Ear congestion--what does it mean? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-26-2003, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had ear troubles since childhood and recently they've come back big time, as I've invited my parents back into my life. I know this is the right thing and the right time, just need help interpreting and working through the physical response. For the past couple months, my hearing has been getting worse and worse as the ear congestion has increased. I know part of it has to do with unlearning the people-pleasing my parents taught me, and that I need to stop worrying about what other people think of me. But I'm not quite sure how to get my hearing back to normal without being again distracted by the outside world. Any ideas out there?
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#2 of 11 Old 10-26-2003, 09:07 PM
 
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My ND sells some olive oil/mullein ear drops that really help my ds's ear pain.

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#3 of 11 Old 10-27-2003, 08:43 AM
 
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...the implicit mind/body aspect of your description.

But I'm not sure what you mean by ear "congestion."

Is your hearing worse all the time or only some of the time.

My own ear issue is excessive ear wax that I must flush regularly with a rubbing alcohol/vinegar mix.

Otherwise the wax backs up against my eardrum and I get tinnitis.


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#4 of 11 Old 10-27-2003, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good to see a papa on the forum! Yeah, excess wax and tinnitus, too. Sleeping on a hot pad has kept me from developing an ear infection, but my ears have been "clogged" for a couple months. What's the solution of vinegar and alcohol? And where can you get the mullein one? I've used OTC wax removal aid w/ no success. Does it matter that the wax is (according to the ENT) on inside of the eardrum? 'Cause I don't understand how any type of irrigation is going to fix that problem...(?)
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#5 of 11 Old 10-27-2003, 06:44 PM
 
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You can get Mullein Oil at your local food co-op or natural foods store -- my sister sells it at hers, and we keep it on hand. It is great if you have ear pain.

Have you tried ear candeling? I have not tried it myself, but I know for those with excess ear wax they say it works great. My sis also sells those (I should try them on Isaac! He has the worst ear wax problem!).

ABout the congestion, I have a question, or maybe not...I experienced something I was thinking might be similar but not sure. The period of time before we conceived our first baby (the torturous time we were trying -- about 18 months) I had the strangest ear thing going on. It was like I had cotton stuffed in my head by my ears -- I could actually hear my heart beat in my ears when I would hold my head in a certain position. I did not really have any head problems (aches or pains) but my ears just felt crammed with cotton or something. I would have to find different positions to put my head in at night because I could not stand hearing my heartbeat. I suffered from this for almost a year, and then it went away. I don't know why I did not ever think to see anybody (maybe the same reason I did not think to see anybody about not getting pregnant quickly?). Does that description correlate to what you feel at all?

I really think it goes hand-in-hand to what was going on in my life at the time. I had horrible ear problems as a child, so I guess I did not think too much because it was not a new area of my body having problems, but an area where I experienced much pain before.

Just reading your problem makes my head and ears feel stuffy!
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#6 of 11 Old 10-28-2003, 11:40 AM
 
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...rubbing alcohol and vinegar.

OTC carbolic acid did nothing for me except make it worse.

I'm still in the process of fixing it, I only got the alchohol/vinegar solution (on the web) about a week ago.

But if I do it a couple of times a day, the wax loosens up.

mullein oil (for me) only made it worse by adding more oil/wax to the equation.

Don't know about "inside of the eardrum" issue.

I do know that it is slightly uncomfortable when I put it in (Head tilted to horizontal for each ear) but it shouldn't be painful. If it is, don't do it, apparently that means eardrum is perforated (I'm not exactly what that is but that's what the info was.)

I do know this, my problem started after a long period of not working out-- running , weightlifting. I think that what was keeping things in check was the ambient sweat that would move down into the area where the wax is and keep it liquid.

I'm getting back to this as well.


Good luck,

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#7 of 11 Old 10-28-2003, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm.. I've had my dh put just rubbing alcohol in my ears to prevent swimmer's ear after swimming (a couple drops) and that has been helpful... And I just read another "recipe" online for an "irrigation" solution--one part water, one part vinegar, one part rubbing alcohol, then use a syringe for flushing it in & letting it run out (over the sink). I think I'll try that instead... I'll let you know how it works. Jesse (dh) get's "clogged up" when he's not working out (weights & biking) too, but not his ears.

Ldsapmom, interesting idea about your childhood ear pain possibly correlating w/ the emotional pain of infertility (which we also experienced, and no doubt in my mind due in part to fears about becoming like my mother). What do you think made your ear congestion go away?
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#8 of 11 Old 10-28-2003, 03:25 PM
 
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You know, I really don't know. I do remember almost being worried something was wrong because of the way my head/ears felt. It just went away and suddenly I realized I was no longer hearing myself in my head.

I had horrible ear infections where the drum would burst (good papa, once the ear drum bursts then there is a hole, or perforation; but the pain is immense -- you would know if this happened, and also your ear then drains pus and blood for a few days afterwards. If your ear drum has ruptured it is important to not put anything in there, kind of like when a woman's water breaks -- it increases the chance if an infection). Luckily my kids have not had them like I did. I was also a competitive swimmer for about 11 years. That meant swimming sometimes four hours a day, year round. I also had many cases of swimmer's ear where I was positive I had a true ear infection -- I would beg my mom to take me to the doc, and it was always swimmer's ear (which is still an infection, jist not like otitis media). The alcohol was what we did, unless we had rx drops. Our doc also recommended using a hair dryer to dry our ears for a few minutes after swimming -- both of those things can't hurt and actually feel soothing.

All I can say was it was a miserable time in my life. We did not share our infertility with anyone -- I was afraid of family and friends adding to the fact that I already felt like a failure or something was wrong with me. In hindsight I regret that, because certainly their thoughts and prayers may have helped. But I also know sometimes people can be insensitive. It was a double-edged sword.

This is getting long, but we started to seriously consider adoption. At first I was so into having my own -- it had to be from me...I finally figured I wanted a child, I did not want, ultimately, to be pregnant. Then things relaxed. I just assumed I could not have kids and we looked into adoption. The first cycle after we were fully ready to turn in the paperwork, I got pregnant. I really feel that was for us to go through so someday we would consider apotion again -- I think we will have the opportunity later to adopt, and had I gotten pregnant when I wanted to, most likely we would not have ever considered it.

So, I don't know if any of that helps, but I think once I let go of the problem, my ears got better.
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#9 of 11 Old 10-28-2003, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had bursting ear drums, too. They almost did tubes, but my mom was opposed. I blew up balloons instead. It worked. Guess I should try that again, too!

Hadn't considered fertility issues w/ this since I hadn't had that same correlation before. Maybe I'll have to think about that.
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#10 of 11 Old 10-29-2003, 12:12 AM
 
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I don't know about causes but have you tried ear candles to get rid of excess wax?
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#11 of 11 Old 10-29-2003, 01:26 AM
 
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I am not saying specifically fertility issues -- I think more along the lines of deep, life stress. I am also not saying that is what is going on with you either, just what I noticed with me. Maybe the two had nothing to do with each other? But it was, probably, the most stressful time in my life.
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