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Posted: | Report This Report Question |

how to get fluid behind the eardrum to drain

I have been to the doctors several times and on several antibiotics and I have no pain in my ear but I cant hear from the fluid built up... what can I do

Related Topics: Ears, Eardrum, Drainage, Pain, Antibiotic

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Primary Care
5,604 Answers
37,254 Helpful Votes

There are only a few things that can be done for middle ear effusion (fluid)....

1. You can wait it out, but after three months, you need to see an ENT.

2. Decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, etc. have all been used with limited success. Sometimes it helps...sometimes it doesn't. Antibiotics are not usually helpful since this is more of "plumbing and ventilation" issue...not an infection.

3. An ENT may need to surgical drain the fluid (tympanostomy) or suction and place tubes in your ears.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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Answers from Contributors (1)

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Fluid in the ear is most annoying and can be damaging to your ear. I caution you though about the decision to have "tubes" put in the ear drum to drain this fluid. I had tubes in for about 2 years, they fell out. I actually had the little tiny plastic rings. They are less tubes than just little rings of plastic. Most often the ear drum heals itself after the tubes fall out, mine did not. I now have very tiny holes in my ear drums this is a problem. I cannot swim in a lake for fear the water will enter into the ear and this water can carry many nasty little bugs, viruses, bacteria and so on. Many lakes in my area end up at one time or another  have to be closed to swimmers due to high bacteria counts, e-coli is just one of the many things that can be found in lake water. You do not want this to fester in your ear.

Depending on the type of tube used scar tissue can be left behind and ear drum will not heal on it's own. So you need another surgery to attempt to have the ear drum heal. The first attempt, and it is beyond me why they even do this one, the surgeon roughs up the ear drum and then places a thin patch of some kind of material over the hole(s) and hope this will work. This is only 60% effective. But it's your only option. I don't like the odds but that's all I was offered. I did not sneeze nor blow my nose for two months. And I was diligent in this I did not want another surgery, I wanted this to work. It did not work at all. So now if I want to pursue it I have to submit to another surgery, more anesthesia. Risk.
And the surgeon doesn't like this one because it's "very tiny surgery" is what I was told. They have to stitch the hole closed and I would imagine it's a big pain in the you know where.
So, don't just jump into this surgery. Especially if you are not having pain. I would try more medications, give it some more time, try decongestants or antihistamines to dry out the ear(s). Another go with antibiotics which I know is a real pain in and of itself. But don't just jump into surgery especially if you want to be able to swim this summer. 
Pools are a better choice because the water is chlorinated, but chlorine can damage as well. You will need ear plugs to swim but that's not a 100% guarantee that water will not get into the ear. I was told to use cotton balls covered in Vaseline petroleum jelly when bathing or when swimming. This is disgusting and it does not come out of your ear. So you walk around with Vaseline in your ears.
Really think about it.

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