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Includes Expert Content
Retracted Ear Drum
avatar
Lincs posted:
Hi

After 2years of repeated ear infections and 6 months of vertigo, also have sinus and jaw neck pain from time to time. I was given a referral to ENT.

Had a hearing test [told not too bad> a pressure test which showed -ve pressure problems [Eustachian tube issues?> then went to see the consultant Dr.

He used an instrument to show inside of my ear on his computer, then to hold an blow my nose to pop eardrum [something I have done since childhood used to get told off for sniffing now realise probarbly start of my problems> anyway I could see the ear drum is stuck to the bones and the drum moved over the Eustachian tube.

Consultant then said sorry you have come too late [er no my GP's have failed to refer me> there is nothing I can do. You'll just have to carry on as you have been doing. He then went on to explain an new procedure about widening the Eustachian tubes which German Dr's are pioneering, saying I would be an ideal candidate but the procedure is not available in the UK. Then mentioned an op where eardrum is moved BUT said its has a poor prognosis lots of things can go wrong ie ear drum being sucked up into my mastoid bone and then need to open up to get out or totally remove drum and leave inner ear exposed so more chance of infection etc. What did I want to do? No proper statistics discussed or long term prognosis, problems I might face in the future I may or may not go deaf but I can have a hearing aid!

Having got over the shock and abruptness of the Dr, I am thinking is this it am I really a lost cause and nothing can be done have I got to put up with repeated ear infections, vertigo, intermittant, ear, sinus, neck and jaw pain? What about further complications etc etc.
Reply
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Not knowing the medical details of your case --- just the information that you posted --- makes it very difficult for me to offer you any patient-specific advice, but I can make some general comments.

What you saw on the computer was a bone stuck to the eardrum. This is the malleus and it is supposed to be attached to the back of the eardrum. And, you cannot see the Eustachian tubes, but you can see the eardrum move. Chronic Eustachian tube problems can suck in the eardrum (from the negative ear pressure) and cause a condition called a cholesteatoma. This can be a real problem is this is what you have, and in most cases this does need surgery. You need to ask him if you have a cholesteatoma, or having one being formed.

I think you may need a second opinion from another ENT...one who is more explanatory.
 
avatar
Lincs replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you for your reply, after reading up about my problem my main concern was developing a cholesteatoma, ENT consultant only mentioned the possibility of going deaf and no other long term problems I may have.

I will wait till the notes are sent back to my GP and go and see him as he's very approachable and patient orientated.


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