September 4th, 2018 | Ask an Audiologist | by Mike Prangley

Ask an Audiologist: Distorted Hearing

Ask an Audiologist

Hi, I’ve recently noticed that voices in my right ear sound a bit distorted and robot-like. This usually happens mainly with female voices and loud male voices. Normal objects, such as the sound of water, cars, etc. are perfectly normal. I’m wondering if this is temporary or if I should seek further assistance?

Audiologist Response

Hi there, thank you for your inquiry. This is a good question and you were right to send us this inquiry. You mentioned the sounds are distorted, but do you feel there is a difference in the hearing levels between the two ears? For example, if you plug the one ear and then plug the other, do the sounds in the environment stay the same volume or do you feel there is a decrease with/without the distorted effect ? Did this happen overnight and was it associated with any type of cold or virus?

I would certainly have your hearing assessed as soon as possible to help determine etiology. Sometimes, in situations like these, getting an immediate assessment is critical to determine what is going on and what can be done to improve the situation. It is very difficult to say whether this is temporary or permanent. An assessment as soon as possible will help determine the next steps and to determine whether further medical evaluation is necessary.

If you are in Ontario, a Hearing Solutions clinician will happily see you and do a check of the mechanical part of your ear along with an assessment of your hearing levels and offer assistance to you regarding the next steps.

A consult with your family doctor is also suggested as he/she should be aware of this situation.

Mike Prangley is an Audiologist registered with CASLPO working for Hearing Solutions. Currently, Mike sees patients at the Masonville Place Hearing Solutions clinic in London, Ontario.

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