Hello, I just got over a cold that turned into what we believe was a sinus infection which resulted in increased tinnitus (which I think was more stress-related than anything else), crackling sounds/feelings when I swallowed, and full/clogged feeling in my ears. I saw a general physician first who prescribed me Claritin and antibiotics (Augmentin). I then saw an ENT who prescribed me Flonase and set me up for a follow up a month later. About 2 weeks had passed and everything had more-or-less gone back to normal. Cloggy/fullness was gone, the crackling was gone, and the tinnitus was barely noticeable.
However, 5 days ago, my mother was putting away some dishes about 2 or so feet away from me and she slammed one dish against another by accident. The noise that was made caused me instant discomfort in my left ear (no pain however, just a feeling of agitation) which lasted a few seconds, and within a few seconds following that my left ear felt clogged/full again (though only mildly clogged, I don t feel as if my hearing is being affected and if it is it is likely very minor), perhaps even swollen (though it s hard to tell). My first reaction was to do a valsalva maneuver to try to unplug the ear, however that only provide very short relief (a couple of seconds tops) to the left ear and actually caused my right ear to become clogged again as well.
So, for the past 4 days my left ear has felt mildly but consistently clogged/full/swollen, and my right ear has felt periodically clogged/full/swollen (feels like it comes and goes). Crackling/popping sound/feeling has returned sporadically in both ears. As I said earlier, I do not feel my hearing is being affected (if it is, it is very minor). My tinnitus is acting up again, but I think it might be from the stress/anxiety (I m having huge anxiety issues over this, losing sleep and appetite, so I m sure this is amplifying some symptoms). But the primary thing that is bothering me is the clogginess/fullness.
So my question is this: can anyone tell me what happened? Did I damage my left ear from the sound of the dishes slamming together? I didn't think a sound like that was loud enough to cause damage (especially considering my mom was closer to the sound but was completely unaffected), but the fact that I felt discomfort and clogginess *immediately* after the sound makes me suspicious. Or is this just the same issues I was experiencing a few weeks ago coincidentally resurfacing at the same time? I had my ENT appointment pushed up to April 10th but I think it would help my anxiety to at least get an opinion from someone in the mean time.
Medical history: Tonsil surgery when I was very young, and wisdom teeth removal about 5 years ago
Previous treatment for this issue: Flonase, Augmentin, Claritin
Misc: I have chronic acid reflux which I take 1 omeprazole a day for. I believe I have had some relatively mild, TV static-sounding tinnitus for a while now, likely from listening to loud music for many years (unless this is just a sound our head makes naturally). I really only notice it if it s quiet or if I m lying on one of my ears, but it generally does not interfere with my life or my sleep. However, it seems to get worse when I get stressed from anxiety.
UPDATE: April 7th - After wearing headphones and listening to some low volume music to try and calm down my nerves, I definitely feel like the sound in my left ear is slightly muffled. In fact, the clogginess/fullness of the ears feels much more discernible in general when I have headphones on. I also occasionally feel some pressure against my left eardrum, causing some discomfort (not really a pain though). This only happens maybe once every 3-6 of hours.
Sorry for the long post, but I figured the more details and context I could provide, the better.
Asked On : Sat, 6 Apr 2013