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Old 04-07-2009, 04:41 PM   #1
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OT - Really bad ear infection

I can now say I know why babies scream when they have an ear infection. On Sunday I woke up with a sore throat, by mid morning my ears ached. Since it was Sunday and I didn't want to pay the $250 ER co-pay I decided to hold out till the next day to see the dr. Fast forward to Sunday night when 4 Motrin and 2 tylenol weren't cutting the pain. By the next morning the pain was excrutiating and I had tinitus. Well I get to the drs. and I've ruptured my ear drum.

(Warning Slight vent ahead) I told the dr about the pain and she prescibes amoxicillin and rx strength motrin - which basically equals the 4 motrin I was already taking () but she says the amoxicillin will kick in quickly and relieve the pain. When after two hours the pain hadn't abated was in fact worse - I called back. The pain by that point was so bad I was literally screaming and banging my head against the wall (luckily my kids were at school). I have to say it's been a long time since I've had an ear infection and I've never had one get this bad this fast which is why I held out.

I'm now taking Percoset which is kind of helping the pain but the tinitus is still bad and the pressure is constant and I've lost my hearing in that ear.

So my question is has anyone here ever had this happen and how long did it take to heal? Does the tinitus ever go away? Did your hearing come back? How long before the dizziness and nausea abate? The dr said a couple of days but after the drug incident I have to admit I don't trust her.
(me) (dh) ds (18) ds (13) ds (11)
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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So my question is has anyone here ever had this happen and how long did it take to heal? Does the tinitus ever go away? Did your hearing come back? How long before the dizziness and nausea abate?

I've had it happen a few times, mostly on planes. Usually you are hearing same as normal by a week later with meds a few days maybe if your case isn't too bad. The tinnitus will abate around the same time, but you now will probably be more prone to it for the rest of your life. The dizziness and nausea normally go away once the pressure and swelling subside.

Personally, I'd go to a pharmacy and get myself some Mucinex-D, the extra-strength kind. (It's OTC, but you have to sign for it.) I have Meniere's and get fluid buildup in my inner ear all the time, and that is the best thing I've found for relieving the pain and pressure, other than topical benzocaine eardrops, which are darn near impossible to get in the US. (Don't take Mucinex-D if you have high BP, though, high-dose pseudoephedrine isn't good for that.)

PS: I'm sure you know this, but just to be careful. If you do go to get some kind of decongestant to help with the pressure, do tell the pharmacist what else you are taking, so that you don't cause any interactions. You never know what might react with Percocet; that's strong stuff.

Last edited by NotUrsula; 04-07-2009 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:19 PM   #3
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Oh, I feel your pain! I just had an awful ear infection. It started from a cold and then led to clogging both my ears but only one got infected. I went to the DR 3 times, the first time I got the Zpack anti biotics which did nothing for me so I went back and got Amox. I didn't think that was working either so I went back a 3rd time but DR. said that it could take up to 6 weeks for the ears to drain. I felt totally clogged up and heard a ringing in my ears. I didnt like the 6 week advice so I went on my own to an ENT. He gave me two options: either drain my ear there but it could possibly reclog or wait it out. I chose to wait and it went away w/in a few days. I have a follow up appt. to check my hearing and ears again in a week. If I were you, if insurance allows go to an Ent. It definitely put my mind at ease that what I was feeling was normal. I think it was a little over 2 weeks to totally go away. Good luck, I know how awful it is!
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:23 AM   #4
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So sorry you have been through this. This is no help for now, but next time you get sick on the weekend consider one of the walk-in clinics at a lot of grocery stores or pharmacies. I did that for strep on a Sunday before Christmas Eve. I only cost $50 and was worth every penny to get the meds immediately.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:33 AM   #5
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try the muncinex. my dd 9 is going through this very thing right now. She woke up Friday with horrible ear pain. I kept her home form school and took he rto the Dr. Dr. said she had a nasty ear infection. Gave us augmentin and said to take dimetapp.
Sat morning she had blood in her ear. Took her back and Doc says her ear drum ruptured, gave us drops for her ear. Sunday more blood, (only in the am when she woke up) Monday same thing took her back to the Dr. and then they sent us right to an ENT.

ENT said Dr. was right with the medications, only to switch to muncinex and add afrin for 5 days with a nasal spray to help open up her sinuses. Her problem was she was so clogged up from a sinus infection that it was coming out her ear!!

She is doing much better today, but she does have trouble hearing. he said that was normal and we go back in 2 weeks. At that time we may need to do a hearing test on her.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:34 AM   #6
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Definitely see an ENT! I'm going through this with my 2 year old son. He had tubes put in at 11 months old. In January the ENT said they had lifted out of his ear drum. 6-8 weeks later he got croup and a bad head cold -a lot of congestion. We had no idea he had an ear infection until I went to put him to bed one night and he started screaming for about 45 minutes straight. Finally got him to sleep (it had been a busy day so I thought he was overtired - no fever or pulling at the ear). Then 10 minutes later he wakes up screaming again - this time he's pulling at his ear. Gave him some motrin and was trying to get him to let me put him down so I could get dressed and take him to the ER. He finally fell asleep so I decided not to disturb him. Took him to the Dr the next day and he had an ear infection in both ears and ruptured his right ear drum. She put him on Augmentin and ear drops. He seemed fine but he would ask me for his drops - even though he hated when I initially put them in. I asked the pediatrician if he would need tubes again. She basically said to wait and see if this keeps happening. For the follow up I went to the ENT instead of the pediatrician. He said the ear drum had healed properly (thank god!). But he goes in on the 23rd for his second set of tubes and to have his adenoids removed - and we leave for Disney 10 days later! He said he's at a risk for more infections and blowing that ear drum again. And ruptured ear drums do not always heal correctly. My brother and his daughter both went through this and had to have surgery to graph a piece of skin to cover the hole in the ear drum.

Sorry so long, but my point is see an ENT. Especially since you are still in pain. Make sure that ear drum is healing properly and that infection is clearing up. Do what you can now so that you don't have more problems later. Good luck and I hope you're feeling better soon!
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:48 AM   #7
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Ears are horrible words in our family. Between my DS, DH and dog we spent thousands in 2008

DH woke up in the middle of the night screaming. Apparently his eardrum burse when he was sleeping. He was draining so much liquid out of his ear it soaked the pillow. He couldn't lay down at all the rest of the night (a Saturday night). A call into his doctor was useless, they told us to come in on Monday. He couldn't take the pain, so we went to the Urgent Care center Sunday morning and they confirmed the ruptured eardrum. They put him on the strongest antibiotic you can get (can't remember the name) and a few other things. He also had a raging sinus infection, which was so odd since he didn't really notice it He has had plenty of sinus infections before, but didn't notice this one.

Luckily his ear drum did heal and the infection cleared after 2 rounds of antibiotics (about 4 weeks in total). He went into the ENT every week to get his ear checked and they ran a hearing test as well.

He did end up getting surgery on his nose to help with the sinus issues and has been on preventative allergy medication and hasn't had many problems since. This was the first winter without a sinus infection for him

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Old 04-08-2009, 01:44 PM   #8
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I know how you feel. I had many infections as a child and tubes at least 10 times and another 5 times as an adult. Because of all the scar tissue I woke up one morning and lost all hearing in my right ear, had to have my eardrum reconstructed. Now I'm good. I also work at a childrens hospital and I think it's worse on adults. When I was pregnant I was on a narcotic for the pain (they said the baby would be fine, just sleepy). Go the an ENT if it continues.
Also if you have issues flying- I take 3 doses of afrin, 5 minutes apart, a hour before we land and use wax plugs to help with the pressure and that does the trick.
Hope you are feeling better fast.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:05 PM   #9
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My daughter has had several problems with her ears, not so much ear infections, but tumors. With that being said, we have been to an ENT almost every month for the last 6 years and had 5 surgeries. One thing that can help with the fluid/infection-peroxide. Pour a little in your ear while laying down, leave it in your ear for about 1-2 minutes then just sit up (may make you dizzy), it will eat the infection away, you may need to do this several times. You can also get swim ear drops. This is basicly alchol and will dry up the fluid in your ear.

Hope you get some relief soon.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:05 PM   #10
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The Dr's office has been good about following up with me. They called yesterday and today. But if it's not better in a few days I may ask about an ENT. I never got a lot of infections. This is my first in 15 years. Before that I got for a few year straight in my early 20's but I got my first at age 22.

I do have another question for all you Dis'ers. We're going to WDW in 25 days does anyone know if this will affect my ability to ride the rides? As in are there any that I absolutely should avoid?

(me) (dh) ds (18) ds (13) ds (11)
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:51 PM   #11
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I would think that will depend on how you are feeling. I'd double check with your dr. just in case. My ears are feeling better now and I wouldn't have thought twice about going on rides. Good luck and let us know how you make out!
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