Audio engineer with SSHL *** Mid diagnosis. Learning. Searching
I'm 42. Life long musician. Own a recording studio. My ears feed my family…. one week ago, I was at home reading a book and POOF. My right ear felt strange. Some ringing. Went away quickly… but I had lost 7000hz and up in my right ear. Using a very good phone app and calibrated headphones, I started pure-tone testing. Went immediately to ENT next day. Their audiogram mirrored my results…. my right ear lost everything above 7000hz. There had been a loud noise (fast transient) at work that evening… but nothing much over 90-100db and only for a split second. Still… possible that did physical damage. I also had C19 infection in Jan and have been struggling with sinus congestion since then.
A week later, I'm waiting on an MRI and follow up ENT appointment. I have no diagnosis. The hearing has not returned, despite starting prednisone early. The tinnitus has become constant…. it's VERY high pitched. Like the sound of a buzzing light bulb. I'm managing that with ambient noise. I can still work, but find it difficult in comparison…. but it's not impossible. I still have a very good left ear and despite pure tone struggles, my right ear can hear complex waves above 7000Hz. They are less clear and less loud… but the ear can hear thing up in that range imperfectly.
So… I've read constantly this week. SSHL. Different types of damage and loss. Different treatments. Hearing aids. It's a massive and overwhelming world. What might you suggest? Here are some questions…
Can I adapt and continue working like this?
Are there audiologist who specialize in helping musicians (high frequency, full range testing)? Most tend to limit their tests to 8kHz.
How aggressive should I be in speeding this process? I'm disappointed my ENT scheduled my MRI for a week later. This is an emergency in my life.
What advice would you give? Given my life has been dedicated to working with my ears… I'm fairly devastated.