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Ear infection, pain, blockage
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anirbanS posted:
Friday (7th Dec) my left ear was itching a lot, I tried cleaning it with a wax removal solution and a cotton swab. From Saturday morning I started feeling pain inside my left ear, gradually it became blocked and also reduced my hearing ability severely. The pain is occasional but when it happens it is quite severe. I went to the General Physician at my University Health Center on Monday. The doctor after checking my ear canal said that my ear drum is a little red and on the floor below the ear drum there was accumulation of some white material which she was unsure of. She gave me an ear drop (antibiotic + anti inflammatory) and also regular antibiotic tablets. She asked me to come back the next Monday. Today is Thursday and my situation has not changed a lot, though I think the pain may be a little more occasional. Sometimes the blockage seems to be swollen a lot, sometimes it feels there is a lot of pressure that is trying to escape my ear. Occasional the blockage opens up to a certain extent and hearing ability is partially restored. I don't have any cold symptoms and I am able to get regular sleep. I haven't tried to do anything on my ear since the infection except putting the ear drops as instructed by the doctor.( Even I am avoiding regular bath to avoid water).
My question is: Is it ok to wait till Monday and continue the medicine to find if my situation improves? Or shall I re-visit the doctor sooner? Also, do I need to visit a specialist?
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Healing takes time, even when you are on the proper medication regime. I don't know what antibiotics or eardrops you are using, but I assume the choice and dosage was appropriate.

Yes, I think you can wait a bit longer. You can try ibuprofen for the inflammation, and perhaps even a decongestant during the day to help with the possible middle ear pressure you are experiencing. Stay away from those Q-tip though. You can also see a specialist if you fail to improve, but it may be a bit premature to arrange it now.
 
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anirbanS replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thanks a lot doctor, it doesn't reduce my pain but certainly relieves my worry
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to anirbanS's response:
You can certainly ask your doctor for some stronger pain medication.....
 
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anirbanS replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Dr. Moser,

Thanks for your suggestion, presently I am taking an ear drop(Neomycin Polymyxin B Sulfates Hydrocortisone Otic Solution) and Amoxicillin 875 mg tablets. I don't know what is the situation inside my ear but it feels same as before. In addition sometimes I feel pain in muscles on the back of my head too. Drinking hot fluids(coffee, soup) make me feel a little better. I am visiting the doctor coming Monday.
Would my hearing ability be restored as before, with time?
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to anirbanS's response:
Without knowing the medical details of your case, and knowing your exact diagnosis (you are on a treatment for both a middle ear infection and swimmer's ear), I would not be able to predict outcome, but I would assume your hearing would return to normal.

Keep taking that ibuprofen.....it will help your neck discomfort, too.
 
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anirbanS replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Yesterday I visited the doctor again, she said there was a lot of wax inside my ear and she couldn't see my ear drum properly. Then they cleaned my ear partially by spraying warm water and got a lot of wax out. After doing that my pain reduced a lot. She said my ear drum was healthy and stopped the ear drops I was taking. She asked me to use my ear wax removal drop for a few days and come back, so that they can get the remaining wax out. I can't tell if my hearing ability has improved but certainly it feels better, the pain is almost gone.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to anirbanS's response:
Thanks for the update....

Earwax does interfere with a medical provider's ability to get an accurate diagnosis, and we hate to irrigate an ear that is painful. Now that the wax is finally out of the way, this will be better.

I am pleased that you are feeling better.
 
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anirbanS replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I visited the doctor again on Thursday, she just checked my ear and said my ear wax was almost out and asked me to stop the ear wax removal drops. My pain was almost gone but the ear blockage and hearing impairment was still there, she said that since I have used drops for a few weeks now, it would take some time for them to dry up and then my hearing ability may be restored.
Over the last few days, I don't have pain when I am awake. The block is there, some fluid comes out of the ear occasionally, the blockage opens up for some time but again comes back. When I get up for sleep, I feel some pain in my ear and the blockage seems to more than normal. It returns to normal after a few hours.
I would like to thank you for all your suggestions.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to anirbanS's response:
Thanks for the update. I suspect that over the next week or two, your symptoms will gradually abate and you will be back to normal again. You seem to be moving in that positive direction....


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