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  • Ear Infection during Pregnancy

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    Old 06-15-2013, 11:46 PM   #1
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    Join Date: Jun 2013
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    LoveMeeko HB User
    Unhappy Ear Infection during Pregnancy

    This is going to be long since much has happened.....

    About 3 weeks ago, I was on vacation in Europe and contracted a viral infection from a family member which migrated into an ear infection in my right ear. I was able to see a doctor right away and he prescribed me Amoxicillin, ear drops, and acetaminophen. Within hours after seeing the doctor, my ear drum ruptured and all the built up fluid/puss drained out of my ear over a period of 2 days. The pain and pressure was gone but I could not hear out of that ear at all. A week later, after returning from my trip, I saw an ENT and she saw that the infection still remained. Fluid was still in my middle ear and the rupture had healed, so she cut into my ear drum and vacuumed out the remaining thicker mucus then sent me home with antibiotic ear drops. I used the drops for several days but my hearing was still bad in my right ear, it felt plugged and whenever I talked, it was like I was talking in my head. Fluid was also still draining for about 2 days.

    I should probably add that all during this time, I was using Afrin nasal spray, hoping it would help clear my ear. Furthermore, I ended up having bronchitis on top of this persisting ear infection and was now taking the z-pack plus prescription cough syrup.

    Fast forward a week later, I went BACK to the ENT to have my ear checked out. Thankfully the infection was gone and the incision had healed, but my hearing was still messed up (plugged, clogged, pressure, muffled hearing). She said I had a retracted ear drum (likely due to ETD) and I could either, a) wait and let the ear heal on its own, or b) get a tube inserted.

    I've had ear tubes in the past for fluid build up with positive results, so I opted for the tube insertion. Well, let's just say that my hearing only slightly improved after she inserted the ear tube. The pressure and clogged sensation dissipated and some of my hearing has been restored (no more talking in my head sensations). But my ear still feels slightly plugged, like it needs to be "popped", there is a noticeable hearing loss (when I talk, it's as if my voice is to the left of me rather in the center), constant popping/cracking sound when I swallow, and I've become sensitive to specific sounds/tones. When the microwave is on, or my bathroom fan, my ear begins to hum loudly. Also, when I go out to public places with loud background music, my ear will hum/buzz and when I talk, my voice will return back into my head. Only when I'm at home in a quiet/soft background noise setting, does my tinnitus decrease to something less noticeable and my voice is no longer in my head.

    Since I'm pregnant, I haven't been able to take any of the usual medicines that normally help with ETD and ear infections like real Sudafed. Afrin alone did nothing and I needed to discontinue use or suffer severe sinusitis.

    I'm wondering if this persisting plugged feeling in my ear is due to lingering mucus and inflammation in my E-tube? My OBGYN prescribed me Nasonex and I've been using that for the past 4 days. My hearing has gradually improved since I've had the PE tube inserted on Monday, but the increased sensitivity to certain sounds and slight hearing loss has really put me in a dark place (continuous anxiety). Has anyone ever had a PE tube inserted for a retracted ear drum and have experience what I have been going through? Will the sound sensitivity lessen over time? Will my hearing improve? Will this constant popping/cracking go away?

    I'm going to have a hearing test done on Monday, as well as, see a different ENT in a week for another opinion. Currently I'm taking Benadryl at night to help me sleep and combat any lingering cough from my Bronchitis. During the day, I take a magnesium for my anxiety (and apparently it helps with tinnitus too?) and Nasonex. Is there anything safe I could take to help with the plugged ear, tinnitus, or anxiety?

    In sheer desperation, I ordered the EarPopper from ****** to see if that could help relieve this plugged feeling in my ear. Will successfully popping my ear with a PE tube in it make any difference at this time? In any case, I will have it for the future once the tube falls out. I don't think removing it would be beneficial and lessen my sound sensitivity. It may be best to let it run its coarse until my ear pushes it out. How long will it take before my ear normalizes after getting the tube??

    Any advice, suggestions, and similar stories will be very helpful at this time. I'm battling daily anxiety over this and worry that my hearing may have been permanently damaged after this last infection. (previous infections caused no problems and healed quickly)

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    ear buzzing, ear fullness, pregnancy advice, sound sensitivity, tinnitus

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