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What causes ear infection post head injury?

Answered by
Dr. Sumit Bhatti

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2569 Questions

Posted on Mon, 2 Nov 2015 in General Health
Question: A 50lb light fell from the ceiling and hit me on the head. Ever since that date 7/23/15 I feel like I have an ear infection 24/7.I am also so sensitive to sounds that I cant even talk to people. It hurts so bad I cry. I have been checked several times for an ear infection and I dont have one. I had a MRI of my brain. It all looks normal. I saw a E.N.T Dr. yesterday and he said everything looks normal so it all just be in my head. My whole life is affected. I cant have my daughter and grandbaby over because their voices hurt my ears. The pain is stabbing with a constant ache. I can't listen to music,I cant run the a/c in my car OR have the windows down.I cant vaccuum, I can't do anything. At first I only had trouble with high pitched noises but now it hurts from all noises. My mom crumbled up a piece of paper and I felt like my ears could just bleed it hurt so bad. I had to miss work today. I need help to solve this problem. I have to work. I am gonna lose my job if I cant work. I am a hair stylist so I have to talk to people.I just need for someone to know wha't going on with my ears so I can make the pain stop. Please help.
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Hyperacusis following the head injury. Rule out SCDS or a fracture.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for your query.

1. This is Hyperacusis and is known to develop after a head injury among other causes.

2. Get an HR(High Resolution) Temporal Bone Scan done on a multi-slice CT Scanner to rule out SSCDS (Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Syndrome) or an Inner ear fracture. Bone is not seen on an MRI.

3. Upload an Audiogram (Pure Tone Audiogram), an Impedance Audiogram (Tympanogram) with Acoustic reflex tests, an ABLB (Alternate Binaural Loudness Balance) test result, a SISI (Short Increment Sensitivity Index) test, TD (Tone Decay) and SDS (Speech Discrimination Score).

4. Recruitment is a phenomenon where hair cell damage in the inner ear makes loud regular soft sounds to be experienced as loud sounds.

5. Another condition is endolyphatic hydrops. This will have other symptoms such as fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus and fullness in the ear. This will respond to medication (such as acetazolamide) and a low salt diet

6. Central (Brain) injury can also cause hyperacusis. An fMRI (functional MRI) may be of help here.

7. High dose IV steroids, Transtympanic medication, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) are some of the treatments that may be tried.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T

The User accepted the expert's answer

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