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Feeling numbness and fullness in ear. Is this feeling due to the damage caused by the noise?

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I have given myself tinnitus by standing next to a speaker 4 weeks ago. I am researching possible strategies for recovery. However, my bad ear does feel physically different to the other good one now. I have a sense of sort of numbness and fullness just in the middle part of my ear. My question is; is this feeling to do with the damage that the noise caused? Thats all I want to know really, if the noise damage to the little hairs in the cochlea causes this numby, full type feeling.
I had a hearing test with an NHS audiologist and he said my hearing is not affected but there's no way he could know that without knowing what I could hear BEFORE the noise damage. I got the classic 'its in your head' which I think is disgusting as its not in my mind.
Posted Thu, 16 Aug 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Neelam Ashish Vanjari 1 hour later
Hi,

Thanks for writing in.
Yes, noise can cause damage to hair cell in cochlea leading to impaired hearing and tinnitus.

You can experience numby and full type of feeling in case of hair cell loss.
Sometimes if hair cells are not damaged completely then temporary hearing loss can get reversed and only tinnitus persists.

I think in your case of audiologist consultation; your hearing may have reversed but tinnitus and full type of feeling has been there.
It takes few weeks to months , to clear up tinnitus.

I hope I have answered your query. In case of doubt, I shall be happy to help you.
Best regards,
Dr. Neelam.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Feeling numbness and fullness in ear. Is this feeling due to the damage caused by the noise? 9 minutes later
Thankyou Dr. XXXXXXX

Do you mean that its possible that the hairs could have repaired and so hearling loss reversed but I still have this feeling of fullness? If the hairs were now ok then why would there be a feeling of fullness?

Also, if my hearing has reversed but I still have the tinnitus then is the tinnitus there because my ear has got used to making that noise and doesnt yet realise it should stop?

You say that it can take months for tinnitus to clear, but is it even possible that it might?

Thankyou.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Neelam Ashish Vanjari 17 hours later
Hi,

Thanks for writing in.
Hair cells once damaged will not get repaired, it will be irreversible damage. Cells will not regrow.

In your case, damage has not caused any changes to hair cells physically may be just vibratory changes has occurred.
You can get your ear drum examined as you have feeling of fullness which can be as a result of above mentioned damage or ear drum swelling.

Get examined to come to conclusion.
Tinnitus if starts appearing in any person; it will not reversed so soon , it might take months together. It is not that your ears are making noise but it is perception at cellular level by inner ear.

I hope I have cleared your doubt.
Best regards,
Dr. Neelam.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Feeling numbness and fullness in ear. Is this feeling due to the damage caused by the noise? 6 hours later
Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

I have had my ears checked by the doctor and the audiologist. No problem with the eardrum or anything else.

What is this vibratory change that could have happened, what does that mean? How can I tell if it is this vibratory change which has happened or the full damage of the hair cells?

XXXXXX.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Neelam Ashish Vanjari 40 minutes later
Hi XXXXXX

Thanks for writing in.
If there is no problem with eardrum, it is good thing.
Now let me explain vibratory damage to cochlear cells.

When sound is imparted on ear drum, sound waves are conducted through ear drum, 3 ossicles of middle ear to cochlea. When sound is very high intensity, it makes vibratory movements of mentioned elements at high frequency causing possible damage to cochlear cells.

Full damage to cochlear cells has occurred or not can be made out with the help of test called TEN(HL) test - conducted by use of a compact disc player connected to an audiometer.

I hope this information helps you.
Best regards,
Dr. Neelam.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Feeling numbness and fullness in ear. Is this feeling due to the damage caused by the noise? 42 minutes later
Thanks. Where can I get this test done? Is it available on NHS?

Do you know what the Otoacoustic Emissions Test is and where I can get that done? I have read that this test tells you if you have damage to the hair cells.

Last question: Are you aware that there is research that says Amitriptyline reduces tinnitus as if calms the nerve cells. do you know much about this?

Thanks,
XXXXXX.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Neelam Ashish Vanjari 13 hours later
Hi XXXXXX

I have no idea about if test is available on NHS or not.

Otoacoustic emission testing allows the audiologist to understand how the outer hair cells of your inner ear are working. There are three types of Otoacoustic emission testing: Spontaneous, Transient, and Distortion Product.
This test measures hair cell function of cochlea.

You can get answers from your audiologist regarding availability of those above tests.

Regarding research with amitriptilline use in tinnitus, the drug is effective in treating tinnitus but used only in severe cases due to amitryptilline side effects.

I hope I have answered your query.
Wish you good health.
Best regards,
Dr. Neelam.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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