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    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?
     
    avatar
    cara6018 replied to Rod_Bur's response:
    I am 30 years old and have had fluid in my ears for over 3 years. My hearing would crack and pop all the time, even when I would turn my head left or right, yawn, eat, etc. It was rather uncomfortable and annoying. I had tried steroid nasal sprays to no avail. Neti pots would sometimes work as well as traveling to more lower elevation and humid climates. I live at 8500 feet and it's very dry here.

    Monday morning I woke up to a completely plugged left ear and couldn't take it any more. I called the ENT and they got me in on Tuesday morning. He said my ears were very full and he cleaned out the left one and proceeded to place a tube in that ear. He then cleared out the ear again with a vacuum and I was starting to hear clear and crisp again. Then he said, 'one more suction' and after that, my right ear completely closed up and now I have a low roaring sound in both my ears and all the exact same symptoms you name above like the cupboards closing and folks walking on the floor, ect. that hurt my ears. And it's like I'm talking within my head and things are very muffled and underwater-like, ringing and roaring with tremendous pressure in both my ears. I can't focus and I'm very tired and can't perform the most basic physical functions. Very dizzy, no appetite and nauseous. I went back to the ent and he said I was being 'oversensitive' and to ride it out. And the symptoms were because I could now hear so well and wasn't used to it. (actually, I could hear better before the tube was inserted).

    They performed a hearing test on me and said all was normal. but I am far from normal!!!!!!!! I am in a lot of pain.

    He prescribed me Flonase to help with the pressure, but said to discontinue use after 3 days. It's now been 4 days and still no better. Actually things are much worse. I have an appointment with another ENT on Monday. I think I will have him remove the tube altogether. I can't wait a year to see if I can hear again. I'd rather have the crackling and popping than this muffled pressure, head/cold type feeling.

    I went to the chiropractor and she said it was my body trying to adjust to a foreign object. Same said the massage therapist. I would like some relief, however and can't seem to find it with chiropractic work, nasal steroids, massage, steam showers, sudafed, ibuprofen... nothing works. This is consuming me and hindering my work performance!

    To be clear here, I never had an ear infection - it was just a bunch of fluid and he recommended the tube and said it would be immediate relief. Then when I questioned the doctor, he wanted to argue with me and told me I was perfectly normal and the symptoms I was having were a result of me being oversensitive. I would like any suggestions on what I should do next. It is like no one wants to help me or has any advice. I hope the other ent I will see on Monday will be a lot nicer and more helpful.
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to cara6018's response:
    A tube insertion to remove middle ear fluid (effusion) can create inflammation, which can temporarily result in a plethora of annoying ear-related symptoms. Over time (not a year), the inflammation should abate. Having the tube removed, may not result in immediate symptom relief, unfortunately.

    You are not over-sensitive, but your ears certainly are. Just like having something in your eye, having these ear symptoms can be unbelievably annoying.

    What you are doing next is appropriate....seeing another ENT for a second opinion. I really can't suggest any further intervention since I do not have enough information --- information that can only be obtained first-hand during an examination. The ENT may use a antibiotic/steroid ear drop (like Ciprodex) to help with the inflammation....this is sometimes used after tube insertion.

    Chiropractic adjustments or massage is not going to fix this......
     
    avatar
    lilbunnybri responded:
    Hello I am really hoping you can give me some comfort. I had tubes put in yesterday and my hearing WAS TERRIBLE AFTER!!! I had them removed today and now my hearing is terrible even more. Did your ear drums finally heal?> Did you get your hearing back?? Im freaking out, its so depressing. THANK YOU
     
    avatar
    lilbunnybri replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    I recently got tubes put in my ears yesterday and it was the worst thing ive ever done. I had them removed TODAY and my hearing is terrible. My ENT said I was the first patient hes ever seen this happen to. I AM FREAAKING out, and so depressed because as soon as they took them out my ears were EVEN WORSE!!! Will this get better? will it heal? I cant live like this. Is it just because I have holes in my ear drums? PLEASE HELP ME please
     
    avatar
    ArgiePam replied to lilbunnybri's response:
    I have had my tubes in for almost 13 months. I have written about my experience earlier in this thread and still find it amazing that my ENT and family doctor and audiologist said that what I experienced has been experienced by others. My life changed I think in part because of discovering this discussion and realizing I wasn't alone.

    Having said that the only thing that helped was time. I never had fluid in my ears but it was a shot at putting the tubes in to see if it would improve the pain from my ears constantly plugged. The pain improved but the emotional and psychological pain of trying to hear when peoples voices would echo in my head, or not hearing at all, or the tinny quiet hum all the time was equally stressful. The echoing voices disappeared and the hum is not so bad now. My hearing has not got better however the pressure in my ears will sometimes reduce and I get what normal hearing people get as their ears start to pop.

    I also developed a rash which spread over and dismissed by.....surprise......my ENT and family doctor as related to the hearing issues. I took matters into my own hands Again and got a referral to a skin specialist. It is Lichen Planus which is directly a response to stress based. non contagious but the stress of the hearing, the echoing voices, and then the rash itself caused it emotionally to get worse. She prescribed a skin cream treatment and it healed in two weeks.

    I have a hearing thing that is a microphone that I can turn up for things like watching TV when I don't want the sound to blast out. It helps. I wish it worked for conversations. My hearing isn't better but it isn't worse. and my tubes are still in my ears. My ENT said that when the tubes come out my hearing will get worse so I will get another set put in if that is the case.

    I hate all of this but I can't change it. Stressing caused the rash and I just have to take care of me now. I am not sure why you had the tubes put in LilBunny but if you can live with it for a couple of months possibly your hearing might get better. Mine didn't but it is a shot to try.

    just my two cents worth.
     
    avatar
    ArgiePam replied to ArgiePam's response:
    ooops meant to say that my ENT, family doctor and Audiologist had said what I had experienced had NOT been experienced by others which as this thread shows is bullpucky. I wish they would have said this was possible and just to hang in for a couple of months. At least I would have not had the agony of thinking of was nuts and reaching for straws.
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to ArgiePam's response:
    AngiePam....thank you for sharing you story and adding to this interesting discussion.
     
    avatar
    An_187417 responded:
    I am 59 and have had tubes placed 6 months ago. The symptoms you have described are identical to what I am going through right now. It is truly beyond an annoyance. I need to know if you had improvement once the tubes came out. The tubes that were placed in my ears are supposed to last between 8 and 12 months. I wait every day for the day I am free of these devices and hope that my hearing comes back. I hope that yours did.
     
    avatar
    Golfanatix responded:
    I have had ear infections my whole life, but have never had tubes put in until about 6-8 months ago. I originally went to my ENT because of sinusitis. He inserted a tube in my right ear and all went well. I returned a couple of weeks ago still battling the sinusitis and told him my right ear was plugged. He looked in and found that the tube had come out and there was a lot of discharge in the ear. He cleaned out the ear and prescribed ear drops, and asked how my left ear had been. I told him I was able to pop it by holding my nose and blowing hard, but it usually plugged right back up. He made an appointment for yesterday to insert tubes in both ears.

    The results are very much like I have seen here. I can't hear sounds that I could before. Bass tones in music are non existent. When I close a door, I can't hear the door hit the jam, but I can hear the latch click into place. When the wind blows past my left ear it sounds like someone blowing into a microphone. I don't know whether to have them removed or wait it out. I had some hearing loss before, but it was completely different than what I'm experiencing now. I'm scheduled for another hearing test in 2 weeks, but if what I've read is true the tests are so isolated that it may not show the tones that I have lost.

    Any response from some of the earlier posters, would be greatly appreciated. I'd like to know the long term outlook for this.
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Golfanatix's response:
    Everyone's experience with tubes is different. If you have experienced hearing problems at certain frequencies, you may need to wait it out for a while longer to see if it improves. Removing the tubes may not correct this problem, and the original reason that you needed the tubes will return. I know this may be a difficult decision, so please work closely with your ENT.
     
    avatar
    agsamuel responded:
    First of all, I would like to commend all that have shared their experience here. I an in my mid 30's and recently had tubes put in my ears to address pressure issues in my middle ear. I am right at 24 hours out and I am experiencing conductive hearing loss. I noticed a change in hearing immediately after the tubes were inserted and expressed this concern to my ENT. He insisted my hearing was fine as I was able to talk to him, but ordered an audiogram to confirm. The results of the audiogram showed a slight loss in conductive hearing which the audiologist said that could be due to fluid that is still present. I told her that there was never fluid present to begin with but the tubes were intended to relieve pressure. She made sure I scheduled a follow up for 5 days later.

    So Here I am researching and my worst fear is that I have permanent damage. I have scheduled an appt with a major Hospital that specializes more that my local ENT. I am hoping that they can correct the issue and my hearing returns to normal. Unfortunately, the appt with the specialist has been set on the same day as my follow up, think I'll go with the specialist.

    Best of luck to all of us.
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to agsamuel's response:
    Just 24 hours since your surgery? You have to give this TIME to resolve. After tube insertion, there can be a lot of inflammation on your eardrum, preventing it from vibrating normally. This is NOT a sign that you will be developing a permanent hearing loss. Although I have no way of examining you across cyberspace, I think your ENT would agree that waiting a few weeks for the post-surgical inflammation to resolve would be prudent.
     
    avatar
    agsamuel replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Dr. Moser,

    Thanks for your reply. I see how involved you are in this discussion and I cannot tell you how much that is appreciated. My ENT did not discuss any of this with me, nor did the post op sheet they presented me include any indication that there would be some loss of hearing due to inflammation. As a result, I have been freaking out thinking something is wrong. Thank you for putting my mind at ease. Regardless, I am going to follow up at the Specialists just to confirm.

    Thanks again for you advice it helps tremendously. I will let everyone know what the prognosis is.
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to agsamuel's response:
    Please let me know how things turn out.....
     
    avatar
    venger replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    I just found this discussion. I like others always had good hearing, but suffered big time when flying or changing altitudes. So after years of trying ear planes, nasal sprays, & decongestants, (no luck with any) and because the situation had gone from just altitude changes to just random clogging of the ears, I opted for the tubes... As soon as the ENT did it I felt like I was wearing ear plugs!!!!!!!!! NOT what I expected at all... Now it's only been 1 day, but I'm concerned. Did I just completely screw up my hearing for the rest of my life? If I take the tubes out will it go back to the way it was before?? I did this because I hated my ears being clogged SOMETIMES now they feel clogged ALL of the time! Can this be put back to the way it was before???


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