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Q. How can the ringing in my ears be treated?

Answered by
Dr. Vinay S Bhat
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 09, 2018 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

I have had ringing in my ears for two or three months. My doctor said it was an ear infection in both ears. I had two courses of Augmentin, but it did not improve. I had to change my doctor for some reason. The new doctor gave me Soframycin ear drops but when I went back to her for followup, she had changed her location. So, I went to a third doctor who said there were white balls in my ears. She thought it was a fungal infection and prescribed Bactrim DS and Candibiotic ear drops. When I returned, one ear had cleared up. She took a swab and then rinsed out my other ear finding a large amount of white matter like balls. I have just received the results of the swab which says it is not fungal and there were no known bacteria, but there was blood in the sample. So, they now think it is bacterial and want me to go back on antibiotics. The noise is sometimes loud and sometimes quiet, but it is always there. My hearing is not impaired at all but rather more sensitive than normal. My ears burn and throb at times but there is no great pain. Drops of vinegar and water help. I am not sure what to do. Please help.

Dr. Vinay S Bhat

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)
#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

You seem to be suffering from tinnitus which is nothing but a ringing sensation in the ears. There are various causes for tinnitus and the most common among them are a sensorineural hearing loss, Eustachian tube dysfunction, otosclerosis, ossicular discontinuity where ear bones become dislodged from their joints, chronic middle ear infection etc. But, the most common cause for ringing sound in the ear is a sensorineural hearing loss, probably age-related. Even unrecognizable minimal sensorineural hearing loss can cause disturbing tinnitus.

Usually, fungal or bacterial infection of the external ear will not cause tinnitus. It is unlikely that it is bacterial or fungal. Infection of the ear canal is causing the ringing sound in the ear. There may be a small perforation of your eardrum or there may be a collection of fluid in your middle ear which can cause the ringing sensation in the ear. There can also be ear blockage.

In that case, your symptoms should resolve with antibiotics within a few weeks. You should undergo pure tone audiogram to assess your hearing threshold. If there is a significant change in higher frequency hearing then that is the cause for your tinnitus. If your symptoms persist then hearing aids or tinnitus maskers will help you to overcome your problems.

There are other treatment modalities such as a tinnitus retraining therapy which can be helpful in some patients You should consider visiting an audiologist also after consultation with your doctor.

For more information consult an ENT Otolaryngologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist


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Thank you doctor,

How have I got tinnitus in both ears? Can the sensorineural hearing loss cause white discharge or blood from my ear? Can there be a build-up of fluid in my ear causing discharge or blood in the outer ear? Is it worth taking antibiotics?

Dr. Vinay S Bhat

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)
#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • I cannot be certain about the diagnosis without examining the ear, I think sensorineural hearing loss being most common cause for tinnitus needs to be ruled out. It is commonly bilateral. However, you need a physical examination of the ear to determine this. A sensorineural hearing loss will not cause any ear discharge. Infection in your ear may be an incidental finding associated with regular cleaning of the ears which might have caused bleeding too.
  • Another diagnosis is acute suppurative otitis media where pus comes out of the middle ear through a small perforation in the tympanic membrane. Though it is not commonly bilateral, it can occur in both ears. This condition can cause a ringing sensation in ears but usually, there will be an associated minimal hearing loss. Usually, in this case, the perforated eardrum will heal within a week of antibiotics but fluid inside the middle ear during periods of healing may take some time to resolve.
  • Unless the presence of active infection is confirmed, no antibiotics can help. Fluid collecting inside the middle ear without any perforation of the tympanic membrane does not require any antibiotics and usually will resolve spontaneously.

For more information consult an ENT Otolaryngologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist


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