Tom, I hate to say this, but it sounds to me like maybe a pacemaker would help you too. I had very much the same symptoms before getting mine, but what triggered the surgery was an ECG taken by my GP doctor that showed that I significant skipping and double beating heart beats. She sent the test results to my heart doctor and a few hours later they were scheduling me with appointments to see the "electrician" at my heart group. Two weeks later I got the pacemaker.
Since the surgery my throat congestion has cleared up, my energy level is way up, and I'm sleeping much better. Everyone says that my complexion isn't gray any more either.
My voice is stronger and clearer now too. Unfortunately, it hasn't done a thing to improve my bad hearing. I was going to get hearing aids before the end of the year, but now paying for a pacemaker, so maybe next year I'll get the hearing aids.
Thanks for the information. My EKGs come back very normal and the blood tests show no damage from my heart attacks. I have oxygen for sleeping (apnea), so when each attack occurred I was on O2 within a minute, which eliminated the damage.
I'm going in in a few days for a CAT scan. The contrast medium they inject is ototoxic and damages hearing, so I wear hearing aids. Unfortunately I waited too long before starting to wear them, so I had to re-learn to notice those high frequency sounds (S,C), but that has improved after wearing aids for several years. My cancer chemo also did a lot of damage to my hearing.
As to hearing aids, COSCO now has hearing aids at very reasonable prices, down as low as $1,400 per pair. Their hearing aid departments also have the most up to date testing instruments you'll find anywhere. You want the model with the "speaker" or transducer in the ear, not just a tube. The transducer models work far better than the older style. The COSCO aids are relabeled first rate aids I paid double for at a private practitioner's office. And their batteries are a fraction of retail prices. Six battery packs for the same price as on pack at a pharmacy. They have also been very generous in providing the tiny ear wax filters that last 3-4 weeks, and the little cups that hold the transducer in the ear are free as well. Get the little UV dryer to dry and sanitize the aids overnight, and get a nose hair clipper to remove your ear hairs, which if left long will annoy the hell out of you.
Turns out that one of the founders of the company has a profound hearing loss and got pissed off about private providers being protected by state laws on medical devices. So he lobbied and got the law changed and set up the hearing centers. First rate training for staff, better than the audiologist I used to use.
With aids the biggest Ah ha moments were being able to hear my wife's soft voice easily and being able to understand the lyrics to songs for the first time in 40 years. I began losing my hearing photographing a series of rock concerts at the Anaheim Stadium. The Beach Boys were so loud I had to take my Nikons in to have screws tightened because the volume was so loud. Took two months for my ears to stop ringing.