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Dr Brims
Dr Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 9611
Experience:  MD
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Ears are clogged and cannot hear. I have sinus congestion.

Customer Question

Ears are clogged and can't hear from sinus congestion. I've had off and on since Jan 13th, about 6 weeks now. Cleared up from first round of antibiotics, but sinus congestion returned a few weeks later. This time I couldn't taste or smell. Doctor gave me second round of antibiotics, medrol pack for swelling. Am also taking Claritin D and mucinex and am doing sinus washes. After a week, Can taste and smell a little better, but still coughing and sinus drainage. Also, still can't hear after being on the antibiotic/medrol regimen for a week now. Are my ears ever going to drain clear so I" can hear?? Should I see an ENT??

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.

Hello,

I can understand your anxiety. Hearing difficulty is likely due to blocked Eustachian tube secondary to infection at the sinuses. Ear, sinuses, eyes, throat are connected to each other. Infection or inflammation spreads easily from one place to other if not controlled in time. A evaluation by ENT doctor is needed for sure. Few investigations like X-ray followed by CT for sinuses, blood tests will give us the severity. May be a throat swab will help to see for the causative organism and thus can decide on appropriate antibiotic needed. Till than warm water gargles with pinch of salt/ steam inhalation help to reduce inflammation and so the symptoms. Hot soups {chicken to be specific} helps as well. Have balanced diet, adequate fluid. Please do not worry, you will be fine soon. God bless

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Guess I just don't understand why fluid won't drain. Surely after amoxicillin, augmentin and prednisone to reduce swelling, the fluid would be gone by now.

Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.
Hello,
You are right. The medicines should have cleared the tube for sure. We need to see for any other cause obstructing the tube or pressing over it. We also need to see for the cause which is causing recurrent infections {abnormality at the meatus or sinus anatomy}. CT will give us more answers.
God speed
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Now you're scaring me...you mean like a tumor??
Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.

Hello, Please calm down. I did not mean to scare you. Tumor is less likely with symptoms you gave. But a further evaluation is must considering repeated symptoms {not responding to antibiotics/ steroids}. Good luck

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Would it help to try sinus washes again?
Expert:  Dr Brims replied 6 years ago.
The sinus wash should be used daily, up to 3 times a day to help the drainage and prevent the build up of mucus. I also recommend you return to an ENT for him to use an endoscope to visualize your sinuses, and determine if there is still any residual swelling and/ drainage

many times, after there is a large amount of swelling and inflammation, polyps form, which are like bumps, they are not cancer, but just occur due to a lot of swelling. They are often a cause of obstruction. (I had them). They may have caused this, and may still need time to shrink
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Just checked with ENT that have seen before over the phone. He said to continue the Prednisone until finished. Also take Benedryl and he prescribed a Gentomycin nasal spray. "Continue Mucinex (guafinisen) and plenty of water. Also alternate Tylenol and ibuprophen. Said sometimes it takes several weeks for fluid to drain. Wanted to see me but have mid terms and can't come when he has an opening. In the meantime he said to do all of the above and try to go to the Student Medical Clinic on campus to at least have someone look in my ear and evaluate sinuses. Also will continue the sinus washes. What do you think? Will this fluid eventually drain so I can hear again? My sense of taste and smell has returned, but still can't hear. Like an echo in there.

Expert:  Dr Brims replied 6 years ago.
I have personally suffered from bad sinus inflammation (had 3 surgeries), and I can tell you is it very likely for the fluid to all drain completely, and your hearing will return to normal. It may take weeks (It took 6 weeks in me), so you must be patient
Dr Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 9611
Experience: MD
Dr Brims and 3 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

That sounds encouraging. Will try to be patient. Do I need to go to the doctor and have ear checked. I have no pain. Just can't hear very well. My shedule right now is horrendous with my classes and mid term exams.

Expert:  Dr Brims replied 6 years ago.

Sounds like a good plan. Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns on this topic.