So, I Finally Went to the ENT...

Discussion in 'Support' started by Vinnitus, Oct 5, 2016.

tinnitus forum
    1. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      So I finally went to the ENT after 5 months of having Tinnitus. The man had a look into my ears and heard me out, as soon as the word "concert" fell, he was quick to conclude it was "cochlear damage" and there is nothing to do. I probably could have told him a lot about what I read about the hypotheses of Tinnitus etiology in the past 5 months, but I figured I was paying him for a consult and not the other way around. So I played the patient and tried to hear him out about the level of ENT understanding.

      I was somewhat pleasantly surprised. The man couldn't help me of course, but he did offer me the option of psychological help (which I refused for now, but he said I can always call him directly if I feel the need). No sentences like "just live with it" or "it will never go away" were spoken, and he even mentioned the research and experimental trials going on to remedy this, but quickly added that most of these trials are rather inconclusive; "what works for one, doesn't work for another".

      He put me on a hearing test and we discussed it afterwards (I attached my audiogram for reference). He took the time to answer any questions I had and concluded with saying "I can't help you for now, for which I'm sorry. Maybe in a few years time I can".

      I viewed the visit as a rather positive experience. He took the time to discuss my concerns and even spoke some hopeful words regarding ongoing research. He couldn't help me of course, but at least I didn't feel the urge to jump from the window when leaving his office.

      It felt different from the ENT visit I had in 2010 (during my first bout of T), I was quickly dismissed back then. Maybe some shift is taking place in the field? ... Let's hope so.

      Did anyone else visit an ENT recently and had a more positive experience?

      EDIT: Regarding the audiogram, strangely enough there appears to be a small dip in the right ear, while my Tinnitus takes place in the left ear. It could be possible there is hearing loss above 8Khz of course in the left ear, or there is "hidden" hearing loss going on there. I also thought it to be strange that it's at 2Khz, while most noise damage appears at 4 or 6Khz... But well, of course we know how much an audiogram can tell regarding Tinnitus; which isn't much.
       

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    2. fedup

      fedup Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection and earphone use
      Hi , I saw my ENT here in England just this morning . I came away feeling totally absndonned and very miserable . All he did was show me my MRI scan and said there is nothing physically wrong with my ears or brain. I asked him why my hearing keeps dropping and why I get sharp pains deep inside my ears all the time . He just said he doesn't know.
      His attitude felt like he just was not interested in my tinnitus and he could not get me out quick enough. I tried to ask questions but his eyes glazed over and he was actualky looking out the window ! The appointment ,for which i waited months, was over in less than five minutes. He did mention masking but when i told him ny T is so catasrophically loud it cannot be masked i felt he was bored.
      His parting words were 'just try hard not to focus on the noise and all the best to you'
      And that is that. There is nothing they can do . End of.
      I feel so angry , upset and alone.
      I now can only go back to my GP .
       
    3. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      Hi Vinnitus

      Good to read that you had a good experience. Also, you have good hearing!
       
    4. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      I was also fortunate enough to have been referred to a terrific ENT. I mean this guy had bedside manner you can only dream of. Even cracked a few jokes I never heard before! He also has tinnitus!! He was extremely compassionate during my visit and like you said, really could do nothing to improve my issue but said if I ever get stressed, depressed etc etc, to pop in and he will see me straight away.

      I heard so many horror ENT stories. Any ENT that shows lack of compassion and dismisses you with the words...."live with it", that jerk should lose his license!!
       
    5. MikeL1972

      MikeL1972 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      3/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Uknown
      Every doctor has their own bedside manner as a result of their personality (or lack thereof) coupled with the training they received in medical school.

      As soon as you go to the ENT and they check your ears and your sinus cavity and all is clear, you are on your own. That is what happened to me back in March.

      In my case, the audiogram indicated that I have some slight hearing loss at very high frequency ranges, but nothing to lose sleep over.
       
    6. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Hm, I'm sorry to hear your experience has been different. I guess this ENT was quite unique in taking the time and being informed about developments in the field. He also gave directions for "further treatment" in psychological help, because he knew it can be a burden on people. I appreciated it, despite my lack of faith in psychological help and "positive self talk" for these kinds of issues. Most ENT's don't even appear to do these basic things, leaving their patient in the dark... Quite like yours did apparently.
       
    7. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      Sad experience indeed. Sorry to hear about it. Seems to be the main consensus from people who visit them unfortunately. However said, your options are not limited to only your GP. Check out all the ENT's in your area and even google them for ratings from patience. Find someone who seems to have a good rating and tell your GP to get you in to see him/her!! Never give up!!
       
    8. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Yes, at least up until 8Khz it seems quite fine on both sides. Only the 2khz frequency seems to be bordering on "mild hearing loss" for the right ear (which should be 20dBHL and above). The Tinnitus I hear is much higher frequency and takes place in the left ear, so I guess this dip doesn't really have anything to do with it. I suspect "Cochlear synaptopathy" (hidden hearing loss) to be the cause in my left ear.
       
    9. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      Glad you had a positive experience with an ENT but the audiogram (which by the way looks pretty good) is kinda useless. Up to 12KHz at least would be useful.
      The dip at 2KHz is not hearing loss, unless you are a teenager.
       
    10. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Yes, good ENT's are out there! Of course the visit itself was still a little useless because I knew there was a big chance he wouldn't be able to do anything, but I didn't feel bad afterwards. I view that as positive.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    11. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      Of course each doctor will have a different approach. A real dedicated doctor will be fully researched in all areas of his/her training and should be very compassionate and and least try to be helpful. We wait a long time from referral to visit! They all need to take this into account also. To wait 5 months for a 5 minute....."live with it" conversation is just unacceptable!
       
    12. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      @Vinnitus try and get an audiogram up to 20khz done. I had one done and much to my surprise i can still hear up to 18khz. My t ear has 30db dips at 3 and 4khz though.
       
    13. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I agree. This audiogram was taken at the hospital so I hoped they would have had better equipment which could measure the higher frequencies, but unfortunately this wasn't the case. I noticed the nurse also did a "tone in noise" test though, because after the regular tonal test, noise was added and the test was done again. I didn't experience this before during taking an audiogram at other places.

      The ENT did show some concern about the 2Khz notch though, he mentioned it might be the beginnings of a noise notch.
       
      Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
    14. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I would love to and I'm curious to see if the left ear drops down at higher frequencies. However, even the hospital doesn't seem to have the equipment to measure the higher frequencies. I guess the places where you can take these tests are quite rare. I could go back to my GP and ask to be referred to a dedicated audiologist or something.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    15. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      I got mine done at a hearing aid shop in South London. Was free as well, these kinds of shops seem to be popping up alot here in England.
       
    16. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      That is kind of unexpected. You would say those hearing aid shops aren't particularly interested in your higher frequencies because the hearing aids they sell do little for these frequencies (as far as I know). I had 3 audiograms done before (one in 2010 and two recently in 2016) at hearing aid shops and they all go up to 8KHz only. I expected the hospital (which doesn't want to sell me a hearing aid) to go higher, but no.

      I would have to look for places where they can do such tests. I'll discuss it with my GP.
       
    17. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      Yes true but i guess they offer more than just hearing aids, there link is below so you can get more of an idea of what they do, they even have a tinnitus section which is what made me go there out of curiosity. Do you have any shops like this in Holland?

      https://www.regainhearing.co.uk/
       
    18. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Interesting. The text on their website about Tinnitus made me curious indeed.
      https://www.regainhearing.co.uk/tinnitus-relief

      They claim to have some approach which is pretty successful judging from reading this text. Quite some bold statements here. Do you know what techniques they use? I read about sound therapy and such, is it just Neuromonics/ACRN?

      Here we have Amplifon shops under the Dutch name "Beter Horen" (literally: better hearing). Apparently some of their departments seem to offer Neuromonic-like treatments for Tinnitus next to their traditional masking devices, but when I was there the spokesperson told me the results have been mixed so far.
       
    19. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      He gave me a hearing aid to try out which did seem to work succesfully in masking my t, just through amplifying my damaged frequencies. I don't recall him saying anything about acrn. Anyway, the hearing aid would cost £1000 which is alot to pay for just masking my t when i can play some purple noise for free from my phone.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    20. Lorac

      Lorac Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden profound hearing loss in left ear.
      @Vinnitus,
      I am so glad to hear that your ENT offered the option of psychological help. I just think that should be part of the protocol. If there is nothing to really help us medically, then I believe that referrals should be made to psychologists who are specifically trained to work with people who have hearing loss and tinnitus. Insurance companies should cover the cost of these psychological sessions, especially since new patients often experience severe anxiety and depression.
       
    21. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      Agree 100%. Cheaper ways to mask if you can hear OK. I had a single custom hearing aid (in ear) made up for my left ear when I could still hear something. It had masking programs as well. Did nothing for my T. It's even possible that hearing aid hastened the last of my hearing in that ear. Had to keep cranking up the volume....... One day I could no longer hear anything in that ear.
       
    22. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      That one hearing aid cost me $2850.00 canadian. For 1 custom aid!! Anyone want a free hearing aid? I got no use for it!
       
    23. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      Yeah i still hear fine even with the 30db dips. Maybe i don't notice any dip in quality because i am sure my loss has been gradual and caused by concerts and earphones which i don't do anymore. Also my left ear is still within normal range. Oh man , thats awful if the hearing aid caused you further loss!
       
    24. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Exactly. Seems you didn't receive their "new approach" treatment then. Masking is pretty old-fashioned and doesn't really help towards improvement. I would opt for a simple masking app as well in such case.
       
    25. MikeP505
      Curious

      MikeP505 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Ontario Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Punishment for being so darn good looking!
      I think it was inevitably going to happen anyways. It may have just made it quicker?? Why I say that is, the last time I wore it, and believe me it's still brand new, was at my nephews wedding just over a year ago. You know weddings and receptions. Get a tad noisy and I was volunteering to help out with the event and clean up afterwards. So That hearing aid was used the entire day, max level during the wedding and lowest level during the reception. Next morning...... poof! No more hearing.

      Possibly only push up my hearing loss by a couple months. It was getting bad fast.
       
    26. Vinnitus
      Bookworm

      Vinnitus Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      28/04/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I agree. The option should be offered as a lot of patients have no idea where to go from there and are in a bad state of mind. Also his offer to call him anytime if times turn dark was comforting to hear.
       
    27. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      Can someone edify me? Why do people waste their money on an ENT? Can't a GP look inside your ears (mine did) and see how things look? My GP didn't recommend an ENT.
      Can't you take a hearing test for cheap or free?
      Don't see the point. Never heard of an ENT curing tinnitus. Might as well go to a foot doctor.;)
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    28. Sam Bridge

      Sam Bridge Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/gigs probably
      To see it there is anything wrong with your ear like ETD for example. Tinnitus can be a symtpom of many ear conditions.
       
    29. John G

      John G Member

      Even though an ENT can't really do anything in regards to ETD. At least my ENT told me that. He just told me that he just prescribes nasal spray for people with ETD.Spray did nothing for me. Although he has that "live with it" attitude
       
    30. stophiss

      stophiss Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      too full a life
      What ear conditions can be solved to cure tinnitus? Me personally, I haven't seen much data that suggests resolving ETD cures tinnitus. People can have ETD blockage repeatedly throughout their lives without tinnitus.
       

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