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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Blocked ears

10/07/2009

Question:

Good morning!

I was diagnosed with acute otitis media by my PCP after three days with a cold and sinus infection. After 24 hours I returned to my PCP and was given Avelox, 400 mg qd.

My problem now is blockage of both my ears and continued stuffiness. I was told not to take psudoephedrine becasue it dries things up and the ears won`t be able to drain. But, they aren`t. I hear loud sounds, can talk on the phone, but it is begnning to get old and I would like some resolution to the problem.

I could live with the nasal stuffiness, but the lack of hearing is a problem. Is there any truth to not taking the decongestents, and is there anyything I can do besides watchful waiting for my ears to clear. If I knew a timeline (even approximate), I could deal with this better.

I am over the age of 50 so the otitis media seems strange.

Answer:

It is not uncommon to have your symptoms after a head cold. The timeframe is typically 2-3 weeks for fluid to clear from someone's ears after an acute ear infection or other illness. On rare occasion, people need to have their ears drained by incising the eardrum. But obviously if you do not need to go down that route, that would be preferable.

For more information:

Go to the Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Daniel   Choo, MD Daniel Choo, MD
Associate Professor and Director, Division of Otology/Neurotology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati