ZocdocAnswers I had an ear infection that has caused me to lose hearing in my right ear; when will I get my hearing back?

Question

I had an ear infection that has caused me to lose hearing in my right ear; when will I get my hearing back?

I have the flu-which resulted in my having a bad ear infection, I am taking three different medicines prescribed by doctors but none are helping. I have a constant ringing in my right ear and I cant hear a thing. It feels like there is a ton of pressure located in my hear.

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you have the flu, and that you developed an ear infection as a result, and that there is some hearing loss on that side. I am happy to give you some of my thoughts about what might be going on, but ultimately I am going to recommend that you make an appointment with an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) physician to get evaluated. They will be able to take a history and examine you to give a more accurate opinion about what is going on. As I am sure you are aware, you have eustachian tubes, which are tubes that go from the back of your nose to your middle ear to bring air from your nose to the middle ear. With inflammation in the back of the nose (as can happen with viral infections) the eustachian tubes can become obstructed which causes negative pressure in the ears and can cause a middle ear effusion (fluid in the middle ear). This will cause some hearing loss, and if left there long enough, it can get infected and cause an otitis media (middle ear infection). Even once the ear infection is treated with oral antibiotics, it can take some time for the fluid to go away which might be why you still have pressure in your ear. The ENT will be able to look in your ear and tell you if this is in fact what is going on. They may also order a hearing test (audiogram) if they do not see any fluid in your ear. I wish you all the best.

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