22 years old and have had glue ear for about 9 months

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I'm a 22 year old male and I've had ear problems for much of my life (mostly earwax buildup and lots of ear infections when I was younger). I haven't had an ear infection in a very long time, but about 9 months ago (the date is fuzzy, it could be anywhere from 7 to 11 months) I tried using an earwax irrigation kit to get out what I thought was just another blockage of earwax. Well, there was some earwax, but my ear continued to have reduced hearing and it felt like my ear was full, despite the subsequent ear drops not fizzing (indicating there was no earwax left). I figured there was water behind my ear and decided to tough it out and let it go its course. The feeling of fullness never went away. There was no pain, or very little (the initial pain being caused by irritating the eardrum with the water syringe).

About 2 months ago I went to see a nurse about my ear troubles and she diagnosed me with an ear infection and prescribed amoxicillin. I told her I had ear pain, but in hindsight this was likely due to constantly holding my nose and blowing to try to equalize the pressure in my ear that day, so I probably didn't have an ear infection. Furthering my assumptions, the amoxicillin did nothing.

I suppose I didn't see someone earlier because I have constantly battled with ear wax buildup my whole life and my hearing varies from month to month, so the loss of hearing wasn't as profound of a difference from my average state.

My ear is still at the same level of diminished hearing (I can't exactly put a number to it because I can't really remember what good hearing sounds like, but if I had to, I'd say it's at about 50-70%), and there's still no pain.

According to what I've researched, my options are to have the grommet surgery (which I'd really like to avoid, as I'm very anxious about the idea of poking a hole in my eardrum and what consequences it might have), wait it out (which I'm very much losing faith in), or as I've very recently learned, the balloon technique.

At this point, my biggest concern is permanent hearing loss. I've dealt with the hearing impairment for a long time now, and it's nothing but an annoyance, but it can't be good to have this stuff stuck in my ear for many months at a time, and I'm afraid of it causing irreparable damage.

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  • Posted

    Hi. Your story sounds like mine. I only had it in 1ear. Always a feeling of pressure, but no pain. Frequent syringing on that side and eventually hearing loss bit by bit. Have you had a hearing test? If not, the sooner you go the better. If left alone, you might loose more hearing as I did. I now only have about 10% left on that side. They can usually tell what is causing the hearing loss and treat accordingly. Dont wait as I did. Luckly, my other ear is perfect
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  • Posted

    I really think that you should ask for referral to ENT, any diminishing hearing loss needs serious investigation.

    I lost my left side hearing suddenly ( maybe because of viral infection) and now I am endanger of losing right side as well.

    Do no underestimate how this can affect you. Do not want to put frighteners on you, just don't assume.it's wax, you are young, I am 73, and really miss my hearing.double hearing g aids do not compensate. Please let me know how you go on. Del

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  • Posted

    Hi just fitted with gromit .. The first time fell out went under full anaesthetic and second time went under local ...but never let them do that to you !!!   Only full or knock out drops!!  But gromit is working.  ... All wax is coming out of ear not in middle ear now .        Hearing has improved.  And glad it has worked. ....I can see the  importance of having it done
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    • Posted

      Hi, is the gromit a little tube? I'm in my 30s, bad sinus/allergy issues and my left ear 👂 has similar symptoms for a year. Should I get the tube? I have small ear canals too so she wanted to have me put under for this, I said no but she can do it with putting a topical anesthetic all around the area and the ear drum. Do you have that and did it still hurt? Do you guys all have ear popping, crackling, fullness, muffled sound - when I'm talking it sounds weird like I'm in water on that side and I get a lil dizzy sometimes and sick...are you guys all getting that too? , I feel like something is there like in my middle ear, she says my ear drum is scarred from infections when I was younger and the skin is thickened so I'm worried about doing the tube if it will help or make it worse. Should I try it? I get alot of wax buildup too. When it very first started I had itching in both ears and in my throat on each side but also with the hearing loss on left ear. I had a hearing test btw and my hearing is fine, but it's just the pressure is off and my hearing is muffled cuz that. Does gross stuff drain out your ear with the tube? Eww lol and can you get dizzy with that and if wind gets in will that hurt/give you an earache? Did you also have anything sucked out before the tube/gromit was placed? If so, how was that? Sorry so many questions...just wondering if I should do it...
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  • Posted

    Hi yes go for it ....but only with full anaesthetic !!!    
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    • Posted

      I've never had any kind of surgery before so forgive my ignorance, but doesn't a full anaesthetic give you a "hangover" with puking and stuff? Or is that only when you're under for several hours?
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  • Posted

    In general, a anaesthetic s have advanced, had loads, no puking or hangover feeling ever. That is not a problem
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  • Posted

    I have one more big question:

    Can this long-term glue ear cause permanent hearing loss? As in, if I decided to get this treated and have the fluid drained and everything, would it be possible for me to have permanently lost some hearing due to waiting so long?

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