Sound distortion in one ear


This is my first time posting and I was hoping someone has/had the same experience and also possibly knowledge on the matter.

Last week I noticed that normal conversation started to sound very robotic like. A good comparison would be as if someone were talking to me through a fan. High pitch sounds had a whistle effect. I experienced vertigo after a few days of this and went to the doctor. She had me take an auditory exam, but I had to wait it out the weekend.

Those two days were really bad for me. It seemed the distortion was getting worse and I was wondering if I was experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. Then Monday came... and my hearing was back to normal, although I still felt pressure in my "bad" ear. I took the auditory exam and did quite well according to the doctor. I am not experiencing hearing loss. The next day, my hearing was also quite normal.

Now today.. I am starting to hear distortion again and quite a lot of it. I am wondering if anyone else has this problem? Is this common and is this something I'll have to deal with the rest of my life? I know it's really too early to tell, but the doctor could not refer me to a specialist since my hearing is perfectly normal.

Thank you very much. Being able to write this has been able to soothe myself mentally. For the time being I have a self imposed ban on ear buds, q-tips and clubs. Hoping this isn't permanent...
  • Hi Kevin,

    I hope you are better today. But could you please let me know the outcome of your situation? If I had to write myself what I've been through the past week I could simply copy and paste your post. If you could send me a PM or write down here would be great. Thank you!

  • My first thought is meniere's disease which usually includes bouts of vertigo, fullness of the ear and fluctuating hearing (in the early stages, in later stages the hearing doesn't recover). However, meniere's disease is quite rare and only a profession could tell you for certain.
  • Hello Kevin,

    I am new to this forum, but I would like to share some information regarding your situation.

    If you experience a sudden (like overnight) change in your hearing, and it is on only one side. You may want to google sudden hearing loss and be prepared if that happen to you.

    Hearing loss due to ageing or noise exposure usually happen on both ears. Sudden, one sided hearing loss accompanied by vertigo (not just dizziness but severe dizziness) and tinnitus may imply something else. And you have to seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY, otherwise your hearing loss may not recover.

    Now your doctor will not refer you to a specialist because you hearing is within normal limits, that's understandable, because a lot of people over react. Just remember, if one morning you wake up and one side of your hearing is gone, go to emergency or find an audiologist. Find an audiologist that has direct contact with a Otolaryngologist (we call that ENT EarNose&Throat in North America) beforehand.

    You said you had vertigo and you went to a doctor. Normally, if you have vertigo, you do not want to move your head at all, not to mention walking or driving. If you experience that again, can you find a place to do a hearing test for you?

  • Hi Kevin,

    I'm glad to hear you're hearing has settled down but you need to go back to the doctors and be referred to a specialist if this keeps happening. But I have to say, it's never a good idea to put anything in your ears like cotton buds etc