Audio engineer with SSHL *** Mid diagnosis. Learning. Searching

Posted by audioman @audioman, Mar 8 7:19am

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.

@audioman

Just a follow up to complete this story….

I had an MRI last Friday and ENT follow up today. The MRI was "negative and unremarkable" according to the notes. My second audiogram showed some improvement in both ears between 150Hz and 7000Hz, but the right ear is still deaf at 8kHZ and above… I only know about the above high frequency deafness thanks to my own testing, and experience living with this change. The world sounds different on that side.

My ENT dismissed me. He was pleased with my improvement. Added another round of low dose steroids as a shot in the dark to see if additional improvement would be found, but I have no follow-ups and was given a final report similar to the following… "You are 42 and maybe do have some high frequency hearing loss, but there's nothing we can do for that. From my vantage point, you have great hearing relative to many people. Your audiogram looks fantastic. Be glad you didn't lose more in the critical range." He understood my relationship to hearing and work… and suggested I could work around it using my good ear and the remaining function in my right. Technically he is correct, but I have no official diagnosis beyond "Age and NIHL or SSHL"

I am going to another ENT for a second opinion, but only as a formality. I am thankful my loss was not worse, thankful for a clean MRI, and will learn to live with the constant tinnitus and hyperacusis. I'm also thankful to learn about the clinical trials for FX322, and hope that one day science will help me restore the loss in my most valued sense…
*** tried to post a link… Google FX322 for more information ***

Hearing for me is like taste for a chef, sight for a painter, muscles for an athlete, etc. It's a crushing and educational experience. I hope to use this as motivation to help other people who suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus. While sound therapy is an unusual tool, I believe that my skills in this arena may be helpful in developing palliative treatments for those who struggle… with tinnitus especially. Maybe one day I can find a way to be useful in that regard. Beyond treatment developments, it's the only positive thing I can offer from this experience.

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@audioman I noticed that you wished to post a URL to a google search with your message. You will be able to add URLs to your posts in a few days. There is a brief period where new members can't post links. We do this to deter spammers and keep the community safe. Clearly the link you wanted to post are not spam, so allow me to post it here.

– Search results for FX322 https://www.google.com/search?q=fx+322&oq=FX&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j69i59j35i39j69i65l2j69i61j69i60l2.2062j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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@colleenyoung

@audioman I noticed that you wished to post a URL to a google search with your message. You will be able to add URLs to your posts in a few days. There is a brief period where new members can't post links. We do this to deter spammers and keep the community safe. Clearly the link you wanted to post are not spam, so allow me to post it here.

– Search results for FX322 https://www.google.com/search?q=fx+322&oq=FX&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j69i59j35i39j69i65l2j69i61j69i60l2.2062j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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This study is fascinating. The word 'cure' has not been related to SNHL until recently. Thank you for sharing.

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Last interesting addition…

Obviously my industry is chiefly concerned with hearing. Luckily several LEGENDARY audio engineers had a very deep and detailed conversation about hearing, working with hearing loss, and understanding hearing from the perspective of "audio workers"

PureMix Mentors | Andrew Talks to Awesome People Hearing Health Panel Discussion

The panel includes Susan Rogers (engineer for Purple Rain and Prince), Giles Martin (son of George Martin producer of Beatles records), etc.

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@audioman

Last interesting addition…

Obviously my industry is chiefly concerned with hearing. Luckily several LEGENDARY audio engineers had a very deep and detailed conversation about hearing, working with hearing loss, and understanding hearing from the perspective of "audio workers"

PureMix Mentors | Andrew Talks to Awesome People Hearing Health Panel Discussion

The panel includes Susan Rogers (engineer for Purple Rain and Prince), Giles Martin (son of George Martin producer of Beatles records), etc.

Jump to this post

This organization might be of interest to you.
Association of Adult Musicians with Hearing Loss
https://www.musicianswithhearingloss.org

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