The bells are ringing ... am I hearing them. Sensorineural hearing loss.
Posted Feb 21 2011 5:58pm
After more than 9 months of constant tinnitus in my left ear -- deafening, frustrating and aggravating ringing, I finally made it into an ENT and more importantly at the moment ... an audiologist.
The ENT insisted that I needed an audiogram before anything could even begin. The thing is, I have been going a little more than slightly crazy with ringing. I've stopped my air rifle (I can't concentrate) and I've stopped a lot of social things because the ringing is painful and tenacious. Ackkk! It might sound funny at first -- but non-stop, non-remitting loud squealing is nothing short of one step near the cliff of insanity.
Ok, so the audiogram shows I have moderate hearing loss at 50 db in my left ear (and mild at 25 db in my right) and that all that loud tinnitus I hear is like "phantom pain". The brain is "making up" noise to fill the gap. But why is there a gap to begin with? This was the same ear shot up near an M-16 in SWAT training in the Army ... but why now? That was 1984? 1984-2011? I don't see the immediate connection.
It's like the degree of the head noise came out of nowhere, I have no explanation, no traumatic events I can point to and no changes. I have a hearing aid on order through the VA and BROTHER, are those things pricey. 45 years old with hearing loss? That's not right!! The hearing "instrument" is not a masker because apparently maskers are not the real way to go -- instead it will amplify things and deliver those sounds into the left ear to provide more stimuli. In essence, give that busted ear something to do instead of making up noise. Not sure how that will work ... but hopefully it will. I'm desperate. I've tried vitamins, etc without success.
One thing is for sure -- things are loud in that left ear and it just adds another level of pain.
My fancy hearing aid will be fitted on the 9th (rather, it will arrive then ... it isn't custom and will sit behind the ear).
What's the medical reason behind the hearing loss? I don't know. That's for the ENT's and Neuro to try to figure out. I just want the noise to stop and I will feel a heck of a lot better.