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InjuredWorkerBC

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Reply with quote  #1 

I recently developed hyperacusis about 6 months ago while working in a bottle depot.  When I first went to see my doctor about it I was treated for congestion (given anti-hystamines).  I tired that for a couple weeks while continuing to work and it only got worse.  The doc then suggested I drop baby oil in my ear for a week and then come see him.  He said I have an earwax build up and he flushed my ears with water.  If anything it seemed to make my condition worse.  I then decided it must be without a doubt due to the bottles clanging at my work and not what I was being treated for.  The doctor advised me that if it was due to work I would have a hard time proving it because I did not have a previous audiological exam.  After having a few days off from work my ears improved subsantially but when I returned to work the pain in my ears returned immediately and full force upon the first glass bottle clanking together after being tossed in the bin of glass.  I went to an audiologist on my own behalf to get my hearing tested and was diagnosed with hyperacusis causing otalgia. By then I was at the point of having a constant pain and pressure in predominately my right ear and my left as well.  Holding a phone up to my ear hurts especially loud music, people raising their voices, squeaky brakes, etc.  I decided there was no way I could possibly withstand the torture of returning to work so I made a claim with WorksafeBC (WCB) for the treatment my audiologist recommended and wage loss benefits.  Which includes sound generators costing $2000 and therapy sessions.  I immediately received a letter from the board saying it would be 4 - 6 months before they make a decision on whether or not to accept my claim.  5 months later I called them to find out what is going on only to find out they "were not aware I wasn't working" eventhough the information is there and they filed my claim for hearing loss instead of hyperacusis.  Now they say I have to start another claim and that the medical report from the audiologist doesn't count because she is not a medical doctor eventhough she specializes in tinnitus and hyperacusis.  They say the diagnosis must come from and ENT.  If anyone has an information or recommendations to help me out I would really appreciate it.  I'm really glad I found this site as the only person whom has been supportive and understands my condition is my audiologist.  My doctor even refused to give me a note of any kind until I see an ENT but from what I have read on this site ENT are not necessarily good at diagnosing hyperacusis.  Does anyone know where I can get db readings for bottle depots?

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LizH

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Reply with quote  #2 
Would your audiologist know of a sympathetic and understanding ENT?  They're rare, but there are some if you search.

If she gave you a name, then you could take it to your doctor and ask for a referral to that particular one.

It's a roundabout route but it might get you there in the end.
Good luck, Liz.
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InjuredWorkerBC

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Reply with quote  #3 

Thanks for the suggestion I will give it a try.

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bobm

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Reply with quote  #4 
i had similar problems here in Ontario,workers comp would not even look at my file they have no understanding of hyperacusis and are not willing to find out.i was off work 3 months and was pretty much forced back to work by the ent...it has been a struggle ever since ,going on 3 years now..being at work etc can be stressful.i just take one day at a time..

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stay well bobm
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LizH

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Reply with quote  #5 
I happened to chat to my hubby about the plight of people with H trying to get workers' comp. etc and he had what seemed to me to be quite an interesting suggestion.  He's seen me struggling with this trauma for more than a year and end up seeking help from a psychologist and end up taking AD's.  He's also aware that at least in Australia, mental health issues are finally getting the attention they deserve, so, since organisations that dish out workers' comp. etc refuse to recognize reports from audiologists about H, he thinks maybe you could try it from the mental health perspective.  If you consult a psychologist about your problems, perhaps a report from him/her might carry sufficient weight to get the comp. you clearly need.

Hoping this might be helpful, Liz.
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InjuredWorkerBC

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Reply with quote  #6 

Thanks for the idea Liz, I may have to try that if the ENT specialist doesn't diagnose me properly.  I wouldn't have thought of that. Did your psychologist diagnose you with hyperacusis or just depression and did he conclude it was a result of the hyperacusis? 

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LizH

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Reply with quote  #7 
It wasn't quite that simple or staightforward.  It was ENT no.2 who diagnosed me with H but he offerred no help at all - couldn't even be bothered to explain what it was - as I stood in the his doorway asking "excuse me, hyper what?" he was calling in the next patient so I had to do all the research myself (my big gripe).  Finally I found an audiologist who said that most ENT's are like that, so you are not alone.  In the end, having read about TRT and the directive counselling etc, I requested a referral (via my GP) to a psychologist ( I wouldn't have got much at all if I hadn't asked), but fortunately this psychologist is very good, very understanding etc and was happy to read all the info I gave him about H.  He had treated people distressed by severe T before so that was helpful.  My work contract as a music teacher with a conservatorium does not make me eligible for workers' comp or disability or any other benefit, even though I've had to take indefinite leave, but when I read stories like yours and others on the H net, I sometimes bring them up in chat with my husband and he thought of that idea.  So you see the psych. didn't diagnose me.  Perhaps the ENT might have done something more if I had pressured him, but I didn't really want to face him again considering the way he avoided even ringing to inform me of some test results. 
 In Australia, you have to get a "mental health plan" (like a questionnaire score)from a GP to receive a gov. rebate on fees for psychology.  I suppose things might be different in your country.  My GP did agree after seeing my low score on the plan that my depression was the result of the H and T even though he himself knew practically nothing about H and so he had no qualms about providing me with the mental health plan to see the psychologist.
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