Should I Go Back to the ENT? Hearing Aids, Hyperacusis, Tinnitus. Where Do I Start?

Discussion in 'Support' started by stopthehissing, Jul 27, 2017.

    1. stopthehissing

      stopthehissing Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown... hearing loss?
      I'm not one to pay much attention to what's going on with my body unless there's pain involved which I don't have with these issues.

      All I knew was that I had trouble hearing people over the sound of the constant hissing in my ears and mentioned it to my GP because I couldn't hear what she was saying unless she was facing me.

      I realized that I was trying to read her lips. She explained that it was most likely caused by hearing loss.. and that felt right to me because I notice I do have trouble hearing certain sounds but she ordered a dopler too.

      So, first I had the carotid dopler done to see if it was caused by lack of blood flow to the brain.. that came back normal.

      Yay.. and then she sent me to the ENT and audiologist. The audiologist gave me the hearing test and said I did have hearing loss and that's what is probably causing the tinnitus. I can hear conversation fine if it's one on one without constant background noise but put me in a restaurant and I can't understand conversations even when they're directed at me.


      After researching this condition I realized I've been suffering from hyperacusis for a couple of years now. I just never knew what it was called.. I just knew that I tried to avoid family get togethers and parties because I'd get so overwhelmed by the noise level. My stress level would go through the roof, and I'd have to take Valium before going and even then I'd usually end up sitting outside where it was more quiet. Even when washing and drying clothes I tend to go outside the house because its quieter.

      The hyperacusis started first, and then the tinnitus started but I didn't mention the hyperacusis to my ENT because I didn't realize it was a thing. I just thought I was getting old and crotchety.. :) We only discussed options for dealing with the tinnitus.

      At one point he mentioned hearing aids and I sort of jumped on that idea and we didn't discuss anymore options.. but then I came to find out my insurance doesn't cover hearing aids. I'm covered for a cochlear implant though whatever that is.. I'm not a rich person and hesitate to lay out anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 for hearing aids that are going to sit in a drawer.

      So, my questions are wouldn't hearing aids make the outside noise louder too?

      I've been reading here about noise therapies and wonder if I should go back to the ENT to hopefully discuss them?

      After dealing with him it was obvious he's never personally dealt with tinnitus personally because he was a little dismissive and just repeated everything I read on the internet. Watch the caffeine intake, sleep with a fan or white noise generator at night, etc but he's the only ENT that accepts my insurance.

      Is there another type of doctor that would be more knowledgeable about these conditions? If I could get help I wouldn't mind paying someone out of pocket.

      Maybe it doesn't matter but a few years ago I had to have a parathyroid gland removed and was sent to this doctor at his former office which is probably why I didn't remember him at first.

      Apparently he's also a surgeon. Jack of all trades? Do ENT's normally perform surgeries?

      I didn't realize this was the same doctor when I went for the appt for the tinnitus but he remembered me even though I'd completely forgotten about him. I thought they had me confused with someone else when the girls at the desk said 'welcome back'.. I wasn't crazy about this doctor back then either and just never went back to him. He just didn't inspire confidence in me as a surgeon. I decided not to use him and sought out a surgeon who specializes in parathyroid surgeries for the operation which turned out fine btw.
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Hi @stopthehissing

      Since you have hearing loss a hearing aid/s will address this and should also reduce your tinnitus and treat the hyperacusis. Duel hearing aids are available that have built-in white noise generators. It all depends what your Audiologist/Hearing Therapist recommends. I think it's best to follow the advice of your A/HT and if they suggest hearing aids then wear them as they can be very helpful.
      Please click on the links below and read my articles that you might find helpful: Tinnitus, A Personal View and Hyperacusis, As I see it.

      All the best
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