Liquid in the ear?

My wife’s been annoyed as heck lately with a feeling in her ear as if she’s been swimming and got water in the ear (she hasn’t been swimming in ages, actually). She went to the doctor, who told her that :

(a) She did have liquid in the ear.

(b) She doesn’t have an infection.

© She should take decongestants and wait for it to go away.

Decongestants don’t seem to do squat. She accepts that it will go away at some point, but it’s getting on her nerves. Anybody know anything that will relieve the symptoms?

Thanks in advance.

There’s an over-the-counter remedy here called “Swim-EAR Drying Aid.”

Dries water in the ears and relieves water-clogged ears, thereby relieving discomfort, the sensation of fullness or hearing impairment. Swim-EAR&the ear drying aid that clears trapped ear-water due to bathing, showering, swimming, hair washing, jacuzzi, etc. the brand used by swim teams for generations.

It might help. (IANAD, pharmacist, nurse, my Red Cross 1st Aid certificate as lapsed, yadda yadda)

I suspect your wife’s doc found fluid behind the eardrum. This is not uncommon when the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the nasal passages, gets clogged.

No ear drops will help to resolve that. Antibiotics are not generally necessary either, tho many docs order them reflexively. If there is no pain, and the fluid behind the drum is not pus, antibiotics are not a good idea in most cases.

Decongestants sometimes help, and sometimes not. A gentle valsalva maneuver; holding the nose, and closing the mouth, and sucking in and out, sometimes helps open the tubes and lets the fluid leave. Sometimes not. This condition generally does go away on its own.

The key word is gentle. I hate it when my patients try this and start breathing thru their ears.

Many thanks.

Heh! I have a history of ear infections and recently (within the last ten years) a chronic case of trapped fluid, to the point where about half the time I’m mildly hearing-impaired. This is compounded by the fact that I’m psychologically incapable of deliberately performing the valsalva maneuver because I’m absolutely convinced that I’m going to blow out an eardrum if I do. Even having a physician’s aid in doing it (with that swallow a mouthful of water and I’ll blow this bellows down your nose thing), I was sweating bullets.

And yes, I’ve had tubes. I had tubes twice as a child and once as an adult. They work for a while and then everything goes back to the way it was before when they drop out.

I’d love to get over this block…