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Senses under scrutiny – an intermediary update

Posted Apr 02 2012 11:36am

I have a future post in mind, not yet mature, concerning the effect of my second implant on tinnitus. Right now I have another issue that needs (and gets) medical attention. I have in earlier posts explained about suspicions about migraine aura. In this regard I have been to a neurology specialist, and the first session brought these preliminary conclusions:

My balance is fine (as I said in earlier post, the problem with my balance is mostly in my head, i.e. due to my brains way of coping with the various sensory inputs, such as sounds from second implant.) This will normalize eventually. Relief :-)

My nervous system is fine, the specialist could not find any indications to any damages nor diseases. Also big relief.

However, she wants to pursue a hypothesis: that my vision – sensory input, due to my deafness and general health history, somehow has turned oversensitive because the vision compensated for less and less audio input over the years, that is a pretty common and well known phenomenon (lip reading and similar compensating techniques). Meaning that my eyesight compensated for loss of hearing, thus eventually generating too strong vision-sensory input for my brain. The theory makes some sense.

I would also add the tinnitus as a similarity to this theory, I feel as if they correlate, if not 100%, at least partially. I often experience more tinnitus when I notice migraine tendencies and vice versa.

Also, the tinnitus developed (the debilitating stage) late on in my deafness history, and I think that was mainly due to lack of sensory input. My brain “created” tinnitus because it amplified the (more or less empty) signal to an extent that it also picks up the “white noise”, i.e. normal “background” neuron activity (very much like static noise on the FM band, or natural radiation, which will show up on any Geiger-counter). Now my brain does not know how to turn off that monster it created.

The neurology specialist want to take some measurements, i.e. EEG , and another one measuring the neuron activity upon retinal impulses (will add the proper name of that these here alter on)

After that, she might prescribe me with a low dosage of some kind of anti epileptic drug. That kind of makes sense too; in order to suppress some of the worst overload of the sensory input, this medication might just do that.

BUT: I await to see exactly what drug she will suggest, and what it’s side effects are. And based upon that, plus the dosage, I will make a decision. Having a history with depression, any medication with a side effect that might trigger depression, will not be a favorite in my book…

But then again, if that medication would help me recover from the tinnitus and/or migraine, it would be a big plus for my general health condition…

The tests will be taken soon, and meanwhile I try to get my newly implanted ear up to par with the first ear.

So far I have not had the strength to endure a longer period of time with just the new ear. I have both on at the same time, that is all right and very pleasing, since I notice all the time an improvement in general ability to pick up and understand speech. A plus is that I need a little less effort compared to before. So hopefully, over time, that will also make my overall energy levels go from nearly depleted to satisfactorily filled.

Regarding the ability to stand noise, it’s way better with two CI’s compared to one. Also, the tinnitus is more/better subdued by external sound with two input channels (two ears) :-)  This is something I will write more about at a later time, when my new ear has gotten some more training, and I feel like a can draw some conclusions from the new experience…


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