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RETRACTED EARDRUMS
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RETRACTED EARDRUMS

My ENT says both my eardrums are slightly retracted from ETD,  had them checked twice and got different results each time he says it's because it's so minimal - but I can definitely feel the difference.  He gave me antihistimines and said to check back in a month.  How long does this usually take?  Is it dangerous to keep letting it go as it is?
Tags: eardrum
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Brian.

I had the problem for months with no abnormality in testing.  There really isn't any danger to it if it is mild, as it appears yours is.  The pain is the worst.

You can try a 3 day rotation of Afrin (or generic).  Three days of using Afrin followed by not using afrin for 3 days.  Never use Afrin for more than 3 days as it can cause rebound congestion ("addiction").  You can do this several times.  My ENT was more agressive giving me prednisone, but since I have asthma and I am on pred a lot I didn't take it.  Pred is good at treating the inflammation fo the eustacian tubes that is causing the presure not to equalize.

Feel better.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your advice.  He did give me a six day dose pack of steroids - I notice my ears seem to flutter more now - don't know if that's good or bad.  
Did your problem just go away on it's own?  No loud pop or anything?
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Avatar_f_tn
My symptoms have improved, but have not completely gone away in both ears.  I have had a tube put in one ear.  It seems that I challenge every medical professional that treats me.  My ENT was at a loss of what to do with me because my presure readings normalized after a few weeks, but I still bad symptoms that indicated I needed tubes.  He said that I was a 50/50 case.  50% of patients are helped by tubes in my situation and the other 50% aren't and have them removed.  He finally suggested putting the tube in one ear admitting that it was a toss of the coin, but that at least that way I would not be risking hearing loss in both ears and have the chance of improvement in one ear.  

If my symptoms return like they were last fall, we will immediately put the second tube in.  (Despite the fact that I am very resistent to local anethetics (they just don't take on me), I would go through that again for how much better the "tubed" ear is than the other one.)

Hopefully the dose pack will work for you and you won't need further treatment.  You can try popping your ears (gently) by blowing with your mouth closed and nose held shut.  That would cause a pop.  Mine never popped, however they do click ocassionally when I swallow.  You might also try a decongestant or an NSAID like ibuprofin.

Take care.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have retracted eardrums in both my ears. Been that way since I was born. I don't take antibiotics for them unless ibget an infection. Most of the time living with it is fine except decreased hearing compared to a healthy ear. The only problems so far I have found is drafty windows during winter /fall have a tendency to increase temporary hearing loss and increase risk of infection.  Battling that I have found hot herbal tea usually helps normalize the pressure. Pain usually heralds the beginning of an ear infection. Keep them clean and warm, placing a warm mug against the outside of the ear helps too.
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