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Old 03-07-2012, 05:07 PM   #1
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Blocked left ear but no pain...

I have had a blocked up left ear since Sunday and it is beyond frustrating, I saw my doctor and he told me I had an inflamed ear (something to do with the membrane) and I was prescribed some ear drops (Sofradex) and they have hardly done anything, my doctor said that they would work in 48 hours when he prescribed them.

I just basically want some idea about when my ear is going to clean up please, I have been gargling salt water, chewing gum, stretching my jaw out etc but I am a bit afraid to do things like put olive oil and peroxide in my ear in case it causes damage.

I haven't had any pain from this luckily, just a constant feeling like air is trapped in my left ear, strange noises from that ear (a sort of cracking now and then) and I have also tried the humming test and it is louder in my left ear than it is in my right ear, which I think means it's not a terminal infection or something...(forgive me I read a lot on the net but forget things)

Has anyone had similar symptoms?

 
Old 03-07-2012, 05:09 PM   #2
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

I forgot to mention that I had the flu a couple of weeks ago, but my doctor doesn't think it is related, which puzzles me, I still have a bit of a cold, so wouldn't it be just a mucous build up?

 
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:12 PM   #3
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

i feel your pain, i've had an ongoing "pluuged" ear for a few MONTHS now...my PCP looked in my ear back in Jan. and said it looked inflamed and put me on antibiotics...seemed to help for about 2 wks then the feeling returned. More antibiotics, steroid ear drops and it got WORSE..my ear canal was sooo swollen by the time i went to the ENT, he said it was an allergic reaction to the drops..so i stopped those and the swelling went down but that fullness in the ear is STILL there and i know it is BEYOND ANNOYING i keep yawning, trying to get it to Pop...and it wont. The ent did a hearing test and said i had minimal hearing loss. I have started probiotics (thinking they will help cuz of all the antibiotics ive been on the past few months) and also grapefruit seed extract tablets. As i type this, my ear is crackling, and feels like its gona explode. I just keep praying this goes away becuz it is so frustrating. Keep me posted on your progress and i will do the same..good luck!

 
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:35 PM   #4
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalonygal View Post
i feel your pain, i've had an ongoing "plugged" ear for a few MONTHS now...my PCP looked in my ear back in Jan. and said it looked inflamed and put me on antibiotics...seemed to help for about 2 wks then the feeling returned. More antibiotics, steroid ear drops and it got WORSE..my ear canal was sooo swollen by the time i went to the ENT, he said it was an allergic reaction to the drops..so i stopped those and the swelling went down but that fullness in the ear is STILL there and i know it is BEYOND ANNOYING i keep yawning, trying to get it to Pop...and it wont. The ent did a hearing test and said i had minimal hearing loss. I have started probiotics (thinking they will help cuz of all the antibiotics ive been on the past few months) and also grapefruit seed extract tablets. As i type this, my ear is crackling, and feels like its gona explode. I just keep praying this goes away becuz it is so frustrating. Keep me posted on your progress and i will do the same..good luck!
Thanks for your reply...you poor thing that sounds horrible, why would the Doctor only put you on antibiotics?, After I was on ear drops for a week (that didn't work at all) I was put on Amoxicllin and a nasal spray, I know it has only been 3 days but there hasn't been any change and my left ear is still blocked up and it sounds like everything is underwater when I speak, the only time I feel normal again is when my left ear is covered by a pillow.

It's honestly one of the most awful things I have had to endure which I know that you can relate to.

My Doc told me that I have an infection of the tympanic membrane and that is only temporary, I'd love to know how temporary because it does drive me insane and I have to return to work tomorrow, which I am dreading.

Good luck to you as well.

Last edited by jford72; 03-10-2012 at 06:37 PM.

 
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:29 PM   #5
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

Hi guys,
Just saw your posts as I was checking back on one of mine. Sounds from your symptoms like some sort of eustachian tube dysfunction. I had a cold in January and woke up one morning with a blocked left ear. I thought it was a simple ear infection (had some before in past years) and went to the dr thinking I was going to be put on amoxicillan for 10 days to clear it. Turned out that it wasn't an infection, just a slightly red ear drum and no fluid behind it either. I still had my cold so I was told to take sudafed for a few days to reduce inflammation in the nasal/sinus cavities and thereby reduce swelling in the eustachian tube(which connects the nasal cavity to the middle ear and controls air pressure in the middle ear). The sudafed worked for 2 days and then I was back to a blocked up ear. This time I was given amoxicillan due to no improvement from the sudafed. When that didn't seem to have any effect I was placed on augmentin. Halfway through the useless augmentin I was told I had acute sinusitis. So I was apparently according to the urgent care doc placed on all the wrong meds and his solution was a different class of AB. When that did not work I was told to stop all AB treatment and was told that I was probably dealing with a virus. Since my ear at that point had fluid in it that refused to drain (3 wks into the block), I was given prednisone to try to stop the swelling in my eustachian tube and sinuses to allow things to drain. No such luck. I decided to see an ENT at this point, but all he did was say acute sinusitis and put me on some stronger AB called avelox. I hate this particular class of AB because they cause me extreme nausea, but I took it anyway. He also gave me flonase and a higher dose of prednisone. I mentioned my ear to him and he looked at it from sitting up/lying down and said no fluid. At that point he told me it was probably due to the sinusitis and to take all meds and follow up. Which I did. Only to be told that my problems were due to anxiety. Quack! I wanted to punch him! I decided not to give up. A girl from my work told me she had an awesome ENT and gave mr the number. This appt took forever to get. In the meantime I ended up in the ER for severe ear/facial pain and a massive migraine type headache. I was given CT scans which showed sinusitis. Back to square one. I saw the ENT I was planning to see and he agreed with the Dx. He told me that I had a couple options, allergy testing or surgery. I wasn't feeling confident about that, but have agreed to try the allergy testing. Then he addressed my ear situation which had now spread to the right ear. I did a hearing test and passed with flying colors. I did a tympanogram and failed. Too much negative pressure behind my ear drums. In fact, they were sucked in due to the pressure. Owie!! He told me it was eustachian tube dysfunction. Basically my tubes aren't equalizing the air pressure of my middle eat space with the outside world so easily. I asked what my options were and he said it usually resolves on it's own ( it had already been 2 mos) and I can keep on with the flonase, OR he could put tubes in my ears ( like kids get). He told me that he could not guarantee this helping me since my problem was pressure and not fluid behind my ear drums. I have great hearing according to my test, and he said that my hearing might be altered by the tubes (Omg). So what I did was probably the bravest thing I've done about this the entire ordeal and told him thanks but no thanks for now. He told me that he can do them anytime I want them so the option is always there, I just don't want to poke possibly unnecessary holes in my ear drums yet. I have had days of regret when I feel pain so much that I want to actually do the procedure myself, but I've managed to stay firm. Some days I have pain some days just a blocked pressure type feeling especially in my left ear. I think you should look into eustachian tube dysfunction as a possible cause of your blocked ear, especially since it followed an upper respiratory virus and if your dr sees no infection. You dont need to have pain to have ETD. You need to be pesky about it though because while some people's ETD clears in a few days others it seems (according to my research) to last for months or even years. So stay on top of your dr, don't take too many unnecessary AB's, and try to see an ear nose and throat dr if your pcp can't figure things out. That's what I had to do and so far after 2 loooooong months I'm finally starting to get some answers. Good luck.
Jen

Last edited by Jenmomof2; 03-10-2012 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Some spelling errors

 
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:24 AM   #6
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

thanks for the reply...and i had the tests for the tympatic membrane done and they said it was fine........altho i wonder how accurate it could have been becuz the ear canal was soo swollen they could bearly get the instrument in there (Its the test where u hear the humming sound right?) i have tried flonase, nasonex, and last one to try was astepro...no help. i did a round of prendisone and also later on a medrol pk (stronger steroids) which only made things worse along with the antibiotics and antibiotic/steroid ear drops......sometimes i wonder if its a fungal infection due to all the antibiotics i've taken????? I was VERY unhappy w/the ent i went to..he seemed to care more about what type of ins. i had rather than take the time to listen to my problem...i think im going to seek out another ENT and see what they have to say.......this has been going on since Novemeber of 2011, but the continuing of the problem started in Jan...the rounds of antibiotics i took in nov & dec helped clear up what the dr said was an ear inf..but after that, and the symptoms returned, no antibiotics have helped. i even tried herbal ear drops...dont waste your money on those! i just wish i would swallow and hear it POP..that will be the most amazing sound in the world! lol.....my husband and family are getting tired of me crywhining but they dont have any idea how frustrating this is to deal with........i wish u guys the best in getting it resloved...........it helps to know youre not alone!!!! keep me updated and i will do the same!

 
Old 03-11-2012, 05:31 AM   #7
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jford72 View Post
Thanks for your reply...you poor thing that sounds horrible, why would the Doctor only put you on antibiotics?, After I was on ear drops for a week (that didn't work at all) I was put on Amoxicllin and a nasal spray, I know it has only been 3 days but there hasn't been any change and my left ear is still blocked up and it sounds like everything is underwater when I speak, the only time I feel normal again is when my left ear is covered by a pillow.

It's honestly one of the most awful things I have had to endure which I know that you can relate to.

My Doc told me that I have an infection of the tympanic membrane and that is only temporary, I'd love to know how temporary because it does drive me insane and I have to return to work tomorrow, which I am dreading.

Good luck to you as well.
I will say a prayer for you that things resolve for you......its just plain awful...and ive had to go to work with this feeling for the past few weeks and i feel like im talking in a vacume...(i work in an office and have to answer phones alot ugh!) do u notice if u clench your jaw alot? i KNOW i do..and i've been reading alot that TMJ can cause radiating pain, and the symptoms we have...sometimes i have to shut the computer off cuz i read so much and get myself so scared and worried i have to quit reading!!!! LIke i said in my other post, im going to TRY to find an ENT that actually cares..the one i went to was very gruff and indifferent to how i was feeling...dont ya just wana take a pin and pop your eardrum?? LOL not that i would ever do that but wow it seems as tho it would be relief..keep me posted on ur progress........

 
Old 03-11-2012, 11:48 AM   #8
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

Hi guys,
The typanogram is different from the hearing test because it measures the pressure inside your middle ear. They put this little device in your ear that kinda suctions a bit on your eardrum and will check the pressure that way. So if they did that then you did have one done. The tone/speech test is called an audiogram. That's where you push a button everytime you hear a sound in the ear buds or whatever they put in. Have you asked your dr what the cause of this is if it's not an infection? Has he given you any answer? My first ENT told me that it was all anxiety once he couldn't give me an answer. The second one found my sinusitis and eustachian tube dysfunction. Im still thinking you may have that based on your symptoms and a normal hearing test. It's possible that your tubes got swollen and irritated after the ear infection and haven't gotten back to normal yet. That's what I'm thinking happened to me. And still is happening. I'd love to have one whole day of non- stodginess in my ears. I dont know if you have tried this yet but I will sometimes take some ibuprofen when I feel really stuffy in there to see if it will help take some of the swelling down. It sometimes works. Also I have tried just closing my eyes for a while and breathing in and out and letting my mind drift, kinda like meditation. I hear you on the husband not getting it. I'm pretty sure mine has had enough. My symptoms have been going on since January as well. I have a lot of anger over this because I feel like it's making my life hell and I just want to be done with it. My suggestion to you is to see another ENT but get the records of any tests from the previous one so nothing had to be repeated. It was helpful for me. It's nice to have someone to talk to when your feeling icky who kinda understands your misery. Keep me updated on your progress. For me it's off to allergy testing on Tuesday. I doubted allergies before but woke up with terribly itchy e-tubes this morning I literally wanted to scratch them out. And sometimes I do want to poke thru my eardrums with a needle too to just alleviate something if I can!
Jen

 
Old 03-11-2012, 02:16 PM   #9
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

yes! i have tried the motrin and it does seem to help A BIT...do ur ears sometimes crackle? i also do have alot of neck tension and i do clench my teeth alot...especially in my sleep, it will wake me up.......and all of this did start after a nasty cold and upper resp.infection..everything went away except for the clogged ears, will the swelling just eventually go down on its own? i've read that people have suffered with this for years...i cant imagine..My ears itch alot too.....which scares me into thinking it could be a fungal infection cuz ive taken so many antibiotics.....i have no discharge but i do occasionally get some ear pain but it comes and goes, its not constant..i am going to seek out another ENT....i do believe the first one did the test u talked about cuz he did say the pressure in my ears seemed fine....it sounds as tho we do alot of the same treatments..i try deep relaxed breathing but find i really cant concentrate on it for very long... i have NEVER had a problem like this with my ears.........and its driving me nuts..im sorry youre going thru the same thing but its nice to talk to someone who truly understands unlike my husband who just rolls his eyes.....he has no idea how miserable this is! I have a trip planned in may with a good friend of mine and we are flying......the thought of flying with ears that feel like this is a scary thought........let me know how the allergy testing goes...i know the ent i went to mentioned that but it just seems odd to me i've nver had allergies, and never had this problem until after a bad headcold...so i hesitate to think its allergies..altho, i have tried to cut WAY back on my sugar and dairy intake..ive heard that will contribute alot to inflammation. Well thanks for listening...at church today i said a prayer that we will all feel back to normal SOON....!!!

 
Old 03-11-2012, 04:46 PM   #10
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

Thanks for the prayers! I have the crackling noises too. I was told it's one of the classic symptoms if ETD. I hate this. Hopefully the allergy testing will show something. I'm sick of being sick. I cry so often about this that I can't tell you. It just makes the stuffiness worse. I'm having a hard time functioning as normal because I'm so aware of it. Everywhere I go I'm like if I could just get this stuffiness out of my ears I'd be ok. I'm sick of taking motrin I'm sick of trying to not think about it. I'm worried about the things that I've read about it taking sooooo long for people to get better. And some people not getting better. I feel like my life has been stolen from me. I pray everyday that this will go away one day. My kids are little and they get tired of me not wanting to do things cuz of this. It's not nice of our husbands to act like it's no big deal, THEY should hafta go thru this before they roll their eyes. I think youre perfectly right to be worried about your plane trip. I don't know what I'd really do in that situation, I will say a prayer for your safe ears lol. I will let u know about the allergy testing too. I hope we get better soon.
Jen

 
Old 03-11-2012, 05:10 PM   #11
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

:-( I can sympathize with how you feel cuz i feel the same way....every morning i wake up and think ok it doesnt feel so bad when i first get up but once i get up and moving around it gets worse........i keep yawning and opening my mouth trying to get my ear to pop..i keep swallowing and drinking water...i keep imagining what relief it will be when it finally clears up. i pray we find answers soon. i will be anxious to hear how your allergy testing goes. i hate being in a room full of people talking cuz everything sounds so muffled and echo's it drives me nuts...do u get alot of ear pain? mine comes and goes..its just more stuffed than painful.......ive tried sudefed, but it really does nothing.i will be praying for you, and i thank u for your prayers too.....gona go pop another motrin :-( please keep me posted on how youre doing and i will do the same...

 
Old 03-12-2012, 01:00 PM   #12
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

Hey Buffalonygal,
How r u feeling today? My nite was not too bad tho I did get some weird shocks of pain in my left ear. I will be mentioning that to my ENT tomorrow. I'm not having much pain today, just some itchiness in my e-tube it's pretty annoying. Kinda sick of taking motrin tho. Trying out a heating pad to see if that makes the itch go away. I'm sooooo tired of feeling like an invalid and not wanting to leave the house unless I have to. Im trying to stay positive today because hopefully I will get more info tomorrow at my allergy test. I hope you are feeling somewhat better. I can't wait till my husband gets home from work so that I can talk to him about all this. Hopefully he will listen to me. His perspective is that it's not killing me so why worry. Ugh! We need some hope here! Someone to say that no matter what things will turn out ok! I think I will start another novena to St. Jude tonite. If u haven't heard of it look it up. He is the patron saint of desperate causes and hopeless situations. He has always gotten me thru my tough times. This time not yet, but I will continue to pray. I saw my priest the other day (I'm catholic) for done spiritual counseling and he told me that God is with us even when we r struggling and when I am having a hard time to call out to Him and ask Him to help me thru whatever it is. I do this a lot lately and it seems to at least temporarily help. Maybe give it a try? I really hope that I can start to have some answers tomorrow with the allergy test. If not allergies then I don't know what's next for me. Please pray for me and I will pray for you.
Jen

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Old 03-12-2012, 02:13 PM   #13
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

HI Jen.......well my left ear is realllllllllly stuffed today..its causing pain all along the left side of my face, couldnt wait to get out of work......funny thing is i have VERY little nasal congestion...sometimes the left side of my nose feels a bit stuffy but not bad.....i guess i'd rather be able to breathe than to hear if i had to choose one or the other....i did make an appt with an ENT downtown who is suppose to very good........im just more nervous about flying if my ear feels like this......did you say they offered to put tubes in your ears ina previous post? I'm so desperate im ready to consider that......i have read where if the fluid is behind the eardrum for a great lenght of time, it becomes gluelike..im worried mine might be at that point.....so praying this new ENT can shed some light and give me some answers.......Im a Christian and i too, firmly believe God is ALWAYS with us..his word tells us he will never leave us or forsake us.....must be our faith is being tested so i guess we have to believe that Jesus hears our prayers and will get us thru this!!!! I will be anxious to hear about the allergy testing...... thanks Jen..have a good nite.....it is good to have someone to talk to that can relate to how miserable this is!!!!! Just popped a sudefed......hope it helps a little ! ttys!

Last edited by moderator2; 03-12-2012 at 04:47 PM.

 
Old 03-12-2012, 02:38 PM   #14
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

PS.......do u have any nasal congestion? I know u said your dr said this all stemmed from you having sinusitus??? I have minimal nasal congestion..thank God, i really think i'd snap if i couldnt breathe OR Hear........i only get congested a bit at nite when im asleep. but nothing bad.........everything on the left side of my face feels swollen......ive heard chiroprators have helped, might look into that as well.........i just want this cleared up b4 i have to get on an airplane........:-/

 
Old 03-13-2012, 05:18 PM   #15
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Re: Blocked left ear but no pain...

hey Jen how are u feeling? today i noticed that my left ear has actual swelling in the ear canal..its almost swollen shut........i cant wait to get to the ENT next monday...alot of itching and crackling today.........ughhhhhhh!!!!!!!! praying we both get some answers..how did the allergy testing go???

 
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