Join Date: Apr 2012
Hyperacusis or something else?
I suffer with Patulous Eustachian Tube Disorder. I have had this for over 15 years, mainly on the left side, but in the last few years I get the autophony in my right ear as well. I also have Tinnitus, but this is generally non invasive, except for my right ear at the moment that is ringing permanently, but I am putting this down to the fact that it is "blocked".
I have had a few surgeries to try and help relieve the symptoms;
October 2010 - Grommets (ventilation tubes) put into both ears.
May 2012 - Grommets removed from both ears.
April 2013 - Bioplastique injections in the muscle around the Eustachian Tubes as mine werent "normal".
In April 2012 I was laying down when all of a sudden I became very sensitive to lower frequency nosies, such as deep voices, doors being closed, footsteps, my dog coughing or moving on the sofa, toilet flushes, the shower, engine noises, going over bumps in the car, a tv remote control being dropped on the sofa, things like that. The only thing is, is that I also "felt" these noises on my ear drum. This only affected my left ear.
Higher pitched noises didnt bother me.
This lasted for about 4 hours, and then went away. During this time I could close my ear and it would make a loud squeak.
This happened a few more times over the next month, but would gradually wear off during the day, and happened the day that I had the grommets removed from my ears. At the time the surgeon advised me that he had seen that my left ear drum had been infected recently but was being covered by the grommet, and that my right ear drum was still infected. I was given drops for this.
After this, I didnt suffer with the low frequency sound issue as badly, though sometimes I would get it a little bit, and it would last for a few days, but I hardly really noticed it, so it didnt bother me. I also had a CT Scan to check for SCDS (Superior Canal Dehisence) which was negative.
Fast forward to April 2013, and I had the bioplastique injections to try and fill out the muscle around my E-Tubes. I immediately had a cold after this, which lasted for just over a week. On Saturday 27th April 2013, at approx 7pm I started to get the low frequency sound issue in my left ear. I had been in London all day, and had been travelling on the London Underground network which was loud, but not the worst noises I've ever heard, and I was absolutely fine hearing wise all day. I then went back on the London Underground the same evening and it was while I was going down the escalator that it started to get worse. It got even worse while I was travelling on the Train. I had to go back to my hotel within an hour of my arriving for a night out I had planned as it was very uncomfortable hearing and "feeling" the noises. I went to bed and laid down, and during the course of the night it seemed to improve, so that when I woke up the following morning, while I was still being affected, it wasnt as bad. This allowed me to go about my day. Being in the car was awful, listening to music, the bassy notes causing discomfort in my ear, going over bumps, sound of the engine etc.
The following day I was back at home, and woke up on the Monday morning and had no symptoms. I had however woken up with a blocked left ear, which after a bit of playing with (closing the flap a few times) it unblocked. I was able to get on with my day. Towards the end of the day, I started to get the issue again, so went to bed. I woke up on Tuesday morning, again with a blocked left ear, so made an appointment to see my GP. I was also suffering with the sound issue. My GP looked in both of my ears, looking for fluid. My right ear was clear, even though it feels blocked when I talk and my hearing is deminished slightly, but when she looked in my left ear, she couldnt see my left ear drum as it is being obscured by discharge. They have prescribed me a course of antibiotics to clear the infection up, with instructions to go back if this doesnt resolve my issue.
Today, I am still suffering with the issue, and I still have patulous eustachian tubes, but I am also experiencing the low sound issue in my right ear as well, though no where near as bad as my left ear. I am assuming (hoping) that this is because my ear is blocked / dulled. My left ear feels "pressurised" as well sometimes. My left ear also feels a bit blocked still. I am concerned that in my attempts to try and help the PETD symptoms, that I have managed to get this issue and make it worse.
I guess my question is, is what I am experiencing more likely to be caused by the infection, or is it more likely a form of Hyperacusis? Because until now I havent suffered with this all of the time, and it doesnt "seem" to fit in with most symptoms for Hyperacusis, I arent 100% sure myself. I haven't seen a specialist for this yet, and do not know how to go about getting a referal (I am British and have to go through the NHS).
I have an appointment to see the ENT Surgeon in just over 1 months time, but I personally do not think I will survive until then if I am still suffering with this.
More so, has anyone else ever had anything like this? Its hard to explain in many ways, but its just like low sounds get amplified and can sort of echo a little bit. The closest thing I can use for it is the sound of loud music being played, and the bassy notes vibrating in your ear.
It doesnt cause me any pain, its just annoying and uncomfortable. Blocking my ear with cotton wool doesnt make any difference / can make it worse. And to re-iterate, I didnt get it until 10 days AFTER I had the bioplastique injections. Also, normal loud nouses do not bother me, its just lower frequency noises.
Thanks for reading, and apologies for a long post.