I woke up a couple of days ago with a full feeling in my left ear and "distortion" of sound as heard in the left ear. It feels as if there is a second source in my ear especially for higher frequency sounds. I went to my primary care physician and she says that my ears are both clogged completely with wax and that clearing it up should help - she asked me to come back tomorrow after having used Debrox for flusing... Anyway, I made an appointment with an ENT but the earliest one I got was a couple of weeks from today. I am a bit anxious though that this may be something more serious. My other ear is perfectly fine and I have no other symptoms. By the way, I have had mild tinnitus for many years now and it has not bothered me much. But now the tinnitus in the left ear is quite loud.. Let me know if you know what may be going on. Thanks in advance.
If the wax cleaning did not clear up your problem, go see an ENT immediately. Sudden hearing loss (or distortion like you mention) should be considered a medical emergency. Call the ENT office back, tell them what you just wrote (you woke up with distorted sound in one ear), and ask to be seen the same day. PCPs usually don't know that such situations should be evaluated right away to make sure it's not a sensorineural (nerve or inner ear) problem.
Thanks for the comment Nancy. The distortion was gone after flushing a couple of days ago but now it is back. I will call the ENT office and check to be seen soon. My theory before was that the ear canal size changed due to the impacted wax and so was probably resonating to frequencies different from before.. Although my ear was flushed, I suspect more is remaining.. But I probably need to see the ENT sooner..
For the benefit of others with a similar problem who may read this - the distortions are gone. Thanks to Nancy's suggestion I found an ENT with a quick appointment. The ENT said it may just have been some residual wax still remaining in the ear that was probably giving the distortions (he referred to them as "reverberations" which is probably a more accurate term that "distortions"). I never knew something as innocuous as ear wax could produce these sound effects but this was an interesting (albeit anxious) experience..
This story doesn't have a happy ending unfortunately. A couple of weeks ago the distortions came back and I felt a full sensation in my ear. I had to go back a couple of times to the same ENT and he said it is probably Meniere's. The distortions went away and came back again this week with fullness in the ear and dizziness... My question is, is there a recommended list of Meniere's specialists in the Princeton area? I did not like the ENT I went to at all. He did not want to engage with me and preferred just writing notes instead of talking.
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