Two weeks ago on Friday, April 8, I was hit with severe pain in and loss of hearing in my left ear, just suddenly. No buildup at all. One second I was fine, and the next I was in pain. I knew it was an ear infection immediately as a few weeks before I had a mild cold, sneezing a lot, and my voice got real deep for about a week. Then I had a week of no symptoms and the ear infection hit. Went to the store and got Sudafed. It did nothing, and I went to the ER because the pain was just unbearable. The doctor prescribed me hydrocodone for the pain, and sulfameth as an antibiotic, and she confirmed I had both an inner and outer ear infection in both ears.
I use a CPAP machine and continued using it through the weekend and I wasn't getting any better. I had a lot of hearing loss in both ears, it was horrible. I went to my PCP on Monday the 11th and he said Sulfameth won't do much for my ear infection but is great for urinary tract infection, so he gave me a Zpack. He also said my ears were the worst he had seen in a couple of years and told me to see an ENT. He told me to discontinue my CPAP for now.
On Tuesday the 12th I saw the ENT and he also said Sulfameth won't do anything and said to stick with the Zpack. He told me to stay off of my CPAP for at least 1 month. He said the pain would be gone in a couple of days from the Zpack, and it could take up to two weeks from the onset of the ear infection to get my hearing back. He also diagnosed me with bullous myringitis in both ears and told me not to force my ears to pop.
After a couple of days the pain went away, and then on Wednesday the 20th I got my hearing back.
However, I am still experiencing some symptoms that trouble me.
I can hear myself breathe, talk, and chew in my head. Occasionally I hear my pulse in my head/ears. My ears are constantly ringing, the last two days I get out of breath very easily just doing normal walking. When I wake up in the morning, I can feel the pressure in my ears and the longer I am awake, the more it balances. Every time I swallow my ears pop. I have a runny nose, but my ENT told me to blow very gently.
In fact I went to see him today for a follow-up and he did an ear balance and hearing test. He said I've lost some hearing, but it happened prior to the ear infection/bullous myringitis. He said my ear balance is ok for just getting over an ear infection, but it's not great. I have bad allergies, though my allergy attack hasn't been as bad this year as it is in past years. Normally I get very itchy, watery eyes, sneeze alot, and then I get extremely sick and once I get over being sick I don't have allergy problems anymore. This year, I just had the mild cold, felt fine, and then the severe ear infection and bullous myringitis.
He told me to use a neti pot to clear my sinuses, Zyrtec-D to the congestion, and he said he might prescribe me a nasal spray if it doesn't get any better.
I guess I'm just concerned that this will be permanent and I won't stop hearing the reverb/echo of my own voice, chewing, breathing, heart beat etc. It is so very annoying and frustrating. I just want things to go back to normal.
Any thoughts on how long this might last or suggestions on what else I could do?