Is this damage/tinnitus from shooting, indeed permanent?
This is my first trip to this board (I am 35 yrs old). Thank you very much for taking the time to read:
Almost 6 days ago now I went to an indoor shooting range. I put in some inner ear plugs (the orange ones), and when I walked to the line a person was shooting in the lane next to me. I could not believe how loud it was- it literally hurt my left ear! It was as if the ear plug was not there (but it surely was).
My logic told me I should get out of there, but something else made me stay- like an idiot. After about 1 minute the pain from the sounds in my left ear went away. When I left the facility, I noticed the hearing in my left ear was almost completely gone.
This has happened before from noise trauma once or twice (many years ago), and I assumed it would all come back to normal the next day. My hearing did come back in 24 hrs, but only half-way, and it was accompanied by a ringing that has not left.
I got worried. I called a couple of doctors I know and they said not to worry, it would come back to normal and the ringing would stop. After 48 hrs I really started to worry, so I went to an ENT. He had an audiologist check my hearing. She came in afterward and said I had significant damage to my left ear- so much so that I qualified for a hearing aid. I could not help it, I started crying. The ENT told me I had the hearing of a 65+ yr old who had worked in a factory his whole life.
He prescribed me predisone (sp) but offered little hope that it will do anything. Nobody there said there was anything that could be done about the ringing and/or hearing loss - that it was permanent.
I have been extremely depressed ever since..... If ONLY I could go back to Saturday and not have gone to the range. Has anyone ever heard of this type of damage getting better?? Does anyone know something to stop this ringing? Thanks so much.