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Hearing Disorders Message Board

Hearing Disorders Board Index

Hi folks, I'd like some advice if anyone can offer it...

About 4 months ago I began to hear a 'hum' in my head. It started whilst I was recovering from a virus; I was lying on the sofa when I had the sensation of my right ear popping, slowly, with some mild discomfort. Immediately after this I thought I could hear a road sweeper outside (or some other machine-like sound). It wasn't until I ventured a few miles away and turned off all my utilities etc that I realised it wasn't anything to do with my location, but was inside my head.

Since then I have had numerous trips to the doctor and a visit to a hearing consultant in hospital, the latest verdict delivered to me by the consultant was that I had tinnitus (which is [I]technically[/I] correct, I know). For me, I'm not happy with this diagnosis. My definition of tinnitus is when a person has been in high noise environments and has permanently damaged the small cilia hairs, causing a high-pitched 'ringing'. However, I feel that what I am suffering from is possibly curable and don't want to simply be passified with a tinnitus diagnosis.

Let me give you guys some specifics:

- The 'hum' is around 167hz (but has a few overtones etc)
- it initially felt like it was more dominant in the right ear, but now feels like it is in both ears, or oscillating slowly between them.
- most days I do not hear it until the evening and am only aware of it when I'm in a quiet environment. Other days I seem more aware of it (especially if I am tired or have a cold).
- when I was on antibiotics and nasal spray it went away for a week (or I didn't perceive it?)
- I have had a number of hearing tests, all of them showing that I have near perfect hearing.
- I have increased sensitivity (in terms of discomfort) to sounds in the mid range (approximately 1000hz - 5000hz), plates banging together are particularly painful.
- I suffer with quite a lot of pain during flying (taking off and landing) and it takes a few hours after landing for my ears to return to normal (i.e. 'pop'). I have had to take decongestants on holidays before, in order to get back to normal.
- I have had a few ear infections since the start of all of this
- on inspection of my ears the consultant found no problems with my ear drums (in terms of them being concave/convex due to middle ear pressure problems) and didn't see any fluid (although, would it even be possible for him to see fluid in the inner ear?).

Any ideas guys?

Thanks in advance


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