Muffled hearing for 3+ months

Posted by charlottescot @charlottescot, Jun 22, 2019

As I was walking (about 200 feet) from my car into a friend's house…my left ear went"dead." I did all the things that had worked in the past: blow my nose (gently), close then open the ear. once home I tried removing wax…etc. Nothing has helped. My hearing is totally compromised. Voices over the phone sound like "cartoon" voices…buzzy and childlike. Each week my hearing becomes more diminished. Finally, I have an upcoming appointment with an ENT…THIS UPCOMING FRIDAY!!!! Does anyone have any clues?

@charlottescot

Hi,
Do you by any chance use Q Tips? Many years ago (I wear hearing aids) , I had the same experience and thought my hearing had dropped so far that I went to my independent audiologist. She saw something white way down in the canal with her otoscope. She told me to go to an ENT. I couldn’t wait so I carefully put a pair of tweezers into my ear canal and pulled out a piece of Q tip fluff. BY NO MEAMS am I suggesting you do this. I was lucky and that solved the problem. Might be an accumulation of wax also. I use a wax removal product from time to time…it’s a lot safer than sticking something in your ears. My ENT guy is okay with me using it occasionally. I gave up QTIPS after that.

If you knew someone with an otoscope (anyone a nurse on your family?) that could inspect yours ears to see if they could see anything that would put your mind at ease a bit. I hope it’s as simple as that and know how frustrating it can be.

Regards from FL Mary

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MY NP said the ear canal was inflamed. I have used Q-tips in the past (regardless of the warning on every box which says DO NOT USE IN THE EAR). I read somewhere that using q-tips could push the wax deeper into the ear so, that is another possibility. If I find out the problem from the ENT on Friday, I will let you know. Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion. C

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@ charlottescot

Sounds like you have otitis externa ….been there. If that is what it is the ENT will give you drops for a few weeks and probably advise you to keep your ears dry. I use a hand held ear blower to dry out my ears from time to time…..moist ears are a breeding ground for infection and fungus. You’ll notice a rapid improvement in your hearing if that is the cause and yes, you can push wax further in the canal with a QTip

Good luck, know you are anxious about it.

Fl Mary

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Thank you. You have given me hope, which is a terrific way to start the day. My mother went deaf and refused to do anything about it. Therefore, everyone around her had to yell and repeat everything two or three times. We offered to get her a hearing aid, she refused and then, she would buy gadgets she saw advertised in questionable publications. I swore I would never do that to anyone around me. My mother was extremely intelligent – in publishing – spoke six languages but, as she told me when I had driven 2500 miles to see her, "There is nothing I want to hear." This sadly was the truth. She lived in silence with her books until she was 93. So it goes. Thanks again. I am smiling:-)

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@charlottescot, how was your appointment with the ENT specialist? How is your hearing now?

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The first appointment was fine, however, the Dr. has just moved into a new office and his new equipment had not arrived. So I now have an appointment on Monday the 2nd. Meantime…my less-than-perfect hearing continues to be irritating and problematic. Thanks for asking.

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@charlottescot

The first appointment was fine, however, the Dr. has just moved into a new office and his new equipment had not arrived. So I now have an appointment on Monday the 2nd. Meantime…my less-than-perfect hearing continues to be irritating and problematic. Thanks for asking.

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I finally had a hearing test. The doctor concluded there was nothing wrong (physically with my ears). She then said the loss was symmetrical. I challenged this because the left ear is much worse than the right I felt the left ear was at about 40%-60% while the right was 80%+ . After a discussion and a follow-up call from me, she prescribed a short dose of Prednisone. (I resisted because I've had friends on Prednisone who told horror stories.) HOWEVER, within three hours after taking the first dose I could hear substantially better. Throughout the day, the hearing improved. Doctor feel the eustachian tube is swollen and the Prednisone will reduce the swelling. I'll keep you informed

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@charlottescot

I finally had a hearing test. The doctor concluded there was nothing wrong (physically with my ears). She then said the loss was symmetrical. I challenged this because the left ear is much worse than the right I felt the left ear was at about 40%-60% while the right was 80%+ . After a discussion and a follow-up call from me, she prescribed a short dose of Prednisone. (I resisted because I've had friends on Prednisone who told horror stories.) HOWEVER, within three hours after taking the first dose I could hear substantially better. Throughout the day, the hearing improved. Doctor feel the eustachian tube is swollen and the Prednisone will reduce the swelling. I'll keep you informed

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@charlotescot
Hi,

Prednisone is a powerful anti inflammatory . So glad to hear of the improvement. Hope you just stay the course and taper off as instructed and that it won’t reoccur. Don’t listen to horror stories..I think some people stay on this drug too long and that can lead to other health problems. I am assuming it was on the form of ear drops. I have had a few low doses over the years when I had a severe infection and inflammation of the ears and was amazed at how fast and effective it was. But not something you take routinely.

Regards from FL Mary

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Thanks, Mary,
I have an 8-day dose. Four days, 2 10mg per day then, 4 days 1mg per day. I am certainly fine with this kind of treatment and, for the first time in months, I am hopeful about regaining my hearing. (Also I could not imagine how I was going to afford a hearing aid so, it is a BIG relief). Thanks for getting back in touch

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@charlottescot

Thanks, Mary,
I have an 8-day dose. Four days, 2 10mg per day then, 4 days 1mg per day. I am certainly fine with this kind of treatment and, for the first time in months, I am hopeful about regaining my hearing. (Also I could not imagine how I was going to afford a hearing aid so, it is a BIG relief). Thanks for getting back in touch

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Hi, @charlottescot – I also had a scary experience lately where one ear lost about half its hearing after our family went to see my son's drum teacher's concert (sans ear plugs – we didn't think of it and couldn't find any there when we did).

The next day I realized I had trouble differentiating between one conversation I was having across the room with one lady with several other side conversations in the same room. My right ear was super sensitive to sounds, like radio and TV volume. I also had pain in my ear and a muffly, cotton-in the-ear sensation.

I was so scared that 25 minutes of listening to 3 songs (all my kids could do, as they were tired, and it was loud for all of us) might have seriously damaged my hearing for life. However, I was diagnosed Friday with serous otitis (like what kids get when they need tubes – middle ear not draining properly) and the doctor said I had the classic symptoms. His best guess is that somehow the concert aggravated an already sensitive ear and that I'll make a full recovery of my hearing. I can't say how terrified I've been that my hearing was at least 25 percent down overall and might never come back, not to mention my interior ear was so uncomfortable.

I'm doing a regimen of ibuprofen, Afrin, Sudafed and nasal rinse that the doctor put me on.

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