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Tube in ear

Roar's picture
Posts: 265
Joined: Mar 2013

I went to the ENT today- couldn't take not hearing anymore. He drained my left ear and installed a tube . I can hear again. Hearing is still not what it was 4 weeks ago but at least I can hear out of my left ear. I told the doctor I joined this foreman and learned a few new words. Lymphodema - I asked if what was under my chin was lymphodema - his answer " maybe" I asked if it could have anything to do with my ear- answer" probably not" I asked how can I drain the fluid- ans " you probably can't " I asked if I would have this tube the rest of m life - ans " maybe" will my god given ear tubes ever work again - ans - maybe- next word " neuropathy" - ans " not his field"  I think this doctor is a great surgeon. You can't even tell that I have an incision on my neck unless your looking for it. I am going to see my radiation oncologist tomorrow and see if he has any answers. Wen the ENT drained my ear a few weeks ago he said he was concerned that maybe the cancer came back- but said today he is much more comfortable that it was only an infection as everything looked good today and was not as concerned as the last time.

longtermsurvivor's picture
Posts: 1845
Joined: Mar 2010

the inner ear drains through the eustacean tube, into the throat.  If it gets plugged, fluid builds up.  If it opens back up, then the inner ear drains.  A tube through the ear drum just permits the fluid out through another door.  Radiation changes the lining cells of the eustacian tube.  In some of us, the lining flattens out.  This produces a tube that drains really well.  In my case, it permitted me to scuba dive without even stopping to equalize the pressure.  I could just dive straight down to 100ft without any problem at all.  In others, it thickens those cells.  this produces chronic fluid, and ears that may be very difficult to equalize pressure in.  this makes jet plan  flight a problem.

Time will tell.  But there isn't any easy way of ansering.




Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009


Doctor lingo.....

Just teasing Pat...

I have (an always have had) issues with small ear canals... So do my kids...

It's a bi.otch on plane flights like you said.. There's always some level of flight that one ear won't pressurize and it feels like my head is going to explode... Usualy about 2-3 days after the flight, it'll finally unclog and pressure release.. That in itself about brings you to your knees...

Thinking on it now, it's especially bad anymore on the side I had cancer and received the most rads...



NJShore's picture
Posts: 423
Joined: Nov 2012


Dan just got a tube put in his ear (left side, concentrated rad side -- 11-12 weeks out of tx) after loosing almost all of his hearing in the left ear. Much better, immediate relief and hearing with the tube. Just like when my kids were tiny and got tubes, his hearing went very sensative for a few days.

Our doctor (ENT Surgeon) said he would expect that the issue is due to swelling post rads. He says most issues do dissapate, but he also said he'll be there if he needs another down the road, just to ask for them. Frustrating I know - the gift that keeps on giving.. sorry you got this one too.


Roar's picture
Posts: 265
Joined: Mar 2013

I had nothing better to do today so I took a trip to the hospital to have a chat with my radiation oncologist. Just kidding I had an appointment. He said I look great and am doing well. I told him I feel like crap. he said it will get better. I said I can't put on weight- he said dont worry about it you look good. I told him my hearing sucks and I had to have a tube put in yesterday . He asked how am I hearing now and I said good- I asked do you think my tubes got damaged from radiation and he said no. I asked about the lymphodema and he said to do neck stretching and should go away on its own with time- I asked about the neuropathy in my. Feet and he said its com the citsplatin and should. Go awaon it's own. I asked about the fatigue and he told me to change my diet. Eat berries - I told him I blend vegies and fruit every morning and take vitamins. He says then your doing everything right and the fatigue should be better in a few months. I really like this doctor- the only one I really like- but I was hoping that he would give me the magic pill and make all my problems go away - he didn't - BTW as far as the tube in the ear goes he said it is normal to have slightly less hearing in that ear, which I do - on my way out - he re assured me things will get better- it just takes time. Next appointment 2 months and at that time we will schedule pet scan 2 - 

i have been on bit of a negative zen flow and plan on making a change beginning now- I promise myself to focus on the positive - my hearing is a lot better- i am cancer free- I will live life to the fullest one day at a time- I had to write it down

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