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    Includes Expert Content
    Hearing loss after tube insertion
    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?
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to venger's response:
    One day....? You need to give your ears a chance to respond. The eardrums may be more inflammed since the insertion of the tubes, but this in NO WAY implies you have (a) made a mistake in getting tubes, or (b) will have screwed up hearing for the rest of your life. It has only been a day after surgery.

    My suggestion is for you to wait...bear with this exacerbation of your symptoms for a few weeks...and allow TIME for the inflammation (of the surgery) to resolve, and for your ears to adjust. Call your ENT for patient-specific advice, but I suspect it will be similar.
    venger replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Thank you for your reply, I noticed that the symptoms seem to be far less noticeable when I first wake up in the morning. Could this be due to the fact that once I'm awake and moving around that my blood pressure raises, and thus increases the inflammation? And IF this is the case should I try to limit my physical excursion for a while?? (btw I did call the ENT as you suggested - waiting on a call back now) Thanks again for your help.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to venger's response:
    I really have no way to make that determination. Variations in your symptoms could be due to many different things. Hopefully your ENT - someone who is familiar with all of the details of your case - will be able to offer you some patient-specific insight. Sorry that I couldn't help you on this one.
    venger replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    I did call the ENT, the nurse said that it's possible that the tube is clogged. So, her advice was give it till monday, and if I'm still experiencing the problem to come in and have them look.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to venger's response:
    Let me know what happens after you see the ENT....assuming this does not self-resolve over the weekend. Did the nurse make you a tentative appointment? If not, this would be a good idea.
    ArgiePam replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    So my tubes have almost been in one year and 4 months. I thought I should post again as my earlier posts wanted to know what over time had happened for people. I had altitude pressure problems made worse by a recent spate of long distance too frequent travel, no ear infections and some fluid buildup but that was eradicated with a short regime of prednisone. ENT had no idea why I was experiencing facial pain, vertigo, and unable to decompress my ears. He scheduled the tubes as it might help - couldn't hurt.

    The first two months were horrible. First off thinking I was nuts and being discounted by my ENT, Audiologist and family doctor. I had the whistling sounds, loss of hearing tones, unable to pick up sounds of people talking if there was distance and/or other sounds conflicting and the most challenging and mentally disturbing was hearing my own voice in my head echoing my words. I am a joyous person but this took me down to the unhappiest place. The only positives were I no longer had vertigo and facial pain. I also developed an ever expanding unsightly rash.

    This web discussion that I stumbled on gave me the first relief in that I didn't feel alone or nuts. After just over two months I noticed that my voice echoing in my head had stopped, and I was learning to compensate for conversations that I didn't hear correctly. In the next months there was times where there was a crackling noise or semi popping noise and I didn't have that plugged ears feeling. My hearing did not improve although all the hearing tests still indicated that nothing changed. I saw my ENT at my year visit and he stated the tubes were still in. He felt that when they do fall out my hearing will be worse than it is and since I have had some indications of ear popping (although nothing like when I used to do altitudes and my ears would pop) I may consider getting tubes put in again. I don't know seriously if I will do this again. I will wait to see what happens over the first few months after the tubes fall out.

    As for the rash - I am including this as my family doctor for several months just threw creams at it and finally I got a referral to a skin specialist who saw me within a month. I did this on my own through a family member. The rash is lichen planus - and is stress based from predominately physical and emotional pain. There is a cream that does work and fast within a week to hold the advance. Just putting that out there in case someone else experiences another body defense like mine.

    my family doctor just looked at my ears and said the tubes are about to fall out. I think I made the right decision to hang on for several months as I don't think having the tubes out at the beginning would have improved my life. or hearing. I wish I did know.
    teachermom39 responded:
    I had a similar experience. I had a clicking sound in my ear. Since I was getting my deviated septum fixed and my girls both had ear tubes, I thought nothing of it when the ENT told me to get ear tubes to fix the clicking I heard at night. I was disastrous. I developed pulsatile tinnitus, terrible was horrible. I had the tubes removed. I go on tuesday to see if the tubes are closed. I have had to spend the past month having my husband wash my hair in the sink b/c the doc said if I get any water in my ears, I would be forced to put the tubes back in--NO WAY! so, keep you fingers crossed and please...any adult considering to get tubes, think twice. It was definitely NOT worth the hassle, frustration, worry for me!!
    teachermom39 replied to Billy450's response:
    Yes, Yes, Yes! Do it, I am 39 and had tubes in my ears from a clicking sounds I heard. I am so much better now, no symptoms...I will NEVER do that again! Good Luck!
    Hikergal1 responded:
    Help. I too have the same problem. I just got a tube placed in my right ear today and immediately it felt as though I had an ear plug in my ear and my hearing is greatly disrupted...sounds like I'm underwater. When I speak, I can only hear my voice in my head, as it does when you put your fingers in both ears to speak. I cannot hear my voice 'from the outside'. Feels like my right ear is completely plugged! Told him that immediately and he said, you can hear, it's just the sensation. After the numbing med that's when it all happened. My right ear feels so plugged! My ENT said that I could come back tomorrow and get it taken out, but it felt like this BEFORE he inserted the tube and AFTER putting in the numbing med. Can I get an experts opinion? This is HORRIBLE!
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Hikergal1's response:
    It has only been ONE day since your surgery. It can take several days to a week or more for the inflammation to resolve from the surgery, so it may be prudent for you to wait it out a bit longer. I know these symptoms are annoying, but you should improve if you give it more time.

    What was the underlying reason you had tubes in the first place? Was it middle ear effusion (fluid)?
    bandjk replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Hi. I just had an ear tube put in right ear two days ago. I had vertigo, severe sinus, and ear infections. Not much fluid, but ENT said it was tube disfunction. After having tube put in, dizziness lessened, and pressure was relieved. However, I can't hear out of my right ear. I will wait, as you have advised in previous posts, to see if this resolves. I was given Cipro drops to put in my ear 2 x a day. I am wondering if it is supposed to burn/hurt like crazy when I put them in. I am in tears when I have to put them in. It feels like someone is pouring acid down my ear. Has anyone else felt burning like this when using drops with a tube?
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to bandjk's response:
    Yes, Cipro can burn a bit. Are you using Ciprodex (has a mild steroid) or plain Cipro? You may want to inform your ENT about the burning....maybe a change in prescription is in order for you. You should not be in tearslike this due to treatment.
    nicky921 responded:
    Hi My name is Nicole. On Dec. 29th, 2011 I went in for a surgery that was called "Tympanoplasty." After I woke up I was told by the nurse that doctor could not patch up hole in my ear drum and instead put a tube in. I was so upset to hear that since we never discussed putting a tube in. I would have declined a tube which I had in the past. I am so upset now because the surgery my ears feel clogged and I hear a loud buzzing sound in my right ear. I can't sleep at night and it's driving me crazy. When I called my doctor to tell him I had this buzzing sound in my ear he said he "didn't know what I was talking about." I'm so scared. I feel so depressed over this and it's affecting my life. Please let me know when you took out the tubes did the buzzing stop? If not, what did you do next? I can't stop crying over this and I'm so exhausted I can't even sleep.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to nicky921's response:
    How old are you Nicole? What was the cause of the perforation in your eardrum that needed a patch? Did you have a spontaneous rupture or did you have tubes in the past?

    It is not uncommon to feel worse for a while after ear surgery. There is a lot of inflammation caused by the surgery, so you need to give it some time to resolve. This can take a few weeks and removing the tube put in two days ago is not going to give you an instant a matter of fact, it could make things worse.

    Have the ENT or your primary care provider give you something for your anxiety. Not only will you be better able to cope with those annoying symptoms, it will help you get some sleep or rest when you need it. Xanax would be a good choice, so please ask one of your medical providers.

    You should improve.....most people a few weeks, but in the meantime, you need some help.
    Tari26 responded:
    Hi. I just got tubes in and I am an adult. I am experiencing the same symptoms you did. I hear myself talk. It sounds as if I am listening underwater or if I have my fingers in my ears and it is difficult to participate in conversations because I feel I miss a lot. Did your problems ever clear up? I just got my tibes in last week.

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