Possibly damaged inner ear?

I have been a wearer of aids for about 6 years now. About 6 weeks ago, while taking a shower, I put my little finger in my left ear to help with rinsing soap out of it. Somehow, I think, it formed a seal and created a vacuum. When I pulled my finger out, the ear popped along with a lot of sharp intensive pain in that ear.

Ever since then, my hearing in that ear has noticeably lessened/dampened. For the next three weeks or so, every time I would blow my nose, there was the same excruciating pain from my left ear. The pain gradually lessened, and has since dissipated completely. But, my hearing has not returned to what it was before the incident.

As soon as we returned home, I went to my family physician. He could not see any damage, other than a little redness. I then went, later, to my audiologist who adjusted the left aid to help with the hearing loss. He needed a referral from my doctor (for Medicare insurance to pay) to do an actual full test. I just had the test Monday. He said there is damage to my inner ear (maybe middle ear?).

So, that is where I’m at. Waiting for a referral from my doctor to see an ENT (ear nose throat).

Sorry, just thought I would post.

I would expect tearing of eardrum by the description what you’ve done, at least, that’s my fear what could happen if I pull my finger out when there’s a vacuum feel. So that’s why I wiggle a bit or pull my ear to let some air in first.

Maybe drum belongs to middle ear?

But ENT definitely seems like most appropriate person to look into your ear canal and notice if there’s any hairline fracture happened or something.

Wish you luck and that it isn’t something too serious. Perforate eardrums heal in some time.

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What do you mean by that, are you unsure if he said inner or middle, or was he unsure?
Any basic hearing test would reveal if you had a sensorineural (inner ear/auditory nerve) hearing loss or conductive (ear canal/middel ear) hearing loss.

That was me. I don’t remember if he said middle ear or inner ear.

You can see on your chart that your left ear is marginally worse than the right, which might be down to the physical damage. It’s possible that you overstretched the drum/middle ear in the process; don’t repeat the action as you’ll exacerbate the weakness.

Beyond that you have fairly significant but normal ‘wear and tear’ loss.

I’m sorry, but that chart you are looking at is an old one? I don’t think it is the one from this last test. I haven’t posted it. I tried this morning to post it but have not been able to. He sent it to me via email and, at the moment, I am having difficulty transferring it to here. I am on my phone and traveling this week.

When I have time , I will try to post the audio gram that he sent me. Sorry.

Since you describe feeling pain in your ears, you should go to your ENT-doctor no matter what the audiogram says. Ear pain is the domain of ENTs, not audiologists.

Right. The original pain did go away after a couple weeks. Now, there is no pain and, I am waiting for the referral from my doctor to see an ENT (at the audiologists suggestion). Because of the holidays, I will have to wait until next week to even get permission to see an ENT.

The left ear does, at times, go back and forth to where the hearing is sort of normal (before the incident) and then dampens like right after the incident. It stays dampened (don’t know what else to call it - quieter, maybe?) most of the time.

Like getting water in your ear while showering for example?

Hard to say really. To me the most likely answer sounds like a perforated eardrum, possibly a very small tear that your audiologist missed. Your ENT should be able to say if it is perforated, or if there is scar tissue suggesting it perforated and then healed back up again.
I also would also assume your audi did say “middle ear”, I dont see how you could possibly damage your inner ear by sticking your finger in your ear canal.