Is my severe ear infection worth yet another trip to the doctor?
July 15, 2012 5:34 AM Subscribe
Hello, AskMefi, let's talk about my ears (again). I am currently in the midst of a severe ear infection. People keep telling me to go to the ER, but I'm not sure what that would accomplish.
posted by Lokheed to health & fitness (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Last Thursday morning I woke up with my left ear swollen shut and in a great deal of pain. I went to the doctor that morning, she was able to look into the ear and confirm that I have both an inner ear infection plus a middle ear infection. She gave me a prescription of Augmentin (Amoxicillin Clavulanate) as well prescription for ear drops.
By 8pm the left ear had sealed completely where I couldn't even get relief by lightly tugging on the earlobe, and I was in agony. I got perhaps two hours of sleep total that night.
On Friday morning I went back to the doctor, she took one glance at the left ear and said that it had swollen to the point that she couldn't see inside at all, and that what I needed was a wick placed in the ear to help the medication get back where it needed to go. Because they don't perform that procedure in their office, she sent me to Urgent Care.
The urgent care doctor was able to get the wick in, but could not see inside the ear at all. He gave me a different ear drop prescirption (Ciprodex) and also gave me a prescription of Tylenol 3 (tylenol + codeine) for the pain. That helped quite a bit.
By Saturday morning my right ear had also swollen shut, and my jaw has been completely distended since Thursday making it very difficult for me to chew food. Yesterday I ate mostly soup.
I have been taking the Augmentin since Thursday afternoon, and have been doing one kind or other of the ear drops since then. I am currently functionally deaf. The good news is that the pain levels have dropped to the point where this morning I did not feel the need to take any Tylenol 3. I can hear/feel some liquid moving around inside my right ear when I walk around, and I even felt some motion in my left ear when I first sat up this morning.
My question is this: should my ears have started to open up again yet after three days on the antibiotics, or is this the normal course. My friends and family keep messaging me that the symptoms are worse so I need to go to the ER, but I don't see what that would accomplish beyond having a third doctor confirm that yes, I have an ear infection.