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Hearing Disorders Message Board

Hearing Disorders Board Index

Hello, all--

Glad to find you here. I've read a lot of the posts, and they both helped/terrified me... I thought I'd tell you about my situation and see if anybody has advice.

Let me preface by saying that I'm a musician, so this ear problem is directly affecting my livelihood. I'm a singer, and I teach music and direct choir.

I've had TMJ disorder for years, at varying degrees of intensity. I had a night guard for a while, which sort of helped, but i bit through it and didn't replace it due to prohibitive cost. Anyway, I have had on and off ringing in my right ear for years, but didn't pay it much mind--I had gone to the ENT in '05 and all my screenings came back ok. Nothing was seeming to get worse since then.

I also have a history of acid reflux, if that makes a difference.

Anyway, back in January, I got a really terrible cold which was definitely affecting my ears. I went to a concert with my roommates, to a band who is usually never miked, and this time they were. I had no ear plugs, and when someone let a high note blast on the trumpet, I felt a sharp pain in my right ear. From then on, i haven't been able to hear correctly.

I went to one ENT--he said my eustachian tubes weren't working right, and put me on nasal spray (of course.) Then, it started getting worse, and I went back, and he said it was a middle ear infection, and put me on antibiotics and drops. The infection went away, but the hearing didn't improve. Finally, the ambient noise (gooshing, whooshing, crackling, popping) was getting so distracting that I went to another ENT--my previous one--and SHE said that she thought my reflux was affecting it, but wanted a CAT scan just in case. She was leaving the practice and told me to follow up in 6 weeks with another doctor.

I did that. In the meantime, my ear "drained" one day (which I now think means "ruptured.") I went to the new doctor, and he immediately told me I needed a tube. I argued about it for a while, but he said that the problems that I could cause by leaving it were way worse. So with some hope, I went in for the myringotomy.

Since the surgery which was 8 days ago, the pain and ambient noise have gone away, but I still can't hear. I went in to see him again today, and he was totally stymied. My eardrums aren't responding right, and apparently, my hearing levels are slightly WORSE than they were a month ago! The worst case scenario, apparently "unlikely", is a tumor in the middle ear, which would require surgery. I asked him if the hearing loss was permanent--it seems to fluctuate. Pops during the day, sometimes better, sometimes worse. He said it may be. I asked if I could have a hearing aid. He said it wasn't bad enough for that yet. He wants to see me in a month and get another CAT scan done in three months.

I wouldn't have been SO concerned except that my hearing is a little worse! I'm really scared. I'm starting a new I need to throw my whole dang career away and become something like a writer that doesn't require ears?

Any insight into how to heal/what the possible problems could be would be wonderfully helpful.



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