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jamesfoley jamesfoley

Sudden ringing in my left ear along with a slight full feeling and pitch change

So about a week ago when going to sleep I noticed I had a constant ringing in my left ear, which I thought nothing of. It wasn't until the morning when the ringing hadn't gone that I started to worry. That was also when I noticed the fullness and slight hearing loss, so I instantly thought it was wax and tried a couple of days of ear drops to try and shift what ever was in there.

A week later and I'm still experiencing the same issues. I saw a doctor yesterday who informed me I had a slight external ear infection in the ear which he gave me drops for, as well as eustachian tube dysfunction. Apparently it was the eustachian tube dysfunction that was causing the ringing and fullness. At the time that made sense, as the ear just feels like I need to pop it, and it never pops when I hold my nose and try and blow, but today I was able to pop the left ear, though nothing changed.

Does popping the ear not give instant relief of ear ringing? It is really starting to worry me that I have some how caused permanent damage to my ear.

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  • ashleigh92337

    Hi, did you have a cold or anything before the ringing started? Certainly your eustachian tube would cause the symptoms you describe. Sometimes popping your ear does not give relief- most of the time it does but not always, it depends how congested it is. Also it may not be the tube causing the ringing- if you have an ear infection or fluid behind the eardrum which can cause any infection then you will have the ringing.

    Or before you noticed the ringing where you exposed to any loud noises?

  • jamesfoley

    I don't believe I was around any loud noises when I first noticed it. I listen to the odd loud song on my computer now and then, but I work in a quiet office environment and never go to concerts. This is the first time I've ever had issues with my ears.

    I did have a slight sore throat and stuffy noise at the time, which backs up the fact that I may have eustachian tube dysfunction. My other ear has felt a bit blocked, but hasn't been ringing like my left ear.

    What is worrying me the most is the fact that most of the pressure sensation has gone, and if I do feel any pressure I can usually relive it by yawning or inhaling steam, yet the ringing still persists. I have also been able to hear liquid in the ear once or twice, but I'm not sure if that is because of the steam inhalations or not as I can't hear it anymore.

  • ashleigh92337

    Ok so you can rule out the ringing noises or any hearing damage due to loud noises.

    You say you have sore throat and stuffy nose-your eustachian tube begins in the nose and ends at the back of the throat.

    It sounds to me like eustachian tube dysfunction which if they are congested due to viral infection or allergy or swollen, it would produce the symptoms you describe.

    It is either that or fluid behind your eardrum which can happen if the eustachian tube isnt working properly.

    Ringing is a symptom of this and even when ears are popped the ringing can continue if they are still congested/infected.

    How is your hearing overall?

    I would get another doctor to have a look or an ENT because if fluid stays in your ear too long it can cause an infection and pain, and you may need antibiotics.

    Also I would start if you havent already, a course of strong decongestants- but not Sudafed- get decongestants that contain pseudoephedrine- this is stronger than Sudafed and some others that contain only phenylephrine.

  • jamesfoley

    I'd say my overall hearing is pretty good, though the left ear does sound strangely distorted, kind of like it being underwater. Higher tones sound out of pitch, and lower tones seem to sound a lot lower. Shaking my head also produces some strange wobble sound in that ear too, though I don't know if that's just in my head.

    Could I still have fluid behind the eardrum even though I am able to equalize the pressure and I'm able to hear? Everything I've read makes it seem fluid behind the ear results in a noticeable hearing loss. The pressure does eventually build up again though, and if left will start to cause some discomfort.

    I've an appointment booked for Wednesday to see another doctor, at this point I will have finished my ear drops to clear up the infection I have in the ear canal. This will be the third doctor to take a look.

    As for decongestants, last week I was slowly going through a pack of "Sudafed Decongestant Tablets" which are Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, though things hadn't improved. I was told not to take these for more than a week as they'd potentially make things worse.

    It might actually be worth mentioning that in the past I have suffered quite a lot with hay fever, but never encountered issues with my ears. Would it be worth taking an antihistamine?

  • jamesfoley

    None at all so far, but I've a blocked nose and sore throat again, and I can feel the fullness in the ear again too, so it could still be related to a cold or something.

    Saw a doctor on the 12th who said I need to wait for my infection in my ear canal to be gone completely before looking into other causes.

    I'm still under the impression that it is eustachian tube dysfunction, due to the fullness feeling, ringing, and muffled / distorted hearing. Also, when I swallow, the ringing ear with either make a squelch noise, or make a loud pop sound a couple of times, but I never get the popped ear relief feeling that I get in my good ear. I'm also still unable to pop the ear by holding my nose and blowing through it.

  • ryan1984

    Hope you get better soon.

    I started off with a sore throat 2 1/2 months ago, that led to an ear infection (inflammation/redness in my ear canal) to an ETD.

    I've had the ringing in my left ear from the start, and all of the other symptons have gone more or less, still not quite right but better. I have the squelching sound too in both ears when i swallow/yawn

    and for the last 5 weeks it has been really loud.

    Maybe the mucus has been breaking down, hence the loudness, but who knows.

    It sounds like your in the early stages, hopefully it will clear up quickly for you.

    I've tried most things like steam baths, decongestants, steroidal a nasal sprays, etc. Nothing has really helped other than time.

    I know two other people who have had it for 4 months, one chap has got better though after 4 months. Their symptons have been practically the same as mine, we are from the Kent area. Maybe it's a virus, or something.

    I'm having an MRI scan to rule out anything else before I can see an ENT doctor.

    Just remember to stay positive, and stay in touch.

    Ryan

  • jamesfoley

    Are you able to recommend anything I could buy without a prescription?

    So far all I've tried are the Sudafed decongestant tablets, and although they clear my nose, they don't do much else.

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