I want to start off by saying thank you all for all that you do for us suffering from hearing loss with lots of questions. It is truly commendable.
I have come across several forum posts here while researching hearing loss over the past months. I finally decided to take the time to signup and post here. I have read so many posts with several similar aspects to my hearing loss and issues. On one hand that is great and comforting, but on the other hand, it can be overwhelming with so much information to process. I will post my issues below and attach my audio charts. I welcome all feedback and helpful information.
Also, I would like to know if Costco would be able to handle my type of hearing loss and if their KS9.0 HAs would be worth considering for my condition? My ENT doctor says I should go to the hospital hearing center but they want to charge almost $200 for the consultation that insurance does not cover.
I have had hearing loss in my right ear since I was a kid (well over 30 years) and had ear infections as a kid (tubes placed in the ears twice). My left ear has mostly been good and compensated for the right ear. My ENT doctor from years ago said he did not recommend HAs due to my left ear being near normal at the time. About 5-10 years back, I seemed to get yearly ear infections every spring (allergies). It would get to the point of having a noticeable decrease in hearing and sometimes soreness in the ear. My ENT doctor would prescribe me Ciprodex and antibiotics if needed. This continued and eventually they put in long term tubes to help with drainage. That doctor moved on and when my issues continued, I would just go to the Ciprodex to clear it up and my regular GP that was in the same building as the ENT doctor that left, would prescribe them based on chart history.
Fast forward to 2020… A year that saw COVID-19 devastate the world (I have remained safe from it ), multiple hardships, and new lows in my hearing (pun intended). Here is rough timeline/synopsis of my life since July/August of 2020.
Ear Trouble History Timeline 2020
Still have both long term ear tubes.
Having some hearing issues. I had taken Ciprodex and my hearing was not improving.
Saw new ENT doctor for hearing issues and my hearing was a lot better than the previous weeks by the time I got this visit.
Got a prescription of Prednisone for “as needed” due to hearing issues in case my hearing got worse again. (filled 10/19/2020)
Visited primary doctor for lump on back lower left of head slightly above neck and ear soreness / problems hearing. Ear was not swollen and lump was not directly by the ear.
Got small dosage of Prednisone / Antibiotics. (Cleared up the lump and soreness)
Prednisone for 1 week several pills per day (69 pills). This was not used until needed as prescribed by the ENT doctor previously for another sudden hearing loss episode.
10/26/2020 – ENT appointment
Hearing is significantly worse and tinnitus is worse with multiple louder frequencies. Low resonant hum that reverberates through the head making it difficult to focus and causing the head to hurt at times.
Prednisone for a 1-month prescription (6 per day, then taper off) (165 pills)
ENT doctor suggests getting an MRI
12/08/2020 - MRI w/ contrast
Determined some fluid in right middle ear, left and right mastoids had minor fluid. ENT doctor was concerned about the middle ear fluid, but said the Mastoids showed no cause for concern.
1/4/2021 - ENT Appointment
Doctor could not unclog the right ear tube, so removed it. Left ear tube still clear and in place. Hearing has not improved, but less of the low resonating frequency now.
Doctor referred me to Rheumatologist to look into the possibility of an auto-immune type of issue and mentioned Meniere’s disease for the first time. Also, prescribed me Betahistine to start taking. Still waiting on the appointment with the Rheumatologist.
8/21/2020 – 3PM – (8PM) – Vomited and took Dramamine
10/17/2020 Vertigo episode with vomiting (2PM-7:30PM), could not keep Meclizine down
12/4/2020 – Bad vertigo episode from 2PM until 10PM (sleep). Lots of vomiting and Meclizine did not help as could not keep it down. I even felt this coming on 30-45 minutes before full onset, took Meclizine at that point and could not keep it down.
Doctor has been very slow to interpret my concerns and suggest new treatment options. Finally, the last visit, it was mentioned that I my have Meniere’s disease. Reading up on that seems plausible. I need to seek out hearing aids now and have started a course of Betahistine to see if it helps with vertigo and hearing issues. I have noticed an improvement in the tinnitus, but am only on week 2 of it and from what I read it can take 2 weeks to start working or such.
I do use iPhone for personal use and work and I have lots of work conference calls to run or attend. I have been scraping by with my Apple Air Pods Pro, but on my worst days, I had to cancel calls because I could not hear well enough to understand anyone. I have lots of trouble hearing in person and especially in a crowded place. My Air Pods Pro have transparent listening mode, but I can’t model the frequencies for complete control, so it helps some but not enough. What should I consider for hearing aids? Is the Costco KS9.0 a possibility? What type of HA? I was assuming OTE. Any thoughts on the sudden loss of hearing and then it getting better and then worse and mostly staying worse? I forgot to mention that with every episode of vertigo, my hearing improved drastically right before, during or right after the episode started. Almost like a X (cross) pattern.
Anybody else taking Betahistine?
Where do you get it filled and does your insurance cover it?
Note: I finally found an alternate Walgreens Pharmacy that does compounding orders but they do not take insurance on compounded medicine or at least that one.
Any insight, recommendations or thoughts on hearing aids?
Can Costco handle my hearing loss?
What works best with 2 iPhones (work/personal) and conference calls?
Is the KS9.0 an option as trying to keep costs down as much as possible but do want to get something that will help my situation?
Any thoughts on Menier’s disease versus auto-immune versus any other ideas?
I feel the movement on trying to help my hearing has been slow at best from my ENT until this last visit. Maybe they started understanding my frustration and how this time has been different than previous years.
I apologize for the fragmented post, but there is a lot of information that I am trying to put in here and I know have missed some still. Thanks for any suggestions, thoughts, and input.