Jump to content

Trauma induced hearing loss :(

Recommended Posts

Has anybody had anything like this happen to them?  Right now I'm just at a complete loss and want to cry.


I had a freak accident happen while working on a bicycle recently, a tubeless tire popped off the bead while I was trying to seat it and it blew up right next to my face.  It was like a gunshot went off, my left ear was ringing for hours.  The next day hearing was still muffled so I just rested and kept earplugs in.  It's been a few days now and for the most part my hearing feels back to normal.  However, when I hear talking or higher pitched sounds, it sounds echoey/reverbish, like my bad ear is processing sounds slower than the ear that didn't receive trauma.


A quick  google search tells me I now have what is called diplacusis.



Diplacusis is a form of hearing loss that causes our ears to hear sounds so differently it creates a disturbing two-sound experience.

In more medical terms, diplacusis is the “perceptual anomaly whereby the same sound is perceived as having a different pitch depending on whether it is presented in the left or the right ear."


Apparently if this happens from a trauma it's pretty much irreversible.


I've tried everything in my power to get into an ENT doctor asap but so far the quickest appointment I can get is September 30th.


I've never experienced so much anxiety in my life and I never in my wildest dreams imagined I'd having a hearing problem at such a young age.


Today I turned on my stereo for the first time in a week just at a very low volume and almost broken down, it was the worst experience anybody who enjoys music could imagine.


I don't even know where to go from here.  I've spent this year building up my system to pretty much a dream system for me, all this gorgeous new equipment and toys that are completely useless now.


Have any of you music lovers ever experienced a hearing trauma? How did you take it? Where did you go from there?


I'm at the point where I'm so upset that I feel like the only action at this point is to sell everything.


Anyways, I just needed a place to vent my frustrations.  Take care of your ears, always wear protection even when doing things like cutting the grass, hearing loss is terrible and for people in this hobby/lifestyle it can be a very depressing and tragic thing 😟

Link to post
Share on other sites


You have nothing to lose, so try taking a Magnesium supplement. USA Navy Seals exposed to gunfire used to take this too.

It may also help to stabilise Blood Pressure which in my case plays a part in how my hearing is. 

Non Salted Cashews are rich in Magnesium BTW.



How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel your pain, I have suffered from tinnitus for a number of years, no treatment available.

Take your time, the ENT may have some options for treatment.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

Link to post
Share on other sites

You first of all MUST be investigated for any physical damage to the hearing apparatus, there are many treatment options.

If the changes are "psychological" there are a variety of trauma reduction/elimination strategies that work well.


Good luck, and stay as calm as you can manage.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not sure about trauma damage, but my tinnitus appears to be very significantly improved the next day, even if I forget that I take it  -- I use a Calcum, Magnesium, Zinc suppliment from time to time.   It appears that the days after I take it, my hearing is much more clean sounding/less tinnitus.   I am not into taking lots of chemicals that overload my liver and kidneys, but such suppliments once in a while are usually not bad for someone if kidneys are okay.   Also, I do take Iron every few days and also VitD religiously -- both prescribed.


Anyway -- even though expectation bias can happen toany of us, I believe that the Magnesium JUST MIGHT be helping.




Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, avta said:

If you're unable to see an ENT you might consider going to an ER. At least you would have someone get a look to see if anything needs to be done immediately. They might also be able to arrange an ENT appointment sooner. I agree with MAV don't play doctor. 

Some of us have chronic tinnitus and that is very different than trauma.   But, ,you are right -- if I had a trauma loss, I wouldn't just take something to make it go away, GO TO A DOCTOR SOMEHOW.   BTW, aspirin, ibuprofen are HORRIBLE for chronic tinnitus.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone. Definitely not trying to play doctor, doing everything in my power to visit an ent ASAP. But, free healthcare means you have to wait for things like this. They put me on the cancellation list so hopefully somebody cancels and I can get in sooner. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, John Dyson said:

I wouldn't just take something to make it go away, GO TO A DOCTOR SOMEHOW.   BTW, aspirin, ibuprofen are HORRIBLE for chronic tinnitus.

I'm more than shocked that you'd be put off by an otolaryngologist's office if you called and told them that an inner tube exploded next to you and you immediately developed muffled hearing in one ear with persistent diplacusis.  Unfortunately, only a few causes of your symptoms are directly treatable - but at least two (a labyrinthine fistula & ossicular damage like a fractured or dislocated stapes) may be repairable.  This is not an elective evaluation.  And although the cause will most likely be an untreatable diagnosis of exclusion, this is not a foregone conclusion.


You haven't described dizziness.  But if you're even a tiny bit unsteady, e.g. when you insert an earbud, or if you block the affected ear canal with a finger tip on the tragus and push in VERY, VERY GENTLY to pressurize it, or you get lightheaded when straining in the bathroom, sneezing or blowing your nose), the possibility of a fistula or ossicular damage (although remote) is quite real. You need to call an ear physician now and report exactly what's going on.  This is not something to be treated with curbside recommendations.  You need to be evaluated by an experienced ear physician, provide a thorough history, and have an examination and comprehensive hearing testing to separate the treatable causes from the wait-and-sees. Unfortunately, most of the sequelae of acoustic trauma are not directly treatable, but that's no reason to defer evaluation.  There's some evidence (although not so strong that there's a gold standard for treatment) supporting the use of a few medications that may help recover some inner ear function after acoustic trauma without a clearly repairable cause.


It is not a good idea to take any ototoxic medications when you have an acute hearing problem.  Salicylates and NSAIDs cause tinnitus, but it's most often reversible. If you already have it, ototoxic drugs can aggravate it.  But the effect from aspirin, ibuprofen etc, is usually temporary. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks bluesman.


I called another ENT in town and pleaded my case.

They could not see me without the doctor referral but they said what I was describing was a very good reason to be put in as an emergency to the on call ENT in town.  They suggested going back to where I got the referral (walk in clinic), and getting them to contact the on call ENT.

I went back in to the clinic, it took a bit of convincing that this is quite serious and I should see somebody right away. He looked in my ear and said the ear drum looks fine so he didn't consider it "traumatic".  After a bit of pleading he went and made some calls and got me in with an EMT first thing tomorrow morning.


Thanks for those of you pressing me to try and see somebody right away, without that push I probably would not have been so agressive about trying to get in.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@robbbby sorry to hear of your issue. Folks are right to encourage you to seek help, however, I would also make a plea for you to NOT get wound up and exacerbate things by worrying.


N.B. I am NOT a doctor and I am not you. 

But I have had more than a few tube blow-offs in my face. Too-close rifle shots. And homemade mortar rounds silly close to my ears (I was a teenager).

I am 62 yrs. old and just had my hearing tested last week as fate would have it, just as a baseline, no issues. Left ear a little weaker, but all good.


As above: I'm not you. I am writing to encourage you to keep trying to get to the doc, but also to *not* get overly wrought. 

Personally, I would not jam earplugs into the ear just now. I am NOT a doctor.


Good luck and kindest regards. Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

Visited the ENT this morning. Typical in and out visit with very little done (The joys of free health care).


Looked in my ear and said I have a very healthy looking ear. 

Explained to me what happened using an illustration on the wall of the little hairs within the cochlea and said there is no treatment, best thing to do is rest the ear and let nature take its course to see if they "awaken".

He said if I was really concerned he would book me for a hearing test 🙄

I passed since that would probably be weeks away, there is an audiologist by my house that I can get into for a test within 1 or 2 days.


@bluesman maybe you can shed some more light.  I feel like I have had small improvements day to day.  Today being the most significant. When I talk to most men, my hearing feels like 95%.  The issue of the echo/delayed hearing happens mostly with women and higher pitched sounds.  Is that any sort of a sign that I'm not really noticing that echo sensation with lower pitch? Also today, even with the higher pitched voices/sounds I've noticed it isn't as bad or exaggerated as say 3 days ago. 


I'm feeling, or at least going to be optimistic.  The doctor today described what happened to me as "getting a cut on your hand", stating that it needs to to heal.  What a terrible analogy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, robbbby said:

I feel like I have had small improvements day to day.  Today being the most significant.

If you’re truly improving, the prognosis is good.  The sooner improvement occurs and the more rapidly it progresses, the more likely you are to recover at least a fair amount of what was initially lost.  Complete recovery is not an unreasonable expectation if you’re really hearing better every day.  But that’s one major reason for hearing testing - you could just be “getting used to” it.  Only with objective testing can true improvement in function be documented.


If you’re not at all dizzy or unsteady, the prognosis is also better as shown in many many clinical studies.  Assuming there’s no damage beyond hair cell trauma, you’re probably having what’s known as a temporary threshold shift. If recovery stops short of your preinjury state, what’s left is a permanent threshold shift.  But any damage beyond threshold sensitivity impairment (eg impaired speech discrimination) can only be identified with formal hearing testing.

I don’t know where you are or what kind of healthcare delivery system you have there.  I’m a bit spoiled by lifetime access to the best care in the US.  The cost of rapid, thorough evaluation for acoustic trauma sufficient to cause displacusis and gross hearing loss is, in fact, justified by the savings in deferred care and lifetime disability for the few who suffer the kinds of serious injuries I described.  I’ve had patients who had to go on disability because they couldn’t work because of dizziness after traumatic inner ear fistulae that my otologic colleagues couldn’t repair.

If you can get hearing testing done soon, I’d do so both to determine your current level of function and to provide a baseline against which to compare it if you notice a decline later on.  Your report of spontaneous improvement is encouraging and you may well recover most or all of your pre-event hearing.  I hope that’s the case - and with each passing day of improvement, it’s more likely to be so.


Sadly, hope is a lousy treatment plan.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As always, thank you so much for the great info bluesman.


Since this happened I have not experienced any dizziness, imbalance or pain.


I will call the audiologist up and schedule an appointment for next week.

I guess my next question would be, with regards to the results of the hearing test... would a capable audiologist be able to provide me with well educated feedback about the results of the test or would those results need to be taken back to a otolaryngologist to be deciphered?


And you also brought up a great point, one that I have been thinking to myself... is the hearing actually improving or am I slowly getting accustomed to the sound of the impairment.

As silly as it sounds, I have been using the iphone "ding" sound from text message notifications as a baseline or guide since it's a high frequency noise.  3-4 days ago the noise was very long and drawn out, very drone sounding. Today it is sounding almost the same as what i've been used to for years before, sharp and short.  Again, am I getting used to it? Is my brain tricking me? I don't know, but I'm staying positive.  And I'm going to schedule that hearing test right now!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a little soon to be accommodating a loss - the odds favor that you're noticing a real improvement.  This is a tough call both because the time to start testing was the day of your injury and because your rapid subsequent sense of improvement suggests that it will resolve fairly well.  Objective testing would have helped identify the nature and severity of your initial injury as well as potentially treatable injuries like a dislocated stapes or a round or oval window fistula. Followup testing would have helped determine the extent and rate of recovery.


You may well recover on your own without intervention - many but far from all people so afflicted will do so.  If so, this is wonderful and fortunate.  It's just not an ideal way to practice medicine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK!  The more you improve, the more likely you are to recover most or all of your preinjury hearing.  No one knows for sure what causes these effects because there’s no way to examine the inner structures of a living cochlea.  Theories include microtears of one of the membranes that then heal, biochemical “shock” in the mechanisms that maintain / restore the ionic gradients that trigger impulses from hair cell deformation, etc.  


What a fine holiday present - enjoy!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...