I have a couple of questions about tympanoplasty surgery results, but first I think it is fitting to give you a little background information. In July 1999, at the age of 20, it was discovered that I had two very large perforations in both of my ears. The perforations were larger than 50% of the eardrum. The doctor said that if I do not have the T operations, I will slowly begin to lose my hearing with about 5 years time. At the time, like so many Americans, I didn't have insurance coverage, so I had to go without the operation. In December 2002, I developed an ear infection in the right ear, which was treated with some antibiotics. Then in August 2003, I developed another ear infection in my right ear after getting water in it while swimming. This too was treated with antibiotics after two weeks. In December 2003, I got really sick. I think it was some sort of upper chest infection. My ears, nose and throat became swollen and clogged up and not to mention my upper chest hurt whenever I breathed. During the time I was ill, I was extremely depressed over some personal things in my life. Sometime during my sickness I developed a ringing in my ear. At first I thought it was the mini fridge in my room, so I turned it off, but the noise in my head didn't turn off. This prompted me to immediately see the ENT doctor. After seeing him, I decided that I would have the T surgery, which I could do now that I had insurance. I had a hearing test performed before the operation. The hearing test revealed that air was at 50db for the lowest frequency tested (250). The 8000 Frequency was at about 40db as well. The speech frequencies were at about 20db. There were no complications after the surgery and the ringing went away completely three weeks post surgery. My post surgery audiogram revealed that my hearing was 5db at 250 (I am pleased with this) but the 8000 level was only improved by 10db to 30db. The speech frequencies improved to about 10db and 6000 was at 20db. About one and a half months after the ringing went away, I went swimming, without earplug. While swimming I got some water into my ear. Shortly thereafter I listed for the ringing to if the water affected it and sure enough, it did. The ringing came back right then there and has stayed ever since.
1. I know that I should be happy about the fact that the hole closed ok and my hearing is improved a bit. I want to know how I can get the air bone gap closed even further. My bone test revealed that my hearing is -10db for all the frequencies and -5db for the 8000 level.
2. Is it possible to get the air bone gap to within 5db?
3. Is it normal for the higher frequency not to improve as much as the lower one because higher frequency sounds do not vibrate the eardrum as much?
4. Should I expect my ear to feel full or kinda like glue if I get a T operation?
5. Why did the ringing go away then come back?
6. When I turn my neck to the left side I can feel the muscles pulling on the inside of the ear. What does this mean? And what should I do?
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