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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all.

I have been having a terrible time with my Hyperacusis, and really need some help here. Any advice or comments MUCH appreciated.


I have been working with my ENT since about January 2009 on my hearing issues.

I have been out of work since november due to my hearing issues. I have been diagnosed with acute hyperacusis, as well as processing issues on one side of my brain. (therefore one ear has processing issues) The issues are slight delay of sound to that ear. As well as inability to distinguish sounds. As in, when there's a lot going on, it's just a mesh. Consequently, due to both issues, I get frequent migraine headaches.

I also have tinnitus. It is bad tinnitus, constant. At all times.

The reason the Dr's have taken me out of work for this issue, is becase my job is in a high-volume call center. I am unable to use the phone equipment at work.

I have been on FMLA, which is set to expire next week. The Dr's still refuse to give me a medical release. They will not let me go back to work. Work is willing to give me a further 2 month leave of absence, if my disability insurance company approves.

Herein lies the problem.

I have been fighting and fighting with the insurance company, they state that since the cause of my hyperacusis is unknown, that they don't consider me to have an issue.
I have not been paid in over 5 weeks because of this also.

Now, here's where it gets complicated. (if it wasn't already )

My Dr's have recently told me that my problems are permanent. They believe that a combination of sub-par equipment at work along with my pre-existing ADD, have caused this issue to now come to the surface. And now that it has, I will have to deal with it for the rest of my life.
They also said a higher than normal workload (due to severe understaffing) contributed as well. No time between calls for 8 1/2 hours did not allow my ears time to "cool down" is how they put it.

They did reccomend me for tinnitus/hearing retraining therapy. They also told me I have to get hearing filters for both ears, and will need to wear these for the rest of my life.

Now, I mentioned the equipment at work. The equipment is very sub-par, and it has a lot of feedback, echoing, loud beeps, and distortion.
Around April of 2009, upon reccomendation of my DR, official request was made to accomadate me with higher quality, noise cancelling equipment. It was denied, with no explanation.

the sympoms got worse.

A couple of months later, another request was made, which was also denied. This time with an explanation.

I was told that both times the request was denied due to safety issues. Any equipment that would help me hear better, would inhibit my ability to hear a fire alarm, and therefore place myself and the company at risk.
That's what they said.

A few weeks later was November, and that's when the Dr's pulled me out of work, saying I could no longer continue to perform my duties.

The Dr's also state that if my requests for specialty equipment had ben approved, my hearing issues would likely not have developed like this.

But now that it has, it will be an issue for the rest of my life.

They say the tinnitus and hyperacusis may be alleviated somewhat by the retraining therapy and filters, but because of the processing issues, will never fully go away. And they processing issues themselves are untreatable. The only thing they can do is medicate, and help it to feel a but better.

One of my Dr's even went so far as to offer me a valium script, saying it'll still hurt, but at least I won''t care about it anymore while on valium.
Um, yeah. No thanks. I'm not looking to get addicted here.

Anyway, from November until now, I was under the impression that this was a temporary issue, and would be resolved by treatment.

Now I find out it's permanent, and will be with me for as long as I live. And not only that, but the equipment at work is partially to blame. And that it could have been AVOIDED if the requests had been heeded.

I'm am genuinely pee'd off right now. And confused. I don't know what to do.

I have been told to seek legal representation, and change my short-term disability to workers comp, and also to pursue work legally in the matter.
I'm not sure I want to do that. I'm broke. I can't afford an attorney. And what am I supposed to do about work in the meantime?

I really need help and advice here. Please chime in with whatever you've got.

I'm trying to support my 2 kids, 3 and 4, and it's just not happening.
I'm a 33 year old guy, and not getting any younger.

I really need to know what I need to do to move towards a resolution on this.
And while all this is going on, I have to deal with the issues themselves of course. I can't go to loud places, and barely leave my house anymore. It sucks.
And the meds i'm on, sedate me. Take one, and half an hour later, it's like "whoah".

Anyway, thanks for the help, and sorry it's so confusing. My mind is a mess right now.


Posts: 194
Reply with quote  #2 
Personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis.  You wouldn't have to pay unless they win the case.  Then they get a percentage of the settlement, plus their costs.  If you don't know of a good lawyer in your city, there's a website called that lists U.S. attorneys rated excellent by their peers. 

As for your health issues...  Hyperacusis is treatable with good success.  I'd say it's way too early to say your injury is permanent.  I'd stay positive for full recovery.  That's just my opinion.  Best wishes.

~ Better days are ahead! ~

Posts: 194
Reply with quote  #3

Check out the above link.  Your symptoms seem to me like you may have Acoustic Shock Injury?  Just wanted you to have this information, anyway. 

~ Better days are ahead! ~

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #4 

I have never heard of ASI, but after reading the info in the link, it makes sense.
Some other things i've been going through that I thought had no relation, may in fact be related.

For instance, I have had persistent pain in my teeth/jaw. Went to a dentist, took 30+ xrays, as well as a thorough examination, no medical reason found.  Was still happening, went to a Dr again, same thing.

According to the link, frequent jaw pain is a symptom of ASI.

Wow, just wow.

Thanks for the link, I will have to research it more, and bring it up with my Dr's.

On a good note, I FINALLY got paid. 4 1/2 weeks of pay in one check. Was great to get some bills out of the way.

Still out of work, and my DR today told me in no uncertain terms not to go back, and find another job. Said I cannot perform these duties now, and will likely not be able to do so.

Soooo........I have a lot of paperwork to do. And i'm still working on the work aspect of it, as far as what did or didn't cause the issue.

I sought legal advice, and work may have to pay medical bills. Don't know yet, and won't for a while. We'll see.

Anyway, thanks for the help Marilyn! It helps a lot!

I'll keep this post updated as I learn more.

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