Hearing loss or tube dysfunction?

Posted , 3 users are following.

Monday the 6th I felt like my ear was clogged.  On the 7th I went to an urgent care clinic after work, and they told me I had some fluid behind my ear drum.  Fast forward to 6 days later, I went into an ENT cause it was worse and now I had tinnitus that was changing volumes.  The ENT said he was not sure if it was sudden hearing loss or tube dysfunction.  He has me on steroids, antibiotics, nasal spray and allergy meds; all while I wait for my hearing test to be done in a week or so.  No sign of improvement yet.  My question is, I am able to pop my ear, or “rub it” and it feels better for a few seconds (like it opens up, 20 seconds max).  Also in the morning it feels less full, but the ringing is louder.  Then throughout the day it feels worse.  If it was SHL would I be able to do that??  You’d think if I was losing my hearing I wouldn’t be able to “pop it” for a few seconds right?  Thoughts?  I’m scared it will never end sad

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    I should also say the ENT said I had no fluid behind my eardrum!
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  • Posted

    Hi Katie, you poor thing it sounds like you are having an awful time!!! Have you rung around to several audiological clinics to see if you can get your hearing test bought forward? It would save you days of worry and answer lots of questions. I am always amazed that ENTs will treat you without getting hearing test results and tympanograms (which tell you if your middle ear function is normal.) If your hearing improves after popping your ear then part or all of your hearing loss is involving the middle ear. Without the above tests it is impossible to know. Obviously if you had fluid behind your ear drum, then it is likely that you have a problem with your eustachian tube/middle ear function. Tinnitus can get louder and softer for a lot of reasons. It often sounds louder at night or in the morning because there is no other noise around to mask it out. The problem with trying to diagnose without testing is that it can be a combination of middle ear and sensorineural hearing loss. The best thing to do is make an immediate hearing assessment appointment with an audiologist so that you can get an answer and hopefully not worry if there is no reason to. Whatever the outcome, try not to be scared. No one dies from this stuff but it is traumatic at the time. xx 
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    • Posted

      Dear Olizzieo,

      Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it very much.

      I’m doing whatever I can go get into a hearing test sooner.  I got my appointment moved up, but I’d still like to get in there sooner.  I don’t feel like I have any hearing loss; just that my ear feels clogged/muffled, but my actual hearing I haven’t noticed any decline necessarily. The doctor said it can take several weeks for the meds to really do their job, and make any progress.  I should add, I’ve had this happen before – and it was corrected (opposite ear) – and it took 4 weeks or so.  What are the chances of it happening again years later, in the other ear?  It can happen, I know – but the odds seem slim.  Would you agree?  I’m wondering if there isn’t something else going on in there and they just don’t know what’s causing it.  What’s your opinion on hormonal changes causing something like this to happen?  The first time I was pregnant.  This time I recently got a birth control shot.  Both very hormonal items.  Just trying to nail down, what is happening so I can prevent it, or manage it properly.  Again, I can rub my ear, push on it, pop it and it feels “less full” once I do that, then pretty quickly the fullness comes back.  Its very worrisome, even though I know I’ll live – I feel depressed about it.  I have 2 young kids, and its really hard not to focus on my ear 24/7.  Thanks again.  Any other input you have is greatly appreciated. smile

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  • Posted

    I believe you had an audiogram and tympanometry done. That will easily determine the nature of loss....

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  • Posted

    Good News! I'm going for my hearing test today, in a few hours.  Fingers crossed.
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  • Posted

    Had my hearing test.  Good and bad news!  Good news, my hearing is fine.  I am not hearing as well in the ear, but its still in normal range.  They are suggesting that its either viral, or Auto Immune.  Now I'm not sure what to think.  She did say its my inner ear function (from the tests), middle ear seems fine.  Now I just wait and home the meds work, and get some blood work too in hopes its not Auto Immune.  I'm still pretty upset, but glad I dont have any loss.  I assume if it doesnt go away, I'll get used to it. rolleyes
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  • Posted

    (hope, not home)
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    • Posted

      I'm sorry to hear it may be permanent but glad your hearing is still within normal limits. If it happens again phone the ENT to get onto steroids within the first 24 hours and phone for an urgent audiogram (same day). Just about all audiologists will see you if they think it is a sudden hearing loss so that you get immediate treatment. Hope you get answers soon xx
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    • Posted

      Thank you! Luckily he has me on meds pretty quickly, so hopefully it will still work.  Last time it took several weeks before i noticed the improvement.  In your opinion, do you think it will improve since it did last time?  Thanks again.
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    • Posted

      A recent research article said that when the loss is not too significant, the chances of improvement are much more likely that when the loss is severe. You can only wait and see. No one can tell you if it will improve again, it's just a case of wait and see unfortunately. x
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  • Posted

    Im getting over a 10 day sinus infection and i have ringing different tone in my ear. Ent my eustatian tube is retracted a bit and have to wait for it to calm down from the illness just had. Fluids gone. Said can take up to two weeks she does thinks it will heal. The body knows to heal.hearing tests was fine. I can not use steriods and this is awful. Im literally praying this just heals already. Im in day six of antibiotics. Tried to,pop open ears..sometimes it worls but nit today in that side. I feel the same way as you. Im scared too.what you are describing is your eustaian tube. Its thin like a thread and can retract or swell so have to wait it out. Thats what i was told today by the ent.
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    • Posted

      Hi Lisa,

      I'm sorry you are going through that.  From the sounds of it, you will heal up fine. The ET is so funky somtimes.  Unfortunatley, I'm still dealing with my mess.  Had an MRI, and get those results today.  The ringing does drive you crazy, I'm slowly getting used to it (i guess) - but everyday I still wish it was gone.  I'd do about anything for it to go away!  Hugs.

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