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ringing noise/reduced hearing after ear infection
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mikeyinnyc posted:
Six days ago I came down with a severe ear infection during a cold. Within 2 days, I began to report a loud ringing sound to go alongside my sharp pain, and that's when the doctor prescribed a ten-day treatment of augmentin at the highest strength (1 gram, twice a day).

Now a good five days later, I don't know how to interpret my condition. First I feel the fluid pressure gone. I can pop my ears freely, and when I chew in fact feel the affected ear popping. I take it, that means the Eustachian tube is no longer blocked, and air is getting through.

On the other hand, this loud roaring "ringing" noise is still blocking out all my hearing from that ear. It's so bad I'm constantly taking migraine medication (excedrin) because it gives me a headache and makes me dizzy, keeping me from work and making me lose my appetite. Weird thing is, I know my ear is functioning otherwise. IE, when I hold a phone directly to the infected ear, I still "hear" voices, just very muffled. It's ambient sound (ie, from TV or radio or the road when driving) that gets blocked out. When I speak or cough, I can internally "hear" myself from both sides--something that didn't happen before I started the augmentin.





Does anyone know typically how long it will be, before this sound is gone? I know it could be months before I regain 100% hearing back. But all I want now, is just some ability to hear ambient noise, and for this ringing tune to go away! I am even considering going to my ENT and demanding a hearing aid or some implant to be tuned specifically to block out that frequency. It is ruining my life, to the point where I preferred simply having a blocked infected ear but without the ringing.
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pinkcloud1818 responded:
Sorry to hear about your suffering. I too am going through the same symptoms. However, mine was brought on by either a cold, or the steroids prescribed for the poison oak I got. It is maddening. I have resorted to using ear plugs just to hear the "higher" of the pitches, as the lower pitch was vibrating so loud in my ear that it actually hurt my jaw. I'm off to see my doctor today as this mess has lasted long enough. Hang in there and good luck
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Since every person is different, there are no "average times" for people to recover. You are having tinnitus (ringing) with hearing loss, and this can be caused by many things; hundreds in fact. I support your desire to see an ENT at this point. You do need an examination by a specialist and a hearing test (audiogram), at the very least.

I don't think you can just demand a hearing aid or implant, but this does show your frustration with these symptoms. Your first and most important step is to be properly diagnosed...not something that has been done at this point.
 
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mikeyinnyc replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you for the response, Dr. Moser.

To recapitulate, I am finishing a 10-day course of Augmentin due to a severe middle ear infection. While the infection has healed, the unfortunate lingering effects include the tinnitus (ringing) and hearing loss.

What the last post did not also divulge, was that I am further sensing that new sound frequencies are becoming detectable again to that ear, but they initially sound distorted--as if they were coming through water. But gradually, sound perception is returning. I can hold normal conversations if I hold a phone to that ear, and I can hear music if I stick an earphone in there--the sensitivity is just not there, and certain frequencies are still either muted or distorted.

I saw an ENT today. The ENT reported that the infection was in all likelihood gone; there was an ugly blister on the eardrum, but a sign of healing and recovery. The bad news was that there was no root cause of the tinnitus: just a common after-effect of a severe adult ear infection that goes away, but can linger for weeks or months.

The ENT wanted to rule out that my hearing loss/distortion was caused by vibratory damage rather than nerve damage, so they are scheduling me for a hearing test. If they think badly inflamed hearing nerves are the culprit, they could put me on a heavy dose of steroids (e.g., Prednisone) in hopes of reducing inflammation. Worst case scenario are damaged nerves that could permanently reduce my hearing. All from one infection (!).

Better news, is that the tinnitus should go away too... just takes time. No real cause or cure--just another nasty legacy of the infection.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to mikeyinnyc's response:
Thank you for the update....I certainly hope that your tinnitus and hearing distortion abates over time.
 
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paladism responded:
Hi mikeyinnyc, just wondering if the ringing in your ears has gone away? And if it did, how long did it take to go away?

I also suffered from a middle ear infection last month due to flying with a cold and a sore throat. My ENT prescribed me antibiotics, took Klaricid (500mg) for about 12 days and steroids for 9 days. As soon as the fluid in my ear cleared up, i stopped the antibiotics and steroids per my ENT's advice. And like you, i could constantly pop my ears and started hearing ringing and buzzing noises that drive me crazy and hinder me from sleeping on my sides and sometimes from getting any sleep at all.

Its been about a month and a week since the infection but i still have congestion in my sinus and constantly have to clear my throat which is never cleared. I even went to see a Chinese doctor who prescribed me the strongest herbal meds and got acupuncture treatment but those didn't work as well in the long run. But was told that as soon as the symptoms of my colds and cough go away, the ringing should go away. I think i am getting scared if the ringing will actually go away. Has yours gone away?
 
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jamielee66 replied to paladism's response:
did your ringing ever go away, it has been three weeks since my ear healed, June 27th still ringing, it has gotten better, but still there
 
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paladism replied to jamielee66's response:
nope, ringing never went away and its been over 2 years already. its more manageable but still there. my ears have never felt the same again since the infection and i can still constantly pop them on my own and sometimes it feels congested when my allergies (allergic rhinitis) attack. never felt this prior to the infection. if i remember right, my ENT doc said that my tympanic membrane has thickened or something. not sure though. hope someone can enlighten us though on the long term effects of a middle ear infection like if the ringing will get louder or something when we get older...
 
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jamielee66 replied to paladism's response:
that really upsetting, one ear infection has ruined my life, with no hope of getting better, thank you for responding, i feel so alone, and cant take much more.
 
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MarkGrindell replied to jamielee66's response:
Dear Jamielee66,

I wish I had seen this sooner. I would have told you NOT to despair; I hope that you're OK.

My first problem with my ears was really spectacular and sounds like I'm just crazy. Believe me, I'm telling you the truth; I was training with a group of soldiers (including special forces guys) on a firing range in Australia. We were working with a group of weapons that were VERY high powerful rifles and my hearing protection slipped off. The result was catastrophic. I came away not being able hear a single thing. The tinnitus was actually quiet at that stage. Everything was quiet. What had actually happened wasn't at all clear at the time; I wasn't about to find out and only slowly pieced together a likely picture some years later. The ENT specialist I actually saw spent all of four minutes looking at my eardrum, muttered something about inner ear trauma and said that I needed a hearing aid. I may as well have seen a horse doctor, you know, the kind you get with a mustache and a cigar!

I'm only relating this, I guess, because I don't want you to lose hope. What I was hearing would have been intolerable if amplified; I knew enough about signal processing to know that for each tone I was hearing (a single sine wave, if you like) I was actually hearing a pair; a process of "frequency mixing" was occurring. I found out eventually, after hanging around a medical library and digging through texts, that this particular problem was due to mechanical trauma of the connective chain of bones FROM the ear drum TO the inner ear; in effect, a kind of muscle sprain, only on the tiniest scale you could imagine and then some.

The tinnitus bothered me; I became so upset that I left the army altogether. I still miss those guys. I had had a lot of fun with them, hadn't fired a single shot in anger and missed all those crazy times. So sad that it ended that way.

Years later, I came to the realization that the Tinnitus had diminished. Some days I didn't notice it, and SOME days, I could NOT hear it all all.

This was years later. It turns out that although this is slight, there is a small regenerative ability for hair cells. Small, but it's there. Besides which, the complicated neural networks that stand between the ear and the brain gradually adapt and compensate a little both for hearing loss and the tinnitus.

This is a complicated issue. That neural network actually sends message back to the ear and maintains a very complicated feedback mechanism, and the difficulty with tinnitus is that it is NOT just dangling nerve ends, but spurious outputs from a complicated system that we are still figuring out.

If I had to place a bet, I would say that the chances are very good that your condition will gradually improve. Please, whatever you do, do not despair. My damage was very traumatic and now those years have passed I can still hear classical music CDs, play piano and flute on a good day, which is a great blessing.

I wish you courage, strength, and healing; I'm praying for you right now. God bless,

Mark
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to MarkGrindell's response:
Thank you so much, Mark...for the taking the time to offer your wonderful words of encouragement. You should be a writer....
 
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EarRing responded:
Hi Mikeyinnyc,

I noticed your post is 3 years old..can you please let us know how is the "ringing noise" now? Is it gone?
 
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EarRing replied to jamielee66's response:
Jamie,

Did the ringing ever go away?
 
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EarRing replied to paladism's response:
Hi paladism,

did the tinnitus ever went away?
 
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Snooth replied to EarRing's response:
Hi guys,

This is my first time posting on here...

I've spent the last 4 days on the net trying to figure out just how bad my ear is... I'm in Australia... and it almost seems like the GP's here don't know a thing. One said that I had a hole in my ear drum, the other said that I don't and that it's an ext ear infection.. both prescribing me with all sorts of meds... none of which seem to be working....but then again it's only been 4 or 5 days since I got it..

Here is my story, I think it all started one day when I woke up and my right ear was blocked...not sure why, I dont have a cold and my nose is not blocked... so silly me, I got a cotton bud and tried to clean it.. I probably did more damage than good with it, anywho... 10 to 15mins later.. puss and blood started coming out of my right ear.... that was the start of this nightmare!

as a child i've always had problems with my ET, I've always been able to pop them on demand just by pinching my nose and blowing or sucking air, and I've always has these kinds of problems with my ears being blocked.. being a child they didnt' have the internet back then and I didn't know about fluid in the middle ear and what it looked like.. but I'm 30 now.. and if I can remember correctly.... I think it did sound like there was fluid behind my ear drum... or symptoms of the like of glue ear.

This time round it just feels a tad different.. maybe being older I noticed it more.. but I hadn't had a ETD for quite some time as I was able to control it by the way I popped my ears. Out of desperation, i came across this product called earpopper from www.earpopper.com... this product hasn't been available in Australia until now and it's abit steep in price but I thought I'd give it a go... now the product works as described.. and yes it does pop your ears.. but this was no different to the way I do it myself on demand.. so for me this product didn't fix it.

My solution so far...(and I'm still seeing if it is a permanent solution... ) so... during the day what I do is pull on my ear sideways backwards what ever way it needs to go to open the ear canal (my ear is soooo red from me pulling on it, but i'd rather a painful ext ear than no hearing, that's the choice i made) then I pop my ears but first sucking air in.. waiting a few seconds.. then blowing air out... then I take a deep breath whilst opening my jaw as big as possible at the same.. I know there is a lot of things to do all at once... but my view is that .. the bigger the opening of the ET the better drainage/vent/whatever it needs to do to clear it up. I must warn you though.. you will look like an idiot doing it.. but I don't care..... better that than clogged ears.

5 days on.. my hearing is much better after the above procedure during the day i dont feel the pressure and it's not clogged, I can still here a little bit of my chewing but not my voice.... it's not 100% to the left ear.. but it is functional during the day, it almost feels normal.. but then sadly at night.. it goes back to being clogged as I can feel the fluid flowing back to block the ear when i go to bed and lay down on either side of my ear.... I'm still working on that one.

I hope this helps people... and I'm still trying to find a cure too... I just think that with today's technology we still don't have a fix for an ear infection... i'm hopeful that one day doctors can provide an instant fix for this issue.

Snooth


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