Chronic Ear Infections. . .rant

Lounge By AuntieElle Updated 24 Aug 2007 , 3:43pm by Star_dust_girl

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AuntieElle Posted 19 Aug 2007 , 3:12am
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icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif I am 31 and am suffering from recurring ear infections. I have never felt so sorry for a child in my life! This is my 5th ear infection this summer! I went to an ENT on Friday with my ear canal almost swollen shut (had to have an ear wick placed to get the antibiotics in). This Jack A$$ (pardon the language but I am wayyyy over this) tells me to stop scratching my ears with my nails! I do have acrylic nails but they are very short! What kind of resolution is this to my problem? I wear ear plugs while in the pool and bath. I have tried a solution of vinegar and alcohol, diluted vinegar and it burns so bad i cannot take it. My ear canals are RAW and it sets me on fire. I've tried several other otc items to no avail. The pain is not taken seriously at all by this jerk ENT. I am a nurse and have tried every remedy I know of. I don't want to continue with antibiotics to that point that this infection becomes resistant! short of vinegar, alcohol and sweet oil, any suggestions. I am dying here! I am tired of taking lortab! I prefer not to take narcotics but that seems to be the only way I can get relief. so for now lortab and moist heat for me. TIA for suggestions!


16 replies
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sweetness_221 Posted 19 Aug 2007 , 3:42am
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Personally I would recommend taking antibiotics for it. I had an ear infection a couple of years back and normally I wouldn't take anything for it, but I also had a sinus infection and an eye infection. (Thanks to my 3 yr old DD) My Dr told me that my ear infection was the worst one she had ever seen in an adult. Anyways within a couple of days of taking the antibiotics my ear infection was gone. If you are having recurring ones I'm wondering if there isn't another problem that's causing them. I know ears get infected when fluid builds up. Are you having any sinus problems? If so maybe you could take something to clear up your sinuses which would take away the fluid behind your ears and then it should clear up on its own. (if it's not too bad.) I've also heard that you can use peroxide to clear them up. Not sure if it works. I would assume it would definately be less painful then alcohol or vinegar. I do know that there are some over the counter drops (homeopathic) for ear infections. I haven't used them, but I have seen them by the ear cleaning stuff at the pharmacy. HTH.

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lynda-bob Posted 19 Aug 2007 , 4:29am
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I'm soooo sorry you are going through this! I had an allergic reaction not too long ago and was miserable. I say this because, kind of like what Sweetness stated, I wondered if it has to do with sinuses or allergies. I know my children were constantly getting ear infections before they were tested for allergies and put on medications. Since then (about two yrs.) they haven't had another infection. They are on Zyrtec, Flonase and Singulair. HTH icon_smile.gif

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JRAE33 Posted 19 Aug 2007 , 12:59pm
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My son, who suffers from many food and environmental allergies, had recurring ear infections for a year. The peditrician finally sent him to an ear, nose, and throat doctor. Have you seen one? For my son, he had tubes put in and hasn't had a problem with his ears since. Never heard of an adult needing tubes, but that doesn't mean it's not possible?!

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TheCakerator Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 8:16pm
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well thankfully I have never suffered from ear infections, however my older sister always had them as a child and she did also have tubes put in her ears and it wasn't long ago that she actually went to the ear doctor and had some sort of surgery done on her ear canal and hasn't had any ear infections since ... but one ear canal I do believe is a little bit bigger of an opening now then the other ...

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shooterstrigger Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 8:57pm
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If the alcohol/vinegar mixture burns it's because you haven't cleaned up the infection yet. It won't sting a healthy ear. You have to get the infection 100% clear then you can start trying to maintain. I have the same sort of issue. I have to put the vinegar in my ears EVERY time I get water in there. Miss once and get an infection. The point of the alcohol is to dry the ears. You can also try using a hair dryer on LOW. The vinegar will help kill the bacteria but it is too weak if you have a full blown infection. Try the antibiotics again and as soon as you finish the treatment go back to the doctor and get a confirmation that the infection is 100% clear. If not they can help you with the next step. If it is clear you can focus on keeping you ears dry to prevent infection. Use the 50/50 vinegar/ alcohol EVERY time it should not burn. Ear plugs seem to make the infections worse for me. I also find I have to keep my hair pulled back so the air can get into my ears better. It's all about keeping the water out. It doesn't sound like to me that you have ever gotten the infection cleared up to begin with. Good luck. I know it is awful. I am 32 now and went through the same thing for 3 years before I found a way to control it. Even now I have to be dilligent; if I miss once I start back at square one.

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mommykicksbutt Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 9:33pm
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Is your "ear infection" and infection of the ear canal, the inner ear, or the Eustachian tube?

Infections of the ear canal are usually due to scratches but just because the quack may have noticed your acrylics doesn't mean you swab your ears with them.

My 22 y.o. daughter has had chronic ear infection all this year and is having surgery to implant PE tubes and to remove the regrowth of the adenoid tissue that is choking off her Eustachian tubes (which are still horizontal and not slanted as they are supposed to be in adults). My hubby is a physician and says topicals will not work for inner ear infections, you'll need oral antibiotics and a hard hitting one at that (if it is not an infection of the canal).

Seek a second opinion, my daughter did, the first ENT she saw told her it was her imagination, then my husband called the head of the clinic and got her a different ENT, that doctor scoped her (used put a tube camera) and confirmed infections, regrown adenoids, and the underdeveloped Eustachian tube!

hope you get this resolved

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momthreekiddos Posted 20 Aug 2007 , 9:43pm
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Have you had a culture preformed? The culture will tell whether this is a BACTERIAL infection or a FUNGAL infection. Both have two VERY different treatment/therapys.

Also, the culture will show (in the event of a bacterial infection) exactly what strain of bacteria has decided to "camp out in your ear" and your doctor will be able to prescribe the exact antibiotic that is used to kill that particular strain.

My house is the KINGDOM of chronic ear infections, with two princesses suffering from them. (My 8 year old has had 32 documented infections and is on her 6th set of tubes and my 4 year old has had 13 documented infections and is fixing to have her 2nd set of PE tubes placed.) Over the summer, both my girls had a very antibiotic resistant strain of bacteria that took 6 weeks of oral and otic drop antibiotics to clear.

Hang in there........and request a culture if you have not had one yet.

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imagine76 Posted 21 Aug 2007 , 3:23am
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holy smokes! i feel for you. i had 'em chronically as a kid and have only had a couple as an adult. my older 2 kids were lousy with them too. the second one has tubes in. this is rediculous that you have to live with this pain and irritation. you probably should see someone another doctor if this one isn't aggressive enough with treatment. it is affecting your quality of life!! have you tried antibiotics? a z-pac clears up my sinus infections (of course i've had to ask for diflucan with that too -ugh!) i know with my son -the kiddo with tubes, they gave him some big, thick, painful shot in the butt of antibiotics.

i guess i'd advise you to see another doctor who will be aggressive and get it taken care of rather than put anything into your ear. youch!

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AuntieElle Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 12:04am
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Thanks you guys! I went to another ENT today. I have been on Cipro po & Cipro HC ear otic. It is finally bearable! I am gonna have a few tests ran to see what is going on. I have sinus issues as well and he feels like they are related. Both my husband and myself are nurses but ears are not my area of expertise! I appreciate all the tips! It's looking up!


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bitofsnshn Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 1:22am
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i know the feeling. I have never had such a bad time with ear infections. I will tell you one thing i did finally figure out. I trully believe the building i worked in had something to do with it. I went from being a ver healthy individual to having double ear infections with each cold, numerious colds, sinus infections, and then i got bronchitis.

I changed jobs and have yet to have a cold or any ear infections in over a year.

You might want to look around and see if you are around anything new that could contribute.

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imagine76 Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 1:34am
post #12 of 17

oh, i'm glad you're feeling better -at least a little bit. now that you mention it we have some of those ear otic drops floating around the medicine chest too. i hope it gets ALL cleared up soon! keep us posted.

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MichelleM77 Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 3:37am
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Wow, that just stinks. My son had chronic ear infections when he was younger, but thankfully never had to have tubes. I can't imagine having them now and having to deal with everyday life, a job, parenting, etc. I would be a bear! icon_smile.gif

You know, it just might be your nails. Acrylic nails, no matter how short, are famous for harboring germs. It's possible that there is a gap between your naturla nail and the acrylic and that is where those little guys like to hang out. Ick.

Saying this quietly as to not offend: Nurses at my hospital weren't allowed to wear nail polish, let alone acrylics. It might be worth it to take them off for a while and see if it helps.

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JRAE33 Posted 22 Aug 2007 , 1:29pm
post #14 of 17

Elle- I'm so glad to hear you are getting some relief! There's a good chance your sinuses are playing into the ear infections so once that gets treated hopefully your problems will go away.

I know, through my sons experience, that sinuses, ears, and even asthma all go hand in hand. Because my son has seasonal and food allergies, he has having a lot of drainage (and the allergy medicine can't take it all away) and his ears were unable to drain causing the infections which in turn would trigger his asthma. This went on for about a year before he got his tubes. While he was dealing with it all, his asthma was SO bad he was taking up to 4 different types of steriods, sometimes on a daily basis. He put on so much weight because of all the steriods and every time he'd be active at all he'd have an attack. Can you imagine a 5 year old boy who really couldn't play without an asthma attack?! He had his tubes put in in April and has not had one ear infection and only needed his rescue inhaler twice. It's amazing!

I'm glad to hear your ENT has an idea of what's causing and can work on taking care of it! Jodie

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dldbrou Posted 24 Aug 2007 , 1:59am
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I grew up with chronic ear aches and tonsilitis. I saw an ENT that told my mother to stop cleaning my ears. She was pushing the wax back into the canal and my ears could not drain properly. I eventually had my tonsils taken out by laser surgery when I was 21 and the doctor told me that the veins in my tonsils were to small to carry the antibotics to the infection so I never got rid of the infection. I had sinus surgery a couple of years ago and have not had any ear problems since. It turns out I have barametric allergies as well as mold allergies. My problem with the barametric allergies is that you can not get away from the weather. I laugh at the weather man on tv and his dopler radar stating that we will not be getting rain and I know by how much my head hurts if it will start raining during the night or the next day. I also had to have ear wicks put in my ear to help clear up the infections, so I feel your pain and all I can say is keep taking the antibotics and once it clears find out what the cause is. Good Luck

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Star_dust_girl Posted 24 Aug 2007 , 3:41pm
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Take your child off of all dairy. This has solved the problem for every child I know who has chronic ear infections. Soy Milk will be just as good.

Good luck!!!!!

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Star_dust_girl Posted 24 Aug 2007 , 3:43pm
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Opps, I didn't read your post carefully enough. Thought we were talking about a child. Sorry that you are going through this. But, going off dairy could help you as well. Good luck.

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