Thirty years ago, I successfully regained hearing in my right ear with a stapedectomy. Hearing in the left ear continued to deteriorate as the osteoporosis of the stapes along with natural aging reduced the mid and treble response. Eventually understanding speech became a burden to me and those close to me. The isolation that accompanies this problem is very real. I was no longer part of the world. Misunderstandings became commonplace. It was exhausting for both me and those around me. In noisy settings it took all my energy to follow conversations.
Inability to hear what was going on behind me and on the deaf side alienated other people and increased danger in something as simple as crossing the street. Because of the risks of this type of surgery, I carefully researched the available surgeons in LA. Dr. Nazarian and the Osborne Clinic came with the finest reviews and recommendations. Hearing loss and the sensitive nature of this type of surgery only amplifies the need for a personal touch from the care giver. Honestly, I was bowled over by the lack of pretension and the deeply caring focus that Dr. Nazarian gave me every step of the way.
His staff mirrored his professionalism and care. I was provided with all the information concerning the operation, pre and post-op expectations. The surgical staff were all cut from the same mold – humanistic with a positive attitude, providing honest responses to my concerns. After the operation (a stapedectomy), only a week went by before the packing in my ear was removed. I expected a large jump in volume and an immediate change in my range of hearing – which occurred in the first operation 30 years ago. Instead, I experienced an echoing and booming of sound at first which went away after a few minutes.
Over the first couple weeks, I noticed that I did not need to ask people to repeat, that noisy environments were manageable. Volume did not increase, but I started to hear sounds across a range of frequencies that I had not been aware of, outside noises when I was resting, house noises, etc. Before the surgery, I would sleep on my good ear and enjoy the quiet. Now I sleep on either ear and enjoy the ambient sounds.
As my brain continued to integrate the information from the repaired ear, I was finally able to go to a play and fully understand the dialogues. I felt part of the world again. I am a musician and realized that I had been compensating for my hearing loss in a number of ways that made me less and less able to work in a band situation. My good ear was over-driven by sound and would shut down. I had more and more difficulty with the volume of my instruments in conjunction with the other members of the band. I would strike the keys more sharply in order to hear the harmonics or discern the primary tones to the detriment of feeling and continuity. Music had become thin and less pleasurable to hear or play. The creative connection was compromised. But, all this has resolved since the operation.
In conclusion, let me say to all who are contemplating this type of surgery, on every level it is worth it. And you could not be in finer or more caring hands then with Dr. Nazarian.