whats wrong with my ear? suggestions please! - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 04-25-2007, 01:01 PM
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this is driving me slightly mental, so i'd be greatful for any help/suggestions please. for about the past couple months (ok, maybe almost 6 months) i've had this weird thing going on with my right ear:

randomly, from a few times a day, to a few times a week, i get an odd feeling in it: its like the pressure changes inside my ear, and i can hear and feel my pulse throbbing inside my ear. its kind of like when you hear an ultrasound on tv, but not quite as loud, and like you're hearing it with a pillow held to your head - slightly muffled and a bit thick or foggy. it lasts for a couple of hours and then goes away... only to come back later.

it doesn't itch, hurt, ache, feel hot, tickly, or painful. it doesn't affect my hearing, there is no discharge or nausea or dizziness, no feeling of fluid in the ear, no illness, cold or flu symptoms, i haven't flown recently, and i haven't been whacked on the head or lost anything inside my ear. it doesn't feel like tinnitus either, 'cos of the throbbing- its not a tinnitusy feeling to me. it does radiate out from the ear about an inch sometimes too, i guess, i can feel the fuzzy throbbing on the edge of my cheek a bit too sometimes.

i tried homemade baking soda and boiled water eardops for a while, to no avail. eardrops don't stay in my ears anyway, they don't go anywhere but back out again. then i took my ear to a doctor in a canadian walk in clinic, and he said he thought i might have an inner ear infection. about $100, a 10 day course of oral antibiotics and a concurant 10 day course of eardrops with antibiotics and steriods in them, (which i dutifully took as prescribed, and finished the course) and 3 weeks later, nothing has changed.

its really distracting, and its hard to get to sleep/focus on anything else when its doing its ultrasound thing, so i'd like to know what i can do to stop it. i know i'll probably end up back at the walk in clinic, but i don't want to give them another wodge of cash and take any more antibiotics (antibiotics are not generally my friends) especially if its not an ear infection. i've had ear infections as a child, and it doesn't feel anything like one that i ever had. i don't want it to get expensive either as i don't have an income and i don't enjoy having my bf pay for too much stuff, he's not loaded.

i've got all these unrealistic irrational imaginings that its a weak blood vessel throbbing inside my head and hitting my eardrum, and that i'll randomly have an aneurysm and keel over with blood spurting out of my earhole or into my brain. or that i have an insect living in my ear, crawling about in there messing with stuff, too. so i'd be greatful if someone could rule those out for me, lol.

stupid ear..... argggghhh!

thankyou for your help!
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#2 Old 04-25-2007, 02:23 PM
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Don't even joke about the insect thing... This used to keep me awake at night after I saw some TV show about this happening. Just kill me. ((shudder))

Have you already tried the Google/WebMD/iVillage kind of route? I wouldn't rely on the internet for medical advice of course, but sometimes they can give you a starting point for a conversation with the doc, etc.

It could still be an ear infection, yeah?

Sorry I'm not more help.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#3 Old 04-25-2007, 02:55 PM
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Could you have an ear wax build-up in your ear? My bf's ear canals are slightly deformed and so wax builds up really easily and becomes clogged and then infected. He used to do ear candling a lot and that helps get the wax out. If you feel better going to a dr they will fill a syringe with liquid and push it into your ear canal to flush the wax out.

But I would assume a dr would be able to tell if there's a wax build up so I don't know... I guess I am not much help either.
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#4 Old 04-25-2007, 02:56 PM
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haha, yeah, i think thats where i got it too- the tv. and we have these teeny tiny rainforest ants lurking in our appartment block too, they love warm moist places, and eat protein, which adds to my concern... eeeeeek. they sometimes live inside electric items, so maybe one crawled into my head through the listening holes of the phone. i'm gonna start wearing earplugs.

i've looked all over, and everything lists pain and discomfort and heat and itchiness as normal symptoms of an ear infection, which is why i'm bemused- it doesn't hurt. i have a headache, but i always have a headache- i've had a headache since forever.

i think maybe my sinuses are generally screwed and there is an air pressure thing going on, as well as some low grade inflamation. i've got allergic rhinitis, and a history of childhood hassles with my ear and nose and throat, so i expect my eustachian tubes are screwed. i've been looking at eustacian tube stuff online... seems plausable.

i guess if it doesn't go away i'll be back to the old walk in clinic....greeeaaaat.

blah, oh well. thankyou for your support
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#5 Old 04-25-2007, 03:01 PM
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i guess it could be wax, that crossed my mind too, and my mums (she thought it might be a bit of dust or dead skin or something equally yucky) but i thought if it was something like that, the doctor would have seen it when he looked in my ear.

i've had my ears syringed once before, it makes everything feel really surreal for a few hours. maybe i'll ask about it if/when i go back to the doctor - if nothing else, it'll be a fun experience.
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#6 Old 04-25-2007, 03:04 PM
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You might want to PM meatless. I know she was having issues with her ears "popping" for some time. I don't know if she or her doctor figured out what was wrong, but she'd certainly be able to sympathize if nothing else.

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#7 Old 04-25-2007, 05:10 PM
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doesn't sound very insect-y to me, if you're not hearing any scurrying. That would be a very sluggish insect, only moving once every few hours. (DON'T think about slugs, though, just don't think it). I'd bet it's something in your ear getting inflamed every once in a while, that somehow changes the way the receptors are receiving the sound-information.

(The way that sound energy travels through the ear is really amazing; it changes from airwaves vibrating - to tiny bones tapping on a membrane - to liquid waves traveling through a coiled tube to whichever receptor responds to that wave.)

Or the govt is just checking its brain wire-taps.
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#8 Old 04-25-2007, 06:25 PM
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hehehe earslugs. and government brain wiretaps... i like it, i like it. i pity the fool who has to listen to my thoughts though, i really do.
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#9 Old 04-30-2007, 09:06 PM
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I have tons of problems with my ears. Not sure exactly what yours are but here is my advise:

Do not do a liquid flush with a syringe. My doctor did that when I had one of my bad ear infections many years ago (I had huge wax buildup which infected my ear) and I am sure that is how I lost some of my hearing. It didn't know it could have damaged my ears then or I would have gone to an audiologist or an ENT.

If it is excess wax buildup, have the ENT or audiologist remove it with a special tool. If they are a good doctor, they will have the right tool. It sounds like you could have fluid in your ear though even though it doesn't feel like it. Normally, tube problems occur when you are younger but that doesn't rule it out.

I have had tinnitus for several years and have hearing loss in both ears because of wax buildup and infections. What helps for me is being vegan (dairy can cause a lot of ear problems) and eating a raw diet. It keeps my ears clean - no more excess wax.

I know you don't want to spend alot of money but if I were you, I would at least a blow a bit at first to get it checked by a specialist because if it is something that could damage your hearing than better you get it done now than later. I waited too long (and I went to the wrong kind of doctor) and now I have hearing damage.

I also read that mercury buildup can cause a lot of ear problems (makes sense as alot of us have fillings in our teeth). I am planning on doing a detox bath (sounds weird I know) that is for mercury build up and see if that helps my tinnitus. Hey, can't hurt to try!

Good luck!
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#10 Old 04-30-2007, 10:08 PM
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urggggh. thanks queenfluff.

i don't eat any dairy due to the fact it doesn't help my allergic rhinitis, or agree with my stomach one bit, so thats a start. i think i have maybe one or two small mercury fillings... 3 max, and no intentions of getting any more. apparently in many cases getting them out can be worse than leaving them be, so i'll do that, i think.

possible hearing loss and/or tinnitus do not sound like good outcomes, my dad has both quite severely due to work related damage, so i've seen how awfully challenging and frustrating they can be. i guess i'll have to spur myself into action and see if i can get another doctor to have a look, and maybe refer me to an ent specialist about it.

my main fear was more antibiotics, but i guess i can cope with it if it comes to it- ear tubes (we call them grommits in the uk!) worry me much less than antibiotics. maybe i can get an appointment with my bf's family doctor or something, and ask for a referral to an ent specialist if it doesn't go away after that.

the whole canadian medical system is very new to me, as is the whole private insurance/payment thing, and i struggle with the 'letting my bf pay for it' thing quite a bit too. since living in canada i've really come to like and appreciate the somewhat lacking, yet free of charge, english version of government health care.

ah well, sorting this mystery out will be fun, and educational with it, i guess.
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#11 Old 05-02-2007, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by queenfluff View Post

It sounds like you could have fluid in your ear though even though it doesn't feel like it.

That sounds very possible. Sounds! haha!

Have you noticed if you're turning/tilting your head when it happens, sometimes?

I remember having that happen: kind of like when you get water in your ears from swimming, except it doesn't move around and you can't get it out for a long time?
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#12 Old 05-02-2007, 05:01 AM
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i've had sinus stuff like that before (not in my ears, in my face) so i know its totally unrelated to moving my head in any way. you could tip me upside down and shake me around, and nothing would happen. then 2 hours later, i'd be reading a book or sewing, with my head upright, not sniffing swallowing or yawwning, and suddenly it'd just kick in. its super weird. i'm really bemused, especially in that it doesn't feel full, or muffle sound, like water in the outer ear from an outside source does.
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#13 Old 05-02-2007, 05:39 AM
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I've had a lot of problems with my ears, my canals haven't developed and after a lot of tests the hospital said my ear canals are the size of a baby's!!

A few things may help.... mix vinegar with water (50/50) and use that as ear drops... lie on your side and drop a few drops in... wait a few minutes then put a tissue to your ear and lie on the other side, so that they come out. The drops are not meant to stay in as if they break down ear wax, the wax would just stay in the ear.

Also, be careful when you bath or shower, try to avoid getting water in your ears. I usually put a bit of cotton wool in my ears when i shower. Also same if you swim, try and wear ear plugs or something

Hope that helps a little. x
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