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Thread: Can someone enlighten me on ear infections and antibiotics??

  1. #1
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    Can someone enlighten me on ear infections and antibiotics??

    okay, sorry this is kind of long, 2 weeks ago I dove into the pool and next thing I know my eardrum has this weird sensation, like when you tap it, it goes boing, boing, kind of like a rubber ball bouncing. I put peroxide in it, it felt a little better, the boing sensation went a way a few days later. I get impacted ears, so I thought Ive got a clogged ear with water and wax, and still feels this way, because it feels like a wad of cotton is in it and it is tender.

    I went to the Dr on Monday, he said my ear was clear, he could see the drum and said it was red, and that I had an ear infection, no explanation of why I feel like Ive got something in there,so he presribed me amoxillin and neomycin drops.

    I took the ammoxxilin for 2 days and head an allergic reaction, so I stopped, but in the mean time I didnt feel any better, usually when I have any kind of infection I feel much better within 24 hours, I didnt feel any different.

    Here it is Friday and they finally gave me a new antibiotic. I am hesitant to take it because it is called Bactrim and looks pretty potent, and I am wondering If I dont have an infection, but damaged my ear drum somehow because even my hearing is different


    Any thoughts?

    thanks

    laurie

  2. #2
    Gosh, I wish I could help you more, but all I really know is that when I have ear infections I get something called a "z-pack" which usually clears up the problem in a couple days - it's five or so pills taken once a day.


    Just so you know though, you might get more information on the healthy living or other stuff board.
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  3. #3
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    Can you go to a specialist? An ear, nose and throat guy would who I would go see.
    *Susan*

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  4. #4
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    You shouldn't mess around with your ears -- go to a specialist if your doctor isn't providing you with a satisfactory result

    was the sensation immediate after the dive? It wouldn't seem as though you had gone deep enough to have pressure problems with the ear drum as one might have if scuba diving.

    Have you been swimming or was this the first time swimming. If you've been swimming for awhile this summer, chances are you've got swimmer's ear as opposed to a middle ear infection -- does your ear hurt if you move the lobe? The outer tube and ear drum become highly inflamed. I used to get this a lot -- the doctor would put a wick in my ear canal which rested against the ear drum -- I would put antibiotic ear drops in periodically so that the canal and ear drum were saturated with the solution.

    Don't mess around because you could wind up with a perforated ear drum and possible hearing loss.

  5. #5
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    blazedog, it was immediate after only diving in a 5 foot pool. think of it a tight rubber band you are snapping, that was the feeling I dont normally get my head in the water too much. The next day when I washed my hair in the bath and got water in my ear, holy moly that hurt, the outside does not hurt at all only the inside.

    I was just able to make an appt this afternoon for an ENT, thank god they can get me in.

    Laurie

  6. #6
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    You need to ask the doctor if you have a middle ear infection or an infection of the ear canal (swimmer's ear), as blazedog mentioned. Both are infections, but of different parts of the ear, and they're treated differently. The sensation of having something in your ear is caused by the infection itself, not by anything you have in your ear. If you were prescribed antibiotic drops, that would lead me to believe that you have swimmer's ear, since drops won't do anything to help a middle ear infection. You're right to be hesitant about bactrim, because it is a pretty potent antibiotic, and I don't know if it's necessary to use an oral antibiotic for swimmer's ear (the drops should be enough). Have you been using the drops?
    The motive power of democracy is love. ~ Henri Bergson

  7. #7
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    Sounds like you may have already had some pressure building in your ear -- 5 ft shouldn't normally be felt like that (I have pretty sensitive ears and haven't noticed that). Sounds like your doctor is not sure and is trying to hedge his bets by treating you for both an inner and an outer ear infection (drops and oral).

    You can also have a fungal infection in the outer ear (sounds gross, I know, but remember it's just a product of trapped moisture). I think I had one with each pregnancy (the ENT told me the body chemistry changes can do some weird things -- he'd seen it before). The fungal infection would probably have to be treated by an ENT who would also have the equipment to clean it out. I think he cleaned it then coated the area with a powder. I'm not sure if there was anything else except being extremely careful not to get any water in the ear.

    As far as the anitibiotics not working faster, they can easily take several days for you to feel the difference -- especially in a sensitive area like your ear. If it's just not getting better as fast as you'd like, you can give it some more time. If things are getting worse though, you need to see an ENT sooner rather than later.

  8. #8
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    From what you describe (clear ear and red eardrum), it sounds like you have a middle ear infection (aka otitis media).

    Amoxicillin is certainly appropriate first-line, but as has been said, it can take several days to kick in. But instead, you developed an allergic reaction! Bactrim is also a very appropriate first-line antibiotic for ear infections, perhaps a little stronger than amoxicillin, but no great shakes.

    Because of the infection itself, your hearing will be affected. I'd also recommend over-the-counter pseudoephedrine to help open things up behind the eardrum.

  9. #9
    Laurielee,

    If you have damaged your ear drum, I think your doctor would have noticed it immediately. I had the same thing happen to me a few months ago (infection, feeling of fullness, etc.) but in my case, my ear drum *was* perforated and it was quite obvious. I did a lot of research and ended up getting a tympanoplasty (yesterday, actually) to get the hole patched. I'm hoping this will put an end to the feeling of fullness, because mine went on and on and really never went away due to both the inflammation and the perforation.

    Ears are very sensitive. If your ear drum is the least bit red, then it might actually be swollen and the fullness you're feeling is probably from the swelling of the ear drum.

    Another thing you might ask your doctor about is (and I know I'm going to spell this wrong) Neomyicin, which is an anti-inflammatory. That's one of the medicines that helped my ear get better.

    But I know what you mean about that annoying feeling of fullness. It will go away, but I'm sorry to say it takes time.

  10. #10
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    Ralph is a doc and I won't mess with anything he says
    But next time you go swimming, you can cleanse your ear canal
    using equal parts white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Get in the habit of rinsing your ears out with this potion when you come out of a pool or the ocean. Then gently dry your ears with a cotton swab. This might prevent future problems.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  11. #11
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    thanks everyone, I just got back from the ENT, saw a PA, she said my eustachian tube is closed, and no punctured ear drum, and that my ear drum was not red so a good sign, she said if there was an infection behind the closed part my eardrum would be really red and didnt want to take the bactrum at this time. And that probably what caused it, is I am running a mild viral type cold infection, with enflamed sinuses and throat (which explains why I have been feeling like crap for almost 3 weeks), no big telltale sign, except fatigue and a mild scratchy throat. I am supposed to use Nasonex to get the sinus passage open, to open the tube and that it will continue to hurt for a week. but if it got worse to get back in asap.

    one thing does make me nervous now that I think about it as Ralph brought up, they typically take a long time to clear up, she said iF I did have an infection, could have been mild and the 2 days of amoxillin could have knocked it, I hope not just lying in wait to spring back up!

    Laurie

    Laurie

  12. #12
    Originally posted by wallycat
    Ralph is a doc and I won't mess with anything he says
    But next time you go swimming, you can cleanse your ear canal
    using equal parts white vinegar and rubbing alcohol.
    ....unless you have a perforation. Trust me. You do not want to put alcohol in a perforated ear unless you enjoy excruciating pain, dizziness, nausea and surgery.


  13. #13
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    Sounds right on target to me. During my first pregnancy, I had to go through the various hoops to do the ear drops, then a different kind of drops, then, by the time my whole head hurt and my ear and all connected to it were throbbing, I finally got the referral to the ENT -- who I was able to see a couple of days later. He said that the drops only made things worse and that where it was (or had begun) the general practitioner wouldn't have been able to see it. I'm not sure why, but that's why I said see an ENT (r now return to the ENT) if it gets worse. I don't think that kind of thing happens very often -- the middle ear infection with a cold or virus and the outer ear with a lot of swimming are the classics -- spoken not as a doctor, just a patient and a mom who's been through a number or them.

    It's possible that you had pressure behind the ear drum and not a raging infection (some or none-yet). It is also possible, from what I have read, for infections to clear on their own if you can get the tubes opened up. Their is some controversy about how and when to use antibiotics with little ones ear infections because of that. Your ENT may feel that getting you opened up will relieve pressure and allow anything going on to clear without further anitbiotics.

    Hope discovering the allergy wasn't too rough -- we have one son who's allergic to a couple of antibiotics and the other shellfish. That can be scarey stuff. Take care and feel better soon.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by claire797


    ....unless you have a perforation. Trust me. You do not want to put alcohol in a perforated ear unless you enjoy excruciating pain, dizziness, nausea and surgery.

    OOOOoouuuch! I've hemmoraged my eardrum with no perforation (more like a bruising). That was bad enough. Hope the ear is feeling better now or soon will be.

  15. #15
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    "unless you have a perforation. Trust me. You do not want to put alcohol in a perforated ear unless you enjoy excruciating pain, dizziness, nausea and surgery."

    OHHH yes, perforated or not, I did this a few years ago, I put peroxide in my ear then cotton and went to bed. When I woke up the next morning, I think I would have shot myself if I had a gun to put myself out of the pain. It felt like I had poured acid in and it ate into my brain!

    I knew I could get lots of good advice here!

    Laurie

  16. #16
    Originally posted by Laurielee
    I think I would have shot myself if I had a gun to put myself out of the pain. It felt like I had poured acid in and it ate into my brain!

    Yes. And your lucky if you only get that. After the acid eats into your brain, it makes you dizzy. Then, when you think it's over, comes the nausea which last for hours.

    Anyway. Laurielee, I can see why you're anxious about using the bactrim or trying new medicines. That's how I've been feeling about my ear. Even when my new improved, patched ear drum is healed, I'll probably be scared to get it wet. Then again, I'd really like to go down a waterslide and land in the splash pool without worrying .

    Glad it's only your eustachion tube that's swollen shut. The decongestant should help a little with that.

    Beth, the ear is better. There's some residual pain from the surgery, but after walking around for weeks with that feeling of unexplained fullness, I'm glad that problem is going to be fixed. I hope!

    It's really amazing how much the ear controls and how many nerve endings there are in that area. One warning before the surgery was that my taste might be affected. Luckily, it wasn't. So far, the only thing that tastes metallic is Splenda, and that's always tasted that way to me .

  17. #17
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    Glad the ear is better. It's funny how a problem in one area can remind us how everything is connected in not-so-expected ways. My neck has done that for me -- in many ways.

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