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  1. It's been three years since this original post and I'm hoping to bring it back to the light to see if anyone has had a similar issue. Clearly, I was happy with my first ear tube for a long time. I had it until spring of 2013 before it migrated outward; ultimately I had it removed. I went in to see my ENT guy (different guy, different insurance) because my symptoms had returned. He was hesitant to place a new tube and so I waited about 6 months, during which I had 2 ear infections. I had a second tube placed in October 2013 and it barely lasted until December. It fell out by my sink while I was brushing my teeth. Two weeks ago, I did two jumps. My ear drum ruptured. I went to an urgent care doctor who prescribed a Z-pack and long term decongestant. No dice. The ear drum still has a hole in it and appears beefy red with a bulging tympanic membrane. I'm still in pain two weeks later. I'll be seeing the ENT again, but he is going to be reluctant to place yet another tube, and frankly I'm kind of reluctant to get another if it's not going to help me the way it did before. So, worst case scenario, is there anyone here who has continued to have issues with their own ears to the point where you can't jump for weeks at a time? My worry is that I will not be able to jump again with extreme discomfort or rupturing the ear drum. I do not have hearing loss at this time.
  2. Just be mindful of how it feels. I thought that mine was a case of "too much too soon" and I saw some alleviation of symptoms with allergy meds. Ultimately, the eustachian tube is not shaped properly to drain all the way. I found the stuffiness lasted longer and longer and would frequently turn to infection. That said, getting the tube really has been the best thing that could have happened to me. I hope yours clears up, but please get it checked if it doesn't! An ear drum rupture isn't worth it.
  3. Having an ear drum rupture is pain like I cannot describe. I agree that having the tube (or tube after tube after tube) is a desirable alternative. I'm 11 months in with my tube and at 9 months it still had not fallen out. I need to have it checked again, but it is good to hear that the hole is less likely to close back up after a prolonged period of having it open. Since yours seems to have ruptured far more than mine, I am curious about your hearing? Have you had it tested recently?
  4. You are right about the water sports. I'm not currently involved in scuba diving or much of anything having to do with water. With the way I felt after getting the tube, I'd happily tell you I'd rather avoid water sports the rest of my life to skydive comfortably. It sounds like your ear is a lot like mine. Sometimes it would get infected and wouldn't even hurt, but I couldn't hear anything out of it. I periodically wore an ear plug in noisy places after the surgery because the world became very, very loud. I'll keep you posted.
  5. My eustachian tube in the right ear is shaped differently from the left, so the fluid would always build up since it couldn't drain properly. After the second ear infection, I had a nasty reaction to oral antibiotics and can no longer take them. The tube has been the best thing that could have happened to me. The doctor mentioned a permanent ear tube to me, and I'd rather do that than go back to infections. But that surgery made me woozy. It'd be sweet to avoid it, but I've got my priorities straight.
  6. Last year, I had 4 ear infections in 9 months. They were all subsequent to airplane rides and rapid changes in altitude. Once I found a doctor who would refer me to an ENT, I quickly got an ear tube. It has been blissful to make several loads in a weekend and not have a single pop, twinge, or lingering ache. However, the tube is supposed to fall out within 6 months to a year. Near as I can tell, there's still a hole in my ear drum (ears don't pop on the way to altitude). The ENT said that I could end up having a second surgery to put in another tube. I could also be one of the lucky ones that sees permanent results from the first surgery. He happily noted that he's never seen a skydiver before so the entire procedure would be a neat experiment. I'm curious if anyone here has ever had an ear tube surgery as an adult and, if so, did you ultimately require a second tube after the first one fell out? Here's hoping I'm not the only person who needed a surgery meant for toddlers.