General Question

MissAnthrope's avatar

Should I be concerned that my ear has been plugged up for 3-4 days?

Asked by MissAnthrope (21491points) October 3rd, 2008

I’m not prone to ear infections and have only had a couple in my life. I had a cold for a week, started to get better, then got hit hard by another cold. The first cold, I happened to have a doctor’s appointment and she checked my ears and they were fine.

The second cold has been more unpleasant. I’ve had a sore throat every day since it came on (five days ago); the sore throat is now pretty mild, but still there. My lymph nodes on my neck are sore. Both my ears were plugged up, my left one is now fine, but my right one won’t pop. I started having some mild pain in my ear, but I wasn’t sure if it meant it was getting ready to pop or what.

I just want to know if it’s within the range of normal to have an ear plugged for so long, or should I go scurry to Student Health?

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30 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Scurry. It can’t hurt.

shilolo's avatar

This isn’t an emergency, but you should go get it checked out. Probably just some fluid in there +/- an infection, but it can’t hurt for someone to take another look. Also, you can try taking a decongestant like sudafed to help alleviate some of the pressure. Still, there is no substitute for an exam. Hope you feel better.

poofandmook's avatar

wax plug? Doesn’t being sick cause one to produce more wax?

MissAnthrope's avatar

Thanks, shilolo! I had you in mind while wondering this. I just discovered that Student Health has no weekend hours, yay! So I guess I will try a decongestant and if it’s not resolved, hit the clinic first thing Monday.

Snoopy's avatar

@alena Add some Advil/ibuprofen to that sudafed….


MissAnthrope's avatar

Yeah, that is not at all a bad idea. Thanks. :)

richardhenry's avatar

This is so strange, I’ve just been through the exact same period of cold, getting better, more cold. My throat is still a bit sore, and the hearing in my right ear goes through phases of almost okay, and then really dull; like having an ear plug in.

I’ll book an appointment…

MissAnthrope's avatar

Weird! That is exactly what I experienced/am experiencing. Hope you feel better.

richardhenry's avatar

My left ear has been okay though. And yeah, you too! We’re practically illness buddies.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Out of curiosity, do you tend to sleep on one side of your head more than the other? I do tend to sleep on my right side more, I’m wondering if that’s why the one ear instead of the other.

richardhenry's avatar

I sleep on my right mostly I think, but occasionally wake up on my left. It varies I think.

I’ll book with the doctor, and post the results back here.

hearkat's avatar

I’ve had a head cold this week and my Right ear wouldn’t pop today. As an Audiologist, I’ve tested myself enough times that I can guage how bad it is. So I didn’t bother testing today because I knew it was just retracted a bit but not outside of the normal range, because my hearing was only slightly muffled. My Right side sinuses and ear are always worse when I’m sick or have allergies… I suspect that I have a somewhat deviated septum. When I’m stuffy, I will turn over in the bed, and wait for the mucus to start to shift, and then blow my nose when it’s in the middle!

If your hearing comes and goes, it’s likely to be pressure changes from Eustachian tube dysfunction. But if it seems substantially plugged and stays that way, it’s more likely to be fluid. As Shi said… the only way to know for sure is to have a professional examination.

Adding to Sudafed and a pain releiver, you may want to try Mucinex if you have a lot of congestion… it seems to help my body break up the mucus better. Hot tea or soup or a shower also help me loosen up and eliminate mucus.

Alena and Richard, I hope you both feel better soon!!

judochop's avatar

I’ve had a fever for five days. Plugged ears and a sore
Throat. It’s going around.

Salty's avatar

When I get a ear problem of any kind, or a cold or a virus of any kind, I put hydrogen peroxide in my ears. and let sizzle for about 10 minutes on each side and usually the next day I am way better, and on the road to health again.

poofandmook's avatar

you all get away from me!! I can’t get sick!!

hearkat's avatar

@AlenaD and JudoChop:
Just checking into see if your symptoms have improved of if either of you went to a Doctor. I hope it is the former; but if it is the latter, what was the outcome?

MissAnthrope's avatar

Thanks for checking back in. I just got back from my doctor’s appointment and I have a relatively nasty ear infection and bronchitis. I got some strong antibiotics and cough syrup with codeine, so hopefully today is my first day on the path to recovery.

It’s about time, anyway, it’s been like 3 weeks that I’ve been sick.. and 8 days that my ear’s been plugged up!

Thanks to everyone else who chimed in. :)

Nimis's avatar

Wow, crazy. Hope that concoction kicks the infection and bronchitis in the butt.

gailcalled's avatar

@AlenaD; Delighted to hear. Now repeat after me, “Next time I will not wait for 3 weeks. Hurry, scurry.”

MissAnthrope's avatar

@Nimis – Me, too! Thanks. :)

@gail – I know, I know! But what can you do when you have no money? I’ve been removed from my classes because I’m still waiting for financial aid to go through, so I couldn’t go to Student Health.. my mom, having great timing, just sent me some money, so I was able to go to a sliding scale health clinic with cheap prescriptions. :)

hearkat's avatar

Hopefully you’ll be feeling better soon! Remember to take the antibiotic consistently as directed, and to complete the full course – even after you feel better – so the infection doesn’t come back. And as always… lots of rest and plenty of fluids (hot soup and tea – steam opens you up).

judochop's avatar

I am on day eight of fever and though my throat is no longer killing me I have developed an awesome chest cough! I am calling the doc again in the morning. The pennicillian I am on has done nothing but give me acid reflux.

richardhenry's avatar

While I still haven’t had time to book an appointment, I had an amazing yawn this morning and my ear very loudly popped. I can hear again!

It’s been a pretty strange experience, and I am definitely re-appreciating how important the ability to hear is. (The deafness was that bad.)

My sore throat seems to be on the way to clearing up too, which is good. Luckily I’m pretty sure I don’t have an ear infection; it feels fine now.

I’m off to London for a few days as of tomorrow (FOWA), so if things get worse I’ll probably have to drop into a doctors there, but I think I’m good now.

Get well soon AlenaD!

richardhenry's avatar

Oh, and I’ve been drinking plenty of tea! Google for a company called The Simple Leaf. They’re really great.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Oh, Richard, you are so lucky! I am on pins and needles, just waiting for the moment I can hear out of my right ear again. I totally know what you mean.. it is that bad.

I’m glad you’re feeling better. :)

hearkat's avatar

@RichardHenry: I hope I’m not too late (not date/time stamp means I don’t know when you’re leaving for London!)

Go to your local drug store and buy a pair of EarPlanes… they are specially filtered ear plugs that allow the pressure to change more gradually, so the ascent and descent are less painful to your ears.

Have a great trip!

poofandmook's avatar

My boyfriend used those on the trip to Florida… he feels it for days after a flight. He was perfectly fine.. they work great.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’m on my third day of antibiotics (Z-Pack) and have been wondering when I can expect my ear to pop. Anyone have a guess?

HelloTiffy's avatar

So… when did it open?

MissAnthrope's avatar

I totally forgot about this question. Man, this was SUCH an ordeal. I developed bronchitis and had the plugged ear thing going as well.

I did one round of antibiotics (the Z-Pack), which didn’t even touch the bronchitis or the ear. The doctor was stupefied. My breathing and coughing were actually worse and she thought I might have pneumonia (the chest films showed only bronchitis).

She then put me on another, longer round of a super-strong antibiotic along with pseudofed and Clarinex (prescription allergy medicine) to help aid in draining my ear.

I really had wanted a dramatic POP after having a totally plugged ear for a month (yes, a month!), but instead, it just gradually got better over the course of a couple weeks following the second round of antibiotics. :)

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