Should I go back to the Doctor?

I want to say this first: I am not one of those people that go to the Doctor for every damn sniffle or scrape. I am not scared of Doctors, I just don’t particularely like to go. I keep wondering if I am one of those people that needlessly drain healthcare…


Last weekend I came down with a cold or something. A Doozy. Came down with it Friday night and was bedridden. My left ear started to feel plugged up. Right ear was fine. Monday morning I woke up at about 3AM with my left ear in terrible pain. In desperation, I did a search on the SDMB (my medical reference journal!) for “Plugged Ear Help!”. The search came up with a few hits. I tried one of the methods that there seemed to be a bit on a consensus on and I doubled over in pain on the floor.

Thats it. I went to the hospital. Turns out my left ear had a middle/outer infection. I was given some antibiotics and a perscription and sent on my way (in less than an hour I may add). I was fine after that.

Until this AM. My right ear is now plugged and starting to appear to get sore. Its only been 2 days since I went to the hospital, but it wasn’t sore before. Should I go back (or see my doctor) or just wait and see if my medication takes care of both? I am unsure if it is working as it is still plugged (my left one) but not really in pain anymore… although it only has been 2 days.

I’d wait, the meds should cover both. I would be very surprised if your right ear developed some other wierd infection that couldn’t be treated by the same meds, and I doubt that you doc would up your perscription.

I would only return to the doctor if it really started bothering you, more than the left ear did originally.

Quadgop will probably share some advice that you should heed.

Sounds like you have a cold virus which also blocked your eustacian tubes, and caused a secondary bacterial infection in your left ear. Antibiotics are generally the treatment of choice for this. However, the antibiotics will not do a damn thing for the cold virus. So you’ll still have ears that tend to plug, click and pop, and may ache a little as a result. But I would think it unlikely that one would develop a resistant strain of bacterial ear infection in the other ear while on antibiotics. Unlikely, but not impossible.

Now I’ve not examined you, nor have I discussed these issues with you, but I would tell a patient in a similar situation to take tylenol or ibuprofen, steamy showers, push fluids, and get the ear checked if it becomes markedly more painful.

Qadgop, MD

I am not a doctor. However, I’ve had my share of ear infections. I usually do just as Qadgop has suggested, plus I take an antihistamine, to help unblock my head. The steamy showers help a LOT, don’t discount them.

I love those hot steamy showers. I’ll see if I can’t get the wife to join me :wink:

Thanks for the help.