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Ear infections causing permanent damage

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I developed an ear infection 3 months ago which caused my ear drums to bulge outward, with redness and ringing in the ears. Was prescribed an antibiotic which never really seemed to help.

After about a month the right ear just popped from using nasonex. Everytime i swallowed it would pop more and i could constantly hear breathing in my right ear and my voice echo, the day afterwards the ringing in the right ear was gone and same with the fullness.
I figured the left ear would soon follow but it never did. 2 months into the infection I had been to the doctor a couple times and he said he could see a small amount of fluid against the ear drum and to just give it a bit of time. 3 months into the infection I went back and he said he could no longer see fluid in there and that it was probably gone. How accurate is an otoscope at detecting fluid which would result in tinnitus?

Everytime I swallow I still have a crunchy noise in my ear, is that most likely gunk built up in my eustachian tubes or coulld it still possibly be fluid in there?

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replied June 22nd, 2010
Hi, I'm currently suffering from an ear infection as well, no where near as bad as yours though.

I'm surprised you haven't considered seeing an ENT (ear nose & throat specialist) if the problem is still present. If you have got tinnitus then it likely that you still have an infection and/or fluid in your middle ear. Just because the doctor can't see fluid does not mean your ear is not infected. Your symptoms sound like you've got acute otisis media. This basically means that you have fluid trapped between your middle ear and ear drum. the acute part of otitis media means that there is an infection caused by the bacteria in the fluid, amoxicillin is usually presribed in order to get rid of this. But it will not get rid of the blocked feeling and probably wont get rid of your tinnitus. Doctors normally tell you to just wait for about 3 months as thats how long it normally takes for the fluid to be naturally drained from the ustation tube. however, I would recommend going to see an ent who will perform a tympanometry - this measures the pressure in the ear and can indicate if the eardrum is ruptured. He should also use a relfecometry which can check to see if there is fluid present behind the ear. You could also ask your normal doctor to do these tests but some surgeries dont have the instruments to do them with.

If there is indeed fluid behind your ear then the ent specialist will likely recommend to get it drained. This is done by making a small incision through the tympanic membrane and then the fluid is drained from the ear.

Also, the fact that you're hearing things when you swollow could also suggest that you have a problem with your sinnuses, but again, the ent specialist would be able to verify this - i strongly recommend you go see one.

By the way, I'm not a doctor or anything, all of the above is just advice. But never take a doctors word as gospel, always do your own research. I hope what I've said can be of some use to you.
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