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Ear infection, hearing loss, persistent clog

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Hearing loss following ear infection and persistent clog


So perplexed and so are doctors. After an ear infection I developed a clog in the ear that won't go away; for 6 weeks now. Test show 30% hearing loss. Additionally, I get severe pain from loud voices and music. Its really interrupting my life. They tried tubes and I am waiting for the hole from the tube to close as well as a spontaneous perforation. Seeing another specialist in NY feb 8 hoping for answers.

Why the pain from the loud noises? No expert I've seen can answer this.

I'm also very nervous, the only thing thats changed in my life is getting a dog; so called "hypoallergenic" wondering if that could be causing clog. Saw an allergist and did test pos for alergy (allergy) to dogs. Taking all precautions and getting allergy shots; think they're helping. Family would be devastated if I had to give the puppy way.
I also make sure not to get any water in the ear.
Any suggestions/thoughts?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 6 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1.     You most probably have developed Hyperacusis.

2. One of the most common causes of Hyperacusis is Recruitment. In people with hearing loss, there is some damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. This causes neighboring hair cells being 'recruited' into neighboring frequencies leading to an abnormal increase in the loudness of certain sounds.

3. If a grommet is removed (instead of extruding on its own), it usually results in a small perforation which may not heal. Such a perforation will have an effect on hearing, however small, depending on its position on the eardrum.

4. Do you have the hyperacusis in one or both ears? Do you also get dizziness when the sound is loud?

5. There are many causes leading to hyperacusis. Exposure to loud sounds (may be accidental or occupational), ear surgery, injury to the delicate nerves and muscles of the middle ear and so on.

6. You need a review of all details and findings leading up to the hyperacusis. Treatment can be discussed after that.

I hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Ear infection, hearing loss, persistent clog 3 days later
This is amazing to get a reply from an MD thank you so much for your time.
Yes a tube was removed from my right ear leaving a perforation which has not closed yet; plus I have another perforation which the Dr.said was spontaneous. I first presented with what the Dr. said was an upper respiratory infection resulting in an ear infection (plus a wax plug they said was like removing cement). Once they removed the wax they saw scar tissue which they said must have built up over years without me knowing I had ear infections or whatever issues but they did check their archives and found that back in 2004 and again later on I did complain of "ear pressure".
So now i feel "ear pressure again". With this episode it began with with terrible pain, then the pain subsided however I still felt TERRIBLE PAIN AFTER LOUD NOISE such as music or voices in a restaurant. The pain is not terrible after the noise now but uncomfortable and I have to avoid loud
places. It seems like the clog is worse the next day if I have eaten in a loud restaurant.

These issues have always been in the right ear plus sinus clog as well.
At the present time I still have a clog in the right ear, my voice echo's in my head. But I am now feeling it in my left ear too; slight pressure/clog and feeling echo in my head, under water.

I am very anxious that this may allergy? We recently got a dog and I am allergic to dogs, I get allergy injections (although he is low dander only hair, non shed dog).

I have had no loud noise or other damage that I can recall to precipitate this problem.

Can it be an allergy? I am really upset and anxious that I would have to give it away my family would be crushed.

To summarize:
I do not get dizzyness
The sensitivity to noise is in the right ear with a bad "clog" feeling
the left ear is clogged but not sensitive to noise.

I do not recall anything that could have damaged the ear, no accident, no loud noise etc.

Is it possible the scar tissue plays a role?

Thank you sooo much. I am so anxious over this I hope you will reply at your earliest convenience.
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 7 hours later

Thank you for writing back.

1. The cement like wax plug most probably was keratosis obturans.

2. Your right ear feels clogged in spite of two perforations. You need to get a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) and an Impedance Audiogram (I/A or Tympanogram) done to help understand this. Do you have a history of ear discharge?

3. A plain CT PNS (Para Nasal Sinuses) can confirm or rule out a sinus clog / conestion.

4. There is no cure for allergy. Avoidance is the best measure. You may take a trial by requesting someone else to take care of your puppy for a few days. This may not be the cause.

5. Scar tissue or specifically adhesions in the middle ear may lead to hyperacusis and the clogged feeling.

6. With autophony, you need to rule out certain fistulas, superior semicircular canal dehiscence and a patulous eustachian tube. For this you may require further audiological tests a (High Resolution) HRCT and contrast enhanced MRI Temporal bone Scans.

I hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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