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Thread: Ear infection duration?

  1. #1
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    Ear infection duration?

    I know the only place where people understand is on this forum--I live on the East Coast and we had a horrid winter. My outdoor pool opened in late June. The day after I swam outside (glorious!) I woke up with pain in the left ear, then it moved to the right ear. That was 2 weeks ago! Went to the ENT and nurse practitioner (because one has to by DYING to see the doctor) sent me home saying it was ear pain from grinding my teeth. For a week I suffered, sleeping with a heating pad for the pain, before I went to the family doc. She said the ear was red and inflamed. Been on antibiotics since Monday and I am still in pain. Antibiotics usually "cure" me within days. I swam 2x in the last 2 weeks. It's torture to stay out of the pool when the weather is finally nice. How long can this last? I'm worried I may have chronic otitis media, since I had an earache that lasted a week in November. Prior to that, I can't even remember when I had an earache. I usually use drops when I get out of the pool, but have been remiss lately, and have paid the price, I guess. Of course, I suffer from vertigo, so I'm terrified this infection can affect my vertigo issues.

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    Re: Ear infection duration?

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    I know the only place where people understand is on this forum--I live on the East Coast and we had a horrid winter. My outdoor pool opened in late June. The day after I swam outside (glorious!) I woke up with pain in the left ear, then it moved to the right ear. That was 2 weeks ago! Went to the ENT and nurse practitioner (because one has to by DYING to see the doctor) sent me home saying it was ear pain from grinding my teeth. For a week I suffered, sleeping with a heating pad for the pain, before I went to the family doc. She said the ear was red and inflamed. Been on antibiotics since Monday and I am still in pain. Antibiotics usually "cure" me within days. I swam 2x in the last 2 weeks. It's torture to stay out of the pool when the weather is finally nice. How long can this last? I'm worried I may have chronic otitis media, since I had an earache that lasted a week in November. Prior to that, I can't even remember when I had an earache. I usually use drops when I get out of the pool, but have been remiss lately, and have paid the price, I guess. Of course, I suffer from vertigo, so I'm terrified this infection can affect my vertigo issues.
    It sounds like your infection is pretty serious, probably from being untreated for a week. Are you on pills, ear drops, or just one or the other? The worst infection I had, I was on both.

    My experience with ear infections has been that the milder ones take 4-5 days to clear up, and the more serious ones are closer to a week. Be sure you're out of pain before you try to swim again, and use ear plugs. After you swim, clean your ears carefully and use a drying agent (you can pick these up at pharmacies, usually they're just a solution of rubbing alcohol). If you use the re-usable type of ear plugs, clean those as well. If you use the disposable type, use a fresh pair for each swim. My worst ear infection came from giving a used pair of ear plugs the benefit of the doubt. (Yuck).

    If your pain/ pressure/ dizziness continue, try to see an ENT specialist. I had to see one a few years ago. Most of my vertigo issues are sinus-related.

    Good luck with all this. It stinks not being able to swim, especially now that the weather is finally improving. I live/ work in the Boston area, so I know all about that horrid winter.

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    Re: Ear infection duration?

    Hi Nancy,
    thanks for the info. I use a mix of alcohol and white vinegar USUALLY when I get out of the pool, but lately, I was missing some days.

    What ear drops were you using with the antibiotics? I have Ciprox (an otic steroid drop). I had used them initially, but the doc said it wouldn't help, since the infection is in the middle, not outer ear. But at this point, I'll try anything. Sometimes, i feel like someone is stabbing me with a poker in my ear.

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    Re: Ear infection duration?

    It's been 2 weeks now with this deep throbbing ear pain. I'm finished with my 1 week script of antibiotics and ear drops. Pain is less but still constant. I can't believe this is happening now that the outdoor pool has finally opened. How long can this last?

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    Re: Ear infection duration?

    You really need to see your doctor (or a different doctor if you feel like the first one isn't helping). Not sure what could be causing the ear pain, but if you've finished your antibiotics, you should be okay. One possibility is that the antibiotics they used didn't kill off the bacteria, and your ear is still infected. I've had a couple of bacterial infections where the doctor had to try a couple of different medications before they found the one that would kill the bug. Good luck!

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    Re: Ear infection duration?

    Hi Nancy, after visits to one ENT, my family doctor, and a 2nd ENT, it turns out I had an abscess in my ear! No wonder I was in such pain. He lanced and drained it, and I"m on CIPRO, and ear drops. Within hours, the pain was gone. It's scary that a simple thing like that required 3 different doctors to discover. Of course, no sun, no alcohol and no swimming. Happy 4th of July, right? At least there's a rainbow at the end.

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    Re: Ear infection duration?

    Quote Originally Posted by renie View Post
    Hi Nancy, after visits to one ENT, my family doctor, and a 2nd ENT, it turns out I had an abscess in my ear! No wonder I was in such pain. He lanced and drained it, and I"m on CIPRO, and ear drops. Within hours, the pain was gone. It's scary that a simple thing like that required 3 different doctors to discover. Of course, no sun, no alcohol and no swimming. Happy 4th of July, right? At least there's a rainbow at the end.
    Wow! Glad to hear the cause of your pain was found at that you're feeling better.

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