The Consulting Writer

aka The Frazzled Mom

TMJ: Hearing Loss

When I think of the word “sound” lots of ideas pop into my head…

Music

A big part of my life, music has been a comfort as well as a motivator. Whistle while I work? Don’t mind if I do, though others might….
I go through spurts when it comes to genres. For some reason I can’t listen to a mixture of music. Today, its movie and television soundtracks. Tomorrow, it might be the Classical period with Beethoven or the Romantic period with Rachmaninoff (can’t see his name without thinking of Frasier-Niles: No, you’ll be happy to know that while Frasier was getting his Rachmaninov’s, I was learning to play the piano.). The following day I might decide on Coldplay , Rend Collective or Harry Connick, Jr. I go where my mood takes me. Much to my husband’s amusement it often involves minor keys. (:P to him)

Movies

I find the occupation of a Foley artist fascinating. I remember going on a tour at Universal studios as a child. I don’t think they do this now, but at that time…many years ago, they’d show behind the scenes of certain movies and the tricks used. For example, the Royal Wedding where Fred Astaire danced on the walls and ceiling. Or how Hitchcock used chocolate syrup as blood going down the drain in Psycho. But what I found most fascinating: the sound effects. Disgusting images were accompanied by the sound of digging into a cantaloupe. Of course, this also reminds me of another Frasier episode. “Look out! He’s got a nug.”

Sorry…what was I saying? heh, I had to watch it again.

At any rate, all of this was in my head after my daughter brought up Helen Keller, whom she’d just learned about in school. Which led me to recall when I’d lost partial hearing due to my TMJ. It’d happened shortly after a bad cold. I’d thought it was just impacted sinuses or maybe an ear infection. I saw a primary care physician, who provided ear drops and antibiotics. A week later, there was no resolution.

To describe what it was like? One ear was a half of a pitch off from the other (seriously…like E major on the right and E flat on the left, for example). So when I’d listen to music or play music on the piano, it always sounded off. Tinny even. And it was extremely frustrating, to put it mildly.

Because it hadn’t resolved, I had my hearing tested. It was off, about 50% on one side vs the other. So I took the results and headed to an ENT specialist. I’ve posted this before, that the nurse so matter of factly stated that sometimes people experience sudden hearing loss. Maybe, perhaps, before a diagnosis is given you might want to keep those thoughts to yourself? Why? Because as the patient, it put me in a panic. I might have just permanently lost my hearing?

Long story shortened a bit: With a sore achy feeling in my jaw, I went to my dentist. I’d had a night guard for my clenching, but had lost it recently and, for the past two months, wasn’t wearing anything at night. That’s when I learned the potential damaging effects of TMJ. Thankfully I had a new guard made and in a few weeks, my hearing returned to normal. Still, the idea of losing that sense, of losing the ability to listen to music ever again…my heart sinks at the thought.

I only hope that my experience might be of use to others that are suffering from a similar situation.

And now…back to Pandora radio.

dp

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4 comments on “TMJ: Hearing Loss

  1. Dangerspouse
    February 16, 2017

    Wait – that was chocolate syrup?? I gotta try that….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. myhearinglossstory
    March 3, 2017

    Hello Elizabeth. I experienced sudden hearing loss 6 months ago. I have lost all the hearing in my left ear. I have been told there is no real chance of recovering any of it now, and have made peace with this. However, i have been left with (among other things) a lot of pressure in my ear. I have been grinding and clenching my teeth for years now, and also wear a night guard. I can feel the pressure radiating up into my ear…Anyway, finally my ENT has referred me to a jaw and neck specialist who I will see next week – I am so happy I have this appointment! I just wanted you to know that your story gave me a little hope. If my hearing loss is due to my jaw, at least I will know the cause, and hopefully they will find a way to help relieve the pressure I’m experiencing. I am really happy you got your hearing back, and yes it is an upsetting thought – not being able to hear your favourite piece of music. I am thankful everyday, for the hearing i do have, and will never take it for granted. thank you for posting this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth Los
      March 3, 2017

      I’m glad to hear that it helped, at least a little. I was hoping it would give someone another route to explore if they had this problem.

      It took me from October to I think December to finally figure out what was going on, and then another month or two for the hearing to resolve.

      I wish everyone had an advocate that would help them through the process of where to go and who to see. I gone to the primary care physician, gynecologist (maybe it’s hormonal?), an Ears Nose and Throat Specialist and a hearing clinic, at last coming to a dentist.

      Since then, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t listen to music. It’s comfort food for my ears!

      For me, “sudden hearing loss” was a blanket diagnosis because they couldn’t find anything wrong. I encourage anyone that goes through workup for symptoms not to settle if nothing is found. It’s frustrating and time consuming, but could resolve problems rather than living with them.

      I do hope you find a solution that will help improve your hearing. I’d be happy if you’d let me know how it all turns out for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • myhearinglossstory
        March 3, 2017

        Thank you Elizabeth. Yes, it would be amazing to hear music in stereo again! If a miracle happened to me and I could get some hearing back, I would be listening to music all the time! I agree, sudden hearing loss can be a result of so many things. I have also seen many specialists including ENTs, chiropractor, physiotherapists, osteopaths, dentist, kidney doctor and now the neck and jaw specialist! I just want to find out why this has happened! Yes, of course I can let you know what happens 🙂 take care and best wishes x

        Like

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This entry was posted on February 15, 2017 by in Daily Prompt, Daily Ramblings, Health, Movies, Music and tagged , , , , .
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