British Tinnitus Association

Nightmare ENT appointment & self-contradicting doctor

The doctor confirmed that I had hearing loss and then told me I didn’t have hearing loss, he did not offer therapy, told me I have to accept the fact that tinnitus might be permanent (nah! State the obvious! What do you think I’ve been trying to do for 8 months?!), undermine everything I was saying, and told me he would tell me the cause, but he never did tell me the cause of my tinnitus. His attitude was ‘get over it, k have tinnitus too’.

To cut a long story short, when I finally had my ENT appointment on 23rd November, the hearing test showed a loss of hearing between 6000 Hz - 8000 Hz. The female who conducted this test told me that it is unusual for such hearing loss to occur in a 20 year old. She told me to wait to be seen by the ear doctor, and that he would provide further details.

The doctor was over half an hour late and contradicted what the nurse said. The first thing he said was ‘I don’t want you going out of here saying that you have hearing loss’, despite the fact that hearing loss showed up on the graph and the nurse herself told me that I did. I also never mentioned the fact that I did, I merely asked him to confirm what the nurse had said! He told me I don’t have hearing loss, and then said ‘It’s mild’, then he said I didn’t have hearing loss again. He told me ‘You need to accept the fact that the tinnitus might be permanent’. What does he think I’ve been trying to do for the past 8 months? He said ‘I’m getting onto the part where I tell you about the cause of your tinnitus’ and then he never did tell me the cause. He said ‘You’re not getting cochlear implants. They are only for people who have sever hearing loss.’ Despite the fact that when I tap on the part of my skull (reddit tinnitus ‘cure’), where cochlear implants go, my tinnitus reduces dramatically, albeit temporarily. The cochlear implants would offer me permanent relief. The doctor was indifferent (whilst putting on an I-know-it-all-so-I-am-better-than-you demeanour), patronising, disingenuous, undermined everything I said and humiliated me in front of a female trainee nurse who sat there in silence whilst fetching patients for him because he couldn’t be bothered to leave his seat.

The doctor made me feel like it was my fault that I had tinnitus. :(

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Hi Jasmine,

It's hard to know where to start with your recent posts. Best thing I can say is that there are a lot of people frequenting this forum who do have some understanding of your situation and will happily offer advice based on their own experiences.

It is unusual for someone so young to have a hearing impairment that would normally be caused by the aging process. However, that's not to say that there isn't anything else which may have caused your impairment - infection, trauma, genetics etc etc. My own hearing impairment is similar to yours in terms of the frequencies, but I'm a decade or 2 ahead of you - that's still considered young to be suffering from general hearing loss but that's my own fault for going to too many gigs & clubs when I was younger without taking care of my hearing.

Given that you have a mild hearing impairment, I'm not surprised that they're not suggesting cochlear implants. They are just intended to help people with severe impairments or who are profoundly deaf. In your situation, it would be the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut. With respect, you do have to put yourselves in the hands of the experts to a certain extent.

Re the cause of your tinnitus, its not uncommon to be unable to pinpoint this. Tinnitus is a symptom of a damaged hearing system but ultimately, what caused that damage is largely irrelevant - what's important is finding a way that you can manage your tinnitus in order to have some sort of a life. It's seems impossible, I know - as I said, everyone on here understands the suffering you are experiencing. I'm not going to tell that it will get better, but please believe me when I say it CAN get better.

Take care.

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