Ear infection, permanent damage

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Dougmcwayne.wis
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#1
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#1
Not only do I believe its possible, I think it happened to me.

A month or so ago I had a nasty ear infection that kept me bedridden for a day, unable to even brush my teeth.

Since then, noise still feels quiet ish/hollow and after doing some self-tests (holding earphones to just right ear) I have determined that my hearing abillity has lessened.


What do I do?
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Allyson2020
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#2
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(Original post by Dougmcwayne.wis)
Not only do I believe its possible, I think it happened to me.

A month or so ago I had a nasty ear infection that kept me bedridden for a day, unable to even brush my teeth.

Since then, noise still feels quiet ish/hollow and after doing some self-tests (holding earphones to just right ear) I have determined that my hearing abillity has lessened.


What do I do?
I will suggest to go back to see your GP asap if you having problems with your hearing with sore ears, they will hopefully refer you to ENT specialist doctors who'll determine if you have lost any hearing with doing tests etc.

Sometimes eax wax can affect your hearing to especially after infections ( try this simply test ok - pinch you nose together and take a deep breathe in and blow out, repeat few times and your should hear your ear popping, this may help ok as if not GP I'm afraid. )..

A registered NHS adult nurse ok
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Dougmcwayne.wis
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#3
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(Original post by Allyson2020)
I will suggest to go back to see your GP asap if you having problems with your hearing with sore ears, they will hopefully refer you to ENT specialist doctors who'll determine if you have lost any hearing with doing tests etc.

Sometimes eax wax can affect your hearing to especially after infections ( try this simply test ok - pinch you nose together and take a deep breathe in and blow out, repeat few times and your should hear your ear popping, this may help ok as if not GP I'm afraid. )..

A registered NHS adult nurse ok
I hear popping in only my right ear, what does this mean?

In fact, it sounds like static.
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0le
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#4
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(Original post by Dougmcwayne.wis)
I hear popping in only my right ear, what does this mean?

In fact, it sounds like static.
It could mean anything. The best thing to do is to speak to a GP and get it checked. I am afraid that there is not much else that anyone on TSR can suggest.

Let us know how it goes!
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Satori Tendō
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Dougmcwayne.wis)
Not only do I believe its possible, I think it happened to me.

A month or so ago I had a nasty ear infection that kept me bedridden for a day, unable to even brush my teeth.

Since then, noise still feels quiet ish/hollow and after doing some self-tests (holding earphones to just right ear) I have determined that my hearing abillity has lessened.


What do I do?
It could mean you have a build up in your middle ear or a blockage of wax on the outer. It's common after infections for hearing to be temporarily down due to build up as long as there wasn't any further damage. If that ear is also popping when you blow out of your nose, it furthers that possibility.
The GP will most likely look down your ear and see it full of gunk, in that case clearing it out it would be the solution. (although I think some GPs have stopped ear irrigation services and people have been getting it done privately)

In terms of hearing sounds without an external source (tinnitus) like static, it could be that when your ears are blocked and are unable to pick up on the sounds from the environment as they always do, you start to hear your body a lot louder, maybe a pulse, static, ringing. We aren't silent, we make internal noises constantly, they just get masked by our surroundings.
It could also be your brain generating it's own sounds to make up for the loss of input from the blockage etc...

But yes go see your GP, and hopefully it is a temporary loss! If not don't worry! Personally I've had multiple ear infections which unfortunately caused long term damage, now I have constant loud tinnitus. My new annoying lifelong friend lol
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username4899406
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Satori Tendō)
It could mean you have a build up in your middle ear or a blockage of wax on the outer. It's common after infections for hearing to be temporarily down due to build up as long as there wasn't any further damage. If that ear is also popping when you blow out of your nose, it furthers that possibility.
The GP will most likely look down your ear and see it full of gunk, in that case clearing it out it would be the solution. (although I think some GPs have stopped ear irrigation services and people have been getting it done privately)

In terms of hearing sounds without an external source (tinnitus) like static, it could be that when your ears are blocked and are unable to pick up on the sounds from the environment as they always do, you start to hear your body a lot louder, maybe a pulse, static, ringing. We aren't silent, we make internal noises constantly, they just get masked by our surroundings.
It could also be your brain generating it's own sounds to make up for the loss of input from the blockage etc...

But yes go see your GP, and hopefully it is a temporary loss! If not don't worry! Personally I've had multiple ear infections which unfortunately caused long term damage, now I have constant loud tinnitus. My new annoying lifelong friend lol
Ahhh alas, same here
Had to have my left eardrum completely removed as a child
Miraculously I still have some nerve endings intact in my left ear though

However a single ear infection is unlikely to cause this

Don't worry too much for the time being but see your GP!!
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Allyson2020
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Dougmcwayne.wis)
I hear popping in only my right ear, what does this mean?

In fact, it sounds like static.
Could be because other ear canal is blocked perhaps.
Suggest still go and see your GP on this as although I'm a qualified nurse I can't diagnosed what the problems is incase its something more wrong ok,

Our ears has hairs that curl up when we get infections or other symptoms and this can cause hearing lost but by popping them xxxx times a day will hopefully help hearing come back.


( Listening to loud noise for a long time can overwork hair cells in the ear, which can cause these cells to die. The hearing loss progresses as long as the exposure continues. Harmful effects might continue even after noise exposure has stopped. Damage to the inner ear or auditory neural system is generally permanent. )



( Five reasons your ears could be blocked and how to unblock them
Having a blocked ear (or sometimes, even more annoyingly, blocked ears) can be a serious inconvenience, and at times, a health risk. Blocked ears can muffle and distort sounds, reducing your capacity to hear your surroundings. Having blocked ears is not only irritating, but usually comes with other symptoms such as ear pain, itchiness, or dizziness.

When a blockage occurs, especially if it seems out of the blue, you may wonder why your ear is blocked. There are many causes of a blocked ear; surprisingly, it’s not always the case of ear wax buildup. Although there are many reasons an ear can be blocked, we highlight the five most common reasons your ears are blocked.

1. Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD)
The eustachian tube is a small canal (about one and one-half inches long and only a few millimeters in diameter) that runs from either ear (from the middle ear) to the back of the nose and upper throat. Most of the time the eustachian tubes remain closed; however, they will open as a person chews, yawns, or swallows. These tubes are responsible for equalising the pressure from the inner ear to the outside world to ensure they are the same. Another function of the eustachian tubes is to drain built-up mucus into your nose or throat. Generally, a clogged or muffled sensation occurs when the pressure in each middle ear is uneven or when the pressure inside your middle ears is inconsistent with the pressure of the air; this is when your eustachian tubes work to equalise pressure. Sometimes, however, the tubes cannot perform this function, and there are a few reasons why.
ETD Triggers
Swelling-induced blockage – congestion and swelling in the eustachian tubes caused by sinus infections and illness (colds and flus most of the time) cause the tubes of the inner ear to swell and become blocked. As the eustachian tubes cannot drain mucus and circulate air, they disrupt the function of the inner and middle ear.
Physical blockage – in some cases, an overgrowth of tissue in the back of the nose (such as nasal polyps or the adenoids) can block the opening of the eustachian tubes. In rare cases, there may be tumor growth.
A ruptured eardrum (perforated eardrum) – this is a hole or tear in the thin tissue that separates your middle and inner ear. This can be caused by a buildup of fluids, loud sounds, foreign objects in the ear, severe head trauma, severe changes in air pressure, and ear infections (see next section). A ruptured eardrum can make your ears even more vulnerable to infections which may further block eustachian tubes.
speaker

Opening the eustachian tube allows for the release of pressure. This cures the ‘ear block’. If you’re experiencing an infection, antibiotics are usually prescribed to help fight off the infection. Often, for sinus congestion resulting from colds and flues, nasal sprays are also prescribed. However, if the blockage does not clear, there is a dysfunction in the tube. This could cause further complications leading to infection if not treated (though this is rare). If you’re experiencing frequent ear blocks that may be attributed to ETD, it’s a good idea to get your ears checked out by a qualified hearing health specialist.

2. Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection)
The middle ear is a sensitive region of the overall ear. The middle ear is located between the eardrum and the oval window and is responsible for transmitting sound from outer ear to inner ear. This is where three incredibly small and sensitive bones called the hammer (malleus), the anvil (incus) and the stirrup (stapes) transmit vibrations into sounds waves that travel into the inner ear.

Sometime a sinus congestion (resulting from illnesses, sinus infections, and allergies) can cause the eustachian tubes to block, leading to fluid buildup in the middle ear and inflammation. Further, a bacterial sinus infection can spread to the middle ear causing swelling, fluid buildup, and infection. This is a condition known as otitis media and is often associated with ear pain and pressure. Most of the time otitis media will clear up on its own; however, at times antibiotics are prescribed. Treatment is delivered based on the underlying issue – whether it be viral or bacterial.

Fascinated by how our ears actually work? Learn more about how our hearing works and how our incredibly sensitive ears are able to transform sound waves into real noise we hear.

child with blocked ear

3. Earwax Blockage
Earwax is a naturally occurring substance which protects the ears from water, bacteria, fungi, and other elements. It helps the ears stay lubricated and clean; however, sometimes excess earwax builds up which causes problems. This is referred to as Excessive Earwax or Impacted Cerumen

Typically, earwax that is produced by the ear is pushed towards the outer part of the ear where it is washed away or falls out; however, people with excess ear wax may find that too much wax in the ear blocks their hearing. Further, as earwax builds up over time, it may harden and become difficult to wash away; this also makes ears more susceptible to blockages. Earwax blockage is not only annoying, but can lead to other health problems. According to Harvard Health, ear canals that become plugged up with earwax can cause earaches, infections, and other problems.

On top of conductive hearing loss, other symptoms of excessive earwax include pain in the ear, itchiness, or dizziness. For treatment of impacted wax, it’s important to talk to a hearing or ear health specialist. A specialist can remove the wax safely and recommend products and wax-removal methods (more on safe, at-home earwax removal below!).

cotton swab

4. Otitis Externa (Swimmer’s Ear)
Otitis Externa, or swimmer’s ear, is the inflammation or infection of the canal between the eardrum and outer ear. This is often triggered by exposure to water or over-cleaning the ear. Apart from reduced hearing, a person with this condition may also experience pain, itchiness, pus in the ear canal, and buzzing or humming noises from inside the ear canal. Otitis externa is often treated after first establishing whether the infection is fungal or bacterial. Following this, antibiotics or antifungal medication is prescribed and the ear is cleaned out.

Other Triggers for Otitis Externa
Foreign items in the ear
Chemical irritation (hair products)
Otitis media
Diabetes (this condition makes earwax more alkaline, which creates a more hospitable condition for fungus and bacteria)
Folliculitis
Narrow ear canals (which make the ear harder to drain)
5. Barotrauma (Aeroplane Ear)
If the pressure in your ear is different from the pressure of the air outside your body for extended periods of time, severe damage to your eardrum can result. This type of damage is called barotrauma and is often experienced by those who scuba dive, fly regularly, and drive or hike at high altitudes. Barotrauma causes ear pain, dizziness, and a feeling of pressure in the ears. Severe barotrauma can cause eardrum rupture, hearing loss, and nosebleeds.

With this condition, it’s best to treat the discomfort before it escalates and causes damage to the eardrum. On flights, it’s a good idea to chew gum to let your eustachian tube open. When scuba diving, come up to the surface when you first notice discomfort to let your ears equalise. In most cases, symptoms will resolve on their own; however, if serious damage is caused, corrective surgery might be needed.
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BerH
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#8
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#8
Tinnitus (ear ringing) and hearing loss caused by an ear infection are usually temporary and subside after treatment. Your physician may choose to treat your ear infection with antibiotics. My advice is to visit a doctor. When I had an ear infection, my ears were clogged. We addressed a hearing aids staten island clinic where he was examined and prescribed meds. It took my hearing up to a week to come back to normal.
Last edited by BerH; 1 month ago
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