Okay medically inclined

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Star*, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    What is a ruptured ear drum? How does this happen? Why is there scar tissue? What is this annoying HISSING sound and muffled sound. And how long does this take to fix?

    For close to a month my ear feels like it collapsed on the inside. Hearing is a little more challenging and I have water running out of that ear all the time. It's annoying. I've tried to chew gum to pop it - nothing. Occasionally I'll have moments of audio clarity, then back to muffled.

    I have a bad ear infection, and sinus infection. It's allergy seaon here - pine pollen dusts EVERYTHING yellow - but I woke up this morning with a stuffed nose on one side, and swollen throat and sore ears. Don't preach - but I took 2 of the dogs antibiotics, gargled with salt water, drank an alka-seltzer cold and went back to bed.

    Not really slept all night long - but called the doctor and went in. She said I have to come back in 11 days after antibiotics and antihistamines for a hearing test as my ears are SO congested. SO? In one night? WOW.

    Then says - possible ruptured ear drum, but can't tell with the congestion.

    Is this bad or something?

    I'm not freaking - but left feeling kinda out in right field.


    and yes -- horse apples feel and look better than I do today. Ugh. AND SOMEONE NEEDS TO ITCH MY EARS.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I would normally recommend a few drops of peroxide in the ear. It fizzes and bubbles and can help unblock Eustachian tubes and even sinuses. It also can feel very good.

    But with a possible ruptured ear drum it is a BAD idea to pour peroxide in the ear, I think.

    I wish I had a magic solution, but I don't. Did the doctor give you a prescription for Auralgan? It is an eardrop that numbs the ear. You warm it up in water and it is VERY soothing. If she didn't, CALL the office and have them call this in. If they won't, ask WHY NOT?? We were even able to use this when thank you had his tubes in.

    I am sorry you are sick.


    Dear Pooty,

    Mommy is very sick. I know you are worried but she will be all right. You have to give her LOTS of snuggles and love to help her get better. And if she won't call the doctor or follow the doctor's instructions you need to bark and whine and lead her to the phone or her medicine. Tell her that she has to stop taking your medicine!! It is for YOU and not her! It won't turn her into a puppy, but we want doggies to get better too!!

    Lots of love and a long belly rub for you and your doggie friends!!! Tell mommy we love her and want her to feel better!! Take good care of mommy!
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I had a ruptured ear drum when I was in my 20's. A really nice guy I was dating decided to crack me upside the head. Yes I did get a punch in...

    Anyway, it hurt, I had this dizzy I was gonna puke loss of whoah feeling!
    So I pinched my nose and went to blow out the what I thought was a popped eardrum, and the air just blew out!

    Freaked my butt out!
    I went to a Doctor the next day and they gave my antibiotics and said KEEP COTTON in it for at least a week. NO WATER in it at all. Yes it was ruptured.

    It healed up fine and no damage.
    I do know there are different level of severity, mine was in the middle.
    I hope it is not bad if this is what it is!

    Sorry you are still stuffy and not feeling good...
  4. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Susie* - thanks, Pootie says she'll do her best - she wasn't worried about me taking Casper's medications - but they BOTH looked at me like - WELL what do you suppose next? Our cookies?

    I got Ceftin and Alahist....she told me to use Nasonex - but told me to put my head DOWN and squeeze the plunger - never knew that - it gets into your ears, nose and throat when you put your head down. Interesting.

    Toto - glad you got a punch in. I freaked out - inside - ruptured means not repairable in my brain.....nice to know they heal. Maybe I'll get rid of this feeling like I have a wab o cotton in my ear...annoying.

    Thanks all -

    On the good side? My Thalassemia is good - and my CBC was 10 - not bad for an anemic. ;) I guess I am just tired and run down from being tired and run down.
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    When my son was little he had ear infections all the time and his eardrums ruptured several times. This is when he was REALLY little. He never ran a fever and never complained about the pain - he was used to it! So by the time we figured out that he had another ear infection, his eardrums were at the point of bursting, and several times they did. He also had tubes put in his ears twice. He now has scars on his eardrums where it healed and his hearing will never be 100%.

    Yeah, if you think it might be ruptured, don't put anything in it - no Q-tips or peroxide - nothing. And don't let any water get in to it. Then get your hiney straight to a doctor!
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Veteran of 8 ruptured eardrums chiming in here:

    Most of the time when you have a rupture you know it. The time leading up to ruptures is second on my list of pain experiences, the first being labor. The two exceptions to that were the time the ER guy thought it had microruptures (micro holes instead of a big blowout) and the time I knew it was inevitable and took two pain pills and went to bed. Usually when it ruptures, it is a lot of pain followed by a hissing or bubbling sound, and then release when it blows. Often there will be a dribble of liquid. Afterwards the sound in the ear is altered--both open and loud sounding (like listening to a sea shell) and muffled (because of the mess inside and because it will take a few weeks time to heal). If it didn't rupture completely or the infection is very persistent you can see an ENT and they can aspirate it out which helps immensely.

    Do all of the human drugs. Don't do doggie drugs, or kitty drugs or birdie drugs for that matter. Don't do peroxide. Do sleep upright in a recliner or propped up on the sofa with pillows if you can stand it. Use foam earplugs in the shower and outside if it's windy. Tylenol is better for ears (less bothersome to inner ear) than Motrin if you need pain relief. A heating pad on low may help, but don't go too high with that.

    Hope it heals up soon--I feel your pain. Once I went to ER to get antibiotics right away the doctor looked inside my ears and started singing "Tiny bubbles...."

    who knows too darn much about eardrum ruptures!
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  8. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Gonna threadjack you a little, Star! It's related, I promise!! I've got an rx for Flonase 'cause I've been snoring and while I'm waiting for my sleep study they wanted to make sure it's not allergies. I don't think it is 'cause it's been a few weeks and I don't see any dif. ANYway---they told me the "head down, squeeze as you're inhaling", too.

    I can't do it! I dunno if it's 'cause I'm too stuffed up, but when I put the nozzle in my nostril, it suctions around it when I inhale, so I stop inhaling. So I've been just squeezing and sniffing really quickly after I squeeze.

    How on earth are we supposed to do this?
  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I'm glad SRL chimed in.... I've heard that ruptured eardrums can be quite painful. I've had some serious ear infections, but no ruptures, as far as I know. Take Mucinex if you can.

    There are some very good homeopathic decongestants, like Pulsitilla and Cali Bichromium. My husband is on blood pressure medications and cannot take over-the-counter decongestants, but can take Pulsitilla with no side effects and it does help his congestion, considerably. I give this to my kids all the time and I take it myself.
  10. One of my eardrums was ruptured when I was a very small child (toddler). I don't remember anything about it, in fact I don't even know which one it was. My parents said that I got alot of sore throats and ear infections but I was too young and the doctors wouldn't take my tonsils out. My eardrum ended up rupturing. I don't have any hearing loss.
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Even with most of my ruptures happening in the same ear, I had almost nil hearing loss. I've had a bit in some frequencies as well as ringing due to my later inner ear problems, but that eardrum membrane is more resiliant than you would think.
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    OMG that has to hurt. Follow doctor orders, mah dear. Hope it heals quickly....with no hearing loss.

  13. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR EARS! With a rupture eardrum anything you put in your ears goes into the ear canal & inner ear. That is not a good thing. Just take your oral antibiotics and whatever decongestant your doctor has prescribed. Cotton treated with petromeum jelly or wax earplugs placed just inside your ear will keep out water when you shower. You should avoid putting your head under water until healed. It is the same as if you had tubes put in. The EARDRUM NORMALLY IS A BARRIER BETWEEN THE INNER AND OUTER EAR. WHEN RUPTURED OR PUNCTURED SUBSTANCES CAN LEAK INTO AND OUT OF THE INNER EAR. You do not want this to happen as an inner ear infection can become very serious very quickly. Yes, the eardrum will heal but it takes time. That is why followups doctor visits are important. Scaring on the eardrum can occur just like any other wond. Scars can cause the eardrum to become less flexible thus affecting your hearing. I hope you feel better soon and are healed quickly. -RM
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    They are all correct - ask the doctor before using peroxide, any ear drops, sweet oil, anything. I do know that when wiz had tubes we often used antibiotic ear drops to clear up inner ear infections. It seemed to work FAR better than oral antibiotics. BUT it was at the ENT's directions, as was using the auralgan numbing drops. Actually the drops were antibiotic eye drops we were told to use.

    Keep your follow up appts. don't skip doses of medicine. LOTS of fluids - they will thin out the mucus better than anything. Drink up to a GALLON of liquid a day. Soups count toward this.

    I hope you feel better soon.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Look after yourself. Do not put any liquid in your ear. Don't put ANYTHING in your ear except maybe a plug of cotton weeol which you change frequently.

    You probably have a good idea by now, of how it all works/connects. The inner ear is connected to the sinuses and back of nose/throat by the eustachian tube. Generally the pressure on either side of the eardrum is equalised, but if there are blockages in the eustachian tube for whatever reason - infection, mucus, crud, whatever - then it's more difficult to equalise the pressure. Also, if pressure outside changes suddenly (a sudden increase/decrease in pressure due to doors closing, compressor pumps switching on; a sudden change in altitude, for example - going up in an elevator fast, or in a plane; or coming down; diving underwater) then you feel the unequal pressure and you want to 'pop' your ears. This helps equalise it again.

    To hear - vibrations are picked up by the eardrum, a membrane stretched across the end of the ear canal leading from the outside, to the inside. This membrane is normally a perfect seal, which also means it transmits vibrations effectively and evenly. Think about the sound made when you tap a drinking glass that is in perfect condition. You get a pure note. But if there are imperfections, especially a breach in the membrane, it's like tapping on a cracked glass. You can hear a crack in a glass often when it can be too small to see.

    Unlike glass, eardrums can repair themselves, especially if the damage is not too severe. But until it is repaired, your hearing will be affected mainly at the transmission of vibrations stage. A lot more happens from the eardrum stage, that shouldn't be getting damaged by this unless the infection is really bad and continues for a while.

    What infection does - well, you've seen a boil. It gets hot, it swells up, it produces gunk. And you know how a boil feels, when it's in a spot where it can't freely expand to release the pressure. You also know how much relief you get when you finally CAN release the pressure.

    An infection in the eustachian tube (ie middle ear infection) that produces gunk is likely to be a bacterial infection. Therefore it is likely to respond well to antibiotics, but also probably NEEDS antibiotics to heal faster and more effectively. The gunk builds up and produces so much pressure, that something has to give somewhere. If the eustachian tube can't drain fast enough, what goes is the eardrum. The stuff coming out of your ears is the gunk from the infection, and having it drain is a good thing, because that sort of pressure can damage the tiny bones in the middle ear. These little bones under normal conditions transfer the vibrations form the eardrum to the cochlea, which is what we use to actually pick up sound frequencies specifically and transmit them to the brain where we identify what it is we're hearing. Until then, the transmission of sound is mechanical. But in the cochlea, mechanical transmission becomes electrical/neurological.

    Without the eardrum working well, you can still hear by bone induction. Vibration travels other routes. For example, you might have a hearing test which puts headphones on you and sounds are played, but often a doctor will check for nerve deafness by hitting a tuning fork on the edge of a table, and placing the end of the vibrating tuning fork to your head behind your ear. It's amazing how loud it can sound! It's being picked up more by your skull and transmitting through the bone to your cochlea, bypassing the eardrum route. If you hit a tuning fork and listen to it being held in the air, it's not so loud as when you hold it against the table.

    As things are with your ear right now - of course it's going to feel like you need to unblock your ear - but since the pressure is automatically equalising right now (due to the hole you currently have) then trying to unblock isn't going to work. ALso, things are gfoing to sound 'off' and buzzy, in the same way an amplifier cone with acrack in it sounds tinny or buzzy as an overtone of whatever other sound you're listening to.

    Fix the crack or tear or hole, and the speaker cone is whole again and it won't buzz any more.

    So the moral here - take the antibiotics, keep youself in as good health as you can (take extra Vitamin C and also perhaps B complex as well, to boost your immune system, and get plenty of rest and fluids) and you have the fastest chance of recovery. Take any antibiotics the doctor gives you, keep your ears clean and dry and hopefully things should begin to heal soon.

    Alternatively, learn Ameslan.

    Ok, just kidding.

  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    All I can say is...watch ear infections...lol. Evidently the old brain isnt far from the ear and we know how that turned out for me. Take your medications, and watch for things getting worse.
  17. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    Get a neti pot. Here are the instructions. I watched this Oprah show when it orginally aired. I bought the neti pot that weekend. I haven't taken allergy medications since then and it's been over a year

    It will also help your ears tremedously. I know it sounds and looks gross but it works and if it hurts bad enough you'll do it. :D

  18. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Oldest boy's ear drum ruptured as he sat on my H's lap while I was on the phone with the doctor because he had such a high fever and wouldn't stop crying. All of a sudden, he screamed and the most foul-smelling virulent thick pus came oozing out. H shifted him so that his oozing ear was facing down and goop leaked for about 5 minutes.

    His fever broke within 10 minutes and he fell sound asleep.

    The doctor said just give him Tylenol and place warm compresses over his ear. By the time we took him in the next day, he was fine. The ear healed and he has perfect hearing (he's 18 now)

    The pressure builds up behind the ear and when it ruptures, it's a release of the infection and the healing can begin.
  19. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Geez....I grew up on peroxid in my ears. I remember as a young child having my mom put a few drops in my ear then wait 15 minutes then rotate to the other ear. Maybe that is why I have an orchestra going trough my ears in the middle of the night. All my kids have had several ear issues. Maybe it's genetic. Glad I passed on something to them. :tongue:

    I have no advice, dear. I'm sorry you're in pain. All I can add is that ears, sinuses and throat have a direct path. One might affect the other and you don't even know it. You need a good ENT to deal with that. It took me years to find a good doctor.