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    Plugged Ears, Sore Throat, Cough, Congestion, Runny Nose...
    avatar
    edmurray06 posted:
    Sounds like the typical flu, but what is concerning me the most out of all my symptoms is my Ears and Skin. The skin on my face and neck (scalp included) feels "numb" and my ears (left mostly) feel partially blocked. I can still hear, but I can hear myself breathing, talking etc, and it is amplified while outside sounds are softer. I have had this condition for the last 4 days, gradually getting worse. I'm concerned about infections, and would like to know what the most likely cause of this would be.
    Like so many other Americans, I cannot afford Health Care, so going to my family doctor is not an option at the moment.

    Thank you for any feedback.
     
    avatar
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
    Although I am very sympathetic to your financial situation, it does not change the fact that I have no way of blindly diagnosing you over the Internet, based solely on the information in your posting. I do not know anything about you, your medical history, nor do I have a way of examining you -- all essential components.

    I am very concerned that you have been getting worse over the last four days, and yes, an infection is possible. Assuming you do have an infection, how are you planning on being treated?

    There is really no such thing as a typical flu, and true influenza does not really cause facial numbness. This would need to be evaluated by examination as an atypical symptom.

    A blocked ear where you can hear your own breathing, talking, etc. could indicate a patulous eustachian tube (PET) -- one that is locked in an open position (the e-tubes are normally closed and only open termporarily when we swallow). Most cases of PET self-resolved, but unfortunately, not all of them. If your symptoms persist, this is not something you can treat at home or with over-the-counter medications.
     
    avatar
    Lunazen111 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    "I have no way of blindly diagnosing you over the Internet, based solely on the information in your posting. I do not know anything about you, your medical history, nor do I have a way of examining you -- all essential components."

    I have often wondered at this flippant attitude from doctors on sites like these. Why are you here if not to answer people's health questions, and what types of question do you suppose they are going to be asking??


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