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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17663
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I swim there times a week without earplugs in a

Customer Question

Hi, I swim there times a week without earplugs in a Virgin Active pool. I have seen three doctors regarding my ear problems which started with my right one feeling odd and throbbing occasionally. I was given Optomise x 2 courses which was ineffective.

I was then given Mometasone 50 mpg for the right ear via nose spray. Ineffective.

Meanwhile the left ear started to exhibit stronger and similar symptoms. This was diagnosed by second doctor as ear wax plus infection. He prescribed Flumetasone 0.2%. Ineffective.

Doctor three the head of my local practice who is a supposed ENT specialist said both other doctors don't know what they are talking about and there was no infection, carry on swimming and come and see him in 3-4 weeks in his Hospital clinic where he would clear wax and treat me for Vertigo ! He sent me away with 3% Sod Bicarbonate drops.

Two days after this the left ear was so bad I sought private treatment to clear wax. This lady showed me on the screen I had a rampant infection with glue and crust covering the eardrum. The operator said she would not remove all of the covering as it was dangerous and needed drops clear the infection. She showed me the area and the white/cream puss that was now in her vacuum system as proof of the ear contents/infection.

I am now with the help of the local pharmacy using Canestan drops to help clear the ear infection which I don't know how long this will take. I await the third doctor to call me back when I shall relay the experience and ask to be passed on to another local hub doctor as I don't have any confidence in his diagnosis or his dismissive manner of other fellow practitioners. At least one got it right but seemed not to treat it with the right solution i.e. Flumetaasone antibiotic.

Any help very welcome as I cannot hear much from the left ear and it is still blocked after two days of Canasta drops. The right ear is also not ok but not as bad.

Are these the right treatment as I understand this is a  fungal treatment?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.

An infection of the ear canal can be either bacterial or fungal, and you have received topical treatment for both. The Optimise drops contain an antibacterial ingredient along with a steroid anti-inflammatory medicine, while the Canesten ear drops contains an antifungal medicine. You also have been on other steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines.

The usual next step would be the use of a stronger topical antibiotic or an oral antibiotic, such as ciprofloxacin, which is available as drops or pills.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

How do we know whether it is fungal or bacterial? Its a white cream discharge plus attached clumps on the wall of the ear canal according to the tv image

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
It is not easy to tell, and the usual approach is to use empiric treatment. A gram stain and culture can sometimes be done, but the treatment is usually not dependent upon the results of a stain and culture.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is the antibiotic available over the counter or prescription.

Does one treat in both ways if not sure what it is i.e. antibiotic tablets and fungal ear drops ?

Whats the best way forward for me now please.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
The stronger antibiotics are only available by prescription. There are products that contain both an antibacterial and an antifungal ingredient that can be used when the germ is uncertain, but that is usually a first-line option. At this point, it is more common to have a bacteria that does not respond to a first-line product, which is why the usual next step would be a stronger antibiotic.

The best option for you would depend upon the findings on exam. Topical antibiotics are usually preferred, because of a lower incidence of side effect, but if there is significant swelling of the ear canal, then the drops may not penetrate and an oral antibiotic would be better.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you that seems a a good reasoned diagnosis for which I am grateful and happy to pay for your time.

David

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome.
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17663
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
Dr. D. Love and other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am still awaiting a phone reply from my third doctor.

Is there any serious threat to my long term hearing capabilities of this is not treated soon?

Thank you

David

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
No. These infections can cause significant symptoms, but there is no serious threat to hearing.

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