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Day 22 Update...

My recovery continues. I started to put the peroxide drops in the ear to dissolve the blood and the packing, and i could hear all kinds of crackling and popping like a bowl of Rice Krispies (just like last time). I'm a few days ahead of schedule with the eardrops- I actually wasn't supposed to start them until Friday but I got a little bit anxious. The same day I first used the drops, my ear seemed to pop and get blocked up a little more than usual and I also noticed some intermittent dull pain and pressure that went on and off for about an hour that afternoon. I dont think this is anything to be concerned about though, probably just some drainage of fluid or whatever else is in my ear canal that got loosened up by the hydrogen peroxide.

The past week, as the ear has been healing, it has sort of felt like how the ear feels as a middle ear infection clears up: not much pain, just some mild fullness, like fluid is in the ear canal against the eardrum & hearing seems a little bit dull. This feeling seems to improve a little bit each day.

Ringing tinnitus is barely noticeable at this point. I would go so far as to say its pretty much gone completely. Sitting at my desk at work, it used to drive me NUTS. Today, I don't notice it all. In fact its really only audible in very very quiet environments. I still get the pulsatile tinnitus from time to time but I think that has a different physical cause then the ringing, and I expect it to slowly taper off as the ear heals.

I can already tell that my hearing has improved significantly. The stereo image of sound is much better now and I think I have a better sense of directionality of sound. Everything is really starting to sound the same on both sides so the symmetry is better, although music on headphones still seems a bit louder on the left side. I can hear test tones through headphones up to 10,000Hz on the left (newly operated) side although that particular tone is louder on the right. I am again experiencing that sharp sensitivity to loud sound although its not quite as dramatic as after the surgery on the right ear, probably because the condition wasn't as bad in my left ear and neither was the hearing impairment.

As far as sound quality, it is improving as well. That "un-natural" quality that higher frequencies seemed to have at first seems to be gone now although loud sound gets progressively distorted as volume increases and my hearing on both sides seems to lack the brilliance that it once had. I'm not sure if this is because I lost the ability to hear extended high frequencies (above 12kHz) or if its because my sensitivity to mids and lows has improved so much. In any case, I'm not too worried about it because I will get used to it and I can hear so much better overall.

I feel fine physically. No dizziness at all. Totally back to normal, 100%. I am going to start some light exercise this week now that I am in the clear for some physical activity (Dr said to wait 3 weeks). Tomorrow I'm going to start biking to work again, but other than that I'm not going to try anything too intense until after my follow up visit next week.

I'll post another update next week after my follow up Dr visit and the first hearing test.

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