What Should I Do? Ear Infection and Fluid in the Ear

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (Archived Answers)' started by Robert44, Jun 3, 2015.

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    1. Robert44

      Robert44 Member Benefactor

      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud concert
      Hi, I have T on my right side and then I got an ear infection in my left ear. Now I have fluid in the ear and ringing on this side. My ENT told me it could take awhile for the fluid to drain out. I hate this terrible feeling. The ENT said that the ringing in the left ear should go away eventually. What's your opinion and experience with this? Also is there a chance that this T on the left side will stay because my brain will " lock into it". If that's true should I have the ENT drain it out by making a tiny hole in the ear drum to get it out ? I think it's called Tympanostomy? Should I have him do this so my brain doesn't lock into the T. It's been about a week and a half since I go the ear infection. Thanks, Robert
    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      My opinion is that tinnitus is a "brain thing" and not an "ear thing." We hear it in our ears (and occasionally in our head) ... because that's where we hear everything, yes? I mean, it would be quite something to hear it in our toes!

      More than that, I tend to agree with Mr. Jonathan Hazell when he says that the brain tends to put our tinnitus in the weaker ear. By that I mean we tend to hear our tinnitus more in the ear that detects external sounds less. In your case, since the fluid in your left ear is temporarily diminishing its ability to detect external sounds, you are now hearing your tinnitus in that ear as well as in your right ear. I suspect that when the situation in your left ear returns to the status quo, your tinnitus in that ear will diminish in intensity in accordance.

      Yes, but I suspect that will not be the case - because from what you tell me likely there is a straightforward correctable mechanical problem causing it. Often such fluid resolves on its own. Sometimes a steroid decongestant is prescribed. And sometimes (as you note below) a tympanostomy becomes necessary.

      I would defer to your ENT's best judgment in that regard, since he or she has examined you and has a better idea of what's going on than I. If in doubt, get a second ENT opinion.

      Hope this helps.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler

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