A Medical Mystery Solved at Mass. Eye and Ear
Maryjane Behforouz spent years trying to ignore clicking sounds in her head.
She had seen three ear, nose and throat specialists, and none of them seemed to know why she heard nearly constant clicking (or sometimes crunching) sounds that were so loud she’d wake up in the middle of the night.
All three diagnosed her with sensorineural hearing loss, or a loss of sensory cells in the ear. Unfortunately, there was little they could do to bring Maryjane’s hearing back — or to stop the terrible crunching sounds.
That is, until she found Konstantina Stankovic, MD, PhD, FACS, Chief of Otology and Neurotology at Mass. Eye and Ear, who listened very carefully to her story.
Dr. Stankovic discovered that Maryjane had, in fact, broken a tiny bone in her ear. She did not have sensorineural hearing loss. She had a conductive hearing loss, which is often treatable with surgery.
Dr. Stankovic was able to quiet the clicking noises through a surgery that repaired the fracture using bone cement. She explained that the clicking was caused by two fragments of bone vibrating out of sync in response to sound.
“The important thing is you really have to listen to your patient,” Dr. Stankovic said.
Read the full story in The Washington Post.