Hearing test for Yate man leads to tumour surgery

February 28 2017

A Yate man who thought he was suffering from mild hearing loss is praising an audiologist who spotted a tumour behind his right ear.

A Yate man who thought he was suffering from mild hearing loss is praising an audiologist who spotted a tumour behind his right ear. 

Richard Burns, 52, had visited his local hospital after suffering from hearing loss, but after being told there was nothing wrong he assumed it was just down to getting older. That was until his fiancée intervened and sent him to Specsavers in Yate.  

‘After undergoing a number of tests in hospital and finding nothing, I had resigned myself to the fact that hearing loss was just a part of getting older,’ says Richard. ‘My fiancée Debbie wasn’t convinced though and really pushed for me to go to Specsavers to get one more test and I am so lucky she did.’

Richard was seen by the store’s audiologist, Harley Stevens who carried out the hearing test. Upon examination Harley realised that Richard had severe hearing loss on his right side and immediately referred him to his local GP. 

‘As soon as I tested Mr. Burns and discovered that he was suffering from unilateral hearing loss, I knew that it was something far more sinister than a blockage or getting older. It’s very unusual to have perfect hearing in one ear and severe hearing loss in the other,’ says Harley. 

His doctor then referred him to a specialist at the BRI Hospital where he underwent a CT scan which revealed an egg sized tumour sitting on his right ear canal. 

After a number of specialist appointments and scans, Richard went in for surgery at the Southmead Hospital to remove the tumour. Fifteen days later he was discharged and the specialist was able to confirm that the tumour was an acoustic neuroma, meaning that it was benign.  Unfortunately, Richard has lost all hearing in his right side after the surgeons had to remove the part of the ear canal that the tumour was sitting on.  

‘The tumour was so big that the specialists think it had been there for 10 years. I no longer have any hearing in my right side, but that is a far better outcome than it could have been,’ says Richard.