Stapedotomy noise exposure concerns (tinnitus)


#1

Hi all, I’m new here…

Im a 27 year old guy from Sweden who was diagnosed with otosclerosis a few years back now. Got it in both ears but mostly in my left. I got a Stapedotomy done about 6 weeks ago in my left ear I have been very concered about my hearing improvement over the last few weeks. I can not hear high frequency sounds very well but I do understand that this can take time.

The best thing has been that I have had NO tinnitus since the surgery in that ear up untill now. Last weekend (about 5 weeks post op) I had my first real social weekend interaction since the OP. So without describing the whole scenario, I was exposed to some pretty loud music for about 2-3 minutes and was very close to the source of it before being able to get away, this was not at some club or anything but at home close to a pretty normal surround sound speaker, nothing too powerful. But still, since then (for a week now) I had had some insane ringing in my operated ear.

There are different sounds, one pretty low pitch sound (almost like a guitar amp with nothing plugged in) and then a very high pitched sound that I can hear my heartbeat through. I talked to my Doctor and he told me that my ear is very sensitive to sound in the beginning and that the sounds should most likely subside as my ear heals. However, I am interested if anyone here has had a similar experience when it comes to being exposed to sounds after surgery. I’m also thinking that maybe this has nothing to do with the noise exposure, maybe it is just happening because the ear is healing OR something actually broke in there…

I’m kinda worried, these sounds are disturbing both my sleep and my work in a very bad way.

Mainly asking this to perhaps calm my nerves, my next appointment with my doctor is in 3 weeks for the first hearing test.


#2

Try not to focus on any weird sounds in your ears. Let the ear heal, give yourself time. If you are bothered by the sounds, put on something in the background to distract yourself from focusing too hard on any ringing.


#3

Thank you Neville,

I’m trying to remain calm and not focus on it too much. It’s just a bit weird. Everything was fine the first 5 weeks, and then all of a sudden ringing from hell. But maybe I underestimate how long this will take to heal fully.


#4

Ever had a significant wound heal? My recollection of surgical incisions is that they are achey and then okay for a while and then start to ITCH. Maybe the ringing is like the itching, a sign of healing. :wink:

In any case, there’s nothing you can do right now and worrying about it will just make you feel worse. Liklihood is high that everything will be fine. If something happened in the healing process and the prosthetic was displaced, yeah you might need a second surgery but that’s not worth worrying about until down the road. Even then, correction would probably be fine. In the outside chance that the surgery failed and cannot be corrected, you’ll be able to manage that too with hearing aids–individuals with purely conductive losses tend to do very well with hearing aids as the auditory system is still functioning as it should be. The longterm outcome of any of these situations is that you will be fine, because you are tough and can handle whatever life throws at you. :slight_smile: So do what you have to do right now to manage symptoms, and live your life, and don’t worry to much.


#5

Thank you very much Neville for taking the time to try to calm me down and giving me some well needed positivity.

I will try to calm down and let the healing process do its work. As you are saying, everything will be fine either way.


#6

I’ve had four stapedotomys, one in L and three (obviously two were re-dos) in R. I don’t recall having the experience you describe. I have tinnitus episodes off and on, but I don’t recall that they have ever been triggered by loud music or other sounds. My experience is that most of the healing is done by six weeks. If, at your next appointment, your doctor (was he or she the surgeon?) dismisses your problems by saying things are still healing after nine weeks, you should press them on that. I would think the overarching question is: Can you hear better? Or is your tinnitus so bad that it overshadows any hearing improvement? Hearing your heart beat during a stapedotomy healing makes sense, but I don’t recall experiencing that. Keep in mind that there are significantly different stapedotomy surgery procedures, and there are at least a dozen different prosthesis designs.

Off-topic: Be sure to get an MRI-OK card from your surgeon, otherwise radiologists (at least in the US) won’t perform a MRI on you if they know you’ve had a stapedotomy.