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Profoundly deaf from ear infection
Pandorasbox posted:
On Friday My ears felt a little blocked but did not hurt. Then in the middle of the night I woke with agonising earache in right ear. By the morning I had terrible pain in both ears. As it was a Saturday the doctor's surgery was shut and I could have gone to a walk in centre but just felt too ill and in too much pain to sit in a waiting room for hours. I noticed that my hearing was very much reduced.

Finally went to see dr on Monday. She said I had severe infection in right ear & that she couldn't see in my left ear as too much wax. By this time my hearing was so bad I had to ask her to repeat everything. She prescribed clarinthomycin (500mg) for 7 days.

Today I can hear virtually nothing. cannot hear phone ring, door bell, it's even worse that yesterday & I am worried sick that it seems to be getting worse all the time. I know I ' ve only been on the meds for 2 days, but is this normal? Can't hear my kids & certainly cannot work ( I am a teacher) Feel utterly isolated & frantic.

Don't think my ear drums burst , although did have some clear fluid & wax drain from right ear at night.

I am so scared & would be grateful for any advice/ reassurance
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
It has been only two days, so perhaps allowing a bit more time for the systemic antibiotic to do it's job would be prudent. Without being able to examine your ear myself, I have no way to confirm or challenge your doctor's assessment, but I can say that two days may not be sufficient time to heal. As long as the infection is still active, or fluid is still in your ear middle ear space (or wax in your ear canal), your hearing will be adversely affected.

Eardrum can definitely rupture, whether you are on antibiotics or not. Since your doctor did not remove the earwax from your one ear,it may be a mystery as to what is going on the other side of that wax impaction.

Make a follow up visit with your doctor toward the end of the week. If your symptoms have resolved, you can always cancel the appointment.
Pandorasbox replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you for replying so quickly. I don' t think I would be so worried were it not for the fact My hearing seems to be getting worse, not better & am worried that by tomorrow I won't be able to hear anything at all. Is there anything else my doctor could do, such as prescribing ear drops as well or a steroid spray. Would that help?

Thank you so much for your advice, it gives me some hope!
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Pandorasbox's response:
Assuming that your infection is in the middle ear -- the other side of your eardrum -- putting drops in your external ear canal will not help since there is no way for those drops to make it into the middle ear (unless your eardrum ruptures). If it does, then the type of drops will need to be appropriate for a ruptured eardrum (not all drops are approved for that situation).

Steroid sprays are relatively slow to work, and they would only help by reducing inflammation near the throat end of the Eustachian tubes. They can be used, of course, but by the time they work (one or two weeks), you are likely to be better.

Do you have your doctor followup appointment? You could get an ENT appointment instead.
Pandorasbox replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I saw a different doctor today. She said that my right ear drum has a hole in it, has lots of build-up of wax and pus behind it and that she could not see into my left ear because of the wax so gave me Otomize ear spray to use 3 times a day in my left ear.

My hearing today is slightly worse if anything and I am getting desperately worried. During the whole of December I had a nasty cold virus that started in the sinuses and then worked its way down to my throat and chest. I thought nothing of it and didn't see the doctor, carried on working etc. It lasted for about 3 weeks. It finally cleared up just before Christmas. Then, 3 days after Christmas, I came down with a temperature and a very runny nose, sore throat etc. To be honest my throat hadn't got better since the first virus and now I still have a really painful bit right at the back of my throat on the left hand side.

Perhaps I should add that I've had sinus problems and repeated infections for years. I see the ENT consultant at the local hospital every 6 months or so but he's never been able to find a cause (except I have a slightly deviated septum). It's always my right hand sinus that is blocked and it it virtually always slightly blocked. I had noticed for several months that when my right nostril, right sinus etc were particularly blocked then my right ear felt a bit gunged up - if I pulled on the skin near my ear I could feel all the wax squelching if you know what I mean.

Anyway, what really scares me is this: is it possible that I've had a mild ear infection for a long time and it has done so much damage that I will never be able to hear again? Or does the fact that the ear ache came on so suddenly mean the recent infection is the cause of my hearing loss and it really will get back to normal in the not-too-distant future? Have I left it too late to ever be able to hear again? I know this sounds melodramatic but I really am desperate and am really scared.

I am so grateful for your continued help.

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