Ear infection or something else?

Edited , 4 users are following.

Hi guys, I'm new here.

*So it all started in late December/early January. My roommates and I got flu-like symptoms. Fever, cough, mucus etc. Eventually we got over it. Or so I thought.


Fast forward to the tail end of January (27-28th). Started developing slight vertigo. It would come and go throughout the day (I mostly noticed it in closed corridors or whenever I showered).

The vertigo eventually went away however after a few days. Weird.

Fast forward a week later, maybe the 8th of February. I started developing ear fullness, and crackling. It was dull but constant . Eventually I got slight facial tension on my cheeks as well. No paralysis but almost like a sunburn or my face being pulled back.

I spoke to my mother in law who's a nurse. She checked my ears and noticed they were swollen but no fluid. She suggested Motrin and Sudafed. Maybe it was sinus issue?

I used it for one week straight. Didnt work.

Eventually the vertigo came back. And now it came back even stronger. This was like the 14th of February.

I started freaking out. I would get lightheaded out of nowhere and feel like passing out. My head felt so swollen. Almost as if someone wrapped a belt around my head. So I go to urgent care thinking Im dying. They checked my blood sugar. It was fine. Hemoglobin. Okay. Blood pressure? A little high due to panic attack.

The urgent care doctor runs a basic neuro test on me...my finger following her finger, eyes following her finger etc. She checked my eyes and ears and her conclusion was... Migraine. Migraine...I've had migraines before. This did not feel like it.

She prescribed me Sumatriptan for headaches and Zofran for nausea. It did not help so a few days later I went to the physician (17th of February).

Physician ran the same test as urgent care doctor however he concluded I had middle/inner ear infection due to a virus that stuck around since January.

He prescribed me ear drops, Meclizine for vertigo and Ibropufen.

Now its been a few weeks since my appointment.

My head still feels swollen but not as much during the day as before. Also, my facial tension has slightly diminished. Not as much vertigo. My eyes arent spinning anymore however I still have ear fullness and crackling.

That being said, the odd thing is even though some symptoms are diminishing, I feel like I'm developing new symptoms.

It almost feels like I am drowsy, drunk. I get tired very easily. Like I need to put my head down during the day.

Also my heart rate would spike randomly. I could be resting at 60bpm then all of a sudden it can go to 90bpm as soon I start thinking about it.

The best way to describe the feeling is like I have low blood sugar with high blood pressure.

Secondly, I would get a throbbing sensation in hands and feet accompanied by cold sensations and pins and needles.

Lastly, I feel like I can hear my heartbeat and it feels like its pumping harder.

I'd like to note that all these symptoms come and go throughout the day. Some hrs are better than others but still constant every day.

Doctor likes to say that its my anxiety due to panic attacks. He says it put a lot of pressure on my nerves. But I'm not sure.

Its just so odd. I was perfectly fine leading up to the new year (working out 4 out of 7 days a week) then all of a sudden I'm having all these odd symptoms.

Is the doctor right in saying this is an inner ear infection mixed with anxiety?

Vestibular neuritis? Labyrinthitis?

Its on my mind everyday. Maybe thats why I feel so fatigued?

5'7 male

29 years old

175 lbs

Filipino Mexican

Any advice would be amazing. Thank you so much.

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    I have had the same, cold which came and went not too severe but left me with a lot of mucous. Felt as if sinuses blocked. No vertigo this time but eventually left with blocked ear. Doctor prescribed Otomize spray (I am in the UK) for a raging ear infection. After 7 days it is a lot better and although not perfect blocked feeling and crackling noise have greatly reduced. The rest of your symptoms sound like anxiety which I also have. I would go back to your physician and don't panic! I'm sure it will clear.

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  • Edited


    I have most of your symptoms, tinnitus for 3 months now and it's very nerve cracking. My tinnitus started after a really bad migraine then, pins and needles all over my body, heavy breathing but for 10-15 min then I would calm down. That is anxiety and I found that camomile tea helps me a lot. I went to the ENT for this tinnitus, no ear wax, no infection, no hearing loss so nothing physical visible, for this reason he sent me to have an MRI and it's due on the 24th of March so hopefully nothing serious. I would go back to the doctor and ask for a referral to the specialist to get an answer.

    All the best

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    • Posted

      Hi Suzana!

      I never though I might have Tinnitus. Thats quite peculiar

      Can I ask, do you have the swollen head feeling? Also feel like you have low blood sugar?

      I dont have much vertigo anymore but if Im standing up, I get winded very easily and it makes me feel like throwing up. Especially if I try carrying something.

      Does that happen to you?

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    • Posted


      I never had vertigo, dizziness or loss of balance. The only thing is that my sinuses are blocked kind off, had antibiotics on the week of 10th of feb and I thought that my tinnitus will go away, it's mild ar the moment as I started to take sinus sudafed (1 every 6 hr) no more then 4 in 24hr and i feel much better. If I were you I would go to the doctor and ask for a full blood count, as these symptoms like throwing up and vertigo, that might be lack of iron, vitamin D there are lots of factors actually. I am not a doctor so my advice is to go and check your vitamins with the full blood count, and regarding your ear go to an ENT doctor, he can find out what's going on. Are you in the UK? is it difficult to get to the doctor where you are?

      All the best

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    • Posted

      I appreciate the advice. No, Im not in the UK. Im in California. It is hard to schedule an appointment at my clinic. But I can just go in tomorrow morning as a walk-in to see a doctor.

      I already took a blood test a couple weeks ago and they sent me home a letter saying I had some abnormal tests results. This cause me to freak out. But then I realized, if it were something serious wouldnt they have called me already?

      The letter said to just come in my follow up appointment to discuss the abnormal results which was set for April. Thats a long time away. So it doesnt sound urgent.

      But like I said, Im still having somewhat of the same symptoms so Im thinking about walking in tomorrow.

      Can an ear infection all of a sudden make me deficient in all these types of areas?

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    • Posted


      When you have an infection your body is fighting to get rid of that infections, hence the symptoms but if your blood tests came abnormal probably lack of some nutrients and that would only confirm a doctor. I wish I could help you more but I don't know how, the best way is to see a doctor if your symptoms are not improving. I am scheduled for an MRI on the 24th this month and I am scared of what's going on with this virus all around the world and I am scared not to catch that virus from the hospital also I am hoping nothing wrong will show in my MRI scan. Just go to a walking centre and see what they advice you to do next.

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    • Edited

      Hi Elise,

      I have it done on the 24th of March and they said that it take 2-3 weeks for the results to come through and it will be sent to the GP or the ENT doctor. I am waiting.

      I asked the nurse who procced the MRI if he can see something wrong and he said if that would be the case he will sent me to the emergency straight away, but he said to wait for the results.

      How are you? x

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    • Posted

      thats good it doesnt sound like an emergency. im sure youll get good news.

      anyways, yea im still having heavy head pressure. my ears especially my right one is a little painful. starts throbbing at random times during the day.

      and my nerve system still feels off. like right now, its a tad bit cold outside, but my hands and feet are freezing. that doesnt happen to me on a normal basis.

      im wondering if that can be chalked up to anxiety?

      i have been googling my symptoms at least once a day, and although im not anxious now (frustrated, if anything), i wonder if my body subconsciously reads that and is causing me these constant physical symptoms?

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    • Posted

      yes, it's good that it wasn't and emergency. I hope the results will come ok. My tinnitus is still there and now I have crackling sound now and then in my ear for no reason. No head pressure but cold hand and feets I had it all my life, that is bad circulation or lack of iron in my case, but as you describe it might be anxiety?

      do you have Rapid heart bets, struggling to breathe? that is more like panic attack plus the anxiety. I am bit a professional doctor but did you manage to go to a doctor and explain the symptoms?

      All the best

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    • Posted

      i meant to say I am not a professional medical doctor or a nurse, just replying from my experience but everyone is different.

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    • Posted

      i did go to a doctor. three of them!

      the last one took me more seriously and suggested ct scan. but i think that was him doing his due diligence.

      in terms of pain, i do get dull aches throughout my body. from back pain to leg pain and chest pain. they come and go but theyre definitely there

      the problem is all these could be signs anxiety.

      ive been sick since January/February. And i still have no real for sure answer yet. So ive probably been subconsciously anxious every day (i do google my symptoms every few hours)...

      but ive never had this type of anxiety before. Can it really cause your body to do damage to itself? like right now, im feeling pain in my calf. it feels heavier than the other calf. My hands are freezing and my chest is tight/aching.

      As far as rapid heart beats, I would have that in the beginning. Panic attacks would come out nowhere. and the room would start spinning, that it would cause me to get up and try to walk outside.

      i dont have those anymore, although I do have moments where im heartbeat rises super fast when i get up or start moving. More so than usual. Also, I do have higher blood pressure lately. But im not sure if thats due to my symptoms or potential illness or because of cholesterol etc.

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