I recently had the classic experience of otitis media that perforated one of my eardrums. After a few days of wandering from doctor to doctor I hooked up with an Ear/Nose/Throat doctor who starte me on antibiotic treatment and told me that my hearing would return to normal in about a week or so.
My question to the board is; it's been about a week now and while the pain of the initial infection is completely gone, the fullness in my ears is about the same (VERY FULL!) and my hearing just seems to get more muffled.
Should the muffling go away relatively quickly or does it just decrease slowly? About how long does this usually take?
I know I'm not telling anyone here anything new...but the feeling of having my head in a box is driving me nuts!
Hagiograph, sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with your ear. Iv been having continual ear infections since November and know how you feel. Before November I never had an ear infection in my life. My last ear infection was the third week in June and my hearing has still not returned to normal so you just have to be patient. Normally 7 to 10 days into the ear infection your ears should start to pop and crackle, this is the fluid behind your eardrum breaking up somewhat. At this stage you should start to feel a lot of the pressure in your ear release. Depending on how much fluid remains behind the eardrum it can take anything up to six to eight weeks to drain completely. Your hearing can be dull for sometime but should return to normal. At the moment when I swallow my ears are crackling so I know there is fluid still lingering. Gradually your hearing will return. Maybe best to ask for a steroid nasal spray as one of the most frequent causes of ear infection is a blocked eustachian tube and the spray is really good at clearing the tube. This is my problem and I cannot seem to get the eustachian tube functioning properly again which then causes another ear infection. I would return to your doctor and ask him for the spray. Good Luck. Andrea
Thanks! This afternoon I'm hearing more of the "crackling" when I swallow and the sense of fullness is starting to abate just a tiny bit. I'm planning on bothering my ENT tomorrow. This is my first ear infection (certainly that I recall, no doubt had them as an infant), and needless to say I feel for you if you are having many in a row! Ugh!
Hagiograph, glad to hear that your ear is beginning to crack. After a day or two you will be able to hear a lot clearer. I would add that it can take weeks for this to completely clear up. Its a month since my last infection and Iv still got the crackling and ear popping. Hope your eustachian tube is functioning a lot better than mine. Pester, pester, pester thats what you have to do to make sure that you are taken seriously by the ent. I am paying for private treatment as our nhs system is such a shambles and Im nine months down the line and no further forward. Im in the unfortunate position of having tinnitus along with this problem so I suppose your lucky in a way and your infection should clear up soon. Good Luck. Andrea
Last edited by Andrea Love; 07-17-2006 at 03:02 PM.
I've had recurrent otitis media all my life, and actually have a bout of it right now.
It takes quite a while to clear up sometimes, but usually the antibiotics will kill the infection. It's just a matter of letting the fluid clear out.
I would completely agree with the nasal spray comment. Flixonase (UK/Ireland brand steroidal nasal spray) works wonders.
My GP (Family doctor) also prescribed antibiotic eardrops (Sofredex) - which contains framycetin sulfate and (antibiotics to kill germs), and dexamethasone (a corticosteroid to stop inflammation)., as well as Augmentin Duo (500/125) (oral antibiotic)
I've had a pretty nasty history of ear problems though.
as a kid - lots of ear infections.
ENT put in tympanic tubes/grommets.
Then, several years later my ear drum burst and didn't heal up.
At about 16 or so, I had a tympanoplasty (with minor canal plasty to gain full access)
That seemed to solve everything, haven't had anything major since, but still get the occasional bout of otitis media.
My GP (Family Doctor) tends to take it very seriously when I go with an ear infection and isn't slow to prescribe a large dose of augmentin etc etc.
The drops seem to make the ear drum calm down a lot and become less inflamed etc.
That clicking/squelshing/cracking noise is a good sign, just means your ear is starting to drain out. Do plenty of yawning and swallowing. You can even gently blow through your nose while holding it closed which will cause the tubes to open. However, be careful not to use too much force!! just enough to gently open the eustacian tubes.
Solair, can I ask you along with the ear infections have you ever taken tinnitus? The reason Im asking is in November I took my first ear infection ever and along with it came a hissing sound in my ear. Since then everytime my ear begins to return to normal I take another ear infection and Im back to square one. In all this time the tinnitus hasnt gone away and the ent consultant thinks the noise originates behind my eardrum, probably because of all the mucous that keeps building up with the infections and should go away when my ear returns to normal. Iv had this for nine months now and worry that it will never go away. My doctor says the noise shows that the accoustic nerve is constantly being irritated although a hearing test showed my hearing to be completely normal and not damaged in any way due to the infection. I would be grateful for your comments as Im in my third week after an ear infection and the squelching and popping is still going on with my ear and the more I try to pop ear the more uncomfortable it becomes, and the tinnitus gets louder. The ent consultant thinks I have eustachin tube dysfunction which is causing repeated infections. I have betnesol steroid nose drops which are ten times stronger than Nasonex. Have you heard of these? Andrea
Last edited by Andrea Love; 07-19-2006 at 08:35 AM.
Hello... I have read this thread.. I'm a bit worried because of light tinnitus in my left ear since a few days. It all began two months ago with an inflamed wisdom tooth that cloged my ear. I went to GP and i was irrigated for a little wax tampon. Sensation of fullness, itching and popping when swallowing continued and GP prescribed me 'cetraxal' (antibacterial eardrops). A week later I didnt notice improvement and my GP saw this time fungal infection in outer canal. I have been taking 'Micostatin' (fungal drops) and itching has gone but the fullness still goes on and I feel something inside my ear and a little tinnitus has appeared so I am a little worried. GP has given me 'Nasonex' but i don't know how will this help because I haven't got any allergy or rhinitis.
I have appointment with ENT in a week.
Hello.. I have recently visited my ENT, and he can't see anything wrong with my ear, even though I feel like wet sometimes. He says he can't see any liquid with the otoscope. I have to say that my left ear improved in the days before seeing the ENT and that the light noise that I had in my ear for some days has almost disappeared. I still feel something, but I'm relieved now, and my hearing is allright. It does heal by itsef!
im in the same boat. im kinda scared tbh. basicly back in july i got swimmers ear. so i thought ok no big deal. i went to the doctor and got drops. the pain/swelling/hearing loss went away but the pop and crackle did not. so i said ok il just let it go away on its own. 3 weeks later bam infection is back. i still had drops left over so i used those again for a week. pop and crackle still there. me being dumb i said ok this has got to work this time and left it alone. a week later its back so i say im going back to the doctor and he gives me different drops so i use those for a week. and right now 5 days after the drops the pop and crackle is still here. im only 17 so i am scared not gunna lie. any suggestions? im already going to tell my mom to get me into a ENT doctor. no matter what i do the pop and crackle does not go away. is that all i should do (ENT)?
Hello once again. I would like to update my condition about my previous posts.
I have done an audiometry, and results indicated I responded without stimulus on my left ear, which proves I have tinnitus to some extent.
My condition of clogged ear or otitis media got past, It just got better with time and now I feel my left ear clear. However, the tinnitus is still there and I can it sometimes, I sense it when I'm silent in my room and I've observed it depends on emotional tension, stress.. sometimes it is more noticeable. It is there and I'm getting use to the idea that I will have it for long... It's not the same but i believe I can live with it. Sometimes when I'm tired from work and want to relax in my room, I notice it there but that's about it. I have it for about two months and it just appeared after two-three weeks of otitis media.
It all began with a wisdom tooth that got the jaw swelled and it blocked my left ear for some days and it all began with that.
Put attention to wisdom tooth and if they ever ache too long get it pulled out! That was the origin of my tinnitus to my knowledge. But I live with it and don't notice 95% of time.
5 days ago, I was diagnosed with severe Otitis Media. I was in pain and awake all night long with fluid/blood draining from my ear. The ENT looked in my ear and said he can see why I am in so much pain. he said that it was bright red with infection and should be the color of my skin. He said I had a pretty bad case. This is my very first ear infection as an adult. Now 5 days later, I am still on Biaxin for 10 days and Ear drops that finish today. I have constant popping and crackling as well as being "stuck" inside my own head. I hear my own voice, breathing, swallowing so loudly, it hurts to talk. I am to whisper when I am experiencing this. When I first wake up in the morning, I am ok for about an hour. I just have severe pressure. I can actually live with that for now even though it is anoying, but I can't live with my own voice/breathing being loudly stuck inside my head. I have to lay on my side to get some relief...but there is always pressure and ringing in my right ear regardless. I am so scared that this will be permanent. I am going to another doctor tomorrow to see what he has to say. When I called my ENT to explain what was going on, he told me it could take weeks to go away. I honestly can't even function like this. I have twins that are 18 months old and I also have to work. I am having a hard time even be around people because it is embarrassing to not be able to respond without whispering because it hurts so much to talk. Has anyone else had this horrible feeling of hearing your own voice and breathing in your head so that you can't even talk because it hurts? It is almost like my hearing in that ear has "turned inward" instead of hearing the outside world the way 5 should. I can still hear from it though. It is like a stereo turned on high and someone pounding a microphone with the hand when I speak. It sometimes feels like my eardrum will just explode from the loud noise internally and from the pressure. I pray this goes away. I am really scared. Any ideas? Any tips for helping to drain the ear? I can feel the fluid in there, but it won't drain. Has anyone tried a holistic doc? Acupuncturist? Chiropractor? I will try anything to make this go away. I can't wait weeks!!!!!!
kktaz, Sorry to hear that you have had such a bad ear infection. My first ear infection was like that a year ago. Like you I had never had an ear infection before in adulthood. Since then I have another five! Problem is basically your eustachian tube. If this doesnt work properly you end up with an ear infection. Avoid sugar and dairy for a while as this just promotes the problem with you ear. Keep taking the antibiotics. Try a decongestant too and steaming your face several times a day to help open up the tube again to your ear to let it drain. When the ear is popping and clicking that is a sign the infection is beginning to clear up. My doctor told me with the first infection that it could take three months for my ear to get back to normal.. Unfortunately for me it has never returned to normal and I am going in to have an ear tube inserted tomorrow to try and ventilate my ear and hopefully get things back to the way they were previously. I still have the tinnitus though which is the worst thing for me. Most ear infections do clear up without any further trouble and hopefully you will be one of the lucky ones, although you should expect to have discomfort for another few days as it does sound like quite a nasty infection. Good luck, I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Try not to worry about it and get as much sleep as you can. Take vitamins but avoid very hot baths as they may make the pressure in your ear worse. All the best. Andrea x