Ever since my hospitalization over last Christmas, I've been dizzy and sometimes felt slightly drunk. And there was pressure behind my ears, like pincers. And the ear canals sometimes itched something awful - evening waking me up at night.
In September I went to an big-buck otolaryngologist. He gave my ears a quick look, said at my age I've got Meniere's syndrome and will eventually lose my hearing. Nothing can be done. He did prescribe some ear drops for the itching. And that was that.
Oh for crying out loud. Yet ANOTHER age-related, no-hope-for-it diagnosis from a computer toting 'specialist'! And the ear drops? Not covered by Part-D and cost $175. I didn't fill the Rx.
Things came to a head a couple of weeks ago when I my right ear drum started fluttering, then one day at lunch with friends, it totally went blocked. Now I really needed help. Thing is, all the ENT (ear/nose/throat) doctors around here are in the only practice I'd already visited. And once you have one doctor in a group, they don't let you try one of the others for a different diagnosis.
So I searched the web and finally found a hearing doctor in Canton who was not associated with a practice. On Dec 5 I had an initial consult. Wow. An old-fashioned gentleman with no computers and friendly office staff. He gave me a real once-over, not like the one from the 'specialist'. He found my ears were not producing wax and old wax had plaqued over the ear drum. He cleaned out what he could. Then he did pressure tests and then a comprehensive hearing test. First thing he said was no WAY did I have Meniere's!
He prescribed me drops to take for 2 weeks to help soften up the remaining wax. Again, another expensive Rx. I called the next day and asked for something generic. He said that WAS generic. And if I didn't do the drops, there was no reason to come back in 2 weeks, he couldn't help me. Oh damn.
I mulled over that for a while and decided I should just go get the drops. When Walmart/ Humana wouldn't cover the drops and I'd have to pay $145, the pharmacist said, "Let's try something else." She then ran the Rx against a FREE drug card anyone can print off the web - UAN Rx card. The drops now cost me - waaaaait for it - $34. $34!! That card is now my new best friend! I print them off and give them to everyone I know. LOL
Anyway, after 2 weeks of drops, the doctor was able to remove the now-softened plaque from the ear drum and clean up the left ear as well. I could hear, and the cortisone in the drops have greatly reduced the itching. Now I use the drops maybe once a week and feel so much better. There is no longer any pressure in my ears and the dizzy/drunken feelings are so slight now I hardly notice.
Sometimes it DOES pay to find another doctor. AND another way to pay for prescriptions!