First ENT Visit — What to Expect?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Kuriboh1981, Oct 13, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Kuriboh1981
      Terrified

      Kuriboh1981 Member

      Location:
      My own personal Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/01/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection/Slight hearing loss/Who knows at this point?
      So I got tinnitus about two weeks ago from an ear infection. The infection has cleared up, but my primary doctor diagnosed me with eustation tube dysfunction and refereed me to an ENT. My appointment is this coming Wednesday. I'm really hoping he finds a eustation tube problem that can be fixed, but I'm terrified that he'll tell me that I have permanent tinnitus and that there isn't anything that can be done about it. How does an ENT examine the eustation tubes anyway? Is there a special instrument that he would use that a regular doctor doesn't? What other tests might the ENT want to do, and are there any questions I should ask?

      EDIT-I should probably add that the tinnitus is only my latest ear related problem. I;ve been prone to ear infections all my life (no tinnitus though. I know I have an infection when my eustation tubes get blocked) but typically I go on antibiotics and it clears right up and my symptoms disappear within a day or two. However last December I woke up out of a dead sleep one Saturday night/Sunday morning with the room spinning around me. When I tried to sit up and walk I found that I couldn't keep my balance. I was scared I was having a stroke so I called an ambulance and went to the ER. They did an MRI, which came back normal. A flu virus or something had gotten into my ear and messed up my balance. By later that day I was back to normal. Then this past April I got an ear infection and went on antibiotics, but my eustation tubes didn't clear. It look a good amount of Sudafed to finally open them back up. Now I get another ear infection which gave me this (hopefully temporary) tinnitus. Should I tell all this to the ENT?
       
    2. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      There are no routine tests for eustachian tube function. The ENT will probably just look at your ear drums. He will most likely order a hearing test as well.
       
    3. Kuriboh1981
      Terrified

      Kuriboh1981 Member

      Location:
      My own personal Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/01/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection/Slight hearing loss/Who knows at this point?
      Thanks. That kind of scares me, my regular doctor looked at my ear drum and said it looked fine except that there "might" be a little bit of fluid trapped behind it. I really don't want this tinnitus to be permanent...
       
    4. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      What will you ask him? If you don't go there educated in advance then you will get very little of any worth, and a large bill, if he's like most ENTs.
       
    5. suera

      suera Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2010
      Yes most ENT's are worthless as far as tinnitus goes so go there knowing your questions and possible solutions while you are early on in this nightmare. Early is the best time that this may fade away. Good luck
       
    6. Kuriboh1981
      Terrified

      Kuriboh1981 Member

      Location:
      My own personal Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/01/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection/Slight hearing loss/Who knows at this point?
      Thanks for the replies. Since I'm so new to tinnitus and I've never been to an ENT before I don't know what I should ask and/or tell him. Any suggestions on that front would be greatly appreciated.
       
    7. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Make sure you tell ENT everything.
      Especially the dizzy spinning so they can do tests...lots of love glynis
       
    8. eric peterson
      Sporty

      eric peterson Member

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 10/2003 Increase: 4/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      who knows? who cares?
      @Kuriboh1981 , First, I'd say that if your tinnitus is quite new, then there is a chance that it will go away. That chance diminishes with time, but I've read and heard about people who in the first year or so of having tinnitus have had it go away. Secondly, since your T may be related to inflammation of the Eustachian tube and/or fluid behind the ear, it is possible that relieving those symptoms will make the T go away. But I believe that is what caused my T, and mine is here to stay. (Or at least I'd be legitimately shocked if it went away). I'd make sure you tell your entire history to your ENT, and tell him all of your symptoms. Get a complete workup. If you've already had a recent MRI, then you don't have something like an acoustic neuroma, or something more serious to your health. As far as getting through the first few months of T, they can be quite tough. But there are things that you can do to help the habituation process along. The data I've seen suggest about 98% completely adjust to living with T in about 18 months. Which seems like an eternity I'm sure when I say that to you now. But the reality is, that even if your T doesn't go away, you'll likely be feeling a lot better in just a few months. At first, you might consider looking into books on CBT, or mindfulness meditation. They both helped me a great deal through the first three months. As for sleep, which was near impossible for me, you can always ask for something like Ambien or Lunestra from your doctor. I needed them for about 2.5 months. After that, I've been able to sleep just using a runner's ear bud that hooks behind my ear and playing some soft nature noises to somewhat mask my T and calm myself and fall asleep. I often wake up and the ear bud has fallen out. I just hook it back over my ear, and right back to sleep. Try and find something that works for you. I know that T feels like a disaster at first. But you can get through this. A positive attitude will go a long way. If you need any help, please let me know.

      Eric
       
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    9. Kuriboh1981
      Terrified

      Kuriboh1981 Member

      Location:
      My own personal Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/01/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection/Slight hearing loss/Who knows at this point?
      Thanks, Eric. I'm going to tell the ENT everything, and hope that it is a eustation tube problem and that once that problem is taken care of the tinnitus will go away. I've had a difficult time dealing with tinnitus, my personality is such that I need a certain amount of peace and quiet every day, and not getting that has been difficult to deal with, impossible at times in fact. If my T doesn't go away I'll look into CBT and mindfulness meditation, and I'm defiantly going to ask for some kind of sleep medication since trying to sleep has been a nightmare since this all started. Again, thanks for the reply and the advice.
       
    10. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      My suggestion? Keep the subject on other symptoms and play down the tinnitus a bit. Once they latch onto the presence of tinnitus they use it as an escape hatch to absolve them from any further responsibility. Emphasize distress, even if you have to act out a little. If they perceive you to be coping they will not do much of anything.
       
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    11. Kuriboh1981
      Terrified

      Kuriboh1981 Member

      Location:
      My own personal Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/01/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection/Slight hearing loss/Who knows at this point?
      So I just got back from my appointment. I have some slight hearing loss in the higher ranges in both ears, and the ENT thinks that is what is causing the tinnitus (which is only in my left ear) and that I'll never get rid of it but I will learn to tune it out. I'm just feeling so hopeless right now. Never having peace and quiet, never knowing silence again, that's a hard pill to swallow. That last shred of hope that this might go away is gone, and I don't know how I'm going to cope with this for life...
       
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    12. mohamad-m

      mohamad-m Member

      Location:
      turkey
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011/10
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      hunting with no ear safety
      Mild tinnitus you can cope trust me .. .best to avoid loud places even avoid car horns anything that make you uncomfortable u have to avoid
       
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    13. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      In time you will see life is so much fun and laughter and tinnitus is a rock we can climb over and carry on with our previous lives.
      We might get some knocks but we keep fighting for happiness and a wonderful life and tinnitus can go crawl under the rock....lots of love glynis
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    14. Kuriboh1981
      Terrified

      Kuriboh1981 Member

      Location:
      My own personal Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/01/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection/Slight hearing loss/Who knows at this point?
      Thanks, Paul. I told my ENT about my history, told him about my distress and played down the T a bit. After my hearing test the ENT looked in my ears, told me everything looked good, and that I have T for live and to go home and learn to live with it. Very discouraging...
       
    15. Kuriboh1981
      Terrified

      Kuriboh1981 Member

      Location:
      My own personal Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/01/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection/Slight hearing loss/Who knows at this point?
      Thanks for the encouragement, I need it right now. Hopefully I can climb over the tinnitus rock and get some peace and quiet back into my life.
       
    16. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      A Nurse Practitioner could have done all that for a quarter the fee. I think they all have the same script that they read off.
       
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    17. Kuriboh1981
      Terrified

      Kuriboh1981 Member

      Location:
      My own personal Hell
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/01/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection/Slight hearing loss/Who knows at this point?
      It sure sounded like he was reading from a script...
       
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    18. Knitpick22

      Knitpick22 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/12/2015
      I went to an ENT today. What a waste of money and my time. Yes he did act and talk like the speech was rehearsed. I passed them all standing at the desk as I went into the exam room. Guess the best man won of who was going to throw his Tinnitus speech. He looked in my ears. Then said he was going to schedule me for a hearing test. He said the supplements I have been taking are just Placebos. I am so disgusted with Healthcare Professionals these day and I've been a nurse for over 20 years!
       
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    19. PaulBe

      PaulBe Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cairns
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably sound, though never proven
      I'm so with you on that.
       

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