Otosclerosis - popping ears after stapedectomy

Hi all, any help would be welcome. I am feeling pretty anxious, so it would be good to have some advice.

I had my stapedectomy for otosclerosis on Wednesday. Afterwards I did notice some changes in my hearing. It wasn’t better but ‘different’, and I could faintly hear different frequencies I’d previously had trouble with. While still in the hospital I had pretty heavy bleeding from the ear. I also had very loud tinnitus - louder than before the op.

On Friday, I was feeling ok so I went and met some friends at the pub (stupid, I know). While I was there, I felt like I had fluid in the ear. I ‘popped’ my ear by holding my nose and blowing, perhaps three times over the course of the afternoon. This made it feel like the fluid cleared, and helped me hear a tiny bit better. But I know it was a stupid thing to do. I’m really worried that by popping the ear I may have dislodged the prosthesis.

Four days on, my hearing is still poor - perhaps worse than immediately after the op - and I have terrible tinnitus - worse than before the procedure. The dizziness has lessened but is still there. I am very anxious that I may have ruined the surgery by popping the ears. Does anyone have any advice or similar experiences? I know I just have to wait it out and see, but I’m feeling very annoyed at myself for putting myself in this uncertainty. I should have just stayed home and relaxed instead of getting in this situation.

Does anyone know if pressure changes can dislodge the prosthesis, and what this might feel like? Thanks

I doubt seriously you did any harm, but I’d encourage you to call the physician who did the procedure and ask. Pointless to worry when you’ve got a good source to ask. I’m guessing you’re embarrassed, but unless you were told specifically not to do that, I don’t think it was unreasonable.

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The friend above is right. You are very anxious and ashamed. But even if the medical team responsible for the surgery has expressly forbidden you to put pressure on your ears, you should still call them to report this situation, because if what you did is really harmful, they will know what to do and will guide you. Stay in peace.

Thanks for taking the time to give advice. I appreciate it. I spoke to the surgeon and he said there is little to worry about if there was no sudden dizziness and hearing loss. So I am feeling reassured. Thank you.

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