TIFU by going permanently deaf after intense sit ups

TIFU by going permanently deaf after intense sit ups

I was on my last exercise, which was just your regular old sit up. I get to the point where I can barely finish a full sit up, pushing myself hard to finish the last few, when I feel a pop in my left ear. My ear starts ringing. Nothing else was wrong with me though, so I shrugged it off, quit my workout, and went to sleep about an hour later.

It's 6 am when I wake up. I look at the time, but I notice everything around me seems to be spinning. I also realize the sound of every movement I make only seems to reach my right ear. Something was definitely wrong, and I immediately remembered the pop in my ear the night before. At this point I'm not that worried yet.

But I start googling my symptoms, as you do. I usually don't get too affected by all these "you have cancer" or "you're going to die!" diagnoses you always find, but this time it struck me that everything definitely pointed to a serious issue: a fractured round or oval window. This can cause serious hearing loss. By now, I also found out that every movement I make causes intense vertigo and nausea. This is the point I start panicking a bit.

After a visit to the doctor, a nice morning of throwing up from nausea, and then a hospital visit, I'm told that it is probably exactly what I thought. Apparently it is extremely rare, but this can happen during a workout. I'm given steroids for a higher chance of recovery and get sent home. Two days later I get a call from the doctor, asking if I can have surgery the next day. She explained it didn't feel right to her and she wanted to diagnose the problem and possibly fix it as soon as possible.

I had the surgery, and everything seemed healthy. She explained that this meant it was likely indeed a fracture in the oval window. Fractures can be so small, it's possible you will never locate them. During surgery, she something to the oval window to increase the likelyhood of recovery, but that's all she could do.

Now, after more than a month of recovering from the vertigo I can do basically everything I used to be able to. Hearing in my left ear is gone. I've been told that it's very unlikely to recover. My balance is still somewhat off as my left ear doesn't work in that department anymore either, but I've been told I'll get used to that. Hearing with just one ear has many downsides, and don't get me wrong it fucking sucks, but I've learned to live with it already. Well, other than the fact that I am now somewhat terrified of the thought of this happening to my right ear as well.

Now what irrationally stings the most about this whole ordeal. I'm a big Linkin Park fan. I had even pre-ordered the collector's edition of their last album. This story happened the day before the Linkin Park concert in Amsterdam that I had tickets to. I obviously couldn't go. It's a selfish thought, but it really fucking stings now that I know it was the last opportunity to see them live.

TL;DR I was working out using bad form and breathing techniques, feel a pop in my left ear, wake up deaf the next morning with extreme vertigo. Had surgery and medicine, but to no avail. Am deaf in my left ear now.

Edit: wording and spelling

Edit 2: some people asking what the TIFU was... I mean I literally did sit ups so hard and with wrong breathing techniques that I put too much pressure on my head and ripped a vital part of my left ear. I think that counts, even if some bad luck is required as well.

Edit 3 (now bolded because this is important): To those saying "Another reason not to work out" and actually mean it: I was incredibly dumb. Please remember that. I held my breath, which is dumb. I kept going when my body barely could, which is dumb. I strained all my muscles to get those last few sit ups out, which is dumb. Etc. Working out doesn't cause this. Being a dumb fuck who doesn't know what he's doing causes this.

Edit 4: Thanks for the 2x gold! Don't really know what to say. Really appreciate it!

And another Edit, number 5: FRONTPAGE! :o I really appreciate all the kind words. Everyone wants to give me advice and help me, and that's amazing. The internet isn't always a shitty place after all. Also love all the messages I got! Don't have time to read them all right now, but I will tomorrow!

Now I have to worry about another thing I never knew about happening to me! Yay

"Hey, OP, you've got great abs!"

OP: "What?"

The good news is aneurysms are far more likely, in which case you wouldn't have to live with partial deafness.

Tip from someone who lost it on the other side....you don't really "get used to it" with the balance. Prepare to clip door frames and walls for the rest of your life lol. Eventually you just get used to running into things.

What's going to suck the most is when you find out how much stuff is separated into stereo R&L channel audio. Headphones are never going to be the same. Just crank that LP up loud! Sorry you missed your chance at that concert.

OP you've given us all the excuse to not work out and get fat.

Everyone;"You're getting kind of fat maybe you should exercise more"

Me;"Sorry don't want to risk my hearing"


She explained that this meant it was likely indeed a rapture in the oval window.

I hope your ear successfully ascended into heaven.

Oh, that's very nice.

Man, I honestly don't know what to say. Everything about this story sucks. I always say try to be an optimist, or look on the bright side, but I feel so fucking bad for you man.

If it makes you feel any better, which I doubt it will, this is just a reminder to me, and hopefully others, that your body has the capability of pushing itself too hard and damaging itself, one to remember.

All the best man

"I've got a great ass?"

On the plus side: I can respond this way to insults too.

This gives me a good idea. I can genuinly fuck with friends by constantly saying "huh? what?" and they'll believe me.

Everything has a positive. This is a huge positive.

Just wanted to make everyone feel better. Statistically speaking at least one person reading this thread will have one.

part of the reason I wanted to post this is for if it could help anyone from making the same mistake I made. Stop when your body is telling you to stop. It's really that easy.

But don't worry, I'm fine. I'm going about my life just as I was before. It's a little bit of a handicap, but out of all handicaps this is probably one of the easiest to live with. I'm a fairly positive person who makes jokes in order t deal with shitty things like this. I got through it pretty well :)

Damnit, I wish I hadn't read this now!

That's surprising and disappointing. You'd think there'd be some accessibility tech for this. Sorry something so straightforward isn't available for those who hear in only one ear.

EDIT: Apparently a $2.99 part from RadioShack can take care of this! I found this by Googling "unilateral hearing loss stereo to mono adapter". Try searching for various combinations of that, as well as "adaptive technology". Good luck to both of you!

Quick question: Are there software and hardware solutions for turning stereo (and 5.1, 7.1, etc.) into mono? Like apps, programs or dongles.

Sorry, what did you say?

Hah, I'm sure it did. It never did me any wrong, until it broke that is. I fixed the error though, thanks for pointing that out.

I'm sorry to hear that... shit I mean sounds like a nightmare.. all puns aside, that's a real bum-ear.

Better response to shut down people who say: "Hey I'm talking to you, what are you, deaf!?"

Is to simply say: "I'm sorry I missed that, I'm deaf in one ear"

And they respond with: "Which ear?"

Final retort: "Whichever ear you're talking into, cunt chops"

You've got great maps!

If someone else could just take one for the team...

I thought I heard all the puns already, but these are like music to my ears.

So far, nothing I've found. Changing the R/L balance just mutes that side vs moving all sound over. It really pisses me off to! Some of the games i play run separate channels and i miss audio cues.


"Hey I'm talking to you, what are you, deaf!?"

"sad face half."


You mean music to your ear.

I don't think I'm your wife, but I could've been married when I wasn't listening. I haven't even noticed, so you must be a great husband! I'm usually a google master, but when it comes to solving my own disabilities I seem to fail...badly. Maybe I should hire a contractor for that lol

That's why I don't do sit ups.

I have eight hats?

A professor in my college was born deaf in one ear and lost hearing in another when he was an adult. After exploratory surgery was unhelpful he said one day he was running on a treadmill months later and all the sudden he could hear again, and the TV was blasting. He fell off the treadmill stunned. He attributed this to a miracle (he was a theology professor) but... I'm telling you there's a chance. Hope your thin chance works out for you.

One day you will die and nothing you ever did will have mattered. Just do you

I volunteer as tribute.

I don't think I'm your wife, but I could've been married when I wasn't listening.

This is my new favorite comment

I lost the hearing in my right ear after some surgery/malpractice back when I was 12-13. Here we are 20 some odd years later and I'm still surprised and disappointed my occasional google searches come up with nothing.

Some people just aren't good at googling things. Like my wife. Are you my wife? She can't hear either (though I suspect that's because she doesn't pay attention versus having something happen to her ear).

now I'm scared to work out!

does this guy know how to party or what? ^

Upvote this comment or else you or someone you love will have a brain aneurysm in the next 30 minutes!

Just make sure to breathe out! OP likely wasn't expiring in the crunch motion, leading to an increase in pressure in his middle ear which then resulted in barotrauma.

Is exactly what I did, combined with simply trying a little too hard and possibly wrong technique. The doctor told me to either don't work out again or to make sure I am doing it right, or I could lose hearing in the other ear too.

That's jolly decent of you. No rush. Let us know how it goes though. tap once for yes...

Planks for the win

Okay, a couple of things.

A tear in the oval window would indeed cause all of your symptoms, but once the tear is sealed, your balance function should be restored. Hearing is definitely the trickier part of that equation, as the oval window needs to be in firm contact with the stapes in order to do its job, but the dizziness results from the leak of perilymph into the middle ear. Once you seal the tear, everything works again. I don't know why the surgery didn't resolve that particular half of the problem.

In any event, your left-side balance function is absolutely not 100% gone. In order for that to happen, you would've needed to have a full labyrinthectomy, or something like that. Your saccule, utricle, and 3 SCCs are all still intact, and granted the perilymph is properly pressure-regulated, they should all work fine.

Do some reading about "perilymph fistulas" and seek out a few of the doctors in your area that specialize in those types of surgeries. Some of them do full window occlusions that would at least give you your balance back. If that doesn't resolve the issue, there's something else wrong.

Windows 10 recently added mono audio support under accessibility settings.

Press Win+U

Click Other Options on the sidebar

Turn the mono audio switch on

If you don't have/want Windows 10, VLC has a mono audio option. It can be used with youtube through SMTube

Science is advancing rapidly, so one day you might be able to recover!

I give great laps?

"did you grab my ass?"

So you're saying he should just keep doing sit ups until he gets his hearing back

Rapture. No gods, no kings. Only man

I...I know some of these words.

Both existentially terrifying and oddly calming.

You want me to set the traps?

it's one of my top three fears. They can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

"They're selling CHOCOLATE!!"


Jokes on you I don't love anybody and also want to die

But tons of people suck at breathing while working out - was there some kind of physical predisposition to this injury?

He said he's sad you can't hear!

LOL, the rapture came, and only took this dude's eardrum.

Other than the fact that my dad lost his hearing in one ear too, but in a completely different way, no not really.

I read about all that, and what you said was her diagnosis exactly. She said that during my sleep, the liquid probably seeped out. During surgery the doctor put something on the oval window to help it recover, which seems to be exactly what you also said, if I understood you correctly.

However, it's now 1.5 months later, and she said that considering I still haven't recovered any of my hearing, it's clear the oval window didn't recover in time. She said that with 1.5 months of zero improvement, there's no way there's no permanent damage to the labyrinth.

My balance is fine now. Like I said, it's still a little off sometimes, but that's only when I make very specific movements with my head. I even play field hockey again, without any issues. I may have misunderstood what she said about the left side balance not working anymore as well. Either way though, my balance is definitely recovering.

Have an upvote for a story not about fucking coconuts!

Also, I don't know if you've read yet, but LP's last album was... a startling detraction from what one associates the band's sound as.

Username checks out

Cunt chops holy fuck

"No, I'm all the way on the other side of the room sir. It's physically impossible that I grabbed your ass."

Hi, may i help ?

Username does not check out.

My husband is 90% deaf in his right ear and 20% in his left. He does this shit to me ALL THE TIME. After the 3rd time he says it I'll know he's just fucking with me (because he gets a tone in his voice after the 2nd too) and then yell at him really loudly, "YOU'RE AN ASS!" As he laughs really childishly.

He also lays on his good ear so the kids won't wake him up. So his alarm clock is them jumping on him when I can't get him up :).

Ah, I understand a bit better now.

So if your balance is fine, but you experience the occasional blip when making rapid movements, this may be a result of incomplete vestibular compensation, which is what happens when you suffer any sort of vestibular trauma. The fact that it's improved since the injury is a good sign that there fistula was sealed to prevent further leakage.

In terms of what permanent damage to the balance portion of the labyrinth you may have suffered, I suppose a few hair cells might've bit it. That would explain the vestibular weakness in the ear. Have you had a post-op ENG, out of curiosity?

Also, window fistulas can just "happen", but it's equally likely that they resulted from something else that might be treatable. If an increase in intracranial pressure from exercise causes your oval window to pop, superior canal dehiscence would be a reasonable suspicion. Did she discuss the possibility that you might have it?

Something similar has actually happened to me.

Over the last year I lost 75lbs through dieting, from that weight loss I developed a patulous eustachian tube.

My understanding of it is that the eustachian tube in your ear normally remains closed and opens to equalize pressure, like when you yawn and pop your ears. Because I lost so much fat, I also lost fat from the tube itself which makes it much more hollow/prone to staying open.

When it's open I can hear loud echos of my own breathing and speaking and it's really annoying. Luckily this only happens when I exercise, the increased blood flow also makes the eustachian tube prone to staying open or something like that.

So I've discouraged myself from exercising because of my hearing :/

I'm gonna be honest, the side affects of masturbation would have to be pretty damn severe for me to quit cold turkey.

Doctor: "Masturbating causes intense chronic pain..."

Me: "Aw..."

Doctor: "...for 24 hours"

Me: "oh well I guess I can cut back to once a day then."

Choose the 'mono' setting on any device you use and you're getting a 50/50 blend of both channels in both sides- L/R. (sorry if you already knew that)

I lost hearing in my left ear at the same age in a hunting accident:(

So the whole masturbation thing causing hear loss.. maybe it's not that farfetched then.

I guess I can risk it

I haven't even noticed, so you must be a great husband!

I loved the follow through

crank that LP up loud!

but not too loud, or you'll lose hearing in your other ear too

Thank you so much for this. How recent is this update? I couldn't find a thing when I was googling a month ago.

You have to type from right to left for him to hear you.

I know! Did you know they eat people all of the time?

Last year, Sarasoni County Florida, Chett Willer, age 16, swimming in the Oak River Canal, killed by an 11 footer..

Two years ago, *** County, Georgia, Ruth Baker, age 39, killed in her back yard by a 10 footer.

Same year, Pinellas County Florida, Walter Jakes, age 70, and his dog, killed by a 12-footer.

If you're on android, you can go into settings>accessibility toggle mono audio on. It will combine channels when playing audio.

Edit: reworded for possible clarification.

Also I'm on stock Android 7.1.2

As someone half deaf (and in their left ear too) their whole life, yes! Remember to casually rest your hand on your right ear whenever you just don't feel like listening to whatever's going on

Fuck. That's enough internet for today. I'm going on a walk or something.

You could have an aneurysm while getting eaten by an alligator.

On iPhone, it’s General -> Accesibility -> Mono Audio.

The new AirPods do this automatically if you only use one of them, as well.

Doctor: "sir you've been in ear surgery for a few days" Patient: "oh boy can't wait to go to a linkin park concert"

It's possible. I asked the doctor, she said she couldn't rule it out. A bit of a cop out answer, but I understand why she'd cop out. She can't guarantee that it's not the case.

I need to take a crap?

"And the eardrum sitteth at the right hand of our lord."

I pre-ordered their last album's collectors edition. I got the shirt and all.

Yeah, it's not their best. I mean, I'm not one of those fans who hate on them for it though. I still think they made some amazing music, on more than just their first 2 albums. 2 or 3 songs from their very last album are pretty good, too.

ps. I didn't want to admit it, but I actually put a coconut in my ear. That's what caused it.

Would you kindly?

Not as scary as alligators or crocodiles though!

You could have an aneurysm on the toilet! You never know...

None that he's heard of.

Dexters in the lab?

As someone suffering from tinnitus and hyperacusis, this is what I hope for, too. Preferably with nanomachines.

I had an ear infection years ago that completely blocked my left ear. Couldn't hear a thing out of it. I can speak from experience as to how debilitating it is. Everything sounds like it's coming from the same side. I also found it very hard to gauge my own speaking volume. I truly feel for you and wish you luck.

The doctor eventually stuck this long needle like vacuum tube in my ear to suck out all the gunk. It was one of the most satisfying and relieving moments of my life when I heard that pop and my hearing returned and the pressure went away.

Until today I didn't know so many things had that option. Needless to say I'll be tweaking everything I have that uses headphones.


This one!

There's a deer in my ass?

Dexter's in my abs?

That's what I think too - someone will invent some hardware to fix this.

I remember chocolate.