Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Guest, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    To start with, I do not have a diagnosis of any kind.

    What are the ramifications of tinnitus regarding a private pilot?

    Last week, I developed a ringing in my left ear. I can still hear from it, but I've got that ringing. Also, when watching TV or listening to the radio in the car, the sound in my left ear is super-tinny and it sounds like what I'm hearing is just outside my ear on that side, instead of coming from the source (TV/radio/etc.)

    If I have no hearing loss am I clear? Is this something that needs to be disclosed on my next 3rd class exam? What about Basic Med?


    Thanks all.
     
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The common standard in the AME's office is that you can hear and understand him when he speaks to you in a soft voice with your back turned from a distance of 5 or 6 feet.

    As long as tinnitus does not interfere with that, you should be okay.
     
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  3. Stewartb

    Stewartb En-Route

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    A flight physical confirms that you can hear. As long as you can pass that, no problem. I’ve had diagnosed tinnitus with occasional physician’s care for 20 years. In my case I have very little hearing loss when tested. I believe that’s fairly typical for tinnitus.
     
  4. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    If you can hear and understand what is being said I don't think you will have a problem with the medical.

    I have a severe case of Tinnitus that makes communication extremely difficult if I can't read lips. Women with soft voices on the phone are hell for me. The problem with tinnitus is that sounds are distorted sometimes to the point of being unintelligible. In my case the volume is there but words that may sound similar are difficult at best to determine which one was said. I fly with a friend and he has Bose headsets. I still find myself looking at him when he speaks and fast talking controllers leave me in the dust. It is a problem I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

    How did I get here? Read the MSDS on 100LL and maybe you'll get a partial answer. I had significant exposure to that while plying my trade as an A&P. To top it off I later discovered I was sensitive to hydrocarbon chemicals.
     
  5. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Hmmmm....now that rings a bell and sometimes a bell tower. :D
     
  6. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Make sure you don't have earwax build up putting pressure on your drum.
     
  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've had tinnitus for far longer than I have been a pilot. The standard for the third class is hearing normal spoken voice. Even if you fail that, you can get a "must wear amplification" restriction just like if you needed to wear glasses. The only other issue is whether you have any other ear pathology (Meuniere's or whatever) but just too much rock music or whatever isn't an issue.

    For me the tinnitus is only an issue in quiet environments (which airplanes are not). I even have the option on my hearing aids to play masking noise. My hearing isn't so bad that I can't pass the medical without them on. (I probably couldn't if both my hears were as bad as my bad one).
     
  8. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    After a while, it gets easy to ignore - and then some clown brings up the subject and "rrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng". :)
     
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  9. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    LOL. I’m in that same boat. Just a fact of life for me.
     
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  10. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer Pattern Altitude

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    I've had it since I was probably 15 from motocross, loud cars, music, planes, etc. You'll be alright
     
  11. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Brrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnnngggggggggg! Yup! Yup! Yup! Yup! Yup! Yup!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    If it persists, see an ENT. Unilateral tinnitus can be a neurological finding. Otherwise it should not affect your third class medical. If you see an ENT, they will order a hearing test, which you can present to the AME as evidence of adequate hearing. Your health insurance should cover it.
     
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  13. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Ringin here for about 2.5 years now.
    If I push on my head behind my ears (cochlear area) it gets a little better. If I push on my head in other areas it gets much worse.
    Also diet and other factors seem to affect it.
    Coffee
    High sugar
    low sleep
     
  14. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like graveyard shift LEO making a donut shop run....
     
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  15. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    This. Sudden onset of tinnitus in only one ear that persists needs to be checked out.
     
  16. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes to this answer.

    Even if it grounds you, your hearing is one of the most precious gifts you have.
    Ask me how I know.
    How did that song go:

    If it persists, even for just a couple of days, see an ENT.
     
  17. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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  18. tinerj

    tinerj Cleared for Takeoff

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    Doctor, speaking softly with his head turned: "How many brothers have you?"

    Me: Huh?

    Result = limitations on third class medical: Hearing augmentation required.

    And I use headphones and that is considered "augmentation"
     
  19. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    My ears ring louder after flying.

    It’s the engine noise that does it, even with an ANR headset.
     
  20. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    I've had tinnitus for about 15 years. Mine came on drastically/suddenly overnight, along with other weird symptoms (metal taste in mouth, headaches, sunlight sensitivity). Took my doctor quite a few tests to determine I had gotten heavy metal poisoning while on a camping trip...we still aren’t sure exactly HOW I ingested a heavy metal while camping; illegal dumping maybe? Fortunately, all my other symptoms subsided within a year, except for the severe tinnitus. Also fortunately, it hasn't been an issue with my medicals or affected my health in other ways.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017