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Thread: Hearing loss through Noise or earinfections (and some other questions)?

  1. #1

    Default Hearing loss through Noise or earinfections (and some other questions)?

    Hi all,

    So I have been questioning this a few years now. I started making housemusic since I was like 17. Around my 21th I got an earinfection on my right ear after which I clearly noticed a loss in higher frequencies. After a small test at the ENT a mild loss was confirmed in the high frequencies around 6-8k (asuming after the 8k a large part was lost too, but can still hear up to like 15k). So ok, after this I was warned and was a sign I had to watch out more with the volume of my headphones. However, after another earinfection on my left ear about 2.5 years ago (which was my 'good' ear) I created a small tinnitus and also notable loss of frequencies in the high in a period of about a few days time. 2 weeks later the ENT told me I suffered from a middle earinfection. I was devastated, because making music means quite a lot to me. Luckily Im still able to hear good enough that my music doenst suffer because of it, but it has got me really worried because these 2 events happened in a span of a few days and both got my hearing notable worse, although not that worse that its the end of the world. I now do a yearly hearingtest at the ENT.

    The ENT told me however that the hearing loss I suffered (mild, dropoff starting at 6-8k) was a clear sign of noise induced hearing loss. Which I find strange because the way I experienced it was that my hearing clearly dropped in the high frequencies after both the earinfections. My question is, how are these 2 events related? I am 100% sure that both my ears got noticable worse after these earinfections, but it was just strange to me that my ENT told me it was noise-related.

    Also, I have to admit I am just sooo worried that an event like this will happen again. It feels like im at a limit in my hearing that if it gets any worse, it will make my music suffer, and I am in my last year of university studying....right, music. So my last question is: should I be worried? and what can I do to prevent earinfections from f*cking up my ears in the future? Next to that Im doing as much as I can to prevent noise induced hearing loss, like dont make music at too loud levels, take a break often, wearing made earplugs to events etc.

  2. Default

    There is some academic dispute about the noise notch, however it is often an indicator. What could have happened is that your ear infection made your conductive hearing worse - which you noticed - then came back so gradually that you didn't notice it. Since you were already focusing on what you could hear you noticed difficulties more, went to the ENT and the noise induced hearing loss was discovered.

    Generally, ear infections cause a conductive loss so you would expect all frequencies to be affected.
    Bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Mixed hearing loss in left ear with audiogram showing the "best" the glue ear has been.

    Hidden Content

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by luna_shovegood View Post
    There is some academic dispute about the noise notch, however it is often an indicator. What could have happened is that your ear infection made your conductive hearing worse - which you noticed - then came back so gradually that you didn't notice it. Since you were already focusing on what you could hear you noticed difficulties more, went to the ENT and the noise induced hearing loss was discovered.

    Generally, ear infections cause a conductive loss so you would expect all frequencies to be affected.
    Thanks!

    It was pretty clear to me however I didnt notice a conductive hearing loss. Hearing tests also show this result (between 0-4000 hz, my hearing is ok, but after that it really starts to tumble down). It was really present in the higher frequencies after both infections and I rememberd I clearly heared the difference when mixing/making music over a small period of time (matter of days). Next to that, while having my last infection I also started developing chronical Tinnitus on my left ear which has a tone that lies around 10-12K.

    That being said I do not deny that noise-induced damage didnt play a role as both my ears show a pretty similar slope. Its only a little bit more present and noticabe in the left one
    Last edited by neoking; 12-07-2016 at 08:19 PM.

  4. #4

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    I had much the same experience as you. I am convinced that the hearing in my left ear was no worse than that in my right before the sudden onset of a severe ear infection. But my audi still asks me every time she looks at my audiogram whether I shoot guns regularly. That said, this:

    Quote Originally Posted by luna_shovegood View Post
    What could have happened is that your ear infection made your conductive hearing worse - which you noticed - then came back so gradually that you didn't notice it. Since you were already focusing on what you could hear you noticed difficulties more, went to the ENT and the noise induced hearing loss was discovered.
    This is the first plausible explanation I've seen for my experience that doesn't involve sudden loss due to ear infection. I'm still at a loss to explain the asymmetry, however.
    250 500 1K 2K 3K 4K 6K 8K
    L 15 15 15 20 40 55 65 40
    R 5 5 5 10 20 25 25 20
    My Aids: Hidden Content

  5. #5

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    Just wondering Neoking: what is your audiogram profile in its entirety? Isn't it possible that with headphones you could compensate for your hearing loss by having higher quality audio right in the ears? (I'm not talking streaming in any sense of the word - which still remains pretty crappy on the audiophile scale.)

    Also: were you taking any medications for those ear infections? I toss that out, cuz my own experience with hearing loss and tinnitus began at age 14. I had an ear infection, took medication, promptly got tinnitus in both ears, and still suffered hearing loss afterwards. Like worse-case scenario.

    Sometimes medications can cause tinnitus and/or hearing loss (esp if antibiotic).
    HAs from 1985>Starkey>Phonak>Oticon Agil Pro ITE>Oticon Opn miniRITE Trial (11/16)

    KHz 0.25...0.5...1.0...2.0...3.0...4.0....6.0...8.0

    Left ..65....80....80....65.....65....60....65....90
    Right 65....80....80....75.....75....70....65....90

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Bluejay View Post
    Just wondering Neoking: what is your audiogram profile in its entirety? Isn't it possible that with headphones you could compensate for your hearing loss by having higher quality audio right in the ears? (I'm not talking streaming in any sense of the word - which still remains pretty crappy on the audiophile scale.)

    Also: were you taking any medications for those ear infections? I toss that out, cuz my own experience with hearing loss and tinnitus began at age 14. I had an ear infection, took medication, promptly got tinnitus in both ears, and still suffered hearing loss afterwards. Like worse-case scenario.

    Sometimes medications can cause tinnitus and/or hearing loss (esp if antibiotic).
    It is most definitely possible but atm I dont do this because my hearing loss isnt that prominent for me that its needed. Also I dont see what different audioquality on both ears would achieve.
    I didnt take any medication as far as I know that causes hearing loss (not something serious but more general things like paracetamol, nose spray).

    If you dont mind I will steal your layout for my audiogram :P
    Please note that it might not seem very bad compared to most guys here, but if you work a lot with music and mixing like I do I do notice it a lot.
    KHz 0.25...0.5...1.0...2.0....4.0....6.0...8.0
    Left ..05 ...15....10....05.....05.... 45....50
    Right 10....15....10....10.....10... 35....40


    Last edited by neoking; 12-22-2016 at 03:25 PM.

  7. #7

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    ^^^^ LOL! I myself *stole* this layout from some other poster here, and to whomever designed it first: BIG THANKS! It just makes it easier for some of the more experienced users and professionals here to provide advice based on your actual audiogram.

    Hey, NO HARD (of hearing) feelings for your results vs mine. I've already claimed "Queen of the Deaf & Damned" here. ;-)

    Again, if music is your passion, and mixing music is your profession, my humble advice is make HEARING priority #1. If that means wearing headphones, so be it. If it means wearing Lyric (utterly in the canal!) LUCKY YOU. Just accept that you have acknowledged a concern and there is most definitely treatment out there for one with your low level of loss. GOOD LUCK in getting this attended to to your satisfaction.
    HAs from 1985>Starkey>Phonak>Oticon Agil Pro ITE>Oticon Opn miniRITE Trial (11/16)

    KHz 0.25...0.5...1.0...2.0...3.0...4.0....6.0...8.0

    Left ..65....80....80....65.....65....60....65....90
    Right 65....80....80....75.....75....70....65....90

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