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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Ear echo

03/24/2009

Question:

I have this hearing problem. When I talk loud enough I can hear my speech in my right ear. If someone talks loud enough, I hear an echo in my right ear, and sometimes in my left. I have been diagnosed with tinnitus. The tinnitus is intermittent, that is, I can go a few days, and not hear the whistling sound. It is in both ears, and sounds like radiators hissing in the winter time. I took lipo-flavids for six months, and did not help. What really bothers me, is that I am unable to listen to any audio equipment, as I hear raspy sounds at certain frequencies. It sounds like loudspeaker break-up. I initially thought it was the equipment, but found out that I hear it no matter what I listen too. This has been going on for the past three months. I do not listen at high volume, and the last hearing test I had, showed my response slopes off above 8 Khz. The problem is their whether I am or am not experiencing the tinnitus. I am a 62 year old male.

Answer:

I recommend seeing a neurotologist and getting a 2nd opinion. You may need a CT scan or MRI to further assess your problem. Your echo could be due to a disease known as superior canal dehiscence. Thanks.

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Response by:

Ravi N Samy, MD, FACS Ravi N Samy, MD, FACS
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Skull Base Surgery Fellowship, Director of Adults Cochlear Implantation Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati