I just lost all of the hearing in my left ear.

I had this huge ear wax buildup in my left ear and it was really bothering me. Prodding with a qtip didn’t help and I knew that something had to be done with medicine or doctor help. With advice from MsRobyn, I went to the drug store and bought ear drops today. I came home, dripped a few drops in my ear and sat with my head tilted for a while. Then, I flushed out the gunk with the bulby flusher out thingy and life was a little better. Repeated the process and all the ear wax was gone. Went out to shoot some pool and got dinner with friends. I came back home and decided to clean and drain my ears to get out anything that may have been left behind from earlier this afternoon.

After the first few flushes and drainings, I suddenly realized I couldn’t hear anything in my left ear. It wasn’t ear wax clogging it up this time or cotton, my hearing just completely disappeared. I was calm and thought there might be too much water in my ear, so I gently stuck in a Q-tip to soak up excess water/ear drops. Nothing changed. I’ve tried yawning, flushing more warm water, putting in more drops, shaking my head, etc. you name it. Currently, I’m slightly dizzy with no hearing and incredibly upset. So I’m sittin here hoping that it’s just an air bubble or water or or irritated hairs/skin/canal or something fixable and I’ll regain my auditory capabilities within a day or so. My roommate had the same thing last year and said it came back after a while.

So now, I ask for your prayers that something good will come of this. I’m incredibly scared that the damage is permanent and that I’ll never get to hear from both ears and that nothing will be the same. I apologize for being rambly and redundant and yea… I’m just really really scared and upset.

I keep thinking this is a dream and I’ll wake up all normal like I used to be. :frowning:

Don’t panic.

I’m not a doctor, but . . .

Temporary hearing loss OFTEN occurs when the ear canal undergoes a change of pressure–which is what happened when you flushed the earwax out. It usually corrects itself quickly.

I had this happen to me once and I went all spazzy too. I’ll bet that all is well, or nearly, in the morning. Write again and tell us how it turns out.

Call me crazy, but this might be a good time to make an appointment to see a doctor. A large buildup of earwax could be a symptom of something else wrong with your ear that you may have irritated with the flushing process.

Ear wax buildup was just from not cleaning them after I had showers and stuff. It probably wasn’t huge, but enough to start bothering my hearing a bit… It feels like I stuck my finger in my ear and I can’t hear anything 'cept there’s no finger in my ear.

Thanks for the advice/hints and keeping me in your thoughts though. Will def keep you guys updated.

Maybe I’m a hypochondriac, but regardless of what caused the wax buildup, I still think “sudden hearing loss” is on the short list of things that merit a call to the doctor.

I got round-kicked in the ear once in karate class, and it hit at just the perfect angle to pack all the ear wax into a solid lump pressed against my ear drum. I went to the doctor’s office because I thought there was something damaged, because my hearing was all funny. It took the nurse about ten minutes to flush it all out.

She was pretty grossed out. That’s saying something, that I managed to gross out an ER nurse…

Go to the doctor. I recently had severe hearing loos in my right ear after a cold. They flushed the wax, but I was still half-deaf. It turned out to be congestion in the eustachian tube, and they gave me a scrip for a good decongestant that cleared it up within a few days.

When I was researching the same subject I learned that there are many reasons for hearing loss that are eminently fixable. Get thee to a doctor ASAP. And don’t worry until there’s something to worry about.

I had a clogged ear last summer with partial hearing attenuation. Since I’m a diver, an ear problem is a Major Concern, as in “bad ear” == “no diving.” This is on top of Juniper200’s comment.

My doctor flushed out a LOT of gunk from the ear canal, gave me some antibiotics for the infection which had clogged the ear, then sent me to an ear-nose-throat specialist for cleaning, ear drops, and a hearing exam.

I was all better within a few weeks, with no lasting effects.

sheepi83, go to the doctor. They can flush out any remaining gunk, and see if anything else needs attention (such as prescription ear drops). Meanwhile, don’t prod the ear canal any further – that will only compress the blockage into a stronger clog. (That might be how I went from mild cold to ear infection.)

This happened to me during a severe ear infection two years ago. I lost all the hearing in my left ear with no warning. It just went out like someone had flipped a switch.
Naturally, I freaked out and went to the ER in the middle of the night.
It turned out to be fluid-build up behind my eardrum due to the ear infection. I took a round of antibiotics and the infection cleared up within days but the hearing didn’t return all the way for a couple of months.
I still have trouble with my left ear now and my hearing is nowhere near 100% in that ear.
Get yourself to a doctor! It’s better to be safe than sorry! :slight_smile:

I can hear a little bit now. Least I think I can. I plugged my right ear with my finger and then snapped my fingers near my left ear and I heard that, but it still feels like something is clogged and irritated in there. Will be making trip to doctor soon. Funny, last week when I went there and told them I was dizzy and nauseous and feverish and swollen glandish, they didn’t even check my ears. They checked my throat.

I am going to the doc. Just called for an appt. Nothing’s open 'til tomorrow. Now what? I hate ER’s with a passion and I don’t think my family can afford to send me there. The ER is my last resort.

Go to an urgent care facility. If you’re not sure where one is, call either your primary care physician or call a local ER and ask them. That’s going to be the BEST place to get looked at in a hurry and will be less expensive than an ER.

I’m wondering… Was everything you used to wash your ear out prepackaged and sterile? Because tap water does have a little bacterial contamination in it and if you used tap water there is a chance you managed to infect your ear.

And an infection in the inner ear will cause a loss of balance.

Odds are you’ve right now got a mild infection or something going on.

Personally I know I get a bloody ear infection everytime I get non-clorinated water deep into my ears.

Went to UPMC Montefiore Hospital today. Had ears checked and cleaned. Saw two really yicky big blobby things come out of my left ear both about the size of dimes. Now I can hear again!!! Thanks for your thoughts and advice. I appreciate it.

glad yr okay sheepi83.

i wonder if i have gross things in my ears? they feel fine but you never know!

i feel funny

May I ask why you hate them? My father happens to be an ER doctor (but I promise not to get offended- perhaps your ER experiences were different) so I know several ER docs, all of which really, truly care about their patients. There have been times where my dad has come home from work in a depressed mood because he lost a patient that should have been too young to die. There was a time when the ER docs got a cake for an elderly patient whose family didn’t come for her birthday. Those are only a few of the many stories I can share. I’m sure not all of them are like this, but all the ones that I know are wonderful.


I don’t have anything against doctors really, I just don’t like being in the ER and my problem really is with insurance, then again who doesn’t hate insurance companies. Heck I even wanted to be a doctor at one point in time and right now I’m studying Rehabilitation Science and Technology. I had the coolest nurse and physician today who took care of me. They were made me comfortable and at ease during my apt. at UPMC-Montefiore.

I just hate having to go somewhere so expensive and serious for a silly thing that I would normally go to a primary care physician for at home. I like to go to SH or a PCP before the ER mostly because ER’s are raping my parents up the ass with huge bills that insurance won’t cover. However, to avoid having to go to the ER for a simple illness and causing great expenses upon my parents, I have established a PCP here so I won’t have to dread getting less than standard care at SH.

Yea, I woke up one morning as a kid unable to hear in one ear. dr_mom_mcl packed me off to her office and took this giant, frightening thing filled with water to my ear. Blasted out a giant wodge of wax. Don’t ask me how it got there.

My sister described a similar process to me thusly:

“So I go in to the doctor’s office complaining that I can’t hear right anymore. He drops what is apparently an Alka Seltzer into my ear canal, and for a few minutes all I hear is plop-plop-fizz-fizz. Doc directs me to tilt my head to one side, and all of a sudden, my ear VOMITS! It was pretty cool.”


Take some hydrogen peroxide and put it in a small paper cup for the bathroom (but if you have a cleaning bulb or dropper even better)

Tilt your head 90 degrees to one side and fill your hear up with the hydrogen peroxide until it is reached the top

Let it do its work then flip your head the opposite direction and catch anything falling out with some paper tissues.

I’ve always wanted to clean out my ears and see some massive blob of stuff come out… sigh

I guess it’s similar to my fascination with popping zits. I just really like that kind of thing.