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Ear fullness + Tinnitus
synchwithit posted:
Hello Dr. Moser, I write this today as I am unaware of what course of action I should take next.

Basic history would be 7/20/12 saw Dark Knight Rises in Imax, was loud movie, don't recall having tinnitus after seeing but did recall some fullness in right ear, went home, took a nap, no more fullness, ears seem normal, don't recall ears ringing.

8/4/12 Stressful time in life, notice ears ringing mainly the left one being louder and more like an insect (not a constant tone)

1 Week later I see an ENT, tell him my back story he says everything looks fine, hes not really sure what it could be and it might go away.

Receive hearing test, everything is normal

2 Weeks post ENT (around 8/25) I start getting fullness feeling in my right ear after listening to mild sounds, say I was listening to something at 55-65 DB or so it would cause fullness feeling in right ear (not my left which is where the tinnitus is louder). This problem has occured from August until today, so basically I wake up in the morning ear feels fine, if I listen to certain things, maybe a movie trailer, random video on youtube, or even a movie I get fullness in right ear, which appears would take a while to subside.

Should I schedule another appointment with an ENT? Perhaps one that sub-specializes even further? Its a rough time for me as I just graduated school and no longer have health insurance so I cannot pay for thousands of dollars in tests but a basic visit I can do.

As far as noise exposure history, I never have attended a concert, heard a gunshot, worked in a factory. I do not recall my ears ever ringing from a noise event. I do not recall having an ear infection since perhaps I was a kid. One of my nostrils is always blocked as far as I remember.

Thanks in advance
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Tinnitus and other hearing aberrantions, perhaps as a result of an acoustic injury, are very difficult to evaluate, so most routine examinations are "normal" with the exception of the hearing tests. Even MRIs cannot see damage in most cases. If you were to see another ENT, then perhaps seeing one that has a specialty or interest in inner ear disorders -- a likely source of your tinnitus. You could wait until you are working and have insurance, since these visits are pricey.

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