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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
    callip replied to Billy450's response:
    I Had a tube put in left ear and have hearing loss and my voice sounds weird when I speak. I have Eustation Tube Dysfunction and my ear kept closing up on me so I decided to try a tube to keep the ear open. I still have pressure plus loss of hearing. Should I have the tube removed and will my hearing return to normal. If it doesn't will a hearing aid help
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to callip's response:
    I am sorry, but I do not have enough specific information about you or your particular case to make any recommendations.

    1. When did you get those tubes inserted?
    2. How long have you had Eustachian tube dysfunction prior to the tube insertion?
    3. What was the acuity of your hearing prior to the procedure?
    4. What were the results of your audiogram before and after the tube insertion?

    The only person that can really answer your very specific questions would be the ENT that is familiar with your case.
     
    avatar
    callip replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    I got the tube inserted two days ago. I have had ETD for a long time but the past few months my left ear kept closing along with tinnitus. Felt fullness in ear and every time I ate or drank a glass of water my eustation tube closed. All this happened about 3 months ago right after a very bad sinus infection. It was driving me crazy. Tried all sorts of nasal sprays, Patanese, Flonase,Nasalex and many others. My last resort was to have the doctor try a tube to equalize pressure. My t is worse and pressure is still there along with hearing loss.. Should I take the tube out when I see the doctor this week. I hear my own voice which is very muffled when I speak.
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to callip's response:
    Please give it some more time....perhaps a month or more. At two days post-op, you still have lot of inflammation, and this will take time to settle down. I know those symtpoms annoying, but things can still improve.

    This may not be the ultimate cure, but you have to give this method a try. Nothing else was working.
     
    avatar
    ArgiePam responded:
    So what happened? I have had my tubes in since April 30th and had all of the above problems. I did not have an ear infection prior, however had face pain and ears constantly plugged.

    since the tubes i no longer have the face pain, but have multi-frequency loss, eustachian tubes plugged, voice echoing in head and now a complete body rash which they think is now lichen planus which is caused by stress.

    HELP! should I get my tubes out or not?
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to ArgiePam's response:
    I certainly can't answer that question. A decision to remove your tubes should only be made be someone that is familiar with your particular case, and someone that can personally examine you. Since you are having issues since the tube insertion, it would be best for you to see your ENT again, or see another ENT for a second opinion.
     
    avatar
    ArgiePam replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Can you recommend then some links with information I can read supporting some of the problems that other posters have put on this discussion? This is the first I have seen expressing all the problems I am encountering and had not seen this info when I met with my ENT for my 6 week check up. (I was overwhelmed when I read this discussion as I felt very alone and medically unsupported with my symptoms) He left it up to me if I want the tubes out but it would help if I knew more about how much longer other people suffering from the same problems kept their tubes in. Or is this a sign of something going wrong? Or will my hearing improve if I can last it out for six months or am I taking a chance of permanent damage? Is there more information out there and if so where?

    I really appreciate all this discussion.
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to ArgiePam's response:
    Putting "Complications of Pressure Equalization Tubes" in the Google search engine, I found this excellent article... and, there are others.

    http://www.entusa.com/ear_tubes.htm

    Please keep in mind that every person is different in their response to PETs. I wish that I could tell you that your symptoms are a sign of a problem, or if your symptoms will abate over time, but that is an answer that no one could really predict. Only your doctor -- someone who has intimate knowledge of your case and someone that can examine you -- could advise you in this area.
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to billbo479's response:
    I should have correct this error, but I missed it...

    You were born with Eustachian tubes....we all have them. You had PET (pressure equalization tubes), also called myringotomy tubes surgical inserted.
     
    avatar
    ArgiePam responded:
    4macs. How long did you have your tubes in for and what is your results now? I am at the almost 3 month mark now for mine and have much of what you have/had. The only positive is that I can now sporadically get air through by yawning/blowing but never really get my ears to 'pop'. and I don't have face pain like I did before. Not sure if the plugging, voices reverberating in my head, missed hearing (damn rights about the hearing tests - all three times they say it must be psychosomatic on my part), and now an compromised immune system response with a rash caused by stress. I want to try to get my life back. Did it help getting the tube out?

    Pam
     
    avatar
    lindym65 responded:
    I was wondering if you had any help with your ears after two years? what has the outcome been since i am suffering from the EXACT SAME SCENARIO. Please help with any advice.
     
    avatar
    ArgiePam replied to lindym65's response:
    I am just now at the 6 month mark and going to my specialist in 3 weeks. Just saw my family doctor and he said the tubes are still there and haven't moved much. On the plus side the reverberation of my voice in my head has been stopped for about 3 months now. That was the worst trying to talk over my voice in my head. My ears have been releasing more in the last months but never to a point that I can hear consistently. Unfortunately I have been travelling for family issues up and down mountain passes so my ears are back to the really plugged. I have started taking nasal rinses to unplug the sinuses. So hanging in. I am almost positive that the ear specialist will take about 4 seconds to say its progressing. and he will dismiss any of what I have experienced.
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to ArgiePam's response:
    Be assertive with the ENT...don't let him/her get away with a four-second visit. Make sure to have your list of questions and concerns prepared, and don't let 'em leave the examination room until they are addressed.

    Let me know what happens.
     
    avatar
    Liveinhisglory replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Rod,
    I am 30 and have had T-tubes all my life. It started out when I was a toddle and had constant ear infections and continued because everytime the ENT would remove them I would redevelope another ear infection. I have not had any ear infections for atleast 15-17 years now. For the last few years I have really started to develope the "ringing" in my right ear and sometimes it is so bad it will make you want to cry, but the hearing loss is more severe. I have had the hearing test done and the ENT says that corrective surgery isn't an option for me yet due to the past of the constant ear infections. Im really kind of lost as to what to do, sometimes I don't hear my 3 year old crying in the next room, or my wife talking to me in the car, I mean the list goes on. I am always having to have everyone repeat themselves to me and it not only gets old for them but I am really getting tired of people having to repeat themselves to me also. I am a police officer and I very well can't have them repeating themselves, you know felons will never give you the same story twice! Short of me going and buying a white board for everyone to write there conversation on, what other options do I have?
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Liveinhisglory's response:
    An option may be a hearing assist device (hearing aid), tuned to mask the tinnitus and increase your ability to hear.

    If you have only seen one ENT for this issue, get a second opinion (from an ENT and a licensed audiologist, not a hearing aid dispenser). Obviously, I do not know the details of your case, but there maybe things that can help other than surgery.


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