Bad tinnitus after bilaterla otitis media and grommets

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So at the beginning of February I started with a heavy cold/flu like symptoms and 2 days later I woke up with horrific pain in my ears and I couldn't hear at all. I went to out of hours and they told me I had bilateral otitis media and told me to take 4x ibuprofen 3 times a day. I did this when I got home but then shortly after I started being sick. I went back to the out of hours the next morning and they gave me amoxicillin, cyclazine for the sickness and codeine for the pain. I continued for another 3 days in agony, being sick, and completely deaf. I went back to gp and they gave me different antibiotics and tramadol. After another 2 days of agony and being sick I went back again and the gp finally rang ENT at the hospital and I had to go in. I got admitted and had 48 hours of i.v antibiotics. I got discharged with an appointment to see the ENT specialist 2 days later. I went and they said they would drain the fluid and put grommets in. I had this done 2 days after this appointment. Now 2 weeks on I still feel everything is muffled. I have HORRENDOUS whooshing sounds, high pitched screaming tinnitus and low rumbling sounds in both ears plus pulsating sensations. I rang the surgeons secretary and wanted some reassurance that this was normal, so he got me back in last week. I had another hearing test and my hearing has improved slightly (which I can tell) but he just gave me a leaflet on tinnitus and said I should have an MRI scan. I don't feel like I've been given any help and I'm starting to get very depressed. I can't sleep because of the noises and if I do manage to drift off, I'm often woken through the night. It's affecting everything I do. I feel very isolated and scared that this is now my life. My distance hearing is massively affected at the minute. Before all of this I had perfect hearing. I just want to know if what I'm experiencing is normal and if it will settle down? Sorry for the long post, I wanted to give the full picture. Thank you

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    I probably will not help much but I am so sorry for you.

    I have infection in my left ear and now it is second series of antibiotics.I do not have pain in my ear ,just half blocked and this horrible hissing.

    The nurse will see me next Monday and she said that I probably will need to go to hospital to do micro sucksion and maybe that will help.

    I am also fed up and hissing in my ear drives me mad.

    I have read that post where people say that they had tinnitius for moths or just forever.

    I can not imagine that.


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    • Posted

      Hello again Joanna, I think I posted to you the other day.

      If you're getting microsuction, it will only help if you have

      a perforation in the eardrum.  If there is no hole, how will

      he be able to suck anything out ?  Maybe he will make

      a tiny incision in the drum.

      I have microsuction so many times to clear the mucus

      that sticks my Eustachian tubes together.  Once the

      procedure is finished it feel wonderful. Sadly, after 

      about 4 weeks ETD is back, due to blessed sinus

      and allergy issues.

      But like I've told the person in the post above.  I

      seem to have mine under control with the 

      medication I'm using.

      Once one gets tinnitus usually we're stuck with

      it.  Magnesium is supposed to be good to take



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  • Posted

    Oh my goodness, you do sound in a bad way.  I suffered just the same as you several years ago,

    it resulted in me contracting Bacterial Meningits, through Otis Media.  The bacteria crossed the

    blood/brain barrier and it got me....losing the sight in my left eye and hearing loss in right ear.

    Thank goodness you've been protected having been given antibiotics.  You need to see your

    doctor and ask for Prenisolone now....make sure it's a long enough course to get rid of all

    the inflammation in your eustachians tubes, that's preventing drainage.

    Alarm bells should always ring with doctors when a patient suffers vomiting due to Otis Media.

    Ask for a 20 day reducing course of the steroid Prednisolone, anything less won't help.

    I consider myself pretty experienced with anything to do with problem ears, particularly

    when they are blocked.

    Tinnitus is also related to blocked ears.  Get yourself on 300 mg of Magnesium tablets,

    they do help.

    Let me know how you get on and really hope you feel better soon. Don't apologise for the

    long post, you needed to explain how you're feeling.  I felt just like you feeling, so sympathise.

    And I'm still suffering with ETD all these years later.  But have managed to use a medication,

    that sadly, I think is only available in England.  I now only have to use it when my ears block

    and within minutes they've cleared....approx every 5 days this happens.  Mine is due to

    sinusitis and allegies.

    Kind regards



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  • Posted

    Sorry for the spelling mistakes, I've typed too quickly without checking.


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  • Posted

    So by the sounds of it, they started you off on the Ibuprofen to help with the pain and it also contains an Antihistamine to bring any swelling down, second visit he decides it is a Bacterial infection and gives you antibiotics, which fail. At this point you must have had a swab, if not right at the beginning? Then giving you highly addictive/potent and can give you side affects such as you mentioned. Eventually having to go to Hospital to have an IV. This so far is typical of a very nasty infection, changing your equilibrium , which is very disorientating and can be scary at Times. When infection has set in, it starts to damage any surrounding tissue, which is probably what is the main cause of your Tinnitus. The Medication that they administered via IV is also very normal, but as an inpatient it's usually 6-12hrs, 48hrs is along time but they may have also re-hydrated you is you have been very ill.. The thing with a bacterial infection is that you have to get it all or it just comes back. Which brings us to here. They have killed the infection, drained your Ears and put grommets in to help keep them drained. Have they said anything about any permanent acoustical damage or perforation? There is no infection now so tissue starts to repair itself, one thing you possibly have come and go is the vascular tinnitus (The Sound of your own Heart Beat) again this is normal along with tinnitus. It is hard to say how much your hearing will improve and how long the Tinnitus will last without knowing how much damage was done, but I am sure that you will definitely start to feel better and will find things getting easier. The Mri is going to tell you exactly what is going on, and you could be a candidate for surgery. I have had Tinnitus for over 30 Years and whilst you get good and bad days, you sort of lean to "Zone it out", but you could try white noise machines, relaxing music or nature sounds to sleep to. The last thing you need to be doing is sitting there with Tinnitus, thinking about it only makes it worse wink Does the Woosh sound like it is coming from inside your head, or does it sound like it's noise via your Ear? Hope you start feeling better soon. AL  

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  • Posted

    Thank you for your replies. To answer the questions, the whooshing sounds like it's in my ear and so does the low sounds and this is more on my left side. Whereas the high pitched screaming seems like it's at the back of my head towards the right. When I went back to see the ENT last week I didn't get any reassurance, just a leaflet on tinnitus and to wait for the MRI scan appointment to come through. From all the forums I've been on, it seems that the grommets have caused these noises rather than the infection itself? Although it could be an accumulation of both. Since I had the surgery 2 weeks ago I have also noticed my sinuses throbbing which I didn't have before. I must point out, all this is completely new to me. I had the occasional throat and outer ear infection as a child but nothing that required more than a short course of antibiotics. I am very glad to be out of the pain I was in and I am gaining strength again, but I feel like my life is on hold waiting for things to get better. I haven't been back to work since all this started a month ago and I'm worried to go back as I'm not sure I'll cope with how my hearing is. I wish the surgeon had told me there was a risk of this afterwards and I may have been more reluctant to get the grommets. Should I just have left it to see if the fluid drained on its own?! I can't live like this long term. There's no escape from it.

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    • Posted

      Good morning,

      This is precisely why my ENT consultant in England wouldn't use the

      procedure you were given, or the Balloon dilation either....can make

      matters so much worse I was told.  Shame you weren't advised the


      I bet the MRI doesn't show anything untoward up and hopefully it


      Wishing you well very soon.  Let us know how it goes.

      Regards Annd


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  • Posted

    I am in England Anne. I feel so misinformed. This is like torture. Would have the grommets out aggravate things more or help things settle down? I just feel so trapped.
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    • Posted

      I feel so sorry for you and so glad I've never had them fitted

      or had the Balloon dilation either.

      In case you'd like to try what's helped me.  Ask for a 20 day

      reducing course of steroid Prednisolone and a box of

      Flixonase Nasule drops.....these can be used twice daily for

      6 weeks.  However, I can't use anythig less strong than these,

      so limit their use to only when ears block up.....used them

      yesterday and ears feel good today.

      This is exactly why my ENT consultant wouldn't use the

      grommets on me....they should always tell you the risks.

      Feel better soon and let me know how you get on.

      Good you're in England as I know you'll be able to

      get prescribed these medications.

      Kind regards


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  • Posted

    Not sure if it helps but I’ve had grommets in one ear only to help Eustachian tube dysfunction.  The first one was a short term one which came out after about 8 months but the fluid returned and now I have a t-tube which is supposed to be longer lasting.  Both times the ear took about 6 weeks to settle down with various rumblings, clicking and pulsating noises, all quite distressing.  After around 6 weeks I found it got much better although I do still get bouts of rumbling and tinnitus from time to time and listen to the the radio to get to sleep if it’s bothering me at night.  As I understand it the grommets are not meant to drain the ear but to enable air to get into the middle ear so that the fluid does not build up.  My experience only but everybody reacts differently and mine was not a result of cold/flu or infection. Hope you get some relief soon.
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