I've read with interest all the talk about the phone hearing tests, doctor whispering into the operated ear immediately following surgery, etc.
I was under anesthesia for my procedure, and will have packing in my ear until 3 weeks post-op (April 4th), so have no idea what's going on with my operated ear. Daily, when I change the cotton ball, I have tried to hear a difference but so far I don't seem to have any improvement. I'm chalking that up to the packing.
Are the phone hearing tests something I can do with packing still in my ear? Of course, I'm anxious!
The only thing I could really do when my packing was still in was to scratch the outside of the cotton ball and see if I could hear it. I found this increased and decreased in loudness depending on if my ears had popped recently or not.
Another thing you could do is to buy a tuning fork, bang it and hold it ontop of your head (just above your forehead) and see if you can still hear it in your operated ear. This is the test that the surgeon did with me.
I only started playing around with phone hearing tests and online hearing tests once I had most of the packing taken out.
The packing in my ear started to dissolve pretty quickly so I noticed the hearing coming back in less than a week, even with packing in the ear. I could tell when the packing moved around too, and the hearring would come and go because of the gelfoam shifting and blocking my eardrum.
It probably depends on the type of packing and how much is in your ear. Different surgeons use different procedures, different materials etc so that makes it really hard to compare experiences. Alot of people dont report improvements until the 2nd or 3rd week. It varies, just try to be patient and dont get discouraged.
Tests like a tuning fork on your forehead will tell if you still have nerve function, but it won't necessarily tell you if the surgery was successful, although it will tell you if there was nerve damage during the stapedectomy.
How does your voice sound in your head? is it louder on one side? How about chewing sounds? If you still have all those kinds of sounds inside your head, then at least you have good nerve function and thats one less thing to worry about.
Thanks for the responses. I can't tell any difference yet, but the packing my surgeon used is not dissolvable, so it is still fully in place until next Wed (4/4). I guess I'm going to have to just be patient (never been my strong suit!)
I also had the packing in my ear but it was for only 10 days..then it was taken out by the surgeon..I can say that while it was in there I was thinking it didn t work because I did not hear anything much thru it... Once it came out...WOW...everything was being heard very loud..and distorted..and also in a donald duck voice for some tones.... all evened out in about a week for me
You and I are both getting our packing out on the same day. I can't hear too much at the moment. I can hear scratching on the cotton ball (I am told this means the nerve is working). I had a stepedectomy in 2005 on my other ear and can recall hearing much better after the packing was taken out.
Keep positive and we can compare notes after next Wednesday. Fingers crossed we both get excellent results - I am already getting excited!
I'm actually relieved to get a couple of responses about not hearing much thru the packing. I've read so many posts about people hearing from the get-go that I was getting a little worried that I wasn't going to have a good result. So, I'm just going to relax and play the waiting game until next week.
Nickle, I'm looking forward to hearing from you next Wed! Good thoughts coming your way!
I just got back from the doc and had the packing removed (OMG, it actually felt good to have it pulled out because it felt like my ear was being scratched... finally, after all that itching). I had a hearing test and have improved to 29 dB! I'm excited with that, and he said it may improve a little more. Right now my ear feels "full", like it needs to pop, and I'm not noticing as much improvement as I thought, so I must have been hearing some thru all that packing the past few weeks. And, I assume all those little "beeps" I identified during the hearing test are not lying about my improvement.
Great about your results so far!!! I always thought you would get good results.
I got my packing out yesterday and it felt so good! I did not need the vacuum because my ear was totally dried out. I too didn't notice that much of a hearing improvement because I could already hear better through the packing. I can now hear on the phone with the operated ear and can also listen to the tv - operated ear facing up on the bed. My dr said I can now get my ear wet - 1 week after surgery! No more antibiotics and no more cotton wool balls - yeah!
I have not had a hearing test yet - I will be getting mine in 8 weeks. So far so good. I will let you know how I go then.
The newly operated ear seems clearer that the other operated ear which I think is interesting. Maybe I have better results in the new ear than my other ear!
Pease keep in touch and I have my fingers crossed you will get even better results.
Have a great Easter.
Nickle... YAY! Glad to hear that the packing removal was uneventful and you are hearing with that ear!
I just realized something after reading your post... I laid my head down with my operated ear up and I CAN HEAR! I always laughed at the "turn a deaf ear" saying because when the neighbors would be having a party late at night, that's what I would do so I could get to sleep. I guess that won't work anymore and that's great with me!
My surgeon released me to do almost anything I want. He said I should still not lift anything heavy or exert myself for another week. Also, I sing in a community chorale and we have a concert this weekend and next. He suggested that I not sing or even go to the performances because of the noise level of the 60 voices plus orchestra.
Hi Peofe - I knew you would be ok! You will probably sing even better now. I am seeing Annie on Saturday - I am taking cotton wool balls but dont want to miss it! Hopefully I can put up with the noise. I am sitting near the front - for once I got excellent seats and would have probably been better off towards the back. All he best with your continued recovery. I am now only hoping that my flight to the US in late June does not affect the good work.
I can tell you that my hearing gradually improved over weeks, and then months, as my brain figured out what to do with all the new sounds that it hadn't heard for some 20 plus years. Things will continue to get better and better, so please don't get upset if you don't see an immediate result at first. I had my first post-surgery audiogram about 10 weeks after the surgery, and then six months later, and there were noticeable improvements in both air conduction hearing and speech comprehension between the first and second audiograms.