I developed a middle ear infection just before Xmas - with the main symptoms that had me going to my doctor was an increase in my usual tinnitus in my right ear and a painful popping sensation in that same ear whenever I burped, hiccuped, etc (currently on a Candida-based diet). There was also a feeling of pressure within the ear. I could not quite get the Valsalva maneuver to work on my right ear - no popping sound, but more of a "phht" or an inflating sound.
My doctor said I had fluid behind the eardrum and it was swollen. There was no damage to the eardrum itself. He told me to take both Mucinex & Claritin (he did not want to give me a steroid because I had a signs of Candida, specifically a coated tongue) and he also gave me Xanax because my blood pressure was normally high due to stress (and not blood sugar).
I took the meds for a week, the ear pain subsided, and I returned to my doctor, who said the swelling had gone down a little bit and to continue the meds.
A week later, the painful popping began to return despite continuing to use the decongestants and my normal ear ringing was still increasing. I left a message with my doctor but didn't hear back.
I tried (Hyland's) Earache Drops, which didn't help so I cleaned my hands, using another home remedy, and dipped my pinkie in 3% hydrogen peroxide and let a trickle run into the ear. It crackled slightly and felt very soothing, before I let it drain out. A whole day passed without earpain from hiccups. The next day the pain returned again somewhat when belching, hiccuping so I let an even smaller trickle in and drained it after a tiny crackle kicked in. The pain still hasn't returned yet several days later.
I continued taking both the Claritin / Mucinex and the Xanax, but the ringing / Tinnitus in my right ear became unbearable loud a day after the last use of Hydrogen Peroxide - although truthfully it had been getting incrementally louder since the ear infection began and may not be connected to either that, as there is no hearing loss or other symptoms, or the Xanax (which while used to treat Tinnitus, has been occasionally reported to sometimes worsen Tinnitus). The feelings of pressure has not returned to any extent I can sense.
I called my doctor's office again but haven't heard back. This past evening and morning, the Tinnitus in my left (untreated) ear seems noticably louder than its previous wont, although not quite as loud as my right - so I'm not sure whether to blame the Xanax, the infection, my own meddling with the Hydrogen Peroxide, or a combination or one of more factors for this. Until my doctor calls back, I'm ceasing the Xanax to be safe, but will continue with the decongestants.