the surgery! I really hope the taster returns to normal... but it may take a while.

Ringing is steady but not overpowering. I obviously still hear much better out of my left ear.

CAB did you say you did not get the packing out until the end of Feb? That seems like a long time. Mine stayed in for 10 days and as soon as it came out I physically felt much better. I did start driving about 6 days after surgery.
Diziness was only a problem for 4 days.

Being patient is the hardest part. The only medication I am still taking is antibiotic ear drops. I took vicadin for about 10 days to help with the pain, and without side effects. Now other than pain medications or something to keep my nose clear, I take only the drops.

Hope you both continue healing with patience. And don't worry too much about sneezing and blowing your nose. Avoid it if at all possible, but if it happens it will probably not wreck your surgery.

At this point faith and patience are the operative words.
Ok Guys, here's my story. Share yours with us if you feel comfortable doing so.

My hearing started getting bad when I was 18. I joined the Navy and during boot camp they almost sent me home because of my hearing. I never noticed that I was having hearing issues and pretty much just ignored it until many years later.

I went to the audiologist at age 26 and he told me - "your bone is hardening and doesn't wiggle like it should, it's partially hereditary and very common. Your hearing isn't too bad, just get hearing aids." At that time both ears were affected but the left one was a lot worse than the right. I asked if there was any surgery that could be done to correct it, he said [B]"no, just get hearing aids".[/B] I was young and dumb and took him at his word that there was no surgery available. I was also too worried about appearances and refused to wear hearing aids so I just said "huh?" alot to everyone.

At age 27, I had my first child. I weighed 93 lbs before I got pregnant...and I gained 65 lbs during the pregnancy. I lost all the weight in about 3 months and was back at 93 lbs - That is when my hearing went downhill extremely fast in the left ear. The doc said that gaining all that weight changed the bone structure of my entire body - including my facial and inner ear bones. Then loosing it so fast changed the bone structure AGAIN... which really messed up the "bones ability to wiggle" to make sound.

I gave in and got a hearing aid for the left ear because I really couldn't hear much at that point out of that ear. I could still hear ok in the right one, not perfect, but ok enough to function.

At age 29 I had my second child. Same story - 93lbs before, gained 56 this time, lost it in 3 months...and lost the hearing in the right ear in the process.

I was going to loose the hearing in both ears regardless - all the quick weight gain and loss just accelerated it about 10 years is what the doc said.

So, a hearing aid for the right ear was now a necessity. Every time I went for hearing tests, then went to get new hearing aids over the last 13 one - I mean NO ONE, has ever said that it could be corrected with surgery. I asked the first 5 years of going to the ear docs and was always told "just wear hearing aids". I finally quit asking and decided that this was how life was going to be and I would just have to live with it.

If divorce is EVER a good thing, it was for me. I had to get on my own health insurance. I also got a bf. He did some research and found out in September 06 that there was indeed a surgery to fix it and I now had a health insurance company/doctors that wouldn't lie to me. It was then that I realized that it was because my insurance during all those years was Kaiser Permenante [B]HMO[/B]..and they just didn't want to pay for it and had trained their docs NOT to tell people that there was a surgery to fix it:mad:

So, here I am now at 42 years old, feeling stupid that I never checked things out on my own and I just took the doc's word about no surgery being available. I am also very excited about the future. The last 5 months have been a whirlwind of excitement/hope for me. :blob_fire
I went to a couple of specialists in Dallas, went through many many hearing tests, etc. and decided to get it done, the left one first because its 90db. I'm on the road to recovery on the left ear and already excited about having the right one done. The right ear is 60db.

I'm really excited about joining the world again because I had really withdrawn from everyone the past few years. I avoided social functions of all types because I knew it would be more of a hassle than anything to even try to have conversation and I would only get bummed/upset/depressed, whatever you want to call it, if I did go. I haven't watched TV in almost 2 years because it just frustrates me. Again, my bf finally got me hooked on the "captioning" on the tv so I wouldn't get frustrated and i've been able to watch movies reading the words the last few months. He has been such a blessing to me.

Now for current stuff.
A little pain in the ear today but nothing unbearable. The "heartbeat or pulse" sound rattling my head yesterday lasted about 7 hours and thankfully has not started again yet today. Still no taste issues. I did get really dizzy this morning getting out of bed and almost fell but I caught myself. It was so good yesterday not being dizzy all day that I forgot to be careful. I won't make that same mistake again. I'm hearing a little out of the ear but it's still really muffled sounding. Packing is still in there and the cotton ball too. Ear is still draining but not too much.

Yes, I was given the same restrictions that Andy was given. No flying, elevators, lifting, nose blowing, sneezing or anything else that creates "internal pressure" on the ears for 3 months. No water in the ear for a month. My doc even said that it's possible to do the right ear as early as March. We'll see. I've read stories where some people still have side effects for up to 6 months. When all mine are gone...we'll start over again.

Andy - just spend lots of time laying on the ground rolling around and playing with your wonderful son. The months will pass quick enough and you will be able to toss him in the air before you know it - and be able to hear him giggle!

I will ask you both tell everyone you know that wears hearing aids that there are different surgeries available. They may choose not to go that route, but make sure they know it's an option. I just wish someone, anyone would have told me years ago. There is a lady at my work in the same situation - for 10 years - and no one had told her either. She goes in Feb to my doc to start the process.

I'm so happy that however you both found out about the surgery possibility that at least you DID find out.

Dwalt - is your hearing loss a recent thing or an issue you have dealt with for years also? Andy has been dealing with it for 6 years, I'm going on 24 years.

I know i'm prolly make my posts too long, but i'm just so excited about many things these days that I want to tell the world. I feel like i've been given a second chance at a near normal life and my children will no longer feel like they have to speak for me, be embarrased for me or explain that I can't hear every time we go somewhere. The burden will be lifted off their shoulders.:)

More later,

Hi all,

The ringing is a lot better today, less noticable than yesterday. My hearing is about the same and i'm still getting the open and closes based on whether my head is clogged up or not.

The dizziness is back. It's not near as bad as the first 4 days but it's enough to make me feel sick all the time. Yesterday and today I ended up taking dizzy medicine again. I don't know if it's just a regular "bump" in the road or not. My mom has been in the hospital the last two days and i've been taking care of her and my household. As a result I haven't slept more than a couple hours a day the last few days. Being so worn out I think is making the dizziness "feel" worse. (Mom is ok - btw).


Otosclerosis (hardening of the stapes bone by the build up of calcium deposits (growth) on it) is heredity and usually starts around age 16-18 and progresses at it's own speed. That speed greatly varies in each person. You being 34 is not considered "young" for this. I was 26 when it got to the point that I had to wear hearing aids. Your doc was correct with the choices he gave you, the calcium will continue to accumulate and the hearing will most definantly continue to degrade. Some people get the hearing fixed immediately others wait until the hearing loss is "life altering".

Patience is your friend. That's the hardest thing for me to remember. The healing process and hearing stabilization seems like it takes forever but it's only 2-6 months out of your life. Properly put into perspective, that's nothing. There are about 15 phases, issues, side effects, etc you may or may not go through during those months BUT...the end result should make you extrememly happy. In fact, I try not to look at the healing/stabilization time frame. I keep thinking [COLOR="Red"]"Wow, 24 years of not being able to hear FIXED in a 22 minute surgery[/COLOR]. That is how long it took the Doctor to do the actual surgery. Now I just have to wait for the end result of that surgery".

More later,

Hi All,

Well I wrote on the 18th that the dizzy spells were gone. Wrong!

The last 4 days i've been having bad dizzy spell and bad headaches. The only way to feel better is just to go to sleep. I hope this passes soon. The metallic taste is also changing it's pattern. It's not always present like it was before, but when it's stronger. I keep spitting to try to get the taste out of my mouth (real lady-like, i know-oops).

Hearing is still great, I'm just waiting for all the side effects (bumps in the road) to go away for good. Although it seems like it's been forever, its just been 5 weeks and 2 days. I know - PATIENCE!!!

I hope you life has calmed down a bit Noeli. Just remember to ask your doc for a hearing test. Don't wait till he says...hmm, lets check it. You are the "customer". HEHE.

More later,

Hey everyone! I go for my stapedectomy on Wednesday. I am really scared because I have never had any surgery before, even oral surgery.

Here's my story. I am 27 years old. I started noticing my hearing loss about three years ago. Like all other problems I have I just sucked it up and dealth with it, all the while complaining about it. I first noticed the hearing loss when I was on the phone. I switched from my right ear (referred to now as my "good ear") to my left ear and the volume decreased significantly. I asked whoever I was talking to if they did something with the phone and they hadn't. Then I started to notice while watching TV, or talking on the phone. My boyfriend (now my husband) would get so mad at me when I asked him to repeat things because I didn't hear them. He would say things like, "If you have a hearing problem, do something about it or adjust."

So about a year ago I did something about it. I made an appointment at a hearing clinic and the result was that there was definitely hearing loss, but she could not tell why. She referred me to an ENT doctor, who redid some of the tests and confirmed that he was pretty sure that it was otosclerosis. But he was about 90 years old and no longer does the surgery, so I was referred to ANOTHER doctor where they went through the options and drawbacks with me. They wanted to make sure I was choosing the surgery for reasons other than financial (they are covered by provincial government here, hearing aids are not), but once they were sure, they told me I would be contacted in a few months about a surgery date.

And so here I am. Scared whitless! After reading all that you have posted about side effects, I am really worried. I am a substitute teacher and was really hoping that I would only be off for a week, as I don't get paid if I am not working. No benefits for a sub!

I will keep you posted on my side effects, but I have some questions for everyone out there.

First, were you able to do things that first day, like read or watch movies or anything? I am not the type to sit in bed all day.

Also, I am really concerned about the dizziness. How long for each of you to recover from that?

Has anyone had to have their surgery redone?
I am so excited after reading all of the posts on this board! I can't tell you how many times I say, "I'm sorry?" or "You are going to have to repeat that one more time to me." to my family, friends and students. My three year old niece once said something to me and I said, "I'm sorry?" which confused her five year old brother. He responded, "What are you sorry for?" LOL! Kids are funny.

The one thing I am most looking forward to is when I lie on my "good" ear in bed and can actually hear what my husband is saying to me. I am also excited that I don't live in an apartment anymore because lying on my good ear was the only way to block out my neighbors ridiculously loud alarm clock in the mornings.

Anyway, I am deeply encouraged, but still scared about side effects. Quick poll, how long did you all have to wait to go back to work?
Well, I'm 2 months post-op and I go in tomorrow to get my other ear done. I'm not nervous like I was the last time, but I'm still not excited for the recovery. I'm hearing great with my operated ear and am optimistic about this second operation. I haven't had many side-effects, just ringing in the operated ear.
Hi all,

Well, I have some good news.

I am on a new allergy/decongestant medicine. It appears that my head was so completely clogged that normal med's were never gonna be able to clear it.

I took the 1st pill and within 30 minutes my nose was a faucet. 30 minutes of blowing, etc.....I could hear and didn't have the "fullness" feeling anymore. This is the first time since the surgery that I didn't have that feeling. Its a 12 hour pill. At about 11 hours, I start clogging back up.

There are quite a few side effects that i'm dealing with but I'll take them to be able to hear. I stay on these for a week then taper off. If I clog back up, then I will have to stay on em.

Anyways, I thought I would let you all know that I'm not bummed anymore.

More later,

Hi everyone,

I just want to say that all your post have made me feel so much better about my stapedectomy. I was suppose to have my surgery December of 2006 but cancelled it because of insurance reasons and mostly I was really freaked out about not being able to hear after and all the other side effects and complications. I have since re-married have great insurance (it's paying 100%) and thanks to all your posts I am looking forward to my surgery on Nov 12. I'm still kind of nervous but I am so sick of making people repeat themselves. and I don't ever want to use the words "what" or "huh" again. For the most part my family and friends have been very understanding but I know they can't wait for me to have the surgery.

Carol, one of the first things you wrote was how you had to say "huh?" the first time your boyfriend whispered "I love you" Luckily for me the first time my bf (now husband) said it to me he was on my good side(right side) but there have been many other times when I didn't hear him and he had to say "did you hear me?" It takes a lot of the romance out of things. He is counting down the days to my surgery. I hope your alergies are doing better we've had some great weather here in the dfw area lately. Has the weather affected your allergies?

David I understand what you mean about the "translation" that happens to me know. Sometimes it's like I can hear the noise pretty clear of someone talking but my brain can't translate it into a real word.

I am just so tired of not hearing conversations. I usually don't even try to enter into a conversation with people because it is just to frustrating. I am the kind of person that needs to know what is going on and I can't hear it so I just don't try and wait for my friend to tell me later.

I'm not looing forward to the dizziness after surgery but my doctor is keeping me overnight. He says he wants me in the hospital when I am expected to hve the most problems the dizziness so I don't fall and dislodge everything he did. I hope that will help.

Any tips? let me know. As excited as I am I'm still a little freaked out. You guys must have been sent from heaven :angel: thanks for everything


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