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Unsure diagnosis Cochlear Meniere's?
maceyspacey posted:
Hi, I've browsed several posts on this site. In brief, I have had fullness and hearing loss in my right ear for the last 3+years. WIthin monthsof the onset of sympotoms, I eventually went to the doc when it become intolerable and I was treated for an ear infection. Treating the infection helped the symptoms but did not diminish the fullness or sound distortion. Sometimes the fullness comes and goes, but I always notice hearing distortion. For example, a dial tone sounds normal in my left, but is lower in pitch in the right and I am hypersensitive to certain pitches. I have been to two different doctors. The first treated me for an ear infection, and with a follow up after my antibiotic treatment, said he believed there was still fluid in my ear and thought I had a eustachian issue and sent me to an audiologist. The audiologist said she believed the pitches I heard were congruent with fluid and thought antihistamines should help. I tried antihistamines, sudafed, tylenol PM.

After years of struggling with this...I often try to ignore it, but some days it really is intolerable...I finally decided to go to an ENT. The ENT said he did not see any fluid build up and that my ears appeared healthy, he sent me to the audiologist and I responded normal to the pressure test and the audio tests revealed that I have moderate hearing loss to low pitches. He believed that I had some form of Meniere's and sent me for an MRI. MRI came back normal, much as I expected. He told me to follow a low sodium diet and drink lots of water. He said some patients respond positively to blood pressure mediation, but he didn't think I was to that point yet.

I don't have a medical background, but if sodium intake is a factor, I would assume this has something to do with fluid retention.

Whenever I think about fluid retention, the first thing I think of is my thyroid disease. Yet doctors rarely ever seem to draw a correlation between thyroid function and other ailments, such as fluid retention, depression, hearing loss, etc. I was diagnosed with Grave's disease 12 years ago, and went thru radioiodine treatment and now take levothyroxine. Is it possible that my thyroid disease is a contributing factor to my problem?

This hearing distortion is really frustrating as it impacts my everyday life and can take the joy out of things I love to do, like sing, or have conversations. I would love to have the input of others!!!
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
In treating Menieres or atypical Menieres, the management of fluid IN THE INNER is felt to be helpful, hence the sodium restriction. Sometimes, diuretics are used. I don't know the details of your thyroid disorder, or where are now as far as its function is concerned, but I do not see a correlations. They are two different and distinct problems. While two different disease or conditons can cause similar symptoms does not imply they are connected.

Menieres, assuming this is what you have, can be very difficult to manage. Have you thought about having a second opinion from an ENT who specializes in Menieres (a neurotologist)?

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