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Inner Ear Disorders Message Board

Inner Ear Disorders Board Index

[QUOTE=jodonnell;5275141]Good Morning Everyone.
This is my first post on here so please bear with me, bit of a drawn out story!:)


- Hearing deterioration
- Own voice muffled/dull
- Ear 'fullness'
- Poor sleep
- Bruxism/TMJ pain
- Sensation of the back of my nose/throat closing up
- Anxiety/Stress
- Ear Pain/Tinnitus
- Ears 'popping'
- Neck/Shoulder Pain

So a couple of years ago I started experiencing a dullness to my hearing but never really paid it any mind as it was a minor hindrance at worst. However it began to deteriorate quite regularly and being a musician it obviously began to affect the way I heard certain sounds etc. I went to the doctor as you do and he sent me to an audiologist for hearing tests. The tests were all completely within standard parameters so I was sent on my way. I concluded via the expertise of doctors that maybe it was all in my head so I tried to ignore it however things kept getting worse, real dull hearing by this point which started to affect my mind as these undiagnosed conditions can no doubt do right...

Long story short I embarked upon what can only be described as a medical merry-go-round of GP's, specialists, private audiologists and nobody could account for the loss, the pain, the tinnitus, the headaches, hot ears, the fullness etc...

I then saw a specialist in London who noticed upon doing a middle ear test that my eustachian tubes weren't functioning at all which he said could well contribute to my symptoms. HOORAY!! Finally I had something to pin it to and my state of mind definitely improved, albeit briefly. He gave some Nasonex spray and said that it could or could not do the trick depending on the severity and also that these sprays are not fool proof. It did next to nothing.
I went back and explained this and he basically discharged me because he said there is nothing wrong with your cochlear reaction, ears are not the issue.

So I hit a new low for a while, back to the drawing board. It was now two years of suffering with no apparent cause which led me to depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I didn't want to go out because I couldn't hear in noisy environments, it felt as though my ears' capacity had been drastically narrowed and that indeed there was something in the way of the sound getting in. However all the tests showed good middle ear functionality so....

I went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago and he noticed quite severe bruxism going on, whilst sleeping but I know (through unfortunate early adult recreational drug use) that I clench pretty constantly, bite my lip etc; basically my TMJ is always on the go so wasn't a massive surprise to hear this. He suggested a mouth guard which I've taken him up on (not cheap!) so I shall wait to see the results there as is being fitted next week.
I mentioned to him about the hearing thing and he said there is a correlation between the two which is currently being researched quite widely within that community. My eyes lit up!! Anyway so when I got home I started reading some of the stories and I couldn't believe there were so many people who have the same experiences as me:

- Doctors don't have a clue so palm off anti depressants
- Fullness in the ears
- Bruxism
- Anxiety/Stress

The other interesting thing here is that this all started around the time I had some orthodontic work carried out and I've read a few stories of people that have had the same and then started to experience issues with hearing; I don't know if there's any clout in that?

Anyway so all the signs led to this 5-HTP stuff - a natural serotonin producer. Given the fact that I smashed my serotonin valve for about six years when I was younger it wasn't a massive surprise that I would end up at this door. However when I spoke to my friend who works in a health foods store she warded me away from it for now, recommending instead multi B-Vits as she said the 5-HTP stuff you should only really take for 12 weeks at a time? Anyway I've started with the B's as one of the strains does help produce Serotonin.

My hearing is still giving me massive issues, physically, socially, career wise and I have really low days where I don't want to get up. The main problem for me is that I need to know what I'm dealing with, it's the 'there's nothing wrong with you sir' line that is driving me slowly insane.

I have another referral at the ENT hospital in the pipeline but I'm not holding out too much hope on that given past experiences. I'm seeing a homeopathic lady who's looking at why I'm stressed, anxious, looking at my diet etc... I'm willing to try anything at this point. The correlation between hearing loss and Eustachian Tube Dysfunction/Bruxism is an interesting one and I'll continue to focus on this as if what the doctors are saying is true and my ears are fine then there must be another reason for it right?

The actual worst part is that I can't seem to hear my own speaking voice. I mean the external noise has been affected but by no means to the level of my own voice which is obviously a bit of a game changer. I've also found myself not being able to form certain words as well, like I'm mumbling almost...

Anyway, if anyone out there has suffered anything similar, has any ideas to improve things or just wants to chew the fat I'd love to hear from you (no pun intended!)


Hi J.

I have all the same symptoms as you and I am also a musician/producer and it has caused me great anxiety and disruption in the past year. I have also had my hearing tested and been told that its fine with slight high frequency hearing loss but nothing that warrants hearing aids etc. The hearing symptoms I have though, say otherwise. I struggle with crowds, reverberant coffee shops, shopping malls, picking out conversations from passers by in the street or on a train or bus. Its uncomfortable listening to music, I can hear everything, but it somehow isn't right and my ears get fatigued very quickly. This has definitely made me phono phobic. I had pretty bad hyperacusis initially, so my hearing was off but noise was too loud. The strange thing is I can hear the television at low volume and all frequencies seem to be all there. It just feels that my ears are struggling to respond to sounds or music or conversation quick enough. Its as if there is a barrier or there is a filter that has been disrupted. I have popping, crackling, pressure, discomfort and tension headaches constantly. I notice that the living in a dream feeling gets worse as the day goes on, as do the other symptoms. Of the hundreds of e-mails/posts I have read about this, yours fits mine the most, pretty much. It feels like considerable hearing loss, yet I can hear? Its very confusing. There is something definitely not right. I seldom have to ask anyone to repeat anything but back ground noise seems like foreground now and hearing seems like a conscious effort, where it was something I never thought about before. I know people with considerable hearing loss but they do not have any physical symptoms of pressure, pain and tightness that I suffer from constantly. In my own mind, if these symptoms were fixed, then my hearing would be better. I too believe the correlation between TMJ,ETD and hearing. I find the medical profession hard to communicate with as they are often dismissive and are not interested in joining up the dots of my complaints. I don't think this is black or white at all. I too suffer from bruxism and did have a splint a long time ago but clearly need to get a new one as I haven't worn one for years. Please let me know how you get on. Im not sure who to go and see about all this. it has affected my life massively in the past year. All the best. I hope to hear from you soon.


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