I went to the doctor last wednesday evening and had my audiology test done. From what I gathered, and pending my appt with the ENT on 2/14/12, the doctor said that there is ample evidence suggesting there was no damage to the ossicular or chochlear structures.
I had to turn up the voluem levels (about 2 volume notches – not sure the tech term, I don’t have my report in front of me) for the lower frequency pitches (the first two frequencies tested)… but the rest of the pitches, my damaged ear were able to pick up at below the 20 db. level.
He then put the bone oscilator on my ear, and my bad ear was able to hear jsut as well, and better, than when I had the hearing devices put in my ears.
My word recognition was great… I only missed one word (I said “youth” when it was “use”).
So… from what the audiologest told me… and suggesting that after I see the doc on 2/14… there is no evidence of ossicular damage or nerve damage.
Moreover, when he looked at the right ear, he noted that the perforation was pretty small and it looked like it was healing. And that’s a good sign, cuz when i saw the general doctor, she looked at it and saiid it was pretty severely ruptured… meaning it has at least healed well over the first week and a half.
The audiologist disloged a ton of ear wax in my bad ear, and I was suprised at how much better I was able to hear because of it… I assume it was there to keep infections out… but once it was dislodged, i was able to hear better.
I still have times when my ear is very sore and feels like its repairing itself, but ever sice the audilogist told me that there is very good evidence suggesting no ossicular damage, my hearing has improved a lot. It was definatly a mind over matter sort of thing… but also… I think it just needed 15 days to begin to heal to a point where my hearing wasn’t so bad.
He told me that since I have lived 24 years with perfect hearing, that when I sustained an injury that took away some of my hearing, it FELT worse than it actually was simply because “it is all relative.”
But apparently my hearing is still in good working order… its just I have an perforated ear drum and it is going to take a month to get back to normal. The lower frequencies are pretty tough to hear still, but the overall disoriented feeling… the feeling of concrete in my ear… that feeling of “swimmers ear” has drastically decreased, and it am very very blessed to not have any other major ear damage. I thank God for that, big time.
But overall… I am back to about 80% hearing… and compared to the 20% hearing I FELT i had for 10 days post-trauma… 80% feels amazingly nice. Again… mentally… its nice to know that its just the eardrum and it will heal eventually. I am ok with letting it heal…
For a musician… that was honestly the most disheartening and soul-shattering damage I’ve ever had to my body. For those 11 days of wondering if i had permenant damage… I felt pretty darn defeated. I can relate to those with any sort of hearing loss / damage now. I am thankful for that experience… Again… hoping that my ear fully recovers, but so far so good. Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I apprecaite it.
i will keep people posted as to the the total recovery… but so far… about 16 days post trauma… my hearing is coming back.