Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Whole New Light on Ear Infections! OUCH!

Okay, so Thursday night I started feeling some pressure in my cheek and right ear, and just kind of mentioned it to Keith and went about the night. At 2am, I woke up the pain was so bad I almost really considered going to the emergency room, it felt like my ear was going to burst. I finally took ibuprofen and fell asleep at 5. Went to the doctor on Friday and found out I had a double ear infection!

What is a middle ear infection?

A middle ear infection is an infection of the air-filled space in the ear behind the eardrum.

How does it occur?

Ear infections usually begin with a viral infection of the nose and throat. For example, a cold might lead to an infection of the ear. Ear infections may also occur when you have allergies. The viral infection or allergic reaction can cause swelling of the tube between your ear and throat (the eustachian tube). The swelling may trap bacteria in your middle ear, resulting in a bacterial infection.
Pressure from the buildup of pus or fluid in the ear sometimes causes the eardrum to tear (rupture). The eardrum is a thin membrane that separates the delicate parts of the middle ear from the air and moisture in the ear canal.

What are the symptoms?

You may have one or more of these symptoms:
earache (YES)
hearing loss (YES)
feeling of blockage in the ear (YES)
fever (YES)
dizziness (YES)

And I may have had additional bouts of cries, whines and complaints according to Keith.

So, I started the antibiotics, vicodin and still took ibuprofen. For 3 days all of this did nothing. I took vicodin after giving birth and it helped, but it didn't help with my ear!! Went back to the doctor yesterday and got a new round of antibiotics and some prescribed ear drops, and finally today I feel somewhat normal. I still can't hear out of my right ear, but the doctor said that could take up to 2 weeks.

I now realize what my kids are going through when they get them, but it has to be worse because they still are up and about and won't just lay still, and they are getting picked up and sometimes hauled off to school. I just can't even imagine. So hopefully this experience has taught me to have empathy at a new level when they get infections.

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