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Old 09-02-2002, 11:06 PM   #1
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mschumacher HB User
Post Clear, sterile liquid in inner ear from allergies

I had a "super-cold" viral infection which lasted 4 months. During the tail-end of the viral infection I apparently developed allergies. That's what the last doctor I saw suspects and I think she's right.

My inner ear filled up with sterile, clear liquid and this is very annoying at times. Sometimes they crackle when I open my jaw; other times they won't crackle because they're full. The doctor put me on Nasonex (once a day) and Allegra-D twice a day. I tend to suffer from hints of a migraine to begin with, and the Allegra-D produces a "migraine" side effect at times. My doctor says it could take 3-4 weeks for my ears to unblock. They've been filled up with liquid since around the 20th of July 2002.

The doctor said to make a future appointment to see an ENT in case my ears don't clear up. I suspect I need to see an allergist to determine what I'm allergic to (I suspect it's environmental). I found a lazer "surgery" on the web which makes an opening in the ear drums so the ears can drain but this procedure only speaks of being used for ear infections. I don't have an ear infection; just liquid in my ears caused by allergies.

Since I've never been to an allergist, would he/she determine what I'm allergic to and give me something to prevent my ears from filling up? Does the ENT specialist refer one to an allergist or is he/she himself an allergist?

How does this work and has anyone else had this problem where an allergy causes the inner ear to fill up with liquid?

And has anyone had any experience with this new lazer procedure called otoLAM?

Thank you for your time.


 
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Old 09-02-2002, 11:37 PM   #2
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Jaytor HB User
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Sounds drastic - lasering a hole through your ear drum to drain excess fluid. Once perforated, the tympanum rarely heals.

It is possible to have such a strong histamine response that the eustachian tube is inadequate to the job of draining the excess fluid.

A few questions:

Is your eustachian tube swollen or inflamed? If yes, then this should be resolved before any surgery is attempted because an inflamed eustachian would be unable to drain even a normal volume of fluid.

Have you been tested for sinusitis? This would be a secondary, opportunistic bacterial infection that sometimes occurs after a particularly bad/long viral infection. Sinusitis often takes several weeks of antibiotic treatment; but if left untreated, sinusitis can become chronic and worsen your migraines due to increased/ unremitting pressure.

Sometimes applying heat to the area helps improve drainage. There are two reasons this works: 1) the heat helps dilate [expand] the eustachian tube to facillitate drainage; and, 2) heat makes the trapped fluid more watery. A blow dryer at low/moderate heat works quite well for this, just be careful to direct the heated air flow away from the ear drum. You'd have to do this several times during the day and keep your head/ears warm until your eustachian tubes have drained completely. This can take a few days.

 
Old 09-03-2002, 12:11 AM   #3
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Hi Jay: To answer your questions:

>>>Sounds drastic - lasering a hole through your ear drum to drain excess fluid. Once perforated, the tympanum rarely heals.<<<

I'm certainly none too eager for anything like this. It sounds safer/easier/less expensive than the tubes in the ears procedure. They say the ear drum does heal in about 4 weeks with the laser, but I don't know. I'm hoping there are other solutions.


>>>A few questions: Is your eustachian tube swollen or inflamed? If yes, then this should be resolved before any surgery is attempted because an inflamed eustachian would be unable to drain even a normal volume of fluid.<<<

Yes, my eustachian tube is swollen/inflamed.

>>>Have you been tested for sinusitis? This would be a secondary, opportunistic bacterial infection that sometimes occurs after a particularly bad/long viral infection. Sinusitis often takes several weeks of antibiotic treatment; but if left untreated, sinusitis can become chronic and worsen your migraines due to increased/ unremitting pressure.<<<

I've seen three doctors and the last two dismissed a bacterial infection and the third doctor said she didn't even see that I still had a viral infection. The first doctor gave me Keflex (I suggested it thinking I had a bacterial infection) and my ears began to fill up while taking Keflex and some of my previous symptoms which had disappeared reappeared on Keflex. The third doctor thought I might have some inflammation in my sinus so she "covered that" by giving me Nasonex. My sinus area has been very dry for months now and I don't have any sinus pain.

>>>Sometimes applying heat to the area helps improve drainage. There are two reasons this works: 1) the heat helps dilate [expand] the eustachian tube to facillitate drainage; and, 2) heat makes the trapped fluid more watery. A blow dryer at low/moderate heat works quite well for this, just be careful to direct the heated air flow away from the ear drum. You'd have to do this several times during the day and keep your head/ears warm until your eustachian tubes have drained completely. This can take a few days.<<<

Would a heating pad placed over my ears achieve the same result?



 
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