ENT Specialist

Questions relating to medical issues and treatment. Where possible and appropriate, we will request comment from qualified and reputable NZ-based diving doctors. If your query relates to a personal medical issue, we recommend you contact your GP or relevant medical specialist.

ENT Specialist

Postby Michelle » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:16 pm

I've just spent a really crappy couple of days in the local hospital with an undefine inner ear problem. It's essentailly undefined because the doctors don't know enough to establish what the problem is so are treating the symptoms instead.

Apparently, if it doesn't heal itself I just keep taking the tablets and everything will be OK, so long as I stop diving!

Since the hospital doctors didn't see why I had a problem with this I desperatley need to get a second (and slightly more knowledgable) opinion from an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist.

Has anyone here every had to consult one of these creatures? Can anyone recommend a good (diver-friendly) one?
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby tazbubz » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:11 am

Hi

If your in Auckland there is a place in Epsom called Dilworth Hearing, also on the Nth Shore, & Pakuranga,

I had ear issues all my life, and was de-cleared "not fit" to dive as he told me I had a tropical ear infection... (here in NZ tropical ear infection wtf!!) went home looked in the mirror sure enough I had palm tree and sands coming out of my ear (not really like that) but anyway

Went to Dilworth and received nothing but excellent support and advice, within 3 weeks they cleared me to dive, I have had no issues since so far, (also managed to find the ENT Doctor that operated on my ear when I was 5)

Number 09-6311991 - Epsom - Dilworth Hearing (known there as Gillies Hospital)

All the best
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby Jason » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:08 am

How did you know you had an Ear Problem :?:
Just drifting along with whatever is current.
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby tazbubz » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:11 am

Vampire Squid wrote:How did you know you had an Ear Problem :?:


Umm.... your ears hurt :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby Michelle » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:48 am

Oddly enough, my ear didn't hurt.

I actually started having severe attacks of vertigo, to the point that I fell over a couple of times. This was NOT a faint in that I never lost conciousness, just completely lost my balance and the floor sort of swung up to meet me (the first time I actually managed to acheive a full fall without spilling my wine!). I was admitted to hospital where they ruled out neurological causes and narrowed it down to a problem with my inner ear.

Unfortunately they are not motivated to investigate further and have just prescribed drugs to treat the symptoms.
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby Jason » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:04 pm

I've had that a few times. Its like I move too fast for my sense of perception. Sortta feels like when I walk off a gutter and 'miss my step' and its like my 'being' has been caught by surprise and needs to catch up to my body which has just dropped down a step. This just lasts like a milli-second but it is noticable.
Just drifting along with whatever is current.
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby Xman » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:20 pm

Michelle wrote:Oddly enough, my ear didn't hurt.

I actually started having severe attacks of vertigo, to the point that I fell over a couple of times. This was NOT a faint in that I never lost conciousness, just completely lost my balance and the floor sort of swung up to meet me (the first time I actually managed to acheive a full fall without spilling my wine!). I was admitted to hospital where they ruled out neurological causes and narrowed it down to a problem with my inner ear.

Unfortunately they are not motivated to investigate further and have just prescribed drugs to treat the symptoms.


That sucks. A good friend of mine has Meniere's disease and has to put up with that crap all the time.

Not for a moment suggesting self diagnosis of your particular issue, but this site is well worth a read if you are having this sort of problem-
http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby justsimon » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:30 pm

Bummer, hope you get it sorted out.

Not for a moment suggesting self diagnosis of your particular issue, but this site is well worth a read if you are having this sort of problem-
http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com

It's good to know as much as possible yourself. GPs are also quite good for this. They know a bit about medicine :D and know where and to who to refer you to.
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby Andy » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:54 pm

I've been to Dilworth in Epsom - I didn't think that the service was that great. They initially mis-diagnosed my ear problem, gave me some me ear drops and told to go aweay and come back if it wasn't better. As a result, I now suffer from near continuous tinitus. This could well just have been the one consultant there, as I know others have had different experiences.

I saw a second specialist a while later who actually was fantastic, and worked out what my issue was - unfortunately, I can't recall his name or which clinic it was. I'll try and call my GP and find out, Michelle.

The other option is to as a diving doctor for a referal, and who they would recommend. Greg is a good option here. I also use Heather McDonald at Oxygen Therapies.
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby Michelle » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:55 pm

Xman wrote:Not for a moment suggesting self diagnosis of your particular issue, but this site is well worth a read if you are having this sort of problem-
http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com


After two days of being poked and prodded by doctors I am in no danger of self diagnosing the condition - it has already been diagnosed to death, it's the treatment bit that is presenting a challenge

This is a really useful site, including a whole series of "at home" exercises to improve the condition, thanks.
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby Wayne » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:28 pm

I see a couple of people have all ready said try Dilworth, that is where I would try as well. If you are in Remuera ask for Dr Allison LaCalle, she seems very on to it, than again I would say that she is a friend of mine.
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby Azza » Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:53 pm

For my Commercial/ OSH diving cert I have to get clearance from an ENT surgeon every year...simply because I have lost some hearing in my right ear.

I use the ENT guys near North Shore Hospital. They seem good enough and even the ENT surgeon wonders why the hell I should have to have a check and report every year from industrial hearing loss. I think most former servicemen have hearing loss...especially RNZCT members...those off-road tires really whine on the road :lol:
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby Michelle » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:09 pm

I’m adding to this thread since I have finally had my ear issues diagnosed as “moderate barotrauma” to the inner ear.

Having had no indication while diving I was surprised when the ENT finally (after several misdiagnosis) wrote my balance issues off to a “rapid ascent from a dive causing moderate barotrauma to the inner ear". When I protested that I had not done a rapid ascent he conceded that it may have been a rapid descent. I always imagined that this would manifest itself in the form of pain in the ear if I had not equalised properly, but it appears that the inner ear does not signal trauma the same way as the middle and outer ear do, and at some point I have bruised the inner ear, causing my balance mechanism to fail (quite a spectacular spectacle I am assured).

Although they are now talking of "when" I dive again (rather than "if", which was their starting position) I will always have to be careful of my descent speed as well as ascending slowly. I have now been out of the water for twenty-nine days and eighteen hours and they are considering clearing me for diving in another two weeks and the only pain was sitting on the beach on Sunday watching everyone else dive.
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby Andy » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:53 am

I feel your pain, Michelle. Hope you are cleared fit to dive soon!
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Re: ENT Specialist

Postby justsimon » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:54 am

Congratulations on a 'good' diagnosis. I had no idea that a rapid descent could cause problems. :shock:
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