What burglar alarm?

In August 2009, out of the blue, I had a rip-roaring attack of tinnitus lasting a couple of days. Sounds were horribly distorted and when I played the piano, certain notes were sounding both at the correct pitch and an octave higher. When the cacophony inside my head eventually subsided, I felt my right ear was bunged up and that I couldn’t hear quite the same as before. The neighbours phoned up one evening to apologise for the noise from their burglar alarm which was currently going off. I hadn’t heard a thing.

I reckoned I must have a buildup of wax in the offending ear, so I got my GP to check.  She couldn’t find any wax, but she thought I might be bunged up from an allergy, so she gave me a nasal spray and told me to come back if it didn’t improve. It didn’t, but I wondered if it was all in my head, since I seemed to hear most things fine. On the way into work one day, I booked myself into Boots Hearing for a sneaky free hearing check so that I could see if the spray was working or not. After the test, the nice man who conducted it explained that it looked like I had some sensorineural hearing loss and that it was pretty much the same in both ears. It seemed Beconase nasal spray was not going to help. He said that aids were not geared up for my type of loss and that they might work for some things, or they might not. The only way to find out was to try them and see. Horrified, I made a sharp exit. Hearing aids were not quite what I had in mind as a fashion statement in my early forties. I made another appointment with my GP and was referred to ENT.

My appointment was scheduled for December.

6 Responses to “What burglar alarm?”

  1. 1 sjk June 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Hi there, funnily enough yesterday I saw my work doctor because in my new job I sit right next to a loud photocopier/printer and can’t hear my colleagues sat opposite me when it’s printing. I work for a publisher, so it prints a lot of material, constantly. He gave me a hearing test and I also can’t hear some of those mid tones and had no idea. I am also doing the earwax/nasal spray bit just to make sure it’s not the cold I had recently, but your blog certainly rang some bells…ones I could actually hear 😉

    • 2 moiradancer June 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Fingers crossed it turns out to be temporarily bunged up tubes causing your mid-frequency dip, but if not, don’t despair. The inability to hear the male voice can be strangely liberating in certain situations 😉

  2. 3 Renster June 12, 2015 at 8:31 am

    At theage of 46 last year I was diagnosed with cookie bite hearing loss. I had no idea I even had any hearing loss (although my husband was tired of me asking him to repeat himself) and after another annual test which showed another 10db loss this year, I am going to bite the bullet and try out some hearing aids. It is so ironic as I am a musician and singer and I was quite depressed after being diagnosed. However, I am slowly getting used to the idea of having bionic ears. I love your blog and your wonderful sense of humour and your love of music – it is very inspiring and motivating.

    • 4 moiradancer June 13, 2015 at 8:47 am

      Hi Renster, thanks for your comment, I’m pleased to hear you’ve enjoyed reading the blog. It’s only when hearing starts to fail that you realise what an amazingly complex and wonderful sense it is, and a grief reaction to losing that is very common, particularly in relation to music. With a cookie bite loss you won’t believe what you’ve been missing with vocals, and it’s truly thrilling to experience the full harmonics of instruments again (bagpipes excepted!)

      When starting out with hearing aids and a cookie bite loss, a bit of patience is required to get them to do the things you want, but it’s definitely well worth it. Good luck with your bionic ears, and would love to hear how you get on. If you haven’t already read about him, Marshal Chasin is the hearing aids and music guru and you can read about him here


      • 5 Renster June 21, 2015 at 7:09 am

        Thank you for your reply. I tested some aids and listened to music through headphones (I didn’t know I could do this!!!). I believe that my singing is much better with the aids. Music is also more “exciting” as I can hear the dynamics. I lost some interest in music as the sounds sounded “flat.” As you said – it really is thrilling to hear the dynamics and it is emotionally moving. I have ordered my aids and am waiting two weeks to receive them.

        Thank you for the link for Marshal Chasin. I have been reading as much as I can about musicians and hearing aids and have discovered there are many of us around. I had no idea! I thought music was over for me with hearing loss. Now I know that is not the case.

        I love your writing and sense of humour. It actually helped me to feel better about getting aids. I think I went through a grief process – much more because I am a musician. Reading your blog and others experiences is so inspiring. Thank you for writing it.

      • 6 moiradancer July 2, 2015 at 9:58 am

        I’m really pleased you’ve had a positive experience testing out aids and that the Marshal Chasin link was useful, here’s to a whole new musical experience opening up for you when you get your aids 🙂

        I really appreciate your kind comments, it makes me happy to hear that others have found the blog useful and especially that there is shared humour in all of our experiences. Hope everything goes well with your fitting and do let us know how you get on, you’ll find people in certain vocal ranges have a much fuller voice!

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