Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

No Good. **sniff** Can't Hear Ya.

Ever since I got sick back in January, I've had a stuffy ear. My left ear feels like someone has their finger in it, or like I have some kind of earplug stuck up there.

The radio, the TV, even people around me have to turn up the volume in order for me to hear what they say. It's really annoying, considering I lay on my right side in the mornings, so when the alarm clock goes off, I barely hear it. My hubby probably wonders why it takes me so long to turn it off.

This isn't the best of news, seen as how I don't have the World's Perfect Hearing in the first place. I'm constantly asking "What?" "Huh?" etc. of the people around me. Many times, I'll ask "What?" a couple of times, and even if I STILL didn't hear what they said, I'll pretend like I did, because let's face it. People get upset when they have to repeat themselves a bunch of times. The last time I got my hearing checked was when I was a child, and the audiologist said I had "exceptional" hearing. I'm not so sure...

Maybe it's the lower frequencies I can't hear very well, ie. men's voices, because I rarely say "What?" to my female friends.

But I'm tired of being stuffy for weeks on end. Therefore, I made an appointment for the ear, nose & throat doc to take a look. I've been researching on Google, and there are references to something called "glue ear" which sounds pretty gross, actually. But it has all the symptoms I have. Of course, I'm not a doctor. Basically it happens when the tube that goes from your middle ear to the back of your throat closes up. The skin on the inside of your middle ear is just like the lining of your lungs. So it absorbs the air in there. If the tube is plugged, it creates a vacuum, which in turn, sucks this thick, viscous liquid out of the skin, filling the middle ear cavity.

Basic treatment employs the "wait and see" method. Saying most cases clear up by 3 to 6 months.

Screw that. Who wants to be half deaf for that frickin' long?!? In extreme cases, they do a procedure where they place a small shunt in your eardrum which drains the fluid and when it heals, the shunt falls out and your eardrum is back to normal. If the fluid is from an infection, they'll give you antibiotics. Problem is, I don't think I have an infection.

I'm predicting the doctor is going to charge me an exorbitent amount of money and say, "Let's wait and see..." However, just to make sure it's not compacted earwax (eeww) I'm going in. I'm also going to see the audiologist again and have another one of those nifty hearing tests. Joy of joys.



At 6:48 AM , Blogger Denise Patrick said...

Good luck, Becka. I understand what you're going through - I just hope your story doesn't end like mine.

When I was pregnant with my son, I had a miserable head cold. The stuffiness was so bad, all I could hear was the "snow" noise like the TV. After a few days, I was fine, but my left ear hadn't cleared up, so I went to the doctor. Long story short - they have no idea what happened, but I had completely lost my hearing in my left ear. I have been completely deaf in that ear for 18 years now. I have a hearing aid, but rarely wear it.

Praying for better news for you.

At 3:04 PM , Blogger Becka said...

OMG, Denise, how horrible!

I've done some research online, and the websites say if you have recurring "stuffy ears", it can permanently damage your hearing.

Right now, I do have the tinnitus in my ear (where you hear the hissing or ringing), but it's still pluggy. Now my other ear seems to be joining in on the fun, but it's not as bad. Every now and then, my plugged ear will "pop", but it's not popping like when you go up to a high elevation. It's a different kind of "pop", like my eardrum is pushing out and in, not like my ear is trying to pressurize itself. Because when it "pops", nothing happens. Usually when your ear pops, it's because it's equalizing pressure. Mine does nothing. But I'll hear it and get all excited! And then nothing. **grumble grumble**

I really hope it's not permanent. I'm sure it's not. **crosses fingers** But one thing I did notice was that all of the ear websites I visited "assumed" the ear infection and/or stuffiness was in a child. Don't adults get ear infections too? I was miffed they didn't have info on adults.



At 8:04 AM , Blogger John said...

I've got glue ear and have found the following treatment very effective although it is not a cure as such.

Glue ear treatment link


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