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Nursechatter's avatar

Any suggestions on how to get relief of ear fullness after tube placed?

Asked by Nursechatter (2points) May 27th, 2010 from iPhone

I had a PE tube placed 2 days ago and have never gotten relief of the fullness. This is my second tube and after the first one I felt better instantly. I am taking sudafed pe, amoxicillin, nasocort & allergy pill. I called my MD and spoke with his nurse and she says to give it more time but this is driving me crazy!!!
Any suggestions on what I can do to get relief from this full feeling in my ear and would love to be able to hear!?!

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6 Answers

marinelife's avatar

You need to give it more time. Two days is not enough. Try waiting 7–14 days.

hearkat's avatar

Hi, I’m an Audiologist.

Your experience with the first PE tube is what is typically reported – instant relief. However, there are occasions when it can take a little longer.

DId they give you ear drops to use post-operatively? When is your post-op follow-up with the surgeon? Will a hearing test be part of the post-op exam? (If it’s not routine, I suggest that you request it under the circumstances).
If you work in health care (since Nurse is part of your user name, and you used the term PE tube, which most people outside of health care don’t use), do you know of someone knowledgeable with ears that could take a peek in that ear to see if anything looks out of the ordinary?

Nursechatter's avatar

I am a nurse and have had it looked at and the tube is open. I have my follow-up visit in 2 weeks….not sure I can stand this feeling for 2 more weeks!
And yes I did get drops to use twice a day.
Thanks for the suggestion.

hearkat's avatar

@Nursechatter: Again, I suggest that you ensure that you will have a hearing test at the time of your post-op visit, and maybe ask if they could bump it up by a few days.

I hope it resolves quickly!

Nursechatter's avatar

Can you tell me what you would be looking for with the hearing test?
Thanks again.

hearkat's avatar

@Nursechatter: The tympanogram would measure whether the tube is patent or not. You are also complaining that you’re not hearing on that side, so it would document the nature and degree of the loss. These would help give insight on why you have not noticed improvement and what needs to be done next.

PE tubes are a very common procedure – I remember reading a statistic when my son was getting them (15–18 years ago) that circumcision was the only procedure that was performed more often in the US… but that doesn’t mean that everything goes right 100% of the time – that is a statistical impossibility with any procedure – nothing and no one is perfect.

That is why pre- and post-op hearing tests should be routine IMO, to ensure that the cause of the loss is indeed fluid behind the eardrum before the procedure; and that the tube is doing what it should after the procedure. Documenting the nature and degree of loss and post-op changes is good for both the surgeon and the patient. In nearly 20 years of practicing, I have seen some of those rare instances when the outcome wasn’t ‘textbook’.

If you do have the expected improvement by the time the appointment comes, you can always cancel the hearing test; but if you don’t, it will help give you and the surgeon some answers as to why not, and information to determine the next plan of action.

Hopefully, everything will resolve on it’s own before then, and this will be a moot point. Keep following your post-op instructions as directed regarding the use of the ear drops, taking any pain relief, and the application of heat, such as a hot water bottle against the ear, to soothe the discomfort. Feel better soon!

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