Dr. Nagler's Tinnitus Corner
Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
sactinn

Member
Registered:
Posts: 8
 #1 

Hi Dr. Nagler,

I've had tinnitus for nearly three years now. You were kind enough to help me when I first developed the condition and I will always be grateful for that.

Today after work I sat down to watch a little television before eating dinner. Things were going fine when I suddenly felt as though my left ear had gone deaf. It had not in fact gone deaf, but it felt off as though it were suddenly plugged up...even though I could still hear perfectly fine. 

A few minutes later I noticed a dreadful high pitched tea kettle whistle in my left ear -- louder than the tinnitus I have been dealing with for the last three years. Some hours have now passed and the loud whistle is still there in the same left ear. My usual tinnitus is in both ears.

I feel better equipped to deal with this development...but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid. Mainly afraid that I will have issues sleeping again. 

Has anything I've said here raise any red flags that it could be something worse (tumor?). I know the ENTs I have seen (and you) have always asked if I had the tinnitus in both ears. Well...I did (and still do) but this new thing is definitely in my left ear. 

Thanks.

Dr. Nagler

Owner
Registered:
Posts: 1,759
 #2 
Hi sactinn -

So as I understand it, you are experiencing a significant persistent change in your tinnitus (in this case the emergence of a distinctly different high-pitched sound) associated with a transient(?) decrease in hearing threshold in the affected ear. [I put a "?" in there because at this point in time you really do not know how transient was the threshold shift nor do you know the extent.] And you are asking my advice about dealing with it, etc.

My advice would be to set dealing with it aside for the moment and get evaluated today by an ENT or otologist. If the scheduler in the ENT's office says you might be able to get in in a couple of weeks but there's nothing sooner, tell the scheduler that you believe you have "sudden sensorineural hearing loss" and are frightened - do not use the word "tinnitus" at all. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is one of the few true emergencies in ENT, and even though what you are experiencing is quite likely not SSHL, using that buzzword will get you in the door pronto. Then, when you are actually face-to-face with the ENT, tell him or her that your sudden hearing loss seems to be improving, but you are still experiencing a marked increase in the loudness of your tinnitus.

Why should you be seen today? It's because you are still early enough in the process to possibly benefit from a short course of steroids.

All the best with it -

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
sactinn

Member
Registered:
Posts: 8
 #3 
Dr. Nagler -- Thank you for the prompt response. I woke up this morning and the new sound seems to be gone. The old tinnitus is still present but the new (awful) tone has disappeared. I have been crudely testing my hearing by tapping on a glass next to each ear and don't seem to have any perceivable difference in hearing levels.

Do you still recommend that I get to an ENT today?

This whole tinnitus thing is an awful journey to be on.
Dr. Nagler

Owner
Registered:
Posts: 1,759
 #4 
No reason to go to the ENT today since you are now asymptomatic.

If I may ask - how old are you, when did you last see an ENT because of your tinnitus, and when was your last audiogram?

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
sactinn

Member
Registered:
Posts: 8
 #5 
Hello -- I'm 39. The last time I saw an ENT due to tinnitus was April of 2016. I also went to an audiologist again in March 2017. I recall taking the hearing test both times (in the booth) and both times I was told that my hearing was extremely good for my age. The ENT did say there was very minor hearing loss in some range but that it was nothing abnormal. I don't have the audiograms but I bet I could get them. 

Regarding my episode last night...I drank a beer immediately prior to the new sound popping up. A coincidence? I drink a couple of beers each week and have not had an issue before. 
Dr. Nagler

Owner
Registered:
Posts: 1,759
 #6 
Sactinn, I wouldn’t bother going to an ENT or an audiologist at this point in time. You have already had a full work-up, so in my opinion the only indication to go would be for a sustained quantum change in your tinnitus or a noticeable change in your hearing.

As far as the beer goes, I doubt it played a role.

All the best -

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
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.



Dr. Nagler's Tinnitus Corner is provided for education and information only. It is not intended for the purpose of providing medical care and should in no way substitute for appropriate in-person consultations with qualified healthcare professionals. By using this site, participants agree to hold Dr. Nagler and Atlanta Tinnitus Consultants, LLC harmless with respect to any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage arising from following the postings herein.