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Ear Ringing, Pain After Concert

Over the past year, I began noticing that my 40 yr old husband cannot hear high-frequency noises.  Occasionally he misinterprets what our 7 and 4 yr old daughters say to him.  He has always had sinus pressure since I have known him (12 years) with no workup.  He has complained of ringing in both his ears when laying in bed at night when the house is silent,  This past weekend we went to a concert and complained that his ears were in pain and that the songs all sounded muffled.  What's going on?  What type of specialist should we start with?  Thank you.
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554959 tn?1216060966
A work up by an ent with an audiogram would be a good first step.  As discussed earlier, loud noise exposure can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus.  Making sure that there is no conductive component (difficulty with transmission of the sound to the inner ear) will also be evaluated.  If there are differences in hearing between each ear, further work up with imaging or more specialized audiological tests (ABR) might be indicated.  Good luck.
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152264 tn?1280354657
He should see an otologist--an ENT who SPECIALIZES in the ear. Ask his primary care doctor for a referral, or see the lists at the American Neurotology Society Web site.

First off, he needs a formal hearing test. The ENT will order that. If there are sinus issues, the ENT can check into that as well.

High-frequency hearing loss with age is normal, but he sounds too young to be experiencing the degree of it you describe. Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) is also common, but again, it's not exactly  normal.

Both of these things can be caused by too much exposure to loud noise, such as rock concerts. I hope he always uses earplugs!! If not, he'd better start!! Once your hearing is gone, it doesn't come back, and tinnitus usually doesn't go away either.

That said, I hope the doctor finds a treatable cause for his problems.

As your daughters grow up, don't allow them to expose their ears to excessive noise with their future iPods and concerts, etc. Young people are damaging their hearing en masse, but they won't realize it (and won't care) until it's too late. Earplugs always at concerts. Keep the music player turned down. See this great educational Web site:


Best of luck,
Nancy T.
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