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Hearing Disorders Message Board

Hearing Disorders Board Index

I'm getting pretty desperate and I'm hoping someone here will have some good advice.

First off, let me say that I'm an audio enthusiast. Always have been and always will be. Not only is it my passion in life, but it's also my job. I'm very precise about where my speakers are in my well as what I use to listen to my ipod with. I'm very conscious of wearing things too loudly or possible long-term damage to my ears.

My problem started last Thanksgiving weekend. I noticed a sort of ringing in my left ear...and a fullness to it. I then noticed that my headphones started to feel unbalanced. The balance had shifted to more the right ear than the left. I figured that it would be an ear wax problem as I've had that in the past.

I went to the ENT that week and he, too, though it would be ear wax but it was not. He asked if I had been sick recently because it looked like my ear drum was red. I hadn't. He decided that this might be eustacian tube malfunction and put me on both steroids and a nasal spray. I ended up getting a SEVERE pain in my chest over the next couple of days and he told me to stop using the steroids.

I went in for a hearing test and the audiologist told me my hearing was perfectly within normal range, although there was a bit of a conductive hearing loss in the low frequencies in my left ear. The Dr. concluded this must be a eustacian tube malfunction and said to give it time.

Well, time has gone on...and very little has changed. I have seen 6 ENT's total and all have told me the exact same thing:
1) conductive low-frequency hearing loss in the left ear (10-15db lower in low frequencies)
2) they don't know why it's happening
3) it's not permanant.

This, however, has been of little consolation to me. It has SEVERELY depressed me. It's made listening to music and watching movies annoying and frustrating. Nothing sounds correct.

I just saw my latest dr and he brought me in for about 2 hours of testing. They did my balance and a bunch of other tests for Meniere's and they said there was absolutely no evidence of it. I've also had a CAT scan and was told there were no problems.

In addition to that, he also told me that it seems like my conductive hearing loss has gone away (which isn't true). Their tests had given him a different result than ones done on me previously.

At this point, I'm going out of my mind. It's affecting my work. It's making me severely depressed. I'm sick of being told that they don't know what it is so I'm turning to the internet.

There are several health things that may be of note:
1) I was recently diagnosed with HSV2 and I'm wondering if this might have some sort of relationship to it. I've read that herpes can attach itself to nerves.
2) At the same time that this happened, I had recently taken myself (stupidly) off of Effexor. I had horrendous dizzy spells for a couple of months but all of my side-effects eventually subsided.
3) My last dr. told me that I might have TMJ...although that wouldn't account for my hearing loss.

Please...I'm begging for some advice or some help. Anything, no matter how strange, will be accepted.

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