Hearing Imbalance

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Colorblind
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Hearing Imbalance

Post by Colorblind » Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:23 pm

I'll try to keep this short.

Yesterday I was doing a routine flushing out of the ears while in the shower. Nothing crazy, a few blasts of medium/low pressure warm water in each ear. Followed by a very careful cleaning with q-tips. A few minutes later I noticed my left ear was a bit muffled in comparison to the right. I chalked it up to a bit of water in the ear, went about my day, and sort of got used to it. I was working on a track with a hard left panned hi-hat. I kind of forgot about it, but when I turned my head to the left, there it was, plain as day. Turned back to the right, nothing. Needless to say, this freaked me the hell out. I got home and did a couple of oil treatments (a few drops, for about 5 mins, then rinse).

This morning it's very subtle, if noticeable at all. I did a quick test with headphones where I took a solo'd hi-hat, turned down to a low level, panned hard left, then hard right to (pretty unscientifically) compare differences in apparent level and frequency. I found the hi-hat to be slightly quieter, and slightly less bright in my left ear compared to the right.

Now I'm wondering if yesterday's ear cleaning is to blame, or if this is something I've been living with but just never noticed. Playing in bands in my younger years has no doubt had an effect, and I know that with age (40 this year) I should not be surprised by some attenuation in the high frequencies.

Have any of you done basic hearing tests and/or experienced imbalances between the left and right ears? I guess it's also possible that an imbalance in the space between my ears is exactly the problem, har har har.

Magnetic Services
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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by Magnetic Services » Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:42 pm

I had this a couple of years ago and it turned out to just be an earwax buildup. If you don't see any wax coming out, it's probably all compacted against the ear drum deep in there. I tried that Debrox stuff with no luck, then I finally went to urgent care and they flushed it out with a syringe/squirter thing (kinda gross) and it was the biggest relief when I could finally hear evenly! You might be able to do it at home with a sufficiently high-pressure syringe, but make sure you use sterile water to avoid infection. (maybe don't use the showerhead...)

I'm also not a doctor so don't take any of that as medical advice :D
Last edited by Magnetic Services on Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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markjazzbassist
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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by markjazzbassist » Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:56 pm

NEVER EVER USE Q TIPS, I REPEAT NEVER USE Q TIPS

book an appointment with an audiologist, that's how you can get it fixed.

i have seen many audiologists and they all say they are more harmful than helpful. you likely compacted some wax with your q tips. due to hereditary i get a lot of earwax buildup, i see the audiologist about once every 2 years for the same issue you have now. you will do a hearing test proving you are slightly more deaf in one ear. they will look in, clean and clear it out. you'll be back to normal. don't use q tips. Use an Ear Candle, it pulls the stuff out of your ear, instead of sticking things in that can compact it.

the hearing test is fun, my frequency response is "superhuman" they said, i'm top 5% of the population with my hearing. i credit in-ear monitors when i toured and ear plugs when i do jammed with amps. i do everything i can to save my hearing.

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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by mjau » Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:16 pm

One thing I’ve noticed after long drives is that my left ear gets desensitized to the wash of road noise up against the driver’s side window, and I’ll have some lopsided hearing for a bit after that.

I wonder if some people also just naturally favor one ear over another, much like being left- or right-handed. I feel like I may favor my left ear, for whatever reason.

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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by floid » Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:03 pm

I have an imbalance, and one ear suffers fatigue quicker than the other.
+1 on the "never use q-tips"
I'm skeptical of ear candling.
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kslight
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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by kslight » Tue Mar 16, 2021 6:35 pm

Cleaning out with an OTC product (debrox maybe was it?...spray something tingly in, and soak, and flush with a bulb) is an eye (or ear...) opening experience. It was a frustrating process at first, but once I figured out how to make it...productive ( :crazy: ) it was great.


I had one ear that was muffled...after cleaning it was so night and day I had to then do the other ear to balance it out.

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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by The Scum » Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:13 pm

I'm skeptical of ear candling.
As is the FDA.

I have allergies that leave my inner ears congested sometimes, sometimes only one, leading to a big imbalance. I can't really mix in that condition, and probably shouldn't drive.

Between an ENT and an allergist, it can be managed...the blue Flonase seems to prevent the allergic reaction in the first place, and half a sudafed helps if things get blocked, both OTC.
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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by vvv » Tue Mar 16, 2021 8:51 pm

The ear syringe bulb thing was a epiphany for me - 1-3 flushes a cuppla morning showers in a row and i can hear a bilabial fricative at 150 paces.
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markjazzbassist
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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by markjazzbassist » Wed Mar 17, 2021 5:37 am

The Scum wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:13 pm
I'm skeptical of ear candling.
As is the FDA.

I have allergies that leave my inner ears congested sometimes, sometimes only one, leading to a big imbalance. I can't really mix in that condition, and probably shouldn't drive.

Between an ENT and an allergist, it can be managed...the blue Flonase seems to prevent the allergic reaction in the first place, and half a sudafed helps if things get blocked, both OTC.
try it, i did and was amazed at the amount of wax and dead skin that was in the thing. i'm not going to use it regularly, maybe twice a year. i did not get burned, i had no issues.

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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by Colorblind » Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:47 am

Glad I'm not the only one who has experienced this. I'm going to keep monitoring it for a couple of days, and look into the options y'all have mentioned here. Thanks for chiming in!

C

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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by kslight » Wed Mar 17, 2021 11:24 am

Colorblind wrote:
Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:47 am
Glad I'm not the only one who has experienced this. I'm going to keep monitoring it for a couple of days, and look into the options y'all have mentioned here. Thanks for chiming in!

C
It’s common, all related if you have had a cold, and sometimes it just gets backed up.

I checked my medicine cabinet, debrox is the product I used.

I personally would try this before visiting a specialist unless I was experiencing severe / debilitating symptoms, or are comfortable paying someone else 20x the cost of what you can do with an over the counter product.

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digitaldrummer
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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by digitaldrummer » Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:12 pm

Colorblind wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 12:23 pm
a few blasts of medium/low pressure warm water in each ear.
I'm not a doctor, but I think I would also avoid this ^^^^... as a kid I got "swimmer's ear" a few times. not so bad if it is just pool water, but it can turn into an infection (lake water, especially after a good water ski wipeout, not so good in your ears). anyway, I see DeBrox has a product for that too. it's 95% isopropyl alcohol - pretty much to dry out your ear. I would personally avoid blasts of water directly in the ear...
Last edited by digitaldrummer on Thu Mar 18, 2021 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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markjazzbassist
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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by markjazzbassist » Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:37 pm

the over the counter remedies are fine, and if they work great. but for me, there is literally no price i wouldn't pay to have my hearing. as a musician and lover of music, i will gladly pay a pro to check it out, test my hearing, and give me advice. it's worth all the money in the world to me. when one ear goes a little wonky it literally drives me insane until i can get it cleared, that imbalance messes with my equilibrium.

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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by Scodiddly » Wed Mar 17, 2021 4:45 pm

floid wrote:
Tue Mar 16, 2021 4:03 pm
I'm skeptical of ear candling.
Me too. The science is dubious at best, plus it's been debunked by professionals. All that gross stuff that it "sucks out" is just byproducts of the ear candle itself.

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Re: Hearing Imbalance

Post by vernier » Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:38 pm

Flushing ears? . .that sorta gives me the willies. :shock:

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