Friday, October 30, 2015

Otolaryngology and Audiology Visits

On Sunday I woke up with an ear that no longer worked. So Thursday morning I went to a local otolaryngologist to get it checked out. She removed some wax but wanted me to get an audiogram since my last one was in 2007, and that appointment was set for Friday morning at 9:00. Talk about cutting it close--I had stopped into the office Thursday to let them know we would be leaving Friday and they told me that checkout time would be 11:00.

So bright and early Friday morning I went to see the audiologist. It was very interesting to go through a full audiological work up.  My faithful readers know that before retirement I was a speech-language pathologist, and actually was a Speech/Audiology major in undergrad. I had given some of these tests in the past, but we are talking 18 years ago and technology has really changed. I told the audiologist that they have a lot of cool toys and he agreed.

First he looked in my ears, performed a tympanogram to see if my ear drum was functioning, then sat me down in the soundproof booth with headphones. I pressed a button whenever I heard a tone. Then he repeated the test with a hissing sound in my good ear, and again with a special gizmo (technical term) on my head that transmitted sound through the bones of my skull. He had me repeat a long list of words to check my word recognition, then brought me out of the booth to perform an otoacoustic emissions test. This tested the working of my cochlea in the inner ear. I found myself thinking that I was glad I had not gone into audiology as a profession because these tests (to me) are pretty boring to administer and I'd hate to have to do that all day.

The results showed that I have normal hearing in my left ear but a mild hearing loss at 2000 Hz, moderate hearing loss at 3000 Hz, and severe hearing loss at 4000 Hz and above in my right ear. My word recognition was perfect in my left ear and 96% in my right ear. My eardrums worked well. I had an immediate follow up with my otolaryngologist who told me she wanted me to consider a course of prednisone at a very high dose, but unfortunately that would put me at risk for stroke, diabetes, destruction of the hip joint, increased susceptibility to infections and to cancer, stomach bleeding, and cataracts. With the steroid there was a possibility that my hearing would return, but also a possibility of very bad things happening to me.

I  frankly would rather be deaf in one ear than dead or debilitated.

We returned to the campground, said goodbye to some friends, and waved goodbye to the fish in the koi pond.

(Ok, maybe we didn't wave to the fish but I wanted to include this photo I took of them and didn't know how else to fit it in.)

We are at a nice park in Bushnell, FL for two nights and will head out Sunday morning. I am excited to be heading for Texas!

No comments:

Post a Comment