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quantum's avatar

Finished antibiotics and ears still plugged. How much longer will this last?

Asked by quantum (96 points ) April 10th, 2009

I have had a killer virus for two weeks now which filled me full of mucous. My ears have been congested for a week now with bad pain at first – getting much milder as other congestion has cleared. My ears were oozing mucous which prompted Azithromycin prescription – took last dose today. The pressure in my ears has lessened, but shows no signs of leaving. My hearing is greatly reduced from this congestion making it impossible to talk on the phone, drive a car etc. Has anyone had similar and how long will it take to clear? and another question, How do I know when my eardrums are healed from the rupture that allowed fluid release?

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11 Answers

ubersiren's avatar

Yick! Sounds like you need to call your doctor and tell him/her that you’re still super cloggy and it’s affecting your hearing and thus, your life.

If the pressure is lessening, what leads you to believe it’s not going away, if I may ask?

MissAnthrope's avatar

If the pressure is lessening, that’s a good sign. It’s probably going to take a while for all that stuff to drain out, especially if it was as bad as you describe.

I had a similar problem earlier this year, a bad bug that turned into bronchitis and an infected, plugged ear. I was prescribed Azithromycin, as well, and when I had finished the course of meds, I was no better than when I began them. I waited a couple of days to let the last of the antibiotics finish their course in my system and when I was still no better, I went back to the doctor.

I got prescribed a strong antibiotic, as well as Clarinex, a prescription allergy med, and she recommended Pseudofed to help with decongestion/draining the fluid in my ear.

Basically, I’d wait a day or two (the antibiotics don’t clear your system for a bit after you take the last pill) and see if you continue to recover. If not, I would definitely see your doctor. Pseudofed may help you, as well.

quantum's avatar

It is going away, but I’m just wondering how long it’s likely to take for the ears to clear so I get my hearing back.

Has anyone dealt with burst/ruptured ear drums? How do you know when they’re healed enough to get water in the ears again?

SeventhSense's avatar

I had the same virus. Sometimes we just have to ride it out.
The ears will clear, you’ve probably just blew mucus up the Eustachian tubes by blowing your nose hard. The Eustachian tube also drains mucus from the middle ear. Keep you head more elevated when sleeping. My ears were off and on for a couple of days. Drink tons of fluids and rest.
Question is, why are you contributing to super diseases by taking antibiotics for a virus? Colds are getting worse and resistant bacteria are increasing from the overuse of antibiotics.

Benny's avatar

If your eardrums were really ruptured it could take awhile to heal. Also, the Zithromax may not have worked. Go back and see your doctor.

YARNLADY's avatar

@SeventhSense That idea about what is causing colds to get worse and such is not a universally accepted suggestion. Some people even say it is caused by the anti-bacterial soap/cleansers we all use.

hearkat's avatar

Hello, I am an Audiologist.

A ruptured eardrum may or may not heal on it’s own. I am surprised that you were not also given ear drops to help kill the infection and aid healing, as that is typical with a burst eardrum. The Z-pack is a 5-day antibiotic course… but the medication remains active in your system for some time. It usually takes 7–10 days to start feeling better for a typical upper respiratory infection.

However, ruptured tymanic membranes are not typical, and I strongly suggest that you consult an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to get an expert opinion on whether yours is likely to heal on it’s own or if it may require surgical intervention.

The ENT should have your hearing evaluated also, to determine the degree of hearing loss, and also to determine if there may be some pre-existing inner ear loss that will help guide the decision on which treatment option to pursue.

I hope you feel better!

SeventhSense's avatar

@YARNLADY
Interesting point but it is a theory with a growing body of evidence in medical communities. Of course I’m not a doctor so Dr C or shilo would be better suited to respond.
And what happened to your ears young lady? Sunday is a special day for rabbits you know. :)

YARNLADY's avatar

@SeventhSense My calendar doesn’t have holidays on it, and I thought last week was Easter. I hardly ever know what day of the week it is, and even less often what the date is.

quantum's avatar

@SeventhSense I didn’t take the antibiotics because of the virus I took them because of the BACTERIA that were festering in the mucous in my ears and sinuses. This was the first time, in my 45 years, that I have ever taken antibiotics so I think my contribution to the creation of superbugs is minimal if anything at all.

@hearkat thanks for the information. I’ll make an appointment with an ENT.

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