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I have been suffering for years with tinnitus. I now have total hearing loss in my left ear with louder ringing in that ear than the right. I still can hear with my right ear but have some hearing loss, and a lesser ring in the right ear. I went to the shea clinic in Memphis Tn. Dr Shea did something called Perfusion on my left ear. He injected this in my left ear, but nothing happened. It was a waste of money to go there except that it eliminated them from my hope that they could help me. Is there anything I can do to save the last remaining ability to hear in my right ear?  The tinnitus started in my mid 30's. I also had Meniere's disease for a while in which I would get very dizzy and usually fall down, It was a challenge to get off the road while driving when this occurred. It always left me exhausted when the Meniere's episodes occurred. I no longer get these episodes anymore, they just disappeared.  I have been to neurologists, been checked with MRI and nothing bad was discovered. I don't know if it is possible to regain the hearing in my left ear, I would just like to stop the ringing, and I would like to preserve the hearing in my right ear and stop the ringing there also.  Is there any new hope, or is this just the way it will be for me.
Dr. Nagler

Posts: 1,764
Hello Douglass -

I am very sorry to hear about your difficulties.

Let's break this situation down into two issues. The first is your hearing loss, and the second is your tinnitus.

In terms of what, if anything, can be done to restore some of your hearing in your left ear and improve the hearing in your right ear, that is way above my pay grade. I do think that you were wise to consult a neurotologist in Memphis - Dr. John Shea, III at the Shea Center For Ears or Dr. Paul Shea at the Shea Ear Clinic, I presume. Perhaps if it was a while back, you saw Dr. John Shea, Jr., who passed away three years ago at the age of 90. Anyway, regardless of whom you saw, it might be a good thing to get a second opinion from a neurotologist from outside the Shea sphere of influence. I think it would be important to know why you lost your hearing in your left ear and if the latest generation of cochlear implants might have something to offer. Regarding the hearing in your right ear, again the cause of your partial hearing loss would be of interest in terms of exploring all options. With an eye towards preserving your remaining hearing, I am sure that you already know the dangers of excessive noise exposure and taking drugs that can actually cause auditory damage. (See Drugs To Avoid in that latter regard.)

Now, with respect to your tinnitus there have been cases where cochlear implants that have been provided for profound hearing loss such as yours (in your left ear) have greatly mitigated the intensity of the tinnitus. It's nothing you can count on, but it is something you might want to consider. Other than a CI, I am unaware of anything that can actually "stop" the ringing, but there are a number of habituation-based approaches that can provide meaningful relief even for folks such as yourself who have profound hearing loss in one ear. The person with the greatest experience in the use of CROS and BiCROS hearing aids to facilitate habituation would be Dr. Pawel Jastreboff in Columbia, MD.

Hope this helps.

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D.


The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
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