F#$king NHS England! ENT Waiting Times

Discussion in 'Support' started by Allan1967, Nov 7, 2018.

    1. Allan1967

      Allan1967 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1997
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      I have to wait for 4 to 5 months to get an appointment with an ENT. Freaking useless.

      Don't know what they can do for me anyway. I'm stuck in this cycle of fear and depression. My 5 week spike isn't shifting at all, I'm waking through the night pacing the floor and smoking cigars then going to work and just getting through the day.

      I wish my life was all over.
       
      • Hug Hug x 7
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    2. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Go private and you’ll be seen a lot quicker. I went private and was seen in 4 days. However, there’s not much an ENT can do for you. It’s almost certain that he/she will look into your ears (see if there’s wax or signs of infection), take an audiogram, and then tell you to wait it out.
       
      • Agree Agree x 7
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Allan1967

      Allan1967 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1997
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Wait it out as in see if it settles or stays the same?
       
    4. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      Yea. I was told that if it wasn’t gone after 3 months the chances of it being permanent rise quite considerably.
       
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    5. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      It can take spikes a very long time to subside. People have reported 6-12 months for theirs to go down. Don't lose hope that it's not permanent.
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Allan1967

      Allan1967 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1997
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Who told you that?
       
    7. Ed209

      Ed209 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2015
      The first ENT I saw, but I wouldn’t take that as gospel. Every Dr you see will tell you different things regarding tinnitus.

      Many people have spikes that last a really long time.
       
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    8. Eric N

      Eric N Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal QC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012, 03/2016, 05/2017, 05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + 3 major increases via (shouting / MRI/ flu+Tylenol)
      We are in the same boat my friend I am also 5 weeks into my spike that has only been getting worse, fear and depression every day, I left my job for the next 3 months and maybe I will never go back. I am seeing an ENT at the end of the month not sure what they can do, I have seen many at the beginning of tinnitus, all useless.
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Allan1967

      Allan1967 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1997
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      How did your spike start @Eric N
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Allan1967

      Allan1967 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1997
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      How long is a long time @Ed209?

      Suicide is on my mind.
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Allan1967

      Allan1967 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1997
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Thanks @Jack Straw

      Right now, in my 5th week, nothing seems to be shifting. Some days it's quieter, others it's just incessant. New noises and my high pitched meeeee are just unrelenting. I wish I were dead.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    12. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      @Allan1967

      Tinnitus can be very frustrating and difficult to deal with especially in the early stages which you are in.

      I have had this condition for many years and therefore have a lot of experience with it, like other veterans in this forum and those that have been seasoned to tinnitus for some time.

      Although a 4 or 5 month waiting time for you to be seen at ENT seems a long time to you, there is actually a perfectly good reason for this and it is the right one.

      The ear and auditory system are very delicate. The best treatment for tinnitus in the very early stages is to do "absolutely nothing" It is for this reason your appointment is 4 to 5 months away.

      Actually, I would have preferred that you wait up to 6 months which is about right. Unless a person is experiencing: dizziness, pain in the ears, balance problems or other symptoms associated with the ear, it is best not to be seen at ENT untill 6 months have elapsed.

      For straight forward tinnitus as in your case, which could be caused by "noise trauma" what I have just described would be suitable for you.

      You will get the best help and long term aftercare under the "NHS" for your tinnitus that NO private medical treatment can match in the UK. Please be assured of that.

      Many people naturally habituate to tinnitus within 6 months and it can go completely away. Intervening too early or carrying out certain tests can cause irritation and could make the tinnitus worse. It is for this reason, providing there are no additional symptoms as I have mentioned, to leave things alone.

      22 years ago when I got tinnitus and had to wait 6 months for my appointment at ENT, I asked my GP to advise me where I could go to be seen Privately, as I was so desperate and in a lot of distress. My doctor told me what I have just advised you above.

      Try to be patient and follow the advice in my articles on my started threads: New to tinnitus what to do? Tinnitus, A Personal View.

      Michael
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Allan1967

      Allan1967 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1997
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      @Michael Leigh

      Thank you for your considered response, I appreciate it.

      I'm not new to tinnitus, I've had it 20 years too, more or less at the same level, minus a TMJ spike that went through the roof 10 years ago but faded after 5 months.

      Since my piano episode 5 weeks ago my original tinnitus is more intense and I now get intermittent sounds like bells and someone rubbing their wet finger around a wine glass rim.

      My greatest fear is that this is now noise induced tinnitus opposed to what was tinnitus brought on by an ear infection that was treated with ototoxic ear drops on a perforated ear drum.

      So I feel like in right back to square one and the thought of having to habituate all over again and now deal with more intense tinnitus is frightening.

      I only wish I knew that it would settle in time but knowing what I know about tinnitus my hope decreases with each passing week.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    14. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI @Allan1967

      Thank you for giving me the update on your tinnitus. My advice remains the same that it is best not to be seen at ENT too early. Four to Five months wait preferably six is quite adequate. Please do not be tempted to go Private, as you will not get a better service/treatment than the NHS. I understand how you feel but all you will achieve, is a depletion of funds from your bank account and when enough money has been extracted, you'll be told to go to the NHS. Please believe me, I correspond with many people so know what I'm talking about.

      Although you noticed an increase in your tinnitus after playing the piano 5 weeks ago, it is likely that the resurgence in your tinnitus has been coming on for some time. If you have been doing any of the following, leading up to the tinnitus increase, then it will confirm what I have said.

      Have you been using headphones on a regular basis even at low volume? Going to places where loud music is played, or using a headset to play computer games or listening to loud music at home or in the car. Noise induced tinnitus doesn't appear out of nowhere as something always causes it, which is exposure to "sound" that irritates the auditory system.

      It is understandable that you are feeling stressed and anxious with all that you're going through. Please read my posts below in the links provided. I also advise you to have a talk with your GP about how you feel. If an antidepressant is suggested then I advise you to take it. The more stressed one becomes about tinnitus the more intrusive it will appear to be. Once stress and anxiety are lowered it will have a beneficial effect on the tinnitus.

      Try to avoid being in quiet rooms and surroundings especially at night. Use sound enrichment whenever possible. More information about this is in the links below.

      All the best
      Michael

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/new-to-tinnitus-what-to-do.12558/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-a-personal-view.18668/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hyperacusis-as-i-see-it.19174/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-positivity-important.23150/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-and-the-negative-mindset.23705/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/acquiring-a-positive-mindset.23969/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/inspiration.22894/

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/can-tinnitus-counselling-help.22366/
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Allan1967

      Allan1967 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1997
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      @Michael Leigh

      Thanks for the response. I've worn headphones whilst playing piano, I wouldn't say regularly - and I was always conscious to keep it low level. I gave up video games about 10 years ago, normally played through the TV anyway and Ive been to one or two concerts over the past 3 or 4 years. Again, I never felt any irritation.

      From what you've said, do you think this could well be my new baseline?
       
    16. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      HI @Allan1967

      As I suspected, your tinnitus has become worse due to headphone use, please be in no doubt about that. Listening to your piano through headphones, allowed your auditory system to hear the full frequency range of what it was able to produce, even at low volume. This wasn't compressed audio as if listening to pre-recorded music from a CD or downloads from the Internet. I advise you to never ever use headphones again even at low volume. Do not listen to any ENT doctor or anyone in this forum that tells you that you will be safe providing the volume through headphones is kept low. It isn't not for you and many other people. It is a risk not worth taking.

      Although your auditory system has been irritated and your tinnitus spiked, I feel it is stress and anxiety that is causing it to remain at a heightened state. Once your stress levels are reduced then you'll see improvement. The tinnitus will improve with time.

      Please do as I have suggested and talk to your GP. If an antidepressant is advised then I think you should take it. Read my posts in the links I gave you and pay particular attention to the post: New to tinnitus what to do?

      I do not think your tinnitus will remain at its current level but in order for it to become more manageable, your stress and anxiety needs to be lowered. My posts will hopefully help you to look at your situation differently and try to engage in things that you like doing to help take your mind off the tinnitus. Use sound enrichment whenever possible and especially at night.

      All the best
      Michael
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Allan1967

      Allan1967 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1997
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Thank you so much @Michael Leigh
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. Eric N

      Eric N Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal QC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012, 03/2016, 05/2017, 05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + 3 major increases via (shouting / MRI/ flu+Tylenol)
      Believe it or not two Tylenol pills on separate days now I have 3 new tones that are virtually unmaskable
       
    19. Mister Muso
      Balanced

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Hi Allan
      Sorry to hear about what you have been going through.

      Fellow pianist here. Can I ask if this refers to an electric piano, or an acoustic piano where you were using headphones to dampen the sound?
       
    20. Mathieulh
      Frustrated

      Mathieulh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Paris, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/24/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Chronic headphones use and acute noise induced trauma.
      I have to disagree, the first thing to do at early onset of tinnitus is to get prescribed prednisone ASAP and NOT WAIT! If you need to go to an ENT to get it, or to a GP, or to the ER or make a pact with the devil to get it, DO IT! It's your ears and the acute stage is the only time when you can improve your prognosis, the sooner, the better.

      You also need to do a contrasted MRI (preferably wearing earmuffs) ASAP to know if your tinnitus does not come from an aggravating condition such as an acoustic nerve neuroma, this is nothing to scoff at.

      Another reason to want to see a professional is to rule out any ear infection, which can set and worsen as time goes by and can be responsible for tinnitus and hearing loss.

      Finally you may also want to do HBOT sessions to increase your chances for recovery. I repeat, DO NOT WAIT! Waiting months to see a professional and get care is unacceptable and inexcusable, period.
       
    21. Mathieulh
      Frustrated

      Mathieulh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Paris, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/24/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Chronic headphones use and acute noise induced trauma.
      Hell no! This is bad advice. Most AD medications are GABA stimulants (usually Benzodiazepines), those are the worst kind of drugs you can take, they have very steep and pronounced withdrawal effects and are extremely addictive, withdrawal will not only make your tinnitus a LOT worse (in fact, it can induce tinnitus in the first place) but can make your tinnitus seem like a cool breeze in comparison, I shall add that Benzodiazepines withdrawal symptoms can last (and this is no exaggeration), multiple years. Most Benzodiazepines also take that long to tapper off.

      All it takes is browsing websites such as BenzoBuddies for a few minutes to understand how bad these are.

      The cons more than outweigh the benefits in this case.

      Typically, Benzodiazepines are prescribed poisons, period.

      As a general rule of thumb, you want to avoid medications unless they can have a lasting, long term beneficial effect on your condition. Unfortunately this is only currently true for specific types of medications (such as Corticosteroids) when taken early during the acute stage of tinnitus.
       
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    22. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I wish you well
      Michael
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    23. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sector Alpha
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      What???? There is no good reason for such absurdly long wait time at all.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    24. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      Why take a blood pressure medication if the side effect is tinnitus?
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    25. Eric N

      Eric N Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal QC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2012, 03/2016, 05/2017, 05/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise + 3 major increases via (shouting / MRI/ flu+Tylenol)
      Apart from lack of solid evidence that prednisone works, getting prednisone is very difficult in Canada, I tried from ER, GP and ENT to get a prescription in case I needed it and except for one case they all refused, I tried to get another prescription from the same ENT that gave it to me and now he refuses saying it is only for sudden deafness after saying it could help with trauma the first time, for some reason he changed his story. All other ENTs said it's only for sudden deafness. And the doctor I saw at the ER actually pulled out her cell phone to try and google if prednisone helps :( and could not find anything.

      I have a few left but they are expired by nearly a year so I wonder if they are still good.

      In any case I don't think the stress of a there is a ticking clock, you need to do something is going to be helpful when you first get tinnitus.
       
    26. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sector Alpha
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1st 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Yeah who cares about all the stories about antidepressants giving people tinnitus in the first place?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    27. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      You clearly have no idea how severe and debilitating tinnitus can be for some people. Why not do yourself and everyone else here a huge favour and leave...
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    28. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      @Michael Leigh Thank you Tinnitus Talk for having an ignore option. Michael ignore the guy.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    29. Mathieulh
      Frustrated

      Mathieulh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Paris, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/24/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Chronic headphones use and acute noise induced trauma.
      Telling someone to use SSRI (Benzodiazepines) is the worst medical advice you can give, even for severe tinnitus.

      You need to understand that those drugs become less effective after chronic use (which requires an uptake in dosages to get the same effect, which triggers dependence, that is until even the larger dose have no significant effect), this means that comes to a point, after years of intake, when you eventually have to stop taking the medication.

      This is where withdrawal comes in. Benzodiazepines' (and other GABA stimulants) withdrawal effects are so severe that not only they will (with a 100% risk factor), increase your tinnitus, making it (much worse) but they will come with a plethora of other (quite serious) conditions, induced by the withdrawal symptoms (this can even include death! Go figure) a lot of which most people who tapper off the medication (stopping at once, aka cold Turkey, after years of exposure, would amount to extreme, unbearable, often irreversible, suffering).

      Withdrawal effects can (depending on how long you were on the drug) and usually (in most cases, sometimes after only weeks of exposure), last for years (2 years on average, often longer). SSRI will basically mess up with your brain chemistry, inducing a lot of nasty side effects, most which would make severe tinnitus (which, by the way, is also one of those side effects) seem quite insignificant (I know that's hard to believe, but trust me (and scientific literature, and people who actually had to go through SSRI withdrawal) it's not a myth and this is no overexagerated or alarmist post, it's reality.

      While the brain eventually recovers from its GABA/Glutamate imbalance (and other SSRI withdrawal related issues), it takes time, time that you would spend suffering (a lot).

      Who, in his right mind, would risk that, for what would be temporary tinnitus relief? You would be essentially decreasing your perception of tinnitus for a while (weeks, months, years?), trading it for what will become years of unbearable pain, including increased perfection of your tinnitus (one of the longest withdrawal effect to go by the way, some lasting up to four years, because glutamate increase overstimulates (read, messes with) the auditory cortex (whoops!).

      This usually translates (long term) into increased tinnitus loudness, more tones/frequencies/noises, increased and prolonged spikes, limbic system based tinnitus (the Tinnitus in your head rather than in the ears), bilateral tinnitus (since the auditory cortex is affected, which is why Benzodiazepines induce tinnitus to non tinnitus sufferers, you increase your chances of having tinnitus on both ears as it's no longer only an hearing loss issue).
      Why would you risk any of this is beyond my understanding, I know I wouldn't.
       
    30. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      I am not telling anyone to do anything. You have clearly not endured severe intrusive tinnitus for a sustained amount of time. When tinnitus is this severe an option is to take a benzo such as clonazepam. It helped me immensely. This is completely different from people that take benzos on a regular basis which I do not recommend.

      When my tinnitus reached very severe levels back in 2010 which I have written about in my post: My Experience with tinnitus, on my "Started Threads". My ENT consultant saw the distress I was in and prescribed clonazepam. I was advised to take 2x 0.5mg tablets only when my tinnitus was severe and for a maximum of 3 days. I am immensely thankful to her because whenever I take Clonazepam it reduces my tinnitus to complete silence. I have a rare and severe form of tinnitus, according to my ENT consultant and Hearing therapist. It ranges from: complete silence, mild, moderate, severe and can reach very severe levels.

      Michael
       

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