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Hi everyone, this is my first post and was after some advice.
I've been suffering with hearing loss for a couple of years now, mainly trying to follow conversations either in the office where I work, I've noticed my hearing is bad if I'm out with friends, even walking through the city centre, I can't hear them speak, or say if it's windy and I'm out of town, I'm still struggling.
I can't hear my phone ring if it's in my pocket, and I can't use my phone in crowded places.
It's really started to affect my confidence and it's more noticeable now I've gone back into working in an office.
I went and had a hearing test done privately and was told I had a blockage in my ear and conductive hearing loss and given a letter to go to ENT
The letter has someone's else's name on it and I was a bit dubious, so I went for another test elsewhere, and the audiologist confirmed that I had sensoneurial hearing loss and no blocked ears and gave me a letter for my GP as I'm only 40
I went to see my GP who confirmed again no blockages in my ears and I've finally got my appointment after a 3 month wait, which is on 20th Feb, just before my 41st birthday.
I'm just a bit confused with everything and wanted to know what I should expect. I've been referred to ENT specialist registrar, not sure what this means.
Can anyone give me an idea of what to expect, and do they just test my hearing, or do they do other tests to tell what type of hearing loss I've got
Thanks in advanxe
Had a roller coaster week here. Thursday there was a distinct change to my dead ear, high pitch squeely noise appeared. Can only describe it like having high pitched clangers (the childrens cartoon) in there. My own voice, noises, music, tv in general etc cause this squeely whistling. Somethings clearly going on, which is good, and I did then get a call for an audiology appointment on friday.
So feeling slightly guilty that yes Ive clearly queue jumped, I went on friday and took a friend with me. Point 1. Im so glad I took a friend. (will explain).
I had a hearing test, very much as Ian has described. It was in a soundproof small room, and both sides were tested with tones (press the button when you hear something), then had a pad thing put on the bone behind my ear and tested again, and also as Ian mentioned, there were a set of tests with background noise going on. Then back to the consultant for a very brief chat. (said friend was brilliant here).
Ive got moderate/severe hearing loss in one ear. Long pause. Silence. Well yes, I said, what does that mean? He looked a little confused, so I said, well can you give me the results? When you say Ive got hearing loss can you share what youve found? (It was like pullng teeth). My test results, which were on like a wide roll of till paper had already been attached inside my file, so he opened the file and slid the result chart across the table to me. (Point 2, I wish Id asked for a copy before I left, but will ring next week and ask if I can have a copy of the results). He then pointed out I have 70 decibel hearing loss in my low/mid frequencies and normal in my high. It was a straight line from the left, then a sharp curve up on the right side of the chart. There was then more silence. (not the dramatic sort, more like the awkward conversation sort, like eveyones waiting for someone to make polite conversation).
Friend pops up (god bless her!) OK, so what do we do? She asks. Nothing. Wait and see. Oh thats good she said, will it come back? No probably not, but it may improve........it may stay the same....it may get worse.. Me: Ok, so when you say wait and see, are we talking weeks, months? Oh definately months, well, whenever really, you may get a change at any time, but you may not. Freind, well whats caused it? Shoulder shrug. More silence as we wait. Friend, what about a hearing aid? Oh not at all he replied instantly, your other ear is perfectly fine. We sat in a few more moments silence. I was utterly befuddled. Eventually, I said thank you, and we got up and left.
The pair of us came out and both said, wtf! :) (A friend is priceless) It was possibly one of the oddest ‘consults’ Ive ever had. However, redemption was just around the corner......at Specsavers! I said, can we go home, have a cuppa and work out just what happened there, and she said, Nope, we’re in town, lets call in at specsavers and make an appointment. So we did. They were absolutely awesome. Just walking in off the street, I explained what had happened this week and that morning, and immediately she started filling in some ‘knowledge’ gaps.
She described back to me exactly what I was currently ‘hearing’/not hearing’, how disorientating it was etc how she understood. (Cause I didnt!) By then, the sensible questions I should have asked at the NHS clinic, I was able to ask of her. If I have high frequency hearing, why cant I hear? And she explained how low frequency is basically the ‘volume’ control, high frequency the ‘clarity’ controls, but when you lose low frequencies like I have, in short, my volume button has been turned right down across the spectrum. It made total sense to what Im experiencing. Would a hearing aid help me? I asked. Of course it would!!!! She replied.
I cant tell you how that response from Specsavers, suddenly changed eveything. (Its a roller coaster :) So she booked me in and I had an appontment with them on saturday. (Ill continue this story on another thread, but well done Specsavers is all can say)
Dave, take your questions with you, written down. Make sure you ask what you want to know now. Do ask for you test results, if nothing else, as we become experts in our own condition its going to be really usefull to have a benchmark and help you monitor yourself how your hearing loss progresses/improves (fingers crossed). Do ask for diagnosis if they can give one. (I will follow up my situation, probably via my GP, re disgnosis/cause etc though of course, the end result is probably theres nothing to be done and it is what it is, it would still be nice to know if there was a specific cause).
Said awesome friend is as mad as hell. When she asked about a hearing aid in the NHS appointment, she meant, would an aid help me? Shes mad that the consultant didnt then explain, whether an aid could or couldnt help me hear, and instead (we assume) answered a question about local funding. That is, (it appears) if you have one good ear, youre not eligible for an NHS aid. We werent asking that question, though of course its now on my huge long list of questions to find out about local funding etc.
So be very clear about your condition, care, diagnosis, ongoing management, would aids help etc. What to expect etc etc I got none of that from my audiology appointment, and Im kicking myself.
Good luck for next week, keeping fingers crossed, and would love to hear how you get on. Caroline.
Sent from my iPad
I've had hearing aids for 4 years now, I was 55 at the time I was first fitted.
I remember my ENT appointment quite clearly. After checking in I was taken to see an audiologist who carried out a couple of tests. They were both pure tone tests and included a bone conduction test.
Both tests also included "masking" where you listen for the tones while having a background noise played at the same time, so you have to try and pick out the pure tones from the noise. of course that's when it's difficult.
Following the tests I had to sit and wait a short time then I went to see an ENT doctor, who looked at my test results and we had a brief discussion around my daily hearing and listening situations after which he prescribed hearing aids.
As I say, that was four years ago, but boy, what a difference hearing aids have made.
I can identify with everything you've said when you describe those daily situations where you find it difficult to hear and understand. I was exactly the same as you.
Hi Caroline I hope you get an appointment soon, I know how frustrating it can be, I waited 2 months and heard nothing (excuse the pun) and my urgent appointment took almost 6 weeks from referral to appointment next week. Like yourself i'm struggling with noisy environments.
Even in the office I was sat next to someone who was explaining something, and there were 2 other people talking at the other side of the office, only 8 feet away, but I couldn't hear the person next to me.
I had cancer 7 years ago, and that's my only major health blip, I've also gone to a lot of concerts/raves the past 20 years but I've always worn earplugs, i just think it's one of those things as I'm getting older. It does get embarrassing when you're trying to follow a conversation with what you think someone has said and then chipping in based on the misheard conversation, only to look stupid, I started noticing that a couple of years ago.
Hope you're tolerating the steroids ok and managing to sleep, there's nothing worse than not being able to sleep, and hope you're another day closer to getting your hearing sorted :)
Hope your days been OK. No news here apart from Id been told by out of hours, that if Id not heard anything, to chase down the appointment. Im on a massive dose of daily steroids but they run out on thursday, and OOH GP didnt give longer in case we’re barking up the wrong tree. So did some chasing today, and ended up being lectured by an ENT secretary on the politics of the NHS. Great. She says itll be at least next week, and then a maybe, urgent or not. The steroid/reason for urgent referal, fell ironically on deaf ears. You will probably beat me to your appointment.
Im trying not to focus on it at the moment, (apart from appointment chasing) but its hard, as the first 48hours I was all over the internet, trying to self diagnose etc and testing myself at home with various hearing online tests etc, but there has been a slight change today in my good ear, and as thats the ear Im most panicked about (tbf Im terrified of an instant, no warning switch off there too) I have noticed the hypersensitivity has stopped and sounds are now duller on my good ear. Has it just adjusted back to normal (still weird how sound is non-directional/distance linked) or is the hearing dropping off more gradually? I dont know. But as theres pretty much bugger all I can do (and quite possibly bugger all the NHS can do, hence secretarys shoulder shrugging,) it could just be a wait and see situation anyway. From what Ive found on here and elsewhere (Dr Google, but what other choices do we have?) steroids were absolutely the right immediate response and after that it is all a bit hit and miss.
Hows your day been? How are you managing in busy rooms/environments? I cant seem to tolerate busy places/noise, as it all jumbles up together, and had one occasion where I lost my phone. Could hear it ringing vaguely, (wasnt the awaited call back ) but didnt have a clue where it was. Left the room and lost the sound, so narrowed it down to the living room, but then had to strip out the whole room to find it. Cushions, handbag, etc then found it on the mantlepiece. I never put it on the mantlepiece! So lesson learnt there, always put it where it lives!
Meant to ask yesterday, is there anything relevant in your history? Are you ex forces or anything? 40 does seem young to start with a generalised hearing loss, so Ill keep my fingers crossed for you that it may be linked to other health issues, eustacian dysfunction etc that could respond to diets/treatment. Im not in that category as theres no sound travelling through the bone, infection or anything, I can only hope it switches back on, as suddenly as it switched off.
On a positive, Ive worked around the phone typing issue. Typed this on my ipad, then sent it to myself. Whoo! Theres a win :)
But hope youre managing ok. It is a huge adjustment so despite mine being a tad more sudden than yours, the adjustment issues Im sure are just as difficult. (Not quite so hyper on the steroids tonight, though sleep is impossible)
Catch up soon, Caroline
PS Hi Anthony, are you in NZ by chance? (your link) and Hi Vicky. I will get round to starting my own thread on on my SSHL but think I came here for a touch of hand holding, so poor Daves got lumbered with me on his!
Hi Caroline, thanks for replying and I hope your hearing gets sorted out soon, please keep me posted and I'll do the same once i've had my appointment next tuesday