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Have hissing in ear. Have hearing loss, ABR came negative. Told to have tinnitus. Suggest?

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I have this hissing in my ear 24/7 and its driving me crazy. I went to an ENT doctor, and he sent me to an audiologist, I have some hearing loss in my right ear. I had an ABR done but that came back normal. My doctor told me its tinnitis and I have to live with it. Now keep on getting periodically a pulling pain in the ear that lasts only seconds. Sometimes when I swallow it also hurts. It's making me very nervous. I'm going to make an appointment, with a doctor at NY Eye & Ear Hospital, in New York City, to see if something can be done.
Posted Tue, 18 Jun 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 20 days later

Thank you for your query.

1. Get an Impedance Audiogram (Tympanometry) done. This test will reveal if you have any ETD (Tinnitus especially if one ear is worse than the other.

2. Tinnitus is heard by nearly everyone at some point in their lives. Since the exact cause is unknown, there is no cure. However, tinnitus may be controlled by a number of treatments:
A. Common tinnitus therapy includes multivitamins, anti-oxidants and gingko biloba.
B. Amplification of hearing masks the tinnitus during the day.
C. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy to increase tolerance to the tinnitus.
D. Hearing aids that play broad band noise or XXXXXXX music in the background.
E. Trans-tympanic steroid injections, Caroverine injections and capsules for Cochlear Synaptic Tinnitus.

3. I am assuming that this is not objective or vascular (pulsatile) tinnitus. Get a Neck Vessel Doppler Study and Cervical Spine X-rays done. Get your blood pressure and sugar levels checked.

4. If there is any element of ETD, treatment includes anti-allergic decongestants, steroid nasal sprays and steam inhalation. This sometimes decreases the intensity of the tinnitus.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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