I'm a 28 year old classical pianist. I have had hyperacusis in my left ear for a few years, and the slightest hearing loss as well as tinnitus in my right ear. The hyperacusis manifests as uncomfortable vibrating when I hear high and sharp frequency: clanking pots and pans, shrieking, a high pitch female voice on the other end of a cell phone, etc. The hearing loss in my right ear is more of a loss of the fullness and warmth of certain instruments, which I notice because of my keen ear. I passed a hearing test no problem; I've protected my ears, used some pink noise treatment to better the hyper acusis, I've been fine.
About 2 weeks ago I managed to hit my right ear on a tender spot, closing my ear flap over my ear hole with a thin and blunt object. It hurt, and later I had accentuated tinnitus in both ears instead of one. What I hear for my tinnitus is 1567.982 Hz, or G6, it can also move down to an F#6 for a millisecond. The tinnitus was driving me mad for a few days; I realized while playing piano that if I played the G6 with my ear near the instrument, my ear seemed to forget about the tinnitus for awhile. So I would go to the piano and play the note for five minutes, and my tinnitus would be alleviated for an hour. Eventually, I found an audio file of the frequency, and I cranked it in to my ears for about 20 minutes to half an hour. While I listened to the frequency with headphones at a medium to high volume, my left ear which has the history of hyperacusis, twitched and vibrated violently throughout. When I finished, the tinnitus was alleviated, but I had the feeling of being at a rock concert, that feeling of distance from moderate sound decibels.
In the next couple of days that feeling of distance alleviated a little, but it was replaced by awful hyperacusis in both ears. A sound like throwing a chicken bone in a trash can, water droplets in a cup, closing a zippo lighter, everything hurt my ears. It was maddening.
A couple more days, and I had pain in my ears, both sides; pain in my sinuses. Feeling of fluid or being underwater physically in my ears, as well as I was hearing like I was underwater. The pressure would change sometimes, and it felt like my ears needed to "pop."
Currently, I wake up with dull pain in the ears, the hyperacusis has almost completely alleviated. But the feeling of distance and pressure in my ears is still prevalent. The pressure has gone down, but it is still prominent. My normal right ear tinnitus returned, completely tolerable. But I am having trouble hearing the warmth and subtleties of my instrument and attack, I feel like my dynamics are out of whack because I'm not hearing them properly because I'm underwater, and the middle tones of the instrument are difficult to hear, especially when they are played against higher pitches. I'm staying calm, but kind of freaking out. I've read about anticipated breakthroughs in regrowing hair cells in the foreseeable future, but that could be 5 years to a decade.
This may sound nuts, but when I have increased blood flow I feel like my hearing is more like normal, like when I lift weights. Am I screwed? My lively hood is being effected. I'm no Beethoven, and I don't have any desire to be a fraction of him.