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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes fluctuating hearing loss and tinnitus post left ethmoid sinus infection treatment?

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Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 1392 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 31 Aug 2018 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: About 3 years ago I developed a left ethmoid sinus infection which I had operated on successfully but it grew out Pseudomonas. I went on tobramycin nasal rinses every 12 hours for about one month. I thought I was done with that but then continued to have some symptoms. I checked back with my ENT and He told me that my sinus was clear and there was no infection. I continued the twice daily nasal rinses with a variety of substances and then I decided to try a hyperbaric oxygen treatment. After 1 hour as I was coming down from pressure (1 1/2 AATA) I had pain in my left ear and had to go back to the ENT who opened it up and about 20-30 ml of fluid came out. He put tubes into both ears and I kept them in but after about a year they fell out. About 1-2 weeks after my left ear drain insertion I had the development of a sore throat, hoarseness, and pain in the left ethmoid and then developed hearing loss and a feeling of dull pain in that left XXXXXXX sinus. About 3 weeks later I developed tinnitus first in the left ear but about 2 weeks later developed tinnitus in the right ear. I washed both ear canals out via neilmed salt rinses and tried a variety of things to clear it out.
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Answered by Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal 14 hours later
Brief Answer:
Chronic sinusitis with pharyngitis and eustachian tube blockage

Detailed Answer:
Hi

Thanks for putting up the query
Chronic sinusitis can lead to eustachian tube blockage which causes ear symptoms like heaviness in the ears or tinnitus or hearing difficulty.
The tubes or grommets which were put into the ears are put to treat eustachian tube blockage.
My advise is you should get an x-ray paranasal sinuses done and a pure tone audiometry done and send me the report.
The sequence of symptoms are due to sinus infection caused by some nasal pathology which must be treated. The management will depend on the reports.
Also tell me what medicines have you been taking so far so that I can suggest you better?
Follow up with the required information.
Take care
Thanks and regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal 9 hours later
Hi, thanks, my last hearing test was interpreted as normal but I was having hearing problems as I am now- which comes and goes if I blow air into my eustachian tubes. If I run water onto the top of my head the left ear hears it better. when I hum or make certain sounds the left ear actually vibrates and sound reverberates in the outer aspects of the external auditory canal. Most of the time I have the tinnitus in the left (the right stopped ringing mostly now in the last month) which gets worse and better depending on how I move my jaw like if I move the lower jaw forward the tinnitus gets much worse but then immediately gets better as I relax and stop pushing the lower jaw forward. In general when I make a sound I can hear it with my right ear as nearly normal but I can not hear much with the left. Up until about 6 weeks ago I was coughing up from the back of my throat thick brownish yellow mucous but that has improved much but still get a little at times. Rinsing the sinuses out also produced some discolored mucous but that is not present now. I have tried most all antibiotics but none have worked.
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Answered by Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal 13 hours later
Brief Answer:
Eustachian tube blockage

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Thanks for the information.
From the complaints it seems to be eustachian tube blockage only as the hearing difficulty as well as the tinnitus is fluctuating.
My advise is you should get an x-ray paranasal sinuses done and send me the picture
Also get a pure tone audiometry done.
Use a Fluticasone nasal spray twice daily for a week and tablet Levocetrizine plus Phenylepherine twice daily.
Take steam inhalation and chew a gum that will help to decongestant the eustachian tube and relieve symptoms.
All the medicines I have prescribed will be available only on prescription.
Follow up with the investigation reports.

Awaiting reply

Take care
Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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