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baxter

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Everyone, 

I've been lurking the forums for the past couple months or so but only recently became a member.

So...I guess I should start from the beginning. Probably about a decade ago. I was in the school band and listened to a lot of music when I was a teen. One day I kept wondering why everything in my left ear sounded just a bit louder than everything in my right. At first I thought it was the headphones...and then it kept happening over and over again.

Distraught, I went to an ENT and got a hearing test because I thought the issue was with my right ear. Turned out I had mild hearing loss in the lower frequencies in my left ear. My right ear was great. To this day, which I am incredibly grateful for, my right ear is great. Maybe a little hearing loss, but nothing terrible.

They told me there wasn't anything they could do and it was strange that things sounded louder in my left ear. I was a kid, my parents, I don't blame them, didn't really chase the issue. I went through some mild depression and eventually got over it. 

Over the years I guess I've been dealing with this. I try to tilt my head so that louder noises come through my right ear and frequently blow air out of my nose and towards my ears to relieve the mild ache in my left ear. It's only recently that I really started noticing and really focusing on it - I've been getting tooth aches on the left side of my face as well - which I'm hoping will be fixed with a sinus surgery I'm getting soon - but am afraid is connected to this condition.

My current symptoms are as follows - which I'm unsure are Hyperacusis or something else. Hoping someone here can either relate or tell me it's not the same symptoms. At this point I'll just be happy for a diagnosis.

Left Ear:

Tinnitus. It's a high hissing noise (like from speaker) with very very quiet whistling mid range. I hardly notice the whistling though.

Noise Sensitivity (?). So....if my right ear is taking the brunt of the noise (I am angled towards the noise more on my right - I'm not really bothered. There isn't really any pain and I generally go along my merry way. But if there is a noise (maybe louder than the normalized background) isolated to my left ear? The left side of my face will act up. It sounds harsh and like the sound is piercing directly into my ear. I'll experience an ache in my left ear, my left nostril will sting (hopefully sinuses I do have chronic sinusitis), my jaw will hurt, and I'll get a toothache.

The comparison between my right and left ear is basically it feels like there is like a protective film over my right ear where too loud sounds get muffled because there is a protective layer and sound doesn't really get "into" my ear. But my left it feels like there is no protection and and each sound is going directly into my middle ear. On top of this - all sounds sound tinny compared to my right ear, like the sound isn't "full". (maybe my hearing loss?) To relieve some of the ache I  put pressure on and like rub on the very top of my left jaw - where I can kinda push the skin in on my ear and cover it up - if that makes sense.

Does this sound like Hyperacusis? I don't get the too loud, crackling unless I"m actually somewhere very loud for a very long time, even then it's extremely rare. I should also add I generally don't have too much of a problem going into loud venues. I go into clubs and go to concerts frequently. I don't think this has made anything worse? And I'm generally able to tolerate high levels of noise in my left ear once it is "normalized". Anything louder than the "normalized" volume though sounds harsh and makes me flinch. Sorry for the long post - I just want to make sure everything is out there.

I understand I am one of the few lucky ones. I am thankful everyday I still have my right ear to hide behind and the pain in my left isn't so debilitating I can't go about my life everyday. However, and I think poor mental health is adding to this, recently it has become hard to handle and come to terms with whatever it is - I, like many of you, am a musician, and the (related? unrelated?) pain from my ear, teeth, and jaw are keeping me from doing many of the things I usually enjoy. I am pursuing an ENT and an Audiologist (hopefully one with Hyperacusis knowledge) - but am looking for whatever guidance I can get from this forum.

Thank you very much!
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florian_89

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Posts: 53
Reply with quote  #2 
Hello Baxter,

I have similar simptoms like you.

My left ear is very sensitive to sound, especially fast raising sounds like a hammer.
I can tolerate loud noise somehow, but it feels very very unpleasant.

I have a burning feeling in my ear and there is a sharp pain in my cheek.

I have done MRT and there was no abnormality found.


My psychatrist prescribed me Cymbalta, I havent tried it yet since I am afraid of getting to much other problems from it.

I am considering the surgery to cover the round and oval window with tissue as my last resort...



I dont know if I could help you, I am also on the search for answers...



Anyway, have a good day.

Kind regards Flo
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EDogg

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Posts: 174
Reply with quote  #3 
Baxter,

You are doing the right thing by pursuing a proper evaluation and treatment. A lot of us experience pain with hyperacusis. For me, it is probably the worst part of it. That said, many have recovered and no longer have pain or hyperacusis after being properly evaluated and treated accordingly. There is so much to be hopeful for. Get to those appointments, get a diagnosis, learn all you can about your condition, read success stories, ignore negativity and ask lots of questions. Find out who has conquered similar challenges and figure out how they did it. This board has a rich archive of posts going back a decade or more. Chances are, you’ll find others with similar issues, and will learn strategies they used to overcome it. It can take time though, and lots of patience.

Best,
EDogg
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baxter

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #4 
@florian_89
when you say fast raising sounds, is it just constant noise that you're sensitive to? for me everything in my left ear sounds so unpleasant. And then I get this horrible ache in my teeth that doesn't go away or seems to go away randomly or only with sleep.

@EDogg
what kind of pain do you have with your H? I think I get mild ear pain and most of my pain is in my teeth. Either the top or bottom left - and it isn't always the case. Sometimes  I've searched through the forums and haven't really found anyone with symptoms quite similar to mine. Also - most posts say that H travels to both ears eventually (which worries the heck out of me even though it hasn't moved in 8+ years) 

I guess I'm just worried it's not really H? I think I have some symptoms of H but it just seems weird to me. Everyone says they can't tolerate really loud places - for me it depends on the environment. If it's quiet - then things like a loud fan or my dog's breathing will be irritating and grating. If it's loud, the loudness won't really bother me - just any volume above that loudness.

I'm very confused, worried, and stressed. It seems like it's getting worse but I don't know how to stop it. Maybe my worrying is making it worse as well. Mostly I'm just sad. I'm only 24 and I think ahead of how many years I have left and think how can I live like this?

My ENT mentioned TRT in the beginning so I put off going to the TRT Audiologist - but it's been a while and we were focused on my sinus surgery at first. Doing my best to be hopeful.
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AnthonyO

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Posts: 107
Reply with quote  #5 
Indeed Baxter, your symptoms of "pain in the teeth" are not unusual for many of us. This is where it effects me as well, and has been for almost four years. We think that "classic" Hyperacusis would deliver pain right into the ears, ear canal, eardrum, inner ear ossicles, etc, etc...but the whole very intricate nervous system is very globally connected and perhaps with Hyperacusis, there's this sort of "short circuit" that relays pain to, at least, "nearby nerves", when the brain feels it is being assaulted or compromised by auditory sensory.

We may never know the exact reasons why pain is mis-delivered, due to 'sound'.

AnthonyO
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EDogg

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Posts: 174
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Baxter,

It seems, from your posts, that the uncertainty of the process affecting your hearing is causing you a great deal of stress. Getting evaluated and getting some answers to your questions by someone who is trained and experienced in such things should really help in that regard. Don’t go to just any audiologist. Go see someone who specifically treats hyperacusis and tinnitus, preferably someone with a lot of experience.

You asked what type of pain I experience. Many types. Immediate pain with any loud noise. This is a very quick and temporary feeling. I also experience long lasting pain, that often feels like a burning deep inside my ears, which radiates to my scalp, my frontal and maxillary sinuses, my cheeks, my throat sometimes, my jaw and neck. I get migraine headaches sometimes from too much sound (I classify this also as a form of pain).

If you are going to spend much time on the internet searching about this, read success stories. There are many others who have gone before us who has suffered immensely and found their way through this eventually. It may take a lot of time and patience.

Also, try also to take care of the rest of yourself. If it would help to see a counselor, or therapist, do it if you aren’t already. If it might help to try medication, then maybe give it go. Hyperacusis and related symptoms can really hit you hard mentally and emotionally and it’s very important to address that and easy to overlook it. I think my anxiety makes my hyperacusis and tinnitus and ear pain more intense. It’s improved a bit since I started addressing that.

Best,
EDogg
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florian_89

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Posts: 53
Reply with quote  #7 
@baxter

My condition is like this , that the ear pain is only there when it's loud, but the nerve pin to my face is at all sound levels. I get very discomfort when the sounds are rising fast, and I am not aware of it. Like somebody in the office is ripping a paper, it's not loud but it gives me a shock trough my body. I guess this is a reaction I somehow developed
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