Hearing Loss...Plus!

Hello, being exhausted from consulting with 2 or 3 ENTs and 2 or 3 audiologists without results, I come to you for your opinions which I’ll appreciate so highly:

I have “Mild to Moderately Severe” hearing loss according to tests. Many times I have problem understanding speech even when loud enough, plus loss of balance when I walk (I must look like a drunk woman). So I went first to an ENT thinking I may have something more serious than just getting aids.

All ENTs didn’t respond to these 3 problems – they just handed me a brochure with hearing aids! One of them suggested to go to Eye & Ear Infirmary for my lack of balance. All audiologists told me I should see an ENT as they only dispensed hearing aids!

I’m at a loss as to what more to do. I’m eager to get help but these providers are using me as a football! I wonder if I’d need a cochlear implant? If so, to which type of specialist would I go? Of course, at 93 it may be quite risky with general anesthesia?

Please SOS!!! Anticipating my BIG THANKS for your thoughts. :blush: Rosedala

P.S. I read somewhere that the medical name for not understanding the speech could be “Auditory Neuropathy/ Auditory Processing”. It sounds like something to do with the nerves?

Your hearing is too good for cochlear implants.

  1. Did the ENTs do any tests? Did they give you any kind of diagnosis? 2)Posting your audiogram would be useful. (Click on Forum at top of page, then My Hearing Tests) 3)If you don’t have hearing aids yet, go to audiologist, tell them you’ve seen ENT and get hearing aids 4) Consider seeing a Neurologist
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Did you do testing for word or speech understanding?
Balance issues sound medical, surprised the ENT didn’t help you with that.
Have you ever worn hearing aids?

Thank you MDB, I have my last audiogram from an ENT of last May which I’m posting here (however, the most thorough test I ever had was done by the Hunter College, Center for Communication Disorders in 2018, and it came with 2 full-page diagnostic letter. None of the ENTs and Audiologists I saw ever gave me any diagnostic at all! When I asked them to see the Hunter College diagnostic, they declined). May I also post here this 2018 thorough audiogram, though the end results are the same (minus the letter)?

I did make an appointment with an audiologist precisely for tomorrow the 21st as I feel I must improve the hearing before I continue with the rest. And no, I never had aids before. One online company once sent me a pair of “invisible” aids with nothing inside just to get the feel of it. I couldn’t get them all the way inside as they instructed and when I told them, she said “ok they are not for you and hung up”. I meant to show them to an audiologist but forgot, will do it tomorrow.

Your suggestion to see a Neurologist makes sense to me. I think I will definitely.

Thanks again for helping. :slight_smile:

P.S. I’m sorry I can’t find the “Forum”. I tried clicking on the little icon (arrow up from little bar) but didn’t work. I’ll send this post without it but will keep trying to find how to send the screenshot.
P.P.S. I’m lost here, can’t even find a “Send” button(?) I’ll click on the “Reply” button then.

Why, Zebras? Please explain? Thanx.

Thank you Raudrive, as mentioned I tested several times and at least in one, they told me before they’d test also for speech understanding.
I agree with you that the balance should be part of an ENT that’s why I’m so disappointed.
I’ve never worn aids and I do know I’m way way way overdue.

I’m doing something about it, tomorrow I’ll se an audio and will try to focus on a good pair of aids.

Thanks again. :slight_smile:

Cochlear implants are for people who are severe/profound.
You state you have a mild to moderately severe.

Oh yes, you’re right! I’ll probably need it in the near future…if I’m still here!

Hi Rosedala. In my opinion, you should have an MRI to rule out the possibility of an acoustic neuroma (aka vestibular schwannoma). What you describe is similar to my initial symptoms. I was eventually diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma. You will have to have an MD rather than a doctor of audiology order the MRI.
Many audis will require a patient to get an MRI for that reason before they dispense HAs. You probably don’t have an acoustic neuroma, but please don’t ignore the possibility. If you do have one, the sooner you get it treated the better.

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Hello again MDB, I did find the place for sending an audiogram. But…it asks to fill out all the test info!!! I was thinking of a screenshot. I guess there’s a difference between the 2 words huh? So…there’s no way to send a screenshot?

Across the top of the reply page.
The arrow up is how you add pictures or files.

Hello and thank you ziploc, I’m so sorry you have acoustic neuroma but glad you saw a doctor at the beginning and I hope you are now doing fine? I’ve browsed this term in the net and it’s frightening, but as you so well say, I should be checked for this possibility since I have at least 2 of the symptoms so far, maybe more if I read more articles to find them.

I’ve seen around 3 ENTs and 3 audios and not one suggested to do anything, let alone to test for acoustic neuroma! All they’re there for is sell aids!!!

Was your doctor a neurologist or an ENT? If the latter, you were lucky to find him/her who diagnosed you, and diagnosed you so accurately! If you are in NYC I’d like to have the name of this doctor.

I appreciate this information so much, thank you a lot! :slight_smile:

Hi Rosedala. I changed audiologists after having worn my first pair of HAs for three years because my old audi’s practice did not carry the kind of HAs I wanted to buy. My new audi noticed my word recognition score (WRS) was not as good as should be expected considering my level of hearing loss as measured by pure tone audiometry.
The new audi sent me to an ENT to get an MRI ordered in an “over abundance of caution”.
Again, please don’t worry yourself sick over the possibility that you may have an acoustic neuroma. You probably don’t. But I do think that possibility should be ruled out. I have lots of helpful information for you if it turns out you do have an AN, but there’s no reason to dive into all that unless you are actually diagnosed as having one.
Any ENT can order the MRI. If it turns out you have one, I’m pretty sure that any competent radiologist reading the results of the MRI, and looking specifically for an AN, would pretty easily be able to find an AN or rule it out. The diagnosis is not rocket science. The TREATMENT of an AN is. But don’t worry about that unless and until you are diagnosed.

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Again, ziplock you were lucky you got a good audi who was observant enough to notice your WRS wasn’t up to par (what’s a “pure tone audiometry”?) And why did they say to have the MRI ordered in an “over abundance of caution”?

As I said before, neither the audios nor the ENTs I saw, ever noticed anything. I had to tell them and they didn’t say nor do anything. Now I’ll take a little rest from all of this, then I’ll just try to ask an ENT to do an MRI. Or, as none of my providers helped, perhaps a neurologist would look into my problem seriously and also could take an MRI?

It’s okay, while I did kind of frighten when I read those many complications, I’m resigned to whatever may happen to me. I learned to accept what I cannot change… :slight_smile: So I really appreciate all the info you’ve given me, at least I know what to expect IF…

Hi again, just to say that Audiologist Abram Bailey told me for screenshots to use the up arrow which I did but…now I can’t find my screenshot. I’ll try again later on. :slight_smile:

Hi Rosedala. Pure tone audiometry is the standard hearing test: “signal when you hear any tone, no matter how faint”.
Word recognition is when the audi plays a tape of a guy saying “Say the word ‘tap”. Say the word ‘play’”, etc.
By the way, any medical doctor can order an MRI. Just make sure to tell the doctor about your balance problems and your low word recognition score. That should be enough to get your health insurance to cover it.
If the MRI finds an AN, then find an expert to treat it. If there is no AN (probable) you are back at square one but you have ruled out a possible cause of the problem. Good luck. Please keep us posted.

Thanks for your suggestions ziplock, they make sense, good thinking. I’ll ask my PCP this coming Monday to order for me an MRI for my 2 dysfunctions. But you forgot to tell me why your ENT told you to go on the MRI with “over abundance of caution”?

Hi Rosedala. My (then-new) audiologist thought that my word recognition score was lower than would have been normal considering my pure-tone hearing test results. In other words, if this patient can hear the tones I play for him as well as he does, why does he have so much trouble understanding spoken words?
One possibility was an acoustic neuroma. So the audiologist was the one who sent me to my ENT, who I had already been seeing for a voice issue, in an “over-abundance of caution”.
I remember my ENT telling me at the time that, even with the unusual word recognition score, there was only about a 2% chance that I had an acoustic neuroma. But he still agreed that I should have the MRI. The MRI showed that I did, in fact, have an acoustic neuroma.

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Hi ziplock, I understand now, so then your hearing is not so bad, it’s the word recognition the culprit (“considering my pure-tone hearing test results.”)? That’s wonderful since it’s one less problem. Your past audiologist had very good reasoning and that’s how any GOOD doctor is able to get to the core of a patient’s problem.

I say it again, you were very lucky since, per my own and many people’s experiences (I read their reviews), most doctors do their jobs only superficially, just enough to get by, going by the book (if they remember it) but no brains of their own into finding out what’s really happening to the patient. Even when the patient describes articulately what it feels and thinks. :frowning:

Both your audi and ENT were the best. You are safe to recommend them to others knowing they’ll be forever grateful to you.

I hope you aren’t suffering with the acoustic neuroma and it isn’t growing or anything. I’m sure you were urged by your doctors to keep it in check?

Thank you so much for this most valuable information. I’ll know now what to look for when I retake my struggle of looking for a good provider in this field.

I wish you the very best of health with my biggest thanks. :slight_smile: