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    Old 03-18-2004, 03:10 PM   #16
    tinawall
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    Re: unexplained hearing loss

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wp1
    Tina - it's not in your head (pardon the pun). Don't let anyone tell you it is. The funny noise is the way your brain is getting the signal from the inner ear. If there is damage to the hearing part of the inner ear, the signal is scrambled and you hear noises as distorted. Mine are VERY distorted in one ear but not the other. Have you had a formal hearing test by an audiologist? They should test for word discrimination which is your ability to repeat back a series of words. I can hear sounds greater than 70dbls but I can't make out any of the speech. Out of 5 words said to me in that ear, I can repeat back zero. Speech is too distorted to make out. Things like running water sounds like crackling. Music is just plain annoying. Hang in there and try a neurotologist.
    wp1-Thanks for the vote of confidence. I WAS beginning to feel like maybe I am just crazy. The ENT that I have been going to has audiologist on site and they did test my hearing. I have my records but these reports are not easy (at least not for me) to make out what they mean. They did the word discrimination test and I don't really remember how many words they said to me, but out of my bad ear (right ear) I know there were at least 3 or 4 words that all I heard was wonwon. There was no way I could tell what word they said. I just pulled out the paperwork and here is what the audiological summary shows (which I have no idea how to interpret):

    Speech Threshold: "Spondee" has a check mark beside it and for right ear it says 10 db. For left ear it says 0 db.

    Discrimination: "LV" has a check mark beside it and for right ear it says 100% @ 60 then it has an asterisk beside the 60 which appears to mean "opposite ear masked for speech test". Left ear shows 100% @ 40.

    There is also a pure tone audiometry on the same paper but it has a lot of symbols and I REALLY have no clue how to read that one. The only thing I do notice is that the symbol for right ear masked is on about the 55 decibel line under 250....whatever that means. I can give you more info if any of this makes sense to you (or anyone else).

    Do you think I should just skip the 2nd opinion with another ENT. I just really don't think I have otosclerosis but after reading all these posts on healthboards, I am really discouraged at how many different doctors some people have said they went to before receiving the correct diagnosis. Thanks again for your response.....

    Tina

     
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    Old 03-19-2004, 05:11 AM   #17
    zip2play
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    Re: unexplained hearing loss

    Tina,

    Get a hold of a tuning fork and boing it. If you can hear it better with the thick (bottom) part held firmly to your forehead, cheekbone, or bridge of nose than you can when it's held close to an ear, then otosclerosis is likely. A music box works well too.
    That -50db at 250 means a large low-frequency loss. This is a telling symptom of otosclerosis.
    (I diagnosed mine with an old, old, OLD Accutron watch (the kind with a tuning fork.)) I then had to go to several "ENT's" who might have been selling Elixer from a rickety stage coach before I got someone to agree with me.

    My favorite diagnosis was: "Your eardrum looks like red meat....you'll need inhalation therapy 3 times a week for 6 months to a year!" (I'm not fooling, here!) If I typed what I SCREAMED at this old coot, I'd get banned from the board! He actually wore one of those parabolic reflectors on his head like Grouch Marx in his doctor's sketches!

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 07:08 AM   #18
    wp1
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    Re: unexplained hearing loss

    tina - from what I can tell from your report...it is your right ear that is bad which when I looked up is the one you indicated. You can hear speech in your bad ear when it is above 10dbs in your right but you hear all speech in your left. To make out the speech in your right ear, it has to be at least 60dbs which is pretty loud so you really are having a lot of distortion in that ear. My bad ear is 0% at 70dbs which is usually loud enough to vibrate your head. I do feel for you. The distortion does not go away. I really do suggest a neurotologist...can't stress that enough when you have these types of problems. Don't let anyone do that stapendectomy (sp?) if you have any questions about the diagnosis. Also, hold hope that a hearing aid can help. I have no hope of that and my only choice is an implant.... the ugly haircut you have to sport around for months is enough to make me steer clear of that

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 03:01 PM   #19
    tinawall
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    Re: unexplained hearing loss

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zip2play
    Tina,

    Get a hold of a tuning fork and boing it. If you can hear it better with the thick (bottom) part held firmly to your forehead, cheekbone, or bridge of nose than you can when it's held close to an ear, then otosclerosis is likely. A music box works well too.
    That -50db at 250 means a large low-frequency loss. This is a telling symptom of otosclerosis.
    (I diagnosed mine with an old, old, OLD Accutron watch (the kind with a tuning fork.)) I then had to go to several "ENT's" who might have been selling Elixer from a rickety stage coach before I got someone to agree with me.

    My favorite diagnosis was: "Your eardrum looks like red meat....you'll need inhalation therapy 3 times a week for 6 months to a year!" (I'm not fooling, here!) If I typed what I SCREAMED at this old coot, I'd get banned from the board! He actually wore one of those parabolic reflectors on his head like Grouch Marx in his doctor's sketches!
    zip2play-Thanks for the info. I'm learning so much on these boards...it's great!!!
    Well, I don't know if I did it right, but I borrowed my husband's tuning fork and if I DID do it right, I can hear better when it is by my ear. Is there any definitive test (like CT scan or MRI) that can show the otoscleoris? I know I'm being a wimp, but I just don't want to have surgery.

    Tina

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 03:06 PM   #20
    tinawall
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    Re: unexplained hearing loss

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wp1
    tina - from what I can tell from your report...it is your right ear that is bad which when I looked up is the one you indicated. You can hear speech in your bad ear when it is above 10dbs in your right but you hear all speech in your left. To make out the speech in your right ear, it has to be at least 60dbs which is pretty loud so you really are having a lot of distortion in that ear. My bad ear is 0% at 70dbs which is usually loud enough to vibrate your head. I do feel for you. The distortion does not go away. I really do suggest a neurotologist...can't stress that enough when you have these types of problems. Don't let anyone do that stapendectomy (sp?) if you have any questions about the diagnosis. Also, hold hope that a hearing aid can help. I have no hope of that and my only choice is an implant.... the ugly haircut you have to sport around for months is enough to make me steer clear of that
    wp1-I really do appreciate you reading my post and taking the time to look at my report. I am getting ready to go on my insurance company website and see if I can find a neurotologist that particpates with them. I guess I'll have to call them to make sure it's covered first since that's how it goes with insurance....

    Anyway, do you ever plan on getting the implant? What would be your possiblity of recovery on your hearing with the implant? I really am learning so much about hearing on these boards and the internet. Thanks again to such nice people like you who take the time to hear other people's complaints.

    Tina

     
    Old 03-20-2004, 05:38 PM   #21
    susie141
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    Re: unexplained hearing loss

    Hi all. Isn't it great being able to get support etc on these boards. Wp1 - I hope your balance continues to gradually improve. Am I right in thinking it's a year since your big attack? Although I had many subsequent attacks on my hearing, I only had one big attack on my balance in the beginning, just like you. It's 4 years later for me now, and I can report that the lurching sensations almost completely go away. The brain really does learn to compensate for the loss on the majority of the balance system in the ears. I still have problems in darkness (when of course one can't use one's eyes to help maintain balance), and looking sideways while walking up/down stairs etc is still not a good idea. However, overall I'm pleased with the recovery. I did indeed flunk the roatational chair test. In fact I did badly on all the tests. The one which seemed to cause the most consternation amongst the staff was the one where they pour water in your ears whilst lying down. Apparently for a person with normal balance, this will induce vertigo and possibly vomiting. It didn't bother me at all. So, they went away and got iced water, which has an even stronger effect. They kept lifting up the black curtain I was under and asking if I felt OK, and I was truly fine. This of course was not a good sign. Afterwards they showed me the graph relating to this test and my bad ear had only slightly lifted off 0% for a slight moment. What symptoms are you getting in your eyes? Any other problems?

    Tina - I don't think you're being a whimp at all. Before having a procedure like the stapectomy, you need to have full confidence and trust in your doctor and it doesn't sound like you have that, so you are right to be cautious. You are the one who has to live with the consequences of whatever is done. Before I had the injections into my ear, I was absolutely terrified as I had been warned that there was a risk that they may annihilate the hearing in the ear altogether, and the long term side effects are not really known. However, I trusted my doc, the diagnosis fitted the symptoms well, and the prognosis without treatment was very grim. However, there is a difference between being naturally anxious, and not having full confidence in one's diagnosis. I think you should keep your upcoming appointment with the ENT and see a neurotologist as well ,as wp1 has suggested. I know this may be expensive, but in the grand scheme of things, your hearing is so important.

    As Zip said, your pure tone audiometry shows loss in the low frequencies (50dB at 250). What are the readings at say 500, 1000, 2000 etc? Anything below 20dB? I think anywhere between 0 and 20 is considered in the normal range. So, for the result that you've mentioned, the sound at 250hz has to be played into your ear at 50dB for you to be able to hear it. Whereas someone with normal hearing would be able to hear it at 10dB.

    Keep us posted,
    Susie

     
    Old 03-21-2004, 07:07 AM   #22
    tinawall
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    Re: unexplained hearing loss

    Hello Everyone,
    Hope all of you are doing well.
    I just had to post something that happened to me yesterday. My husband is a massage therapist and one of his clients is a sign language interpreter. Anyway, to make a long story short, he was telling her about my hearing problem and she suggested that I ask the ENT next week if the biaxin that I was given for that upper respiratory infection back in October could have caused my hearing problem. She also mentioned a few other things for me to ask, but I got on the internet and researched the biaxin thing. So, guess what I found? There were many sites that said biaxin is an ototoxic drug...which said it means that it can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. Have any of you ever heard of this? Needless to say, I was very shocked. I am beginning to think this might be what caused my hearing loss because none of this started until after the biaxin. I guess I'll see what the doc thinks but I guess if that is the cause, I will still need a hearing aid. I don't have a problem with wearing one so I will definitely be going that route if there's any chance at all that it will help.

    Susie-to answer your question about the other frequencies....the pure tone audiometry shows 250 & 500 at (it looks like) between 50 and 60 decibels, 1000 is between 30 and 40 and then 1500 is between 10 and 20 but everything above 1500 is on the line at 10 decibels.

     
    Old 03-21-2004, 12:17 PM   #23
    susie141
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    Re: unexplained hearing loss

    Tina, that is really interesting about the biaxin. I have heard of there being ototoxic drugs, but I don't know biaxin. I know that antibiotics called aminoglycosides (sp?) are ototoxic and so is gentamicin, which is often used to treat vertigo in Meniere's Disease. Have you been able to find anywhere on the net where it gives a description of what kind of hearing loss biaxin causes? Eg low frequency sensorineural etc. And, does anywhere mention whether or not the hearing loss is characteristically about the same in each ear? Your pure tone audiogram indicates that you have low and mid-range hearing loss, but your high frequencies are OK.

    Let us know what you find out.
    Susie

     
    Old 03-22-2004, 01:37 AM   #24
    wp1
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    Re: unexplained hearing loss

    Susie - Yep, the one year anniversary is coming up and I've had no further major balance attacks and it's good to hear that someone has gone 4 years. The norm seems to be that if you have one, there are more to come which scares me. As for my vision problems, I'm having alot of double vision, blurred vision that moves back and forth between both eyes. I also see alot of motion trails and aura type things. I 'think' I see a little bug flying through the air but it is really just a spot no one else sees. When I originally got sick, I was told by the ENT doc that the 5th cranial nerve is very close to the 8th and that a virus could very well have been going after both. There is this pressure type pain behind my eyes that I got during that time and it has never gone away. My neurologist is trying depakote hoping to get control of some of the ear and eye pain. I'm still waiting

    tina - I live in a big city and not a single neurotologist was covered under my plan despite the fact there are many good ones here. They wanted me to travel to another city which was a 5 hour drive one way. I had to speak with my insurance but they let me see a guy that is here and normally not on my plan because I would have had to drive more than 50 miles. So I did have to do the legwork but it did pay off and they did approve that I could see this guy. I'm going to go for the baha implant once I can get cleared from my neurologist and we are reasonably assured my hearing is stable in my good ear. It doesn't technically restore hearing but I believe it will get rid of that bad signal and tinnitus when it is snapped on. It sends the signal from your good ear over to the other side and bypasses your hearing on that side. So you are getting the sound from your good ear in both ears. My ear guy says that his patients do wear them which means that they work and have benefit. If they didn't help, he said no one would wear them. I'm not sure how it will be to snap on a box to my skull but anything is better than living like this.

     
    Old 03-22-2004, 08:04 AM   #25
    Dubble T
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    Re: unexplained hearing loss

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinawall
    I feel like I have read everything on the internet related to hearing problems. I am 34, so it's the same thing for me...healthy....etc. This is definitely very frustrating for me mainly because the doctors almost act like you are crazy when you tell them your symptoms. Have you been having the same thing with the distorted sounds? That is the worst part for me. I have been depressed about it too because I used to love to listen to music (especially in the car), but now I can't stand it and I have even taken all the cd's out of my cd changer. Plus, I am constantly asking people to repeat themselves. Do you have any allergies or have you ever been tested? Due to all of this problem with my ear, it came up that I should have allergy testing. I am allergic to both indoor and outdoor allergens. I asked the ENT if the allergies could be causing this hearing loss and of course he looks at me like I'm crazy and says "NO". I'll definitely let you know what I find out with the 2nd opinon and you keep me posted if you find out more about yours too. It's nice to hear from someone experiencing the same thing you are....so thanks for posting your reply!!!!!

    Tina


    Tina,

    I also loved to listen to music and I do not at all anymore. So now I drive in total silence (not going to be fun on long road trips)! I have not been tested for alleries. No one has suggested that to me.

    One thing that I wonder about is right around the time this all happened I had a root canal done in my last molar on the same side of my hearing problem. My ENT says that it is unrelated but I am not so sure about that now! I know that infections and tooth problems can affect the ears if it is bad enough.

    I still have not had time to call my ins. company to find out the procedure of a 2nd opinion. I need to do that!

    I hope all goes well with your appt!!

    Tara

     
    Old 03-24-2004, 12:08 PM   #26
    tinawall
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    Re: unexplained hearing loss

    Hello to all,

    Hope you are doing ok. I had my 2nd opinion this morning. I liked this doctor better than the first ENT I went to. He listened to everything I had to say and even seemed to question the otosclerosis diagnosis. He had their audiologist re-do the hearing test in my right ear to see if they came up with the same results. He said it was definitely conductive hearing loss which he felt IS consistent with otosclerosis. He said that if he was in my shoes, he would have the surgery done because of being so young and not wanting to wear hearing aids for the rest of my life. He did say that it is all up to me and he said he would definitely get someone to do it who had done a lot of that surgery. He recommended a doctor that is at Baptist Hospital (Winston-Salem). I live in Winston, so that would be convenient, but I STILL don't want to have the surgery. I even searched for a neuro otologist on the internet but the closest one I could find was Georgia. Does anyone know if there are any in North Carolina? At this point I'm just thinking about going to get a hearing aid to see if that will help any. The way I look at it is that surgery might help but it might also make me worse, but at least a hearing aid won't make me worse.

    Thanks again to everyone for their posts and support. I'll let you know how the hearing aid thing goes.

    Tina

     
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