Nervous about ent assessment - British Tinnitus ...

British Tinnitus Association

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Nervous about ent assessment

Sailorsam2001 profile image

I am quite nervous about my ent assessment. And wearing hearing aids but I hope it helps. Any advice I can get? It's awful to live with and I wish it was solved by modern science!

30 Replies

Hello Sailorsam

Are you also having a hearing test? I was nervous too...it is totally understandable...had been waiting a long time. I've seen two different ENT consultants on NHS - 1st one couldn't get me out the door quick enough. I hope that doesn't happen to you. 2nd one spent longer with me. I was in for tinnitus and vertigo. Good luck.

You could go in with questions- what causes it, what type of treatment/ways of managing it are there/what are side effects of medications etc.

Tbh although the 2nd ENT was nicer he didn't do much but he had been drafted in from nearby health board due to the backlog so I'm sure you will have better treatment.

So...all I can think of is tell them your full history, don't feel rushed and ask lots of questions.

Make sure you explain fully the impact tinnitus is having on you and check that you will have a follow up appointment too. Best of luck. Good to get a chance for some insight and treatment.

Hi Fuzzywuzzywasawoman How long is the ENT appt? How soon is the follow up? Do they then refer you to Audiology for hearing aids? Thank you.

Hi Sailorsam2001 I know how you feel. I'm getting nervous too - after a very long wait. When is your ENT appointment? I've got a hearing test next week and ENT two weeks later. From everything I've read on the forum it doesn't sound as if they can do much about T.

I have my ent assessment on the Friday in two weeks time. I am getting therapy alongside it as it is awful. It was self induced really my hearing loss but you have to go forward I guess!

I've had CBT too . It's very helpful. Try not to blame yourself . After all - if any of us knew what T was like - we'd all have done our best to prevent it. Hope all goes well for you two weeks on friday.

Can you get CBT on the NHS. Is it worth me trying ? Good luck with your ENT appointment , let me know how you get on , there’s nothing to be nervous about. Just write down all your questions on paper before you go .

From me Penny. 🐩 🐩

Aww. Thanks Penny 🐶I had six half hour sessions of CBT back in the spring. It's very helpful. Ask your GP if there's any available in your area. You should be able to get it free - as far as I know.

Hi doglover1973

There is a 3 month follow up at my hospital so I went in June then August this year.

Yes I had a hearing test at first appointment in June.

I already had a hearing aid before the appointment from 2014 at ENT (also had an MRI then) Got sensorineural hearing loss.

After the hearing test in June I was offered a 2nd hearing aid to see if it helps with tinnitus then just 2 minutes with consultant. It was a shocker. He was fire-fighting. He gave me betahistine for menieres and just briefly mentioned tinnitus, saying try another hearing aid for it.

The 2nd ENT appointment was in August for 20 mins...it was better then I was referred to neurology for possible vestibular migraine. To be perfectly honest the consultant seemed determined to pin my symptoms on migraine and steered the conversation that way. He kept ignoring me when I said I had inner ear pressure and pain and wanted to ask/talk about headaches more so (which I don't really have but he repeatedly asked if I ever got a sore head) I was a bit disappointed and would've liked a CT scan or another MRI to check my ears.

I then had a phone appointment with neurology and he asked me if I ever had migraines. I said twice and told him about two experiences and he said...'so you have a history of migraines!'

I've fainted twice on a plane out of about 40 flights so I wouldn't say I have a history of fainting on flights from two episodes!

He talked about stress reduction and offered betablockers or anti-depressants but I didn't want to take them so he suggested B2 (Riboflavin) high strength. Been taking the vitamins and cut out processed foods. Tinnitus is much the same but inner ear pressure/pain and dizziness is less extreme lately.

So sorry to sound negative but I feel they just wanted to pin 'migraine' on me as it is self-managed and involves no further investigation. Any headaches I have are secondary to the pain in my ears...I hope you have a better time. I might phone and try and get a CT scan if this doesn't consistently improve.

Important to stress, my hospital has an ENT shortage and at the time I went they had vacancies for 2 ENT consultants. I'm sure you guys waiting to see ENT will get better treatment.

All the best

Thank you for such a detailed reply! That's very helpful. I'd much rather know the pros & cons before I go. Hope you get some answers to the ongoing problem of pain in your ears. I guess we just have to keep asking for the help we need 🙂

Thanks. It was good getting it all out too. You too, take care.

Good luck Sailorsam2001

Hello,I’ve had many ENT appointments and general they have been good. Cannot think of a bad experience. I’ve had both a CT and MRI scan but with no results which is a good thing because, I think they are looking for something nasty to be the cause. They said that it usually isn’t the case.

The very best thing I’ve had is combination hearing aides with a sound generating part as well as amplification. Being honest I really dislike wearing my hearing aides because I feel people judge me. I think that is generally me and my problems. The hearing aides take a little getting used to but do make a difference. It’s to the point where now I panic if I run low on batteries because I wouldn’t want to be without them. The other item is a sound generator that goes to a pillow with small speakers. Nighttime ‘was’ terrible if I woke up and the house was totally silent. Now I flip the pillow on the rain setting and can go to sleep. I’ve had many CBT sessions and they can be as useful as you make them. To me, however, stress and tiredness make my T worst.

So don’t worry about the appointment and take anything they offer because even if you have negative feelings now about the item, you may not in a few months. Look at the pillow system (I need to buy a new pillow myself now I think about it) and do anything to limit stress (easier said than done) and get the rest. Walks in wherever you have and talk to people. Generally they will not ‘hold it in their heads’ for longer than 15 minutes so that’s something to watch for and not get upset about. There are times it can feel lonely and sad so reach out to people, there are some great people here. If it gets really bad focus on getting through today and don’t worry about tomorrow.

Hope this helps and I’m happy to answer any questions.

Best Graham

Totally agree with stress, tiredness making it worse. Yes it can be isolating. Thanks for advice.

Please don’t worry,lots of us have been through this, following my assessment heating aids/maskers changed my life, so much so I wouldn’t be writing this otherwise, they don’t work for all of us, d as o fingers x for you,,, as for cbt, my anxiety went into orbit ended up paying private cost a lot but massively helped, good luck..

It’s natural to be nervous before a hospital appointment. But don’t expect too much. In my experience ENT consultants are hopeless when it comes to tinnitus. I knew more about tinnitus than the specialist I saw, he was hopeless. I did get a hearing test and an MRI, so that was good. But nothing came of it. My tinnitus has worsened over the years and I was referred back to ENT after 10 years, the specialist then said there was no point seeing me as they’d seen me 10 years earlier, he said everything he could tell me I could read on the Internet. This was a difference consultant, who supposedly specialised in tinnitus. So don’t get your hopes up.

rabbits65 profile image
rabbits65 in reply to Philip6

It’s disgusting isn’t it , these highly paid consultants being so hopeless . It just doesn’t make any sense. There are a huge amount of people needing the help with tinnitus . Whatever is going on these days . Makes me feel cross .

Philip6 profile image
Philip6 in reply to rabbits65

The consultant I was supposed to see is listed as a tinnitus specialist and he works at a private hospital too. Yet when someone is referred to him he says there’s no point seeing them, have a look on the Internet! In that case I could be a tinnitus specialist. I wasn’t impressed. I wonder if I was to see him at the private hospital and pay him hundreds of pounds whether he’d say don’t bother? I doubt it.

rabbits65 profile image
rabbits65 in reply to Philip6

Agh well the specialist I saw was private . I paid £195 for 15 minutes . He sat perched on top of the edge of his desk . Likewise he didn’t do much. I got referred for a scan and sent to Audiology dept for hearing test. I asked my own GP if I could have the scan on NHS which luckily I did. All along I have felt that my Eustachian tubes are blocked . I still feel this to be the case . The problem is : As soon as tinnitus is mentioned it’s as if that’s it . I also asked if I could have damaged my ears with those cotton/ear buds and that was completely ignored too. Anyway I can honestly tell you that this. NRAS Tinnitus website has literally saved my life. !!!!

1966366 profile image
1966366 in reply to Philip6

Only last week I asked my consultant for her opinion on several private medical treatments and she said that she had not heard of any! To say that I was gobsmacked is an understatement. I have no idea why I bother to attend the every 6 months 10 minutes 'consultation'. Nothing positive in this for years.

Philip6 profile image
Philip6 in reply to 1966366

There must be some good consultants and Drs around, that know about tinnitus, I would imagine. But I’ve not come across any. Shocking really.

1966366 profile image
1966366 in reply to Philip6

Yep! Nor me.

Please try not to be nervous best thing to do as fuzzywuzzywoman says is write down any questions you wish to ask, and the replies he/she gives you. If you are not happy with the ENT person would you consider going private? Wish you good luck🍀

I am quite nervous as possibly having to wear hearing aids is a massive change to one's life isn't it? Massive change. I hope it goes okay. I am nervous about wearing them and the societal scorn from some

I can't wait to have good hearing aids - especially if they help with the T. I'm going to wear them proudly!

PABLR profile image
PABLR in reply to Sailorsam2001

The change will be for the better. Hearing aids take some adjusting to. It can take time and patience to get the best sound for you. There is a certain amount you can tweak yourself (I am sure it varies according to type) and more that your audiologist can do. I am fortunate in that I am in the States and can get in to see my audiologist reasonably quickly (usually a few days). I have fluctuating hearing loss so have had several adjustments over the year I've had them. Unfortunately they're not like glasses where you put them on and, hey presto, the world is clear again. But they help and they're worth it. For me the worst is wearing hearing aids, glasses and frequently a mask as everything gets tangled up. Well apart from the expense! That was shocking.

I don’t have or need hearing aids . If you can hear ok I don’t see the need for them . I just master the T just as it is .

Funny you should say that Linley I'm thinking of the private route...due to my hospital's staffing issues.And thanks for advice Graham-E

and everyone.

Sailorsam2001 - I was nervous about wearing a hearing aid but used to it now. I never pretend I've heard what someone says as I knew it would get me in a right tangle! I know what you mean, you'll always get a few patronising folk who think - well - whatever it is that they think...I can be a bit slow processing what people are saying but it doesn't mean I'm daft...Most people are understanding and try to help.

I cannot stand when people mumble!

And friends know they have to face me and let me pick my seat in a cafe/bar etc ...it is hard but will be a weight off your shoulders if you can accept your hearing aid(s) in time- good luck to you and doglover1973. Let us know how you get on in your appointments.

Pleased I did it I chose the ENT consultant as he had a kind face😊 and I was not disappointed. Hubby said to me there no use to having savings for a rainy day if you don't use it.

Very good point! Thanks.

Good luck and if you’re issued with hearing aids after having a test then make sure you get aids fitted with masking sounds. These are very useful in helping you to be distracted from your tinnitus. Best wishes.

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