SUMMARY: No, I really can't.Back in March, I got an ear infection. No idea how. (Every time, they ask me: Do you swim a lot? Answer: Maybe once a year. Do you clean your ears with Q-tips? Answer: Never; the smallest thing that goes into my ear is my finger.) Doc said, doesn't look too bad, here's some drops. Took drops, got better, then fine for about 4 weeks, then it came back.
Repeat again, only that time didn't really get better, so--in to the doc. (Different doc than the 1st time.) Who said, doesn't look too bad, here are some different drops.
Used them (diligently). But it wasn't getting better. So-- in to see the doc. (Different doc than previous 2 times.) Who said, can't see a thing, ear is completely gooped and swollen shut. (Guess I can write off THAT type of ear drop.) She said, go see this ear/nose/throat person.
Who cleaned it out and gave me new type of drops. Pain went away. BUT. Still can't hear out of ear. Head still sounds like it's underwater. And then I notice that I'm *tasting* a bitter taste every time the drops go in. That's REALLY not right.
So it's a week later, I'm back to the E/N/T doc. Infection is completely gone but, yup, there's now a hole in my ear drum. "Not very big"; about 15% of its surface (?! sounds big to me). Should heal on its own in a few weeks or maybe longer, she says.
Meanwhile, can't really hear well out of that ear. And now I'm *truly* empathetic to those (multiple) agility friends who are deaf in one ear, who sometimes have trouble hearing the buzzer for the gamble, or trouble telling whether it's their ring or a different ring. My 3-D hearing is having trouble with directions of sounds. Fortunately my dogs don't talk to me much. But in a place with background noise, hard to hear someone next to me, even through the other ear.
And still no good answer on why the recurrence. Will discuss more in 4 weeks, next time I go back in. Meanwhile, hope I hear my gamble buzzers!