Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Permanent Ear-Worm?

The lovely distortion in my hearing -- and the accompanying upsurge in my constant tinnitus -- flared up again today.

When I went to the ear/nose/throat doc a couple of months ago, he ran some tests on me and suggested that the pattern of my hearing loss was consistent with early-stage Meniere's Disease.

The more I read about MD, the more convinced I am that this is, in fact, what I am experiencing. I don't have the severe vertigo, although I have been having brief dizzy episodes for years and hadn't given them a second thought. I do seem to exhibit a pretty hefty degree of tinnitus that comes and goes, and when it's at its peak I also experience pretty severe distortion of sound. All music sounds wrong to me, off-pitch and sour, when this flares up. When it gets really really bad, everyone sounds like a robot talking instead of a human.

I also have the sensation of fullness that they describe, as if my ears were full of water or something.

I'm grateful that I don't seem to have the terrible vertigo problem that a lot of Meniere's sufferers experience. A momentary swirly-dizzy sensation is certainly overcome-able... getting thrown to the ground periodically is less so. I wish I didn't have the hearing loss and the tinnitus, but I am thankful that my hands still work. If I completely go deaf, I will miss music dreadfully, but I will still be able to paint.

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