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Perforation of ear, distortion, sensitivity to loud sounds, please help me.
Hello all, my name is Cory and I am 18. I am male and for some time now (past few years maybe) I have been experienceing some form of distortion and fuzziness in my left ear. When I hear a sound, it sounds fine up to a certain point, when my left ear just seems to distort (the way a speaker with too much volume distorts) and everything gets really fuzzy and sounds like it's buzzing. It's difficult to describe, and it has been irritating me for some time. I am purchasing a nice car audio sound system soon, and if there is a problem with my hearing, I would like it sorted out before so I can fully enjoy my stereo.

When I was younger, I understand I had quite a few ear infections. Does anyone have any ideas on what might be wrong with my left ear?  I would greatly appreciate any help on the matter. I take my hearing very very seriously, and I listen to music at very low volumes, and wear earplugs the entire time I am at work. (Construction/ job-site) Thank you all so very much.
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Did you try decongestants?  My dad is trying that now and thinks the ear is better. He still hears pitch distortions with loud music though. I think it has been going on about a month. He has been to an audiologist, then will see the ENT next month. Was the MRI just to check out everything or did you request it yourself?
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2084355 tn?1332364382
Could you have had an ear infection without knowing it? Not all ear infections have the obvious symptoms of Fever and Pain. I'm not quite sure how mine started. I wish I could go back to the point before it started and do something preventive but at least I don't have what I called the psudo-tinnitus anymore and I couldn't imagine having real tinnitus. I'm hoping otic distortions that are caused by ear infections clear up.
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How long have the optic distortions been going on?  My dad is going on a month almost. It seemed to be better, but loud music distorts still.
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2084355 tn?1332364382
The Otic Distortion has been going on for about a couple of months now. It occurs when someone yells near me or I yell or if music is loud. I had an ear infection that started about the middle of January and my doctor suggested decongestants first and it wasn't helping then after 3 weeks of useless decongestants he finally decided to put me on Augmentin 875mg. When I was put on that I had developed a ringing in my ear. How I describe the Otic distortion is that when I put the head phones on max it starts to sound crackly but when I have it at a moderate level. I have to call the ENT back to see if they can refer Me to an audiologist. It really ***** when one uses their hearing for pleasure and they come down with an infection that can screw things up.
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My ears have been ringing since 1991....  It really doesn't bother me that much at this point, so hang in there. I am a flute and piccolo player, so it kind of comes with the territory especially for piccolo. My dad is the one having distortions pitch wise which is very frustrating since he is a vocalist. I think he also just has some plain hearing loss...mostly from abuse from rehearsals, concerts, loud music in general. More research is neede on this!!  We are possibly going to try another audiologist who would be willing to look into the displacusis instead of just saying they are not familiar with it. I will pat if I find out anything else!
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I woke up with this.. has a slight hiss the night before, and then woke up the next day. Fell over, as I wasn't expecting it. My hearing was just like a blown speaker, with every noise distorted and crackling. I was working at heights that day, and was dizzy. So the doc put me on Serc (which is for meniere's disease - which I dont have. I stopped taking them after a few days.

The consultant at the ENT sent me for the MRI. He wanted to check for infection, tumor, or gunge in my middle ear.. None of which were there.

As I said, the distortion got better it's self. It's still there, but much less noticable. The tinitus got better the day I got my MRI results.

I was told my distortion was from pressure damage - but not ruled out stress. Tinitus and hearing issues are often not really their. Thats why ENT or any other doctor can't actually fix it.

Placeabo's work better than real medicine in most cases, as you BELIEVE it will work. Belief is a strong healer. Placebos have been known to fix heart disease!

Anyway - I feel for you all, as I thought there was no hope. I am happy with my life, and my problem - I don't really see it as a problem anymore.



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I also have TMJ on the same side as the ear that distorts. Are you currently being treated for TMJ? If so, what type of treatment, are you wearing a splint or did you get surgery? Any improvement?
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Wow, I can't believe so many people have this problem! I've been trying to find out information for years, but I just could not think how to describe my symptoms, so it took a while to find this page. I'm a singer, and since I was about 12 I have been getting this problem, and up until about 3 years ago it only ever happened when I hit big notes, so I have to assume it's my own voice that has caused it :) although lately anything can set it off, from putting forks in the drawer to laughing too loudly, but I don't mind that, it's when it disrupts my singing that I get upset-I find it impossible to stay in tune when it happens. Plugging my ear stops it, but I don't like singing like that. I think I'm just going to have to wear ear plugs and deal with it though-originally it was just in my right, now it's in my left a bit too.
It gets especially bad whenever I have a cold, anyone else get that? If I have a really bad cold, I have to go to the bathroom to blow my nose when I'm at work, because once I blow my nose I have to wait for the room to stop spinning, and I'd rather be in private :)
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Hi Everyone,

    I have the same exact hearing problem but I know it's caused by my jaw/TMJ. Certain frequencies would lead to a buzzing/static/distorted sound, and it's set off by loud sounds. When I first started having this problem, I thought it was due my cold bc I developed eustachian tube dysfunction, but it turned out to be my jaw!

    I know that it's caused by my jaw bc I've seen a few TMJ dentists and have worn a few different splints/night guards, and only wearing it for one night, my hearing changed. The first dentist I saw made me worse. The second dentist I saw improved my hearing by a lot for a month, BUT then he decided to increase my splint (making my jaw opened really wide), the distorted/static/buzzing sound came back again...that jerk =(

    I have also seen 10 ENT specialists prior to the dentists I 've seen, and not one of them knew what I was talking about. It was my chiropractor who mentioned that TMJ can cause a myriad a strange ear problems. I guess this is a new/rare TMJ symptom that hasn't been discovered by doctors yet.
     I also see that there are a few others who have posted on here also have jaw problems. Therefore,  I strongly suggest that you guys get your jaws checked. An MRI was what diagnosed me with TMJ. It showed that the disc completely slipped. Other symptoms I had was a lot of clicking when I eat/talk, and some ear pain. I hope this helps! Please KIT if you guys get diagnosed w/ TMJ and your results with treatment.
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Found some info for some of you who experience the "blown speaker" crackling. Feel free to email me for more info!

Idiopathic Stapedial Muscle Spasm-

[Idiopathic stapedial muscle spasm creates a rough, crackling, rumbling noise in the ear. External sounds, such as music tones, water faucets, and voices, are known to accentuate the spasms. Physical examination reveals a normal tympanic membrane with rhythmic contractions synchronous with the noise. History and physical examination are sufficient for diagnosis. The disease is usually self-limited and remits with time; reassurance is often sufficient. Recalcitrant cases may be treated by middle ear exploration with division of the stapedius and tensor tympani muscles. Although the operation abolishes the symptoms, it is rarely necessary.]
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Hey spenditos, I read your post about using the EarDoc and Neti Pot for your ear problems.  I went ahead and purchased an EarDoc online and have tried Neti Pot for a cold once before to no avail, but I'll give it a go again--and I've been using eardrops for a bit now.  You mentioned some other tips and theories you would provide upon request here on the forum, could you enlighten us please, we're all ears!  :)
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3118195 tn?1341973272
   Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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3118195 tn?1341973272
Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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3118195 tn?1341973272
Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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3118195 tn?1341973272
Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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3118195 tn?1341973272
Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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3118195 tn?1341973272
Ive narrowed this problem down to Eustachian tube dysfunction , i had a tough case of it a couple years ago and have a little spell every now and then on and off and the swimmers ear stuff you can buy at the drug store ..basically alcohol usually opens it up over night or after a couple days . The distortion WILL go away . Put that stuff in there and plug your ear with some cotton . Hang in there . Also have found some interesting links on clearing your Eustachian tubes with nasal steroids and a neti pot .   Joseph , contact me at ***@**** for more details
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Hi everyone, 19 year old here with the same problem in my right ear... only happens at certain frequencies. Doctors arent helping.... I had a few ear infections when i was younger from swimming. I was listening to my ipod a lot when I first noticed it about 8 months ago (though not at excessive volumes). its gotten slightly worse but still bearable. probably happens on about 25% of music which is annoying but bearable. aside from that, people talking louder etc. can set it off. blowing my ears sometimes helps. My life is not very stressful at all so I don't think thats it... I'll try to stay off caffiene and also to clean my sinus and see if that helps, thanks. Hopefully someone can find an effective way to cure this...
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I'm 24 and I've had this problem with my left ear for years. I just blew it off as a minor annoyance since it happened so rarely, but recently I've started to wonder if/how it was related to my frequent migraines. Yours is the first post that I've found that mentions this problem in conjunction with migraines. Thanks for the information!
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Can't believe this thread started on 2006 and there are no "success stories" :(

I suffer from the same problem with a very important difference which I'll mention in a minute.

-My left hear distorts the sound after it reaches a certain volume.

-It also happens when there is an ongoing sound and someone talks on top of it even if it is not that loud.

-No, I don't have problems hearing people speaking at low volume or... anything at low volume, Did the whole test thing and came up normal.

-Popping my hears is very difficult for me (have to blow really hard so it scares me) but it will help for about 10 seconds then it comes back.

-Pulling my hears back and down, up to a point (without using my hands, I can move my hears ) really helps but it is very difficult to find the right spot and impossible to hold for long.

-There is NO tinnitus or weird noises when everything is quiet

-it gets worst when I'm congested, but it doesn't go away if I take meds for that congestion.


This started probably at 18, I am now 30, I play guitar, and bass, and used to play sax and love music and this problem drove me away from taking it more seriously back in the day.

Yes I was exposed to loud music growing up but usually if it was for a long period of time I would use hear plugs.

Growing up rhinitis was very common, and I'm pretty allergic to dust and whatnot.


************************
The thing that differs from the other cases is that I used to have this on BOTH hears, I basically couldn't play guitar anymore, I couldn't hear myself.

I then had a stupid but very fortunate accident with a Q-tip, yes your momma was right, it happens.  I left it on my hear for a minute to pick up something, when my hand came back up looking for it, I missed and instead of grabbing it I bumped it in good, almost only the opposite tip was showing. it was very loud and shocking I even felt to the floor, but wasn't that painful. Went to the doctor, they just covered my hear and said that we could only wait and it would heal itself and hope for no hearing lost.

I didn't lost any hearing, I was lucky, but I was even more lucky when I noticed that  my "injured" hear was not distorting sounds any more.

************************

My right hear is perfect now, my left hear is worst than ever :(  I will go back to a doctor to see if I get some help, I would actually pay someone to pop a Q tip up my bad hear if it wasn't that dangerous
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Hi, i'm 20 and also have this issue in my left ear, and is quite bothersome. i think i see a pattern here. i read a lot of drummers have issues in the left ear as well. its because the frequencies of the snare and hi hat are coming in strong on your left side. the only thing that we can all do from here on out is prevent it from getting any worse, wear ear protection!! unless you want to be half deaf
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I've got the same problem here. It's unfortunate that no one has seemed to find a cure, or fix.

I am almost 21 and I've been experiencing this problem for about 2 or 3 years now. I am a pianist (and singer) and I can hardly play the piano by itself anymore, let alone sing along, without experiencing this distortion. It's getting quite and simply makes my practice time unbearable. Also, at a concert, the huge crowd cheering and clapping almost ALWAYS triggers it (not sure what frequency that noise can average out to) but surprisingly, the loud music doesn't trigger it as much.

I can try to describe it best as more of a physical problem in my left ear. It's like the hairs in my ear are loose, and vibrating together when certain frequencies enter my ear, causing a sound *like* distortion or fuzz. I feel like the sound itself isn't distorted, but rather an extra distortion-like noise is generated on top. I can physically feel a very light vibration as well sometimes. It only seems to happen when I play in the mid-high range of the piano, but I can play as loud as I want in the low range.

I read a post elsewhere that someone experiencing the problem grew out of it and has not experienced it for years, which brings some light to the situation, but in the meantime, it seems that mine is getting worse. Maybe someday these hairs will break or something and the distortion will stop.

(Of course, I am simply trying to physically represent the situation. I really don't know if it has to do with hairs, it could really be anything).
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Hi - I have just stumbled on this list after 15 years of suffering tinnitus and hyperacusis. I am also a drummer and guitarist and it was all set off by one loud gig when I was 42. I have managed to live with the tinnitus and get to sleep at night, I have musician's ear plugs at 25db and wear them anytime I am playing music, or going to gigs or even sometimes just walking down the street...I cannot bear to play drums without them as it hurts...just like when in a cafe and someone crashes the cups and saucers together! But in the past few years I have also experienced the crackling in my right ear at certain frequencies. It started at band practice but I also agree with many others on this list that someone laughing or clapping next to me can set it off...I just was playing guitar and noticed the G note on the top E string was the frequency that set it off...not sure what HZ that is....but I'm amazed that other people also describe it as like a broken speaker as that is exactly how I have tried to describe it to my ENT, who like all the others was not really interested and said it could be a 'floppy eardrum' but offered no solutiuons....also sometimes, like now, if I just scratch the right side of my head, it creates an echo crackle in my ear a split second later...weird....and finally like most others, my hearing is fine according to the audiologist!
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I've suffered progressive hearing loss due to a several sinus infections and several loud rock concerts. My last "big" sinus infection left me with tinitus in the left ear, but also made me really notice the distortion as well. I'm a guitar player and have a home studio, so I have been able to isolate the frequencies that cause the most trouble. Like many of you, I have gone to an audiologist and all they did was want to sell me a hearing aid for $3000.00.

An interesting thing I have discovered is that if I push on the little "nub" that is at the outside of my ear while I hear distortion, the distortion is lessened. I also notice if I over-extend my jaw, I can make my left ear pop, which also helps reduce distortion. This is just temporary though and it will come right back after a short amount of time. I'm curious to know if ANYONE has been to an audiologist that is prescribing anything other than a hearing aid... there definitely seems to be more going on here than meets the ear.
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I'm 30 years old and I've been suffering from the same issue with my left ear for around 6 or 7 years. In college, I had a really bad ear infection in my left ear. I was in school for sound engineering at the time and decided to go see a doctor who told me my eardrum would most likely rupture as a result of the ear infection. My infection eventually subsided and my eardrum never did rupture, but, in the next few months, especially when wearing in-ear headphones, I started to notice my left ear would distort like a blown speaker when exposed to mid- and high-range frequency content at a certain sound level. I immediately went to an audiologist who could find nothing wrong and offered little in the way of a reasonable explanation.

My story is very much like the hundreds posted here and elsewhere. I suffered from an ear infection and now my eardrum distorts like a blown speaker when exposed to loud and harsh sounds. However, my training in audio and acoustics leads me believe that I know what happened and, unfortunately, there is no cure.

I believe that we literally have blown our eardrum just like you blow a speaker. Consider that within your speaker driver, a cone is mounted to a flexible surround that pushes in and out to create the compression and rarefaction waves that make up sound. When a speaker cone is pushed too hard and is forced out beyond it's limits, called over-excursion, you blow your speaker. At this point, although the driver itself isn't damaged and still produces sound at low levels, there is a noticeable distortion that occurs as the speaker is pushed to a certain sound level and as it tries to reproduce a certain frequency range. It is at this point that the driver is removed from the speaker cabinet and gets re-coned, meaning the damaged surround and cone are cut out and replaced.

As I mentioned, I've suffered from this problem for 6 or 7 years and, as a working sound engineer, I've noticed a few things about having a, "blown eardrum."

Mid-range sound, more specifically frequency content from about 1kHz to 6kHz, at a certain level tends to trigger the distortion. HOWEVER, I don't seem to notice the distortion all the time. It seems to come and go with variable severity based on a couple factors. My ear will distort earlier and more severely when I'm extremely tired (running on 3 or 4 hours of sleep) and, often, when I'm exposed to the cold for long periods of time (10-25 degrees).

I don't know if this helps anyone out there, but I wanted to at least tell my story. Good luck.
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Hi, im dean from uk.  29 and a semi professional rock singer of 10yrs (solo+bands).  I started noticing hearing 'dirrerences' about 5 years ago now.  I had two seperate hearing tests done at the time with both confirming i have apparently lost what you would expect average joe to have lost at 60yrs old.  I was mortified!  Took it on the chin as best i could and shot out of there.

Since i started having these problems i have increasingly been able to 'feel' my ears with something clearly not right with them, not just high end loss.  A trip or three to the doctor over the years have come back with no physical problems.  The last trip to the doc came back saying i had fluid behind the drum preventing things to work efficiently.  This sounded more promising as to finding a possible half-cure at least to my problems.  Unfortunately i was still not referred to an ENT specialist, instead was sent away and told to use the head over boiling water thing to work it loose and flush it all out.  Needless to say i wasn't convinced and can still feel my ears as if theres something going on inside.

My latest problems include, mild tinnitus / unable to equalise both ears properly especially noticeable travelling to and from gigs when climbing the mountains in the car / when my car alarm goes off sometimes both ears distort which is super-uncomfortable! / unable to hold a decent conversation with anything in the background / anxiety / unable to stick to routines / lack of concentration / raging ******* mad that they, as yet, don't seem to give a ****!

Surely theres some sort of proceedure which can help with fluid trapped behind the ear which i am convinced has been the problem all along!

I am going to book myself in again this week and demand a meeting with the ENT at least.  I'll let you know what happens.

For people interested, currently i use those high fidelity ear-plugs things (er20 i believe)  as much as i can when im not gigging.  I find some form of comfort in doing this.  Believe it or not it actually helps filter out some annoying background noise and in most cases you hear the things closest to you much clearer, in my case anyhow.  Being the singer tho, i simply cant use them live, as soon as my jaw moves it just confuses everything lol.
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Anyone find any solutions to this problem? I've had this same issue, and strangly as other posters, in my left ear only, I never notice the distortion or crackling noises unless in high decibel or extremely crowded loud environments, also, seemingly strange, I notice it when listening to headphones at a certain higher volume, but when I remove the headphone from my right ear the distortion leaves my left, as it the distortion is almost my ears tryin to equalize the noise that it's hearing to the other ears level, and causing distortion. Strange. Also, as other sufferers, I'm 21 and have been experiencing this for the last year or two. Have been told my hearing is fine by doctors, or that it's maybe just a temporary build up of trapped inner ear fluid. No solutions. Very annoying, please help!
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@DumboDoctor --- Find a good neuro-otologist. Most ENT docs won't know about the problem as it's still relatively still unknown. Look up to see my posts, I've posted a few theories,
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hey man ! I've been experiencing the exact same problems and I'm also a pianist and signer.. I was wondering how you were feeling today, almost a year after you've shared your story. ?
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hey man ! I've been experiencing the exact same problems.. I was wondering how you were feeling today, almost 2 year after you've shared your story. ?
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hey man ! I've been experiencing the exact same problems and I'm also a pianist and signer.. I was wondering how you were feeling today, almost a year after you've shared your story. ?
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I use to have this problem until recently, it is caused by ACID REFLEX.  Acid reflex isn't the initial cause, but it effects or triggers it.  If you have chronic acid reflex than you will get this every time you play loud music.

The cure for me was fresh ginger root (1/2 tsp.) and lemon tea once a day. I also take a teaspoon of baking soda with water ever once in a while.

If it works for you, you should notice a difference in 48hrs.
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Finding this site and fellow sufferers has been extremely helpful. I also have suffered from static/crackling when certain frequencies hit my left ear .

I went to the ENT specialist and like many of you, received a very positive hearing test. His explanation was that the ear muscles that hold the tiny bones were going into spasm at certain frequencies. He didn't offer any help other than to protect my ears.

Have any of you experimented with muscle relaxers (valium or flexoril) and determined if they help this condition? It would be good to prove/dis-prove my ENT's spasm theory.
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That's a great diagnosis! I've really taken an interest in that theory and that diagnosis seems very plausible (for me at least). I take anti-seizure medication (Carbamazepine) in combination with an anti-depressant (Mirtazapine), which both have some muscle relaxant properties and they have help me tremendously by increasing my "threshold" to certain frequencies. My doctor has prescribed me Diazepam (which is a pretty good muscle relaxant) and it's helped me a lot when the two former drugs aren't effective on some days. I don't take it that often as you could develop a tolerance to them after, rendering them less effective over time and an increase in dosage to keep their efficacy. I've been taking both Carbamazepine and Mirtazepine for 2 years now and they're still effective.You could ask your doctors about them. Hope to hear from ya, cheers!


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Tengo el problema desde hace un año, tengo 18 años y soy músico.. según los otorrinos y audiologos mi audición esta perfecta, es estresante pero lo soporto, para ensayar con mi banda e ir a conciertos uso unos tapones/atenuantes especiales que me mando a hacer el audiologo. También tomo un complemento de vitamina B1 B6 B12. Soy de Aregentina
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Hear I thought I was the only one. I get this loud fuzzy static sound in my left hear. Even distorted. And everything sounds muffled. I'm a musician so it really suck sometime when I'm focused on learning something new. But it's only happens in when something is very loud in certain keys. If something is in Bm or A or a flat and a sharp. I'm fine. But when I hear c f am and g.... Complete static. And it sound becomes very uncomfortable  .  At a low volume I'll be fine. But when something is loud. Even a movie. In those keys. It *****.... I went to a dr.... The dr looked at me like was crazy and said it was allergies... The meds he gave me never helped... I believe my ear is damaged from a number of things. Or just music really in different ways... Headphones..... Amps... Playing an electric guitar full blast with headphones... My head used to buzz for hours.....and my ear would ring... Being around drums ... Also I believe I use my left ear to Focus  harder. Perhaps it's more stressed. This has been going on for 3 years ...
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11512837 tn?1418897748
Hello

It's nice knowing that we all have common issues, I think we can help each other.
My left ear returnes noises on high/sharp sounds, every time i hear a sharp sound after 2 milliseconds my ear responds with another tick sound, it's over annoying, has anyone experienced this kind of stuff. I'm a drummer & use earplugs always, but obviously there is something wrong.
No doctor is adble to help me.
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I understand what everyone is talking about.  I have this issue in my left ear - I think as the result of swimmer's ear as a kid.  (I'm 30 now.)  Loud music will cause a static sound in my left ear.  My problem now, however, is a recent traumatic perforation (4 mm) of my right eardrum.  It happened in Sept. 2014 and took two months to fill in, but now I'm plagued with a broken speaker sound when I swallow.  Clicking in the morning when I wake up, followed by popping in that ear every time I swallow.  The crackling (and broken speaker sounds) bothers me the worst, though.  Seen 4 ENTs.  The third claims the epithelial tissue that healed over needs time to regain tensile strength.  The fourth (seen yesterday) thinks it's inflammation of my inner ear nerves that's heightening those middle ear sounds and gave me prednisone (an oral steroid).  Does anyone have any experience like this?  I feel like I'm totally alone here.  Causing me a lot of anxiety/stress every day because I have to hear it every time I swallow and my eustachian tube opens up.  (Noise only in the damaged right ear.)  Please ... if you know anything that can help ... please respond.  It would mean the world to me.

Chris
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13403489 tn?1429796717
This thread is 5 years old but just came across it now, your question is mine exactly, do we know if this inner noise does any further damage, I can just ignore if I know it's not doing damage!!!
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13403489 tn?1429796717
New here, finally found others that have the same issue as me. I've been going on merry go rounds between ENT's & specialists, have had a CT scan, MRI, hearing tests, balance tests, everything with no answers, "you're normal" HA! No, my ear is not normal.  I am 29 and have first experienced it when I was 17. In my left ear (i'm left handed, I know someone mentioned that same ear, same hand possible connection).  My burning question is when we hear this happen, does it do any further damage? If it's happening when I'm talking loud, I stop, or if i'm hearing something loud, I turn it down or leave, I can't go to concerts, shooting ranges, I can't sing, I can't yell, if I know it's not doing any damage I can ignore it otherwise i'm convinced It's just making it worse. My hearing tests are all fine, even though I feel like my hearing could be better. Any answers out there yet?!  
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Wow.  So sad now.  Thank you for the info, though.  Something told me this was incurable.
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I noticed that you mentioned that it comes and goes.  So does mine.  I experience the distortion in my left ear.

One thing that is worth mentioning is that I experience the distortion more when I am sleepy or when I haven't had enough sleep.  When I am wide awake, this doesn't happen.  Please try to experiment with this as I am eager to know if I've figured out some kind of "remedy" for you and/or anyone else on here.
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I have the same crackling (blown speaker) sound as well but in my right ear. Every post one here I read all had the problem in their left ear. Some times it feels like it is swollen (that full of water feeling) and will clog and unclog as I talk or listen to music at certain levels. I have not seen my doctor for this issue yet but will post any info I find out if he gives me any.
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I had this problem a couple months ago. It was truly disturbing. I am 40, a nurse, never had problems.... then my left ear started "crackling" whenever water ran in the faucet, the car window was rolled down, a fan was blowing.... I had no idea how distressing it could be to have such an alteration/abnormality to one's hearing. Thank God it stopped over about a month or two. Depressing to hear ENTs have no useful input on what causes it... but not surprising. So much of "medicine" is ruling things out. Doctors do what they can... I am surprised something that produces such common and easily described symptoms isn't easily diagnosed at this point?! It felt kind of petty, but my experience was so distressing... Screwing with your senses is really kind of a torture....  I truly hope your problem resolves like mine did. Whatever ENTs have to say or not, there is hope.
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Hi!! I'm Fabrizio Poletti from Paraguay, y had the same problem for years, went to a lot of ENT's, get a MRI and..NOTHING!! Everything is fine! My audition is normal and perfect.
Irecommend to everyone go to a pshychiatrist, I was diagnosed with social phobia and anxiety.
I never imagined having this, I was always '' normal '' until I appeared this problem

THE CURE
Was taking PAROXETINE who prescribed Psychiatrist, an antidepressant, I'm taking eight months ago and I can tell you I'm almost cured, distortions disappeared by 90%, treatment is one year

Les recomiendo vayan al Psiquiatra y le cuenten su historia, ya descartando cualquier problema fisiologico con los otorrinos por supuesto
Mucha suerte a todos!

Les recomiendo vayan al Psiquiatra y le cuenten su historia, ya descartando cualquier problema fisiologico con los otorrinos por supuesto
Mucha suerte a todos!
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Sensorineural vs. conductive hearing loss:

What most of you probably have is sensorineural hearing loss vs. conductive which is what most people think of when they think of hearing loss (reduction in sound level - older people with hearing aids-type hearing loss).  

Sensorineural hearing loss happens deeper in the middle ear or inner ear.  Symptoms are one or more of the following:  hearing loss ----- distortion (fuzzy, like people talking through wax paper/or talking with their mouth on a microphone/or you are hearing through a torn speaker; sometimes sounds split apart and people have mechanical voices) ------ hyperacusis where some sounds are so loud they can be painful ------ recruitment where sound is not heard until it is so loud it is uncomfortable (why are you yelling at me?) ------ feeling of pressure in the ear or stuffiness like cotton ----- tinnitus (tin'-a-tus) which is various ongoing popping, crackling, static and other noises.  I have had everything from jet engines so intense I staggered when I walked from instinctively moving away from the loud sound to bleep-bleep-bleeps at different frequencies of alien communications to crackling and popping to constant static.  Yes, all of them.

Sensorineural hearing loss generally is due to internal damage of some sort (a hole in the wall of the cochlea, damaged hair cells that pass the vibrations caused by sounds to the auditory nerve, etc.), which can be progressive.  It can be unilateral (one ear) or bilateral (two ears) or progress from unilateral to bilateral.  

I'm sure there are other symptoms I have forgotten.   I am lucky; I have them all, plus vertigo (episodes of violent dizziness and spinning that result in throwing up for hours), which is in remission right now - thank you, God.

Treatment:

You need to get checked out because there may be a major underlying problem, including a tumor.  The difficulty doctors have in diagnosing issues correctly is that they cannot get into the middle and inner ear while you are alive the way they can to your stomach to see if it is cancer, an ulcer, acid reflux, or something else.  So they have to guess based on symptoms and tests and an MRI to rule out what it isn't.  This takes time, false starts and misdiagnoses, many different doctors working together, and many tests - sometimes over and over to see if there is progression.

You need to get a good ENT; there are very few (I have seen five).  Continue until you find one.  I am hoping that the one I've been referred to at Cleveland Clinic (Woodson) is good.  There is a great audiologist at Cleveland Clinic - last name Sandridge.  There is an outstanding oto(ear)-neurologist(nerves/brain) at Ohio State University Medical Center named John Oas.  But he likes to deal more with vestibular (dizziness and balance) issues pertaining to the ear and less with hearing. And, since I have migraine issues that play into this, I am seeing a wonderful migraine specialist at Cleveland Clinic by the name of Stillman.

There is little that can be done short of a cochlear implant, which primarily helps with deciphering voices (not subtle sounds) and costs approximately $40,000, which means insurances and Medicare will only pay in the most dire/deaf cases.  It is my understanding, however, that the newer digital hearing aids can help some people because audiologists can now adjust various different frequencies.  You may only need one, if you are unilateral.  The new ones are much less noticeable; they can go in your ear canals or behind your ears with a clear unnoticeable tube going into the ear. You have 30 days by law to try them, then 30 days to try other ones, and again, until you get the ones you want.  You can try a school for audiology to get discounts on hearing aids and assessments; I went to a local university and got a hearing aid a number of years ago when digitals were just coming out and it did not work, but I am going to try a newer one /or maybe two this time :( / through the Cleveland Clinic.  But, my point - I paid one-half of the cost and visits were $25.  The kids were highly supervised by audiologists who knew their stuff.  Also, if you are in the service or are a veteran (maybe it has to be specifically a war veteran), you may be able to get them through the VA for free or at discount.

What is causing the loss:

Autoimmune Inner Ear Disorder (AIED).  If you have an immediate hearing loss, see a doctor immediately.  If they diagnose AIED, they may be able to save the hearing with steroids, but there is a very short window to do that (I'm thinking 30 days)

Meniere's - the saccule and cochlea swell and maybe burst a membrane and cause nasty, nasty vertigo attacks, and each attack causes further damage and hearing loss

Cochlear hydrops (basically Meniere's without the vertigo)

A cochlear dehiscence or hole in the cochlea

Migraine disorder can affect hearing and vestibular (balance/dizzy) function WITHOUT getting headaches.  Look up migraine associated vertigo (MAV) if you have vertigo or go to migrainedisorders.com for just hearing loss.  Look into this especially if you have increased symptoms after working out or eating something with chocolate, caffeine, dairy, wine, aged cheese or have fluctuation between days with higher and lower barometric pressure.

Large Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome (LVAS) - allows fluid to flow back into the ear.  Look into this if symptoms occur or increase after working out or mimic Meniere's symptoms.  

Mitochondrial disease (Was your mother deaf?) - look into this if symptoms occur after working out or hearing loss is progressive with no fluctuations.

A tumor

Exposure to loud sounds and music

Fluid build-up inside the middle ear, many times caused by infection, which can also, but not necessarily, produce vertigo.

And, I suppose, allergies, sinus disorders and possibly eustachian tube difficulties and Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) (muscle/nerve difficulties in the joint between the head and jaw).  I have not addressed any of these personally.

I am sure there are others.  Those are some of the ones I have encountered on my journey with sensorineural hearing loss.

Mine is Migraine Associated Vertigo with cochlear hydrops or Mitochondrial syndrome (we think), although I am going to ask about LVAS.  For years, we thought it was Meniere's due to terrible, frequent vertigo attacks that seemed to accompany the hearing loss and distortion, but I don't have permanent vestibular (balance) issues indicative of Meniere's, and anti-seizure medication used to treat migraine disorders has stopped the vertigo attacks.

Using your phone as a translator:

If you get to the point that you cannot hear well enough to decipher what others are saying, or need to clarify a word now and then, there is an app called "I can see what you say", in which someone talks into your phone and what they say appears instantly and wirelessly on the screen of a Pebble watch you wear (not sure if Apple's iWatch can use the app).  Pebble watches are about $100 - $150.

Even without the watch, I know that newer Apple phones have dictation on the texting screen.  You can send messages to your own cell phone number.  In other words, you can give your phone to someone to speak a message into the text vs. laborious/time consuming typing texts and you can read what the person said.  On the text keyboard, tap the microphone next to the space bar and talk into the phone.  To be correct, you will need to say the punctuation - Hi comma, Dad, period.  Did you pick up the milk question mark - but a lot of times you can skip this step and still get the value.  You will then tap Done at the bottom of the screen.  It will appear as a text to be edited.  You can read it there. Or send and read it in the thread area.

Good luck, wish you the best on your journey.
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I suffer form slight tinnitus in my left ear and also get a distorted noise in the same ear when listening to certain sounds. Somebody once told me this can be down to damaging the ear drum at some stage in your life; either down to loud noises or ear infections. An ENT doctor told me that once it happens it can come and go as the ear repairs itself.

Also, I wear in ear / almost invisible hearing aids and they mask the tinnitus. I find that hearing aids also help to reduce the distorting affect as I believe this and tinnitus are related.

Like quite  a few people here my ears are 'normal' when looking at them. However, it has been suggested to me that I go for a CAT or MRI scan - and that this will be more conclusive.
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I too experience the same distorted noise. I also suffer from slight tinnitus in the same ear and believe the two are related. I wear in ear / almost invisible hearing aids and this masks the tinnitus, and also helps to reduce any distorting effects.

In terms of diagnosis, an ENT doctor once told me the distorted affect is probably due to either ear infections or loud noises having previously damaged the ear drum. They told me that the affect would probably come and go as the ear repairs itself. I was also advised to go for an MRI or CT scan for more conclusive results, as both my ears looked relatively normal when using traditional / readily available tests.
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My ex-girlfriend had a temper that twice exploded in violence against me.  The 2nd, and last time, she slapped me across my left ear.  I immediately noticed that sounds in my left ear were kind of fizzy, or ringy - distorted, and a bit lower in overall level.  I thought maybe it was a damaged ear drum, and went to the doctor that day, but they didn't see damage. So I'm thinking that she caused damage to the hair cells in the cochlea - which is probably worse than ear drum damage because once the hairs are gone, they're gone.

The distortion happens with moderate to loud sounds, and even with my own voice.  When I think about this or notice the distortion,  I get filled with rage towards her.

Btw, I totally agree with an earlier posters bafflement at why hearing tests only go to 8000 kHz (and are only sine waves at octave-band frequencies)!  It's archaic, particularly given today's technology.
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Did your problem go away? I have a similar issue.
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Did your problem go away? I have a similar issue.
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I have had the same problem for a few years now. I have hearing loss in both ears but only distortion in the left. It distorts from certain noises, myself talking, other people talking to me and sometimes just from moving my jaw or head. I've had a MRI done and they didn't find anything that would be causing it. I'Ve been to two different NTE doctors and have still not got any answers. Its starting to drive me crazy as its hard to hold conversations or even listen to music with headphones. I cant listen to headphones in my left ear at all. It distorts constantly when I try to. Hope you find more help than I did. Im looking for a third DR now. I need answers before I go insane.
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I HAVE A SOLUTION (vitamins B1, B6 and B12)

After about 10 years of having this problem, which was getting worse and worse, to the point of my left ear hearing my own voice distorted, a doctor found the solution.

She prescribed me Milgamma (that's 100mg of Vitamin B1 and 100mg of Vitamin B6) for 3 months, 3 pills per day (20 days with pills, 10 days without pills, for 3 months). I also started taking Vitamin B12 (500micrograms per day), because I was B12 deficient (took a blood test a while back and my B12 levels were at the minimum).

This is my first month of taking vitamins B1, B6 and B12, but the symptoms nearly vanished totally. Sometimes, if I forget to take the vitamins, the symptoms come back, but that's probably because I also work out and jog a lot, and during sports the body tends to elimintate vitamins and minerals. Also, I haven't finished the whole treatment, it's only the first month, so maybe my vitamin levels are still not as high as they should be.

But this is the first thing that ever worked for me, and I'm really friggin' happy. Even my tinnitus seems to have gotten better.

I'm also a musician, and I used to use loud headphones, I see a lot of drummers in here, so loud noise seems to be the thing we all have in common.

Hope that helps :)
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I HAVE A SOLUTION (vitamins B1, B6 and B12)

After about 10 years of having this problem, which was getting worse and worse, to the point of my left ear hearing my own voice distorted, a doctor found the solution.

She prescribed me Milgamma (that's 100mg of Vitamin B1 and 100mg of Vitamin B6) for 3 months, 3 pills per day (20 days with pills, 10 days without pills, for 3 months). I also started taking Vitamin B12 (500micrograms per day), because I was B12 deficient (took a blood test a while back and my B12 levels were at the minimum).

This is my first month of taking vitamins B1, B6 and B12, but the symptoms nearly vanished totally. Sometimes, if I forget to take the vitamins, the symptoms come back, but that's probably because I also work out and jog a lot, and during sports the body tends to elimintate vitamins and minerals. Also, I haven't finished the whole treatment, it's only the first month, so maybe my vitamin levels are still not as high as they should be.

But this is the first thing that ever worked for me, and I'm really friggin' happy. Even my tinnitus seems to have gotten better.

I'm also a musician, and I used to use loud headphones, I see a lot of drummers in here, so loud noise seems to be the thing we all have in common.

Hope that helps :)
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