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  • Slight loss of hearing

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    Old 08-25-2006, 10:38 PM   #1
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    Slight loss of hearing

    I finally went and got the antibiotics for my ear infection a few days ago - which was almost two weeks after my trip to the hospital. I admit my ear is no longer sore, but I seem to be having trouble hearing out of it now. The hearing isn't gone entirely, but I've lost some of the hearing noticeably in the infected ear. Every morning when I wake up, my ear is plugged with fluid and/or draining; the drainage is the typical yellowish-orange earwax color.

    However, when my ear gets so distinctly plugged, I can hear nothing out of it. The feeling of fullness in my ear is remedied by putting a cotton swab soaked in peroxide into my ear and allowing it to fizz for a little while. When my ear feels unblocked, the hearing is still not normal - when people nearby speak to me, they sound like they are at a distance.

    I'm only on my third day of antibiotics, and I have another week's worth of pills to go, but I'm just so worried I may have permenantly lost the hearing somewhat in the infected ear. Has anyone else ever experienced loss of hearing to any degree with an ear infection? Was the loss temporary? Should I wait until I finish my course of antibiotics before I begin worrying? And are there any herbal or home remedies for improving one's hearing, in the event I have permenantly lost my hearing in that ear?

     
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    Old 08-26-2006, 07:32 AM   #2
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    Re: Slight loss of hearing

    It's temporary. Finish all of the antibiotic. Don't miss doses. And keep those blasted q-tips out of your ears! You're pushing that stuff back into the ear canal and solidly compacting it. When it collects in the ear canal, use a tissue and your finger to gently wipe it out.

     
    Old 08-26-2006, 10:31 AM   #3
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    Re: Slight loss of hearing

    No worries about me taking the antibiotics. Whether or not I felt perfectly chipper, I would finish the bottle as instructed. I feel better knowing this is only temporary - I guess I was just getting paranoid. It's always frightened me when something goes wrong with my head, be it my vision going bad or losing the hearing in my ear for any reason.

    Also, I'm only using the Q-tips so I can get the peroxide far enough into my ear to dry up the fluid. Now I don't sit and gouge my head with them, but when I just hold the swab in my ear for about a minute, I can feel the fluid clear up as the peroxide fizzes. This is the only way I can successfully dry up some of that fluid - my fingers are too wide to go in as far as I want, and wads of toilet paper don't really help. But I'll try to lay off the swabs.

    But is the fluid a normal symptom of otitis media? My ears started draining only after I began the antibiotics. I've read that fluid could be from a burst eardrum, but I did not have the characteristic extreme pain. And it's not bathwater either. I figure the fluid is what's making my hearing so muffled. My ear will feel slightly plugged or full during the day, but always at night it feels completely blocked off, and it feels like major swimmer's ear. I try to sleep on my right side so the fluid will drain out easier.

    Would it be okay or safe to try and pop my ear? Would this open up my ear canal so I could actually hear? How could I do this? My typical method of popping my ear is placing my fingertip in my ear just enough to completely cover the opening, pressing in slightly to create a vacuum, and then swiftly pulling it away. I feel a 'pop', but the ear is still plugged. Any suggestions?

    That was sure long-winded. Thank you for your advice, midwest1. I appreciate it very much.

     
    Old 08-26-2006, 06:01 PM   #4
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    Re: Slight loss of hearing

    A better means for drying out external ear fluid is a 50:50/40:60 mixture of vinegar and isopropyl alcohol. Hydrogen dioxide, H2O2 breaks down into water, and will actually add fluid to your ear. Alcohol and vinegar will push the water out and then evaporate... leaving the external ear dry and clean. It has helped keep a family of swimmers swim ear free for many years... and we live in the water during the southern summer/fall heat. As to pressure shifts in the ear. You would be better served in my opinion trying to aide your internal drainage, by using saline nasal rinses or sinus steaming... anything the will dilute the mucus and speed the drainage process.
    Good luck as the mucus is broken down and drained from your inner ear and sinuses, your hearing should return to normal.
    Best wishes, MG

    Last edited by mkgb; 08-26-2006 at 06:03 PM.

     
    Old 08-27-2006, 11:26 AM   #5
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    Re: Slight loss of hearing

    That alcohol/vinegar rinse works wonders for drying the external ear. I've never heard peroxide recommended for the purpose. And no q-tip is necessary. Turn your head sideways, or lie down, and put a drop or two in the ear canal. (You'll probably hear that "wicking" noise.) Wait a minute and then turn the head to let it drain out. That's the right way to dry the ear canal. No q-tips!

    And ******** is right; the plugging is probably internal, and draining the sinuses/eustachian tube might be the better remedy. A nasal decongestant product may help if the nasal rinses and steaming don't.

     
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