High-pitched ringing, fullness, vertigo,etc. Full history provided. What to do?

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19 yr old female here.

Okay, so I had a habit of using qtips to clean my ears, and I ended up getting an infection (pus and all) in February. It got okay after I took the meds my ENT prescribed. Then all was okay until May, when I got diagnosed with Iron Deficiency Anemia. Around that time I started feeling like wind was blowing in my right ear (a form of tinnitus, right?) but nothing more. I had dizziness, breathlessness & weakness from the anemia which went away but relapsed a month later during my period. My breathlessness went away but then I realized that my type of dizziness had changed. It was like I was on a rocking boat, and it was continuous. Went to the ENT, got told I might have a swelling in my ear so I had to take anti-vertigo meds and inhale steam daily. The anti-vertigo meds didn't help at all. Went to another ENT, this time got diagnosed with Meniere's and was prescribed diuretics, which I stopped after a week because I believed the diagnosis was wrong.

A.My vertigo was constant (not as bad as they describe in Meniere's symptoms).

B.I had vomitted twice for no reason in that month, but since my symptoms didn't resemble Meniere's, I thought it could be Vestibular Neuritis after all.

Two weeks or so after my vertigo started, I started get a high-pitched ringing noise in my LEFT ear that I could hear loudest at night, when everything is quiet. It was pretty audible for 2-3 days but then it toned down, and since then I have only been able to hear it when going to bed/waking up/pressing my ear against the pillow. Oh and 2-3 days after it started, the ringing started in my right ear also, but it's not as bad as the left ear. Now about the vertigo, it has gotten much better since it started. It only affects me when I have bouts of breathlessness due to the still-present anemia, but otherwise most of the time I'm okay. The tinnitus isn't gone. 

Okay, now about the latest events. Yesterday, my left ear sort of itched so I gave in to the temptation to clean it with a qtip...after which my ear has been feeling full and my tinnitus is louder. The cartilage(?) of my outer ear is still sensitive to pain sometimes because I used to rigourously use qtips...And my ears are sensitive to loud noises now, on the whole. I still have the 'wind-blowing-in-my-ears' feeling sometimes.

My question is, have all my problems been caused my ear wax being pushed into the ear with qtips? Could that be it? The thing is, the doc who diagnosed me with VN is not much of a talker (the only thing he actually MUMBLED was I might have a swelling), and his solution to everything is his personal pills and some home remedies. But he's an excellent doc. So I don't know if he didn't mention my ear wax because he didn't think it was absolutely imperative to remove? But then again the other doc didn't mention anything about ear wax either...I can't help but feel this is ear wax. Because the full feeling came on after I cleaned my ear yesterday. 

Please help, I want out of this mess.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I should mention I have had no hearing loss (as far as I know) and no ear pain.

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  • Posted

    Ear fullness often occurs after cleaning your ears because you irritate the ear canals causing them to become swollen and inflammed. The more you clean, the more fullness you feel. Why don't you start putting wax softening agents from the chemist, in your ears for two weeks then go to another doctor and ask them to syringe your ears. This way you will know all the wax has been cleaned out. If you can bare to clean your ears with a q tip 3-4 times a year, that's the most you should do. Ear cleaning becomes a hard habit to break and your ear canals need wax to protect them. If you can find an ear clinic that advertises pictures of your ears using a video otoscope, you will be able to see what is in your ear canals for yourself.

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    • Posted

      Hi! Thank you for your reply. 

      I went to the ENT yesterday and he sucked out a small piece of cotton bud from my left ear. I guess it got stuck there when I was cleaning the day before, because the two times he's checked my ear before that, he wasn't able to see anything wrong with my ear. And in the last two days, the tinnitus has gotten louder....it's a high-pitched ringing sound. Does the type of sound emitted indicate what the problem might be? Because I don't think it's ear wax anymore...

      Do you think it could be Meniere's disease after all? Or Vestibular Neuritis with tinnitus? I read on some forums that some people with VN had tinnitus too. I have no hearing loss (as far as I can tell) btw. And my vertigo is almost gone. I personally don't feel like it's Meniere's because I'm only 20 and I don't have attacks of nausea/vertigo/tinnitus. Right now it's only tinnitus; my vertigo is much better...Please help me, I need to be able to concentrate on my studies and I need whatever help I can get!!!!!

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    • Posted

      Also, one more detail!!! Sometimes the insides of my ears kind of twitch? Like the move slightly back and forth?? I read something about muscles in the ear causing tinnitus; could that be it?!!!!!!!!!!!

       

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    • Posted

      Okay..one last thing. I got a CBC, ferritin and Vitamin D check yesterday to check if my Iron deficiency has improved.

      RDW is 17.7 with reference range 11.5-14.5, which is normal for patients with IDA apparently. My ferritin is up and so is my Vit D. But my lymphocyte count is 43 with reference range 20-40. That points toward an infection, right? I have no infection right now, so could it be ear-related? Maybe VN?

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    • Posted

      Hi, I'm afraid I don't have any knowledge of what lymphocyte counts mean and only an ENT can diagnose what the problem is. If you are not happy with your diagnosis, see another ENT. I know it is so expensive but you obviously need a definitive answer. It's not unsual to get several different answers so make a list of all of your questions and whichever ENT you see next, make sure you don't leave without all of them answered. Good luck!!!!

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