British Tinnitus Association
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Brain Doctor- Neurologist route

Folks. Most of us have been down the ENT route. Due to secondary issues such as phantom smells, echoing of noises and touch sensitivity to the side of my head, I was referred to a Neurologist. The brain scan showed that I had unexplained scarring on my brain. This was in an area not believed to be connected with my T and H. They said the scarring was probably "nothing to worry about". Is there such a thing as good scarring?

The Neurologist suggested trying different medication to get my brain to settle down. They them referred me to the Royal ENT in London.

I was wondering if anyone else there had been down the neurologist route for the investigation of T and what was their experience.


3 Replies

Hi Ade

i'm going to reply to this from my personal perspective, and not with a BTA hat on. You have to bear in mind, not only am I not an audiologist, I'm not a neurologist either...

I have some tiny scars on my brain because I have Multiple Sclerosis. Don't get worried, I'm not saying that you have that, not at all, because for an MS diagnosis, you have to have other signs and markers as well!! But ... the scarring is probably behind some of the odd sensations I get (tingling in my extremities, sensitivity to sound, skin feeling on fire). So to me, it seems logical that your odd sensations are caused by the scarring too.

The good news - my scars haven't got any bigger since at least 2009. The damage has been done, and that's it. Other good news is something called neural plasticity, so your brain does learn to "rewire" itself to avoid the damaged areas, so that the correct signals can be processed. And thirdly, good old "habituation" - I'm writing this and my toes are all full of pins and needles, but I don't notice it unless I'm focusing on it.

So - is there such a thing as "good" scarring - well, it would be better if there wasn't any, but this sort of scarring probably is as benign a kind as any. I know it's scary because "BRAIN!" but if a neurologist says it's nothing to worry about - believe them. In my experience, they are very knowledgeable and honest (to the point of bluntness, sometimes!)


Thank you for your informative reply. I hope that my brain rewires itself. The neurologist said that it is better that the brain is causing T rather than damage to the ear. If the ear Audio nerve is damaged then you are pretty much stuck with it. If it is the brain then there is hope that it will go.

Life is indeed a funny old thing.

Wishing you fell.



Yes, if the auditory nerve is damaged, the hearing won't come back - you can still habituate to the tinnitus, but you will always need a hearing aid.

Hope all goes well with you, too!



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