Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
Hearing loss after tube insertion
avatar
4macs posted:
I am 47. After suffering for years with Eustachian tube issues. My GP suggested I get tubes put in. Let me state that my hearing is normally fantastic, in fact I make my living in the sound recording business. So I was looking forward to the tubes keeping my ears "open" all the time and no longer needing nasal sprays or holding a crazy balloon device to my nose.

So I got the tubes put in and the results were disastrous. I immediately had a major reduction in my ability to hear. Bass sounds were gone and low level ambient sounds were also gone. In fact my ears felt more plugged than ever and everything sounded like I was under water. Having conversations was a chore as people had to repeat themselves to me. My own voice sounded like I was hearing myself with a bad cold and not like it was coming in through the air. Then I developed a ear infection in one ear. The doctors did not believe me when I said I was not hearing right. Sure I could hear the tones when they tested my hearing, but that is an isolated single frequency. Nothing like trying to hear complex multi frequency real life sounds.

Things in my daily life that I always heard were gone. The fan in my office spun in silence. I could not hear the turn indicators in my car. Everything was muffled.

The final straw was I started to have a constant humming pulsating and droning sound in my right ear that was loud and never went away. It kept me up at night.

Today they removed the tube in my right ear, and I am hoping my hearing will return to normal in that ear. My left ear still feels dull from time to time.

So how could putting in tubes to "open" my ears make seem duller and take away so many of the sounds that I hear in day to day life? And what is this humming sound?
Reply
 
avatar
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
When did all of this happen? How long did you have them in? Many times, you will notice symptoms like that immediate after a tube insertion and for several weeks thereafter. There may be a definite "adjustment" period until the post-surgical inflammation has resolved.

Those holes quickly heal in most cases after tubes are removed. You should be back to your former self in a few weeks, I am assuming.

The humming was most likely temporary tinnitus; again, associated with the procedure.
 
avatar
4macs responded:
The tubes were put in a month ago. The loss of hearing never improved over the entire time in my right ear. The left ear is doing better, but still goes "dull" every now and then for no apparent reason.
 
avatar
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
A month should have been plenty of time for inflammation to abate. I guess now is the waiting game.....I certainly hope that things will return to normal for you, even though normal was not optimum.
 
avatar
BytheC responded:
I just had to chime in here. I too had tubes put in about a month ago. The hearing in my left ear is almost nill and in the right ear - it comes and goes. Also, there is this incredible amount of pressure. I can relate to everything you have written about your experience. My doctor acts like I'm being dramatic. Doesn't seem to believe that the hearing loss is as bad as it really is. He says that some sense of "muffled sound" is to be expected. Not to be able to hear people talking to you - to me - is much more than "muffled sound". I don't know what to do!?!
 
avatar
Fohman responded:
I hope you read this...I had my wife read your post and she thought I had written it!! I'm a recording engineer as well and I'm having the exact same issues (except for the humming, mine is more in the 12k region) Please email me at info@htracks.com so we can talk about this.

Thank you!

For the moderators of the posts, the above is not my personnel email, so please don't delete this post.
 
avatar
Rod_Bur responded:
Thank you for your posts. I would sure like to hear of any updates to the posts. It seems like we have had some of the same issues. (age 52)

So... I?m hoping for improvement ( at least in the future) to my current ear issues. . So if there anyone could update me with hope, then that would be GREAT news.

I had an ear infection in early December 08 and after a couple of weeks of two different antibiotics, and the symptoms of everything sounding like I was underwater (even when I talked) and two ruptured eardrums and some drainage I went to see a ENT specialist. They immediately recommend tubes in both ears. I went ahead with this and at first notice a big reduction in hearing. It has slowly come back,(a little more in the right ear than the left) but I still have concerns. That is why I?m writing this with the hope to get input by others.

It?s now February 4th 2009 and while the hearing has improved some, I still have the ?bad cold / underwater? voice when I talk to others and now a lot of humming sound when people talk to me. I also get the humming from fans or cars driving by that are in the background. The best way I can describe it is that its like someone holding a tuning fork up to your ear while they're talking.

Some sounds like cupboards closing, pots and pans being moved, someone walking on a tile floor with high heels is very loud and actually hurts my ears. I still feel some pressure from time to time that does not seem normal. And still the lower sounds are difficult to hear. I'm wondering if that is also related to the tubes.

Does anyone know if once the tubes are removed, that this will help with the humming (sounds like a tuning fork hum) sound as described above? Any help or info by anyone would be great. I'm not sure I want to wait one to two years for the tubes to fall out. If taking them out sooner helps, I'd like to move ahead. (once I know for sure there is no more infection. But I don't think there is). I also deal with some dizziness from time to time, but my ENT doesn't think its Meniere's. I wonder though.

Thanks in advance for your help or suggestions
 
avatar
scbandit responded:
4mac -- my wife just had the same surgery you had and is having the same issues -- hearing loss and pressure in the ear the tube was put in. Has your hearing improved? What did you do to help with the hearing loss? My wife is deperate for some answers and so far is not getting them from her ENT. I appreciate if anyone has any information they are willing to share that might help.
 
avatar
JG_Dad responded:
Hello, For those of you who are interested. I also had an ear infection due to a bad cold back in Feb/09, and had a tube put in my left ear. My ENT recommended a tube to be put in after unsuccessfully waiting for three weeks for the fluid to drain out by itself. Before the tube was placed, I (too) felt like I was under water when I talked, I felt pressure, and I was also hearing a very mild, but high pitch sound. The surgery was performed and the fluid that was behind the eardrum was flushed/suctioned out, and the tube was put in. After one week, I was able to feel the difference. The pressure was gone and my hearing was almost back to normal. As of today, I still have the tube in and my hearing is back to normal, but the ?ringing? is still there. My ENT said that this would probably go back to normal too, but may take some time (years) as there was inner-ear damaged that was probably caused by the infection. Hope this helps.
 
avatar
millergurl34 responded:
I am 18. When I was younger my mom had tubes put into my ears. After they were taken out the hole never closed. Then I had they holes fixed. The next summer I got a bad ear infection that ate my left ear drum. So the past 15 years I have had 9 surgeries to fix the holes. Which led to completely lossing the hearing in my left ear. When I went for the last surgery they found a sometimg that ate the bones in my ears. They replaced the bones with titanium inplants. Which only lasted 3 months. After that I had a option left was to get a chocler implant. My body kept rejecting the implant so the doctor had to fix it 5 times.

So now I have cronic fluid behind my ear drums. And all my doctor did for my was put me on allergy medicine. Which doesn't really help.

Now I have to find an alternative to get the fluid out of ears. Any suggestions?
 
avatar
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
There may be NO alternatives, my friend. Please trust that your doctor is doing the best that he/she can to help rectify this serious problem that you have. Fluid in your ears is the least of your ear-related problems. You have a very difficult and challenging case that should be under the on-going care of a team of ENT specialists.
 
avatar
LiquidAlloy responded:
ok, after reading this I know I am not crazy at all. I am 35 and my whole life always had to pop my ears in the morning, after or during eating, very very frustrating but my hearing was great. The left ear time to time would be very weird though, felt like a hole randomly in the ear drum would come and go, wouldn't pop. I felt and heard the air pass through the ear when holding my nose and blowing. I had to hold my left ear to pop the right ear. So after numerous ear dr. appts, few different drs, same blah blah thing. All think I am crazy I guess. I do the ventilation tube thing in both ears and the dr. sooo swears this is the solution. Been over a week now and no hearing improvement. Loud ringing in both ears, muffled badly, can barely hear anything around me, no bass or lower frequencies can be heard. After 3 weeks (2 more from now) if there is still no or very little improvement i am definitely making take these things out. It is very frustrating. I can't focus on anything i do and feel more sick then ever. I rather deal with Claritin D everyday forever if that is what I have to do to stop the hearing from randomly getting muffled through out the year. That was workign great before this procedure. It is bringing my personality down, depressing me and don't want to do anything but sit in bed and sleep all the time. How can these dr's still insist on putting these things on adults??
 
avatar
Billy450 responded:
LiquidAlloy - I had tubes put in my both my ears two days ago and now dealing with the same exact issues you are (and everyone else on this post). Did your condition improve over the 3 weeks or did you get the tubes removed? If you did get them removed did that fix the dulling issue?

Has anyone had the tubes removed and regained their normal hearing? From reading most of the post, it appears that if you have dulled hearing from the beginning it will likely not get better as long as the tubes are in your ears. Is it anyone's recommendation that i get the tubes removed?

Thanks
 
avatar
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
I would strongly suggest that you give it more time....there is a considerable amount of inflammation, and perhaps, so residual fluid still present in the middle ear after tube insertion. The eardrum has been cut, so the eardrum, itself, is also inflammated. Healing takes time...I would suggest that you give it a month, at least, to settle down.

Did your ENT give you any antibiotic/steroid eardrops to use? This may help.
 
avatar
billbo479 responded:
When i was three years old i got Eustachian tubes. it is one of my first memories because when i came out of surgery i could hear everything and it seemed so loud, but a few months later i went to the doctor they said the tubes had fallen out.Well they didn't, no one ever knew until today when i went to the nurse i had an ear infection in my right ear but she checked my left ear and said that my tube was coming out. Before a few weeks ago my left ear has been a bit impaired i had no idea it was finally coming out after 11 years. so they really are good especially now that they are out.


Helpful Tips

FAQ Tip #2: Tonsilliths and Cryptic TonsilsExpert
People are often puzzled by white accumulations in their tonsils. Some feel they have Strep, yet they do not really have a red, sore ... More
Was this Helpful?
18 of 26 found this helpful

Expert Blog

Focus on Flu

Find answers to your questions about seasonal flu issues and answers to your concerns about the flu season and H1N1...Read More

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.