Ok warning this may end up being a long post but the more details the better. All my problems started back in August of 05 when I woke up and my right ear had that stuffed up feeling as if it was full of wax. As the day went on it went away and I thought nothing of it. The next morning the same thing happened to I went to see my family Dr. who said it may be an ear infection and gave me an antibiotic to take for it. Well about 10 days later the stuffed up feeling was still there 24/7 and the antibiotics had done nothing. I went back to my family Dr who referred me to an ENT who diagnosed me with ETD. He put me on Claritin, Flonase, and methlprednisone. Ok after about 4 days on those my right ear developed tinnitus to the point that I could not sleep at night. I freaked out and stopped the meds and was able to get back in to see him a couple days later. The audiologist did an audiogram and everything checked out normal in both ears as far as hearing and pressure which I didnít understand because if it was ETD it would show up on there right? I can pop my ears voluntarily pretty much whenever I want but it didnít do any good. Well he changed my meds to Zyrtec D, along with the Flonase. I forgot to mention that i got married on the 3rd of September right before the ringing started. So a few days after the second ENT visit we leave for our honeymoon to Hawaii and during the time we were gone the stuffiness finally went away and the tinnitus subsided for the most part. I felt great by the time we got back and was glad to have all that behind me. Then after a week and a half I noticed the tinnitus again but this time in both ears!!! It started off faintly then built up in a few days to the point that I had to take valium to even get 3 hours of sleep at night. The stuffiness was not as much of a problem but it would be intermittent, one day the left ear and another day it could be the right. I went back to the ENT who did another hearing test that came out normal again. He wanted to put tubes in my ears but I wanted to get a second opinion first. The next ENT said he did not think it was ETD but had no real idea hat it might be. He said since the pressure tests were normal he didnít think the ear tubes would help at all. So on I went to the Cleveland Clinic to see an Otologist. He looked over the tests and the MRI I had gotten and his diagnosis was Tinnitus and ear pressure/fullness related to TMJD. I have had popping and clicking in my jaw for a long time but it never really caused much pain. I was somewhat upbeat to get that news thinking maybe I could get some relief that way. Well i saw a local orthodontist who made a soft night guard to wear and after 3 months it had done nothing. Next I went to an allergist who tested me and found I was allergic to a variety of things and again suggested the Zyrtec, Flonase and also Entex. I have been taking those for a couple months but the results are minimal at best. I have pretty much a constant feeling of pressure/fullness in both ears. I can pop them easily but it only makes them feel better for a split second. I feel as if my hearing is not as good as before even though I have had 5 hearing tests that are all consistent and score very well. I recently saw a TMJ specialist who made a harder splint to wear during the day and an NTI to wear at night so i have had those for about 2 weeks but havenít noticed a big difference yet. The Tinnitus and the ear pressure and fullness are taking over my life. I am only 26 and newly married, we just bought a house and this is the time I wanted to enjoy my life and I cant escape this misery no matter what I do!!! I wish there was a magic pill to take to make it all better but I know that is not the case. I have a lot of support around me from my family and my wife but it is still very difficult to make it through the day sometimes. I miss being able to relax in bed or read a book or sit outside and watch the sunset. Now no mater what I do there is this fullness and T screaming in my ear reminding me that I cannot get any peace. I just wanted to get that out if nothing else then to see if anyone else has had a similar experience and maybe has any suggestions for me. I am still hoping that the TMJ treatment will work because I know it takes time for the splints to do their thing but I always wonder if it still may be something to do with my allergies or sinus problems but for 9 months now I would think it would have gone away for a t least a little bit. Thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing any responses!
Well, I don't really have any advice, or anything to add - But will post anyway :P
I have a similar problem. To make it short - I first complained of loss of hearing and ear fullness, my Gp thought it was just some fluid build up... so prescribed Trinalin Repetabs... twice to no avail.... then sent me to an ENT. The ENT spent a few mins with me, looked in my ear, and sent me for hearing tests. He found pressure and the sort in the left ear, and decided to place a tube in the left ear only. Boy was that a mistake!!! (you should count yourself lucky that you never had one )
After the tube I developed severe tinnitus, and horrible constant earaches - to go along with the fullness and pressure. I also had PND. I returned to the ENT and he ripped the tube out, saying it had "slipped out of place". He gave me Nasonex and told me to return if I had any more problems with my ear.
Well I went back to the GP and asked for a different ENT. Some good that was. He was a colleague of the first. He sent me for the hearing tests again, after i told him I had no problem with the hearing now, but with the pain and tinnitus. After getting the results he told me I have TMJ (DUH! I knew that) and that I needed to, and I quote, "Win the lottery and move to a warmer climate". The nerve of this guy... Then I went to a walk in clinic and the doctor there told me I have more fluid and ETD and to continue with the Nasonex and try Sudafed.... which is not helping either.
And thats where I am now. I know I have TMJ... I was told that when I was 19... arthritic changes... but it seems too coincidental that it all happened after a bad flu, fluid build up and the tube placement. My ears never bothered me before.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know you are not alone. I am still suffering... after two long years of this being drawn out... but I am managing it.
I think it may a combination of many things. The TMJ, the allergies, etc, and it is only now affecting you. Hopefully the splint will do its job... sometimes you have to go through a few different ones though to find the right one for you. Maybe ask about Nasonex as it is stronger than Flonase. And I would recommend irrigating with a saline solution before using a spray. Also, I believe if the tinnitus is a real issue for you, there are tinnitus maskers available... I don't know how well they work though. From my understanding they are devices worn in the ear to counteract the tinnitus.
May the Sun Bring You New Energies by Day
May the Moon Softly Restore You by Night
Maybe some paragraph breaks would help, I had difficulty reading through it.
Anyway, I am a total newbie when it comes to ear problems. Perhaps if you made your post more readable some of the more experienced people will give some input.
Since I'm here.....My thought is, ENT specialists are really just guessing unless it's an obvious problem. My daughter had very inflamed tonsils, the doctor recommended an operation, we did it and she could talk better the very day of the operation. That's a success. The same ENT failed to notice my sinus infection and that got very, very bad - to the point where my heart function was affected. (An antibiotic cleared that up, once my GP spotted the sinus infection.)
But the ENT is all you have, so keep going. Maybe try to find another one, but the next could be as bad as the one you have now. Perhaps the best thing you could do is to find a doctor's registry and start reading through the evaluations until you find one that sounds like they could help you.
I have heard of sinusplasty, where they use a balloon to blow your sinus drainage back open. It closes a little bit with each infection. Then there's surgery. Surgery is kind of drastic, try to avoid it until you're sure it will help.
Edit: Nasonex is currently helping my odd little lump-in-throat problem so perhaps that's caused by post-nasal drip. Maybe ask for some Nasonex.
Last edited by Schroddfather; 06-02-2006 at 10:00 AM.
I'm having similar problems to you. I'm 29 and have had these problems for more than 5 months. It started off with a sinus infection and it has left me with ear problems ever since. I'm having constant ear fulless/pressure, thick PND, a hard time breathing, congestion, tinnitus and so on. Like you, I had symptoms before in the past which I never dealt with since they were mild.
I found out that I had bad allergies to dust mites, cockroaches, etc. I assume you have tried to minimize exposing yourself to what you're allergic to. I got dust mite covers and cleaned up my bedroom heaps. I just got started on allergy desensitization and I'm hoping that will help some.
Head on over to the Allergies board. You can get good advice over there, especially Sneezydiva. I'm new to all this stuff so I don't reckon I can give you much advice. I'll probably need to deal with this issue for a long time but I'm hopeful that I can overcome this thing eventually.
Thanks for the replies to my post. I have been doing the allergy shots for about 4 weeks now once a week so I am also hopefull that will help. I will talk to my allergist about the nsonex and see what she thinks about me trying it out. Do any of you use the Neti pot to flush your nose?