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-   -   What the ear specialist told me... (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33742)

Drummer Karl 12-17-2007 08:26 PM

What the ear specialist told me...
 
Well, actually nothing which is really bad...but no good diagnosis either.
He first cleaned my ear with kind of a vacuum...this was pretty loud and a horrible feeling.
However, after he did this he did a hearing test with me...simple concept: First how my eardrum and general tympanum responds to peep tones...then they placed a lil mic on the bone behind the ear and played the same peep tones to know how well my inner ear works.

As diagnose he told me that my ear drum is arced to the inside...and it is lightly pitted. My inner ear works perfectly but I have a middle ear deafness. And although my inner ear responds well it isn`t aired well enough. If I can't equalize the pressure it could get worse and I have to get small tubules into the ear again...

It makes me very sad to hear those "bad" news...the ears are so important for us all...and losing them is like dying. After the diagnosis I was really afraid...and worried. Did you have those experiences, too?

Thanks a lot for reading,
Karl

DogBreath 12-17-2007 08:30 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Karl, did he ask you to take any precautions such as wearing hearing protectors when playing? And did he say if your condition is going to get worse?

fourstringdrums 12-17-2007 08:32 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Sorry to hear that Karl. I had a scare a few weeks ago where I couldn't hear out of my right ear for about 2 weeks. Thankfully everything cleared up.

This makes me realize I need to look into hearing protection. I never use it.

foursticks 12-17-2007 08:33 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Everyday there's a thought at the back of my head of 'what would happen if one of my limbs were lost, or I was affected in a way in which I couldn't drum?' But at the end of the day, I just think of how lucky I am compared with some other people in the world. However, even if some people are affected in a way which affects their drumming abilities, they still make it happen and don't let it get in the way of pursing their passion. Look at fourstring and his website - there are some incredible people on there showing how a minor 'setback' won't get in their way.
Karl it's natural to be afraid, but you gotta take these things as they come and make the best out of bad situations. You've got more than enough passion, so I highly doubt that this will set you back. I hope all goes well for you, but try not to be too afraid as it will only make it worse.

Pete Stoltman 12-17-2007 08:37 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Karl, I'm curious if the doctor indicated that any of this is due to your musical endeavors or the result of some other condition?

fourstringdrums 12-17-2007 08:42 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by foursticks (Post 388998)
a minor 'setback' won't get in their way.

There are some on the site who show that a major setback like losing a limb won't get in their way either.

I have quite a few drummers who suffer some sort of hearing loss, so should that ever happen, drums and music are not out of the question. It's as much important to hear it with your heart and soul as with your ears.

cnw60 12-17-2007 08:45 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DogBreath (Post 388995)
Karl, did he ask you to take any precautions such as wearing hearing protectors when playing?

My thoughts exactly. I just read your post after a practice session and my ears aren't ringing, but I can tell that they're not happy when I forget to use protection. And I'm not even really a hard hitter, but at 47 years old - I know that things only get worse with time.

PROTECT YOURSELF - everybody!!! even if it's just wads of tissue paper a la Jeff Indyke.

Drummer Karl 12-17-2007 09:39 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Thanks for the replies, that lets me feel very moved and warm...

Well, he didn`t ask about it...no biggie actually because I`m usually wearing good ear protectors...maybe you know that Alpine stuff.
I second what cnw60 said: My ears always tell me when I forget my ear protection.

But being a musician I think you can`t totally avoid problems after some time...but yes, the pitted ear drum is from loud noise...as such as loud music. But the problem with the reduced pressure in my inner ear I have since I was a small kid.

thanks again for all the thoughts...I`m touched!

PS: Rob: What did you do to clear the problem with your right ear up?

Karl

fourstringdrums 12-17-2007 09:51 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Drummer Karl (Post 389017)
PS: Rob: What did you do to clear the problem with your right ear up?

Karl

Well for me it was severe wax build up. So I poured hydrogen peroxide in my ear a few times a day and I would put my hand over my ear and press quickly to create a suction. That eventually loosened everything up.

A quick question on hearing protection: I put in ear plugs today and I noticed that my drums and cymbals sounded sweeter to me, like they had when I first got them. I feel like some days they sound harsh and lack the nuance I used to hear in them. That got me wondering if perhaps that is my ears telling me that I need protection now because they're getting too sensitive to the volume.

Deathmetalconga 12-17-2007 10:19 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Karl, I'm sorry to hear about this. It sounds like some of it is due to loud sound, and some of it just how you are. It is good you're getting it checked out and I hope your ears get better.

Mr. Pasquini 12-17-2007 10:20 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Sorry to hear, Karl. I'm going to start using hearing production more often.

Quote:

Originally Posted by fourstringdrums (Post 389021)
A quick question on hearing protection: I put in ear plugs today and I noticed that my drums and cymbals sounded sweeter to me, like they had when I first got them. I feel like some days they sound harsh and lack the nuance I used to hear in them. That got me wondering if perhaps that is my ears telling me that I need protection now because they're getting too sensitive to the volume.

No, hearing protection will just cut the attack out of your cymbals. Hearing protection changes the sound completely.

SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ 12-17-2007 10:42 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Sorry to hear this. I brought my youngest son to a special ear doctor today. He is going to have surgery in a couple of weeks to have tubes put in his ears. Hopefully, it will be something that he will grow out of in a couple of years. Everyone says it will help him hear much better, and allow him to speak better. My main concern is his long term hearing. He is really into music, dancing, and drums especially.

aydee 12-18-2007 05:18 AM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Karl, no need to panic or fear. Deafness and a little loss of hearing are two different things.

I suffer from partial hearing loss. and I can only advise all that ear-protection is not a option.. its a must.

My damage is from years of being around my drums and loud amps.. these volumes, on average are much higher dbs than the human ear can stand or be exposed to for any lengh of time.

Whoever is reading this thread, please start right now, if you havent already.

IDDrummer 12-18-2007 06:46 AM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
I have lost most of the hearing in my right ear from a viral infection. I can still hear lower frequency tones, but not mids or highs. Apparently the virus killed the nerves, because my doc said a hearing aid won't help much and it isn't going to improve. (This happened a couple of years ago.) The hearing in my left ear is still pretty good, despite exposure to loud music for years. He did advise me to wear hearing protection, and I got a set of musician's earplugs. They allow me to hear the cymbals better than conventional foam or silicone plugs, but it's not entirely natural sounding. I still find myself playing without them sometimes because I like the natural sound better, but I try to wear them as often as I can.

It sucks to have the hearing loss. Even though I hear OK on my left side, it is often difficult to understand what people are saying, and I pretty much have to watch TV with the captioning on. I still enjoy music, but I know I no longer hear well enough to do serious mixing/EQ work.

Take care of your hearing as best as you can. It stinks to lose it.

prempex 12-18-2007 11:31 AM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
my hearing in my right ear went all funny for about a week, about 3 weeks ago.
i got all worried, and went to the doc about it.
i htought it wa sbecause of drumming, and not using protection most of the time......turns out it was because i had a cold.....boy i felt embarassed. got myself all worked up pver a simple cold.

SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ 12-19-2007 03:12 AM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by IDDrummer (Post 389261)
I know I no longer hear well enough to do serious mixing/EQ work.

I forget which Beach Boy it was, but one of them did a lot of the engineering for them. He could only hear in one ear. Their mixes are regarded as some of the best examples of mono mixing out there.

IDDrummer 12-19-2007 06:45 AM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ (Post 389573)
I forget which Beach Boy it was, but one of them did a lot of the engineering for them. He could only hear in one ear. Their mixes are regarded as some of the best examples of mono mixing out there.

Well, that's encouraging. The hearing loss hasn't affected my live playing or ability to tune the kit, so maybe I can figure out the mixing, too.

I hope Karl gets his situation sorted out and has no permanent problems.

Drummer Karl 12-19-2007 11:44 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Thanks a lot for reading my thread and for the thoughts and thanks for sharing your experiences and situation.
Well, yesterday when I had rehearshals for the christmas concert at school all day it felt more and more uncomfortable on the left ear and when jumping or walking fastly it hurt. It felt almost deaf...but after some sleeping it was alright again...I guess this is because of my cold.

Sleepy: Yeah, I had those tubes put in my ears three times when I was in your son`s age. It helped a lot, especially for the airing of my inner ear. It will help so much...best wishes from me. =)

thanks,

Karl

hauk 12-20-2007 01:30 AM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ (Post 389573)
I forget which Beach Boy it was, but one of them did a lot of the engineering for them. He could only hear in one ear. Their mixes are regarded as some of the best examples of mono mixing out there.

Guitar player David Torn is deaf in one ear and even mixes in stereo. He says he just has to turn his good ear to the speakers and visualize the stereo aspect of sound. Turns out well for him.

ZildjianMan1023 12-20-2007 01:30 AM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Drummer Karl (Post 388991)
Well, actually nothing which is really bad...but no good diagnosis either.
He first cleaned my ear with kind of a vacuum...this was pretty loud and a horrible feeling.
However, after he did this he did a hearing test with me...simple concept: First how my eardrum and general tympanum responds to peep tones...then they placed a lil mic on the bone behind the ear and played the same peep tones to know how well my inner ear works.

As diagnose he told me that my ear drum is arced to the inside...and it is lightly pitted. My inner ear works perfectly but I have a middle ear deafness. And although my inner ear responds well it isn`t aired well enough. If I can't equalize the pressure it could get worse and I have to get small tubules into the ear again...

It makes me very sad to hear those "bad" news...the ears are so important for us all...and losing them is like dying. After the diagnosis I was really afraid...and worried. Did you have those experiences, too?

Thanks a lot for reading,
Karl

hey karl, im really sorry to hear about your ear man.. i know if i lost my hearing (knock on wood) it would be catastrophic..

lets hope wherever you are that the doctors can help you out a bit and coax your ears back into health...


youve come to the right place if you need anything

Best of luck,

Dom

SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ 12-20-2007 02:43 AM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Drummer Karl (Post 389932)
Sleepy: Yeah, I had those tubes put in my ears three times when I was in your son`s age. It helped a lot, especially for the airing of my inner ear. It will help so much...best wishes from me. =)

Thanks man. Now, if only he could drum like you we would be in business. hehe

Drummer Karl 12-21-2007 08:34 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Thanks mates...it gets better every day...it even feels normal again.
I`m glad the concerts this week went great for my ears! Now are christmas holidays...and there is time to sleep a bit longer and to reclaim.
Im looking forward to get the mics and mixer. And Im looking forward to th recording sessions...and I noticed that it is double fun when my body is in good condition.

And hey, it`s christmas!
Merry christmas...I know a bit too early.


Quote:

Originally Posted by SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ (Post 390009)
Thanks man. Now, if only he could drum like you we would be in business. hehe

hahaha...seriously, I know he is.

thanks very much...

Karl

Drummer Karl 02-28-2008 06:41 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Very positive news...

I was there today again and well, it was the usual process.
Hearing test, ear-pressure test.

Long story short...it got much much better! The inner ear pressure is at 0, that means I`ve the same inner ear pressure as outside the ear! So in conclusion my inner is aired much better than some months ago, almost perfectly. I was surprised when he told me those great news...also my middle ear (the eardrum) works better.

Overall he was happy, too.

Thanks everybody for the supportive feedback, that TRULY helped! I was pretty down after his diagnose last year...he will check me in a half year again.

Karl :-)

Deltadrummer 02-28-2008 06:53 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
It is great that all is going well, and now you are more sensitive to issues concerning your ear/hearing health. If this puts you on the road to protecting your precious gift of hearing, I'd say you are on the right path.

Ken

Big_Philly 02-29-2008 01:34 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
I know what it's like being a deaf musician, I have always had ear problems on my right side. I have about 50-60% hearling loss on the right ear, so I have problems determining the direction sound is coming from. Fortunately my left ear is prefect. And I wear protection 95% of the time so things shouldn't get worse.
The cause is not loud music by the way. There was a " pearl" growing inside my ear, basically a bit of skin that got loose by an ear infection but kept on growing. This destroyed my ear drum and two of the three small bones. 5 surgeries later I have a donor ear drum and a long tubular connection between ear drum and middle ear. Mechanical engineering at it's finest ;)

GetAgrippa 02-29-2008 02:41 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Hey Big Phil I too had a cholesteatoma. I spent four years with tinnitus and vertigo. I went to several ENT's and all said Meniere's syndrome. After four years of trying to sleep with a constant ring (it is like Chinese water torture) and walking like a drunk down the halls of the research institute of my lab, I was getting suicidal. This is no way to go through life, and if it weren't for my family I just don't know. Then I found a ENT who finally found it-he said a quick day surgery should take care of it. When I awoke he was white as a sheet. He spent three hours removing all my mastoid and said he had never seen such a growth-he suspected I was born with it and it finally completely obliterated my temporal bone and was starting to grow into my brain-Jeez!!!! My hearing is shot on my left side and I still have to have tubes for drainage as I have dysfunctional eustachian tubes. We had four phone lines in my lab. I had to quit answering the phone because I couldn't tell which was ringing-very frustrating. My other ear isn't great because of years of hunting (loud guns) and 43 years of drumming without ear protection. My best friend is a welder and he has had numerous eye injuries and surgeries for uncontrollable glaucoma so he can't see too well. Together we make a team. I can't emphasize enough the need for young drummers to wear hearing protection. The only plus is that I always "sound" great to me when I play-hee, hee, hee, and it is never too loud.

GetAgrippa 02-29-2008 03:30 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Karl I am so glad your hearing condition has improved. I wish I could have mine back. Without binaural hearing it is very difficult to distinquish the source of sound, I also have lost some of my range in hearing in my good ear so that is problematic. I can feel the vibrations of sound and that helps me. I often have to concentrate more on my hearing than my playing, which I am sure my playing suffers. Adds a new dimension to the term "feel the music". hee, hee.

Drummer Karl 02-29-2008 04:52 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Big Philly, Agrippa...I`m sorry to hear that but it`s great that you share your stories! Thanks.
Though I felt kinda uncomfortable when I read these, especially Agrippa`s.

As I am...curious, so I wanted to see what it looks like and searched for pics in the internet. I finally know what a normal eardrum looks like...and a cholesteatoma. Glad it was removed guys!!

Did anyone of you experience what it`s like when the eardrum bursts?? The ear doc said it has to be horribly painful.

And yes, ear protection is so important!

Karl

Skacatz 02-29-2008 04:58 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
I'm 51 and I notice that there is ringing in my ears most all of the time. Where I seem to notice a difference is trying to pick up on a particular voice when there is a lot of background noise, especially carrying on a conversation in a crowd.

I wear protection whenever I play... either ear plugs, isolation headphones or sometimes both.

I have been told that the ringing is due to some nerve damage but with care it shouldn't get any worse.

I can't imagine being deaf. To me it would be like losing a limb.

GetAgrippa 02-29-2008 06:37 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Thanks Karl I appreciate the sentiment. That is why I have a tube in my ear, because it fills up with fluid and burst quite frequently-it is not an infection but extravasated fluid from a partial vacuum.It is painful to have your eardrum burst-well it was from childhood till my surgery. When it fills with fluid my doc just adds a drop of phenol to my eardrum, pokes a hole in my eardrum,sucks out the fluid, and sticks in a tube-Yuck!!!!!. I feel no pain with this procedure now, and usually my doc says he has to numb or put some people to sleep. My doc says I'm the toughest SOB he has ever met and said I should try one of those Tough Man competitions. I told him that he must have damaged my nerves in my ear, but he said that is not the case. I told him to shut up, because I think so and it appears to be working. Mind over matter I guess. I still play an hour or so everyday, and I guess you could take an ear, an eye, a leg, or an arm I would still be going BOOM! baby. Without my drums I would go crazy, which isn't a huge leap by the way. Hee, hee.
I'll get one my daughters to help video my playing so you can all get to know me better and give me some critques. I am a scientist so I am not thin skinned (the process of attaining NIH grants is brutal) so feel free to be bash away. You can call it constructive criticism. My ego was tamed years ago. Life is good I'm not complaining.

Banzai 02-29-2008 07:15 PM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
Sometimes I hear a little beeping but today I got checked and I have a normal hearing wich was great news, when I first started hearing beeps or having ear pain I bought a pair of "construction earphones" (this really big headphones) and now i don't have any problems, also when I'm with my music I keep it at a low volume.

hope it helps you.

JCM 03-02-2008 01:49 AM

Re: What the ear specialist told me...
 
My ears produce a lot of wax so sometimes I'm not hearing at 100%. Is there any link with hearing and speech? i.e if you can't hear very well you won't speak very well?


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