Hearing Loss Advice

While at 56 I’m certainly not getting any younger, the events of last year have resulted in my having to address hearing loss. I’ve noticed my hearing ability to slowly decline over the years but last August I developed a sudden onset of hearing sensitivity that I believe resulted from stress related issues and a 2019 that was not that enjoyable. I had an appointment with an Audiologist and the journey began.

So I went in with the chief complaint that my hearing had become very sensitive and in fact painful. I also noticed an onset of tinnitus that was not transient. I wasn’t really there to discuss or measure hearing loss but rather find out what’s going on with my hearing. That initial appointment confirmed high frequency hearing loss and a suggestion for hearing aids, of which I was in fact interested in, but didn’t directly address the pain and sound sensitivity that led me to the doctor. The next couple of months I did my own research and found information about hyperacusis, tinnitus, sound therapy, masking, the ATA, and this forum. Much has taken place since that initial appointment. The audiology graph that I’ve included is from subsequent results collected 11/4/19. On that date loudness discomfort levels were measured as normal at 100 dB to 110 dB. That audiologist believes I have recruitment. She wants to deliver TRT through hearing aids. I feel like my journey to the hearing doctor was not typical in that I didn’t go in saying, “Hey doc, I don’t hear too well anymore.”

Can any of you please describe what got you to the hearing doctor and any similarities you may share with my story. Also any information or support you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Andrew

I will later post my hearing aid question since I’ve been currently testing different manufacturers aids and want to keep that topic separate.

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Welcome to the forum.

Did you got to a Ear, Nose and Throat doctor?

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My story is quite a bit different. About 16 years ago I went in to see an audiologist for a hearing test because I was having a tough time understanding my daughter and I wanted the TV louder than my wife could tolerate. At the time I was normal out to 4khz and then dropped steeply. At the time hearing aids were not recommended. I used TV ears for TV and my daughter repeated herself. About 3 1/2 years ago I went back in as my wife was having to repeat herself more. I was normal out to 2khz and then dropped off sharply. Was told I was right on the edge for hearing aids. I chose to go to Costco and try them out. They definitely help me understand my wife and daughter better. I do have tinnitus which I’ve learned to ignore.

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Agree with Raudrive, ENT first.

What sort of pain? Specific sounds? Specific situations?

(Everyone with hearing loss has recruitment.)

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What got me to wear hearing aids?
Simple. My wife said I needed them. I said I didn’t.
Result. I wear hearing aids.
She was right by the way.

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I had a test at a school I was working in, it was a routine screening for everyone working there. The school nurse said I had a hearing loss and should see an audiologist.

6 or 7 years after that I finally took her advice when it became obvious to me, and others, that she was right.

I waited way too long.

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No. I’ve been to three audiologists and had an MRI.

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Did you have tinnitus prior to 16 years ago or did it come with your hearing loss?

Was wearing earplugs for a while there. Was taking Tylenol for actual ear pain and was told by the doctor it was common. This is why I tried to be complete in my original post to see if others here on a hearing aid forum had any similar experience. There’s a hyperacusis forum with people that have similar and worse conditions.

I thank God that I don’t have the pain anymore but it was physically in the ear at various times of any given day. As for specific sounds there was discomfort or unusual high gain or volume for the sound of water hitting the shower tub, flushing the toilet, dishes and silverware hitting each other was and is still problematic.

I know that recruitment comes with hearing loss. Do you have difficulty with your recruitment? Is it in fact a challenge for you?

I really don’t know when my tinnitus started. I suspect it started after I incurred some hearing loss (likely related to loud music and some shooting). It’s pretty to clear to me that my hearing loss has been a long time in the making.

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I was 24 when I had some strange illness. It felt like low blood sugar but couldn’t be confirmed by doctors. My ears started ringing loudly and my hearing loss appeared shortly after.

I didn’t get hearing aids until 7 years later, when I was 31 although I needed them much earlier. My hearing loss has progressed from around 50-60 db in the high frequencies at 31 y/o to 90-100 db in the high frequencies at 43.

The ear, nose and throat doctor couldn’t find any cause of my hearing loss. It was labelled as “genetic” or autoimmune although I have no family members with loss at an earlier age.

But what sort of pain? What causes it? Your LDLs are normal, so is this a misophonia thing? Are you bothered by specific sounds rather than loud sounds?

Glad you aren’t wearing earplugs anymore.

Brian. Interesting. I’m familiar with hypoglycemia. Did your ears stop ringing after the hearing loss appearance? Are you having tinnitus these days? Sorry about your drummer.

Loss of adjectives for you on what sort of pain or specific cause. An audiologist can explain it better. No misophonia here.

Do you have difficulty with your recruitment? Is it in fact a challenge for you?

Well no, I don’t think I can describe it better. :smile: You’ve been very vague.

Rarely is it the individual that notices the hearing. It’s usually loved ones or friends. Even then it could take the person with the loss of a years to admit it to themselves and actually do something about it. In the state where I live it’s a requirement that you see a doctor, preferably, before you see an audiologist. He would then check you for medical issues and let you know if seeing an audiologist would help you.

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Just had a thorough check up with the ENT yesterday in part on your advice. All checked out well. We discussed tinnitus, hyperacusis, recruitment, plenty of topics. Very helpful doctor who incidentally has tinnitus.

Thank you for welcoming me to the forum. I am still interested in anyone here who can share insight or experience with sound sensitvity or having difficulty with recruitment. Again, thank you for the welcome.

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I assume your tinnitus is constant. Have you adjusted to it on your own or did you try tinnitus retraining therapy? Any sound sensitivity or recruitment issues? Thank you for your reply.

Thank you for the reply and information. Just had an ENT appointment yesterday. Still on my journey to hearing aids and have trial Phonaks on loan for now. Have you ever experienced recruitment or tinnitus?

Any hearing issues other than loss?