PET + myringotomy = nightmare
This is my first post to the boards. I've really appreciated all the comments and stories of fellow sufferers.
It all began after taking a plane flight a year ago while suffering with a cold. After extreme pain in my right ear on landing, I used a bunch of Afrin and survived the second leg of the flight. But even after getting over the cold, I still had that blocked feeling in my right ear that was worse with exercise, etc.
I finally went in to see an ENT in March. She did the usual treatment -- antibiotics, steroids, nasonex. None of it helped and she offered one last option -- a myringotomy in case there was still fluid behind the eardrum.
Hoping this would finally be a solution to this seriously annoying situation, I went ahead and tried the myringotomy. She didn't insert tubes; just the myringotomy. It was very painful -- I'm not sure if something went wrong with the anesthetic or what. There was no fluid behind the eardrum and no improvement in the blocked feeling. Afterwards, she gave me Ciprodex drops with no instructions about how to use them. I ended up using them for 8 days. After about a week of agony and obsessive internet searching, I went back to the ENT one last time and she finally slowed down enough to listen to what I was saying. She finally thought to mention that it might be a patulous eustachian tube (PET).
It's now been a month since the myringotomy and it still hasn't healed. I finally went to a neurotologist who tried a paper patch over the perforation. He says extended use of the drops is probably to blame. Apparently, you're only supposed to use them for about 3 days. Basically, the combination of a wide open eustachian tube and now an open eardrum have turned my life upside-down. This truly has been the worst month of my life. Before the myringotomy, I just had problems with autophony while talking -- now I hear my heart beat, breath sounds, everything.
I'm now contemplating a tympanoplasty to fix the eardrum, but the thought of more pain and suffering and STILL not fixing the PET is just beyond depressing. Plus, there's a risk of losing some hearing. At least through all this my hearing is fine -- as long as I don't talk, or breathe, or move.
I know I've read that some doctors recommend the myringotomy and tubes for PET. To me, this is just insane. I can't imagine how this could improve matters.
Does anyone know anything about tympanoplasty -- pros and cons? I really want to try the Premarin drops or the PatulEND, but I basically can't do anything until my eardrum heals.
Thanks for listening.