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Old 02-19-2006, 05:47 AM   #1
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Andrea Love HB User
Unhappy ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Can anyone give any advice for my problem. I had an ear infection in November with required three lots of antibiotics to settle this. I also had a hissing sound in my ear. After infection cleared the noise remained. My ear continued to have a lot of pressure in it and is made worse when driving. My ear seems to fill up and wont pop. I have tried nose steroids and also serc 16mg as the ENT specialist thinks I may have had a problem with my inner ear pressure as well as a problem with my eustachian tube. I have just taken another ear infection two months after the last one which has now settled but the problem with the pressure in my ear remains. When i manage to pop my ear my hearing is clear then it seems to fill back up again. If this hasnt recified by end of February ENT specialist wants to insert a grommet. Im worried this will make matters worse. There is also a clicking and squelching noise in my ear constantly. Can anyone help.

 
Old 02-21-2006, 06:41 AM   #2
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Angela22F HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Well, here is my story. Hope it helps.

About 2 years ago now I noticed my ears, especially the left one, would always "pop" when driving. It progressed to a clogged feeling, almost like I had an ear muff over my ear and was listening to the world through this muff. My GP gave me prescription decongestants to try and alleviate this as he though he was fluid on my ears. He gave me several rounds.

The decongestants helped a little, but did not clear it up. It was like after taking them for a week I would feel like it was beginning to improve, and then a week after that I would be back to square one again with blocked ears and "popping" and everything else.

My GP sent me to an ENT. After getting me to do a hearing test (I think it was an audio/tympano) and an ear pressure test, the ENT confirmed the "fluid" on my ears, but didn't want to do anything about it. After I explained to him what my GP had tried for me, he decided to put a tube in my left ear only.

Well, the first few days were really weird. As I was leaving the office I felt a BIG POP, and that was it, my ear was super clogged, and I was hearing my own voice echo, it was way worst than what I had previously been experiencing. It was like that for a few weeks. Then I started to get constant earaches, and to top it off I developed tinnitus and a sound sensitivity.

I decided to make my appt with the ENT in three months instead of the usual 4 months, for a recheck. He invited me in his office and began to check my ear. He didn't say anything, but got me to lie on the same table he used to put the tube in. He then proceeded to remove the tube without any warning (he at least deadened my ear when he placed the tube) which was extremely painful, and later told me the tube had been misplaced, or had fallen out of place, I can't remember his exact words, and was lodged between the canal and the drum. He gave me nothing else for my ear.

When I complained that I was still experiencing fluid problems, he gave me a steroidal nasal spray, said something about paralyzed cilia and sent me on my way.

I still have fluid build up problems, and now have new problems to accompany it - tinnitus and sound sensitivity and a constant ear ache.

If I had my time back I would have dealt with the fluid build up minus all this new stuff and not had the tube.

Anywayz, I guess what I'm saying it make sure you research all alternatives before going ahead with having the tubes placed. It sounds like a great fix, but can cause a whole new series of problems that you really won't care for.

I have read somewhere on here about someone having their ears surgically drained. Where the ENT just makes an incision in the drum to drain the fluid, but does not place a tube or grommet. I think this sounds like a better alternative.

Good luck, and I hope you feel better soon. Sorry this reply was so long.

(PS I am experiencing other problems than just my ears. I have constant sore throats and bad PND and chronic sinus infections, brain fog, dizziness, so many things that are all connected somehow, and so on... I just wanted to share my experience with the tubes)

Last edited by Angela22F; 02-21-2006 at 06:51 AM. Reason: spelling

 
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:36 AM   #3
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Andrea Love HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Thanks for replying Angela. I too am worried about the tubes. At present my ear is very clogged up and when it does pop I can actually hear the fluid move. As I have already have tinnitus caused by all of this the last thing I want to do is make it worse. I am seeing ENT guy on Monday and think I will ask if there is anything else he can give me to try and open the eustachian tube before having the grommet placed in my ear. Did you have eustachian problems too or was it just fluid behind your ear?

 
Old 02-21-2006, 11:55 AM   #4
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gloria2936 HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Andrea,

I didn't want to post to discourage you, but I had an ear infection last January 2, 2005 which lead to many problems (many more symptoms than you are posting). Anyway, I had my eardrum surgically drained because I had so much fluid behind it that my eardrum was buldging. I did not have a tube put in it as my ENT told me it would only cause more discomfort.

My eardrum closed up within a week and the infection was gone; however, I woke up about 2 1/2 weeks later to severe head/ear pressure, headache, brainfog, etc... Within weeks I developed severe tinnitus which I still have.

I have been seeing a neurotogist and he claims that in most cases the tinnitus will eventually resolve itself. The percentage that stays is smaller than those who recover, but it takes time.

I just want you to know that it took many months for the pressure to go and now at about 13 months later, I only get it slightly and it comes and goes. The pressure I believe from reading many posts over the course of the year does go on its own.

I've read too that it can take 3 -4 months after an infection clears for the fluid to go.

Have you had the pressure test for your E-tubes? That will tell if they are working properly.

My advice, if possible, is to get one more opinion. I'm not sure if given the second opportunity, I would have jumped so quick to have the myringotomy.

There is one other lady on this board who had a tube put in her ear and she said her pressure increased afterwards. I'm not saying it doesn't work as some it helps termendously. I just think you need to talk it through with your ENT and/or get a second opinion to make sure it is the right choice for you.

Hope the information helps. I don't want to discourage you in anyway. I can tell you that it has gotten better, but has taken a long time to get to where I am now.

Best,
Gloria

P.S. - Sounds like Angela was referring to me so as you can see it wasn't a good alternative for me either as I have alot of her problems now too.

Last edited by gloria2936; 02-21-2006 at 12:03 PM.

 
Old 02-21-2006, 12:01 PM   #5
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Angela22F HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

I really do not know what my problem is. Sounds horrible I know, but my ENT is useless.

I can not put my head in water at all period. Not even get water in my ears in the shower, as it is too painful. I too can hear the fluid "move around", either after it "pops" or just when I move my head quickly ( ie: when I'm doing my hair, and I put my head down to put the mousse in, and then I bring my head back up). It "swooshes", hard to explain.

Along with the tinnitus, hearing loss and sound sensitivity. I am currently looking for a new ENT to help me out and maybe correct some damage.

 
Old 02-21-2006, 12:08 PM   #6
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gloria2936 HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Hi again Andrea,

My fluid was gone after the eardrum was drained, but my mother-in-law had an ear infection prior to mine and she had fluid in her ear for 2 months and then little by little it just went away. She has no problems now.

The hearing loss is probably just temporary, but my advice is to get a new doctor. I didn't have good experiences with 2 different ENT's and can't say I recommend them. I'm not sure if a neurotogist would see you with out dizziness, but it is worth a try to see one of them. They seem to know much more about the inner ear.

Good luck - Gloria

Last edited by gloria2936; 02-21-2006 at 12:08 PM.

 
Old 02-21-2006, 12:11 PM   #7
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gloria2936 HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

oh....by the way it does hurt just like Angela said.

Also, I tried the steriod sprays (flonase) and it only caused more congestion for me.

 
Old 02-21-2006, 12:47 PM   #8
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Andrea Love HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Hi Gloria, thanks for your comments. My ear was beginning to feel a bit better then I took the second ear infection. My symptoms have gotten worse again. I am managing to pop my ear but can hear the fluid behind the ear drum. The ent specialist has not tried stronger decongestants or offered any other type of medication apart from the nose steroid spray. I think I am going to ask him for any other suggestions before I go down the road of the grommet as I am scared of making the tinnitus in my ear worse. I have so much pressure on me by my boss to get back to work and sometimes feel that I am not getting a chance to get better.
Thanks again for your advise.
Andrea x

 
Old 02-21-2006, 04:30 PM   #9
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chuzzlewit HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Andrea,
I had the same situation about 18 months ago (I had recurrent ear infections before then), but then with that one I got tinnitus which started to drive me insane, nonstop. I went to the ENT and begged for a tube. He said that most people request to be knocked out, but he could stick 1 in in about 2 minutes right then. I said yes. Well the fullness and fluid popping all went away that day. The next morning the tinnitus was completely gone. I took some tylenol that day because I figured my ear might start hurting, but it never did. Getting the tube was one of the best things that ever happened to me, no infections or other problems in 18 months! I highly recommend it.

 
Old 02-21-2006, 08:17 PM   #10
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gloria2936 HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Chuzzlewit,

Interesting to hear a success story as I was beginning to wonder if the myringotomy without the tube caused my problem. It is very interesting that your tinnitus stopped after this. Do you have any symptoms at all now and do you still have the tube in your ear?

Thanks for the information. - Gloria

 
Old 02-21-2006, 08:17 PM   #11
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gloria2936 HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Chuzzlewit,

Interesting to hear a success story as I was beginning to wonder if the myringotomy without the tube caused my problem. It is very interesting that your tinnitus stopped after this. Do you have any symptoms at all now and do you still have the tube in your ear?

Thanks for the information. - Gloria

 
Old 02-22-2006, 01:04 AM   #12
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Andrea Love HB User
Question Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Hi Chuzzlewit, thanks for your comments. Did you have eustachian tube dysfunction or just an ear infection? My ear seems to get worse in the car. Whenever I go out by the time I get there I have terrible pressure in my ear and cannot hear very well. Im note sure if that is fluid behind my ear of if the tube is not letting air escape from the middle ear. I am going on Monday to see ENT specialist and really do not know what Im going to do about the tube. You sound as if you had a very positive outcome to it all. Was the tinnitus you had a ringing or hissing sound? I have hissing and also sometimes sounds like the inside of a sea-shell.

Andrea

 
Old 02-22-2006, 03:32 AM   #13
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Angela22F HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Hi Again Andrea, I agree with Gloria in seeking a second opinion and discussing all alternatives. There are success stories to go along with the bad ones, but the thing is, no one knows which way it will go until after you go ahead with the procedure. Healing is a very slow process, and after almost two years, I am back to square one and seeking a new ENT. I assume I do have e tube problems as my tympano/audio tests showed abnormalities, but they were never explained to me. I don't think I had an infection though.

It's nice to hear from someone who had success with the procedure - Chuzzlewit - I just wish mine had gone so well. I still have the brain fog really bad... just so many symptoms, it's hard to believe my ears are causing all of this.

Last edited by Angela22F; 02-22-2006 at 03:53 AM.

 
Old 02-22-2006, 06:47 AM   #14
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Andrea Love HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Hello Angela, sorry that your having further trouble. You do seem to have been unwell for a long time. In Scotland we have a nhs system but unfortunately I would have to have waited for at least 26 weeks to see someone about my problem so Im paying to go privately. THe ent specialist is a top surgeon but sometimes I feel things are not explained properly. I am desperate to at least have some sort of life as I cannot go out in the car Im stuck in the house all the time, I cannot go to work and am working from the house at the moment but I dont think I will be able to do this forever. Having had a bad cold recently which in turn gave me another ear infection has really just set me back as i felt my ear was beginning to return to normal. Im still undecided about the tube in my year, I do know of another guy who is friendly with my sister who got the op just before christmas and he has come on great since then and hardly ever notices the noise in his ear anymore. Do you manage to travel by car? Do you have our equivalent of the nhs system or do you have to pay for your treatment? I have seen ent guy twice and it has cost me £300.00 which I think is maybe about 700 dollars. I dont know what other options I would be able to try before getting the tube placed. Have you any idea?

Andrea

 
Old 02-22-2006, 07:14 AM   #15
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gloria2936 HB User
Re: ear infection with eustachian tube problem

Angela - I just want to mention that I had terrible brainfog when it first started and after a year it is pretty much gone so it can go. I too had so many symptoms that it would take forever to list them all, but a lot of them have gone even though I'm still struggling through this.

My pressure tests did come out normal. I had 3 of them done and they were all fine so I know it isn't my e-tubes. Just a thought.

Take care - Gloria

 
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