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Old 4th November 2010
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by Arksun View Post
Posting another update to my personal woes.

I honestly feel like crying right now, I am in hearing hell :(

Read through my earlier posts to get the background story. So I went to see the NHS ENT specialist last month. At that point I didn't really have any of the pain or sensitivity symptoms so was feeling better about things.
anyways they did a hearing test, if you can even call it that.

Just 5 sine test tones between 250hz - 8K and that was it. Given my main problem of rolloff was above 8K on the right side that wasn't very helpful. They considered my hearing 'normal' cause it fell in the 0-20db range of the average persons hearing threshold (though the result wasn't exactly a straight line either).

Anyways the ENT guy was very nice and charming and told me the results seemed ok. I wish, oh HOW I wish i pushed him on the sensitivity point more, i guess i just didn't feel like lying. But basically, because my results were considered normal he wasn't willing to investigate any further.

So I left feeling a bit let down, but otherwise ok. My ear was back to how it was before.

Fast forward to past week. Its got worse.... a lot worse.

Eustachian tube gets stuck open when i get up for the day and stays stuck open, its a real fight to try and get it to close. Tried using the sterimar spray (saline solution), but doesn't really seem to be helping. Every evening I become more and more hyper sensitive to sounds.

Today is by far the worst, I used the spray and it went right up to my eardrum. Blew my nose, now it feels like the whole tube and ear is stinging like crazy inside.

Right now it hurts, and my internal volume control is shot to ****. The slightly sound on my right side creates pain. Just to have someone talking to me, it hurts me ear. Everything feels painfully loud in the right ear and causes it to counter react with a physical jolt.

I am very scared right now and don't know what to do. I mean I know what I am going to do, and thats book another appointment and scream at the doctor that this is very serious now.

God if I could afford private treatment I'd get every scan under the sun done to try and get to the bottom of this. But I can't... so i'm screwed... :(

Having slight frequency rolloff issues on one side is one thing, but when it turns into a painful nightmare. I hope to god this isn't permanent damage going on.
Get a second opinion from another ENT person. Also, I would search for an audiologist who is also a musician or is sympathetic to musician's concerns. Talk to them on the phone before you go in. As far as I know most audiologists won't test above 8 kHz. Also, they measure only at the threshold of hearing which is NOT a real-world situation. There is always background noise of at least 30 dB even in the quietest auditorium. They need a whole different approach to measure musical hearing. The ear behaves differently above the threshold of hearing than it does at those very low levels. So something that looks like a 20 dB loss in a traditional hearing test could be as little as 5-10 when the sound level is at 60-70 dB.

"Musical audiology" as a discipline or field of study does not yet exist. But it's coming. Within 5-10 years, I think you'll be able to find a specialist in this field and buy effective musical hearing aids or hearing restoration systems. The technology is already there. The audiologists I've dealt with are not really interested in helping people hear when it comes to the second main use of sound: music. And that's just stupid. They could care less about what's happening at 10 kHz or 15 kHz. And they actually don't even care about 8 kHz as one of them told me. They told me they would only get concerned if loss ever got into the 4 kHz region! And they weren't particularly interested in finding out WHY my perception of 12 kHz has declined. If ever there was a field of study that needed a fresh approach, this is it.

I think a musician who wanted to be a pioneer in musical audiology and test people's musical hearing would make a lot of money.