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What causes recurring middle and outer ear infections?

Hey! Ever since March I've been experiencing problems with my middle and outer ear.

1) It started from a simple middle ear infection of the right ear that went untreated for a month. After going to a doctor, I got amoxicillin pills for 10 days. The symptoms went away but came back pretty quickly.

2) May: I went to a doctor again, they took samples from my ear and the result was Enterococcus faecalis bacteria. I got ear drops with Ciprofloxacin since I already took amoxicillin which the bacteria turned out to me sensitive to.

3) June: My symptoms do not go away, and the doctors now say I do not have a middle ear infection but an outer ear infection. The ear is constantly 'wet' and the fluid coming from it has a weird smell. I have two samples taken from my ear on two different occasions. They come back negative for bacteria and fungi. I get prescribed Fluconazole for a week, just in case it is a fungus. I have a tympanography, which comes back normal. The right ear, the only one infected, also experienced a hearing loss. At this point my lymph nodes also get swollen (after an ultrasound the doctors tell me they come from the infections, and they're not cancerogenous). Also, my CRP tests come back, and they are 6 times above the norm.

4) July: I get a CT scan of my sinuses, and I'm scheduled for a surgery for my nose and sinuses. However I am told none of the symptoms in my ear come from sinuses and that my ears seem okay on the scan. The problems with the ear and lymph nodes only get worse.

5) August: I get the surgery, followed by a week long antibiotic therapy with Cefuroxime. The antibiotic also works for middle ear infections. However after 5 days I start having a pain, similar to a middle ear infection, but now on both of my ears. The doctors tell me that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my left ear, although it hurts, and there is some kind of inflammation in my right ear. I get a Triamcinolone cream to use for the ear which helps for a week, and then the pain comes back.

I have exhausted all diagnostic tests that come to my mind. My ears still hurt, my lymph nodes are still swollen, although CRP is back to normal.

Does anyone know what this could be? What could be causing this kind of persistent ear pain? Maybe someone had a similar situation.
1 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
Wow, that's a lot!  Your poor ear.  Are you able to work and function alright?  So, I do believe that ear infections are visible.  That they aren't seeing it currently and you are having pain leaves me scratching my head.  Is there any way that you have drainage going on?  Kids get ear tubes for this (and often when they have a chronic ear infection situation).  You have had lots of testing and are working with doctors so that is great.  I assume you are seeing an ENT? Does ibuprofen help at all?  If so, perhaps there is inflammation going on?  Doctors giving you any next steps?  

I had an inner ear issue with my Eustachian tube.  Big pain!  Tinnitus, ear fullness, decreased hearing ( I also had severe dizziness).  Reverse ear pops help.  (hold nose, blow gently, repeat and it will pop your ears.).  
1 Comments
Hey! Ibuprofen does work so there is an inflammation but I cannot keep eating ibuprofen pills every day :) One of the test I did is to see if the Eustachian tube is working alright, something about pressure in, and unfortunately everything is fine, so drainage wouldn’t work. Thank you so your answer a lot! Ill keep searching for an answer!
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