In the last 4-6 months I have noticed I am having trouble hearing people talk, even when they are sitting across from me. Occasionally I can hear some tones (voices, music, etc) better than normal. Not quite sure how to describe it properly...if someone has a lower voice in general I can barely make out what they are saying, it just sounds like they are mumbling and I know they aren't, whereas someone with a high pitched voice I can hear, for the most part I think. In general though, I feel like I just can't understand what people are saying half the time. If someone speaks to me with my back turned, forget about it. It just sounds like mumbling, or that their words are slurred together. If there are noises in the background from the tv or radio, I have an issue too. Just recently, in the last few days, my ears have become more sensitive to loud noises (horns honking, people laughing really loudly, or even people carrying on conversations and a level a bit higher than normal) they hurt and I'm getting minor headaches. I am very aware of my ears at all times now. People have been asking me to speak up lately, but to me it sounds like I'm speaking loud and clear.
I did ask my GP about this, and she looked in my ears and said my eardrums looked slightly swollen, and prescribed me Flonase, an allergy nose spray and to take Claritin daily, although my allergies have never been so bad as to warrant that. Nothing seems to be helping so far, and it's really starting to hurt me at work as I work in a bar, and if I can't hear my customers orders...
For the record, I'm a 28 year old female, and this has only occurred in the last 6 months. The only other odd incident that comes to mind with my ears is that about a month and half ago, I woke in the middle of the night and there was a clear, slick fluid coming from both ears. Since then occasionally my ears will pop for no reason repeatedly, causing my voice to sound like it's booming in my head, and my ear (it varies although I'm inclined to say my right) will clog up momentarily.
I have the same issue, along with degenerative hearing loss. Just recently however, I have noticed mine getting worse. I can't tell where a noise is coming from and I have to see peoples lips moving to understand/process what they are saying. I know for a fact that my ears are worse when there is fluid on them. I irritate my husband because I talk so soft, but I try to explain to him that inside my head it is so loud!
I now have tubes in my ears and they have been a life saver. I seriously could not live like I was living before. The pressure left my ears and I also hear much better.
My Life Savers:
1. Keep water out of your ears! They get enough fluid on their own, stop putting more in them. I have to use ear plugs everyday when I shower. You can get them in the pharmacy department--they are little balls of wax that seal your ear.
2. Keep using a nose spray (the prescription flonaise didn't work as well for me as the OTC Vicks nose spray did) and I also use an OTC decongestant along with a prescription of Allegra.
3. Find a good ENT and have them do a hearing and pressure test. Don't mess around with the hearing loss. Get to a specialist and make them do the pressure test! I am a huge advocate of tubes--they have changed my life.
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