ANA Discussion Forum
Watch and Wait => For those in the 'watch and wait' status => Topic started by: musicmaker on March 05, 2019, 07:50:38 am
I am a music director at a local church and diagnosed last mouth with an AN of 1.2 cm. It seems like every week I have developed a new symptom. Last week it was the sound of music. I feel like when I sing that I am singing off key and hesitate on singing solos anymore. Has this affected anyone else. I hate to think that I may have to leave my dream job. I'm having to use an ear plug in my ear when singing and directing the choir and congregation due to the music monitors. My ear is so sensitive to loud sounds but it's the fear of singing off key that really bugs me.
Other musicians with ANs have mentioned similar problems. Here is a link to one of their posts:
musicmaker, I agree with you. I have always led singing at church and over the last year or so I sometimes feel I'm flat. I've always been blessed with good natural pitch and can sense when flat. I still sing and will continue to do so....not sure what I can do about it. ;)
Hi musicmaker .....
As a retired musician, I can understand your frustration with no longer being able to hear 100% in both ears.
If it is any consolation, your brain will eventually learn to compensate for the loss of accurate input and block out the poor quality sounds.
As you can read in my signature, I have had two AN surgeries on the same side. Following the first surgery, I retained 20% of my hearing and still maintained 100% speech discrimination, so I was fitted with a traditional air-conducted hearing aid. The horrifying thing was waking up to discover my AN ear was about a 1/4 tone off from my remaining good ear. This resulted in all music, but especially piano music, sounding horribly out of tune. It took several months, but eventually my brain blocked out the wrong pitch input. During that time, I found it very disconcerting to try to sing, especially in a choral group when I could not hear myself at the same time as others. Side note: prior to my AN diagnosis I had perfect pitch. Following the first surgery and ever since, I no longer can discern a perfect pitch.
Since my second surgery, I am totally deaf on the AN side, but now wear a bone-anchored hearing device, which has been wonderful for hearing sounds coming from my deaf side, but it will never be the same as complete, natural hearing again.
You mentioned the sensitivity to loud sounds. This is called hyperacussis. In single sided hearing impaired people, it is usually a result of the brain overcompensating and perceiving sounds way louder than you should. I have this as well ..... especially loud music, crinkling bags, clanking dishes/silverware, etc. I had a custom-fit musicians' earplug made with a filter in it that does a good job of filtering out the annoying pitches to use in my "good" ear. I use it for most concerts where I know it will be loud (like brass instruments, loud monitors, etc.). I also use it to filter out road noise when traveling in a car.
I doubt that you are singing off key, it just feels that way because of the loss of accurate input. Have someone you trust, listen to you and confirm that you are still on pitch. Also, remember it takes the brain longer to catch up to loss of input than one would think.
Hope that helps.
Thank you all for your replies. Clarice, you really answered some of my questions especially about the sensitive sounds. I have found that even the ice maker on my frig hurts my ear. I have also found that when I come home from choir and bell practice that my ear has a louder ringing noise than it usually does. Thank you again.
I sing in church too and one of my fears is not being able to hear the music and go flat. I am being told I am not off pitch yet. I too don't like certain sounds, the fan in the bathroom, the hum of a motor, all those things bother me, even my hairdryer. I have lost my hearing in the last year, am not at a severe to profound hearing loss but I still sing and listen to music. As the doctor told me last week, this is not life ending but life altering. Don't stop music! Have someone you trust let you know if you are flat or off pitch and if you are sing anyway! I am being fit for hearing aids and can't wait. I took have a small tumor 1.3 and have decided to observe. I am doing the vestibular exercises and following my plan of care. Best of luck to you!
Jane, what are vestibular exercises? I've never heard of them.
Hi musicmaker ....
Vestibular exercises are very useful for speeding up the process of the brain dealing with a lack of vestibular function from one or both sides. For those of us diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma (or vestibular schwannoma) which grows on the vestibular branch of the hearing nerve, at some point our balance is usually affected.
I have several exercises which are helpful for regaining balance and to improve gaze stabilization. If you would like to see a copy of either set, just send me a private message here and I will send them off to you. They are helpful either pre or post treatment.
Clarice, I tried to send you a private message but it reported that your box is full.