Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1705312
Hello everyone :)

I hoping someone might have faced a similar issue to me and have some information or guidance to help.

I had the dreaded initial class 1 medical assessment this morning and unfortunately failed on one item - my low frequency hearing loss was marked as 40db at 500hz in my left ear (the limit is 35db loss at 500hz. In all other parameters i met or exceeded the required standard.

My AME has referred me to an ear nose and throat specialist for further investigation.

I am 38 years old and I've never experienced any problems with my hearing before. I have 117 flight hours logged, after passing my EASA UK issued class 2 medical without any problems. I'm also just about to take my IMC test so I am fairly confident in my belief that my hearing is safe to fly with, although fully understand that a standard needs to be set somewhere to be met.

I have researched the all the information to be found on the CAA website regarding people who don't meet MED.B.080 standards but I am a little confused as to what it might mean for me.

In theory, assuming the ENT specialist discovered nothing untoward, would it still be possible for me to obtain eventually an unrestricted Class 1 medical certificate or will I always now have this marked as a problem on my records? If a Class 1 medical certificate is still a possibility for me, I would really appreciate any guidance or information that anyone may have to help me get through. I feel a little like my dream to fly for a living is slipping away from me!

I have contacted my AME with regards to the above, but sadly they weren't able to offer me much advice or information.

Ta for reading.
#1705316
FlyinErin wrote:Hello everyone :)


Hi Erin

Sorry to read about your predicament, but I think you should not be too down about it.

Because despite this:

FlyinErin wrote:I have contacted my AME with regards to the above, but sadly they weren't able to offer me much advice or information.


Which is disappointing as a 10 second search for the relevant stuff reveals this:

https://www.caa.co.uk/Aeromedical-Examiners/Medical-standards/Pilots-(EASA)/Conditions/Otorhinolaryngology/Otorhinolaryngology-guidance-material-GM/

Which, providing there is nothing going on with your ears means you are probably going to be in in a good position to get your Class 1.

Synopsis:

Initial Class 1 with Hearing Loss



Initial applicants with a hearing loss of more than 35dB at any of the frequencies 500Hz, 1000Hz or 2000Hz, or more than 50dB at 3000Hz, in either ear separately should have an assessment carried out by a consultant ENT specialist to identify or exclude underlying pathology, assess stability of hearing loss and establish suitability for a hearing aid. The application should then be referred to a medical assessor.

A newly diagnosed hearing loss at an initial medical, with no evidence of stability, may require a number of months to elapse and then repeat audiometry to be undertaken before certification can be considered.

Class 1 applicants, with hearing aids that are well tolerated and suitable for aviation purposes and which enable them to meet the audiogram requirements, should follow the guidance below.

Initial Class 1 applicants with hearing outside the standards set out in MED.B.080 (a)(1)(ii), who can demonstrate stability and no significant underlying pathology, may be considered for Class 2 certification initially with a satisfactory report from a functional hearing test (see Profound Hearing Loss below). Following the issue of a Class 2 medical certificate, the successful completion of PPL training will be considered to demonstrate that hypoacusis does not interfere with the safe exercise of the privileges and Class 1 certification will be considered with SSL (Special Restriction as Specified) limitation “Functional Hearing Assessment Required within 3 months of renewal/revalidation medical”.



I note you write your AME has referred you to an ENT specialist, if that is on the NHS you may want to find out how long the waiting time is, if it is long you might want to consider going for a private appointment to get it sorted sooner rather than later.

Ideally your AME will have mentioned in the referral letter that a report for the CAA needs to be provided and that needs to have all relevant information in it as without that they won't be able to complete the assessment, getting a report like that is also mucho easier to get from a private consultant than the NHS System.

What needs to be in the report is detailed here:

https://www.caa.co.uk/WorkArea/Download ... 4294973702

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

PS I only suggest to go privately for speed and report reasons, I am an NHS chap myself and don't even have private health cover but I know how frustratingly slow the NHS system can be for things like this!
#1705320
Thank you very much for the speedy reply.

I spotted the "Functional Hearing Assessment Required within 3 months of renewal/revalidation medical" bit on the CAA website as well. Do you reckon that would mean I would need to have that annually with the class 1 renewal or just the one time?


I am indeed going to see a private ENT guy later this month. Usually I am also an NHS person but for the speed and reporting reasons you mention I'm just going to have to suck up the cost somehow.

Hopefully, it's something simple like ear wax build up (yuk :oops: ). I will definitely update the thread if and when I get this resolved, just in case anyone else has a similar problem in future.
#1705323
Pleasure.

It is a pain to have to fork out extra money but it is worth getting it sorted and in the grand scheme of costs for getting the whole training out of the way it is a tiny drop.

Doh - forgot. Normally you only have to do the FHA at the same time as the audiogram but they sometimes will stipulate 'annual'

That however is not an issue as you can get it done during any of your many OPC/LPC/Line checks.
FlyinErin liked this
#1705378
Frank has given you a nice factual response so I will offer a more anecdotal one.

35 years ago, almost to the day, I presented myself at the Aircrew Selection Centre, RAF Biggin Hill. Day 3 was mostly taken up by the medical, which all went well except for the audiometry, which I failed. This took me by surprise as I was not aware of any deficiency. The medical officer noted that it was a hot and humid day (not unlike today, at least here in the South East) and my ears were probably just a bit sweaty and bunged up. He suggested a re-test on a cooler / dryer day would almost certainly result in a pass.

As it happens, the selection board determined that I was more suitable for transport command than fast jets and being young and rather stupid I did not pursue the opportunity any further. I have not undertaken a Class 1 medical but my hearing has not raised a comment from my AME for Class 2 in the past 25 years.

Take from that what you will.
Flyin'Dutch', FlyinErin liked this
#1705498
It's interesting about the hot day scenario. The AME I visited for the medical was in a place just next to Heathrow. It was a small building, not air conditioned and definitely hot and sweaty.

I will mention the ambient temperature when I see the ENT in a couple of weeks.

Like you, I had not suspected that I had hearing loss of any kind before the test. Although I haven't had an audiogram before so perhaps it is something I have lived with without realising.

I really hope I can find a workaround as it has been a long road to get to this point and it would be gutting if the door was closed now over 5db!
#1705506
FlyinErin wrote:It's interesting about the hot day scenario. The AME I visited for the medical was in a place just next to Heathrow. It was a small building, not air conditioned and definitely hot and sweaty.

I will mention the ambient temperature when I see the ENT in a couple of weeks.

Like you, I had not suspected that I had hearing loss of any kind before the test. Although I haven't had an audiogram before so perhaps it is something I have lived with without realising.

I really hope I can find a workaround as it has been a long road to get to this point and it would be gutting if the door was closed now over 5db!


Two years ago when I went for my follow up Class 1 biennial audiogram the AME's printer/computer cooling fan was roaring away and made it very difficult for me to hear the tones when quiet . I passed the audiogram easily but this year, if its still as noisy I think I'm gonna summon up the courage to ask him to turn his printer off.

Peter
#1708743
Hi Everyone,

I wanted to post an update on this thread just incase anyone else ever has a similar issue in the future.

After my Class 1 Initial Audiogram fail, the Dr referred me to a private ear nose and throat specialist. The ENT couldn't see me until this morning, so in the mean time i'd been using Otex just to make sure my ear wasn't full of gunk that could be causing a problem. I also went to my regular GP who had a quick look in my ear but couldn't spot any problems.

Fast forward to this morning and my visit with the ENT. The Dr was very friendly and after a few general health questions, gave my ears a thorough inspection. Apart from a small bit of wax that they sucked out with their fancy machine, they could see no issues either so sent me off for another audiogram.

This audiogram was similar to the one at the initial class 1. After that, they used some probing device to check the middle part of my ear. Then I had to redo the audiogram with the addition of a bone hearing device behind my left ear, while they played varying levels of white noise in my right (good ear). After all that was done, they checked my results and found that my hearing loss was only at 500hz (middle c on a piano i'm told) with a threshold of 30db. Luckily for me, the CAA's guidance is maximum of 35db so hopefully i've just scraped through! I won't relax until I have a Class 1 in my grubby little mitts though.

The ENT couldn't give me a reason for the hearing loss at a specific 500hz frequency. They reckon it might be something I've had from birth and just lived with happily oblivious to it. After my initial failure, I was worried that I might have damaged my ears myself from loud music in my younger days or even just from flying about in a noisy old Cessna. They said that this wasn't the case as noise related hearing loss tends to be in the higher frequency ranges first.

Anyways, hopefully it's all worked out okay. If anyone else finds themselves in a similar boat in future, don't be too alarmed by the ENT. The person I saw was super helpful and did everything that they could to help.

Next step for me is all the fun of ATPL ground school and what i imagine will be a sturdy invoice from the ENT.

Happy landings everyone!
#1708754
Following a recent Class 1 medical exam I was required to undertake an FHA (a Functional Hearing Assessment) with an FE. I happened to use an FE who is an ex-AME. He said "That's fine, because you wear a hearing aid"....."No I don't"..."Yes, you do, you wear a headset....just turn up the volume a bit...".

FHA form duly signed...such was his pragmatism...
flybymike liked this
#1708831
Talkdownman wrote:FHA form duly signed...such was his pragmatism...


It is worse than that.

Them's the rules.

:shock:

Hearing aids no problem