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larusbg

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Reply with quote  #1 

Hello everyone, I was hoping somebody could be so kind to give me help and maybe shed some light on what I’m going through.

 

6 months ago, my right ear was accidentally struck with a wet shirt, (it was supposed to hit my shoulder as a prank). I felt immediate pain followed by a very loud ringing in my ear which I think was something like an A flat, or at least some note that I had never heard in my ear before. I can’t remember exactly but I think the ringing stopped after about a week or two after. My ear became very sensitive to sound, even listening to music with headphones at a really low volume became painful. The most annoying part of it however is that every time I hear sound that is above low volume, my ear makes a sort of crackling noise, like a broken speaker. In everyday life it doesn’t bother me to a great extent, but being a musician, this is unbearable. It is pretty much impossible for me to sit back and listen to some calm music when all I can think about is the noise my ear makes. When not exposed to any sound, I have a very faint ringing in my ear, which is barely noticeable and doesn’t bother me at all. 

 

It seemed to get better after about 2 months, but then it seems the healing came to a halt. I went to an ENT 3 months after I had the injury and he examined my ear and I had a hearing test. He saw that my eardrum had ruptured, but had fully healed and was in great shape. Besides that, he said there were no visible signs of damage, and according to my hearing test, my hearing was flawless, saying that it was no different than in my left ear and was in fact above average. He said that he was 100% sure that it would heal on its own, but it could take a total of 6+ months. Needless to say I was very relieved.

 

3 months later.

 

Nothing has changed. There was notable improvement the first 2 months, which I assume was my eardrum getting better, but in the past 4 months there have been absolutely zero improvement. I went to see the ENT again, and again he checked inside my ear and made me have a hearing test. Again, no visible signs of damage whatsoever. He did hypothesise that there was perhaps a muscle which he couldn’t see (I can’t remember its name, but I’m sure I would remember it if I heard it) that contracts when the ear is exposed to high volumes to lessen vibration and protect the ear, that had been damaged and was causing my ear to sound like a blown speaker, but said that he does not recall a case in which this muscle has been permanently damaged. He said that 6 months was quite a long time for this to heal, but not totally unexpected. He was pretty much certain that it would be fully healed after a year (six months from now), and he said that he has never been aware of anyone being permanently damaged by a sudden blow to the ear. I asked him if there’s any chance I’m going to have this ten years from now and he said that the chances of that were overwhelmingly small. This is reassuring to hear and all, but I have my doubts. Like I said, there has been no improvement the past 4 months, so I’m really not expecting anything to happen, and I’m pretty certain it never will. I made some mistakes after the accident, like exposing myself to loud music without earplugs (really stupid I know) and wearing an earplug in just my right ear, those things may have caused some more damaged. My work can get pretty noisy sometimes, and I now wear earplugs at all times, maybe this will do me some good. I’m 21 years old.

 

Is there anyone that has a similar story or perhaps knows what’s wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated, sorry for the long post, I just wanted to give as much detail as possible. 

 

Thank you very much

 

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kevinanderson

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Reply with quote  #2 

Hey man
I've been having the same problem, so it's good to hear there's other people out there with these same symptoms 
I don't know when I started getting that 'broken speaker' sound, or what happened, so that was really interesting to read
Did the muscle happen to be the Tesor Tympani or Stapedius? 

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larusbg

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Reply with quote  #3 
I'm pretty sure it's the Stapedius the doctor thought was damaged. This was just a theory though.
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brighter7

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Reply with quote  #4 
I have the same symptoms as you do on my left ear, and I'm around your age as well. The crackling started when I was 16 years of age (nearly 5 years into this horrible condition) when I was just randomly listening to a song through my lousy earphones. Turned up the volume a bit loud and voila.

I've been going through so many doctors (even multiple psychologists at a time in dealing with my emotional response to this) during the last 5 years and after reading countless articles pertaining to these unusual symptoms, a lot of the information I gathered seemed to narrow down to muscle dysfunction of either the tensor tympani or stapedius muscle. I have here a quote from a hyperacusis doc giving her opinion to another user with similar symptoms to ours -

Quote:
Cracking-crackling-static sounds when provoked by noise can often come right from the middle ear space.
 
Ears damaged by disease or loud noise can develop slight shifts in position of the tiny bones, the muscles, or the eardrum, even....people in explosions or falls or whiplash injuries can develop the same middle ear conditions.
 
The distortion in the system is very like what happens when you tear a speaker paper, that covering that used to stick over the front face of speakers, and when it rips, there is an extra vibration in the sound quality that is annoying to music lovers!
 
Sometimes this can happen when the stapes footplate is rattly-loose in its little 'seat' in the bony part of the temporal face, its little plate-like part rests gently on another eardrum like structure, and it vibrates to send those waves of energy into the inner ear, filled with fluid.  If the footplate of the stapes is wiggly, then often sound, sometimes particular ones, will cause a real resonation-distortion.  Surgeons sometimes will try to fix that with adding mass to the footplate by packing the area a bit with diced up tissue from other parts of the ear! : (
 
Well it sounds awful, but it must work once ina  while as they will attempt it.
 
Very acute listeners pay more attention to this than others, more dull in their senses.  It is often diagnosed as a benign condition, i.e., not a progressive or serious threat to the health, more like a floater in your eye, generally not much for the doc to do there, just counsel you to ignore it!
 
Easy to say, hard to do.
 
Also this can result from a floppier eardrum if there has been any trauma or infection there, it can lose that stiffening middle layer of tissue and the two outer layers are very thin skin and then this can cause extra 'noise' in the system....
 
You are certainly not alone in this complaint, many people with tinn or hyperacusis will complain about that irritating distortion.  Sometimes it is best to use a small earplug on that side when you want to listen to music a bit louder.....cuts out that distortion, or try a musician's plug.  See if you can figure out if it is high or low sounds that set it off, then we can talk about more ideas.
 
Marsha Johnson


I have serious doubts when something like this is diagnosed as true tinnitus, as the symptoms don't exactly fill criteria to be classed as one. I'm no doc on this, but it'll be interesting if we could discuss more to get a good idea as to what could be causing our grievances.
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larusbg

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Reply with quote  #5 

Thanks a lot for your reply. I'm very curious about this operation with adding mass to the footplate of the stapes, is this something that you've thought about or intend to do? My ENT said that there is no way to fix the stapes with surgery, maybe he's misinformed? 

As for your condition, how bad is it? Is there persistent noise in your ear or is it only noticeable when you hear sounds? My rattling is only a slight nuisance in every day life, although really irritating when listening to music. Is listening to music painful at modest volumes? Have you been diagnosed with hearing loss? In these 5 years, have you noticed any improvement whatsoever? (Sorry to bombard you with questions)

Again, thanks for your reply, hope to hear from you soon [smile]

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brighter7

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Reply with quote  #6 
Heya...sure ask anything! I'm more than willing to share and exchange info if it would further my knowledge on the problem, as I'm as eager as you are to learn more [wink]

 The crackling in my ears is not constant, only provoked by noise once it reaches a certain pitch/decibel (disappears once I find myself reasonably comfortable with the noise levels). I do have some low tinnitus on my affected ear, but only a tiny bit. My condition at the moment has improved to a stable point. At one point (in 2011), my tolerance was getting worse to a point where the "threshold" of it happening could be triggered by a simple cough. Bathing or talking at an average decibel could even trigger it. It was around that time I started to visit psychologists (recommended by my last ENT doc) who prescribe me certain medications (muscle relaxers, anti-depressants) that I was able to slowly recover back to my normal way of living. 

I'm no doc, so I can't say for sure whether its possible or not to have surgery on the stapes. I do however have an opinion that doctors aren't always infallible beings (as we're human after all), so I don't hold a doctor's advice as the final word. With a problem like this having so little info to dispense, ignorance could creep in, and I suspect some docs really have no clue when they're giving out a diagnosis sometimes (I've had a few such instances). 

As for surgeries of any kind I'm very, very hesitant about even considering it (presently). There was a point back in 2011 when my condition was at its worst that I could think of nothing but having this crazy idea of "disconnecting" the middle ear bones in hopes I wouldn't be able to hear that static sound. My doctor thought I was crazy (and probably sent me to a psychologist because of that lol). I wanted a relief from it even if it meant sacrificing my hearing. I was that desperate. Fast forward to the present (and with a saner mind), and I'm glad I didn't through with all those crazy ideas. I'm hesitant of the thought of going through any type of surgery unless a concrete diagnosis with evidence(s) is made (just my opinion). I say this because I've seen people here going under the knife in hopes to rid themselves of the problem only to find out it became even worse than what they had in the beginning. I've observed that whenever a diagnosis is made (some based largely on theory), the chances of them ridding the problem didn't looked very promising. Very few have come off with good success (I've yet to come across one actually), hence my reservations about it. I hope I'm not scaring you away into avoiding a surgery at all costs, but I think it would be better if more evidence comes up in helping to make well informed decisions [wink]

I've given my support to the theory towards muscle dysfunction of either the tensor or stapedius muscle. However, they remain largely theory, unsupported by concrete evidence. I maintain my support as this seems to be the most plausible lead/theory so far. I believe one of the reasons why facts are lacking is due to the difficulty of probing the human ear. It's so small, that I've talked to a top doc once and even he said doctors have difficulty probing using their most advance optics and machines. I've asked ALL my doctors what could be causing my problems and NONE of them have given any sort of diagnosis (and I've been tested using all sorts of medical equipment). For now, progress seems to be largely confined through dialogue on the internet. I do hope more doctors will recognize this problem as it's beginning to become quite common. 

Hope I answered all your questions (kinda tired and unsure whether they were enough), hope to hear a reply, thanks!
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larusbg

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hey, sorry it took so long for me to reply, things have been pretty hectic. What you describe is pretty much exactly what I'm feeling, so we most likely have the same problem. Although it's weird how your injury happened, I've listened to music at dangerously high levels through headphones and speakers before and after years that only left behind very mild tinnitus. I'm going to see a top ear specialist soon, and I'll ask him if what Marsha Johnson said makes any sense. It does seem likely, that the stapes footplate has become loose in its seat after the blow to my ear.

I'm going to try my best to figure out exactly what my problem is, and if there is a possibility of it being fixed with surgery, then I might consider going through with it, as I definitely can't live like this forever.

I'll keep in touch and inform you of anything useful the doctor might say.

Thanks!
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Joseph_Redgate

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by larusbg
he said that he has never been aware of anyone being permanently damaged by a sudden blow to the ear.


If he really said that to you, I would suggest that you find a new ENT.  What he said to you is like an ER doctor telling you that they are not aware of anyone ever bleeding to death from a gunshot wound.

Anyone who has the ability to spell and type "Permanent damage from sudden blow to the ear" into Google
can easily find hundreds of examples. 

It amazes me that a licensed ENT could say something that foolish to you.

__________________
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." C.H. Spurgeon
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larusbg

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hello Joseph, thanks for your reply. 

Yes, I thought it was quite weird when he said that, it seems unbelievable.

I've since seen 2 others who were much more persistent in finding the cause of this, they had some theories like inner ear damage, round window rupture, and a broken malleus.

A thorough hearing test revealed that I have only minor hearing loss (about 5 dB) in certain mid frequencies, they also checked inside and saw no visible damage to the malleus, an MRI showed no signs of any leaks or damage and then they put devices in my ear (I'm not sure what they're called) that test the movements of the stapes, which appears to be functioning normally. 

Both doctors are rather puzzled, and the only thing that can be done now is to have surgery so they can get a decent look inside. I'm supposed to have it some time next month, but the doctor said that even that might not reveal anything.

I discovered this thread:

http://www.chat-hyperacusis.net/post/myoclonus-tensor-tympani-syndrome-or-worse-851438

What the author is describing is pretty much exactly what is happening to me, and people are saying they have had similar issues which were relieved by having their stapedius and/or tensor tympani tendons severed. Others say that they have had this done but to no avail. 

I'm no doctor, but I strongly suspect that the stapedius muscle might be what's causing the rattling sound I hear, so maybe having the tendon cut might help?

I highly appreciate any input from anyone who might be able to help.

Thanks

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blown_speaker_ears

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Reply with quote  #10 
I have the exact same issues with my ears, both of them actually. It drives me INSANE! Has anyone had the surgery earlier discussed? I tried describing this issue to my doctor and he tried to refer me to a psychiatrist! Lmao! I'm not crazy....I know what I am hearing! This has been an issue for me for almost 20 years! I am now 37 .....I had ear surgery as a child due to several ear infections. I have had tests done and I do have some hearing loss. I notice that my ears go haywire at high frequency... is that common for others too? I literally thought I was alone. I have had so many crazy ideas about this like maybe there was fluid behind the eardrum creating the sounds...or a rip in the eardrum.... I even wanted to know if the doctor could stick a needle in my ear and try to suck out whatever was in there! Probably why he tried to refer me to a shrink lol!!! Anyway I'm glad to know that there are possible answers to my issue!! Any info is great on this subject as I have never been able to find any answers... None at all.
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buzzment

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hey blown speaker ears what exactly are your symptoms,what do you mean your ears go haywire when you hear high frequencies?
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ads07768

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Reply with quote  #12 

Hello everyone!

   This is my first post on this forum, but I have had similar symptoms to what many of you are describing in your posts. I am thankful for this forum because it has given me some hope in recovery. My incident occurred on July 4th, 2014 when I went shooting with a friend at his farm. I took my hearing protection off just for a few minutes to shoot a .22 rifle after shooting bigger and louder firearms. To my surprise, the "friend" I went shooting with decided to shoot off one shot from his .45 pistol as I was shooting the .22. He was at least 10-15 feet from my right ear when he fired the shot, but my ear was not expecting it and I didn't have any protection on at the time. It is hard to believe this one shot has made such a frustrating impact on my right ear. We were right next to a metal shed as well which might have made the echo from the gunshot even louder and more damaging. I do not shoot frequently and have not really been exposed to any gunshot noise without protection in the past, so I had really no idea what to expect from this incident. I guess I was expecting it to ring for maybe an hour or 2 and then go away. Anyways, it has been almost 3 weeks and I am certainly not where I thought I would be in recovery. I must admit, I don't hear the buzz in my right ear talking one-on-one to others as much as I did right after the incident, but louder or higher pitch noises still really cause my ear to buzz and get staticy. Many of the "triggers" I have experienced include beeping at the checkout in grocery stores, dog barking, kids crying, noisy restaurants, etc. We take for granted the day-to-day normal sounds until our hearing is altered in anyway. I regret having trusted my friend and taking off my hearing protection for just those few minutes and I am worried the buzzing/static sound in my right ear when exposed to noise will not go away. I have seen an ENT and had 2 hearing tests 1 week apart. The first appointment was only a few days after the incident and the second was roughly 1 week later when I started noticing a strange dripping fluid sensation in my right ear. The ENT saw no eardrum damage or fluid and my ear looked healthy as could be. Both hearing tests came back perfectly normal with no hearing loss which I guess is a plus. However, based on how I feel, I don't consider this a plus. The ENT decided to give me a Medrol dosepak just to see if it would help with my symptoms (buzzing/static). The strange fluid dripping sensation went away and I am starting to think it was just part of the anxiety associated with the incident. I don't think the steroid dosepak helped much. I am graduating pharmacy school in just under a year and from my knowledge/limited experience there is very little data on using mag oxide or other vitamins/minerals as the evidence is anecdotal at best. Knowing that there are virtually no medical "treatments" or pharmacological therapies other than steroids to minimize hearing loss (which is also rather weak evidence as well), I am scared, anxious, nervous, and frustrated all at the same time. I never thought it would take 3+ weeks to improve, but this forum again has given me some hope. Did and of you guys notice one of the biggest frustrations being hearing the static especially if you try to talk on the phone with the affected ear? Everything sounds very sharp and edgy. Very difficult to explain, but super annoying. Other things that you wouldn't think would bother it such as flushing a toilet, running a bathroom fan, running water in the shower all make it ring and then get staticy at the same time. Any other advice you guys might have would be extremely appreciated. I feel I have made some but very minimal improvement since the event itself and I’m quite worried it won't improve even though my ENT has told me I need to give it AT LEAST 4-6 weeks. Thanks all!

 

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buzzment

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi Aaron welcome to the site.I know EXACTLY what your going through trust me!.I am experiencing the same symptoms as you and its been nearly 8 weeks for me now.I was banging a hammer in an echoey room for 5 mins stupidly without ear protection.There has been only very slight improvement or else im getting used to it I dont know.I am waiting for an ent appointment but I went to an audiologist and have small hearing loss in the high frequencies.He said the ear is very slow to heal in general.I have noticed I have tinnitus as well but this is a walk in the park compared to the ring/buzz.Yes when I put the phone to my bad ear It is very sharp/edgey.Also when I talk(which is loud)I get the buzz/rattle.All the sounds you have mentioned trigger the buzz for me too.I have a few questions for you if I may.Have you been wearing earplugs at all since then?(I have when cycling)Are your ears painfull and full?(Mine arnt).Do you hear the ring sound when doors close and other impact sounds occur?(I do)Did your ent actually give you a diagnosis or tell you what was damaged etc?I hope you get better and improve,I see you are 20 years younger than me so you have got youth in your favour.Try not to worry as this can lead to being in a bad place and that could cause other issues(easier said than done I know).If you want to email me or if you have any questions dont hesitate to ask..
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ads07768

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Reply with quote  #14 
Hey buzzment,

Thanks for your reply. I haven't yet worn any ear plugs as I don't want to make my ear any more sensitive than it already is. I feel overwearing ear plugs might do just that. I will likely wear them if I go to a concert or a loud event like that but I dont foresee that being anytime soon. I dont have any ear pain at all although the first few days after the incident it felt a little achy. At this point it just feels a little more full than the other ear and very edgy with loud noises above a certain threshold. Watching tv or talking at normal loudness is not a problem. As you mentioned I have noticed that door slamming and stuff like that does aggravate my ear. Some examples...when your car beeps when you lock it by remote..or cupboard being closed loudly. Just in general everything is more loud and not clear..very broken speaker sounding. The fulness comes and goes. The morning seems to be maybe a little better. My ent just said it is acoustic trauma and it should slowly improve but didn't Give me any concrete time frame. I have an appointment in one month to retest my hearing and maybe do OAE test to test the hair cells..but the test doesn't rlly change treatment options at all..or lack thereof. I hope you get better soon as well..this is much more frustrating than I could ever have imagined. I don't get how cops dont seem to be bothered by these issues since they shoot all the time and I would have to guess many times unprotected..I guess sensitivity or ear damage is very patient specific. Anyways I would totally be cool with emailing back and forth. My email is Aaron.Schmerbeck@Gmail.com
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blown_speaker_ears

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzment
Hey blown speaker ears what exactly are your symptoms,what do you mean your ears go haywire when you hear high frequencies?
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blown_speaker_ears

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Reply with quote  #16 
What I mean by haywire is the static sound gets really intense to the point that all I am hearing is nothing but static.....it just goes crazy! Its very depressing to say the least. I have literally almost gone crazy over this issue!
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james_ttt

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Reply with quote  #17 
Hey, i was just reading through this thread and realized that this is essentially what i have. I am a 28 year old male who initially got this condition from a crappy nightclub one night 6 years ago. I remember the 'blown' speaker sound that has been mentioned above, even over the loudness of the club soundsystem and after that evening i continue to get that same sensation when i am exposed to loud, usually sharp noises such as cutlery, kids shouting or just bad quality speakers at too high a volume. 

The good news is that this condition has definitely improved over time, to the point where it rarely bothers me now. I went to see an ENT specialist who told me that my hearing was fine and not to worry about it as it was probably an over reaction by my brain to try and protect me. This has helped me, along with a few books, noteably John Sarnos Healing Back pain which looks into TMS, which i think could be involved in some way, perhaps by conditioning....

The bad news however, is that in the last week, whilst listening to headphones at a fair level i start to feel pain in the same ear. Figuring it was just fatigue i stopped listening to music for a few days and also saw a doctor who prescribed me some ear drops for minor otitis. Unfortunately, after a week of rest and ear drops the condition has not improved. What basically occurs now is that in normal life i get no ear pain or anything, but after listening to any sort of music through headphones or speakers i begin to get ear pain, almost like a pressure build up, in fact i keep trying to equalise my ears but to no avail.

Im hoping that im just being impatient with my recovery but has anyone else had experience with this and what/ if the recovery time could be?? Im hoping it might be a throat or ear infection of some sort maybe...

p.s. i definitely know what you mean by it can go haywire, ive had that happen too but as i said, in time it will settle down, just try not to worry about it and it will go in time. its not a serious condition [smile]
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Paulbe

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Reply with quote  #18 
James, this has been my situation for the past year.  Its clearly a specific physiological event that's occurring because we are all describing, with minor variations, the same thing.  Have you been told you need to see a psychologist yet by an ENT who knows nothing whatsoever but still bills you for specialty knowledge (he doesn't have)?
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james_ttt

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Reply with quote  #19 
haha no, fortunately not. I was lucky enough to have seen a 2nd decent doctor a few days ago who actually knew what he was talking about. He did all the tests and said that i am actually suffering from some sort of inner ear infection that had become mildly chronic. He realised the symptoms when i mentioned that it felt weird on that side when i tried to equalise my ears...

I am now in the middle of a course of antibiotics and its already starting to feel better.  [smile]
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Paulbe

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Reply with quote  #20 
Can you describe "weird"?
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hz37

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Reply with quote  #21 
+1 for the broken speaker sound. I have that too. The clanging of kitchen stuff in the morning is always followed by a delayed and loud crackling sound. It is an awful sensation to say the least.
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james_ttt

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Reply with quote  #22 
hmm when i say 'weird' i meant that it feels more noticeable, i felt like my ear was becoming blocked slightly and when i equalised it there was some minor pain.

Since my last post i actually recovered 100% from this feeling due to the antiobiotics proving that this was actually a bacterial infection of the middle ear.

Unfortunately in the last week the problem started to reoccur so i went back to the doctor. He tested again for middle ear infection but these were actually negative this time, on inspection he thinks i 'may' have developed a mucosal tumour in the ear canal due to having the ear infection for over 1 1/2 months though he was sceptical. He has since recommended me to an ENT specialist to take a further look...
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Paulbe

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Reply with quote  #23 
Its interesting James that you originally attributed your "H" to a crappy nightclub, and now it seems to be a chronic infection situation that is prolonging it.  I wonder if the initial injury doesn't heal fully, making the area more vulnerable to infection, inflammation, and thus scarring.  That would be the case with pretty much all other body tissues that are potentially exposed to the external environment (eustachian tubes in the case of the middle to inner ear).  I'm wondering if this infection (if that's what it is) is ultimately secondary to your initial injury.

I have also seen anti-biotics clear up temporarily fungal infections by meddling with the normal body flora.  I wonder if something like that happened to you, and the return of symptoms marks the return of the underlying inflammatory pathology.  I'm just guessing out loud here (which puts me on the same level as most ENT specialists really).
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james_ttt

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Reply with quote  #24 
its definitely a possibility. Having seen the ENT last week, he gave me the all clear, said there was no sign of any infection, tumour or inflammation and that i should just avoid loud music for a while and it should clear up on its own.

I guess im gonna give that a try, seems very odd to me though, that i literally had this cleared up fully post antibiotics and it to return the symptoms without any of the infection. Almost sounds like my body has begun generating the symptoms itself...
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SusanA

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Reply with quote  #25 
Hi there, I have just joined this forum looking for some answers to a "broken speaker" like sound I've suddenly been having for the past 2 months. It's really scaring the crap out of me because I don't know what is causing it. A lot of the discussions I've read here are very similar to what I'm going threw so I'm very happy to have found it,
This distortion seems to happen with certain pitches or frequencies, TV is impossible, back ground noise or music in restaurants, stores , malls etc,, sharp clanging high pitched voices., But then other sounds are fine like live music events and stereo music as long as it's coming from quality speakers and there is a lot of base. Does this make sense?
It's really interfering in my quality of life and I'm afraid if it doesn't go away I may have to give up my career because I can't comunicate with my clients anymore. Is there any help? Any hope?
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Cheryl_K

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Reply with quote  #26 
Hi Susan,

Sorry to hear about your symptoms. I've never had broken speaker sounds, but my world was not manageable for awhile after a series of accidents and surgeries. I've had many of the symptoms you describe. I'm over most of them now, but still very careful to pace myself, even without symptoms, to give my auditory system a break after exposure to sounds that used to hurt me. I'm not taking any chances. I've had enough setbacks.

I'm doing OK now. Hopefully this is a sign of really healing, and not a remission.

The main thing is not to remain anxious and depressed over this. Find things that you love to do. My experience is that fretting makes things worse, and seeking help for relaxation, acceptance for the time being, and working through these experiences, with a variety of therapies give you more than a good chance of either adjusting to this condition or actually getting better. A few people report getting better over time, with no intervention but protecting their ears only when these sounds are present, or avoiding them, if protection isn't helping that much. Keep TV, music, etc. as low in volume as you can tolerate. Keeping some background, ambient noise in your life is important.

If it really bothers you to the point that you continue to worry, then try to find a good audiologist (easier said than done in some parts of the world--I was unable to find one). A good, sympathetic, and motivated cognitive behavioral therapist who knows even very simple biofeedback techniques might be helpful. I say "motivated," meaning they want to read up and learn, maybe get some supervision while learning.

This is a pain in the neck (or rather ear) kind of thing to have, but people can get better. Yours is recent onset, so you might have a good chance of reversing. I have to admit that not knowing everything someone might need to know about you, I can't be sure of what I just wrote, but it's better to have the most positive thoughts, expect a relief of symptoms, and go for help. This message board can be a little conflicting and confusing, and good help may or may not be available to you. But keep hoping and asking for diagnosis and help, learn how to listen to your own body when someone suggests something, learn how to control the anxiety and any anger you might be feeling, and perhaps you will join those of us who get better. 

I see you are a hair stylist. That is my worst nightmare--the noise in beauty salons, and the refusal of all the salons I have approached to turn off the music, which is usually blaring, when I explain my condition. Many have been very rude. I've been reduced to cutting my own hair, which is not the best thing. It's cute but uneven. Maybe you could become self-employed, visiting people in their homes who cannot get out, or visiting busy families with both parents working, performing a necessary service for them, helping to reduce their own stressors. Or maybe you can apply to hospitals or rehabilitation centers. They have hairdressers who visit regularly. Some senior citizen residences have one person who uses one quiet room, one person at a time.

I hope I have been helpful. Still waiting for someone to cut my hair nicely.

Best,
Cheryl





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SusanA

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #27 
Thank you Cheryl. I have an appointment with an ENT next week. I'm dreading to hear him say, everything looks fine. Hopefully that won't be the case. Until then I'll keep reading up on this. Thank you again for the feed back
P.s. Sorry you can't find a decent hair stylist. I would be happy to if I were closer lol
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felinefine

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Reply with quote  #28 
Hey James how is your ear doing now? 

Earlier you said your ear rarely bothers you now-that blown speaker effect. Do you mean that it happens less now, or that you have just gotten used to it?

Thank you so much!!
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SusanA

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Reply with quote  #29 
Well, I had my ENT appointment to figure out this broken speaker effect in my ear. He has absolutely no idea what it is. Suprise suprise. So he had me get a cat scan. Waiting on the results now. I'm not very confident it will show anything. So I've been doing my own research and learned a thing or two about pink noise. I know this site sells the noise generators but when money is tight you make due with what's available, so I'm experimenting with my own sound therapy using pink noise on YouTube. There are MANY different recordings and levels of quality. I found one that I like and have been listening at a very low volume every night for about 2 weeks. Not only does it put me to sleep instantly but I swear my ear is getting better by the day! Sounds that were realy bothering me like, silverware, closing doors, running water, are not bothering me at all. Although I'm still very careful and wary of loud noises at this point. I'm wondering if anyone else has tried this pink noise therapy on their own and had improvement? Maybe it's just a coincidence and my ears just happen to be healing at this point, but I'm happy and relieved. hope it continues!!
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Cheryl_K

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Reply with quote  #30 
Hi Susan,

No surprise that your ENT did not know what to do. But I do applaud your own efforts. At this point, in your first (and hopefully last) phase of these pesky symptoms, you are already becoming more expert than most.

I did the similar things with the pink noise that you did. It was not my first sound therapy. There are other therapies that can help. Someone might jump in here and slam what I am writing, saying I have to do TRT with an audiologist, and there are no excuses, even if there is nobody nearby, and traveling sets me back. I used to be set back for weeks or months. Now, even the worst set back is less than a week. We measure that as progress.

Before I made the very substantial purchase of the pink noise apparatus from the web site, I had a lot to consider. The main thing was that my injuries rendered me tactile defensive, and I could not tolerate ear buds. I did see a neurotologist, four years after my first accident, who finally diagnosed me with H. The audiologist was superb, did not do TRT, but they did provide neuronomics. The audiologist told me I was not a candidate for it, due to the nature of my symptoms. She said do not use earplugs, headphone delivery of sound, or anything on the ear. This was before I found this web site.

I listened to all the pink noise links on Youtube, as you did. Some actually made things worse. I found the one that made things better. Used my old stereo boom box, with speakers on each side of my body, about 18 inches from my ears. Began with very low volume, gradually working up to louder and closer to my body. I'm up to all kinds of music now. I'm even multi-tasking again, in ways I never dreamed of doing  before, just to test my limits and deepen my healing. I can have pink noise on, have the TV on low, and read at the same time. I've added to the mix listening to other types of music. Be careful not to overdo it. If symtoms return while I am doing this (usually my high pitched tinnitus), I stop immediately. Always remember to rest and pace after stretching the limits.

I used to wear protection while going outside, then cut down to carrying my headphones with me, just in case, now sometimes do not bring them along at all. Found out the hard way this is not always a good idea. You never know if you are going to encounter an offending sound that you cannot escape. Better safe than sorry.

I live right under an airplane route. The roar of the planes are now back in the sky where they belong, not in my head.I live in the middle of 3 fireworks locations. I can see the fireworks from my upstairs windows.  For a few years, I used to cover my ears, cover my head with a few pillows, and cry from the pain.

The town just to to North of us had Christmas Eve fireworks this year. My son and I were taking the garbage out to the backyard, as there are mice in the neighborhood, no garbage collections on Christmas day, and I wanted the garbage as far from my house as I could get it. While we were in the back yard, the fireworks began. Great view. Was not bothered by the loud booming sounds or the displays of light. I remembered how much I used to enjoy the fireworks, and felt it again, laughing with delight. But I went back inside before three minutes were up anyway. My son insisted. Gradual exposure is the key word.

So, if you're feeling better, don't argue with success. And don't let anyone argue with your success either. Keep track of your exposures to radiation equipment.  Keep a diary of challenges and successes. You'll know what to do with it.

Best,
Cheryl



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MichaelC

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #31 
I'm glad to have found this forum... I've been extremely concerned about my ear/hearing.

Over a month ago I had an ear infection.  The doctor gave me Augmentin... 10 days didn't do it, so he gave me an additional 10 days plus ear drops.  The infection went away, but I still had fluid in my ear.

I foolishly tried to "draw" the fluid out with a Q-Tip dipped in alcohol... now I'm not sure if I've ruptured my eardrum or not.  It still feels like a lot of fluid, and hearing is muffled in that ear.  In the past few days I've been breathing steam through my nose/mouth... that's supposed to help clear/drain the Eustachian tube.  It seems to have loosened up some fluid but now -periodically - I get a crackling sound in my ear (much like everyone is describing on this forum).  I'm going to the doctor on Jan 5th... I guess I'll know more then.  

Good luck to everyone... this is miserable, it's a shame we have to go through it.

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Joseph_Redgate

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Reply with quote  #32 
There has been 25 replies since my last post and I haven't received any notifications.  I checked the settings and everything seems to be set correctly.  Anyone else experiencing the lack of notifications?
__________________
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." C.H. Spurgeon
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james_ttt

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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #33 
yeah, ive not been getting the notifications either. I always have to come back to see if there has been any replies, hence the lateness of this one.

Regarding my situation now, ive really been struggling with listening to headphones in my right ear. I can begin to feel the dull pain coming on almost immediately, starting just deeper than i can feel with my fingers, middle ear maybe or eustacian tube im not sure. I have been wearing ear plugs this week daily to try to help them heal better but i miss listening to music, plus as music production is my favourite hobby thats pretty tricky.

Im very confused as the ENT confirmed there was no further infection after the initial antibiotics, so clearly the doctors cant help me with this one. I might give the pink noise therapy a try though, that does sound interesting... 

As for the blown out speaker sound that seems to have vanished almost entirely now, unless im in a club with particularly bad speakers ie a bad club! which i mostly avoid these days. I dont believe these two symptoms are linked though...
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james_ttt

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Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #34 
out of interest, did anyone else hear suffer with ear problems as a child. I used to get lots of ear infections when i was growing up eventually leading to having my adenoids removed and having grommets added. Apparently the problem was that i had small ear canals and I figure that my ear problems now are very likely linked to that.
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Paulbe

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Posts: 176
Reply with quote  #35 
James your pain symptoms sound very like Tonic Tensor Tympani syndrome.  The appearance of symptoms so soon after putting on headphones is very suggestive.
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james_ttt

Registered:
Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #36 
Thanks for your reply, paulbe!

i looked up this condition and actually took to the idea of it being Tonic tensor tympani syndrome very easily. As i mentioned previously, i am a big fan of TMS theory which operates in the same way, so it made a lot of sense that it was actually my anxiety which was causing the issue. A previous ENT had also mentioned this might be the case.

http://hearinglosshelp.com/weblog/do-i-have-tonic-tensor-tympani-syndrome-ttts.php

Having decided that this was no longer posing a threat to my hearing, reducing my fear/ anxiety, i was able to happily remove my ear plugs and go back to 'normal', without any concern of hurting/ damaging my ears. 

The result... i would say im around 90% better already and expect a full recovery within the next week or two. 

So, thanks!!! [smile]
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