I am 21. 2 weeks ago I woke up with a high pitched sound in both of my ears, pressure in both ears, and when I swallow they both crack.
My local GP was closed so I rang the NHS help line, they said it was a head cold and that the sinuses were most likely swollen, and was told to take ibuprofen. I was worried so went to A and E and the doctor I saw said they couldn't see anything wrong with my ears, but said my tonsils were enlarged, he also said it was a head cold.
When my local GP opened I went there, and they said I have fluid in my ears, and my eardrums looked dull, and gave me a prescription of Sudafed (the one with pseudoephedrine) enough to last 8 days, she said to take those and it should go away in a week or 2. She also took my blood pressure which was fine. I have not had a hearing test, but I have not noticed any hearing loss.
Its been over 2 weeks and its still the same. I have also kept buying sudafed and have been taking 3 a day the (recommended dose) Not sure if it's dangerous to keep taking these or not? Also I have found I'm not feeling very hungry, but I'm guessing that's because of the sudafed. I cant tell if the high pitched noise is getting quieter or if I'm just getting used to it. Also the only thing that has changed really is that now sometimes I can feel something in my ears move, possibly the fluid? or maybe the sudafed loosening things up, but other than that they still crack and I can feel pressure.
Im wondering, does anyone think that it is fluid in my ears causing this? Is there anything I can do to help it? Should I keep taking Sudafed?
There are only 2 things that have been shown to take care of middle ear fluid (effusion). Time and myringotomy (with or without ear tubes). Those medicines would make sense on the surface, but studies do not support their use.
I went to a different GP yesterday. I did not mention my previous diagnosis from before. I explained my symptoms as I had with the others. She looked in my ears and said they looked fine, no fluid or anything wrong!
She then tested my hearing using a tuning fork, she put it to my forehead to feel the vibrations but I couldn't feel them at all, she tried 5 times but I still couldn't feel it, she also tried it on herself, which she could feel, so the fork was fine. So we ended up just placing it next to my head to see how long I could hear it for, which was fine, my hearing was good.
She then pressed around my eyes which hurt and was uncomfortable. So now she has told me I have sinusitis, she said this is causing the ringing, crackling and pressure. There is no sign of infection and I haven't been in contact with anything out of the usual that could be causing an allergic reaction. She feels my lack of heating in my house has lead to this. (my house is rented student accommodation that is really old and too expensive for me to use the heating)
I then told her about the other diagnosis I had be given by A and E and my other GP, she was surprised about the ear fluid, and was shocked I was given such a large dosage of sudafed, she also said it probably made it worse using them for so long and that sudafed wouldn't of helped. She said there isn't really much I can do to help this, she told me to steam my face everyday, and to have a glass of water in the room, or a humidifier and it should go in a few weeks. I hope this is correct, I've been told 3 different things, also each did different tests.
I do appreciate your skeptical, deliberate approach to this.
Assuming what was found in the past was true, then it would appear that your middle ear effusion (fluid) resolved.
The tuning fork testing that you report is somewhat odd. You should definitely be able to hear a vibrating tuning fork placed on your skull -- assuming that it is of the right frequency (commonly, these are either 512hz or 1024 hz) and has been struck sufficiently. Regardless, your hearing probably is fine.
Pain with pressing over the sinuses (frontal or maxillary) is NOT how one diagnoses sinusitis. Certainly people with sinusitis will commonly have pain or tenderness here, but this is not sufficient. You said it yourself -- "there is no sign of infection". Her advice otherwise seems reasonable and may help you.
All I can say is this: if you continue to have problems, you will probably need to skip the GP and try to get in to see an ENT specialist.
Thank you very much for your reply, I really appreciate your advice. I will continue with the steam and humidifier and I will go back to my GP later this week and see if I can get a referral to see an ENT specialist.
A few days before Christmas I went back to see another GP, on his files it said I had Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, which my previous GP did not tell me (she said I had sinusitis, or do the two go hand in hand?)
He gave me a steroid nasal spray, i was told if my ears didn't get any better after this he would refer me to an ENT specialist. At this appointment i also discussed another problem I had been having, i had been bleeding every day since the end of October, which I was then given iron for. (After a quick Internet search some sites mention low iron can cause tinnitus noises to be heard, not sure if that is true?)
Over the next few days, I wasn't sure whether is was the iron, nasal spray or steaming, but I felt the tinnitus was getting quieter, definitely in my left ear.
On Christmas day I started to feel a bit ill, had a slightly sore throat, and after a few days I had developed a nasty chest infection. A few days into the chest infection, I was lying on my front, then I sat up and my right ear went bang! And the tinnitus noise came back as loud as it ever was, but only in my right ear.
I went to see my GP, he looked in my ears, the left was fine but the right eardrum was very red. He then gave me antibiotics for my chest infection and ear.
Gradually the noise has gotten quieter, I now only can here it if I am in a quiet room, or have my head to the pillow, but my ears still crackle a lot when i swallow, not sure whether it will get much better, and am yet to see an ENT due to moving, but I am hoping to soon if they will still refer me.
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