For the past few weeks I've been suffering from a really bad cold and just as I was getting over it, three days ago, I was hit by an incredible ear ache. It started as loss of hearing then the pressure built up and I was in a lot of pain for hours on end, with severe pain in the lymph nodes under my ear. In the morning it finally let up a little bit, but was still sore, then I noticed some watery/bloody discharge from my ear, I took it easy that day and the next morning it was still hard to hear, but no pain. All the next day I had difficulty hearing, no pain, only discomfort and some yellowy discharge. That night I lay on that ear and I felt a lot of fluid moving around/popping in my ear. It felt like fluid was coming out of my ear, but not a lot came out at all...when I woke up in the morning I had lost virtually all hearing in that ear and it has lasted all day. The only way to describe it is that it feels like my ear is under water or being pressed closed. It's driving me absolutely insane! I'm also starting to feel some numbness on that side of my face...nothing I do makes the fluid 'move' or my ear pop.
Is this at all normal? I'm starting to worry that I've perforated my eardrum so I don't want to put anything else in my ear (I tried every method under the sun the first night) to clean it out....I also don't know what ear to lie on...the offending ear or the opposite one?
I'm currently travelling and cannot go and see my own doctor, should I see a doctor at a walk in clinic or will it have to heal on its own? How many days should something like this last? Is hearing loss this severe normal? Also, does discharge necessarily mean a break in the eardrum?
I've read practically everything there is to read about otitis media and it seems to be like that was initially the case, however now it seems to be blocked up on the outside side of my eardrum (although the fluid, if that's what I'm feeling, just won't come out!)...I can't be sure, but that's how it feels.