Deafness/Hearing Impairment/ETD

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Question
Hi Dr.Linton
Since coming to live in the States (from the UK) and especially living in Syracuse NY, (25th worst for allergies in the USA)my hearing has grown progessiveley duller. I was sent to an ENT specialist which cost me a fortune but I didn't even get to see him. Just the N.P.
All I came away with was "flush your nasal cavities twice a day" When I perform the Valsava, I hear clearly but it immediately goes dull again. I am taking Mucined D twice a day but I'm not sure if it is helping. Can you suggest anything as I am a classical musician and my ears are my work.
Steve Levine

Answer
Steve,

Unfortunately, there may not be a lot of options for you.  Allergy problems cause inflammation in the Eustachian tube which then causes your ears to feel full or stopped/plugged up.  The Eustachian tube is responsible for maintaining consistent pressure behind the eardrum.  The way you relieve the excessive pressure is by doing the Valsava...however, this only relieves the pressure (giving you good hearing) for a short time. Ultimately you have to fix the problem causing the inflammation and malfunction of the Eustachian tube, which is probably the allergies.  
The medication, antihistamine or decongestant, is often helpful in relieving some of your symptoms, but these do not always completely correct the problem.
If you feel your hearing is being compromised to the extent that it is affecting your employment, you may consider using a mild gain hearing aid.  This would provide some amplification of sound during the times you felt stopped up.  I would consult with an audiologist about this if you were interested in pursing a hearing aid.

Thank you for your question.
Kelley Linton, Au.D.     centerforhearing.net

Deafness/Hearing Impairment

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Dr. Kelley Linton

Expertise

I'm an audiologist in private practice in Arkansas. I graduated from the University of Florida medical school. I specialize in hearing loss; hearing rehabilitation; hearing aids; noise induced hearing loss; occupational noise exposure; OSHA guidelines and regulations; hearing protection; tinnitis; newborn hearing testing; children and hearing loss and diagnosis and etiology of hearing loss.

Experience

I've been a practicing audiologist for 20 years and have owned a private practice for 14 years. I am also an audiologist in the United States Army where I teach DOD hearing conservation regulations and manage 3000 DOD employees at an army industrial facility.

Organizations
Arkansas Academy of Audiology American Academy of Audiology Academy of Doctors of Audiology American Speech and Hearing Association National Hearing Conservation Association

Publications
Journal of the Academy of Audiology Southwest Times Record, Fort Smith, Arkansas Press Argus Courier, Van Buren, Arkansas

Education/Credentials
Au.D. - Doctor of Audiology, University of Florida American Academy of Audiology fellow member Audiology Board Certification American Speech and Hearing Association certification Arkansas State Audiology license-current CPT United States Army Medical Corps

Awards and Honors
American Speech and Hearing Association "ACE" award x 7 years United States Army Accommodation Award Arkansas Academy of Audiology elected board of director x 3 years Better community award, Fort Smith, AR for volunteer audiology service to free community health clinic

Past/Present Clients
Serving newborn to geriatric ages.....unable to provide specific names.

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