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British Tinnitus Association
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Ear infection/Hearing Loss lead to Tinnitus?

Hello

Quick history: Fungal Ear infection, blocked up, Tinnitus, ear cleaning micro suction, Tinnitus remained.

Question: Can a fungal infection lead to hearing loss. My doctor and the ENTs docs said it’s possible but my ear drum and canals show no damage at all so my T should go eventually but I spoke to a friend who said her father had his T through the same thing and was told he had lost some hearing and the T was due to that and was given hearing maids which helped lower and most days remove the T completely (only returned when he took off the aids). He said he too had no visible damage to the drum or the canal.

The reason I’m asking is because I was given a hearing test by the Audiologist at Lewisham hospital and was told that I had a weaker left ear but that might be due to the infection, the left ear is the one with the Tinnitus but she didn’t say it was why I had the T. I had no hearing problems before the infection so my main puzzle is whether that means the ear infection might have brought about some hearing loss and if it’s worth asking for hearing aids?

Any help would be great and I know you do know all my medical stuff with the hearing and t etc but it’s pretty much the above. (Above paragraphs might seem a bit of a rushed ramble blame that on it being 2am lol).

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There's a lot more to your hearing system than your ear canal and eardrum. The vast majority of hearing impairments and tinnitus are nothing to do with either of those - hearing impairments are likely to be rooted in your inner ear (cochlear) whereas your tinnitus could be there or erroneous connections in your brain.

Anecdotal evidence suggests doctors and even ENT's aren't always the best people to speak to about tinnitus, as they're not always fully informed - seems hard to believe, right?

You say you had no hearing problems before the infection, but do you have hearing problems now, or is it just that a hearing test has identified an impairment? That is to say, you might have had the same impairment before the infection, but just mightn't have been aware of it. I would have never realised I had a hearing impairment before an audiologist pointed it out to me - most people don't because it usually comes on gradually so you unconsciously adapt to it. After biting the bullet and starting wearing HA's, I can't imagine life without them now.

Be guided by your audiologist as to whether HA's would benefit you now. If the T is still hanging around in 3/6mths time, then I would say yes, you should get sorted with some little fellas.

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Thanks for replying. I wasn’t aware of any hearing problem and had nothing on any record or file about hearing problem. I had no hearing issue that I was ever told of or aware of until after the infection there was never a problem with my hearing before the infection came along but has since and was told by an audiologist that my left was weaker and did say “but that’s probably because of the infection”.

It’s coming on to two months of T from the infection in the left ear (Feb 13th) since I had the ear cleaned and the infection went and a few docs and ents have said it’s only a problem to be dealt with after six months so I still have a few months to go but I’ve decided that I’m going to talk about hearing aids with the ent/audiologist when I go in June to see what they think.

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Hi. I'm in a similar situation. I developed tinnitus during an ear infection about seven months ago. It's still here but it has majorly reduced. Mine's in my left ear too, and apparently my hearing is slightly worse in that ear, even though it still falls within the 'normal' range. The audiologist I saw said the dip in hearing could be a result of the infection and it could still resolve even though it's been seven months. I don't know how long ago yours started - the audiologist I saw said that most people's hearing comes back after an infection within four months but that doesn't mean it can't take longer.

As for hearing aids, I can't help as much with that (sorry :( ). Some people say they help with tinnitus, some say they don't - it's a bit of a maze, but asking is a good idea I think! You may as well try them if you can!

Best wishes!

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Honestly if it was to stay like this soft ringing then I’ll deal with it. Usually the wind blowing covers the noise most days so I’m okay then and I can deal with it when I’m watching tv or reading on having the odd session on the PlayStation 4 😀 and oddly after hoovering m, that seems to bring it down for a while, it’s the spikes the high pitch moments that catch me those are the pain but I’m working hard on a game plan for long term including learning how to create what I’m calling “street noise” soundtrack, I own open ear buds (basically ear phones with a hole in the middle so you can hear your surroundings) and going to create a track that has like bird noises, cars heavy wind dogs barking people walking passed as a way to cover the ringing, I’m not a music fan other than Christmas so I’m planning ahead there’s more but I haven’t got the details down lol.

I do plan on asking the ent and mention the hearing loss or weaker left ear that I have and see what they say and if it’s worth it. I’m also reading up about hearing amplifiers like ear buds as well I know some people say they do damage for your hearing down the line but maybe then I’ll get hearing adds (lol).

Thanks for replying.

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