Hi there. I am so glad I found this forum as I have read some excellent posts thus far. I would like to get your 2 cents on my situation. I sincerely look forward to your feedback!
I attended a Justin Bieber concert here in Chicago with my daughter in December of 2010 only to be exposed to some very serious acoustic trauma I believe is the culprit of my current situation. As we awaited for JB to come on stage, Nelly (hip hop artist) come on stage first with some very loud music. As Nelly’s first song progressed, I started to feel there was something seriously wrong with my right ear. I heard loud sound distortions at first and then I could not hear much from my right ear. I also felt slightly off balance. I decided to leave the premises (My daughter stayed with my wife of course) and noticed I had lost about 60% of hearing capability in my right ear. I also noticed a roaring tinnitus settle in. I immediately went to see an ENT and they conducted some hearing test which all came back normal so the doctor made nothing of it. Over the course of the next month or so, the tinnitus completely went away and I recovered my hearing to a capacity of 80% of what it was prior to this incident.
Over the course of the next 2 years, I experienced on my right ear once or twice a month a very peculiar swooshing sound that would start out at a mid tone frequency and disappear at a lower tone frequency for about 5 seconds. The frequency of these weird sound incidents increased to about 3 to 4 times a month during the last 6 months of this 2 year period.
On May 29th, 2013, a permanent low tone tinnitus (still hear it today) in my right ear settled in at night. 2 months later, Aural fullness and dizziness (non-rotational) settled in as well. 2 months after this, I experienced aural fullness on my left ear but no tinnitus and the dizziness invoked by it was mild. My initial doctor diagnosed me with Meneire’s Disease but I obtained 2 more diagnostic opinions consisting of a Perylimphatic Fistula. One of these second opinions came from Dr. Timothy Hain (Highly Acclaimed Otoneurologist in Chicago) whom is currently treating me. Dr, Hain recommended a conservative approach to allow my PLF to heal. 6 months after consulting with Dr. Hain, my dizziness and aural fullness on both ears disappeared and I thought my PLF had healed - side note- Dr Hain believed my PLF was on the right ear and for reasons he himself does not understand, my left ear “was jealous” and thus mimicked my right ear to a lesser degree however. The only symptom I was left with was low tone tinnitus in my right ear which varied in loudness- Loud in the winter - almost inaudible during the summer and fall.
Fast forward 6 years to December of 2018- my tinnitus loudness was the highest its ever been and my mild to moderate dizziness (non-rotational) returned after a really bad allergy season (allergic to ragweed). An important consideration here as well is that I started a very hard core exercise program in July of 2018 that physically stained me more than ever before.
I returned to Dr.Hain and he then reversed his original prognosis and instead believes I may have Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops (aka Atypical Menieres- A more constant but milder form of symptoms associated with Meniere’s Disease) I have been taking Betahistine 48 mg daily and it seems to help reduce my unsteadiness \ mild dizziness. Nevertheless, I now experience daily Aural pressure on both ears and really annoying mild to moderate lightheartedness
Thanks for reading this far! Here is the climax to this story- The more I think about my symptoms, the more I believe a may have a minor case of bilateral PLF related to the acoustic trauma I experienced 9 years ago. I feel immediate relief when at rest, I cannot tolerate elevators or any major pressure fluctuation including barometric pressure (which is why things seem to go bad in the winter when the barometric pressure increases significantly here in Chicago). I cannot bend over forward or even do light exercise without feeling lightheaded or mildly dizzy. Most recently, i discovered that simply placing an ear plug (noise reduction plugs I use for attending concerts) on my left ear, my moderate symptoms turn into very mild ones.
So here is the million dollar question- Should I have an exploratory tympanatomy performed to once and for all determine what I have and this take the corrective measures? I have been waiting since December of 2018 and although my symptoms are rather tolerable and mild, they are continuous on a daily basis.