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    Middle ear mucus won't drain.
    An_187439 posted:
    My ENT poked a hole in my ear to suck out what turned out to be clear, but thick mucus that has been stuffing my ear up. It can't seem to drain because it is so thick, but no infection is present. Just thick mucus. I am at my wit's end. He says there is nothing I can do except continue to take the Nasonex, and use the netipot. It's not working to clear my ear. Any ideas of something that can thin the thick mucus so it will drain?
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
    Once that mucous become thick -- almost glue-like -- there is really nothing medically that can be done to thin it enough to facilitate drainage. It may end up being absorbed by the body over time (I have no idea if or even when this might happen), or your ENT may have to vaccuum it out using a suction device -- a more extensive procedure than just making a little hole. This may require a brief anesthesia for you, and perhaps the insertion of tubes.

    Right now, the ENT may be just trying to buy some time to see if this effusion (fluid) will resolve spontaneously, but that hole that he made may quickly heal, and the middle ear fluid may reaccumulate again. You may end up having another procedure in the future to get that fluid out....
    caseyjmc replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Thanks for your reply...
    Yes, he not only poked the hole, but used a vacuum machine to suck out the mucus. He did the same thing last year, and told me to regularly hold my nose and blow to pop my ears. My right ear pops fine, but my left one still feels sticky and a bit stuffed, though it crackles occasionally.

    I am curious about a technique developed by a fellow sufferer, called the "Earadicator." I'm not going to try it unless my doctor thinks it could work. Have you heard of it? If so, what do you think about it? T he website is earadicator dot com.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to caseyjmc's response:
    I did review this lay site out of curiosity. I would be reluctant to recommend this technique, especially for you, for a few reasons...

    First, you had a recent tympanostomy (the hole in your eardrum). Most of these surgical holes will quickly heal, but like a patch on a tire, this area will be weaker and more likely to re-rupture with this technique. You should exercise caution even doing the Valsalva manuever.

    Second, I don't have any real issues with the neti-pot, but I cannot endorse putting a large "squirt" of a decongestant nasal spray in the water. Decongestant (oral) have been used for ETD, but the efficacy of using them is quite controversial.

    Third, you may be still having middle ear inflammation from the procedure. In other words, you are not "healed", so to intervene with this unproven procedure may not be in your best interest. I agree with you.....your ENT should really offer an opinion that is more patient - specific (someone that knows you and the details of your particular case.)
    campbuds replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    I have a similar problem. My left inner ear never really developed enough to drain properly. The ENT says everything looks good and my doctor tells me I am not in often enough to do anything about it. But I suffer with ear problems with every cold I get. I end up with fluid in my ear and an ear infection. Otherwise I always have a mild amount of fluid in my ear I hear in there that is bothersome. I just need a way to drain it myself. Right now it is putting pressure on my ear drum and creating a lot of pain.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to campbuds's response:
    Putting pressure on your ear is not going to eliminate middle ear fluid (if you do, indeed, have middle ear fluid...your ENT said you do not).

    Decongestants are used, but controversial if they really help. Nasal corticosteroid sprays (prescription) are used. Valsalva techniques are used (pinching your nose and gently blowing to equalize the pressure).

    The big healer of middle ear fluid (in adults) is TIME. If time does not heal you, I am sure your ENT would be more than willing to insert some tubes if there is stagnant middle ear fluid.
    hawnstyle55 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Good Morning,

    Serious Otitis MediaSerious otitis media is the inflammation and infection of the middle ear, which is located behind the eardrum. According to the Ear Surgery Center, the space behind the eardrum is only filled with air, which allows the transmission of sound waves to pass through. When a person develops a cold or upper respiratory infection, this empty space can be filled with fluid. Once the person recovers from the cold or respiratory infection, the fluid drains through the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the nose. Decongestants and antibiotics help clear up the infection and allow the fluid to drain

    This is what I feel that is going on with me. When I asked my Doctor, she said no!. She began me on anitbiotic, sudafed, and mucinex. That didn't work, we are now on Flonase. How much longer must I go through this before I feel better and the fluid comes out.

    Please Help me to understand this!

    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to hawnstyle55's response:
    Only very thin fluid can make it down the Eustachian tubes. The lumen of those tubes is about the size of a hair. the e-tubes are better for air equalization that draining middle ear effusion (fluid). Most fluid is just reabsorbed by the body. Sometimes, it all goes out, but sometimes, it becomes thicker and glue-like and has to be surgically suctioned out and/or tubes inserted.
    lacey_b replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Dr. Moser, I know I should go to the doctor but I really can't afford it right now. I have what I believe is a sinus infection back to back for about 3 weeks now and now my ear is clogged up. It's draining fluid it's clearish yellow fluid not too thick is this normal?
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to lacey_b's response:
    That depends on the source of this yellow fluid....

    It can be shower water mixed with (yellow) earwax that became trapped and then started to drain....OR

    It can be a ruptured eardrum, where the clear yellow fluid is coming from the middle ear space. A ruptured eardrum is usually not serious and will quickly heal, but without an exam, you really cannot be sure of the source. A rupture eardrum can be caused by a middle ear infection. Sinus infections and middle ear infections can occur together sometimes.
    pattynack88 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Hi Dr. Moser,

    What does one do, when you can't drain from sinus infections and fluid in the ears. Even after many antibiotics, plus I keep getting strep. This is just been on going and getting old. I feel if a pin was popped on me from the neck up, I'd probably flood the living room. I still have my tonsils, if that makes a difference or not. My ears will hurt so bad and I think it's ear infections, but I'm told just fluid, well sorry just fluid that won't drain. What type of Doctor could help? Thanks for any help.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to pattynack88's response:
    An ENT, but remember that ENTs are surgeons, and surgeons like to treat things surgically. In your case, that could be tubes (not uncommon in adults) and perhaps, even some sinus surgery.

    Have you had any imaging studies like a CT or MRI? If not, the ENT may order one of them.
    pattynack88 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Thank you Dr. Moser,

    I did have a CT many years ago when I was tested for allegeries both came out normal and not allergic to anything. I have had many MRI's because I had a stroke back in "95" at age 32. It's always complicated for me. I will check into an ENT. thanks again.
    EarRing replied to pattynack88's response:

    If I would you, I would invest in an "earpopper". It's great to drain fluids in the ear. I swear by it.

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