Hearing improves when I have an ear infection

Hi,
I wear hearing aids in both ears. Right ear is severe loss and left medium.
I have noticed that if I get an infection in either ear my hearing improves in that ear to the extent that I have to reduce volume level in that ear. Usually I have the problem in my right ear but at moment I have an infection in left ear and I am hearing things I haven’t heard of some time.
I will add that both ear drums are perforated.
Suspect the reason is something to do with the gunge coming from my ear is sealing the perforation but if this is the case why cant the doctors not do something similar to give me a permanent improvement.
Will mention it on my next appointment but with Covid there are currently not open.
Hope someone can give me some advice.

Welcome to the forum.

My first thought was swelling that tightened up the seal of your domes/molds.

What are you doing about the infection?

Had a telephone consultation with Doctor yesterday and hd prescribed me some ear drops which cleared up my last infection in just a few days.
Other medications or tablets didn’t seem to touch it. Pick them up tomorrow.

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OTH, if you have been taking the medication and then noticed your hearing improved AFTERWARDS, it could be that the medication itself is having a ear-cleaning effect. I had an ear infection, was prescribed a mild acetic acid solution in a propylene glycol base (to make the liquid medicine sticky and viscous and stay inside the ear canals). I noticed the medicine seemed to have the effect of dissolving my ear wax, which would tend to stick to my molds in big glops and then come out with the ear molds when I removed them. My audi found my ear canals and ear drum very clean after the drop treatment. There’s a reason medicine gets prescribed - not safe for willy-nilly over-the-counter use. Yet I have decided while the remainder of the medicine lasts that an occasional use once every week or two just to help the acid balance of my ear canals and to enjoy a slight ear cleaning effect will not be the end of the world and I am looking for an over-the-counter equivalent (I have a home-brew of 1:1:1 distilled water:white vinegar:70% isopropyl alcohol that my physician’s assistant treating me said I might try instead but I think it’s the propylene glycol in the ear medication that does the trick.

BTW, I dislike peroxide treatments for dewaxing ears. As an ex-Radiation Safety Officer, when I taught radiation safety classes, I used to ask students what they thought the usual molecule in your body is that harmful high-energy radiation hits that starts a chain of events causing damaage. Students would look puzzled, some would volunteer DNA. A few bright students knew that the answer is WATER. Water makes up 70% or so of our bodies. High-energy radiation splits water molecules and generates free-radicals and peroxides and these turn around and damage DNA, RNA, protein, lipids, etc. So I don’t like the idea of putting a solution of peroxide and free-radicals in my ear canals anymore than I like getting a CAT scan if I really don’t need one (thank goodness for high-resolution MRI !).

I like lukewarm black coffee. Mild acid (tongue-tested) and cheap enough you don’t need a thickener. (The glycol may have other soothing effect.)

OTOH, I am now not a big fan of high-Tesla MRI. The old weak ones clearly could not hurt a fly even if he was wearing metal. But the shiny new machine they put me in this year was a whole order of magnitude more powerful, to the point it heated parts of my body at the edge of the field. And LOUD. Idiot acoustics.

Not sure how far back you want to go but in 1997, just starting out as an RSO, I attended training on non-ionizing radiation and a RSO from Fort Sam Houston, I believe, told the story of a woman with a life-threatening brain aneurysm. She’d already had one and it had been clipped but there was no record as to whether the clip was ferromagnetic or not. I forget why she had to have an MRI as opposed to CAT scan or x-ray. And if I remember correctly (probably don’t) she was a physician herself and the scan was imperative to tell whether to do brain surgery to try to clip this new aneurysm (something like that). The person telling the story said that the woman elected to have t\he MRI, signed a waiver, and died in the scanner because the clip was ferromagnetic and moved in the scanner, letting the clipped blood vessel rupture into her brain, and effectively causing a fatal stroke. I should imagine and hope that these days they do a better job recording in one’s medical record what goes into you.

Relative to “rolling my own,” I see that propylene glycol solutions are widely available as an over-the-counter nostrum and seem to be sold mostly by Mom-and-Pop companies, at least relative to the scale of truly Big Pharma. So I’d worry a bit about the provenance of something from a small seller. From the product description for one:

Our pure, kosher, USP Propylene Glycol has a wide range of uses that include industrial, medicinal, textile industry, food additive, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, DIY products, and a wide range of other practical applications. Is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid that has a thick consistency

If I remember my lab chemistry, propylene glycol is a polymer and can be procured in different average polymer lengths, the lengthier, the more viscous the resulting solution. So if one were going to attempt to perhaps foolishly make a mix of Heinz white vinegar diluted to 2% with USP propylene glycol, it might be a trick to end up with a solution of the same viscosity as the prescribed medication and even if that worked, not hurt yourself by (overly) self-medicating with such a solution.

I think I will ask my Walmart pharmacist about propylene glycol in the ear and if any particular brand is to be recommended. A Walmart online seller was the source of the above quote and perhaps a pharmacist could provide some useful information to me about such a concoction (probably “DON’T DO IT !!!”).

OP has bilateral perforations. Peroxide would sting pretty badly.

Most ENTs in my area try to close up perforations, unless there’s a reason that they can’t. A hole in the eardrum does impact hearing, although a hearing aid can compensate.

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Just to clear up a big of confusion. I notice the hearing improvement as soon as I got the infection and discharge so before I even started taking any medication.
Usually after a few days when the infection has cleared and ears have dried up is when my hearing returns to normal levels.
I agree closing the perforation seems a good idea but as I’m over 65 I’m not sure what the policy is in UK and also how effective it would be.
Have been taking medication for 2 days now and discharge has almost stopped. Hearing still at improved levels as when I turn on the HAs the initial start up tone sounds quite loud and in some situations I have to turn down the volume.
Thanks for your responses though but possibly should have posted on a UK site.