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Flu affecting iem tip fit?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've had an ongoing flu almost the whole winter, and just as I was getting better last week a new one hit. Trouble sleeping, tired often, coughing, congested. I've used Klipsch S4's, with the medium tips, and they've been perfect for the last couple years. But since I've been under the weather recently the right silicon eartip doesn't fit. I tried the large size, but it's too big, feels like its stretching me a new ear-hole. Basically, I'm able to just slide the left one in my left ear, or do the whole pulling-the-ear and twisting-the-iem thing, and either way the sound is great. But in my right ear, I can just barely place it in my ear, otherwise, the sound gets cut off (the little hole gets blocked somehow). I've tried twisting it each way, and reattaching the tip in various ways. I've also tried the left IEM in my right ear, using the "sport" configuration (where the wire comes down from over the ear), and it's the same result, so I know it's not the right IEM itself. Sometimes I can lightly tap the right IEM a little bit into the right ear, but then if I tense my jaw at all the sound is blocked again. Annoying. Needless to say there's hardly any bass that I'm getting from the right now. Anyone else experienced this? I saw some flu/cold posts here, but from years ago. I hope it's just that, and that after I recover fully I'll be able to enjoy IEMs again. My other thought was that I'm now in my 40s and so maybe my ear canals are becoming horribly deformed with age.

 

 

post #2 of 11

I'm a med student at Rutgers and I would say that if you have that much inflammation in your ear you should 1. see a physician, and 2. not be using IEMs for the time being.

 

Do you have any pus coming from the ear?

post #3 of 11

I think you're experiencing driver flex.  Since you're sick, all your eustachian tube is probably clogged up which is there to equalize air flow typically.  Since that can't happen, the air pushes up on the driver and stops it from physically moving.  Try pulling the top tab of your ear up while pushing the IEM down to break the seal.  Release the ear slowly, then release the IEM slowly. 

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerToast View Post
 

I'm a med student at Rutgers and I would say that if you have that much inflammation in your ear you should 1. see a physician, and 2. not be using IEMs for the time being.

 

Do you have any pus coming from the ear?

Girlfriend is a nurse and i know a bit about med.....i completely agree, a ongoing flu could be weak immune system for one reason or another. and medication may be needed to correct or fix your issue.

 

also if you are getting that much inflammation in your ear and its lasting over a period of time, a ent might be something to check in with.

 

just my .02

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyman392 View Post
 

I think you're experiencing driver flex.  Since you're sick, all your eustachian tube is probably clogged up which is there to equalize air flow typically.  Since that can't happen, the air pushes up on the driver and stops it from physically moving.  Try pulling the top tab of your ear up while pushing the IEM down to break the seal.  Release the ear slowly, then release the IEM slowly. 

Actually there is no communication between the ear canal and the Eustachian tube. So you're right in saying that the air pressure in the ear canal and the Eustachian tube should be the same, and you're also correct in saying that equalizing the pressure can relieve the symptoms of an infection, but nothing you do with the IEM itself or by manipulating the outer ear will help. 

 

What may help is simply "popping" your ear by chewing gum or something. This is because the Eustachian tube communicates with your mouth, not your ear canal.

 

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post #6 of 11

But as I said before, inflammation that's actually deforming your ear canal and changing the feel of the IEM is cause to see a doctor. They may be able to give you medication in the form of drops that will clear up your ears, depending on the type of infection you have.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

I made an appointment for Thursday. I won't tell them that I'm there because of headphones. They'll say I have my priorities wrong. But I'll find a way to work the IEM issue in as "additional" piece of info that may be of interest. The Eustachian Tube thing sounds about right, in my uninformed opinion.

post #8 of 11
Well its good you are going to get this checked out.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

The doctor looked in both my ears with the black cone-tipped scope, and said I had fluid behind my ear drums, especially in my right ear. It should be air back there, which gets fed up in there through the eustachian tubes, she said. The right ear's the one I've been having the IEM issue with. Also music has generally sounded rather flat, which is unfortunate since I recently got a new pair of headphones (HPH-200). She also said the congestion was creating negative pressure behind my ear drums, so they were being a bit sucked inwards, looking concave. Normally they should be flat or about so. There's a bit of swelling in the ears from the congestion. So she said I should take a decongestant, and loratadine (anti-allergy) until it clears up. Ibuprofen would help the swelling, too. I got the medicine, so we'll see. I was glad to at least hear her say "Yup..."

 

But I've looked on some musician/producer forums and seen some horror stories, and naturally some conflicting advice. One of the discussions:

http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/showflat.php?Number=1022698

 

Hope this info is helpful to someone with similar experiences some day.

post #10 of 11

im very happy it seems like you got some good results from going, seems like you will be better per dr orders. back to having your hearing to normal 

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Update: WARNING GRAPHIC DETAILS! I've been taking decongestants and anti-allergy meds daily, as per the doctor's recommendations. The IEMs fit now, and I can no longer reproduce the problem I was having with the right tip, which before was often inaudible except in certain positions. However, my hearing's still off, and my ears have begun to ring quite steadily. I'm not hearing a lot of bass, and things sound trebly, tweezy, and kind of sharp. It's like the bottom half of the spectrum is just hollow. Whatever impressions I have of my new headphones' sound are basically bunk. From what I've been reading, these symptoms can take months to clear up. The condition is sometimes called "glue ear," a reference to the stuff that builds up behind the eardrum, and becomes thicker and thicker as it just sits there. If you have an advanced degree, you can call it "otitis media with effusion," or OME.

 

Now to the graphic details. Pure gore. One morning I sucked the roof of my mouth with my tongue, like you do to get snot out. I felt a definite something slide into the back of my throat. I spit onto a tissue, and there was a four-inch long bloody worm thing in a little pool of saliva and mucous. The "worm" was thick and very sticky, and the blood was brownish, not bright red. It was four inches long, but only because it was stretched out, and I think in reality it was probably just under two--the length of the Eustachian tube. When I popped my ears, like by opening my jaw wide, the "pop sensation" was much clearer in my left ear, so I figured it was my left tube that had drained. That was in the morning. That evening during dinner, it happened again. I left the table, and into the bathroom. On a tissue, it was spit with a pool of nearly black blood in the middle. I teased the thing with my finger, and lo and behold it was another "worm." This one about twice or three times as thick as the one from the morning, but the same length.

 

That was about a week ago. The IEM tip in my right ear didn't start fitting better until two days ago. I can't wait for my hearing to come back full.

 

By the way, I've learned in reading about this that there's an entire online community who think they are infected with worms, and that their doctors and the entire medical establishment are in a conspiracy not to acknowledge their mysterious parasitic infections. They spend much time and effort thinking about, and trying to coax out, these apparent worms.

 

Anyway, here are some quotes from a very informative page I just now came across (http://www.neurophys.wisc.edu/h&b/textbook/mid_ear.html):

 

"The transmission loss is greater for low frequencies and has been observed to be of the order of 20 dB for frequencies below 1000 Hz."

 

"Otitis media evolves from the common cold, allergies, cigarette smoke exposure, or anything that can cause obstruction of the Eustachian tube. For instance, loss of ciliary action, hyperemic swelling, and increased production of mucus associated with an upper respiratory infection leads to temporary closing of the Eustachian tube and, as a result, negative pressure develops within the middle ear. This has two consequences: One involves pressure and pain as the result of distention of the tympanic membrane innervated by the trigeminal nerve. The other is a progressive conductive hearing loss due to added stiffness of the middle ear transmission mechanism. Because stiffness shifts the resonance point of this mechanical system toward high frequencies, sounds tend to lose their low frequency quality and take on a sharp 'tinny' character not unlike that often experienced in high altitude flying. Otitis of this type usually subsides without further complication."

 

Let's hope so.

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