Round 3 of Tests for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Song interpreter, Nov 3, 2016.

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    1. Song interpreter
      Creative

      Song interpreter Member

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Too much noise
      Round 1 was to the hearing aid dispense for hearing tests to see if I would benefit from hearing aids. The answer? Yes! My left ear qualifies for a hearing aid. My right ear would benefit, but not for the insurance to pay. But, they found mixed hearing loss and referred me to the ENT before I can get my hearing aid.

      Round 2 was to see the ENT. When he saw my audiogram, he thought I would be the perfect candidate for ear surgery. Perhaps the bones in my ears are stiff. They could fix that and probably the ringing! Then he did a test with a tuning fork. First on the mastoid for bone conduction, then by my ear for air conduction. The test was done on my forehead first, then each mastoid. Three places. Each one sent the sound to my left ear! Also, Air conduction was much clearer, in fact, it was loud! I had to pull away!

      That puzzled him and took me off the list for surgery. Well, I'm fine with that! He was sure he could fix me, until the tuning fork test. He was so taken by that test, he did again! Guess what sound I heard now? A week later? Oh, well... He sent me back to the hearing aid dispenser to get my hearing aid. Before I made it to get my hearing aid, I receive an authorization in the mail. It's for more tests! These people are serious about finding out what is wrong and the best way to take care of it. So...

      Round 3 is with the medical audiologist for more tests. I looked these up:

      1. Tympanometry and Reflex Threshold to test my ear drum response to sound and at what decibel level does my body try to protect my hearing?
      2. Hearing test, again. It might be more detailed.
      3. Evoked Auditory Test Complete. This does not require me to be conscious. It's done on newborns and on up to see the electrical pathways used in response to sound.
      The one that concerns me is the Reflex Threshold. Is this going to increase my ringing more? Can they do this without hurting my sensitive ears? The tuning fork was bad enough!

      Today I got my hearing aid for my left ear. This is where I always have the ringing. The hope is that by giving me the sounds I'm missing, my brain won't work so hard to provide them with the ringing. So far, it does seem to make the ringing less. It's also amazing with all the little sounds I forgot I was missing! The papers rustling, my daughter sharpening her pencils. That sort of thing.

      I guess this is a progress report and an opportunity for sharing your experience and advice.

      So thank you!
       
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    2. GregCA
      Frustrated

      GregCA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      You're not very specific, but I suspect your doctor is thinking you may have otosclerosis.
      Then the Rinne test didn't confirm, so he took you off the list for surgery.

      If you haven't done it yet, you could do a CT scan to see if there are any signs of otosclerosis there (radiolucencies). It's subtle, so you may need to have your CT analyzed by multiple doctors (pick a neurotologist).
      Other clues to look for in diagnosing O: air-bone gap (especially in low frequencies), carhart notch, stapedial reflex (absent)... A hearing test will help get these clues.

      And yes, if it's O, surgery may get rid of your T (about 5o/50, with better odds if your T frequency is low).
       
    3. Song interpreter
      Creative

      Song interpreter Member

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Too much noise
      Thank you GregCa. I will keep that in mind. My next set of tests are for November 17th, with a different ENT. It looks like she understands tinnitus and whatever other issues I may have. I'm really surprised that they have referred me for more tests! They do care about the ringing! I would like to know the apparent decibel level of my ringing. I try to describe it to help others understand, but if I could duplicate it and play it for five minutes for others, I might get some sympathy... Or at least some understanding!

      Today, a friend was telling me about how messed up the sound system got for an event she attended. The noises that wouldn't stop... I told her, "welcome to my world!" It's never quiet here... I thought the hearing aid took it down a notch, but it's back up. But Sundays are my loudest days...
       
    4. Song interpreter
      Creative

      Song interpreter Member

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Too much noise
      I have had the hearing aid for a few weeks now. It really seems to tone down the ringing. If I put my hearing in first thing in the morning, I can avoid the distracting ringing. It puts the ringing to the background. I'm pretty pleased with that. It took awhile to get used to the rustling of papers and other small noises I haven't been hearing.

      I thought I was going to see an ENT the same day as I had the tests, but no. I have to go back to the first ENT later. I was so excited to see that the ENT in the office where I had the last tests treats tinnitus, but I don't get to see her. I'm disappointed... First because she looks like a good doctor to see, but also it means I have to go out another day an hour away. We started this process back in July! Oh well...
       

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