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Perforated eardrum, nausea and skiing
Styperson posted:
Hi Dr Rod I had an ear infection over Christmas and my eardrum has since perforated. It is no longer painful, but the tinnitus is very annoying and the nausea and dizziness have me concerned. I drive a lot to work which can be journeys of a few hundred miles. I am also due to go on a skiing holiday in less than 4 weeks time. I read on the NHS helpline that it can take around 2 months to heal, but little about these other symptoms. Should I be thinking of cancelling my ski holiday? I don't want to go and find I can't ski because I can't balance or hear what is going on around me. If this is likely to be a short term thing of a few days it would be ok, but as I'm not a confident skier anyway, if it is likely to be longer lasting then I would prefer to get a medical note, cancel and rebook for later. What are your thoughts please?
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Perforations are so variable, depending on their size and location on the eardrum. Smaller ones can heal in days; larger ones may take a month or so, but most will heal. The tinnitus and hearing aberration is either due to perforation or the cause of the perforation (the infection). Your dizziness should not be significant at this point, but again, this is variable as well. You will probably be okay to ski in a month, but I am detecting some anxiety about this trip, so it is reallly your call. If you medical provider gives you a note to postpone your trip, that would be fine as well. Since I can't physically see your ears, I cannot make that call.

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