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I first had Mastoid surgery on my right ear in 2007. The infection was quite advanced at this point, and vital it was detected when it was. I had regular ear infections in my right ear growing up, which thankfully led to a doctor in Wolverhampton, whilst at university, spotting the infection (cholesteatoma) around the bone in the middle ear.
The operation was successful, despite my hearing being at 85% in that ear aferwards (not so bad). I now go for regular check ups at the ENT at my local hospital in Bristol, with wax being suctioned out (gross, and SO uncomfortable!), and just general checks for any signs of the infection returning or inflammation.
However, since the surgery, I have experienced uncomfortable symptoms. Every day at some point, (usually first thing in the morning), I have to pop my ear to improve my hearing, and then usually not long after, my ear pops back, and the hearing worsens, the sort of sensation of when water gets in your ear and it feels like your underwater. Its really distracting when it happens, whether at work or watching a film etc, and I then seem to find it hard to get it back to its previous level of hearing, and it often keeps popping and feeling 'blocked' again. I would say this lowers my hearing to about 60% in the ear, maybe less.
I have tried revision surgery in 2011, which didn't work. I have a hearing aid, which probably helps my hearing slightly but doesn't stop the popping or changing of pressure. My consultant at the ENT clinic doesn't seem to know what causes it.
Has anyone experienced any similar symptoms after a cholesteatoma? My theory is there is some kind of blockage or continuous problem of wax behind the ear drum in the middle ear. But wouldn't this have come up in the revision surgery?
Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated as, whilst I know things could be worse, this is causing me a lot of negative feelings and is affecting my quality of life as it happens so regularly.
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