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Hearing Disorders Message Board

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Hi all,

Thank you all for posting your stories. They are all so positive and are giving me lots of hope for my recovery. I am a 28 year old who just had a stapedectomy on my right ear yesterday. I think surgery went really well. When I woke up from the anesthesia I could hear more than I previously could. A few hours later the hearing dropped significantly, i guess from the swelling and fluid. The pain has been minimal and I haven't been very dizzy. The one thing that is bothering me a bit is the ringing in my ears. It seems when I move my head left to right or up and down, the frequency of the ringing changes. I hope this will heal with time. I've also had a slight metallic taste in the left side of my tongue.

My packing will come out at my follow up visit a week from tomorrow. The doctor said that I'll be able to fly 2 weeks after surgery. He also said that lifting shouldn't cause any problems either, as I have a physical job(I work with wine and lift cases at time).

Even though I can't hear too well overall in the operated ear, I have been using it to talk on my cell phone. I have it at medium sound instead of high, which is a 2 level difference. Overall, I'm feeling really positive about what the future holds for my hearing.

Also, I received a video of my operation that I watched this morning. Did any of you receive one of these? It was so neat to be able to see what was done after reading about it so much. I even saw the doctor open my ear lobe and remove the tissue he put into the middle ear by the prosthesis. It was absolutely crazy to see the laser and smoke in my ear, the removal of the stapes, and the attaching of the prostheses.

Hi all,

WOW, several new brave people this week!

Viki, Senthill and Suzie's Hubby - don't do too much too soon. Take it as easy as you can for a couple weeks and anytime you get discouraged, reread this board. Then say to yourself "Patience, Patience, Patience and Bump, Bump, Bump" ;)

The reason you can't hear anything at all, even the tiniest sound like you could before surgery is....before there was no swelling and what little "wiggle" function your stapes bone had left would allow you to at least hear SOMETHING, not much, but something.

The doc has now cut away that bone and replaced it with a prosthesis. That prosthesis has to move to produce sound. The inner ear is very swollen from the trauma in the ear from the surgery....The prosthesis can't move because everything is swollen so there is no room for it to "wiggle" to help produce sound.

The point here is that....

***It's the swelling that is keeping you from hearing right now - not a failed surgery****
...just so you know!

Take an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen, etc) every 4-6 hours. It will help reduce the swelling quicker and get you to the "hearing" stage of recovery faster. Until then, be patient and don't panic.

Suzie - remind your hubby that when you bust your knee falling down, it continues to swell for a day or so after the initial trauma. The same goes with the ear. If he could hear right after surgery and couldn't a few hours later...NORMAL..because the swelling continues from the trauma for a day or so before it starts to very slowly subside. Thats why he could hear for a lil bit then couldn't anymore. I hope you can help him understand that and calm his anxiety.

I'm glad this board helped you out in your decision and will also help you during your recoveries. Please keep us posted on your progress. Don't forget to post your "the first time i've heard this or that" stories, those are the BEST. I get all teary eyed when I read those because I can soooo relate to them.

My update:

I'm now 6 month post-op on the left ear and 9 weeks post-op on the right ear.

My left ear is great and has no lingering issues. My right ear can hear everything but still does the opens and closes every once in a while. I still have the metallic taste about once a week but it's not too strong. Other than thoses two little things, it's all good.

My hearing test was rescheduled to August 22nd. I'm excited and am having to exercise "patience" waiting for that day to arrive.

Good Luck to you all.

More Later,

Suzie (and Hubby),

That is great news about the "crickets" being gone. The air/hissing is just another phase. Soon he will get to the blood rushing/roaring sound - that one is annoying and very loud but only lasts a little while. But, the good news is after that (at least after both surgeries for ME) the good, cool stuff starts. The overly loud hearing starts. Again - overly loud. (Flushing the toilet, starting the vehicle, road noise, motorcycles, airplanes, etc will actually scare him at first). Its reassuring because you can hear everything, but your head will be rattling. Slowly, about a two weeks, after that the hearing starts getting clearer. During those weeks the ear will be doing the "open and close" bit. Thats a little scarey too because one minute you can hear and the next it closes and you can't. be prepared for it and don't freak out.
By week 4 or 5, he will be a happy camper. Please make sure you share with us all the "new" things he does differently (tv on xx instead of 99, etc) and the "new" stuff he hears.

How's his dizzies? Gone or just sporatic?

Gary - I'm glad the surgery worked well for you. Do you have your before and after numbers (srt) that you can share with us?

My update - metallic taste is now completely gone!! Sinus issues so my ear is opening and closing a lot this week, but when it's closed I can still hear just not as loud as when it's open.

I messed up my shoulder and have to get an MRI next week. The MRI scheduler asked if I had any "metals" in my body. I laughed and said...umm...yup. I had my ACL rebuilt in 8-05 and have metal clips and screws in my right leg/knee. I also have the two prosthesis from both stapedectomys. I called the knee doc and he sent me info on what he put in my leg. Then I called the ear doc's office to find out exactly what size and type of prosthesis he put in both ears. I know it's titanium, but I want the exact type. In reading about MRI after stapes surgeries, it says that if you have a 1.5 Tesla or 3.0 Tesla MRI, there are no issues. It said 4.7 Tesla is not recommended. I, of course, have no idea what that means so I'm waiting for doc to call me back. I think it has to do with "strength" of the equipment. I'll keep you all posted.

More later,

Report for Day 6:
My hearing returned last night, Day 5. Very weird, and amazing too. Suddenly I realized I was hearing in stereo. Today, as others have reported, the ear was very sensitive and everything was LOUD: the clicking of my keyboard, the ruffling of papers, the flushing of the toilet! But tonight it was wonderful to hear the subtle notes of birdsong and to talk on the phone using my left ear -- something I've been unable to do for 2 years!

Later this afternoon, my hearing acuity diminished somewhat. It was a bit disconcerting but I'd read in this forum to expect that, so I'm just going with the flow and thankful for what I do have.

My first appointment with my surgeon was today. He explained that I had a condition he'd not seen in more than 10 years of surgery. The middle bone, the incus, was severely atrophied and was the cause of my hearing loss; the stapes was fine. He removed the stapes and the diseased incus, and connected a prosthesis directly to the malleus and footplate. It'll be touch and go as to how well this works in the long run. It's possible I will lose some of the hearing I've regained. But, for the time being, I'm thrilled, and can also return to my usual level of exercise (except still no water in the ear for 3-4 wks).

I echo Tim's comment that it takes courage to go through with this procedure; it definitely does, and yes, it's worth it.

Best to all,

New phenomenon...
I was out in a peddle boat. There was an irrigation pump running on shore. I have a "new" left prosthetic stapes and an old one in my right ear. The first one is made of a ferrous material and the second is non-ferrous. Whenever I had both ears in line with the pump, I heard a different sound to the motor. If I turned my head with neither ear directly aimed toward the pump, everything sounded normal. It was only when my ears were in a straight line with the motor that it sounded different. I have no idea why unless the sound was being directed through one prosthesis then through my head and picked up by the second one too. It only happened when my "new" ear was farthest from the pump. Has anyone else experienced anything similar?

PS: Surgery was the last of May '07. Taste is still not normal.

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