Friday, May 23, 2008
An Earry Feeling
"You have otitis media on the right and otitis externa on both sides", says my ENT doctor. Oh no not again!
I have been suffering from an ear ache and tenderness for the past two days and it's turning my world upside down. Suddenly, I hear things differently - one side hears a little louder and the other side hears very little sound. It's very upsetting. Not only that, there is that buzzing and ringing sensation inside your ear that is so annoying especially when I go to sleep at night and it is particularly painful when I try to tug my ear. The inflamed ear canal actually reduces the size of the passageway thus giving you a feeling of blocked ears and reduced sound. Whenever I speak, I would hear my voice echoing inside my head. It's really so weird. I use my ears a lot in my work too and I definitely cannot work properly straining my ear like crazy. I know I have to have it checked...again.
This thing has been a recurrent one for me..."OA na" in other words. My ENT doctor counseled me that I should be careful not to let water seep inside my ears or use that damn cotton buds. The cotton buds apparently cause the accumulated cerumen (earwax) inside the ears to be pushed back deeper thus blocking the ear canals and causing me all this trouble. A friend of mine told me the same thing. He said that there is this special cleaning tool available in the pharmacy that I can buy if I have some problems with earwax. Okay, fine. This one is hard for me because cleaning my ears has been part of my personal hygiene. I'm kinda "OC" (obsessive compulsive) when it comes to cleaning my ears and maybe that explains why I have the recurrent ear infections. Otitis media by the way refers to the inflammation of the middle ear. Otitis externa refers to inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal.
After the whole thing was through I felt relieved once again, my hearing sharper than before. The ENT doctor used this small suctioning equipment connected to some kind of motorized machine that enables it to reach the inside of the ear and flush whatever is stuck inside. The doctor wrote me a prescription of some antibiotics and an eardrop. Whew, I'm glad it's all over now. It cost me again quite a sum that I could have used for far better things. That's one thing I don't like about going to the doctor. Now, it's me who pays the bills. Ouch.
If you don't want a visit to your ENT doctor, here are some useful tips on how to properly clean your ears.