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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Ear Problems
Ear Problem [posted 1/11/99]
Answer: Sure, but you may experience ear pain. Take some gum to chew.
Broken Ear Drum [posted
Answer: Yes, they usually heal themselves, but, need to be monitored to ensure they heal completely. Dizziness usually diminishes over time. Hearing loss may or may not.
Ear Draining Problems [posted
Answer: Well, it might, but, people with this type of problem often need mechanical drainage, even tubes like children get. It is one of those drugs we use because there are limited options which work.
Ear Popping & TMJ [posted
Answer: Claritin is a fine antihistamine;but, doesn't dry your secretions as much as traditional antihistamines like benadryl, chlortrimeton, etc. I would take Benadryl 50 mg every 8 hours for 4-5 days. It will cause extreme drowsiness.
Ear Problem [posted 7/17/98]
Answer: The carotid artery goes about 1/8th inch behind the ear drug. Consequently, one will often hear flow through the artery and this really doesn't mean anything. Usually, I get an ultrasound to rule out any narrowing (stenosis) of the artery since this should be followed/fixed depending on the severity. However, the test is usually normal.
Answer: You will need to see an ENT specialist to determine the flexibility and problem with your ears. Occasionally, drainage with a needle through the ear drum will help since long term secretions tend to turn to a jelly like material. Recurrent ear infections are a clear indication for tubes--regardless of age. I send several adults for tubes each year. There are few things to try after what you have done.
Answer: The itch is probably caused by you and your cotton swabs. Your kindergarten teacher had the correct advice: Never put anything in your ears except your elbow and only wash with a washcloth. The wax is in your ears to prevent infections called otitis externa (swimmers ear) and manipulation with cotton swabs and excessive washing will cause this infection. Then as the ear is inflamed and trying to heal itself it begins to itch. (Similar to a scab that itches before it comes off). Continued irritation prolongs the healing and the itching. Stop cleaning your ears. You may need antibiotics for your ears, so if it persists see your physician. Get out of the habit of sticking anything in your ears. If you need the wax cleaned to hear let a physician or nurse do it and follow it with antibiotic drops to avoid further irritation and infection.
Answer: I'd surely get a second opinion and preferably from another ENT who
specializes in this type of surgery. This is a little too specialized for me to be able to
tell you the answer. I guess my bias would be to leave it alone unless it has been more
than 6 months. What are the consequences of leaving it open?
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