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It’s the oddest sensation

For the second time this year, I woke up a couple of days ago with one ear completely blocked. The first time around, over-the-counter ear drops sorted it out in a couple of days. This time, I’m not having much luck.

In fact, the first round of eardrops made it worse.

Now, two or three days in, the weirdest thing is happening. I have maybe 10% hearing in my left ear, so my brain has decided all sounds are coming from my right. Uncle B turned on the radio in the kitchen and I heard music come out of the livingroom.

It’s freaking me out, y’all.

Now, I know my audience. I’m sure at least one of you coots has lost more hearing in one ear than the other. Is this just how it works?


Comment from G_d’s Middle Finger
Time: January 10, 2024, 8:52 pm

color me a coot I gers – yepper – got the left one fiddle f*cked for many moons now… I just live with it – not as bad as you describe though, just noticeably less volume

Comment from RimrockR
Time: January 10, 2024, 9:19 pm

Have you tried using one of those little squirting bulbs (sometimes sold w/ eardrops)? I have this issue from time to time and a good old warm water series of enthusiastic squirts does the trick. And yeah having only one ear working normally causes all kinds of weirdness. Good luck!

Comment from Gromulin
Time: January 10, 2024, 9:30 pm

Not exactly the same, but long ago I made the mistake of lifting my hearing protection to ask a range safety officer a question at a gun range, just as some old fart lit off some black-powder shoulder cannon about 5 feet away. Hearing went to zero for a few, and my (then) toddler children sounded like weird sci-fi synthesized-voice robots for a few days. Only the high-pitched toddler voices. Permanent loss of some frequencies in that ear. Don’t recommend.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 10, 2024, 10:26 pm

I’ve got a significant degree of higher frequency hearing loss in both ears and have used hearing aids for several years now. Although there’s some difference between left and right it isn’t at all like you describe your symptoms, Stoaty.

However, I’ve had a couple of occasions when I had one or the other hearing aid crap out badly enough it had to go back to the shop, which took a week to ten days. So I know what the sensation of virtually everything coming in one-sided is like and it drives me nuts…for a few days. And then I start to get used to it.

I’ve also got one old friend who is deaf as a post on the left side and hears OK-ish on the right. He told me that he simply doesn’t notice it any more. Oh, he tries to get conversation partners on his right and that’s a conscious and deliberate thing, but otherwise he got accustomed to the monaural world a long time ago.

From past comments, I don’t think you’ve gotten the mRNA COVID shot, which is good. But if you have, be aware that hearing loss has cropped up as an occasional adverse effect of that damned “vaccine.”

edit: BTW, I *love* the artwork! LOL!

Comment from lauraw
Time: January 10, 2024, 11:02 pm

Seems a little sudden to be hearing loss due to geezerdom or encooterment.


Comment from Temple
Time: January 10, 2024, 11:16 pm

Ear Wax can be a problem. Sounds like the ear drops (wax softener) moved the wax a bit. They have squirt bottles you can buy to clean your ears; They are rather vigorous. Don’t shove things into your ear lest you compact the wax into the end.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: January 11, 2024, 12:49 am

I grew up swimming. We used to make a mix of oil and vinegar …I don’t remember the ratio. We would all get out of the pool, tilt the head towards the opposite shoulder, pull the ear lobe towards the ceiling, swallow a couple of times and drop the mix in the ear. My siblings and friends did well with this. Me? I ended up with a ruptured ear drum several times as I didn’t ever seem to be able to clear my tubes and ended up with massive ear infections.

Comment from p2
Time: January 11, 2024, 2:17 am

Four and a half decades of working around running jets coipled with some nasty chemo side effects have left me fairly hard of hearing. The aids the guvmint prrescribed (20,000 word rant redacted) are useless. I’ve pretty much gotten used to my right ear being the better of the pair and try to favor that side. Listening to music sucks; there’s so much missing now. Can’t hear most kids, most women and for some odd reason, the right turn indicator in my truck… The sudden onset sounds a lot like a blockage of some sort… pay attention to your balance. If ya start having issues with that get checked out soonest.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 11, 2024, 3:16 am

Go to a hearing aid office. Most audiologists will clean your ears for a modest fee. It’s worth it. And it’s less fussy than trying to see a doctor.

Using warm water seems intuitive, but warm water makes the wax soft and sticky. Cold water makes all the pieces/parts contract just a millimeter or two, so the water can seep around the wax and dislodge it more easily (all this according to the nurse in my doctor’s office who has cleaned my ears more than once). She uses Debrox in the ear, and an ordinary spray bottle of cold water, with a small basin to catch the runoff.

And I’m stealing your art today 🙂

Comment from Dan Patterson
Time: January 11, 2024, 9:43 am

Multiple events of that sort turned me toward searching for the cause, treating that, and letting the symptoms fall away. There was much discomfort and unease, some of the oddball effects you’ve described, and a heightened fright index due to the loss of hearing on one side.

My troubles came from a chronic eustachian tube dysfunction, treated with oral steroids and regular use of steroid nasal spray.

I tried all the homeopathics I could find, but aside from stomach upset there was no change.

Your dah-tah man might be the best next visit.

Best on the recovery.

Comment from Carl
Time: January 11, 2024, 10:04 am

Many years ago I had a blockage in one ear due to a build-up of wax. I went to the GP practice and the nurse used a WaterPik to clear it. Recently I had the same problem and went back to the GP and was told that they no longer do it on the NHS and it would cost £60. Instead of paying that I bought an ear inspection camera from Amazon for £26 and a syringe for £6. That worked very well. It was interesting to actually view the eardrum on my PC screen.

Comment from OldFert
Time: January 11, 2024, 6:35 pm


Comment from Clifford Skridlow
Time: January 11, 2024, 7:16 pm

Use a cotton ball to drip Hydrogen Peroxide into the offending ear while lying on your side. Wait patiently until the bubbling stops. Use a bulb syringe and lots of warm water to flush out the wax. I don’t know if it works for everyone, but it’s been working for me for about 60 years or so. Unfortunately, it does nothing for the tinnitus due to a great many of those years spent in close proximity to jet engines.

Comment from Drew458
Time: January 11, 2024, 11:58 pm

Agree with Cliff. H2O2 will dissolve a lot of the wax.
As a deafer junior geezer, I’ve got Eustachian tube issues and a drain hole in my right eardrum. When my hearing goes out I usually have to go to the ENT and get the middle ear vacuumed out. The doc gives me ciproflaxen drops, and I’ve learned how to compress the tragus (each one of the nooks and crannies in your ear has a name!) to work it as a pump; when I can taste the drops in my throat it means I’ve pumped the stuff all the way through. After that I can hear as well as the hearing aids allow me to.

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