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everyone sounds like a robot - help!

(16 Posts)
nicky1968 Thu 12-Aug-10 19:31:50

Everything was fine at work, drove home, opened the door and everyone sounded as if they were talking like robots or through a voice changer. It's horrible. I can hear myself sound like I'm a dalek too. There's no pain or discomfort, I haven't got a cold or anything so what's going on? Any ideas?

Flisspaps Thu 12-Aug-10 20:18:24

I'm going to keep an eye out for answers to this as sometimes I get it - everything sounds really 'tinny' sometimes, is that what you mean?

AnyFuleKno Thu 12-Aug-10 20:26:38

blocked ears? start of an ear infection?

nicky1968 Thu 12-Aug-10 20:37:49

Well I can't really describe it apart from it really does sound like everyone is a dalek, especially my two daughters. How long do you get this for when it happens to you?

AnyFuleKno Thu 12-Aug-10 20:39:32

is it possible you've got a bit of water in your ear?

NorbertDentressangle Thu 12-Aug-10 20:42:09

When you are talking does it sound slightly muffled, as if you've got a finger in your ear? If so I get that too so would be interested to hear whats causing it.

A friend gets something similar and said it was to do with her sinuses getting blocked -she sort of massages her cheekbone area to shift the blockage

nicky1968 Thu 12-Aug-10 21:18:54

Don't think I've got water in my ear and no, it doesn't sound muffled, just roboty, echoey, daleky type thing although I think it might just be in one ear. I'll have a go at massaging my cheekbone area to see if that helps.

Flisspaps Thu 12-Aug-10 23:12:05

For me it usually only lasts a few hours. I know what you mean, it's definitely not a muffled sound.

blinks Thu 12-Aug-10 23:28:30

started any new medications recently or take anything regularly?

blinks Thu 12-Aug-10 23:31:17

also, any balance problems?

HonestyBox Fri 13-Aug-10 04:55:32

It is probably something to do with your eustachian tube. You might have an ear infection, I suggest a trip to the GP - don't mess about when it comes to ears, best to get it checked out.

Can you clear it by gently 'popping' your ears (by yawning for example)?

NickM31 Fri 26-Sep-14 15:42:09

Hi. I just wanted to follow up on this as people tend not to, I always find I follow it all the way through hopefully but dont get what I need.

I'm a 31 year old male who suffered from sensonureal hearing loss in my right ear about 5 years ago. It happened over about 8 hours, my hearing gradually getting worse and worse until it was gone. I was not treated with any urgency and kept getting sent away. I started suffering from vertigo and was prescribed cyclazine for, which made me feel a bit better but wiped me out.

My hearing never returned. Eventually I managed to get a referral to a proper ENT who said that it wasn't that uncommon and I should have been started on steroids ASAP but there wasn't much point (he was an unsympathetic turd). I did some research and found a good ENT in London and was referred there. I had an MRI and blood tests which came back normal. Basically my hearing has gone, they dont know what causes this but suspect a virus. A rapid course of steroids (prednisilone) is a shot in the dark approach that has shown some evidence of working but nothing particularly scientifically vigorous.

Fortunately at this ENT there was an attached clinical psychologist who helped me deal with the loss of such a treasured sense and the major anxiety of losing the hearing in my other ear. She was amazing and basically changed my life. I have skipped over a number of traumas and problems engaging with the health service on this one, it went on for years.

That was 5 years ago or so. The other day I was working from home and was on a number of conference calls. I thought that my computer was broken because it sounded tinny, like a speaker had blown. It wasn't until later when I started watching TV that I realised it was my hearing. I called 111 and was eventually told to go to my local hospital to see a GP (because of my history and at my insistence, they made a quick appointment in person). The GP I saw was great. I had all my previous paperwork with me which she read through and she phoned ahead and spoke to the ENT on call, gave me a letter and told me to go to their A&E and ask for the ENT on call which I did.

The ENT nurse came to get me after i had checked in at A&E and had some blood work done and was really nice. She was very sympathetic to my history and really looked after me. My ears were full of wax and she suctioned them out, saying in most cases that is what the problem is, and normally I would not have been seen, but given my history they were being very careful. I felt like the wax suctioning helped but it hadn't solved the problem.She started me on 40mg of prednisalone. She made me an appointment for the next day at the ENT clinic and I got home about midnight.

I went in the next day and had a pretty awful day battling with various receptionists trying to get things sorted. I'll spare you the details, it took me all day, but eventually, I almost broke down crying twice (and i'm not a cryer) I got a hearing test which showed that my hearing was normal in my good ear and that my ears were healthy. I still had the robotic sounds in my ear, so basically no diagnosis and no prognosis. I insisted that I stay on the steroids which the junior ENT (only person I could see) agreed to and prescribed me some, I asked for them to be upped to 60mg because in my paperwork that's what they had given me years ago. She did but only for a week. You have to be tapered off steroids, you can't just stop taking them, so i've been discussing with my GP about getting that sorted (she's great) - how the ENT let me take these quite dangerous drugs without tapering me down I dont know.

Anwway, I feel like my hearing is improving, although it is very early days and i'm very frightened. I dont know how i would cope losing my hearing, i dont know how i would work or manage a relationship or myself. I know I would have to but I dont see how and the idea terrifies me. I dont know how it's going to go for me but my advice to anyone searching for info on this is, dont mess around, this is potentially a medical emergency. Yes if you've got crap coming out your ear or something stuck up it or a severe cold then chances are it's just that. If however you are otherwise healthy and you just suddenly start to lose your hearing then go and see a clinician immediately and get them to give you steroids if they can't think what else to do. It may not work but it's something. Then push for an referral to an ENT. I remember reading years ago that the faster the loss comes on and the more severe it is, the more likely that it's serious and permanent. That was certainly my experience, but I know how devastating that will be to someone going through this now reading this.

And if you are in the same situation as me, with coping with losing hearing on one side, then it does get much much easier and dont be ashamed if you're devastated and not coping.

Best wishes to all.

Lee76 Mon 25-Jan-16 05:00:43

@NickM31 - thank you for the very helpful post. Could I please ask what came of this? I hope you still have your hearing.

I'm going through almost the exact same story. I just recently turned 39. I experienced sensonureal hearing loss in my right ear at 37, just under two years ago. 60% hearing loss and any hearing I had was distorted and thus useless to amplify with a hearing aid. Had lots of balance issues initially, but those very rarely resurface. My single-sided deafness also came with pretty severe tinnitus in my right ear. I had also been administered 16 days of prednisone starting at 60mg, tapering off. No help. Same conclusion, likely caused by a virus. Living in MN, I had the luxury of the Mayo also checking this and backing the theory.

Several days ago I started hearing the robotic voices for lower voices, including my own. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I was nervous. The next day (Friday), I woke up and thought I heard tinnitus in my left ear, very different than the tinnitus in my right ear and not as severe. But to me this implied hearing loss. I walked around, and the sound seemed to dissipate. Then I realized my wife had the bathroom fan on the lower level. When she turned it off, the tinnitus seemed to go with it. So I concluded it was just my imagination.

In any case, I decided enough was enough and starting trying to get a same day ENT appointment. Nobody had any openings anywhere. Thought of going to the GP, but my wife and I decided they wouldn't be able to help without the hearing equipment to validate a concern (in hindsight, it would still have been prudent to go). I end up booking an appt for Monday (tomorrow) afternoon, only one I could get, but at least at the same clinic that helped me with my earlier ear issue.

I wake up at 3:30AM this morning (Sunday), and within 5 seconds, the same tinnitus returns. This time my wife is not in the bathroom, but sleeping right next to me. I was fooled by the fan earlier and that my tinnitus disappeared at roughly the same time (or earlier) she turned off the fan. No I'm pretty much sobbing in bed at the horror of what this means. My wife wakes, tries to comfort me, and we decide to head into the ER.

At ER, magically there is an ENT on site, but unfortunately he's in emergency surgery and cannot help me. So I get a typical ER doctor. All my vitals are good. I explain my history. He checks my ear, finds nothing wrong, but says my fluid levels look high in the left (good) ear (giving me some hope it's an ear infection). He then decides to compare to the right ear, and finds the fluid levels are the same. He orders a CT-scan to make sure things in my neck are in order, and also a blood test. Those all come back clear.

He says my best bet is to wait for my ENT appointment. Knowing from my previous experience that timing is critical, I worked to get a small prescription of prednisone that could get me started until I got to the ENT. Interestingly, tonight, after just a single does, the metallic voices have subsided greatly (I really cannot hear them anymore), and the tinnitus (in the good ear) is pretty much gone. I feel like I still hear the echo of it though. Anyway, crossing my fingers and will definitely push to continue the treatment with the ENT.

Yaboi321 Mon 31-Jul-17 07:35:51

Ok this is odd I'm 14 and I woke up this morning and my left ear felt like it was clogged like maybee allergies or something then I'm like ok I went downstairs and told my mom and she said probally allergies I'm like yeah that's what I think it is but then later in the day I use a high pitched voice and I sound like a robot I was so scared and I told my mom but I think we're gonna take me too the doctor I'm just kinda scared since I'm so young and scared but I hope it just goes away soon

Lichy86 Wed 01-Nov-17 06:45:25

Hi yaboi321 how did it go? I have exact same problem and I'm on day 6. sad

judith77 Mon 25-Dec-17 11:09:44

I have had a similar experience to the distorted, robotic, wah-wah voices described on this page. After having my ears cleaned by microsuction, in my left ear the human voice sounded like Donald Duck - presumably something very similar to what people describe above. It lasted for 6 months, and was a nightmare to live through. The audiologist had no idea what was causing it, and I had the impression he did not even believe me. I am totally certain that it was the experience of microsuction that caused it, though whether it was an infection I picked up from the machinery, or a distortion caused to the ear drum by the machinery, I have no idea. Can anyone suggest a cause?

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