Damaged Cochlea

Posted by sharondegrouchy @sharondegrouchy, Nov 11, 2020

Distorted hearing loss from gun shooting range. I’ve been to the ENT and audiology. My dB HL is between 60 and 70. Everything vibrates and voices are distorted, music sounds like an old transistor radio with static, and I have tinitus. My cochlea is damaged and I was given 60 MG of Prednisone for a week. Nothing has helped. Doctor indicates that it could be quite awhile before anything happens, but what the heck do you do if you can’t understand any conversations due to the noises. Anyone experience this and what was your outcome?

Has your audiology and ENT group mentioned anything about cochlear implants? From what I know from other people with noise induced hearing loss or sudden hearing loss, steroids can make a difference, but it is usually noted within a short time frame. Of course we know that everyone is different and no one can predict outcomes. Many people with cochlea damage benefit from cochlear implants. Be sure to request information about that option.

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@julieo4

Has your audiology and ENT group mentioned anything about cochlear implants? From what I know from other people with noise induced hearing loss or sudden hearing loss, steroids can make a difference, but it is usually noted within a short time frame. Of course we know that everyone is different and no one can predict outcomes. Many people with cochlea damage benefit from cochlear implants. Be sure to request information about that option.

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Thank you. I'll check out the implants.

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@sharondegrouchy Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect but I'm sorry to hear about what brought you here. It must be extremely difficult to be unable to engage in a two-way conversation. The treatment from your provider has not worked so far and it sounds like you are concerned that you will not fully recover. Did I get that right?

Mayo Clinic Connect has an active Hearing Loss group. I'd like to connect you with members @heatnor @tach @normacarlson @judyca7 @jjc . They may be able to help answer you question, share their own similar experiences, or steer you in the right direction.

At this point it sounds like you are in a brutal waiting game. It might be helpful if you gave members more information regarding your injury and a timeline. May I ask how long ago you were injured?

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@sharondegrouchy How does one cope…? what do you do now to hear better, you ask? It is always good to get a second opinion from a very reputable Clinic. How long ago did you first notice your hearing loss/ tinnitus?
For example, when one goes to a rock concert and the sound is cranked up tooooo loud… when one leaves and goes outside …your hearing loss is very noticable.. but slowly it will come back in an hour or so…hopefully… but not with the gun sound wave. It is so huge that it does physical damage like tearing the paper on a speaker cone.
I was in the military around big guns..back when they used cotton to stuff in your ears to reduce the impact of the shock waves… Of course Cotton would do a lousy job of that…
What sound protection did you use at the gun shooting range? Did you ever measure the sound level in the Shooting range? You can get an app on your smart phone to measure sound level.
The inner ear damage I received from the big gun noise, according to the first ear doctor I went to back in 1979 is not ever going to get better, the tiny hair like sound/vibrations sensing elements in the inner ear were just mowed down, never to rise again…by that huge noise.. So as I aged the hearing loss increased particularly in my good ear.. My left ear (the one that caught the gun shock wave) is profoundly deaf.. so the hearing aid in that ear just broadcasts the sound it receives over to the right ear (it is futile to try to amplify it to the level necessary for that ear to function).
I wish you luck.. Protect the hearing you have.. Go to a very reputable Clinic like Mayo and get help with coping with the condition. Take up a different hobby..

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@ken82

@sharondegrouchy How does one cope…? what do you do now to hear better, you ask? It is always good to get a second opinion from a very reputable Clinic. How long ago did you first notice your hearing loss/ tinnitus?
For example, when one goes to a rock concert and the sound is cranked up tooooo loud… when one leaves and goes outside …your hearing loss is very noticable.. but slowly it will come back in an hour or so…hopefully… but not with the gun sound wave. It is so huge that it does physical damage like tearing the paper on a speaker cone.
I was in the military around big guns..back when they used cotton to stuff in your ears to reduce the impact of the shock waves… Of course Cotton would do a lousy job of that…
What sound protection did you use at the gun shooting range? Did you ever measure the sound level in the Shooting range? You can get an app on your smart phone to measure sound level.
The inner ear damage I received from the big gun noise, according to the first ear doctor I went to back in 1979 is not ever going to get better, the tiny hair like sound/vibrations sensing elements in the inner ear were just mowed down, never to rise again…by that huge noise.. So as I aged the hearing loss increased particularly in my good ear.. My left ear (the one that caught the gun shock wave) is profoundly deaf.. so the hearing aid in that ear just broadcasts the sound it receives over to the right ear (it is futile to try to amplify it to the level necessary for that ear to function).
I wish you luck.. Protect the hearing you have.. Go to a very reputable Clinic like Mayo and get help with coping with the condition. Take up a different hobby..

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Noise induced hearing loss damages the hair cells in the cochlea (inner ear). Once those hair cells have been 'mowed down' or damaged, they do not regenerate. It's important, though, to understand that the auditory nerve, which those tiny hair cells are supposed to stimulate, is most likelyalive and well but is not getting the signals it needs to transmit intelligent sound to the brain. Cochlear implants bypass the damaged cochlea and stimulate the auditory nerve so it can work with the brain. It's pretty amazing. There is some very new information available about cochlear implants at this link. You might want to check it out. https://www.hearingloss.org/international-standards-of-care-for-cochlear-implants/

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@erikas

@sharondegrouchy Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect but I'm sorry to hear about what brought you here. It must be extremely difficult to be unable to engage in a two-way conversation. The treatment from your provider has not worked so far and it sounds like you are concerned that you will not fully recover. Did I get that right?

Mayo Clinic Connect has an active Hearing Loss group. I'd like to connect you with members @heatnor @tach @normacarlson @judyca7 @jjc . They may be able to help answer you question, share their own similar experiences, or steer you in the right direction.

At this point it sounds like you are in a brutal waiting game. It might be helpful if you gave members more information regarding your injury and a timeline. May I ask how long ago you were injured?

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Thank you Erika. I would welcome connections to other members as you mentioned. My original group information is included at the top. I've been told by my doctor that the steroids can take a long time to help my condition, but I don't want to wait too much longer as I am having a lot of tinitus, buzzing and distortion when people are talking to me. I'm wondering about a cochlea implant and how long I should be waiting to make a decision on hearing aids or the implant.

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From the National Institute of Health concerning steroids for hearing loss…
"Oral steroids, such as prednisone, are usually prescribed over the course of 2 weeks to restore hearing. There is only a 2- to 4-week window of time for treatment before hearing loss becomes permanent. Jun 6, 2011"

Steroid Treatments Equally Effective Against Sudden Deafness – NIH http://www.nih.gov › news-events › nih-research-matters ›

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Tell us some more details. What is your age and what is your history of gun use? What kind of "gun" are we talking about. In the Navy guns are huge and carried by ships. In the Army guns are more commonly 155 mm and 105 mm artillery pieces. In the civilian world a gun is more commonly something in the 6 to 8 mm range and fired from the shoulder. Ported guns are much more damaging than unporterd barrels. Was this damage from a one-time event or use over a period of years? and was it with or without hearing protection? Family history has a lot to do with it too.

Gun noise is just that – noise. But it is more complicated than that. The noise is from two sources. First it is from the burning gasses leaving the barrel behind the bullet and the other "noise" is the sonic "crack" of the bullet breaking the sound barrier. Not all guns are supersonic. Some pistols and revolvers are really bad too. Hearing loss from small arms fire tends to be cumulative but permanent damage can result from a single occasion.

Stick with your hearing professionals. Seek second opinions when needed. Learn how to live with hearing loss while you are giving your steroid treatment time to work. And stay connected here.

Jim

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@arrowshooter

Tell us some more details. What is your age and what is your history of gun use? What kind of "gun" are we talking about. In the Navy guns are huge and carried by ships. In the Army guns are more commonly 155 mm and 105 mm artillery pieces. In the civilian world a gun is more commonly something in the 6 to 8 mm range and fired from the shoulder. Ported guns are much more damaging than unporterd barrels. Was this damage from a one-time event or use over a period of years? and was it with or without hearing protection? Family history has a lot to do with it too.

Gun noise is just that – noise. But it is more complicated than that. The noise is from two sources. First it is from the burning gasses leaving the barrel behind the bullet and the other "noise" is the sonic "crack" of the bullet breaking the sound barrier. Not all guns are supersonic. Some pistols and revolvers are really bad too. Hearing loss from small arms fire tends to be cumulative but permanent damage can result from a single occasion.

Stick with your hearing professionals. Seek second opinions when needed. Learn how to live with hearing loss while you are giving your steroid treatment time to work. And stay connected here.

Jim

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@arrowshooter As a Marine I was aboard US Navy ships… One of the incidents of too much noise was from the firing of a 5" gun.. aboard the Battleship Wisconsin.. The dark orange burst of gases from the muzzle was certainly memorable.. Ah, I was young and thought I was indestructible…

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