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What Causes Muffled Hearing And Mild Stabbing Pain In Ears?

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Posted on Tue, 21 Oct 2014
Question: On Wednesday, as part of my job I had to be in a nightclub for 5 hours with extremely loud pounding music. I wadded up paper to put in my ears to drown the sound a bit.

Since then, I felt my hearing was a bit muffled in that ear and I have has mild stabbing pain periodically, but nothing I could not live with.

Today is Saturday and I can tell my hearing is worse and the pain more frequent. Is it safe to wait until Monday, or should I go to an urgent care center today? Obviously I don't want t induce permanent damage, but I would like to avoid ridiculous weekend medical bills if possible.


Do I see my primary doctor, an urgent care center, or go straight to an ear specialist?

Is this something that will resolve itself? What can I do to reduce pain and speed healing?
Thank you. XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Need evaluation by ENT doctor if it persists

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. Your exposure to loud music was way over the safety limit.

2. This is the case in nightclubs around the world and people usually develop a temporary threshold shift in hearing, which normally resolves in 48-72 hours.

3. Since the hearing is worse now and the pain is more frequent, you should ideally visit an ear (ENT) specialist who can examine the ear drum and get a hearing test done.

4. If this is because an ear infection which is easily treated Or If an Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is a medical emergency as the hearing loss can become permanent. A simple set of Tuning Fork Tests (TFTs) can also settle the issue.

5. There may be no explanation as to why you were susceptible now, however you must use hearing protection at work.

6. Upload an audiogram or follow up after 72 hours.

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

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Bhagyalaxmi Nalaparaju
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Sumit Bhatti (21 minutes later)
Can i use an ear wax removal kit to see if that helps or is that dangerous to do before i know whats going on?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Yes, it is dangerous.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. Yes, it is dangerous to use an ear wax removal kit before confirming that there is wax.

2. A NIHL will feel like a clogged ear, but will be free of wax build-up.

3. If you do want to wait over the weekend, you are better off not trying anything on your own.

4. I am just wondering if you have left some bits of paper behind in the ears. Its worth an ER visit to rule this out.

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

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Bhagyalaxmi Nalaparaju
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Sumit Bhatti (11 hours later)
The pain is not only in my ear but feels like it is in my gland. Does this indicate an infection and not a broken eardrum? Im going to try and hold until Monday if it is safe. Any suggestions to relieve pain?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
As below:

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. Most cases of Noise Induced Hearing Loss there is no ear pain. Ear pain is rare in cases of hearing loss.

2. That is why the ear pain indicates an infection, inflammation or a foreign body (paper) in the ear.

3. Since the ear shares a common nerve supply with may parts of the head, neck, chest and upper abdomen, referred pain is common.

4. You should get your self examined on Monday if this does not subside.

5. Any OTC tablet containing paracetamol should help pain relief. Do not take more than three tablets a day and do not take these on an empty stomach.

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

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Sumit Bhatti

Otolaryngologist / ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2668 Questions

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What Causes Muffled Hearing And Mild Stabbing Pain In Ears?

Brief Answer: Need evaluation by ENT doctor if it persists Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for your query. 1. Your exposure to loud music was way over the safety limit. 2. This is the case in nightclubs around the world and people usually develop a temporary threshold shift in hearing, which normally resolves in 48-72 hours. 3. Since the hearing is worse now and the pain is more frequent, you should ideally visit an ear (ENT) specialist who can examine the ear drum and get a hearing test done. 4. If this is because an ear infection which is easily treated Or If an Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is a medical emergency as the hearing loss can become permanent. A simple set of Tuning Fork Tests (TFTs) can also settle the issue. 5. There may be no explanation as to why you were susceptible now, however you must use hearing protection at work. 6. Upload an audiogram or follow up after 72 hours. Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them. Regards.