Hi, I'm a 25 year old female and I've been experiencing ear troubles since I was about 15-16. I went on a vacation to Eastern Canada in mid-March and came home with the worst ear infection ever. Both ears were painful and had a slightly orange discharge. Went to the doctor who said that it was just an infection and prescribed regular ear drops. After a few weeks the initial pain went away and then starts what I've been experiencing for the last 10 or so years. I first started to notice something when I was unable to get my ears to adjust to pressure changes (elevators, airplanes, hill country etc) and often feel the need to "pop" my ears constantly throughout the day without any major elevation changes. I also have really bad headaches and pressure issues when it is really humid outside. The easiest way to describe what it feels like is to say that my brain feels like it wants to burst through my ear canal. These pressure problems have been occurring since the initial infection. Fast forward some years and now I've been experiences hearing loss, ringing in my ears and severe headaches. These started about 2 years ago. I've been the the ENT who checked my ears and did a hearing test. Apparently both are fine. Although I know for a fact that my hearing isn't the greatest because I missed half of the words that I was supposed to repeat back during the hearing test because although I knew there was a word I couldn't hear it clear enough to know what the word was. The ENT told me my ears were fine and that it was a jaw issue. My work dental coverage doesn't cover anything over basic cleaning and cavities so I went back to my family doctor who suggested I get a jaw x ray. I just got the results for that last week and apparently that too is completely fine. The only other thing that my family doctor has suggested is seeing a neurologist and perhaps getting a CT or MRI to see if it's something to do with my brain rather than my ears. I do have a family history of brain tumors (my great uncle, grandmother and aunt all died of a brain tumor) so they want to rule out any chances of that. I do work in a job where I use a telephone and the volume has to be up to max just to hear the other end of the line. I also have a co-worker that has a very soft spoken deeper voice and unless I'm within a foot of him, I can't hear a word he says. I'm really out of ideas as to what the cause could be. I'm literally in pain or pressure at all times. As I am sitting here typing this right now my ears feel as though they need to be "popped" and I haven't changed elevation at all. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
When you can hear "something" but you can't make out the words .....it's a different type of hearing loss. I cannot remember the actual medical name for it, but my ENT explained it to me like this....you have a difficult time understanding the english language, your brain doesn't interpret it....so, I read lips. Try and look at ones mouth instead of the eyes when having a conversation. As for the phone, I have a ring amplifier and an amplifier in my earpiece as well. It helps, but not 100%. I was born this way.
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