Now Hear This!

I’m on my way home from my initial ENT (ear/nose/throat specialist) consultation. Since early June I’ve been experiencing a weird hearing problem: in my left ear, everything sounds like it’s off frequency, around a minor third too low. It’s really noticable when I whistle, or when I hear women or children talk.

The examination revealed actual hearing loss in my left ear, below around 200 Hz. According to the doctor the off-frequency hearing is a symptom which typically accompanies the low-end hearing loss in a condition he called “hydrops”, in which a component of the inner ear swells and creates a blockage. There is no cure, and no real treatment. It may get better, and it may not.

On that happy note, he said that the condition is aggravated by stress, by salt, and by alcohol. Wouldn’t ya know it – these are all things I seem to be having trouble shaking.