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Avatar universal

Reduced hearing from scar tissue on ear drum

When i was younger, between the ages of 6 and 12 i had 2 full sets of gromits (ear tubes) and an extra one in my right ear. Last year i had an ear infection, my ear drum burst and while the doctor was checking it out he told me that i had a lot of scar tissue from these 3 operations. He gave me antibiotics and told me to return if i experienced anymore hearing loss (my hearing has always been subnormal in my right ear since these operations).

Now, i'm starting to realise that my hearing has infact gotten even worse, but considering it's due to this scar tissue i don't know that anything can be done about it? I don't really want to waste the doctors time if this is the case, does anyone know if there's anything that can be done with scar tissue to improve hearing or what the doctor is likely to suggest?
24 Responses
Avatar universal
Oh and i'm 21 now, if that makes a difference
Avatar universal
I had grommets put in last year in September, I went for a check up today and my doctor said that I have a lot of scar tissue forming on the ear drum and need to address it quickly, or the effects will become permanent. Because of the scar tissue my hearing is way less than normal. Like being under water all the time.
He gave me a months worth of prescriptions for ciproxin and said if I don't take them it could become permanent.
By guessing what he said I think the effects are permanent and theres nothing you can do about it, but definitley try seeing a ENT about it, maybe there is something you can do.
Avatar universal
I had 5 sets of ear tubes between the ages of 5 and 13.  It resulted in my ear drums shredding during the last set of tubes.  I have a 35% overall hearing loss with more on my right ear.  I ended up having my ear drums rebuilt (twice on my right side).  My hearing improved to the 35% level but never will get back to normal as a result of the scar tissue and constant ear infections.  I have not had an ear infection since I was 21 (I am now 30).  The best thing to do is to address the problem with your ENT as soon as possible.  That will give you a better chance of getting the best hearing you can.
1061534 tn?1276702061
I don't know where your doctor is getting his information...but I completely disagree with what you have written there.  Antibiotics are NOT going to remove scar tissue.  There is no data to support what he is advocating and for "months"?  Ridiculous.  The scar tissue on/in your ear drum may or may not even be the cause of hearing loss.  Who made this conclusion for you?  Were other causes considered and ruled out?  Many people have a fair amount of scarring in their drums and have no measurable hearing loss.  If indeed your ear drum is completely scarred and hearing loss has resulted, there is not good evidence that surgically replacing it would solve the problem.  These people will often reform the scar tissue.  But, that may not even be your problem.  Don't take the medicine -- see an ENT specialist.
Avatar universal
I just had surgery yesterday to take out what my ENT thought was a Cholestiatoma. When they opened my ear they found that the culprit of my hearing loss was actually scar tissue that had built up from having a few sets of tubes when I was about 4- 8. I am now 28. The scar tissue was covering the opening of my eustatian tube in my right ear, which was keeping my sinus' from draining on that side, which caused a build up of this material behind my ear drum. This was more than likely the reason for hearing loss as well as the fact that I get sick almost every month.
Avatar universal
Hi, i have had 3 lots of gommits put in whilst i was a child. They kept falling out, this may have been to do with swimming at school as the teacher made me even though i had told her i was not meant to.

Anyway the doctors at the time said they would not put anymore in and that was that. All though school i had been told off for not listening and only when older i knew to sit at the front of the class.

I am now 29yrs. I have noticed my hearing is getting worse and now to the point that it is important for me to hear at work and in general.

I went to a Doctor to examin my hears and was told in his words that much eardrums had be BUTCHERED. He said the person who had put my grommits in had done a very bad job (maybe a student) and left lots of heavy scars. Also on one part, in one ear, has a very thin like window in the eardrum and if to burst would lose hearing.

Aparently the earing behind and in the ear is fine, just that the eardrum has so many scar that it is too heavy to vibrate and therefore i only hear very high of very low noise. if calm and soft noise then the vibration of the noise is not strong enough for the heavy scared eardrum to move. If i have this right, he said my ear behind the eardrum wont hear the noise as the eardrum is to heavy to vibrate from a weaker noise.

So now i am left with a hearing aid which i hate as its the new didital type and gives me such head aches for days after using it that i only put them in when i know i need to listen to someone important.
I had ask for the adjuments to be turned down or to try and suit me but the doctor said that was the lowest setting and i just have to get used to it.

i have hear about a treatment where they put a metal, almost like a hearing aid inside the head?? But im worried about been close to the brain or side affects as im not sure how new this is?

The doctor said one ears has really bad hearing the other ear is boarder line or just under normal. Im not sure what opperation he had in mind but said as one ear is almost O.K. then not to opperate as i may end up worse.

Sorry for the long message but i hoping there is someone out there who can help advise me what to do? If you know all i know you may be able to help me more?
Avatar universal
It sounds like these ear tubes are the stupidest thing's you can possibly put in your ears. If there's constant problems with them, why do these specialists continue to put them in? I've had 4 or 5 sets put in my ears over the years, last time being when I was 12 or so. I also have a 25% hearing loss, but it doesn't bother me - because I've gotten used to it over the years. I've never noticed my hearing get any 'worse'. I'm 19 now.
Avatar universal
Hi. Firstly to klmoss - i think the operation your thinking of can be known as cochlea implants. They are a small device inserted into the ear; here's a site with more info http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/coch.asp.

My story ... as a young child 5-11, i had 2 sets of grommits as a child aged 6+10 and when i was 11 they re-assessed my hearing. My left ear had perfectly normal hearing but my right was bad. Both of my eardrums have scarring on them but my right ear is affected worse than my left. At the time they said the only thing they could do was to give me a hearing aid. I turned it down as i was quite determined to get on with life without it; so i stopped going to my check ups. Now im 19 and on a health career path and i find i need my hearing more. Im now going to head back to my GP to see if there is anything that can be done and i was wondering if anybody has any success stories to do with re-stored hearing, cochlea inplants and other ear drum surgery.

Hannah  xx
1061534 tn?1276702061
I think the hearing aid being discussed here is likely a bone-anchored hearing aid (BAHA) as opposed to a cochlear implant.
What is BAHA?
Ha sorry my bag,BAHA was the bone-anchored hearing aid,but I have not heard of this,just the cochlear implant.
Avatar universal
I started having ear infections when I was an infant and by the time I was 19, I was having over 89 ear and tonsil infections per year. I started losing my hearing when I was around 10 years old. Nerve deafness runs on my mama's side of the family. By the time I was 20, I was fitted for my 1st pair of hearing aids and by age 23, I had to have my tonsils and adenoids removed and tubes put in both ears. I was 3 months into infections and 3 antibiotic treatment with no success. They fell out after 2 years and I started having ear infections again. At age 25, I had to have tubes put in both ears again. My hearing kept getting worse until my husband and I took a stand in the ENT office and demanded to see another doctor because mine told me that I was between a rock and hard place after treating me for infections I wasn't having and said I had to just suffer with the severe pain in my ears. The second doctor saw me within 30 minutes and done some test to reveal that I have very thick tissue aka severe scar tissue in my right ear causing me to lose more hearing. The only options was to have surgery to remove my eardrum and rebuild it from scratch. I have a 50/50 chance of it stopping the pain and regaining just a slight amount of hearing back and a 50/50 chance of it back firing and causing the pain to worsen and to go completely deaf in my right ear. I am now 30 and have to wear 2 BTE hearing aids for moderate to severe hearing loss. I had to turn my right one up this past summer. Since I've got 100% chance of going completely deaf anyway, I'm thinking about having the surgery since this doctor has done thousands of this particular surgery and has done this over 34 years. My tubes have fallen out now and the doctor left a hole in my right ear drum to act as a drain port without the tubes. I have Sensorineural hearing loss with speech discrimination.
Avatar universal
My pediatrician does not recommend tubes or antibiotics for ear infections. He sends his patients to a chiropractor because they can adjust the child and drain the ear. I feel so very fortunate to have him as my ped doctor even more after reading these comments!!
Avatar universal
Hi all! I know this thread is a bit old but I found it searching for info on ear scarring. I just wanted to say that I have been told I have scar issue on my right ear drum and I had/have hearing loss BEFORE I had this scar tissue. I never had problems with my ears until I was about 30 and I had a series of bad ear infections cause by heavy wax buildup (my ears swelled up). Honestly I never had wax problems before (once and a while I might used to used those drops but very rarely) and it just sort of came out of no where. I had to go to doctor to have them flush my ears out with water (i didnt know at the time I could go to audi and have that tool). Anyhow, my hearing started diminshing over the next few years and I was diagnosed with moderate hearing loss and was told I needed hearing aids. I think I was 32/33 years old. So, being a vain single girl, I wanted the ones you couldn't see - smaller the better (bad enough I had to lose my hearing earlier in life after really not having any ear problems before - I didn't want people to see them esp. at work). So, I got the CIC ones - hard to get use to but my long hair covers them up. Anyhow, fast forward to the future - about a year ago, I was having problem with my right aid buzzing because a piece came off the speaker - it was driivng me nuts. Unfortunatley, my aids are old and I have no insurance or job to get new ones so I am stuck dealing with them until I do - I can't get them repaired because well, no one has the software to adjust them anymore! (they are digital). I was trying to adjust the aid to stop it from buzzin (my ear canal in my right ear is narrower than my left - they had to angle the aid alot) and I shoved it around too hard and the wrong way and I felt a sharp pain. My ear was sore for a bit but than seemed fine - I could still hear with my aid in so I didn't think anything of it. A few weeks later I couldn't hear too good out of it with the hearing aid and it water from shower seemed to not drain fully out of that ear anymore. Even though I already had hearing loss so it always feels like my ears are "full" and I am "under water" - I can tell the difference. I thought it was wax but drops didn't help (I have liquidy wax now - and they never seem to help anymore). So I went to my audi and they said my ear was cloudy so I needed antibiotics so I had to go to another doctor (low cost clinic) to get an antibiotic (I think it was ciproxin too) and it took two weeks to completely clear it. (even though the doctor said to take it only for a week - i could tell it wasn't back to normal so I finished the entire prescription. Now, I make sure I wear a cotton ball when I shower but this doesn't help because than I have no way to keep my ear clean from all that wax. After it cleared up, the doctor rechecked my ear and said I had scar tissue on that ear drum which no doctor had told me before so I am guessing is from this incident. She said I should go and see an ENT - but ha, of course I can't - no insurance. So I stuck dealing with this. Now, I have problem with that ear. I am careful not to get any liquid in it because it seems to get trapped somewhere and causes this problem. Right now, I have the SAME thing going on again - it feels clogged up, no pain but clogged -  and I am going to have to go back to the doctor to have my ear checked. I can't tell if it is wax or if it is the ear drum again. It seems like there is nothing else to be done but always take antibiotics for it??? It is real pain in the neck. I do worry that my hearing in that ear will get even worse. But I just wanted to tell my story just to say that I don't think the ear drum scarring has made my hearing any worse - my hearing already is bad! But it does seem to be that having scar tissue on your ear drum causes other problem that warrant visits to a doctor. I wish they would invent a thing where you could look at your ear yourself - this way I can tell if it is wax or not so I know which doctor to go to and don't waste time and money.  Plus two weeks of antibiotics is a real pain - I already take medications for other ongoing problems so having all the extra pills to take is hard. I wish they would invent one that works faster.
1993497 tn?1327012713
I have had 11 tubes, my ear drum lances 6 times and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd stage mastiodectomies (sorry for the poor spelling.) On my left ear. I have had chronic ear infections since I was 3. And now I am 42. My ear is finally healthy for the past 5 years. But due to so many surgeries I am only left with about 10% hearing. At the time of my last surgery, the 3rd stage mastiodectomy. My ENT specialist told me once my ear is healed I could consider a surgery to improve my hearing. Even though I have been accustomed to being almost deaf in that ear. I am considering the surgery. If anyone knows the details of this procedure. Could you reply to my post? What does the surgery do, if I will have to stay in the hospital or if day surgery. And how many days I would need to take off if work. Thank you. Greatly appreciated if you can help me with my questions.
Avatar universal
I had these too. We all get different skilled doctors on this. The tubes are more required when you are at the borderline of an infection popping your eardrum and it is clogging the ear nasal. Sorry if I used the wrong words. I would have lost my hearing if it was not for it. Losing a bit of my hearing is worth from losing it all. I have about 10% lose left and 33% on the right. We can't blame past technology when we needed it at the time. Thank you modern science and war! :)
Avatar universal
Please read their experience with it first!
You can find many on WebMD site!
3244820 tn?1346934956
I am thirty two years and I have had ear problems since I was an infant. I went to one ENT for years and he kept giving me antibiotics. My ear drained a nasty dicharge. Finally when I was about eight years old my parents brought me to another ENT Dr. he put me on antibiotics and said I had to have emergency surgery. I have Chlolestioma in my right ear. I had the surgery it never went away it came. Then I had the same sugery about two years later. It came back again I delt with it draining till I was twenty seven years I was finally sent to a University hospital. It had gotta so bad they had to drill a big hole in my skull where it had spead and rotted everything out of my ear and part of my skull. They had to open my earlobe to make sure if it comes back they can get right to it without surgery. They did a wonderful job it hasn't drained since. I have had on ear ache since. (I lived with ear aches my whole life) When I had the surgery they put a tube in the left ear cause I couldnt hear out of it. I felt like I was under water. Well the doctor told me it was an eight year tube. Here recently I got  an infection and couldnt get rid of it. I went to the ENT and my whole eardrum was purferated from the tube. He pulled it out gave me antbiotics and I just (three weeks ago) had another surgery to rebuild the eardrum. I have extreme hearing loss in both ears he doesn't understand why but when he went in my ear it was worse than he thought he had to drill bone in that ear too and my nerves are dead and he says the eardrum  will not work cause the nerve endings are dead. I am down 65% in both ears. Next week he will do another hearing test so I can get two hearing aids. I am having a very hard time ajusting to both ears being out. I always depended on my good ear. I thank God my cousin does hearing aid for the veterians and she had a sample hearing in her desk. She adjusted to my hearing. I still cant hear that good but it certainly help alot. I am still recoverying from surgery. I am very excited about the hearing aids but worried about my hearing loss.
Avatar universal
When I was 7 i was sent to to get my hearing assessed, turns out i was completely deaf in one ear and 85% in the other. I got my grommets inserted, which was successful as i was no where near as deaf as i was but had to wear hearing aids. when my doctor told me I no longer needed them as awful as it sounds I was glad to get rid of them before starting academy.  I am now 19 and was just referred by uni to get my hearing checked and turns out I'm still 30% deaf in both ears, and have scarred ear drums but I don't know how that happened or why? Can anyone help me? :)
Avatar universal
I had grommets as a young child from glue ear and now only have a small amount of hearing loss (mostly the very low tones and some very high).
Recently I started getting persistent ear infections again which took 3 weeks worth of antibiotics to clear.
Then the doctor said I had a large perforation in my right ear so referred me to an ear nose and throat specialist to get it sewn up. Anyway when I got there he said it wasn't a perforation at all but a very very thin part of my ear drum (like a window)  probably from having grommets and my gp couldn't tell without his microscope which is more powerful.
Anyway my question is why do my ears hurt, particularly where the large window in my ear drum is? The ENT couldn't tell me just said to take pain killers!
Avatar universal
I read this string of posts hoping to get a feel on the chance of success or improvement in ear health and hearing for my son. He has had numerous ear infections that were only discovered at well-baby visits because he had no pain and did not cry, so I did not know there was any problem. At age 5 he had tubes in both ears, with the thick fluid suctioned out of the middle ear at the time of surgery. His left ear cleared up and is fine, but his right ear is still a mess. He's now 14 and his new ENT is recommending reconstructive surgery to get rid of the scar tissue in the outer ear canal and on his ear drum. He only has mild to moderate hearing loss with no nerve damage and no cholestoma (sp?) and I'm not sure if the surgery is worth it. Does anyone have any experience with something similar? Should we wait on surgery and just have his ears monitored on a regular basis?
Avatar universal
So I just got an email alert about this post from so many years ago! In case anyone is interested I eventually went to my doctor a couple of years ago who referred me to an ENT specialist. I had my hearing tested twice and the result was that there was basically nothing they could do.

The specialist said that there WAS a difference between my hearing in each ear, such that I would notice it, but not enough to warrant hearing aids. The only other thing he could suggest was "Auditory training"! So I'm putting up with it, luckily I work somewhere now that it's not so important.
Avatar universal
Scar tissues are generally developed due to infection in ear. The surgery is carried out in two phases most probably.
Avatar universal
I am 13 and I have had problems all my life and I have had 2 sets of Gromets and 1 set of T-Tubes and I have lots of scar tissue and a slight bit of nerve damage. I have also have lots of ear infections.
Avatar universal
I am 13 and I have had problems all my life and I have had 2 sets of Gromets and 1 set of T-Tubes and I have lots of scar tissue and a slight bit of nerve damage. I have also have lots of ear infections.
Avatar universal
my son had t stents put in in 2012 and in jan 2014 at a outpatients appointment the doctor decided to pull one out to which my son was screaming in pain with blood pouring out of his ear. This caused a retraction in the ear canal (collapsed). I then wrote and complained and was sent a letter taking him off the doctors books because i had complained. I then called to ask about the other one in his other ear and was told this would fall out. In the last year he's had 13 infections and after numerous requests by me he finally got to see a specialist last week who confirmed the ear which he pulled the stent out of is collapsed and in the other ear there is still a stent with a big hole (perforated eardrum) and a large growth which they state is skin which grew to try and repair the hole but it is now fully pressing on his eardrum and it is infected. He needs 2 operations 1 to remove all the infection plus possibly infected bone due to the pain in his face, neck and head and then 1 operation later on to rebuild inside his ear. I am disgusted with the lack of treatment and the way he's been treated. Today he was in so much pain he had to go back and have the growth cortarised to try and reduce the pain and pressure. He is in school and missing so much due to this issue
All of these ENT's should have stay in medical school longer! from reading all of these post,adults should never get ear tubes and some children too! fed up!!
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